Sunday, June 23, 2024

Ward by Ward: Homesteads: The Squeezed Middle?

The Homesteads
Simon John Barnes (The Green Party)
Alan Maylin (Liberal Democrat)
Peter Geoffrey Henry Prendergast (United Kingdom Independence Party)
Richard Speight (Labour)
Pauline Maria Tolson (Conservative)

UNTIL 2007, the Homesteads had a Labour presence in local stalwart, Tony Benson. That year, YT went walking round the ward with Tony. There was a palpable feeling that the campaign was based on Tony being a nice guy and er, that’s it. Tony lost.

Since then the Conservatives have dominated, now possessing a trinity of Sue MacPherson, James Halden and Pauline Tolson.

Pauline is one of those candidates that has never replied to any of our requests for a comment. However, this isn’t about us and for all we know she has quietly gone about her work in her ward without any fanfare. To be fair, we have seen Pauline at planning meetings speaking against building on brownfield sites; we have seen her in council speaking on a number of motions but you do feel that the bar is a tad low when it comes to Pauline.

When you compare the amount of work that young James Halden puts in, cllr Tolson should be embarrassed at her own paltry returns.

What she will depend on is the east of the borough team, getting out there and canvassing. If the team are led by the charismatic Phil Anderson and others then they may convince the good people of the Homesteads that Pauline is worth four more years.

Labour’s candidate is the up-and-coming Richard Speight. He fought a good campaign last year in the Orsett ward and worked hard as a foot-soldier. This year he has been co-ordinating the whole campaign and he has been very astute. Whether he has a grasp on the real local issues is a moot point.

Richard’s best chance is convincing the “squeezed middle” of the Homesteads that the headlong rush by the Conservatives, nationally, to cut spending is being paid for by them, when Labour would have taken a more measured approach. The Tories will respond that they are simply doing Labour’s dirty work.

EMA, Tuition Fees, Libya? We will wait and see. Richard may be wise enough to suggest that the good people of Homesteads biggest concern re building on the brownfield may be under threat. See Eric Pickles department for details or indeed Butts Lane.

The Tories may have to worry about the UKIP presence as well. Peter Prendergast may not be their most articulate speaker but he may take votes away. Lib Dems may well be the whipping boys in the Homesteads but at least one of the local Tories has been most vocal about EMA.

We also welcome a Green candidate in Simon Barnes. It will be interesting to see what his views are on a number of issues including the Alternative Vote.

Who knows what all these people will be like on the doorstep?

The Tories have won by around 300 in the last two council elections. Labour’s last win was 127 in 2005.

YourThurrock Prediction:
Cons Hold: 100 maj


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


More articles