PBROTRIB sketch: OUTATOUCH! WE GO ON THE STUMP
In reality the bar is set quite low to be a Peterborough councillor. USE THIS LINK. You even get official awards if you don't turn up for core meetings, so everyone is a winner! You'll be getting loads of brightly coloured junk mail over the next few weeks.
But its better to question the candidates on the doorstep. And don't fall for the card pushed through your door routine, which states the candidate 'called earlier but missed you'. They probably had no intention of ever visiting your road! Remember with Local Government Elections, a poll result as low as 200 could possibly get you/them elected!
Calling cards and other pre - election (ie not taken into the election budget) and subsequent election literature will in reality have been left by an army of professional or amateur leaflet distributors. Some may be shipped in on special trains, especially if a puffed up self empowered local worthy is standing! Also expect your 'neglected for the last four years' areas to suddenly get a 'tart up' the Tories currently seem to be concentrating on dog poo stencils! We said the bar wasn't very high! And why all the nonsense over anaerobic digesters by one Stanground councillor? He's seemingly not bothered about or conveniently overlooked the massive one in Fengate! We've already done all the groundwork on the local one!
BTW Its the same Tory councillor who blanked out Tony Blairs name and signature on the so collect RESPECT award he trumpets. (the photoshopped picture is on his party paid website page.....)
Seriously if you have invested in property, ensure you have a proper say, get together a few names, and get your completed papers in by 4pm on 7th April 2016.
In addition to stopping or slowing down some of the 'professional abuses' you could be 'trousering' or 'handbagging' useful cash allowances, and even get to be driven around in the Mayors expensively leased new motor!
Unless of course, it has to be handed over to the Eastern Power House Regional Super Mayor, then don't expect to see it ....
You won't need to worry about running schools either, as the Tories want Academy regimes for all LGA run schools, even the rated excellent ones! So parent governors will be axed by the Conservatives.
South Peterborough is short of candidates apart from the usual suspects, including one who ditched traditional public surgeries years ago, although he is legally mandated by office to hold them, so it would be good to have some new blood, and you really don't need to belong to any political party!
Collecting votes is easy just trawl around the care/retirement homes/ Fleet Centre, taking tea with the residents, provide a few tins of 'Jammy Dodgers' and 'facilitate' their precious postal votes by helpfully bulk handing them in to the Electoral Services Office. BTW if you see any 'postal vote harvesting going on', report it to both Electoral Services and the police.
Too late to object the Fletton Quays mega debacle (the outgoing Cabinet saw to that, in the dying days of their tenure) which seems to be run out of a tax haven in the Isle of Man - and a deranged highly experimental 'cloud' computer system for sensitive council data run out of Las Vegas by AWS, Amazon Web Services, the IT architect of this novel but unproven adventure - is however jumping ship for pastures new.
Rest assured it will turn out to be very expensive, once locked in as PCC will, just watch the access rates soar (and in expensive US $ too!)
Staff will be expected in future to hotdesk (Fletton Quays will be some 400 desks SHORT! ie not enough desks for everyone on the payroll) and expected to use restricted facilities chromebooks.
So lots to be done, its fair to say that only a handful of councillors do any real work, the others just coast along.
E&OE google.com/+JulianBray Tel:+44 (0) 1733 345581 .