Speaker’s Corner: Council gets pat on the back, now on to the politics

Howard Koch, UKIP candidate for Hemel Hempstead
Howard Koch, UKIP candidate for Hemel Hempstead

A couple of Saturdays ago saw the official opening of the ‘new’ Old Town High Street. It was a pleasure to see so many people in the Old Town.

Let us hope that this PR exercise has worked and people come back to shop in the Old Town, which unlike the sterile commercial high streets, with their cloned shops, has traditional independent retailers.

Where else in the area can you combine shopping (with retailers who have expert knowledge about their goods and services) and such a diverse collection of first rate restaurants? So praise where praise is due: thank you to DBC and the people responsible for organising this event.

Now on to the politics! Having been approached by various local action groups in the previous months, I must say how impressed I am with how much time and effort that these people have put in to their cause.

There is one common theme however, and that is after exhausting all routes they have hit a dead end.

The majority of the issues are with planning, and although there may be token lip service paid to these serious issues by the elected representatives, with a Tory majority (MP, DBC and Herts CC), the truth is usually very different.

The stark realisation of these groups is that unless they stand for election and break the majority of DBC (and MP and then Herts CC) NOTHING will change!

This is exactly what is happening, we are beginning to fill the seats for next years Dacorum Borough Council elections with real people fighting real local issues.

Do not discount just how much influence on British politics UKIP has. Just today the headline in the newspaper is that Mr Cameron is tightening up the entitlements that immigrants can claim. This would not have happened if UKIP had not won the EU elections and were riding at 15% in the polls ( 10 months before the general election).

However, it will be interesting to see how Mr Cameron gets this legislation passed as the Liberal Democrats do not support it.

In September, UKIP’s manifestos will be published. These will cover not only national politics but local as well. There are some national policies that are very important such as immigration, but local issues affect people just as much.

UKIP Hemel Hempstead is dedicated to opposing inappropriate planning, dumping waste on Little Hay Golf course, building on green belt land, shutting the hospital and shutting the police station.

I have been told by one of my advisers that I should always lay down a challenge in these articles that I write.

So the challenge is: if you feel strongly about a local issue, either one we are already involved in or a new one to us, then contact us and if it is one that UKIP supports, then we will not only help you to fight it, but support you to stand for DBC when you can really make a real difference by becoming elected.

Your voice your future, we are listening.