Date: June 2020
No doubt we are all pretty bored with the virus saga; I’ve got analysis paralysis with all those stats! I’m sure we all have our own personal views on the rights and wrongs, but when it’s all said and done the buck will stop with Boris.
All I worry about, and have a vested interest in, is Southends future prosperity. We need a plan going forward, nothing too complicated - one that folks can get behind. We need it now and it needs to be all about creating customers for business, as without business creating the wealth there will be no money for public services including the NHS.
Businesses are on their knees desperately clawing for survival, and directly connected are the livelihoods of thousands of Southends workers, whose jobs are in real danger of being lost forever. Make no mistake this is serious and the stakes are high.
We need every single penny to enable us to get back to employing people and reinvesting in our businesses, helping provide the wealth that keeps the country running. Governments and councils can’t do that, it is not in their remit - they just spend it. They are, however, the key enablers.
As always I’m full of great ideas, ones I know will attract visitors to Southend for the benefit of all - not just me! Trouble is I’m not in charge, and though I wish I was - even for a few months - that will never be.
So the way forward is for myself and a few others like me who are business savvy in the art of attracting visitors, to sit down with the bosses of all political parties, top civil servants and MPs, and thrash out a way forward.
In simple terms I will chair it; the entrepreneurs come up with the ideas; the councillors agree them; the MPs grab any government help they can and the officers get it done - what could possibly go wrong!
Joking aside, there are real skills and talents at the much maligned council, it’s just a matter of getting everybody’s noses pointing in the same direction. It is time to cut the red tape and just get on with it.
Even before the bug Southend seafront and high street were in decline. In a way some good might come out of this nightmare if just for once we can put personal grievances and politics aside, and all work together for the greater good.
We have all been as bad as each other with personalities getting in the way of progress, but now is the time to bury the hatchet and put the past behind us. We must make friends, not enemies! The future health of the town is under a bigger threat following the aftermath of the bug, than the bug ever gave us.
I believe it is in Southend's best interest for all the people that are in a position to save the town, to come together with a shared vision to make it happen.