IAN HART: Is it time for a Worthing Party?

Ian Hart
Ian Hart

Once again, the ‘Apathy Party’ ran out the clear winner in the local elections, with another very disappointing turnout.

For those who did bother to turn out and exercise their right, there was a mixed bag of results, but in the main the Conservatives tightened their grip on the Worthing council chamber.

Locally, it’s almost hard to comprehend that, less than 20 years after they controlled the council, the Lib Dems now find themselves with only two elected members.

Electorate-wise, I think opposition to the ruling parties locally is still quite strong but is widely split.

Testament to this was Heene ward – historically a Tory stronghold.

This time, however, it was an extremely close fight, with the Tories edging out Labour by 71 votes.

But had the Lib Dems, Greens or UKIP supporters voted tactically, Jim Deen might have pulled off one of the biggest shocks in Worthing political history.

I have no doubt that anyone who stands for office locally is more concerned about Worthing issues than the national agenda.

Therefore, is now the time for the opposition local parties to put their differences aside and become one local political force?

It would mean Labour, Lib Dem, Green and UKIP getting together in a room, having left all their egos outside, forgetting all their political differences and forming a credible, local, independent group.

If every local ward was contested by just two candidates, the Tories and the ‘Worthing Party’, how different would the make up of the council chamber be after three sets of local elections?

I’m sure of one thing: there would be a larger and, with all due respect, more credible opposition to the current administration.

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