WE’RE HELPING Francis Delaney on his way to a charity bike ride from Oxford to Paris – you can see details of that ride on tourdeframbo.com
Francis set off on his 221 mile journey last Saturday – but needed a postal vote for the general election which happens this Thursday, the 7th of May.
The postal vote hadn’t arrived by Thursday last week but with the help of local Lib Dem candidate Layla Moran, we managed to get one to him in the nick of time. His constituency is a key marginal – West Oxford and Abingdon. Only 176 votes separated the winner, Tory Nicola Blackwood, and the Lib Dem runner up in 2010.
Layla turned up to wave Francis and the other four cyclists off last Saturday, and chatting to her it became obvious that this wasn’t just a problem confined to him.
She said that a number of postal votes couldn’t be delivered on time.
Today we made a request to Oxford City Council – below. We’ll keep you updated on what we hear. ♦
Dear Oxford City Council,
I understand that Oxford City Council outsourced a number of postal votes to sister council Vale of the White Horse in the sunup to the General Election to be held on the 7th of May.
I also understand that a number of people in the West Oxford and Abingdon constituency failed to get their postal votes in time.
Can your authority confirm:
1) That you did outsource this work to the Vale
2) Provide the number of people/votes affected by the delay
3) Give the reason for the delay
4) Provide a reason for outsourcing the work.
It’s the general election in May here in Blighty, so last night we travelled to the West Oxford Community Centre to listen to Dr Helen Salisbury outline her plans for the big day when it dawns.
Dr Salisbury is an engaging individual with an obvious passion for the National Health Service. She’s standing as a candidate for the National Health Action Party for the Oxford West & Abingdon constituency. She is a doctor of medicine.
This is a marginal seat. Nicola Blackwood won it at the last general election from the Liberal Democrats, in 2010, with a very slender majority indeed. Dr Salisbury believes that all of the three main English parties have an interest in an NHS being “run down” and “sold off”, and she wants an end to privatisation, the price finance initiative (PFI) scheme and TTIP.
Dr Salisbury is far from oblivious to splitting the vote in the marginal – but as an outsider, or rather a voter in this constituency, I can see her taking votes away from the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party and so helping to put incumbent Nicola Blackwood back in place as the standing MP. You can find the National Health Action Party here. ♠