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.


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