Category Archives: The Soap Box

A bit of boxing

It was great last night to be joined by Kristian Agyei-Dua and Billy Phillips tonight to tell their boxing stories.

Kris has his 6th professional bout coming up at the Brentwood Centre on Sat 14th April on the Audley Harrison ‘Redemption or Retirement’ undercard. Kris is a hard working local sportsman so deserves support from his community. You can buy tickets directly for the entire evening directly from Kris at £40. You can look his name up via facebook and contact him there to buy tickets.

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Soapbox – Last show broadcast from Baytree Studios

An interesting show tonight, funny feeling knowing that the ‘plug was going to be pulled’ – deliberately, sometime after 7pm, anyway, we soldiered on to the last then let the removal men do their thing. Great to have a new home at the Brentwood Centre.

Still made time for guests, we had the ‘Brentwood Belles’ in who are doing their bit to raise money to fight Breast Cancer at the London 2012 MoonWalk, see: and please give generously.

Great to hear also Diane Wilkinson’s personal story about her fight against Breast Cancer, A tough year for her but she was given the all clear just this week! Good to hear also that she received excellent care at Queens Hospital Romford.

Jojn me at the New Studios next Friday with Cllr Mike Le-Surf from 6pm.

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Soapbox 20th Jan – Something afoot in the Brentwood political scene

It was my pleasure to welcome Cllr Louise McKinlay (Leader of Brentwood BC) and Cllr Nigel Clark to talk about that day’s big announcement that Cllr Clarke had decided to leave the Lib Dem Group on Brentwood BC and move across to the Tories. A big decision for Nigel, not without his reasons. I wish him well and good success in his service for Brentwood West. Louise stayed on to talk about how the council are faring in these tough economic times. Pleased to see that Brentwood Council, despite the climate, will have managed to deliver a 0% Counncil Tax increase whilst investing front line services when the budget is set in February. The £42.5K community fund is also open for bids up to a max of £5k per applicant. Visit for details.

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Soapbox Christmas Music Special & Guest

Bob and I chose our favourite Christmas records tonight. Bing Crosby, Sinatra, Dean Martin & Nat King Cole always come out on top for me, Slade and the Pogues earn the rightful place for classic Christmas tunes. James Brown and the Jive Turkeys added a ‘dash of soul’ to the whole proceedings.

My thanks to Anne Brown of Purple Cow Creative Communications who came in to talk about the power of PR to promote your business and organisation, in particular using radio to communicate unique messages about your business.

PS – well done ‘Dave’ – about time.

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Soapbox 18th Nov

More heated debate tonight, Bob at his frustrating best. As ever and broad but quality muisc choice including Bob Dylan, Kate Bush, Fun Boy 3, Feargal Sharkey, U2, Maverick Sabre……

Dan Yardy came in to talk to us about Brentwood on Ice which opens next Saturday 26th Nov at Brentwood Centre. All sounded pretty good to me. Also sowed the seed for the ‘Brentwood Curling Society’ – You heard it first on PhoenixFM!

Tracey Lilley is on next week to talk about Domestic Abuse Week

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Banter with Bob

We straightened a few things out again tonight from National Service to the road salt supplies debacle – I think Brentwood BC have reacted already, to get supplies where they are needed in the Borough i.e. where most of our elderley residents live and walk – obvious really.

Great Music also from the Beatles to the Brothers Johnson with Linda Ronstadt and Ten Pole Tudor thrown somewhere in between – if you have an eclectic taste in great music you know where to be from 6pm Fridays!

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A new high school for Brentwood

If you want to listen to the show again you can download it from this link

It was my pleasure tonight to debate the future of the school site in Sawyers Hall Lane with Carol Mason, Headteacher of Brentwood County High and Andy Scott-Evans and Ian Gunn, who are the men behind the Beckett Keys High School proposal. The existing high school at Sawyers is due to close summer of 2012.

Essentially there are 2 proposals left on the table, a vocational type studio school and a C of E secondary school, which would be the only one in Essex. The debate focussed around the areas of need vs desire. It is true that there is a proven need for a studio school but equally there is a demand from Brentwood parents for a C of E High School.

It is my hope that Brentwood will be able to fulfill both this need and demand and add further to what is already an excellent secondary education provision in the town.

I wish both the Studio School Team and the Beckett Keys Team every success in their endeavours, thanks again to my guests and of course the listeners for making an excellent show about a really important development in our community.

To find out more:

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Soapbox talks Childcare Provision in our area

It was good to have Louisa and Sian on from Dizzyducks nursery tonight to talk about the importance of childcare and the real demand there is for quality places in and around Brentwood & Billericay. Dizzyducks now have 4 nurseries across Essex, two of which are in Billericay. It was an eye opener for me, I never knew so much was involved and was surprised to learn how early you need to register with a nursery care provider to have half a chance of getting a place when you need it.

Find out more: and

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Soapbox 2nd Sept

3 guests tonight for which I am grateful.

Katherine Dean of the Brentwood Foddbank and Cllr Cheralyn Lewis told us all about the good work they are doing in Brentwood. Look out for their campaign to collect food in the run up to Harvest Festival to meet needs towards Christmas. You heard it first on the Soapbox! To find out more, to help or be helped –

Second hour of show talked with my mate and former Olympic Boxing Official Billy Philips. We grasped the nettle re Dale Farm and the impending eviction situation there. Bill went on to tell us about the successes of the Help For Heros syndicate he is involved in. To find out how you can support this worthy cause (as if you need reminding!?) –

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Lighthouse – leading the way

Great show tonight with Brian Darwood from the Lighthouse Furniture Project based in Hutton. Doing a great work in the area for the less fortunate, not just about providing furniture either, doing some good stuff with, people development and training and recycling!

If you want to find out more visit their website:

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Soapbox talks Brentwood Fire Service Cuts

If you oppose cuts to the level of fire service provision in Brentwood, sign the petition at:

My thanks to Assnt Sec of the Essex FBU, Nick Mayes and Cllr Russell Quirk for the informed discussion. On balance, given what heard last light, people of Brentwood should be very concern about front line cuts whilst back of house continues to be padded out. What is the rationale for this? Fire Fighters out in the High St today (Sat) sign their petition and show your support for their opposition to these cuts.

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Soapbox talks local hospitals

The Soapbox talked to Pauline Levey on Friday to hear about the experiences of her elderly parents at Queens Hospital Romford and the subsequent complaints ‘minefield marathon’. A decent standard of care for elderly patients is a massive challenge for the NHS as we found out.

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PhoenixFM talks to Becket Keys – C of E High School for Brentwood

Soapbox Friday 27th May – we spoke to Mr Andy Scott-Evans Headteacher of St Thomas Jnr School Brentwood and Mr Iain Gunn Headteacher of St Peters Southweald re their proposals to found a C of E High School in Brentwood and Essex.

To access interview audio file:

An informative discussion with lots of myths dispelled. I wish them every success.

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The Soap Box – Friday 13th

My thanks to guests Mike Le-Surf and David Kendall for some lively debate on tonight’s show. Thats is with local politics – at least for the time being as (almost all) have had their say post 5th May.

Some great oldies tonight from Cream to Sam Cook, even maged to squeeze in some Country Blues and Reggae courtesy of UB40 – so covered all the bases.

Next week – George Thorpe (of the Weekly News) and I will chew the fat re what’s making news in and around Brentwood & Billericay.

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Soapbox – post election special!

Great show tonight (my first) thanks to my guests; Graham Soames, Stuart Gulleford, Russell Quirk – all of us candidates in yesterday’s Brentwood Council elections. Great debate, great conversation and great fun.

Great music as well when all you have to do is think of a colour!!

Thanks Guys!

Mike Le Surf and David Kendall join me next week, promises to be another interesting edition of SOAPBOX

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