Monday, 30 October 2017

Southend Yoga and Vegan Food Festival

A mark of entry

Plenty of stalls and events over three floors


Drum and bells and singing
Directions

We must remain in the Single Market



Labour is the party of work; it is in the name. We exist to give representation to working people, and this is not meant to be just an echo chamber. Labour exists to encourage job creation, to fight for good working conditions, and to look after those less than able to look after themselves.

In all that we do we must remember jobs - our support, those we really represent, need jobs. Ideally, more jobs than those seeking these jobs.

The big subject today is the European Union and our ongoing relationship after Brexit. Key is our access to the Single Market, and on this hangs the future of many jobs.

Whilst it is true that whatever the negotiations bring, going forward we will trade with Europe. However the nature of this trade could take any number of forms, and we must push for a form that gives us the best outcome in terms of jobs.

The Single Market has created the most powerful economic bloc in the world. This has led to prosperity right across the EU. Britain's divorce from the EU, and the attendant divorce from the economic success is most kindly described as a gamble. Those who value prosperity will be keen to limit this gamble, and this is best achieved by remaining in the Single Market.

Hardline Brexiteers see national integrity as above all other considerations. Yet, the biggest threat to our sovereignty will be economic weakness, and a perceived gain could turn into a serious loss, albeit unintentionally.

We must, for prosperity and for the future integrity of our nation, remain in the Single Market.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Making a mockery of our under-performing schools


Quite often there is accidental humour in our council meetings. Last Thursday, for example, we witnessed the unique (in my experience) thrill that was a portfolio holder for Children and Learning calling in his own minute. O how we laughed. Except that the Conservative councillor proceeded to laud the achievements of his administration with statistics that are quite misleading.

Using council gathered data he proceeded to proclaim that Southend schools are out-performing national averages, and therefore are a resounding success.

However, the statistics are for children educated in Southend, and not for Southend children, and there is an important distinction here.

We have six schools in the borough whose intake is largely from outside of the borough. The four grammar schools and two faith schools skew the statistics.

Of course, I am delighted for all children that receive a first-class education. However, the real numbers show that children in Southend are actually doing a lot worse than the council and its ruling administration would lead you to believe. I am elected to represent Southend’s children, not the sons and daughters of those living in east London or Kent, or other parts of Essex, and I deeply regret that they are not performing so well. This is a serious issue that needs urgent attention.

Instead of the mockery that was the self-congratulating grandstanding of the portfolio holder he should be straining every sinew to see that children residing in Southend are performing as well as the rest of this country of ours.


Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Recent by-election results






Lab vote change
October 5, 2017
Warwick DC, Stoneleigh & Cubbington
Conservative hold
+15.1
October 5, 2017
South Bucks DC, Burnham Lent Rise & Taplow
Conservative hold
-0.4
October 5, 2017
Salford MB, Claremont
Labour hold
-1.5
October 5, 2017
Redcar & Cleveland UA, St Germain’s
Lib Dem hold
+1.5
October 5, 2017
Hinckley & Bosworth BC, Burbage, Sketchley & Stretton
Conservative hold
+2.0
October 5, 2017
Cheshire East UA, Crewe East
Labour hold
+14.8
October 5, 2017
Hertsmere BC, Borehamwood Kenilworth
Labour gain from Conservative
-9.1
October 5, 2017
Adur DC, Mash Barn
Labour gain from UKIP
+29.7
September 28, 2017
Northampton BC, Nene Valley
Conservative hold
+7.6
September 28, 2017
St Edmundsbury BC, Hundon
Conservative hold
No candidate
September 28, 2017
St Edmundsbury BC, Chedburgh
Conservative hold
+22.7
September 28, 2017
Northampton BC, Eastfield
Labour hold
+13.5
September 28, 2017
East Staffordshire BC, Stretton
Conservative hold
+0.5
September 28, 2017
Harrogate BC, Washburn
Conservative hold
-0.9
September 28, 2017
Harlow DC, Toddbrook
Labour hold
+13.8
September 28, 2017
Durham UA, Trimdon & Thornley
Labour hold
+15.0
September 28, 2017
Breckland DC, Thetford Priory
Labour gain from Conservative
+29.5
September 28, 2017
Barnsley MB, Kingstone
Labour hold
+6.7
September 28, 2017
Highland UA, Tain & Easter Ross
Ind gain from Lib Dem
No candidate
September 28, 2017
Lancaster BC, Halton with Aughton
Labour gain from Independent
+18.0
September 22, 2017
Waveney DC, Oulton Broad
Conservative hold
-9.0
September 22, 2017
Oadby & Wigston BC, Oadby Uplands
Lib Dem gain from Labour
+1.1
September 22, 2017
Chesterfield BC, Holmebrook
Lib Dem gain from Labour
-8.8