Travel South from the metropolis of Colchester and, if the tide is not too high, you cross a causeway, known as the Strood, the portal to Mersea Island.

In summer it becomes the go to destination for around 20,000 holidaymakers and day trippers who choose to take advantage of the only beach in the borough and a variety of fabulous eating places.

Out of season and during the winter months the Island returns to a quieter, rural retreat for its approximately 7,000 permanent residents.

Some residents see the influx of tourists as a bit of an invasion, for others it is their livelihood. Many businesses are able to enjoy a summer bonanza.

Regardless, the island’s economy would not be sustainable without the visitors and the revenue local businesses receive results in enhancements for everyone.

With a tight geographical constraint of just seven square mile it presents quite a few challenges:

1. Parking

On exceptionally busy days (this Easter, for example) all the car parks, roads, grass verges and anywhere you can fit a motor vehicle gets completely clogged up.

So here is the dilemma:Do you build more car parks that effectively are then ‘lost’ spaces that are only used for weekends and holiday times?

Or do you look at providing an Island based Park and Ride / Walk and try and cope with the costs and additional infrastructure?

There is not a ready made solution so to reduce the number of cars perhaps an off Island Park and Ride enterprise has some merit? But then would that just result in moving the issue to another area?

And, if there was a substantial increase in public transport, would visitors actually choose riding the bus instead of the comfort of rocking up in their own car?

As a Greenie I see a reduction in car journeys, therefore air pollution and release of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) as vital for the health of our planet.

2. Litter

When the population of the island temporarily spikes then the amount of litter, inevitably, increases.

There is a daily collection from all the litter bins but this has to be run on a budget.

The basic formula equates to: more bins = more cost.

If more bins were installed not only would the cost go up there would then be the odd scenario of many unused bins during off peak times which takes away from the natural beauty of the island.

3. Toilets

There are four sets of public toilets in West Mersea and they are costly to run.

One of the four is in a parlous state and is in urgent need of renovation. Of the remaining four two are very close together.

While the public are very much against closing one this could then potentially yield funds to carry out the work needed on the first.

The conundrum is everybody's point of view can be totally valid yet not necessarily part of the bigger picture which has to counterbalance all the above.

4. Infrastructure

We frequently have sudden squalls and torrential downpours. Some say Mersea has a Micro Climate.

Investigation work is being carried to establish how to prevent issues with the rain water and sewage systems.

During the rain storms It is not uncommon for manholes to pop up and some of the roads on the South coast of the island to become flooded. It is a complicated problem and is exacerbated in the summer months.

Although I have been aware of this evidence first hand it wasn’t until became enrolled in Anglian Water’s West Mersea Bathing Waters Partnership that I realised I was unaware of how much investigation was being carried out and gained an insight into a different bigger picture.

5. Housing

One of the real difficulties with housing developments is that there is a myth around the provision of "affordable housing".

In fact no local families could possibly even afford the ‘Affordable’ so an idea discussed within the West Mersea Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group is the idea of a scheme that is strictly for qualifying local residents to have low rent accommodation for a period and thereafter receive 50% of the rent they paid back as a deposit to help them onto the housing ladder.

This requires both a will to support such a scheme and a resilience to see it through.

Let me confess that I adore this wonderful place.

I first stayed here when I was a nipper and then every year until my family made our home here. To me it is a little bit of paradise.

Peter Banks is standing for West Mersea Town Council and as the Green Party candidate for the Mersea & Pyefleet Ward in the Colchester Council elections on May 2