Apologies were received from Doug Copping, Geraldine Scraggs, Tony Offord and Elise Jempson.
There were 17 people in attendance: Peter Walker, Michael Downer, Denis Walker, Jon Fuller, Alec Bunn, Martin Fuller, Beryl Butcher, Jacki Hemmings, David Hemmings, Sheena Walker, M Qidwai, Sam Scraggs and five others.
The Chairman's Report was accepted.
There was then a discussion of the report with three main points emerging:
The Treasurer's Report was accepted.
Members agreed further campaign expenditure of £100 unanimously.
It was suggested that we should pursue a line with the Council that they don't need to continue pushing for the road scheme - it was their predecessors in the Conservative administration that came up with the proposals, not them.
Jon Fuller took the chair during the election of the Chairman. There was unanimous support for Peter Walker to retain the post.
Peter Walker resumed the chair and all other existing committee members were voted back in unanimously to retain their existing posts. Sheena Walker was unanimously voted in as a new ex-officio committee member, so the committee is now as follows:
Jon Fuller raised the issue of the campaign's direction. The local authority's attitude is "business as usual" - continuing to build houses to the east of the town, a continued increase in car use in the borough, etc. They are not looking at other options. For example, they intend to demolish Warrior Square swimming pool and build a new one at the edge of the town, meaning more car use. We need to object to Renaissance Southend's consultation. We should send out a newsletter and update the website giving members the opportunity to respond to the consultation.
Alec Bunn made the point that the bus service in the borough is inadequate as there is no decent bus station, despite it having been in the Local Transport Plan. £3m of the £5m allocated for the bus station was used instead for the London Road project and an "interim" bus station was built instead.
Alec Bunn pointed out that we need to find out what the timetable is for the road scheme and what the next steps are.
It was suggested that the society makes an appeal for funds as we have just over £500 left which is the amount we spent last year. This can be made an item in the post-AGM newsletter.
In relation to the bus service, Martin Fuller mentioned a scheme run in other countries called "service taxis" which is half-way between normal taxis and a bus service. A large number of vehicles with a passenger capacity of ~10 run regular routes, the passengers pay a fixed rate for journeys of any length and can hail or request a drop-off at any point along the route. This would be ideal for Southend with its very linear east-west layout.
The meeting closed at 9:10pm.