The Southend Conservatives have revealed their budget amendments as part of their plan to Get the High Street Sorted and Unleash Southends potential. This comes following their recent announcement that they seek the introduction of 2 hour free parking in the Town Centre, a policy recently supported by the Southend BID.
The budget amendments include:
- Erecting a TV screen in the Victoria Circus at the top of the High Street
- Building an amphitheatre in the Victoria Circus at the top end of the High Street
- Compulsory Purchase of empty properties to enable start-up business scheme
- Re-pave the high street
- 2 hours free parking on the roads of the high street where there are currently needless double yellow lines
- Free parking London Road North, Pittmans Court and Short Street car parks all day every day from 1st Nov - 28th/29th Feb.
Cllr Meg Davidson, Deputy Leader of the Southend Conservatives said,
"The Labour led Coalition’s attitude towards the High Street is a metaphor for their time in administration: skirt around the edges of the problem rather than tackle the crux of the matter. Whilst the Labour led coalition spends money secured by the Conservatives during our time in administration on projects on the outskirts of the High Street, there is very little being done for the High Street itself.
"However, if the Council’s coalition administration refuses to Get the High Street Sorted then the Conservatives will, starting with these amendments. Our proposals are designed both to bring more people into the High Street and to support the evolution of the High Street by encouraging smaller, more bespoke businesses into our Town Centre.
"We're doing this, because we know that if we are ever to Unleash Southend's Potential we must Get the High Street Sorted so it is the vibrant place to live, work and visit."
One of the key focuses of the Conservatives budget proposals is to increase the number of events that happen along the high street.
Cllr Derek Jarvis, Shadow Cabinet Member of Culture, Tourism and Business said,
"We need to get more people to come to the High Street. The reality is that people don't want to do their retail shopping along traditional High Streets. So we must start luring people into our town centre for other reasons.
"This is why we are determined to build an amphitheatre and erect a large TV at the top of the high street. The idea is to be able to host events in the amphitheatre such as open air theatre, celebrations, festivals and to start showing major television events such as sporting world cups or even Royal events.
"It is a deep shame that this Council under this Labour led administration could not find it in themselves to prepare an event so people across the borough could watch England's women and men play in the international competitions that we have been so successful in recently. This could have brought the community together and brought an injection of cash into the high street.
"Unleashing Southend's Potential means bringing Southend's wonderfully diverse community together and their is no better opportunity to do this than our High Street. Lets Get the High Street Sorted so it can be a place everyone can enjoy, all year round."