At Full Council last Thursday

The meeting commenced with a minute’s silence for Cllr Liz Day (Conservative, West Shoebury) who had passed away. Very sad news.

I asked two questions.

The first was this: Members will be aware that I, and my fellow Milton councillor, Cllr Nevin, have some reservations regarding the redevelopment proposals for the Seaway Car Park. At a recent meeting I was assured by the portfolio holder, Cllr Terry, that he would ensure that the road infrastructure in and around the Seaway Car Park, would be improved to cope with additional traffic demands. Would the portfolio holder please give me an update on where we are on this issue?

In my supplementary I suggested that the portfolio holder appeared to be handing over responsibility to the developer – something he denied. This is an issue I shall be keeping an eye on.

The second was this: Noting the UNISON petition on cuts to mental health services, can the portfolio holder confirm that he has met with affected staff, and can he outline what step are being taken on this issue?

On a number of occasions Cllr Davies (UKIP, Kursaal) seemed intent on demonstrating his lack of understanding regarding council procedures. They are pretty straightforward, although I guess some allowance can be made for the first meeting, or two. But a year on – what is going on?

Under Minute 805 Monthly Performance Report the Conservatives requested a named vote as they were unhappy with the education target. They lost this voted 13 – 24, with one abstention, yet again proving how comprehensively out-gunned are they in council at the moment.

I asked a question on Minute 835 Entice 42-82 Warrior House Southend-on-Sea. I expressed regret that this application had been allowed, although I did not blame the councillors on Licensing for their decision – their hands were effectively tied. There is no Locality Policy, and I extracted from the portfolio holder a promise that he would look into this. I expressed my gratitude for his response, and stated that I believe this is urgently needed.

Cllr Cheryl Nevin (Labour, Milton) also expressed her disappointment. Cllr Judith McMahon (Labour, Kursaal), who chaired the Licensing meeting, said that the vote was not unanimous and that she had voted against it.

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4 Responses to At Full Council last Thursday

  1. The discussion and vote was on Corporate Performance Management (Minute 710), to be pedantic.

    The Conservatives did not like the substantial weakening of the education target, meaning that the council is now happy for 1,154 more kids to go to a failing school and call that a success.

    I note that Southend West’s Labour parliamentary candidate, who has been so critical over the town’s success in education, voted for the watering down. He used to have some credibility when talking about this topic. Not anymore.

  2. Rob Brown says:

    James serious note I have no idea what this vote was about but not sure I understand what the target is for. Obviously the council wants no pupils in failing schools so why do we need a target at all? What happens if the target is missed? How is failing school defined?

  3. See my blog Rob… It answers a couple of your questions.

    Targets are what drive a lot of people, are used to review performance of council officers etc and should be stretching when it comes to something like this.

  4. jamescourtenay: Thanks for the clarification regarding the minute. As regards my credibility; I am surprised you credited me with any in the first place.

    However, it is not my credibility that is important, but rather the education the Southend-on-Sea’s young people recieve. My scrutiny and robust challenging will not be daunted or diminished by any target, and by whether a traget has been reached. Every child matters.

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