PROUD councillors have revealed a series of ambitious aspirations for the new city of Southend as part of a determined drive to create an enduring legacy for Sir David Amess.

A new hospital and re-designating St Mary’s Church, Prittlewell, head up a catalogue of bold plans to take the city to the next level.

It came after Boris Johnson prompted cheers in the Commons by announcing the Queen had graciously agreed to Southend’s long-held city status bid, championed by Sir David.

Southend Council’s deputy leader, Ron Woodley, touted a new hospital at Bournes Green, Thorpe Bay - to be named after Sir David - who was murdered in a suspected terror incident at his constituency surgery.

Council bosses also want to see the landmark St Mary’s Church Prittlewell re-designated as cathedral.


They also hope to take forward a series of other projects to boost the economy of the new Southend city, including a London dungeon-style attraction and a warship moored near Southend Pier.

Ron Woodley, Independent deputy leader of Southend City Council, said: “We could look at a new hospital in Bournes Green Chase, Thorpe Bay and it could be called the Sir David Amess hospital and it would be a great legacy for him too.

“It would help with the growing population and could help with training and could be in a country setting, as well as offering extra care facilities.

“We could then build new homes on the old hospital site.”


Speaking of a tribute to the late MP, Mr Woodley added: “I’d like to see a midday gun salute at the end of the pier and it then travel through Essex to London for Sir David.”

On plans for the new city of Southend, he added: “We need to look at the entertainment forthe 18 to 30 age group too, with simulators for racing cars and planes to give younger people those experiences.”

The council boss wants to see a Southend dungeons attraction, based on the one in London, on the pier with a war ship moored alongside the landmark.

He also said the council must press on with its works on the £336,000 new restaurant on the pier.

Speaking of a new cathedral, Meg Davidson, deputy leader of the Southend Conservatives, said: “I know Sir David wanted to see St Mary’s Church in Prittlewell used as a cathedral and I think it can be done.

“It would work so well and the site has already had various improvements.

“I think it would be a focal point in the town.”