Southend’s hangover – A black day for Southend

So the local elections are over. The electorate has had their fun and poked their tongue out at mainstream parties. They have voted UKIP/independent party. It is just like going out and overdoing it, at the time it seems exciting and fun but the next day you wake up with a stinking headache and feeling ill. When the realisation that they are now stuck with some of the councillors for 4 years it will feel exactly like that.

My biggest fear is now that we have no overall control in the council that we end up with a UKIP/Independent minority council. There are many possible connatations, I will discuss some of them below;

The Conservatives could ally with either Labour or Lib Dems. This would be interesting bed companions and i suspect that they would only do this to prevent a UKIP/Indie Party minority. Given how opposed they have been in the chamber then this would be uncomfortable.

We could have the Indies/UKIP/Lab/Lib coalition. I dont think this will happen as the Libs and the Independents are at war and I am not sure Labour would support the Indies/UKIP.

Indie/UKIP coalition. They would tear each other apart although having promised to help save everything in their ward with the harshest of the budget cuts to come then surely this would contradict their promises. 

WInners and Losers from the count

Winners

UKIP with 5 extra seats they are the most obvious winners tonight. What will they do with this power, who know

Independent They won 4 seats in the east and although they lost one in the West they would still consider this a good return

Labour Although they must be hurting at not winning Kursaal at least they won 3 seats and retained 1 tonight.

 

Losers

Conservatives – the expected huge losses throughout the town happened tonight

St Lukes – we now are completely controlled by the Independent Party

Lib Dems – they lost 4 seats tonight and their vote (apart from in Leigh) was annihilated.

 

However the biggest losers were Southend residents and it is only this morning as they are waking up for the morning after the night before that they will realise this. 

 

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Julian!

Now before I write this, let me first say that I have a great respect for Julian Ware Lane and all he attempts to do. I did however find his blog today `labour-promises-ten-reasons-to-back-us-tomorrow’ strange.

Why? you might be asking, he is after all just promoting his party. And yes that is true but a little while back he attacked Tony Cox here for appearing to be fighting next year’s general election rather than this year’s local election. He says in this piece `Cllr Tony Cox appears to be thinking that he is fighting the General Election; he is twelve months premature.`

Well looking at this following list from Julian’s post:

  1. Freeze gas and electricity bills until 2017 and reform the energy market
  2. Get 200,000 homes built a year by 2020
  3. Stop families that rent being ripped off and help them plan for the future with new long term predictable tenancies
  4. Cut income tax for hardworking people through a lower 10p starting tax rate, and introduce a 50p top rate of tax as we pay off the deficit in a fair way
  5. Ban exploitative zero-hour contracts
  6. Make work pay by strengthening the Minimum Wage and providing tax breaks to firms that boost pay through the Living Wage
  7. Back small businesses by cutting business rates and reforming the banks
  8. Help working parents with 25 hours free childcare for three and four year-olds
  9. Tackle the abuse of migrant labour to undercut wages by banning recruitment agencies that only hire foreign workers and pressing for stronger controls in Europe
  10. Back the next generation with a job guarantee for the young unemployed and more apprenticeships

However admirable/needed these promises might be, they appear to be more geared towards the general election. Indeed we could perhaps turn around Cllr Ware Lane’s closing comments on him;  – `The elections this month are for councillors and MEPs. So, not only is the headline misleading, it is not within Cllr Cox’s power to deliver on it anyway.`

Some truth from an Independent Party candidate (and a lot of lies)

ImageAt last it seems that a member of the Independent Party is finally able to tell some resemblence of the truth. In amongst a lot of untruths Caroline’s election address finally admits that the Independent Group is official. Just like the Conservative group is official and the Labour group is official. Or in other words they are a political party!

I found it very interesting to read this leaflet and will go onto to dissect it in a little bit but what is most interesting is that nowhere in the leaflet does it tell me what ideas Caroline has or what she wants to do apart from get a permanent health centre which unsurprisingly is something all the candidates say that they want to happen!!

Her opening paragraph tells me that shock horror, there is another independent standing! It then goes on to ask why are there two independent candidates and answers it in the next breath by saying anyone can stand as an independent! They also attack ABC (not on the pure silliness of using his initials to be top of the ballot paper –  does this mean if elected he would have to be called Councillor ABC?) on the basis that he used to be a Conservative candidate. This may be true but for the past three elections he has stood as an Independent and correct me if I am wrong but arent Dr Vel, Martin Terry and Anne Chalk all ex Labour councillors or candidates so should people not vote for them next time and even worse didnt Brian Ayling (one of the independent group’s current councillors in St Lukes) stand for the Lib Dems? Does this mean they will encourage us not to vote for him in 2016?

It does make me laugh when it mentions the fact that Paul and Brian have made great differences due to greater scrutiny and more debate as they never say anything in the chamner! So who they are debating with is unknown?  Of course if you saw their performance in this year’s budget vote you would know that they are actually debating with each other!

It then goes on to claim Julian Ware Lane has said Labour cannot win St Lukes and then showed a table where Julian Ware Lane says nothing of the sort!

Then on the back page with a lot of white space, they claim to have lobbied and made sure the children’s centres stayed open. I am sure the Labour group would have something to say about that as I know Ian Gilbert campaigned on that heavily.

They then claim to have helped retain the Temple Police Station. This is a downright lie. It was retained due to a local petition signed by 1000 residents. This petition was organised by the then Councillor Peter Ashley and was supported by his wife and another dashing young chap. What was interesting about this was that Paul and Brian were going around the Cluny Square area telling people not to sign the petition as it was not only a waste of time but that it would damage the efforts to keep it open.

They claim to have saved the local libraries, really? They were never under threat of closure and will now be run by volunteers – how have they saved them?

Finally I am no expert on imprints but that imprint doesnt look legal to me although I may be wrong.

local elections 2014

Well there is no better way to start writing a local blog without writing some predictions for 2014.

Southend East

Shoebury –  I think this is a straight fight between Independent Nick Ward and Roger Hadley.  I think Nick will win this purely on the strength of the hatred of the seawall. If ever a local party wanted to shoot itself in the foot, the Conservatives have done so here. Conservative loss – Independent gain

West Shoebury – Again a straight fight between Tony Cox and James Moyies of UKIP. Labour’s Matthew Dent might do well in terms of Labour’s usual performance as he is a more visible candidate than most esp with his blog but I dont think he will win. Again the Seawall will play big here and could be enough to give James victory I suspect that Tony’s campaign style and knowledge of the area will see him through –  just – Conservative hold

Thorpe Bay- the coward Martin Terry and the unpopular Alex Kaye will contest this and it is hard to see anything less than an Independent victory here mainly because of their control of the Burges Estate – Conservative loss – independent gain (PS it will be interesting to see the Dynamics between Terry and Super Ron)

Southchurch – A fight between Conservative Sue Abrahams and Independent Derek Kenyon here  – Sue almost won Prittlewell in 2012 and this was the seat where the Conservatives made their only gain in 2012. I think they will hold on here this year too, Conservative hold

St Lukes,   my ward. The Conservative candidate Sally Carr has been missing as much during her campaign as she has during her 4 years as councillor (she did however make a good mayor). I think she will come a distant third. Now in my opinion out of all the candidates, Gray Sargent of Labour should win but the Independents are so strong I think the very weak Caroline Endersby will win easily. –Conservative loss –  Independent gain

Kursaal Ward  -The Conservatives only ever won this on the personal vote of Blaine Robin and will be wiped out here. Labour’s Charles Willis to win – Conservative loss – Labour win

Victoria Ward –  a Labour stronghold and you can put up a donkey with a red rosette and they will win – something Margaret Borton tries to prove regularly. She is missing as much as Sally Carr. Easy win for her – Labour hold

Milton Ward – an interesting ward. I would normally plump for an easy Labour win. Julian Ware Lane is a very active campaigner and blogger and enhances Labours electoral chances even if he has a history of failing personally (apart from winning in 2012) which may help Cheryl Nevin . Vic Lee is the Conservative candidate and he may just benefit from a split anti Conservative vote between Labour and SKIPP’s Mark Sharp. This is the most interesting election and too tight to call but I think Cheryl will nip it by  a handful of votes.  – Conservative loss – Labour gain

This means in the South East the Conservatives will end up with a net loss of – 4, Labour will gain 2 seats, Independents will gain 2 seats.

South West

This comes with a health warning as I am not as knowledgeable of Southend West

Belfairs  – fight between Barry Godwin and Mo Butler – must be a target seat for Conservatives as the sitting Lib Dem is not standing and I predict a gain Lib Dem loss – Conservative gain

Blenheim Park – a lot of big hitters here but again this will be a Conservative/Lib dem vote. I have no way which way this will go and so will opt for Cllr Russell to retain his seat even though James Courtenay is strong. – Lib Dem hold

Chalkwell –  interesting if Independent Lucy Courtenay wins and is pitched on the opposite side of the chamber to her stepson! I suspect though that Nigel Folkard (Con and an ex councillor) will push it hard this will be a Con hold. Con hold

Eastwood Park  – Sitting councillor (Cons) Andrew Moring should be fairly comfortable in this safe Conservative seat.  Cons hold

Leigh-   a straight 3 way fight and a fairly safe Lib Dem seat. I expect them to hold it. Lib Dem hold

Prittlewell – this almost went blue in 2012 and I suspect that this time it will be very tight again. I think there may be a surprise COnservative victory here for Meg Davidson Lib Dem loss – Cons gain

St Laurence – some big hitters here in the current Lib Dem councillor and also Reg Copley of Labour. It has voted Conservative recently and Adam Jones is popular so I think another Lib Dem loss and Conservative gain here. Lib Dem loss-  Cons gain

West Leigh – another interesting battleground. Usually Cons and is the retiring Leader of the COuncil and Conservatives party seat. They won a by election but all parties put in a lot of time and resources. I hear that a lot of the cabinet have been out canvassing in this one and I think that they may just survive but only by a handful of votes  – Cons hold

Westborough – The coward’s resignation means 2 seats up for grabs. I expect the current Lib Dem councillor Paul Collins ( a pity as he is one of the few Lib Dems I like)  and Independent party will lose their seats to Labour. Lib Dem and Ind loss –  2 x Lab gains

This will mean in the west I predict Cons will gain +3, Lab +2, Lib Dems to lose a total of 4 and independents to lose 1.

In terms of overall this means Cons will lose 1 seat, Lib Dems 4, Independent gain 1 and Labour gain 4. That will make post Thursday a very interesting battle indeed.

Introduction

Hi all,

Welcome to my new blog. I have been following local politics for a little while and have decided to start a blog writing about the local political scene in Southend. It is a town I love and I have seen many changes, some good, some not so good.

I live in St Lukes Ward!

I hope you enjoy the blog and I apologise the focus on Southend East as my knowledge of Southend West is limited