Verily I spake at JACS

This afternoon I gave a talk at the Southend and Westcliff Jewish Association of Cultural Societies. I spoke for about an hour, the last third of which was largely responding to audience questions and comments.

It was an unscripted performance by me – a combination of work pressures and the recent elections meant that I had no opportunity to write anything, not even notes. The audience was friendly and polite and seemed to appreciate my extemporaneous utterances.

I was billed as ‘Labour councillor Julian Ware-Lane will discuss his life and what is happening in Southend at the moment’ which is an easy topic for sixty minutes banter.

I spoke about my political journey and how I became involved in politics. I touched upon the challenges one faces as a councillor, and some of the issues the borough faces. I also spoke about the recent election results.

The audience asked about cycling on pavements, dog fouling, who was responsible for council spending, the Victoria Gateway, and dodgy pavements. They complained about councillors and candidates who seemed largely invisible to them – many received few leaflets and no visitors during the recent election campaign. One Prittlewell ward resident told me that no-one political had knocked at his door in thirty-two years – I agreed that this was not good, we politicians must engage with voters and residents.

I was asked for my views on immigration, which enabled to me to mention the European Union as well. My efforts were rewarded with tea and cakes, as well as charming conversations after the speech. I hope to be invited again some time.

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