I can understand why some people don’t vote. They’ve lost faith in democracy and I don’t blame them when the same party always wins!
But in this election there is the chance for change. I can win this vote in the county elections, as I did in 2019 in the district elections, and Fiona Mawson can win in the district again giving, us 2 Green councillors in the area. But we need everyone to get out there and make their mark.
I’ve lived in Yarnton for 28 years (along with Fiona) and seen how uninterested our local councils are about what happens to our local villages. There’s no better example of this than the concreting over of our green belt, forced on us by the Conservative led District Council.
Tory councillors will tell you they tried to stop it, but they didn’t speak up at the Public Inquiry because they’re not allowed to defy their party leadership. As your Green councillor, we will work for you. Greens don’t answer to a party whip and we always put people before politics.
I’ve been opposing the council’s development plans for 4 years and I intend to carry on fighting. Our legal challenge will be heard in June and I hope we’ll win. But whatever happens, we’ll need strong local councillors to look out for our interests on planning applications to ensure that developers deliver on infrastructure , flooding protection and health and education provision.
But we need everyone to get out and vote to make that happen. If people don’t vote the status quo usually wins. In Oxfordshire that usually means the Tories, but in recent years things have started to change. In 2019 the Greens went from 2 councillors in Oxfordshire to 12. That has really made a difference across the county and that’s palpable in areas like Kidlington where all of a sudden we’re seeing more investment.
Labour voters might consider voting Green as the best way of removing the Tory stranglehold on our local government and helping to realise some of our shared social justice aims.
If you usually vote for another party, you can vote tactically this time, lending your vote to me and Fiona temporarily just for this election. Libdems should vote Green on this occasion as we’re working together as we have done for the past 3 years now. Labour voters might consider voting Green as the best way of removing the Tory stranglehold on our local government and helping to realise some of our shared social justice aims.
Voting Conservative, or not voting at all, just sends a message to the ruling groups on both the County and the District that we’re all fine with what they’re doing to our areas. They won’t care if you don’t vote, especially if they don’t think you’d vote for them.
Not voting is not a protest, it’s the epitome of an empty gesture and plays into the hands of the parties that always win. If you really want to protest then get out there and make your mark, and if possible do it for a party that has a chance of upsetting the applecart.
If you usually vote for another party, you can vote tactically this time
In Kidlington that’s the Green Party. We made the Conservatives sit up and take notice when we won in 2019 and if we do it again this year (twice!) they can’t fail to get the message that their own actions in these areas have consequences. And what’s more you get active, responsive and engaged councillors into the bargain. Just read a few of the endorsements from local residents for me below.
Please don’t waste your vote on Thursday. Use it, and use it to make a difference. Vote Green and see the difference your vote can really make!
Some of the kind comments I’ve been able to include in my election addresses during this campaign :
“I have never voted Green before but I have no hesitation in voting for Ian Middleton for our vacant County Council seat. He stands up for our Green Belt and our environment, and for ensuring that we have a future.”
David Brown, Yarnton Resident
“Ian delivered for the larder for months, sometimes taking 2-3 routes to make sure our community had food and other essentials during the first lockdown. Thereafter Ian was an ardent supporter of community interests and helped advise and establish the larder”
Emily Connally, Founder of The Cherwell Larder
“Ian has been fighting against Cherwell’s proposals to build on green belt land in Begbroke and Yarnton since they were first announced. He’s used every opportunity to oppose them and has always looked out for residents. I believe he would make an excellent county councillor and I would trust him to represent my best interests as a resident in the most effective way.”
KK, Spring Hill resident
“Ian has been a huge help to us, and really seems to care about issues impacting residents. Very accessible and always willing to lend advice and support.”
N Donoghue, Kidlington resident
“Ian has provided valuable help to the residents in our Close by getting involved and by providing ongoing support. It is reassuring to know that when needed, he is approachable and really does take an active interest in his local community”
G Bishop, Kidlington resident
“I first met Ian when he was delivering food to my area during lockdown. He didn’t tell me he was a councillor until weeks later. He’s the sort of councillor we need more of. Someone who cares about our community and isn’t out for himself. He’s always thinking of others and works to make our lives more liveable.”
Steve Norton, Brandon Close