Rayleigh?s new pavilion was officially ?opened? at the beginning of the month by Tony Humphries, the Town Council Chairman , complete with champagne and in the presence of the District Council Chairman, the local Press and various worthies.
(Coincidentally, just in time for the local District Council elections!)
Unfortunately this was an opening in name only, since the building is once more surrounded by a fence with ?construction site ?keep out? notices and the gate from Websters Way car park into the field remains locked, while the builders carry out the business of ?snagging?. How long this will take is anybody?s guess.
Meanwhile, concerns have been raised about security and vandalism. A burglar alarm and CCTV system are planned and the question of whether the building should be surrounded by a proper security fence is being discussed.
Another question is whether the toilets in the building should be open to the public or just when the pavilion is open for the use of sports organisations etc.
During the Easter bank holiday as many as 100 youths/young persons congregated in the field after dark when it was locked (presumably they found it easy to climb the fence) and the police seemed powerless or even unwilling to disperse them.
It?s been suggested that the fence around the field could be removed so that ?at least we know where they are (!!) and they?re not spread all round the town .?
We?re also being told by some of the more sensible youngsters that there are certain elements who are just waiting for the builders to leave so that they can get in and decorate the nice blank walls with spraycans and smash up as much as they are able (e.g. the toilets) .
Obviously, a worrying time ahead.
The Town Council are to go ahead with a planning application to adapt the upper floor/roof space for offices and meeting rooms. This ,of course, was included as part of the previous pavilion project which was refused by Rochford District Council Planning Services Committee against the advice of officers. We await the outcome with interest.