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Council Update On Swings

From the¬† District Council website…:

Due to findings within our annual play inspection programme, certain play areas and play equipment have been temporarily closed. We are working hard to repair and replace these items of play and these works have been prioritised. Please see below list of play areas that are currently undergoing maintenance:

Site Play Space Status Addditional Information
John Fisher Recreation Ground, Rayleigh. OPEN Swings currently closed.
Sweyne Park, Rayleigh. OPEN Swings currently closed.
Causton Way, Rayleigh. CLOSED Closed until further notice.
Betts Wood, Hockley. CLOSED Closed until further notice.
Hullbridge Recreation Ground. OPEN Boat multi-play closed.
Little Wakering Recreation Ground. CLOSED Closed until further notice.
Fairview Recreation Ground, Rayleigh. OPEN Swings currently closed.
Grove Woods Open Space, Rayleigh. OPEN Swings currently closed.

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Swings Gone

With very unfortunate timing for the school holidays, the district council has had to remove some swings from playspaces due to adverse safety reports. This seems to have caught the council completely by surprise.

In some cases the removals are only temporary, awaiting the arrival of new spare parts. in other cases it may be difficult to get the spares. ūüôĀ

Of course safety has to come first. However we are keeping a close eye on what’s going on, both at a district council level and town council level.

Meanwhile, there’s nothing on the district council website about this

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Sweyne Park

We have sent an email to RDC asking them to:

  • Cut the grass again in the area near the rebound wall
  • Cut the grass again inside the play area
  • Mow some paths
  • Create a bigger area of cut grass so there’s more room for people during the school holidays

 

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Beware Of The Rat Who Is Poisoning Dogs

There is a disturbing story from Kristina Drake in the Echo tonight concerning a dog who had to be put down after eating poison or some kind of contaminated food. There has been a spate of reports about dogs being poisoned.

Rochford District Council is stepping up patrols and inspections of its wood and open spaces in our district.

Dog owners should be extra vigilant when walking their pets and report anything suspicious to the council on 01702 318111 .

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A Good Chance To Forage !

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One of the extra bonuses of a country walk in the autumn is the chance to forage…

Which Wood Had The Most Litter? It’s Belfairs. Which Had The Least ? Hockley Woods

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Hockley Woods
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We’ve been in contact with one resident who carried out his own litter survey in various woods and parks of South Essex. He counted how much litter he saw in a two mile walk. This is what he found a couple of years ago:

Over the last few years I have noticed the amount in local woodlands increasing year on year. Therefore I decided to do a survey and to understand the nature of the problem.
I surveyed nine local woods by counting the amount and sorts of litter I saw during a two mile walk.

The worst I found was Belfairs woods near Southend on Sea, Essex, England. There I counted 571 pieces of litter. This compared with only 45 pieces in Hockley woods only three miles away.

Both woods are popular with the local population. Both have a car park and a playground. Belfairs has a golf course as well, but not much litter was seen on the fairways.

So there is no obvious reason why one should be heavily littered and the other not.

There were however some points which seemed to accumulate more litter than other place. These were roads; lanes; carparks; schools; supermarkets; lakes and playgrounds. However the only place which had lots of litter and lots of amenities was Sweyne park, which has a playground, supermarket; car park and a lake.Litter by type in SE Essex

Noticeably the woods which were heavily littered were surrounded by residential streets. This was true of Belfairs; Sweyne Park and West woods. The others were bordered by farmland or other woods. Both Sweyne Park and West woods also had a school bordering the area.

The Picnic District 1 – Cherry Orchard Jubilee Country Park

We’ve used the phrase “The Picnic District” for our district before, and over the spring , summer and autumn we’re going to mention some of the possible places to have a picnic here.

Let’s start with Cherry Orchard Jubilee Country Park, stretching all the way from Rochford to the edge of Rayleigh. The first part of the park was obtained by the deal with the County Council that allowed the building of the Priory Chase / Temple Way development in Rayleigh. These photos were taken on Sunday, there were clear blue skies (with the moon in the sky, just visible in the second photo). Lots of fresh air, a mostly open landscape and some bird song….

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Consultation On Open Space – Closes November 28th –

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Rochford District Council residents have been given the opportunity to comment on the RDC draft Open Spaces Strategy.

The Friends of Sweyne Park are encouraging people to respond to the consultation, saying:

The committee wants to encourage as many people as possible to respond to this survey…

In the past RDC have been criticised for not taking enough note of public consultations.  Maybe that is because so few people actually respond. In an interview on Essex Radio Cllr Simon Smith said that there were 90,000 people in the Rochford district.   A recent on line council tax survey had a response from just 24 people.

I hope we can do better than that with this important survey.¬† A significant amount of the Council’s budget is allocated to Open Spaces and if we the council tax payers and open space users want to see a reflection of our views we should take this opportunity to let them know what they are.

The draft Open Spaces Strategy is a large and comprehensive document – don’t be put off! Below is a link to the Open Space Strategy Consultation page on the RDC website where you can find the online form or download a paper copy.¬†¬†¬† You will find references to Cherry Orchard Park and The Friends of Cherry Orchard Park as well as proposals for all open spaces that include the park.

http://www.rochford.gov.uk/leisure_culture_and_tourism/woodlands_parks_and_open_spaces

 

 

Amenity Space Saved, Wakering Development Squeaks Through……

At tonight’s meeting of the Development Committee:

The outline  application for 6 dwellings on the amenity space at Brocksford Avenue was refused by an overwhelming vote of councillors. Refusal was moved by  Ian  Ward and seconded by Heather Glynn. This pleased the public gallery, which was packed with concerned residents.

The application for 116 dwellings at the old Star Lane Brickworks in Great Wakering was passed – but only just. This is another one of the big sites that has come forward as part of the local plan. Chris Black and Ron Oatham moved refusal, saying that the application was contrary to our core strategy, because extra funding for the local primary school wasn’t being provided. We lost the refusal¬† 11-9. Interestingly , none of the ward councillors supported our refusal. Cllr Mrs Wilkins voted against our refusal , Cllr Hookway was absent and Cllr Seagers declared an interest and quite properly left the chamber.¬† A motion of approval was then moved and the scheme was passed 14-5

The District Council applied to itself for planning permission to install a banner in Bradley Way to advertise public events – and the committee refused this , on the grounds of it being a conservation area.

If You Love Sweyne Park, Can You Help On the 29th?

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Rob Donovan from the Friends of Sweyne Park is trying to organise a community litter pick in the Park on Sunday 29th June between 10am and 1pm.
If you can help on that day, please email Rob at rob_donovan@btopenworld.com by Wednesday evening so he can gauge numbers.

Friends Of Sweyne Park Meeting Next Monday

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Confidential Report On Open Spaces

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The Council’s Executive – the ‘cabinet’ – meets on April 2nd.
There are two items – one is the “Rochford Growth Strategy 2014 -2017 ” , which we are still reading. It’s 21 pages on promoting economic growth in the District.
The second is “Draft Open Spaces Strategy”, which is private and confidential, so we can’t tell you anything about it….

The way the council is run at the moment, the only councillors who can speak at these meetings are the 8 members of the cabinet themselves, all Conservatives. Only one is from Rayleigh – Councillor Simon Smith.