A decision on the Priory Crescent (scheme F5) road widening is long overdue.
The Department for Transport must decide and make public its choice to either reject or grant funding of up to £25million to construct the road. Soutehnd Borough Council still has the option to cancel.
Meanwhile, the people of Southend have been busy in order to help the decision-making process:
Last Tuesday evening, dozens of them, representing a broad cross section of the local community (from families with young children to the elderly and disabled), held a demonstration and direct action, both at and inside Prittlewell Priory.
At the invite-only event taking place inside, local councillors and dignitaries celebrated receiving the coveted 'British Archaeological Awards Developer-Funded Award 2006', for the discovery of the East Saxon king's burial site in late 2003. That's the same burial site they intend to palce beneath 10 feet of tarmac for the road scheme.
Across Priory Park at Camp Bling, protestors (again, including many local residents) continue to join and help put the finishing touches to the camp, and to make plans for any potential eviction by the local authority. A watchful eye is also being kept from further afield, from other protest sites and campaign groups, and the (very) many other active individuals who maintain a keen interest in the latest developments.
Considering all this, it now seems quite reasonable to expect that hundreds will mobilise, if necessary, to help defend and support Camp Bling, the Saxon king's burial site, and the trees and green spaces on the route of the proposed scheme. Maybe a whole new grassroots movement will be inspired.
The facts and analyses - as has so often been stated - do not add up in favour, and with every day that passes ,the opposition continues to build, both in numbers and strength of feeling. It's time to say 'bye bye road F5' - that's not a hard decision.
Campaigner - Parklife
Camp Bling, Southend
PRIORY Park, as a gift to us (not the council), amounted to 26 acres. How much of this is left? How much will be left if this misguided council continues on its ridculous quest to make a ring road out of Priory Crescent?
Come on Southenders, be heard! This council doesn't want to listen to us. So demand what you want. Priory Park is yours - save it!
B J Cole
Gayton Road, Southend