So after nearly two months in Southend, I finally ran out of excuses and found myself today canvassing with Southend Labour Party.
It rained — of course it did — but that didn’t stop us — myself, Councillors Ware-Lane and Jones, and Labour candidate for 2014 Chas Willis — knocking on doors up and down the marginal Kursaal ward. Not how many people would choose to spend their Saturday mornings, but it’s been quite a while since I’ve done any sort of campaigning.
As I said before, after leaving Wokingham I drifted a bit from local politics, but I’m determined to get stuck back in here.
And Kursaal was a good place to start. Over the course of a couple of hours we spoke to residents about all manner of issues — with lack of parking a big issue. The parking in Southend is a huge problem, particularly given that it’s a hybrid of commuter and tourist town.
The other issue was around Christchurch Park. Residents were concerned that the shortage of children’s play equipment had led to it becoming a focal point for anti-social behaviour even down to drug dealing and use on a residential street.
The fact that the area has Labour representatives means that we can take some action immediately. But each additional councillor gives more power to deliver changes for the better more quickly; so there is real and tangible importance to each vote cast next May.