POLITICAL parties are preparing to battle it out at the polls in just a few weeks time in a bid to take control of Castle Point Council.

With a seat up for grabs in each of the 14 wards across the borough when the polls open on May 2, we have spoken to each party as they bid to convince residents to give them their backing.

Ukip, Labour, and the Liberal Democrats are all standing in seats across the borough, and will be looking to secure a seat in Castle Point, with the political spectrum dominated by Canvey Island Independent Party and the Conservatives.

Castle Point Council is currently split between 26 Conservative councillors and 14 Canvey Island Independent Party.

But Canvey Island Independent Party is dominating Canvey.

Currently, 14 of the 17 councillors on the island are from the independent party, with three Tories.

However, the Conservatives have a stronghold in Canvey Island West with both seats held by Ray Howard and Jay Blissett.

The elections will be held on Thursday, May 2.

For more information, visit castlepoint.gov.uk.

Canvey Independents

THE Canvey Island Independent Party will continue to commit all its energy to the people of Canvey Island.

As a party, we will make sure the people get a fair representation in Castle Point, giving the council an even split between Canvey and the mainland.

For far too long all the decisions that are being made about Canvey are done by mainland Tories. We believe this has to change and must change now.

We fully support the 7,000 residents of Canvey who have signed the petition so far calling on a review of the amount of councillor seats on the mainland compared to Canvey.

We will continue to fight against the overdevelopment of Canvey and lack of road improvements.

We will also work closely with the police to help tackle crime on the island. Canvey Island Independent Party is always willing to work with any party to improve Canvey island including all our great volunteer groups.


WE believe that councillors should fight to get the most value out of every penny that we as local residents pay in council tax.

As taxpayers, we have worked hard for everything we have earned and the council should work just as hard to make sure we get the most out of our council services.

Local council budgets are still being squeezed and the council still faces many tough decisions to ensure we live within our means.

We pledge to always prioritise the front line services that residents rely on every day, such as rubbish collection, local parks and leisure services, in every decision we make.

We also pledge to prioritise helping those in our community who need the most help, the homeless, the elderly, those who cannot live on their own unassisted and young families in unsuitable accommodation.

Our priorities are your priorities and we do hope you will support us with your vote.


LIBRARIES at the heart of local communities are to be slashed and burned.

Tarpots, South Benfleet and Hadleigh are being targeted by the Conservatives at County Council.

It was disappointing to hear that local councillors have sent a letter expressing their opposition – yet it was lacking content that no libraries should be closed.

Labour will stick up for residents and strongly oppose any library closures. After again failing to pass a local plan, the Government is due to take charge of planning, imposing housing on precious greenbelt land across the borough.

The Conservatives can not and will not stand up for local residents in this matter. Labour will. Crime is worsening and we never thought we would be seeing armed robberies or stabbings on our streets.

This is an issue about resources – a lack of them. The Conservatives have placed a precept on our council taxes to fund an additional 150 officers.

This is after axing 600 officers in Essex since 2010. Council tax is far higher now than under Labour.

Colin Letchford (Independent) 

Why I am an independent candidate in South Ward. I am a resident and believe my fellow residents deserve to be told the truth about issues that involve them and the spending of their hard earned money; the council tax.

For as long as I can remember the political parties have engaged in self-interest point scoring.

This results in rumour and fake news [the Paddocks is a prime example]. I will tell residents the truth about issues in regular newsletters and listen to their opinions.

Most of a councillor’s work is helping individual residents or groups with problems. It is a privilege to help residents resolve problems with the council and other bodies.

In the past I have dealt with issues such as street lighting, pavement repairs, council tax, badly placed security lighting etc. Being a councillor gives me access to council officers on their behalf.

Of course, I am for a third road off the island and against more development. I leave it to the parties to make their promises and accusations.


TWO candidates will be standing for UKIP. The party states that “local elections are about local issues but many local issues are governed by national policies” and top priority is the full withdrawal from the EU.

They believe if voters elect as many Ukip councillors as possible it will “send an earthquake to the establishment”.

Changes to the council would include the introduction of referendums for major decisions that affect the community, more investment in the police to tackle gang related crimes and a promise to keep council tax as low as possible.

Liberal Democrats

THE Liberal Democrats standing in Castle Point feel that many Castle Point residents feel let down by the Conservatives.

Our libraries in Benfleet, Hadleigh and Tarpots are under threat from the Conservatives’ County Council library closure plans. And our Green Belt is at risk from the Conservatives’ failure to deliver an acceptable local plan.

The Liberal Democrats demand much better. We will put residents and our local community at the forefront of what we do rather than engaging in tribal politics.

We as a party will listen to the people of Castle Point and be local champions who will stand up for you, your views, and how you want to see the borough develop.

Castle Point needs a fresh approach. Vote for the Liberal Democrats on Thursday, May 2.