One of the joys of representing Milton ward on Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is that the ward is abundantly bestowed with beautiful heritage architecture. This is, perhaps, exemplified by the five conservation areas in the ward.
I am mindful of the fact that one has to be ever vigilant lest our beautiful Victorian and Edwardian architecture is gradually swept away by a tide of eager developers. Development is good, but it has to be restrained.
I am aware that we have lost treasures, sometimes by ugly replacements. I hope this will not be the case with the former Beecroft Art Gallery (at the junction of Station Road and Westcliff Avenue). I am hoping that this building can be rescued, and I believe that the Council is of similar mind. Certainly the Council is exploring all options which include repair and refurbishment.
This building has very fond memories for me, beginning with my paper mache attempt at a Tyrannosaurus Rex when I was seven years old which was displayed there. Over the years I have enjoyed the displays, and the quietness here, as well as being in a very nice building. I hope it will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come.
We must have progress, but we must also preserves the best of what we have.