Share this story!

Leigh On Sea News: Westminster Report - BY Southend West MP Anna Firth - Standing up for Southend and Leigh at this year’s party conference.

Leigh On Sea News: Westminster Report – BY Southend West MP Anna Firth – Standing up for Southend and Leigh at this year’s party conference.

Westminster Report - BY Southend West MP Anna Firth - Standing up for Southend and Leigh at this year’s party conference.

BY Southend West MP Anna Firth – Standing up for Southend and Leigh at this year’s party conference.

THE Conservative Party Conference this year provided a wonderful opportunity to stand up for Southend on a national scale, and to highlight the wonderful work we do throughout the local community to keep Southend West safer, healthier and wealthier.

I was delighted to participate in Conservative Environment Network’s ‘Turning the tide on pollution in our seas’ event, hosted with Southern Water.

What followed was an opportunity to participate in a robust discussion on water quality and champion our excellent work in Southend as an international exemplar in water surface management. I was able to give Southern Water a substantial grilling – while they are not Southend’s water company, it was wonderful to be able to amplify the ways in which collaborative partnerships are fundamental as we look to take positive steps to keep our waterways clear.

I was very pleased to highlight the work of local activism groups, such as Southend Against Sewage, Surfers Against Sewage and Bluetits Chill Swimmers, headed by Daniella Boon.

It was particularly useful to discuss the ways in which public morale had been damaged by reports of sewage leaks, despite our water quality being higher than ever before.

Ahead of my third water summit, it was hugely fruitful to gather the energy and opinions of a broader party base, and I look forward to bringing this to the summit when it takes place.

I was also delighted to speak on the Centre for Social Justice’s panel with UNICEF about the ways in which we can best support families through the Cost of Living Crisis. As a member of the Education Select Committee, I am passionate about determining the ways in which we can better support our families to deliver the early-years education that is so vital.

Preparing children for learning – and for life – needs to start during their first 1001 days, and I am proud of the ways in which the Government, through its universal offer of 15 hours’ free early education, has helped more than 1 million children become school-ready.

In addition to the highly welcome news about Southend United recently being saved from liquidation, I was pleased to bring attention to the issues surrounding the club at a panel discussing the White Paper on Football Governance. I was joined by Sports Minister Stuart Andrew, Rakib Ehsan and Kevin Miles, the Chief Executive of the Football Supporters’ Association, and as a result am writing with the Shrimpers Trust to Lucy Frazer, Secretary of State for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to highlight the vital importance of the new Regulator.

Throughout I also identify my hopes for an agreement to ring-fence some monies, at all levels of the sport, to continue to develop grassroots outeach, youth work and apprenticeships. I very much look forward to visiting the Leigh Lionesses next week in this spirit. As these negotiations continue, it is vital that the views of the fans are properly represented.

It was also a fantastic opportunity to promote Southend-originating Emilie’s Law, my first Private Members’ Bill, at the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (CAWF) event I hosted for World Farm Day. Given the recent legislation on XL bullies, as well as recent developments on the Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill led by fellow CAWF Patron Henry Smith, dangerous animals and animal welfare is at the forefront of many of our minds. Emilie’s Law, my bill to criminalise fatal dog-on-dog attacks, is due its second reading next month.

It is a bill inspired by my dear constituent Michael, who lost his beautiful bichon frise Millie in a fatal dog attack, only to find he was powerless to pursue criminal changes before the law, as the Dangerous Dog Attack only – in its current form – protects guide, therapy and assistance dogs from attack.

I was delighted to host an event attended by so many ministers, and put Southend squarely at the forefront of people’s minds, including the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Rebecca Pow, as we continue to discuss what more the Government can do to continue to secure animal rights in this country.

It has been a wonderful Conference. I feel very privileged to have been able to highlight Southend to such a level, and I look forward to bringing the enthusiasm, energy and motivation with which conference was rich to Westminster once recess ends.

Read more.


Contact us. Email: [email protected]


Twitter: @leighonsea_news



about author