So, the West Area Committee came to Rawreth Village Hall on Thursday night.
There were about 50 members of the public , plus about 16 councillors, plus officers from Rochford DC and Essex CC, plus personnel from Anglain Water, Firstbus, Regal Buses and Acting Chief Inspector Andy Parkman from Essex Police.
Here’s a flavour of the meeeting:
Rawreth Playing Fields/ Recreation GroundsRawreth Parish Council raised the issue of the playing fields along Rawreth Lane. They are an important location for local football teams, but the parking isn’t really adequate – cars spill on to the road, as can be seen in Rawreth PC’s photo below:
Here is a picture of the existing car parking:
Basically, Rawreth Parish Council would like some money spent to extend the car parking on site. The response from the District Council officers wasn’t particularly positive – their estimate was a cost of about ?50,000 and this sum won’t be available in the council budget this year. However Rawreth Parish Councillors Lyn Hopkins and Alistir Matthews said that it didn’t necessarily need a 100% hard surface, just something that could take cars a few times a week and might be a lot cheaper.
To give it a chance of getting some funding from Rochford DC, Chris Black and Ron Oatham asked that the matter be referrred to the council cabinet – and this was agreed. So let’s hope the Cabinet will realise the importance of this sort of facility. (those people concerned about youth nuisance problems might appreciate the Australian motto “Kids who do sport don’t end up in court”, but obviously there are a whole load of reasons for encouraging sports activities)
The next item was about the West Rayleigh Sewage Works which has made life quite wretched for some residents in the last few months. Anglian Water apologised, saying that the problems were caused by delays in completion a new ?36 million works in Tilbury. An officer from Rochford Dc said they had now served an odour abatement notice on the site. When Chris Black asked what this meant he was told the odour has to stop by 1700 hrs on February 29th. IF IT DOESN’T STOP, OR IT COMES BACK WE HOPE PEOPLE WILL CONTACT US STRAIGHTAWAY
One lady sitting at the back with her children asked if the smells would ever come back – Anglian Water’s response was that they don’t intend to cause any more smells here, but if things went wrong unexpectedly at other sites, and ‘cake’ had to be brought back here again…
Crime Figures and Public Disorder Figures. Essex Police were able to give a couple of pages full of local statistics.
Burglaries- 21 reported burglaries in Rayleigh and Rawreth for the last 6 months of 2007. Not a bad figure considering the number of houses we have. Similarly, 21 reported cases of theft of motor vehicles. As Cllr David Merrick pointed out , the figures for woundings seemed alarmingly high , at 50 in 6 months. The police advised us that ‘woundings’ included various tyoes of assaults, including those with fists. (it did seem a little odd that the police – who presumably need to know what these offences are , couldn’t explain it fully to us on Thursday night) We were given the info broken down into each council ward:
We were alos given figures regarding Antisocial Behaviour. This covers a variety of thinsg, such as noise, street drinking, rowdyiness, trespass, abandoned vehicles, malicious calls…. There’s too much data to quote here. The data only includes matters known to the police, so if they become more active one month, the figures become worse! However the police figures are 530 cases for the last 6 months of 2007.
We were given the figures month-by-month for 2006 and 2007, so we could see if the figures were getting worse or better. In the spring and summer, figures for 2007 were lower than in the previous year. However in November and December they were noticeably higher than in the previous year. Is that a genuine worsening of things, or are the police merely taking more notice?
The ward with the most reported cases of anti-social behaviour was Wheatley. This shouldn’t be surprising, because it includes the High Street. However the point seemed to be lost on one of the ward councillors from there who actually asked the police whether the problem was in residential streets or in the town centre. There were a few eyebrows raised at the naivety of the question….
If anyone wants more detailed info, ask Chris.
The next post tomorrow will cover the other big item discussed – bus routes!