A LEADING businessman has warned Southend leaders they must not get complacent and should ‘pull out all the stops’ to get the town booming.

Adventure Island owner, Philip Miller, said despite the promising turn of events everyone needed to be on the same page.

Mr Miller said: “Without bringing up the most miserable time ever for businesses over the last two years or so, the town and seafront needs to pull out all the stops to put us back on an even keel.

“All these great ideas and events will help to put it in front of mind when folks are looking to find places to spend their hard earned cash. There is a hell of a lot of competition out three all thinking the same thing and coming up with all sorts to boost their own business.”

He added: “To enable Southend to rise again and steal a march on the others we need everyone’s noses pointed in the same direction as of now.

“The council, high street and seafront traders, hoteliers and police need to make it work. The alternative is desolation. We really need to throw the kitchen sink at it.

“To give Southend a real leg up we could do with a competitive parking strategy, whilst other resorts have either reduced or maintained lower than Southend pricing, our silly old lot put prices up at exactly the wrong time!

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“There is talk of a return of the lights/Never Never Land, done properly that might give the autumn a real boost.

“There are the fundamentals that we get so wrong, having enough public loos, clear visitor signage and a good spruce up to keep it looking fresh. The pier could/should be our main attraction but has never achieved that status.”

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Sir David Amess, Conservative MP for Southend West, said: “Southend is a wonderful seaside town that attracts many visitors domestically and internationally. With the pandemic and the restrictions that were in place, a lot of our seasonal businesses struggled. It is great that we can once again host fantastic events such as local fairs, art festivals and the Women’s Cycling Tour in October.

“Southend and our businesses rely on tourists, and I welcome the safe return of visitors to our town to boost the local economy and to see at first hand why Southend should become a city.”