When Ash and I moved to (or back to, in her case) Southend almost a year ago, we moved into Victoria ward, practically in the centre of town (Milton ward, I would say, has the honour of being right in the centre). This is a town centre area, hugely convenient for my own commute into London, and with all the incumbant advantages for a young professional couple who could do without the expense of a car.
It being a town centre area, though,it is not without its own issues. One of the big ones is Victoria Avenue.
This dual carriageway runs down towards the high street, and past the Civic Center, and is lined along one side with a great many empty office blocks. It is, honestly, not a good look. From the window of my flat’s front room I can see one great derelict hulk, all dark and broken windows like black eyes. And the letters FTP graffitied at the top (if the meaning is unclear, I will mention only that it sits opposite the police station).
It’s a sad state for the gateway to Southend town centre, and one which I understand has stood neglected for a long time even as people have pushed and pushed to get a plan in place.