They say that communities get the local councillors they deserve. Initially brought together by the Lib Dems, there is something very fresh about Darley Dale’s Fresh Start that would appear to have little to do with new beginnings.
It’s a remarkable fact that six of the Fresh Start councillors who were elected to serve on Darley Dale Town Council just 20 months ago – that is half the council - have resigned.
It would seem that too many individuals who have a single issue to gripe about are being coaxed into standing for election as Fresh Start candidates merely to be used as Fresh Start voting fodder.
They do not give any thought to what it really means to serve the community and are often seen to simply hi-jack the council by placing their own personal agendas before those of the community as a whole. When this fails, they resign and disappear into the sunset! What a mess !!
Elections to local councils are an important facet of local democracy. The last election to fill a vacancy on Darley Dale Town Council was held in the south ward in August last year.
At that election there were 1769 potential voters but only 360 electors actually bothered to vote (includes postal voters). In other words, 80% of south ward electors did not vote. Significantly, the number of votes cast at the Greenaway Lane polling station was twice that of either of the other two polling stations, clearly a reflection of the then contentious Greenaway Lane “village green” issue.
Following the resignations of Cllr Diggle (north ward) and Cllr Kennion (south ward) there will shortly be elections to fill these two vacancies on Darley Dale Town Council. This presents the opportunity for some of the more forward-thinking younger members of the community to consider standing for election so that there can be a shift of emphasis away from the backward looking, short-sighted, self-interested policies of an aging generation that seeks nothing more than the preservation of the status quo, to policies that will better suit the needs of a growing twenty first century community.