Letter from: Neil Pearce, Thames Drive, Leigh.
SIR, being a dad who regularly ambles the school run to West Leigh Infant School, it was interesting to read of a further roll-out of 20mph speed zones in the immediate environs of the school (09/01/24).
However, like the resident from Salisbury Road writes, the problem in this area is enforcement.
Numerous conversations had with residents in this patch of Leigh have confirmed to me that the Council has rarely enforced parking or speed restrictions in this area, at least historically. Equally, residents have complained of commuters regularly taking up their spaces because of the exorbitant parking charges at Leigh train station.
On the latter, I know that Coun Carty and Coun Evans have taken up the baton with c2c, but I’m hoping that any further roll-out of 20mph speed zones is met with some enforcement resource, even if periodically, so that speeders and commuters are kept on their guard and residents enjoy the tranquillity of safer, quieter streets.
Letter from: Geoff Crawford, Canvey Road, Leigh.
SIR, you might be interested to know that the parking restriction in Canvey Road between 2-3pm, has not been enforced for months, and the parking attendants have been told not to enforce it. allowing people to park their cars there all day without picking up a ticket.
Someone seems to be manipulating the system.
I spoke to a parking attendant who said when he talked to his supervisor to say he was going to do Canvey Road – he was told not to. (sorry I don’t have his number)
He was surprised at the time as there were 5 cars parked down there during the parking restriction time.
We are plagued with cars from Marine Parade, which are parked in our road during the parking restriction because they know the parking attendants don’t come down here.
My neighbour over the road has also had a similar reply from a parking attendant.
Letter from: Coun Alan Hart, Leigh Town Council, Leigh.
SIR, Couns Martin Terry and Carole Mulroney featured in the last issue of Leigh News outlining many of the benefits of the level of functionality represented by Leigh Town Council (LTC). As a Totally Independent Town Councillor I fully associate myself with their statements.
LTC has until recently demonstrated a political impartiality that had all members working together with no spin or whip.
Regrettably a degree of apathy resulted in nine un-opposed Tory candidates being ‘elected’ in May, an inevitable outcome of a lack of alternative candidates from the general public.
As Coun Terry has pointed out, this is the usual process where a single candidate stands, but it can hardly be called ‘democratic’. Our process depends upon members of the public being willing to stand and the Tory Party took full advantage of this. Hopefully the same scenario will not occur next time.
Aside from Coun Terry, a long standing Independent, it seems that no other political group has any concerns, disregarding the clear disrepute the shambolic actions of the Tory ‘group’ on LTC brings to the Party.
I can only reiterate that party members should be an irrelevance within Leigh Town Council and request that party councillors should declare independence as far as LTC is concerned, perhaps then we could regain some consensus?
16 independent local people sitting around a table is not a bad way to conduct this level of local administration. Meanwhile we welcome comments from the public, a support group has been formed and should hold the erroneous party members feet to the fire!
Letter from: Jean de Tourtoulon Woodside, Leigh
SIR, I feel compelled to respond to the article (interview with Bernard Arscott published ) due to it’s inaccuracies, which from it’s content doesn’t put the records straight at all.
Firstly it is inappropriate again to talk about the suspension of the Town Clerk as it is confidential, during meetings he has breached this by insinuating that it was for financial fraud, although after the forensic investigation he ‘kind’ of apologised for any misunderstanding this may have caused, it wasn’t a misunderstanding he said it. Speaking out now and not after the outcome demonstrates how incompetent he is in the position of Chair of Leigh Town council, he has made no attempts to alleviate the concerns raised in the meeting of 13/9/2023.
He refers to the conservative council even in this article, and that the non political as legal fiction, he is not listening or even reading the paperwork pertaining to this. In forming ‘his’ committees he has excluded Coun Mulroney, although Coun Hart has now been accepted on the planning and licencing panel, Coun Bowry is on the staffing purely because he was dealing with a previous issue and not through choice.
These committees were decided by the chair without discussing with the whole council, thus making all the committees Tory based. I am extremely concerned as are the residents of Leigh that any decision making meetings, especially the one where they are now looking for 3 to sit on a disciplinary panel, it is believed that there will be no independent councillors on it or who have not been a party to any of the discussions in respect of the suspension, could there honestly be a true and unbiased hearing, no. If Coun Arscott openly talks to the press I sadly doubt his integrity and that the witch hunt will continue.
Coun Mulroney and Coun Hart should be on that panel and one of the councillors who is not involved, Couns Arscott, McCurdy, Flewitt and Watt make up the staffing committee who appear to be staunch Tory allies too, although Coun Bowry is on it too, he had no sway in the decision, there was no democratic discussions with all the councillors to be on this committee, it is my opinion if the committee had been formed of other councillors the town clerk wouldn’t have been suspended, the staff and users of the service have a high regard for her, she didn’t stand a chance and in selecting the 3 now is of great concern, especially as he has needed to go to the press to explain his plan for the future proceedings!
No other cause of action was taken in the first instance; suspension should be the last resource especially as there was no evidence of financial fraud, the locum town clerk advised in the meeting of 13/9/23 by explaining how the accounts are audited and stated that there was no way fraud could happen. The cost of the suspension has cost a huge amount of money, affected the whole community, we are now going into the 6th month.
He hasn’t put the records straight he has mudded the water even more, and the vote of no confidence in him and his allies is more relevant more than ever!
Letter from: Tristan Bembridge, Non-Aligned Independent Candidate, 2024 Southend City Council Elections, Fairfax Drive, Westcliff.
SIR, I write to express my heartfelt sadness having just read a letter from the respected Jill Allen-King O.B.E of Southend Pensioners Campaign Group.
Jill raises an issue that if we are not careful, could affect a generation of our Pensioners in an unthinkable manner.
Jill, who I’m certain needs no lectures from me, of course knows the vital role of our Community Services Team, I personally may be 45 but I have been touched by their vital work, as back in September I have been registered visually impaired.
I receive my visit for a couple of hours every Monday from my Occupational Health Worker Lesley, I’m very lucky as I would be lost without her.
But I can only imagine how long it’s been since you actually had a full day without any worries being a campaigner and having a husband to be first and foremost in your mind, and how Occupational Health assist yourself and others.
The way our pensioners are treated in this country is abhorrent, and after a lifetime of giving to our country, this is how they are repaid.
If I I can help in any way, please just reach out; I want to help as this is far too important of a proposal for you to be defeated by the council.
My thoughts will be with you Jill for a very long time to come, and every other pensioner in our city.
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