Day: 30/12/2014

On Southend Borough Council’s use of zero-hour contracts


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Whilst the joint administration at Southend Borough Council, I would argue, is an unambiguous improvement on the previous, tired, stagnating Conservative administration which until May had run Southend (Or rather, managed its decline -Ed) for some fourteen years, there are sometimes stark reminders that this isn’t a pure Labour administration, and there are some areas on which I would like it to do substantially more.

Yesterday’s piece in the Echo about the use, by the council, of zero-hours contracts, for example. 159 council employees, apparently, are on such contracts, out of a workforce of 1,899. That’s just shy of 8% — The Echo’s maths apparently not being great — which in this blogger’s opinion is a long way from ideal.

Whilst I am not pleased at the widespread use of such potentially-exploitative contracts, I can imagine that taking charge of what has been for nearly a decade and a half a Tory local authority, such legacy issues will pop up. What bothers me more is council leader, and Independent Party Group councillor for Thorpe, Ron Woodley’s lacklustre response.

Read on…

NHS crisis comes to Southend


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Well, I hate to say we told you so…

The Southend Echo were yesterday evening reporting that Southend Hospital has run out of beds, entering the ominously named “black alert”. Whilst I don’t wish to be alarmist, and it does seem that non-emergency services are functioning to take some of the strain. But this is still terrible news for Southend.

SOUTHEND Hospital has run out of beds for new admissions after going into “black alert”.

Due to a higher than usual number of acutely ill patients requiring a hospital bed, the hospital is urging people to stay away from A&E unless they are seriously unwell or critically injured.

Read on…