Friday, 6 May 2011

Election news

As usual election day was long and demanding yesterday starting with a stint of telling on Marine Parade at 7am and eventually finishing following the last declaration at Garon Park at 3.30am this morning! A day of mixed emotions - we retain our overall majority of 5 having lost 2 seats to the Independent Party and gained 2 seats from the Liberals. Bearing in mind that the Government is pushing through potentially unpopular measures to address the national deficit left by the last government, and that we have had to deliver over £15M in savings in Southend to balance the budget this is a great performance. However it is sad to see Anna Waite lose her seat. Whether you agree with her views or not no reasonable person can deny her total committment to Southend and its residents together with her tireless work, interlect and application. More particularly never has a local councillor in Southend had to face the level of personal vitriol which has been directed at her by some political opponents and others.Why would any sensible and successful local resident or businessperson want to subject themselves to this - unless all those involved in local government in this town show basic respect for other members and acknowledge that whilst we may differ on how to take the town forward we all share the same passion and concern, we run the risk of frightening off any quality candidates from standing for election - after all who needs it!. In West Leigh we are celebrating Gwen Horrigan's emphatic victory once again demonstrating the support she enjoys and we will be working hard to consolidate that support over the next 12 months. Elsewhere in the town Conservative candidates performed beyond expectation delivering healthy majorities in Belfairs, Eastwood, Chalkwell and West Shoebury and winning 9 of the 17 seats available.

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