Leader’s blog – Friday 12 January 2024

The Leader talks about community participation and encouraging your active involvement in shaping our city’s future.

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.

We have several significant council decisions to be made over the coming weeks and months. We’re at a crucial points, and your insights are vital in making informed decisions that reflect the diversity of our community.

Firstly, a short but important survey designed to capture your views on how often you want to elect your council closes at 5pm on Monday 15 January. With just two questions and a free-text box, it’s a quick and vital opportunity for you to contribute to the democratic foundation of our city and ensure that every resident has a say in how your council functions. By engaging in this survey, you become an active participant in the decision-making process, helping to shape the very democracy that underpins our community.

We also want your views to help ensure that the services provided by our family centres align with the needs of our residents. Your feedback is invaluable in this regard too. We invite you to share your thoughts on the future of family centre services by participating in our survey, available online. There are also some face-to-face events taking place next week and an online information session too. Your insights will help us tailor these services to better serve our community. Find out more on Your Say Southend.

The family centre service consultation is linked to our draft budget being proposed 2024/25 which was discussed and approved last night at cabinet, and will now go through the democratic process. This includes a difficult proposal to stop the current Southend-on-Sea dementia community support service. We encourage Southend residents to share their views as we recognise how important support is to anyone living or supporting someone with dementia. Future proposals will ensure that information and advice is available for Southend residents through our proposed new social care structure and ongoing arrangements with the community and voluntary sector. There are two public meetings scheduled for 17 January 2024 on this too – from 10am to 11:30am at The Windermere Club and from 6pm to 7:30pm in the Council Chamber at the Civic Centre.

Finally, I’m pleased to announce the Inaugural Window Wanderland Festival. This event invites residents to transform their windows into creative displays, celebrating the unique stories that make our city special. Please explore the festival details on our website and consider participating in this celebration of our community spirit.

Southend-on-Sea is at an exciting juncture, and your active participation is instrumental in shaping our future. Take a moment to engage in the surveys and make your voice heard and embrace the opportunity to illuminate our city with the Window Wanderland Festival in March.

Have a great weekend,

Cllr Tony Cox,
Leader of the Council

Published: 12th January 2024

Southend-on-Sea City Council