jonathan garston

Southend Tory activist thinks politicians shouldn’t be scrutinised

gavin chambers endorsement

If pressed to describe my political blogging, I would usually go for “robust”. Doubtless those who have found themselves criticised on this blog might describe it in different terms, but I am quite satisfied with my coverage of local politics in Southend.

So I am going to rebut quite emphatically the accusations of Tory activist Gavin Chambers, who this morning out of the blue tweeted me this:

gavin chambers tweet1Always nice to meet a fan (I think he means Blenheim Park, by the way -Ed).

Anyway, what followed was a slightly different morning experience.

Read on…

For “ineffective councillors”, Cllr Garston should look in the mirror

jonathan garston ineffective

When Jonathan Garston won re-election last month in Milton ward, nobody was more surprised than he was. Right up until the final moments, Jonathan was sure he had lost.

Equally, I don’t see that anyone can believe that his 51 vote majority is a result of his dynamic campaigning and magnetic personality, as much as the national swing of a general election. His surprising success, though, seems to have gone to Jonathan’s head.

I’m not sure which part of his thank you leaflet I like the most. The bit where he promises to prevent Labour and the coalition from misrepresenting your interests, despite the fact that he’s partial to misrepresenting the work of Labour Cllrs Julian Ware-Lane and Cheryl Nevin in solving local parking issues as his own. Or maybe the bit where he claims he works tirelessly on your behalf, despite the fact I’ve never known him knock on my door, or even seen him on my road…

But the best bit is the part where he calls on residents to Help us get the ineffective Labour Councillors out of Milton!

Milton doesn’t have any ineffective Labour councillors. Milton has two of the most hardworking and successful councillors in the borough, who have achieved more than the lone remaining Conservative in the ward. I would rather have councillors who listen, who work, who I see more than simply when they have an election on the horizon. If Jonathan Garston thinks Cllrs Ware-Lane and Nevin are ineffective, I hate to think how he must view himself.

Rather than throwing rocks at his ward colleagues, Jonathan could do with taking a leaf out of their book, rolling up his sleeves, and doing some work to earn the trust which the voters of this ward have placed in him.

Lonely Jonathan Garston finds an supporter, from Epping Forest Tories

gavin chambers endorsement

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.

Read on…

On the Milton ward local election hustings: how the candidates fared


So on Thursday night the Castle Dent contingent headed down the road to the St Mark’s Centre, on Princes Street, to hear the candidates for Milton ward at the local council elections set out their stalls.

In all the various places I’ve lived, this is the first time I’ve attended an election debate where I can actually vote for the participants (Not technically true: there was a hustings for the Police & Crime Commissioner elections, but given the glorified farce that they turned out to be, they don’t really count -Ed). So it was probably more exciting for me than basically anyone else.

As a little experiment, I decided I’d try and record the hustings themselves. Armed with a cheap dictaphone, I rocked up, asked permission, and set it recording. The results you can hear for yourself, but I’m pretty impressed with them.

But this blog is about the hustings themselves, not my audio-recording expertise (Pah! -Ed), so how did each of the candidates do.

Read on…

Garston’s Alive!

jonathan garston leaflet

Having been knocking on quite a number of doors in Milton ward, Southend, over the last few weeks, I’ve had a lot of people recognise Labour Councillors Julian Ware-Lane and Cheryl Nevin. Indeed, there seems hardly a person who doesn’t know Julian.

Very few, though, seem to have seen or heard from Cllr Jonathan Garston.

As the last Tory left in Milton, Jonathan is something of an endangered species. Indeed, most of the time you wouldn’t know he was there. He has reappeared, now, with a decidedly glossy leaflet. At least it isn’t motivated by an election he has to fight being six months away.


Read on…

Last march of the doomed – Southend Tories select for 2015


tory tree on fire

So the Conservative party in Rochford & Southend East have selected their council candidates for the local elections in 2015. It’s not especially surprising, Southend Labour will be doing the same shortly. The list, too, is not terribly surprising.

This year, the Conservative Party won a grand total of zero seats in the nine wards up for election across  the constituency. This time there are ten wards up for election, which surely gives them an opportunity to not win an extra one. It has become increasingly clear that Conservative fortunes in Southend, particularly in the east, are in full-scale retreat.

What is somewhat surprising is the content of the candidate list.

Read on…