Leader's blog - 25 August 2023

Cllr Tony Cox, leader of Southend-on-Sea City Council gives us an update on this week’s developments and good news stories.

Cllr Tony Cox wearing a navy blue suit jacket, white shirt and a pink, blue and white flowery tie. He is sitting in front of the Council Coat of Arms.

Congratulations to the Lionesses for reaching the final of the World Cup. I was pleased we were able, at such short notice, to relax licencing regulations for pubs and restaurants that were showing the game. Whilst the result of the game wasn't what any of us wanted, their performance in the tournament has inspired younger generations to take an interest in the beautiful game.

Congratulations also to those who received their GCSE results this week - I know it can be a stressful time waiting for the outcome of months of hard work and I hope the effort applied paid off and residents are happy with the outcome.

September is almost upon us and with the start of the new academic year, and the easing into autumn, it can be a good time for some reflection and stocktake of where you are, what changes and improvements you want to make, and that's no different in the council.

Rejuvenated from the summer break, and having been in post for nearly four months, it is time for cabinet to start putting more of our plans and manifesto pledges into action. Be prepared to see some more news on this over the coming months.

Following the recent news of Sanctuary's withdrawal from the scheme, in order to focus on Swan's projects where building work has already started, I want to reassure residents on and around the Queensway estate that we remain committed to the project.

The regeneration of the Queensway estate needs to happen. The additional housing as part of that scheme, needs to happen. We will work hard to find a way forward with the scheme and hopefully find a solution that can give the City and the residents a development that meets everyone's needs.

I am so pleased to say that work is almost complete on the refurbishment of ten tennis courts located at Southchurch Park, Bonchurch Park, Cavendish Gardens, Milton Gardens and Shoebury Park. Gunners Park has also had a smart gate system installed to enable online bookings.

Park tennis courts are vital in providing opportunities for children and adults to get active, delivering significant physical and mental health and wellbeing benefits Working with the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) and Fusion Lifestyle, we want tennis to be more accessible and hope to encourage many people to get involved in the sport, enjoy the sunshine and fresh air and exercise. Plus, you get to enjoy some of our green-flag award-winning parks in the process.

With the three-day weekend, it's worth reminding those visiting to enjoy everything Southend has to offer, safely and responsibly. Don't forget to enjoy some fish and chips while at the seaside - turns out Southend has the most registered fish and chip shops in the UK!

Have fun this weekend and enjoy the last week of the summer holidays.

Cllr Tony Cox, leader of the council

Published: 25th August 2023

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