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Southend Lib Dem Manifesto for 2018

April 23, 2018 5:23 PM
By Carole Mulroney

Southend Is a Borough under pressure and within the Borough there are particular pressure points in terms of development, infrastructure, services, regeneration and the economy.

The Liberal Democrats are the party of community and pride themselves on working locally for local people and working with and for them to achieve their aspirations for the future and thus enhancing the wellbeing of all communities within the Borough.

Southend also has the additional pressure of being a resort Borough with many diverse aspects to that offer, be it the seaside fun factor or its culture and heritage.

Now more than ever with the uncertainties surrounding the future, we need as a Borough to work together with clear decisive thinking and good management in order to harness our many resources and achieve the outcomes we want in the years ahead.

As Liberal Democrats we pledge to work for the good of all in the Borough in all areas within which the Council works and to ensure that what we do is sustainable, appropriate and achievable for our residents, businesses and visitors.

We will be prudent with our finances to ensure best value but at the same time protecting services from unnecessary upheaval and financial constraints. The constant cuts to Government grants means that Southend Council struggles to find cash to meet its statutory responsibilities let alone invest in improved services for the Borough. This is a nationwide problem. Austerity has gone too far.

We see the following 6 main areas of concern where much work is needed. This does not mean to exclude other issues but merely to set the scene for a Better Southend.

SOCIAL ISSUES

We will continue to oppose any downgrading of Southend University Hospital and work to ensure that far from reducing services, they are enhanced and properly utilised for the benefit all in need of them.

We will press for the Council to do more to alleviate the bed-blocking problem and we will work to ensure that our elderly and infirm are cared for through the hospital system at all its stages and that the proper and fitting social services are available to them throughout their period of need.

We will work for better and more available services for those with mental illness to ensure they have an integrated service from medical through to social and housing needs.

We will work to ensure that our childrens' services continue to improve and work with families in need to achieve the best outcomes possible for them.

EDUCATION

We will continually monitor our school population and its needs and look to achieve new primary and secondary school facilities where they are needed.

We will continue to ensure that our school standards are maintained at the highest levels, be they academy or community schools.

We are delighted to have so many strong schools in the Borough but there are some that have been underperforming and these need help urgently or we are letting our children down. The chaotic way control is split between the Council and academies is creating a dysfunctional system.

DEVELOPMENT

We will continue to respond to public concerns regarding the effect of developments on infrastructure and services.

We will push for Council housing provision for our children, key workers and those who have no reasonable expectation of getting on the housing ladder and we will insist upon truly affordable housing to be included in all large housing developments and for more such housing in the Better Queensway development.

We will ensure that Community Infrastructure Levy resources are used in the most effective and efficient manner for the benefit of the communities.

We will ensure that our planning documentation and guidance reflects the needs of the Borough in all its varying aspects and regionality, for instance in protecting our bungalow stock and ensuring that developments have realistic parking provision and amenity and are acceptable in their context.

HIGHWAYS AND PARKING

We will ensure that the Borough's Parking Strategy is clear, precise and workable and that it is adhered to in development proposals and that provision is made for car parking in Southend and Leigh as a major focus for the Council in these areas.

We will work with bus companies to promote better bus services particularly, where feasible, north/south of the Borough.

We will take better management of the maintenance programme of our roads and footpaths and press for the legislative powers to prevent pavement parking and destruction of our grass verges and will promote a Considerate Parking Charter for residents, visitors and businesses.

WASTE AND ENVIRONMENT

We will continue to enhance and support our recycling services and promote a programme of education for residents and businesses to ensure our waste is recycled appropriately and cut down on the amount of waste which goes to landfill.

We will work with local groups to improve the environment of our streets and open spaces, especially our parks and Two Tree Island and we will use all powers available to us to protect against dog fouling, flytipping and littering.

TOURISM AND HERITAGE

We will work with all agencies and local heritage groups to ensure the Borough's rich heritage is maintained and enhanced and documented, whether it be our support for the historical fishing industry of Leigh, the legacy of the military at Shoebury or the impressive historical finds and information unearthed on land and sea in recent years.

We will ensure our Pier is brought back to its former glory, no fanciful schemes but bring it back to what is always was, a pleasure pier for families to enjoy.

We will protect our parks and gardens and historic buildings and be diligent with owners regarding their maintenance and protection.

These are mighty tasks both individually and collectively but the Liberal Democrats, working with all agencies and communities and working in the local areas, promise to do our best for Southend Borough and all of its residents, businesses and visitors.