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St Annes Town Council Runners and Riders

St Annes Town Council Runners and RidersAs we promised in our newsflash to those who receive our publication reminder emails, the runners and riders for the Saint Anne's on the Sea Town Council's Fairhaven Ward seat can now be revealed.

They are (in alphabetical order):

Bob lives just outside Fairhaven Ward in Clarendon Road, and has done for more than 30 years. He stands on a Liberal Democrat ticket and stood as a candidate for election to Kilnhouse Ward in the 2007 Borough Council election. His professional life was in manufacturing engineering, concluding his career as Technical Director of Dudley Industries.

Locally, he is the main co-ordinator for 'ROAR' - Residents Organisation for Airport Review and represents the views of local residents on the Blackpool Airport Joint Consultative Committee. He is also a Governor of Lytham-St. Anne's Technology and Performing Arts College, and he represents ROAR on the Fylde Civic Awareness Group. His interests include music and DIY. We know him to be a slow burning, but thoughtful and thorough sort of person.

counterbalance comment: Living outside the ward, he starts at a slight disadvantage, but the Liberal Democrat organisation has strong roots and willing workers, and he will no doubt be well supported with helpers.

At the present time Alfred Jealous is County Councillor Alfred Jealous, but is stepping down from that role at the County elections next year. A former Mayor, and former councillor of Fylde Borough Council of many years standing, he was displaced by Cheryl Little at the 2007 Borough Council election.

Politically he has been a lifelong conservative, but is a man of his own mind, and this time he stands without declared party affiliation, citing only his professional epithet "Notary Public" on his nomination papers.

We understood he was now retired, but in the recent past had been a solicitor with a practice in Wood Street. However, his entry in the County Council's register of members interests still shows him to a Notary. He lives within the ward on the Inner Promenade. We know he is interested in art and theatre and perhaps a fact not known by many, that he is quite an accomplished magician. On occasions we have known him to be quite a showman, to whom pomp and ceremony comes perfectly naturally.

counterbalance comment: He is well known locally, (which can carry both plusses and minuses). If he is standing as an independent, and the conservative party machine is not out supporting him, he might find the canvassing hard going. Countering that, he is very well experienced as both a canvasser and a councillor.

A new (or at least newish) face on Fylde's civic landscape, Bill Whitehead is probably best known locally as the man who caused a parish poll to be held on the Borough Council's plan to close St Anne's Swimming Pool, and where he saw 94% support for keeping it open. The use of the Parish Poll process also showed that even as an outsider, he had some understanding of the workings of a Town Council. Together with his daughter Robyn who ran the "robbydoo" Save the Pool website, he raised the profile of the pool closure as much as anyone in the town and drew gratitude from many.

A family man, he lives in Fairhaven Ward, and runs a security and electronics business although his background is mostly engineering. We know him to be impatient for results and not willing to be constrained by red tape. He will set out his stall and canvass thoroughly. An outspoken critic of party politics in local government, he stands as an independent candidate, and is also very capable with the media, so he must be in with a good chance.

counterbalance comment: Determined, and independently minded, he will put in a solid effort. We have already christened him The Cannon - not because of any religious reason, but because he tends to cause quite a stir and makes a very loud noise when he wants something to be noticed.

The unknown quantity in this contest, he lives on Croyd Road which is in the Ward, and so far as we can ascertain he has no previous civic 'form'. But he knows enough to style his application "Common-Sense Independent" which is a good start - and we wonder if this might even suggest some previous form elsewhere.

counterbalance comment: Dark horse, not well known locally, so must start with less of a chance than the others.

So there we have it. Today was the last day for any of the candidates to have withdrawn from the race, and as far as we can establish none has withdrawn, so the good people of Fairhaven will have the choice of four.

Whilst the Saint Anne's on the Sea Town Council is in its civic infancy, in the future it will undoubtedly have more responsibility, more influence, and more impact on people's lives. It's current members will shape that future, so whilst some detractors may decry its current powers, this Fairhaven seat comprises 14% of the voting power and will impact on the shape of St Anne's into the future. So whatever your preference, if you live in the St Anne's part of Fairhaven Ward (roughly the St Anne's side of St Paul's Avenue and Rosebery Avenue and Smithy Lane) it's really important to put the election date - 22 January 2009 - in in your diary to remember to go and vote.

We wish all candidates well and look forward to bringing our readers the result on or shortly after 22January.

Dated:  30 December 2008


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