Southend Standard Column

What a fantastic week this has been for Southend. Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has been judged the best council in Britain and was awarded Council of the Year 2012 at the Local Government Chronicle Awards.

The judges said ""The winning Council has shown sustained progress over a number of years, passing clear milestones. It has gone beyond basic service provision, adding significant value and demonstrating visible impact for the community. Success has been driven by brave political leadership and strong managerial leadership. Results are underpinned by a strong vision, which is shared by staff and members.”

I couldn’t agree more with the comments made by the judges. This award is a tribute to the work of everyone involved. Despite the economic challenges Southend faced they have continued to go above and beyond service delivery, completed four large investment schemes across the borough and strived to make Southend a fantastic place to live, work and visit.

I am delighted to live in Southend and also honoured to represent the residents of Southend in Parliament. I am proud to say that I have been elected to represent Rochford and Southend East and when other organisations acknowledge the fantastic work carried out for us in Southend it reinforces just how proud we should be.

I don’t think I can write the column without touching on the unsuccessful bid of Southend to be awarded City Status. I am of course very disappointed that Southend was not successful. I felt that Southend submitted a strong bid and had a real chance of securing this prestigious civic honour. However, despite us not being successful, I feel that completing the bid process enabled community groups, businesses, politicians and residents to all pull together and realise just how fantastic Southend is and what we have to offer. Southend is a fantastic place to work and live and of course to visit. City status or not. The Local Government Chronicle Awards have confirmed that!