southend labour

Southend4Stella


s4s blog

It’s only just getting off the ground, but “Southend For Stella” is now officially a thing. With a Facebook Page and a Twitter account.

This is a group of like-minded Southend Labour members, who believe that Stella Creasy’s community-based, grassroots approach to campaigning is exactly what the party needs. These are the same techniques which we have used to great effect in Southend, why we are now part of the administration running Southend Council, and how we held our own in a disastrous general election for Labour.

So like, follow, and let’s get Stella elected as the next Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.

Southend Energy Company: a Labour Southend is a greener Southend


fuel poverty

One of the things which makes all the hard work in local politics worthwhile, which justifies all the bargaining, all the trivial arguments, is when you can actually achieve something for the people you’re fighting for. And Southend Energy Company is one of those times.

The energy company launched yesterday, offering low-end of market rates to Southend residents. Not only that, but the tariffs are 33% green energy as standard, with a 100% green energy tariff available. Have a look and see if it could cut your energy costs.

With climate change an ever-present threat to our future, measures like this are becoming more and more essential. And with the sharp end of fuel poverty particularly potent in Southend, this will make a real difference in people’s lives.

This is a measure from the joint administration, which would not have happened without Labour pushing for it. This is the difference Labour is making, and will continue to make, for the people of Southend.

A Labour Southend is a greener Southend. A Labour Southend is a better Southend.

Better a bastard government than being governed by bastards


southend civic centre

So the news is, apparently, out. The Joint Administration seems to have the numbers to enter its second year in charge of the council, with the addition of the Southend Independence Group joining its ranks. That this has been cobbled together from the available numbers.

This may be a “bastard” administration, but it is a completely legitimate one.

The new arrangement has caused a little upset in some quarters. Understandably — I do not hold with the policies of UKIP, or indeed many of the people under their banner. This has been discussed internally to death by Southend Labour Party, and whilst we are not overjoyed to welcome the former Kippers into the administration, the near-unanimous decision has been that, for the time being, it is the best option on the table.

Read on…

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.

Blenheim Park campaign diary: The last weekend…


blenheim park bus stop

The last weekend before the election was one of those times that the Southend Labour campaign team would be out come whatever weather. Thankfully, it turned out to be rather nice, and a lot of leafleting and door-knocking was done. This has felt like a long campaign, and I’d love to be able to work out quite how far I’ve walked in the last six months.

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