This is a guest post, written by Labour candidate for Essex Police & Crime Commissioner, Chris Vince. As such, the views and opinions expressed may differ radically from your blogger’s own. Some of them may even make sense…
The ongoing trails and tribulations of Essex County Council’s decision to turn off streetlights at night have caught my interest of late.
For the uninitiated, Essex decided to turn off streetlights between midnight and 5am, to save something in the region of £14m over 13 years — so slightly more than £1m per year. It has not, shall we say, been an uncontroversial decision.
It’s come into recent sharp focus with the decision of Harlow District Council to pay Essex to turn them back on.
Of course, things are slightly different in Southend.
Yesterday, Nigel Farage launched UKIP’s parliamentary campaign in Essex. Canvey, to be precise. It’s telling, perhaps, that he stayed away from the Kent seat he himself is trying to win (South Thanet).
But how did the people of Essex react to the purple-and-yellow messiah’s appearance on their own turf?
Well, in Harlow they reacted by electing a new Labour district councillor in a by-election to replace a UKIP councillor.
Nigel Farage visits Essex, and hours later he has lost a council seat to Labour. That looks to me like a very good omen.