At the time of writing, campaigning for the local elections has just a few hours to run and then…it’s voting day! Here are the lists of the runners and riders for both Thurrock and Basildon:
Normally, we wouldn’t dream of telling people whether or not to vote or how to vote. We’ve never before endorsed candidates or a political grouping. However, as things have got so weird in both Thurrock and Basildon, we’re going to break with that habit.
Let’s start with Basildon as that’s more straightforward. If in your ward there’s a candidate from the Basildon Community Residents Party standing, we would recommend that you vote for them. This is a grassroots grouping opposed to the town centre ‘disasterplan’ and who want residents to have considerably more say in how the town evolves. They’ve started this year from nothing and are fielding seven candidates. One of them, Jacob Hogg, is running against one of the principal cheerleaders of the ‘disasterplan’, Cllr. Gavin Callaghan (Lab) in Pitsea North West. Just imagine:) If you live in Pitsea North West, get out and make it happen!
Thurrock is a bit more complicated. There are a fair few independents standing, most of them under the banner of the Thurrock Independents. We’ve been let down by a number of so called ‘independents’ who once elected, succumbed to various blandishments and allowed themselves to be absorbed by the ‘Borg’ a.k.a. the Tory ruling group on the council. If you’re one hundred percent certain that the independent candidate in your ward has metaphorically written a pledge in their own blood that they will remain as an independent for the whole of their tenure, then it’s probably worth giving them a vote.
Unfortunately, for both boroughs, the senior officers with their fat pay packets who wield a lot of influence in the background will still be there after the election – they can’t be voted out, so while some things may change, some will not. Unless enough new councillors are elected with the will and determination to hold the senior officers to account… Then things may get ‘interesting’:)
Turnout has always been a bit of an obsession for us. We’ve got a feeling that in the wards with a residents party or independent candidate making waves, the turnout may well be a bit up on normal. We sense that in both Thurrock and Basildon, there are a fair number of people who, for a whole host of reasons, want to give their respective council ruling groups a well deserved bloody nose. And who can blame them?
We will be doing a write up of the local election results and their consequences in both Thurrock and Basildon. However, that probably won’t happen until the weekend. We’ve got a feeling that after the votes are counted (and quite possibly re-counted), things might get a bit ‘complicated’.