Candidates should stick to the issues in future

A range of issues in Felixstowe were at the heart of the county candidates' debate - regardless of w

A range of issues in Felixstowe were at the heart of the county candidates' debate - regardless of whether they have anything to do with the county council or not. - Credit: Archant

COUNTY council elections should be all about social services, education, state of our pot-holed roads, the cutbacks to our full-time fire crews, reduced library funding, museums, and trading standards.

But sadly they were not.

While candidates should have been focussing on the issues which are the responsibility of the council to which they were seeking election – where they could potentially actually make a difference to the lives of thousands of voters – it seemed all three parties found topics over which they would have no jurisdiction or control of far more interest.

So we had the election hopefuls rattling on in their election leaflets about all manner of things they should not have been wasting their time on.

I took the Liberal Democrats to task over their leaflets – in which they incorrectly stated that the county council had “overseen the closure” of the Spa Pavilion, and pledged to seek reasonable rents for beach huts. Both of these are Suffolk Coastal responsibilities and absolutely nothing to do with the county council.

But it was not just the Lib Dem county council candidates which seem to have some confusion over what the county council does.

In their leaflet Conservative candidates Graham Newman and Nick Barber also brought up the district council-owned Spa Pavilion and boating lake.

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They pledged “to find workable solutions” for the future of these two seafront amenities. I think as county councillors they will find quite enough to occupy their days without worrying about what Suffolk Coastal gets up to. I wanted to vote for people to work for me at Endeavour House – not go poking their nose into what goes on at Melton Hill in Woodbridge.

It seemed Labour, too, were not immune from confusing the electorate with topics outside the council’s remit – including items about horsemeat in burgers, bedroom tax and national tax cuts for the wealthy on their leaflets. Not a chance the county council will ever do anything about any of those issues.

What I wanted most of all was for the candidates to stick to the real issues – tell me what the county council actually does in Felixstowe, how much it spends, and how they would improve services in the future if elected. Misleading leaflets is an issue which the monitoring officer at the council – or whoever would be the appropriate body – needs to address so the public gets the correct information next time around.