Anna was elected to St Luke’s ward and took up her new role as Executive Councillor for Planning and Transport in May 2007. BetweenMay 2010 and May 2011 she was the Executive Councillor for Adult Services, Health and Housing. Anna is no longer a Cllr. She is married and has two children both in their 20’s. Anna was first elected to Prittlewell Ward in 2000, in 2003 she became the portfolio holder for Planning and Regional Development and in May 2005 became Leader of The Council. Born in Rochford hospital she has always lived and worked in the area and cares passionately about Southend. Anna lived in Southend for many years growing up above ‘the shop’ in the High Street before moving to Grove Road just behind ‘the shop’. Later Anna lived in Leigh and then in Southchurch for many years, it was here that she brought up her young family. The family then moved to a near derelict property in Barling which Anna and her husband have spent much time and effort restoring.
WHERE DO I STAND–
Airport- Based upon what I currently know and subject to that not changing I am in favour of airport expansion. I believe that the safegards that have been be written into both the planning and lease agreements will offer greater controls over number of flights, noise etc than currently exist. I also believe that the economic advantages of a fully operational airport will result in greater prosperity for St Luke’s and Southend.
More Housing– I believe that much of our current rented housing is poor and that if we are to build more affordable housing we must at the same time take back the poorer properties as they become vacant and refurbish them fully before reletting them. I have been trying to get this underway for the past 3 years but both Council and Government seem to unable or unwilling to grasp this particular nettle. I am fully aware of the problems encountered by many who want to get onto the housing ladder and I work closely with planning to ensure we explore all opportunities for quality new homes.
I have introduced an Accredited Landlord Scheme and we are encouraging landlords to sign up. I have successfully ensured that a rogue landlord went to court and have agreed a very good outcome for tennants through this. I am introducing ‘Selective Licensing’ in parts of the town with a view to extending it later, this ensures all landlords are registered and meeting minimum standards.
Due to the problems of poor private accomodation being relet I have instructed that when Southend rehouses a family or person from the private sector due to poor housing conditions or overcrowding, that that private property be inspected and brought up to minimun standards, if necessary through emforcement.
I believe that families need homes, I also know that we have street after street of small family homes that would make good homes but that too many have either been allowed to be converted to flats or have been converted without consent. I included far stronger requirments in the Design and Townscape Guide to help this and insisted on the protection of small family homes from conversion be taken seriously and applied. It has been succesfully applied recently in St Luke’s. Whilst I do not support a blanket ban on the extension of bungalows into chalets I do support this restriction where bungalows form a substantial part of the street scene and changing one would would change the character of an area.
I DO NOT APPROVE OF BUILDING TOWER BLOCKS AND PUTTING FAMILIES IN THEM- this was a total misquote of my comment to the Echo reporter for the sake of a headline. I do believe that we need to build higher- that may be 3 storeys in a 2 storey area or even just perhaps building proper rooms in the loft space from the start, or it could be 5 storeys near 4 storeys. As for tower blocks these are the hangovers ovf the 60’s and 70’s and I am doing my best to get those that we have improved so I would hardly be advocating building more.
I welcome the funding that South Essex Homes is receiving for the improvement of the council properties but will be asking and checking that they are upgrading the sustainabilty of the homes with the correct insulation and glazing. Improved insulation means for the tenant less cost for energy and for everyone less energy consumption means less use of limited resourses and less C02 emissions.
I am pleased that we have secured a final £10m to complete the Decent Homes work and that this past year alone, since i have been the portfolio holder, we have brought 1000 homes upto standard, far more than in previous years!
In addidtion we also seeking a grant from the EU for £1.2m project to look at and improve older hard to make sustainable properties.
Improving Jobs– this I believe is very important, we need more good quality jobs, we need jobs for those who wish to work part -time and we need seasonal jobs for students. Currently far too many of our younger residents go off to uni and never return, as degree based jobs in Southend are rare. This has to stop, a town that loses its most able youngsters will always struggle. This is why I have actively sought funding to improve our access roads and why I am fully behind Airport expansion, the City Beach and all the other job creating projects that Southend is promoting.
Seafront and Pier – I am fully in favour of the City Beach Project and was indeed one of those responsible for bringing this forward. The central seafront was tired and dominated by the road, we can and will do better. City Beach will provide new public areas, a fun fountain, trees and planting, new access to the beach, an improved road layout with new paths. It will lso reinvigorate the Golden Mile, resulting in more visitors nd re-investment which will equal jobs.
The Pier is one of my main concerns and I really do want to see a Pier that we can all enjoy. I think the new building at the far end is a really exciting opportunity and I have worked hard to secure this. It is only the Seabirds that are holding it up!
I would like to see a mix of uses out there, cultural -which could include artists in residence, performances (both in door and out door) exhibitions, work shops and facilities for small conferences. Fun- this could include a few amusements, maybe a carousel, a ride or two, something for the children. Food- again we need a mix, coffee and tea, fish and chips, sandwiches etc and if we could attract a full service restaurant offering a more expensive menu then there’s room for that too in phase two. Marine- lets get the lower deck open, if not at all times, so visitors can see the sea at close quarters and the fantastic structures of the pier, the fishing must continue and we must enourage more visiting ships and short cruises from the Pier. This is not an exhaustive list and others will have different ideas, if you have strong views e- mail me- firstname.lastname@example.org
I am determined to see the Pier once again full of life, with something for every one and that it is Pier that we can all be proud of.