Last Friday the Westborough Ward Hustings were held at the Royal British Legion in Northview Drive in the ward and myself along with four of the other candidates were questioned on a variety of subjects from our thoughts on reducing the number of councillors in the ward to what our biggest priorities are should we be elected to represent the ward on May 3.
Sadly one of the candidates didn’t show up. David John Glover one of the two independents didn’t make an appearance and no apologies were given but the incumbent independent was there as well as the Labour candidate who had been on the council before in another ward. The other three (Labour, Green and myself) would all be first timers.
I have to say I thought it was run pretty darn well. I didn’t like the £2 entry fee and I have said as much before but the actual questions were all pretty distinct and did have a lot of variety involving things that affect the people of the ward. I won’t comment on how I thought everyone did as that wouldn’t be right but I will say the Green’s line about the Tories having been in control in Southend for longer than the Communists had been in charge of Russia was a great line. His opinion that Southend-on-Sea Borough Council could dissolve and once again join Essex County Council didn’t go down as well.
I have no idea if anything any of us said would have changed any minds but I thought all the candidates were fair and there was nothing personal. Something that has in the main been the case across all of our literature. This is something I have been impressed with. I have seen leaflets from all over the country from all parties and some of them are horrible. In the main in Westborough all the leaflets talk about what the candidate does/believes they can do and that is nice to see. I’m very much pro positive politics.
The attendance was probably just shy of 50 and once you take out people who came in from outside who just like hustings there were probably 30-35 people who will vote on May 3. Hopefully they all got something out of Friday night. All I’ll say from my perspective is I hope people vote. I hope they take 30 minutes one day and read through all the literature and vote with who they think will represent them best, whether it is me or not.
Local elections do affect people and every vote really does matter. Westborough might be an extremely close ward come May 3. It could realistically go any of four ways. So just take time out and decide who would best represent you. That is all that I say.