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.

Planning recommendations week ending 16th January 2015

lego-house

In #Brentwoodwest this week there is an application in Crescent Road:

Please note THIS IS NOT yet a decision – I am able to refer to planning committee now.

205 CRESCENT ROAD: FIRST FLOOR SIDE EXTENSION AND HIGH LEVEL GROUND FLOOR WINDOW
TO NORTHWEST ELEVATION

Recommended for REFUSAL

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 26 January 2015 to refer the above item to the Planning Committee for further discussion.

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

 

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.

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

“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!

 

 

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 www.newbers4west.co.uk 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!

Planning applications w.e. 19th July 2013

lego-house

In #Brentwoodwest this week there are applications in Crescent Road and La Plata Grove.

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

-215 CRESCENT ROAD –  SINGLE STOREY FLAT ROOF REPLACEMENT, POLYCARBONATE LEAN TO ROOF WITH PITCHED GABLE END ROOF. REPLACE LEAN TO SLIDING DOORS WITH SUPPORTING WALLS WITH PVC WINDOW AND PATIO DOOR – Recommended for approval.

– 1 LA PLATA GROVE – TWO STOREY SIDE EXTENSION AND DETACHED DOUBLE GARAGE  – 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 29th July 2013 to refer the above item to the Planning Committee for further discussion.

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

Parking – simples?

I still recall those heady days when Brenwood Council was in charge of its own destiny, when we could get things done for residents without playing dodge the pothole, when we had some sort of control over our parking.

It’s a different story these days, now the Tories have sold off the entire contents of the family silver, right down to the last teaspoon.

This is what happens now, if we try to get any parking restrictions in Brentwood:

Slide1

You see, in my unplanned year off, the Tories decided, in their infinite wisdom, to form SEPP with other councils (South East Parking Partnership) and, basically, hand over our parking to Chelmsford City Council.

I would argue that it is not working.  A few weeks ago, I asked some questions of the lead officer at Chelmsford.  Here are my questions and his replies:

1. How many parking restrictions have been implemented in Brentwood West?None

2. How many are due to be implemented, following consultation in Brentwood West? None

3. How many have been rejected in Brentwood West? None

4. How many requests have been made/how many are live? Four

 Rollason Way– ongoing / work in progress

Deans Road– Assessment form with Lead Officer (25/03/2013)

Honeypot Lane- on hold

Rhapsody Crescent – no further action at this time, the parking problem has gone

Well, what a resounding success!

Except then I had to go back on the following issues:

– Last year I had a site visit with an officer around Victoria Road, Cromwell Road, Crescent Road, Junction Road and Milton Road to identify minor amends that could be made to provide extra parking in the area.  Was this passed on to you?

– A consultation has also taken place in Wharf Road at the end where the new houses are, what is the status on this?

– I also know there are other requests dating back to 2009 and it appears they have been lost in the handover.  Please can you confirm what was handed over to you, if anything?

I am awaiting a response on all these matters.

 

So, what do you think Brentwood West residents?  Tories making the right decisions for Brentwood?