Ward by Ward: Mark Hall: Will Purton’s charm offensive win the day?
News / Mon 23rd Apr 2018 am30 11:46am
BACK in 2012, Harlow Labour won this ward by 509 votes. Labour have had their wobbles since,, especially in 2014, when UKIP won two seats.
Labour won one seat back six months later and then the other seat by 302 in 2016.
The Labour councillors in this ward are the typical councillors who quietly get on with the job in hand. A lot of people say they never see their councillors. Not sure what they want. Should they drive around in an open top bus wearing a colourful hat?
Cllr.Bob Davis does sterling work with the Scrutiny Committee. Cllr Lanie Shears not only attedns a lot of meetings but is also very diligent (quietly) with case work from Blackbush Spring to Vicarage Wood.
Defending councillor Danny Purton is a more controversial character and should he win and retain his portfolio he may well be more and more in the spotlight as he leads on infrastructure. In short, a lot of the Local Plan debates will be led by him and he will be the man to defend the questions. The Harlow Conservatives are never short of questions and they suspect that there are plenty of chinks in cllr Purton’s armour.
The Conservatives may well judge progress as getting back into second place. They may well be encouraged by having a young energised candidiate in Andrew Colley.
As for UKIP, all the indicators are that they will be lucky to get over 100 votes.
As for the Lib Dems, all the indicators are that they will be lucky to get over 100 votes. Lesley Rideout was a councillor and you do wonder where the Lib Dems are going in Harlow. Not so long ago, they shared power in Harlow. Now, they are completley invisible apart from a token effort in putting a few candidates up. You do feel that those loyal Lib Dem voters deserve better.
YH Prediction: Labour Hold.
Andrew Colley Conservative
Danny Purton Labour
Lesley Rideout Liberal Democrats
Abbey Ward UK Independence Party (UKIP)
The Labour Party are out nigh on every weekend canvassing, election time or not, so I guess the people that say they never see their councillors are out a lot. Danny I think will win through in this ward, for the simple reason that he, like other Labour councillors, care a bit more than the rest. Tory "canvassing sessions" that I've witnessed are a bit like black ops missions, all dark satchels and poking leaflets through doors then running away like the residents have the plague. I wonder they've fixed the formatting problem with their hand outs yet. The last one I saw, the back was a different way up to the front. A "strong and stable" job lot if ever I saw one...
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