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  • Writer's pictureSouthend BID

Change of Chair at Southend BID

After nearly six years at the helm of Southend BID, Dawn Jeakings has

announced that she is stepping down from her role as Chair. The role will be

continued by Dennis Baldry, Centre Manager of the Victoria Shopping Centre.


“From day one, Dawn has brought her remarkable passion, tireless work and drive to promote and bring together Southend BID and her support for all things

Southend,” says Mr Baldry.

“Since she announced her decision, there has been a plan in place to ensure a

smooth handover between Chairs,” explains Dennis. “As part of that strategy,

I’ve been working closely with Dawn since the new term of Southend BID

started and following this, I am fully prepped to take over. This is a really

important role within the local business community and town itself, so I’m really

keen to get on with the job. Of course, in the interim, it is business as usual.”

Dawn has a proven track record of serving the town centre. Prior to assuming

the role of Southend BID Chair, she was Chair of the Southend-on-Sea

Borough Council Town Centre Partnership.

John Dillon, Store Manager at Debenhams Southend and a newly-appointed

Southend BID Director says: “Dawn is now handing over the mantle to Dennis,

who has been a Director since the inception of Southend BID, and is perfectly

placed to take over the role. Dawn will still be a Director and heavily involved in

the success of the town centre. Furthermore, Dawn will continue to play a role

leading on numerous initiatives, such as changing negative perceptions of

Southend’s High Street and town centre areas and will continue to be a driving

force for positive change.”

“Dawn has done a superb job. She’s seen Southend BID brought into existence

at the very first ballot among the potential members and secured its second

term in 2017 with a decisive vote in favour an increased turnout of 54%. It’s

important to remember that it was always her intention to Chair the first term of

Southend BID and then pass on the reins after the second ballot,” explains

John. “Dawn has not only played a vital role in establishing Southend BID but

also created a stable platform from which it can continue to grow and develop.”

Alison Dewey, Southend BID Manager paid tribute to Dawn’s energy,

commitment and focus during her time as Chair: “I’ve known and worked with

Dawn for almost nine years now and have been consistently struck by her

passion to improve the town centre. It’s important to bear in mind that the

responsibilities of her former role as Town Centre Partnership Chair and

chairing Southend BID have been voluntary."

“On a personal basis, Dawn has been incredibly supportive. My highlights of

working with her have been securing two terms of Southend BID, which has

brought thousands of pounds of additional investment into the town centre. I’d

also say bringing events such as the first 4D Light Show to Southend, as well

as enabling Southend’s hugely popular firework programme to continue for at

least another decade.”

She added: “My team and I are very much looking forward to working with

Dennis, who I think will be very proactive and bring new leadership qualities to

the role, which in turn will help us to deliver our plans for the four and a half

years of the current Southend BID term.”

Reflecting on her role, Dawn said: I've worked in the town for over 30 years and remain extremely passionate about Southend's success. Three decades ago I don’t think anyone quite foresaw the creation of business-lead organisations

like Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) across the UK, but I do think they

are a dynamic and innovative force for good in town centres, so am especially

proud of my role in seeing the creation of Southend BID and having the honour

of chairing it through its formative years and, of course, guiding it through two

successful ballots, both in extremely challenging times. I will remain a Director

of Southend BID and look forward to supporting Dennis as Chair and continue

the organisation’s great work.”

Dawn finishes in the role today (Wednesday 31st October) and Dennis will become the new Chair from tomorrow (Thursday 1st November).


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