Southend Should Not Tolerate Bad Behaviour
As a town with a rich history and an abundance of Victorian architecture, Southend has a lot to offer its people and the town continues to attract new residents from around the UK. However, there are inevitably a minority of people who cause disruption for those who enjoy living in the area. This is something which Louise Burdett, Conservative candidate for the Kursaal Ward has discovered out and about on her campaign trail ahead of the local elections.
Meeting a family living in York Road, who chose to move into the area from Hampshire, Louise heard how their quality of life is affected by a neighbour who subjects them to regular verbal abuse. The family work hard and are active members of the community, who also partake in work with voluntary groups. After speaking to the family, Louise commented: “I was shocked to hear about this man’s behaviour and the effect it is having on this family. They believe he may be a drug user, which is why he is often abusive and unpleasant. This family love living here and feel very much at home in Southend but feel this person is making their lives a misery.”
The issue highlights the injustice that hard working families can face when someone who is clearly not contributing a great deal to the community blights their lives with bad behaviour. “It is not clear if this man is employed” says Louise “if not, then I would question why the state is looking after him when he is actually having a negative effect on those responsible citizens that live nearby? Anti-Social behaviour is something which should absolutely not be tolerated.” Through her campaign, Louise will be seeking to tackle anti-social behaviour wherever possible and act as a voice for local people in getting their case heard by the relevant authorities.
Loss of Warden Leads to Uncertainty at Nicholson House
The support system for residents at South Essex Homes run Nicholson House is to take a blow as one of its long serving wardens is to be taken away. The sheltered accommodation on Southchurch Road has 96 flats occupied by elderly residents who require the security of having a warden in the building; in addition to an emergency alarm system should they need urgent help. This decision to remove a key member of staff will mean that only one warden remains to support all the residents.
The Kursaal Ward’s Conservative candidate for the upcoming Council elections, Louise Burdett, has heard from residents who are concerned with the changes. “I have been speaking with residents at Nicholson House and it is clear that many of them feel disappointed and scared about this change” she said. “The warden has been there for a number of years and has earned the trust of the people living there who feel they have a valuable advocate in her. Yes, the property is still serviced by a warden but with only one staff member in such a large building, they will not possibly be able to provide the same support that has been enjoyed previously.”
Since being selected as a candidate for Kursaal Ward, Louise has been connecting with the issues that really affect local people and care and support for the elderly is something she feels strongly about. “It is absurd that while the Government argues about how to shoulder the huge cost of social care, older people who choose to live independently for as long as possible are having this basic support taken from them. Warden controlled accommodation empowers people to live on their own whilst having the security of a friendly and familiar face if they need any help, and is not nearly as costly to the public purse as other care options.”
The move seems at odds with South Essex Homes recent performance ratings – it has recently gained a ‘good’ two star classification from the Audit Commission. “Overall, the organisation is obviously performing well”, Louise says “but the problem is, they are neglecting the personal needs of these residents to have support which makes them feel secure in their own homes.”
We have many alleyways in Southend, and in the Kursaal ward particularly. Alleyways were supposed to provide ease of access to residents gardens, garages and so forth. However, as a result of inconsiderate people dumping rubbish, or fly tipping, down them and because of over grown weeds and bushes they are causing a problem for our residents.
Some alleyways are so blocked up with rubbish that people cannot access their own garden, so deceiving the point of the alleyway in the first place. Some alleyways are looking unsightly and can generally make an area look run down.
One alleyway in particular is full of unwanted furniture, clothes, shoes, even needles. This alleyway is causing the residents much annoyance and concern. In response to this, on Saturday 20th February, I joined and Cllr Blaine Robin in meeting with neighbouring residents and officers from the council to discuss what could be done to deter fly tipping in this one particularly bad alleyway.
Walking along the alleyway, I could see there were no lights, plenty of places to hide and a lot of rubbish. The different options for the alleyway were discussed , it is hoped that either two gates will be placed on the alleyway reduce access to fly tippers (see here for a similar option) or cameras in order to help deter and/or catch the culprits.
Following on from this post and from the huge numbers of residents that have raised the issue on the doorstep, I have decided to put together a petition to see if we can put some pressure on Southend Borough Council to install more dog waste bins on the streets of the Kursaal Ward.
If you also feel strongly about this, and would like to sign the petition, please click here
A big “thank you” to those who helped in the Kursaal ward at the weekend. The response we received from residents was very positive.
As always the passion demonstrated by the residents of the ward for their local environment was there for all to see. One highlight for me, was being invited in to a 93-year-old resident’s lounge, where he proceeded to talk about the changes he had seen in the area in his lifetime. He had lived within the ward for pretty much his whole life with the exception of the time he had spent in the services during the 2nd world war. One thing we discussed was the lack of the community spirit and the growth of a more individualistic out look on life, a subject close to my heart.
A number of issues were raised on the doorstep which I shall be taking up with the three local councillors. I hope to be able to report on these more fully in the near future.