Herts Ad Comment: Should dog poo be at the top of the political agenda for St Albans MP

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Herts Ad comment... - Credit: Archant

On September 11 2001, while the Twin Towers burned, Labour aide Jo Moore - at the time working for the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions - sent an email suggesting it was a good day to bury bad news. She later resigned.

This week, with Parliament torn apart over the controversial vote on Article 50, our notoriously anti-EU MP Anne Main thought it prudent to focus national attention on another more pressing matter - dog poo.

Of course one should not draw close comparisons between Mrs Main’s campaign and Ms Moore’s PR blunder, but one cannot help wondering whether the St Albans MP was trying to deflect attention away from her locally unpopular stance on Europe.

After all, 62.7 per cent of referendum voters in her constituency wanted to remain in the EU, and her opposition to the majority’s viewpoint has fuelled debate in the Herts Ad letters pages ever since.

One could understand Mrs Main not wanting to face again the backlash of her constituents after she supported this week’s vote on Article 50, and thought she should instead launch a high-profile campaign on an issue which she believes is close to voters’ hearts.

After all, Mrs Main claims that she receives more letters on the environment and dog poo than on any other issue - which would include such local bugbears as hospital wards closing, potholes, grass verges and the proposed rail freight development.

That is in itself a staggering revelation, and one might argue it obviously justifies her taking this issue all the way to Parliament.

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The issue also saw her appear on the popular lunchtime Radio 2 programme The Jeremy Vine Show, and news reports on the issue were picked up as far away as Australia.

However, there is surely a time and a place for talking about, er, animal faeces, and in this time of worrying political upheaval many of her constituents feel her priorities are completely wrong.

If only she had been able to secure such prominent media attention for something which would really make a difference to people’s lives, such as our failing local NHS service, or the district council’s inability to complete its Strategic Local Plan.

But if you really think dog poo should be at the top of the political agenda, we’d love to hear from you, so drop us a line at the usual address.

On an unrelated note, it turns out that Herts Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd no longer holds down quite as many positions as we claimed last week.

Apparently he is no longer a Dacorum borough councillor or member of the development control committee, but failed to update his LinkedIn profile to reflect when these changes took place back in 2013.

It seems he’s also stepping down as a county councillor in May, allowing him to focus his full attention on his work as PCC.

With Mr Lloyd having held the rank of commissioner for the past six years, we’d just like to add a final word on the subject: it’s about time.