Well there we are then, the morning after the night before and I am awake (just) after some three and bit hours of sleep - it was a long night! Firstly a massive thank you to my agent and my campaign team and the punters of Monmouth / Mynwy - it has been as always an interesting (if particularly long) campaign which gave me the opportunity to talk to and meet with many (and varied) constituents during the course of my 33 month prolonged tour of (in my opinion) one of the most interesting and varied constituencies in Wales.
Secondly, there are real bread and butter issues that still need to be fought for, including:
- the ongoing fight to Keep Abergavenny Livestock Market,
- the retention of small village and community schools,
- the need for more Police officers and fully staffed Police stations,
- better rail and bus services (with at least a gesture towards integrating the two!),
- real decent and affordable housing for younger people,
- a fair deal for our farmers,
- better public procurement of local foodstuffs by our hospitals, schools and other public bodies,
- a fair deal for our service personnel and their families,
- a fair deal for our pensioners,
- a level playing field for our small businesses (which are the literal economic lifeblood of many of our smaller towns),
- abolition of the business rate,
- the refurbishment of many of Monmouthshire's existing schools,
- a real need for a fair assessment of Monmouthshire County Council's financial settlement (it has the worst in Wales),
- and many more...
I think that there is a while yet before the final results come in and this Westminster election may take us all into wholly new political territory. In Monmouth constituency, we now have to bed in the new members, and prepare the ground for the National Assembly elections (in 2011) and local Government elections (in 2012). Having fought Monmouth three times (twice for Westminster and once for the National Assembly) I have reached the stage when I can recognise when the adrenaline is running out, the coffee is no longer having any effect and the sleep of a seriously tired former prospective parliamentary candidate is beckoning...