As I've commented upon Councillor Spencer Drury has become involved in what has now been a year long struggle to get the Council to keep my street clean.
Well it also appears that there's been a minor flurry of other local Conservative action, coincidence?
The first sign was a leaflet through my door from them. It all appears to be pretty generic and recent(ish), but undated, material. Most interestingly though they have said that there is a "Charlton action team". They are Richard Shackleton, James Garry and Louis McLean-Wait. Could this be a new dynamic trio to replace the current "couldn't give a monkey's" trio of Labour Councillors that we have?
Well if the street problems aren't sorted out maybe I'll give them a poke and see if they can get any kind of a resolution.
You can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am somewhat suspicious of the local Conservatives and believe that too many of them view Greenwich as a stepping stone to a nice expense account in Westminster rather than as something that actually want to passionately serve. I said as much in a recent post.
Well one of the examples I used in that post, Councillor Nigel Fletcher, has recently published what appears to be somewhat of a retort. It's his only posting in May and given how many, if not most, of his postings don't have anything to do with the borough it does look a bit coincidental...
He says: "I have often been criticised on this blog for focusing too much on national politics, but I make no apology for doing so again. The truth is that what happens in Westminster has a real effect on people across the country, and the people I represent in Eltham North, and people across the Borough of Greenwich, can see this Government is failing them. We need change at the top, and a new Government is the only way we will get that."
It's a well written response but one that I just don't agree with. So to Nigel in particular and his ilk in general I say....
Yes what is happening in Westminster does have an enormous effect on the people of Greenwich, however questioning and working on those issues is the job of the opposition MPs and the national Conservative party.
Those national focussing Conservatives are therefore too busy dealing with those "bigger" issues to deal with the smaller ones that affect the day to day lives of people within Greenwich. They have delegated responsibility for that to you, if you drop that responsibility so as to chase after their scraps in Westminster then who is left to challenge the Council?
You acknowledge that there are problems with Greenwich's schools, social services, housing and responsible usage of our Council tax.
And then there's the plethora of other issues that pop up on a day to day basis that the Council seems to deal with badly. We've had our roads badly gritted, ground up glass used as grit, rubbish piling up in the streets, dodgy dealings over free air race tickets and the waste of money on a corporate box at the O2. Actually you'd best not tackle the box at the O2, until you were named and shamed your snout was rammed right into that trough right alongside Chris Roberts (read about that here, scroll down a bit, oh Greenwich Watch, you are missed...).
Those issues are what you should be dealing with and what I would expect to see a true local opposition writing and campaigning about.
Taking Greenwich away from the current group of disinterested and arrogant Labour Councillors will be tricky and it will take a lot of work. Devoting so much of your time to national issues is not only doing nothing to advance peoples confidence in you as a potential local Government but also damages that cause by giving the impression that you're not interested in what is really going on around here.
Proving that a Conservative Councillor is interested in the real low down and dirty problems of Greenwich when it's not just the few weeks before an election will do far more to set Greenwich right than talking about how "call me Dave" acknowledged your existence.
However not talking about your connections with the national party won't bring their attention upon you, which will slow down your climb out of Greenwich to a seat and an expense account at Westminster.
However what are you in this for?
I'll drop my cards right on the table, I have never once voted Conservative in any type of election.
However they can prove that they really are committed to making a difference to the borough and it is here that their passion and interest lies then I can see myself looking beyond the blue rosette and voting for the person behind it.
Right now though that just simply isn't the case.