priory house

“Is this the change you voted for?” ask Southend Tories. Actually, yes


the change you voted for FIXED

Another day, another Southend Conservative poster fixed by yours truly.

You can read the original over on the blog of Tony Cox, the local Tory chairman doing some admirable rearranging of deckchairs as his party sinks beneath him. It is, however, interesting that they seem to think that saving care homes and building sorely needed houses for the future is “wasteful spending”, though.

I somehow suspect that the people of Southend, who remember well the stagnation under 14 years of Tory rule, would disagree.

Fluent in Flewitt: decoding Mark’s budget views


mark flewitt

St Laurence ward’s Cllr Mark Flewitt is an enthusiastic blogger, I’ll give him that. Trouble is…well, he’s not terribly good at it.

(Not to overuse the Mandy Rice-Davies quote, but you would say that, wouldn’t you? -Ed)

When it is deciperhable without prior knowledge what exactly he is actually talking about, he meanders around from subject to subject without much regard for his audience’s ability to keep up

(Again, you can talk -Ed)

His latest blog, for example, starts off claiming that Labour activists have been instructed not to talk about the economy on the doorstep. For the record, we haven’t: I had many such conversations at the weekend with Blenheim Park residents, particularly about how George Osborne’s recovery for the few has seen their wages shrink and their living costs rise.

He then goes on to give his thoughts on the draft local budget for Southend Borough Council. Credit to him, Mark is the first opposition councillor to actually venture an opinion on the budget, but his approach is a little scattergun.

(more…)

Southend budget: Vital services protected, despite £11m Tory cuts


southend civic centre

This afternoon, the draft budget for Southend Borough Council has been announced and made public by the joint administration. I haven’t had a chance yet to go over it in any great detail, so this is simply an overview of the headlines.

The most notable measures of the budget are:

  • Priory House care home has been saved from closure under the previous Tory administration’s policies.
  • No more children’s centres to close.
  • No more money taken out of Libraries.
  • At least £850,000 saved from new waste contract, with weekly service maintained.
  • To fund this, and plug the £11m gap in Southend’s funding resulting from Tory cuts, council tax will increase by 1.95%, which is equivalent to £2.19 a month, or  51p a week, on a band D property.

Read on…

Kipperwatch: UKIP cllr plans board game in Southend council meeting


kipperwatch

Reaching a point, you have to wonder what certain people are thinking, exactly.

Of the new crop of UKIP councillors gifted upon Southend by a poor turnout in May, three of them are still pretty much complete unknowns to me. Though second-hand reports of Cllr Waterworth’s antagonistic conduct has reached my ears, Cllrs Callaghan and Burling are still inflatable question marks in my mind’s eye.

Cllr Moyies, my esteemed and victorious opponent in West Shoebury in May, is the UKIP councillor I have heard the most of. He chairs the People Scrutiny Committee, and has spoken the most out of the five in any public forum. I’m sure I will have plenty more to say about Cllr Moyies as his term continues, but so far he has not be the ‘KIPper about whom I have blogged most.

No, that honour belongs to Cllr Lawrence Davies, who only last week was the subject of a blog on his apparent lack of judgement. This time, though, the poor judgement is rather more than “apparent”.

Read on…

Southend Tories: Saving care homes will emotionally harm residents


delaware house

There have been a glut of important meetings at Southend Council this week, with the three scrutiny committees preceding last night’s full council. It provides plenty of material for a local politics blogger to pick over, but sadly it does leave me on the back foot a little, juggling it with a full-time job and something approximating a life.

So with that in mind, come back in time with me to the People Scrutiny Committee meeting from Tuesday 15th June, to witness some bizarre statements from Tory members of the council.

Read on…