I am amazed, but I get asked this question a lot. Typically it goes something like this, “With everything that’s going on nationally with Brexit, why even bother voting in a local election?”
It’s a difficult question, and one I am sure a lot of people have asked themselves at some point. Usually I answer it with four things.
First, regardless of Brexit & national political uncertainty, you are still going to have to pay your council tax.
Second, do you really want to give a total stranger over £1500 of your money, every year, without expecting something back for it or without having a say in how it is spent? who it is spent by? and what it is spent on? I know I don’t.
Third, somebody will get elected, regardless of whether you vote or not. That person will be empowered to make decisions on your behalf that will affect your life. Don’t you want to ensure that, whomever it is, they represent your views? or at least know what they are? I know I do?
Finally, the harsh truth is that the vast majority of people who vote on May 2nd won’t still be living in Wokingham in 30, 40 or 50 years time. If you are, don’t you want the town to have developed and grown to suit the needs of your life, rather than be struggling to catch up? I know I do.
Voting is the only way to ensure that you get the future you deserve. It is the only way to ensure that the money you pay in council tax gets prioritised and spent wisely. And, it is the only way to ensure that the people who make the decisions about your life, do so knowing what is important to you.
With all that in mind, my question back is always “Why wouldn’t you vote?” With everything that is going on nationally, surely it is even more important to have consistency, stability and accountability locally.
The only way to do that is to VOTE.