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the.southend.communitynews@gmail.com   - editor David Wilson  07714772707 -   Journalist, melaniejanette@gmail.com     07917730238

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Children and young people who live with special educational needs and disabilities and their families are being encouraged to help Southend-on-Sea Borough Council spread the word about important services.

 The Local Offer is a national requirement designed to put all the information children and young people up to the age of 25 living with special educational needs and disabilities, their parents or carer, might need about relevant help, advice, products and local services.

 Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is in the process of refreshing the Local Offer website pages and would like input from any individual or local business which has an interest.

 Cllr Anne Jones, cabinet member for children and learning, said: “We really want the involvement of the people who will be using these pages to access information. The Local Offer was introduced as a way of the public accessing reliable and relevant information about local services regarding special educational needs and disabilities. But the website is only as good as the information we are provided with.

“I would encourage young people, parents, carers and businesses to become champions for the cause and have an active role in redesigning the new website pages and information, so we can be sure we are providing what is wanted and needed to the residents of Southend.”

If you want to become involved, please email localoffer@southend.gov.uk.

Get involved with the Local Offer

 Mark's portrait of Elsa James, artist and activist, photographed at Firstsite in Colchester, where her ’Black Girl Essex’ residency is currently running. Copyright the artist

Essex photographer Mark Massey is working on a portrait project that challenges the stereotypical portrayal of the 'Essex Girl', and is looking for people from all cultures and backgrounds to participate.

 Each portrait is a collaboration rather than just an interpretation; Mark encourages suggestions on location, themes, pose and dress etc, so that sitters are projected in the way that they would like to be portrayed.

If you identify as an 'Essex Girl' and would like to get involved, contact Mark on markjmassey@gmail.com. More details about the artist's work can be found at markmassey.co.uk

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Photographer seeks 'Essex Girls'

The Leader of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has claimed the council’s new administration will be “unrelenting in its resolve to tackle inequalities in the town”, after a national study into deprivation in England has shown that the Southend borough continues to be home to both the most and least deprived areas the country.

The English Index of Multiple Deprivation, published on Thursday by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, shows that the Borough of Southend includes nine of the 10% most deprived areas of England but also 13 of the least deprived.

 The study measures deprivation by scoring seven “domains of deprivation”- namely income, employment, education, health, crime, barriers to housing and services and living environment.

 Commenting on the latest study, Leader of the council, Cllr Ian Gilbert, said: “This study shows that since the study was last conducted in 2015, the position in Southend has not changed greatly. We continue to have the many of the characteristics of a London Borough, with affluent and deprived areas cheek by jowl. As an administration, we will be unrelenting in our resolve to tackle inequalities in the town.

 “Deprivation can impact on almost every aspect of a person’s life – it can shorten life expectancy, increase your chance of suffering poor health, see you living in substandard accommodation, and reduce your chances of succeeding at education and employment.

“Reducing this divide won’t happen overnight but it as an area where we are determined to make clear headway.

“We are committed to substantially increasing the provision of high quality council homes and affordable housing and already started buying properties across the town to help meet our social housing needs. Indeed, we our acquisition programme is already paying dividends and will see some families moving from temporary accommodation to new homes by Christmas.

“We are continuing to promote opportunity and prosperity by supporting schools and families to raise educational attainment standards. Indeed, GCSE and A-level results continue to be above the national average and showing year-on-year improvements. In addition to this, we are committed to reviewing and improving the use of our children’s centres across the borough.

“And we are ensuring the town remains an attractive destination for major employers through the development of the Airport Business Park, support services for small and start-up businesses and by rolling out a “full fibre” network through our partnership with CityFibre.

“We have recently committed to become a Real Living Wage employer, ensuring all directly employed council staff are paid in accordance with the cost of living today.

 

"We will also be working closer than ever before with our partners in the emergency services and health services to ensure we are helping wherever we can to keep our residents safe and well.”

 

What is the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD)?

 

The Index of Multiple Deprivation, commonly known as the IMD, is the official measure of relative deprivation for small areas in England. It is the most widely used of the Indices of Deprivation. The Index of Multiple Deprivation ranks every small area in England from 1 (most deprived area) to 32,844 (least deprived area).

 

What is the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD)?

 

The Index of Multiple Deprivation, commonly known as the IMD, is the official measure of relative deprivation for small areas in England. It is the most widely used of the Indices of Deprivation. The Index of Multiple Deprivation ranks every small area in England from 1 (most deprived area) to 32,844 (least deprived area).

 

 

Resolution to tackle town’s inequalities