Monday, 30 January 2017

Central branch AGM



Last week saw the annual general meeting of the Central branch. This clashed to some extent with the Holocaust Day Memorial Service, and so I missed the first half of the meeting.

Central branch covers four wards in Southend-on-Sea: Kursaal, Milton, Victoria, St Luke's.

This branch therefore has seven councillors, yet I think it should have all twelve. Certainly that is what we are working towards.

Whilst there is talk of a reorganisation in the Rochford and Southend East Labour Party, until (and if) such time as the branch changes we continue with the set-up as is, and elect officers to run it. The discussion that was had on reorganisation was inconclusive, which suggests that the status quo is likely to maintain for the time being anyway.

Elected at the meeting -

Chair                                             Ian Gilbert
Vice chair campaigns                   Anna Ingram
Vice chair membership                Mike Smith
Secretary                                      Martin Berry
Treasurer Victoria                        Gary Farrer
Treasurer Milton                          Mac Felton

Southend Labour Trains its Activists

PRESS RELEASE

Southend Labour ran a training session on Saturday afternoon, 28th January 2017, upstairs at O'Neill's pub. Around 30 members and supporters listened as Labour Councillors gave their views on how to become more active in the local Labour Party. There was also plenty of time available for questions and answers to fill in the details about just how we do that.
 
Cllr Julian Ware-Lane opened the event by explaining why it was necessary to focus on the issues to be discussed and he then introduced each speaker to the stage. Many thanks to the excellent sound system at O'Neill's all present could hear every word!

Campaigning and activism was the topic chosen by Cllr Kevin Robinson, and he used his experiences of past elections and campaigns to encourage everyone to get involved in whatever way they can to help in future, even if that is only to put a Labour poster in their window. There is a whole range of tasks that activists can get involved in, including distributing leaflets, canvassing, and participating in on-line social media.

In UK political parties women are often outnumbered by men, as in the House of Commons, and Cllr Anne Jones stressed the point that this has to change. Cllr Jones described her own life and what it is like from a woman’s perspective in British politics. The Labour Party has a principle that it will ensure gender equality within its own organisation and this must be rolled out to the country at large.

Southend Labour’s newest Councillor is Cllr Helen McDonald, who was elected in May 2016 to represent Kursaal Ward. Cllr McDonald described how she had to quickly learn what it meant to be a Councillor and the type of activities that this involved. To test our knowledge Cllr McDonald asked the audience to spend 5 minutes trying to write down what they thought a Councillor was responsible for, and this led to a discussion about the amount of work involved.

Finally Cllr Charles Willis talked about the local Labour Party organisation and politics in Southend. The party not only comprises a structure that has officers at Constituency level, but also at the more local level there are branches that operate at the Ward level. Members are encouraged to participate in meetings and to get involved with the local campaigns and policies that are discussed.

Those present had an inspiring afternoon, and enjoyed a buffet meal during the break. There was also a quiz, with prizes, to test the knowledge about past Prime Ministers, geography, history and politics.

There will be further training sessions like this in future and all members are encouraged to become activists, candidates, councillors.

Julian said: "The feedback on the day was very positive and I believe we have unearthed a few more activists. This was meant to be both a fun and educational event, and I think we achieved that."
 
He added: "That there are people coming forward who want to engage with their community is good news for Southend-on-Sea."

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Milton scenes 5




Milton scenes 4




Milton scenes 3




Milton scenes 2




Milton scenes 1

 Photographs taken in Milton ward (Westcliff-on-Sea) this morning.


Socialist Minds Southend


Training event


Kevin Robinson


The Southend Labour Campaigning Outreach Training was a success yesterday afternoon, with a good attendance. The by-line for this event was 'All members are encouraged to become activists, candidates, councillors', and I hope that some of those who came along will indeed become part of the campaigning machine that is Southend Labour.

Anne Jones
The four speakers were all very good, and I thank Cllrs Jones, McDonald, Robinson and Willis for their time and contribution.
Helen McDonald

The four topics covered were: Campaigning and activism, A woman's perspective, Being a councillor, and Local party organisation and politics in Southend.

This was the first training event that I have organised and I am pleased that it went so well.



Charles Willis

Friday, 27 January 2017

HMO, flats, HMO, converted garage - some of this week's planning applications in Milton ward

APPLN. NO: 17/00025/FUL

Officer: Ian Harrison Date Valid. 21 January 2017

CONVERT EXISTING FIVE BEDROOM HMO (CLASS
C4) TO A SEVEN BEDROOM HMO (SUI GENERIS) AND INSTALL CYCLE RACKS

54 ASHBURNHAM ROAD SOUTHEND-ON-SEA ESSEX

APPLN. NO: 17/00077/FUL

Officer: Ian Harrison Date Valid. 19 January 2017

CHANGE OF USE FROM B1 (LIGHT INDUSTRIAL) TO C3 (RESIDENTIAL) TO FORM FOUR SELF-CONTAINED FLATS, ALTER ELEVATIONS, LAYOUT ASSOCIATED PARKING, DEMOLISH EXISTING GARAGE TO FORM AMENITY SPACE WITH CYCLE STORE AND ERECT BINS STORE ADJACENT PARKING SPACES FOR 204 LONDON ROAD (AMENDED PROPOSAL)

REAR OF 206 LONDON ROAD SOUTHEND-ON-SEA

APPLN. NO: 17/00084/FUL

Officer: Ian Harrison Date Valid. 25 January 2017

CHANGE OF USE FROM DWELLINGHOUSE (CLASS C3) TO AN EIGHT BEDROOM HMO (SUI GENERIS) ERECT DORMER TO FRONT ROOF ELEVATION AND FIRST FLOOR REAR EXTENSION WITH JULIETTE BALCONY (PART RETROSPECTIVE)

9 MARINE AVENUE WESTCLIFF-ON-SEA ESSEX

APPLN. NO: 17/00093/BC4

Officer: Janine Rowley Date Valid. 26 January 2017

CONVERT GARAGE INTO HABITABLE ACCOMMODATION

LOWER FLAT 17 PORTLAND AVENUE SOUTHEND-ON-SEA

Thursday, 26 January 2017

A month of polls



Here is a summary of the opinion polls for the last month or so. To be honest, they do not make a for tremendously good read if you are a Labour supporter. However, Liberal Democrats will not be heartened either.



Lab
Con
LDem
UKIP
Grn
23-Jan-2017
ICM
26
42
10
13
5
17-Jan-2017
YouGov
28
39
11
13

17-Jan-2017
Survation
29
38
10
13
2
14-Jan-2017
Opinium
30
38
7
14

9-Jan-2017
ICM
28
42
9
12
4
6-Jan-2017
YouGov
26
39
10
14
4
18-Dec-2016
Opinium
31
38
6
13
4
15-Dec-2016
Ipsos MORI
29
40
14
9
3
13-Dec-2016
ICM
27
41
9
14
3
9-Dec-2016
YouGov
25
42
11
12
4








avg
28
40
9.7
12.7
3.6

There is no General Election tomorrow, so in some minds these polls can be ignored. That, in my humble opinion, is wrong.  Whatever one thinks of Labour's performance, and the policy positions it is taking, it is not (at the moment) gaining favour with enough of the voting public. These numbers have to improve for Jeremy Corbyn to stand a chance of holding the keys to 10 Downing Street.

Of course, Labour could do nothing and still see the public swinging their way. We could be persuasive enough to encourage people to back our policies. We could see real problems in the economy that see hordes shrinking from the Conservative embrace. We could also see an end to the disunity that has dogged Labour recently.

In the end I suspect it will take a combination of all three, in differing measures.

On another point, I note that UKIP are still attracting good numbers. Those who hoped that Brexit would see an end to this right-wing party are going to be disappointed, at least in the short-term.