Our anniversary year has been a good opportunity to publicize BDRA and we are pleased to have picked up some new members at summer events. We have also been distributing The Resident magazine in a couple of areas to houses which are not yet members with some success. We will be continuing this initiative. If anyone thinks there is potential for more members in their area please let us know.
To understand membership issues and for membership secretaries to become more au fait with the workings of BDRA we are inviting one of the membership secretaries to attend EXCO each month
A small membership committee is updating role descriptions for both membership secretaries and road reps. The aim being to help new incumbents and to address common issues which come up.
As part of ongoing review EXCO are considering a new look for the front page of our magazine in the new year to bring a more modern look.
The final event of our anniversary year was to hand over our Time Capsule to The Cater Museum for safe keeping until 2026 when it will be reopened to see how many of our hopes have been fulfilled and if any of our fears have happened.. Alongside our hopes and fears is other documentation about this year in Billericay.
It was good that so many of those who had contributed to the hopes and fears were able to come along to the Reading Rooms on 30th September and our thanks go to John Baron MP for presenting the Time Capsule to Katie Wilkie of The Cater Museum on our behalf.
Speeding in Greens Farm Lane, Stock Road etc. John carried out a survey of speed infringements detected by the VAS in Greens Farm Lane. About 300 vehicles were observed during one hour in the afternoon of Friday 29 Sep, four of which were exceeding 50mph. The figures have been summarised. Other members will monitor speeds recorded at the VASs in Perry Street and Queens Park Avenue. The results will be evidence which might justify installation of more cameras.
Harry’s Bar have asked Basildon Council whether their plans for minor internal alterations and alterations to extract ducts can be considered a non-material amendment to their existing planning permission – which we thought it probably was. Harry’s Bar were also applying to increase the hours they can sell refreshments and have live music to 1am on Friday and Saturday evening. Any objection must relate to one or more of these four licensing categories:- The prevention of crime and disorder, Public safety, The prevention of nuisance and The protection of children from harm. Our experience was that Harry’s Bar did not cause any concern on any of these issues.
We were continuing to keep a close watch on the proposed auction of Elizabeth Cottage and the progress of 16/00999/OUT - Residential development at Magdalen Lodge Potash Road. As well as our objection on Green Belt grounds, Billericay Town Council and 3 members of the public had objected.
In the consultation into the Local Plan 45% of those who responded came from Billericay. Officers of Basildon Council have produced a report about the consultation which took place earlier this year, but our comments don't seem to have been taken into account. None of the housing sites in Billericay have been taken out of the plan and to make matters worse 1,000 extra houses are being considered to the south west of Billericay (so the developers can afford to build a new relief road), the land north of Outwood Farm Road, which was previously discounted is being reconsidered and 3 (unidentified) new strategically sized sites in the Great Burstead/South Green area have been put forward.
In due course a revised draft called the pre-submission draft will be produced which can only be challenged on its soundness and because this is so important we are going to contact our planning consultant at Cheffins and contacting the chairmen of The Billericay Society and Billericay Action Group to see if we can work together on this.
Car park in Meadow Rise
We have received a letter from Fowler & Spenceley who were appointed by Somerhaze Limited to manage the Meadow Rise site. They say they are aware of the parking issues at the site and the commuter problem. They are currently looking at the introduction of a parking control scheme which will be discussed with the shop owners before implementation; they say they will keep us informed.
Purchase of Defibrillator
The GBSG Village Council has discussed purchasing a defibrillator and is currently looking for a place to locate it.
Village Council Vacancies
No applications for co-option have been received so the closing date has been further extended to the time of the December Council meeting.
400th Anniversary of the Mayflower’s voyage to America
GBSG Council is to discuss ways in which the anniversary can be commemorated in 2020.
Speeding in and around Church Street & Bell Hill
The VC has noted concerns relating to speeding in the Village. Despite efforts to try and get restrictions in place the roads in question do not meet County’s criteria; further representations will be made.
Footpath 59 The Village Council is to notify ECC that this FP is impassable to the point where it meets FP60.
Schooling in Essex
A new report suggests that 55 new schools are required by 2020 to cope with growing pupil numbers. Many schools across the county are already oversubscribed. However, Phil Turner, Leader of Basildon council, is confident that the Borough’s Local Plan will resolve the issue. “We are looking at new schools and extra provision in existing schools and are working with Essex County Council”. Figures indicate that two new schools will have to be created every day to cope with demand in the UK over the next four years.
The community cinema operating in the High Street library has been nominated for two Film Society of the Year awards – Best Marketing and New Society of the Year. The award ceremony is on 1 Nov in Sheffield. We wish them well.
John has noted that some lighting, eg in Sun Street and Laindon Road, has been converted to LED. County Highways have also continued pothole repairs in the area.
Bonfire & Fireworks Spectacular
The annual Round Table event is on Saturday 5 Nov in Lake Meadows, commencing at 6pm. See www.billericayfireworks.co.uk