The loss of Cllr Ray Howard MBE as Canvey Island’s solitary Castle Point Borough Council Cabinet member, for Streets, Waste, Floods and Water Management, appeared to be of little consequence to the borough’s Lead group. For someone as senior as Ray within the local tory party, he appeared not to have received the level of support he deserved during the Election campaign, so as to remain competitive in the prevailing political climate.
In direct comparison, the Emergency Evacuation of Cllr Mumford from his Canvey seat to a very safe mainland ward seat, highlighted how Ray Howard, appeared to have been hung out to dry, along with the Canvey Island residents! Condolences from the Tory Party hierarchy clearly lacked sincerity in the aftermath.
We are not suggesting an act of duplicity in anyway, however we ask, who now retains the influence when seeking to restrict the further urbanisation of Canvey Island, having recognised that the over-development of the zone 3 flood plain, with its critical drainage and surface water storage issues, that contributed towards flooding incidents?
Who will now be better placed to fight for the completion of the deemed essential final phase of the Roscommon Way?
Who will now be better placed to fight for the funding of the essential repairs and upgrade of our sea defences?
Who will now be better placed to seek, as a matter of urgency, the improvement of the access and egress of Canvey Island so as to provide support for a viable emergency evacuation plan?
Who will now be better placed to fight to stop the systematic development of Sites of Special Scientific Interest, green open spaces and green belt?
Who will now be in an influential position to hold CPBC to task for inappropriate developments in and around COMAH sites?
We congratulate Cllr Thomas CIIP on his election success, he will need to hit the ground running to get to grips with all the issues that Ray Howard has had responsibility for in someway or another.
As far as Castle Point Council Cabinet meetings go we should remember, that if we find ourselves being without a seat at the Table not having received an invitation to Dinner, Canvey, is very likely to find itself being on the Menu!
Photograph: Martin Dalton