Having been a Labour Party activist and local community campaigner for many years as well as having lived just north of Southchurch Road since 1994, Martin knows first-hand many of the issues that affect residents in St. Luke’s Ward in particular as well as Southend as a whole and that St. Luke’s really needs councillors who will campaign and vote for policies that will actually improve the lives of residents here. His experience and dedication to the locality and its people mean that he will be a committed and effective representative for St. Luke’s on Southend Council and with Gabriel Leroy as our other candidate St Luke’s voters will have the chance to select a dynamic team to represent them.
Martin says, “I have campaigned on housing and homelessness issues for a long time and some residents will know me as one of the organisers of Fossett’s For The People, and although getting decent and genuinely affordable housing for people is going to feature in our campaign it is far from being the only major theme. We all know about the problems of crime and anti-social behaviour, including drug taking, in our area and the lack of police and warden patrols that allows that to carry on with impunity. Gabriel and I will be pressing for a greater police presence in the worst-affected areas and we encourage residents to report everything, even minor incidents, because it is only by increasing the number of reports that the police are likely to even look at increasing resources to these locations. If you’re wary of reporting something of that nature yourself then tell me and I’ll do it. Increased take-up of neighbourhood watch schemes is also something we very much encourage as they lead to better relationships between neighbourhoods and local police officers.
“Like many of the ward’s residents I am fed up with the difficulty of getting a timely GP appointment and the lack of accessible local health services generally. We must retain and improve the St. Luke’s health centre (something I’ve already campaigned for) and not see any further damaging cuts.
“Similarly struggling for funds and sufficient staff are our local schools and child care centres. Over recent years Labour councillors have fought with some success against Tory cuts to those and the current Labour-led council administration is doing a good job with the limited resources available, but it’s only by increasing Labour representation on the council that schools including those in St. Luke’s will be able to improve continually.
“The appalling bus service in some parts of the ward is something I am very vocal about. I know so many people who have trouble getting into town for shopping, or are put off going to the cinema or for a night out in Southend because of the cost of a taxi home. I know some young residents who have to walk home from work very late at night because they’re on low wages and there are no buses. The council sadly has no direct control over the bus companies, but public pressure can and has improved services elsewhere and with a local councillor committed to the fight could do so here.
“I shall be very pleased to receive your views on any of the above or, indeed, any other matters that you think I should be addressing. The perennial problems of cars speeding through the ‘short cut’ roads, poor pavements, potholes, parking, dog poo and footpath rubbish dumping will no doubt all come up and Gabriel and I will also continue to report instances of those to the council as we come across them while walking about the ward every day”
A vote for Martin Berry is a vote to gain a councillor who is hard working and passionate about the area and its people. To follow the campaign please visit the St. Luke’s Labour Facebook page.
Phone: 01702 619868 (Southend Labour office, please leave a message for Martin)
Post: St. Luke’s Labour, 268 Sutton Road, Southend-on-Sea SS2 5ET
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