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It has become dangerously fashionable to disparage democracy. Perhaps as a result of the spiteful cynicism that has been given space by social media, anyone standing for election or battling for a social cause is considered fair game.

Whereas, once, integrity was assumed to prevail until the opposite was certain- rather as innocence is taken as read until guilt is proven - these days there are critics and cynics who assume that everyone who seeks public office must be mad, bad or dangerous to know.

In fact, all my experience of politics – local and national – suggests the opposite. Regardless of Party labels, those who choose to stand and serve are motivated by a genuine desire to make places about which they care better, (or at least to stop things from getting worse!).

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