Wherever I lay my hat
February 25, 2013 1 Comment
Does it matter where a councillor lives? In representing a ward some affinity must exist, but I do not think one has to live in a ward to adequately empathise with its residents.
‘He would think this’ I can almost hear some say; after all, I do not reside in Milton ward, the place I have represented on Southend-on-Sea Borough Council for the last ten months. I reside about a mile from the ward (the nearest bit to me is Valkyrie Road, and my home is closer to this than if I had resided in the ward at Herbert Grove, for instance). I was born in Westcliff-on-Sea (in the downstairs front room of 401 Fairfax Drive) and have twice lived in Milton: Park Road (1977) and Palmeira Avenue (1978 – 1983). I have family members in the ward today. I think there is a good connection.
I think it matters more what one stands for. However, the leader of the local Conservative group has raised the subject of where I live, and that it is not in the ward I represent. Since it would be very short-sighted to highlight this issue without seeking to remedy similar failings in his own party, I have reproduced below a table showing all the Conservative councillors in Southend-on-Sea, the ward they represent and where they live.
|Ward represented||Where they reside|
|Louise Burdett||Kursaal||West Shoebury|
|Trevor Byford||Eastwood Park||Prittlewell|
|Sally Carr||St Luke’s||Thorpe|
|James Courtenay||Blenheim Park||Southchurch|
|Tony Cox||West Shoebury||West Shoebury|
|Elizabeth Day||West Shoebury||West Shoebury|
|Margaret Evans||Belfairs||West Leigh|
|Mark Flewitt||St Laurence||St Laurence|
|Nigel Holdcroft||West Leigh||West Leigh|
|Ann Holland||Southchurch||Great Wakering|
|Gwendoline Horrigan||West Leigh||Eastwood Park|
|Derek Jarvis||West Shoebury||West Shoebury|
|Adam Jones||St Laurence||Barling Magna|
|Brian Kelly||Southchurch||West Shoebury|
|John Lamb||West Leigh||West Leigh|
|Andrew Moring||Eastwood Park||Thorpe|
|Christopher Walker||Eastwood Park||Eastwood Park|
Whilst a number represent the wards they live in, most do not. Some live quite some distance from their wards, and two live do not even live in Southend-on-Sea.
Can I presume that there will be some Conservative de-selections in the near future?
The issue of where I lived was not raised by the Conservatives in last May’s campaign, and that was because the defending Conservative councillor (Nigel Folkard) lived further away from the ward than me.