Out, always out, and sometimes about

Cllr Julian Ware-Lane, Ami Willis, Cllr Kevin Robinson - part of the team in Milton today

Cllr Julian Ware-Lane, Ami Willis, Cllr Kevin Robinson – part of the team in Milton today

A casual conversation that somehow lasts half an hour with a couple of residents that is somewhat typical. The chatter includes the news that the lady tripped on an uneven pavement and spent some time at A&E, and experience that she was very positive about. Her husband then appears and starts to complain about the local hospital, which just goes to show that our experiences are unique and different even with the same household. Another resident, a teacher this time, who had very little positive to say about the Government’s education policy. One resident showed an interest in joining the Labour Party, another had no time to converse.

Two new dog waste bins in Milton ward

Park Road

Park Road

Leonard Road

Leonard Road

Two new dogs have been sited in Milton ward, all down to me. Dog excrement is a big issue in some parts of the ward I represent, and trying to find a solution has been one of the challenges I have faced in my two years as a councillor.

Part of the solution in tackling this blight is to have more dog waste bins – although in a packed residential ward finding a suitable site is not easy.

I am pleased to report that we now have two, brand new, dog waste bins. One is at the western end of Leonard Road, the other is at the southern end of Park Road.

Two-thirds red – Cheryl wins it for Labour in Milton ward

In my victory speech in 2012 I said: “one down, two to go”. This could have been said in reverse by Cheryl Nevin in her speech in the early hours of Friday morning, her fabulous victory means that wonderful Milton now has two Labour councillors.

Cheryl has worked very hard for her success, and whilst she has had the support of Southend’s Team Labour, Cheryl has lead from the front for months and months.

It was obvious from the start that Cheryl was having a real impact, and I have no doubt this will continue now that she is Councillor Nevin, and I am absolutely delighted to have a Labour comrade in Milton to assist in making Milton better.

A big thank you to all who voted Labour this year – I hope we can repay your trust. However you voted, Milton’s Labour councillors are there for you.

The result:

Cheryl Nevin Labour 848 36.1%
Vic Lee Conservative 582 24.7%
Edward McNally UKIP 486 20.7%
Mark Sharp Independent 259 11.0%
Bob Howes Liberal Democrat 156 6.6%

Polling day – a few thoughts

ContrastAndCompareWith minutes left to polls close I thought I would share a few thoughts.

First, compare and contrast the two reminder cards (and as far as I could tell it was only Labour and the Conservatives who has these).

Labour reminds the voter about the times the polling stations open and close, and includes a few pledges. The Conservative affair mentions a referendum which neither a councillor nor an MEP can deliver – in other words it is misleading.

I spent three hours, from 7am, at a polling station. It seemed to me that voting was slow. I have little idea what happened later, but I will be interested in the turnout figure.

I saw no Conservative activists at all today. I heard that some were about, but compared to previous years they were very few and far between. It looks like the Tories are in for a bad night – time will tell.

One polling station in Milton, the one at Avenue Baptist Church in Milton Road, was in a slightly different place this year, and the entrance was a short distance from where it had been in recent years. I heard that some voters could not find it, and I am extremely concerned about this. Why wasn’t I warned about this? (I sit on the committee that deals with polling stations and nothing was mentioned via that medium either). If I had been told it could have included this on our literature. Although I do not suggest huge numbers were disenfranchised by this, if the victory margin is small there will be justifiable cause for grievance by the second placed candidate.

I also heard there were issues with a polling station for Westborough ward.

My impressions in Milton are that we worked the hardest, and for the longest. The Tory campaign began after the New Year and was reasonably active, although some way behind ours. The Independent did some work too, although produced only the one leaflet which contained very little in the way of a program for the ward, The Liberal Democrats and UKIP have done nothing in Milton.

As for the European elections, I am loathe to criticise my own party, but where the Hell is my freepost Labour Euro leaflet? If a rabble like the English Democrats can organise one then we should.

Three planning applications

APPLN. NO: 14/00500/FUL

Officer: Sophie Glendinning Date Valid. 8 May 2014

ERECT TWO STOREY DWELLINGHOUSE TO REAR 5 AVENUE ROAD WESTCLIFF-ON-SEA ESSEX

APPLN. NO: 14/00598/FUL

Officer: Sophie Glendinning Date Valid. 16 April 2014

FORM SELF CONTAINED FLAT (CLASS C3) TO FIRST FLOOR AND SECOND FLOOR AND INSTALL NEW SHOPFRONT AT GROUND FLOOR (AMENDED PROPOSAL) (RETROSPECTIVE)

52 – 54 ALEXANDRA STREET SOUTHEND-ON-SEA ESSEX

APPLN. NO: 14/00745/PA3COU

Officer: Anna Tastsoglou Date Valid. 12 May 2014

CHANGE OF USE OF GROUND FLOOR FROM SHOP (CLASS A1) TO A SELF CONTAINED FLAT (CLASS C3)

24 MILTON ROAD WESTCLIFF-ON-SEA ESSEX

Another in a long line of dodgy leaflets from Milton’s Conservatives

VicLee2Milton’s Conservative candidate thinks Southend residents are fortunate to have first class Sporting facilities available to them – I think the real picture is less than rosy.

Sporting facilities in the borough are indifferent in my experience. In the thirty years I have been involved with local football, for example, the quality of pitches and changing facilities has declined, and this against a trebling, if not quadrupling, of hire charges.

Vic Lee apparently finds it acceptable to rob Milton residents of their swimming pool and make them travel to Garons (which has an inadequate bus service). The swimming pool should have remained in the town centre.

There is only one skateboard park in the town, by Leigh rail station. There should be more.

The Olympic mountain bike course that he boasts about is actually in Castle Point.

Whilst I do not claim it is all bad in the borough, it could be better.

It is Vic’s party that has consistently dumped on Milton. Will he oppose the plans to move the Seaway Coach Park to Warrior Square? Does he recoil in disgust at the ugly architecture that has been foisted on the town centre? Is he appalled by the wasted millions spent by his party on vanity projects in the town?

And what, precisely, does he mean by local? OK, he lives in the borough – just. His Shoeburyness residence is a stone’s throw from the borough boundary. By his definition every candidate is local, which makes the phrase meaningless. He is no more “The local choice” then any of the other four on the ballot paper. Yet more misinformation.

Unlike Mr Lee, I have no qualms about encouraging residents to support my party in both local and European elections. Use all your votes for Labour, please.

The truth is putting its trousers on

VicLeeVic Lee is being somewhat less than truthful when he claims that the changes to the traffic island outside of the Cliffs Pavilion were due to “a hard fought campaign by Milton Conservatives”.

The idea that either Cllr Caunce or Cllr J. Garston would fight hard for anything might stretch credibility in some people’s eyes – they certainly have done very little to arrest the over-development that is endemic to the area.

However, the changes to this traffic island and adjacent road layout came as a result of funding from the Better Bus Area Projects, and I was as involved in discussions as the two Conservative councillors.

I must say, though, that the changes to the traffic island are not entirely to my satisfaction: I would have preferred to see a third pedestrian crossing (going east-west) and bee-friendly shrubs (instead of the palms that the Council has a fetish about).

This leaflet also mentions the Milton Neighbourhood Meetings (which Mr Lee calls a Police Action Panel). At the end of last night’s meeting Mr Lee decided to show some residents his election campaign material. He only put this away after I objected, but I wonder how he could think it at all acceptable to tout for votes at these sort of meetings.

Vic is another who likes to show his local campaigner credentials – except that he lives five miles from the ward, and has only been seen doing anything in the last month or so.

I note that this is yet another Conservative leaflet with councillor email addresses on it. I can say with some certainty that it looks like it is only the Labour Party in Southend-on-Sea that plays by the rules.

Getting things done in Milton

Cheryl4Milton

A planning brace in Milton

APPLN. NO: 14/00568/FUL

Officer: Janine Rowley Date Valid. 11 April 2014

CHANGE OF USE FROM OFFICES (CLASS B1) TO DWELLINGHOUSE (CLASS C3)

23 CLARENCE ROAD SOUTHEND-ON-SEA ESSEX

APPLN. NO: 14/00591/CLP

Officer: Neil Auger Date Valid. 14 April 2014

USE AS SELF CONTAINED FLAT (CLASS C3) (LAWFUL DEVELOPMENT CERTIFICATE – PROPOSED)

42 HAMLET COURT ROAD WESTCLIFF-ON-SEA ESSEX

Cheryl Nevin – working hard for Milton

Nevin

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