Opposition has been reduced

Following the Alternative Vote referendum the district council elections seem to have been a strong endorsement of the ‘first past the post’ electoral system – which strongly aided Tory candidates, at the expense of Liberal Democrats, but particularly Labour, who for all their apparent effort and hype, merely achieved one extra seat, perversely by a mere five votes over one of the more effective Conservative councillors.

Labour’s cynical “Let’s kick Clegg” electoral strategy obviously paid off since their additional candidates led to the election of even more Tories, albeit on a minority of the votes cast in a 50 per cent poll, and the narrow defeat of assiduous Liberal Democrat councillors.

In fact, the ‘opposition’ has now been reduced to only ten.

Perhaps Labour activists should reflect on their general failure to follow their leader’s example and back some limited reform of our archaic electoral system which produced four out of six Tory councillors in Matlock on less than 40 per cent of the votes cast.

I hope the increased number of Liberal Democrat town councillors in Matlock can reinforce the campaigning efforts of our two remaining district councillors on behalf of local residents.

Labour claim to more effectively oppose the ‘Con-Dem’ cuts as they describe them, despite their lack of alternative answers and the fact that many Labour councils have imposed more punitive cuts than Tory and Lib Dem councils.

Locally, over the past couple of decades, it has been Liberal Democrat councillors who have led campaigns against the actions of the District and County Councils.

As for your front page lead on roadside parking, I and other Liberal Democrat councillors campaigned for over eight years against the county council under both Labour and Tory control.

At every attempt officers blocked any action to curb the effects of the parking habits of their staff.

Martin Burfoot