At the count in my acceptance speech I noted that three weeks ago I had a notice of redundancy at my workplace - all my level of management got the same letter - two hours before I heard I had been reelected I heard I had been successfully retained in another post - so last Friday was indeed a double celebration - but in the speech I also noted that I was one of the luckier ones - many have lost their jobs in Stroud and jobs are still very much threatened - especially if the cuts the Conservatives are talking about go ahead.
Photos: letter of risk of redundancy and counting votes in this ward.
I also noted in the speech that despite the challenges their are opportunities - my letter of thanks to local press also notes that - indeed my meeting yesterday morning with Green councillors allowed us to consider how best we can move forward - lots of good ideas.
Anyway before the letter I wanted to note thanks to all those who helped with the campaign especially Phil, Cathy, John, Steve, Ivi and Chris - my brother even joined me one evening to help knock on all the doors. Also thanks to the paperboy who asked me for a poster to put on his bike as he did his round in Whiteshill!! Big thanks - of course I am now also looking forward to my new job - still working with people with mental health problems.
Letter to local press
A huge thank you to all those who voted for me in the District Council elections. Being returned with 68.5% of the vote, with 77% turnout, is a wonderful endorsement and indeed encouragement to build on the successes we've had locally.
The economic, environmental and social challenges we face are enormous and have been grossly underestimated in the election debates. But there are also opportunities. For example borrowing to invest in renewables means cutting long term costs, cutting carbon, building energy security and creating local jobs.
We must also build a more equal society. Britain has become one of the most unequal societies in Europe. It is not just the poor who suffer from the effects of inequality, but all of us. For example incidences of mental illness are 500% higher in the most unequal societies. We also see more drug abuse, alcohol abuse, obesity, teenage pregnancies, more consumerism, shorter lives, less well educated children, less patent applications, more crime and more people in prison. Anyone who doubts the key role inequality plays should read 'The Spirit Level' by Wilkinson and Pickett. Even richer people are happier in more equal societies!
Strengthening our communities is also important. Our degree of social connection is a crucial factor for our happiness and an important determinant of life chances. It makes sense to establish new allotments, improve local facilities, get involved in local projects to improve the environment, help a neighbour, join an arts project or have street parties. Stroud is a special place because so many people are involved.
Thank you again for electing me to play a part in building a greener and fairer Stroud.
Cllr. Philip Booth (Green party),
Stroud District councillor for the Randwick, Whiteshill and Ruscombe ward.
See also Stroud District local elections here, General election here and first Green MP here.