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Belfairs ALAN CRYSTALL                                                                     Southchurch PAM AUSTIN

Blenhein Park JOYCE ONSTAD                                                            St Laurence DAVE POULTON

Chalkwell CHRIS HIND                                                                           St Luke's BILLY BOULTON

Eastwood Park DAVE POULTON                                                           Thorpe KATIE KURILECZ

Kursaal RORY WINDASS                                                                        Victoria PHILIP EDEY

Leigh SYRIE COX                                                                                     Westborough SUZANNA EDEY

Milton BOB HOWES                                                                                 West Leigh STEPHEN CUMMINS

Prittlewell BILLY BOULTON                                                                    West Shoebury RICHARD COLLINS



Map of Southend City Council Wards
The City of Southend-on-Sea
Cllr Carole Mulroney

Political Viewpoint from Cllr Carole Mulroney in the Leigh News

Cllr Carole Mulroney

Letter about Leigh Town Council from Cllr Carole Mulroney to the Leigh News

Sir Ed Davey

Islamophobia Awareness Month

by Party Leader Sir Ed Davey


Cllr Peter Wexham warns that since the by elections both the main parties are now ditching the environmental targets to try to get more MPs elected


To introduce myself, I am the newly elected Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group of Councillors on Southend City Council.

I first wish to put on record my thanks to the previous leader, Leigh Councillor, Coun Carole Mulroney, who led our Group splendidly and I have a big job on my hands to follow her.

Following the nationwide local elections, I am pleased to report that Liberal Democrats have a stronger voice in local government by gaining over 400 councillors, bringing our total to just under 3,000 councillors on principal authorities.

We have 12 new majority Liberal Democrat councils elected and kept control of 17 authorities. In total 75 Councils in England and Wales have a Liberal Democrat Leader or Deputy Leader.

We also share the leadership in other cross-party joint administrations. This includes the recent good elections results in our neighbouring authority, Rochford District Council, with the Liberal Democrats gaining seats in Rayleigh and they have joined a coalition of other parties to form a new administration in place of the Conservatives.

Turning to Southend, I am proud to be re-elected as a Liberal Democrat Councillor in Eastwood, although we are part of Leigh, we still feel we are a ‘village’, and it is an honour to be allowed to continue to work for my fellow residents in our part of our City.

However, it is a shame that public transport from Eastwood / Belfairs to Leigh is so poor, and I still remain committed to bringing better connections across our part of the City. This would help employment, our community and reconnect families, who struggle to keep in touch.

There are a number of issues that families are facing in 2023, and I regard my role as a civic leader to try and promote all parts of Southend and work to bring opportunities and support to all of our residents.

In the last year I was proud to lead the opening of the Launchpad. This is a place where new businesses may start and collaborate, within the Council’s owned Airport Business Park.  The Council has insisted on the best environmentally friendly building, ensuring it meets to top rated BREEAM requirements.

I was pleased to help to lead a change to the City’s waste disposal contract earlier this year – this is different to the waste collection contract – where we are now sending our non-recyclable waste to Energy for Waste at two sites in the region.

This waste is incinerated at these sites,  cleanly and safely, to create electricity by way of turbines. The residue from this process is then collected to be used in building materials.

This change gives us two great advantages, one being that it is no longer going into Landfill, the second being that it is saving the City’s budget £2m over the next 5 years.

All the financial pressures that we feel at home, are also felt by the City Council. The Council and Councillors need to be more honest with our fellow residents and businesses and must be clear about the pressures that we are under and how we are going to cope with them.

I called on many people up to the May elections, and we were often asked, what do I pay my Council Tax for?

Well, the Council has a statutory duty to look after vulnerable adults and looked after children in our care and this takes close to 66 pence of every £1 collected in Council Tax.  Added to this, since 2010, the start of ‘austerity’,  local authorities only now receive close to 15% from Government today, compared to the grants received then.

The City Council is starting a transformation project, to bring the future budgets in line with all these pressures, and undoubtedly communities will be asked to step forward to help each other, more than they do already.

As a Liberal Democrat, I will be working and supporting our communities, as this is what we do and have done so for decades, and I offer my hand to anyone who wants to join us to help others.

Read more.




Contact us. Visit:

Twitter: @leighonsea_news

Originally published in Leigh-on-Sea Times July 11, 2023

Paul Collins
Political Viewpoint by Southend Council’s Liberal Democrat Group Leader and Councillor for Eastwood Park Ward, Coun Paul Collins
Cllr Carole Mulroney

TRUCKS IN THE CITY - TORIES IN CHAOS The ongoing saga of the legitimately permitted development on the land by Ness Road Shoebury and the related lorry movements was considered by Southend City Council’s Place Scrutiny Committee on Monday of this week, 5th June. The Tories in opposition, throwing around promises like confetti, wanted the developer to change the now permitted lorry route to rail or water and for Anglian Water to test the stability of their systems in Thorpe Hall Avenue. Plus, unbelievably, surveys on the stability of every property on the route. There were no limits to these requirements and absolutely no thought as to whether they were of any use anyway, given the legitimacy of the permission. They even proposed a traffic order preventing current road transporters using the route until the matter is resolved. Clearly the environmental impact needs to be dealt with, and residents have justified concerns – but the Council needs to operate within the law and protect the public purse as well. It is a fact that the permission was granted by a majority of 14 to 1 councillors (one of whom is the current Southend City Cabinet Member for Highways – who commented at the time that the roads were made for this sort of traffic). There was no legitimate planning reason to refuse the permission and that permission cannot unilaterally be reversed by the Council. The Tories’ lacklustre and flimsy report presented to the Committee on Monday basically said ‘our officers are talking to Bellway’. However, no highways officers were made available at the meeting to ask. The new Tory Highways Cabinet Member, Cllr Kevin Buck and the new Tory Planning Cabinet Member, Cllr David Garston (a well-seasoned member of the planning committee), flapped and floundered. It was clear they had not considered the ‘what if ‘ questions. What if the developer, Bellway, declines to change their position and just implements their permission? What if Anglian Water declines to survey their road utilities? What if other operators challenge the traffic order? And the big question, who is going to pay? It was clear the Tories expect Bellway and Anglian Water to foot the bills. Well I ask you, if you were them and you didn’t have to, would you? What was just as worrying for the future of the City was the Tory’s Planning Cabinet Member’s complete ignorance and understanding of how the planning system works. And to cap it all, no legal advice as to what options the Council had. Probably because they are non-existent. All of these questions hung in the air - it was embarrassing. On such an important matter that concerns many people, it is appalling that the Tories were not prepared for these questions. As to financing and possible legal action against the Council for frustrating a legitimate development – is it any wonder that the Tories, who nationally have tanked the country, - locally, have our money furthest from their minds. Liberal Democrat Councillor Carole Mulroney Vice Chair of Southend-on-Sea City Council Place Scrutiny Committee. 7 June 2023

Youth Strategy Groups (YSGs) across Essex are to be abolished, along with their ring-fenced funding of £200,000. This plan slipped out from Conservative-run Essex County Council in a briefing in the last few days. Instead, projects that would have been commissioned by YSGs will now have no guaranteed funding. Vital schemes could now end, such as those designed to support children’s mental health, and initiatives aimed at preventing children from getting involved in drugs and gangs. These youth projects must now compete in a “bidding war” in front of local county councillors, who have been given a pot of just £4,000 each (down from £5,000 last year) to spend on a wide range of issues including levelling up and climate change, as well as youth services. Essex Liberal Democrats 4 June 2023

Our 2023 manifesto for the City of Southend-on-Sea

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