MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

YOU may have noticed my absence from this space for the past few weeks due to the local election period.

And in that time, outside my hours in Parliament, I have tried to play as proactive a role as possible in helping the local Conservatives retain their hold on Fylde Council.

So I was of course pleased that, from my party’s point of view, there was a very positive outcome.

We must congratulate all the successful candidates and wish them well with the huge responsibility that is public office.

They must strive to do the right thing for the borough at all times during this important period and remember the importance of the wider picture, particularly the economy, in these turbulent times.

I’m sure the council is in safe hands though and under the stewardship of a good man in Coun David Eaves.

However, perhaps most impressive was the positive atmosphere around the campaigning and volunteering aspects of the election process, on all sides.

While many of the candidates may have intense political differences and there are one or two personality clashes I found the atmosphere at the election counts to be very collegial, fair-minded and positive.

When politicians are vying for seats which may be decided by five or ten votes, emotions can sometimes run high and people can get carried away.

But I heard no cross words and little ill feeling as the results rolled in and it is to the great credit of those involved.

There was also, of course, a referendum on a proposed new voting system for Parliamentary elections – the Alternative Vote.

And I am delighted to say that Fylde turned out in force, as well as almost anywhere in the country, to say a clear “No” to AV.

As I have said to so many people, what could be fairer than a system where the candidate that gets the most votes wins?

It really is as simple as that.

The national picture and the state of the coalition will, of course, be the subject of huge speculation following a disappointing election day for the Liberal Democrats but I am sure the Government will again pull together and do their best to continue to drive Britain towards economic recovery.

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