Monday, 13 May 2013

Cllr Ray Worley - Hedge End's Ever Present Councillor

Wednesday sees the AGM of Hedge End Town Council and the start of a new year of meetings. Congratulations are due to Cllr Ray Worley who has achieved 100% attendance at full council meetings for the second year. Joining him this year at all twelve meetings was Cllr Jane Welsh.

There are many reasons why an individual councillor might miss a small number of meetings - illness, family or work commitments, or commitments on other councils. Nearly half of the Lib Dems on Hedge End Town Council serve on neighbouring parish councils, the borough council or county council. But Cllr Welsh is a borough councillor as well and still managed to attend all town council meetings this year.

Town councillors are not paid an allowance, but if they were, Cllrs Worley and Welsh would be giving excellent value for money.  Overall, attendance at full council was 72% in the past year, a percentage brought down by three members who could only manage to attend fewer than 50% of the meetings.

Attendance Record at Full Council May 2012 to April 2013
Welsh, Jane100%12
Worley, Ray100%12
Bloom, Louise92%11
Carnell, Paul92%11
Sthankiya, Shankerlal92%11
Corben, Helen83%10
Day, Keith83%10
Effany, Richard83%10
Garton, Cynthia83%10
Hughes, Peter83%10
Houghton, Val75%9
Allingham, Margaret67%8
Baynes, Sheila67%8
Clarke, Daniel58%7
Kyrle, Rupert58%7
Pretty, Derek58%7
Tennent, Bruce58%7
Watson, June58%7
House, Keith42%5
Bloom, Caitlin33%4
Hughes, JennyAnn33%4

Picture credit: Hedge End Town Council

Thursday, 9 May 2013

The State of the Parties in Hedge End

Here's a bar chart you probably won't see in the next Lib Dem leaflet to drop through your door. It shows the change in support for the parties in Hedge End and Botley since the County Council Elections in 2009.

The Lib Dem candidate, Rupert Kyrle, had the advantage of a year's free publicity as Mayor of Eastleigh, voted against the party whip to oppose the development of Boorley Green, is a conscientious and hard working councillor, but his vote was still down 12%.

Since 2009 the Lib Dems have lost over 1300 councillors and lost control of 15 councils nationwide. With the loss of three county councillors in Eastleigh divisions, it looks as if local Lib Dems are no longer immune to the poisoning of their party brand that has been affecting their support nationally.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Hedge End Councillors Hold On Against UKIP

In Eastleigh it takes a Hedge End Town Councillor to beat UKIP. At last week's County Council elections, UKIP surprised their opponents by snatching three Eastleigh divisions from the Lib Dems. Only where the Lib Dem candidate was also a Hedge End Councillor did the Lib Dems hold on with much reduced majorities.

In Hamble Cllr Keith House saw his 1,300 majority in 2009 reduced to just 540.

In Grange Park and West End Cllr Bruce Tennant's margin fell from nearly 1,000 to less than 300.

Hedge End and Botley returned Cllr Rupert Kyrle by a mere 150 (down from 600 in 2009).

In all three of the divisions held by Lib Dems, UKIP are now the closest challengers. Apart from in Chandlers Ford the Conservatives were third in Eastleigh, in some cases a distant third.

The Tories tried to ridicule the UKIP candidates, the Lib Dems tried to ignore them. Neither tactic worked in Eastleigh.

Outside Eastleigh the Conservatives did enough to retain control of the council, but the Lib Dem group was reduced by a third from 25 to 17. UKIP have ten councillors, Labour four and there are two independents. The Greens' share of the vote would have been enough to give them one or two councillors under a purely proportional system.

So it's no real change in Hedge End: same party in control and same two opposition councillors representing us. But the Lib Dems in Eastleigh are clearly vulnerable now. They are no longer safe in what was one of their safest councils.

You can see the full results for Hampshire here, and the Eastleigh News report here.

As an interesting footnote, there are now 20 independent or other non-party councillors on the Isle of Wight, and the outgoing leader of the council was ousted by his independent challenger.