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County Council elections on May 6 - Photo by Cyrus Crossan on Unsplash

County Council election candidates ask for Brightlingsea's votes

Elections to Essex County Council take place on Thursday, May 6. Brightlingsea Info asked the candidates for the Brightlingsea Division to put forward reasons why they should be elected

Four candidates are standing for the division, which includes Brightlingsea, Great Bentley, Thorrington, Alresford and Point Clear.

The four are: Mick Barry, of New Street, Brightlingsea (Independent); Alan Goggin, of Church Road, Brightlingsea (Conservative); Margaret Saunders, of Elizabeth Road, Dovercourt (Labour); Gary Scott, of Laxton Road, Alresford (Liberal Democrats). The current councillor is Alan Goggin.

All eight county divisions in Tendring are being contested, and residents will also have the opportunity to select the Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner at the same time –  candidates for this election can be found on this website later this month: www.choosemypcc.org.uk/ or by calling the national helpline on 0808 196 2170. There are also by-elections taking place in two Clacton wards for Tendring District Council. All county candidates for the district can be found here.

We asked all candidates to submit a 'manifesto' and their unedited contributions can be seen below (ordered alphabetically by surname) by clicking on the relevant panel. The Labour Party candidate did not want to contribute.

Election results are expected to be announced on Friday, May 7.

Mick Barry - Independent

I realise standing as an independent candidate against an established party-backed councillor is a big decision and a tough challenge but I am committed to the campaign and hope that residents will trust me with their votes. As we cautiously emerge from lockdown I genuinely believe that I have the character and ability to represent residents’ views and deliver better local outcomes across a range of policy areas. 

The County Council has a policy on every aspect of residents’ lives, and many well written documents simply gather dust on shelves because there has been a lack of local initiative. I would be pro-active in utilising the Essex Strategic Plan and the Essex Climate Action Commission Report as templates for action. They cover the gamut of council responsibilities and should be used to make things happen! I am the only candidate to prioritise environmental and infrastructure issues with proposals to improve outcomes within reasonable timescales.

 Over the last twelve months we have all learned the value of our natural environment and the benefits of enjoying our coastline and countryside. We have recognised the need for improved health and wellbeing opportunities, and the importance of accessible options to exercise. 

The implementation of dedicated ,well planned cycling and walking routes across urban and rural locations, with links to integrated passenger transport systems has, to be part of a new approach. Too many cars on too many pot-holed roads is not a sustainable strategy.  

As a Town and District councillor for the last six years I have a track record of developing policy initiatives and delivering results. My rescue of Brightlingsea Lido has become a model of council- led community action that has gained national recognition. I have also implemented new recycling measures,  obtained commitments from council leaders to improve flood defences,  simplified accessible grants for residents, and led the area’s premier music festival for twenty years. My main objective as an elected representative is to improve the quality of life for all residents.

I firmly believe in local solutions to local problems and am as frustrated as any resident by the buck passing between councils. The size and complexity of councils can be counter-productive. With influence at both District and County level I would promote positive thinking and clear lines of accountability to get things done. Your County Councillor needs to show initiative and determination to obtain resources for our area. 

In my view the role I seek is clear – hold the county accountable for its statutory functions but also exploit the potential of other policy documents and commitments. I would be honest about my achievements and equally genuine about my limitations. I thrive on political engagement and discussions with decision makers. I would love to work on your behalf at County Hall! It is a privilege to be considered as someone you can trust to represent your views and concerns - if elected as an Independent County Councillor I would do so on your behalf without fear or favour. 

Mick Barry - Independent Candidate for the Brightlingsea Division. 
Tel: 07903 137423
Email: [email protected]

Alan Goggin - Conservative

I am Alan Goggin, and I am the Conservative candidate for the elections to Essex County Council on May 6. I have been privileged to already represent the 5 wonderful community parishes of Brightlingsea, St.Osyth , Point-Clear, Alresford, Thorrington & Great Bentley – for six years.
I have a history of experience in local politics, being proud to be a Brightlingsea Town councillor - 10 years, and a Tendring District Councillor - 8 years, with a record of achievement.

Rather than look back, I prefer to look forward and re-visit four of my pledges from my manifesto.

NUMBER ONE: I believe that you judge groups by how they treat the least fortunate within society. Essex is committed to its entire population but especially elderly, young and residents with special needs.

I pledge to ensure that these needs are paramount in decision making.

You can trust me as I have already helped create high levels of service in my existing roles where I chair a “special needs” grant board, and am a governor of Market-Field school for children with special needs.

NUMBER TWO: It costs £2,000 Million pounds to run the County each year. The residents Council tax is significant but is just £700 million. The balance comes from a variety of sources. It is essential that the County Council is run efficiently. Here my 52 years of experience in the Independent Financial Services industry allows me to Pledge that I will continue to ensure that the best value for money is achieved, whilst protecting essential services. It is worth reflecting that some County Councils have nearly gone bust!

Essex is already in the top 10 most efficient councils in the country.

You can trust me with my pledge. During my time I have been privileged to be deputy to a variety of key Cabinet members, including Education, Finance & business development.

NUMBER THREE: I Pledge to extend the move to localism allowing local councillors to have a say, and the responsibility, on issues that can be dealt with locally. An example could be road and pavement repairs to be carried out by local firms.

You can trust me to follow this through as I have already championed schemes over 3 years allowing exactly that. Councils have been encouraged to submit lists of the most needed repairs, plus an experimental budget to spend themselves over two years.

NUMBER FOUR: Essex County Council have an excellent Climate Commission. It has just published it’s recommendations. I pledge to ensure that Essex is a l the forefront of the war against global warning. Again, you can trust me as I am part of the team working in Education that already ensures new schools are scheduled to be carbon neutral from outset, with older buildings being carbon neutral by 2030.

There are 4 candidates, but I am asking for your vote as I believe I am the best person to represent the residents based on experience, and reliability.

Alan Goggin - Conservative Party Candidate for the Brightlingsea Division
Tel: 01206 308023/07860 519 117
Email: [email protected]

Gary Scott - Liberal Democrat

My name is Cllr Gary Scott, I am 45, once worked for Sir Bob Russell, former MP for Colchester. He taught me the importance of public service and putting people first. I have done that to the best of my ability, as District Councillor for over 19 years, that is why I am standing to be the new County Councillor for Brightlingsea Division. I have been a District Councillor for over 19 years for Alresford and Thorrington, once chaired several committees from Scrutiny to Planning. I have a positive working relationship with other Councillors across the area, bringing positive and productive change to our District and helping people to get the best from the Council. 

I have campaigned to save the recycling centre in St Osyth many years ago, sadly the Conservatives closed it, now we see fly-tipping across our areas. I am passionate about Climate Change and highlighting the issues and problems people have every day. Having 19 years of Local Government experience in Tendring, I am qualified to take on the challenges of Essex County Council. 

The roads around the town are in a bad state and need urgent attention. Essex Highways does not seem to be working properly and we see potholes being repaired poorly and need repairing again. This is a waste of money. Roads like Church Road, Chapel Road are the main routes and need to have different status because these are used a lot more. The Conservatives have signed off £46 Million of cuts and they are not telling us where the axe will fall, this might be libraries, who knows. 

I am currently the Chairman of The Autumn Centre in Victoria Place, and since Covid, I have made changes, with the support from my trustees, helping the charity to the next level. I am proud of what we have done so far. 

In 2017, I stood for the Brightlingsea Division and I came second to the Conservatives. I am sure, with the Towns support, I can win. The tactical voting group called The Progressive Alliance Essex, on Twitter, are suggesting people should Vote Liberal Democrat here in Brightlingsea. Voting for other candidates might split the vote and let in the Conservatives, we can not risk that again. If people usually vote Labour, Green or independent, please do consider tactically switching your support to me, to beat the Conservative Party. 

Finally, I would like to thank the kind messages of support from many residents in the town and surrounding communities. 

Gary Scott - Liberal Democrat Candidate for the Brightlingsea Division. 
Tel: 01206 820769
Email: [email protected]

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