polling station sign

Hello Woodham – And, Er , Purleigh.

The District Council Website has a page here on the current review of parliamentary constituencies. There is a public consultation running until December 5th.

You can find the detailed proposals for our local constituencies here.

The main proposed changes for South East Essex are:

  • The three Wickford wards move from “Rayleigh and Wickford” constituency to “Basildon and Billericay”.
  • Two council wards in Pitsea will move into Castle Point.
  • Two Castle Point wards  (St James and Victoria) will move into Southend West
  • One ward -Ashingdon and Canewdon – will move from the old Rayleigh and Wickford Ward into Rochford and Southend West.
  • “Rayleigh and Wickford” constituency is losing Wickford but will have Bicknacre, Rettendon Runwell, two of the Hanningfields plus South Woodham. So it will be renamed “Rayleigh and  Woodham Ferrers “.
  • According to the proposals, “Rayleigh and Woodham Ferrers” will also gain one ward from Maldon – namely Purleigh.  We have to say this is a bit of a surprise, Woodham Ferrers has been part of a Rayleigh constituency before but a bit of Maldon hasn’t been part of the same constituency as Rayleigh since 1832.
  • These boundary changes are happening because the government is deliberating reducing the numbers of MPs in the UK, which doesn’t sound particularly democratic.  It seems a bad omen that the last time that a MP represented both Rayleigh and a part of Maldon, in 1832, he was the ludicrously named William Pole-Tylney-Long Wellesley ( yes he had a quadruple- barrelled name) and is  described by Wikipedia as “an Anglo-Irish Nobleman with a notoriously dissipated lifestyle”. This fellow has a good claim to be the worst Tory MP of all time. (Just read the Wikipedia article)
  • We also wonder whether Purleigh has much in common with Rayleigh, apart from similar names.

If you aren’t happy with these proposals, have a look at the Boundary Commision Report, at the end they give enough information on the number of voters in each council ward for you to make your own proposals. but constituencies have to have between 71031 and 78507 electors – without Purleigh, Rayleigh and Woodham Ferrers will fall short.

 

“Oh, Only Since I Was Two”

The Polls close at 10 pm this evening. A huge thanks to everyone who has voted for us!

The count starts at Clements Hall tomorrow morning, we will obviously write about it tomorrow, though the quickest news online is probably from the Evening Echo Twitter Feed.

It’s traditional for us to have a video on election days. So here’s something from the “West Wing” about wanting to serve. Blonde Republican Ainsley has been invited to the White House after she criticised the Democrats’ education policy on TV, and she gets an unexpected offer:

 

lib dem rosette

Last Minute Reminder

If you live in Downhall and Rawreth ward, we’d just like to remind you that you have <em>three</em> votes for the District Council, and we have three candidates – Chris Black, Ron Oatham and Chris Stanley.

Please give us all three of your votes:

<ul>

<li>We are the most local team, and we all want to serve.</li>

<li>We need to win all 3 seats to guarantee a place for a Downhall and Rawreth councillor on the committee that deals with planning applications. That could be crucial.</li>

<li>Winning all 3 seats sends a message to the council that local people aren’t happy with the overdevelopment in our area and want improvements in infrastructure.</li>

<li>Winning all 3 seats gives you a united team of active local councillors that aren’t under the Tory whip.</li>

</ul>

We are also hoping to get Ron, Chris Stanley and Bruce Smart elected to the Town Council for the “Sweyne Park” Town Council ward , and James Newport to the Town Council “Victoria ” ward.

polling station sign

Check Your Polling Station !

There’s an extraordinary meeting of the full District Council on January 12th. Its purpose? To confirm where the polling stations will be for the all-out elections on new ward boundaries in May. You can download the full list here.

If you see anything that seems odd or needs to be queried, please let us know – otherwise it could be a very short meeting!

roch hosp

A Good Night For Labour In Rochford

Labour won the Rochford Ward by-election last night – by just 4 votes!

Matthew Softly Labour 332
Michael Lucas-Gill Cons. 328
Nicholas Cooper UKIP 250
Dan Irlam Lib Dem 114
==========================
Labour Majority4

Labour GAIN from Conservative. The turnout was only 17.95%.

The share of the vote , compared with the last election last May, was as follows:

Labour 32.4%. Up by 3.2% on May
Conservative 32.0%. Down by 8.2%
UKIP 24.4%. Down by 6.2%
Lib Dem 11.1% Up by 11.1%

So congratulations to Mr Softly. This now means there are 2 Labour Councillors on RDC – they can now form their own group. Rochford has always bean the strongest ward for them in the district, represented in the past by such great figures as Maureen Vince and Charlie Stephenson. Also our commiserations to Mr Lucas-Gill, coming second by such a narrow margin in such very difficult circumstances.

As for us – we started this election campaign in Rochford with an eighteen year old inexperienced candidate, with no history of standing in the ward since about 2003 (we got 7% then). We finished it with a much more experienced, enthusiastic candidate who is getting very well known, attracting helpers and with a position just 218 votes behind the winner. There is much to look forward to at future elections around Rochford, as part of our campaigning to try to help in the local area.

To win in local elections you really need a big team of leafletters. If you can help Dan for future leaflet deliveries please let us know!

dan irlam

Election Day Tomorrow !

So the council by-election in Rochford Ward takes place tomorrow

Having a Lib Dem candidate standing here has been a pleasant surprise for some people – they”ve like the way we have concentrated on local issues and carried out our local survey. We think that’s what council work should be about, and we want the council to be open and more democratic – not just ruled by a cabinet.

We’re sorry if we didn’t call on everyone – it’s a big ward to canvass! But we made a big effort.

If you are a voter in the ward …. please vote for Dan Irlam.

dan irlam

Good Luck Dan !

We are are very pleased to see Daniel Irlam standing for the Lib Dems in the forthcoming District Council Election in Rochford Ward. Dan lives in the ward, works in the ward and certainly cares about the ward. He is a dedicated young campaigner and would make a fine councillor.

And when we say young, we certainly mean young. Dan is eighteen years old and if elected would be the youngest person ever elected to our District Council – we’ve had a few people in their early twenties but never in their late teens. In fact at the moment we only seem to have one councillor under thirty, not many under fifty.

Rochford has another two councillors already serving (one Independent Tory and one Labour) so electing a young Lib Dem would give a a good balance to the town’s representation.

The election has been called to fill the vacancy after the very sad and untimely death of previous councillor Gill Lucas-Gill. Whoever is elected would only serve for about six months until the main council elections next May.

loch ness

Monster Win For The Lib Dems At Loch Ness

Sorry, we couldn’t resist the headline…

From the BBC

Lib Dems win Highland’s Aird and Loch Ness by-election

The Liberal Democrats have won a by-election in Highland Council’s Aird and Loch Ness ward.

Jean Davis narrowly defeated her closest rival SNP candidate Emma Knox.

The by-election in the ward, which is represented by four councillors, was triggered by Drew Hendry’s election as an MP for the SNP in May.

He was elected as the new MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, the seat previously held by Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander.

The turnout was 32.35%.

Ms Davis said the victory marked the start of a Lib Dem “fight back” in the Highlands.

It’s a vast council ward, 35 miles from end to end. Last time we came 4th…

ballot_box

The Places Where They Didn’t Run Elections Properly (Don’t Be Alarmed , Rochford Isn’t One Of Them)

Tom Stoppard wrote “It’s not the voting that’s democracy, it’s the counting. So it’s a but disturbing to see the electoral commission has so far found 29 returning officers that didn’t run elections properly last May. As Mark Pack writes here.

The Electoral Commission has increased to 29 (from an initial 24) its tally of Returning Officers who failed to do their job properly in Mays elections:

  • Allerdale
  • Babergh and Mid-Suffolk
  • Bradford
  • Broxtowe
  • Cheshire East
  • Chichester
  • Darlington
  • Dudley
  • East Devon
  • East Hertfordshire
  • East Lindsey
  • KingstonUponHull
  • Lewes
  • London Borough of Hounslow
  • Maldon
  • Milton Keynes
  • Peterborough
  • Purbeck
  • Rother
  • Sevenoaks
  • South Lakeland
  • South Oxfordshire
  • Stoke on Trent
  • Swale
  • West Berkshire
  • West Dorset
  • West Lindsey
  • Wolverhampton
  • Wyre Forest

The mistakes involved in these cases were serious as the details below show, and in fact not every Returning Officer was assessed so the 29 may be an under-estimate of the actual number of Returning Officers who failed to meet the performance requirements laid down for the job.

 

Thankfully our returning officer is NOT on the list – though nearby Maldon’s is. A lot of the Returning Officers on the list are for small towns or rural areas – maybe a increasing lack of expertise, knowledge and resources in some smaller councils?

What sort of things went wrong?

  • Ballot papers issued to those not entitled to receive them This includes ROs who issued ballot papers to electors who were not entitled to receive them either at polling stations or in postal ballot packs. Issuing ballot papers only to those entitled to receive them is fundamental to ensuring confidence in the delivery of well-run polls, and errors have the potential to have a serious impact on voters, those standing for election and, ultimately, the result.
  • Early dispatch of poll cards This includes ROs who dispatched poll cards in their area before the publication of the UK Parliamentary notice of election, which was not in accordance with the legislation.
  • Issues at the count This includes ROs who made an error in relation to the processing of ballot papers at the count or with the declaration of results.
  • Issues with the allocation of electors to polling stations This includes where the number of electors allocated to specific polling stations led to voters encountering a significant wait before being able to cast their vote.
  • Print errors with election material This includes a range of different print issues with election material which may have led to voter confusion and/or had a potentially negative impact on those standing for election.
  • Errors with nominations This includes ROs who made an error in their processing of nominations which had a negative impact upon any persons wanting to stand for election, or in the ability of voters to be able to vote easily.
  • Multiple errors Some authorities experienced more than one issue in their delivery of the elections which either individually or cumulatively may have had a detrimental impact on voters and those standing for election