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Door-knocking … is the real election

April 30, 2010

Canvassing for an election makes “normal” life for Councillors go into a fast-forward. Between elections, Labour’s team in Caledonian Ward goes doorknocking regularly throughout the year. But on average, we only visit around a few dozen homes each week. And, of course, Cally Councillors also get several dozen letters and emails a week ina ddition to the visits to our “surgeries” held 3 times a month.

But an election speeds that all up. So, since the beginning of March, we have spoken to more than 2,000 people. And in the past 4 weeks we’ve delivered leaflets to around 6,000 homes in Caledonian Ward. Doing this, you get to hear a lot and see a lot more about things going on in our neighbourhood. So our “casework” files have taken on a new bulge in the past few weeks.

As Councillors, canvassing also reminds us about what we – and our MP Emily Thornberry – have done well for the area … or what we’ve still got to do. The Guardian’s Dave Hill picks ups a great anecdote about our Lib Dem opponents looking for votes around the Westbourne Estate a couple of weeks ago.

One voter in Caledonian ward, asked to support the LibDems, launches into a rant about the (Lib Dem) council’s uselessness in fixing his heating. “And did your Labour councillors lift a finger to help you out?” Bridget Fox prompts helpfully. “Yeah, they were the ones who came round and sorted it out!” … as the voter slams the door.

Labour’s team was visiting the area in the last couple of evenings – and got a very good reception. Charlynne says “there’s a distinct friendly feel to canvassing the estates especially in the northern part of the ward. Long term residents remember the good things that Labour has done over the years in the area. They all remember Chris Smith with great admiration. And over the past 5 years they have really appreciated Emily. Canvassing around the Grove Estate and Westbourne Road with Emily two nights ago, the warmth of affection towards her was really noticeable. Our Councillors over the past 4 years have also worked really hard for this area – especially Rupert who has “looked after” the estates north of the railway line.”

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