Dear Sir,

Everyone is calling for a change prior to the forthcoming elections and I’m all for change, but instead of changing the Councillors how about we change the current system that believes personal abuse and attacks on a person’s character is acceptable. Behaviour that would never be tolerated in a working professional environment is allowed to go unchecked and unchallenged for no other reason than it is politics and, so, acceptable behaviour.

It’s not acceptable and never can be. Abuse, in whatever form it takes, has to be challenged and held accountable because if we fail to do so we are simply giving it our approval and sending out a message that such behaviour is OK. It’s not and never can be.

Politics should be about character and personal values of those who stand for public office and their actions should be about raising the expectations of the voters not lowering the standards to such an extent people in the community feel they are all the same and no longer worth voting for.

Apathy and dissatisfaction in a community don’t just happen, and often it can be traced back to broken promises, empty words and raised expectations that were never fulfilled. It’s easy to blame the voters for their disinterest, or even a system that doesn’t work, but when the system appears to be working in the way it is set up, changing a few Councillors isn’t going to create the change and development the community needs. Silence always favours the abuser or the person with the loudest voice and as long as we remain silent we have simply become part of the problem and not the solution, and you will end up getting exactly what you deserve.

Phillip Hawkins

Independent Candidate