As hard-working election candidates of the Labour, Conservative, Green and UKIP parties and the Highwoods Independent Group, we were appalled to learn of MP Sir Bob Russell’s election letter to residents in Shrub End.

He urges residents to vote for the newly-retired Lib Dem candidate, because he can “devote the time to the role of councillor which the Tory candidate simply cannot because of his employment situation”.

Sir Bob is effectively telling residents not to vote for a candidate because he works for a living.

This is a slap in the face for employed, self-employed and business-owning candidates of all parties – including many hard-working Liberal Democrats – and we urge Sir Bob, who himself once combined a career with his duties as a councillor, to retract his statement immediately.

Mary Bryan (Green Party, Mile End)
Mark Cable (Con, Dedham & Langham)
Mark Cole (Ukip, Harbour)
Beverly Davies (Con, Prettygate)
David Davis (Green Party, High Woods)
Michael Donnachie (Labour, Mile End)
Tina Dopson (Labour, St Andrew’s)
Glenn Granger (Con, West Mersea)
David Hough (Labour, Stanway)
Bryan Johnston (Con, Stanway)
Darius Laws (Con, Shrub End)
Ron Levy (Ukip, Castle)
Ben Locker (Con, Mile End)
Peter Lynn (Green Party, Castle)
Charles McKay (Con, St John’s)
Kim Naish (Labour, Berechurch)
Jordan Newell (Labour, Harbour)
Beverley Oxford (Highwoods Independent Group, High Woods)
Clare Palmer (Green Party, Harbour)
John Pitts (Ukip, Berechurch)
Robbie Spence (Green Party, New Town)
Bill Rowley (UKIP, High Woods)
Chris Treloar (UKIP, New Town)

...While, in principle, I agree with Jim Spencer’s letter encouraging people to vote (April 25), I would like to point out I am not able to do so.

No, I did not forget to return the registration form. No, I am not in prison, nor did I fail to apply for a postal vote in time. I simply live in a ward where there is only one councillor, and it is not the year to re-elect or dismiss him.

In theory, we are selecting the best person to represent the ward in the town hall, but in practice we are expressing an opinion on what we think of the candidates’ parties, either locally or nationally. So I feel somewhat disenfranchised.

I am not sure electing all the councillors at one time would be better, though.

Peter Allott
Meadow Way