Southend Standard Column

I can’t believe that we are fast approaching the end of 2011 and the festive season is now upon us. In addition to the Parliamentary commitments and constituency events I have been to some festive events, I am looking forward to attending a few more before the end of the year. The lights look great in Rochford and Southend High Street. I also enjoyed the fireworks after the High Street light switch on to which Katy, I and all three kids went to.

I recently officially opened Forget Me Not Day centre in Rochford, a new day centre for young adults with learning difficulties and disabilities, teaching them social and life skills. The day centre aims to maximise the service users potential and enhance their quality of life through activities and learning. They also aim to encourage social inclusion using community facilities and develop life skills and practical living skills. Organisations like these provide an invaluable service to members of our community. I wish Forget me not every success over the coming months.

Just in case you thought MP’s only went on exotic fact finding trips I have also visited the Stambridge Sewage Treatment works site to discuss some important issues that were raised with me recently. Although the site is not within my constituency, there have been issues with the site relating to odour control which has resulted in very strong odours for the neighbouring residents. This was the first time I have visited a sewage plant and was a really interesting visit as this sewage plant services both waste for residents within Southend and Rochford. Smelly but interesting!

This month has also seen the Rochford and Southend East Conservative Association host their Annual Dinner Dance. The event was very well attended and Simon Burns MP, Minister of State for Health was the guest speaker. Simon addressed the guests and also answered question on many topics including the obvious Health and Social Care Bill. It was good to see a large number of people from the hospital to quiz him.