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Have a Wild Halloween at Rainham Marshes


Eye of newt and toe of frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog...

The RSPB are holding a wonderful week of wild things at their Rainham Marshes reserve this coming Halloween.

The event, which will run during half-term from Saturday 20 October to Sunday 28th October, will feature spooky trails and provide opportunities to discover hidden wildlife in ponds and across the marshes.

Pond dipping will be available on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 10.30am-12 noon with an RSPB expert when children will be encouraged to investigate what creatures can be found living in our ponds. All equipment will be provided.

Pond dipping is very popular and if you would like to guarantee a time slot call the team at Rainham Marshes on 01708 899851 to book.

The price is £1.50 per child (accompanying adults are free) and all participants are encouraged to dress up in fear-inspiring fancy dress and weird wellies!




An action plan aimed at reducing problems such as aggressive begging, rough sleeping and anti-social behaviour has been launched.

 Following a summit held on Monday 24 September, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council – working in partnership with Southend Police, Southend Business Improvement District (BID) and several other local charities and agencies, has developed an action plan which will address six key areas.

 Additionally, and commencing work on 15 October 2018, six new uniformed Community Safety team officers working across a seven-day week will support the Police and other agencies in reducing antisocial behaviour in the town centre.

 The six objectives of the action plan are:


·         End rough sleeping in the High Street


·         Reduce begging, professional begging and associated anti-social behaviour

·         Improve communications to ensure a consistent approach and enable better understanding of key issues

·         Make the High Street feel safer and attractive to local community and visitors

·         Improve anti-social behaviour enforcement in the High Street

·         Reduce Street drinking and improve interventions for street drinkers


Following the summit, a number of initiatives were swiftly put into place.

·         The recruitment of a six-person Community Safety team for the town centre

·         Improving the street scene in conjunction with businesses by carefully removing any unattended items from privately owned shopfronts, doorways and publicly owned highway. Personal possessions would be stored and made available to collect

·         Increasing the number of outreach visits in order to help rough sleepers, including substance misuse experts

·         Launching a highly visible campaign later this month across central Southend to encourage shoppers to donate to local charity, instead of giving their change to people begging.

·         Developing a strategy to identify and implement enforcement legislation that will help us ensure street drinking is reduced



 New ‘no drinking’ signage commissioned and installed and ensure necessary powers are being implemented


·         Developing a new treatment programme to improve support available to street drinkers.


Cllr James Courtenay, deputy leader of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, said:

“At the summit we agreed as a group to intensify our joint work to support those who are genuinely homeless while adopting a zero-tolerance approach to aggressive begging, street drinking and antisocial behaviour, all of which deter shoppers and visitors and damage the local economy.

 “Local residents and businesses alike are calling out for action and we are listening to them. It has been clear that we need more staff on the high street to support the activity already underway by police offices and BID street rangers. Having uniformed council officers present seven days a week, just three weeks after the summit, shows the emphasis we are placing on addressing the public’s concerns, and the pace at which we’re moving ahead with our action plan.

 “These early actions are just the very step in collectively tackling the issues the High Street faces, and there will be far more to come.”

 Chief Inspector Neil Pudney, Southend’s District Commander said, “The investment in and introduction of these new officers is brilliant news. We already have a strong & vibrant Community Safety Hub with police & partner agencies co-located working together on joint proactive initiatives. That Partnership Team will now become even stronger and I look forward to working closely with this new team to deal with the local issues and concerns that really affect our communities.”

 Dawn Jeakings, Chair and Director of Southend BID, said, “We’re delighted that these initiatives are coming so swiftly into place and that greater resources are being devoted to these issues. We are now moving into a busy period for the High Street and seafront areas, with a number of events such as the firework spectaculars and Christmas Lights Switch-On, bringing more people into the town

·         Develop a community grant to support cultural events in the High Street, and commission more High Street events that encourage footfall into the area

·        Southend. So, the Action Plan and Community Safety team have been created at an ideal and important time for the town centre.”

High Street action plan launched with new Community Safety team in place



Leigh was awash in a sea of pink as traders decorated their shops and office fronts, held raffles and competitions and even bake pink cakes to raise much needed funds for Lady McAdden Breast Screening Trust.

This generous act supports this Essex charity who offer high quality services for the early detection of breast cancer through mammography, examination and education in breast awareness. The Breast Screening Unit, located next to Southend Hospital, also provides advice, support, empathy and information for those concerned about their health.

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Wilma's Bakery Clements Arcade

Scott and Stapleton

Cook shop - The Broadway

Warburtons exceptionally dressed team certificate

Hatton Jewellery

Bustles shop with supporters

Leigh in the pink

Senior councillors have ordered a rethink over plans to build a museum on Southend’s seafront, in the face of rising costs.

  Revised designs for the council’s long-held aspiration for a state-of-the-art regional museum - to be known as The Thames Estuary Experience - were due to conclude by the end of 2018.

  However, an independent technical review of plans by a specialist architecture firm drafted in by the Council, Hawkins Brown, has since confirmed that the existing museum plans would not deliver what was required. Further, a building in that location suitable for housing the significant finds from the Prittlewell Prince and the London Shipwreck would likely cost in the region of £55M, instead of the previous £40m estimate.

  Cllr Lesley Salter, cabinet member for culture, said. “A state-of-the-art visitor attraction of this nature would be an amazing opportunity for Southend. However, the council has been very clear from the outset that any funding would have to be raised by a board of trustees and would not be met by council tax-payers.

  “The £40m was an ambitious task. For this figure to rise to £55m before a single brick has been laid is an unpleasant but necessary wake-up call. It demonstrated to us that we just cannot justify proceeding with this particular plan.

  “Our aspiration to provide a world-class museum in the town, showcasing the Thames Estuary’s rich heritage and contribution to the history of Britain, remains unaltered. But not in this location and not with this price tag.

 “I would like to thank Hawkins Brown for their work on this project, which is helping us to understand our requirements and the likely costs and income generation opportunities.”


Cllr James Courtenay, cabinet member for growth is also enthusiastic by the opportunities that could be showcased in a new museum but believes any future development should support the regeneration of the High Street.


He said: “The proposed site on the cliffs has been around for a while now, but times have changed and so have the town’s priorities.






“Personally, I would like to see the museum form part of the regeneration our High Street, which is going to have to become a lot more mixed-use in future, rather than being so strongly dominated by retail, which is increasingly becoming an online sector.”

  “Diversifying the use of units on the High Street is a key feature of the Council’s Southend Central Area Action Plan, so we already have policy in place that would support increased cultural use of the High Street.

  “We need to be realistic about our current situation and consider the best options for drawing in residents and visitors to parts of the town that are important to local people and to the economy.

  “It is clear that we have a series of compelling stories to tell and anyone who has seen the current London Shipwreck exhibition in Central museum will appreciate the quality of offer that we are capable of delivering.

  “We now need to review our options and come up with a solution that is right for the town, supports its economy and is financially sustainable.”

The London Shipwreck and the Prittlewell Prince finds are two stories of national significance which have the potential to attract visitors from across the country.

 An exhibition on the London Shipwreck is currently open at the Central Museum, whilst a permanent display is also planned there in the spring to coincide with the completion of academic work on the Saxon burial site.

 Displaying these in Central Southend, where we already have public transport and parking facilities, along with other activities nearby, such as the pier and seafront attractions and eateries, could mean that the museum and the High Street help support each other.

 A report will go before Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Cabinet once the current technical assessments, including projected museum income, have been completed.

Rethink over Thames Estuary Museum plans

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