It’s Quackers!

Just got to love this story!  Brentwood firefighters helped out at Hopefield this past week by filling the pond for the ducks and geese this week!  Well done Essex Fire Service and thanks!


Parking Fees reduced!



one hour successParking charges to go down under the Accord Administration!

With the Lib Dems, I can’t remember a time when we weren’t fighting to make parking fees more reasonable!  Now we have done it – and the Tories voted AGAINST our plans!

We pulled this off by being fair – we introduced an overnight parking charge of £2 to capitalise on the TOWIE visitors.  This has yielded around £60,000 in income which has meant we can do the following:

  • Reduce the all day car parking fee from £10.50 to £8.00

  • Introduce a new Saturday workers fee of £4 in Westbury Road Car Park

  • Introduce a new £30 weekly charge in the William Hunter Way Car Park

This will take around ten weeks to introduce once it is advertised and consulted upon.

It is unbelievable that the Tories voted against on the basis that we hadn’t reduced it enough, despite them voting for a 117% increase in the one hour charge in 2012 (and that includes current Brentwood West Tory Cllr Will Russell, who’s up for re-election in May).

It’s also interesting to see that another Tory scaremongering activity didn’t come true.  Back in 2011, two days before I lost my seat, they put out a leaflet in Brentwood West saying that, should a night time charge be introduced then people would be forced in to the side streets to park and, therefore, we would all be wading around in “rivers of vomit”.  Yes, they put that on a leaflet and people believed it!  So, watch what they say when it comes to May’s elections!  It turns out not to be the case, so just as well no one opened up a Wellies Shop in anticipation.


Securing a future for Hopefield (we hope)

leona lewis supports hopefield@Hopefield_Essex

I have called an urgent meeting of my Community Committee on Tuesday 27th January 2015 at 6.45pm with one agenda item – making Hopefield Animal Sanctuary a Community Asset.  It is a public meeting at the Town Hall so please come along and show your support for Hopefield and this important step in protecting it.  The agenda will be published HERE on Monday.

I was on Phoenix FM today talking about it.  Our vision in the Lib Dems, headed by Cllr Barry Aspinell, is to expand and enhance Hopefield to make it a tourist attraction and one of the first steps is to protect it as a Community Asset.  This means that Tesco would not be able to sell the land without telling Hopefield and we would then have six months to raise the funds (you can give them a head start by making a donation here).

The other issue surrounding Hopefield is the fact that it is an identified site in the consultation on the future of Brentwood.  I would like to see this site rejected as a potential development site and we need you to let us know if you agree with us.  Have your say HERE.

Cllr Aspinell would like to see the land changed to recreation and Hopefield also want this – you can sign the petition HERE.

So, a recap for all Hopefield lovers:

1. Attend the meeting at the Town Hall on 27/01 at 6.45pm OR watch the webcast OR write to me in support.

2. Complete the consultation having your say on the Hopefield land and how it should be designated.

3. Sign the petition

4. Join the Hopefield Facebook site- or follow them on Twitter @Hopefield_Essex

5. Donate!


Wallace Kennels in trouble -please help if you can

smartest-dog-breedsWallace Kennels, who re-home dogs and are the council’s reception facility for lost dogs, are in serious financial trouble.  I said I would do what I can and so am posting up their message from their facebook page.  Please help if you can, I will be…


It is with great regret and sadness to report that the future of the Kennels is in doubt as a result of legal action taken against us by a former volunteer through ‘No win, No Fee’ solicitors. We had to make the agonising decision to reach an out of Court Settlement to give the Kennels the best possible chance of surviving. This was the only way to prevent the risk of going to Court and avoid the costs claimed by solicitors escalating to an amount which would have resulted in the Kennels closing forthwith. 

A significant sum of money now needs to be raised to enable the Kennels to continue and we are asking for your help and donations. The Kennels have been family run for over 40 years, helping unwanted, abandoned and stray dogs find a new home or be re-united with their owners. To remain open we rely on the goodwill and generosity of the public, no more so than at this troubled time. Every little helps and we therefore ask, with great humility, for any donations that can be spared.

Ways to donate are:- Paypal to email address via cheque made payable to Wallace Kennels and sent to the kennels, via BACS direct into the bank or if preferred to our solicitors who are dealing with this situation – please ask for details. Thank You.

St James Road: Attempted Dog Theft & Assault

bichon puppy

I’ve just been alerted to a very nasty assault in St James Road and ask if all local residents can help try and trace this callous git who has seriously injured a 16-week old Bichon Frise puppy (like the image above) and its owner.  Puppy is fighting for its life, poor baby, and I really hope it will be OK.

This from Brentwood Gazette, with police contact numbers:

A woman has suffered a possible broken nose after being punched in the face by a man who tried to steal her pet dog which itself has been left in a critical condition.

The 21-year-old victim’s 14-week-old Bichon Frise has been left with life threatening injuries after being kicked so hard that its leg and hip could be broken.

The man approached the young woman on a footpath off St James Road at 6.20pm on last night before asking her what breed the puppy was.

He then grabbed hold of the lead.

The victim tried to pick her pet up and was punched in the face before the man then kicked the dog, causing it serious leg and hip injuries.

The woman managed to hold on to her dog and the man ran off.

He is described as black, aged around 30, is 6ft tall and of medium build.

He was wearing a grey bobble hat, a black-hooded jacket and black jogging bottoms.

Inspector Lee Argent, of Essex Police, said: “The suspect in this case is an extremely callous man. He tried to steal this woman’s puppy and when she fought to hold onto him he caused her some nasty injuries before kicking the dog so hard its leg and hip are believed to have been broken.

“The victim has been left extremely distraught by her experience and is devastated by the injuries caused to her pet.

“The dog is currently being assessed by a vet, but his condition is very serious.”

If anyone knows who this man is or has any other information about this attack we would urge them to call Brentwood CID on 101 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Read more:


Vote 2014: Delighted to announce….

John Newberry

….that John Newberry (AKA Newbers) will be Brentwood West’s Liberal Democrat candidate for 2014.

You can read all about John on his new website and follow him on twitter @Newbers4West.

I am very excited about the prospect of John joining me as councillor for Brentwood West next year and, those of you that have met him so far will appreciate his integrity and community spirit.  Here’s why I am s delighted:

About John Newberry 


john newberry - pdsa runJohn, a grandfather, is a former Brentwood Police Sergeant, having spent 14 years stationed at Brentwood before his retirement here in 2000.  It’s here at Brentwood that he got the nickname “Newbers”!

John now has his own counselling practice.

He also worked for two years with Essex County Council on setting up successful projects in relation to student behaviour on school transport.

He also ran a Home & Garden maintenance business in Brentwood.

John is a committed Christian and has worked with young children helping them in becoming young ambassadors for their community.

He ran a number of marathons for animal charities in his younger days (pictured: John running the London Marathon for the PDSA)!

Of his selection as Brentwood West candidate, John said:

“I really feel it is like coming home – I thoroughly enjoyed working in the ward at Brentwood Police Station in London Road and living in La Plata Grove.

“As your borough councillor I would be able to bring all my skills together and ensure that all residents of Brentwood West are listened to regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, beliefs – everyone needs to be listened to and I do not feel that the Conservatives are doing this.

“I am passionate about working with and supporting my local community.

“I also really look forward to working with two hardworking councillors – borough councillor Karen Chilvers and county councillor David Kendall.  Brentwood West is the most heavily populated ward in Brentwood and, Karen in particular, could do with some help and support with the huge caseload.  I can bring some new skills on community building, tackling anti-social behaviour and building an even better place to live.”

Sounds like he’s perfect to be West’s councillor!

Keeping you updated

Want news about your road or area straight to your inbox? Many #brentwoodwest residents are receiving relevant news on a regular basis when there is a planning application, proposed parking restrictions or something they need to know about their local area.  How? Simples!  They have just signed up to my newsletter – no spam, minimal politics, but lots of relevant news that has really helped people. That could be how your neighbour knows before you…..!

Sign up here!

Rollason/Chase area – update

I have held various meetings in and had a number of updates about the Rollason Way/Kings Chase/Chase Road/Wharf Road/Fairfield Road/St James Road area of late.  I have emailed all residents who are on my list as living in these roads but, if not, here is the update.

If you would like to join my mailing list, for news in your area of Brentwood West just click here.

rollason way

A new chapter begins…..


Final property sold, road adoption on its way and developers due to move on


I thought I would write to all those in and around Rollason Way to update you on some current issues in the area.  I have been informed that all properties have been sold which means that Rollason Way will soon cease to be a development site (although there is still a development planned in St James Road) and we can start to work together to build a community, both in Rollason Way and the surrounding area.

Although I have campaigned against the number of properties built, they are all here now, and we are at the stage where we need to work together as a community to build a better place to live and I will be proud to work with you to help you achieve that.

Developers due to depart by end September 2013

I had a meeting with James Moody, MD of Crest Nicholson, recently and we went through issues regarding the transfer of the land from the developer to Essex and Brentwood Councils.  Mr Moody will send me a final map for me to share with you however, as a rough guide:

  • The roads and paths will be adopted by Essex County Council.  There are some issues to address that I am aware of such as the fact that some paths are accessible to cars and shouldn’t be (Cllr David Kendall is taking this up at County Hall).
  • The green area and La Plata Wood will be adopted by Brentwood Council as a “public open space”.  Plans for a play area here have long since been abandoned but I am acutely aware of the need for a young children’s play area and I have been working with officers on a solution since last October.  A proposal is due shortly.
  • Paths into La Plata Grove, London Road and Hubert Road are nearing completion (see right – as toured by Louis Dog and me in January).
  • A management company will be formed to maintain the garden areas around the estate.
  • Double yellow lines will be installed at the turning area at the end of Wharf Road.
  • Street lighting will be part of Essex County Council’s responsibility.
  • I am aware of some building control issues with certain blocks and these are being assessed separately.  I would advise residents to raise any concerns with the developer now (by all means copy me in).
  • Parking?  I will deal with that separately.


Parking in Rollason Way and surrounding areas

County Cllr David Kendall has given us this update:

“The response to the residents permit parking consultation was very low and there was not strong support for a new scheme to be introduced. Consequently there are no plans to move forward with a scheme at this moment in time.

“However the problems with on street parking still exist and I have now asked for a meeting to be arranged between the Borough Council and NCP Car Parks to discuss what opportunities exist for residents to possibly purchase parking permits from them to park in the station car park at night and at weekends. We appreciate that this option would not suit some residents but in our view it is certainly something worth exploring.

“The matter has now been put in the hands of Cllr Keith Parker, the Chair of the Local Highways Panel. We will let you know when/if we hear of any updates.”

I do not believe the current plans have a solution for parking -either to combat commuter parking or at night time and weekends –  and this is something that I will continue to deal with, but we need a more co-operative team at Essex County Council and a better representative from the Tories to be able to get what we need – and that is some element of restricted parking or resident parking.  Although, as I have said before, there is no actual “solution” as there are far too many properties here.

Please do keep emailing me on this issue so I can build up a nice fat file to present as evidence!