The current political make up of Southend Council makes for an interesting set of local in 2016. One of the key battlegrounds will be that of Shoeburyness Ward where the Independent Party incumbent Mike Assenheim is up for re-election.
Following Anne Chalk's defeat to Roger Hadley last month, I had wondered if Anne would have another go next year against Mike especially since their relationship over the past year was, at best, frosty. After being given a copy of her latest leaflet I would say this is a pretty safe bet.
Mike standing against Anne will undoubtedly make an intriguing contest as they will no doubt split the Independent Party vote.
Anne doesn't hold back in her leaflet confirming what 99.9% of the population in Southend knew all along that the Independents are party in all but name. She also has a sideswipe at Cllr Terry.
These comments follow on from the sideswipe at the Council Leader Ron Woodley when giving her speech at the count, where Anne accused him of messing up her election expenses returns. The look on Ron's face was certainly a Kodak moment!
There is one article that does stand out in the leaflet. The future of Friars Library when the new Library at Shoebury Youth Centre opens has been a topic of much debate.
During the election campaign, Anne proclaimed that Friars Library was to remain open, which I covered in a previous post here. The claim was also repeated at a meeting of the Shoebury Residents Association last month.
Now, to be clear, I welcome volunteers in all aspects of civic life and have no problem with a pop up Library at Friars or anywhere else in the borough. The only problem is is that the Independent Party keep telling us that a Library will continue at Friars yet the officers at Southend Council are telling me that they have not had a single expression of interest from any community group to run one.
Over the past week or so, I was copied into correspondence from the Leader of the Council Ron Woodley who has assured me that a Library will continue at Friars. Yet, in saying that, the leader of the Council prommised as part of his budget speech in February that every resident in the town would be given an Advantage Card so residents could get discounts at Council facilities and attractions. Four months on, residents are still waiting.