Wardrop versus Walker

Elaine with Julian

Elaine with Julian

I think it is fair to say that the all-male representation for Eastwood Park has it easy, or so it appears. Theirs is a comfortable tenure judging by the solidly strong vote they attract.

I expect that Cllrs Byford, Moring and Walker will claim that their hefty slice of the vote is a reflection of their industry and ability to articulate and champion their residents concerns.

Eastwood Park, and its previous incarnation as Eastwood, has been Conservative since 1996 at least (which is the limit of my records). In 1996 Labour attracted 22.07% of the vote – something we have struggled to get beyond since. However, with a sizeable Liberal Democrat vote to squeeze (Eastwood was once a Liberal stronghold), and Green votes which could swing our way, I think it could be an interesting contest. I wonder whether UKIP will bother turning up; they failed to field a candidate in May despite a reasonable vote in 2014.

First-time candidate Elaine Wardrop has been selected to take on Cllr Chris Walker next May, and Elaine has the enthusiasm and the desire to get out there and work This ward saw the highest Tory vote on the borough this year, but each election stands on its own as far as voters are concerned, and I am sure she will put up a good showing.

For the curious, the worst wards for the Tories in Southend-on-Sea this year are :

20.9% St Luke’s
23.5% Victoria
25.4% Kursaal
26.3% Thorpe
29.4% Westborough

The Thorpe Bay councillor who claims to be local to Eastwood

There is an annual contest to see who can claim to be most ‘local’. This contest, between competing candidates, often reaches (or plumbs) new heights (depths) during election campaigns.

It really is a nonsense; to stand in local elections one must have a local connection. This can be electoral registration, ownership or tenancy, work, or residence.

Cllr Andrew Moring has revealed himself at odds with the rest of his local party. His description on the ballot paper this year with be ‘Local Conservatives’. The other seventeen Conservative Party candidates will have ‘The Conservative Party Candidate’ beside their name on the ballot paper.

I think this allows us to describe the other Conservative candidates as not Local Conservatives.

Perhaps Andrew is running a one-man protest about his party’s predilection for selecting candidates who reside outside of the borough (three Tory councillors can currently claim this distinction).

Cllr Moring is also being somewhat disingenuous. He is an Eastwood Park councillor and is seeking re-election there. It is a matter of public record that he actually lives in Thorpe Bay. I do not think it matters, but he clearly does. Are there double standards at play here?

An awesome octet

008This marvellous eight are some of the Southend Labour team for next month’s elections.

From left to right
David Carrington (Prittlewell), Mike Royston (Westborough), Gray Sergeant (St Luke’s), Reg Copley (St Laurence), Margaret Borton (Victoria), Jess Phillips (Eastwood Park), Kevin Robinson (Westborough), Ian Pope (Thorpe)

Good luck to them, and to all eighteen in the team this year.