Southend Labour local election candidates 2018

Belfairs – Taylor Barrall

Blenheim Park – Laurie Burton

Chalkwell – Sean Jones

Eastwood Park – Ros Sanders

Kursaal – Matt Dent

Leigh – Michelle Williams

Milton – Cllr Cheryl Nevin

Prittlewell – Jennifer Beck

Shoeburyness – Greg Keane

Southchurch – Martin Berry

St Laurence – Janet Phillips

St Luke’s – Ian Pope

Thorpe – Jack Reason

Victoria – Cllr Margaret Borton

Westborough – Cllr Kevin Robinson

West Leigh – Hillary Scarnell

West Shoebury – Tom Murray

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.

Read on…

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.

Read on…

Southend-on-Sea local election results 2015

southend civic centre

Party Votes Percentage Seats before Seats after Change
CON 34,725 39.0% 19 22 3
LAB 16,963 19.1% 9 9 0
IND 12,560 14.1% 13 11 -2
UKIP 9,023 10.1% 5 5 0
LD 8,796 9.9% 5 4 -1
GRN 6,181 6.9% 0 0 0
Turnout 88,953 62.17%


Meet Southend Labour’s local election candidates 2015

vote labour southend small

The times are changing, we are told. The “new politics” means that the smaller parties are a serious force, rather than just a protest vote or an unfunny joke. Their branches in Southend, though, haven’t seemed to have gotten the message. For the local elections, only three parties are fielding a full slate of 19 candidates: The Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, and Labour.

This is the second Labour slate of which I have been a part, and I am once again struck that we have the very finest people in the borough. Southend Labour Party are committed to offering a fairer, progressive choice, grounded in reality, to make this town the very best it can be.

With Labour as part of the council administration for the first time after fourteen years of Tory rule, we are getting things moving in the right direction. New housing stock is being built. Vital services like libraries, children’s centres, and care homes have been protected. And with schemes like the Southend Energy Company we are taking action to help people struggling with the cost of living crisis.

There is only one choice, on May 7th, for a better Southend. Vote Labour.

Meet the Candidates…

Southend-on-Sea local election candidates 2015

southend civic centre

Nominations for the local elections in Southend-on-Sea closed at 4.00 p.m. yesterday. A third of the council seats are up for re-election in addition to two by-elections. This means that there are 19 seats up for election in total. The election will take place on May 7th, and the deadline for registering to vote is 20th April.

Below is the breakdown of the numbers of candidates standing by party, and the full list of nominated candidates.

Party Seats for re-election Seats contested Overall Seats
Conservatives 11 19 19
Independent 3 15 13
Labour 3 19 9
UKIP 1 8 5
Liberal Democrat 1 19 5
Green Party 0 18 0

(A note on Independents: some independents are more independent than others. Not all of the independents on the ballot paper are part of the official Independent Party Group. Some are genuine independents, such as Lucy Courtenay in Chalkwell, and some seem to be Independent UKIP, such as Alex Moyies in West Shoebury. I will be looking into and trying to clarify this.)

Meet the Candidates…

End of the Green surge? Southend Green Party crowdfunder fail

southend green party only fools

At the candidates’ and agents’ briefing for the local elections, at Southend Civic Centre the other week, the Green Party were very well represented. I’m not sure that they quite outnumbered the Conservatives, but they certainly came a close second.

They are definitely a more visible force this year than they have been previously, fielding 17 candidates next to the three they managed to muster last year. Their PPC for Rochford & Southend East (double-jobbing as their candidate for Kursaal ward) seemed a little put out when I pointed out that whilst there are 17 wards in Southend, 17 candidates does not a full slate make, when Liz Day’s resignation in West Shoebury means there are two seats up for grabs there.

What interests me, though, is less their slate of candidates than their attempts at funding the campaign.

Read on…

Judith McMahon for Kursaal

judith mcmahon kursaal
Members of the Labour Party in Southend have re-selected Judith to contest Kursaal ward in the May 2015 local elections.

Judith has represented Kursaal since 2011, and before that had served a nine year stint as councillor for the ward. In that time she has stood up resolutely for the interests of her residents, focusing on making a difference locally.

Judith said,

Residents in Kursaal ward have more reason than most to need Councillors who get on with the job. My aim is to serve according to the values of the Labour Party and to stand up for residents against crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour.”

In May of this year the Kursaal local election was won by UKIP’s Lawrence Davies, surprising everyone. Including, one suspects, himself. His performance in the role has been a catalogue of reasons not to vote for UKIP. My favourites include:

Kursaal is one of the most deprived areas of Southend, and desperately needs strong representation in the council chamber. UKIP are not the answer; they have proved that in a remarkably short period of time. In 2015, Kursaal ward needs Labour policy and representation; Kursaal ward needs Judith McMahon.

Kipperwatch! Where was the other absentee Southend UKIP councillor?

lawrence davies ukip

In all the excitement of a kipper-on-kipper conflict in Southend, it’s easy to overlook that Southend UKIP’s answer to Robert E. Lee, parliamentary candidate Floyd Waterworth, wasn’t the only UKIP councillor to miss a key vote at the recent council meeting.

The change from cabinet to committee system, a UKIP local election pledge, was lost by two votes. And missing were UKIP’s Cllr Waterworth, and councillor for Kursaal ward Lawrence Davies.

Lord knows what Waterworth’s reason for missing the meeting was — though judging from his letters in the Echo, he seems to have no problem breaking promises to voters — but I do have some idea of where Davies was.

I am always loathe to rely solely on rumour, but I do not rule out reporting it especially when I hear the same thing from different sources. Here, my little birds tell me that Cllr Davies was unable to attend the full council meeting and honour his election promises because…he was on holiday.

I wonder if Kursaal residents feel particularly well-served by a UKIP councillor who can’t even attend meetings to represent them?

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…