In 2014 the Conservatives lost control of Southend Borough Council after fourteen years in power. Since that time, Southend's Labour Councillors have played an influential role in developing policies to make Southend a better town to live in.
Our achievements in the past twelve months include:
- Saving Priory Care Home, which the Conservative administration intended to close.
- Safeguarding the future of our libraries with professional staff.
- Making progress to end the scandal of derelict office blocks on Victoria Avenue.
- Keeping open all Children's Centres, despite massive Conservative cuts from central government.
- Negotiating a new waste contract that will save taxpayers £1 million a year, whilst maintaining a higher standard of service and guaranteeing weekly refuse collections.
- Maintaining support for Southend's Voluntary sector for groups such as HARP and SAVS.
- Introducing a scheme for wardens to improve security in council housing blocks.
- Retaining support, in spite of Conservative opposition, for the most vulnerable people in times of crisis, including those fleeing domestic violence.
- Committed to building social housing for local people.
- Tough enforcement action on poor housing.
- Better neighbourhoods.
- Improve standards in the town's large private sector rented market.
Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour
- Working with police and other agencies to tackle anti-social behaviour and taking robust action against all offenders.
- Extending the use of Neighbourhood Wardens, first sought by Labour, in Southend's troublesome spots'.
- Continuing to work to ensure that all schools in the Borough reach the highest possible educational standards.
- Committed to making Southend a place where all can learn the skills they need for future employment.
- Protecting our existing Children's Centres and ensure that local communities are involved in running them.
Care for older people
- Ensuring that the highest possible standards of care for older people and developing support services enabling residents to remain in their own homes whenever possible.
- Developing a 'care campus' on the Priory site, which will include a sixty-bed home with 'state of the art' care for people with dementia and other facilities designed to support and improve the health of local people.
- Attracting firms and industries to Southend and providing secure employment for our residents.
- Emphasise our strengths as a cultural centre and seek to improve the overall image of our town.
- Support the 'Living Wage' advocated by the foundation, to lift hard-working local people out of poverty.
- Maintaining the Essential Living Fund and other related projects in order to tackle inequality and poverty in our town.
A greener town
- Promoting a new Energy Company to provide people in Southend a cheaper and more ethical option for their gas and electricity.
- Developing plans to unlock investment in renewable energies, including solar power.
- Combining waste collection with tough recycling targets.
- Promoting sustainable forms of transport, such as cycling, and improved bus routes.
- Ensuring all new homes are built to the highest environmental standards.
Above all, we will continue to listen to hard-working people and will always be prepared to hear your views and respond to your needs.
Together we can build a better Southend,
Cllr Ian Gilbert
Deputy Leader of Southend Borough Council
Leader of Southend Labour Group.