Do I Detect The Seeds Of Another Canvey Petition Protest?

IT SEEMS THAT  Canvey Island Town Council, under the new chairmanship of CIIP member John Anderson, are now about to spend more residents’ money in obtaining the views of islanders regarding a pedestrianised shopping precinct in Canvey’s town centre.

Not content with wasting £180,000 on Canvey Lake, which is in any case earmarked for improvements under the Town Centre’s regeneration plans, the Town Council has apparently decided that the 3,687 participants in the public consultation process do not reflect islander opinion. They are certain that, given the opportunity, islanders would choose a pedestrianised High Street as opposed to wider pathways; cycle tracks; and a two-way traffic system to overcome the present congestion problems.

Indeed, it seems that congestion – whether it be island traffic or just petulant opposition to any modern progress – is the Town Council’s stock-in-trade. They have had the opportunity, since September last year, to promote their own ideas regarding the town centre’s regeneration; but instead they have, as usual, waited until the last moment to criticise the consultation process and infer that the developers have it all wrong.

True to form, the local Echo has taken to providing its column inches to the Town Council’s view – with no coverage of the alternatives that the visitors to Canvey Island’s Regeneration Shop have had the opportunity of choosing between. Furthermore, the Town Council is not urging residents to visit the Regeneration Shop to make their views known, they would rather just pose a simple question to residents – rather than give them the opportunity of making an informed decision.

The Town Council’s proposed opinion survey is heavily weighted against the developers. Most people, asked if they would like to see the Town Centre pedestrianised – and given no alternatives – are likely to say, ‘Yes.’ A fact that is not lost upon the Canvey Island Independent Party (CIIP), which has a reputation for taking arguments out of context and then organising petitions around them.

The protests over the Concord pool and Kismet Park’s Adizone have since flowered and gone to seed; but the CIIP is determined, in this the Town Council’s election year, to create another local issue that it can use to retain its political foothold.

3 Responses

  1. Just more political posturing from the CIIP. Don’t forget it was the CIIP that was totally opposed to any regeneration until Canvey had a third road but now that the public are behind the plans they seek to present themselves as the designers.

    Pedestrianisation would not only destroy the towns inherent character, it would lead to a rise in vandalism and anti social behaviour as demonstrated by Wickford.

    What residents need is more space, better facilities and better access for cars; bicycles and mobility scooters. Pedestrianisation would encourage bikes and mobility scooters to use the same space as pedestrians and lead to more accidents.

    As usual the incompetent Town Council doesnt think and is committed to opposing any view that runs contrary to their own and the fact that they can spend residents money on creating another political issue for their election campaign is a bonus.

    Roll on May when we get the opportunity to see the back of them..

  2. 3687 people commented on the regeneration . and that is not enough? 3000 people signed the petition and got us the Town Council and that is fine !!!!!!

    • It’s preposterous isn’t it, Bill?

      Moreover, the consultation exercise – taking place in the Knightswick Centre’s Regeneration Shop – directly engages those whom use the Town Centre. Sadly, that is not all islanders, many of whom do their week-end shop at Morrisons or venture off the island to Basildon, Rayleigh Weir or Southend.

      Canvey, like Castle Point, also has an ageing population – so it specifically needs to accommodate the likes of mobility scooters (which were not around when Southend and Basildon were concreted over). And the provision of cycle tracks and wider pavements will alleviate the current problem of youths having to negotiate their way around pedestrians.

      But, then, examining problems and presenting alternative solutions is alien to Canvey’s Town Council. They thrive on manufacturing controversy where, were it not for their involvement, none would exist. And the local Echo, unfortunately, appears incapable of producing balanced articles that present all the facts to its readers. Canvey may have more than its fair share of column inches; but the articles are not properly researched – they are simply fillers.

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