Sunday February 27 2022, 20:24
No party is excluded in advance when forming a new coalition
Written by Bernard Harvesterkamp
WINTERSWIJK – Many words were once again devoted to the administrative culture of the municipality during the first major electoral debate at the Emma Building in Ratom. It was organized by entrepreneurs from the countryside, the agricultural organization LTO and interest groups for the hamlets. There was little talk of a real debate on Saturday, February 26th. The seven party leaders and number two on the D66 list essentially took turns responding to the statements.
Responding to statements about the role of agriculture and quality of life
The organization has selected five statements on which an opinion can be expressed. The data relate to (poor) managerial culture, standing of farmers in rural areas, population involvement, use of tourism tax revenue for agriculture and quality of life in the countryside. The positions of the eight parties participating in the municipal elections differed clearly on some of these issues. They agreed on many things. Because of the chosen setting, there was little room for proper discussion with each other. It happened once.
Finding a balance between different interests
The search for a good balance in the countryside between the various interests turned out to be the common denominator. This balance may be upset due to the many developments that require land, often agricultural land, and this can be to the detriment of a valuable cultural landscape. Housing in Tuunterveld and in small villages, a new business park in Misserweg, solar parks, expanded camping sites and new nature around the four Natura2000 areas require space. Topics such as administrative culture, agriculture and population involvement were always briefly discussed. It turns out that CDA, Voor Winterswijk and Frontale put the importance of agriculture first. The VVD also wants to give space, but party leader Inge Klein Gunnewiek believes creating space for businesses and housing is just as important. Other parties felt that there should be room for other functions in addition to agriculture. Frick Dunk (D66) pointed out that landscape conservation is not just about agriculture. “There are many individuals who are committed to the landscape with love.”
‘Sometimes I felt personally attacked’
Topics that have had a lot of discussion in recent years and that locals have felt the municipality has not heard enough about, mainly pertain to spatial planning, the portfolio of Alderman Inge Klein Gunwick. “I sometimes felt personally attacked. I don’t feel safe with that.” She said that anyone could always approach her for a conversation and she did not identify herself in claims that she was unreachable. She hopes that the mutual relations will improve after the municipal elections and that this will be discussed among them. All the participants in the discussion had already said that opinions should be expressed in a natural way in the municipal council. This does not include sliding coalition agreements. There must be room for opposition input. All parties indicated that they would not exclude any of the other parties from forming a new coalition after the elections. Wim Wassink (CDA) said: “We have preferences, we want to do our best for Winterswijk.” Frick Dink (D66) believes that given the content of electoral programs, there are logical and less logical groups.
What will be settled in four years?
During the discussion, there were discussions about what did not go well and what needs to be done differently in the next four years. Rudi te Selle (LTO) wanted to finally know what the parties should be judged on within four years. André van Nijkerken (tomorrow) wants everyone to be able to find each other in content and wants to play an interconnected role. “We can be judged by a careful process.” Elvira Schapers (PvdA) noted quality of life, social cohesion, inclusion, and approaches to addressing poverty. Oliver Hemming (Frontal) wants to show in four years that he means a lot to farmers and young people. “We’ve put together a trusted board and have achieved good things for Winterswijk,” said Wim Wassink (CDA). Frick Dink (D66) wants his party to have a calm and reasonable politics with an eye on the future. Erwin te Selle (Winterswijks Belang) can be judged by whether his party has done enough for quality of life. For Inge Klein Gunnewiek, an area-oriented approach to the outlying region, where it is ensured that farming can do well there, is the point of payment. For Tom van Beek (Voor Winterswijk), there was a good discussion with those involved in small and large projects.
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