Many times in the last decade I have had significant input into Southend Labour's manifestos. Whilst our manifestos are always a collaborative effort, I can claim to have led the writing of the manifesto in the run-up to several local elections, and this is true of this year too.
This year I have run workshops and crafted draft versions. I am also usually involved in one way or another in the manifesto launch, although this year I was otherwise engaged.
Some time ago I undertook the task of getting a personal want into the manifesto, a pledge that I believe would improve this wonderful town of ours. This was my personal desire to see an urban wood of some sort, a new urban wood, established in the borough.
In the manifesto, under "A greener town", is this sentence: "Plant more trees generally and create a new urban wood in the borough."
Should I be successful on Thursday, and should the Joint Administration still hold sway in the council chamber then I will be using my influence to push this idea further along. I am delighted that I have been able to persuade my colleagues in Labour to subscribe to the idea of a new urban wood, but now that I have a commitment in the form of words, I want action.
Southend will be a greener borough under Labour, I can assure everyone of that.