Click here to see a copy of my election leaflet which is currently being delivered by volunteers across the ward.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Thank you everyone

That's it, polls are closed - both for the local elections and the Euro elections.

The Euro votes won't be counted until Sunday when the rest of the EU have all finished voting, but the local election count is about to start at Ally Pally.

Thanks to all the residents who have supported me during the campaign - both those that I have helped over the years who helped me (by delivering leaflets, putting up posters and giving advice) and those I haven't even met yet but who sent me messages of support. And thanks, of course, to everyone who voted for me.

It's a very tough ask to compete against the political parties as an independent, especially in Fortis Green where the Lib Dem majorities are usually huge. I certainly hope I've managed to poll more votes than the UKIP candidate though - anything higher up the finishing list than 13th will be a bonus!

So, I'm off to the count for what could be a long night, to see how things have gone...

Polling Day is today - please vote!

Everyone in London has local elections today as well as the Euro elections. Polls are about to open (7am) and will be open until 10pm.

Please remember to vote - and remember that you do not need your polling card to vote. Just go to your polling station, tell them your name and address and they will issue your ballot papers.

For residents in my Fortis Green ward, for the local elections you will have a ballot paper with me, as an independent, alongside all the different party candidates. You have three votes, as there are three councillors in each ward in London, but it is up to you whether you vote for one, two or three candidates - your ballot paper is still valid, for example, if you just vote for one candidate.

And if you do vote for just one candidate, then I would obviously be delighted if that one candidate was me. Voting just for me and no one else will give me the best result possible. Your support would be a great help.

Good luck to everyone standing for election, in Haringey and beyond!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

How to re-elect your local independent councillor in Fortis Green to Haringey Council

With polls opening at 7am tomorrow, a reminder that the best way you can support me as your local independent councillor is to put an X next to my name and then put your ballot paper in the box!

If you vote for other candidates as well, the chances of you re-electing me will go down. Your ballot paper is valid if you only vote for one candidate (but you can vote for up to three if you want to).

Of course, if you are planning to vote for two of the political party candidates then I would still welcome having your third vote!

Vote Matt Davies (Independent) for Fortis Green

From a local resident on Lauradale Road:
Matt has tirelessly supported our fight to prevent development of the Fortis Green Reservoir Depot, giving his time to leaflet as well as advise on tactics in the objection process and speaking at the Council hearing. 
He really demonstrated great commitment to our local concerns, was always available to give advice and practical help, and has done this with a friendly and approachable manner.
From a former ward colleague and local resident (Cllr Sara Beynon, Fortis Green 2006-2010):
Matt has been a fantastic councillor for Fortis Green over the last twelve years. Having worked with him, I know that he really understands and cares about the issues that affect local people. What’s more, given his long experience on the council he knows how to get things done. I’m really glad he’s decided to stand again and hope the voters get behind him!
Why I am independent:
I have been an opposition councillor in Fortis Green since 2002. I was previously a Lib Dem but resigned from the party in 2010 following the vote in Parliament to treble tuition fees for university students. I campaigned against the introduction of tuition fees by the then Labour government while at university in the 90s and was dismayed to see my former party dropping their longstanding opposition to fees. There have, of course, been some other decisions the coalition government has made which I have been strongly opposed to (not least the bedroom tax, the legal aid changes and most recently stopping prisoners being sent books), but the tuition fees vote was the catalyst.

What I can (and do) achieve as an independent:
Helping local residents with problems with the council, I still get the same great results as an independent as I always have. I speak up for our area, raise issues on behalf of local residents and act as a check on the Labour-run council. I am free to vote on issues without having to follow a party line, I judge issues on their merit and work hard to get the best results for local people.

What I will do if re-elected:
I will continue to provide a strong, independent voice for Fortis Green. I will help residents when the council isn't doing its job properly and defend open spaces from unsuitable development. I will continue to look out for the needs of Haringey's most vulnerable residents and listen to local people, not national parties.

About me:
37, charity campaigner having campaigned for a range of causes including health, housing, disability and education. I have lived in Muswell Hill for 12 years and live in my Fortis Green ward. For the last three and a half years I have been representing Fortis Green as an independent councillor, having first been elected in 2002.

Polling Day is tomorrow!

Quick reminder folks that Polling Day is tomorrow (Thursday 22 May) - if you haven't already voted by post, you can go and vote in person at your local polling station anytime between 7am and 10pm.

As well as the chance to vote for me (if you live in Fortis Green) as your local independent councillor, it's Euro elections today as well - residents in Haringey also get a vote to elect the 8 MEPs that will represent London as a whole.

Here are three things for you to remember as you go to vote tomorrow:
1. You do not need your polling card to vote. It helps speed things up, but if you have misplaced it just go along to the polling station and you will still be able to vote! 
2. If you just cast one vote in the local elections, your vote is definitely still valid. You can cast up to three votes, but do not have to use all three. You just have one vote for the Euro elections. 
3. Only Matt Davies can beat the Lib Dems in Fortis Green! If you live in my ward, you have a genuine chance to re-elect an independent opposition councillor. Tongue-in cheek (but genuine) stats here explain why I am your only likely alternative to the Lib Dems locally.
And, if you haven't read my election leaflet yet you can see it by clicking on the link at the top of this blog.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Always happy to help

Just a reminder, I'm still your Fortis Green councillor - independent - until Friday morning at least, hopefully longer if enough local residents notice my name on the ballot paper! As always, I'm happy to help with any issues you're having with the council.

You can contact me using the form at the top right of this blog, or use the contact details below.

Also, just a quick reminder that if you've lost or missed my election leaflet (which has been delivered to every house in the ward with the help of supportive residents), you can click on the link at the top of the blog to read it.

Happy memories

Have had a couple of days break from campaigning in Fortis Green for Thursday's election - just got back tonight from my Grandma's funeral in Wales.

She sadly passed away recently, but at the grand old age of 90. I spoke at her funeral to share some of the anecdotes and happy memories we all have of her - it was nice to have the chance to do that.

Monday, 19 May 2014

You get more with an independent

So, just how active are your local councillors in raising issues with the council?

Well, Haringey has just released information for two years (2012 and 2013) showing how many times each Haringey councillor had a query in the 'Member's Enquiry' system. This is the primary route for councillors to raise issues with the council on behalf of local residents.

The graph below shows the average number of queries raised by councillors over those two years in each of the two political parties that make up Haringey (Labour and Lib Dem) and by independent councillors (there are three of us at the moment).

As you can see, the average for us independents easily outstrips the average for either political party!

These figures are taken directly from adding up the council's own data - but I have excluded those Labour councillors who are in the cabinet, as they raise issues for residents from wards across the borough and not just their own ward. Some (but not all) of these Labour cabinet members have some of the highest numbers of enquiries. 

The reason for doing that exclusion is to try and get a useful comparison across backbench councillors, i.e. those who are largely just representing residents in their ward. As with all data, anyone can use it as they like and one decision I wasn't sure about was whether to also exclude the Lib Dem frontbench team for similar reasons. But as most of them do not receive a Special Responsibility Allowance (i.e. extra money for their roles) and are obviously all opposition councillors, I decided to keep them in the overall average. 

But one consequence of my doing that was leaving, for example, Cllr Richard Wilson (Lib Dem Leader of the Opposition), in the average figures - and he also had one of the highest number of enquiries. So, removing all the Lib Dem frontbench from the data would probably result in the Lib Dem average falling below the Labour average - but someone else can work that out.

For Fortis Green, my own numbers show I made more enquiries than either of my ward colleagues - and, actually, in 2012-13 made more than both of them put together. But it is also worth noting that the number of Member's Enquiries made is just one way of seeing how actively your councillor is working for you. And one enquiry does not necessarily equal just one resident helped - one enquiry might be made on behalf of a group of residents (or to solve a problem that lots of residents have). 

And meeting with residents face-to-face and helping them campaign is always a good sign that your local councillor is working hard for you.

Data info
1. The averages shown in the graph are obtained from data provided by Haringey Council in a Freedom of Information request earlier this month. 
2. They show the average number of Member's Enquiries recorded for each Haringey councillor in three columns: (1) the three independent councillors (2) all 21 Lib Dem councillors (3) the 25 Labour councillors who are not in Haringey's Cabinet (the 8 Labour councillors who rule Haringey).
3. The full lists of data are circulating around - I've been sent them and if anyone hasn't seen them and would like me to email them the files then please just get in touch.
All views expressed in my blog are my own and do not represent any other person, party or organisation