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Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is the local authority of Southend-on-Sea in Essex, England. It is a unitary authority, having the powers of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined. It is a member of the East of England Local Government Association.
Seventeen wards each return three councillors, a total of 51. Councillors serve four years and one third of the council is elected each year, followed by one year without election. The composition of the council is (as of 22 May 2014):
The council has been controlled by the Conservative Party since they gained control in the 2000 election, they maintained a minority administration for a short while after the 2012 local elections, although a subsequent defection from the Independent Group gave them control again in May 2013. The Conservatives lost control of the council in the 2014 election, with the council run by a rainbow coalition of Independent Group, Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors.
Southend Borough Council was criticised as one of the worst financially managed local authorities in England by the Audit Commission report for 2006/7, one of three to gain only one of four stars, the others being Liverpool and the Isles of Scilly. Areas of criticism were the use of consultants and the spending of £3.5 million on taxis during the 2006/7 financial year.