Enough is Enough!
"I was absolutely blown away by the electric atmosphere of Southend's Enough is Enough! rally. Hundreds of people came together to demand a better deal, in what was undeniably the largest political demonstration that Southend has seen since the Poll Tax marches in 1990.
The Conservatives are pretending as though the cost-of-living crisis has just sprung up out-of-the-blue, and that they are the ones with the policies needed to fix it. People don’t buy it. They know that we are in this situation specifically because of their polices, and we all know that more of the same won’t work.
Another round of brutal Tory austerity will plunge thousands and thousands of people so far below the poverty line that they literally cannot afford to even exist. We need transformative policies, we need public ownership, and we need to build an economy that works for everyone. This rally showed that people are ready for change."
Takes Action Against Fly-Tipping
Aston Line has put a motion to Southend-on-Sea City Council, suggesting that a digital “wall of shame” should be created in order to expose fly-tippers who are caught in the act.
He said: “The vast majority of residents want to live in a clean city. Unfortunately, we are being let down by the few who think that it is perfectly acceptable to dump their waste and unwanted furniture on our roads and in our public places. Fly-tipping ruins our street scene and poses a genuine threat to the environment. People want to take pride in the area they live in, and they are fed up with having to walk past piles of rubbish on their way home.”
When asked how much the scheme might cost, Councillor Line explained: “Clearing up incidents of fly-tipping costs the local taxpayer a substantial amount of money, which we currently have to factor into the overall price of our waste contract. This scheme will cost very little to run and it will inevitably pay for itself many times over by significantly lowering the number of incidents that we face. We will have cleaner streets and we will be able to provide better value for money for our local taxpayers.”
Traditional enforcement can prove costly to the Council in legal fees. Additionally, fines are frequently ineffective deterrents as a fine disproportionately punishes those who cannot afford to pay it, whereas businesses or wealthier individuals may see a penalty fine as ‘worth the risk’. Public exposure as a selfish fly-tipper on the other hand, is not the kind of press that any person or business wants. I am confident that if implemented a ‘wall of shame’ would prove an invaluable tool in our fight against the fly-tippers."
I want to restore the sense of civic pride that we used to have in our streets. Everybody needs to accept a degree of social responsibility, and if you are not willing to get rid of your own waste responsibly then you can count on us to support the community who suffers because of you.”
Aston Line Co-Founds Fans Supporting Southend Foodbanks
Hunger Doesn't Wear Club Colours
We have partnered up with Southend United Football Club, as well as Roots Hall's closest pubs The Blue Boar and The Spread Eagle in an effort to prevent those in need from going hungry.
Facing the cost of living crisis, all of us are feeling the economic pinch at the minute, but even in spite of this, loyal Shrimpers continue to help support our soon-to-be city's poorest and most vulnerable. When you leave home for your match, remember your last minute checks: 'Ticket, scarf, tin for the food bank...'
Hunger doesn't wear club colours and though food banks should not have to exist, whilst they do, the overwhelming generousity of Southend United Football Club fans refuse to let people go hungry. Everybody deserves to feed themselves and their family with dignity.
Aston raises an astonishing £710 for lifesaving mental health and cancer charities by growing a moustache.
Thank you to all who donated.
Labour Did Not Stand In Parliamentary By-Election
In the last General Election I had the honour of standing as Labour's Parliamentary Candidate in my home seat of Southend West.
It is true to say that we did not get the result we had hoped for that night. We knew that the election would be a difficult one before going into it. With Brexit at the forefront of people's minds, our country found itself in an unprecedented state of polarisation, with that one issue overshadowing the rest of the political debate.
Labour offered a message of hope. We put forward a transformative plan to rebuild our nation and to heal our divides. We campaigned on a platform of public ownership, a green industrial revolution, and a long-overdue end to austerity.
From a six week standing start, we ran the biggest campaign that Labour ever has done here. We lost some ground since the 2017 General Election, but we still find ourselves in a much stronger position going forward than we were in 2015, with 5000 more votes and a 10% larger vote share. Labour can win in Southend West.
So much has happened since that night. Shortly after the election, my father sadly passed away following his long and difficult battle with cancer. As a nation we have endured the weight of the global pandemic; each of us making enormous personal sacrifices to keep our loved ones safe. And in October 2021, we lost Sir David Amess, the man who beat me on the night.
Following that tragedy, we took the decision that it would not be right to stand a candidate in the resulting by-election. That election only took place as the result of Sir David's murder, and I refused to let an act of terrorism influence our Democracy. The seat will remain Sir David's until the next full General Election, at which point Southend Labour will fight it will the vigour and intent that our constituents deserve, and that Sir David had come to expect.
Rest in peace, Sir.