Tag Archives: York road market southend on sea

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

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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’.

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.

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!

Prada on Sea

Has a certain ring to it! More importantly the SKIPP use of this phrase emphasises how little they understand of aspirations. Southend gets circa 6m day visitors a year that puts us into the higher league tables, but others that attract high numbers actually get more back per visitor than Southend. Brighton and Bournemouth for example achieve a far far higher spend per visitor than Southend. So I ask- is there anything wrong in Southend aspiring to get a bit closer to their income from tourists? Is there anything wrong inSouthend Residents  aspiring to wear a Prada dress?

Surely in a town with over 7 miles of beaches we can afford to have some variation of style- something for everyone, the ‘quaint’ fishing village of Old Leigh, relaxing beaches and walks along the prom or through the gardens in Westcliff, the noisier more contemporary feel of the new central area of Marine Parade, the slightly more commercial seaside bits of Southchurch with give way to the wide greens and beaches of Thorpe Bay. Scattered along the coast are watersport facilities, seaside bars and cafes, paddling pools etc. Then on around the bend into Shoebury where the now emerging Gunners Park is the splendid back drop and through to East Beach with its far wilder, more natural aspects.

East Beach

Yes, there is a place, indeed there are many places, for candy floss and toffee apples, bucket and spades and sand castle building, yes there is space for amusement arcades and pubs, there is space aplenty for fish and chip shops and icecream stalls, indeed there is space within the current built areas for virtually everything any one could want. So why not aspire to improve the public realm, to assist business by smartening up a bit, to seek to attract a wider range of visitors and to provide them with reasons to spend money here.- Improved hotels- we’ve got some and more are likely to come, seaside cafes and bars and maybe a couple of new or refurbished ones somewhere, a magnificent water fountain feature to keep the kids happy when the tide is out (and probably when its in too) new  illuminated lighted masts with state of the art digital lighting effects, trees to wander through and areas to sit in, Adventure Island- it does a sterling job, a new Pier Pavillion( its coming this year) 

Artists impression of the new Pier Pavillion

an arts programme to attract and entertain visitors is on the way, the Cliffs Pavillion too offers a really full range of entertainment. Oh and lets not forget the proposed new Museum which will shore up the cliffs, provide a major new carpark and offer a truly inspiring museum complete with all the educational facilities one would need, a restaurant with a view to die for and some much needed indoor entertainment to draw in tourists from across the country and to keep them happy when the sun is shy ! Extending our offer, creating opportunity, investing in our assest working to promote our Town and improve its economics-  If all of this is PRADA on SEA then I say bring it on!

Care standards for elderly protected by Council

Southend is protecting the elderly, vulnerable and front line services.

There should be no discernable change in the standard or care for residents, we are doing everything we can to protect the standards we expect for them, indeed we are getting far firmer about where we will support residents, as being in a good quality home can make a lot of difference as time goes by.

A misleading article in last weeks Echo (Friday) features a gentleman Mr Gelfand and has the headline-

‘Care homes threatened by Southend Council cuts’

I  must question this, his comments and also why the Echo ran the story without checking it out and without carrying a balancing comment.

Firstly for the facts- yes we are asking homes to accept a 5% cut in the fee we pay for each Southend funded resident. Southend has to achieve very significant savings and it is considered that we have to pass some of the reduction on.

Southend officers have held consultations with both care homes and their professional body. The letter sent to the care homes folloiwing those consultations can be read Here 

Southend officers have made it very clear that if a home feels that the 5% cut will result in difficulties or a loss service for our residents they may come to the officers for their position to be considered- we would of course expect to see their accounts in these circumstances.

Southend officers have found a number of cost saving inititiatives that they have passed on to the care homes which should facilitate the saving for example-working closer together and bulk purchasing.

Now Mr Gelfand attended the meeting and is well aware of this and the report that went to Cabinet also states this.

Mr Gelfand’s care home  is part of a larger group which, I am informed, posted a significant profit last year, yet it is still not achieving the standards that Southend expects for its residents and Southend officers have actually had to assist this home to raise its standards.

We now only place residents in the better performing homes, but we do not insist that residents already placed in less desirable accomodation move.

We are also asking the managers of our own care homes to achieve similar if not higher savings.

No home that is open and honest with us and can demonstrate that they really cannot do anything to save money will be subjected to the 5% cut.

Cuckoo Corner

Today we see a very negative SKIPP press release about Cuckoo Corner, (only to be expected really in the circumstances)  last year they had 100 trees going, then 100 year old trees going, damage to the park, broken promises etc- none true and now a whole article about 28 sets of lights causing delay and all before the junction is even finished!

Truth is the A 127 pedestrian crossing had to be removed to build the 3rd lane, so the lights were turned on early to help pedestrians, but the detector loops are still to go in, the sequencing sorted and the lanes to be opened -oh and yes the signage and planting and much more still has to go in too….

There are three  ‘sets of lights’ on the arms of the 3 main roads entering/ exiting the roundabout and upto 4 sets controlling movements around the roundabout thats 7 sets not 28 sets. All sets of lights require more than one post so that all motorists and road users can see them.

To see how the junction will work in real time visit here the short simulation starts with the Bell junction before moving to a relatively basic model of Cuckoo Corner- the point is that the lights will better distribute the traffic depending on the amount cars appeoaching the roundabout thus allowing for smoother circulation, once one gets a green light on the roandabout junction one will be able to pass through all the remaining lights on green unless doing a 360 when one will have to wait once at a red. The lights will be adapted for differing times of day and differing traffic flows, the loops will detect the start of a queue and cause the sequecing to adapt. 

i actually went through last week from West to Eas quite quickly but there was a queue East to west, but then thee was also a lane closure and works further along, today I went through, again west to east very quickly when usually at that time i would have held up from about KFC and  there were no queues beyond about 4 cars in Priory Crescent.

Looks like airport could be on its way to expansion!

We understand that the courts have refused leave for a judicial review of the planning application decision relating to the airport runway extension.  We have yet to receive formal confirmation of this judgement. 

Received today from Chief Exec Southend BC.  I understand the applicant could appeal this in some way requesting a verbal hearing.

York Road Market

An artist’s impression of how the York Road Market might look. It is proposed to put up a temporary market until a final decision is taken based upon the review of options and discussions that are to be held to find out what would best suit possible traders and the town.

Independent councillors fail to declare joint corporate interests! Police called into council chamber over protest!

Southend’s Independent Cllrs have failed to declare that they are directors of Independent for Southend Ltd. This is very likely a standards board case as the Register of Members Interests is quite quite clear on these issues and they have been Directors since at least May 2009! So much for Independents being whiter than white- first we learn they are in cahoots with the LibDems, then we get proof in that they have signed Graham Longley’s nomination papers, now we learn they have formed a company that they failed to declare. Really quite poor form from people who take such a holier than thou approach. It also puts lie to this notion that independents are not a ‘party’ truly independent individuals do not form companies together! Oh and I did I mention that a very rattled Cllr Woodley then stomped out  shouting abusive language towards the Nigel Holdcroft, leader of the Council! (to be clearCllr Delaney who was not present at Council and  Dr Vel was not part of this nor a director of their company )

The council was also cleared this evening when a small group of protesters started screeching and throwing leaflets onto the Independent group/party- the irony is of couse that Independent Cllr Woodley supports theses undemocratic protesters. Eventually the Police removed them. Sadly the tribute to a retiring Council Officer was  disrupted but after the small rabble was removed was able to continue. Shame really that such a silly group chose that moment to interrupt a fairwell tribute.