I am extraordinarily proud and delighted to be able to announce that on 14 October 2017, Labour Party members in Kursaal ward voted to select me as their candidate for Kursaal ward, in the 2018 Southend-on-Sea local elections.
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.
Last night I attended the launch of the Southend Labour manifesto for the 2016 elections, which was a huge success, and seems to get bigger each year we hold it.
I am enormously proud of not only the manifesto, but the open and democratic way that we write it. It is a product of the ideas contributed by all of the local Labour members, and tempered with the experience and expertise of our Councillors.
Over the last two years this document has formed the core of administration policy pushed by Labour in the Joint Administration. It’s a list of things that all 17 of our candidates are signed up to, for the benefit of the whole of the borough.
With only a month to go until the local elections, and with nominations closing later this week, it has been all go in Southend Labour HQ. As well as our local election manifesto being launched on Thursday 7th April–and Labour have been the only party in Southend to consistently offer voters a manifesto of policy pledges–we are standing a full slate of 17 candidates again this year.
With the local elections only a month and a day away, I have today received official notification from Southend-on-Sea Borough Council that my nomination has been accepted as the Labour Party candidate for Blenheim Park ward.
We enter, then, the final stage of what has for Labour been a year-long campaign. In Blenheim Park I have been knocking on doors, speaking to residents, and delivering newsletters all year. I’ve yet to see anything of the other political parties, but I am sure they will be rolling out their only-at-election-time campaigns before long.
For my campaign, it’s very much business as usual: speaking to residents, finding out what matters to them, and explaining to them how a vote for me on 5th May is a vote for a better Blenheim Park. But we’re in the final stretch now.