Tag Archives: Better Southend

Green Flags for Southend Parks

Belfairs, Priory, Southchurch and Chalkwell Parks have all secured Green Flags for 2011/12.

external links-  Green flag Awards from Keep Britian Tidy

BBC News

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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.

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

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

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

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!

Shame on You

Last night the Council discussed the terms of the airport lease. Following the meeting as I was leaving a woman came up to me and said in my face- Shame on you.

Is it shameful to restrict the number of night flights?

Is it shameful to control the noise emissions of the planes?

Is it shameful to ensure the direction of landing and takeoff  is, as much as possible, over the least populated areas?

Is it shameful to cap the total number of flights?

Is it shameful to require a second instrument landing facility?

Is it shameful to restrict the amount of cargo?

Is it shameful to want to provide more jobs for Southend and Rochford residents?

No I don’t think so- the shameful thing is that SAEN still persist in objecting to all of the above and post inaccurate personal comments on their website ! Madame, whoever you were- Shame on you.

The full list of conditions being imposed v the existing can be seen here –Conditions proposed v existing

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.