I was particularly interested to read your article about the city council by-election for St Michael ward which coincides with the General Election on July 4.

I represented the ward for 19 years (1999 to 2018) and found the role extremely rewarding and interesting. 

For most of that time I worked alongside the brilliant Fiona Mather (2002 to 2021) who dedicated herself tirelessly to working for all the residents of the ward. Also, for eight years we were joined by Robert Sanders and Robert’s very strong business background was so helpful to both the council and residents.

Whilst there are politics at the local level what I have always felt is more important is the commitment of the councillor to the area they represent. 

Since I came off the council in 2018 St Michael Ward has been seen a lot of change with seven different Lib Dem councillors.

I have actually said to a number of them that I was sorry that they didn’t stand for re-election as they had been strong performers on the council and in the ward and in my mind that’s more important than the politics. 

The Lib Dem candidate this time stood for election in a rural part of Winchester only two months ago so I have to wonder how committed he is to St Michael Ward. All the other party candidates actually live in the ward so perhaps can genuinely say they are the local choice.

I wish all the candidates well but having known Leo Keay for most of his life I am certain that he will continue the dedicated service to the residents of St Michael ward that Fiona and Robert and I tried to do over a combined 46 years of service.

Ian Tait,
Romsey Road, 

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