SWF TODDLER PLAY AREA/KERBSIDE COLLECTIONS
Keith and Scott attended the Cabinet meeting to ask questions on behalf of residents.
Keith asked for details of the total area lost at Saltcoats Park (SP) when the toddlers' play area was decommissioned and whether any additional space was created at the new 'neighbourhood' play area in Compass Gardens (CG) to compensate. He also asked what the plans were for the Saltcoats site which has been cordoned off for some time. In answer, Cllr. Rose Moore said that the total area removed from children's play space was 952 square metres (that's the area enclosed by the hedge). No answer was given as to whether this was compensated for at CG, so we can only assume that it wasn't – something we had suspected.
Parents report to us that their children should be able to play safely away from bigger children so we will continue to press for a proper replacement of the toddlers' play area.
In the meantime CCC tell us they intend to make the area into general parkland. Their initial plans to provide much-needed additional parking spaces to prevent vehicles being parked on Ferrers Road verges was brushed aside and they said there wasn't a demand. Apparently parking in the additional spaces at Creekview Road (when it's open) has dealt with the problem and is adequate! Unfortunately, that car park is not really in the vicinity of SP and we are still getting vehicles parking on Ferrers Road. If residents have photographic evidence that this is still a problem please send us your dated photos.
Our other question was about the possible impacts of the booking system for the Household Waste Recycling Centres. Scott asked if CCC had noticed any uplift in the amount of waste being collected at the kerbside since the Recycling Centre booking system was introduced earlier this year, as other districts have. Cllr Moore answered that they had not seen any noticable change in the tonnage but were unhappy that the Council had not been consulted by Essex County Council prior to the introduction and felt the one-size-fits-all approach was not the best way forward. SWFCTA question why our residents need to go through the extra bother of booking for something they used to just turn up and do. We are particularly concerned that older and more vulnerable people or those who are less tech-savvy are struggling to use the system.
It was good to see Cllr. Massey attended and asked a question related to the low number of Fixed Penalty Notices for fly-tipping in the district compared to other districts. He also suggested that more enforcement would raise more revenue for the Council. One of the officers answered that Chelmsford's figure was lower due to districts including other fixed penalty fines in their figures. It was also pointed out that the Conservative government have said that councils must not raise revenue through enforcement.
The agenda and a link to the recording can be found at: Chelmsford City Council. Unfortunately, Keith's questions were not recorded while Scott's start a little way in due to technical problems with the mic.