Cath North has been one of the driving forces behind the Central Tupsley Community Group (who were nominated as environmental champions in the recent Hereford Journal Pride of Herefordshire awards) and helped secure £100,000 in funding for the refurbishment of the Quarry.
Bizarrely her election leaflet actually mentions Tupsley (Lib Dems, Tories take note!). Included in her plans is such boring, but essential, details like making “pavements safe for all users,” which is vitally important in an area with a high proportion of elderly residents.
However, It’s Our County’s “working philosophy of honesty, clarity and transparency” perhaps took a back seat when they wrote such misleading statements as “we have a 100% record in all our contested elections since 2011”. Since 2011 there have been 23 by-elections, only three of which It’s Our County have contested and two of those were virtually insignificant parish elections.
Similarly their claim to have 10 councillors is not quite the whole truth: they only have eight elected to Herefordshire Council, where the real power lies (the other two are elected to the city council).
And their opening statement of IOC being “ahead of its time” is just bizarre; if they’re not fit for the here-and-now why bother voting for them!
But that’s just nit-picking. What concerns us most is that someone with as much passion for her area as Cath North clearly has will get sucked up into the council machine, limiting the good work she could be doing with the Central Tupsley Community Group.
It was a similar situation with her ex-leader, Cllr Mark Hubbard, who did sterling campaigning work with IOC’s predecessor It’s Our City, and who continues to do a lot of good for Hereford with his involvement in Friends of the Castle Green. To achieve positive change you don’t have to (and indeed shouldn’t) seek election to Herefordshire Council and position yourself hierarchically above your friends and neighbours. Another way is possible!
It is an almost certainty, however, that Cath North will become the council’s newest member on 7th November. The only thing that stands in her way is the potential damage done to the It’s Our County brand by outgoing-councillor Alex Hempton-Smith’s drug caution and whether or not this has tainted the views of her wouldbe constituents.
We hope for the sake of Tupsley that Cath is not elected.