Southend-on-Sea Borough Council

Election results for 2019

    Elected in 2019
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    4
    20
    -8
    Elected in 2019
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    5
    14
    +2
    Elected in 2019
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    5
    12
    +3
    Elected in 2019
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    3
    5
    +3

Most Recent

Loss of parking ticket income contributes to £20m budget shortfall

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A local authority is facing a shortfall of up to £20m as it battles to reduce the impact of the coronavirus lockdown.

Documents reveal that current lockdown arrangements are costing Southend Borough Council up to £3m every month – and may leave arrears of up to £9.5m for its key services.

The council, which is led by a Labour, independent and Liberal Democrat coalition, has a budget of £130.5m for 2020-21.

Southend council building
Google

The report, which will be discussed at cabinet next week, explains the estimated cost is "very difficult to quantify" but there was declining income from parking and penalty enforcement notices during lockdown, combined with the high demand for social care.

Last month, the council’s deputy leader Councillor Ron Woodley (independent) revealed parking revenue, which would usually bring in around £500,000 a month had been cut to "nil".

When the council was asked whether this could mean cuts would be made to services, a spokesman said there would be "financial challenges" but it would be "too early to speculate on cuts".

'Don't travel, stay local' says seaside town

Alex Pope

BBC News Online

Southend beach
BBC
Southend beach on Wednesday

A seaside town that saw an influx of visitors to its beach this week is calling on people to "don't travel, stay local".

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has got a campaign to make people think twice before coming to the town this bank holiday weekend.

Leader Ian Gilbert said: “For many weeks we ran a successful Don’t Visit Southend campaign, but the government’s lifting of restrictions have put us in a very difficult position as day trips and sunbathing are allowed, and takeaways can be open for business."

Community safety officers, parking enforcement officers, marshals, police, beach welfare officers and "stay safe stay apart" volunteer marshals will be in place, the council said.

Council leaders have warnings for beach visitors

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

Southend Borough Council has responded to criticism that it did not do enough to deter visitors from its beaches where it is alleged social distancing laws have been broken during this week's hot weather.

Leader Ian Gilbert said in a statement: “We want people to think twice before visiting and ask if their journey is really necessary.

Southend beach
BBC

"The government’s lifting of restrictions allows day trips and sunbathing, but many of our attractions are shut, and parking and public toilets are more limited than usual to all for greater distancing and sanitation.

"We would urge people to stay safe and stay apart if they are here.”

Neil Stock, leader of Tendring District Council in north east Essex which covers Clacton-on-Sea, Frinton-on-Sea, Walton-on-the-Naze, Brightlingsea and Dovercourt, warned visitors should maintain social distancing and avoid crowded areas.

"But please remember if you’re coming to the Essex Sunshine Coast, or one of our parks and gardens, there’s nothing to do – nowhere to buy ice creams, you can’t sit down for a coffee or a beer," he said.

"You can bring your own refreshments, but please use a bin or take your rubbish home with you."

Council 'nervous' over beach visits

BBC Essex

A seaside local authority is nervous about people coming to visit its beaches after being attracted by the warm weather during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Southend Borough Council has experienced a large influx of visitors this week but has fears over social distancing.

Southend beach
BBC

The local authority said it had put measures in place to try to keep people apart after photographs of apparently crowded beaches were published.

Government guidelines allow people to travel for fresh air and exercise, as long as they keep two metres (6ft) from anyone they do not live with.

Independent borough councillor Martin Terry, cabinet member for community safety, said the authority was "quite nervous", adding: “We’ve had days when we’ve had 300,000 people come down here.

"All we can do is advise people and say is please, please stay apart and be sensible."

Queues form at Southend recycling centre

Katy Lewis

BBC News Online

We told you earlier that more recycling centres would be reopening this morning for the first time in eight weeks.

In Essex, this was the queue waiting for Southend’s Stock Road centre to open its gates at 07:00.

Southend tip
BBC

Council bosses are asking people to make only essential visits, warning of long delays due to new safety rules.

Guidance from Southend-on-Sea Borough Council states only to visit sites if you are unable to safely store waste at home, or are unable to dispose of the waste through alternative options including online bulky waste collections, garden waste services or normal weekly collections.

More recycling centres reopen today

Katy Lewis

BBC News Online

Eighteen of the 24 recycling centres in Essex and all the centres in Northamptonshire are reopening today after the coronavirus lockdown rules were eased.

Stock Road recycling centre, Southend
Google

Essex County Council said there'll be a one-in, one-out system at its 15 sites and social distancing measures will be in place.

Southend Borough Council is extending the opening times at the two tips it runs and Thurrock Council says only five cars will be allowed into its site at any one time with access via Linford only - with a stretch of Buckingham Hill Road closed during the day for the next month.

The nine sites in Northamptonshire will open at 10:00 but the county council is urging people to only visit them if absolutely necessary after long queues built up in other parts of the region last week.

Councillor Jason Smithers said police would be monitoring how busy the surrounding roads are.

Cars queuing outside a recycling centre in Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire Council
Traffic queues formed when Buckinghamshire's recycling centres reopened a fortnight ago

Southend esplanade to be widened for social distancing

Western Esplanade in Southend will be temporarily widened for pedestrians and cyclists in response to national changes to lockdown and to allow local people to safely enjoy the seafront, says the local council.

Western esplanade, Southend-on-Sea
Trevor Harris\Geograph

The widened promenade will be opened from Saturday between Chalkwell and the pier along with a contraflow system that will still allow cars to travel in both directions.

Seafront car parks previously closed will also reopen from Saturday.

Ron Woodley, Southend's deputy leader said: "We are still asking people who do not live locally not to visit Southend-on-Sea and allow local people to have a safe environment and open spaces where they can exercise, enjoy the fresh air, but also keep apart from others outside of their household."

In addition, Belfairs Golf course will open later this month, and household waste recycling centres across Essex will open from Monday.

Southend Pier is a ticketed attraction and will not be able to reopen until at least 4 July under the government’s recovery plan.

Coronavirus: Aerial shots show east coast seafronts deserted
Tourists largely stayed away from East of England seaside spots as people heeded the coronavirus lockdown.