On Thursday 5th May 2016, the people of Blenheim Park did not choose to make me their new councillor. This is, of course, a disappointment. However, it is hard to remain disappointed given the increased numbers of them who chose to put their faith in this Labour candidate.
My share of the vote was up a staggering 7.5% on the election in 2015, putting me into second place, and making Labour the clear alternative to the Conservatives in 2018. In light of this, and the continuing woeful performance of the Conservative government, Blenheim Park should be a likely Labour gain the next time around.
But as well as the result, I am delighted with the campaign. I would guess that of all the candidates I spoke to the most residents, heard the most issues and personal stories, and had the most individual connections. I won’t let those connections fall by the wayside, and in the coming week I will be picking up the bits of casework which residents raised to me.
The campaigning, for a little while at least, will go back in the box, but I sincerely hope that I have more doors to knock in Blenheim Park ahead of me.
Today is election day across Southend, and if you have a vote then I implore you to use it for Labour.
If you live in Blenheim Park ward, then I ask you to use it for me.
Over the last year, I have been speaking to residents, keeping them informed via regular newsletters, and working hard to resolve the local problems and issues that they have raised to me. Whether I am elected or not, I intended to keep doing this — but it would be a lot easier as your councillor.
Working alongside a passionate and committed group of Labour councillors, I would work to deliver the policies outlined in our local manifesto, whilst making sure that the views of Blenheim Park residents were always heard and considered.
I want this ward, and this town, to be a better place to work and live. I believe that we can do this together.
Please vote Matt Dent for Blenheim Park ward, today.
The latest edition of the Blenheim Park Voice is still going out across the ward, with the last week having taken a bit of a backseat to helping our friends in Rochford to their glorious victory — huzzah for Cllr Softly!
Despite constant threat of rain, we managed to escape a drenching yesterday, though the wind made things a bit more interesting. Apparently Southend Pier was closed to walkers (The train was still running -Ed) due to 50mph winds. I’m not sure whether Blenheim Park reached 50mph, but we can’t have been far off.
Still, this is Southend Labour Party. We campaign in all weathers, and work hard for residents all year round.
In what has to be one of the worst kept secrets in Southend local politics, I am truly delighted to announce that Labour Party members in Blenheim Park ward have re-selected me to be their candidate for the 2016 local elections in Southend.
Apparently those members didn’t grow entirely sick of me throughout the 2015 campaign, so I will redouble my efforts with even more emails about campaign days, fundraising events, and requests for new additions to my seasoned network of leafleters.
I won’t dwell on my campaign plans, as they will emerge in good time, but I will say that whilst I am pleased with how the last campaign went, I am very definitely aiming for victory this time. As the Conservative government looks to inflict more cuts on Southend, the people of Blenheim Park desperately need a strong voice to stand up from them. They have not found this in the Liberal Democrats, Conservatives or UKIP.
My aim is to be that voice for Blenheim Park.
Is it in impact crater from a crashed UFO? A new swimming pool? Something more sinister?
In all honesty, I’m not sure. I suspect it is something to do with drainage issues, but this…thing has appeared recently in Blenheim Park. It doesn’t seem either like it is supposed to be there, or particularly safe, and after being alerted to its existence by a resident I will be following it up with the council.
One councillor who will remain unnamed suggested putting a pavilion on it. I am fairly sure that they were joking.
“What on earth happened in Leigh?”
That is the question that, on 8th May, everyone was asking. The Lib Dems, the Tories, and the residents of Leigh woke up to find that for the first time in I-don’t-want-to-look-up-how-long they had elected a Tory councillor. (Woke up isn’t exactly right — it was around lunchtime that the result was announced -Ed)
Indeed, the Lib Dem collapse has been pretty much nationwide, so on one level it can’t be surprising that the only council seat that the party were defending at this round of local elections was at risk. I had heard reliable reports earlier in the campaign that they had pulled everyone out of everywhere else in order to try and hold it — the fact that even that wasn’t enough tells a sad story of yellow fortunes.