Monday, 30 May 2011

2011 Airshow

I was fortunate enough to visit both days of the Southend Airshow and what a fantastic event it was. Undoubtably the stars of the show were the Red Arrows but there were a couple of changes which for me helped the event.

Switching the days to the Saturday and Sunday from the traditional Sunday and Monday was a huge success as was having the aircraft displays from 2pm-5pm instead of over four and a half hours. For me it helped with the continuity of the event.

This was the 26th Airshow and hopefully still going strong.

Musings? More like Misgivings

Prominant Southend Labour Party activist Julian Ware-Lane's blog is always worth a good read and has some thought provoking posts like the excellent one on Anne Chalk. Like myself Julian is qualified football referee but where we differ is that he is an old Socialist.

Sometimes political dogma can get in the way of reasoned and sensible judgement. I mean, would any person not weighed down by dogma seriously advocate helping the lazy as Julian advocates?

The Missing St Lukes Councillor

A spat has broken out this week following Southend Council leader Nigel Holdcroft's revelation on his blog that newly elected Independent Party councillor Paul Van looy face will not be seen many times at the Civic Centre next year.

The story then went viral after it was published in an edition of last weeks Echo. With alarming predictability the Independent Party 'leader' Martin Terry rushed to his defence.

Without going over the rights and wrongs, I would like to pose one question to the residents of St Lukes, do  they think Cllr Van Looy costing them approximately £840 per meeting is good value for his representation?

Thought not...

The hunt is Over

After 16 years the hunt for Europe's most wanted man is finally over. General Ratko Mladic was the Bosnian Serb army chief throughout the Bosnian war - and the man many hold responsible for the worst atrocities in that bloody conflict.

Along with the Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic, he came to symbolise the Serb campaign of ethnic cleansing of Croats and Muslims. Ratko Mladic was ferocious in pursuit of what he saw as the destiny of the Serb nation. He oversaw the siege and bombardment of Sarajevo, in which 12,000 died.

He was a pioneer of the technique known as ethnic cleansing. Hundreds of thousands of non-Serbs were driven from their homes in the brutal campaign to create an ethnically pure Serb state in Croatia and Bosnia and he commanded the men who murdered at least 7,500 Bosnian Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995.

When I worked for NatWest some years back I used to work with a guy who was part of the UN Peacekeeping Forces in Bosnia and he claimed that some of the acts that he witnessed were so horrific that they will haunt him for the rest of his life and he was powerless to stop it.

Let us hope that Mladic is brought to justice for war crimes quickly at The Hague. 

Resigning is an Honourable Thing to do....

It was sad to see my old stomping ground of Tottenham and Haringey Council hitting the headlines again this week for all the wrong reasons.

Sharon Shoesmith, the infamous director in charge of Childrens Services at Haringey Council at the time of Baby P's death won her case of unfair dismissal at the Court of Appeal when she was sacked live on TV by formoer minister Ed Balls.

Enough has been said and written about the Baby P case which I do not want to go over but can not help feeling that the case of Sharon Shoesmith should never have gone this far.

Like the leader of the council and portfolio holder did at the time, Sharon Shoesmith should have done the honourable thing and resigned.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

The Past Week

As a belated birthday present, Mrs Cox and Miss Cox treated me to a week away at my favourite holiday destination - Cornwall.

Whilst I have been away, I am delighted to have been asked to serve in the cabinet for another year as portfolio holder for Public Protection, Waste and Transport - a position that I have accepted.

During our stay, it is always nice to visit my favourite place St Michael's Mount but also spent a few hours in the surfing capital Newquay. This was an interesting visit for a number of reasons but also for its new shared space area in the High Street.

It was busy and the scheme resembles the new City Beach and Victoria Circus schemes. Newquay is a vibrant resort which attracts many young revellers as well as many day visitors.

It was interesting to observe the behaviours of both the pedestrians and motorists in this area. The shared space idea seemed to working very well and some of the locals that I spoke to were very receptive to the scheme which has been in place for nearly two years.

It seems that the shared space concept is an idea which is being implemented by many local authorities. There has been many column inches written about City Beach and Victoria Circus. As these are new schemes in their infancy it is important to let them bed in. As the new portfolio holder for transport I am aware of the issues raised about these schemes and will be monitoring these over the next few weeks.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

New Civic Year

Today was the annual council in which the mayor is elected into office and the leader of the council is elected.

Southend has a tradition whereby its Mayor's are decided by length of service which allows opposition members to become Mayor and not a privilege of the ruling party.

The outgoing May was Cllr Ann Holland who had a successful year by raising the profile of Southend locally, nationally and internationally.

The incoming Mayor is long serving Labour Victoria ward councillor David Norman. David is a rare type of politician who is by far the best speaker in the chamber and a real gentleman to. It is a tragic that a politician of David's calibre did not not make it onto the green benches of Parliament.

I wish David every success as Southend's first citizen  

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Election Aftermath

As usual election day was long and demanding starting with opening up Friars Community Centre as it was being used as a polling station and eventually finishing at 03:30 Friday morning when the last result was declared. It was back to Garons Park again later that afternoon for the AV Referendum count.

There were some mixed emotions having lost two seats and gaining two seats at the expense of Lib Dems maintaining our overall majority of five. It is not unusal for the party of Government to suffer at local elections and considering the austerity measures having to be implemented following the reckless spendng of the previous Government, no change locally and a net gain of three council and 81 councillors nationally is an excellent achievement.

Here in West Shoebury I am naturally delighted at Derek Jarvis's empathic victory demonstrating the support he enjoys and the his excellent election campaign.

All three West Shoebury councillors will be consolidating this position and working to resolve the issues that matter to West Shoebury residents the most.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Southend votes 'No' to AV

Voters in Southend returned a resounding 'No' vote in Thursday's AV referendum. The result for Southend was as follows:

'Yes' - 13,488
'No'  - 34,365

Total Votes: 48, 107
%Turnout: 38.3%

Conservative s maintain control of Southend

It has been a very busy last 48 hours with very little sleep as we awaited the results of the election in West Shoebury and the results of the AV referendum and would like to thank all the residents who took the trouble to vote. Conservatives retain control of the council with composition of the council Conservatives: 28 seats, Lib Dems: 10 seats, Independent Party: 9 seats and Labour: 4 seats The result in West Shoebury was as follows:

Derek Jarvis  1517
UKIP               692
Labour            496
Lib Dem         232

Total Votes: 2355
%Turnout: 40.08%

The full results for the Southend Borough Council elections can be found here.


Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Democracy...not if you are Comrade Chalk

As the finishing line is fast approaching in this years elections, it is known for some candidates to develop 'candidate itus' but it appears that Comrade Chalk may be wilting under the pressure.

Over at Comrade Chalk's propoganda site Shoebury News a rather bizzare rant has appeared from Comrade Chalk suggesting that I should not be setting up polls on my own personal blog. What business is it of hers I do not know.

Comrade Chalk also believes that I should leave people alone to make up their own minds in this referendum. Surely in a referendum everyone has the right to campaign for either the yes or no camp?

At present, readers of this blog who have taken the trouble to contribute are showing a prefeence for a YES victory. Comrade Chalk claims that:

"On his personal website Cllr Tony Cox is suggesting that a YES vote for the Alternative Voting (AV) system is the most popular choice of Shoebury residents.

and that

"Cllr Cox should not be setting up Polls like this one to try and promote his own personal preference".

This seems a bit odd considering that back in July 2010 on this blog I nailed my colours firmly to the NO campaign.

Comrade Chalk here is a piece of advice for you.

Although you may otherwise like, this is a democracy. I believe in the principles of freedom of speech and expression and subscribe to the view that you may not like what someone has to say but you defend their right to say it.

I have the right to have a poll on this blog as any reader has the right to contribute to the poll if they wish. Keep your extreme brand of Communism to yourself and do not lecture me or others on what I or others should and should not do on a personal site.

I find your lies and distortion of the truth and facts that you peddle on your website repulsive but respect your right to peddle them. My grandparents fought and died for freedom of speech and expression and I intend to exercise this liberty gifted to me.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

The art of deceiving...part 2

Unfortunately Comrade Chalk’s tendency to dupe or blatantly lie to residents has spread to West Shoebury’s UKIP candidate James Moyies. In a desperate last ditch attempt to wrestle the seat, James has decided to ask residents to join him in stopping 2,000 homes being built north of the Angel Pub on Bournes Green Chase.

One resident, wiping away the tears through laughing, couldn’t believe the incompetence as there is a board on the land saying “Land for sale D2 leisure use” meaning that no homes can be built on the site!

The art of deceiving...

This week has been very exciting as Miss Cox turned two and all her friends joined her for a party at Thorpedene Community Centre yesterday.

Whilst an excitable Miss Cox has run me ragged I have also found time to help deliver our latest leaflet in West Shoebury.

On the subject of leaflets, I was handed a copy of our favourite Commie Anne Chalk’s leaflet, the former Labour now Independent/UKIP candidate in Shoeburyness ward.

The main theme of her latest propaganda, sorry, leaflet centres on the theme of dog fouling. According to Comrade Chalk I have slashed the budget for dog bins. Oh dear, more lies to the Shoeburyness electorate.

What Comrade Chalk fails to mention is that I have personally given the authorisation for three new dog bins in Shoeburyness Ward, one in Ravensdale Way, one in Collingwood Way and another in Wakering Road which is currently on order.

Recently, local Conservatives surveyed the residents of Collingwood Way who were delighted with the new dog bin. What was interesting is that a couple of the residents were under the impression that it was Comrade Chalk and her agent Cllr Assenheim who got the bin installed. I wonder how they could have formed this opinion?

It transpires that Comrade Chalk and Cllr Assenheim canvassed Collingwood Way previously and led them to believe it was them who got the bin installed.

Fortunately not all the residents were taken in. One resident, angered by Comrade Chalk’s shameless campaigning techniques commented:

“It would appear that it is not only Anne’s website that has had a makeover but so has the photo on her leaflet too. They have done such a fantastic job it would be interesting to know where she got it done as I and lot of women in Shoebury would like some of that”!

I couldn’t possibly comment…