Election Diary- The End game.

28th to Election Day to 1st May 2008. On Monday afternoon, taking time off from shoving leaflets though doors, I met with Paul DAVIES, an ex superintendent from North Wales Police and John Iball. Both of whom are Ewloe residents and the main players in the Action Group that had successfully lobbied to abort the 7 lane Aston Hill road scheme.  “But the road needs improvement, I argued, and where do we go from here?”  They did not know. Knocking on the doors in the high employment Ewloe ward realistically means grabbing the few hours between getting home from work and sitting down to an evening of Telly watching. Smells from kitchens wafted out of every house that opened the door to me. I selected an area I thought would be fertile Tory territory and was invariably rewarded by a positive response. Many indicated I had their vote. By 7.30, it was time to pack in as a major football match was about to start on television. 1st May dawned bright and sunny but with a biting wind. Mike and I finally met our major opponents outside our two Polling Stations. We learnt that both candidates had positioned themselves close to the door of each station as soon as the polls opened, ensuring that their presence was felt and they were looking for support. Business was brisk from early evening and later, families brought their dogs, several of whom I ended up minding whilst the owner went to record their vote. It was not difficult to tell who was supporting us as those who did not usually refused eye contact and walked rapidly by. Flint Pavilion was humming with activity when I arrived after 11pm. Tables were marked from A to G so that candidates would know where their votes would be counted. Ewloe was third on the list on Table H. Will Gallagher watched like a hawk as the ballot papers tipped out of the boxes and were given a preliminary count to ensure all papers tallied with the Tellers’ lists. Will thought that I would be OK as he had seen lots of ticks against my name but when the proper count started in earnest, I could not bear to watch. All trays bore our names and each marked paper was assigned to the relevant tray. The process seem go on for ever and finally the calculator was produced. All candidates were called to examine the unclear papers and no one disputed the official’s decision. As the result was announced, we feverishly scrambled to write down the result. A tap on the shoulder jogged me into realising that I had won a seat, although second to the Independent candidate, David Mackie who amassed 631 votes. However, my 588 was enough to ensure that I would be going back again to County Hall.  I felt very pleased indeed. I felt much less pleased that Mike, my co Tory had lost but I was not surprised that Pamela Walkden, the Labour councillor, who had held the ward for eight years had come last. Her inactivity in the Ward had pushed the two independents into standing themselves and they reasoned that they could do much better. I am sure they are right. May 6th 2008. I signed a beautifully inscribed book that was used as the oath of allegiance in the presence of the Chief Executive Colin Everett and now I am officially a County Councillor again. Labour have 22 votes, the Independent Group headed by Patrick Heesom 26, the Lib Dems 11 and we Tories have 9 seats. A couple of cllrs are as yet non aligned and the battle for the leadership if the Council has already started in earnest. As Cllr Heesom leads the largest group, by rights he should be the Council leader. However, there is a snag. The Chief Executive has confirmed that Patrick is being investigated by the North Wales Police for alleged impropriety under election law. The offences, using a Council photocopied for his election material; are being treated as criminal and thus cannot be dismissed lightly. I firmly believe that we cannot be party to agreeing toPatrick’s leadership even though he has not yet been found guilty. I was voted in on a manifesto of anti sleaze and commitment to transparency.  I would feel very uncomfortable if I had to compromise myself by accepting Patrick as leader. Watch this space.

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