Statement following May 2012 local election results

Despite a strong showing in some held councils, Liberal Democrats are today reflecting on another bitterly disappointing set of local election results with the number of Lib Dem councillors likely to fall below 3000 for the first time ever.

It is a travesty that so many excellent councillors and campaigners will no longer be able to serve the communities that they have represented with such distinction.

The results emphasise that the party is struggling to set out a distinctive vision for how Liberal Democrats in government are working to bring about an economic recovery and enhance social justice.

Since the formation of the Coalition the Social Liberal Forum has called for the party leadership to make it known how we differ from the Conservatives, by publicly calling for policies that will increase social justice and promote jobs.

We need to make it clear that we do not agree with many Conservative policies, and are arguing against them in government, by offering fairer alternatives. Liberal Democrats need to explain much more clearly why the government is better for having us in it.

The strategy of demonstrating that we are loyal has not proved effective. It is time to switch to the approach the SLF has always advocated: demonstrating that we are radical, progressive and independent.

With our traditionally strong local government base being further eroded, the party has to recognise that to defend our record in power in the run up to the 2015 general election we must address voters’ concerns over the party’s direction of travel and play our role in coalition with greater clarity and distinctiveness.

Posted in blog archive, Uncategorized
5 comments on “Statement following May 2012 local election results
  1. Neil Sandison says:

    The Osbourne Effect
    As a suvivor of the council elections who has an inner urban ward i know first hand how many voters felt about the last budget .Reducing the top tax rate played right into Labours hands An astute politian would have phased in any adjustment incrementally as the tax take increased in a growing economy ,But this was also coupled with Osbourne and Alexanders insistance that low income families had to find additional hours of work in a stagnant economy in order to be entitled to working tax credit .This just added insult to injury There is also the impact of cuts in housing benefit if you have a spare room in your house ,taking in a lodger is not an option because you get penalised again because the lodger is counted as a non-dependant
    and punitive deductions are made from any HB or Council Tax rebate you may receive .We should see this as a modern day Window Tax on the poor This for many low wage working families is wiping all the work we have done to reduce the number of people taken out of tax with incomes below 10,000 .We need to wage verbal war on the tories for hurting low income households if we ever want to regain our councillors and councils and the respect of ordinary working people .

  2. The SLF statement is spot on.

    If Clegg thinks lecturing us on why we joined the coalition or exhorting us to be proud of the budget will solve the problem he is showing how out of touch he his.

    Tied to a third rate chancellor, allowing Gove and Lansley to wreck Education and Health are the issues to be addressed. If the Tory party moves right we must move left. Our MPs must distance themselves from their Cabinet Colleagues and start promoting policies such as the finance proposals coming from the SLF.

    The electorate do not want Mayors, Police Commissioners, House of Lords Reform. They want work, opportunities for youth and improved tax income from the overpaid.

    I have just campaigned to save two councillors from being overtaken by Labour. Not easy, particularly as Clegg has a poor image on the doorstep, it is a long way back.

  3. Yellow Bill says:

    @ Neil Sanderson
    The point is that this coalition government IS phasing in the lowering of the 50% tax rate incrementally – it is lowering it to 40% in increments of 5%.

    Lib Dems and Tories in the coalition do not care for the poor or needy,

    They intend clearing out central government of any who don’t vote blue in a similar way as the Westminster council did in the 1980s – this time by pricing the poor out via the cap on housing benefit.

    They intend (indeed they have in many instances) to remove the safety net of benefits from the majority of those who use them to survive.

    As you say this iliberal coalition government will remove tax credits from families by increasing the amount of hours they have to work.

    As for the poor friendly policies the Iliberals in the government have introduced – look at them carefully, see how they compare to what we all championed at the last election.

  4. Yellow Bill says:

    Oops – in the post above take out government in the first line of the third paragraph and replace it with London

  5. philip thompson says:

    As a candidate who has never been elected and now looks even less likely to be elected, I have to consider where I get my enthusiasm from. I will go back to the preamble and then look at what the Tories do now they have no LD opposition in my Borough ( only UKIP who got the protest vote – ex Tories! and Labour taking our past stongholds). Talk to the people and they do not all want the same things. So we just have to say what we want Social Justice and what we have to do to get it.

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