Priory Chase Problems

We received the following email today from a resident, which we publish with his permission.

We’ve been in contact with the district council this afternoon on this, emailing the councillors in charge of litter and community safety (Cllrs Michael Steptoe and Lesley Butcher, respectively) as well as the appropriate council officers. Cllr Steptoe has already very helpfully emailed us back to say he will be raising the litter problem with officers. The District Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Co-ordinator (he co-ordinates stopping it) will be discussing the situation with the police.

Any other comments from residents would be most welcome! And just to add that although David Cameron offered the Lib Dems a coalition at national level, there is no coalition on Rochford District Council.

Dear Chris,
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Unfortunately last night it was necessary for myself and other residents to contact the local police team regarding 5 mopeds and 2 cars that decided to use Priory chase and the skate park as a youth congregation area. The mopeds used Priory Chase as a race track repeated going up and down and around the roundabouts several times at speed causing noise and nuisance. These mopeds and only 50cc and sound like demented wasps. Multiply this by 5 and you get the idea. I also witnessed them popping wheelies in the road and driving back and forth between the road and Skate park along the pavement. In the past week these idiots have also been seen using the bridle way that runs from he children’s playground in Swayne park all the way to the top of Priory Chase by the infants school. Local police attended very quickly and contacted me later to inform me that they were aware of the individuals from previous dealings. The skate park is now a congregation area for unruly teenage youths, particularly now that the nights are warmer and lighter. As the skate park is partly managed by the local authority what action can I and other residents expect under your obligation under the crime and disorder act to take to remedy the problem. The local police have agreed to patrol the area and tackle any issues they come across, however long term responsibility for the skate park lies with the local authority. The skate park is dirty, unsupervised and attracts groups intent on loutish behaviour to the area. The local ASDA store is a ready supply of refreshments for them keeping them in the area for long periods of time.
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A trail of litter from ASDA’s to the skate park clearly shows this. Despite several requests for street cleaning in the area the local authority repeatedly sites the needs for roads to be adopted. This however does appear to stop them emptying my bin or collecting my council tax each month as they have for the past 4 years. ASDA’s have informed me that they offered to sponsor 2 bins in Priory Chase to alleviate the problem, but the local authority refused to take responsibility of emptying them. How about some common sense and less excuses. Litter in this area will only increase when the football pitches at the top of Priory Chase open up, lets get some bins in now and do something about it. There was a bin at the top of Priory Chase by the start of the footpath but this seemed to disappear when the pitches were created. Where has it gone, who decided it was not needed. It clearly was, the amount of litter along this footpath and area now shows this.
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I would suggest that if this skate park was next to the council offices or some councillors homes then I would not be writing to you. Skate parks are a good idea provided they are managed and run responsibly you as an authority set up the skate park therefore you should also take the responsibility of dealing with the fallout.
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As a local councillor in a now joint coalition council there should be little or no opposition to all of you agreeing to do something. Hopefully this will be swift and not the normal political agenda of passing responsibility, forming committees and employing think tanks. If there is space between discussions on which type of plastic/metal will be used on name plates under sponsored flower baskets can this issues please be raised.
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Apologies for the rant.

  • These youngsters have mums and dads, enough said. I have written about this for what seems a lifetime. When will parents take responsibility for their offspring???

  • Mike
    100% agree ,until some parents realise that the Children they have are There responsibility not the State’s then these types of problems will keep happening.

  • There seems to be a widespread impression that we locally have a coalition with the tories. THAT AINT TRUE!!!
    The tory executive on RDC won’t even share power with their own “back benchers” let alone us
    As Terry Cutmore says : he’s satisfied with the present setup, well he would say that wouldn’t he as leader of the gang of nine.
    The Government say that we can get rid of the undemocratic cabinet system….. don’t hold your breath!

  • It really is time that the upholders of the law took a firm line with the minority of individuals who make life a misery for everyone. Unfortunately IF they ever get caught it will probably be the usual cosy chat or metaphorical “tap on the wrist”

  • I agree with your sentiments Mike, but when we’re talking about idiots on mopeds and in cars we’re moving away from kids causing trouble to young adults causing trouble. While you’d like to think parents would still be interested in the behaviour of their kids at this age, legally this may not be the case.

    Perhaps a few points placed on individuals driving licences may help, combined with some fixed penalty notices for public order offences. Even a ride home in a police car may focus the attention of both offenders and parents.

    During the snow earlier this year there were two old Fiestas being driven continuously around the roundabout outside the school, using the handbrake to cause them skid. There’s no fear of being caught and little chance of anything being done if they’re reported.

    On Tuesday evening there were 2 cars parked in Asda carpark, where the occupants engaged in throwing litter and kicking a football around amongst the shoppers’ parked vehicles. It’s a little sad that you can afford to run a vehicle but have nothing better to do than hang around a supermarket carpark.

  • STI, I take your point, however these people are the older brothers and sisters of siblings, unless parents take a stand and responsibility for their children this will just perpetuate. Parents, Councils and Police must take a stronger stance and instil some sort of responsibility in their children.

  • Whilst Mr Nobes is correct you must face facts – the parents of these kids do not care less what their kids are doing at night. Trash parents breed trash kids – always have done and always will do. The problem of anti-social behaviour has been going on in this area for at least 10 years. The police are unable or unwilling to tackle the problem and local youths know that any punishment will consist of a “word in their ear” by the local copper. It will make no difference whatsoever.

    As you sow you shall reap goes the old saying and this is exactly what is happening now. Over the last 10-15 years we have seen more and more about people’s rights – but rights come with responsibility, these youths demand the former but disregard the latter and as such should forgo any rights they think they may have.

    I am totally convinced that the only remedy is harsh punishment, take away their mopeds / cars and crush them, impose a 12 month curfew on the trouble makers, put them on show in the High Road on Saturday so we can all see what silly little boys they are.

    And before the “right on – do-goody – love all” brigade reply I say this to you – the current liberal approach is simply not working is it ?

  • I live at the far end of Temple Way and my neighbours and I recently had to respond to fireworks being thrown at our homes at 22:30 hrs from a “souped up” vehicle, which then sped away. We heard the vehicle but didn’t see it so it was pointless ringing the Police, however the situation could have been very serious.

    The mopeds I have seen driving around here recently are on L plates and the riders appear to be no older than 16, maybe younger, who’s to say that they are riding or driving these vehicles legally – that is to say with the appropriate licence, insurance and tax etc? Last week 3 of these youngsters were riding so fast they all struggled to stop at the roundabout to avoid smashing into a car negotiating the roundabout – this was in broad daylight at approx 19:00 hrs.

    As for the football pitches I’ve been banging on since these pitches were first proposed that these will attract anti-social behaviour and they should be fenced in and supervised appropriately. It doesn’t take a genius to predict that when the goal posts go up they will be smashed! Weren’t they supposed to be open in May?

    I am sick to the back teeth of parents failing to take responsibility for their offspring – maybe if they were also threatened with prosecution and naming and shaming in the press they would start to parent their kids instead of ignoring them.

    Additionally this useless Council of ours needs to wake up and smell the roses and act decisively NOW before they finally lose every scrap of credibility they have left! Essex CC should adopt Priory Chase and Temple Way ASAP and start enforcing the law.

  • I have lived in Temple Way since not long after building on the estate started and can say that the problems with litter started as soon as ASDA opened. There is no clearing up of litter by the supermarket entrance and the wind carries it all over the estate, even right round into Temple Way. I continually feel like I’m the only one constantly out with a bag picking it all out of our plant borders. It is one of the reasons contributing to our untidy estate.

    Even though I don’t overlook Priory Chase my husband and I frequently notice teenagers in cars and bikes driving dangerously up and down Priory Chase. We quite often have a walk around with our 4 year old around tea time (5-7pm) and even then witness noisy and loutish behaviour right in front of residents’ properties. A lot of families with very young children live on this estate and it is probably only a matter of time before one of them is hurt. Since ASDA introduced the gate in the staff car park/goods entrance and altered the position of the staff outdoor shelter, the youths have been observed in Temple Way. The alterations have simply moved the problem around the corner, not eliminated it. We had youths playing football very close to our windows a couple of weeks ago, and throwing cans of drinks. When they noticed me watching them they just moved further up the street and left me all their rubbish.

    These problems don’t seem to exist on other housing developments in Rawreth Lane so some special effort should be made by the local authority to address the issues that have occurred on Coppice Gate. Other estates don’t have supermarkets, football pitches and so on so it seems conclusive that these additions have been the root cause of the anti social behaviour/litter. As the local authority granted the planning permissions for these amenities in the first place they should act responsibly in dealing with the consequences of their decision.

  • Rayleigh Resident, I agree the liberal approach that the justice system has does not do a damn thing for the people who have to put up with this type of behaviour. The only way we can do something about this is to keep on keepng on to the council, police and through the local papers. Shame the council, tell the police that they are not doing enough for us but also if anyone knows who these louts are, name and shame them and their parents. TWR, I live in a close where the children are let out, a lot of the time unsupervised, god knows what may happen here if we have one of these speed merchants come into the close? I am as fed up as anyone about the lack of responsibility that some parents have towards their offspring, its about time these people and youngsters were made to act responsibly. The sooner either the council, police or god forbid, the parents take on this responsibility the sooner we can all get on with our lives. I would really appreciate comments from the Police, the Council or from parents of these youngsters.

  • Maybe writing letters to our MP might get something done, eventually. Just make sure you send a copy to the Echo.

    Mark, have you any comments on the problems encountered by your constituents?