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The majority of local residents will now be aware of the results of the Herefordshire Council elections and that I have lost my seat as the Hampton Ward District Councillor. I’ve been a regular contributor to this website and have always tried to keep politics out of the story and having represented you for the past four years, I was left wondering what on earth I had done wrong and who I may have upset to deserve this result.

It soon became clear that with over 1200 Conservative Councillors throughout England losing their seats, including 14 in Herefordshire, this was a direct protest vote about Brexit and the extremely poor performance by all the parliamentary parties, resulting in the current fiasco. However, I’ve since received a number of supportive emails and phone calls from residents and parish councillors, so I don’t think the vote was a personal attack against me.

Protest votes are all well and good of course and must be respected, but the result is now a hung council with a coalition of some description on the near horizon. There are now five distinct political groups serving on Herefordshire Council, with completely different agendas, who will all be vying for a slice of the action within the administration.

I don’t want to sound too negative, but this could result in some unforeseen outcomes for the county, including the possible disruption to, or cancellation of several large capital programmes and I'm left wondering if this really is what the voters wanted. A direct result of the ‘law of unintended consequences’, maybe?

I would like to thank the six parish clerks within the Ward and all the parish councillors, for their hard work and constant support during my term as Ward Councillor. I thoroughly enjoyed the role and I will certainly miss the people and all the future challenges. With luck, my golf handicap should now improve!

With best wishes to you all

Bruce Baker

Date: 04/05/2019

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