Former Mayor and Councillor writes to Guildford Dragon: Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover

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It is just to show the strength of the national parties concerned.

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From Bernard Parke

Hon Alderman and Former Mayor and Councillor

The national political party system evidently does not often serve local interests and its  needs when extended into the local government arena.

In this last local election we have witnessed what in politics is known as “paper candidates”.

These are people that really do not wish to serve the community as local government councillors but are asked by the national party associations to put their names forward on the agreement that they do little else, not expecting to rise to the office of councillor.

It is just to show the strength of the national parties concerned.

However,  with national swings they  could well find themselves, to their complete amazement, being elected and in doing so question their abilities to satisfactory fulfil their duties required of them.

With political party funds and backing this activity could well eclipse the talent found in independent candidates who frankly cannot compete with the money of mighty political machines.

To be a local councillor you need to contribute some attribute and ability to fulfil  the trust that the elector have put in them by electing them.

This expectation is often ill founded in the paper candidate.

Many a good and trusted former councillor has fallen foul of this trend and as a result our communities are the real losers.

Perhaps we should remember the old adage: you should not judge a book by its cover.