A week after the event when I was defeated by 14 votes, I think its probably time to respond. From a personal point of view I would have preferred to be part of the new council and have some direct influence over the major decisions that Ceredigion now has to take, but that is not to be. Fate has decided that I have to make my point from the stands. On election day it was interesting to watch a particular demographic coming out to vote, a demographic class that would in a 'national' election be split between 3 parties. Perhaps we are seeing national politics playing a more important role in determining the outcome of local elections, there is some merit in that argument because several experienced councillors (myself included) lost seats. I shall leave that to the political scientists. There may well have been an anti-incumbancy vote where local issues tend to dominate.
Where does Ceredigion go from here? If you think that the education debate raging in Gwynedd is an isolated issue, think again. Ceredigion has to deal with the large number of small rural schools and secondary schools fast running up substantial cash deficits. A strategic decision on education has to be taken in the next 2 years. The roads are a mess, an unacceptable number of rural roads fail the necessary standards tests and need to be repaired. There is no cash available to do so. We have an ageing population in West Wales and the demand for greater care will increase, again we have no cash to do so.
These are decisions that can only be taken by a stable and strong authority. Lets see what materialises from the discussions prior to the meeting to elect the Leader of Council on Friday 9th May.