Heart, crowded, bypass, coaches – a quick round-up

Holly Knebel of Heart FM and Cllr Julian Ware-Lane

Holly Knebel of Heart FM and Cllr Julian Ware-Lane

My campaign to deal with the problems associated with Fixed Odds Betting Terminals took another step forward yesterday. I was interviewed by Holly Knebel of Heart FM, an extract of which was broadcast in all of this morning’s news bulletins [http://www.heart.co.uk/essex/news/local/southend-gambling-problems/]. In different circumstances I would have been humbled and delighted to share the headlines with Tony Benn. Southend-on-Sea’s ruling Cabinet will discuss my motion on Tuesday (18th).

At the weekend I attended the East of England Labour Party Regional Board. Amongst the items (which included a presentation from John Denham MP) was the news (to me, anyway) that the UK has the highest density of people per floor space in Europe. No wonder we are all feeling a bit crowded. We need more, and bigger, homes built.

I see that requests for a bypass in the east of the borough are rearing their heads again. Whilst I can appreciate that being stuck in traffic is no fun (I often experience this on my daily A127 commutes), if I were living in Shoeburyness or Thorpe Bay I would be careful what I wish for. Once a good road goes in and access becomes a lot easier, then the place becomes a magnet for developers. Also, in-fill development becomes more likely, meaning the death knell for the fields to the north of the eastern end of town. This will create traffic, and before long all the gains that a bypass delivered will be cancelled out.

I am a little frustrated. I have just (officially) found out that the coaches that use the Seaway Car Park at the moment will, if the administration (there is a game of pass the buck as regards to who authorised this going on as I write) gets his way, once that car park is built on, start using the Warrior Square car park. The car parking spaces that will be lost will be taken up by the car park on the site of the former Queensway House (thus proving that the supposed revenue gain there was a fiction). I am unimpressed by the idea of a coach park so close to the residents of Warrior Square and Whitegate Road. I do not like the idea of the Seaway Car Park being built on, but if it is to go ahead then the coaches must be found a suitable new home. I am unconvinced that Warrior Square can be described as suitable.

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