Leader’s blog – 15 December 2023

As the winter chill starts to bite, here’s a quick update from Cllr Tony Cox on what’s happening around our City.

Cllr Tony Cox wearing a navy blue suit jacket, white shirt and a pink, blue and white flowery tie. He is sitting in front of the Council Coat of Arms.

Firstly, our winter road gritting service is officially in action and has been out and about several times in the last month. The team and our gritting vehicles are the unsung heroes of the season, ensuring our roads stay safe and accessible during frosty weather. The team is doing a great job, and you can get more info on the ins and outs of the operation.

Something a bit more heartwarming – the recent carol concert featuring a local school choir. It was a delightful event that not only brought some festive joy but also served a purpose close to our hearts. The concert was part of our push for more foster carers in our community. The choir did an incredible job spreading holiday cheer, and maybe it’ll inspire you to consider how you could make a difference in a child’s life?

I have also talked a lot in this blog about the financial challenges we are facing, and to that end we held a special cabinet meeting on Tuesday where we discussed a range of ideas from councillors about how we can tackle our future budget gap. I want to thank all councillors who put forward ideas, some of which we were already taking forwards, some of which will be considered, and a few that we have ruled out already.

Talking of finances, we will also be undertaking several consultations over the coming weeks linked to the need to make tough decisions and budget savings. The first of those launched yesterday and it would be great for you to have your say. The focus of this consultation is the future of our family centre services, which are spread across nine sites and play a vital role in supporting our community. These centres offer services ranging from antenatal classes to child health clinics, supporting breastfeeding, and providing various activities for child development. However, we need to look at how the service operates and find ways to make efficiencies. Please get involved by visiting our Your Say Southend website.

As I say, there will be more of these consultations coming out in the next few weeks. And talking of consultations, please do have your day on how often you want to vote for your councillors. This consultation on our electoral cycle has been open for a month now, and we have had an excellent response so far.

Have a great weekend whatever you are doing.

Published: 15th December 2023

Southend-on-Sea City Council