Category Archives: news

Progress Road Junction Improvements Win Top Award

The Progress Road junction has just clinched a major award from Local Government News. (LGN) .The successful scheme won the “Highway” category of the LGN‟s Street Design 2011 Awards.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the officers that worked so hard to deliver what we asked for- on time and on budget and especially Paul Matheison and Karen Gearing who not only played a major role in delivering this project but also gave me immense support in the process.  Thank You and Well Done, you deservbe this award.

Progress Road junction is part of the Better Southend initiative, launched to help to make the borough a better place for residents, visitors and businesses to live, rest and work.

The LGN judges recognised how significantly the new Progress Road scheme was reducing traffic queues and delays at the junction, adding: ‘The work has provided local and national benefits and was completed on a tight budget.’

‘The infrastructure improvements achieved during the scheme will also enable further regeneration work to be carried out in the area.’

The new Progress Road junction provides additional lanes on both carriageways of the A127, allowing traffic to flow through the area more easily.

The £5m scheme, was delivered on time and on budget, and was funded by grants from the Homes & Communities Agency and from the Council‟ Capital Budget.

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CCTV equipped cars go live from today

Anti-social motorists beware – two new CCTV-equipped parking enforcement cars have today started operating in Southend.

The brand new Toyota iQ cars are going operational in
response to residents’ concerns about dangerous parking practices, particularly
in the vicinity of schools.

Southend Wins Auditing Award

 CIPFA praises innovation in cross sector working 

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has given Southend-on-Sea borough council a national award for innovation in internal audit.

The council’s internal audit services team won this year’s Cliff Nicholson Award for Innovation and Excellence in Public Service Audit for ‘ground breaking’ audit work, including a cross-partner review of the local safeguarding children board.

Linda Everard, head of internal audit at Southend-on-Sea borough council said:  ‘We are proud to be recognised by CIPFA for working with our public sector partners to help the Southend local strategic partnership assess whether services, which rely on cross sector working, are delivering real outcomes to the public and specifically local children.’

May 2011  read more

Victory for common sense!

Ciao the popular cafe on The Broadway Thorpebay, has won its appeal against enforcement. Common sense has at last prevailed. Read what Sue, Ciao owner has to say ciao, comments by Sue

Ciao is clearly an asset to the Broadway and it is well used by residents and shoppers alike. Times change, planning policy and guidance needs to change too!

Now we need to get the excessive new bollards removed- afterall they are only there to prevent a local firm, Alarming Entertaiment,  trading, better to help the local firm find a way to trade that suits everyone, not create a sea of bollards.

Lets hope the Government’s localism bill makes this happen and does not result in more arbitary decisions.

Southend Airport Judicial Review fails

Judgement has been given this morning on the application by Laura Millard for leave to apply for Judicial Review of the Council’s decision to grant planning permission (reference SOS/09/01960/FULM)  for the runway extension at Southend Airport. This followed an oral Hearing held last week.
The High Court refused to grant leave and the judge ruled that all 4 grounds of challenge advanced on behalf of Ms Millard were unarguable.

Hopefully that is the end of the matter, unless Ms Millard attempts to pursue an appeal to the Court of Appeal or  some type of action in Europe.

Sebastian Coe, 300+ Children and Wenlock visit Garon Park

Lord Coe paid a flying visit to Southend this morning to welcome 300+ children from across Essex to Southend’s Garon Park Sports and Swimming Centre for a day of sport and competition. The children came by the coach load complete with their mascots but the biggest cheer was for Wenlock, the Olympic Mascot! Lord Coe toured the new Diving and swimming pool with Cllr Ann Holland the Mayor, Cllr Derek Jarvis, Cllr Anna Waite and Cllr Stephen Castle from ECC. The primary school children came to Southend’s Garon Park because the facilities are recognised as excellent, Seb Coe was clearly pleased to receive the fantastic welcome and was very impressed with the New Diving and Pool Centre which is already attracting more use than expected.

School mascots

A Fitting and Lasting Tribute

I have kept my word and now I have requested that the Saxon burial site be registered as an ANCIENT MONUMENT.

This will provide the best protection possible for this important burial site. It should not be built upon or disturbed further but should now revert to a pleasant tranquil place that reflects the heritage of the burial site of a Saxon King or Prince and I have already asked the officers to do what is necessary to secure Ancient Monument status for the site, which will give it the same protection as Priory Park.

It’s now sometime since we sat down with Parklife to find a way forward to the Priory Crescent issues that suited everyone. Out of that meeting came an agreement, they would leave the Camp Bling site, we would improve Cuckoo Corner without going into the park and we would landscape the Saxon burial site. That work is now completing and I have kept to my word indeed I believe we have gone further to honour the spirit of the agreement and to respect both the site and the wishes of residents.

It must, by now, be clear to anyone who has travelled along Priory Crescent that the works at Cuckoo Corner have not gone into the park and that extensive planting has taken place with lines of Horse Chestnuts in the park and over the next few days the completion of the landscaping at Cuckoo will see more shrubs and trees in place. A new gate, designed to reflect the Priory, has been installed to improve pedestrian access to the park and access is further improved by safe road crossings.

I met again with Parklife a few months ago to discuss the plans for the Saxon burial site. I had promised a natural feel to landscaping that would respect the importance of the site. Parklife liked the proposed plans, indeed they said they were pleasantly surprised by them.  Work started on site a few weeks ago and is now taking shape, many new trees and bulbs are being planted, they are natural British species, the slope of the site is being softened at the northern end and all along the back against the railway fence natural hedging is being established to form a backdrop and a low wooden rail will go along the road side edge. The site itself will be tastefully identified and a simple memorial will be placed there. Yesterday I visited the site again with my colleague Cllr Jarvis who has responsibility for our parks and we were both very pleased with the progress and how it was coming along.

It will take a few years to fully establish but it will be fitting and lasting tribute to the Saxon Prince.

Southend Shortlisted for 'Best Council'

Last year we were shortlisted for most improved council,  this year its best Council in the

 LGC awards and the list of awards, accolades and successes that

Southend Council and Partner’s  have achieved are truly amazing. They range from ‘Park Mark’ Awards for Safety in Car Parks for 20 of our car parks  to being awarded two green lights and ranked in the top three of English local authorities for our work on autism by the National Autistic Society’s Local Authority Progress Table and just about everything in between.

So let’s stop the negative stuff and start celebrating success, as it’s the successes that will move us forward and help us out of economic turn down, it’s the successes that will help us to keep going when the going gets tough and it’s the successes that will promote our town and help us achieve better jobs and better prospects for our children and grandchildren.

‘SAEN’ lodge appeal against airport decision

‘SAEN’ have appealed for a verbal hearing. During which they will get a short time to argue their case for a judicial review of the airport extension decision. Last week’s judgement was unequivocal, you can read it here- JR Order 03 02 11

We can now look forward to further months of delay and mounting legal costs to be borne by the tax payer and in the meantime Southend and Rochfords’ economic revival will be handicapped and the job prospects of many put on hold by the actions of a few.

Say yes to Southend airport expansion

Read the formal notification on the Airport Judicial Review

Please click   JR Order 03 02 11 to read the formal response to the application for a judicial review by  resident  Laura Millard.

Now we need to move on , get the landlord consent signed off and the JAAP underway so as to ensure we are ready to maximise the economic benefits for Rochford and Southend once the Airport ‘Takes Off’.  As we come out of the economic down turn- we will need those jobs!