New administration adds priorities to future plans

Published Tuesday, 25th June 2019

Black wall outside the Civic Centre with the words Civic Centre in gold

The council’s new joint administration has confirmed its priorities for the future, including a new focus on housing, community safety and the environment.

The cabinet have also set out plans to become an accredited living wage employer, improve street lighting, roads and pavements and enhance skills and apprenticeships available to local people (cabinet, 25th June).

Councillors today approved additions to the Southend 2050 ambition and five-year roadmap, which identifies the sort of place residents and stakeholders want Southend-on-Sea to be, and the work needed now and up to 2023 to help make that happen. The roadmap also identifies key milestones and projects that will be delivered up to 2023.

Additions to the five year roadmap, which identified key milestones and projects that will be delivered up to 2023 include:

  • a focus on housing opportunities, including new social and key worker housing and plans for selective licensing for the private rented sector to be introduced
  • prioritise work on climate change, energy saving, air quality and bio-diversity
  • increase recycling rates and reduce plastic waste
  • making the council a living wage employer
  • improving pavements and roads
  • a more integrated approach to transport, including reviewing the current approach to parking
  • enhanced skills provision, including through more apprenticeships
  • promotion of a new Shoebury health centre and others to tackle health inequalities.
  • enhance community safety across the Borough by pressing for additional policing and neighbourhood policing

Cllr Ian Gilbert, leader of the council, says: “I am pleased that we have been able to formally set out our key priorities as a new administration.

“The detailed engagement work that took place in 2018 enabled residents to tell us what they wanted for the future of the Borough, but also what they want in the here and now. We are committed to remaining ambitious for the Borough, but also dealing with the challenges of today, including providing more housing in the Borough, addressing community safety, improving the quality of our roads and pavements, and ensuring that local people have the opportunity to gain the skills they need.

“This is alongside an ongoing commitment to look after our most vulnerable residents, and have a real focus on the environment and bio-diversity. In addition, I am also very pleased to commit the council to becoming a living wage employer and work towards gaining full living wage accreditation, which would also see a plan developed to pay contractors a living wage. We have a bold and detailed plan, but one I am confident we can collectively deliver.”