Chris and Ron went to Downhall School yesterday. A lot of local residents and parents were there to get more information on the proposed SureStart Centre there. We learned that:
The County Council will be producing a planning application in late August.
Instead of the District Council deciding the application, it seems that the County Council will handle it itself. This means that District Councillors like ourselves will be able to express and make comments but we won?t have a vote.
Talking to residents and parents, opinions seem divided.
The plus points seem to be:
Extra facilities for the local community such as baby health care, childminding support, jobcentre plus and speech therapy ? and some local people are keen to have these.
New classrooms for the school to replace the temporary ones.
The main concerns from residents seem to be:
Extra parking problems ? access to the centre will be from Torquay Close, which was not designed for this, and this centre will serve half of Rayleigh!
A change in the character of the school ? the local neighbourhood nature of the school may be affected and some playground area will be lost.
Worries about security ? however the centre will have a controlled access (from Torquay Close). There are lots of SureStart centres elsewhere in the UK and we are not aware of any incidents caused by one of these.
Here’s one thought of our own:-
If the centre does go ahead here, should there be residential parking schemes in the roads around the school?
As always, we would appreciate your views , however in this case please email us directly, there is no comments facility for this item,
Incidentally, Castle Point Labour campaigner Julian Ware Lane has an item about SureStart centres at http://warelane.wordpress.com/2009/07/07/sure-start/ “