Tag Archives: The Paddocks

The Paddocks Future remains in the Balance. Residents appear unconvinced by Cabinet Assurances!

Canvey Island Residents were treated to an explanation of the future intentions for the Paddocks Community Hall by the cpbc cabinet member for regeneration  during a Community meeting on the 9th October.

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The Paddocks community centre, Canvey Island

Apparently all options are open and a report from consultants is awaited.

Promises to approximately 150 residents in attendance, were given that a Hall would remain on site as would the war memorial.

The underlying prospect is that there appears an unwillingness to commit £1,600,000 on a refurbishment. This figure appears to be an update on the cpbc estimate of March this year of £500,000.

A substantial figure of £4-5 million was mentioned for a new Hall and the impression given, albeit unconfirmed, this is the preferred choice of direction. A new smaller Hall funded by development of Housing (Flats) and the relocation of extra Health Service facilities into the existing NHS building already on site.

Residents should be aware that other local authority owned building and land in the Borough, especially on Canvey Island, will also be examined as to how best to release assets and improve the broken Housing Market. The Government scheme to encourage this land release was covered by the FT in a 2016 article;

Councils to sell £129m of land and property

Thirty-two authorities identify land to build 9,000 homes in first phase of Cabinet Office scheme. Councils will sell £129m of land and property in the early stages of what the government hopes will become a much wider push to raise cash from assets, helping to mitigate budget cuts. In England, 32 local authorities have identified land to build 9,000 homes in the first phase of a Cabinet Office scheme to encourage public sector bodies to reassess their land and property holdings to cut running costs and raise money from sales. Another 100 councils have recently signed up to the scheme.

Photograph: Copyright John Rostron

 

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Echo ‘Why press freedom is vital in our democracy,’ except where Castle Point Council is Concerned?

Are Castle Point Council preparing the first steps to demolish the Paddocks?

Could it also be that Canvey Island residents are being Censored by the Echo Newspaper on Behalf of Castle Point council?

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Following the exhaustive Leveson judicial public inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the British press,  the Echo Under a banner Headline proclaimed; 

‘Why press freedom is vital in our democracy’

“Imagine a world where newspapers were unable to challenge hospitals over care and councils over spiralling costs.”

“Imagine a world where newspapers were fearful of taking their MPs to task over government policies.”

We must wholeheartedly support their dedication to democracy on this issue, especially on many occasions the Echo’s investigative journalism has in the past exposed many important issues.

However it has been brought to our attention that perhaps all may not be quite so transparent!

A Canvey resident has informed us of a letter he sent to the Echo regarding his concerns over Castle Point council’s approach towards certain issues.

The Resident apparently persisted with enquiries as to why the letter had not been published, and only following contact from the Echo to verify his credentials, did the letter eventually appear in the Letters column!

Why would the Echo delay in publishing a Canvey resident’s letter on a Castle Point matter, rather than reproducing at the time the information was topical?

This is not the first occasion, as at least one of the Canvey Green Belt Campaign group’s letters was also only printed following re-submission.

Now we learn of  yet another Letter from a different Canvey resident that has also been delayed from publication.

This time querying Castle Point council’s intentions for the Paddocks!

The Canvey Resident’s letter explained fears that, despite the reassurances of cllr Smith, concern remained for the continued existence of the Paddocks Hall, the number of Car Parking spaces already shared with the Health Centre and the possibility of the partial release of the site for more Town Centre Flats!

Once again this resident has not had his letter published, and has needed to write again, And then a third time, to ask the Echo staff to explain, WHY NOT?

We appreciate that what the Echo publish, or chose to omit, is entirely their perogative, but surely the Echo do not have to run a letter’s content past the powers that be at Castle Point council!

We note there is never a glut of Letters from Canvey residents printed in the Echo columns, whilst there are certain contributors that appear to find it easy to have their letters approved on a regular, often too regular, basis, despite many topics verging on being considered banal, or even more suited to a National Publication!

Maybe there is even a “Sensitive” Warning Alarm Bell that rings on the Echo Letters Desk when a Letter is received from a Canvey Island address?

The Echo asked us to “Imagine a world where newspapers were unable to challenge …councils.”

Is there a Transparency issue regarding Echo Editorial content and Castle Point Council?

We sincerely trust not!

If certain contributions from Canvey residents are becoming too sensitive for the Echo editor or Castle Point council for immediate publication, then there needs to be a closer inspection of what is considered “challenging” and yet fit for publication in Print, weighed against what appears on the Echo website!

The Echo allows, and fails to remove spurious, damaging and possibly libellous accusations of the receipt of “Brown Envelopes” and Back-handers, aimed at our Castle Point councillors, published under pseudonyms, to remain visible on the newspaper’s website!

And yet Canvey residents have difficulty in legitimately calling into question Castle Point council cabinet decisions, through the Echo Letters column!

Image credit: Shutterstock