Vote Labour to make your city a better place
This is my last column published as leader of the council before the results of the local elections are known.
Many of you will be relieved for a little less electioneering and a stronger focus on delivering manifesto promises, and to be frank me too.
While elections may be about the battle of ideas (or organisational skills), the real importance of democratic systems is in getting things done that the public supports and providing services that chime with their values and principles.
I didn’t stand for council because I liked canvassing, or giving speeches, or arguing.
For me the reason to stand was to be able to contribute to the city that I call home, and to see it become a better and more ambitious place to live.
A lot has changed in the nature of politics, both locally and nationally, over the last four years but one thing is certain – most of the people standing for election on May 2 are positive about our city and hopeful that they can help to make the city a better place.
We argue about the direction, about the policies and about the differing needs, but all councillors that I’ve met appear genuinely to wish to improve things a little – even if only a little.
Campaigning across the city it is easy to see how different communities have different viewpoints and issues which are affecting their voting plans, but the most important thing is to make sure that you express your choice at the ballot box.
If you stay at home and don’t bother voting, then someone else will be taking those decisions for you on their own set of issues, and that might mean four years of a city council that doesn’t reflect your principles and values.
Obviously I am hopeful to see a Labour Majority Council elected for the first time in 20 years – but other outcomes remain possible!
The only certainty is that the polls are open on 2nd May from 7am to 10pm and that I’d like every possible voter to go out and vote.
It will all be over soon…
Cllr Daniel Yates is the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.