Leader’s blog – 4 August 2023

Cllr Tony Cox, leader of Southend-on-Sea City Council discusses the City’s two most well-known landmarks as they hit the headlines.

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.

I’ve always said that Southend-on-Sea is known for two things; Southend United Football Club and the pier. Both have been in the media this past week for very different but worrying reasons.

Seeing Southend United fans arrive at the stadium in droves to help the clean-up process, so it was ready for Saturday’s game (5 August) was both heartbreaking and heartwarming in equal measure. Heartbreaking to be in this situation and heartwarming to see so many people help and to see the selfless and caring attitude of the fans and locals.

Even Anna Firth Conservative MP turned up to pitch in, which shows how important a cause it was if someone with her busy diary and commitments could find the time to help.

It is a good example of the great community spirit Southend exhibits, and that when the chips are down, we can be counted on to fight for the things that matter to us as a community.

You may have recently seen media coverage about the RNLI rescuing a man who jumped from the Pier. I just want to reiterate my thanks to emergency services who responded to the incident and helped the man, and to passers-by who raised the alarm.

Southend Pier is the longest pleasure pier in the world and obviously attracts a lot of interest from all round the world. We want people to enjoy our pier but please, do so responsibly. The pier is not a diving board and behaving inappropriately puts lives in unnecessary danger and unnecessary strain on our local emergency services which is not ok.

I also want to extend congratulations to our housing teams for the four shortlisted award nominations for the Essex Housing Awards. It’s particularly heartening to see two officers nominated for the Mo Slade Rising Star award; Ben Harrison and Faye Creasey.

SECTA was shortlisted for the Excellence in Construction Skills for the second year running, the council’s decarbonisation and retrofit project was shortlisted for the Climate Action award, and we were shortlisted for the Meeting Housing Need award.

It’s amazing to see such a fantastic outcome and I am sure we have a good shot in the shortlisted categories, so I wish the teams the best of luck on the night.

Enjoy your weekend.

Cllr Tony Cox, leader of the council

Published: 4th August 2023

Southend-on-Sea City Council