Evening Echo
May 26, 2006


...IT would be interesting to know why the participants in the latest spate of Camp Bling bashing, notably Chas Cheesman (May 22), have to resort to name-calling to make their point.

The words used, "mob" and "rabble", are synonymous with a lack of culture and pride in one's heritage. It is therefore the ultimate irony that the "treetop mob", are responsible for safeguarding, single-handed, the burial chamber of the first Christian king of the East Saxons, and with it, the cultural reputation of Southend.

Furthermore, while a fuss has been made about the cost of evicting the protesters by the anti Camp Bling brigade, beginning with the Echo Editorial of May 15, the loss of revenue by ignoring a potential world-renowned tourist attraction (like the astronomical cost of widening Priory Crescent) has not been mentioned.

The editorial also contains a reference to the "exhaustive and completely democratic process" through which the decision to widen the road was made. It would be interesting to know what exactly this process was. As it can't be the consultation which resulted in 20,000 rejections of the scheme. I can only assume that it was the public inquiry of 2004.

That reminds me of the headline in the Echo (Oct 31, 2003) "Inquiry Can't Halt Road Plan".

According to the subsequent article, Southend Council decided to start work in Priory Crescent months before the inquiry was to take place.

This pre-emptive action has obviously made a mockery of a democratic process, yet, to my knowledge, it hasn't attracted the criticism levelled at the hapless residents of Camp Bling.

I have always understood that the Echo was supposed to be impartial, fair and balanced, but now I'm wondering.

Wood Avenue, Hockley

Town's roads need drastic update

HOW can Peter Walker claim that clearing the protesters from Camp Bling won't cost a penny (May 22) despite their own bosts that it will cost "hundreds and thousands of pounds"?

He presumably believes that the bailiffs, courts and related administrators, etc, will work for nothing to evict these "brave individuals" from their tree houses and tunnels.

Either that or it is a desperate attempt to stop public opinion swinging away from his pet cause. This is the most ridiculous propaganda yet from a member of this self-declared, unelected moral minority.

Also, yet again they trot out the old chestnut that there are only 16 people in this town who would like to see the road widened!

Maybe a stroll along the queues of stationary traffic asking the people who actually use the road might give the protesters a more realistic and balanced view. Surely everyone in the Southend area isn't expected to write in and validate every decision the council make before it can be classed as legitimate?

Southend's road network is in dire need of quite drastic updating if we are to thrive and not to see more and more empty factories and warehouses to the east of town. Trees are great, but its jobs and freight access that we need.

Shakespeare Drive, Westcliff

Back to News Page
Back to Home Page