I have just attended the final meeting of the current four year administration of New Forest District Council.
It has been an interesting four years.
I never expected to have so few colleagues to work with and support one another.
It has been just myself and one other Liberal Democrat providing any sort of opposition to the 56 Tory Councillors.
Elections on May 2nd will mean a lot of new faces. Naturally, I am hoping that the voters will decide to return me to the Council chamber for another four years.
However, I also hope that this election will see a big increase in the number of Liberal Democrats. I think it is pretty unhealthy for one party to have such a monopoly of power.
Th final meeting is a strange affair.
There are Councillors who have given years of public service, sometimes over 30 years.
They sit there and observe proceedings, knowing that this is the final time they will be in the Council, either because they have decided to retire or perhaps the voters have lost faith with them or their party.
Remarkably, nobody says a “Thank you” to them for the public service.
They get no acknowledgement whatever… not a certificate or a badge or anything…. the meeting ends and they all go home.
Many of them, I will never see again.