by Paul Collins on 19 May, 2014
Here are my words and thoughts that I shared at various points during the Hustings;
Good evening and thank you for attending, what is a vital part of our democracy, to take time out to ask your Candidates questions.
I have been very proud to have been your active councillor for the past four years. Before I expand on what I have achieved for Westborough in this time and what I and Peter Hill want to further achieve for Westborough, I would introduce myself to those who do not know me. I moved into Westborough in 1982 and I found myself immediately part of the Westborough Community. Although I now live in Leigh, I made friends back then who are still my good friends today, as well as making new friends now, who I am able to call on for their help.
I joined the Westborough Liberals also in 1982 and when I say I am proud to be your Councillor, I am fully aware of the huge footsteps I am following in, for example Mary Lubel, Ron Price and my dear friend, Jean Sibley (now Jean Howes).
I married a lovely local Westcliff girl, Donna,…. (for which I am contracted to say that, as she is here in the audience) and we have three sons. Our eldest works in the City of London in the Insurance industry, as I do, commuting on c2c railway, Monday to Fridays, as I do. Our middle boy, Ross, has broken the family mould and is the first member of our family to attend University, here on the Southend Campus. Ross is physically disabled and through his experiences, has taught us both the value of family, as well the challenges he faces in life, both physically and bureaucratically. Lastly, our youngest is at secondary School, embarking on his GCSE’s, for which we have our fingers crossed. So having said this, you will not be surprised to hear that I am a School Governor at a local Primary School and I am a voluntary Treasurer of a small national charity and I get involved in fund raising when I can. Lastly, I am a Southend United Fan for too many years and I will be wearing all my lucky clothes, for this Saturday’s play-off match.
To turn to what I have achieved in my four years as a Councillor for Westborough; I have served on the Audit Committee, and was selected and supported by all other Councillors to Chair this important and impartial Committee of the Council
I believe you all have to right to know what I am doing representing you and to that end I have published the regular Westborough Focus and through my website, which I use to report my actions and in turn interact with Residents and occasionally you may have seen what I have done in the local papers Through these medium you will have seen that I have achieved, namely;
- Created 60 new parking spaces by reducing the double yellow lines in the Ward;
- Fought with the Tory administration, who wanted to close the Little Treasures Children Centre, to still be available to local families;
- Actively supported and promoted WCA. The creation of which was started by myself and my, then, two fellow ward Councillors;
- Succeeded in having about 20 new trees planted into Westborough (although I want more)
- Succeeded in getting Bus Shelters put into Fairfax Drive (at the last count three) to encourage more usage of the number 29, which will help with persuading ARRIVA to extend the service hours of that route;
- Continue to fight for the survival of the only Council asset we have in the Ward, namely Westcliff Library. I have been involved with raising awareness, helping with surveying the users and supporting WCA and David Webb, when they presented to the Council Committee about the future of the Branch Libraries. Both I and Cllr Mary Betson stood up and voted against the proposal to turn Westcliff and Southchurch Libraries into Community Libraries. However, we are where we are and I look forward in making sure that Westcliff Library continues and in fact we help to make it grow into a better Community hub for Westborough;
- Lastly, but by no means least, the extension of the 20 mph zone to cover the full length of the Ward, right across to Southbourne Grove, bringing in the last part of Westborough Road and to include St. George’s Park Avenue.
There are lots of issues in the Ward that need attention and this is what I want to achieve if I am fortunate to be re-elected for the next four years;
I want to engage with and persuade our law enforcement to be more effective with tackling the curse of drug crime, which is a blight on Westborough Ward. One way is to continue with installation of the Mobile CCTV cameras at our ‘Hotspots’;
To continue to support SEAL in its task of making the landlords more accountable for their actions or in some cases, inaction;
To make Westborough safer to walk around, by having the pavements resurfaced;
Dealing more effectively with obstructions caused by either badly or illegally parked vehicles;
To carry on the good work undertaken by the former WCA chairman, David Webb, to taking the Council and Cory’s to task over the level of cleanliness in our streets;
Working to reduce fly-tipping and ultimately to stop it;
Last, but no means least, to promote friendliness and understanding among local people and to help us all to work together for improvement of Westborough Ward.