Update December 6: Last night Liz Cohen won this by-election. You can all all about the result here
I’m a pessimist. I am. However I am also a realist (so at times these two differing viewpoints battle in out in my mind in a whirlwind fight to the death) but when it comes to political issues I often look at momentum and can see things from a third person perspective and in the case of the Shenfield by-election due to be held on December 6 the Lib Dems are in a great position to make a gain.
The outgoing Tory councillor (who actually defected from the Lib Dems to the Tories in 1996) is leaving to look after his ill wife which is an extremely admirable thing to do and I wish his wife the best in her recovery. On his way out of the door though he told the local paper ‘There is a lot of upset in the Conservative council group and I would not be surprised if one or two others go in the near future’.
In May Shenfield elected a Lib Dem in young Graeme Clark and with other gains in the borough including the return of popular (and sexy boots owner/wearer) Karen Chilvers it could easily be argued that the Brentwood Lib Dems are one of the best local groups around. They are popular on the ground and work hard and the decision to nominate local mum of two Liz Cohen as their candidate is a very good one. A local person who has campaigned on local issues before being nominated as the Lib Dem candidate shows that she just genuinely cares about the things that Brentwood Borough Council can act on.
She is someone who has worked hard on improving the safety crossing outside of a local school, getting footpaths cleared and waste bins for dog mess. These are basic issues but small ones that can actually make a difference. I often sit here and think blog about issues that it is very unlikely I’ll ever get a say in but could I help ensure pavements are fixed or that overgrown trees are trimmed? Yes I can. We all can but we often think someone else will sort it.
These are the types of things your councillors are for and I fully believe Liz Cohen will provide an excellent service as a councillor should she be elected on December 6 in the Shenfield by-election. If you live local and can help then please contact Liz either on twitter @ShenfieldLiz or get in touch with the Brentwood Lib Dems via their website or by e-mail – email@example.com
This isn’t one of those by-elections where victory is a long shot. This is a very real possibility of a LD gain and another LD councillor will be a very good thing. I can seriously see the Lib Dems in Brentwood making more inroads over the coming years so this is a very good time to help them out if you can. The Lib Dems are very much a progressive party and the Lib Dems in Brentwood are on the forefront of this.