Committee NewsCoach trips
Our coach trips are popular but it seems that some of our members believe it is difficult to get on a trip. This is strange as the trip in March to London ran with empty seats. (see what Yvonne and Kathleen say on the front page)
Sean Day from the Harwich Mayflower Project is the guest speaker at our 2017 AGM.
A revised constitution will be brought to the AGM for adoption. This will be printed for everyone coming to the AGM to read and will also be available on our website. If you contact us we can also email this out to anyone interested.
Child in the Park Statue
Like most people we were angry and upset that the statue in Lake Meadows was stolen in February. The statue was erected in the park in 2001 after money was raised by many Billericay people and organisations, including BDRA. Our committee will write to Friends of Lake Meadows to find out about the replacement and to pledge our support again.
The Borough Diary is Basildon borough's civic newspaper. According to the council website it is usually published four times a year and is distributed free to residents' households, giving up to date information on local issues and council services. Many of our members are not receiving their copy so we will write to Basildon Council to ask that it is delivered in Billericay.( its worked some members of the committee have reported they have received the spring edition)
Emergency Services Network
The communication systems used by our emergency services can literally make the difference between life and death for members of the public and the services themselves. The current communication service, Airwave, has served the emergency services effectively, and has averaged 99.9% availability since April 2010. It is, however an expensive system, costing £1,300 per handheld or vehicle-mounted device per year, and its data capabilities are poor. The Government has been looking at options to replace Airwave when the contracts expire at the end of 2019 and the chosen option to replace Airwave is known as the Emergency Services Network (ESN).
ESN is expected to save money by using parts of an existing commercial 4G network, that of EE. There are significant technical challenges that the programme needs to overcome including working with EE to increase the coverage and resilience of its 4G network so that it at least matches Airwave and developing handheld and vehicle mounted devices as no devices currently exist that would work on ESN.
At a recent committee meeting in the Reading Rooms very few of our committee members were able to get a 4G signal from EE which has flagged up a serious concern that there will not be enough coverage for Billericay residents to feel that the emergency services will be able to use ESN. A letter will be written to John Baron MP to express our concern about the EE 4G coverage in Billericay and asking to be kept informed about how EE intend to address this.
At a recent meeting of representatives from Billericay Action Group, Billericay Society and BDRA it was decided to write a joint letter to John Baron MP, inviting him to see the results of our consultations with Billericay residents which have shown how important residents believe it is to protect the Green Belt. We will ask him, as our MP, to join with us to protect our town and the surrounding Green Belt.
Nicola Foster, Chair of Safer Essex Road partnership has replied to our letter regarding excessive speeds on certain roads in Billericay. She gave us lots of information relating to Billericay. For example during the 3 years to 31/12/2016 there were 123 reported collisions involving an injury, 0 fatal, 27 serious and 96 slight injuries and in 2015 Billericay residents received 1,007 Notices of Intended Prosecution for speeding offences.
Ms Foster said that Community Speedwatch “has been extremely successful in other areas, including Stock, and it would be lovely if your community was able to create a sustainable group. You would be trained and supported but we can provide further information should you wish to pursue this.” (see details here)