Tag Archives: anna waite

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

Should Southend Pier be free to Residents?

I doubt there are many Councillors or residents that would not aspire to this but sometimes one just has to be realistic! The Pier, because of where it is out in the Estuary, its age and listed status and what it is built of, costs a great deal in its day to day management and maintenance and already loses a great deal of money in getting it up to a suitable standard for its continued operational existence.

 Following the fire the insurance monies were for restoration of damage not for improvement which is why Southend Council has put a steady stream of capital each year into the Pier to get it into a state where it will be less expensive, hopefully, day to day, and able to support increased activity, building and use. But since Southend is not blessed with unlimited funding it has had to be done little by little, now it is virtually all in place and the planning application for the new Pier Pavilion should be going in soon. Don’t forget that Southend wanted a Pier that was cultural, based on maritime ideas and had something for everyone.

 The relatively easy answer would have been to allow it to become a giant amusement arcade and park but that was not what Southend said it wanted. Also no Developer wanted to pick up the maintenance costs of the Pier from the Council, so they would get the profit from any investment, not the Council, but the Council would be expected to pay for the maintenance costs; not a good business case for the Council or the tax payer! However, there will always be the day to day running costs, the trains require drivers and regular maintenance, cleaning and general maintenance is needed and due to the location of the Pier officers need to be on hand when the public are about etc. All this costs money and that money currently comes from the Council tax and ticket monies, if the ticket money income goes down the take from the Council tax needs to go up or something somewhere else needs to be reduced or cut. That said a free Pier for the residents is an attractive idea. Firstly of course the Council would need to know how many residents currently pay to go on the Pier versus non residents over the season so as to be able to budget for any changes and secondly there would need to be some sort of check to ensure only residents not visitors benefitted. This would quite likely result in the need for at least one extra staff member. Decisions would have to be taken around the equity of this happening with the resultant increase in council tax across the town affecting all, many of whom have no wish to go down the pier and what about resident’s children, nieces and nephews how would this all be catered for? Currently there is not a great deal at the end of the Pier, though it is still a great place to visit for many reasons.

 Once the Pier Pavilion is up and running, there should be even more of an attraction for a visit and maybe a halfway house of a free weekend or two would be a suitable compromise during which time the Council could showcase the new attractions to the public thus encouraging return visits

Guardian comment on Southend

Southend-On-Sea: You won’t find a more grounded seaside resort than this.

What’s going for it? I once saw a bronzed, elderly lady in a thong karaoking at 6pm on the prom at Southend. On a Tuesday! Here, I thought, was a town that knows how to have a good time. Brighton, despite its seediness, always had airs and graces. Still does. You won’t, though, find a more grounded seaside resort than Southend. It has its posh side, and these days it’s made the inevitable attempt to gentrify itself with arts festivals and the like. But only Leigh-on-Sea has really fallen to the Cath Kidstons. Southend is red in tooth and claw. Turn the corner into Shoeburyness and Essex’s vast skies meld with mudflats and wetlands to make the most ethereal, peaceful landscape imaginable. While faded, like most resorts, Southend has never lost the fight, unlike most resorts. It’s still alive. That thong lady had it figured.

The case against If you’re averse to bronzed, elderly ladies karaoking, this probably isn’t the place for you. Avoid all that by sticking to the Thorpe Bay/Shoeburyness end of things. The beach can be more sludge than sand when the tide’s out, though it’s as clean as a whistle.

Well connected? Very. You have your pick of dual carriageways to zip you through Essex. And the train service is good: around an hour to London from Southend East or Victoria, five to seven trains an hour.

Schools Among primaries, St Mary’s Prittlewell CofE and Sacred Heart Catholic are “good” with some “outstanding” features, with Bournes Green Junior, Temple Sutton Primary and Milton Hall “outstanding”. Secondaries: Shoeburyness High and The Eastwood are “good”, St Bernard’s High “outstanding”.

Hang out at… Rossi’s ice-cream parlour. Knickerbocker for me, please.

Where to buy Mostly very affordable for the south-east. Huge Edwardian semis for £250,000. Unattainable only in the poshest end of Thorpe Bay. Look at nearby Southchurch “village” for big Edwardian town houses, Kilworth estate, Clifftown conservation area, Westcliff-on-sea, Milford estate, and the Southend conservation area for nice Victorian semis and terraces.

Market values Huge detacheds, £500,000-£800,000 and up to £1m. Detacheds, £170,000-£500,000. Semis and town houses, £160,000-£415,000. Terraces £140,000-£300,000. Flats from £60,000 for a studio, up to £215,000.

Bargain of the week Five-bed end of terrace, currently two flats, in the Clifftown Conservation Area. £340,000, with Sorrell.

From the streets

Holly Edwards “Rossi’s ice-cream is a local institution. My nan wouldn’t eat any other. True blue Tory stronghold, so it can be hard to find a Guardian…”

Nathan Coyne “People joke about Shoeburyness on the train from Fenchurch Street, but they have clearly never been farther than the station. It’s got beaches and coastal walks with views over the estuary. Properties in Shoebury Garrison would cost millions closer to London.”

John Cheek “East Beach is lovely, where the Thames Estuary meets the North Sea.”

Taken from the Guardian

Labour Find Dog Fouling Amusing!

I presented a petition to Council last night, signed by over 200 residents from a small number of streets troubled  by dog fouling. Labour were too busy giggling to take note of the seriousness of dog fouling, demonstrating their clear lack of concern for St Luke’s residents! The petition asks the Council to take dog fouling more seriously, for residents in some streets it is a persistent problem. Generally dog fouling is much better and the streets far cleaner but there are a few streets where the problem persists and to tackle these streets we need the Council to take an even more pro-active approach.

Its not just a question of more dog bins as the Independent suggests as these are available, but in a densely populated area its difficult, if not impossible, to find a location that is suitable- would the independent want a dog bin outside his home?  Labour say a petition is not what’s needed ‘its easy to start a petition but less easy to come up with a solution…’ words she needs to take to heart following her predecessors love of petitions!  I am hopeful of achieving what I have asked for in my petition which does actually give some solutions-

We the undersigned call upon Southend Council to take Dog Fouling more seriously by-

  • Better promotion of responsible dog ownership
  • Providing more dog waste bins
  • Putting up more offense warning notices
  • Improving the cleaning regime of problem areas
  • Issuing more penalty notices with concurrent publicity
  • Ensuring more visibility of the streetscene officers by  ensuring that at least 30% of their patrols are on foot and that they regularly patrol all known problem areas

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.

Southend East's Conservative Team

Today the list of Conservative candidates in Rochford and Southend East has been announced. As usual we will be fielding a full team of Candidates for the local elections in May. I am especially enthused by the dedication and talent of this year’s team.

Each Candidate has been carefully considered by the association and the respective ward committee to ensure they are absolutely right for their ward. I can honestly say each of them deserve to win and I know that such a strong team will put up an incredible fight.

Kursaal Ward

In Kursaal ward we have selected Neil Austin, a proud father of four. Neil has been working tirelessly in Kursaal where he lives. His understanding of the need for regeneration makes him an ideal candidate and obvious choice for Kursaal voters who want to see their area improve. His main competition will be from Labour’s Ms McMahon who was voted out at the last election but managed to get reselected under an all women shortlist.

Thorpe Ward

In Thorpe Peter Melville will be a fresh face, full of enthusiasm and determination. He clearly wants to listen and represent Thorpe residents. I know that he will be running a strong campaign.

St Luke’s Ward

I am seeking re-election in St Luke’s this year, and (without being too immodest!) hope my record of achievement for the ward and passion for Southend will be recognised by residents. As usual I shall run as positive a campaign as possible.

Southchurch  Ward

Cllr Ann Holland is up for re-election in Southchurch. Cllr Holland is currently Mayor and extremely experienced on council, with a particularly sterling reputation for her work with the fire authorities.

Victoria Ward

Ray Davy, known by many for his work at Southend United and the Roots Hall Market, is a stalwart and extremely hard working person, if elected he would bring real hope for Victoria. He would be tenacious in speaking up for residents and in getting improvements for them.

Milton

Cllr Jonathon Garston is standing for re-election. Jonathon is an exceptional ward councillor and thoroughly deserves to get back in.

Shoebury

Verina Weaver is a hard working and experienced Cllr, who will fully represent Shoebury, she has experience of planning and speaking out at Council. She will be a fine replacement for Pat Rayner who is resigning after doing a grand job for Shoebury residents for the last 10 years.

West Shoebury

Cllr Derek Jarvis is also standing for re-election, but in west Shoebury. Derek is a senior councillor and has represented his ward for a long time.

Between us the candidates have well over a lifetime worth of council experience, and have in recent years done a tremendous amount of positive work in the town and for our residents.

Q. When is an Independent not an Independent?

A. When he’s teamed up with a Lib-Dem!

The so called Independent candidate in St Luke’s has joined forces with last year’s Lib Dem candidate for St Luke’s and SKIPP sympathiser. The stated object to get rid of the sitting ward Cllr Anna Waite.

Whilst I am sure Cllr Longley will disown this collusion, it would not be the first time he has done this. In 2006 the LibDems colluded with an independent and quite probably UKIP and Labour too. This collusion was confirmed to me by Mike Grimwade (LibDem) who said that he disliked the collusion that had taken place and hoped I would not hold it against him!

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

Our Golden Mile is Back

As Councillors, our MP, senior officers and contractors gathered with the Mayor and Sir Bob Kerslake last Friday evening for the switching on of the new illuminated masts one could not help but feel we had our Golden Mile back.

What had promised to be a rainy event was transformed as the western sky was lit with a truly magnificent rose gold sunset which seemed to glow over the proceedings, the Amusement Arcades and businesses of Marine Parade were resplendent with their Vegas style lights and as the City Beach Project comes to a close it really does seem to have achieved its aim in removing the tarnish and giving us a Golden Mile.

The Mayor touched the screen on the remote and after a slight hesitation the Illumination jumped to life, colours changed, patterns evolved and as it grew darker they became ever more eye catching.  

Mariner’s Square with the many water jets is virtually complete, the toilets and foreshore building are well in hand, the trees and planting look really good and are nearly complete and the Illumination masts, well you will either love them or hate them, but I hope you will agree that the Golden Mile is once again Golden!