CIIP In Full Retreat From Island Yobs

Anne Wood

RESIDENTS WERE DISMAYED TO READ, in today’s Echo, that the Canvey Island Independent Party (CIIP), just 18 days after having won all contested island seats in this month’s local elections, immediately reneged on three of the seven policies they had been elected upon.

Into the waste-bin went the party’s Community Safety and Policing policy in which it promised to ‘promote any strategy or initiative that will ensure that residents enjoy living in the borough in good health and free from crime or the fear of crime.’

Its Leisure, Sport and Public Amenities policy, promising to ‘maintain and improve the Island’s existing leisure and sports buildings, facilities and equipment, also its public amenities,’ saw a similar fate – while its Our Children policy, stating that the party would ‘promote and actively support any strategy or initiative to establish and/or enhance the facilities for the Island’s children and youth,’ was cast unceremoniously into the party’s shredder.

Anne Wood, deputy leader of the CIIP, was promoting a petition from a small number of 41 householders living near Kismet Park to have the £150,000 Adizone centre, designed to help teenagers and adults keep fit, to be removed.

Paid for by Adidas and the Veolia ES Pitsea Cleanaway Marshes Trust, the Adizone was only erected two months ago as a bonus from Castle Point’s involvement in the 2012 Olympics. But it seems that Wood is objecting on the grounds that local ‘yobs,’ whom have always accumulated around the Kismet Park site, have not moved-on since the centre was provided.

The Echo quotes her as saying: ‘I hope the council leaders take this petition seriously, but I fear they won’t.

“I’ve had constant calls from residents, complaining about teenagers smashing bottles, throwing stones, and throwing eggs at people’s windows.’

Then why haven’t you done something about it, Anne? Aren’t we paying you enough?

Anne Wood is not only the CIIP’s deputy leader, she is also the island’s local Town Councillor for East Ward and borough Councillor for Canvey Island East. She is also a member of the borough Standards Committee and, surprisingly, on the borough’s Policy and Performance group. Surprising, in this instance, because she has failed to comply with no fewer than three of her own party’s policies in the Adizone matter.

Wood has averaged some £4,050 in each of the past four years for her Borough Council position. The Town Council has not seen fit to publish its Councillor allowances for the time it has been established – and the CIIP still has not filed last year’s accounts. Therefore, it is not possible to say by just how much the taxpayer subsidises her annual income.

What can be said though, is that, as both a town and borough councillor, she is free to use any one of their phones. It can also be revealed that the Local Neighbourhood Police team actually publishes a telephone number for residents to get in touch.

If you have a pen and paper handy Anne, the number you need is: 0300 333 4444 ext 460100.

Now, can you stop your political posturing and, instead, use your elected position to sort things out?..

No Annual Town Meeting This Year, Dave?

Dave Blackwell

CANVEY ISLAND TOWN COUNCIL (CITC) has published a list of its meetings that will take place between 14 June 2010 and 23 May 2011; but the only Annual Town Meeting on the list is to take place on 9 May next year. 

Perhaps Dave Blackwell intends to ignore this year’s annual meeting – in the same way that he ignores answering questions in general. Perhaps he intends to ensure that no dissent over the Town Council’s policies and fiscal competence is provided with possible access to the press. (In an election year, you have to manage your coverage carefully). 

But Blackwell and his cronies do have questions to answer. In particular, what does the additional £200,000 expenditure, which suddenly appeared in January, consist of? And why has the 2010/2011 budget not been published? 

Why is CITC proposing to spend £489,400 this year? (Almost twice its existing annual precept). 

What are Town councillors trying to hide? And why is it taking so long for councillors to approve minutes and have them published on the Town Council’s Website for residents’ inspection? 

This year’s expenditure is HUGE, and residents have the right to know if this is to be a one-off – or whether, as many suspect, it simply denotes additional annual expenditure that will, in future, double islanders’ Town Council levy. 

Blackwell’s aim seems to be to re-establish the old Canvey Island Town Council, where his parents were once councillors, and which was once separate from the then Benfleet District Council. But, in those days, islanders did not pay Benfleet’s Council Tax. 

The Town Council has already taken control of Canvey Lake from the Borough Council (to which islanders will now be forced to contribute instead of the cost being shared amongst the whole borough). The Town Council is committed to taking-over responsibility for Canvey’s tidal pool (with similar arrangements being put in place) – and, in neither instance, are islanders to receive a reduction in their main Council Tax. 

The only thing that these changes have ensured is that islanders are worse-off financially, while mainlanders benefit from no longer being responsible for those assets’ repairs or maintenance costs – and yet continue to receive islander contributions to that previous arrangement. 

The policy is simply absurd. And constitutionally separating the island from the mainland would not help the situation either. 

Is Blackwell and his party seriously proposing to take-over all those island assets and services that the Borough Council currently provides? Waterside? The Paddocks?Refuse and Recycling? Meals on Wheels? School Transport? Home Services? Council Tax Benefit? Housing Benefit? Concessionary Travel? Housing? 

What Blackwell fails to realise is that, unlike his parents’ time, the island no longer consists of a few thousand residents without a town centre – and simply establishing suitable offices and recruiting the personnel necessary to administer a vastly scaled-up old regime would be a logistical nightmare. (That is aside from the enormous costs). Furthermore, back in the day, the island had few aged residents to care for – and no housing problem either. Residents now rightly expect a much greater level of services than they did in the 1950s. 

Blackwell’s delusions of grandeur have ensured that islanders, many of whom live in the most deprived areas of the borough, now pay some 9% more in Council Tax than their mainland counterparts. But, if the island were ever to separate itself politically from the mainland, the situation would be far worse. That is because Council Tax payers, as opposed to those receiving Council Tax benefits, are not evenly distributed throughout the borough. The majority of those who are in receipt of benefits, and do not pay Council Tax or their own rent, live on the island. 

In other words, if Canvey were to separate from the mainland, those fewer islanders who do pay council tax would have to contribute far more than they do now – to pay for those who pay nothing at all. 

In conjunction with the loss of large economies of scale (the fact that a large borough can provide services much more cheaply per unit than one smaller in size) some have it that an island Council Tax would have to be some 200% higher than the current CPBC level. Moreover, Blackwell and his Canvey Island independent Party have never denied that figure – nor countered it with one of their own. 

It would be a travesty if, in this its election year, the CIIP run Town Council did not hold its annual town meeting to address islanders’ concerns. Residents have a right to know what the objectives of the Town Council are – and how they will be paid for. 

It took a petition of just 10% of residents to establish the island’s Town Council. Next year will be the first time that the 90% majority will be able to have their say on the matter. 

Despite constant prodding by this Blog, Blackwell and his cronies have remained silent about their Canvey Island Independence ambitions

From amongst the local media, only this Blog revealed Bob Spink’s true conduct in the house and his fraudulent expenses. And it has been left to this Blog to pursue the matter of the Canvey Island Independent Party’s dishonesty in its separatist aims. But, like Spink, Blackwell chooses to neither confirm or deny the facts put forward in this publication. 

Must residents be forced to draw their own conclusions – as they did with Spink – or are you finally going to say something, Dave?.. 

Council Criticised Over Lack Of Affordable Housing

Wendy Goodwin, Cabinet Member for Homes

CASTLE POINT BOROUGH COUNCIL (CPBC) was heavily criticised this week by the charity Shelter. Its Local Housing Watch revealed that there are 1,374 households on the waiting list for affordable housing in the constituency and that, at current letting rates, this will take over 14 years to clear.

One would, the charity says, have to earn £47,727 per year to afford to buy an average-priced house in the area – almost twice the average annual income of residents, which is just £24,778.

The average selling price of a home in the borough is £175,000 (down from some £200,000 in 2006)..

Shelter’s independent experts say Castle Point needs to build 209 homes per year; but criticise the council for not saying how many homes it intends to build. Just 10 new affordable homes were in fact delivered, on average, in each of the last three years.

Just 95 lettings were made to new social tenants last year.

46 households are considered as homeless, and 66 are housed in temporary accommodation.

With just five percent of the number of affordable homes delivered, Castle Point was rated at the bottom end of the charity’s housing league table. It was number 303 out of 323 councils rated, and performed particularly badly when compared to its Basildon and Southend neighbours – who were positioned 13th and 102nd respectively. Basildon delivered 91 percent of its 208 target, and Southend managed 26 percent of its 344.

Cllr Wendy Goodwin, Cabinet Member for Homes, was contacted regarding Shelter’s criticism; but no reply was received by the time this article was published.

Last year, the local Labour Party were suggesting that 1,014 empty homes in the borough could be utilised in solving the local housing problem; but that figure, from 2008, does not paint an accurate picture. Included in that headline total are natural and seasonal movements in the area’s housing as properties become empty waiting for new owners or tenants to move in – or remain temporarily unsold in a weak housing market.

Of that headline figure, 649 private properties (693 in 2009) were identified as having been empty for more than six months; but, once again, the figure also includes properties that await being sold or renovated by their owners. Furthermore, while it is probably true that some of these properties, if money were available, could be purchased by council to add to its housing stock, the truth of the matter is that, in most cases, renovating a run-down property is often likely to be more expensive than knocking it down and rebuilding from scratch.

In short, the option of buying-up aged empty properties is not the viable solution that many would like us to believe.

With projected Council income from Government likely to be cut by some 25 percent in response to Britain’s financial crisis, the outlook for overcoming the borough’s housing crisis in the short term is bleak. If there is to be a silver lining, it is only likely to come from the private sector in reaction to the 2012 Olympics and local town centre regeneration.

On Wednesday, the Development and Control Committee will meet to examine proposals by Barrett to develop the mainland’s Kiln Road site, which includes plans for 53 affordable new homes.

Locally, the plan is opposed by the Thundersley and Daws Heath Hands Off Our Greenbelt Action Group; but the plot is actually designated as possible building space and Barrett have sought to address the outstanding nature conservation issues on the site – as well as providing for contributions towards highway and public transport improvements, early years and childcare education.

Given the current financial crisis, and the borough’s poor housing record, it is difficult to see how the plans could be refused. It is probably the only option the borough has to provide suitable accomodation for its homeless.

On the island, the Town Council has made no attempt to identify private property availability; suitable building locations or, indeed, the housing needs of its residents. Instead, in line with Canvey Island Independent Party strategy, its position is simply to oppose any new homes on Canvey.

In this, the first real test for the CIIP since the local elections, and Blackwell’s comments here to ‘work with the ruling group,’ it will be interesting to see if that promise holds any truth. As the borough’s only opposition party, will they put the needs of the constituency’s homeless first? Or will they simply adopt their Canvey Island stance and oppose the only opportunity our most deprived residents (mostly islanders) have to better their conditions?

Wednesday evening’s vote will serve to make things clear…

… (CPBC, 26/05/2010) – Barrett proposals refused

… (28/05/2010) – So Much For Barrett’s ‘Proposals’

Are We Any Wiser About Where The CIIP Stands?

IT IS A WEEK NOW since this Blog published its Dave Blackwell: A Changed Man? piece, responding to Blackwell’s voluntary comment in the readers’ forum in which he stated: ‘[sic:] i have always tried to work with the ruling group for the benifit of the residents of canvey.’ But it seems that Blackwell has no intention of participating in a public interview, or responding to the legitimate concerns of voters. Instead he would rather hide behind an online alias or instigate the likes of Letchford to change the subject while the piece disappears from public view and hence from readers’ minds.

Residents will remember that this is exactly the same tactic employed by Spink to deny constituents the right to an explanation regarding his fraudulent expenses.

Small wonder then that this Blog now has another ‘Page That Will Not Go Away.’

Dave Blackwell and his Canvey Island Independent Party (CIIP) launched its Blog on March 8th this year. Its inaugural post was written by Neville Watson, ending with an appeal to residents to ‘watch this space.’ But were residents made any the wiser about CIIP policies and how they were to pay for them?

Sadly the answer is no.

Here is a list of CIIP posts and position statements upon which islanders voted:-

  • The year so far, 08/03/2010: The CIIP is against over development and the closure of Canvey’s seaside pool.
  • Silly season is here, 18/03/2010: The CIIP is against over development and the closure of Canvey’s seaside pool.
  • Youth facility at the paddocks, 21/03/2010: A youth facility at the Paddocks would be a good idea (but we have no idea how we would pay for it).
  • Fantastic projects, 22/03/2010: Who knows? The post provided no details.
  • Kismet Park, 26/03/2010: The CIIP is against the Adizone.
  • The Point, 27/03/2010: The CIIP says there are plans to build more houses on the Point and that they are against the plans.
  • Website issues, 30/03/2010: The CIIP site was not targeted by hackers, their host’s server was.
  • Full Council 30/03/2010, 31/03/2010: A spun report of the Full Council meeting in which the un-costed Paddocks youth facility and the Adizone motions put forward by the CIIP were defeated by the majority.
  • What would Canvey Island be without opposition?, 04/04/2010: The CIIP is against the closure of Canvey’s seaside pool and over development.
  • A little bit of info, 11/04/2010: The CIIP lists its candidates for the election; but does not say what they are standing for.
  • Don’t trust the Tories!, 14/04/2010: The CIIP’s ‘first and foremost policy’ is to work for Canvey Island and its residents. (Other parties regard that as an obligation from their oath of office).
  • Polling Stations – Important, 19/04/2010: It is David Marchant’s fault, here are the correct polling times.
  • Do they think Islanders are fools?, 19/04/2010: Don’t trust the Tories.
  • What a Day! 20/04/2010: The CIIP is not politically motivated (and yet they are standing for election?).
  • Protecting our seafront, 29/04/2010: The Tories are incompetent.
  • Fact NOT Fiction, 05/05/2010: The Tories are liars.
  • Thank You Canvey, 07/05/2010: The CIIP wishes to thank all its supporters.

Interesting is it not? Two whole months of posts and residents still have no idea what policies or spending plans the CIIP have. Their campaign was fought purely from a position of being against over development (the same position as the other main parties) and against the closure of Canvey’s tidal pool (the same position as Labour and local Conservative candidates). But, whereas the main parties were keen to discuss their approach to necessary spending cuts; a third road for Canvey; island congestion and the need for additional homes – the CIIP were not.

That is because discussing local issues would force them into taking a position – and hence alienate some voters. The CIIP’s tactic continues to be that it is better to say nothing – and have voters think what they will.

The CIIP’s form of politics is both arrogant and dishonest; but it has appealed to a slim majority of islanders because the party puts claim to representing Canvey. Just as the BNP wraps itself in the union flag to attract nationalist support, the CIIP’s support is mainly from those who love this island and believe CIIP propaganda that the borough’s majority is unrepresentative of their views

The CIIP would never admit that the leading force behind the millions of pounds that have been invested in this island over the past few years – and many of those before it – is one Ray Howard, whom just happens to be a Conservative councillor.

The CIIP have not, and never will, attract a single penny of external investment in the island – because no investor will provide funds where councillors have no policies or plans.

Historically, of course, prior to the CIIP’s claims to represent islanders, the Labour Party dominated Canvey Island. Why that party is no longer held in high esteem probably has to do with the chaos ensuing from the borough’s Labour administration prior to 2003 – in which Blackwell was deputy leader. But, over the past six years, Blackwell’s CIIP have usurped Labour’s vote and replaced it with a party that can never hope to regain control of the Borough council. (The CIIP only fields candidates in 17 island seats and there are 24 on the mainland).

So why do a slim majority of islanders waste their vote upon a party that is arrogant, dishonest, and can never hope to take control of council?..

Like many other islanders, I am bemused.

Would anyone care to enlighten us?..

‘The People Have Spoken – We Are Just Not Sure What They Said’

For the first time since the Second World War, Britain is to be governed by a coalition. On Tuesday, Gordon Brown decided to break the hiatus by tendering his resignation to the Queen whilst David Cameron and Nick Clegg were still in the midst of final negotiations.

As Cameron addressed the press in front of Number 10 Downing Street, it was still unclear as to whether the Lib-Con agreement would be finalised; but, on Wednesday morning, the markets were finally buoyed as Cameron and Clegg shook hands on the steps of the prime ministerial residence.

A new government had taken shape against the background of UK unemployment passing 2.5 million – the highest since 1994 – and a staggering financial crisis.

One of biggest tasks facing the new government lays in paying-down the country’s debt – and the Liberal Democrats have shifted their position by supporting 6 billion pounds of cuts to take place this year. The Conservatives have modified their aims too, to incorporate Lib Dem policy.

Cameron and Clegg outside no 10

From next April, the first stage in increasing the personal tax allowance to £10,000 per year will come into force – providing a welcome respite for the lower paid in times of economic frugality.

Constitutional and voting reform will take place under the eyes of the new Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, and we can anticipate a referendum on the latter. In return, the Lib Dem pro European stance has been set aside for this, five-year, parliament.

The National Identity Card scheme will be scrapped; but the employee portion of Labour’s NHI increase will take place next year, countering some of the benefits of reduced taxation from the personal allowance rise.

Constitutionally, it is likely that the first Act of Parliament in the new session will be to ensure fixed term parliaments from 2015.

The next general election will take place on the first Thursday in May, 2015.

During Wednesday afternoon, it became clear that this was to be a full coalition government. Despite its limited seats, the Liberal Democrats were to be fully embedded within government departments and their subsequent roles were by no means minor. Vince Cable was given the post of Business Secretary; David Laws was appointed as Chief Secretary to the Treasury; Chris Huhne as Energy and Climate Change Secretary; and Danny Alexander became the Secretary for Scotland.

The full list of cabinet posts is as follows:-

  • Prime minister: David Cameron, 43, Conservative
  • Deputy prime minister: Nick Clegg, 43, Liberal Democrat
  • Chancellor: George Osborne, 38, Conservative
  • Home secretary: Theresa May, 53, Conservative
  • Foreign secretary: William Hague, 49, Conservative
  • Defence secretary: Liam Fox, 48, Conservative
  • Justice secretary: Kenneth Clarke, 69, Conservative
  • Health secretary: Andrew Lansley, 53, Conservative
  • Education secretary: Michael Gove, 42, Conservative
  • Business secretary: Vincent Cable, 67, Liberal Democrat
  • Chief secretary to the Treasury: David Laws, 67, Liberal Democrat
  • Work and pensions secretary: Iain Duncan Smith, 56, Conservative
  • Energy and climate change secretary: Chris Huhne, 55, Liberal Democrat
  • Local government secretary: Eric Pickles, 58, Conservative
  • Transport secretary: Philip Hammond, 55, Conservative
  • Environment secretary: Caroline Spelman, 52, Conservative
  • International development secretary: Andrew Mitchell, 54, Conservative
  • Northern Ireland secretary: Owen Paterson, 53, Conservative
  • Scotland secretary: Danny Alexander, 37, Liberal Democrat
  • Welsh secretary: Cheryl Gillan, 58, Conservative
  • Culture, media and sport secretary: Jeremy Hunt, 43, Conservative
  • Leader of the Lords: Lord Strathclyde, 50, Conservative
  • Minister without portfolio: Lady Warsi, 39, Conservative

Also attending cabinet will be the Minster for the Cabinet Office: Francis Maude, paymaster general (Conservative); the Minister of state, Cabinet Office, Oliver Letwin (Conservative); Minister of state (universities and science), David Willetts(Conservative); Leader of the Commons, Sir George Young (Conservative); and Parliamentary chief secretary to the Treasury and chief whip, Patrick McLoughlin (Conservative).

Attorney general, Dominic Grieve (Conservative) will be invited when required.

As soon as the posts had been formally declared, ministers were hurrying to their new offices, determined to get to work.

There was no such drama in Castle Point, where the Conservatives retained a comfortable majority in last Thursday’s local elections. But it did not take long for the Canvey Island Independence Party (CIIP), in the shape of Nick Harvey (leader of Canvey Island’s Town Council and Canvey Island North Ward Councillor) and Canvey Island South resident Colin Letchford to begin berating, what both see as, the lack of democracy in the borough.

Colin Letchford had apparently put pen to paper the day after this Blog published its Dave Blackwell: A Changed Man? piece. In a letter written to the Echo, and copied to this Blog, Letchford alleges that he was banned from the local elections count  – in which he had been asked to act as a teller by Harvey. He further alleges that the reason given was that he had had the gall to begin a petition for an elected mayor – and that the Swann sisters had been similarly banned for beginning the ‘Save Our Pool’ petition.

Like Liz Swann and her remarks regarding ‘it was actually told to Lea Swann by a Conservative Cabinet Councillor in front of one of Conservatives own who is above reproach,’ in the readers’ forum on this blog, Letchford provides no evidence for his allegations.

His letter is a confused patchwork of unfounded statistics and innuendo aimed at manufacturing a case for the CIIP to be represented in the borough’s cabinet. Along with CIIP members, he seems incapable of realising that the Conservatives hold a comfortable 33% majority and that they are therefore entitled to none. He argues that 94% of islanders are unrepresented in cabinet; but that figure is totally discredited. The fact is that 48.6% of island residents, whom took part in the last local election, are not represented by their newly elected councillors – and that the CIIP has no firm mandate because, on a proportional basis, they only have the slimmest of majorities (just 469 votes across the whole of the island – representing only 2.7%).

Letchford is keen to take the opportunity for promoting his petition for an elected mayor; but it transpired in our discussion that the true purpose behind it is not to provide residents with the opportunity of electing a charismatic council leader. Letchford states that the purpose behind his petition to have an elected mayor is because: ‘The mayor chooses the cabinet members.’

As already pointed-out on this Blog, Letchford’s petition is simply another means by which the CIIP hopes to infiltrate the policy making body of Castle Point Borough Council – and provide a lucrative post for its main sponsor.

And Letchford, it seems, is also unable to understand that, even if Spink were elected as mayor, and he were to fill the eight cabinet positions with CIIP colleagues, that there would still be no change in the balance of power. If mainlanders voted in the same way as now, they would still retain their majority. Consequently they would hold a majority on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, as they do now, and be in a position to call-in every cabinet decision and refer it to full council – where it could be easily defeated.

Spink: "I've been here before. Maybe I'll be here again..."

But Spink is not that disorganised. He knows that, with his media savvy and increased profile, a position as elected mayor would provide him with a platform that could be used to his advantage. And again it is the far-left protest strategy that will be employed. Despite it being the majority whom would defeat his ambitions in the chamber, Spink would continue to call ‘foul’ and point to the Conservatives as continually blocking him.

Same old, same old. And the borough and this island would continue to stagnate while Spink and his colleagues played their political games (while lining their pockets with taxpayer funds and enjoying civil benefits).

Is this all about island independence from Castle Point? Well, if it is, Blackwell and his colleagues are not saying anything. Just as they have never made clear their position on any other matter. If it is, then residents have a right to know just how much separation will cost them. A rough estimate, at the present time, is that islanders’ Council Tax would soar three-fold.

But if it were about island independence, why do the CIIP not stand on the mainland and provide all residents with the opportunity of voting for separation? That way they could democratically achieve a majority with which to pass such a resolution.

The answer is that it would not create a power-base for Spink’s own Independent Save Our Green Belt Party – and his and Blackwell’s ambitions to be Lords of their purposely divided manors would not be fulfilled…

Dave Blackwell: A Changed Man?

THIS BLOG’S readers’ forum has been somewhat taken aback. Yesterday afternoon, Dave Blackwell, leader of the Canvey Island Independence Party, posted this comment:

Hi Ted can i just say now all the dust has settled as leader of canvey island independent party i have always tried to work with the ruling group for the benifit of the residents of canvey island .people who attack me dont even know me i have lived on canvey all my life and i love the place and want to help inprove it for the better and i will work with anyone who wants the same .i just wish the leadership of the council in benfleet would except the canvey peoples decision and work with us . and i hope rebecca will to .Dave

Readers recognised this as Dave Blackwell – his signature is unique – but they were surprised to find him posting under his own name. ‘Is this a serious statement from Blackwell?’ my inbox asks, ‘Or are we about to be used as a springboard for CIIP propaganda in the same way that Neville Watson, posting under the alias of ziggy123, abuses the Echo’s facilities?’

Well, Dave: what do you have to say? Is your latest post merely an attempt to woo Canvey Beat readers in the wake of Bob Spink’s comprehensive defeat? A recognition of the fact that the Truth always has a louder voice than any that can be mustered against it?

You see, the fact is, Dave: I and my readers have a healthy distrust of any political party that devotes itself to misleading its voters. Perhaps you could explain why you have adopted the word ‘independent’ in your party’s brand, rather than employing ‘independence’ to make a truthful statement.

You are at pains to point-out, in your post, that you are that party’s leader – and it is evident that you employ a party whip; because your members always vote together in council. (Which, incidentally, is not something that can be claimed of the borough’s majority).

Has the defeat of Bob Spink’s Independent Save Our Green Belt Party (ISOGBP) on the mainland forced you to consider that this was largely brought about by Canvey Beat readers – and that you need to set about presenting a more moderate face in order to hoodwink them into believing that you and your ISOGBP colleagues are not a threat to this borough’s Democracy?

What you and your colleagues do not get, Dave, is that, if your party were honest and published a detailed manifesto that the public could examine: it would receive no criticism from this corner. But, is it not a fact that the reason you do not publish your Canvey independence ambitions is because they make no economic sense?

Is it not a fact that separating the island from the mainland would have little effect on the Council Tax paid by mainlanders; but that islander’s Council Tax, together with the Town Council levy, would increase by at least 200%?

And is it not the case that the only way to reduce that Council Tax to manageable proportions would be to virtually double the amount of housing on Canvey? And that the only place to build such accommodation would necessitate building on ALL of Canvey’s green belt?

Is not the truth that your party actually has no real vision for improving this island – or seeing it properly integrated with the mainland to generate wealth and employment? And that the only objective you and your party members share is ensuring your continued re-election, by whatever means necessary, to satisfy your personal egos?..

(You don’t have to confine yourself to the comments section, Dave. Send me an email and I will publish it in full)..

… (15/05/2010) – Are We Any Wiser About Where The CIIP Stands?

… (22/05/2010) – No Annual Town Meeting This Year, Dave?

Divided Britain – Divided Borough

State of the parties

AS THE STOCK EXCHANGE FALTERS and the pound falls in the wake of a hung parliament, the electorate is coming to terms with a future that is bleak.

Thursday’s elections saw no outright winner; no clear leader to steer us out of our financial crisis; and no clear plan to unite the nation in its time of need.

Brown hid the nation’s books from the opposition; Cameron adopted a mantle of economic prudence; and Clegg cursed both his opponents’ houses. The electorate grudgingly gave Cameron a preference vote; but withheld their full support.

As predicted in this blog, the 2010 election result was not based upon party or financial policy. The public were less concerned with economics (for which no party had firm plans) and more about the state of British politics. The majority were not about to cast a vote of confidence for any politician. Their only aim was to vote against the hypocrites and fraudsters that the Telegraph had exposed within its pages.

As the results were made known, parliamentary fraudsters fell like nine-pins as constituents voted to oust them – and a whole new political landscape was formed, which pollsters had been accurately predicting: a hung parliament.

Thursday night and Friday morning were one helluva night for Democracy, with UKIP and the BNP being comprehensively rejected.

In Castle Point, Bob Spink felt the weight of public outrage and anger. Thirty percent of voters decided to stay at home; but sufficient numbers decided that enough was enough and dispensed a resounding beating.

Locally, the Independent Save Our Green Belt party could not muster the protest vote against the main parties, which they had wished for. Their association with Spink had been their undoing; but, on the Island, matters were different. Knowing full well that the Canvey Island Independence Party could never form a majority, islanders decided to bloody both main parties’ nose and happily vote CIIP.

Do not for one moment think that islanders have given you a firm mandate, Dave. Your party is being used to send a message.

The only way you will retain the Town Council, and your borough seat, is to show how you can work with the Tories to manage the financial crisis.

Protests will no longer cut it…