SHOEBURY MATTERS 26.07.2020

SHOEBURY MATTERS – 26.07.2020

Gunners Development (from Peter Lovett) – I have had very long conversations with the Environment Agency (EA) over the Flood Risk Assessment submitted with every proposed housing estate application on the above ground. I have been fighting hard to change the professional Flood consultants’ assumption that there has been NO groundwater flooding in Southend since 1998. Having sent them over 25 photos showing roads under water, houses flooded & storm water drain covers lifting up providing evidence of gross overloading. Apparently they have had a meeting & agreed with the Council that they will revise their Strategic Flood Risk Assessment. Attached is a copy of the letter I received from Stephen Taylor of the EA.

Multi-agency team to support schools’ return in September – A multi-agency group of professionals has been set up to support Southend schools safe return in September in line with Government guidance. Southend-on-Sea Borough Council set up the group with the help and support of head teacher and college representatives from each level of school education: early years, primary, secondary and post-16 education. A letter has gone to all local schools to explain the support in place and to recognise the considerable lengths that education settings have already gone to in an attempt to try and minimise disruption to pupils caused by the pandemic. The starting point will be revising the individual risk assessments for each school, and from there for schools to work out ways to overcome any challenges identified and put in place controls to help pupils settle back into the new way of school life. The multi-agency group will be on hand to support the schools in any way possible.

St Marys Green North Shoebury Update – The council have built a grass bund at St. Mary’s Green similar to the bund they built around Shoebury Common North. This should deter travellers.

Bowls and cricket – Parks grounds maintenance staff have been bringing bowls greens and cricket squares back up to a playable standard. Shoebury Park Bowls is acrive again. Those wishing to bowl will need to pre-book and have a pre-paid ticket. If you fancy joining reply to this email and we will pass the message on

Does anyone remember the boating pool near the old Shorehouse?

Mick Thwaites – STORY OF MY LIFE IN LOCK DOWN

Like many others I have stories to tell about ‘Life in Lockdown’. The one I will share with you is my very first experience of being a victim of crime (my much loved cycle stolen from my garage in Shoeburyness). That in itself is perhaps not that unusual but having served as a police officer for 35 years in all ranks from constable to temporary assistant Chief Constable; it was an insight that caused me to think about policing in a different way.

There is a wonderful mechanism used by the police, called ‘crime screening’ which simply means avoiding having to send a cop to a crime so they can manage their finite resources more efficiently. To support this demand management process there is a ‘threat harm & risk’ criteria they apply in order to grade their response. I duly filled out the online form and after a couple of days, no surprise to me received an email saying they had investigated the crime based on the details given and decided there was no further action they could take. I pointed out I had checked neighbours CCTV, completed house to house enquires to elicit any further lines of enquiry, also to raise awareness in order for my neighbours to take any necessary precautions. I also found through social media pictures of suspects in the middle of the night stealing bikes from garages, it didn’t take a detective to work out it could be the same suspects! I say all this not to be critical (perhaps a little sarcasm though) of the cops, as a few days later a couple of PCSO’s did attend my address making it clear they knew who I was and reassured me they would investigate my crime to the best of their ability (Hope this would have been the same whoever the victim was).

I have been reading in last few days that some accuse the police of turning their backs on victims, with very few suspects (only 7% brought before the court) facing any sort of justice. This cannot give the public confidence in the police, if most criminals walk away scot-free and they don’t feel the crimes that matter to them e.g. my bike being nicked has any relevance.

Also in recent weeks examples of ‘virtue signalling’ by some police officers, going down on one knee, dancing with protestors and gathering on bridges in groups despite the rest of the public being in lockdown, has thrown further concern into the mix! I have also read that certain local politicians feel it is also ok to damage statutes and to demonstrate for various, what they see as noble causes even though it is against the law and police officers have received serious injuries in some parts of the country.

Let me make it very clear the role of the police is to uphold the rule of law, without ‘fear or favour’ and if anybody breaks the law it’s their job to bring those before the courts however noble they think their cause is!

I believe strongly that the vast majority of police officers join the job to support victims of crime, to protect the public and to bring criminals to justice. I have a great deal of confidence in the cops on the streets to do their job, but little confidence in some of the politicians and current police leaders, to understand what the vast majority of the public, see as their priorities for policing.

I do think there is a general fear of lawlessness across Shoeburyness, Southend and Leigh, with real concern the ‘Community Safety Partnership’ is not as effective as it should be. We have seen travellers year after year return to Southend, illegally set up camp and walk into local businesses and steal. Violence across Southend has increased by 14%, but we are told by the portfolio for public protection we should not worry because the victims were not random members of the public. As if it’s ok for anyone to run around Shoeburyness or Southend and attack each other and this should not be a problem for us. I don’t know about you, but if these thugs are happy to attack anyone then an innocent member of the public who gets in the way should be concerned?

The motivation to write this article comes from a unique opportunity to open up the debate as to what you (local residents) want from your local police officers. Priti Patel (Home Secretary) has announced the setting up of a review as to how effective our Police Crime Commissioner and Community Safety Partnership are in dealing with local crime, anti-social behaviour and the priorities of the residents of Shoebury?

I believe local people should be listened to and have a greater say over policing and how they use the budget (your money) to address your concerns and you should have the ability to hold them to account on that basis.

This review should help to improve accountability (currently we only have a ‘Crime Panel’ for Essex not for our local area), scrutiny and transparency, ensuring Police and Crime Commissioners always put the law-abiding silent majority who voted for them at the centre of  decision-making.

I would like to hear from anyone who reads this article, agrees or disagrees with its content so we, the people of Shoeburyness can tell Priti Patel exactly what we think of the current arrangements and local policing. (send your comments to shoeburyresidents@gmail.com and we will pass them om to Mick Thwaites)

 

Planning applications week ending 24.07.2020

ERECT SECOND FLOOR BALCONY TO REAR – 48 LODWICK SHOEBURYNESS