Saturday 29 April 2017

Pre Puffin Shenanigans

Lady Grey & The Earls

Thursday night, and to new place in `Basildon for me. I am here to see a band, recommended by an old friend I am at The Edge to see T-Bitch. However, first up are Lady Grey & The Earls who have some interesting moments.

T-Bitch remind me of The Cramps, although I also see the influence of The Stripey Zebras and The Get. They describe themselves as trans, queer, Riot Grrrl, punk outfit. I am not so sure that I agree with that description, but they were certainly interesting and I will be checking them out again. They were also nice people - I like nice people.

I wish I could name their songs, but the only title I can recall is Knickers.

Here are a couple of short videos from this gig -

Friday 28 April 2017

Save Leigh-on-Sea crown post office public meeting

Mark Daniels for Essex County Council - Working hard for Rochford and Wakering

Southend UKIP R.I.P.

When I wrote yesterday's post (Cllr Moyies changes sides, again) I almost added a couple of predictions. This morning, those predictions came true. UKIP on Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is no more as their last two councillors have now joined the Conservative Party.

Southend-on-Sea must have the flakiest set of councillors in the country, with a political landscape that changes regularly without the hindrance of convincing the electorate.

Cllrs McGlone and Waterworth may tell everyone that their switch was conviction based, yet anyone who gives even a cursory glance at the political landscape in the borough knows that under the UKIP banner they would have been ejected from the chamber. Now I expect they will be adopted as the Conservative candidates in St Laurence and Blenheim park ward respectively. This also helps the Conservatives who appear to be struggling to select candidates.

Quite what the residents of St Laurence and Blenheim Park wards remains to be seen, but there will be some who will feel somewhat cheated.

I can only hope that those with elastic principles suffer dismissal by their electorate.

UKIP's fall in Southend-on-Sea comes after a very good set of results in 2014 when they won five wards on 19.1% of the vote. A year later they won one, and their vote share had almost halved to 10.2% In 2016 they made a recovery to 14.6% of the vote, although they won nothing. 2018 was expected to be tough for them, and now it looks like being tougher with none of the six of who was elected for them remaining either in the chamber or in the party.

However, whilst the news of UKIP's demise locally may bring joy to many, I remind readers that whilst Cllrs Callaghan, Davies, McGlone, Moyies, and Waterworth may no longer sit under the UKIP umbrella, I have seen no evidence that their views have changed.

Today I do finish with a prediction - there will be a Cabinet re-shuffle in Southend at the next Appointments Full Council.

Thursday 27 April 2017

Cllr Moyies changes sides, again

Considering I have only been a councillor for five years I have seen a fair number of members change sides in that time. Some have changed sides more than once.

James Moyies is the flip-flop champion. Three parties, and out-in-out then in again as regards to the ruling administration.

Cllr Moyies, whose three years representing West Shoebury have largely been spent confusing those who reside there. One can but wonder what his election address will say? Maybe "a vote for Moyies is a guarantee of inconsistency"?

Since I hear that West Shoebury Tories have already selected their 2018 candidate one is left to wonder whether James will stand again, or where. Perhaps the current Tory candidate is about to be shafted.

In the meantime, voters across the borough of Southend-on-Sea are bound to be confused as to the political mix in the council chamber.

With Cllr Moyies defection taken into account I think the current situation is -

25 Conservative
10 Southend Independence Alliance
10 Labour
2 Liberal Democrat
1 Independent
1 vacancy

The Conservative-UKIP coalition now has a majority of 4.

Unfair workplaces are a real pain

Tuesday 25 April 2017

Swearing my support

Southend Labour demand a Minimum Wage of £10 an hour

Despite cross party support for a minimum wage the Resolution Foundation calculate that, when cost of living increases are taken into account, the current minimum wage now stands £1,010 lower per year than it was in 2008. This truly shocking statistic is a consequence of the recession and a succession of austerity policies by Tory governments, which have dramatically reduced the real value of the minimum wage.

As Labour Councillor Helen McDonald points out: “the reduction in the value of the minimum wage has had a particularly acute effect on people living in Southend. The national minimum wage is a rate that applies across the country but housing costs have risen faster in London and the Southeast than elsewhere in the country.”

The Labour Party introduced the legislation for a minimum wage in 1998, which took effect from April 1, 1999 with a rate being set at £3.60 per hour for adult workers. This rate has increased incrementally each year and now stands at £7.50. The change in the law was initially opposed by the Conservative Party, but in 2005 David Cameron conceded that “I think the minimum wage has been a success, yes. It turned out much better than most people expected including the CBI.”

Southend Labour Party fully supports the recent announcement that a future Labour government will increase the National Minimum Wage to £10 per hour for adults over 25 years of age by 2020. With around 1 million people on the minimum rate, and further 1 million workers earning within 50 pence of this figure, Labour’s policy could increase the wages of around 5 million people over the next three years.

Cllr McDonald added: “we are heartened to learn of Jeremy Corbyn’s proposal to increase the National Minimum Wage to £10 an hour for adults, with increases for those below 25 years.”

“We need a Labour Government to restore the value of the national minimum wage and reverse the austerity policies of this Tory Government.”

Source of chart:

Rochford South, Labour hoping to make more progress

It should be a close election in Rochford South. This County division is one that Labour has had some success in, and recent results suggest that we are edging ever closer towards victory.

Whatever happens, Rochford South will be served by someone new as Colin Seagers is not defending his seat.

Votes this century:

Liberal Democrat






Labour's vote share over this period:

2001 - 41.0%
2005 - 34.6%
2009 - 12.6%
2013 - 33.7%

Standing in Rochford South on May 4th:

Tracy Arnold          Liberal Democrats
Simon Cross           Green  
Mark Daniels         Labour  
Robert Green         Independent
Neil  Hookway       UKIP
Mike Steptoe         Conservative

St Luke's Voice Winter 2018/19 edition