AFTER four years of watching our local council, seemingly indifferent to the suffering they were colluding with, ignore their electorate and obey their Westminster masters, the Island people saw the light and voted against a Tory majority in local council elections.

While the numbers do not give the Tories, or anyone else a majority, it is good news. Coalitions will have to be formed and it is going to be interesting to see which members vote for what is best for the Island as opposed to following their party dictats.

It will be abundantly obvious who is there out of a sense of community spirit, and a desire to help everyone prosper, and who is using the position as a step up in their political ladder.

When I stood in the last election as an Independent, I got to know several of the other independents very well.

They were punished in that election by the electorate who did not believe that the Independents were doing the best job they could under the cosh of huge cuts by the Tory government.

Until a Tory majority was voted in, and the penny dropped (actually huge financial cuts) and gradually people realised just how open, decent and protective the Independents had strived to be.

With the Tories at the helm, suddenly the scrutiny committee did not actually scrutinise, petitions put forward by the electorate were limited to three a year, meetings which had been open to the public were held behind closed doors.

With a majority, the Tories made no attempt to play nice. They basically just told us it was all for our own good while they beat us senseless.

I believe that all that will change now there are enough bums on seats to make it very awkward for such paternalistic policies to be voted through.

I do know that we now have some decent, honest, compassionate, hardworking people to represent the electorate.

People who will shine a light on the true cost of Tory cuts on our most vulnerable, on our education service, on our public services.

I am delighted and more optimistic about our Island than I have been for years. At last, our council will be under intense scrutiny, proper debate and transparency.

Make no mistake, their hands are tied to a great extent by the Tory government. It is going to get worse until we have a central government which serves the people, not their party.

But we now have hope. We have some extraordinary people on the IW Council who have the skills, brains, diplomatic skills and heart to hold those in power accountable and make things uncomfortable.

People who have shown their mettle. People who, defeated in the last election, kept going, kept working for their community and waited for the penny to drop. Respect.

It is going to be a bumpy ride, but at least we will have some ups instead of constant downs.