Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Trouble On Sea?

Yesterday the most intriguing letter from the husband of Shoeburyness Independent Party councillor Anne Chalk appeared in the Echo.

Whilst I do not believe for one minute that Burgess Estate Residents Association will ever control the council, they clearly do run the Independent Party in Southend.

In what is clearly a thinly veiled attack from Anne using her husband as a human shield, it is yet another hand grenade lobbed into the Civil War brewing within the Independent Party.

We have seen Dr Vel leave the party to become a true Independent, Alex Kaye rejoin the Conservatives after becoming 'disillusioned' and their party leader Cllr Terry announce that he will play chicken and leave Westborough ward a year early so he can stand in Thorpe ward in May as he did not fancy his re-election chances.

With the Independent Party's SKIPP buddies being caught red handed delivering Ron Woodley's infamous 'Conservative At Sea' leaflets in Milton this week reaffirming their alliance and the coalition with UKIP, the Indies are fast forming the dregs of Southend politics. One thing is sure, it can only lead to trouble by the sea.


The brass neck award for 2014 has already been won in February. The award has been duly won by Brian Lee, the UKIP election agent for Castle Point for his letter in today's Echo.

To suggest that electing a few UKIP MEP's removes the need for a referendum on leaving the EU is not just wrong or misleading, it is irresponsible.

I am one of many who believe that the people of Britain deserve a right to have their say on the UK's continued membership of the EU in a referendum and have questioned in the past whether UKIP really do want to leave the EU and comments like this only reenforce my suspicions.

Only an act of Parliament can legislate to leave the EU or give the people a referendum. As UKIP have no MP's or ever likely to, Labour and the Lib Dems are against having a referendum, it is only a Conservative government that will let you, the people, decide.

Say No To An Estuary Hub Airport

I received a delightful email yesterday from a campaign group against the idea of a Thames Hub Airport just across the other side of our puddle in the Isle of Grain. As the portfolio holder responsible for transport, I have led the official Southend Council opposition to such proposals.

I have been asked if I could share their Facebook page on my blog to alert residents this side of the Estuary of the work they are doing. I am only to happy to oblige, the Facebook page can be accessed here.

How To Report Anti Social behaviour In Shoebury

Friday, 21 February 2014


So it has finally been confirmed, Independent Party leader Cllr Martin Terry will cause a by-election in his Westborough seat on the 22nd May to fight the Thorpe seat.

The question many will be asking is why? I believe there is two answers, firstly, his star is fading in Westborough and clearly wanting to cling onto power feels his best shot is to stand in Thorpe where there are currently two Independent Party councillors.

The second reason is pure and simply to intimidate Alex Kaye who was elected as an Independent four years ago but left to re-join the Conservatives after, in her words, became 'disillusioned' with the Independent Party.

This move by the lame duck leader of Independent Party actually poses more questions than it answers. Was he forced into this move as I suspect by UKIP following the announcement of their coalition here in Southend.

The second is why a press release on this issue from Cllr Terry would be send to a Lib Dem activist as this story broke on an activists blog yesterday. Press releases sent to the Lib Dems, a coalition with UKIP and accepting Cllr Morgan into the Group despite being a member of the Liberal Party, how they claim to be Independent of party politics with such a straight face is beyond me.

Although the ward has three Independent Party councillors, the ward is still very much a Conservative ward. The Independent Party know this as at every election in recent years we see their candidates telling residents on the doorsteps that they are 'Conservatives at heart'. Still, it will be interesting to see how Martin explains this one away on the doorsteps considering that he, by his own admission in the Echo article today, was a former Labour Party member and former Labour candidate.

Monday, 17 February 2014

SKIPP Echo Readers Letter - My Response

It seems Mark Sharp, the SKIPP Milton candidate, Echo readers letters are getting more absurd by the day.

Not content at campaigning against any improvement to flood defences by squatting at Shoebury Common whilst Britain is underwater, Mr Sharp now believes it is a good idea to let pavements in Leitrim Avenue, determined by expert officers in urgent need of repair, become a safety hazard for the many elderly residents who live in the road.

It should not come as any surprise that Mr Sharp would accuse professional officers of giving the residents of West Shoebury an election bribe on my behalf, considering he thought he was speaking for 99% of Southend residents by staging an anti capitalist squat on a graveyard in Victoria Avenue.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Why Did They Decide To Go It Alone?

With a wretched cold and bug completely ruining my weekend campaigning, I have had the Winter Olympics coverage as bed companion whilst catching up with back issues of the Southend Echo. Last week, there was a feature on the rise of the Independents. An interesting article in so many ways.

Not withstanding the irony that party leader Cllr Terry claimed that the Independent Party work only in opposition yet in the letters pages on the same day Cllr Ayling claims the Indies will form the administration after the local elections in May.

The article proved once again just how far the Indies will go to deceive. The article run an feature on former Lib Dem Cllr Brian Ayling. Brian claimed that he got involved with the Independent Party as he thought fellow St Lukes councillor Paul Van Looy was an excellent councillor and didn't want to stand against him in 2011 as instructed by his Lib Dem leader.

This is an odd claim as a quick check on the council website shows that Cllr Van Looy was only first elected in 2011. Still I suppose this claim is more accurate than the denial of coalition with UKIP.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Food Waste Recycling Boost

New figures released show that Southend residents are now recycling an incredible 64 per cent more of their food waste. From April to August last year, 64 per cent more food waste was recycled in the borough thanduring the same period in 2012.

The increase shows that residents have welcomed the boosted food waste recycling campaign which began last March, featuring brand new blue food waste collection bins, kitchen caddies and free compostable food waste liners.

Food waste recycling went up by 822 tonnes. If this trend continues throughout the year it is anticipated that it could save £200,000 in landfill costs.  

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Southend Goes Green

In a national ‘health check’ of every large town and city outside London, Southend has been rated the equal second greenest place to live in the UK. The overall top ranked greenest town is Bournemouth, which gained top marks. Southend came equal second with Ipswich in the study by property consultant, LSH.

It scored 28 out of a maximum 30 points based on per capita indicators measuring recycling statistics, energy consumption and carbon emissions in the UK Vitality Index. The UK Vitality Index highlights Southend as a leading UK town in terms of its environmental credentials. With the support of residents, we’ve increased recycling by 16 percent in just five years, diverting some 12,000 tonnes more waste away from landfill and saved around £1.2 million.