Now is the time to listen

And so, back to those doorstep conversations. A beautiful, sunny afternoon – an opportune moment to get back out there after the rigours of the General Election campaign.

Even if only nine days after the big event I still found a welcome. And after conversations that were often centred around the much mentioned problems with parking in Westcliff-on-Sea I inquired of each person why they thought Labour had been rejected on May 7th.

It was only a small snapshot, but I have to say that Ed Miliband was the most cited reason, followed by huge doubts over Labour’s ability to manage the economy. Whilst I may have privately wanted to counter some of the comments, I realise that now is not the time to argue, but that now is the time to listen. And so, listen i did.

Labour: Getting things done in Milton Ward


Come on Tammy, surely you can do better than this?

tammyCooperWhen someone writes to me ‘personally‘ I somehow expect to be addressed other than as ‘Dear Voter‘. Hmm, a cynic might suggest that this is some mass-produced leaflet rather than a hand-crafted missive.

It goes downhill from here.

OK, I accept that my style of representation may not suit everyone’s tastes, but I defy anyone to suggest that I have not been vocal in my term thus far. So, what does Tammy mean by ‘Milton can get the representation it deserves‘? Her showing at the hustings demonstrated ample evidence of her unsuitability for the task.

Ms Cooper also repeats the spiel about not wanting party politics in the Council Chamber. Yet, she represents the Independent Group, who collectively signed the Joint Administration agreement, put out collective literature, meet collectively, have a leader – at what point is this not a party?

Besides, if all you are going to do is reflect the views of all residents without a hint of leadership then we may as well all pack up and go home and let officers respond to inquiries.

There are also the lies. The Independent Councillors (or, more accurately, those that find favour with Messrs Terry and Woodley) did not force out the Tory administration. The Tories lost power because of gains by three groups.

Her ‘Vision for Milton and Southend‘ (do I point out that more of Milton is in Westcliff-on-Sea than in Southend-on-Sea?) is this:

A planning process which refers all major planning applications to the full Council.

Really? Are we to become a fifty-one member Development and Control Committee?

Since Tammy wants: A shift towards building more family homes and fewer flats retaining the residential character and charm of Milton – I wonder whether she has a view on those who convert garden sheds into dwellings so that they can let out their homes?

Jonathan Garston cannot follow rules either

Garston letterGarston leaflet

Jonathan Garston is writing to residents. He is also using his council email address and telephone number – both against the rules.

This is yet another Tory two-fingered salute to Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and the rules it has laid out for the use of its resources for electioneering purposes. Jonathan is so contemptuous of the rules he breaks them on both pieces of literature here.

The rules, in Tory minds, do not apply to them.

Jonathan plays rather loose with the reality of his time representing Milton. He was the Cabinet member responsible for Planning and did precious little to challenge some of the ugly developments that went up under his watch. He only began challenging when I arrived on the scene. He even told me, in one meeting, that I could not challenge all that I wanted to – fortunately I ignored this particularly bad piece of advice.

His letter is rather confusing, and attempts to conflate the General Election and local election results. He seems to suggest that Cheryl Nevin was not the positive choice last year – yet she seemed to get a convincing enough victory.

He repeatedly suggests that the weekly rubbish collection is under a threat – something he knows is not true.

He also (again) describes himself as a local shop owner. Untrue. His shoe shop is in Hadleigh, which is not even in the borough let alone the ward.

Milton Voice Spring 2015


Some may wish to object to this ……

In this week’s planning application list:

APPLN. NO: 15/00155/FULM

Officer: Charlotte Galforg Date Valid. 6 March 2015



J Garston: putting residents before party politics – but only if they are Tories who like coach parks on their doorsteps, Cliffs museums, and all sorts of useless and expensive vanity projects

JGarstonHe may protest otherwise, but I have certainly been left with the impression that Cllr Jonathan Garston is not the keenest doorstep politician in town. Nor is he runner-up, or even third, fourth, fifth, sixth … you get the picture. I get the impression he only talks to politically friendly faces, which must be a dwindling pool in Milton.

I presume this is a calling card, although he may be opting for smaller leaflets on the basis that he has little to say on what is going on in either Milton or the borough as a whole.

His idea of a local business is one that is not within the borough. Still, Conservative ideas of ‘local’ run contrary to most people’s – last year’s Tory failure in Milton described himself as the ‘local choice’ despite living further from the ward than all the other candidates.

His claim about party politics, a sop to the independents if ever there was one, runs contrary to his voting record – one that demonstrates a slavish devotion to the Conservative line on things.

I wonder what those in and near Warrior Square will make of this when they consider that it was Garston who wanted a coach park in their midst. I wonder whether those who still oppose a Cliffs museum will consider Garston as their champion, despite his desire to see the museum built.

Putting residents before party politics? That must rate as the best joke so far this year.aa


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