60 Seconds: The only way is Essex



60 Seconds: The only way is Essex

As Mrs May heads for the biggest showdown of her life, after the last biggest showdown and just before the next biggest showdown, she should look East to the fine County of Essex.

In particular, she should look at Babergh and the town of Hadleigh. ‘To hell with the will of people’, could be town’s new motto.

There seems to be a bit of in-fighting – to put it mildly – between the good burghers. The former Deputy Major, Bill Wilson, called for a poll of the people with one simple question (a bit like Brexit): “Would you like the current Councillors of Hadleigh Town Council to resign?”

8de787a5-ebc6-4b02-a844-521e866be298Babergh and Mid-Suffolk District Councils organised the poll which resulted as follows:

Yes: 489 votes
No: 252 votes.

None of your close margins of 52-48 like Brexit: this was a clear vote for those calling for the end of what they termed a ‘dysfunctional council.’

But, and there is always a ‘but’, the turnout was only 11% which Mr Wilson attributes to short polling hours, no postal votes and England playing football. For local government, 11% is not bad, in my view.

So the Town Council bent to the will of the people? Not a bit of it. They refused point blank to resign, rightly saying that the poll had no legal status.  What the District Council was doing wasting money running it, is a different question.

The current Mayor, Peter Matthews, said it ‘would be business as usual’ until the elections next May’ pointing out that the ‘out’ vote was only 6% of the Town’s population.

Now there are lessons here for the Prime Minister. If she can’t get any agreement at Chequers, she should pop down to Hadleigh to get some real lessons in democracy and the ‘will of the people’.

If you see a fast car heading east on the M25 this evening, you’ll know who it is.

Have a good weekend.


This week at Curtin&Co

Curtin&Co was delighted to be part of the project team that secured planning consent for a new filling station in Worcester on behalf of Forelle Estates.

“We are enjoying a good run at planning having secured several consents in the past year and have found the work of Curtin&Co to greatly assist help build support for our applications”.

Mike Price,
Managing Director, Forelle Estates

This week in the news
Policy Exchange: housing speech​
Speech by the Secretary of State the Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP

Building More, Building Beautiful – Policy Exchange report
How design and style can unlock the housing crisis

Tackle five-year land supplies to help solve the housing crisis
The Times Red Box piece by James Cartlidge, MP for South Suffolk

And Finally…

Chapel on the Hill
Ed Sheeran’s plans for private chapel on his estate refused

Curtin&Co specialises in the fields of Community Consultation and Political Engagement, especially around development, and Reputation & Crisis Management.

Curtin&Co has grown rapidly to a team of over 20 highly qualified political, community engagement and reputation management specialists, having been founded by Tom Curtin in 2009.  In 2016, Curtin&Co was delighted to be listed in PR Week’s Top 150 Public Relations consultancies at number 86 and in the Top 10 Public Affairs consultancies at number 8; a recognition of the quality of the service and growth achieved.

To find out more visit www.curtinandco.com or call Helen Barrett on 0207 399 2288