Hawkwell Village Hall was packed tonight. There were about 30 residents standing at the back.. latecomers had to stand outside the hall and listen.
Here’s a flavour of the first hour and a half of the meeting:
Whilst residents packed the place out, there were quite a few missing district councillors. In fact 12 district councillors are on the Central Area Committee – only 6 turned up.
Whether you agree with him or not, Councillor Keith Hudson fielded all the hostile questions courteously and confidently. Also Councillor Carole Weston chaired the meeting well.
In the first 90 minutes Councillor John Mason was the only other district councillor who actually spoke – though Parish Councillor Myra Weir did speak and got a round of applause.
The overall mood of the meeting was strongly against 300 + homes in Hawkwell. When Keith Hudson asked where else they should go, a chorus came back of ‘nowhere!’ People were mostly concerned about traffic, loss of the semi-rural environment, and schooling.
However, not everyone was against the housing. One couple mentioned on the way out that they supported the new housing because it was needed.
Hawkwell dominated the meeting completely. Although Hullbridge comes under the central area, the word “Hullbridge” wasn’t mentioned once in the first hour and a half.
Best quote of the night from a resident? Possibly : “We need to know our council is behind us, not fighting us”