Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Hurworth hots up

Just as the mercury plummets, so the political temperature in Hurworth may be about to rise still further.

I understand that Peter Foster, the Tory Councillor unceremoniously dumped by the Conservatives is considering standing as an independent in May. That's bad news for the Tories and the LibDems, who are busily tearing lumps out of each other in an increasingly bad-tempered contest.

With the two parties squabbling over who provided a bin outside the VG shop (yes really) an independent candidate might just come through the middle...


Ian Holme said...

Hi Nick,
What an interesting thought, Peter Foster standing as an independant.
This is the same Councillor who was happy to be interviewed at length about his acting exploits in the echo.

Yet when it came to the single most important issue affecting his ward in decades he did absolutley nothing. (and I do mean NOTHING!)Whatever anyones views on the school issue, it cannot be in any doubt that he completely failed to represent the overwhelming opinion of his constituents.

Regardless of political affiliation he has failed in his duty as a ward councillor and for that reason alone I believe he is unworthy of re-election.
I believe this will be born out in May.

By the way, Merry Christmas Nick.


Ian White said...


Darlington Councillor said...

Thanks to both Ians.

I appreciate that Ian H will have had a very good handle on the performance of ward councillors during the Hurworth School matter. I'm not sure how far this will be appreciated by the wider electorate, but as you're both entrenched in the village commmunity, I'll take your word for it.

As an outsider, my money is still on Martin Swainston and Julie Jones winning a seat each for their respective Parties. What are the current odds down there?

Darlington Councillor said...

Apologies - and a Merry Christmas to both of you too.

Best wishes,


Anonymous said...

Just for the record when I read the two newsletters in question I cannot recall reading that the conservative one claimed to have got it replaced themselves (the bin that is), they said they had reported it overflowing 4 times and said a bigger one was now in place, some how I do not believe they would put their name to anything which they had not done. As I am sure I read somewhere that it was in fact the Parish Council who requested a new bin a few months before. Just my observation.

ian holme said...

Based upon those known to be standing in May, think you are probably about right.

I really do hope that the election will be won on the basis of local people doing their best for their community, rather than narrow minded part allegiance.

Anyway, off for an xmas "sherry" or two....

best wishes


Anonymous said...

Isn,t it annoying when people post annonymously, yet make it so obvious by the content of their post they are Conservative Candidates!

For the record it was not the Parish! I have just read back through all minutes for the last year, So accept it, it was Cllr Swainston!

An impartial observer.

Darlington Councillor said...

Thanks IO - there is a certain stridency to some anonymous comments which suggests they are Tory friends...

Let's be clear - there's an enormous amount at stake for both parties in Hurworth. If the LibDems win the second seat, then virtually the whole of rural area could be up for grabs. The Tories were taken by surprise by the blitzkrieg that the LibDems unleashed in Hurworth when Martin Swainston won the by-election, although they were clearly better prepared in College a little later.

Equally, if the Conservative can win both seats next May, then the LibDem push will have fizzled out more widely.

A messy draw satisfies neither party, although as I have indicated, I think that is the likely outcome.

Who is the second LibDem candidate in this key target seat by the way? I have seen Martin Swainston's wife and Malcom Dunstone mentioned as editors of the Focus in the village. Dunstone (who lives in Victoria Embankment in town, and stood in Park East last time) has been named in LibDem leaflets elsewhere, so it may or may not be him.

Impartial Observer said...

A good question Nick, and one many of us loyal Libdem supporters here in Hurworth would like answering, many names have been bandied about and like Ian H said the winner should be for village reasons not party alliance, equally the "runner up" should not be picked on the grounds of "They will have to do" there's no one else.