Friday, 17 October 2014

October Half term event

During the October half term there is an event being laid on for the kids of Loughton by Loughton Town council and Skate Loughton. This is being held in Roding Valley school between 11am and 3pm and is free.

http://www.skateloughton.org/

Monday, 7 July 2014

Tour de France






Brilliant day today at the Tour de France in High Beach. The area was packed with supporters of the race and it all went really well.

Luctons field closure



I am sure that a few of you will have noticed the no entry and no public right of way signs that have popped up on the College field. I believe that this cut through is important to many people and have written to the relevant department at Essex Highways to see if a public right of way can be established.

Dear Sirs

              I am writing to request that a public right of way be considered at the college field (also known as Luctons field) in Borders Lane, Loughton Essex. This field since being handed to Epping Forest college with covenants removed has laid redundant for years now. The land has not been maintained and has been left to go wild. This piece of land has been used for decades by local people that use this as a cut through from the local housing estate to the nearby Broadway high street shops. 

It is also a piece of land that has been used by many for walking dogs and other activities.

Just last week "no entry" and "no public right of way" signs were installed after twenty odd years of this land being open by way of dis-repaired fencing and open gates. There is a well worn and established path running right through the middle of this field.

Most people in the area are under the assumption that there is already a public right of way through this field and use it as such. This route makes the journey by foot considerably shorter for many local residents who use it.

Please could you urgently consider and review the right of the general public to use this much needed cut through and look towards establishing a public right of way through this field. If needed I will arrange petition signatures if that is of any assistance.

Yours Sincerely 

Paul Morris


Saturday, 21 June 2014

Save the Tea Hut




I have been quite busy over the past few weeks because a local asset that so many of us value has been put under threat.

I have grown up in Epping Forest and the forest has been a large part of my life, I love it. One of my passions is motorbikes, I have used the "Bikers" Tea Hut in High Beech since as long as I can remember, going on my push bike to see the bikes and once I was old enough going there on my own motorcycles.

This place is unique, it has a quintessentially British feel about it, something that is relevant with regards to wider issues at the moment. People from all walks of life stop by and make good friends and acquaintances with many others over the years. From Turner prize winners to local farriers,  Horse Riders and cyclists to carpenters and doctors everyone mixes in a rare classless situation with one thing in mind, to stop off and have a cup of Tea and a chat with others in the middle of Epping Forest and be able to get a quality bite to eat at affordable prices for everyone.

This place is going out to tender and along with many other people who for various reasons have had to deal with the City of London regarding Epping forest will know it is like banging you head against the wall trying to have a say.

I knew this was going to be a problem so I decided to put a call out on face book to my fellow tea hut users as I know we all feel part of a community and people were not going to be happy about this. I decided right at the beginning that this was not about me it is about us as a community and our place where we meet.

The response was as I expected it would be, it has been phenomenal and we have really had to push as hard as we can to be heard as in my opinion there is a flaw in the system of governance in Epping Forest where the local people do not have a real opportunity to be heard with regard to decisions. We all know many of these consultations are PR exercises and hold little value when it comes to a final decision.

We all know that unless you are prepared to really fight about something as an individual there is no one out there to fight your corner. Maybe I have fought hard and maybe I have really pushed this to the limit but I do not care if I offend people that will not listen to the wider public opinion if they are blatantly ignoring a wide spread point of view and are in a position of power that demands they listen.

To my thinking they should listen and I will do my utmost to make sure they do.

In response to unprecedented level of complaints to an issue such as this our MP, Eleanor Laing turned up at the Tea Hut one Saturday morning to talk about this issue,to have a cup of tea with us and to understand the issues that we are raising. I have to say that she was genuinely interested in what is going on, outwardly sympathetic towards the whole issue and supportive of what is trying to be achieved and was happy to be seen to support the community of people that use this facility.

This campaign will continue and I will take it as far as I can to get a decent and suitable outcome for all concerned including the City of London for that matter because at the end of the day they control the forest, that is something dear to me and to most of the rest of us as well.

but with all these big institutions they have to realise in this day and age you must listen to the public and be seen to accommodate community opinions.








 


Friday, 23 May 2014

Result

I would like to say thank you to the people that voted for me today and I achieved 9% of the vote of which I am grateful for and more than happy with.

This percentage encourages me to continue in my efforts and to work that little bit harder and to continue standing as an Independent candidate in the Alderton ward.

Well done to all the candidates for standing, I know that there was a leaflet distributed stating at such a low percentage last time why I was still standing but that really is my choice and what democracy is all about. There are always peaks and troughs in politics and everyone at the top will eventually peak and drop and others will become successful.

To me just knowing a couple of people were prepared to go out and vote for me is good but to get 9% make the effort is really a compliment and a good foundation to work on. I do not belittle efforts of others and understand that in a democracy there will be winners and losers and those at the top can become complacent as we have seen on a wider scale nationally with the rise in the UKIP vote across the board.

Nothing lasts forever and this result just makes me that little bit more determined to carry on.


Thursday, 15 May 2014

Get by with a little help from my friends


I would just like to say a big Thank you to those that helped me leaflet the Alderton ward this year. Many hands make light work and its nice to have support in what I am doing. Its also nice to see people that wouldn't normally get involved in any sort of election work find the time to help out.  It even nicer to have more offers of help that I didn't even have to take up, so win or lose the vote just to have the support of some decent local residents means everything to me.

Can any of this make a difference? 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

A promise.



PROMISE is a commitment by someone to do or not to do something 



You may well have noticed by now that you have had some leaflets delivered through your door regarding the local elections. Some have been hand delivered by dedicated people and others have paid for their communication with you to be delivered. Seeing that our ward is not that big and that it is rather pleasant to have a walk around I can not see why anyone would waste money getting others to post for them but there you go. If you want to represent a ward at least get out and about in it. 



So we have all seen the choice, some clearly passionate people all wanting to represent our ward at district council. What do we really have as a clear commitment and a definite promise to hold all of us candidates to if we are elected? 

Well we know that one group will blame another party for anything they get wrong or fail to do and the other party will do exactly what they are instructed to do on behalf of their party.



I am making a clear commitment of what I can and will do if I am elected by you over and above the obligatory attendance that some seem to think is the be all and end all.

I will guarantee that if I am elected that I will hold ward surgeries, give due notification of when they are and where they will be so if you need to raise any concerns of ask your councillor questions of an individual nature that you will be able to.

I will deliver a written quarterly update of what I am doing at council and to keep you aware of any issues that may be of importance.

I will openly declare all relevant expenditure and the amount of expenses received. I would do this on a monthly basis on this blog or website.

I will organise three open meetings a year for all residents to openly ask questions about the ward and local issues. I will invite the other councillors who are elected in this ward at Town, district and county level to attend as well so you would have the opportunity to raise questions and issues that may concern you to all your elected representatives thus allowing us to gauge your concerns and opinions and (I can speak for myself here at least) act in accordance with the majority sentiment of your wishes when it comes to decisions that I might have to make.


I would prove to you that "independents" can make a difference because I will be able to act and operate differently to groups and parties that are fixed into certain ways of operating and conducting themselves. I will, and can if elected be as open and honest and attempt to gain as much feedback as I can on important issues before a decision is made.

Not just blame it on everyone else if it is not popular and say "it was me" if it is.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Leaflets





I was leafleting last night in the Alderton ward and I must say I am really surprised at just how badly the Conservatives have been leafleting. In flats the leaflets are just scattered over the floor and up the stairs and in many houses the leaflets were barely pushed through the letter box. At least if you want someones vote be bothered to actually post the correspondence. 

Leaving post hanging out of a letter box is a good indicator that the householder is not there. I am sure you can imagine the implications of this.

In the interests of fair play and decent electioneering I and the volunteers that were helping me pushed the Conservatives leaflets through with my own leaflet and made sure there wasn't little paper flags indicating to all that people might not yet be home.

I am going to rise above some of the other misinformation being given at the doors, I didn't really expect any different. I have put a lot of effort into local projects and initiatives and for others to be undermining them at the door is par for the course I suppose, only to be expected yet there would be nothing wrong with these groups who declare they are going to do everything actually get out and do them. 

A councillors efforts should last the full term not just the election period. Turning up at council is the minimum effort required its the work in the ward and community I want to see.  



Picture from http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Published nominations 2014

Nominations have been published for this years District council elections. In the Alderton ward I am one of five candidates standing, they are:

Angela Ayre                                Labour

Chris Criscione                           Conservative

Paul Morris               Independent 

Bhupendra Ambalal Patel          Liberal Democrats  

Chris Roberts                            Loughton Residents Association 


It would seem we are lucky enough to have candidates that all live in the ward. This is a bonus for us as whoever is the successful candidate at least they are residents of our ward, not just eligible candidates 
floated in to fill seats. Sadly this can not be said for neighbouring wards.    

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the other candidates all the best in the elections and whilst we may have differing view points thank them for caring enough about our town and ward to put themselves forward to stand.   

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.