I have done plenty of door-knocking and canvassing in the past both in the Bracknell constituency and also more widely in surrounding areas but this is the first time that I have been the candidate too. It has been an enjoyable experience so far. I have been pleasantly surprised at how many people are willing to talk to me about issues. Although I have tried to make sure they understand that I can only represent them regarding local issues they often want to talk about national issues too which I am happy to do.
The message that seems to be striking the loudest chord with people is that we really need to have some more opposition voices on the council. The borough council here is dominated by the Conservatives who currently hold 38 seats, Labour hold 3 and there is no-one else. This is not a healthy state for any local council to be in to be so dominated by one party. I would say this about any party having that much dominance and indeed I have seen similar situations in northern England with councils dominated by Labour.
I have also been struck by how little the people I have spoken to have seen of their councillors in the last few years. Not one person to whom I have asked the question "Have you seen your councillors around here in the last few years" has responded yes. The Lib Dems I know who are councillors in neighbouring council areas (Guildford and Reading for example) never stop going around their wards and talking to people. The idea that the people of Owlsmoor never see their councillors is just wrong and is definitely something I would remedy if I was elected.
I have knocked on hundreds of doors so far but there are hundreds more still to go between now and the 25th of February!
This post is cross-posted from Mark Reckons.