What have I been up to? I haven’t been as active in the ward as I
would have liked in the last week or so, but does that mean I haven’t been
protecting the interests of Blenheim Park residents? NO IT DOES NOT.

I have tonight been at the Culture and Community Services Scrutiny
Committee – here I was discussing matters that directly affect 15 of Blenheim’s
most vulnerable and needy residents – those who use the Avro and Viking Centres
rights are protected. I quizzed both the portfolio holder and the Corporate Director
on what the proposed trial would actually mean. I will freely admit that this
matter is not my forte, however some of the reports I had heard concerned me
greatly. However confirmation was given that neither centre will be being shut,
nor will any change in the services that they provide be adversely affected
during the 18 month trial. Indeed users of both of centres, the Avro
especially, will have the option of choosing trying out different options, with
a “hub” and “spoke” – basically meaning that services will
be offered to them closer at home and in a more personalised way.

Then there was the discussion on the two swimming clubs that went
on for a long time – I raised my concerns that both clubs weren’t having equal opportunities
to put their side of the story across – something that I still support for a
matter of fairness, regardless of some of the very questionable things that
were in the second document handed around!

Last night I discussed matters such as the low number of new young
people getting involved in crime as well as expressing my concern with the Independent
Party Councillors who were trying to tear up well thought through and balanced
budgets by saying that the council couldn’t have the money for building a new
school after it was committed by selling the old school building!

Oh to be like Paul Van Looy and only have to worry about chatting
to Ward residents – oh but I did that too on Saturday, where I discussed issues
such as the airport, council performance and treasury management(!) with
concerned residents.

Last week I attended the meeting of Active Southend, and I commend
the below to all older residents – if you are over 55 come along and try out
the council’s – your – facilities:


About jamescourtenay

Local Southend resident, since before I can remember. I am hoping to represent the residents of Blenheim Park Ward after the May 2011 Local Elections. Straight Talking? - Yes. Approachable? - Yes. Accountable? - Yes. See my blog to find out how!
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