Elections

Full list of Rochford District Council election candidates 2016


rochford district council

I don’t tend to pay as much attention to Rochford on this blog as perhaps I ought, given that it’s the neighbouring district to Southend and part of it is within the Rochford & Southend East ward.

But this year Rochford is electing all of its councillors at once, owing to the boundaries being redrawn. This happens periodically, to take account of changes in population distribution, and the prevailing trend currently is to move to all-up elections rather than electing in thirds (Not a trend which your blogger is enamoured of -Ed).

So that means that there are thirteen wards electing three councillors each, meaning a total of 39 seats up for grabs.

Meet the candidates…

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Full list of Southend-on-Sea local election candidates 2016


southend civic centre

So the nominations have closed, and we have the full and final list of the candidates for the Southend-on-Sea local elections.

To my surprise, there are four full slates — from the Tories, Labour, the Lib Dems and the Greens — and UKIP are only one seat short. There are also a few interesting Independent candidates scattered around, and an Indie-on-Indie battle in Shoeburyness, which changes the dynamic there.

As in previous years, Labour candidates are in bold, whilst defending incumbents are in italics.  There are five wards this year where the incumbent is not standing for re-election.

Meet the candidates…

Cutting councillors will make Southend Council less effective


southend civic centre

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.

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As the dust settles pt 2: the picture in Southend


ballot box

I’ve already blogged some of my thoughts on how the general election panned out, but I wanted to look at Southend separately, because the same truths don’t all apply.

Whilst I wouldn’t describe Southend as being a Labour landslide, the truth is that the local party did buck the trend. In the two constituencies we performed well, increasing our share of the vote in Rochford & Southend east by 4.4% and in Southend West by 4.9%. Given that the national picture was one of a Labour wipeout everywhere outside London, the Southend team are feeling justifiably pleased.

I’ll break it down by party, I think.

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Splitting the vote: Vote Green, get UKIP


green ukipBack in 2011, at the AV referendum, I supported the Alternative Vote. Despite all of the propaganda against it — President Clegg? Seriously? Even with AV, who is going to be voting for Nick Clegg now? — I was firmly in favour. As an electoral system, First Past the Post is inherently unfair, particularly the level to which election results can be distorted by split votes to give a result contrary to the wishes of the majority of the election.

This has, I think, been made borne out through a few recent election results.

Read on…

Thank you


Dear residents of West Shoebury,

 

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.

 

Yours with thanks,

 

Matthew S. Dent
Labour candidate for West Shoebury, 2014

Vote now, Vote Labour


vote labour

As this post goes up, the polls are opening.

Yes, it’s time to go and vote. You. Yes, you. Get down to your polling station and put your cross in the box next to a name.

For the next fifteen hours you have the choice of who represents you, in Europe and in your local government. And frankly, you’d be a fool of Russell Brand proportions not to.

Obviously I would advise you vote Labour, particularly if you live in Southend — the best local candidates, with the best policy platform in the town. But whoever you are inclined to vote for, remember that it only matters a damn if you don’t actually vote. The results are decided by those who vote, and there has been enough news coverage of a certain party that all progressive, fair-minded people should fear what could come about if they don’t cast their vote.

So go. Vote. Vote now, and vote Labour.

A mess of a hustings


southend civic centre

Firstly, an apology. It is, I suspect, not an apology owed by myself, but I will give it nonetheless. To anyone who attended the hustings last night at Hinguar Primary School in order to see and listen to me, you would have been disappointed.

I arrived at Hinguar at ten to seven, only to be told by Cllr Anne Chalk that I wouldn’t in fact be speaking. It had changed, apparently, from the West Shoebury and Shoeburyness hustings that had been advertised, to a Shoeburyness only debate. And as such, only Conservative Cllr Roger Hadley and Independent candidate Nick Ward would speak.

Now, I don’t know when this decision was made. I do know that I had discussed my intentions today and last night with senior Labour councillors, and no such communication had reached any of us. I do however know that the decision served to make it an Independent vs Tory battle, and that the accusation that the Labour Shoeburyness candidate had not turned up was entirely spurious. Maggie Kelly was never intended to come, as she was working.

But actually, having sat through the spectacle ensued, I’m not sure I’m not glad to have been little part of it.

Read on…

UKIP – Taking the money, not doing the job


nigel farage on the take

Imagine I had a job (which I do), and that job required me to work five days a week (which it does). Imagine, then, that I only attended two days a week of that work. Or two. Or even one day. Imagine I did not show up for the majority or working days without a single good reason. You would expect me to be fired, surely?

I don’t, of course. I am, rain or shine, at my desk 45 hours a week, Monday through Friday. I also earn below the average wage, and pay my own train fares.

I am pointing this out not as some sort of “poor me” sob story — I enjoy my job, and consider myself very lucky to do so. No, I am saying this because I want to make a contrast with another job. This job is paid three times the average wage, alongside a plethora of expenses to cover travel and living costs.

This job is, of course, Member of the European Parliament, of whom, UKIP have nine. It is therefore striking that UKIP MEP’s record of turning up for work is so — frankly — abysmal.

Read on…

Shoebury hustings, Monday at 7pm


southend civic centre

It’s a bit short notice, but I will be taking part in a hustings for the West Shoebury and Shoeburyess local elections at Hinguar Primary School in Shoeburyness.

Julian has already pointed out that these elections are suffering from a surprising shortage of debate (something for which we have both tried to make up using our blogs), so it’s good that there will be some opportunity for live questioning.

The debate will be held at Hinguar Primary School, at 7pm on Monday evening. I don’t yet know who else will be speaking (presumably a selection of the West Shoebury and Shoeburyness candidates), but it will be hosted by BBC Essex radio presenter Tim Gillett.

All are welcome, so come along and put your questions to your local candidates before the vote on May 22nd.