Digest- January 2022

Digest- January 2022


January 2022

Happy New Year

“When it comes to staying young, a mind-lift beats a face-lift any day”

Marty Bucella (cartoonist)


The vote to take over the Southend West consequent to the foul murder of David Amess is on 3 February.  It is a foregone conclusion as to who will win particularly as Labour and Lib-Dems are not fielding candidates.  Nevertheless there are eight other candidates of which five are from little known parties.

There has been some criticism of the Conservative Party choice based on their early pledge to put forward a local candidate.  Oftentimes a councillor is promoted in these circumstances and this may have been in mind.  The choice has been stoutly defended by our Vice-Chairman, Jill Allen-King.  This quotation from her is in the public domain, “Anna’s mother was a very close friend of mine.  With Anna’s knowledge of the area and her mother’s history I am sure Anna will be an excellent MP and I am looking forward to working with her on my various campaigns”.

Other Local news and Activities

Festival shines new light on our new City

A trail of incredible installations is set to light up Southend in 2022 as part of the first ever Southend LuminoCity Festival of Light, bringing four dazzling nights of wonder to the soon-to-be city. Eight fantastic large-scale interactive light installations will pop up at iconic landmarks in and around the town centre and seafront in February, thanks to the Southend Tourism Partnership and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.

The LuminoCity installations have been around the world including New York, Dubai, Lyon, Moscow, Baltimore, Jerusalem, Amsterdam, Romania, Berlin, Denmark, Singapore, to name a few. One of the installations is set for its UK premiere. The free four-night event will give residents and visitors the opportunity to view Southend-on-Sea in a new light.

Dates are 16 to 19  February with guide maps available from the first.

There will be 8 interactive light installations, House of Cards, Wave-Field, Lightbenches, Submergence, Together, Silvana Light Maze, Angels of Freedom and Les Luminéoles.

‘Ambitious and exciting’ capital investment programme to drive Borough into city

£46m new investment proposed for the council’s capital programme over the next five years. Further investment in Southend Pier, refurbishing our coastal defences, upgrading fire safety systems, updating existing council-owned properties and a further £10m investment into the soon-to-be city’s roads and pavements all form part of an additional £46m investment proposed for the council’s capital programme over the next five years (Cabinet item 9, 13 January).

It is proposed to add £10m to the road and pavement improvement budget for 2026/27, building on the £10m per year already planned up to March 2026, bringing the total level of investment to £60m over six years.

Plans also include £335,000 to enhance East Beach car park by widening the existing entrances and exits, install a height barrier and vehicle flow plates. The footway entrance would be improved to include street lighting and improved access for pedestrians and cyclists. The car parking area would be future proofed to ensure that electric vehicle charging can be accommodated. A phase two is also set to follow.

Government Duplicity

The current great debate about alleged parties in 10 Downing Street has displaced the bad news but I’m afraid it’s still there.

Up to recently there was the triple lock which gave pensioners uplifts the best of average earnings, the CPI and 2½%.  Now it has been reduced to the latter two because earnings went up by 8% and that was too much despite enduring the lowest State Pension in the developed world.  In the real world the 3.3% coming in April has already been wiped out by inflation of 5%.  Perhaps the good news is that the present hit of 5% it’s going to be reduced to  1.7%.  That’s not the end of it.  Because the cost of gas has gone thru the roof the Regulator is going to make you follow suit and whop up your gas bill by an average of £700 a year.  Because it’s going to happen in April the warmer time will be starting the impact will be less noticeable for several months.  Come next winter will be the time to sell the family silver.

December talk

Was Bob Howes second bite of the cherry on his ‘Life in Music’. 

As a boy tenor he sang in a church choir.  At  junior school he was taught rhythm by playing percussion instruments such as the triangle and tambourine under the supervision of an ageless Mr Welch.  Also there he learned the recorder.  This obliged him to read music.  At age 10 his mother made him learn violin and clarinet.  Both were hard but he thought the piano is the hardest.  It involves co-ordination of both hands and both feet simultaneously and reading 2 lines of music.  Once in High School the music teacher, Mr Swainson set up an orchestra lead by Alan Girling and also playing violin.  Shortly he was made leader.

In 1971 he saw an advert by a man from Hull called Brian who was aiming to form a jazz band.  He succeeded and they became a six piece called the Georgia Jazz Band playing regularly at the Golden Goblet and the Red Lion in Rochford.  They developed from there getting invitations from many clubs and groups.  This lasted for Bob until 1977 when he was promoted and did not play again.

He advertised Southend as a world centre for Jazz music.  To be heard at Priory Park, the pier and the Beecroft.

‘The Campaign’ Business

We will hold an Extraordinary General Meeting beside the members meeting on 16 February.  There will be two items on the agenda:

  1. To present the audited accounts for the year 2020-21.
  2. To amend the Constitution by adding a paragraph under Item 4 as follows:-

Members of the committee who do not attend three (3) consecutive meetings without offering an apology shall be deemed to have resigned and receive no further business papers.

Use/best by dates

Good news that Morrison’s is to replace “use by” date with “best before”.   I hope this is soon followed by everything else.  These labels are the biggest source of food waste as well as being a gross insult to our intelligence.


Essex County Library would like your views.  Call 0345 6037633.  Closes 21 Jan.

Dates for your Diary

23 Jan:  Wassailing at the Orchard near St Lawrence church, Eastwoodbury Lane (west).  Blessing the apple trees.  Info 01702 213134

2 Feb:  Fundraising lunch at the Beefeater Steakhouse, ,Strawberry Fields, Thanet Grange. (by Tesco Extra).  Reserve with Jean Howes.  Tel 01702 341047.

12 Feb:  Trust Links seed potato day at 34 Rocheway, Rochford, SS4 1DQ.  11 to 2pm.

13 Feb:  Celebration of the life of David Amess at the Cliffs Pavilion.  5pm.  Tickets £25, concessions £15. 

16 Feb:  Members meeting at Balmoral Centre. 2 – 4pm. EGM.  Healthwatch – What’s it for. 

© JDS/ January 2022.  Tel 01702 472670


Email:  bartonpye@aol.com