helen mcdonald

GUEST POST: ‘What I learnt at the c2c Public Meeting’ by Helen McDonald


c2c: it's the passengers who are wrong

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.

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GUEST BLOG: It’s always sunny in Kursaal


women's work

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…

For the past few weekends I’ve been knocking on the doors of Kursaal and, despite the miserable weather on more than one occasion, the residents have proved themselves to be a very welcoming bunch. The birthday cake was a particularly appreciated pick-me-up as was finding a fellow Dolly Parton fan!
Of course, it’s The Big Three that are causing the most upset (that’s parking, dog mess and litter for the uninitiated).

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GUEST BLOG: Helen McDonald on why she is standing for Kursaal ward


Helen McDonald blog

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…

This is the moment where I’m supposed to tell you all that I wanted to stand as a candidate for Labour in Southend because all my family are staunch trade unionists, all my life I have been primed for a life in local politics and they gave a rousing cheer when it was announced I had been selected by the residents of Kursaal ward. So here goes… I come from a very long line of Tory voting, Daily Mail readers and the only time I’ve ever heard any of them talk about trade unions was when my Mum once claimed she worked with a man who had been ‘turned’ by the Russians and that’s why she went on strike so much in the 1970s. In fact, my Dad is still hoping this is a phase I’ll grow out of and insistently refers to me as a Champagne socialist (which is grossly unfair because I don’t even like Champagne).

So, how am I here right now? Well, I think my parents should consider themselves at least partly to blame because they instilled in me a very strong sense of what is fair and unfair and that a person’s circumstances are not necessarily a reflection of their abilities or ‘hard work’. That is why, after 15 years as a secondary school teacher, I have decided to move into local politics.

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