John Whitehouse

Retired County Councillor for Kenilworth Abbey Division Learn more

LOOKING BACK ON 2010 AND FORWARD INTO 2011

by John Whitehouse on 1 January, 2011

2010 was another busy and eventful year for me personally and politically. The early months were dominated by my role as General Election Agent for Nigel Rock in the parliamentary contest for Kenilworth & Southam. We succeeded in pushing Labour into a poor third place and establishing the Lib Dems as the clear challengers in this new constituency. In June I became Chair of the newly created Communities Overview & Scrutiny Committee on the County Council, a demanding role covering a wide range of council activities. Key campaign successes were in helping to get Project Transform cancelled, and persuading the County Council not to withdraw the funding required to see the Connect2 Kenilworth through to completion as planned.

Entering 2011, the major campaign issue on my plate in the short term is a fight to save Kenilworth Youth & Community Centre from the effects of planned County Council total withdrawal of funding. I believe we can develop a sustainable future for the Centre outside the direct management of the Council, but we need both time and some ongoing level of core funding to make this possible.

HS2 will continue to dominate the local political landscape over the coming year. In December the County Council voted unanimously to oppose the government’s plan and to coordinate with other local authorities and the action groups – something I had been pressing for some time. We now need to see this vote translated into tangible action.

On 5th May there will be local elections for the District and Town Councils, and also the Alternative Vote Referendum on the same day. I shall be active in both campaigns.

I remain committed to the Liberal Democrats nationally despite the party’s recent difficulties over tuition fees. I am proud that the party took the historic step of joining in a coalition government, and continue to be surprised and delighted by how much of our manifesto has managed to find its way into government action already. We’re in this for the long haul, and shouldn’t be deflected by short term poll ratings.

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