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WELCOME
TO OUR MANIFESTO

SOUTHEND
CONFELICITY PARTY

Foreword from James Miller, Party Leader

I am proud to introduce myself as Leader of the Southend Confelicity Party and Parliamentary Candidate for Southend West and Leigh in the upcoming General Election on July 4th.  

The Southend Confelicity Party was founded 2 years ago in Southend and enjoys a small slice of history by becoming the first political party to form since becoming a city.   

 

I am thrilled to be running in the General Election alongside my good friend Lee Clark, one of Southend's biggest fundraisers, in Southend East and Rochford.

For more information on who we are:

James Miller Southend West and Leigh | Southend Confelicity (southendconfelicityparty.co.uk)

Lee Clark Southend East and Rochford | Southend Confelicity (southendconfelicityparty.co.uk)

Every policy in our manifesto has been unanimously agreed by every member of the party that was present to vote (see member's voting record here), and as a member, you would have the power of veto based on our 'undivided democratic' process.  This means if you are passionate about any particular subject that has not yet been voted on, you could join, raise the motion, and become an integral part of shaping that policy.

We are proud of our manifesto, which seeks to bring Southend together.  It will be costed by a mixture of public and private funding, as we work in partnership with stakeholders from across the city. 

Confelicity Explained

As a new party I have taken the liberty to explain what we are all about.  Firstly, the name!  We were going to be called the Southend Party, but stumbled upon Confelicity after discovering it meant 'joy in other's happiness, which we felt was apt for what we are trying to achieve.

The vision of Confelicity is to create an environment where all of us can feel happy in our lives with feel a deep sense of meaning and purpose for the future, on the path to fulfilling our potential for the betterment of ourselves and Southend.

 

For too long there has been confusion about the true aspirations of all the parties, but we ought to know exactly where we are going long-term. For this reason, we believe in the principle of idealism, which is basically visualising the most ambitious future in all areas of the political arena and working backwards from there.

The harder part is the how?

Whilst espousing wild dreams of how we want our city and country to be, we fully acknowledge this isn’t realistic politics! For this reason we believe in the overtly pretentious term pragmatism, as we accept and work against the practicalities and realities of life. So many different agendas are at play such as financial, moral, religious and philosophical differences, as well as party dogmas and bureaucracies that can and do prevent progress. And more than anything else: money, power and resources.

In regard to power and resources, we believe in Localism. We believe those that walk the pavements should have the power to fix them! Over the course of history, power has become centralised in London within a small group of people. The question is why would any of them care about Southend? We care because we live here. If Southend Hospital is overwhelmed it is us who suffer - not them. For far too long our politicians can only pay lip service to our issues and apologise. Do you really believe any of the parliamentary candidates from the national parties are able to do any of what they speak about? They, themselves, would have had zero say in their manifestos and are fed lines from Party HQ. We believe it is time for Southend people to be represented by those who themselves are affected by the decisions that they take.

We believe in Undivided Democracy where democracy recognises differences, but does not divide. This means if only one member does not vote on a policy, the Party are instructed to deconstruct the individual’s reasoning to a point where agreement can be found.  If agreement cannot be found the policy will never pass under Confelicity.  Too many times division is caused by polarised arguments that democracy itself contributes to, causing alienation, isolation and indignation for those individuals that are on the wrong of the vote.  Only by working together in partnership can the crux of the difference be found as opposed to the sharp edge of the democratic vote. We therefore believe in freedom of speech, debate and discussion in order to reach a conclusion that has been made in partnership and a spirit of unity. We believe in a collaborative approach where conflicting parties can either find common ground together, or in cases where this has not been achieved, the subject is put to one side whilst further research can be carried out.  This collaborative approach relies on each subject matter being explored, interrogated, and scrutinised with rigour and a level of critique that should include information on funding, agendas and affiliations.  On the conditions Confelicity values are upheld, in the meantime, members are free to express themselves on any issue as they see fit.

We believe in a leadership philosophy that acts as a partner, facilitator and collaborator.  We believe that any rule or law that is agreed by Confelicity must be followed by the Leader and all Party members.  We intend to set the leadership standard as high as possible and reject hypocrisy and cronyism. We find any kind of government corruption abhorrent and will enact a zero tolerance on any behaviours that do not coincide with these standards in or outside the party.  We believe that power needs a system of checking, challenging, scrutiny, rigour and total transparency and should be diluted as much as possible to fend against those that do misuse their power.  Hence the voting structure of our Party empowers all members with the power of veto.  

Which ties into our last point: our culture. When you come off a conversation with us we hope you will be able to feel our sense of empathy, kindness and humility. That you were able to enjoy the conversation in an atmosphere of respectful free speech without judgment as we showed patience, tolerance and forgiveness where necessary. (For too long, those who might consider themselves good people have felt compelled to admonish others as the self-proclaimed arbiters of moral judgment!).  And you trust us because we are open and honest in our answers. 

 

Politics is in desperate need of authentic change and we believe we can be that for Southend.  

I sincerely hope that you can connect with what we are trying to do and hope you can put your faith in us when the time comes.  

 

Yours faithfully

 

James Miller BA (hons), MBA 

Southend Confelicity Party Leader

Parliamentary Candidate for Southend West and Leigh

Economy

 

"We need to build seeds of industry to grow new business and create jobs".

We live in a capitalist society, which relies on people taking resources and transforming them into something profitable. Through this jobs are created and real wealth is put in people’s hands which can be spent in other businesses creating more. Every party works within this economic model and we are no different. If the goal is to create wealth so we can all enjoy a good life then it is government’s mission to ensure the business environment is encouraged.

 

Whilst inward investment is always required from well-established organisations, our intention is to create full employment by creating the most fertile SME business environment possible for entrepreneurship to flourish. This includes lowering the risk of business failure by helping to reduce costs, and creating a business infrastructure and entrepreneurial culture that would encourage as many people to use their talents and start their own businesses.

We believe the tax system should incentivise councils to grow business and therefore should be rewarded for facilitating a thriving economy by growing alongside the business success they help create, instead of relying on counter-productive tax policies.  

 

We encourage people to become as wealthy as their business or job enables them to be, however, we recognise that the resources used to generate their income would, in many cases, deprive other citizens of their use i.e. land, materials, people, etc.  Therefore, it is expected that citizens will be recompensed accordingly through the tax system to a level that both continues to encourage re-investment of the business and supply the necessary investment into public services we all want.  

 

We acknowledge that the cost of living is a fundamental barrier to the prospects of individual wealth and prosperity, and we would seek to redress the balance by supporting those industries that are fundamental to national infrastructure back into public hands in order to cap bills to an affordable level for all.  

 
1
 
Southend High Street has the potential to reshape its contribution to the City. It can thrive again, we just need to address the basic fundamentals of what makes a High Street work:
  • We need to bring all the landlords together to work alongside the Council and other stakeholders to agree on a singular vision.
  • Improving parking, cleanliness, greenery with seasonal displays, safety and the general environment is a must, but ultimately it is the shops that people come for, so all our efforts should be geared towards filling the empty retail units with reputable businesses that will be assets to the shopping experience.
  • In order to fill the shops we need a way to transfer the skills and knowledge of people who have qualified in various courses at the college and university, as well as everyone else who has talent, passion and an entrepreneurial spirit across the City, directly into the units to create the most unique high street in the country.
  • Potential entrepreneurs need to be reassured that they actually have a chance of making it work by lowering all business costs, allowing them enough time to build a strong customer base, with a gradual incremental increase in rates overtime.
  • We need to make it easy for local people to set up a business by providing expert business support who can give them the knowledge to succeed.  We would raise awareness of all available start-up support.  
  • We will bring back indoor/outdoor markets to act as the hub of local entrepreneurship whilst providing a unique shopping experience in Southend High Street.​
  • We recognise that national brands are vital to any high street and we should continue to do everything to attract them with favourable rates.  Unfortunately they have found online a far more cost-effective and efficient way of operating so this will be a challenge.  It is time to do it ourselves.
Imagine a High Street full of shops selling unique products and services run by local owner/operators, making a living doing what they love – just like it used to be! 
 
We will seek to create a meaningful and practical connection between education and careers in Southend, and ultimately create work opportunities where people can make a living doing what they love. 
 
We would embark on a journey of planting seeds of industry and enterprise, looking at suitable brownfield sites to develop professional infrastructure for both online and offline businesses, where in years to come we can start to see quality career opportunities in engineering, tech, arts, fashion, film, music, catering, and so on, here in Southend.
3
We will re-open the redundant ‘Beach Club’ Southend Activity Marine Centre.  Southend should be built on the water, yet most residents have never had the opportunity to sail.  We would work with community leaders who are seeking funding to make it into a viable social enterprise. 
4
Southend Pier is world famous, but could be so much more. We will put out a public consultation to residents for their ideas what they would like to see at the end of the Pier.  We believe it should be the Eiffel Tower of the UK and should be met with the same ambition as the people that first imagined it in the first place. 
5
We will reduce the price of The Pier for local people.
6
We will oppose the £10m of reserve money to be ‘invested’ in Seaway, a project that Turnstone – the developers themselves – are now unwilling to invest in.
7
The Kursaal require immediate and effective solutions as soon as possible.  However, to avoid such failings in the future we would introduce break-clauses in contracts for sites that are deemed important to the City. 
8
We recognise that tax payer’s money is just that: it does not belong to a political party or a politician. Tax belongs to each person that has contributed into paying into the collective pot, and should be respected as such.  We recognise that public waste is deeply off-putting for people to want to pay more tax, and so we would look to make taxation transparent for the public in a format that is easily accessible, understandable and where justification for expenditure can be made.   
9
We would be in favour of any future expansion of London Southend City airport. However, residents must be consulted every step of the way. ​
10
We will introduce a new city-wide discount card for Southend residents. 
11
We will oppose increases in council fees and charges.
 
12
 
We do not feel that dividing the city into 8 districts, with fines of £35 to £70 for driving through each one, is the correct way to manage traffic flow within the city of Southend.
13
 
We support the use of cash and card as a method of payment. 
14
 
We support the devolution of powers from central government to a new 'Combined Authority' of Essex, Thurrock and Southend, depending  on the detail of the deal, which would include Southend retaining all of its current powers.
15
We support a review of the Executive team’s remuneration with a view to reduce or freeze their pay. A 10% cut would save £200K and would enable dementia services to continue as they are. It would also act as a symbolic move that may restore faith back into our leadership.
16
We pledge to support implementing voluntary remuneration reviews for all staff above £50K. A 10% cut, for example, would save vast sums that may help to keep the libraries open. 
17
We support reducing the remuneration packages of all new council employees once the post has been left vacant.
18
 
We would support a City of Culture bid.
19
We will re-evaluate the partners SBC have chosen to work with.
20
We will support and facilitate a new ‘Southend Innovation’ hub that seeks to leverage the infrastructure that is already in place; bring new investment into the city; and provide quality new jobs in for residents of Southend and the local area.

Environment

 

"We need to protect our waters and green spaces".

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We believe that a sustainable environment must form the foundation of all decision-making, and we seek to create a clean environment, clean air and clean waters.

21

Southend’s sea is one of our most precious assets, and yet during off-peak months water and sewage companies are allowed to pump sewage discharges from storm overflows.  Would would seek regulation to make this illegal.   Ideally, Southend needs a whole new sewage system that is fit for purpose.

We would also seek to protect all of our remaining green spaces from anymore development.

22

We would support a communications drive to educate and encourage Southend citizens and businesses to re-cycle their waste, with an ambitious but very achievable aim to rapidly increase re-cycle rates from 45% to 90% by the end of 2025.

23

We will re-introduce permissions to allow barbecues on the beach, but with a set of guidelines that may include all or some of the following: permitted after 6pm; only re-useable BBQs allowed; must be raised above the stones; cold water must be poured over when finished; and disposal on coals in a yellow basket provided when finished.

24

We are against the taxation of older vehicles. We believe in striving for clean air in Southend, but we do not believe in penalising those that can least afford it.

25

We are against the installation of 5G masts in residential areas.  

26

We are against future developments on flood plains. 

27

We support the requirement of any contracts for developers to include a clause to include: ‘if you break, pay for it’.

28

Where Southend holds a direct interest in a development (e.g. The Kursaal), we support a set percentage of the development to be completed, reviewed case-by-case, in a specified period of time.  We would also ensure all developers are required to have secured 100% of the funding.

29

We will oppose tree-felling where it is possible to do so.   

30

We support dogs to be allowed on designated sections of the beach at specified times, outside peak times of the day, all year round.

Health & Well-being

 

"We need to bring back civic pride".

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We believe we are all entitled to live long and healthy lives through free access to health and social care.

 

The ultimate aim is for zero waiting times for quality diagnosis and treatment whilst doing everything possible to prevent the issues in the first place. For this we would need to quadruple capacity in Southend Hospital and our GP surgeries, which at this time is unrealistic given that today’s challenge is merely to keep the services we already have.  As a party that is only made up of Southend residents, we stand the most to gain by fighting for an expansion of our capacity, which is what we would intend to do.

31

We will introduce the ‘Southend Civic Pride Volunteering Partnership’ that would bring together people who wish to bring their talents wherever the need is greatest.

We believe that we can do it ourselves, which means serving each other above and beyond the funds of the council. 

We want to link those people that are willing to give up their time to help others with those that are in need of that help through a shared skills community website and app.  For example, a student who needs help with maths can put in their request and match with a Southend resident willing to teach them for free. 

 

The basis of this scheme would not be to encroach on otherwise paid positions, rather fill the gaps that would never be able to be filled.  We would look to utilise the skills, talent, knowledge and experience of newly qualified young people; retired seniors with still so much to give; as well as those that still work and who can spare a few hours of their expertise.  Our end goal would be for every resident to volunteer one hour a week to surpass a million hours a year.  Just think what Southend may look like with those extra resources!  

We would look to re-establish a sense of civic pride by:

  • Improving the general environment and the management of street signage, park fences, pavements, litter and debris.​

  • Promoting local history and telling the great stories of local people that could inspire all generations.  We would display our history across the city in celebration of our greatest people through art, architecture, monuments and literature.   

  • We would celebrate our culture with annual festivals and award ceremonies

  • We would bring to the fore aspirational figures such as outstanding nurses, doctors, teachers, police officers, fire fighters, care workers, musicians, sport people, builders, entrepreneurs, volunteers, and architects across the City. 

  • We would pro-actively support, encourage and promote Southend sports teams, such as Southend United, in a way that would foster a greater sense of community for all the People of Southend.

  • Re-introduce school children visiting the Civic Centre, view Southend Council meetings and meet Councillors, and teach them how the political system works so they can take an active interest.

32

 

We will re-build the Southend Cricket Pavilion.

 

33

We would significantly increase the number of bike racks across the city where cyclists could feel confident their bikes are safe.

34

We would invest in outdoor gyms in all parks, where suitable to improve health and well-being.

35

We will support bringing back the iconic seafront illuminations.  These were an attraction in themselves and would enhance the experience for residence and visitors

36

We will not introduce parking charges in our parks.

 

 37

We will uphold the legal obligations and human rights for residents who are classified with special education needs and disabilities.

38

We would support local employers in becoming qualified in mental health first aid.

39

We will support the continuation of the Leigh Community Centre.

40

We will retain all 12 Dementia Navigators positions.

41

 

We will retain the family centre in St Luke’s.

42

We will keep all the libraries that are in Southend open, ensuring they are evolving and being modernised.

*The Dementia Navigators and family centre would be paid for by reducing the budget amendment reduction of high street parking from 11% to the required figure e.g. 2% to 5%.

Protection

 

"We need to bring back bobbies on the beat".

Ideally, would deploy the right number of police where needed, whilst doing everything possible to reduce criminal activity in the first place. In reality, the money is unavailable, so we must turn to the voluntary schemes exist already. This really is a case of going out to Southend and asking for a hundred people that would like to be fully trained in the police to protect their fellow citizens.

 

We know where the hotspots are and a constant presence of the same set of ‘bobbies on the beat’ would change thousands of residents’ lives overnight.

We believe those who break the law ought to face the necessary consequences, however, we would look to create a prison system that seeks to rehabilitate, change mind-sets, and offer job opportunities in order to reduce re-offending.  Re-opening youth clubs would be a good start.

We believe in ending the era of unnecessary surveillance under the pretext of protection.

We believe that helping other countries in diplomacy and bridging differences, rather than supporting and contributing to the escalation of war, will reduce the likelihood of acts of revenge on the UK. Our sympathy extends to all innocent victims in all wars across the world, and we would back any UK leadership that focuses on bringing peace. It should go without saying that the criminals who have broken international law should be found, arrested and tried in a court of law.

 

43

 

We will support bringing back ‘bobbies on the beat’, who would walk the same areas and get to know residents by name.

44

We will support a satellite police station in Southend High Street.

45

We will re-ignite the Special Constabulary scheme.  It is a much under-publicised role that allows people to volunteer 16 hours of their time per month, where they are trained and have the same powers as regular Police Officers.    

46

We will re-start the Community Safety scheme where employers can fund select members of their workforce to join the wider police community.

47

We will ban electric scooters on public pavements. We would also educate and inform residents of the legalities of electric scooters.

48

We will look to re-open youth centres across Southend in order to reduce crime and provide a safe space where young people can occupy their time in an enjoyable and productive way, broaden their education, and gain easy access to mental health services.

49

We will invest in extra security cameras and police resources in known crime hotspots for anti-social behaviour.

Housing

 

"We need to ensure our infrastructure and services can sustain new developments".

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50

We would work in partnership with Southend Homeless Action Network (SHAN) to put in place long-term strategies to end homelessness

51

We believe in the development of Queensway, but we will look to re-start the process with a more financially viable scheme.

52

We will oppose increasing council rents.

53

We support the enforcement of the affordable housing quota on property developers.

54

It is accepted that planning applications have to be considered on their own merits, however, we would pursue planning and regulation that whenever a new development is being considered, provision of the necessary infrastructure must be included as part of it.

Transport, Roads, Pavements and Parking

 

"We will bring in parking charges that support residents, business and visitors".

55

For any future plans regarding Queensway, we will be against filling in the road as it will create gridlock and cut off the businesses on Southchurch Road and Sutton Road.

56

We will oppose charging for parking along the entire seafront from 6pm onwards.

57

We would introduce 1-hour free parking, similar to Leigh, around Southend High Street.

58

We are against closing car parks if it results in visitors causing congestion in residential parking nearby.

59

We would oppose the introduction of cashless-only parking meters, and ensure they are all able to take both cash and card.

60

We would launch a review of the cycle lanes on the seafront to enhance their safety.

61

We would support fixing potholes across the City.

62

We would support speed cameras in identified speeding hotspots in order to prevent accidents before they happen. 

63

We would support speed reductions in certain areas including 20 miles per hour zones – but only if residents from each road have collectively agreed.

64

We are against pavements constantly being dug up by different companies carrying out works, then left looking in a poor state.  Therefore, we would add a clause into the contracts for all companies who wish to work on our pavements to ensure all works are finished to a high quality that does not negatively impact the look of the area.

65

We are against the disruption caused by multiple road closures at the same time due to infrastructure works, and will examine the current planning process with the objective of encouraging better coordination, including work that is carried out during the night.

66

We will continue to campaign against the closures of ticket offices at train stations should the need arise.

67

We would expand parking for motorcycles.

68

We will look at how the shared space along ‘City Beach’ and the High Street can be made safer for both pedestrians and cyclists.

 

 

SOUTHEND CONFELICITY MANIFESTO 2024

Education

 

"We need to connect education to careers in Southend".

We believe in an education system underpinned by the belief that it should develop a person’s deep understanding of the world; encourages a love of learning; has intrinsic value to oneself and the community; and that it is a life-long endeavour.  

We believe in an education system that trains our youth in ways that will directly contribute to the prosperity of themselves and society.

We will seek to create a true connection between education and careers, and ultimately create work opportunities where people can make a living doing what they love.  

69

 

We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to fulfil their potential through free education whether practical or academic, all the way through to PhD level education or professional apprenticeships.  

 

70

 

We believe in an education system where children receive the attention they need to flourish, whilst enjoying the social interactions of classmates. Therefore, our ideal aim is to reduce school class sizes to 12 children per teacher and Learning Assistant, and ensure all teachers are qualified.  We fully appreciate this is wholly unrealistic, however, we would work towards this goal.

 

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Thank you for taking the time to read our Southend manifesto.  We are continually voting on new pledges and if you would like to be part of the decision making process then please do get in touch: contact@confelicityparty.com

Click here to see all member's voting records.

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