It’s a bit later, but here is the full list of nominated candidates for the local elections in Rochford District, on 3rd May 2018. Also as before, I have put sitting councillors in italics, and Labour candidates in bold. The wards and candidates are listed in alphabetical order. If you’re not sure which ward you’re in, the Council’s website has a handy tool which will tell you.
The polls will be open from 07.00 until 22.00 on Thursday 3rd May. The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday 17th April, whilst the deadline for new postal vote applications is 17.00 on Wednesday 18th April and the deadline for applications to vote by proxy is 17.00 on Wednesday 25 April. Read on…
I don’t tend to pay as much attention to Rochford on this blog as perhaps I ought, given that it’s the neighbouring district to Southend and part of it is within the Rochford & Southend East ward.
But this year Rochford is electing all of its councillors at once, owing to the boundaries being redrawn. This happens periodically, to take account of changes in population distribution, and the prevailing trend currently is to move to all-up elections rather than electing in thirds (Not a trend which your blogger is enamoured of -Ed).
So that means that there are thirteen wards electing three councillors each, meaning a total of 39 seats up for grabs.
Well done to Matt Softly, who will be an excellent representative for the people of Rochford ward. And well done to the fantastic campaigners of Rochford and Southend Labour Parties, a mere handful of whom pictured above.
Today, between 7.00 a.m. and 10.00 p.m., the polling stations are open for residents of Rochford ward to cast their vote in the district council by-election. Matt Softly is the Labour candidate in this election, and I would implore voters to go out and ensure he is their councillor when the sun rises tomorrow.
I have known Matt since I moved to Southend, and I know that the people of Rochford could not ask for a better representative to fight their corner. He lives in the ward — not essential, but a point not to be overlooked — and serves on the Parish Council. I know that he will fight for Rochford residents, and having helped on his campaign team I can tell you what an incredible hard worker he is, spending hours talking to residents on their doorsteps about the issues that matter to them, no matter the temperature or weather.
Matt has made ten pledges in this election, to the voters of Rochford, and in his own words they are to
“Ensure Rochford gets its fair share of resources.
Be a strong voice for you and your views, issues and concerns.
Oppose the cuts to neighbourhood policing.
Work with the community to overcome issues with antisocial behaviour.
Hold Rochford District and Essex County Councils to account on issues such as housing, street lights being turned off at night and the condition of pavements.
Work alongside Jerry Gibson and other Councillors to make Rochford a better place to live and work for everyone.
Hold regular advice surgeries.
Listen and be accountable to local residents.
Lobby for investment in Rochford’s Market Square and businesses.
Oppose new housing plans that do not include proper infrastructure and do not add to the social housing stock for our families.”
You may not agree with all of his politics, but I promise you that there is not a harder working candidate on the ballot paper. If residents elect Matt today, they will be choosing a passionate, dedicated and principled local councillor.
News reached your blogger this weekend of the sad death of Gillian Lucas-Gill, a councillor on Rochford District Council.
Now, I’m not very intimately involved in the politics of Rochford District (Though I am not without my Rochford-based little birds -Ed), so I wasn’t familiar with Cllr Lucas-Gill. My general belief, though, is that the vast majority of elected councillors give their time and their effort out of a sense of public duty. I didn’t, as I say, know Cllr Lucas-Gill, but I am saddened at her death and thankful for her service.
This does, though, mean there will be a by-election in Rochford ward for Rochford District Council (Keep up… -Ed) in the coming months. As far as I know, no date has been set for the poll, and whoever wins will only serve until all seats are up for re-election in May due to boundary changes.
Nevertheless, the by-election will serve as a useful political barometer, in advance of the main event next year. More details as I receive them.