Labour not a viable alternative to the Tories

Time for a real change which can only the Lib Dems

Watching the righteous anger at the racist comments by a Tory donor, one item stood out.  Diane Abbott (at whom the comments were made) was suspended from the Labour party in April 2023 for alleged anti-semitic comments. Why are they taking so long to decide on her case?  I suspect the Labour party would rather do nothing than risk bad press prior to any General Election.  

The Labour party selection contest in Croydon East is being investigated by the police over allegations of “computer misuse”, this was last November.

Here in Southend we have two councillors barred from standing for the Labour party in the local elections. 

Can you trust Labour?  Unable to come to a decision, bringing the police in, barring two well respected Southend councillors from standing, what next?

How long will they be in power before they implode?  Voting Tory will give us five more years of decline (and more infighting),  voting Labour it seems will give us a party also riven by infighting...

Liberal Democrats?  Local candidates with honest policies that are best for you and best for Britain; not the party, not the unions and certainly not the party donors.

James Allen

Stop the Lorries!

The local Lib Dems are raising a petition to 'Stop the Lorries'. The petition strongly objects to the planned transport of earth by tens of thousands of lorries driving through Southend, Southchurch, Thorpe Bay and Shoeburyness to the flood plain at the Shoebury Gunners Park Site. There the plan is to build up the land level with this material and build 214 houses on top.  Unfortunately the Planning Permission was granted so we cannot stop the building if it is commenced within the permitted period. Our petition demands that this material not be transported by road through our area, instead we think it is essential to arrange river transportation (the Gunners Park site is on the coast), or possibly train transport but that could be more complicated.  When complete our petition will be sent to the Developer, the City Council and the Housing Minister.

Below is the link to the online petition. Hopefully you will be able to simply click onto the link, but you may need to cut and paste it into the address box of Google (not the search box). One final thing, please can you tick the box for email updates on the petition site? We would like to keep everyone informed of our progress, but we need your permission in line with GDPR rules.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at email address:


Many thanks & kind regards

James Allen

Local Lib Dems

Stop The Lorries petition in Southend

James Allen appointed Lib Dem Candidate for Southend East and Rochford Constituency

James Allen has been appointed as the Liberal Democrat Candidate for the Southend East & Rochford Constituency, the seat being vacated by Sir James Duddridge who will be standing down in the 2024 general election. 

For thirty years Liberal Democrat James Allen has lived in several parts of the constituency: Barling, Shoebury and Southend. He knows all the local communities and is the only declared candidate who lives in the constituency.  

James has worked in both the public and the private sectors, often on major infrastructure and transport projects in the UK.  

James Allen is a great believer in community and has volunteered whenever he could. He was a Justice of the Peace in Southend, a Chairman of Barling Parish Council in Rochford and has raised thousands of pounds for charity.

Before settling in the constituency James had experience of living overseas in California and Hawaii. He told the Echo "Seeing the US health care system at first hand makes you really appreciate our National Health Service (which was designed by a Liberal, Lord Beverage in the 1940's). However, our wonderful NHS has been allowed to deteriorate under the current government. The Southend area has one of the worst waiting lists per head of the population in the country. There are literally millions of people throughout the UK waiting for the medical help they need before returning to work.  Many of those people could be contributing to our nation's economy - where is the sense in that? " 

"At Christmas the King paid tribute to the work of the nation's carers. As Liberal Democrats we have long fought for a better deal for carers. The lack of an efficient and properly funded care system is one of the key things holding back healthcare in this country, it causes a serious blockage in the hospital system. NHS data published recently stated that 18,669 hospital patients were considered fit for release on Christmas Eve but only 8,667 were discharged. With a better care system a large amount of those 10,002 people held in hospital could have been discharged. The Lib Dems are committed to a number of measures to resolve this, including paying carers more for their valuable work. Dedicated carers need to receive a wage that can support a normal lifestyle in the UK. We should not be relying on workers from other countries to provide our healthcare needs." 

The Liberal Democrats nationally believe they have finally recovered from their time in the coalition government, when they took all the flack but received none of the credit for dragging the country back from the brink after the financial crisis at the end of Gordon Brown's Labour government. 

Within the constituency the Liberal Democrats are the second largest group on Rochford District Council which has no Labour Councillors. The Lib Dems are also reporting increased support in Shoebury, Thorpe Bay and Southend. They will be real contenders in the up and coming general election.

James Allen - Rochford & Southend East Candidate

We are all paying for bankrupt Tory cuts


I have seen that another Local Authority (LA) declared a 114 notice.  Basically, this is a declaration of bankruptcy for a Local Authority. Nationally many councils of whatever colour are counting the cost of the Tory Government's reduction in support, and their constituents pay the price.

Locally of course Southend is struggling with a deficit and is looking to close four children’s centres, funding for the Iron Works and close two libraries to reduce its £10m+ gap.  I have to say I was surprised that the Tory council, after only 7 months in power, has lost an extra £5m.  Indeed they already claim to have made £3m in savings.  Thus, their loss is actually £8m. Thats over £1m a month for each and every month the Tory controlled council has been in charge and has cost the people of Southend.

Before they took control the Council was looking at a £5m deficit for the year and had a plan to reduce that further.

I can only assume that the Tories (and the independents supporting them) now running the council believe that people who read books and have children don't vote for them anyway, while those who park in the evening do....


James Allen

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Rochford and Southend East

James Allen

How do bankers' bonuses help us?

So, the Government today announced (with due fanfare) that they are lifting the cap on bankers' bonuses.

A little history here - this cap was an EU law (agreed and passed in the UK) to limit bonus after the 2008 crash of the financial system, caused by those same bankers searching for a profit (and a bonus), to protect the banks and the deposits of millions of savers and borrowers.

This government has been very clear to be strict with pay restraint for teachers, nurses, doctors, rail staff, etc. We have endured strikes for months in the NHS (with over 7.7 million people waiting for treatment, ten percent of the population), trains that don't run, etc.

So, in what parallel universe is this helping the country?

How does it help those on low incomes who are going to struggle over the next few months as fuel bills increase with winter usage, all of us who labour under the heaviest tax burden in 70 years, all of us whose mortgages have gone up due to Tory policies (well Liz Truss's), all of us struggling with inflation over 6 per cent.

Oh wait, this couldn't be preparing the ground for all those Tory MPs looking for work next year? But who is helping us?


Letter by James Allen, Liberal Democrat spokesman for Rochford and Southend East, published in the Echo, Friday 27 October.

We didn't win the Mid Bedfordshire by-election, But it was still a great victory for the Lib Dems. 

Our super candidate Emma Holland-Lindsay almost doubled the Lib Dem share of the vote from 12.6% in 2019 to a whopping 23% on Thursday! This was one of the best ever Lib Dem results in this seat. Incredibly Lib Dem candidate Emma was the only major party candidate to increase their vote in this by-election.

That's 4 amazing Lib Dem by-election wins and this close run campaign against the Tories in just over two years! It has transformed the narrative about the Liberal Democrats.

It’s put the Lib Dems in a great position heading into a General Election year.

Now Southend East & Rochford Constituency, also the Southend West & Leigh Constituency are in the Lib Dem sights.

James Allen the local Lib Dem Parliamentary spokesperson said "The Conservative Government have been on a downhill trajectory: economy trashed, climate policies ditched, lots of sleaze  – and they even gave Liz Truss a hero’s reception at their party conference!

There is no reason why the Lib Dems should not do well in south east Essex, we are in control of Chelmsford City Council and we are the largest Party in the group running Rochford District Council.

To all reading this I say 'Let's keep in touch!' - why not sign up for regular updates!"

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Shoplifting epidemic

Local shops and supermarkets are suffering from an epidemic of shoplifting. Local Campaigner James Allen, a former Southend Magistrate, said "I have been speaking to many shopkeepers and their staff who all report this has become a major problem , something needs to be done soon."

Mr Allen who is the Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for Rochford and Southend East said "The recession and inflation have made the problem worse, but restrictions on shop staff apprehending thieves and the reluctance of the police to get involved has made the situation almost impossible to control.

This isn't about the theft of a small amount of food by poor people who might receive a degree of sympathy. This is about blatant theft of non essentials like alcohol, cigarettes and high value items to sell on the black market. 

Most important are those incidents that involve abuse and violence against shop staff."

The figures are truly shocking. The British Retail Consortium (BRC), reports that 867 violent or abusive incidents occur every day. However only 7% of those incidents result in prosecution. In a recent BRC survey, while 56% of retailers rate the police response as 'fair' (positive), the last time the police were given an excellent rating was 2012-13, even then only 8% said the police response was excellent. The BRC report states 'For many, a negative assessment was accompanied by a view that there was no point in reporting violence and abuse due to a lack of response from the police.'

Mr Allen commented "this is hardly a glowing report for the police. With eight million incidents of theft per year, costing a whopping £953 million, something has to change. There are only so many measures shops can take on their own while complying with the law.

I am pressing for more effective police action on shoplifting to show this theft will not be tolerated. A more visible presence of police will in itself be a deterrent to thieves. The Liberal Democrat policy has long been a return to bobbies on the beat. We need more visible policing in our community, in the long run this will save police time and money as the young shoplifter of today may well graduate to worse crime. Many shoplifters are well known to shop staff and the police. With modern CCTV cameras common in shops, evidence can be gathered more easily than in times past. 

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has said the police must investigate every theft. We should all hold her to her word. This isn't just a political slogan to be trotted out a year before a General Election, it is a promise to the British people. We need a reset on this issue to protect shop workers and clamp down on theft which is driving up all our bills."


British Retail Consortium links

BRC Annual Crime Survey:

BRC Press release at the time on it:

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Rochford & Southend East Campaign Team

Local campaigner James Allen selected as Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for Rochford & Southend East Constituency  

James Allen the man and his campaign

James has lived in the constituency for over thirty years, before that he experienced life overseas in California and Hawaii. He said "Seeing the US health care system first hand makes you really appreciate our NHS. Just a couple of years ago we were clapping NHS staff during covid pandemic. Today we have multiple strikes and a big problem retaining our heroic medical staff. We must ensure they stay in the NHS, in order to do that the government must pay them internationally competitive salaries. It's the only way we have to keep them doing the jobs we so desperately need. Employing agency staff is very costly and stripping third world countries of their medics is totally unethical."

James Allen said "Our Conservative government have staggered from one disaster to another in recent years. In the process they have disposed of four of their own Prime Ministers in just seven years. While the Conservatives have been obsessed with their internal infighting, the country has suffered one calamity after another. 

Labour seem to be 'risk averse', their leader says if elected they will continue Conservative policies. As the Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson I intend to call out those government failures and hold their local MPs to account. The Lib Dems are already a force in local politics with many Councillors elected to Rochford District Council and Southend City Council. Rochford has returned no Labour Councillors for many years. We will challenge the Tories now and at the next general election."

James has experience of serving in local government and is familiar with residents concerns about the consequences of over development, "The Conservative government has been exerting great pressure on local authorities to allow building in often inappropriate places in the South East.  This led to the terrible decision to grant planning permission for hundreds of houses on land prone to flooding in Shoebury. Developers are seriously considering raising the land levels of that flood plain with huge amounts of earth carried by tens of thousands of giant truck movements along Southend, Thorpe Bay and Shoebury roads. The whole thing has become a tragic fiasco. MPs cannot just wash their hands of this potential catastrophe, local people deserve better. I will be challenging this every step of the way."

James Allen has served as a Magistrate in Southend and has been employed in both the public and the private sectors, currently he works on major railway infrastructure projects in the UK. 

Contact James at


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The Liberal Democrats may use the information you provide, including your political opinions, to further our objectives and share it with our elected representatives. Any data we gather will be used in accordance with our privacy policy: You can exercise your rights and withdraw your consent to future communications by contacting us: or: DPO, Lib Dems, 1 Vincent Square, SW1P 2PN.

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