For Immediate Release

Coalition Left Red Faced after Committee Defeat

The new Labour Led  backed Coalition that took control of the Council from the Southend Conservatives 'to bring stability to the Council', have been left red faced after losing a key vote during their first Scrutiny meeting as an administration.

During Place Scrutiny Committee the administration's decision to reject proposals to bring back the 1-hour parking band were sent back for a rethink. This later led to the Labour Leader of the Council, Cllr Ian Gilbert, being forced to also refer the administration's decision to reject proposals for two hour free parking along the High Street, after it became clear that he would suffer a seond defeat in a row.

Cllr Tony Cox, Leader of the Opposition said,

"Today has been a victory for common sense over party political posturing. Since the election the Southend Conservatives have fully supported the proposals that were offered through two petitions giving to the Council by the Save Southend High Street Group.

"They made perfect sense, making parking more affordable for day trippers and residents alike, bringing more people into our High Street, helping the businesses, and as such bring new life into our town centre, at minimal cost to the taxpayer.

"I can only assume that the Southend Conservatives support for it led to the administration to reject these proposals simply to play party politics. However, I am pleased that the members of the Place Scrutiny Committee saw the common sense that lay within these proposals and have told the administration to rethink their approach to parking in our town."

Other items discussed by the committee included the £1/4 million proposed borrowing to pay for lights where it transpired that Cllr Woodley, the portfolio holder responsible, was not aware the money was being borrowed and had not yet read the policy paper. As a result the decision has been referred to Full Council for further scrutiny.