shoebury common

Were we lied to over the Shoebury sea defences?


shoebury common sea defences

It feels a little redundant to describe the Shoebury sea wall debate as the defining issue of the last local elections in Southend — at least in the ward where I was the Labour candidate, West Shoebury.

At the time I was, I feel, more moderate than my opponents on the matter. Whilst UKIP’s James Moyies (who went on to win) damned the council’s preferred scheme as wrong and unworkable, and Conservative then-Cllr Tony Cox backed it to his last electoral gasp, I took the middle way.

I said, whenever asked, that the decision should be reviewed. That the process should be scrutinised. That the choices should be looked at afresh. But given that sea defences are vital — and I still believe that — I could not, I felt, dismiss the then-administration’s preferred plan, given that it was the most cost effective.

That, however, has now been brought into question. In the review initiated by the new joint administration, the preferred scheme has been found not to be the cheapest, but indeed the second most expensive.

Read on…

James Moyies – big on anger, short on answers


james moyies leaflet

On Monday I took a look at (and disassembled) the leaflet of the Tory candidate for Victoria. But I am standing for election in the east of the borough, in the ward of West Shoebury.

West Shoebury is interesting, as far as the local elections in Southend go, as it is the only seat where UKIP stand any chance of breaking through. James Moyies has been putting considerable time and effort to winning a council seat, and after coming up 3% shy in 2012, he clearly fancies his chances against incumbent Tony Cox this year.

What Mr Moyies is actually offering, though, is a bit of a confusing story.

Read on…

A note on floods, and flood defences


shoebury common sea defences

I don’t know if you noticed, but it’s been a little wet lately.

This hasn’t exactly been a barrel of laughs anywhere across the country, and certainly Southend has gotten off better than most — so far. But we still have a fair amount of water lingering on our doorstep in the form of the Thames Estuary. And it’s not likely to be going away any time soon.

Read on…