matt dent

Thank you, Blenheim Park


matt dent for blenheim park

The problem, I think, with a secret ballot is that I have no idea who the 947 voters in Blenheim Park are who I have to thank.

I’m being flippant, of course, as I‘d in no way ever want the secrecy of voting jeopardised. But I am sincere in my thanks.

Thank you, each and every one of you. I cannot describe the feeling of watching ballot papers unfolded with a cross by your own name. The act of someone putting their faith in you like that gets me somewhere deep down in the feels.

When the votes were tallied up, I polled at 947, and came in third. I suppose I should be disappointed with that, to not have won, but to be honest I’m so damn pleased that it’s easy to forget that I didn’t.

After five months of campaigning, 947 people thought that my promise of grassroots, in-touch representation was something worth casting a vote for. 947 people thought that Labour policies of house-building, protecting services, creating a better future, were worth putting their cross besides.

Over the last five months, I’ve walked a lot of miles, and had a lot of conversations. Many of those people, of course, didn’t vote for me. I don’t value the conversations any less for that little fact. I’m happy that I got to meet them, talk to them, find out what mattered to them.

Because I maintain that that is the only way to get people engaged with politics. If politics is disconnected from people, why should they connect with politics?

My sincerest congratulations to James Courtenay on his re-election. And my thanks to my fellow candidates for the clean fight, and to everyone who helped me in my campaign; too numerous to list, but invaluable and unfailing in their support.

I suppose I should be disappointed not to have won, but I enjoyed my time campaigning in Blenheim Park so much that it’s hard to think like that. Thank you to everyone who voted for me, and I look forward to getting back on the campaign trail.

Why I think you should vote for me in Blenheim Park ward


vote dent small

I have been the Labour Party candidate for Blenheim Park ward for a while now. When I was selected, a number of people told me that it was hopeless, it was unwinnable, it couldn’t be done.

Now, we’re all about to find out whether they were right. Yep, you read that right. I don’t know how it’s going to pan out, and neither does anyone else. But it’s in your hands, the voters of Blenheim Park ward.

I have knocked on a lot of doors, and spoken to a lot of people. Not nearly as many as I would have liked to, but from those I have talked to there is no love for the current crop of councillors representing them. Very few could name any of their councillors, and with those who could it was mostly Lib Dem and part-of-the-furniture Graham Longley.

There has been widespread distaste for the coalition government too. Many times in the last few weeks I’ve had my hand warmly clasped, and some variation of the words, “We have to get the Tories out!” uttered.

So why am I standing? I believe that Blenheim Park can be better. And I believe that that starts with good, solid, in touch representation. There’s a reason I’ve been slowly crawling around the ward, talking to as many people as I can. If I’m elected, I’ll keep doing so, until I’ve spoken to every resident. And then I’ll start again.

Because I think that that link between councillor and resident is the cornerstone of a thriving community, which people want to live and work in, which people want to be part of, which works for everyone. I want Blenheim Park residents to know my name, not out of some sort of vanity, but because I want them to know who they can come to with problems and in time of crisis.

So if elected as your councillor, I will do everything I can to maintain that link of contact. I’m not going to make brash promises of regular e-newsletters, because I don’t think I need to. I will keep do what I’m doing: blogging and tweeting, and knocking on doors.

And as far as my politics go, I wear them on my sleeve. I am a Labour Party member. I am a socialist. I believe we as a society only do as well as the least amongst us, and that whatever we do, fairness needs to be at the core of it. I want to protect the services that people rely on, and to make sure we provide for everyone.

So there you go. That’s why I think you should vote for me. If you like the sound of that, then go and put your cross next my name on the ballot paper. If you don’t, then choose one of the other candidates. It really is as simple as that.

Thank you for an inspiring campaign, Blenheim Park. I look forward to the election results, and whatever will follow.

Working hard for Blenheim Park: campaigning in five counties


blenheim park counties roads campaigning

Yesterday morning saw the Labour team, including myself, out in Blenheim Park ward putting the below leaflet out across the ward. It was a bright and clear day, but as with last week the wind was bitter and biting. Not that that stopped us.

Over a few hours, we covered five counties: Kent, Norfolk, Surrey, Suffolk, and Middlesex. I am, of course, talking about the avenues within Blenheim Park ward bearing those names.

The weather won’t stop us this morning either; there are more leaflets to go out, and only 102 days left until the election. Labour are serious, nationally and locally, about offering an alternative that will work. We’re working hard for Southend, and I‘m out every weekend talking to Blenheim Park residents, listening to what they want from their local representative.

Vote Labour for a better Southend. Vote Matt Dent for a better Blenheim Park.

Read the leaflet

“Don’t Panic” Saturday in Blenheim Park


blenheim park canvassing

Yesterday was, apparently, “Panic Saturday”. That sounds, to me, like nonsense in the order of “Black Friday”. But whatever. I was, yesterday, not braving the high street, but getting started knocking on doors in Blenheim Park, where I am standing for election in May of next year.

I have been eager to get started on my campaign properly, after kicking off leafleting last weekend, before 2014 is out. So with Christmas only five days away, what else to do but put on a warm coat and find some pavements to pound?

Read on…

Blenheim Park deserves better


matt dent for blenheim park

This weekend the Labour Party campaign in Blenheim Park got started, with yours truly as the candidate.

Blenheim Park is an area which is currently represented by one councillor each from UKIP, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives, and none have given residents the strong representation they need in local government.

Read on…