Whilst others showboat, Labour are building a better, greener Southend

southend energy

In these dark times of austerity, good news should — it is this blogger’s opinion — be jumped upon and celebrated. So when two good news stories drop into my inbox on the same day, I’m starting to wonder if it’s Christmas.

I am an environmentalist at my core, though it is rooted in the same pragmatism as my socialism. I have little time for blind idealism; principle is worthless if it does not translate into action.

And the translation of principle into action is what these two pieces of news represent. Firstly, the roll-out of energy-efficient LED streetlights across Southend is being accelerated. Secondly, the Southend Energy Company has already saved Southend Residents over £100,000 since it started.

Read on…

A tale of two unitary authorities: illuminating Essex


The ongoing trails and tribulations of Essex County Council’s decision to turn off streetlights at night have caught my interest of late.

For the uninitiated, Essex decided to turn off streetlights between midnight and 5am, to save something in the region of £14m over 13 years — so slightly more than £1m per year. It has not, shall we say, been an uncontroversial decision.

It’s come into recent sharp focus with the decision of Harlow District Council to pay Essex to turn them back on.

Of course, things are slightly different in Southend.

Read on…