Southend-on-Sea’s Travel Centre – Labour say it is just not good enough

There are long-standing issues with Southend-on-Sea’s Travel Centre.

Cllr Julian Ware-Lane says: “This centre has been beset by problems. The signs are often malfunctioning, and the doors are frequently not working.”

Cllr Anne Jones added: “I am a regular user of the Travel Centre. The toilets are often in an appalling state, and the neglect and squalor do not make it an inviting and appealing experience when visiting. On many occasions I have had to report faults; often the same fault on many occasions.”

“The doors at the northern end have been out of order for a few weeks now.”

With the approaching summer and the promise of many visitors to the town the local Labour Party is hoping that proper long-term repairs to the Travel Centre can be made, rather than the short-term fixes that are evidently preferred by the Conservative Administration.

The building and the toilets are the responsibility of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and it is unfair that staff at other companies (who rent offices and kiosks in the centre) are bearing the brunt of passenger complaints.

It is not acceptable that the Travel Centre’s staff do not have direct dial numbers to Southend-on-Sea Borough Council for basic needs, such as cleaning, and have go through the customer service system.

The doors at one end are currently not in use, and Labour is calling for an immediate and lasting fix for these. Labour is also calling for regular inspections of the toilets, as well as guarantees that the signs will continuously work.

Cllr Ware-Lane, Cheryl Nevin, and Cllr Anne Jones

Cllr Ware-Lane, Cheryl Nevin, and Cllr Anne Jones

Cheryl Nevin for Milton

The Labour candidate for Milton ward has answered a few questions:

Full name
Cheryl Jean Nevin


e-Rostering Administrator in NHS

Where do you live?
Moved to Leigh, Belfairs Ward in 1993

Where were you born?
Born in Liverpool, raised in Rayleigh, moved to Milton Ward 1986.

Have you stood for election before?
Previous Labour candidate in Belfairs Ward

Why are you Labour?
Showed a keen interest in Economics, Government & Politics & Social History at school and college attending Fitzwimarc & SEEVIC. Grew up in a Political family with Christian Socialist influences. Was invited to the House of Commons by the Labour Party Shipping Minister Stanley Clinton-Davis in Jim Callaghan’s Government to see the Merchant Shipping bill go through parliament aged 17, which had been a lifelong campaign of my Father’s, this bill enshrined in law the notion of “Corporate Responsibility” which protects the individual employee against their employers asking them to act in a way which would result in illegal behaviour. Saw my Father use his influence in Parliament to help the Alzheimer’s Disease Society raise it’s profile to attract research funding, in tabling the first Hansard recorded question about this previously unknown disease, after close family members were diagnosed. I have since watched with interest the ripple effect that this question had within the media, medical profession and finally within the Pharmaceutical companies. Joined the Labour Party aged 18 after watching several documentaries about Fascism and Anti-Semetism during the second world war. Joined campaigns for the release of Nelson Mandela. Left my first employment after being told that as a woman I would never be paid the same as a man and felt this was unjust and undervalued my contribution to this company. Found another employer. Became Chair and Secretary of Milton Labour Party in late 1980′s when I successfully ran campaigns to introduce Swings and a Slide in Milton Gardens, introduce residents parking (north of the railway line), campaigned to save the No 6 bus route subsidy which served the hospital from the bottom of Hamlet Court Road. Currently Chair of Labour Party Local Campaign Forum Executive and Vice Chair of the Southend West Constituency Labour Party Executive. Have been active in politics in Southend in all that time.

Why are you standing?
I am a strong voice for Milton who is passionate about injustice and inequality. I believe I can help residents gain more influence for improvements in the ward, whether it be green spaces, housing issues, buses, places for young people to play, education and health inequalities, or speaking up when planning issues impact on their environment.

What are your hobbies?
Music, History, Swimming, Surfing, Sailing, F1 and Tennis.

Are you active in the community?
Active in my local community liaising with council to arrange litter pickers, rubbish bags, gloves and Cory pick up for Burdett Ave residents street clean day, getting trees pruned in Alexandra Road, reporting & getting cleared rubbish and fly tipping, attending neighbourhood police panels to report issues, writing to my local paper about poor pavements. In Belfairs I am active member of my local church, getting involved with projects supporting HARP and Christian Aid.

Contact telephone number
01702 619868

Email address

Twitter id

St.Laurence Voice Spring 2014


An awesome octet

008This marvellous eight are some of the Southend Labour team for next month’s elections.

From left to right
David Carrington (Prittlewell), Mike Royston (Westborough), Gray Sergeant (St Luke’s), Reg Copley (St Laurence), Margaret Borton (Victoria), Jess Phillips (Eastwood Park), Kevin Robinson (Westborough), Ian Pope (Thorpe)

Good luck to them, and to all eighteen in the team this year.

Westborough Voice March 2014


Joe Cooke selected as Labour’s candidate for Castle Point in next year’s General Election

Joe Cooke (third from left) with supporters

Joe Cooke (third from left) with supporters

On March 22nd Joe Cooke was selected as the Parliamentary candidate for Castle Point, selected to contest next year’s General Election. He succeeds me – I stood in Castle point in the 2010 General Election.

I first met Joe at the 2004 annual conference in Brighton. We immediately struck a friendship, and a decade later we are still friends. Joe was a great help in my 2010 campaign, and I worked very closely with him.

Joe moved to Thundersley with his wife in 1970, after graduating in Electronics with Ford. A retired Senior Systems Analyst, he was also a Staff Union Representative and still chairs the Dunton Unite trade union branch. He is a Public Governor of Southend Hospital Trust and a Trustee of Castle Point Citizens Advice Bureau. His two daughters and four grandchildren; all live locally.

The constituency was won by Labour in 1997 and narrowly lost in 2001. Labour will be looking to recapture the support it had, with its fairer policies for these austere times.

A founder member of Castle Point Council, Joe has previously represented St Georges Ward for a total of eleven years, and was chair of Health and Environment. He will now take on Conservative incumbent Rebecca Harris who will be defending a majority of 7,632.

Commenting on his selection, Joe said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the local Labour Party has chosen me to take the fight to the Tories in Castle Point next year. The current Conservative MP, Rebecca Harris, has voted for policies that have really hit local people hard and left residents here worse off. Only Labour can stand up for our communities. Labour would protect our NHS from creeping privatisation, abolish the cruel and unjust Bedroom Tax, freeze energy bills until 2017 and guarantee a job for anyone in Castle Point who has been out of work for more than two years. If elected, I will be a strong voice for Castle Point and seek to undo the damage done by this Tory-led Government.

Labour’s team in Southend-on-Sea

I am now able to announce Labour’s line-up for all seventeen wards in Southend-on-Sea for May’s local elections.

Belfairs – Laura Martin
Blenheim Park – Dean Trotter
Chalkwell – Lars Davidsson
Eastwood Park – Jess Phillips
Kursaal – Charles Willis
Leigh – Matt Zarb-Cousin
Milton – Cheryl Nevin
Prittlewell – David Carrington
Shoeburyness – Maggie Kelly
Southchurch – Sean Jones
St Laurence – Reg Copley
St Luke’s – Gray Sergeant
Thorpe – Ian Pope
Victoria – Margaret Borton
West Leigh – Jane Norman
West Shoebury – Matt Dent
Westborough – Kevin Robinson and Mike Royston

The team includes five ex-councillors, one current councillor, six women, and two candidates aged under 25. There is a good mix of experience as well as four candidates who are standing for the first time.

Cheryl and I

013There are not many pictures of Milton’s Labour candidate for this year with me – it has been a busy year for both of us. So, here is a photo, taken this weekend of us both. Cheryl will be a brilliant addition to the Labour Group on Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.

Tony Benn

If you had to pick a politician as a role model you could do a lot worse than Tony Benn. Whatever your politics, on the left or right, I think everyone would agree that he had principles and stuck by them. In this respect he compares to Margaret Thatcher, who I admired for her resolve, whilst disliking her politics.

I did not agree all the time with Tony Benn, but I found far more to agree with than otherwise. He was a hero through my adolescence, and remained someone who was immensely listenable right up to today. I like what he did with his position; he had a platform, and by golly did he use it. Despite being demonised I do not think he was ever unreasonable. He may have been a threat to the system, but he was also a man of peace.

I met him, briefly, twice. I was in his presence on a number of other occasions. I have tackled three volumes of his diaries, and listened countless times over the years to him on television and radio.

It is interesting to hear those who complain about the calibre of today’s politicians, some also speak of a Labour sell-out. Mr Benn remained a committed member of the Labour Party, and encouraged all to join and campaign. He may also have encouraged debate within the party, but he always wanted Labour governments.

We still have conviction politicians (I hope I am one), and what matters most is that we engage and debate. Tony Benn’s legacy, for this humble councillor anyway, is to show that you can swim against the tide and get respect, you can be outspoken and still be listened to, and that the dispossessed and downtrodden deserve a champion.

There are many memorable quotes from the dearly-departed Mr Benn; I offer this one: “I’ve made every mistake – but mistakes are how you learn.“

Like Bob Crow, who also passed away this week, Tony was sometimes described as an extremist, described as an extremist for opposing war, when those who were in favour were labelled as moderate. If nothing else this demonstrates that we all should ignore hype and actually listen to what has been said.

If politics and politicians have been devalued in recent years in some measure this is the result of cheap and lazy reportage.

A delighted Charles and Anne

N110ews from our hard-working Kursaal candidate, working with a councillor in the fight to hold back the tide of over-development:

Cllr Anne Jones and this year’s Kursaal Labour candidate, Charles Willis, were delighted to be supporting residents to continue the fight against a contentious development. The application, on the old Welfare’s storage facility in Sutton Road, has been refused a second time by the Planning Committee.

Residents raised concerns about noise, nuisance, rubbish, loss of privacy and light and general overdevelopment.

Anne says: “We will continue to work with residents to oppose over-development, which is detrimental to our communities. I am glad that the committee endorsed the views of residents.”

Charles Willis supported and encouraged residents to work together and raise their objections.

Charles says: “The numbers of objections from the public gave weight to the case and ultimately led to the refusal.”


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