Monthly Archives: January 2010

Caring for the Local Environment

This weekend I have been out and about in the Kursaal ward, meeting and speaking to local residents.  Time and again one of their chief grumbles was the lack of care some members of their community have for their local environment.

In parts of the Kursaal ward there are alleyways which are continually used by fly tippers. One resident cannot access her very own garden from the alleyway due to rubbish such as old mattresses being dumped by mindless yobs.  Fly tipping carries a fairly hefty financial penalty but the question is; just how many people are caught and given this penalty?  There is no point having this penalty if it is not being enforced.

Another big concern is the inconsiderate dog owners who let their animals foul in the street and just leave it there not only does it not look nice, it is also incredibly unhygienic .  Owners must be made aware of the penalty and more facilities made available to promote responsible ownership of dogs.

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Filed under Kursaal Ward

Go Green, Vote Blue!

How great to be inspired by residents of Kursaal. In the last edition of the Kursaal In Touch newsletter you will have read about the wonderful work done by Sylvia Hallet and Tom Ptolomey. Since meeting them I have spent time with Roger Garnham of Waterfalls, Prospect Close. A keen photographer and environmentalist Roger studied Zoology at Southend College whilst working in the Home Office Library. In addition he has first hand experience of the effects of temperature from the three years he lived in Africa.

Roger feels strongly that children should be taught the importance of caring for our environment, even before they go to school. Southend’s excellent record of recycling and the issue of the blue boxes and pink bags to every household will help parents to make children more aware of the need to protect our environment for the future.

As a teacher, I am keen to involve children from a very young age in this (as well as those of us a little, or much older!).

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Email to Estuary Housing

Dear Sir, Madam

Could someone at Estuary housing please let the residents of the Woodgrange Estate know why nothing is happening with their iced up and snow filled paths and walkways? I’ve heard from many residents complaining that nothing has been done, with some so concerned about the treacherous conditions that they have refused to go outside. The situation simply cannot continue.

That’s why I was delighted to help local residents clear some of the walkways around Skelter, Piroet and Carousel. There was a great atmosphere and the residents were delighted with our work. Thanks to those also who helped with the shovelling and those who provided cups of tea and coffee to keep us going. It was great to see some old fashioned community spirit in action.

 Yours sincerely

 Louise Burdett

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Snow fun for Residents!

The beginning of January saw some of the snowiest and iciest condition in Southend for many years.  With many paths, walkways, pavements iced up.  This meant that for some of the most vulnerable people in Southend, not just the elderly but pregnant women for example, it was a concern to step outside. Some of the paths were so thick with snow and ice that these residents were afraid to go out, meaning shopping wasn’t done and pensions weren’t collected. I was even told of one resident who had not left her flat for over a week due to her fears of slipping over and injuring herself.

Cllr Blaine Robin and I received a number of calls from concerned residents complaining that Estuary Housing Association had done little to help the situation. This was the catalyst that made Blaine and I attempt to bring together some ‘hardy’ volunteers to help clear some of the icy paths and walkways.  Luckily we weren’t short of residents moved to do something about the situation.

Despite the cold and, at times, hard work there was a great community spirit and everyone was determined to help their fellow residents. As we were working we managed to recruit further volunteers who loved what we were doing for the residents of the Estate. We even had a group of kids help out, concerned about their own grandmothers walking in the treacherous conditions.

These people that gave up their time to help one another when they could have easily stayed inside looking after ‘number one’.  It was great to see such community spirit on the Woodgrange Estate and it turned out to be an enjoyable time.

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Letter to the Echo

Dear Editor,

So, we learn from Ed Balls that primary school children are to be taught lessons on how to manage their finances, including how to save and budget. Am I the only one to spot the irony of this? We can only hope that the curriculum is left well alone by the Labour Government.

Can you imagine the following question: Your expenses are greater than your income and you are well into your overdraft facility; what do you do; a) try to reduce your expenses; b) spend a lot more?

It’s a pity such lessons were not in place at Gordon Brown and Alistair Darlings primary schools!

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