#BrentwoodWest – you have two completely separate votes on Thursday – one for a Brentwood West councillor and one for the MP who will represent Brentwood and Ongar. This is how it works:
- You have ONE vote to choose your MP. It’s a white paper which lists six candidates. They are listed here. Some of them even live in Brentwood! I’m sure I can leave it to every news channel in the country to keep you informed about that one.
- You have ONE vote to choose your councillor to serve you from 2015 – 2019. I would thoroughly recommend you vote for Alison FULCHER! All the candidates are listed here and this will be the GREEN paper you receive. If you really want to keep the Tories away from running Brentwood, then be aware it is a two-horse race, and ticking the box next to the name Alison Elizabeth FULCHER is the way forward!
If you’re thinking of voting UKIP, they couldn’t even find a candidate.
If you’re thinking of voting Labour then that would be a waste in Brentwood West and could let a Tory in. Labour came a poor fourth last time (2014) and, tactically, if you are a Labour supporter then you have a better chance of keeping Labour in the Brentwood administration if you vote for Alison Fulcher, Lib Dem candidate.
Conservatives – 562
UKIP – 415
Labour – 217 (nowhere near with 12% of the vote!!!)
Let’s be completely honest – Labour have their best chance in Brentwood South where the super clever Dr Tim Barrett is hoping to take the seat vacated by Cllr Mike Le Surf and join his extremely intelligent & jolly decent brother Cllr Gareth Barrett on Brentwood Council. Now I do hope that Tim wins, because if he doesn’t we will get another Tory. It also means that there’s a fairly good chance of keeping the combined non-Tory parties in power and halt their plans that would have bankrupted the council.
Plus, if Tim is as funny as Gareth, then webcasts will be worth a view!
Last year, we made a historic agreement with Labour, Brentwood First and the Independent candidate Cllr Roger Keeble. in order to take power after ten years of the Tories. In my view, it means you get the best of all parties and the worst of none because we work together for the best of Brentwood and we modify each other’s extremes. Although, to be fair, there’s been little disagreement and nothing really extreme at all! For this to continue, we need Tim so, encourage your friends that live in Brentwood South to think tactically and in Brentwood West….well can I suggest you do the same if you are a Labour supporter and vote Lib Dem? It’s your best chance to get a Labour voice in running Brentwood, overall.
I know of Brentwood West Labour members who will vote Lib Dem tactically and I know that more than one Brentwood South Lib Dem member voted for Cllr Mike Le Surf in 2007 when he was first elected to council and won by a majority of ELEVEN so it really can make a difference.
Finally, if you want to know WHY it is important for the combined Lib/Lab/Indies to run Brentwood read THIS but as a quick recap…this is what we did in TEN MONTHS – don’t let the Tories take us backwards….vote Alison in West…..and tell your friends!
- Implemented new Christmas lights in Shenfield and Brentwood and provided free Christmas trees to Ingatestone as well as lighting the Brentwood station area with a tree and lights to welcome people to the town during the festive period.
- Made Hopefield Animal Sanctuary, Iris Close Amenity Green and the William Hunter Way Disabled Car Park community assets, meaning they can not be sold without notice to the council and protecting them for six months.
- Sold Warley Training Centre (derelict for 10 years) for multi-millions whilst a) providing much needed housing b) much needed social housing and c) to not only put a chunk of capital in the bank but also, IMPORTANTLY, a permanent revenue stream based on retaining 5 residential units for rental.
- Sold Bellmead for much needed housing and, again, social housing.
- Agreed £42,000 of community bid funding for local projects and allocated the underspend of £8,000 to ward budgets, giving each councillor £1380 (an extra £380 each) to spend in their wards.
- Saved Old House from Tory disposal. Retaining a much loved heritage asset, returning it to its former glory after the Tories left to to rot and, once again, providing more much needed housing.
- Town Hall: The project to save it and improve it and make it work for the tax-payer continues
- Westbury Rd considered for homes and for retail space in order to a) revitalise the west end of the high street and b) to provide subsidised independent shops. This is another piece of prime real estate that the Tories forgot about.
- Multi-Storey Car Park. Falling apart and stinks. Being clever about this could bring the town centre a better parking facility AND homes AND shops AND possibly a leisure use too.
- William Hunter Way. After 9 years of Tory farce and £300k of tax payers’ money wasted, we’ve overseen the council’s most successful and engaging public consultation ever and actually listened to our residents. The steer from them is yes to a cinema (but no need to be gigantic) and yes to a better choice of shops. A huge capital and revenue gain opportunity and a means to keep Brentwood folk in Brentwood shopping rather than them going elsewhere.
- Property acquisition fund: £10m to be set aside for property acquisitions to actually fulfil our vision of entrepreneurialism and to keep Eric Pickles’ cuts at bay.
- Hutton Community Centre. Rescuing it from the clutches of bankruptcy by seeking community bids to run it infinitum for the benefit of the community.
- Cemetery Lodges: Refurbishing ‘dead’ properties and earning an income from them.
- Asset register: Actually identifying land that the council own so that we can do stuff with it.
- Affordable Housing Sites: Identifying small parcels of land (Fielding Way, Hutton Drive) that can be developed into social housing sites and that have been ‘hidden’ for years.
- Hallsford Bridge: Been on the market for 10 years without a sniff. Brought it to committee, listened to ward members on their wish to develop as housing but was unable to do so and therefore sold to a local business for an additional £450k that, once again, otherwise we would not have had.
- Total approximate value of prospective CAPITAL monies gained through the Asset Panel: £5m.
- Approximate forthcoming capital value of William Hunter Way, MSCP, Westbury Rd outcomes: £12m
- Total approximate value of prospective REVENUE monies through the Asset Panel’s work so far: £500k per annum
- Ensured that all residents are communicated with via a borough-wide bulletin.
- Started a plan of action on potholes that begins with meeting with the Tory leadership at Essex County Council.
- Started the process to give food waste bags to all residents for FREE and for a textile waste collection.
- Discovered that the Tory administration refurbished the Hutton Community Centre despite £100,000 worth of repair work is needed to the roof…and have now ordered an emergency safety investigation…
- Re-couped £16,000 of public money that the Conservatives failed to claim on billboard advertising revenue
- Made sensible decisions on managing public assets to put tax payers’ money back in the bank
- Opened up council workings in a properly transparent way removing the need for Freedom of Information requests
- Introduced a “complaints amnesty” for staff to present current complaints for proper investigation, allowing the council to learn from mistakes made without the fear of retribution for staff
- Restored democracy and focused decision making to the council chamber
- Advanced the Town Hall transformation project
- Identified multiple affordable and social housing schemes
- Introduced a new parking scheme that is better value for residents and shoppers
Introduced a three month night time car parking charge to balance the night and day parking charges
- Launched investigations into monies that have been mis-spent by the previous administration
- Begun an entrepreneurial approach to council resources to provide much needed funds for front line services
- Informed all the staff to call Accord members by the first names rather than their official titles and opened up the door of the Leader & Deputy Leader’s office for an open and transparent way of working
- Introduced a six-monthly staff satisfaction survey to inform the leadership of how the staff feel their contribution is recognised and how they are delivering for the people of Brentwood
- Introduced committees that are focused on specific areas of the council meaning you get the right people making the right decisions
- Appointed appropriate councillors (usually ward councillors) to working groups on William Hunter Way, Crossrail, Member/Officer Communications/ Members Casework, the Local Council Tax Support Scheme, IT Resilience and Business Continuity, Budget Scrutiny and the Community Safety Partnership Annual Review
- Re-structured the senior management team to provide Brentwood with a Chief Executive once again
- Introduced a cross-party front bench of councillors, giving you the best of everyone and the worst of no one.