Like any other city in the world, Portsmouth has its good points and its bad.
On a summer’s day the glittering vista of Portsmouth Harbour, with the Spinnaker Tower looming overhead and our proud warships breaking the blue waves, could not look more beautiful.
But then you need not look far to find the eyesore of Brunel House and The Hard, desperately in need of attention to boost the image of the whole city.
And our political landscape is equally as varied.
On the one hand we have an often capable local authority in the form of Portsmouth City Council – which we have to say in fairness gets many things right, from stepping in to help the Pompey Supporters’ Trust take over the club and securing a coup for the city in the form of Sir Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup base.
But it’s also fair to say the people of Portsmouth have been let down on several occasions recently by those who run our great city.
We feel this is a formative period in Portsmouth’s history, with decisions being taken which could affect its future in a major way.
Those influencing those decisions need to be clear in their aims and be focused on the best interests of Portsmouth, the surrounding area, and all of those who live in it.
So we applaud council leader Donna Jones for pledging today to clean up politics in the city.
She claims political mudslinging and petty politics put people off from engaging in public democracy and we are sure she is right.
After last week’s elections the political landscape in Portsmouth and beyond looks drastically different to how it did before.
And we hope therefore that this is seen as an opportunity by those of all parties to start anew, with a clearer outlook, improved attitudes and fresh ideas.
We wish Cllr Jones every success in her endeavour to improve the image of politics, and encourage politicians from all parties to make the same pledge. What a wasted opportunity it will be if we end up with the same old game being played by the same old rules. But we would remind those in power – and you at home as well – that it’s the voters who will decide the result of the match come next polling day.