POLITICAL Viewpoint by Carole Mulroney Liberal Democrat councillor for Leigh Ward.
It’s the silly season – local elections. You’ll get bombarded with leaflets of course, but the Lib Dem Focus comes out throughout the year, our newsletter for Leigh – to keep you informed and involved but not preached at.
I use social media to keep my finger on the sometimes ’quirky’ pulse of Leigh. I use it to be informative, not political, help where I can and impart the history of Leigh and why it’s such a special place. Leigh has its issues – but not as social media hype would have you believe.
It is a microcosm of life, not the mainstream. There are many who live, work and play here and just love the town, as we do.
But we answer the disaffected as well as the supporters of our town. You are all its residents. So as May 4 looms, think about Leigh as the home you love and live in and what together we can do to make a great place even better.
There are many issues and we have to look to the future during a present that is so uncertain. There are three main issues in Leigh that upset people: Planning – I understand the vicissitudes of the planning system more than most – it is in many ways not fit for purpose.
There is too much development in Leigh, the infrastructure is creaking and the land is in short supply, so the only way is up.
NO government has ever tackled it properly. All the while we ignore those in need and pander to those that want (more) it will never be better – we should build for our residents not for some Government unattainable formula. But we have to work within the system we’ve got, for now. Parking and highways/pavements – we cannot fit all the cars in Leigh, into Leigh – it’s a plain fact – so we have to compromise.
To stay vital and vibrant Leigh welcomes visitors and shoppers, so it’s a balance between residential and business parking. Our recent survey in Leigh ward got a very small response despite its apparent importance to everyone. So we battle on to find individual solutions.
The environment – I have spent the last 4 years trying to get a message across that some just don’t want to hear. So I am saying it loud and clear now… UNDER MY TENURE WE HAVE PLANTED MORE TREES THAN ANY OTHER ADMINISTRATION AND WE DO NOT FELL TREES FOR THE HELL OF IT, but the environment is more than trees (can someone tell the Greens).
We are dealing with grassland and rewilding (Tories hate it), cliff slippage, coastal erosion, challenging (as the Lib Dems do nationally) on sewage discharges, mitigating heat stress, greening Southend City and still dealing with a cost of living crisis few of us have experienced before. Our council tax doesn’t even touch the sides, and despite the Tory hype we are not financially mismanaged.
So, in Leigh I am going to offer you two candidates who will work with me and Peter Wexham and our Lib Dem colleagues in Eastwood Park, for those aims. In Leigh ward, Syrie Cox, who has lived in Leigh Hill for many years and is CEO of the local branch of a national charity.
I worked with Syrie on Leigh Town Council when we were taking over the community centre. She is dedicated, determined, caring, knowledgeable and articulate – she will speak for Leigh with a loud voice. In West Leigh ward, Stephen Cummins is well known locally and is often seen along the seafront with his dogs.
He’s a real people person, communicator and social commentator with years of experience as a magistrate. He will be a champion for West Leigh, which has been so much of a better ward with a Lib Dem councillor in recent years. So lets send a message to the Tories locally – if we can’t do it nationally at the moment.
I can promise you that the Lib Dems will listen, act, be honest and support you. I would not be part of a team that did not have that as its principles. We have worked for 4 years in a Joint Administration, as the voice of calm and reason, where more trees have been planted, more roads and pavements resurfaced and with a much tighter focus on people not Party, more social housing built – let’s not drop the baton now Vote Syrie Cox (Leigh) and Stephen Cummins (West Leigh) on May 4, and lets make Leigh even better.
Please take a look at our manifesto at Southend Liberal Democrats | PDF to Flipbook (heyzine.com)
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