Friday, 26 August 2011

GCSE & A Level

Over the past two weeks, students all over the town received their A level and GCSE results. I offer my congratulations to all the students who received their results through their hard work and dedication to their studies.  

Road Works Update

Over the past week, road resurfacing works have been taking place in Church Road, West Road and St Andrews Road causing some difficulties for residents and businesses accessing the West Road Shopping Area.

The road resurfacing works have now been completed in Church Road and in St Andrews Road by the entrance to the one way section of the West Road Shopping Area and the West Road Shopping Area is now fully accessable to vehicles.

West Road remains closed today between Church Road and St Andrews Road whilst the old road surface is being removed and the resurfacing of this section of West Road will begin after the Bank Holiday weekend on Tuesday 30th August. 

As a reminder all Shoeburyness residents, the refuse collection for next week will be on Saturday 3rd September because of the Bank Holiday weekend. 

Friday, 19 August 2011

Hands up who thinks the rioters need lenient sentences

Nearly two weeks on following the beginning of four nights of rioting, almost everybody has had a view regarding what should be done to ensure that there is no repeat of the violence which shocked and appalled the entire nation.

Of all the comment and analysis from the political and chattering classes, Simon Marcus, who runs a boxing academy in Tottenham and was a Conservative candidate at the last General Election has for me, given the most moving and quite brilliant analysis on the issue so far.

Attention now by some in the media are focusing on the severity of the sentences handed down to those who took part in the riots. The Guardian today has some very interesting analysis on the sentences handed down to date.

With 8 out of 10 people supporting the tough stance on the sentences handed to rioters it seems some still haven't captured the public mood. It seems odd that those on the left who were decrying Ken Clarke for being too lenient on sentencing are now saying that punishments handed to the rioters are too severe.

Maybe those who are advocating these lighter sentences should face the family in Tottenham, who nearly two weeks on, only have the clothes on their backs and the thousands petrified in local communities across England.

Or the local businessman in Clapham, who is struggling to keep his business alive while their is a shortage of glazers to repair the broken windows to his shop.

Even the 750 workers at the Sony Distribution Centre in Enfield who lost their jobs as the building was set alight by looters or possibly the Reeves family who saw their 140 year old family business go up in smoke in Croydon.

How about 180+ police officers who were injured during the disturbances and fireman who came under attack from thugs as they tried to put out their fires.

Better still, the family and friends of the five who sadly perished as they mourn and bury their loved ones.

The list is endless. Still think the rioters deserve lenient sentences?       

Shared Space Schemes in Highway law

Much has been written about the New City Beach scheme. I believe the seafront between the Kursaal and Pier Hill has been revitalised and is popular with visitors – especially the water fountains and wasn't in the least bit surprised to hear that City Beach has been shortlisted for an award.

Following an article that appeared earlier this week in the Echo, there seems to be some confusion as to what is 'Shared Space' in Highway law.

Shared Space is not a definition that has a background in Highway Law but is rather a relatively new concept in the UK which has been supported predominantly by research in Europe. The Department for Transport commissioned a report in November 2009 to develop guidance for UK shared space schemes.

The City Beach scheme has been designed in a way that adopts “Shared Space” principles and the DfT guidance.

LGN Award for Progress Road

I was delighted to hear earlier this month that the new Progress Road junction clinched a major award from the Local Government News. The successful scheme won the “Highway” category of the LGN‟s Street Design 2011 Awards. Progress Road junction is part of the Better Southend initiative, launched to help to make the borough a better place for residents, visitors and businesses to live, rest and work.

The LGN judges recognised how significantly the new Progress Road scheme was reducing traffic queues and delays at the junction, adding: ‘The work has provided local and national benefits and was completed on a tight budget.’

‘The infrastructure improvements achieved during the scheme will also enable further regeneration work to be carried out in the area.’

The new Progress Road junction provides additional lanes on both carriageways of the A127, allowing traffic to flow through the area more easily.

The £5m scheme, was delivered on time and on budget, and was funded by grants from the Homes & Communities Agency and from the Council‟ Capital Budget.

Friday, 5 August 2011

City Beach Accident

Apologies to all of you that follow this blog that blogging has been a bit light recently but some recent home DIY has taken up much of my free time over the past month.
Whilst blogging has taken a bit of a back seat, I have added a new feature to this site which gives an indication of some of the work that I and the West Shoebury Action Team have done in West Shoebury since I was first elected as a councillor in 2006.

When I first set up this blog, I pledged that I would not shy away from talking about and giving my own personal opinions on the biggest issues both locally and nationally.

Since the last round of local elections in May, I was privileged to be asked to be the portfolio holder for Transport in addition to the responsibilities that I already had for Public Protection and Waste. One thing that I have quickly learnt is that roads and parking is probably the single issue that raises emotions and feelings in people. Yesterday was no exception especially after the incident at City Beach where a 6 year old boy was involved in an accident with one of the new council CCTV cars.

There have been numerous comments made on the ECHO website forums about this incident and also dominates 3 pages in today’s edition and also the main subject of the papers leader column.

Following an investigation yesterday’s accident is exactly what it was – an accident, which could have happened to any car in any road in this town. It is impossible to mitigate against the risk of a young, unaccompanied child suddenly running across a road into the path of traffic without looking. This was a very unfortunate accident and my thoughts go out to this young boy and I wish him a speedy recovery.

I also believe the 20mph speed limit in force on Marine Parade almost certainly prevented the boy’s injuries from being even more serious and potentially saved his life.

I would also like to wish the driver of the CCTV car a speedy recovery as he was naturally shaken by the incident as anyone would be.