Hi Ted…

WHAT on earth is happening on the island?

Canvey Town Council have now set aside some £25,000 to pay someone to stop dogs messing on the seafront and Canvey lake!

Surely this money, if available, would be better spent on fixing the sea water pool on the seafront – or has the support dwindled away now the election has passed and the CIIP have won their seats?

Three years of this dog warden’s salary would fix and maintain the pool. What is there to think about? Make the dog owners manage their dogs and the mess that comes from them. Use the community Police (that Castle Point Council pay for via taxes that are above the Council tax payment to the Police) to monitor and fine offenders. Once the word gets out, people will pick up after their dogs if there is a chance that they will get fined.

Canvey Island Town Council is a massive drain on Castle Point, as the figures on your site show. What is it for? What gain do the islanders get from this body? And does it distract councillors from their proper borough duties?

Fewer and fewer go to Council or other committee meetings where Canvey is discussed. They just moan afterwards about how the mainland rules everything.

And it is not just on the island – some of the mainland ones are just as bad.

Simon Hart

8 Responses

  1. The Canvey Island Town Council is the only parish body, which I personally know of, that is run by politicians. Most parish councils are populated by local community and business leaders with little political affiliation – but with strong local charity links and imbued with the aim of bettering and strengthening their community. Most are led by local vicars or church leaders.

    In this, its election year, the TC apparently wishes to spend around twice its annual precept in order to woo voters; but it will be interesting to see if the CIIP, with its local history, is re-elected.

    Like you say, Simon, the TC has done nothing to improve this island’s community. It has only sown seeds of discontent among residents and set islanders against each other.

    That is the last thing we need given the current economic crisis and the difficulties we all face.

    Canvey needs its community and business leaders to put themselves forward for election next year. But I fear few will wish to subject themselves to the inevitable hostility they will face from CIIP candidates.

    Residents could do far worse than contact their current Town councillor, asking them to stand aside at the next TC elections in favour of genuinely representative community candidates – but the CIIP is extremely unlikely to either acknowledge or accede to such a request…

    • Maybe we could organise a petition? ;-)

      • Very funny, Cynical… :-)

        For the benefit of readers, perhaps I should explain that the ‘Right to sack your councillor’ petition is the result of a number of requests, and subsequent discussions, between some readers and myself.

        Cynical was among them; and he led the call for us to wait until we knew just what the government was proposing.

        ‘Nobody is going to sign it until we can be sure about that,’ he said.

        ‘What the hell?’ I said. ‘Perhaps it will give us more.’

        But it now appears he, and the others, were right.

        (To date we have just managed 3 signatures) :-(

  2. Ted I agree
    how can local Councillors sit on both organisations?
    Also why do Canvey Town. Council members sit in as members of Castle Point Council Committees.
    Ted how much does the Town Council cost a year I think it’s on your site

    • In round figures, about £250,000 – or a quarter of a million pounds – is provided by island residents to the Town Council each year, which is paid as a Town Council ‘levy’ as part of our annual Council Tax bills.

      Over half of that sum, some £134,000, will disappear this year in the form of salaries, member training, room-hire and project development costs.

      Before their announcement to spend £25,000 on a dog-warden, the Canvey Island Town Council had around £160,000 in reserve (from which this new spending will presumably come).

      There is likely to be very little left in the coffers for any new administration next year.

      This piece contains links to all the detailed financial information.

  3. Being a dog owner myself I find the sight of dog poo lying on the footways disgusting too.

    But this warden, and the new regulations they are bringing in are penalising the responsible majority of dog owners as opposed to the irresponsible minority.

    And, like Southend, the backlash could be painful.

    • I could not agree more – and the larger issue that is raised by this topic is if the Town Council should actually be proposing to commit itself to long term funding projects, like this warden and taking over Canvey’s pool – because that is not a function of what Ted correctly describes as charity-led parish bodies.

      The fact is that the CIIP are progressively ensuring that future precepts will all be taken-up by ongoing costs from their particular pet projects which do not benefit the community at large – or those in desperate need.

      And what about those salaries?

      Nice work if you can get it is right!

      • Indeed, Cynical.

        The thrust of the CIIP controlled TC has not been about the island’s community, it has all been about taking-over functions which the borough council is rightly responsible for. And that has benefited no one but mainlanders – because islanders are now picking-up the bills.

        Establishing a TC was never seen by Spink (let’s not forget his ‘strong support’) as a means for islanders to strengthen their community – it was always about establishing a power base from which the CIIP could have access to regular taxpayer funds, and a platform from which to continue their far-left political campaign.

        There are many on the island who do not refer to the TC as Canvey Island’s Town Council; but as the CIIP Clubhouse…

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