Parties ignore local issues in elections

IN just over a fortnight the people of Ipswich will have the chance to give their views on the way the borough is run.

The election is not about which party is running the country well. It has nothing to do with the health service. It has nothing to do with the tax changes outlined by George Osborne in his budget.

Yet if you watched the Labour and LibDem party politicals last week you could have been forgiven for thinking local issues had nothing to do with these elections.

Labour brought in Lord Robert Winston to launch a salvo against the health service reforms while the Liberals had Nick Clegg talking about attempts to raise personal income tax allowances.

I didn’t see the Tory party political broadcast – I was doing something more interesting that night – but I’m told it featured Eric Pickles.

That might be seen as a courageous decision, but at least he’s the minister responsible for local government so it suggests that they did at least acknowledge the importance of council elections.

I do feel rather sorry for the politicians slogging their guts out around the streets of Ipswich.

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It must be frustrating to know that the media managers at the party headquarters don’t think their issues are important enough to raise in broadcasts.

To be fair both Labour shadow ministers who have visited the town, shadow chancellor Ed Balls and housing spokesman Jack Dromey, raised local issues directly relevant to the election.

But if they can’t persuade their party managers that local council issues are important enough to raise in election broadcasts, is it any wonder that they have difficulty in persuading voters that the elections are worth worrying about?