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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 April 2005, 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK
Wales voters' panel: John Thorn on week 1

MEET THE PANEL
John Thorn
Name: John Thorn
Age: 57
Lives: Cardiff
Works: Retired
Original voting intention: Conservative
In 10 words or less: Maths graduate, retired senior insurance manager but still active
For me, this week has seemed like a "phoney war" with insults being traded and no real "meat" from anywhere.

I hope the manifestos will be more enlightening. There are three areas, however, where I feel all the parties are lacking a strategy.

On council tax we can debate ways of funding and rebates but the fundamental question is being ducked. Local councils clearly cannot continue to take an ever bigger share of the cake.

At what level should we say (or should have said) "enough"?

On pensions, the pay rises to teachers, consultants and others were needed but to only now be thinking about the impact of these on future pension costs is dereliction of duty.

On transport, we know that economic growth generates travel. But will strangling travel (by congestion charges and the like) kill the economic growth that creates it?

But the week has been overshadowed by the revelations of electoral fraud in Birmingham by six Labour councillors.





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