Oh come on Nigel!

Former Conservative councillor Nigel Holdcroft has had his eye caught by one of my posts. Our Nige, it will be remember, was Leader of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council before he sought pastures new and left the chamber last May (not that he the anticipated Tory rejection in the Borough that he nearly resides in).

He notes that I voted against the Conservative budget (in successive years) whilst seemingly endorsing some of what was in it. Well, I am not going to pretend that everything Conservative is bad, and neither will I concede much is good. However, Nigel will know that the Budget vote is on the thing as a whole, and not on any individual part of it.

So, his jibe about the action being taken on Victoria Avenue can be dismissed as just that – a jibe. Nigel may be able claim some credit, but I do wonder why a decade elapsed before his administration did much at all – in contrast to the Joint Administration which is getting on with the job.

I do not think I have pretended that Labour is alone in championing anything (although in some cases that is the truth) – I merely point out that Labour is taking action as ‘part of the Joint Administration‘. We were successful in campaigning to keep Hamstel Children’s Centre open, despite it being earmarked for the chop by Nigel and his pals.

Nigel, in reference to the library review, dismisses the changes we have made as merely ‘simply moved the chairs‘ – which will not be a view shared by those who love and cherish Southchurch and Westcliff libraries.

As to the Shoebury sea wall plans. I did vote with the Conservative administration and would vote the same way again if presented with the same facts. He should know that his administration failed spectacularly in presentation here, resulting in a massive lack of confidence amongst residents in what the Council were trying to do. It is right that this decision be reviewed (something I think the Tories would have been forced to do if they had retained control) and that alternative be considered.

To avoid ambiguity: I think we need to strengthen the sea defences in the east of the Borough, and this should be done using the most cost-effective solution. I happen to believe that what was the Council preferred option delivered – and if this still proves to be the case then I will support it again.

I cannot apologise for Labour Party rhetoric – after all, I am hoping to be part of a Labour Government. I hope, though, that there is enough of me in this blog to satisfy Nigel. I can return compliments – Nigel’s blog is definitely a worthwhile read, probably the best Conservative blog in Southend. This does not mean he is always (or often) right, although always on the Right.


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