From your helpful article last week on candidates for the imminent local elections it was apparent that big changes are underfoot.

Not only are several prominent people of long standing now removing themselves from office, but also there appears to be a larger number of candidates than usual in each ward. Opportunities for a fresh political scene clearly now exist.

I am fearful however that, due to the horrors of Brexit, fellow voters are so sick of national politics they might be unable to bring themselves to actually vote at all.

So these local seats now up for grabs would be won by small caucuses, with a poor and therefore unrepresentative overall turnout.

Despite the current stranglehold of central government in the UK, it’s worth remembering that local votes really do in fact still matter.

For example, both councils could do more to assist high street business if they so chose.

The town council, though small, does a lot to foster community activity and protect iconic heritage buildings and other assets in the town.

The district council has direct control over parking charges, the Prom, and new housing developments, amongst many other things.

(Quite why the powers are separated in that particular way is beyond my comprehension, but the fact remains they are.)

So whoever gets voted in will therefore directly influence our local community for years to come.

What Brexit has shown however is that the traditional "wrapper" of any one political party is now purely nominal.

A party label is no longer a clue as to what individual representatives actually stand for, or are prepared to actively see through to fruition.

I would therefore sincerely hope that each voter discovers before they get in the booth who their five or so candidates for their own ward are, checks out what if anything each of them have actually done for the community recently on a personal basis, and what the candidate’s detailed manifesto contains that’s directly aligned to the voter’s own wishes.

If in doubt, it’s easy enough to get in touch and ask.

Bland broad statements can be tested.

Only in this way can we be sure politics will work for us.

Apathy helps no-one, least of all ourselves. Perhaps the horrors of Brexit might, indirectly, even be about to breathe life into local politics. I really hope so.

Judy Lea

Spital Road, Maldon