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Carole Mulroney calls on Southend's Tory MPs & councillors to do the right thing for the Borough

June 28, 2021 5:24 PM
By Carole Mulroney, Liberal Democrat councillor for Leigh & Southend-on-Sea Borough Council Cabinet Member for Environment, Culture, Tourism & Planning

Carole MulroneyCarole has sent this letter to the Southend Echo:

Dear Sir,

The Southend Borough Local Plan & housing

Does no one see the irony of a Conservative opposition opposing a Conservative policy? Southend Tory councillors are putting up a smoke screen around the issue of housing and the local plan. Great that they want to support the Green Belt - well so do we. BUT, and it's a big BUT, the Tory Minister doesn't care - sound familiar?

Here are some simple facts:

  • The Government has stipulated that Southend needs 23,500 new homes in the near future.
  • The land that everyone is up in arms about is green belt.
  • The option was included in a Southend Tory consultation as an option in 2019, because even then they knew Southend could not provide the number needed within the urban area.

Why didn't they take a stand at that time? They were urged to by me and others. They stayed silent.

The difference now is the Administration is not staying silent, even though we are under a duty to consult on every possible option. We will do our duty under the law AND to our residents by protesting the figures and the need.

I would also like to remind everyone that outside of the green belt issue there is a significant amount of intensification already factored into the figures and there is a limit to how tall/dense we should be for the health and wellbeing of our residents.

Now more than ever for the people of Southend, planning is important (not just for housing - the local plan is much more than that). That is why the Cabinet is calling on our MPs to stand up for Southend in a way that really matters to all their constituents.

To the Southend Tory councillors I say, you should be supporting us on this not playing your usual destructive games. For once put away childish things and step up to the plate, think for yourselves, not through your leader.

All councillors, MPs and the Minister need to do the right thing for Southend Borough.

Carole Mulroney

Cabinet Member for Environment, Culture, Tourism and Planning