Friday, 27 February 2015


This article in yesterday's Southend Echo is arguably the most staggering bit of hypocrisy I have ever witnessed.

Despite being one of the 'gang of 7' Councillors who proposed to axe 55 litter bins, residents in Shoeburyness, who stand to lose 11 litter bins from April, would have been led to believe from this article that Cllr Assenheim had a change of heart.

Sadly, Shoebury residents were to be disappointed, as Cllr Assenheim voted to axe the 55 litter bins.

The Great Southend Litter Bin Debate

The debate at yesterday's Budget Full Council reminded me of a Sunday Express headline from last month.

From my 8 years experience as a Councillor, I have found that the majority of residents take a great interest in their local environment. Litter strewn streets, dumped rubbish and missed waste collections were some of the common complaints which filled my inbox.

I have always believed that all people really want is a clean, safe and plesant environment to live in and be left alone to get on with their lives. If any proposals were put to me that did not meet this criteria, they would not be implemented.

As the environment is so important, it is why, I believe, the issue of litter bins was discussed at great length yesterday evening and featured in many members contributions to the budget debate.

The responses from some of the Independent Party to some well founded concerns were truly staggering.

First up we had the leader Cllr Ron Woodley who called the Conservatives budget amendment to save the litter bins from the chop as 'pathetic' and then claimed that litter bins in residential areas were not need and unnecessary, as there would be more street sweepers to clear up the rubbish in the new waste contract.

We then had Cllr Steve Aylen who proposed that more litter bins (in addition to the 55 earmarked for the chop) should be removed.

Next up was Cllr Ric Morgan who described the debate on litter bins as petty, nicely rounded off by Cllr Martin Terry, who claimed that putting litter in bins was a waste of taxpayers money and then preceeded to vote for the Conservative proposal to keep litter bins before hurridly asking the Town Clerk if he could change his mind.

I just have a sneaky suspicion that with attitudes like this at the heart of the Civic Centre, Southend will not be winning many awards for the cleanliness of our streets in the near future.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Listen To Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett's Car Crash Interview on LBC

As political interviews go, this was arguably the biggest car crash interview I have ever heard. Listen to Green Party leader Natalie Bennett struggle to explain how to pay for her manifesto commitments. This interview makes Ed Miliband sound remarkably coherent as a leader.

Southend Conservatives Alternative Budget

Tomorrow night, all 51 Councillors perform arguably their most important role as a Councillor which is to set a budget for the next financial year.

If members are unhappy with seeing Council Tax rise, an increase in car parking charges, higher Pier entry charges, litter bins and white textiles recycling sacks abolished there is an alternative to the Independent Party/Labour/Lib Dem proposals - the Conservative alternative budget.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

The Litter Bins Set For The Chop

You may recall that the leader of Southend Council last month claimed that this would be a budget that would ensure that the streets were kept clean. Well, one of the proposals to ensure the streets are kept clean was to save £20,000 by removing litter bins in residential areas.

Yesterday, I received the list of the locations where the litter bins are to be culled:

It would appear that Shoebury, once again, is to be disroportionally impacted than the rest of the town with 11 due to face the axe.

I am starting to wonder whether this Administration really hates Shoebury. I mean, we were due to lose 2 public toilets until local residents revolted. Shoebury did not receive a single penny in highway and footpath improvements, had all but one full time librarian removed as part of their library review and now 11 bins to face the axe.

You would never believe that a member of the Cabinet is actually a Shoeburyness ward councillor.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Is This The Representation That West Shoebury Residents Voted For?

Following local Conservative opposition, I was delighted that the proposal to close two public toilets in Shoeburyness has been shelved by the new Independent Party led Administration.

Whilst delighted that the toilets have been spared the axe, I am a little concerned that a further £40,000 is to be taken out of the waste budget as a result. Curiously, the details in the budget papers claim that the saving will be:

“ … provision for the gain-share mechanism in place with the existing waste collection contractor, which will not be required under the proposed contractual arrangements for the new waste collection contract”

Whatever this drivel means in reality who knows. So much for openness and transparency in the new Administration! Whilst I am sure back bench members of the new Administration will be claiming credit for their 'efforts', I was somewhat surprised at UKIP's (or not UKIP) James Moyies latest tweet on his efforts to spare the public toilets from closure:

It has been highlighted on this blog before that James has previously tried to claim credit for Conservative initatives. This time however, he has come unstuck. How James has managed to keep the toilets in West Road open is beyond me, as in the 15 years that I have lived in West Road there has never been any public toilets.

The proposal from the Independent Party led Administration was to close the toilets on East Beach and Campfield Road. 

I know James has been very busy lately fighting his UKIP parliamentary candidate rather than fighting for West Shoebury residents but this really takes the buscuit! West Shoebury residents are good folk and deserve better representation than this. 

Say No To The Increase In Cremation Fees

Southend's Council Tax Bombshell

You Can't Trust The Southend Lib Dems Either