Future ambition for Southend-on-Sea approved
An exciting ambition for the future of the Borough has been approved by Full Council.
The resident and stakeholder led ambition document follows the ‘Southend 2050 – be part of the conversation’ engagement programme that started in spring 2018 and saw over 35,000 people reached through the work, with 4,000 people actively taking part and 55 events taking place.
The work identified the sort of place residents and stakeholders want Southend-on-Sea to be, and the work needed now and over the next five years (to 2023) to help make that happen. The ‘roadmap’ also identifies key milestones and projects that will be delivered up to 2023, including campaigning for a road to the east, to extend the Crossrail line to Southend-on-Sea and for a further river crossing east of the Lower Thames crossing.
Other milestones include the first tenant moving into Airport Business Park Southend by 2020, the start of the Better Queensway regeneration scheme in the same year, the opening of the new Pier pavilion in 2021, and the completion of Airport Business Park Southend by 2023.
The five-year roadmap will replace the council’s previous corporate plan process, and will be supported by strategic delivery plans based on five key theme areas. These are:
· Pride and Joy
· Safe and Well
· Active and Involved
· Opportunity and Prosperity
· Connected and Smart
Draft strategic delivery plans will be considered by the council’s cabinet in January 2019.
Cllr John Lamb, Leader of the Council, says: “I am very pleased that this exciting plan for the future of our Borough has been approved. It is truly a resident and stakeholder led piece of work, and I want to thank each and every person who has been involved.
“Our ambition for the Borough and our draft five-year plan has come directly from what local people, businesses and stakeholders have told us they want.
“I want to be clear that this isn’t just about the year 2050, but it is about planning for the future whilst also dealing with the challenges and issues we face today, tomorrow and over the next five years. Planning ahead and having an ambition is an essential part of any successful business or place.
“Our draft ambition and five-year roadmap has emerged from detailed engagement with a cross section of the community and helped us to identify what we want to achieve as a place, and how we deliver that collectively with our public sector partners, local residents and businesses. It has told us clearly what is important to local people and it is already helping us to deal with the here and now too.
“We must now get on and deliver our ambition in partnership with local people, businesses and other stakeholders.”
Cllr James Courtenay, Deputy Leader of the Council, says: “Our draft five year plan for the Borough demonstrates a clear ambition and clear direction of what we want to do and what we want to achieve as a council and also as a place.
“We know that Southend-on-Sea and south Essex as a whole is going to grow in the future, and we are working with council across south Essex on that. It will bring numerous economic and social benefits to the area. However, we are also adamant that this must be infrastructure led and that is why we are planning to campaign for a road to the east and aim to secure funding for it by 2023, call for Crossrail to be extended to Southend-on-Sea and also help make the case for a further river crossing to the east of the proposed Lower Thames Crossing.”
The 2050 ambition and roadmap can be read here.