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Leigh News. Political Viewpoint by Coun Tony Cox, Leader of Southend City Council

Leigh News. Political Viewpoint by Coun Tony Cox, Leader of Southend City Council

Political Viewpoint by Coun Tony Cox, Leader of Southend City Council

Political Viewpoint by Coun Tony Cox, Leader of Southend City Council

I AM honoured to be the new leader of Southend-on-Sea City Council and I am very much looking forward to serving the people of Southend-on-Sea, and taking forward our ideas and manifesto from the recent local elections.

I would like to thank everyone who voted on Thursday May 4. Every vote counts, so thank you for exercising your democratic right and having your say on the political landscape of our City.

Following the election, the Conservative Party gained two seats, and now have 22 elected councillors out of 51.

Although this is short of the 26 required for one party to have a majority, we have formed what is called a minority administration.

As Leader of the largest group on the council, I felt that I and my group can best offer the stability that the council needs and that is why at Appointments Council last week, I put myself forward to become Leader of the Council and form a cabinet.

Every councillor wants the best for our new City, and I can promise that the new administration is determined and committed to working hard to ensure that we do the very best we can for residents, businesses and visitors.

In addition to the responsibilities of Leader, I will also be cabinet member responsible for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), as it is a topic I care about wholeheartedly.

It has been a whirlwind week since I was elected as leader of the council last week with a host of meetings, briefings, and work to be done.

In the last week, my cabinet colleagues and I have had two very productive meetings where we have been able to set our priorities, so we can work together to deliver for our residents, businesses, and visitors.

Full details of our immediate priorities will be published in our first Cabinet later this month but these will include, keeping the Jazz Centre UK in the Beecroft Gallery, removing the 6pm-9pm parking charges along our seafront in time for the school holidays and reversing the decision to charge for car parking at Belfairs, Chalwell and Priory parks.

During the course of this year we will also have to take key decisions such as a new waste contract, as we can-not keep paying £800,000 a year due to not having a contractor in place.

We have reiterated our commitment to Officers of retaining a weekly black sack collection service. Work is also underway to reduce the eyewatering spending on agency and consultancy staff under the previous Administration.

Finally, on a lighter note, my colleagues and I have been delighted to see the arrival of El Galeon at the end of Southend Pier.

I am certainly hoping to visit this floating museum during half-term with the family, as it is now here until Sunday June 4.

Have a great bank holiday weekend and lets hope the sun shines.

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