Something strange is happening in Hedge End: not only is there a local election with a choice of four candidates, but three of them have agreed to campaign online! In previous local elections there hasn’t been any choice at all but this time most of the major parties are represented, and there’s an independent candidate!

Impressively the only current independent councillor managed to convince two of the candidates to answer a few questions on his blog. One other candidate didn’t accept the premise of the question and instead submitted a statement, while the remaining candidate declined to take part at all. So thanks to Keith Day, here’s who you could vote for in the Shamblehurst by-election:

It’s fantastic to see such a simple and effective use of a blog for some constructive local politics, and it’s also nice to see a bit of discussion going on between the candidates in the comments!

If only the Liberal Democrat candidate could have taken part as well. Given the recent Liberal Democrat community speedwatch campaign, it would have been nice to have been able to leave him a comment to see what his views are on an alternative approach to road safety near schools. Admittedly, he may not have been that interested in my comments given I can’t vote in this election but I might have omitted to mention that! Hopefully there’ll be even more participants in time for the next local election I can vote in.

Photo © Roo Reynolds (CC BY-NC 2.0)


↑ Hedge End 1/2 mile

Photo of village centre signpostFor a minute I thought an old half baked scheme I’ve been pondering to update town twinning might have been given a new lease of life: according to the Hedge End Blogger there are plans to install a ‘heritage sign’ in Hedge End. By pure chance, and with a completely random grant from Hampshire County Council, it seemed like Hedge End would be getting the perfect place to tie the physical and virtual world together.

Except, on closer inspection, it looks like the sign won’t be in Hedge End at all; it will be outside! Assuming I read the directions right anyway. Apparently there was a strong case for putting it in the middle of nowhere. The actual reason is a mystery to the internet as far as I can tell but was presumably something to do with being on the route into Hedge End from the motorway.

I would have much preferred Keith’s suggested location, near the library, for a couple of reasons:

  • I would get to see it more often (I rarely go past the proposed location)
  • for those of us without a smart phone, the library would also ideal for a taking out a loan device to see the virtual element of the mad twinning plan

Oh well, maybe an entirely virtual sign post could point the way to the heritage sign.

Update: found the right minutes with the vote to put the sign, ‘opposite Lamp 13 in Upper Northam Road…’ Nothing about the reason as far as I can see but Keith has shared that on his blog. I also remembered where I’ve seen one of these things before: Otterbourne. (26 September 2011)

Photo © Reuben Whitehouse (CC BY-ND 2.0)