In awarding the Purple Flag the assessors rated Southend as ‘above standard’ in two of the five judging criteria - ‘Wellbeing’ and ‘A Broad Appeal’.
The judges found the town’s High Street and Sea Front to be “welcoming, safe and clean” and said they offered “a vibrant choice and a rich mix of entertainment and activity”. They also met the required standard in the ‘Movement’, ‘Place’ and ‘Policy Envelope’ judging criteria.
Among the features of the town’s night-time economy which were recognised by the judges were:
- an innovative town centre policing strategy
- the ‘BOBB’ (Behave or Be Banned) scheme, which they said was “well enforced and respected” by the police and local businesses
- the availability of fixed and portable toilets
- the SoS Bus – “an excellent example of what can be achieved through multi-agency co-operation” and
- the town’s ‘Clubwatch’ scheme, where representatives of 35 town centre clubs, pubs and bars meet regularly with police to share intelligence and good practice.
Since being awarded Council of the Year this is the send major award within my portfolio following on from the success of the 'Better Bus Bid'.