Mike Royston for westborough

MikeFull name Mike Royston

Occupation Civil Servant (currently in IT) but for most of my civil service career have been a graphic designer.

Where do you live? Westbourne Grove, Westcliff on Sea

Have you stood for election before? Yes, many times.

Why are you Labour? Because I support its values of creating a more caring and fairer society.

Why are you standing? I was a Labour Councillor for 13 years and enjoyed helping people with their Council-related problems and campaigning for better public facilities in the town.

What are your hobbies? One of my main hobbies is Southend Hospital Radio, where I have been a volunteer ward visitor and Request Show presenter for many years. Other hobbies include music, learning foreign languages, cycling and swimming – I still miss the Warriors Pool (for which I fought a long and hard campaign in an attempt to keep it open.)

Are you active in the community? Very much. I am currently campaigning for an improved no29 bus service, and secure public cycle parking facilities in the town centre. I want to see a public pool back in our town centre, and am continuing to push for this. I would like to see a Skills Swapshop created in Westborough ward to enable residents to share skills (for work or leisure) free of charge.

Anything else you would like people to know about you? One of the things I succeeded in doing when I was on the Council was getting the Council to allow concessionary bus users to use their free bus passes from 9.00am (rather than 9.30am).

Contact telephone number 01702 619868

Email address westborough@southendlabour.com

Twitter @MikeRoystonUK

Website unleashedblogbymikeroyston.blogspot.com

Blenheim Voice Spring 2014

BlenheimVoice

Nellie

104I was a dad at twenty-four, and am now a grandfather at fifty-four.

My second child and oldest daughter Eilise Ware-Lane, and her fiancé Barry Walker, produced a daughter this afternoon. Provisionally entitled Nellie Walker, she weighed in a 7 pounds and 6 ounces.

Full Council, Thursday 17th April

First, an apology. I was ticked off by the Chief Executive for questioning the mayor’s authority, and rightly so; I was wrong. At the break I apologised unreservedly to the mayor, Cllr Brian Kelly, and informed the Chief Executive that I had done so. I did offer to make the apology to the chamber and was told it was not necessary. This now puts it on public record.

And so, to the business: I asked a question about the scrutiny system, and my follow-up inquired how a decision on the move of the Seaway Coach Park involving a mere three councillors circumvented the scrutiny system. This elicited a somewhat flustered response from the Leader. Cllr Holdcroft complained about having been given no notice of this question, and neatly avoided having to tackle the point I was trying to make.

I commented on the minute regarding my motion about Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. I said I was grateful for the concessions regarding planning and betting shops. I added that the administration’s response did not address the issue about the high stakes and rapid gambling possible in existing betting shops via these FOBTs. I added that a number of local authorities had adopted similar motions to the one submitted by me, and that I was somewhat disappointed by the administration’s response.

I asked, in response to minute 941 (Selective School Places 2014) whether the Council could include in the information to be collected metrics regarding eligibility for free school meals. This information could then be used by the authority to set a target for grammar schools to ensure that their percentage of students who are eligible for free school meals mirror that of the borough as a whole. Eligibility for free school meals is a good indicator of poverty. Grammar schools are lauded as meeting the aspirations of all, allowing the poor access to a good education; my request would test this.

The meeting included two very good speeches. Cllr Ted Lewin (Liberal Democrat, St Laurence) spoke very eloquently about the accident and emergency provision at Southend hospital. Cllr David Norman (Labour, Victoria) made an impressive defence of his chairing of a recent Development Control Committee – it being challenged by a number from the Independent Group.

Later on in the meeting we got the answer to the question: who now leads the Independent Group? Cllr Brian Ayling announced that he is the new temporary leader. It raises all sorts of questions about who applied for it and if there was a contest at all.

At the end we got a number of tributes to the retiring Leader of the Council. Despite our political differences I cannot deny Cllr Nigel Holdcroft’s ability. However, I confess to being more moved by the words of Cllr Stephen Habermel when he spoke about Cllr Richard Brown (Conservative, Chalkwell) right at the end of the meeting. Richard is retiring next month through ill health. Richard is a very likeable person and someone I have known through (our opposing) politics for many years. He was helpful in some of my appeals against planning applications, and was always an amiable and gentlemanly face in committee and the chamber. I will miss him, and I wish him the very best in his battle with illness.

Sean Jones for Southchurch

Full name Sean Ryan Jones

Age 19 years

Occupation Civil Servant

Where do you live? Southend

Where were you born? Dagenham

Have you stood for election before? This is my first time standing

Why are you Labour? Labour because I care for the most vulnerable in society, detest greed, corruption, vice and indifference. Also because of their administration’s efforts for peace in Northern Ireland against the Conservative and Unionists parties track record there.

What are your hobbies? Rugby, workout/exercise, painting, classical music, drinking, serving Mass at Church.

Anything else you would like people to know about you? I had a speech impediment as a child.

Contact telephone number 07583 234265

Email address seanryanjones@hotmail.co.uk

Back Charles Willis in May

Chas

Prittlewell Ward intouch Spring 2014

PrittlewellinTouchWe are four years in a Conservative-led Government. We are many more years into a Conservative-run borough in Southend-on-Sea. You would have thought this would have provide an abundance of stories – instead Meg Davidson believes the best way to win votes is to tell voters what they have told her.

Does this ‘take a look at yourself’ approach to political leaflet writing indicate an absence of news? It certainly shows a lack of ideas, whereas there is plenty of news items.

As a gesture of helpfulness I suggest the following topics for Ms Davidson in her next leaflet:

Tories, making the rich richer at the expense of the poor
How to manage once those essential services have been cut even further
NHS, sold to the highest bidder
Foodbanks – how Cameron has sent us back to the nineteenth century

That should do for now,

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