The following Conservative councillors will not be seeking re-election in May:

Richard Brown – Chalkwell
Louise Burdett – Kursaal
Maria Caunce – Milton
Brian Kelly – Southchurch
Nigel Holdcroft – West Leigh

A mix of reasons for their retirement has been given, such as ill health, work commitments and motherhood. I have no reason to doubt any of these.

In addition Gwen Horrigan (West Leigh) retired in January, and Fay Evans is moving wards (from Belfairs to West Leigh).

Barry Godwin (Liberal Democrat, Leigh) has been de-selected, and Martin Terry (Independent) is resigning his Westborough seat in order to stand in Thorpe.

Notwithstanding the reasons given, I cannot help but believe that the realisation that re-election in some of these instances is problematical to say least has made their decisions a lot easier to take.

A total of nine councillors going or moving this year without a vote having been cast (I know there was a West Leigh by-election, but Mrs Horrigan stood down) seems quite a high attrition rate to me. Do I detect retreat?


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