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How we might get a chunk of the budget for something important in Hawkwell

July 3, 2009 by  

The new concept is ‘localism’  – local budgets for Highway improvements

The County Council will agree annually a budget for highway works in Rochford District and it will then be the responsibility of the Area Committees to advise on their preferred schemes/works, with the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Transportation determining, where necessary, the overall priorities for the District and to advise County Highways accordingly.

This was on this list – Rectory Road Hawkwell – Relocate street furniture to edge or rear of footway to allow greater access to pedestrians

Questions were asked by Hawkwell Parish Council and District Ward Councillor, John Mason at the RDC Central Area Committee held on 25 June in Hawkwell Village Hall.

Portfolio Holder, Councillor Keith Hudson had just been told by Shaun Scrutton off microphone that this was just one power pole and asked if anyone who lived nearby could confirm that or clarify the position.

Ward District Councillor John Mason said that there were around 10 items of street furniture which obstructed the footway such that wheelchair users and children’s prams had to be taken into the road. John also said that the footway was so narrow that he had personally had clothes clipped by cars even when he was on the footway when the hedge was overgrown.

Keith Hudson asked for this to be looked into by ECC urgently in view of the Health and Safety issues raised by John Mason.

John has been campaigning about this issue for 15 years and this is the first time that anyone had ever promised to look into this dangerous situation. Thank you Keith for listening.

Again initially raised by Hawkwell Parish Council concern has been raised about destruction of verges by indiscriminate parking.

Again John Mason spoke in support and raised the additional concerns of obstruction to the footway causing pedestrians and prams having to go into the road to pass.  Surely illegal and the Essex Police will be consulted.

Councillor John then spoke about the Essex Act in Southend where verges are protected by law but not in Rochford District.  He had hoped that his suggestion that the Essex Act made many years ago could be extended to Rochford.  To his amazement ECC agreed that they were looking into this.

Verdict on Highways Localism – so far it works – update later.

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