Understanding Politics in Spennymoor – Part 1.

In the latest By-election only 1 in 4 people turned out to vote. In this post, I’ll explain why the lower the participation, the better it is for the Labour Party. I’ll explain why politics effects people more than they think and I’ll ask you to consider the impact of politics on your life.  “Every part of life has the potential to be political”. Your decisions to say what you want or not is vitally important to the representation that your council makes.

So people say that’s it’s not worth it or that all politicians are the same. Wrong. For years in Spennymoor the politics has revolved around nothing else but power. This is important to remember for many reasons. First, through the constant saying by councillors that STC (Spennymoor Town Council) are not responsible for this and that; the public have been misled. I say that because as local representatives of you to the wider world and other institutions,  they can, and are responsible for, and should be making their voices heard, engaging with DCC, Owners of Festival Walk, planners, educational providers and many more to do what is needed for this town. By saying for many years that they can’t do anything and most of the public believing them, they can and are walking from their responsibilities.

I’d ask you at that this point to look at the political theorist ‘ Jean-Jacques Rousseau‘ – The backbone of Spennymoor Labour ideology, maintaining control by placing restrictions on you. I mean… they have left the cemetery gates open despite hundreds of objections. They have refused to look at festival walk despite the whole town wanting something done. They deny access to parts of meetings, refuse to publish information. Their leader carefully prepares statements to publish and has been known to subsequently delete them but certainly will not engage in providing justification of their actions. They have for so long convinced you that nothing will change and that they are the best people to look after this town. In believing them the people of Spennymoor have been fooled and will continue to be fooled, misled and dare I say in the words of past and present Labour Councillors, you have been lied to.  They are working for themselves and the need for power, squandering money, increasing public debt and all in the knowledge that the majority of people of the town will not take a part in holding them to account.

I ask you to consider why people choose not to vote. They do so because they think nothing will change. Be sure, nothing will change unless people vote. Voting is your chance to ask the questions, demand the answers and put Spennymoor on the map. I say that quite literally since for a long time it has been pointed out to people at STC that on Google, the address of the Town Hall as High Street, Byers Green. It took me just two emails to Google to have this corrected.

In part 2, I’ll look at the political make up of STC. For those that think it is Labour and Spennymoor Independents, you will find this very interesting when I show that the battle of the factions is far from being so simple. In part 3, I’ll look at the financial, the economic reasons. Who in STC has the power and influence on what and where money is spent. To who and which organisations have the council as a ‘cash cow’ and who the Council through majority Voting in the chamber have chose to put friends over achievement.

These are my personal views through observations made and research into STC over the last two years.  It’s down to you to build your own opinions but in doing so, I suggest you spend just a little time turning up to view meetings in the public gallery and taking some time to browse the out of date STC website.

Author – Alan Gardner


One comment

  1. As far as the view that all politicians are the same, we have to deal with this complacency all the time. However there is a grain of truth in it for every hard working conscientious councillor there are 5 time serving party hacks who are not really interested in helping their community and it has to be said that this applies to all parties and none and is not just the problem for the Labour Party.
    But it also has to be borne in mind that many councillors do not start out that way. The may get elected as idealistic community activists but they come up against vested interests and being forced to tow the party line. It is easy for them to follow the line of least resistance or to become cynical and disenchanted.
    There is also the idea that because Labour have been in power for so long they feel that they know more than the voters and may dismiss opposition to their plans as ignorance. Also they may view complaints from opposition parties as party point scoring or trouble making. Also with regard to dealing with Durham County Council as it is Labour controlled they may see it as disloyalty, which they fear may aversely affect their own future political careers especially if they want to stand for the County Council themselves. Party bosses at a county or constituency level may see complaints about services or local issues as criticism of them or the party. This is a problem that is all too common in third world countries.


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