I attended our resident associations AGM last night. We live in an established area; the majority of our estate was built in the late 1960’s and there are still plenty of the original homeowners on the estate. To say as a 40 year old every one of the 50 attendees bar two or three was old enough to be my parent or grandparent should give you some sort of idea of the age.
At the recent election, The Conservative Party Candidate got 47% of the parliamentary vote and in our specific ward, the local Conservative councillor got 48% of the vote (and more than any three other parties added together). This area is blue. Very blue.
It was with a certain degree of schadenfreude I noted the list of issues/complaints the residents bought up:
- verges not being mowed frequently by the district council;
- trees not being pruned by the district council;
- street lights not being fixed when broken in a timely fashion;
- huge increase in potholes on the estate;
- slow and sometimes non existent response from the estates PCSO;
- increase in rubbish and litter.
In short, these elderly and wealthy members of society were basically complaining that the austerity cuts that they voted for and presumably fully support were directly affecting them. The temerity of it all! They voted out of self interest and their interests aren’t being properly looked after!
I’m not a huge fan of the county councillor who looks after us because he is a died in the wool politician (twice failed parliamentary candidate) and can’t have a conversation about anything without making it a political monologue but when when he was commenting on the county council services, he did point out rather succinctly that we haven’t seen anything yet. He’s right. The coalition cut something like £12bn of public sector spending over the last parliament; they’re planning to cut £10bn more in the next two years. The low hanging fruit went four or five years ago, anything that is left is going to make a big, visible impact.
I’m sure a lot of the members of our estate will find someone else to blame but the truth of it is they are getting exactly what was promised to them in the lead up to the election.