The setting : People we spoke to afterwards felt that the Methodist Church was quite a good location, at least for summertime meetings. There was plenty of parking as well. Because of the involvement of the public, and the attitude of councillors, there was a good positive atmosphere.
First question from the public – was from onlinefocus regular Mike Nobes, asking how many homes has been built in Rayleigh so far this year – the answer was that the district council doesn’t know yet.
Lorries breaking the weight limit along Beeches Road and Watery Lane : Ron Oatham said he’s heard a rumour that Satnavs were programmed with this as a suitable route for lorries, and this caused part of the problem. Lyn Harvey from County Highways didn’t
think really was causing the problem – most of the lorries seemed to be from local companies, and that the police were visiting them and warning them.
Reduction in the bus service along Rawreth Lane Lib Dem Chris Lumley asked whether we could ask Firstbus to increase their services in the area so that there could be an hourly bus along Rawreth Lane.
Crime Figures Chief Inspector John Walker talked about the latest crime statistics. In the second quarter of 2007, reported crime in Rayleigh was down compared with the previous year:
Common assault 16
Criminal Damage 80 (includes vandalism)
Theft from Vehicles 48
Theft from the person 5
Bicycle thefts 5
Taking of motor vehicle 20
Vehicle Interference 2
Woundings 29 (includes actual bodily harm, grievous bodily harm)
Total, 2nd quarter of 2007 : 212
Total, 2nd quarter of 2006 : 241
Cllr Joan Mockford said she was disappointed that these figures weren’t lower, however the Chief Inspector said that at least these figures were going down, whereas in other parts of Essex they were going up.
Member of the public Steve Skinner asked what the detection rate was – the answer was that it was currently 32.8 per cent.
Websites: Onlinefocus regular Alison Mayor said the Rayleigh Town Council website was lagging behind – there was nothing about the windmill on it , for example. Tory Town Councillor Pat Weaver admitted that their website needed improving , and that this was being discussed.
Air Pollution in Rayleigh Town Council: There was a brief discussion about the high levels in Nitrogen Dioxide that had been measured at the High Street/ Eastwood Road junction. Tory Cllr Jim Grey said that a lot of the pollution came from buses, and Chris Lumley agreed, saying that we were now getting a lot more older buses in our area.
Chris Black formally asked that the area committee get the ‘cabinet’ to have more pollution measuring at the High Street/ Love Lane junction, because it is near a primary school.
A Walk Along the Crouch? : Tory Cllr Mavis Webster spoke about encouraging tourism in the area. The best response came from Independent Rawreth Parish Councillor Alistir Matthews who talked about creating a walk along the Crouch from Battlesbridge to Hullbridge. This got a very positive response from other people at the meeting and we hope it is something that the District Council will consider.