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WELCOME
TO OUR MANIFESTO 2023

 

Foreword from James Miller, Party Leader

I am proud to introduce myself  as leader of the Confelicity Party, and as the candidate for the Leigh Ward.  I have lived and worked in Southend all my life and know what we do well and what needs to change. 

Confelicity is a brand new political party founded here in Southend and enjoys a small slice of history by becoming the first independent party since becoming a City.   

 

We are thrilled to be running in the forthcoming local elections due to take place in May 2023, and we run with a team of passionate, committed and talented candidates that are eager to make a positive difference and fulfil our vision.

Every policy in our manifesto has been unanimously agreed by every member of the party that was present to vote, and as a member, you would have the power of veto based on our 'undivided democratic' process.  This means if you are passionate about any particular subject that has not yet been voted on, you could join, raise the motion, and become an integral part of shaping that policy.

We are proud of our 2023 manifesto, but we are still working on more policies in our manifesto meetings, particularly as the coalition are still working on their draft budget. If you wish to get involved please email: contact@confelicityparty.com.

I sincerely hope that you can connect with what we are trying to do and hope you can put your faith in us when the time comes.

 

Yours faithfully

 

James Miller BA (hons), MBA 

Confelicity Leader and Leigh Candidate

Economy

 

"We need to build seeds of industry to grow new business and create jobs".

1

 

Southend High Street has the potential to reshape its contribution to the City. It can thrive again, we just need to address the basic fundamentals of what makes a High Street work:

  • We need to bring all the landlords together to work alongside the Council and other stakeholders to agree on a singular vision.

  • Improving parking, cleanliness, greenery with seasonal displays, safety and the general environment is a must, but ultimately it is the shops that people come for, so all our efforts should be geared towards filling the empty retail units with reputable businesses that will be assets to the shopping experience.

  • In order to fill the shops we need a way to transfer the skills and knowledge of people who have qualified in various courses at the college and university, as well as everyone else who has talent, passion and an entrepreneurial spirit across the City, directly into the units to create the most unique high street in the country.

  • Potential entrepreneurs need to be reassured that they actually have a chance of making it work by lowering all business costs, allowing them enough time to build a strong customer base, with a gradual incremental increase in rates overtime.

  • We need to make it easy for local people to set up a business by providing expert business support who can give them the knowledge to succeed.

  • We will bring back indoor/outdoor markets to act as the hub of local entrepreneurship whilst providing a unique shopping experience in Southend High Street.​

  • We recognise that national brands are vital to any high street and we should continue to do everything to attract them with favourable rates.  Unfortunately they have found online a far more cost-effective and efficient way of operating so this will be a challenge.  It is time to do it ourselves.

Imagine a High Street full of shops selling unique products and services run by local owner/operators, making a living doing what they love – just like it used to be! 

 

We will seek to create a meaningful and practical connection between education and careers in Southend, and ultimately create work opportunities where people can make a living doing what they love. 

 

We would embark on a journey of planting seeds of industry and enterprise, looking at suitable brownfield sites to develop professional infrastructure for both online and offline businesses, where in years to come we can start to see quality career opportunities in engineering, tech, arts, fashion, film, music, catering, and so on, here in Southend.

3

We will re-open the redundant ‘Beach Club’ Southend Activity Marine Centre.  Southend should be built on the water, yet most residents have never had the opportunity to sail.  We would work with community leaders who are seeking funding to make it into a viable social enterprise. 

 

4

Southend Pier is world famous, but could be so much more.

 

We will start an action group with prominent business leaders and community groups across the city with the single goal to enhance the visitor experience. 

5

We will reduce the price of The Pier for local people.

6

We will re-evaluate the partners SBC have chosen to work with such as those involved in Queensway, Marine Plaza and the football club developments.

7

We will oppose the £10m of reserve money to be ‘invested’ in Seaway, a project that Turnstone – the developers themselves – are now unwilling to invest in.

8

We will support bringing back the iconic seafront illuminations.  These were an attraction in themselves and would enhance the experience for residence and visitors.

9

 

We would support installing attractive and subtle lighting in Cliff Gardens.

10

 

The Kursaal and the Marine Plaza sites require immediate and effective solutions as soon as possible.  To avoid such failings in the future we would introduce break-clauses in contracts for sites that are deemed important to the City. 

11

We would raise awareness of business starter support that is already in place such as The BEST Growth Hub, and businessonsea.co.uk, which both offer a wide range of advice and support on how to access grants.

12

We would support the continuation of the Southend Carnival over the Halloween period.

13

 

We will make council expenditure completely transparent through accessible and easy to use digital platforms.  Currently, it is only possible to view the expenses, but there is no explanation about the cost was arrived at.  

14

We will raise awareness of business rate relief that is available to small businesses.  Whilst central government set the rates, many small businesses are unaware of relief they are entitled to, which could make all the difference.

15

We would be in favour of any future expansion of London Southend City airport. However, residents must be consulted every step of the way.

 

Environment

 

"We need to protect our waters and greenbelt land".

16

We are against the proposals to build 7000 homes on green-belt land by Bournes Green chase, and we will forever oppose any future plans that involve building on green-belt land or nature reserves.

17

We would make it mandatory for weekly bin collections to be included in any waste contracts.

18

Southend’s sea is one of our most precious assets, and yet during off-peak months water and sewage companies are allowed to pump sewage discharges from storm overflows.  We would pursue regulation that would make this illegal.

19

We will increase the number of bins across the city to reduce litter in areas that have been identified as hotspots by residents.

20

We would support a communications drive to educate and encourage Southend citizens and businesses to re-cycle their waste, with an ambitious but very achievable aim to rapidly increase re-cycle rates from 45% to 90% by the end of 2024.

21

We will re-introduce permissions to allow barbecues on the beach, but with a set of guidelines that may include all or some of the following: permitted after 6pm; only re-useable BBQs allowed; must be raised above the stones; cold water must be poured over when finished; and disposal on coals in a yellow basket provided when finished.

22

We are against the taxation of older vehicles. We believe in striving for clean air in Southend, but we do not believe in penalising those that can least afford it. 

Health & Well-being

 

"We need to bring back civic pride".

23

We will re-build or refurbish the Southend Cricket Pavilion, rather than the Council’s current plans to demolish it.

24

We will support the continuation of the City of Culture bid, which could bring millions of pounds of investment into the city.  There is a £40K grant, so it will cost nominal amounts to residents, not the £2m that is being said from the council.​

25

We will introduce the ‘Southend Civic Pride Volunteering Partnership’ that would bring together people who wish to bring their talents wherever the need is greatest.

 

We believe that we can do it ourselves, which means serving each other above and beyond the funds of the council. 

 

We want to link those people that are willing to give up their time to help others with those that are in need of that help through a shared skills community website and app.  For example, a student who needs help with maths can put in their request and match with a Southend resident willing to teach them for free.

We would look to re-establish a sense of civic pride by:

 

  • Improving the general environment and the management of street signage, park fences, pavements, litter and debris.​

  • Promoting local history and telling the great stories of local people that could inspire all generations.  We would display our history across the city in celebration of our greatest people through art, architecture, monuments and literature.   

  • We would celebrate our culture with annual festivals and award ceremonies

  • We would bring to the fore aspirational figures such as outstanding nurses, doctors, teachers, police officers, fire fighters, care workers, musicians, sport people, builders, entrepreneurs, volunteers, and architects across the City. 

  • We would pro-actively support, encourage and promote Southend sports teams, such as Southend United, in a way that would foster a greater sense of community for all the People of Southend.

  • Re-introduce school children visiting the Civic Centre, view Southend Council meetings and meet Councillors, and teach them how the political system works so they can take an active interest. 

26

We would significantly increase the number of bike racks across the city where cyclists could feel confident their bikes are safe.

27

We would invest in outdoor gyms in all parks, where suitable to improve health and well-being.

Policing

 

"We need to bring back bobbies on the beat".

28

We will support bringing back ‘bobbies on the beat’, who would walk the same areas and get to know residents by name.

29

We will support a satellite police station in Southend High Street.

30

We will re-ignite the Special Constabulary scheme.  It is a much under-publicised role that allows people to volunteer 16 hours of their time per month, where they are trained and have the same powers as regular Police Officers.    

31

We will re-start the Community Safety scheme where employers can fund select members of their workforce to join the wider police community.

32

We will invest in extra security cameras and police resources in known crime hotspots for anti-social behaviour, including, but not limited to: Southend High Street, Warrior Square, Woodgrange Estate, the seafront, Southchurch Park, Shoebury Park and Cluny Square, York Road and Ambleside Drive, with the aim to reduce the crimes.

33

We will ban electric scooters on public pavements. We would also educate and inform residents of the legalities of electric scooters.

34

We will look to re-open youth centres across Southend in order to reduce crime and provide a safe space where young people can occupy their time in an enjoyable and productive way, broaden their education, and gain easy access to mental health services.

35

We would support local employers in becoming qualified in mental health first aid.

Housing

 

"We will end homelessness".

36

 

We would work in partnership with Southend Homeless Action Network (SHAN) to put in place long-term strategies to end homelessness

37

We believe in the development of Queensway, however, we will stop the continuation of the current Queensway development due to the severe financial instability of the developers.  We will then re-start process again.

Transport, Roads, Pavements and Parking

 

"We will end extortionate parking charges".

38

 

For any future plans regarding Queensway, we will be against filling in the road as it will create gridlock and cut off the businesses on Southchurch Road and Sutton Road.

39

We will oppose charging for parking along the entire seafront from 6pm onwards.

40

We would introduce 1-hour free parking, similar to Leigh, around Southend High Street.

41

We are against closing car parks if it results in visitors causing congestion in residential parking nearby.

42

We would oppose the introduction of cashless-only parking meters, and ensure they are all able to take both cash and card.

43

We would launch a review of the cycle lanes on the seafront to enhance their safety.

44

We would support fixing potholes across the City.

45

We would expand parking for motorcycles.

46

We would support speed cameras in identified speeding hotspots in order to prevent accidents before they happen. 

47

We would support speed reductions in certain areas including 20 miles per hour zones – but only if residents from each road have collectively agreed.

48

We are against pavements constantly being dug up by different companies carrying out works, then left looking in a poor state.  Therefore, we would add a clause into the contracts for all companies who wish to work on our pavements to ensure all works are finished to a high quality that does not negatively impact the look of the area.

49

We are against the disruption caused by multiple road closures at the same time due to infrastructure works, and will examine the current planning process with the objective of encouraging better coordination, including work that is carried out during the night.

50

We are against pedestrianising the seafront at any time of the year without approval with the stakeholders that it will impact.

51

We will look at how the shared space along ‘City Beach’ and the High Street can be made safer for both pedestrians and cyclists

"Thank you for taking the time to read our manifesto, and we hope you can put your faith in the us in the 2023 local elections".

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