Photo (c) Gaz de Vere, all rights reserved
Photo (c) Gaz de Vere, all rights reserved

A large number of local Labour Party members packed the Beecroft Gallery’s lecture theatre on Friday evening (31st March) for the launch of the party’s Southend Election Manifesto. The  manifesto contains details of Labour’s plans for the town if the party gains control of the council in May, which is a real possibility.

Policy areas including Southend’s Economy, Education, Housing, Public Protection, Health, and the Environment are covered in the document, which is available by clicking here. Printed copies can be requested through the ‘Contact’ tab on this page or by emailing or leaving a message on 01702 619868. There is a list in the manifesto of Southend Labour’s candidates for all seventeen Southend Council electoral wards, and and their profiles and contact details are available online here,

Ian Gilbert, Leader of the Labour Group on the council, says, “The Conservative administration’s unimaginative and outdated policies and ideas have had their time – and it’s been an unsuccessful time for the town. The Tories once again seem set on costly vanity projects which are of no worthwhile benefit to local people. Our policies are forward-thinking and we have plans that will make a real difference to local people’s lives. We proved when we previously had just a share of control of the council that we can get things done: we saved children’s centres from cuts, forced the development of derelict office building in Victoria Avenue for homes, prevented care homes and libraries from closure and started a programme of building council houses. In opposition, we have been very active in fighting against detrimental cuts and were instrumental in causing the plans to downgrade and merge Southend Hospital services to the Secretary of State to review.

“Given people’s support at the ballot box on May 2nd we can do much more. We are not looking at what has been done, we are making plans for improvements that will be done if we are elected. Those include better public protection; proper action on resolving the issues of rough sleeping and professional begging; using the planning process to make sure there is proper social housing available to local people rather than so-called ‘affordable’ housing that most ordinary people can’t actually afford, and we shall continue to invest in green and money-saving technology. All of our plans are affordable, in the same way that the amendments we proposed in February to the 2019/20 Tory budget were fully costed and approved as sound by the council’s politically-independent Chief Financial Officer. Those proposals could have been implemented within the existing council tax budget had the Tories not voted them down. We are prepared for administration and can effect real, beneficial change in Southend”

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