These days, the last of the Milton Tories cuts a lonely figure on the campaign trail. My little birds disagree on whether Cllr Jonathan Garston is genuinely on his own, in his increasingly doomed-looking struggle to hold onto his seat a week from today, but he seems to be suffering from the classic Southend Tory dearth of activists.
And his latest leaflet might actually be attesting to that.
It boasts a series (Three -Ed) of local residents giving endorsements to Jonathan, in a not-uncommon move for election leaflets. My little birds, though, draw my attention to the above pictured endorsement from one Gavin Chambers.
Now, when I searched the electoral register, I couldn’t find Mr Chambers in Milton ward. Which doesn’t mean anything — my copy of the register is not the most up-to-date version, and he could have very recently moved into the ward. But the Mr Chambers pictured on Cllr Garston’s leaflet bears a striking resemblance, in this blogger’s opinion, to this bloke:
“This bloke”, being Conservative councillor, on Epping Forest District Council, Gavin Chambers.
Epping Forest is about an hour’s drive from Southend, on the edge of London. The Epping Forest District Council website also lists his address as being in Loughton, which as readers may know, is not part of Milton ward, Southend.
As I say, that doesn’t mean that he isn’t a “Local Milton resident“ (…as opposed to a non-local Milton resident? -Ed), but presenting him as such is only telling one part of the story. Far be it from me to write opposition election literature, but perhaps a better way of putting this would be “Gavin Chambers, Tory Epping Forest councillor, thinks that Milton voters should back Jonathan Garston“.
It has a nice ring to it, I think. It does, though, raise the question of why Jonathan Garston is having to go quite so afield to find support. Perhaps Milton residents, wise to the disrepair and stagnation that he and his Conservative colleagues allowed Southend to fall into over 13 years, are looking for a change.
We’ll find out on May 7th.