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WELCOME
TO OUR MANIFESTO

 

Foreword from James Miller, Party Leader

I am proud to introduce myself as Leader of the Southend Confelicity Party, candidate for Leigh Ward and the Parliamentary Candidate for Southend West in the next General Election.  I have lived and worked in Southend all my life and know what we do well and what needs to change. 

The Southend Confelicity Party is a new political party founded here in Southend and enjoys a small slice of history by becoming the first independent party since becoming a city.   

 

We are thrilled to be running in the next local elections and we run with a team of passionate, committed and talented candidates who are eager to make a positive difference and fulfil our vision.  We are standing candidates in all 17 wards across Southend and they include health care professionals, teachers, fundraisers, business owners, chefs, managers, musicians, artists and carers.   

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. 

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

Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Southend West and Leigh

Leigh Ward Candidate

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Economy

 

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

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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 will make council expenditure completely transparent through accessible and easy to use digital platforms.  Currently, it is only possible to view the expenses, but there is no explanation about the cost was arrived at.  
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.

Environment

 

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

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20

We will oppose any future plans that involve building on green-belt land or nature reserves.

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.  We would pursue regulation that would make this illegal.

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.

31

We support weekly bin collections.

Health & Well-being

 

"We need to bring back civic pride".

32

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.

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.

33

We would support a City of Culture bid, which could bring millions of pounds of investment into the city.  

34

 

We will re-build the Southend Cricket Pavilion.

 

35

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

36

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

37

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

38

We will not introduce parking charges in our parks.

 

 39

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

40

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

41

We support the continuation of the Leigh Community Centre.

42

We will retain all 12 Dementia Navigators positions.

43

 

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

44

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%.

Policing

 

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

45

 

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

46

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

47

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.    

48

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

49

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

50

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.

51

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

 

Housing

 

"We will seek to end homelessness".

52

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

53

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

54

We will oppose increasing council rents.

55

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

56

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 end extortionate parking charges".

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57

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.

58

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

59

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

60

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

61

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

62

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

63

We would support fixing potholes across the City.

64

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

65

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

66

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.

67

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.

68

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

69

We would expand parking for motorcycles.

70

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

 

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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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