Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Skate Loughton


Last night we started the Skate Loughton temporary skate park and received a great response with over 30 kids turning up to enjoy the first event along with a good turn out of parents and volunteers. This event has been funded and supported by Loughton Town council and Roding Valley school. We will be running this "pop up" skate park once a month for throughout the summer this year and if you want to take part please contact me pmorris@email.com or visit our website www.skateloughton.org or visit the skate loughton Facebook page.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Sixth form spaces.....at last?




Some years ago now I started the first "e" petition at Epping Forest district council to raise the issue that we do not have enough sixth form spaces in the district.

Link to article

For some while local Head teachers have been working towards gaining these sixth form spaces for our children and it is looking like this is going to happen. I am really pleased that this is going ahead and it will make a big difference to the educational needs for those that get these spaces.

Link to article

Lets hope that these bids are successful and that Epping Forest manages to gain more sixth form education for our youth. The school leaving age was raised some years ago and so more children will have to stay on in education, the age is currently 17 and next year raises to 18 years old.




picture from http://www.andbethere.com/2013/10/on-success-part1.html

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Container Housing




As much as I am a traditionalist with regards to building construction you have to look around at what is up and coming and innovative. I love our old traditional buildings that we have dotted about all over over country. Some built hundreds of years ago and still standing strong today. They are part and parcel of our national character and are a wonderful  link with our history.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Unemployment figures

The Government have declared that unemployment have fallen to a five year low but seem to be ignoring the fact that school leavers have for the first time had to stay on for an extra year in further education and the school leavers for next year have to stay on for two more years until they are 18.

It would seem that the Government has manipulated the education system to suit the unemployment figures that just so happens to coincide with for this year the council and Euro elections with a double bonus lined up for the next general election and the year after the real figures will spike and show the true picture when the current kids at school hit the dole if no real jobs are created.

They are talking about a forgotten generation with youth unemployment in the capital up around the 26% compared to the fluctuating 7/8 % in the overall figures but the extremely high youth statistics are even worse than they are portraying if one whole year of school leavers have been forced for the first time into colleges and further education (now businesses).



     

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Skate Park update


This week there has been some serious progress with regards to a facility that is lacking in the area. Since 1997 there has been a long standing bid to secure a skate park in Loughton and quite a few sites have been highlighted as having the potential to be the permanent location but for many various reasons there has been obstacles that have prevented the project from materialising.

This is not for the want of trying and there has been much work and effort by many people into this and much disappointment each time the location of the site fails. It has to be said that Loughton Town council has been totally committed to this project from the start.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Debden High Rise passed: London's coming.





I went along to the Epping Forest District council planning meeting last night to hear the fate of the Winston Churchill pub and Debden Broadway. The Monstrous building that was planned to be placed on the site of the pub was given permission by 9 votes to 6. 
The Conservatives in my opinion had already decided that this was going ahead and this meeting was a farce in my mind.  Even though local residents and a town councillor made a good case in opposition to this it was passed anyway.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Winston Churchill Pub development

http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/your_local_areas/10833872.Sixty_four_flat_development_on_pub_site_rejected/?action=success

Loughton town council planning committee have rejected the proposed development of the Winston Churchill pub.

Well done to all those involved and lets hope District council does the same. It has to be said and I am a great believer in giving credit where its due the LRA councillors that attended the initial consultation have listened and acted in the interests of local residents opinions, Well done.

Over to district council ........


Sunday, 24 November 2013

LYP Radio / Skate Loughton







On Wednesday evening this week I went along to Loughton Youth Project to take part in one of their community radio pod casts along with Councillor Stephen Pewsey  and Councillor David Wixley to discuss the issue of getting a Skate Park built locally.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Street Lighting switch off



http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/efnews/10825814.Night_lighting_switch_off_delayed/?action=success

I think this is short sighted and will lead to further problems. I hope that the crime rate and anti social behaviour rates are closely monitored to be able to make a direct comparison before and after the switch off starts. 

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Skate Loughton




I went to the Space last night to do a pod cast at LYP radio regarding the future of Skate Loughton and to discuss this openly with two prominent local councillors. Once its uploaded I will drop the link in here.
It is looking like 2014 is going to be the year where we really get some progress regarding this group with a good few local events planned that Skate Loughton can be part of.

Next year the Tour de France will be coming through Epping Forest and this is an ideal opportunity to raise the issue to a wider audience  along with other events in loughton. There will be a public meeting regarding Skate Loughton on the 2nd of December at the space at 6.00pm. If you want to get involved or find out more about our aims then please come along to this.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Local employment in new developments.




Thinking about the issues over new large developments in our town I can not help but think that maybe once you take out the genuine concerns, such as a huge out of proportion structure, parking and so on. Points that desperately need addressing and due consideration there might be an underlying issue here that can be addressed to somehow soften the resistance to change in a manner that is a benefit for our town.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Save the Winston Churchill pub meeting



I have just been up to the local college to listen to a public meeting about the Winston Churchill pub development plans. Actually it was quite well attended and there was a unanimous vote against the development.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Sir Winston Churchill pub.

http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/your_local_areas/10766806.Residents_and_retailers_against_64_flat_development/

                                                             Picture impression from the above article.


I have submitted my opposition to the proposed development at the Winston Churchill pub in the Broadway onto the relevant page on the Epping Forest District council website planning section.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Pothole man



I received a mention, or rather my twitter account did yesterday in the local guardian @paul_morris1 from the local papers very own pothole man. Credit where credit is due so did our local Green party activist Stephen Neville.

As any of you that have read my blog will know I have reported quite a few pot holes and over the years been in the local paper before regarding terrible repairs being carried out out on our local roads. I know that in the grand scheme of things that some of you may not feel that potholes are of major significance but I feel they are important with regards to road safety.

Skate Loughton

Loughton Town Council are hosting their annual event today is Roding Valley High School car park. Free ramps for kids to ride their BMX's, Skate boards and scooters are available between 11 am and 3 pm ( I am assuming weather dependent)

If you are taking your kids down their please make sure that they have helmets and pads to wear.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Urgent crossing needed along Oakwood hill

Sadly last week there was a fatal accident along Oakwood hill in Loughton (Read here)

This highlights the urgent need for a better pedestrian crossing to be installed along Oakwood hill. If any of you have ever tried to cross the road especially during peak times I am sure you know exactly what I am talking about. There are a set of bends that many people tend to speed through and then a "t" junction straight before the crossing "island" that is currently there.



Monday, 12 August 2013

Epping Forest set to become more like Little London



There is an article on the Epping Forest Guardian website that states that Epping Forest is going to start using CCTV camera vehicles this autumn.

http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/efnews/10603760.CCTV_parking_patrol_cars_to_be_in_force_by_autumn/

I am totally opposed to this type of surveillance especially when when residents have been waiting for parking schemes in certain areas for so long to address real parking issues and problems and yet these revenue grabbing systems get rolled out first.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Pot Holes again




I have reported the pot hole at the junction of Deepdene Road and Borders lane to Essex county council via their interactive service. You can see  in the picture above the depth of the hole and just how dangerous it is. This type of pothole could cause a fatal accident to a cyclist or motorcyclist.

This is the tracking number to trace the repair on their website

Current Status: Being assessed
Reference: 2249961
Last updated: 17/07/2013 - 17:06



The picture below is just down the road from the pot hole above and the kerb stone has been left out for about six month now. When I reported this and the pot hole next to it they fixed the pot hole but not the kerb? It would be cheaper in the long run to have bedded this in at the same time as doing the pot hole right next to it?

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Potential hazard: CUT THE GRASS

In my previous post I have mentioned about the college field and the need for the grass to be cut sooner rather than later.

Apart from the fact this would allow the local residents to use this facility as it was always intended until such time as it becomes the new housing estate which I am sure will happen but the other more pressing need is to keep down the grass in this hot weather before it catches fire.

This whole field is surrounded by properties and is literally a tinderbox at the moment. It is negligent to let grass get so long in a field so close to so many houses.

This has already been a problem in the area

 http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/efnews/10549283.Three_fires_in_three_days_along_just_one_village_road/

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Give Epping Forest College field back to us


For quite a while now the Skate Loughton group has been waiting patiently for an answer regarding the possible use of a small part of the college field for a skate park. We have waited quietly for over a year whilst "those that can" have attempted to get the college to make a decision over this .

The college hasn't managed to make a decision and Skate Loughton has not been kept in the loop regarding the negotiations, after all why would we as I believe there has never been a genuine intention towards this happening.

So many sites have been highlighted and the LRA even stated in 1997 that this field was going to be used as the site for the skate park but in my opinion they have not yet realised that whatever the residents of Loughton think and however much the college might like to portray it considers the people of Loughton in my opinion it doesn't and never has.

The college has done whatever it wants to do, we have lost Loughton Hall, Debden Sports club, we have had to put up with the anti social behaviour that some of its students bring into our town, the increased traffic, the nightmare during its new construction and now this field is being left to become over grown so it ends up being viewed as wasteland.

Now we are left in a situation where local schools are having to look to build sixth forms because the college doesn't have enough spaces for our local kids who have to go to other towns such as Harlow. Have you ever tried getting form Loughton to Harlow on public transport? In this day and age of "Green" considerations it doesn't make sense to me to see people travelling unnecessary distances when the facilities are right on our doorstep. Totally unnecessary travel. Those that have these climate consciences seem to overlook issues such as this because they are to scared to oppose the college.

Is it right to ship people in from the east end and then ship our kids out?

North of Oakwood hill the Alderton ward has no facilities for children to play which considering the amount of green space is ridiculous. The council likes to make a big thing about the play grounds it has provided and that is to their credit but the age group that uses and need such facilities is one that cant be left to cross major roads without crossings and wander about to the other side of the estate.

The fact that the greens are designated "no ball games" can be understood and until now if you wanted to go and kick a ball about or ride your BMX's etc the field was the place to go, not now its so over grown. In this hot weather the long grass is now potentially a fire hazard that could cause a lot of damage to the surrounding properties if the field caught fire.

Come on EFC at least cut the grass so the kids can kick a ball about whilst you are making the decisions about how you are going to pull off selling the land that you were given for profit and to create another housing estate that no one wants.

I believe this field to be important to the Alderton ward and Loughton in general and do not want to see it go to East End housing. Cut the grass and let us use it.

Anyone remember the archery club that used to meet there or when it was the school sports field?

This land should never have been given to the college without covenants placed upon it, that is an error that will become clear in the next few years.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Loughton potato ground

 On Saturday there was a celebration at Loughton potato ground. People were celebrating the 200 year anniversary of the allotments which are located in a beautiful part of our town.

Bordering Epping Forest with spectacular views over London this is a lovely place to spend a little time out of the rat race and to grow your own fruit and vegetables plus to meet other people as well.

Plot holders came together and supplied food and drink to those that turned up and there was a competition for the best scarecrow.  It was great to see one of the LRA councillors there, Stephen Pewsey came along to join in, its always nice to see others who love our town and is passionate about Loughton as many of the rest of us are.






There was a talk given by the local bee keeper who has helped growers set up hives on the allotments which as I am sure you all know bee's are a really important to plants providing pollination as well as providing us with a treat of natural honey.


All in all it was a really good day there. My father has a plot up there at the moment and for me its nice to see my kids enjoy and learn about growing their own food. I used to be taken up there as a baby and a toddler and have had a plot myself. Four generations of my family have enjoyed produce from these grounds and hopefully more will follow.

Well done to all and thank you for a nice day.







Thursday, 16 May 2013

Pot hole fixed



I reported the pot hole at the junction of Barfields and Deepdeene road a while ago (click here) and I am glad to say that it has been fixed. I used the easy and simple Essex County council on line reporting scheme to do this and it has obviously paid off. You can do this yourself if there is a pot hole or road defect that you are concerned about, its easy to do and obviously it is worth taking a few minutes to report a problem as this one has now been fixed.

Well done Essex CC, however that is one of many that need doing so keep it up.

You can report them here

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Vote today

Today is polling day in Loughton, please make sure you go and vote if you are registered to do so. Regardless of who you are voting for it is an important right to be able to go and cast your vote. There are people all around the world desperate to gain the chance to have their vote, we do have the right so please use it.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported me during this election campaign and come out and helped me delivering leaflets and sat folding them with me so they are ready to be posted. I really appreciate your support.

A lot of time and effort goes into these elections by everyone who is involved from all parties and candidates and today is day of judgement by you the electorate as to who you choose to represent you. This effort can easily be dismissed by your resentment or opinions when you read the literature or listen to canvassers on your door step however it is all an important part in your towns local democratic process and can change the  dynamics of your area, its now down to you, the important people, the electorate.

These elections have brought about the usual third party campaigners who use and exploit  the democratic process to forward their own agendas and promote their own organisations and businesses in a bid to enhance their choice of candidate, deter voters from other candidates and garner support for their own cause. I do not see much value or merit offered from these groups or individuals. These groups are no more than the equivalent of political "curtain twitcher's" . The kind of people who have a lot to say and hold a lot of opinions (I am sure everyone knows a few people like this)  but do not have the ability or the intentions to ever stand up and put themselves forward to be candidates themselves.Possibly for fear of rejection or the fact they only hold negative opinions and no valuable political opinion, Yet they bleat about the democratic process themselves from the sidelines and the shadows in an attempt to gain some sort of moral high ground for themselves.

If you care about your town, care about what goes on in your community or have something to say about an issue that is important to you then stand as a candidate for your chosen party, organisation or just in your own name with your own views and have your say in the proper manner.

Win or lose at least you can hold your head up high and know that you have taken part.

Good luck to all the candidates in our town today.

Please everyone, go and vote.


Thursday, 18 April 2013

A real con?

Whilst I have no doubt that the Conservative candidate that is standing in the same ward as I am is a decent chap with good intentions I do wonder if these people actually realise that we as the electorate do have memories and can read the news and see what is going on in and around our area.

If you read the literature that is dropped through our doors this time of year you will notice that each party or group claims the gains and blames the failures upon their elected opposition in a game of leaflet "tit for tat". I found it interesting to read the leaflet that is being delivered in the Broadway ward for the "con candidate"

I notice that the claim is that he personally "shelved" the parking review for the Broadway which has an impact on surrounding roads and wards as well. This is because it is "unworkable". The unworkable part of it is the one design for solving the problem, I agree that the two hour ban on parking is a pain yet I believe that there are other solutions.

I would like to see some of the millions of pounds that Essex County Council employees apparently spend on their council charge cards used to give residents parking permits. As a council tax payer I would like to see one permit issued per house and a minimal fee for a second or third.

 This however costs money, more money that is obviously considered better spent elsewhere  as its a lot cheaper to put up the odd restrictive sign and hand the policing over to private businesses to make some extra cash. A con for us, a benefit for the council.

I would like to see these permits also enable a free hour in all local car parks. This would boost the revenue for shop keepers as an incentive to do your shopping in our local town. Your parking permit allowing you to park outside your house free as a benefit to your payment of council tax and also free to use local facilities and shops.

This councillor also claims responsibility for the highways safety improvement budget and wants your input apparently. Well here is some......Get the pot holes fixed as a matter of safety for motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians, and general motorists or is this decay and negligence a surreptitious traffic speed reduction campaign. Some of the roads in Epping Forest are LETHAL and will cause accidents. 

Obviously we now know who is responsible by their own admission for these failures and death trap roads. There should be signs warning people of uneven road surfaces when entering the district.

Speed cameras are well maintained though.



    

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Leafletting



Delivered over 800 hundred leaflets last night in the Alderton ward of Loughton. I had some help from some friends and supporters and it was nice as always to have a walk around the area.  It is however surprising to see just how much maintenance is needed in our streets. If you ever needed convincing that there is a problem somewhere along the line with the economy it is plain to see when you start looking at the cracks that are appearing.

The maintenance failings are an impending crisis as it is not just in one ward it is everywhere.

What is also sad to see is the college field. I wonder what this has in store for it? I would love to see this field used for recreation purposes for our residents or even made into a village green but you cant help but have the feeling that it is a building plot in waiting. The potential for this piece of land to become a focal point for our community and really benefit in many ways is great yet the potential for the college to make a lot of money out of letting this go to developers is the most likely scenario.

This field, once part of Luctons school was basically handed to the college years ago under the watchful eye of the LRA, the party who supposedly are looking out for our green spaces. It was also promised over a decade ago by the LRA that there would be a Skate Park on this field in one of their election leaflets yet surprise, surprise they have not been able to keep their promises, considering that they have a reasonable amount of sway and dealings with the college you cant help but feel they have let us down.

You only have to look at the developments that have happened on the other parts of the old Luctons school to get a gauge of exactly what could be built on this green space. It is a shame and the roundabout with a dead end turning into the field that has been installed along Borders lane is a good indicator of what is coming next.

I know all the local do-gooders feel it is great to expand our town and welcome as many people here as they can possibly fit in to it but we can not cope with much more expansion unless there are some major developments regarding back up infrastructure, for example:

Water supplies

The pipes that supply our water are at breaking point already,  look at how many burst main valves we have seen over the winter and the ensuing roadworks that follow. We already face water shortages within a couple of weeks of dry weather, when was the last reservoir built? You can not rely on hope to supply water.

Sewerage

London is facing a sewerage crisis that now needs massive crisis management systems such as the one we all now need to pay for through our water rates. Rapid expansion in our population has left an already ailing system unable to cope. This must be recognised by other authorities and dealt with before rapid expansion not after.

Roads, power supplies, shops, schools and so on all will need expansion before new projects are under way, not after.

In the meanwhile the most important thing is you, us, our existing roads, pavements  schools and so on that are showing signs of maintenance neglect and underfunding yet they want to expand further and expect us to pay for it?


  

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

County council elections 2013

Here are the candidates for the county council elections in Loughton central 2013

Reginald Ellis                 UKIP

Nicola  Fuller                The green party

Maureen Jarvis              Liberal democrats 

Ian Kovler                     Conservative  

Paul Morris     Independent 

Chris Pond                     Independent Loughton residents Association 

The ONLY candidate not standing for a registered political party is myself. If like me you have lost all faith in political parties then I urge you to vote for an independent. 





Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Pot hole update

Regarding my recent post about pot holes I am trying out the new County council pot hole reporting scheme. (No surprise there as the elections coming soon)  I have sent the photo's and details of the still not yet fixed pot hole and here is the tracking number for the report.

 2226205.

https://www.essexhighways.org/View-it-track-it-report-it/Track-a-problem.aspx



Current Status: Due for inspection
Reference: 2226205
Last updated: 26/03/2013 - 06:53
Thank you for your report of POTHOLE OR OTHER ROAD DEFECT at BARFIELDS, LOUGHTON which is due for inspection.
From the location details provided, we will check if the issue is already known to us. If it is not, we will visit the site to assess the situation, this will include deciding how urgent the repair work is and if it can be scheduled for repair.
We thank you for making us aware of this matter.

It will be interesting to see if this gets fixed in a reasonable time frame and if it does well done to the county council, lets not have the cheap and cheerful repairs that only last a few months lets try fixing it once and for all please.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Selective blindness?

Whilst it is nice to see councillors and resident groups looking out for our community it does seem to be that there is a hollow ring to these "concerns" that are raised. The LRA have directly criticised the District council over jumping the gun regarding a planning decision on Oakwood Hill as seen in the link below.

http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/efnews/10268057.Residents_association_accuses_council_of_hypocrisy_over_planning_process/

Whilst this group is busy appeasing its activists it would be nice to see the councillors pay a little more attention to some of the details in their wards that actually affect residents rather than their supporters.
The roads in Loughton are becoming abysmal, not just bad, but downright dangerous for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

I have seen local councillors drive straight past these hazards without even blinking an eye or even showing concern. I will complain about these potholes and hazards and I suggest and encourage you all to do the same.





Just for one example of many here are two hazards together at the junction of Barfields and Deepdeene. A kerb stone that is not bedded in laying on its side and a nice pothole over three inches deep next to it. These are typical of many bad repairs and sub standard quality of workmanship that have become the norm with regards to repair of our roads. A Kerb stone ready to trip over, a pot hole to navigate on a junction and a nice bit of gravel just left there for months to help people, slip, trip or slide along their way. 

Note the hub cap that lays next to the jutting out kerb stone. 

Whilst our local representatives are making sure they get their pre-election headlines in the local paper wouldn't it be nice to see some of the many general hazards such as pot holes noticed and dealt with whilst they are out and about on the odd occasion?

These hazards have been here quite a while and as councillors are aware of them and seemingly have not dealt with them what are we to think about their priorities? 

Wait and see the next lot of pictures!  

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Shocking road surfaces

Epping Forest MP Eleanor Lang has welcomed the decision to resurface poor road surfaces in the area after a continued campaign by residents with the help of County councillor Valerie Metcalfe.

http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/efnews/10182044.MP_welcomes_resurfacing_decison/

Credit where credit is due these residents with the help of their local politicians have got the job done and they can now expect to see the resurfacing works start shortly. But what about the rest of our roads?

Are we to assume that resident groups have to be formed for every bad road surface in the area and that we have to garner the support of councillors and run a high profile campaign? I am not suggesting that this has happened at a time where this would suite electoral purposes but a high profile campaign appeased just in time for the county council elections this coming May is rather lucky for the Tories, especially in the area that has seen much unrest at local council level over the past few year or so.

I expect to see similar success for other groups and potential candidates in the impending run up to the County council elections.

Many roads in the area are atrocious and dangerous with regards to surfacing and pot holes, maybe with the elections on the horizon we can expect to see some cheap and cheerful repairs taking pace in "high profile" spots at least?

Whilst we are on the subject of roads let us not forget the parking issues that are a real concern in and around the Debden wards. There has been a move towards success in some parts with some greens being earmarked to have parking spaces provided in them. These issues have been going on for years and causing real concerns and hardship for some residents, the problems are recognised at election time and forgotten fairly quickly after but with county council elections looming we can at least expect either promises to to do something, literature posted through our doors telling us its all in hand and its the fault of the local Tories as to why nothing has happened or some surveys will quickly be implemented to make it look like we are getting closer to the problems being sorted out .

I think I did see one of our councillors in our ward once this year but with elections coming round I am sure they will be back out with their long overdue newsletters.

I wonder if one of our councillors got over their disappointment of picking the wrong ward to represent yet?