Digest- September

Digest- September


September 2021

“I used to demand good looks.  Now all I ask for is a healthy prostate”.  Joan Rivers

In committee

We highlighted the fact of two consultations by SBC.  Caring Well and Aging Well.  On line is the only way of responding so for those who are not copies are available.  We ask you to consider your responses and phone them to Margaret on 01702 295008, Jean or myself.

Another document of interest to all is the Council’s Local Plan.  This is the subject of September’s talk by Claire Victory from the Council.  For those who did not attend copies can be found at the Civic Centre  and all libraries.

The plans for the AGM on 20 October were finalised.  Do be there.  I will be collecting subs for 2021-22 from those who do not use the bank transfer facility.

It seems that this publication is now reaching a wider audience.  We thought that those outside may be interested in joining.  We are always looking for new members.  Call Jean Howes on 01702 341047.

New Lottery

Roll up please.  So far only 18 numbers have been bought.  £9 first prize is only pocket money!

August’s Talk

Was by Penny Poppins who is a Chimney Sweep.

Her dad poured ridicule on the idea but she persisted and started work in December 2013.  It turned out to be physically challenging.  It was ‘on the job’ training.  She spent 2½ months learning from a young man based in Thurrock.  Then another 2½ months with a master sweep.  Nowadays sweeps will do 5-6 chimneys a day on average but 10 is possible. They regard themselves as technicians who will do a very clean job.

She got a lucky break when she was featured in an article in the Echo.  It precipitated calls “off the hook” so she got started.  This was backed up by an interview by BBC Essex so even more publicity. Altho this is a skilled profession it remains unregulated.  Locally it is a close knit community that also enjoys social events.

Surprising news to all was that insurance companies will turn down claims for fire damage if the chimney has not been swept.  With an open fire the recommendation is every quarter but annually will get you by.  After 2022 burning coal will be banned.

There are many traditions associated with sweeps and luck.  Seen at a wedding is good luck.  They are expected to wear top hats.  In East Europe good luck comes after rubbing a sweeps button.  If you see the brush emerging from your chimney it not only means its clean but allows you to make a wish.

The soot is bagged off and collected by Veolia as is your rubbish and consigned to land fill.

Penny encouraged us to book early.  Especially do not leave it until December.  I booked in late August and have to wait until 18 October to be done. 

Booking line:  01702 330432 or 07815 661126


£2 million more has been secured to further the rollout of full fibre broadband in South Essex. So far 129 public sector sites have been connected.  These included GP surgeries and Care Homes.  This new money means that by March 2022 a total of 200km will have been laid.  The geographically this is from Purfleet to Canewdon.

Work to strengthen Southend Pier starts ahead of building work – Some of you may have seen machinery being moved by barge to the end of Southend-on-Sea Pier so supports can be put in place ahead of a new public toilet block being built. The structural support is taking place ahead of building work to install new public toilets to replace the original toilet block destroyed by fire in 2005 and includes an estuary viewing platform on the floor above. Early autumn will see the arrival of the new electric pier trains, replacing the existing diesel trains which have been running since 1986


Free TV licences

Now there is no such thing crunch time is approaching for those who decide not to pay.  You may get an unwanted knock on the door from a collection agent.

Health Watch Southend

Since last month Majzoub has questioned a full council meeting and come away with very little.  Why the Advisory Board resigned remains secret and not enough new members have been recruited to hold public meetings.

Since then he has been asking many questions and involving James Duddridge MP and Cllr James Moyies.  The latter due to his involvement with the Health & Wellbeing Board.  From the numerous emails he has sent me there is positive information from Owen Richards about HWS’s activity since January 2020 but no answer to why the original Advisory Board resigned en masse.

Health & Social Care

For years we have advocated the amalgamation of social care with the NHS so it is free and funded by taxation.  Until very recently government has kicked the can down the road.  The very recent news is national insurance will be increased by 1¼% from next April. This money will go to filling the NHS deficit and solve the Care problem.  We have to wait and see.

The NHS Bill

As reported in your copy of Campaign! 165 the NPC is trying to influence MPs to throw it out.  They along with the BMA consider it will do nothing to solve the NHS crisis.  Accordingly they have produced a template letter for you to send to your MP detailing the 12 reasons why the Bill wil be a disaster.

I have sent it to the email list.  For others copies will be available at the meeting.

A chance for Local Charities

The Echo’s parent company charitable arm has made £20,000 available for charities in this area.  To get it to a charity YOU have to make a nomination.  Either visit www.echo-news.co.uk/readerschoice and fill in the form or write to Readers Choice Cash for Charity Nominations, Unit 1,Brunel Court, Brunel Way, Severalls Industrial Estate, Colchester, CO4 9XP.   There nominate a charity and your reasons for doing so.  Be sure you include name and address.  The closing date is 3 October.

Once the nominations are in the eight most popular will be selected.  After that readers will again bve involved.  For 4 weeks readers will be invited to collect tokens printed in the paper.  These must be sent in and the money will be divided according to tokens received.  This is the same as the supermarkets have been doing for a long time. Collect a token at checkout and pop it in one of the three charities benefiting that month.

Dates for your Diary

Ongoing:  Exhibition on the story of the Thames Barge at Priory Visitor Centre .  Free

Ongoing:  Leigh Farmer’s Market @ Leigh Community Centre, Elm Road.  First Saturday and third Friday morning. 9am to noon.

Ongoing:  Leigh litter picking on the last Sunday.  Strand Wharf, Old Leigh.  8:30am

Every Monday @ 7:30pm.  Ron Spack’s  jazz quartets @ The Oakwood, Rayleigh Road, Eastwood.

Until 19 Sep:  Southend Arts Festival.  Info. Visit-southend.co.uk/whatson/saf

18 Sep:  Jazz Centre reopens at the Beecroft at 2pm.  Tickets £10 available on line from www.thejazzcentreuk.co.uk/events

19 Sep:  Hamet Court Road Festival.  11am to 3pm.  Free.  Various artists and performers.  Not to be missed.

6 Oct:  Fund raising lunch at The Shorehouse, Shoeburyness.  12 noon.  Register with Jean Howes.  Tel 341047

24&25 Sep:  Riverdance @ the Cliffs.  2:30 and   7:30pm.

20 Oct:  AGM.  Balmoral Centre. 2 – 4pm.

© JDS/ September 2021  Tel 01702 472670