I would like to take this opportunity to thank you. To thank the 2,675 of you who turned out to vote on Thursday, and in particular to thank the 355 people who voted for me. It is always humbling when anyone shows such faith in you as to make you the recipient of your vote, and so I feel especially privileged that 355 residents have done so.
Though I’m never sure whether it is appropriate to admit it, I have enjoyed the campaign. I have been lucky enough to be supported by a number of capable, dedicate and enthusiastic local Labour Party members, and though I did not get the opportunity to speak to as many voters as I would have liked, those I did speak to were switched on, aware and interested in what I had to say.
I would also like to thank my opponents, Tony Cox, James Moyies, and (though I saw nothing of him) Charlie Row. It has been a battle of radically different views for the future of West Shoebury and Southend, but I am assured that they were as committed to what they perceived were the best interests of the ward as I was. James, in particular, I wish the best of luck and wisdom as he sets out as your new councillor.
Although I was not successful in winning the contest, I still believe passionately in the area, and that Labour policy could help it achieve the greatness that we all know it is capable of. I will still campaign for fairness and prosperity across Southend, and look forward to the challenges that the future will bring.