In his regular blog for Caerphilly Observer, Caerphilly Council leader Lindsay Whittle gives his take on recent news.
Well, the dust has settled following the general election and we now have a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government.
I’m sure no-one who voted Conservative or Liberal Democrat in Caerphilly expected to see this outcome. But the end result is that we are left with a government that will impose the most savage cuts in public spending for a generation.
This will, inevitably, lead to the council I’m proud to be leader of having to take some tough decisions to protect services for our residents. It’s clearly not what I came into politics for. That was to try to make a difference to people’s lives but the former Labour Government has left the public finances in such an awful mess.
I hope that when people come to vote in the Welsh Assembly elections next year and the council poll in 2012 they will remember clearly where the blame lies for what is about to hit us.
I don’t think the Labour Party can take any satisfaction from the result locally where on increased turnout Labour’s percentage of the vote fell by more than 10%.
Of course, I’m disappointed that my vote as the Plaid Cymru candidate fell slightly but I believed the huge media coverage focus on the three main London-based parties was bound to have an impact – and it did.
But while the Conservative candidate may be back in Brighton, I’m back at my desk in the council offices in Ystrad Mynach continuing to fight for the area I live in and love. That will not stop. My commitment to Caerphilly County Borough remains 100%.
I wanted to thank most sincerely all those fantastic, hard-working people that turned out to campaign for me, delivering leaflets and canvassing. You were great. I also wanted to thank those voters that were prepared to put their trust in me in the election. I’m very grateful.
I hope that the more focused Welsh media coverage at next year’s Welsh General Election will encourage voters to get behind Plaid because it remains the only major party that will stand up for Wales at all times.
And I will be happy to stand on my record in 2012 of protecting services that matter to people while keeping council tax rises to an absolute minimum. As Caerphilly Observer readers know the Plaid-led administration has not increased councillors’ allowances since the 2008 election.
Plaid Cymru leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council