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Greens launch Petition against loss of parkland in Southchurch

Green Party Candidate for Thorpe Ward, Jo Bates

Green Party candidate for Thorpe Ward, Jo Bates launches petition against the proposed increase in the size of the car park at Southchurch Park.

In September 2019 Southend Council declared a Climate Emergency, and yet this week senior councillors are pushing for a scheme which will worsen Air Quality and congestion at Southchurch Park.

The suggestion from Cllr Woodley (Independent) to TRIPLE the size of the existing car park to a 300-space Pay & Display car & coach park on some of our last-remaining green space in the borough has caused outrage in neighbouring communities.

Cllr Woodley’s proposals would involve creating a car park on the ground south of the existing car park. He said this proposal would be “ideal for parents dropping off and picking up their children at the nearby Greenways Primary School.”

Diagram: A new car park THREE TIMES the size of the existing one is proposed.

A petition launched last week by the Greens’ Jo Bates has already amassed over 3000 signatures from furious residents explicitly stating their opposition to such a proposal.

In her petition, Jo said:

“We need to stand together and STOP this intended expansion. This will infringe on the wonderful green area, in an already fully developed area. This park includes playing fields that so many local people enjoy in the summer.”

Southend already has one of the worst Air Pollution crises in the UK, and encouraging car travel to a park in a quiet residential area is not sensible. The Southchurch Park area is already served well by several regular bus services and the main seafront cycling route, and encouraging parents to use this new car park to take children to school will do nothing to help alleviate the air pollution and congestion around this area.

We should be encouraging the creation of walking buses, and aiming to get children to school via environmentally-conscious and healthy active travel alternatives, such as walking and cycling. Many parents currently feel that sending their children to school on bikes in Southend is unsafe and that just highlights the core issue. With an integrated network of safe cycle lanes crossing the town and genuinely safe cycle infrastructure as the Greens advocate, parents needn’t worry.

Allocating crucial funding towards improving our cycling infrastructure is what is desperately required, and this kind of funding is currently being diverted towards building useless car parks by a climate-complacent council.

You can’t persuade people to use public transport and adopt active travel whilst simultaneously making car usage more convenient.

Yet again, rather than tackle the core issues of congestion and car parking, our councillors are looking to build on Green spaces for a quick fix.

Despite our council declaring a climate emergency (seemingly in name only), our councillors are still pushing for the extension of a facility for intra-town car usage which is wrong.

In a time of unprecedented destruction of our natural environment, this is not what our town needs. 

Please sign and share this petition to show Southend Council that we will not stand for the destruction of any more green space in Southend!

If you would like to help Jo and our other Green Party activists in their campaigns, please subscribe to our free mailing list.

One thought on “Greens launch Petition against loss of parkland in Southchurch

  1. I grew up playing on this area and it was my route to Thorpe, now Greenways school. I would not like to see further loss of green spaces. A pay and display car park would mean in my opinion more cars parked on local roads so as to avoid the fee. This area was always used for other things in the past. I saw Billy Graham there once. It’s an ideal area for this sort of show, ie a Fair for example. Rally’s and shows. Southend being unitary. Good luck with the fight. Being pessimistic it’s probably a done deal as the council only need to answer to themselves. But let the fight go on. People power won where I live so you never know.

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