Mike’s bus petition press release

Labour candidate Kevin Robinson, resident Mrs Sookias, and Labour candidate and petition organiser Mike Royston

Labour candidate Kevin Robinson, resident Mrs Sookias, and Labour candidate and petition organiser Mike Royston

Bus Campaigners are submitting their petition to Southend Council, urging the Council to work with local bus service providers to improve the number 29 bus service.

The campaign was launched in September by veteran bus campaigner Mike Royston in response to the need he identified that local residents have for the number 29 bus service to run later in the evenings.

Mike Royston, Labour candidate for Westborough ward, said “The number 29 bus currently stops running at about 7.00pm in the evening, which causes hardship for the many bus users across the borough who use this popular bus route and are reliant on this service. The situation is made all the worse by the fact that this is the only bus service that serves Fairfax Drive.”

Kevin Robinson, who is also standing as a Labour candidate for Westborough ward, added, “Following the launch of the campaign, Arriva indicated they would be willing to consider running the service later in the evening.

We feel this petition clearly shows this improvement is needed and hope it will result in the Council and Arriva providing a better service.

We would like to thank everyone who has given support to the campaign.”

Getting the best deal for Westborough


The local choice Westborough


Ill-advised twittering from Westborough’s UKIP candidate


Carl Whitwell is one of the two UKIP candidates standing in Westborough ward this year. Carl is a young man, and like many young men embraces new media. He has a presence on Facebook and Twitter.

Here are a couple of screen shots from Mr Whitwell’s Twitter account. To say his posts make interesting reading somewhat understates it. There is much that I cannot post here without offending decency. His posts certainly border on the racist, sexist and homophobic, if they do not actually cross that line.

UKIP are attracting attention owing to ill-judged comments from some of their candidates (Ukip candidates add to Nigel Farage’s woes with a barrage of racism). I think Mr Whitwell may have some explaining to do. His Twitter feed is full of references to UKIP and he makes no attempt to separate his political comments from others.

Clearly UKIP were struggling to find candidates for the Southend-on-Sea Borough Council elections, but surely some quality control is in place. In the meantime I suggest Mr Whitwell engage his brain before committing anything more to Twitter.



Kevin Robinson for Westborough

Name Kevin Robinson

Age 50

Job Dementia Nurse

Live Westcliff-on-Sea

Stood before? Previous candidate and councillor

Why? I grew up in community slowly being neglected by then Conservative government, but saw local individuals and volunteer community groups putting schemes in in place to improve the area. Have twice in past been able to represent the area I live in and believe good local representation is the key to getting good local services in the community.

Hobbies Trekking and mountain activities

Anything else I live in the ward I hope to represent with my family. I see both the good and the bad in the streets I live. My children attend local schools and I want to show I can provide local leadership, competence, and empathy.

Twitter @westborokevin

Contact westborough@southendlabour.com

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

Westborough Life – an alternate universe in the imaginings of the Conservative candidate

BurzottaDavid Burzotta’s contorted logic makes for bizarre reading. Quite how he can keep a straight face when making the claim that “Westcliff Library save by Conservatives” is beyond me.

Cllr Jonathan Garston did a similar thing in Milton in 2011; threatened to extend the parking charging time to 9pm, executed a U-turn, then claimed this as a victory for his campaigning! David Burzotta’s flexibility as regards to interpreting the facts could be admired in some quarters; but it will not wash with the voters in Westborough. They know will why their Westcliff Library was threatened, and remains threatened – it is all down to Conservative cuts.

Amongst the drivel contained in this desperately poor leaflet is this gem:”Labour, LibDem and many Independents have already cozied-up to each other to “rubbish” your vote and make it have no value by supporting each other to lead the Council

I suggest Mr Burzotta read through this blog to get an idea of just how much cooperation there really is amongst the opposition groups on the Council.

He finally describes himself as “A classy candidate”. I think he is a class act, but not in the way he thinks of himself.

Westborough Voice March 2014


Kevin joins Mike on the 2014 Labour ticket for Westborough

Cllr Ian Gilbert congratulates Kevin Robinson on his selection

Cllr Ian Gilbert congratulates Kevin Robinson on his selection

Cllr Martin Terry’s choosing to abscond from Westborough ward a year early has necessitated a by-election, likely to run alongside the other local elections being held on May 22nd. This has meant that the Westborough Labour Party has had to choose a second candidate to run alongside Mike Royston.

I attended last night’s selection as an observer and a scrutineer of the vote. I can announce that Kevin Robinson was selected, and we now have quite a formidable pairing. Kevin has already been out and about supporting Mike’s campaign, and he resides in the ward. Kevin is also a former councillor (as is Mike) and Leader of the Labour Group and will be a considerable asset to the council chamber.

Whilst I am not counting chickens before they hatch, the Conservatives have not won this ward in living memory, the Independents here are discredited (and hence Cllr Terry’s decision to jump before he is pushed), and the Liberal Democrats gymnastic support of the Tories will be rewarded with another dismal result (see 2012 and their 5.4% and sixth spot).

On the doorstep in Westborough

You do meet Conservatives on the doorstep in Westborough, occasionally, still determined to vote blue come what may. More often you will meet Conservatives supporters who are unsure whether to stick with the blues, to vote elsewhere, or to sit on their hands. Whilst it matters little in Westborough, it does illustrate the Tory conundrum. The Tory Westborough campaign is going to be a token effort at best, even in a good year they cannot really hope for a Westborough victory. But, what you see on the doorstep in Westborough is repeated in doorsteps across the borough.

I do not believe that every wavering Tory supporter is on the brink of switching to UKIP, but clearly there are a number who will. I actually think that most will choose abstention. Parties in Government usually see their supporters switch off in large numbers, and what we are seeing today in Westborough is this, in part at least. I also sense something else though. There is disillusionment amongst their supporters, and this comes, in my experience, from their view that Cameron is weak and subject to sudden and frequent policy changes. As one lifelong Westborough Tory admitted to me: “I really am not sure what I will do in May. I have always voted, you can’t complain if you don’t. But Cameron is all over the place. He is not a strong leader.” (This is not verbatim, but certainly conveys the gist of our conversation.) I suggested that they might consider Labour – I got an unconvincing ‘maybe’ in reply.

You also meet Liberal Democrats, in greater numbers than are found in Milton ward. There is a small but significant loyal band. I have not found enough to make me (as Labour’s campaign coordinator across the borough) panic, but I think they will do better than the 5.4% they got in Westborough last time (2012). I am not sure whether they will improve on the fifth place they got in 2012 – this will depend on who else is standing. Now that there are two slots to be voted for the minor places are quite unpredictable. It will be interesting to see how much effort the local Liberal Democrats expend here as they will also be fire-fighting in three other wards. They will do well to hold St Laurence, Blenheim Park and Prittlewell, and this May will be a test of their local organising capability.

Voters still loyal after four years of coalition are unlikely to switch at this late date, not in Westborough anyway where the Lib Dem support has already evaporated. Those that I spoke to were certainly not minded to shift, but it was still worthwhile to point out just how much ground they have to make up here.

I met someone who was forming his own party. I asked that they email me details, and I will write something as and when that happens. I met many who did not realise just how close things were last time in the ward (38 votes separated the Independent from second-placed Labour), although quite a few were aware of just how volatile this ward can be.

News of Cllr Martin Terry’s dash for Thorpe ward was not greeted with surprise, even by those still unaware that this had just been announced. This left me to imagine that Westborough voters were attuned to this idea already – which made me wonder that Independent disatisfaction was very entrenched. There were voters who still declared themselves as Independent voters, but my limited sampling suggests that their appeal continues to shrink.

It is always interesting to see what response you get when you ask residents when was the last time one of their councillors knocked at their door – I met no-one who could recall when this last occurred. Ask them who their councillors were and the most common response was Dr Vel. Martin Terry was also named – even Lib Dem supporters could not name their councillor, which did surprise me. As for candidates, Mike Royston is clearly becoming better known as a number responded to my opening salvo with “oh yes, we know Mike”.

I have done quite a few doorstep sessions over the last in year in Westborough. It feels like Labour will have a good win here. I expect the Indies to run us close second – although their image has clearly been tarnished. Based on the responses I have received the Tories will again better the Liberal Democrats in Westborough – and if UKIP were to suddenly show an interest here then third spot could be a close contest.

As to issues: Westcliff library, dislike of the Tory administration, parking, jobs, and bills. Surprisingly not one mention of litter or alleyways.


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