How is he doing?
On a previous thread a regular contributer to this site Barry Wood (no, we are not related) implies that I haven't been giving Nick Bye very much public backing.
This is worrying me because I think Nick Bye is the best thing to happen to Torbay in a generation - and so do a large and growing number of the people who live here - and I would hate to think that anyone thought that I had any doubts.
For the first time we have an independantly minded directly elected individual representing the population at the heart of our local Government.
In just a few months Nick has:
* Averted the closure of Upton School
* Avoided the Lib Dems disasterous budget and made sure that council tax increases are affordable next year, without dipping into the councils meagre reserves.
* Restructured the overpriced and ludicrous car park charges.
* Got the Kingskerswell By Pass on to the shortlist for funding.
* Fast-tracked a vision for Torbay into a real roadmap to regeneration including some really exciting 'think big' ideas including a casino development, redeveloping the Princes Theatre and turning the disaster of the crumbling prominade into the catalyst for another Bay attraction.
(I may have omitted other achievements - this list is just from memory!!):
But above all he has proved that it's not 'weak' to compromise- it's a sign of strength.
Listening to public opinion and then reacting to what people want - and if necessary being prepared to change plans- is something Torbay residents have wanted for a long time.
For far too long we have had poor governance at local level; we have suffered froman officer led council who have been happy to dictate on the basis that 'they know best' what is good for local citizens and more recently, a Lib dem group who have dismissed every criticism as being 'politically motivated' and therefore irrelevant.
Nick has the ideas and the passion to change this - and there is growing evidence of a real culture change in the town hall- but he can't deliver it on his own.
That is why we are working hard to ensure that next May we win enough Conservative seats to overturn the current stalemate which exists between a Conservative Executive Mayor and a Lib Dem dominated council chamber intent on blocking his every move.
Nick has exceeded even my wildly optimistic predictions when I was campaigning for him last year, and I know there is more to come in the years ahead when he will have the backing of the new Conservative Council when it arrives next May.