Sunday, 10 October 2010

In Thursday's Echo, 7th October 2010, you may have noticed a factually incorrect readers letter for serial Shoeburyness Ward local election candidate Comrade Anne Chalk, relating to Bund Works and Badger resettlements in Gunners Park.

Whilst I welcome Anne Chalk’s acknowledgement that I and the West Shoebury local councillors work hard and continuously keep residents informed with good quality local literature, Comrade Chalks comments in the local press are ill-informed, misguided and mischievious.

Anne Chalk’s suggestion that West Shoebury councillors should leaflet their residents asking them for their objections to the bund work is frankly daft as well
as dangerous.

The need for a bund was recognised back in 1998 as part of the defence work to protect Shoebury residents from flooding. I’m sure residents wouldn’t like a repeat of 1953 which these works will help resolve.

The Environment Agency have recently stepped up their demands for this work to be completed quickly.

Fellow West Shoebury Ward Councillor Derek Jarvis the Cabinet member responsible for Parks and Chairman of the Bio Diversity Working Party reassured himself that this essential work on the bund will take account of the needs of the wildlife and in particular the family of Badgers which have to be relocated.

Ecologists from Natural England will undertake this work. Once the vegetation was removed from the bund it became obvious that the number of Badgers in this sett exceeded 40 which called for a large area to be identified remote from the bund where they could be relocated.

Natural England selected a suitable site and all six Ward Councillors were informed of this location in an e mail on 17th September and that the work was about to start and needed to be complete by the end of November.

It was never intended that this information should be widely broadcast due to the sensitive nature of Natural England’s work which needs to be undertaken with the minimum of interference.

In Shoeburyness Ward there are no houses in the Garrison overlooking the bund or the new location of the Badger sett. In West Shoebury Ward, there are only a small number of properties which are affected by the bund works and all received a letter from the Council advisingthem that the work was about to start.

In addition and in order to keep local residents informed, West Shoebury councillors have personally visited these residents keeping them informed of the latest developments and have spoken with dog walkers and other park users who have an interest.

Due to the sensitivity of the relocation of the Badgers, the time of year and the unfortunate reality that some wish harm on the animals, the discreet work of Natural England is ongoing to resettle the family. We hope you will understand the sensitive manner in which this work is being progressed.

Let's just hope that Comrade Chalk’s needless and irresponsible comments will not place these animals at significant risk. Another own goal by the Independent Party in Shoeburyness.

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