Blog subscriber TW’s been working flat out scanning these election missives. Many thanks!
So here’s the third in the series – this one from the Conservative incumbents in St. Augustine’s, Cllrs. Paul Church and Sophie Williams. Unlike their Labour contenders, the Conservatives have decided to stick to just three names, so we only get the alternative Welsh Conservatives/Ceidwadwyr Cymreig and the Conservative Party. How conservative of them!
And credit where credit’s due, the future does indeed look bright, at least in design terms. Compared with the last shoddy effort from team Conservatives, this is a major step forward. There are lots of images with people in them, the design is rather attractive for a political leaflet – notice the offsetting of some of the pictures on both sides – and there are some pleasing touches, like the varied font in the ‘letter’ on page 2. Most modern and, dare I say it, unconservative! And Cllrs. Church and Williams appear to be using a graphic design package that means much more information can be packed into an A4 page. Bravo!
I do have some ideas for improvement. The row of photos at the top of page 1 are slightly out of sync with the boxes. Perhaps some white space around the images would enhance their definition? And some of the text is on the small side – by which I mean content in addition to the small print. People with eyesight problems might like to see a link to an online version that can be magnified. Of course, given that some of the content appears to directly contradict the party line, perhaps there’s some reticence to asking it to be posted here. Happily, people can view a copy of the leaflet on this blog (this service available for all election material received). One more point: fully capitalised headlines should generally be avoided.
On to the content. There’s a good spread of information here, covering regeneration, education, local environment and transport. However I can’t be the only person left bemused by the line that the proposed primary school banding system could “present a false image of a school, creating league tables and hiding a school’s particular strengths, as well as any weaknesses”. I wonder if party leaders are aware of this revolutionary take on primary school league tables, since the UK Department for Education (which services education in England) appears firmly committed to them and the Conservative spokesperson on education in the National Assembly for Wales “was never against the measurement of schools“.
I’m not convinced that the section ‘delivering on our promises to you’ is really about delivery. It seems to me to be more about accessibility – which is no bad thing of course, but let’s try to badge things correctly. And except for ‘Ceidwadwyr Cymreig’, there’s no recognition of the existence of the Welsh language. For the party that brought us the Welsh Language Act and – kicking and screaming – S4C, this is surely particularly embarrassing.
Finally, the mystery of ‘making our streets safe’ from Fight Club is revealed. It consists of resurfacing Plassey Street (including welcome bike lanes) and handing in a petition to the council. The residents of St. Augustine’s can rest easy now. I’ll be intrigued to see just how much effort Cllr. Church expends in promoting a zebra crossing with his Cabinet colleagues – after all, surely one of the benefits of having Cabinet Members in Penarth is seeing that tremendous influence being wielded with incredible results. Watch this space!
Layout 8/10, Content 7/10