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Sunday, 21 February 2016

A Green Vision For Colchester


                                  TO LIVE IN AGAIN!

When I moved to Colchester 26 years ago it was a pleasant and thriving town with a great community spirit and good public services. Yet look at what is happening now.
It has been allowed to overdevelop at an alarming rate and sprawl out into the green spaces surrounding it with inadequate investment in services to match this.

- Our hospital is underfunded and creaking under the pressure.

- Our streets are strewn with litter and our transport system clogged up.

- Children face a future where their green spaces have been gobbled up by developers.

- Our town centre is increasingly full of closed and derelict shops.

- Essex University students are saddled with massive debts.

- School places are scarce and our schools and colleges underfunded

- Rent levels are rising out of control and social housing provision inadequate.

- The best is not being made of our historical sites and heritage, such as the neglected Butt Road Church.

- There is a widespread perception of rising crime.

- Successive councils have been a pushover for developers while initiating 'pet projects' which have degenerated our facilities such as the downsizing of the bus station and transformation of Greyfriars Adult Learning Centre into a posh hotel most people can't afford.


                              ITS A GRIM SITUATION. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

A Green council would aim to turn this around.
We would prioritise brownfield sites for housing rather than green fields and strive to build council housing.
We would get substantive local litter-picking schemes up and running involving public volunteers to be cost effective and we would crackdown on dog-fouling.
We would campaign for more powers to come to the borough from county, including roads. We can't promise to stop all central government imposed green-field urban sprawl and austerity cuts but by golly we would have a good try and you would know exactly what side your councillors are batting for on those issues.
We would put the regeneration of our town centre on the top of our priority list and get the Queen St/Osborne St area regeneration moving.
We would immediately explore the possibility of more cycle lanes in central Colchester and of the compulsory purchase of derelict buildings in the town centre, subject to the requisite legalities.
We would work hard to get more neighbourhood watch schemes up and running.
We would explore ways of reducing the overheads of small local businesses via grants/funds while squeezing more out of large corporations via whatever stealth taxes it is possible for local authorities to increase on them.
We would make far more of Colchester's Civil War and Roman heritage and end the neglect. There would be a Civil War exhibition in the town and a permanent memorial to King Charles I in Castle Park. We would erect a new sign for visitors outside Butt Road Roman Church.
We would work closely with the Church of England to get redundant churches in the town centre such as St Martin's and St Leonards up and running as community church facilities.


The Tories are desperate to gain control of Colchester Borough Council.
They would be a disaster for Colchester.
Previous Tory councils have tried to build houses all over Highwoods Country Park and were responsible for wasting £1000s on the failed attempt to regenerate the Queen Street area. The result was the loss of Greyfriars Adult Education Centre, now a posh hotel few can afford, and a row of still derelict shops. It was a Tory council that initiated the downsizing of our bus station to a risible joke having failed to redevelop Osbourne Street.
They were not only incompetent gadflies buzzing from one failed pet-project to another, wasting stacks of  taxpayers' money, they were also a pushover for developers.
Colchester needs strong councillors willing to stand up to central government and developers, not a weak council run by people whose record shows are not up to the job.



  1. I'd like free-of-charge buses on Saturdays to encourage people into town centre (and away from car-biased out-of-town retail parks) by public transport, not private car. I hear that EU regs are meant to prevent councils and gov from subsidising public transport, but my question is, if Luxembourg city can provide free-of-charge buses on Saturdays, why can't we?

  2. The result was the loss of Greyfriars Adult Education Centre, now a posh hotel few can afford, and a row of still derelict shops.


    Politics of envy?

    1. It's not about envy, it is about the fact that we have lost Greyfriars Adult Education Service as a community facility and it has been turned into a private hotel that the local community don't use.