Yellow Advertiser
23rd April 2008

Camp Bling battles on

OCCUPANTS of Camp Bling in Priory Crescent have dismissed calls for them to vacate the site.

Anna Waite, lead member for planning at Southend Council, told the YA last week that the Parklife protesters should leave by May 1 to avoid more costs associated with the road scheme.

She was responding to criticism by Parklife about the amount of public cash being spent on the road-widening scheme.

Parklife spokesman Shaun Qureshi said campaigners had received no council demand to leave the site.

He repeated calls for the coucil to drop the road plan and added: "If the council throws out this road scheme now, all further costs will be wiped out.

"The council has already wasted almost £2million of taxpayers' money."

Mr Qureshi said that the Parklife campaign had incurred no costs to taxpayers as a result of their action.

Soutehnd Council estimates it must pay more than £1m to evict protesters.

Opinion and readers' letters

Ditch Priory Crescent plan

PARKLIFE has been campaigning against the controversial Priory Crecent road widening scheme since June 2001.

Our intention has always been to oppose any road shceme that would have a detrimental impact either on Priory Park or its immediate surroundings.

Since our group first formed all those years ago, we have witnessed many developments. The campaign has twisted and turned but there has been no real resolution to date, despite the best efforts of certain elements within the council to push the scheme forward. Advocates have come and gone, but opposition remains firm.

We have taken the time and made the effort to talk to many thousands of people across the borough. Our experience time and again in talking to the public is that most are against any widening of Priory Crescent, including the latest revised plans announced to much fanfare by Cllrs Nigel Holdcroft and Anna Waite in June 2007.

It doesn't take a genius to work out that the idea was doomed to fail from the very beginning. A little local knowledge and a concern for the environment is enough for most to say that the time has come to consign the idea to the dustbin once and for all.

Cllrs Holdcroft and Waite still have the opportunity to do the right thing. Now is the time to cancel the Priory Crescent road widening, thus saving the local taxpayer millions of pounds of wasted money and triggering the dismantling of Camp Bling to enable the Saxon King's bural ground to be restored for the benefit of our town.

Shaun Qureshi
Campaigner - Parklife

Dualling road won't work

WHAT an extraordinary slant was put on the article about Camp Bling (YA, Thursday April 17). It implied that the occupation of the Saxon King's burial area is costing the taxpayer money!

On the contrary, the people of Camp Bling have been trying to save us the huge cost of a useless road and have pointed out that even if the government comes up with the money for dualling half of Priory Crescent, the ratepayers hae to stump up a massive sum towards it which the council simply don't have.

The people at Camp Bling have always promised to leave the land they occupy with no harm done if the road is dropped but it must not be thought that the area is not under threat if the half dualling takes place.

It will only be a matter of time before we have to pay for the rest to be dualled.

There can't be anyone with sense who really thinks that a bit of dualling will help the traffic. We all know it's the junctions that are the problem with just too much traffic using them - not the width of the road!

It is only pride that keeps this council pushing for this ridiculous scheme so please remember that when voting in the coming council elections!

Sheena Walker
Buckland, Shoeburyness

Putting the 'con' into Conservative

SO, Anna Waite is showing some concern for council taxpayers at last, appealing to the better nature of the Camp Bling protesters to move out and save taxpayers money.

Does she think the public have forgotten that it was her and her crazy council cronies in Road Planning that put the protesters there in the first place? And as for the commemorative garden, how much does she plan to spend on consultation fees and feasibility studies that the planning department seem to like wasting our money on?

Perhaps she can tell us about access across this busy road to the commemorative garden - or is this another smokescreen to save money that can be better spent on increasing councillors expenses and parties for council staff?

No, I think Ms Waite is really trying to put the Con back into Conservative.

RA Kersey
Norwich Avenue, Southend

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