Like a dog without a bone, an actor out on loan – from the shadows, emerging now his election is around the corner, the one and only Tory left in Milton

GarstonleafletI guess when you go from three down to one councillor you are left with the option of still calling your leaflets ‘In Touch’, or accept that you are on your own.

I have to say I find some of the terminology odd: ‘crossing facility‘, er, isn’t that a ‘crossing’.

Jonathan makes some curious claims. For instance he says “I will look carefully at all planning applications and judge the needs of the ward and the effect the plans may have.” Apart from the somewhat mealy-mouthed nature of this statement I think most residents will recall that Jonathan was portfolio holder for planning that did almost nothing to defend his ward. He wanted a coach park in Warrior Square, for instance, fortunately an injudicious idea now dumped because of Labour pressure.

Jonathan also told me that I could not challenge many of the planning applications in Milton ward – I ignored him and am pleased with the successes I have had.

Jonathan will also look at licensing applications; why did he scrap the cumulative impact strategy?

Jonathan suggests that the Joint Administration is about to scrap weekly rubbish collections, which is untrue. I do remind him that he helped scrap the distribution of black sacks – a move I voted against.

The reverse of this leaflet has a calendar and some contact telephone numbers. The useful number for the Police (431212) is really not that useful – the Police would prefer everyone to use 101.

Not one mention of David Cameron, the Coalition Government, or any of the wonderful (sic) things they have done.

Roads being re-surfaced in Milton

I am very pleased to be able to report another road in Milton ward is to be re-surfaced. Readers may be aware that I (and comrade Cllr Cheryl Nevin) have managed to get Canewdon Road prioritised for re-surfacing. This is on the priority resurfacing programme for next financial year.

I have asked that Alexandra Road also be considered for re-surfacing. I have been told that engineers have had a look at it and that it is now confirmed that a section of this road is currently on the 2017 – 2018 programme

Southend Councillor warns Labour Conference of dangers of NHS privatisation

A Southend Labour councillor, Cheryl Nevin, recently warned the Labour Party Conference in Manchester of the dangers of expanding the private sector within the NHS. In a prepared speech, she said “Recent CQC reports have shown Taxpayers are picking up the compensation bills for complications within private healthcare botched operations, often occurring at a much higher rate than in the NHS” and cited several examples where patients were left with permanent damage.

Cheryl told a reporter “David Cameron said that the NHS was safe in his hands, but 50% of NHS trusts are now projected to be in the red by March 2015, 7,000 nursing positions have been axed across the NHS, whilst our local Hospital at Southend struggles to find the nurses it requires to provide adequate care in the Accident & Emergency Department.” Cheryl said ” 70% of all new tenders are now going into private hands, at a time when CQC have highlighted the costs already being imposed on the taxpayer in a new report.”

She added, “The latest world bank figures show the UK spends 9% of GDP on health in comparison to the USA who spend 18% yet we get similar patient outcomes. If your partner has ever had a baby, if your child has visited A&E, if your elderly mother has ever had a long term medical condition then you have benefited from NHS services. Now is the time to stop further Privatisation of the NHS, to have a proper debate about what health actually costs.”

The Milton massive

Some of the crew out today - Matt, Tony, and me

Some of the crew out today – Matt, Tony, and me

We had a good team out in Milton ward this morning, which was just as well as I managed to badly turn my ankle and am in much discomfort at the moment. This is really inconvenient, and well as being painful. Thankfully my comrades were able to carry on as I limped off.

I turned my ankle on someone’s concreted drive, so I cannot blame dodgy pavements. It really was only a gentle slope, which makes the injury all the more puzzling.

The Leas Shelter – APPLN. NO: 14/01507/BC4

APPLN. NO: 14/01507/BC4
Officer: Sophie Glendinning
Date Valid. 19 September 2014

USE SHELTER AS CAFE (CLASS A3), ERECT REFUSE AND PLANT ROOM TO SIDE, ALTER ELEVATIONS AND ERECT RAILINGS TO SOUTHERN BOUNDARY AND LAYOUT HARD AND SOFT LANDSCAPING, ERECT SINGLE STOREY GLAZED ROTUNDA ABOVE SHELTER

SHELTER WESTERN ESPLANADE WESTCLIFF-ON-SEA

The development of The Leas shelter is largely to be welcomed, and this is not just my view but also that of many residents I have spoken with.

However, it is clear that any development here must not be intrusive, spoil the character of the conservation area it is situated in, or diminish public access to a much cherish public resource. This proposal fails on all three counts.

It fails to satisfy because of the proposal to build above the shelter. Erecting a single storey glazed rotunda above the shelter should not be allowed to go ahead.

The rotunda will visually impact residents in the area, and is liable to cause noise nuisance. The proposed late opening times will exacerbate this, and those who currently enjoy quiet sea views will likely see this ended.

This old shelter is an important piece of the conservation area jigsaw, and its development will change this. However, whilst the development remains at ground floor level the change will be reasonably discrete; adding onto the roof will substantially alter its character, to the detriment of the vicinity.

The roof is currently used by passing pedestrians, being a good viewing platform for Westcliff-on-Sea beach and the estuary. A rotunda will deny this amenity to future visitors.

NM > LCM

I went to the penultimate Milton Neighbourhood Meeting (also known as the NAP) tonight. The very last will be on November 20th.

Owing to financial pressures (i.e. the cuts) these six-weekly ward meetings will be replaced from December by Local Community Meetings. These will meet every eight weeks, and there will be six of them across the borough.

Southend Central LCM will cover three wards: Kursaal, Milton and Victoria.

I am disappointed to see the end of the Milton NMs in sight, but I will work to ensure that the LCMs are a success. I have sought (and received) assurances that the new process will be reviewed after a period of time (a year or so).

Milton Community First Panel

017Last night I was part of the Milton Community First Panel that awarded £11000 to local good causes. Fifteen groups applied, and the total wanted was double the amount that could be awarded. This meant that some tough decisions had to be made, and with fifteen very worthy causes it was tough choosing who gets what.

In the end three causes got nothing, three got the total amounts they were after, leaving nine receiving part of what they were after.

All three Milton ward councillors were present, as well as representatives from various community groups. It seems that this will be the last of these annual events unless the Government has a change of heart.

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