I am, as we draw closer to the local elections, alive to the danger of this blog becoming solely dedicated to the exposing the nonsense, ignorance and untruths of the Tories’ comedy candidate for Westborough, Daryl Peagram. Indeed, I’ve contemplated setting up a separate blog to basically fact-check everything he says.
So I do try not to make him the focus of my scrutiny too often, as much as anything to avoid inflating his ego.
However, with Daryl now having added not only a Facebook page, but a blog to his repertoire, I think this is going to be unavoidable. Especially given one of his more recent contributions, on the subject of Heath and Carby House on Victoria Avenue — a contribution I can only brand a disgraceful show of ignorance.
Southend Borough Council has it’s full council meeting on Thursday 25th February — this coming Thursday. As this is the meeting where the budget for the 2016/17 financial year will be decided, everything else has essentially gone unnoticed.
But there is (At least -Ed) one measure for debate which is particularly vital to the future running of the council.
I am talking about the proposal by the Leader of the Council, Ron Woodley (IND – Thorpe), to cut the number of councillors by a third, in order to save money. The proposal is on the table as a money-saving measure, with estimated savings being in the region of £205,000.
The trouble, it seems to me, is both that the savings are too meagre and the cost to the effectiveness of the councillors representing Southend residents is too high, and ultimately the sacrifice is just not worth it.
This is a guest post, written by Mike Fieldhouse, Labour candidate for Prittlewell at the 2016 local elections. As such, the views and opinions expressed may differ radically from your blogger’s own. Some of them may even make sense…
This is a guest post, written by Chris Vince, Labour’s candidate for Essex Police & Crime Commissioner in the May 2016 election. As such, the views and opinions expressed may differ radically from your blogger’s own. Some of them may even make sense…
An artist’s impression of
Southend Fox Del Thomas.
In the light of the recent announcement that has rocked the Southend political blogosphere (Err -Ed), I have a confession to make. I have known the truth for some time, that Southend Fox was in reality Del Thomas.
Despite our political differences, Del is a good friend of mine, and I think it is demonstrative of the very best character that he has chosen to reveal his identity, now that he is standing as Conservative candidate for St Luke’s ward in the May local elections.
Anonymity can, I believe, have its place in political blogging. I don’t, though, believe that is true when the blogger is standing in an election to public office. So I salute Del’s decision, signalling as it does both his own virtue and the start of the long campaign.
Regular readers will know how much I enjoy the leaflets of Westborough Conservatives’ comedy candidate, Daryl Peagram. They have consistently provided the very best in paranoid ravings and Cold War-esque McCarthyist nonsense. So the news that he has embraced Twitter is music to my ears.
We’ve had a continuation of the same incoherent ramblings, including apparent Labour plans to build flats on all the green spaces in Westborough (If you asked “What green spaces?”, then you’ve got the gist -Ed) and threats to reveal a Lib Dem candidate’s “family-unfriendly indiscretion“.
But by far the most interesting thing is his new petition, where he calls on the council to scarp non-existent projects in order to compulsorily purchase private land in Westborough to make “micro-parks” and hire park rangers to keep an eye on them (Micro-parks being at great risk of micro-bears, of course -Ed). I’ve no problem with Daryl starting mad petitions (The internet being full of them anyhow -Ed), but I do have a slight issue with his blatant disregard of data protection in regard to the responses.
This is not the blog I wanted to be writing today, 77 days until the elections — for local councils and Police & Crime Commissioners.
I have to preface this by saying that I am very happy that Chris Vince has been selected as the Labour candidate for Essex Police & Crime Commissioner. Having met him and campaigned alongside him, I think he’ll be an excellent candidate.
I also still regard Police & Crime Commissioner as a ridiculous non-role, a waste of money and an unnecessary politicisation of the police, a sorry abuse of democracy to paper over wave after wave of cuts to police forces up and down the country by a Conservative government. I’d abolish the damn lot of them if I could.
However, I can’t. So we fight the election.
The process by which Labour has selected its candidates, though — regardless of whether it ended up with the right candidates — has been woeful.
Well now, this is interesting.
Word reaches me from my little birds of an interesting funding arrangement apparently going on in the lead up to the local elections in May. If rumour is to be believed (And the source seems sound -Ed), then Dr Vel (IND – Westborough), the deputy mayor, has been funding a good chunk of UKIP’s leaflet costs in the borough.
Now, when Dr Vel quit the Independents to sit independently as an independent councillor (Again -Ed), I voiced the rumour of his potential defection to UKIP–a rumour he didn’t exactly squash. Whilst I still expect the ultimate decision on that front to rest on which banner he believes is more likely to deliver him re-election. But this development indicates that he’s certainly keeping his options open.
This is a guest post, written by Helen McDonald, Southend Labour’s candidate for Kursaal ward at the 2016 local elections. As such, the views and opinions expressed may differ radically from your blogger’s own. Some of them may even make sense…
On Saturday 6th February I attended the c2c Public Meeting at the Thameside Theatre in Grays. I arrived knowing that services are overcrowded and the changes to stopping patterns have not been well received by the majority of passengers travelling to and from Southend. I left knowing the same but with the added knowledge that it’s not just Southend residents who are furious and with assurance from Chris Atkinson, Communications and Stakeholder Manger, and Kevin Frazer, Delivery Director, that: “it’s going to improve”. The precise details of exactly how or when this might happen were sketchy but let’s not worry about little things like that just yet.
So last week I posted a copy of the latest St Luke’s Voice, going out in St Luke’s ward from our Labour candidate Donna Richardson. It contained, amongst other stuff, this passage:
“Labour’s DONNA RICHARDSON says, ‘After speaking with some residents living in and around LONSDALE ROAD, I have discovered that there had been a vehicle collision due to badly faded road markings. The residents informed me that they had spoken to an Independent Councillor about this issue but had no further contact and the problem remained. To try and help I reported the safety issue to the council and I am extremely happy to say that not only these road markings, but others in the area, are now due to be re-painted.’“
And it is precisely this bit with which Cllr Brian Ayling (IND – St Luke’s) has taken issue with, in his typical charmless fashion.