Why I’m supporting Ideal Bradford (3) : exciting, confident & ambitious leadership…

Thursday night we had a hustings, well organised by BoA Business. Candidates for the Town Council as well as for the Wiltshire Unitary Authority were present.

There were only three issues dealt with in two hours – traffic, the town’s economy and the processes of running the Town Council. Some good issues were highlighted, some differences revealed. But happily, there was also a lot of agreement about the need for the Council to work together – something that has not been happening in recent years, according to one of the Conservative party’s three candidates for the Town Council. Apparently the Conservatives found it almost impossible to find candidates willing to stand for the party because of the reputation of the existing Town Council. All of that can change on 4th May.

Of course, it’s not easy for any body of people with disparate backgrounds and skills to work as an effective team. But that’s why we need leaders who can lead by carrying people with them. As I said in a previous blog, there’s an old adage that says “When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves!’”.

We are currently seeing our Conservative prime minister campaigning for the general election by repeating ad nauseam the phrase “we need strong & stable leadership”. It seems Mrs May’s version of leadership is to get the largest possible majority so she will be able to do what she wants. That is precisely what we do not need in Bradford on Avon – and, of course it wouldn’t work because we are a town of principled people with their own opinions and the willingness to make those opinions heard!


What we need is exciting, confident & ambitious leadership based on finding consensus wherever possible on issues large and small – but also not shying away from making decisions and to being held accountable for those decisions. Leadership is about getting things done. No less a person than HM the Queen has been quoted as saying that leadership is about “finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together”.

In their manifesto, Ideal Bradford promises to “change the way the Town Council works to make the decision-making process easier for everyone to access – not just a vocal few. We will change the way Town Council meetings work, hold councillor surgeries, and encourage young people to get more involved”.

There are two electoral wards in Bradford on Avon – North and South, with six Town Councillors in each. So we each have six votes for the Town Council election on 4 May. Ideal Bradford is fielding five candidates in each ward, so I’m urging people to use five of their votes for Ideal Bradford candidates. They WILL deliver change, a new way of working and a commitment to action. Most important of all, please get out there and vote. This election WILL make a difference to your future in the town.