The times are changing, we are told. The “new politics” means that the smaller parties are a serious force, rather than just a protest vote or an unfunny joke. Their branches in Southend, though, haven’t seemed to have gotten the message. For the local elections, only three parties are fielding a full slate of 19 candidates: The Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, and Labour.
This is the second Labour slate of which I have been a part, and I am once again struck that we have the very finest people in the borough. Southend Labour Party are committed to offering a fairer, progressive choice, grounded in reality, to make this town the very best it can be.
With Labour as part of the council administration for the first time after fourteen years of Tory rule, we are getting things moving in the right direction. New housing stock is being built. Vital services like libraries, children’s centres, and care homes have been protected. And with schemes like the Southend Energy Company we are taking action to help people struggling with the cost of living crisis.
There is only one choice, on May 7th, for a better Southend. Vote Labour.
Nominations for the local elections in Southend-on-Sea closed at 4.00 p.m. yesterday. A third of the council seats are up forre-election in addition to two by-elections. This means that there are 19 seats up for election in total.The election will take place on May 7th, and the deadline for registering to vote is 20th April.
Below is the breakdown of the numbers of candidates standing by party, and the full list of nominated candidates.
Seats for re-election
(A note on Independents: some independents are more independent than others. Not all of the independents on the ballot paper are part of the official Independent Party Group. Some are genuine independents, such as Lucy Courtenay in Chalkwell, and some seem to be Independent UKIP, such as Alex Moyies in West Shoebury. I will be looking into and trying to clarify this.)
In what is turning into a series of “good news for Victoria ward” blog posts, I can now confirm that the new home of the Beecroft art gallery in Southend is pretty damn awesome.
When Ash and I moved into our flat, it was a source of annoyance that the library had closed just before our move in date. I rather liked the old Southend Central library, with its multiple levels and wide selection of books. The new Forum which replaced it, more centrally to the town centre, has amply provided for library coverage, but the move left a big, well-placed building going begging in the town centre.
The new Beecroft Gallery opened at the weekend, but it was only on my lunch break today that I actually managed to get down to have a look around. And I was impressed. It’s still a bit on the empty side, but I’m confident that it will fill out given time. There are already a few exhibitions there, one a photography exhibition on football stadia across Europe, and another exhibition of swimwear of the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Both are well worth a look, alongside the Beecroft’s own collection of Southend-related artwork.
I spotted a few excellent maritime paintings, which appealed to my own tastes.
The new gallery sits alongside Southend Central Museum — also well worth a visit — on Victoria Avenue, down the road from both the courthouse and the civic centre. This is what I mean when I talk about the potential of this area; with the regeneration of the other side of the road which is now very much on the cards, Victoria really does seem to be taking steps towards fulfilling its potential as a cultural hub.