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Never did I think I would go into politics! I am the proud owner/operator of one of Southend’s most well-known and established family businesses, Paul’s Discount, on Southchurch Road, who have been serving school and work uniforms for well over 40 years.

I have grown up in the business and my focus has always been to keep growing the business.

No doubt, like everyone else in Southend, I had never heard of the Confelicity Party, and certainly did not know what the word confelicity even meant! I soon discovered it meant ‘happiness in other people’s happiness’, and I liked it!

When I understood that it is an independent local party that wants to represent the people of Southend, I was immediately interested. When it was mentioned that there is a proposal to build 7,000 homes right next door to where I live I was even more interested!

In my opinion Southend does not have the space, even less so Shoebury, and the environmental impact is immeasurable. Confelicity oppose the development and I stand firmly on this platform.

I am also a fierce advocate of bringing Southend High Street back to life. While Southend is much more than its high street, whether we like it or not, it is the centrepiece and we must do everything we can to bring it back to like. It is not a forlorn hope as others may have you believe. As a businessman I know that controlling costs is the key to survival. The Council cannot directly control rents, rates and power, but it can play a central role in bringing all the stakeholders together and agree a way forward as a community. I don’t know anyone who is against seeing our high street back to life. The will of the city is there, we just need the will of the Council to match!

I have always lived and worked in the borough, and was educated in Bournes Green and Thorpe Bay High. My education was not the easiest, however, I was very fortunate to have my mum and dad provide a business education that no one could have taught. My experience in business has taught so much about people and how important it is to treat everyone with the upmost respect.

My wife and young children love living around Shoebury and all I want to do is help them to be successful in whatever they choose to do. If I can contribute even a small amount as a Councillor to shape the environment they grow up in I would be a happy man!

Outside of the business I am a well-known DJ and can claim to be friends with Pat Sharpe of Fun House fame! As a people person I thoroughly enjoy this as it gives me the opportunity to meet so many people.

I stand as a candidate for West Shoebury to serve the residents as best I can. I look to work on issues such as opposing any development on the greenbelt land in Bournes Green Chase, the cleanliness of the sea during off-peak months to other issues that are city-wide such as parking, anti-social behaviour, and the need for more youth clubs. I will use my position on the Council to work through resident concerns with diligence and determination.

I am not a politician. With me, what you see is what you get. I will speak honestly if I disagree, but would always welcome the opinion of others. I am simply a Southend resident who has the lived experience that tells me our city could be so much more - and I look forward to doing more if I were given the chance."


Michael Arkus-Binder

West Shoebury Confelicity Candidate

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