We did it!

It was announced at the Council Meeting last night, that the council is no longer considering Elm Road Open Space as a site for a new school!

This is wonderful, fantastic news.

Thank you so much to everyone who signed a petition, put a poster up, went to council meetings, tweeted, sent in photos, got other people to sign petitions and more!

It just shows what can be done when a community works together.

Thanks especially to Gavin, who has been running the Facebook page and Bill who has been working on Twitter – he has been very active over here

My only concern is that our main objection – losing the space to any building – remains in people’s mind. We were not objecting to a school, but the loss of a crucial open space. As such we are not closing this website, Facebook account or Twitter. Hopefully we will never need to start working on it again, but you never know.

I’m going to be interviewed for this afternoon’s Drive Time on BBC Essex – please tune in.


Essex Radio Interviews

Our very own Jen was on the radio in July speaking about the plan this site is dedicated to stopping. What a fine job she did, too. Jen was followed by Councillor James Halden who is responsible for Education in Thurrock and therefore the driving force behind the school plan. I misheard Mr. Halden’s words regarding the traffic currently attracted to our area by Thameside Primary and thought he’d mentioned “traffic calming measures” that had been put in place that had improved traffic in the area – a lesson for me in controlling my emotion and approaching what is an incredible emotive situation for many of us with a cool and logical approach. Having listened back to the interview Councillor Halden actually spoke about, when challenged about the potential traffic a new school would bring to our area, a traffic flow system that the school had spent a great deal of money on that had “already improved traffic in the area”. The school does indeed have a traffic flow system in place and a bigger car park. The second part of the statement is, to put it bluntly, cobblers.

As we’ve said before; we will not get involved in the politics of Thurrock Council nor become personal in any way with the personalities involved. This is why I accept that the Councillor wasn’t lying on County wide BBC Radio and that he believes traffic has improved in the area. As residents, of course, we know that the traffic issue has simply moved from Manor Road to Grove & Elm Roads. The opening of the entrance to the school in the park (with no consultation) brought traffic in from both directions meaning traffic jams, arguments and rows almost every morning. This is why Thameside have to place a member of their senior leadership team at the park gate every morning to try to head off the conflict it has caused.

So to the point; Councillor Halden is under the impression that traffic has improved in the area when in fact it has gotten worse. This calls into question the viability planning to this point regarding a new school. If he believes traffic has improved when it hasn’t then this presents genuine and serious concerns about the Osborne Trust and Councillor Halden’s plans to plop a school in the middle of our community.  I think we’d all like to see the initial work that has already been carried out that’s justified the sale of the land to the Trust. Are we entitled to see copies of this initial work? Answers on a postcard please.

Thurrock Council have recently been criticised for “secrecy & contempt” in there dealings within chambers. Let’s hope they approach our concerns with more openess than they have other issues. Their track record on the plan for the school up to now seems to illustrate that we can expect anything but openess.


…and we’re back!

We took August off, it’s actually quite exhausting doing this campaigning stuff, not to mention there isn’t anything happening at the council during this time too.

BUT, we are back now and we need to keep on talking about people and stop this school being built!

Here’s how you can get involved:

  • Sign the petition – we only have 88 signatures, we need 1500 for the council to listen to us
  • Share the petition on your Facebook page, work notice board etc
  • Send us your photos and a sentence or two about why you love the park email  ElmRoadOpenSpace AT Gmail.com
  • Join us on Facebook
  • Tweet about it – follow us on Twitter – use the hashtag 
  • Talk to your neighbours, we are still encountering people who don’t know about it.

The public consultation should start soon, but we’ve not heard anything so far….

Let us know if you do

We reject the plan!

Mick and Pamela have sent us this:

The open space in Elm Road that you want to take away from our community to build ANOTHER Secondary school in the area, So where in Grays have we got to go witch is safe(r) for our children to play and socialise with others. I’m rejecting the plan for this school to be built in this area.

We need the open space so our children can play and socialise. Our roads are not wide enough for volume of traffic that it will bring to the area on top of what we have already have and it is unbearable now for residents.

Thank you Mick and Pamela! There’s a video to go along with it – check it out on Facebook here!

Remember – send us your photos and videos of using the space to elmroadopenspace@gmail.com