***ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL ELECTIONS - MAY 6th***
In a few weeks' time the Essex County Council Elections will take place, and this will be your opportunity to vote for the person who will represent South Woodham Ferrers at the County Council for the next 4 years.
I believe this is an important role in the local government hierarchy, as Essex County Council controls many services that affect our day to day lives, such as schooling, social care and highways.
Many of you will have heard of the Masterplan which will deliver up to 1,200 new homes north of the Burnham Road (B1012). The Chelmsford City Council agreed the Masterplan at the recent Cabinet meeting, and a planning application will now be submitted by the developer in late Spring or early Summer. There are already capacity issues with the B1012 which will be made worse with 1,200 new homes and the extra traffic they will bring, along with those from development on the Dengie.
Essex County Council, in their response to the Masterplan said that residents must be encouraged to use public transport, walk or cycle rather than use their cars, as the Burnham Road would be unable to cope. It is obvious that they realise a few road junctions and pedestrian crossings will not solve the problem, and I would hope that they question the viability of the proposals when they respond to the planning application as one of the consultees.
South Woodham Ferrers Council Taxpayers Association believes that there should be a bypass constructed, to prevent gridlock and to reduce the amount of toxic traffic fumes that residents, and in particular young children at the nearby Woodville School will have to inhale.
A significant proportion of the land in the area covered by the Masterplan is owned by Essex County Council, and I wonder how much of the money they will amass from selling it for development, will be ploughed back into our Town for the benefit of our residents. There is a view that history often tends to repeat itself, and if that is true, we are likely to see next to nothing.
The next 4 years could be ones of great changes for South Woodham Ferrers, and I hope that this letter will encourage you to vote for our candidate at these elections.