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.

 

Councillor candidate news

I am delighted to announce that Brentwood West resident, charity worker, carer and artist Alison Fulcher will be our candidate for the May 2015 ward councillor elections.  Alison would join County Cllr David Kendall, Cllr John Newberry and me working for local residents as your local councillor and continue the work of The Accord administration.  I am sure you will welcome her to the team.

Alison Fulcher

ALISON FULCHER 

Alison has lived within the Brentwood West ward with her family for several years, attending senior school at the Brentwood Ursuline High Convent School (1982-1989).

Alison has considerable experience within the care sector and wishes to contribute this knowledge and experience in her potential role as Councillor. Her past experience includes working alongside patient experience groups for Community Healthcare Services and Inclusion Support work for the local charity The Frontline Partnership.

Having studied Fine Arts as a mature student – Alison has combined her own Art practise with her care work experience. Alison has also supported and run Sensory Art projects, community drawing and drama workshops within schools and community venues within the local area.  Further to this experience Alison is a media representative for the national charity Gingerbread and works for a well-known Humanitarian Charity in Brentwood.

If elected Alison, following the example of the Accord, will support cross party collaboration. Listening to residents’ concerns and needs with an awareness of local business and charitable support with a keen willingness to find a solution wherever possible – her promise of relentless hard work and commitment will ensure that she is worthy of your vote and a potential Councillor for keeps.

Allison hopes are that residents will contribute their views and opinions freely as she has done and wishes to see Brentwood’s future shaped in a way that represents the community as fully as possible.

Alongside priority issues such as crime, anti-social behaviour and care in the community whilst paying close attention to the needs of local businesses Alison would also like to see the cultural needs of the community continuing to be met – believing that this is an important way of bringing together community and engaging those sometimes feeling more isolated.

Brentwood’s future: The most important consultation ever

 

Today is the launch of the Strategic Growth Options Consultation – it might sound dull but it really is something you should read, consider and engage with by completing THIS response paper.

Listed in this consultation are all the sites to be considered for development because Brentwood Council is required to meet local housing needs. Evidence, from central government, suggests that need is around 360 new homes per year, or 5,500 new homes over a 15 year period. The capacity of brownfield sites in urban areas over 15 years is 2,500, some 3,000 short of total need and we have to find places to build them.

Please be absolutely clear that this is NOT necessarily where we, as the administration, WANT to develop and in some cases it would be good to see them totally and finally disregarded as sites for development.  Although many Tory councillors will say differently as they accuse of us of trying to build in your back yard.

One clear example of this is Hopefield Animal Sanctuary…over my cold, dead body (and those of Cllr Aspinell, Newberry, Carter, Quirk, Mynott, Sapwell and many more) will anyone build anything here but the Tories are now whipping up a storm and saying that that is what we want.  That’s not true.  I will be making my own very strong representations on this one and this site will, I hope, be rejected as a development site.  However, we leave this, or any inappropriate site, off the list for consideration and it is open season for any developer for fifteen years because it is left in a developmental abyss of “no status” and we cannot argue effectively against a housing proposal.

If a site has been considered and rejected as part of our local plan, that has more chance of holding up against a planning permission appeal.

The following sites are listed as Brentwood West, but you may want to look at the list for those near you that are in other wards that adjoin West (namely Brentwood North, Brentwood South, South Weald, Warley) and anything else that might be important to you:

  • Land north of Highwood Close, Brentwood
  • Land north of Highwood Close including St Georges Court, Brentwood
  • Brentwood railway station car park
  • Land at Honeypot Lane, Brentwood
  • Westbury Road Car Park, Westbury Road, Brentwood
  • Site on corner of High Street / Western Road, Brentwood (Former Napier Arms)
  • Land adjacent and rear of 207-217 Crescent Road, Brentwood
  •  18 Westbury Drive, Brentwood
  • Land at Crescent Road (open space), Brentwood
  • Victoria Court, Victoria Road, Brentwood
  • Hubert Road Industrial Estate
  • BT Offices, London Road, Brentwood
  • La Plata Grove, Brentwood
  • 14-16 Westwood Avenue, Brentwood

I also think it is worth pointing out these, in South Weald ward that are near West (but not all of them in that ward):

  • Land rear of The Bull Public House, Brook Street, Brentwood
  •  Land adjacent 50 Spital Lane, Brentwood
  • Brook Street employment area
  • Academy Place, Brook Street/Spital Lane, Brentwood

and these in Warley ward that are near West (but not all of them in that ward):

  • Former Mascalls Hospital, Mascalls Lane, Warley
  • Land adjacent to Carmel, Mascalls Lane, Warley
  • Land adjacent Hill Cottage, Warley Road, and Mill House, Mascalls Lane, Warley

Once again, please be absolutely clear these are not our intended or favoured sites – they are for consideration and we need your input so we can reject those that are just WRONG!

As an example, let’s look at 14-16 Westwood Avenue.  To my knowledge, there have been four recent attempts at putting an inappropriate development here.  There is no way I want this to be a development site so I will ensure that my feelings are known based on the work I have done with residents in Westwood Avenue.  That being done, should it be rejected as a site for development, it makes it much easier to say NO next time a greedy developer tries to build half a dozen houses there.  If it is not included – open season….we stand no chance.

My views on the other sites are varied – some may be appropriate and some certainly aren’t.  I am not here for my personal opinion though – I am here to represent you and to form a view based on weighing up the views of the people I represent.  So please let me know what you think and let me argue for you but, the most important thing you can do is to take part in this consultation and make sure you get the Brentwood you want in the future.

I am here for advice and discussion if you need me – the consultation ends on 17th February 2015.

Planning recommendations week ending 12 December 2014

lego-house

In #Brentwoodwest this week there are application in Homesteads, Ashford Avenue, Honeypot Lane, High Street, London Road and La Plata Grove:

Please note THESE ARE NOT yet decisions – I am able to refer to planning committee now.

HOMESTEADS ENTRANCE TO HILL ROAD ENTRANCE TO HILLSIDE WALK ENTRANCE TO SOUTH WEALD ROAD BRENTWOOD ESSEX
REMODELLING OF ACCESS INTO PRIVATE ROADS INCLUDING FIXED OPEN GATES.

Recommended for APPROVAL

HOMESTEADS ENTRANCE TO HILL ROAD ENTRANCE TO HILLSIDE WALK ENTRANCE TO SOUTH WEALD ROAD BRENTWOOD ESSEX

Recommended for APPROVAL

171 HIGH STREET BRENTWOOD ESSEX CM14 4SD – PROPOSED SINGLE STOREY REAR EXTENSION WITH THE DIMENSIONS
3.7M IN DEPTH X 4.3M IN WIDTH X 3.3M IN HEIGHT, WITH A FLAT ROOF.

Recommended for APPROVAL

21 LA PLATA GROVE BRENTWOOD ESSEX CM14 4LA – CONSTRUCTION OF A FIRST FLOOR REAR EXTENSION

Recommended for APPROVAL

16 HONEYPOT LANE BRENTWOOD ESSEX CM14 4QT – FIRST FLOOR SIDE EXTENSION

Recommended for APPROVAL

BRENTWOOD EXPRESS SERVICE STATION 6 LONDON ROAD BRENTWOOD
ESSEX CM14 4QG REPLACEMENT-  PUMP FORECOURT SIGNAGE

Recommended for APPROVAL

14 ASHFORD AVENUE BRENTWOOD ESSEX CM14 4ND – LEAN-TO ROOF OVER EXISTING SINGLE STOREY FLAT ROOFED SINGLE
STOREY REAR EXTENSION AND THE ENLARGEMENT OF THE EXISTING FIRST FLOOR REAR EXTENSION

Recommended for APPROVAL

If you have any issues with the above officer recommendation then please get in touch with me as soon as possible. The deadline for referral is midday on Monday 22nd December 2014 to refer the above item to the Planning Committee for further discussion.

For more information on the planning process, please see my advice here.

William Hunter Way consultation – a reminder

whw sign

 

Over the weekend, each household will receive a letter addressed to whoever is on the council tax account about the William Hunter Way consultation and here’s why…

On 1st September 2014, after the failure of the former Tory administration’s town centre development (along with eight wasted years and hundreds of thousands of pounds) the Accord administration launched a very genuine consultation – developed in consultation with local residents – that would go to every household in the borough.  It was initially launched online with a paper consultation planned to go through every door.

All was going to plan until a couple of weeks ago when we started to get calls and emails from residents to say they hadn’t received the consultation paper – what’s worse is that this was in areas very close to the site such as Wellesley Road, Weald Road, Gerrard Crescent and huge areas in Warley.

We hoped this would right itself but, with a week to go until the consultation ends in the past week we were still hearing this from our residents and a lengthy conversation on www.streetlife.com confirmed our worst fears.

On Saturday Cllr Russell Quirk, chair of the William Hunter Way Working Group (WHWWG), called an urgent meeting of this group tonight (6th October).  Councillors Quirk, Baker, Mynott, Sapwell and I met with officers at 7pm to discuss how this was going to be sorted out.

And sort it we did.

  • The deadline for the consultation is to be extended to 5th November 2014.
  • Every resident on the council tax register will now receive a letter reminding/informing them to complete this important survey
  • They will be able to complete it on line or have a survey sent to them
  • We will ask for further help from the Brentwood Gazette, Brentwood Weekly News and Phoenix FM (which may include taking out advertisements)

 

I am so pleased that we have been able to find a way to promote this consultation further at this late stage.  What’s better is that these “belt and braces” actions still keep us well within budget for the consultation project and assures residents that we have done everything we can to make sure every one of them has an opportunity to give us their views on the future of their town.

Make no mistake – this is important as it is about the long term future of the town which is why we are not taking it lightly.”

However, even with this unfortunate series of – now solved – problems, officers have confirmed that with well over 2,000 responses already this is the best response for a Brentwood resident consultation since records began.

Planning recommendations week ending 6 June 2014

 

lego-house

In #Brentwoodwest this week there is an applications in Weald Close.  I also bring you an update on Tesco Warley Hill.

Please note these are NOT yet decisions – I am able to refer to planning committee now.

Bushey Mount, Weald Close: LTWO STOREY AND SINGLE STOREY FRONT EXTENSION, TWO STOREY SIDE EXTENSION, SINGLE STOREY REAR EXTENSION AND FORMATION OF NEW CROSSOVER.

Recommended for APPROVAL

If you have any issues with the above officer recommendations then please get in touch with me as soon as possible. The deadline for referral is midday on Monday 16 June 2014 to refer the above item to the Planning Committee for further discussion.

For more information on the planning process, please see my advice here.

With regards to Tesco Warley Hill, you may have noticed that the advertising sleeves on the safety bollards have gone.  That’s because these were put there without planning permission and, being very close to the road, could be distracting to motorists and, let’s be honest, distraction isn’t something we need with all the traffic and congestion problems it is causing (more of this soon).  We are still putting pressure on Tesco to be good neighbours and have a number of issues to raise with them.

 

Where’s my polling station?

So, it’s nearly time to vote! If you don’t know where to vote on Thursday 22nd May, here’s my guide:

There are four polling stations in Brentwood West, they will be on your polling card, but just in case, here’s a map for each:

Victoria Court, Victoria Road (Polling card numbers starting CA)
Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way (Polling card numbers starting CB)
South Weald Parish Hall, London Road (Polling card numbers starting CC)
Baptist Church, Kings Chase (Polling card numbers starting CD)

If you are unsure which polling district you are in, need to return a postal vote on the day or have any other queries, just call me on 07774 248362.

I have also listed all the roads in the ward along with the polling station:

ROAD POLLING STATION
Ashford Avenue South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Batemans Mews Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
Belvedere Road South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Brook Road South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Burntwood Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Chase Road Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Crescent Road Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Cromwell Road Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Deans Road Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Downsland Drive Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Drover’s Mead Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
Elm Way South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Fairfield Road Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Fantasia Court Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
Firsgrove Crescent Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Firsgrove Road Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Gerrard Crescent Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Greensleeves Drive Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
Halfhides Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Hanover Place Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
High Street Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Hill Road South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Hillside Walk South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Hive Close South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Honeypot Lane South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Hospital Cottages Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Junction Road Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Kavanaghs Road South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Kavanaghs Terrace South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Kings Chase Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Kings Road Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Kipling Close Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
La Plata Grove Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Langley Drive South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Lark Close Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
Link Way Road South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
London Road South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Lorne Road Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Manor Way South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Milton Road Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Oldfields Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Osborne Heights Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
Pastoral Way Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
Pennyfields Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Potiphar Place Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
Railway Square Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Red Road Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Rhapsody Crescent Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
Rollason Way Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Selwood Road South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Sir Francis Way Baptist Church, Kings Chase
South Weald Road South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Spital Lane (nos 41-51) South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
St. James Road Baptist Church, Kings Chase
St. Peter’s Road Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Sussex Road Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Talbrook South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Tallis Way Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
The Beeches Baptist Church, Kings Chase
The Chase, Cromwell Road Victoria Court, Victoria Road
The Mount Baptist Church, Kings Chase
The Terlings South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Tower Hill Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Vaughan Williams Way Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
Victoria Road Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Wansford Close South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Warley Hill Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Warleywoods Crescent Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Weald Close South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Weald Road Baptist Church, Kings Chase
West Park Hill South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Westbury Drive Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Westbury Road Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Westway South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Westwood Avenue South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Wharf Road Baptist Church, Kings Chase

Parking issues: Honeypot Lane, Kavanaghs Road and surrounding areas

honeypot laneThere have been parking issues in Honeypot Lane and Kavanaghs Road for a little while, first of all due to the builders of The Beeches deciding to park in these roads and, most recently, the decision of BT to hire out some of their office space but without parking spaces.  Of course, people have been parking in the nearest legal places they could.

Cllr David Kendall has, as county councillor, been trying to get an answer out of the Tory lead councillor on Highways, Cllr Keith Parker.  Well, after a lack of response for months and months, we had a response today after Cllr Kendall followed it up yet again to which David said: “He hasn’t spoken to me about it as the County Councillor and he hasn’t consulted Cllr Karen Chilvers or Cllr Nigel Clarke the other two ward Borough councillors for Brentwood West. I think the only reason he has said anything to me is because I’ve chased him again”:

The decision re Honeypot Lane has been made taking into account the reply’s to the consultation, to put in a residents parking scheme which will include double yellow lines in the appropriate places I expect the residents to be advised shortly and to be given the standard time for objections.
Re the Terlings and surrounding roads that is in the process of going out to consultation and the residents will be in receipt of the paperwork shortly. – Cllr Keith Parker (man in charge of the highways budget)
So, officers will now draw up a plan that will show the resident zones and the no parking areas.  However, residents should note that this no parking will also apply to them and their visitors who will be unable to park at any time and also that there is a cost to resident permits and visitor permits.  At this time, we have no idea what this is and I would expect you will find out before me as Cllr Parker refuses to include me in any of his correspondence.  If we can help, feel free to contact us.
Finally, some residents have questioned David and me as to why we haven’t been to meetings or photo calls – that’s because we weren’t invited!

“Improve Cromwell Road Play Area? Shouldn’t those children be up chimneys?” say Brentwood Tories

Final Chimney Sweep Concept

 

 

Cast your mind back to Friday 1st October 2012, I was there on a cold, rainy morning at 9am with a council officer and my ward colleagues discussing a number of things following us saving Cromwell Road Play Area from the hands of greedy developers.

It was a good meeting – we were to look into an additional site, improving the current area and adding some educational play boards.

cromwell road play area

Has anything happened since.  Nope.  Despite me chasing it up on a regular basis.

This is a record that I see with the Tories – keep talking about these things but never actually committing to anything or moving things along.  So, after 14 months of zero activity I asked Tory Cllr Jan Pound to put it on her agenda, so it could be agree by councillors and actioned ASAP.

Yet again another flurry of words from me that you may have seen before on two previous posts:

“I received a reply this morning telling me that wasn’t going to happen because it wasn’t in the budget for 2013/14 and it will have to go in to next year’s committee agenda.  Once again, stalling tactics hoping that I will forget or they’ll see me off at a future election (because, this happened before and projects came to a crashing halt).

This doesn’t make sense because to be agreed for the 2014/15 budget then it needs to have been agreed so funding can be found for it – the budget setting meeting is just two months away.  Not doing this means that it is kicked on until 2015/16 at the earliest – but they haven’t actually been able to pull on their big girl/boy panties once again (see previous related post) and make a decision.

But there’s a curious angle to this one – the officer concerned says there is no budget available and yet, there jolly well is.  There are tens of thousands in Section 106 agreement monies generated from the developments in Rollason Way and St James Road.  They are ring fenced for play area provision and, I do believe, that any need in Brentwood West should be met before these are spent in any other area of the borough.  This could easily fund what we are proposing here.

When I was chair of Overview & Scrutiny before the Tories decided to have my head on a plate on spurious and evil grounds, I asked for a report on all the S106 monies.  I was expecting this report in June and yet, by October it had still not materialised (even though I had seen a rough draft) due to a number of odd reasons…..is this where the bodies were buried?

Are the Tories planning another pet project elsewhere to bolster their chances of electoral success?  Remember, last year an amount of £165,000 was found and shoved in the budget with no discussion, debate or council decision because the Tories wanted to make sure they kept hold of their Hutton seats.  Yet apparently they cannot find, or even discuss at the relevant committee, the use of £3,000 to improve play provision after all the disruption that Brentwood West and Warley residents have had to put up with in the last ten years of construction.

So, it seems, as far as the Tories are concerned, the children who live in my ward can go whistle…..while they work!

ENJOY!

 

 

London Road Cemetery Trees

london road cemetery

The following has just been received from officers regarding the trees in London Road Cemetery:

Following the recent stormy weather the Council has undertaken a survey of a number of its open spaces to determine the health and stability of the trees within them and to ensure that areas are safe and enjoyable for residents to use; one of those sites surveyed has been London Road Cemetery.

The inspection has found that whilst there are no trees presenting an immediate danger there are some that require proactive works to ensure they do not present an issue should we experience further poor weather over the winter period. The most notable of these is the line of Lime tress adjacent to properties in London Road Cemetery, a Eucalyptus tree to the rear of properties in Weald Close and a line of Beech trees further into the cemetery on Boot Hill.

To preserve the integrity of the trees and the safety of the site it has been advised by the Council’s Arboricultural Assistant that the following works be undertaken:

• Lime trees – these will be pollarded to source to prolong their longevity.

• Beech trees – select individuals will remain as they are but will be dead wooded the remaining will be reduced to 2m in height to create a hedge along the boundary of the cemetery.

• Eucalyptus – due to the weight in this tree and the lean it now presents the decision has been taken to fell and remove this tree.