Borough of Southend-on-Sea
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council
(Civic arms of Southend-on-Sea)
Country United Kingdom Constituent Country England Region East Ceremonial County Essex Unitary Authority Southend Government – Leadership Leader & Cabinet – Governing Body Southend-on-Sea Borough Council – Executive Conservative – MPs David Amess (C)
James Duddridge (C)
Area – Total 41.76 km2 (16.1 sq mi) Population – Total Ranked 107th
– Density 3,959/km2 (10,253.8/sq mi) – Ethnicity 93.6% White
1.4% Mixed Race
Time zone GMT – Summer (DST) British Summer Time (UTC) Twin Cities – Sopot Poland Grid reference TQ883856 ONS code 00KF Website www.southend.gov.uk
Southend-on-Sea ( pronunciation (help·info)) is a unitary authority area, town, and seaside resort in Essex, England. The district has Borough status, and comprises the towns of Chalkwell, Eastwood, Leigh-on-Sea, North Shoebury, Prittlewell, Shoeburyness, Southchurch, Thorpe Bay, and Westcliff-on-Sea. The district is situated within the Thames Gateway on the north side of the Thames estuary 40 miles (64 km) east of central London. It is bordered to the north by Rochford and to the west by Castle Point. It is home to the longest leisure pier in the world, The Southend Pier.
- 1 History
- 2 Governance
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Economy
- 5 Transport
- 6 Education
- 7 Sport
- 8 Entertainment and culture
- 9 Notable people
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Originally the south end of the village of Prittlewell, Southend became a seaside resort during the Georgian era, attracting many tourists in the summer months to its seven miles of beaches and bathing in the sea. Good rail connections and proximity to London mean that much of the economy has been based on tourism, and that Southend has been a dormitory town for city workers ever since. Southend Pier is the world's longest pleasure pier at 1.34 miles (2158m). It has suffered fires and ship collisions, most recently in October 2005, but the basic pier structure has been repaired each time. There has been significant loss of pier-head facilities since the major fire in 1976.
Southend, like many other British sea-side resorts, went into decline as a holiday destination from the 1960s, since flights and hence holidays abroad became more affordable. Since then, much of the town centre has been developed for commerce and retail, and during the 1960s many original structures were lost to redevelopment. However, about 6.4 million tourists still visit Southend per year, generating estimated revenues of £200 million a year. H.M. Revenue & Customs (HMRC), (formerly HM Customs and Excise), are major employers in the town, and the central offices for the collection of VAT are located on Victoria Avenue. The University of Essex, Southend Campus has been developed in order to locally provide further education facilities and to assist in boosting the economy. Southend also has over 80 parks and green spaces and 14 conservation areas.
There are nine railway stations on two lines within the borough which connect it to London.
Local government district
Southend-on-Sea was formed as a municipal borough in 1892 with the functions of local government shared with Essex County Council. In 1913 the borough was enlarged by the former area of Leigh on Sea Urban District. In 1914 the enlarged Southend gained the status of county borough, exempt from county council control and a single-tier of local government. The county borough was enlarged in 1933 by the former area of Shoeburyness Urban District and part of Rochford Rural District.
In 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, Southend became a district of Essex with borough status, however in 1998 it again became the single tier of local government when it became a unitary authority.
Seventeen wards each return three councillors, a total of 51. Councillors serve four years and one third of the council is elected each year, followed by one year without election. Following the last election in 2008 the composition of the council was:
Affiliation Councillors Conservative Party 27 Liberal Democrats 12 Independent 8 Labour Party 4
The council has been controlled by the Conservative Party since they gained control in the 2000 election. Most day to day decisions are by a 10-member executive headed by the council leader.
The town's 'Per Mare Per Ecclesiam' translates into 'By the Sea and By the Church', reflecting Southend's position between the church at Prittlewell and the sea as in the Thames estuary. The town is twinned with the resort of Sopot in Poland, and has been developing three-way associations with Lake Worth, Florida. Sopot has the longest wooden pier in Europe, Southend the longest iron pleasure pier in the world.
Southend Borough Council was criticised as one of the worst financially managed local authorities in England by the Audit Commission report for 2006/7 one of three to gain only one of four stars, the others being Liverpool and the Isles of Scilly. Areas of criticism were the use of consultants and the spending of £3.5 million on taxis during the 2006/7 financial year.
Members of Parliament
Southend is represented by two MPs at Westminster.
Since 2005 the MP for Rochford and Southend East has been James Duddridge (Conservative), who replaced Sir Teddy Taylor. Despite its name the majority of the constituency is in Southend, Rochford makes up only a small part and the majority of Rochford District Council is represented in the Rayleigh constituency. Both Southend seats are considered safe for the Conservative Party.
Southend is the seventh most densely populated area in the United Kingdom outside of the London Boroughs, with 38.8 people per hectare compared to a national average of 3.77. As of mid 2006, 18% of the population was aged under 15, with the same proportion being aged over 65. The proportion of people aged 55-64 was 12%.
The Department for Communities and Local Government's 2010 Indices of Multiple Deprivation  data showed that Southend is one of Essex's most deprived areas. Out of 32,482 Lower Super Output Areas in England, area 014D in the Kursaal ward is 99th, area 015B in Milton ward is 108th, area 010A in Victoria ward is 542nd, and area 009D in Southchurch ward is 995th, as well as an additional 5 areas all within the top 10% most deprived areas in England (with the most deprived area having a rank of 1 and the least deprived a rank of 32,482).  Victoria and Milton wards have the highest percentage of ethnic minority population. Southend has the highest percentage of residents receiving housing benefit (19%) and the third highest percentage of residents receiving council tax benefit in Essex.
Save the Children's research data shows that for 2008/2009, Southend had 4,000 children living in poverty, a rate of 12%, the same as Thurrock, but above the 11% child poverty rate of the rest of Essex. 
This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Southend-on-Sea at current basic prices published (pp. 240–253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.
Year Regional Gross Value Added Agriculture Industry Services 1995 1,373 2 305 1,066 2000 1,821 1 375 1,445 2003 2,083 - 418 1,665
Southend is served by two lines. Running from Southend Victoria north out of the town is the Liverpool Street line, a branch of the Great Eastern Main Line operated by National Express East Anglia. The service operates to London Liverpool Street via Prittlewell, Southend Airport, Rochford, Hockley, Rayleigh, Wickford, Billericay, Shenfield and Stratford.
The London, Tilbury and Southend Railway, the Fenchurch Street line, is operated by c2c and runs from Shoeburyness in the east of the borough, west through Thorpe Bay, Southend East, Southend Central to Fenchurch Street in London via Benfleet and Basildon or Tilbury and Barking. Additionally, two services from Southend Central each weekday evening terminate at Liverpool Street.
Besides its main line railway connections, Southend is also the home of two smaller railways. The Southend Pier Railway provides transport along the length of Southend Pier, whilst the nearby Southend Cliff Railway provides a connection from the promenade to the cliff top above.
Two A-roads connect Southend with London and the rest of the country, the A127 (The Southend Arterial Road), via Basildon and Romford, and the A13, via Tilbury and London Docklands. Both are major routes. However, within the borough, the A13 is a single carriageway local route, whereas the A127 is almost entirely dual carriageway. Both lead to the M25 and eventually London.
Local public transport is by two main bus companies, Arriva Southend (formerly the council-owned Southend Corporation Transport) and First Essex Buses (formerly NBC/Thamesway). Minor companies include Stephensons of Essex, and Regal Busways.
London Southend Airport was developed from the military airfield at Rochford, opened as a civil airport in 1935, and now offers scheduled twice daily flights to Waterford and Galway in Ireland and flights to Jersey on summer Saturdays, corporate and recreational flights, aircraft maintenance and pilot training. A new ATC control tower opened in March 2011 and a new railway station opened 18 July 2011; a new terminal under construction is to be opened alongside the station in late 2011. The runway is shortly to be extended, and a new hotel will be built at the airport. Southend Airport is operated by Stobart Air, a division of the Stobart Group. The airport, and aviation businesses based there, provides a major employment site within the town with more than 1,000 jobs.
In 2004 Southend retained grammar school system and has four such schools: Southend High School for Boys, Southend High School for Girls, Westcliff High School for Boys and Westcliff High School for Girls. Additionally there are two single-sex schools assisted by the Roman Catholic Church: St Bernard's High School for Girls and St Thomas More High School for Boys. Both, while not grammar schools, contain a grammar stream; entrance is by the same exam as grammar schools. The other mainstream secondary schools are mixed-sex comprehensives, including Belfairs High School, Cecil Jones College, Chase High School (formerly Prittlewell High School), Futures Community College (formerly Thorpe Bay High School), Shoeburyness High School and The Eastwood School.
Further and higher education
A number of secondary schools offer further education, but the largest provider is South Essex College, in a new building in the centre of town. Formerly known as South East Essex College, the college changed name in January 2010 following a merger with Thurrock and Basildon College. South Essex College offers 30 degree courses matriculated by the University of Essex, as well as a number of weekend and evening courses. The university's centre in the town is a single building on the High Street. The university has built its own centre in Southend, next to the college building on the site of the Odeon cinema. These buildings form the first two phases of the Southend Campus. Additionally, there is SEEVIC College. The East 15 Acting School, a drama school, has its second campus there.
Southend has two football teams, one of league stature, Southend United, managed by Paul Sturrock. The other, Southend Manor, play in the Essex Senior League. United competed in Football League One (the third highest division of the English football league system) after being relegated after finishing third from bottom of Football League Championship at the end of the 2006–07 season. They now Play in Football League Two having been relegated again after finishing 23rd at the end of the 2009-10 season
There are two rugby clubs with nationwide profile, Southend R.F.C. and Westcliff R.F.C., Southend having the superior men's first team (playing in National League 2 South). Essex County Cricket Club play in Southend one week a season. Previously the festival was at Southchurch Park, but it has moved to Garon Park. The only other cricket is local.
Entertainment and culture
The town is known for its seafront. Southend-on-Sea is home to the world's longest pleasure pier, built in 1830 and stretching some 1.33 miles from shore Since 1986, a diesel-hydraulic railway has run the length of the pier, replacing the electric service which opened in 1890. The pier has been beset by fires; a fire in 1995 destroyed the bowling alley at the start of the pier and another fire in October 2005 damaged the far end of the pier. The pier was also run through by a boat in 1984.
The Kursaal was one of the earliest theme parks, built at the start of the 20th century. It closed in the 1970s and much of the land was developed as housing. The entrance hall, a listed building, is a bowling alley arcade operated by Megabowl and casino. An amusement park, formerly known as Peter Pan's Playground, straddles the pier entrance. Peter Pan's Playground was eventually renamed Adventure Island as its size and popularity grew, and has since grown into a large amusement park with over 50 rides. The seafront also houses the "Sea-Life Adventure" aquarium, owned by the Miller family, who also own Adventure Island.
The cliff gardens, which included Never Never Land and a Victorian bandstand were an attraction until slippage in 2003 made parts of the cliffs unstable, and the bandstand has been removed. The council wants to re-erect the bandstand but a location has to be found.
Art on the Railings is a regular exhibition for local artists who display their work on Pier Hill.
The London to Southend Classic Car run takes place each summer and features classic cars which line the seafront.
The Southend Shakedown, organised by Ace Cafe, is an annual event featuring motorbikes and scooters. There are other scooter runs throughout the year, including the Great London Rideout, which arrives at Southend seafront each year.
On the second and fourth Saturdays of the month, Southend hosts a farmers' market.
There are regular vintage fairs and markets in Southend, held at a variety of locations including the Leigh Community Centre, The Kursaal and The Railway Hotel.
A record fair is frequently held at West Leigh Schools, Ronald Hill Grove, Leigh On Sea.
An airshow, dubbed Festival of the Air in 2009, takes place each May. Starting in 1986 - the first show starred a Concorde flypast whilst on a passenger charter flight - the show is one of Europe's largest free airshows and features high-speed military jets and sports aerobatic displays, which fly over the sea, parallel with the seafront. The RAF Falcons parachute display team and RAF Red Arrows jet aerobatics team are regular visitors to the show.
Each August Southend Carnival opens along the "Golden Mile" with the lighting of the Southend Illuminations.
The Southend-on-Sea Film Festival is an annual event that began in 2009 and is run by The White Bus who are based at TAP, Old Water Works in Southend. Ray Winstone attended the opening night gala in both 2010 and 2011, and has become the Festival Patron.
The films shown are a combination of world cinema, independent cinema, documentaries, children’s films, sing-a-longs, popular classics, and British noir. The Festival usually takes place over 5 days in spring, at the Palace Theatre, Park Inn Palace Hotel, and the Southend Central Museum and Planetarium. Fringe events including musical performances take place at a variety of locations in Southend
Leigh Folk Festival is a three day event each summer in Old Leigh, featuring live music by the sea
Leigh on Sea Fishing Festival is held in Old Leigh and is organised by local fishermen. It provides an opportunity to see the port in action and taste the local catch.
Old Leigh Regatta is a family event with stalls, dancing, local food, music, and water activities.
Art, galleries and museums
The Beecroft Art Gallery on Station Road includes a painting by John Constable.
The Southend Central Museum on Victoria Avenue features original Ekco radios, from, E.K. Cole & Co. Ltd. (or 'Ekco') formerly based in Southend, who in the 1930s were one of Britain's largest radio manufacturers.
Leigh Art Trail began in 1997, and each year local artists display their work at a variety of locations through Leigh Broadway and in Old Leigh
Westcliff Art Trail began in 2008 and follows a similar format to the Leigh Art Trail, with local artists showcasing their work in Westcliff shops, cafes and bars.
There are three theatres. The Cliffs Pavilion is a large building to host concerts and performances on ice. The most recent theatre is the New Empire Theatre. It is, unlike the other two, privately owned. It is used more by amateur groups. The theatre was converted from the ABC Cinema, which was originally a theatre built in 1896. The New Empire theatre closed in 2009. The Edwardian Palace Theatre is a grade II building built in 1912. It shows plays from professional troupes and repertory groups, as well as comedy acts. The theatre has two circles and the steepest rake in Britain. Part of the theatre was a smaller venue called The Dixon Studio.
Junk club which was held at The Royal Hotel and The Sunrooms, spearheaded what became known as the Southend Scene. Junk was regularly featured in the NME, Rolling Stone and Vogue. Bands associated with the scene included The Horrors, These New Puritans, The Violets, Errorplains and Neils Children. Southend has two major venues; Chinnerys and the Cliffs Pavilion both have hosted appearances from a large number of artistes. The Sunrooms is a smaller venue which opened in 1991, specialising in reggae, funk, electronica and underground dance music. The Railway Hotel is a live music pub, which features a variety of acts, as well as curating the Southend Pier Festival.
On the 28 March 2008, Southend got its own radio station for the first time which is also shared with Chelmsford Radio formerly known as Dream 107.7 FM and Chelmer FM before that, Southend Radio started broadcasting on 105.1FM from purpose built studios adjacent to the Adventure Island theme park.
Places of worship
There are numerous churches around the borough catering to different Christian denominations. There are also two synagogues, one for orthodox Jews, in Westcliff, and a reform synagogue in Chalkwell. Three mosques provide for Muslim population; one run by the Bangladeshi community, where sermon is given in Bangla as well as English and the mandatory Arabic. The others, both run by the Pakistani community, provide sermons in Urdu and Arabic, and English and Arabic.
York Road Market
Demolition of the historic market began on 23 April 2010 despite the attempts of locals to have the building renovated. The location is now home to a car park. A temporary market is held there every Friday.
- James Bourne, singer/guitarist in Son of Dork and previously in Busted
- Kevin Bowyer, concert organist
- Gary Brooker, lead singer of Procol Harum
- Dave Brown, comedian and actor, The Mighty Boosh
- Dean Chalkley, photographer
- Emma Chambers, actress
- Jeannie Clark, former professional wrestling manager
- Brian Cleeve, author and broadcaster
- Jonathan Clements, author
- Phil Cornwell, actor and impressionist
- Snowboy aka Mark Cotgrove, DJ and Latin percussionist
- Tina Cousins, singer
- Gemma Craven, actress
- Matthew Cutler, ballroom dancer
- Danielle Dax, musician, actress and performance artist
- Warwick Deeping, author
- Sam Duckworth, musician, AKA Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.
- Warren Ellis, comic book writer
- Nathalie Emmanuel, actress, Hollyoaks
- Lee Evans, comedian
- Mark Foster, swimmer
- John Fowles, author
- Chris Gentry, guitarist of Menswear, successful music manager and ex model
- Benjamin Grosvenor, musician
- Mike Guy, footballer
- Roy Hay, musician, Culture Club
- Joshua Hayward, guitarist for The Horrors
- John Heald, cruise director for Carnival Cruise Lines
- John Hutton, politician
- Daniel Jones, musician, producer and former member of Savage Garden
- Phill Jupitus, comedian
- Mickey Jupp, musician
- Russell Kane, comedian
- Dominic Littlewood, TV presenter, most notably To Buy or Not to Buy
- John Lloyd, tennis player
- Robert Lloyd, opera singer
- Ron Martin (businessman), Southend United chairman, 1998–present
- Lee Mead, musical theatre actor
- Helen Mirren, actress
- Tris Vonna Michell, artist
- Dicky Moore, singer/songwriter, guitarist in Scritti Politti
- Bob Parr (producer), multi Emmy Award-winning television producer
- Annabel Port, broadcaster
- Spencer Prior, footballer
- Lara Pulver, actress
- Rachel Riley, Countdown co-presenter
- Joy Sarney, singer
- Simon Schama, historian / TV presenter
- Jake Shillingford, singer/songwriter, My Life Story
- Keith Taylor, politician
- Peter Taylor, football manager
- Theoretical Girl, singer/songwriter
- Kara Tointon, actress, EastEnders
- Hannah Tointon, actress
- Robin Trower, rock-blues guitarist
- Rhys 'Spider' Webb, bassist of The Horrors
- ^ Lead View Table
- ^ a b David Else, ed (2009). England. Lonely Planet travel guide (5th ed.). Lonely Planet. p. 445. ISBN 1741045908.
- ^ "Fire burns through Southend Pier". CBBC Newsround. 10 October 2005. http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/newsid_4320000/newsid_4326300/4326378.stm. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- ^ James Bettley (2007). Nikolaus Pevsner. ed. Essex. Pevsner Architectural Guides: The Buildings of England. Yale University Press. pp. 690–691. ISBN 0300116144.
- ^ "Local Election Results 2008". Southend-on-Sea Borough Council. http://www.southend.gov.uk/election/2008/. Retrieved 2010-04-09. [dead link]
- ^ Laura Smith (January 30, 2008). "Echo News - Official: Council is wasting our cash". http://www.echo-news.co.uk/search/2003572.Official__Council_is_wasting_our_cash/. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
- ^ Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
- ^ includes hunting and forestry
- ^ includes energy and construction
- ^ includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
- ^ Gazette-news.co.uk
- ^ John Robert Day, John Reed (2005). The story of London's underground (9 ed.). Capital Transport. pp. 66. ISBN 9791854142893.
- ^ "Southend Cliff Railway". The Heritage Trail. http://www.theheritagetrail.co.uk/cliff_trams/southend_cliff_railway.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-15.
- ^ Southend.ac.uk
- ^ Sarfend.co.uk
- ^ Essex.ac.uk
- ^ SAC Official Club Website
- ^ Southend Pleasure Pier.
- ^ Echo-news report on the Southend Shakedown
- ^ Essex Farmers Markets
- ^ Airshow website Retrieved 2 June 2009}
- ^ 
- ^ 
- ^ 'The beach boys', Guardian Unlimited Arts article on the scene
- ^ Sarfend.co.uk's page on Radio in Southend
- ^ Echo-news.co.uk
- Southend Borough Council
- Culturebox, Southend Council's culture pages
- Southend Kursaal Photos
- Southend Punk Music 1976-1986 Archive
- Southend on Sea Music Venues
Ceremonial county of Essex Unitary authorities
Boroughs or districts Major settlements
- Buckhurst Hill
- Canvey Island
- Chipping Ongar
- Great Dunmow
- Langdon Hills
- Saffron Walden
- South Benfleet
- South Woodham Ferrers
- Waltham Abbey
- West Mersea
- West Thurrock
See also: List of civil parishes in Essex
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