THE recent publication of proposals for the East Colchester Garden Community has rightly generated much discussion by residents across Colchester. Before this point, significant attention has been given to the unsustainable proposals West of Colchester (see the Lord Kerslake Report published on this) for about 20,000 plus homes. The community to the East has had less focus on it.
Indeed, there is a clearer economic argument for building a garden community in the East as opposed to the West (if we had to choose, that is). Nevertheless, I have consistently spoken out against the garden communities in Colchester, not least because there has been insufficient, specific details over locations, green space, the number of houses, jobs, public services and specifics on infrastructure.
I was pleased when the Conservative group were the only group on the council to vote against the creation of a delivery vehicle, which will, in theory, oversee development in both the West and East of Colchester.
I said in the council chamber no business owner would start up their business without a business plan.
Yet, when the council administration supported and passed the creation of the delivery vehicle to build these communities, they did just that.
I was dismissed as being insufficiently brave.
However, there is a fine line between bravery and stupidity and unfortunately the decision by the council to begin the process of developing these two communities without a clear plan falls into the latter category.
It amazes me that Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors are now acting shocked that what they voted for is what they are getting in the East of Colchester.
Yet, the voting record in council is clear: Labour and the Liberal Democrats supported this while the Conservatives did not.
If it was not for the Labour and Liberal Democrat Group voting to support the creation of the delivery vehicle to oversee the development of these communities, then we would not be at the advanced position where the consultants Colchester Council are using to help draw up plans to develop these communities are now releasing more details.
Councillors who voted for the delivery vehicle should have waited for the emergence of such details before committing their support.
It is not necessary to include these garden communities in the next Local Plan, of which the pre submission draft is to be out for public consultation from June, in order to meet sustainable housing levels.
I, personally, hope Labour will reverse their position on these schemes and show this not just in rhetoric around election time but in votes in council throughout the coming year.
Lewis Barber Borough councillor for Lexden and Braiswick Braiswick, Colchester
- Think for yourself and use vote wisely
So the circus will be back in town over the coming weeks now the PM has called for a general election in June.
Whatever reason has motivated her for doing this and I am sure, that people who follow politics can draw their own conclusions, I send out a heartfelt plea.
I have lived in Clacton all my life and I remember it as a thriving seaside resort.
Since the long-ago closure of Butlins, this town and surrounding areas have been in steady decline. We are no longer a thriving seaside resort.
We have major problems with drugs and all the problems they bring. Alcohol abuse is also rife and the amount of people begging outside various shops, genuine or not, is not really what people want to see.
Clacton was and still is a seaside resort and I urge whoever is elected as our Member of Parliament to take these points to hand.
Our town should not be a dumping ground for other areas of the country.
This area needs proper investment. For too long, there has been a lot of talking the talk but no walking the walk.
This area needs to stand up and say enough is enough and hold its elected people to account.
Clacton needs to be attractive to big business as well as to the paying public.
It does not need to be just a political football.
I urge everyone, read the manifestos, look at your town and ignore the national tabloid press.
Think for yourself and use your vote wisely.
Kevin Colman Rosemary Road, Clacton
- Can you help me to find George Kirby?
I AM hoping to find information relating to George Kirby who attended St Johns Green School in late Forties.
His last known address was Maldon Road, Colchester.
Derek Watt Harridence 27 Ave de la Mediterranee, 34810 Pomerols, France
- Potholes must be repaired much quicker
Pothole complaints are coming up as a frequent complaint during this election campaign.
For the past four years the Labour group has argued for a change in the way Essex deals with these defects and called for a “see it fix it” policy to be adopted.
Here is one of the defects that contributed to the £2 million personal injury bill paid out by Essex County Council.
The claimant showed me photos of the significant injury suffered, they were shocking to see.
Even more shocking is despite Essex County Council paying a significant sum in compensation, the defective kerb stone remains in situ awaiting its next victim.
I have taken up this ludicrous situation with the portfolio holder who I hope will see how ridiculous this is.
Councillor Julie Young Wivenhoe St Andrew Division Mascot Square, Colchester
The pothole in Vine Drive/Vine Farm Road, Wivenhoe
- Children had questions about walking woman
WE like to encourage our children to discuss art and other matters, so on Saturday we sat in the sun in the lovely Minories garden over tea talker about our visit to see the Walking Woman sculpture in Colchester High Street.
This is an outline of our conversation: 1. It was a very expensive sculpture, 2. It would have been much better if their had been a sculpture competition and people could have voted for the best work, 3. It was not very good, 4. Why was it 20 per cent larger than life size?
5. What is it saying?
6. Why was it dressed in black unfashionable clothes? It is ugly.
7. Who decided to put it in the High Street? As far as we know, nobody was asked.
The Braithwait family Lawford
- We need people to make a stand
I HAVE no doubt Rosie Pearson is just as horrified by the urban sprawl around Colchester and the surrounding area, and her suggestion Bob Russell supports her is common sense.
We certainly need more people like this formidable lady in the area. People like Ron Levy and William Jollifffe... these people could replace some if the “wets” who purport to look after Colchester that seem more interested in having their pictures in the paper or supporting that yellow monstrosity off Queen Street.
However, the various groups should get together to form a powerful front against this vandalism of our countryside.
And how about replacing the houses demolished in Vineyard Street, along with those in Wellington Street and Chapel Street at the same time.
Of course this would mean getting rid of the eyesore - the job centre - which should never be there anyway.
Power to the elbow, Rosie.
Ken Drury Laburnum Way, Nayland