Over the course of the last year, the South East Essex Local Group has continued working on the Big Ask campaign, running a stall in Grays on 10th November to target Labour MP for Thurrock, Andrew MacKinlay, who was our local target MP. We collected 92 postcards on this occasion, the vast majority of which were for Mr MacKinlay and these were posted to him in April. We also took part in the Big Ask Day of Action on 5th April.
A number of SEEFoE members have continued to work on the local anti-road-widening campaign as members of the Priory Park Preservation Society. While Southend Borough Council still intends to go ahead with the road scheme, they have been forced to cut the scheme in half after it was evident that the Department for Transport would not supply the £25m funding for the original scheme. Through the use of Freedom of Information requests, it was discovered that the Council has spent over £2m on planning the road.
SEEFoE has also responded to Urban Regeneration Company, Renaissance Southend’s Master Plan for the borough with our own more sustainable Southend Regeneration Plan. Whereas Renaissance Southend’s plan seeks to expand Southend Airport as a method of creating new jobs in the Borough, our plan focuses on renewable technologies, improving the energy efficiency of the town’s housing stock and improving public transport and cycling facilities. Our plan has been distributed to all Borough Councillors and made front page news in the Yellow Advertiser.
Over the course of the next few months, we intend to pursue the Friends of the Earth Biofuels Summer of Action campaign as a link group in conjunction with the Mid Essex Friends of the Earth local group, who will be a satellite group. We will also run a campaign on one of the numerous issues of concern locally.