No Proroguement here!

The Prime Minister might be afraid of genuine debate and being held to account, but we don’t have any problem with that here at Chipping Bonhunt.

We’ve had a lively season of debate and discussion about what is best for our town, balancing many different expectations and seeking to achieve what is possible.

In September we start another round of Council meetings and look forward to conducting ourselves in a way that enables everybody to take part and contribute to a positive future for Chipping Bonhunt..

One all?

With Residents for You sweeping into power on Chipping Bonhunt Town Council and also the District Council it wouldn’t be long before they faced some pretty sticky decisions, cleaning up the mess left by the previous District administration.

Over the last week they’ve faced a “double whammy,” having to look at the decision made on airport expansion and also deciding whether to stick with the draft Local Plan or to start again.

Both are very difficult decisions: by not issuing planning consent, the Council could face an appeal from the airport owners which the Council might lose, thereby facing a big bill. Starting again on the flawed Local Plan would open up a free for all to developers who’d probably secure approval at appeal for most of the proposed new settlements and get away without providing all the infrastructure and important “Garden Village” features the Local Plan can help force them to include.

The Council has gone for a “one -all” solution. They’ve taken a risk on the airport planning consent with the aim of forcing consideration of new legislation and hopefully getting a better outcome for residents.

On the Local Plan, they’ve decided to go forward with it so the process can be completed and hopefully the plan can be improved.

A sensible start!

A Fresh Start

Here on Chipping Bonhunt Town Council it’s out with the old and in with the new. Nobody can remember when, if ever, the council hasn’t had any Conservative Councillors. But that’s the situation now as they were all swept away by a veritable tsunami of successful candidates from Residents For You.  With fifteen out of sixteen town councillors (the other one is Bonhunt’s first Green), the Residents have a very strong mandate to take the town forward.

A fresh start and there is optimism in the air!

District Council Results are in

Results for the Chipping Bonhunt District Council Wards are:

Castle Lofts Ward:

Lewis Mason              Residents for You                   982      ELECTED

Rupert Bradshaw        Residents for You                945      ELECTED

John Davies                 Liberal Democrat                    825

Vincenza Wire            Liberal Democrat                    631

Stephen Hodgkiss       Conservative                           467

Thomas Dakin             Conservative                             203

Albert Peregrine          Labour                                        143

Lloyd Evans                UK Independence Party          26


Chipping Bonhunt Town Ward:

Paula Spike                    Residents for You                   819      ELECTED

Joanne Fairwood        Residents for You                  773      ELECTED

Matthew Gehry           Liberal Democrats                 521

Michael Hoyt             Liberal Democrats                    401

Therese June                Conservative                             374

James Davidson          Conservative                            298

Maxwell DeBois         Labour                                           248

Chipping Bonhunt has followed the same pattern across most of the District, with Residents achieving a very convincing victory

Counting has begun!

Counting has begun for the District Council seats covering Chipping Bonhunt. The results for the Castle Lofts and Chipping Bonhunt Town wards will be posted here when they are announced.

Day of Reckoning?

Will Thursday be a day of reckoning for our District Council?

With the wind blowing cold for the Conservatives over BREXIT and the on-going saga of the District Local Plan, could we be about to see a change of control?

That would be a day of reckoning for the current administration. It would also be a challenge for whoever follows. It’s one thing to be in opposition, quite another to step up and take control.

Gambling with our Council Tax

Watching the activities of the District Council from the perspective of the Town Council here in Chipping Bonhunt we can only hope that the games they are playing in the high stakes casino of commercial property investment will not leave us all in penury if there is a major recession.

Even at the best of times commercial property is a pretty high risk investment. Yes, you can make great returns when times are good and the economy is booming, but come a recession then all bets are off.

We just hope those District Councillors promoting this investment have a mitigation plan in place to cope with an economic downturn.

Bowing Down to Royale-ty

So now Royale Homes have secured planning consent from the District Council for their development on Sandean Road. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again!

Everybody apart from the great and the good on the District Council can see this development is on the wrong side of Chipping Bonhunt. The promise of a relief road (which doesn’t run all the way round the south of the town) is rather hollow as it appears the first section of road that it links to is not built to the right standard and won’t cope with the traffic that will eventually be fed onto it!

Friends no more?

It seems the fate of Chipping School (formerly the Friends School) in Chipping Bonhunt is heading for a very sad end.

Having failed to find an educational provider that could take on the school, the administrators have sold the site and buildings to a developer. We await their plans with trepidation. What a shame the government didn’t have the imagination to buy the site in order to meet the growing need for school places in North Essex. In one simple move, the needs of the next decade could have been provided for.

Let’s hope that something can be salvaged for the local community: the sports facilities and playing fields are a very important local resource.

The undiscovered jewel of North Essex