Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Small Business Saturday

Saturday 7th December will play host to the first Small Business Saturday. This is a national campaign to encourage everyone to back their neighbourhood’s small businesses.

Businesses across the borough are already taking part by staging events or promoting the day in other ways. These include a Victorian Christmas in Hamlet Court Road from 2pm, special offers being launched in 25 businesses in Leigh, on-the-day discounts at Boutique 69 in Southend High Street, and a free pot of tea with any slice of cake at Gleneagles Guest House, Southend.

My portfolio will be playing its part to boost Small Business Saturday by offering all day free car parking on Saturday 7th December in the following car parks which border local shopping areas:

Ilfracombe Avenue
North Road
Hamlet Court Road
Elm Road
North Street
Ceylon Road
Thorpe Bay Broadway

Over the past few years I have supported local shops in my own ward and Small Business Saturday is a key event, so with this free parking opportunity, hopefully it attract even more people to enjoy all the perks and proximity of our local firms and continue to shop local.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

The Co-operative Bank: The Serious Questions That Balls and Miliband Must Answer

1. Will Labour co-operate with the inquiry into the Co-op and Paul Flowers’ role?

2. Paul Flowers describes Ed Balls as his “political friend”. Did Balls’ office mislead by claiming he had never met him formally or informally?

3. Why is Ed Balls refusing to return the £50,000 donation from the Co-op Group in 2012 and why did Ed Balls say it was ‘untrue’ to say Paul Flowers approved it when the Co-op’s 2012 Annual Report shows that he did?

4. Did Ed Miliband discuss the Co-op’s loan to Labour at his formal meeting with Paul Flowers in March this year?

5. Can Ed Balls confirm whether the Labour Party had any knowledge whatsoever about Paul Flowers’ misconduct as a councillor once it came to light internally?

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Christmas Car Parking Extended

In a move to attract more Christmas shoppers into the borough, I have managed to get the free parking concession extended to all car parks run by Southend Council.

Parking charges are being waived from 4pm on Thursdays and all day on Sundays throughout December and drivers will now be able to park free of charge at all council managed car parks in Southend, rather than just those in the town centre.

Christmas shoppers and people visiting Southend during the festive season can spend more time enjoying what our town has to offer without worrying about car park charges. I hope retailers will reap the benefit of the extended free parking arrangements, especially so in light of the large turnout at last weekend’s Christmas lights switch-on.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

"When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today"

Later this morning I will be attending the service at the Shoeburyness Cenotaph to pay my respects to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to give us our today.

This is also the opportunity not forget those in our forces who are away from their families on active duty serving our country in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Odd Behaviour

Over this years, this blog has published the antics of the Independent Party's former Labour Party member Cllr Anne Chalk. So surreal have the comments and actions been at times it has made scripts on Eastenders seem like routine everyday life. This week, Cllr Chalk surpassed herself by deciding to demean Cllr Courtenay's and I's fundraising exploits for Movember.

Whilst once again trying to climb upon the passing bandwagon past her front door in Shoebury High Street, just last week, Anne claimed that the flood risk at Shoebury Common was low.

Yet back in April, so concerned was Anne of the flood risk at Shoebury Common, she proposed building a marina as a flood defence!

In desperation of wanting to try and be popular all principles and moral compass seem to have been abandoned  by Anne at East Beach. Still, I'm sure the residents that Anne supposedly represents in her ward who live in the flood plain will be delighted that she wants to potentially endanger their homes and lives with  her latest comments

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Shoebury Common Flood Defences

After the public meetings, the month long exhibition and the pre cabinet scrutiny this afternoon, the time had come for cabinet to make a decision on a scheme for improved flood defences. Doing nothing has never been an option for me and I have publicly said that I would look at all the schemes and form my opinion at the time when Cabinet were required to make a decision.

Below is a transcript of the speech I made at cabinet on this subject:

Sunday, 3 November 2013

UKIP Splits Lead To New Party

We have become used to UKIP MEP's and Councillors leaving the party once they discover its true nature but it is interesting to see that the latest divisions in Worcestershire have led to the launch of a new competitor party. The split is so severe in Worcestershire that the local paper has even described UKIP as being “in meltdown”!
Former UKIP West Midlands MEP Mike Nattrass quit the party a couple of months ago after he was not reselected by UKIP for next year’s Euro elections. After allegedly flirting with the English Democrats he has now decided to set up his own party. On his own he would probably not comprise much of a threat but he seems to have retained his popularity with UKIP activists as a number have decided to leave UKIP for the new party. Carl Humphries is a respected activist and former Worcester City Councillor and he has been joined by UKIP’s Worcester Branch Treasurer Jim Holtom and Branch Chairman Doug Ingram.
The new party is to be called “An Independence Party” and its logo will be an EU flag with “Out” emblazoned across it. The new party organisers have pledged that it will be a party run by its members and not dictated from the top down as UKIP is under leader Nigel Farage. It will be interesting to see what impact the new party has on UKIP but if the rumours are to be believed there are a number of other senior UKIP figures who are ready to leave and join Nattrass’s new party.


Never one to shirk a challenge, my fellow colleague James Courtenay has laid down the gauntlet to join in Movember. To go the full hog, I have decided that not only will I grow a moustache but I will also grow a full beard throughout the whole of November.

I confess to never growing any facial hair except for the odd couple of days without shaving which most men do from time to time. Myself and Cllr Courtenay are not the only ones taking part with my fellow colleague Cllr Flewitt also joining in. Still, it is all in a good cause and the micky taking will be be worth it. Those who wish to sponsor me can do so here.

Essex Police Challenge

Do you have a question about crime or policing in Essex that you want to ask the Chief Constable? If you do, why not attend the Essex Police Challenge and ask the question personally.  

The next Essex Police Challenge meeting will take place tomorrow evening from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at Chelmsford City Council Chamber in Duke Street. Full details of the event can be found here.