It has been many months since I last posted on this blog. In the period since my last post, for the town of Southend it's been a case of the more things change, the more they stay same. At the Civic Centre, the Tories are still in administration mainly through absorbing the UKIP dropouts into their party.
The Tory campaign gives the impression of being based on bluster and their largely dubious claims to have brought improvements to the town.
Most bizarrely, the Tories present themselves as the defenders of NHS services in Southend. Having, no doubt at the behest of James Duddridge MP, given highly qualified support to the local NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan, Tory Councillors are hardly on the side of patients and their families in Southend. Their hand-wringing reservations on transport links and staffing levels show that they do not have the courage of their convictions to stand up to Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and to Duddridge.
A key factor in the elections will be the fate of the Southend Independent Association candidates. It's clear that the Tories are targeting them in the Southchurch and Thorpe wards. Due to the virtual invisibility of the Southchurch Independent, Councillor Derek Kenyon, the Tories seem confident of retaking the seat.
I have my own battle with the Independents in the St Luke's Ward. Again due to the inability of these Councillors to represent the interests of the people that voted them in, I am confident the Labour can make a breakthrough on Thursday 3rd May!