This weekend I took a trip to Soham. I was there to support Sam Mathieson who is running for East Cambs Council in a by-election.
Soham is a nice market town with a lot of potential. It’s the second biggest in East Cambs although it seems that Ely gets much of the attention and facilities.
People in Soham are facing the same issues that many of us are. Building at the town’s edge, lack of transport links and a Council that doesn’t seem to do very much.
With the by-election, there’s the opportunity to elect someone to stand up for Soham.
Who should they choose? Well, for a start, someone with sticking power as this is the third by-election here in the past few years. Both Lib Dem and Tories have chucked it in.
I know plenty are fed up with the Conservative controlled Council that seems to do very little. Perhaps they should keep their seat with the Lib Dems?
Over here in South Cambs in 2018 the Liberal Democrats took control of the council. An end to Conservative rule and a fresh manifesto. Or so it seemed. Three years later and what bitter disappointment.
They promised they’d stand up to developers and that new build would have at least 40% affordable homes. They promised that they’d protect the green belt.
But they continually let us down.
They approved a development of 6500 dwellings on green fields at Waterbeach. And nodded through a cut of 25% to the affordable homes quota.
The Lib Dem leader campaigned with Coton residents for a busway to be on the road. Once elected, did a U-turn and supported tarmac busways through the greenbelt.
Near to the new Cambridge North station, planning permission included ecological mitigation areas. When this was bulldozed by the developers, the council refused to take any action. Now it will be retail units instead of a space for nature.
I know I’m biased, but I really think Soham would benefit with Sam Mathieson as their councillor. He’s not a career politician. He served his country in the RAF and now he wants to serve Soham. He won’t let anything stop him. He’s even been out on the campaign trail with his post-op crutches. He’s a different type of candidate who could make a real difference to Soham.