Not long to go now! We should know all the results by 1.00 am on Friday, unless there are some recounts. We will put the results – and our initial comments- onto onlinefocus as soon as we get home.
The key battleground is Grange – the Tories are dragging in people from all over the place to try to knock our Chris Lumley off the council. Chris is a classic “residents first, politics second” sort of councillor, and even the Tories admit that he is very popular on the doorstep. But can the Conservatives win by sheer weight of manpower on election day?
In Downhall and Rawreth the Tories are making a late effort to try to defeat Chris Black. Some of their helpers clearly don’t know the area – one of them was seen delivering their Downhall and Rawreth leaflet in the wrong ward.
In Rochford itself, can the last remaining Labour Councillor Maureen Vince possibly hang on? She’s a good councillor in a lousy party, and we wish her luck. However we also congratulate the Tory candidate for standing – we hear he’s only about 22.
We seem to have rattled the Tories in Whitehouse Ward. The Rayleigh Times has seen fit to give extraordinary coverage to their candidate, Peter Webster – six photos and a personal column! As a first-time candidate Lib Dem Jackie Dillnutt is doing very well.
In Trinity Ward we’ve noticed that in an old election leaflet the sitting Tory Councillor , James Grey, wrote “My Solemn Promise … I will only ever stand as a district councillor. I believe that being both a District and Town Councillor at the same time creates a divided loyalty and conflict of interest … James Grey” But he now is both, so that’s one “solemn promise” broken.
In Rayleigh Central Ward we’ve had our first candidate for four years, and Pat Putt is working very hard…
In Wheatley Ward we’ve done more campaigning than two years ago. We’re sure we won’t win this one, but Mark Pearson would make a fine councillor.
The other election worth mentioning here is in Hawkwell – can John Mason, the independent, win again ? Could be a close one.