A DECISION is expected within a week on a major funding pot for Canvey’s seafront - but a leading councillor has insisted improvements will go ahead regardless.

Castle Point councillor Ray Howard claimed he is still confident £1.3 million can be secured through the government’s Coastal Communities Fund.

But he has promised that even if the council miss out on funding, he will push for a number of improvements included in the plan to go ahead, before reapplying next year.

The huge plans would see a significant revamp of Canvey’s seafront, but Mr Howard, who is chairing Castle Point coastal communities team, has said if they don’t win the funding bid, he will pressure the council for new toilets and a retail kiosk at Thorney Bay, as well as resurfacing of the sea wall and an extension to the car park at Thorney Bay.

He said: “I am disappointed we have not heard yet, but I have been told we can expect an answer by the end of next week.

“I am still very hopeful that we will be one of the bids to receive funding, I keep saying, we were one of the ten in the country to be gifted £10,000 to prepare a bid, so I would hope they are in favour of us.

“Regardless, we are bucking the trend nationally and have a balanced budget, so money for projects can be made available.

“If we do sadly miss out, I will be meeting with my fellow councillor Jeffrey Stanley to discuss what we can do, but the seafront deserves these improvements.

“This summer has been fantastic, and I keep saying, you don’t need to go to the Canary Islands, you can go to Canvey Island, and these improvements will only help.

“We know that these facilities are needed, we know that Thorney Bay needs additional toilets, the extra kiosk will be a great help, and there is no doubt people will appreciate the hard surface on the seawall, lots of people walk that way and it will make it much easier for prams or for wheelchairs.”

The coastal communities scheme received bids totalling £256 million, but only has £45 million to distribute in this year’s batch of funding.

Following consultations earlier this year, it was decided to prioritise proposals for the Thorney Bay area, while other areas, including Labworth Green were considered for further funding.

The bid consists of funding for a grand scheme which includes the construction of a pavilion at Thorney Bay, including public toilets and a retail kiosk, resurfacing and lighting of the footpath on the land-side of the sea wall from Thorney Bay to Labworth, and an extension of the Thorney Bay car park.

The proposals also include visitor information, and refurbishment of toilets at the Labworth and Lubbins car parks.