Today I went for the umpteenth time to the other end of the borough to campaign in the Royal Docks council by-election. Whilst canvassing voters I was surprised to bump into Steve Phillpott, a fellow History student in my days at the University of Kent. (I won't reveal how he's voting though.)
For those unfamiliar with this part of London, the Royal Docks ward is the southernmost part of Newham, below the Royal Docks themselves and consisting of Silvertown and North Woolwich (or for those who use the tube map for geography it's served by the Woolwich Arsenal branch of the Docklands Light Railway between West Silvertown and King George V stations). Here's the best map I can find electronically (although the ward boundaries are not precise), click for a larger version:
The response has been good so far and I have also been amazed by the number of people we've had out. (See also ConservativeHome: Could Newham be poised for a Tory councillor?) Our candidate, Neil Pearce, has been campaigning not just since the by-election began but over the years for improvements to the ward, including a successful campaign to retain the North Woolwich police station, and against the expansion of flights at London City Airport to a level far beyond originally agreed for the airport, because of the air and noise pollution they bring.
One of the more interesting moments of the day was when I saw a Labour leaflet claiming that we are in favour of a second runway at the airport! Now even leaving aside that this is totally contrary to our candidate's record, it's also not physically possible. Take a look again at the map above. The airport's only runway is at the bit that says "LONDON CITY AIRPORT" between the Royal Albert and King George V docks. Exactly where on earth could a second runway go? The only way I could imagine one is if it's on Royal Albert Dock and used by seaplanes! And these are hardly the most compatible planes for the destination airports.
Polling day is on March 26th and all help is much appreciated. To get details please either join the Facebook group: Neil Pearce for Royal Docks or ring his agent Billy on 07717 752657.
Updated: Many thanks to the commenter below who has provided links to images from the Labour leaflets showing the lies here and here.