southend labour

Southenders, cut your fuel bills with the Southend Energy Company!


southend energy

Even as George Osborne misses his own fiscal targets, here at Castle Dent the last couple of weeks have seen another round of belt-tightening (Shopping around -Ed), resulting in the sort of savings if which HM Treasury can only dream.

Well, maybe not. But one of the savings that I’m particularly proud of is the long-overdue switch to the Southend Energy Company. The end result of this is a saving of £27 a month on my gas and electric bills, which is not to be sniffed at.

I’ve periodically banged the drum for SEC, a partnership with Ovo that is one of the best initiatives that has resulted from Labour being in the Joint Administration at Southend Borough Council, and it really is a great scheme to save residents money on their bills, and to fight fuel poverty. It’s extremely quick and easy to get a quote, so why not take five minutes out of your day to see what you can save?

GUEST BLOG: Twenty’s Plenty – don’t get the hump!


20mph

This is a guest post, written by Mike Fieldhouse, Labour candidate for Prittlewell at the 2016 local elections. As such, the views and opinions expressed may differ radically from your blogger’s own. Some of them may even make sense…

Read on…

GUEST POST: ‘What I learnt at the c2c Public Meeting’ by Helen McDonald


c2c: it's the passengers who are wrong

This is a guest post, written by Helen McDonald, Southend Labour’s candidate for Kursaal ward at the 2016 local elections. As such, the views and opinions expressed may differ radically from your blogger’s own. Some of them may even make sense…

On Saturday 6th February I attended the c2c Public Meeting at the Thameside Theatre in Grays. I arrived knowing that services are overcrowded and the changes to stopping patterns have not been well received by the majority of passengers travelling to and from Southend. I left knowing the same but with the added knowledge that it’s not just Southend residents who are furious and with assurance from Chris Atkinson, Communications and Stakeholder Manger, and Kevin Frazer, Delivery Director, that: “it’s going to improve”. The precise details of exactly how or when this might happen were sketchy but let’s not worry about little things like that just yet.

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On the 2016 Southend Council budget…


southend civic centre

So we come around to budget time again, in Southend-on-Sea, and it doesn’t make for exactly pleasant reading for those who don’t want to see the town cut away to nothing.

The Conservative government, in its wisdom, has decided that the Borough of Southend-on-Sea has £8.43m too much in funding, and so has issued another 28% cut to the council’s funding. In the national interest, we are told, but there’s a dishonesty at its core. The Treasury keeps loading the tough decisions onto councils to cover up the incompetence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, heading fast towards the point where vital services will become unsustainable.

In the light of all this, then, the budget constructed by the joint administration in Southend is a work of wonder, with services preserved and serious pain avoided. And having seen them utterly fail to scrutinise it at the three scrutiny committees last week, I can only presume that the Conservatives agree.

Read on…

GUEST BLOG: Helen McDonald on why she is standing for Kursaal ward


Helen McDonald blog

This is a guest post, written by Helen McDonald, Southend Labour’s candidate for Kursaal ward at the 2016 local elections. As such, the views and opinions expressed may differ radically from your blogger’s own. Some of them may even make sense…

This is the moment where I’m supposed to tell you all that I wanted to stand as a candidate for Labour in Southend because all my family are staunch trade unionists, all my life I have been primed for a life in local politics and they gave a rousing cheer when it was announced I had been selected by the residents of Kursaal ward. So here goes… I come from a very long line of Tory voting, Daily Mail readers and the only time I’ve ever heard any of them talk about trade unions was when my Mum once claimed she worked with a man who had been ‘turned’ by the Russians and that’s why she went on strike so much in the 1970s. In fact, my Dad is still hoping this is a phase I’ll grow out of and insistently refers to me as a Champagne socialist (which is grossly unfair because I don’t even like Champagne).

So, how am I here right now? Well, I think my parents should consider themselves at least partly to blame because they instilled in me a very strong sense of what is fair and unfair and that a person’s circumstances are not necessarily a reflection of their abilities or ‘hard work’. That is why, after 15 years as a secondary school teacher, I have decided to move into local politics.

Read on…