“WHILST I was having a afternoon walk, I was walking past, the Derwent Parade shopping centre, I saw several people, hurrying about as it had just started to rain again, I stopped outside the Forum centre to look at the notices in the windows, I noted the new opening and closing times for, South Ockendon police station which is now 12:00 to 18:30 Mon to Fri, further along the window I noticed that the SORA information sheet had been taken down, I enquired inside the Forum centre, and was told that they had moved to a church hall in West Road, South Ockendon Village, I said I bet the three Belhus ward councillors are very happy as they all live on the Flowers estate, and they will only have to cross the road to the church hall, if any belhus ward residents want to attend a meeting, they will have a two mile trek to get there, but firstly you have to find out when they meet.
I walked further along the shops, until I got to the small cafe, I met a old friend of mine who lives alongside the Stifford Road in the Belhus area, I sat down next to him he was enjoying a cup of tea and a cigerette, he said he had heard, that there was a lot of trouble with heavy lorries, using Devonshire Road, which links Hogg Lane Chafford Hundred with London Road South Stifford, he said that all the residents were very angry about the lorries using the road, the community association in Chafford Hundred, had raised the issue with their councillors, and the Thurrock Borough Council, and it was also in Your Thurrock for all to read, I said it is good that their ward councillors and the community association was behind them when you are dealing with the TBC.
He said its a great pity out Belhus Ward Councillors haven’t ever helped us, in our fight with the lorries that us Stifford Road to get into Howard Tenens yard 24/7.
I agreed that the Belhus ward councillors, had all washed their hands, of all the residents, who live along Stifford Road and Fullbrook Lane, they decided without any evidence, to declare Howard Tenens Group illegally, and the large petition that had been collected by the residents, had been made up and all the signatures were false, several meetings were between the Howard Tenens Group and the residents who were affected by the yard, plus a group from Aveley village, but not one Belhus ward councillor attended any of the meetings, there were numerous requests to the councillors, one of the councillors a Sue Gray who was the chairperson of the SORA group (South Ockendon Residents Group) who was supposed to be there to help all residents of South Ockendon, we found it very hard to meet with our councillors, we were told that Sora met in a tiny little hall behind the South Ockendon association club premises, we went along to the meeting, only to be told that we couldnt speak or ask questions, because we had to submit the questions a few days before the meeting,
It was a lot like the book Catch 22 being acted out by these three councillors, we showed the councillors the petition with the signatures on, they said that looked forged, and they didnt want to help us, because they considered Howard Tenens Group were operating illegally and they had broken Planning regulations etc, after the meeting the councillors scurried away like rats leaving a sinking ship, we tried to attend another meeting but they had moved again, mean while the lorried were still arriving and leaving the old Marley Tiles Yard.
Howard Tenens Group had plans to put a rear exit in their yard, so that lorries could leave the yard without annoying the residents along Stifford Road and Fullbrook Lane, they also said that they would make Hangmans Woods tidier and clear out all the excretment and urine bottles that the lorries drivers throw into the woods on a daily basis, when they use the long laybye next to the woods, the planning committee rejected Howard Tenens Group plans for the yard and the woods, so they have now completely fenced off Hangmans Woods, and put up large Arc lights so that the yard can be used 24/7, there as been a increase in different haulage companies using the yard, so lorries still use the yard 24/7.
Lorry drivers are not allowed to stay overnight in the yard, is that why Eddie Stobart have well over sixty trailers in the yard, and they tell everybody that go on their website that, their Essex depot is in Aveley, and not South Ockendon, A few weeks ago, I drove around Purfleet on the old A13 near to the Circus Tavern PH, and I counted seven Eddie Stobart lorried parked up for the night, there was another two on the roundabout under the M25 at Junction 30, going into MOTO Services just behind the Esso service station there was another three lorries belonging to Eddie Stobart and on the exit from the services parked in the Essex arena entrance was another Eddie Stobart lorry, so there management cant say that all there drivers park up safely.
It does seem unfair that the TBC takes, each week from their tenants rent and council tax, and council tax from home owners, for living besides the busiest road in the borough of Thurrock, where the residents have to endure high noise and air pollution both from Stifford Road and the M25, and neither the TBC or the three Belhus ward councillors, Charlie Curtis and Wendy Curtis and Sue Gray, will lift a finger to help them, you have to ask why did these people take the job of councillor if they didnt want to help the people who voted for them, surely it couldnt be for the money or the power it gives them..
Looking into the future I wonder what the Thurrock area will be like when the two super ports open in 2014, these two super ports will have to use the roads and the railway in the area, that is the A13 and the C2C railway.
Junction 30 won’t be started until 2016 that is two years after the super ports open in 2014, can you begin to imagine, the newly generated traffic trying to navigate there way through Thurrock on the old well battered A13, this old road will be grid locked all day in both directions, the toll booths wont be able to cope with the sheer volumn of extra traffic, they have trouble copeing now with large delays caused by large amounts of traffic trying to get through the Dartford Crossing bottleneck, people will try and divert to the A127.