• Article: Jul 2, 2020
    By Gary MacDonnell

    There is much speculation in the media that the Conservative Government will make moves to change the current system around Planning Permissions. The clear inference drawn from rumours, noting that nothing official has yet been forthcoming, is that getting planning consent will become an easier and quicker process tied in with drive to get Britain building again. Bringing forward key large-scale developments and infrastructure works to operate as driving force in the post Covid 19 economic recovery.

  • Article: Jun 28, 2020

    Your local Liberal Democrat Councillors have received many calls and emails from residents in Brentwood North regarding the anti-social behaviour that is taking place during the evenings in the area of William Hunter Way car park. The Council has dealt with these issues in the past, many times, with varying degrees of success.

  • Article: Jun 22, 2020

    Should more free parking be available in our town centres?

    Car parking charges are always a major issue. The provision of free parking in town centres works on the basis that it would give much needed support to our towns, encouraging a greater level of footfall and help provide a much-needed boost for our beleaguered high streets.

  • Article: Jun 10, 2020

    Are we doing enough to adapt to climate change?

    No. The Liberal Democrats have a 7-point plan that needs to be acted on as soon as possible.

    1) Significantly reduce emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2045
    Tackling the climate crisis needs significant structural change. Change how we travel, build, and produce goods and services. We need to cut today's emissions in half by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2045 at the latest. This is an achievable target; giving time for the country to mobilise and industry to adapt.

  • Article: Jun 8, 2020

    A very concerned group of residents recently contacted Cllr Barry Aspinell regarding diggers and other ground work machinery accessing a field off of a close in Shenfield Place and subsequently leaving the site open and unprotected. At this time of year many people have concerns over potential traveller incursions and other developments that would affect them locally. Barry immediately contacted Andy Fryd, our local councillor in Shenfield and asked him to visit the residents and take a photograph of the area concerned. This he did, but he also went further. He ascertained the name of the company carrying out the work and contacted them. After a lengthy conversation with the Manager, Cllr Andy Fryd was assured that the land was being worked to facilitate a much needed drainage system and a new fence and pedestrian gate would be going back up. In the meantime, a temporary fence would be put in place the following morning. Andy assured the gentleman that he would be back to ensure that this was happening. The very next day Andy did return and was pleased to see the temporary fence had been erected. However, we are not taking it at face value, and along with local residents will be keeping a close watch on the situation to ensure that the promised permanent fence does happen.

  • Article: Jun 4, 2020

    Following on from other ward updates we move over to Warley .......

    Councillors Jay Laplain and Nigel Clarke, both covering the Warley Ward, reported that irresponsible people were discarding PPE gloves onto public footpaths after leaving a care home in this ward. Cllr Laplain took photographic evidence and action has been taken, with enforcement of responsibilities being impressed on the care home as to the actions of people leaving the building. We can only hope that commonsense and courtesy prevail in this instance.

  • Article: Jun 3, 2020

    Now to Pilgrims Hatch .......

    Action was taken by Cllr David Kendall and myself over a possible traveller incursion into a local field. Whilst the status of the field and the works carried out on it is still being reviewed by our planners and legal team at the Council, a physical barrier appeared overnight, preventing any caravans from accessing the site. This happened in the same week that Pilgrims Hatch Councillor, Vicky Davies, reported an activity being carried out in another field in Kelvedon Hatch where travellers, it later transpired, had bought some land and were busily converting it for their purposes by cutting down dozens of trees, some of which had Tree Preservation Orders placed on them. After reporting her concerns to me, I spoke with the Chief Executive and the Leader of the Council and several actions occurred from those conversations. One, a physical barrier was placed to prevent access to the site. Two, Essex County Council were informed that a public by-way was being used as an access point and necessary prevention was put in place to eliminate this, and, three, an Injunction was taken out over the weekend with the High Court to make access on to the affected property illegal, with an Article 4 placed on the land preventing it from being split up into separate parcels for individual dwellings. Local residents and the Parish Council of Kelvedon Hatch, along with neighbouring Tipps Cross and Doddinghurst were extremely pleased with this outcome.

  • Article: Jun 2, 2020

    Your Lib Dem councillors and activists have been far from idle during this lockdown. This is the first of updates for some wards to keep you updated with what we are up to, working on behalf of residents.

    Residents of Railway Square contacted their local councillor, Karen Chilvers as they had been awaiting resumption of hot water and heating in their home for several weeks. We were informed by the residents that the council's contractor had promised to return and complete repairs, but never did. Given one of the residents was elderly and, in addition, was caring for a disabled family member during the coldest part of lockdown, we certainly considered this required urgent action. The matter was reported to the Head of Housing immediately and given the officer in question had only just taken on the role, I have to say, I was impressed with the response we received.

  • Article: Jun 1, 2020

    It is inappropriate to describe the public health emergency resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity. But we must recognise that it has transformed the context within which transport operates. We welcome the recent announcements made by the Government and supported by the County Council that seeks to develop a sustainable travel recovery. We welcome the fact that money is being brought forward to allow transport authorities to prioritise sustainable modes of transport. The measures must combine social messaging and physical measures to:

  • Article: May 28, 2020
    Pilgrims Hatch like many other areas in the borough is suffering regular drug abuse with dealers openly operating in several areas. My frustration has been what appears to have been lack of police response even when photographic / video evidence has been given. A resident contacted the police giving times and days of drug drop offs to young and vulnerable people but no response or action appears to have been taken. There have also been detailed reports of regular drug misuse in another area of Hatch. I was contacted by the residents who asked me to act on their behalf. I forwarded, as their ward councillor, the comprehensive list of the times the young people were congregating to the police.
    The response was rather shocking as I was informed my evidence didn't count!! As you might imagine I wasn't happy about this and a complaint went to the new Chief inspector Ant Alcock.

    Chief inspector Alcock rang me and gave an undertaking that he would treat seriously the problems reported and apologised for the past lack of response. However he did emphasise the importance of residents calling the police each time an incident occurs as to get action that will be supported by the courts there must be several complainants. He also encouraged the use of Crime stoppers as an anonymous route of reporting where a resident may not wish to identify themselves on the 101 number or web site.
    I appreciated his advice and have informed residents in the areas of concern. Whatever route we need to go the people profiting by selling drugs must and will be stopped!