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Tory candidate Anna Firth issues statement amid fears for Southend United

Support - Anna Firth (pictured right) has given a statement to Blues fans <i>(Image: Anna Firth)</i>
Support - Anna Firth (pictured right) has given a statement to Blues fans (Image: Anna Firth)

THE Tory candidate for Southend West and Leigh has issued a statement amid fears for the future of Southend United.

Blues fans continue to fear for the future of the club as talks continue between the Martin family and Southend Council over the Fossetts Farm project.

Daniel Cowan, leader of Southend Council, gave an update on the progress of the project to supporters last week - revealing the developer is modelling a new proposal.

A deal must be agreed for the consortium headed up by businessman Justin Rees to officially start running the Shrimpers.

Conservative candidate Anna Firth says she has frequently been asked about the current state of play regarding the Blues on her doorstep campaigning across the constituency.

Due to the General Election campaign, Ms Firth is restricted on what she can do and say but assured she is "in regular contact with all the major stakeholders and stands ready to help".

Ms Firth said: "Our football club is one of our City’s most precious assets and I am as determined as ever to see it not just survive, but thrive.

"Indeed, my last official meeting as your MP was with Daniel Cowan, the leader of Southend Council. A vast majority of that meeting was spent discussing the current situation at Southend United and I would like to thank him for his time.

"As you will all know from the recent articles in the Echo, Justin and the consortium have reaffirmed their commitment to the club by offering to discharge the latest petition debt but understandably cannot simply continue to pay millions of pounds to support the Club without more certainty.

"This process is clearly taking far longer than anyone anticipated and I am sure that you would all agree with me that Justin and the whole consortium have been exceptional in their dealings with both the outgoing chairman and the council.

"Whilst the term 'due diligence' is becoming increasingly synonymous with delays for Southend United fans, it is a crucial that this aspect of the deal is not rushed as the council does have a duty to all Southend tax-payers to ensure that the deal for Fossetts Farm is fiscally sound.

"The fact that the Euros is probably of more interest to the nation then the General Election, underlines just how much our football club transcends the political divide in Southend.

"Consequently, irrespective of how frustrated we feel, I do believe we must show that we are united behind a common goal. This has been a tortuous process for all involved.

"I am grateful to the consortium for their understanding and urge all parties to see the compromise necessary to bring this to a successful conclusion for the club and, most importantly, the fans."

The candidates in the General Election for Southend West and Leigh are:

  • Anna Firth - Conservative.

  • David Burton-Sampson - Labour.

  • Tom Darwood - Independent.

  • Robert Francis - Independent.

  • Tilly Hogrebe - Greens.

  • Lara Hurley - Heritage Party.

  • Peter Little - Reform UK.

  • James Miller - Confelicity.

  • Jason Pilley - Psychedelic Movement.

  • Stephen Cummins - Lib Dems.