Matthew Reilly – Canvey Island East
Matthew grew up on Canvey Island, attending St. Katherine’s, Castle View and SEEVIC College. He graduated from Sussex University and is currently working for the National Autistic Society, London. As an NHS campaigner, he has recently worked with local Clinical Commissioning Groups to help safeguard our NHS from the worst aspects of Tory led top down re-organisations and cuts. Matthew is particularly concerned about youth unemployment, low wages and falling university numbers. As your Councillor, he would look to help young people into work and training. He strongly opposes Tory policies cutting tax for the wealthy while punishing the less fortunate with a VAT rise, a realterms benefits cut and no prospect of growth. These have caused the slowest economic recovery in 100 years. If elected, Matthew would strive to defend the interests of hard working families and small businesses in Canvey East to get the Essex economy moving again. He campaigns for the living wage, starting with Essex Council.
Matthew is a keen supporter of Canvey Island Football Club having followed them since he was ten years old.
Esther Akinnuwa – Canvey Island West
Esther lives with her family on the Island. She is a graduate in International Relations & Political Science. Her experience in current affairs will assist her in being the link between you and the County Council. As a former secretary with Castle Point Citizens Advice Bureau, Esther is aware of the issues local residents face and committed to continuing her community work to reduce the problems. Esther is a supporter of the Co-operative movement and a member of the Castle Point Co-operative Party, Labour’s supportive sister party. As a member of the Fabians’ Women’s Network, she is passionate about the issues that face women as well as men. Writing for this network has enabled Esther to liaise with men and women about the problems facing many households, particularly those with low incomes, from young to old on Canvey. Esther has also worked as an intern for Ken Livingstone & Jim Fitzpatrick MP so knows how passionate the Labour Party is about serving your needs unlike the Coalition, which seeks to look after its own. Esther will use all her abilities to try to make life less of a struggle by fighting for policies that help all of us with a one nation approach.
Joe Reeder – Hadleigh
Joe, 23 has lived for 8 years in Castle Point and has a young son with his partner Abi. He is a Law & Politics student with a strong belief in Equality, Freedom and Prosperity. Joe is a campaigner against the ideological cuts that are designed to systematically dismantle the Welfare State. He sees cutting life saving services and reducing support for the hardest hit members of our community, especially the poor and disabled as the wrong steps in addressing the needs of this country. Based on his personal experience with the failing Ambulance Service, Joe believes the reluctance to dispatch an ambulance unless the person is not breathing is a disgrace for a developed country in the 21st century. The attacks on jobs, benefits and tenancy security while those at the top receive tax cuts have to be opposed. Joe is a supporter of the Co-operative movement and Vice Chair of the local Co-operative Party, Labour’s sister party. As your County Councillor for Hadleigh, Joe would ensure that everyone’s opinions are heard, reaching out to people to remind them they are not alone.
Brian Wilson – South Benfleet
Brian and his wife moved to Benfleet in 1966 for a career as a Naval Architect at Lloyds Register of Shipping, London, rail commuting for over 30yrs. Now retired, Brian’s family includes two locally educated children and four grand children. Brian was a Borough Councillor for St. Mary’s Ward from 1995 – 2003, holding various key committee roles and regular Saturday monthly advice sessions in the Benfleet Tavern car park. Brian is a keen supporter of the Co-operative movement and has been a member of the Co-operative Party, Labour’s sister party, and of the Labour Party, for over thirty years, holding most of the executive posts in both. His skills and experience in representing residents effectively at Borough level equip him well for this role at the County Council if elected. He has campaigned tirelessly to protect local shopping and parking in South Benfleet. Brian recognises the need for good quality affordable housing, particularly for our younger people but is currently active in the prevention of Jotman’s Hall Farm being ravished by developers and is strong in his opposition to using green belt arable farm land for house building.
Joe Cooke – Thundersley
Joe and his wife have two children and four grandchildren. They have been part of the Thundersley community since 1970. A Ford sponsored Engineering graduate, he is a retired Snr. Systems Analyst. He has eleven years experience as a Councillor and has enjoyed combining representing constituents with more strategic roles. As Chair of Health & Environment, he launched the kerbside green waste and paper collections and many sustainability initiatives. Proud of Labour’s success in cutting expenses, restoring Council reserves, protecting greenbelt via the Local Plan and involving the community in local democracy, Joe now seeks support from the wider Thundersley area as your County representative. A keen supporter of the Co-operative movement, he is Secretary of the local Co-operative Party, Labour’s partner in local and National politics. In the community, Joe is a trustee of the Citizens Advice Bureau charity, a former school governor and an experienced Carer with considerable awareness of disability issues. He continues to provide support to many constituents and hopes to achieve more as your Labour and Co-operative Party County Councillor for Thundersley.