Tag Archives: Better Southend

SOUTHEND ON SEA

There are many great reasons to come to Southend on Sea, here are just a few:-

TThe Royal Pavilionhe Longest Pleasure Pier in the world, with a train service too.

Probably one of the most iconic conference, meeting or wedding locations in the country The Royal Pavilion on Southend Pier.

The Forum on Elmer Square- Southend’s newest loTheForum by nightcation and joint library venture with accademia. Upto 200 delegates in a state of the art facility or smaller rooms available and just two minutes from the station in the heart of the town.

cliffs pavilionThe Cliffs Pavilion, our largest venue, upto 1600 delegates perched atop the cliffs with glorious estuary views and outside space to take in the sea air!

Excellent Hotels, many with estuary views and great conference, meeting and wedding facilities. why not try the Roslin Beach Hotel, The Park Inn Palace or the Westcliff for exceptional sea views and facilities. A tad further afield, all of 3 miles from the seafront, and only a 5 minute walk from the station is the Holiday Inn at Southend Airport with very interesting views and great facilities.

Southend has numerous small guest houses, nearly all have 3-4 stars and great sea views.

Southend is served by two train lines, C2C fom Fenchurch Street for 7 stations in the south and centre of the town and Gt Eastern from Liverpool Street for London Southend Airport and Southend Victoria. Trains run approx every 10 minutes peak and every 20 minutes the rest of the time- thats time two of course!

I should mention our great climate, over 7 miles of beaches, the wonderful fishing village of Leigh Old Town, the boutique and niche shopping area of Leigh on Sea, marine activities including kite surfing and many many interesting restuarants, the list just goes on….

What are you waiting for- all this and less than 1 hour from London

Details of the above locations and hotels can be found at http://www.visitsouthend.co.uk

hotels.com and tripadvisor

http://www.theforumsouthend.co.uk

Southend Summer- It’s a great place to be…..

So at  last the sun is out and the children have broken up. The last few days have seen thousands flocking to our beaches and seafront. The new water fountains at City Beach have been a real hit with the children. Perhaps it was our win in the Tour de France but cycling on the seafront cycle track seems very popular too, for all ages.

For those that want to get active there is the Southend Marine Activity Centre where all sorts of watersports can be experienced and there is the Essex Boot Camp which trains in both Leigh and Southend on the cliffs, evenings and weekends.

If it’s a bit of culture that you fancy then take a look at visit southend where you will find a whole list of events, many on the pier too, oveImager the summer.

 

 

 

Feeling hungry then  download a copy of Dine on Sea and choose yourself a place to eat.

The Pier Pavilion or Cultural Centre is at long last ready, so why not go down the pier and take a look and decide for self if you like it or not.

For a picnic by the sea try East Beach in Shoebury it has picnic benches and BBQ facilities ready for you to use your grills on, wide green grass expanses and no cars, so take a ball or two and have some fun by the seaside- or you could just watch the kite surfers whilst sunning yourself.Image

For something a little different why not go to Leigh, have yourself a morning coffee, browse the shops then wander down the old staircase beside the Church to Old Leigh, cross over the bridge and perhaps have a light lunch or just take the camera for some intersting shots of this working fishing port..

These are just a few of the many things on offer in Southend, so do a little digging and have a great day out in Southend, it’s a great place to be.

It was really great to be able to watch the new pavilion being slowly winched up from the barge and then down on to the decking. In about 4-6 weeks it will be ready for business. The black weatherproofing will be hidden behind the softer cream of the exterior finish, the glazing will be in and it will be clear to all that  the new pavilion will be a real assest to the town. Well, to nearly all, as there are always those that object and disagree for one reason or another.

Now this brings me to the point of my post, Southend can be a great destination, it can attract jobs and tourists but it would be a great deal easier if some of the habitual objecters just stopped being so negative and gave the town, the council and those trying to get things moving a chance. How to they think it looks if someone is coming into town for a job interview to pick up the paper or to go online and read some of the truly negative and nasty comments- well not great and this impacts on not only job applicants but those wishing to open a business or invest in the town.

Whether you personally like or dislike the design of the building, the town has very firmly stated over several years and consultations that it wanted the Pier to be a maritime/cultural place not an extention of the arcades, a place for families, locals and visitors, young and old and that is what the council has set out to provide.

So let’s get behind the town, stop the negativity and at a time of deep economic crisis and strife support this initiative which will hopefully attract more visitors to town and provide residents with a good quality venue- all this will add up to a beter economic climate for Southend, more jobs and more oportunities.

The Pier Pavilion is on its way!

Tomorrow will be a landmark day for Southend. At long last the new building has been hoisted on to a barge that will slowly bring it from the docks in Tilbury where it has been assembled to the Pier. It should be lifted on the Pier some time tomorrow.

See the pictures taken by the reporter here and especially this one

 

 

It’s a Purple Flag for Southend !

Great news another flag for Southend and it’s the first purple flag in Essex. Well Done the Police and Town Centre Partnership.

Southend has a new flag to add to its impressive haul of five blue and four green ones – a PURPLE flag.

Purple Flag is a new accreditation scheme which recognises excellence in the management of town and city centres at night. just as Blue Flags are a guarantee of good beaches, Purple Flags act as an indicator of where to go for a good night out.

The standard is only awarded to entertainment areas which are judged to have met a strict set of criteria.

To date only 25 Purple Flags have been awarded but today (Wednesday 25th April) the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM) has announced five new recipients.

They include Southend’s High Street and Sea Front, the first area in Essex to have its night-time economy recognised.

In awarding the Purple Flag the ATCM rated Southend as ‘above standard’ in two of the five judging criteria – ‘Wellbeing’ and ‘A Broad Appeal’.

Yet another Accolade for Southend

The Low Carbon Business Programme – paid for by the European Regional Development Fund and involving nine partners across Thames Gateway including Southend-on-Sea Borough Council – has been named Britain’s top New Energy Champion of the Year.

This innovative programme helps small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) reduce their carbon footprint thereby making them more competitive.

The scheme has so far assisted 92 such businesses in Southend, and given them the funds to hire a total of 60 apprentices.

This scheme is yet another example of how the Conservative led Council is using all options to improve Southend. It follows on from other EU funding grants such as the match funding for North Road Chapel renovations, the recently announced EU funding to improve local homes, the improved access to the Victorias are but a few examples.

Southend Pier

Southend Pier is ready to be fully opened in Time for the Easter Break!
The repairs following the boat collision are now complete and the Pier will re-open

Don’t forget that shortly the new Pier Pavilion will be lifted onto the decking so now is a good time to take a stroll down the Pier (or even the train) to see where it will go.

“Once again this year no leisure centres, arts or cultural facilities have had to be closed and we are proposing to freeze Council tax, car parking costs and many other fees and charges.” Cllr Holdcroft

Southend Council has published news of the forthcoming budget.

“Even though we were required to make slightly less savings and efficiencies this year ( than last year) the decisions we had to take weren’t any easier and this budget proved an equally onerous task.
“The economic situation across Europe has worsened in the last 12 months and you only have to switch on the news or look at a paper to realise we’re nowhere near out of the woods yet.
“We didn’t get ourselves into this financial mess but we’ve got to be responsible for doing our bit to help the country get out of it.
“Luckily this authority had begun the process of identifying efficiencies well before the current financial disaster struck and we were in a more favourable position than some others.
“But with each financial year these savings become harder and harder to achieve without impacting on front line services and we’ve still got another four years of this to get through.
“Once again this year no leisure centres, arts or cultural facilities have had to be closed and we are proposing to freeze Council tax, car parking costs and many other fees and charges.
“Around a third of the savings required of us have been achieved by our officers re-negotiating contracts and other corporate work stream initiatives and they deserve a great vote of thanks.
“I truly believe that the hard work and continuing co-operation of our staff will enable the Council to carry on meeting the financial challenges it is facing.
“Despite the difficulties we are all experiencing Southend continues to be a vibrant and diverse town where major regeneration is helping improve the lives of each and every resident.” Cllr Nigel Holdcroft.

Within the Capital Budget the Conservative Administration is finding capital for the Cliff slip in the area where the proposed museum would go,

for the Pier, our world famous landmark,                                                            and for improving primary school facilities. These capital investments will deliver improved facilities and boost local economic growth.

Despite the adverse economic conditions the Council has been able to make the efficiencies demanded by Government whilst still maintaining the full range of services it currently provides.
Once again everything possible has been done to minimise the impact of the budget on front line services.

  • Nearly £4m in efficiencies have been achieved through renegotiating existing contracts, rationalising systems and localised shared delivery.
  • To ease the burden on residents the Cabinet is recommending that the Council tax for Southend, already one of the lowest in the country, should not be increased in 2012/13.

This would be achieved by accepting George Osborne’s offer of a grant to cover the shortfall incurred by freezing the tax, which currently has financial implications for future years.

  • Existing parking charges have also been frozen across the borough in a bid to assist the local economy and boost local businesses.
  • In Adult & Community Services the re-ablement programme, which reduces the dependency of social care service users on high cost care packages, has resulted in £950,000 in savings.
  • A further £500,000 in efficiencies has been realised by utilising the local PCT’s health-related social care grant for 2012/13 on key health-related adult social care functions. These include hospital social work, the Cumberlege Intermediate Care Centre and the Southend Therapy and Recovery Team.
  • In Children & Learning £250,000 savings have been realised with the winding down of the Core Unit, a supervised accommodation project for families requiring high-level support. The Council took over the cost of running the scheme, which targeted families with at-risk children made homeless due to their behaviour, after Government funding ceased. The one family currently remaining at the unit will be re-housed and continue to receive intensive support from the Family Intervention Project.
  • A further £389,000 worth of efficiencies have been realised in Children & Learning through the redesign of existing services.
  • In Enterprise, Tourism & the Environment £175,000 of savings have been found by deleting vacant posts in the Highways section and the implementation of the Common Permit Scheme.
  • A further £170,000 worth of efficiencies have been achieved through re-structuring the waste management service.
  • In Support Services £140,000 savings have been unlocked by the introduction of Internet Protocol Telephony and £135,000 through a re-structure of the Business Improvement Team.

Aside from all these individual savings the re-negotiation of existing contracts across all four Council directorates alone has realised £3.315m in savings.
But the need to make such significant savings in order to be able to present a balanced budget will inevitably lead to further job losses at the authority.
A total of 120 posts have been identified as being at risk, of which 49 are currently vacant. Employees working in the affected areas and the trade unions have been fully briefed.
The Council’s policy of keeping vacant posts open and operating a Talent Pool system has enabled it to keep the number of compulsory redundancies to an absolute minimum.

The Forum at Elmer Square gets the go ahead!

Southend’s Development Control Committee has today approved the plans for the development of a new building at Elmer Square subject to the Committee approving the Management Plan for the proposed public display screen before its installation. elmer Square is off elmer Approach which was remodelled last year

The new building will be called ‘The Forum’ with
construction commencing in February 2012 and hopefully the new building will be opening to the public on 30th September 2013.

The redevelopment of Elmer Square is a partnership between Southend-on-Sea
Borough Council, the University of Essex and South Essex
College of Further & Higher Education. The £26.9 million scheme will include an integrated municipal and academic Central Library and digital gallery, a modern teaching facility for South EssexCollege, and a stimulating research and learning environment for the University
of Essex.

The 9,450m2 building will include a 203 seat lecture theatre, a new café, teaching space for approximately 600 students at any one time with study space for a further 450 students and will also be the new home of the Focal Point Gallery.

The new integrated public and academic library will include a main reading area approximately 40% bigger than the existing central Library, over 100 ICT stations and over 200 other seats. The Children’s Library will be located on the ground floor providing enhanced access whilst the building will be located in a new public square.

The new building will be funded jointly by the Council, the University of Essex and South Essex College .

We Must Not Lose Sight of The Jobs

Whilst exciting new destinations are announced at very reasonable prices we must not lose sight of  the reason why Southend approved the airport works- jobs, some will be airside but the majority will be in the adjoining Saxon Business Park and economic turndown or not this has to happen and it needs driving forward by Rochford and Southend Councils.