02 May, 2007

The Local Elections

It's that time again when we are supposed to vote in the local elections but who should we vote for? I took it on myself to go out on to the streets of London to ask homeless people what they thought of it all.
John has been living on the streets for two and half years he was in a hostel but went back on to the streets because as he says he couldn't get a good nights sleep he said it was like Piccadilly circus in the rush hour every night. There where people running round banging doors and drink and drugs where common place. when he complained he was in fact given a warning so he left and is now back on the streets where he feels safer anyway.
I asked him what he thought about the local elections coming up and what it would mean to him. he chuckle for a few minutes then said that it doesn't really matter who gets into power nothing will change. He would still be living on the street and councils would still be footing the bill for hostels that where in fact not doing a very good job.
I walked a little further and met up with a young couple in Charing cross road. they both said what's the use of these local elections anyway it only gives pointers to who's getting into power at the next general election besides they don't listen to what people really want or if they do they simply don't do anything. Take the last load of elections they asked us to tell them what we thought and what they could do to make things better. We told them and still nothing has been made better. Now they want us to text them with the same problems because we do have the same problems. but now we can do it using new technology. We always thought these politicians and councilors, where the people who should know what we want after all didn't we vote for them because they where supposed to have heard us?
On my way back to where l live that night. I started to talk to the a man called Paul, who was sitting next to me on the tube( a risky move at the best of times) I got on the subject of the forth coming local elections and this is what he had to say
I vote at the local elections because one day one of these politicians or councilors might actually do some good but at the minute all I see is money being taken from me by government and more from the council. My pay doesn't increase as much as my council bills. This can not go on someone has to see sense. Take my council bill, they send us these sheets of paper telling us what the money is being spent on. Then say oh we are sorry but we aren't taking enough. We would like you to pay more for instance the idea of charging by the kilo for rubbish removal you know the bins, but I already pay through the nose for that. Then they say well you pay for the police as well but do i see any and when i do need them it takes forever for them to arrive. Am I getting value for my money at this moment in time? no, but I am like so many people sick and tired of all the promises by government bodies. I shall keep voting Just in case.
You can imagine what a busy night I had but when it comes down to it who do we vote for? At this minute I believe a number of councils in this country are being mismanaged and haven't a clue as to what it's people really want or need. They use the words modernisation but is it really? I for one want to see more affordable social housing with communities that are living together and that have respect for one another, Maybe i live in cloud cuckoo land but one day we will get back to proper values. Didn't we once have a society that could leave back doors open without fear of being robbed?