This is happening tomorrow (17.2)!


A little reminder from Chay and Dean about the 24th and 25th March

We don’t normally use The Stirrer to promote events like this (we set up The Estuary Alternative to do that). However, as a) this blog gets considerably more traffic and b) these two events on the weekend of 24th/25th March could see a major step forward in promoting positive alternatives in southern Essex, we’re using all the means at our disposal to promote these events. Please feel free to share widely:)

The 24th and 25th of March will see two events on two consecutive days that will offer people / communities some real alternatives to how we live now. Both of these events are exactly the kind of action we want to promote at The Estuary Alternative. There are still slots for stallholders but you need to act sooner rather than later because they’re going fast. If you’re involved in any kind of progressive, alternative, community focused grassroots project in and around Southend, this is where you need to be on the weekend of 24th / 25th March.

DEAN WARD: 07964984667 |
CHAY GODFREE: 07960650341 |

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Save Southend NHS march and rally – it’s happening this weekend!

We’ve put up a fair few posts sourced from the Save Southend NHS Facebook page – – which detail the threats posed to NHS services in the region. If people don’t unite to fight against these threats, cuts in the name of ‘rationalisation’ are inevitable. What will also be inevitable will be the acceleration of the privatisation of the NHS and the beginning of the end of free at the point of use health care.

The march and rally on Saturday has two aims – to make the public aware of the extent of the threats posed to the NHS services we rely on and to build a campaign that will stop those threats. If you’re an activist anywhere in south east / mid Essex, you need to be on this march and rally offering your solidarity. If you’re a member of the public who’s concerned about the future of the NHS, please come along to this event to find out more about the threats and join in the campaign to stop them.

To make sure the message that this march and rally needs the support of everyone in the region who can get along to it, we’re leaving this post at the top of this blog and won’t be posting again until it’s over – that’s how vital we think this event is…

Another community clean up for Vange on Saturday 17th February

Following on from the community clean upon the ¾ estate in Vange on December 2nd: Doing it for ourselves on the ¾ estate in Vange the Vange Hill Community Group (VHCG) and Basildon & Southend Housing Action (BASHA) have called another one for Saturday 17th February.

VHCG and BASHA are wondering if Basildon Council get wind of this clean up, whether they’ll put in extra effort on cleaning the estate of uncollected rubbish bags like they did before the last one back in December:) Fine – that leaves VHCH and BASHA more time to concentrate on the trimming and gardening side of things which will help with building a sense of pride in the neighbourhood…

As before, BASHA are facilitating this community clean up. The overall aim is to empower people on the ¾ estate to take an active role in making their estate a better place to live. Part of that is the physical work necessary to tidy the place up and put in some planting that will brighten things up come the spring and summer.

Obviously VHCG and BASHA are not going to be doing the whole of the ¾ estate. They’re working on two areas where they’ve already established a foothold with the aim of eventually linking these up to establish a clean and green corridor. The hope is that this will inspire residents in other parts of the estate to start working on their areas, facilitated by VHCG and BASHA if needed.

Basically, it’s all about empowering residents to take an active interest in managing their estates as part of a more fundamental project aimed at bringing power down to the grassroots where it belongs…

Building a new world in the shell of the old

Normally we’d be promoting a course like this on our side project, The Estuary Alternative However, there are a number of very good reasons why we’re promoting it on here as well…

Firstly, as the title of this piece suggests, amongst other attributes, this course has an element of building a new world in the shell of the old. It’s all very well knowing what we’re against – we also need to be able to articulate what kind of world we’re aiming for…

Secondly, Graham Burnett is a good friend of The Stirrer and the least we can do in return is to promote this course:)

Thirdly, try as we might, The Estuary Alternative isn’t getting as many hits as we would like so we’re promoting the course on here in order for it to reach a wider audience.

Details on how to book a place on this course can be found here:…/creating-positive-revolution/


In light of the previous post, if you’re in or near Southend on Saturday 27th January, please do your level best to get along to this march and rally…

A printable / downloadable version of this poster is available from here:


Rally! SaveSouthendNHS

This is an event on the SaveSouthendNHS Facebook page – We’ll be attending this in solidarity. As the aim is to raise awareness among the public about the ongoing threat to NHS services in the area, there will be plenty of flyers explaining that to be handed out. We’ll be joining in with handing these flyers out. We won’t be handing out copies of The Stirrer until the end of the rally at the Odeon concourse when people start to leave. We hope that other political groups attending this event will do the same…

Saturday January 27th 2018 – Assemble 12noon onwards at Pier Hill and walk to the Odeon concourse for a rally

SaveSouthendNHS shall be hosting another Southend town centre rally – meeting at the top of Pier Hill and walking to The Odeon concourse where there will be speakers, petitions and public consultation information. This is not just pointless, shouty placard waving, our aim is to ensure the whole community are aware of the public consultation and what the proposed changes will mean for our local hospital and community NHS services and to inform you of the good, the bad and the ugly parts in it all.

This Mid and South Essex STP (formerly known as Success Regime – they dropped that title – we wonder why…) intends to achieve cuts of £30 million in Southend alone, year on year.

Many of their plans are based on significant improvements to community health services (Primary Care) which in turn will achieve hospital admission avoidance, according to them. However…..

There are no published detailed plans or investment to achieve this.
Southend has 2nd highest number of GP vacancies and 2nd highest number of likely retiring GP’s in the next 5 years.

The new medical school at Anglia Ruskin University doesn’t even open until next year and then it will take a long time to get trainees through.

There is a general NHS recruitment and training crisis both locally and country wide.

Applicants to nursing and allied health professions have significantly dropped due to the removal of the training bursary.

We say – get the foundations RIGHT before you tamper with our acute (hospital) services. Three of the CCG GP Chairs abstained from the vote to go ahead with the proposals.

STP proposals WILL affect where you are to be treated when you have significant complex health needs or require emergency surgery. Critically ill patients will be transferred to Basildon or Broomfield hospitals to ‘specialist units’. Whilst we aren’t against specialising care if the patient outcome is proven to be better, we already know that some of the patient groups would not be fit/well enough to endure a long and risky ambulance journey – and whilst we are on the subject, the STP have only offered wooly claims that an ‘in house specialist transfer service’ will be provided yet not given details on how it will be staffed (in an already understaffed health economy). Will your relative be stranded at Southend Hospital, acutely ill and awaiting transfer for their ‘specialist care’???

Southend Hospital is set to be designated for elective (planned) surgery and cancer care – this is a DOWNGRADE to our current provision of general hospital care and specialities available. We are a ever expanding town with an international airport, university and thriving tourist industry – we deserve investment, improvement and EXPANSION of our hospital.

As always, we are fighting to ensure that these cuts do not cost lives and that ANY changes are backed fully by the clinicians from the specialities affected (and not just by the ones on the STP payroll). Let’s send a strong and clear message to the Mid and South Essex STP that we REFUSE to be part of a NHS postcode lottery for care.

The same as our A&E rally last year – this is a peaceful, family friendly, whole community event where EVERYONE is welcome.

Ensuring a huge public response to the consultation is VITAL! Be a part of it. Up and down the country people are fighting for their local NHS – let’s fight for ours.