HAVING read your front page article regarding the protesters against the dual carriageway proposals for Priory Crescent and within part of Priory Park, a park that was given to the people of Southend in perpetuity, I was a little surprised to see a subsequent article on page five where it is stated: 'Soutehnd Council will have a budget deficit of some £8m, even if the council taxes for Southend are to be raised beyond inflation to 5 per cent for the next round of taxes'.
My surprise is that the cost for the dual carriageway, also quoted, in your front page article, is to be £8m. [PPPS Ed: Actually, the council's own figures put the road scheme's cost at over £11m]
Now, if some 20,000 people have already signed the petition - and it is very possible that this represents only the tip of the icebergm with the silent majority, of which I am one - being against this project, then surely Southend Council, who are elected by the people for the people, should put two and two together and come to the rational conclusion that if the electorate do not want a dual carriageway and the council cannot afford to pay for the carriageway, why go ahead with the project?
Could it possibly be that long-term proposals for additional housing to the east of this area along with the additional revenue from all the extra council taxes and the grants towards the project from the Government, which, incidentally, is still derived from our national taxes, make this a proposition that Southend Council cannot ignore.
Although the moral argument for the desecration of a burial ground, however old and which very possibly has other burials nearby, can easily be brushed aside by the council with arrogance and impunity.
An historic site, possibly the rarest one in the UK, one that was reported extensively in the March edition of the world famous magazine National Geographic along with trees and part of the park are to be destroyed just for possible further financial gain and some political kudos.
J L Howells
CONGRATULATIONS to all those in the Parks and Gardens Department who put Southend top in the Anglia in Bloom competition.
But what can the park expect to win next year? The Best Open Space to be Eaten Up by a Hugely Unpopular Dual Carriageway Award?
Perhaps Southend Council could also enter the adjoining Saxon King's burial ground for the Most Important Archaeological Site To Be Covered In Tarmac Award?