Many thanks to Duncan Seath for allowing us to reproduce this letter. Let’s hope this sparks the imagination of Southend Council and inspires them to try something different and sustainable when it comes to the pier…
Dear Councillor Chalk,
May I bring my concerns and solutions to your attention
With the recent announcement of capital investment in the pier and with the concept of tidal/wave generators installed along the pier already discussed in the local media and planning for another vague cafe/entertainment venue Stop! add a renewable energy technology exposition centre, in the old bowling alley area, where school children and university green engineers of the future could get enthused on wind, tidal, solar and more cutting edge technologies that are going to be the next industrial revolution. After the cerebral work take a healthy constitutional along the the pier head and take in the vista overlooking the deep water harbour with a lovely wind turbine, aiding pier visibility to ships and where the new fleets of BEV water craft (Battery Electric Vehicle) could charge up on clean renewable electricity,then hop on an electric cruiser and travel silently, cleanly and with minimum sealife disturbance, across to Kent and up the Thames to London.
Some of the funding would create a manufacturing hub in Southend to build or retro fit electric boats, cars and bikes, giving apprenticeships and creating hundreds if not thousands of local jobs, saving miserable poor people from travelling on the stifled A127 to out of town work. These technologies are already proven and easily implemented. The pier generators would provide electricity for itself, its trains and for surrounding seafront facilities, Southend, the off-grid leisure destination!
This big project would no doubt cost more than the £18million stated but like home solar panels, after they are paid off they generate clean energy and income for scores of years and the big project could be created in stages when funding allows. Further logic would say that these, sea level rise mitigating carbon offsetting renewable energy projects, should also take funding from the sea defence budget as we know if we are looking at the long run, which we vitaly need to be, prevention is better than cure.
Employing local firms and local people on the projects creation and running, as a priority therefore bolstering the local economy rather than the extractive practice of using nationwide or worse overseas firms. I’m all for maintaining close ties with Europe and further a field but I feel charity starts at home and local firms means less road traffic.
It’s time to move with the times, seize the day. We owe it to our future generations, we owe it to the ailing planet.
Yours Sincerely Duncan Seath