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

Julian Ware-Lane for Milton Ward 2016

cheryl nevin, JWL, gray sergeant

So the news is out. This weekend, Julian Ware-Lane was re-selected to fight Milton ward in next May’s elections.

Frankly, I would have been astounded at anything other than the unanimous backing he received from a room full of Milton Labour members. Before Julian started campaigning in Milton it was a solidly Conservative ward. Within two years he had turned it into a marginal. In 2014 Cheryl Nevin won it with a thumping majority of more than 250. And in 2015 Gray Sergeant was dreadfully unlucky not to make it a hat-trick of Labour victories — something which was down more to the general election than to any deficiency in Gray’s campaigning.

So Julian will contest for a second term. One which, as a Milton resident, I can say he richly deserves. In the three and a half years he has been a Milton councillor, he has led on local issues that the Conservatives preferred to ignore, and I’m sure he must have knocked on very nearly every door in the ward.

Knowing how hard he works, how hard he campaigns, I am certain of a Labour victory in Milton next May. Julian will have my vote.

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.

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%


Fifty shades of Gray (Sergeant)

gray sergeant for milton

I can’t actually remember the first time I met Gray Sergeant. It would have been sometime soon after I moved to Southend, though, when he was hard at work fighting an election in St Luke’s, which he was desperately unfortunate not to win.

St Luke’s loss looks set to become Milton’s gain, though, as this year Gray is running to be the next councillor in the ward where I live.

Over my involvement with Southend Labour Party, I have worked alongside Gray and gotten to know him. In my opinion, he embodies the very best of our local politics.

Having been out on the doorstep with him, I can attest to his unfailing dedication and appetite for the hard work of being a local councillor. He hasn’t shied from the unglamorous jobs dealing with fly tipping, dog mess, and the chronic lack of parking in the town centre.

But more important for me, Gray knows that politics is not black and white. It is important that councillors work together, for the good of the communities they represent. I think that the two Labour councillors Milton already has are prime examples of the sort of resident-first representation which is so effective. I know that Gray will be an excellent addition to that team, adding the perspective of young people in the town centre to an already broad worldview.

On May 7th I will be placing a cross next to Gray Sergeant’s name. If you live in Milton ward, I urge you to do the same.

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…

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…