Thursday, 25 April 2013

There is light at the end of the tunnel

After a fairly gruelling day yesterday, someone switched the light back on at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps it's the weather or simply a good night's sleep, but everything fell into place today and we started making real progress.

My predecessor as Agent, Anne Moloney
(no in tray, no out tray - just an ash tray)
First off was a visit from my long serving predecessor as Agent, Anne Moloney (now Cllr Moloney). Anne worked at Tonbridge & Malling for over 20 years, and despite staying local after her retirement, and indeed winning a formerly rock solid Labour seat in her home town of Snodland (yes, there really is a place named Snodland), has never tried to interfere or undermine my plans or the changes I implemented, which must have been terribly difficult.  Many people, me included, thought Anne could be quite rude. Having now done the job for five years, I think she had the patience of a saint, though stories of her abrupt nature abound. 

There was one very elderly chap in his 80s who would come in to pack envelopes. Being recently widowed he was lonely and liked to chat - but Anne was having none of it, and banished him to the attic as he was making too much noise. One day, having sent him to the attic she went home, locking him in the building. He was stuck inside for hours before he could raise the alarm and someone came to let him out. When he told her this the following week she apparently said, "well it's your own fault for not letting me know you were still there when I left."  They don't make agents like Anne Moloney any more!

Anne had popped in to check if we were coping with the pressure. Apparently one of her ward colleagues, who reads my blog every day, thought I was sounding stressed, and asked Anne to check I was OK. I was very moved by this random act of kindness. I won't name names - but thank you for being so considerate Mrs BB of Snodland, I appreciate it very much.

Summer Raffle: 500 down, 2,500 left to pack!
Our 30,000 Get Out The Vote letters all left the office today, creating space in the attic and on the landing, which I immediately filled with the first batch of 500 packs of summer draw tickets (500 down, 2,500 to go!). We also found time today to print 15,000 polling day leaflets.

One big push now on Saturday when I have mustered a team of 30+ activists to go on the warpath in Malling Central, the seat of Kent Lib Dem leader, Trudie Dean. Our candidate there, Russ Taylor, already has one Lib Dem scalp, having defeated former Tonbridge & Malling Lib Dem Leader, David Thorneywell, in 2011 - and in doing so gained a seat held by the Lib Dems for over 30 years. Can he make it two in a row - the canvassing returns show us edging ahead. It's game on!

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