Southend Council leaders says Havens have upset supporters

Southend Council leaders says Havens have upset supporters

Southend Council leaders says Havens have upset supporters

First published in Local News

THE leader of Southend Council said a charity’s attempts to build new a £15million hospice on green belt have upset the very supporters it relies on for funding.


Nigel Holdcroft said the dispute over a second application by Havens Hospices to build a 16-bed hospice on land off Belton Way West had bitterly divided opinion among a large proportion of its own supporters.


He said: “I think it is disappointing because there is a divergence of opinion over this application. A substantial number of people feel very upset about it.
“The organisation depends on massive public support and unfortunately they are putting themselves in a position where they are clearly upsetting and causing distress to a significant number of residents. That is something I flagged up at the first application.”


Havens withdrew its first application last year when it became clear it was likely to be turned down. The charity looked at and rejected more than 200 alternative sites, including land it owns at Little Havens children’s hospice in Thundersley, in favour of the Leigh site. A subsequent public consultation left feelings running high among supporters and those bitterly opposed to the loss of green belt.


Andy Smith, chief executive of Havens Hospices, said: “We are surprised to hear that the leader of Southend Council has commented on our plans in the way he has.”


Mr Smith added: “In possibly the largest petition Southend Council has ever received, 17,000 people expressed their support for our plans to build a new hospice on that site.


They also received over 1,100 letters of support from local residents who want to see the hospice built on that site. Only 230 letters were received in opposition.”


The application is up for decision by the development control committee on Wednesday, October 17.

 

Comments (21)

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10:46am Tue 16 Oct 12

Olivia2847 says...

I'd be uspet as well !
I'd be uspet as well ! Olivia2847
  • Score: -1

12:06pm Tue 16 Oct 12

fletch12107 says...

Why is Nigel Holdcroft going to the papers on this issue? The decision will be made by an appointed committee and this committe will approve or reject on legislation and should not be influenced by the leader of the council putting his personal opinion in the press.
Why is Nigel Holdcroft going to the papers on this issue? The decision will be made by an appointed committee and this committe will approve or reject on legislation and should not be influenced by the leader of the council putting his personal opinion in the press. fletch12107
  • Score: 6

1:11pm Tue 16 Oct 12

dhd says...

Nigel Holdcroft is only speaking the truth and that is that it has bitterly divided opinion.
Nigel Holdcroft is only speaking the truth and that is that it has bitterly divided opinion. dhd
  • Score: -3

1:30pm Tue 16 Oct 12

marshman says...

I don't think it's a case of 'Nigel Holdcroft going to the papers'. More like a journalist seeking comment from the leader of the council on a highly contentious planning application. There's nothing at all wrong with that and I'd be more concerned if the journalist had failed to do so.

I also think Cllr Holdcroft has been careful not to attempt to influence the outcome of the decision with his comment and has merely stated the obvious. Opinion IS divided and some supporters of the hospice ARE upset.

We haven't donated to Havens for the money to be blown on failed planning applications, government inspector appeals and an advisory team of planning consultants. Had a less contentious site been chosen from the outset it would be built by now, open and providing care to those who need it.

Instead (in an effort to save some face) the chief executive of Havens Hospices, Andy Smith, has embroiled himself in an ever increasingly bitter war of words with anyone against the proposal.

That's not what it's all supposed to be about is it.
I don't think it's a case of 'Nigel Holdcroft going to the papers'. More like a journalist seeking comment from the leader of the council on a highly contentious planning application. There's nothing at all wrong with that and I'd be more concerned if the journalist had failed to do so. I also think Cllr Holdcroft has been careful not to attempt to influence the outcome of the decision with his comment and has merely stated the obvious. Opinion IS divided and some supporters of the hospice ARE upset. We haven't donated to Havens for the money to be blown on failed planning applications, government inspector appeals and an advisory team of planning consultants. Had a less contentious site been chosen from the outset it would be built by now, open and providing care to those who need it. Instead (in an effort to save some face) the chief executive of Havens Hospices, Andy Smith, has embroiled himself in an ever increasingly bitter war of words with anyone against the proposal. That's not what it's all supposed to be about is it. marshman
  • Score: -1

1:38pm Tue 16 Oct 12

fletch12107 says...

dhd wrote:
Nigel Holdcroft is only speaking the truth and that is that it has bitterly divided opinion.
He may be speaking the truth as he see's it but a lot of people have an opinion on this subject but are not in a privileged position to have their opinion published.
[quote][p][bold]dhd[/bold] wrote: Nigel Holdcroft is only speaking the truth and that is that it has bitterly divided opinion.[/p][/quote]He may be speaking the truth as he see's it but a lot of people have an opinion on this subject but are not in a privileged position to have their opinion published. fletch12107
  • Score: 4

1:46pm Tue 16 Oct 12

mikey-leigh says...

What a blantant piece of progoganda between the Echo and the Council.

Has any journalism gone into this, or have they literally let Holdcroft loose on a typewriter? There has been no questionning by the newspaper about what was said in the Minutes, if the Council did agree there were no suitable brownfield sites, no mention of Holdcroft's position on why other greenbelt developments have been approved in the town (medical research centre and nature visitors centre to name two recent) nor the reason why he is so against this particular proposal (probably because it is in his constituency, is lobbied by the anti's and therefore cannot view it with any kind of impartiality).

It is disappointing, though not surprising, that the Echo has decided to side with the Council and not report fairly and balanced (I think I read literally a line of the charity's "right to reply).

And as for causing "distress to residents and supporters," a 17,000 strong petition seems to be brushed aside by the "leader" of this town. And to use the word "distress" when there are patients unable to access care at the end of their lives because there's not enough beds at the hospice - completely distasteful.
What a blantant piece of progoganda between the Echo and the Council. Has any journalism gone into this, or have they literally let Holdcroft loose on a typewriter? There has been no questionning by the newspaper about what was said in the Minutes, if the Council did agree there were no suitable brownfield sites, no mention of Holdcroft's position on why other greenbelt developments have been approved in the town (medical research centre and nature visitors centre to name two recent) nor the reason why he is so against this particular proposal (probably because it is in his constituency, is lobbied by the anti's and therefore cannot view it with any kind of impartiality). It is disappointing, though not surprising, that the Echo has decided to side with the Council and not report fairly and balanced (I think I read literally a line of the charity's "right to reply). And as for causing "distress to residents and supporters," a 17,000 strong petition seems to be brushed aside by the "leader" of this town. And to use the word "distress" when there are patients unable to access care at the end of their lives because there's not enough beds at the hospice - completely distasteful. mikey-leigh
  • Score: 2

2:20pm Tue 16 Oct 12

jayman says...

Mr Nigel Holdcroft is a solicitor and a Tory..

Two factors that make his opinions on any subject worthless!

i for one support the new hospice.
Mr Nigel Holdcroft is a solicitor and a Tory.. Two factors that make his opinions on any subject worthless! i for one support the new hospice. jayman
  • Score: 3

2:55pm Tue 16 Oct 12

dhd says...

mikey-leigh wrote:
What a blantant piece of progoganda between the Echo and the Council. Has any journalism gone into this, or have they literally let Holdcroft loose on a typewriter? There has been no questionning by the newspaper about what was said in the Minutes, if the Council did agree there were no suitable brownfield sites, no mention of Holdcroft's position on why other greenbelt developments have been approved in the town (medical research centre and nature visitors centre to name two recent) nor the reason why he is so against this particular proposal (probably because it is in his constituency, is lobbied by the anti's and therefore cannot view it with any kind of impartiality). It is disappointing, though not surprising, that the Echo has decided to side with the Council and not report fairly and balanced (I think I read literally a line of the charity's "right to reply). And as for causing "distress to residents and supporters," a 17,000 strong petition seems to be brushed aside by the "leader" of this town. And to use the word "distress" when there are patients unable to access care at the end of their lives because there's not enough beds at the hospice - completely distasteful.
Are we reading the same article here. What propaganda? It doesn't seem to side with anyone. Both sides have had their say.
[quote][p][bold]mikey-leigh[/bold] wrote: What a blantant piece of progoganda between the Echo and the Council. Has any journalism gone into this, or have they literally let Holdcroft loose on a typewriter? There has been no questionning by the newspaper about what was said in the Minutes, if the Council did agree there were no suitable brownfield sites, no mention of Holdcroft's position on why other greenbelt developments have been approved in the town (medical research centre and nature visitors centre to name two recent) nor the reason why he is so against this particular proposal (probably because it is in his constituency, is lobbied by the anti's and therefore cannot view it with any kind of impartiality). It is disappointing, though not surprising, that the Echo has decided to side with the Council and not report fairly and balanced (I think I read literally a line of the charity's "right to reply). And as for causing "distress to residents and supporters," a 17,000 strong petition seems to be brushed aside by the "leader" of this town. And to use the word "distress" when there are patients unable to access care at the end of their lives because there's not enough beds at the hospice - completely distasteful.[/p][/quote]Are we reading the same article here. What propaganda? It doesn't seem to side with anyone. Both sides have had their say. dhd
  • Score: -3

4:50pm Tue 16 Oct 12

perini says...

mikey-leigh wrote:
What a blantant piece of progoganda between the Echo and the Council.

Has any journalism gone into this, or have they literally let Holdcroft loose on a typewriter? There has been no questionning by the newspaper about what was said in the Minutes, if the Council did agree there were no suitable brownfield sites, no mention of Holdcroft's position on why other greenbelt developments have been approved in the town (medical research centre and nature visitors centre to name two recent) nor the reason why he is so against this particular proposal (probably because it is in his constituency, is lobbied by the anti's and therefore cannot view it with any kind of impartiality).

It is disappointing, though not surprising, that the Echo has decided to side with the Council and not report fairly and balanced (I think I read literally a line of the charity's "right to reply).

And as for causing "distress to residents and supporters," a 17,000 strong petition seems to be brushed aside by the "leader" of this town. And to use the word "distress" when there are patients unable to access care at the end of their lives because there's not enough beds at the hospice - completely distasteful.
Whoopee a 17K strong petition - almost certainly the majority of those will be from people who live elsewhere so meaningless. Take a snapshot of those living in the proposed development area and then see where the support lies!
[quote][p][bold]mikey-leigh[/bold] wrote: What a blantant piece of progoganda between the Echo and the Council. Has any journalism gone into this, or have they literally let Holdcroft loose on a typewriter? There has been no questionning by the newspaper about what was said in the Minutes, if the Council did agree there were no suitable brownfield sites, no mention of Holdcroft's position on why other greenbelt developments have been approved in the town (medical research centre and nature visitors centre to name two recent) nor the reason why he is so against this particular proposal (probably because it is in his constituency, is lobbied by the anti's and therefore cannot view it with any kind of impartiality). It is disappointing, though not surprising, that the Echo has decided to side with the Council and not report fairly and balanced (I think I read literally a line of the charity's "right to reply). And as for causing "distress to residents and supporters," a 17,000 strong petition seems to be brushed aside by the "leader" of this town. And to use the word "distress" when there are patients unable to access care at the end of their lives because there's not enough beds at the hospice - completely distasteful.[/p][/quote]Whoopee a 17K strong petition - almost certainly the majority of those will be from people who live elsewhere so meaningless. Take a snapshot of those living in the proposed development area and then see where the support lies! perini
  • Score: 3

10:29pm Tue 16 Oct 12

Brunning999 says...

fletch12107 wrote:
Why is Nigel Holdcroft going to the papers on this issue? The decision will be made by an appointed committee and this committe will approve or reject on legislation and should not be influenced by the leader of the council putting his personal opinion in the press.
A typical back stabbing politician looking for a cheap way out of a mess.
Blame someone, something,anything other than his bunch of cronies.
[quote][p][bold]fletch12107[/bold] wrote: Why is Nigel Holdcroft going to the papers on this issue? The decision will be made by an appointed committee and this committe will approve or reject on legislation and should not be influenced by the leader of the council putting his personal opinion in the press.[/p][/quote]A typical back stabbing politician looking for a cheap way out of a mess. Blame someone, something,anything other than his bunch of cronies. Brunning999
  • Score: 4

11:58pm Tue 16 Oct 12

Alan Robbo says...

I donate to Havens so they can do their best with what they have, and if the best is to build a new Hospice, then they have my support.
I donate to Havens so they can do their best with what they have, and if the best is to build a new Hospice, then they have my support. Alan Robbo
  • Score: 6

10:06am Wed 17 Oct 12

Carmie says...

I am deeply disappointed that the our Leader of the Council has blatantly given HIS view of the proposals BEFORE the planning meeting to day without giving Havens the Chance to respond. Our esteemed leader and the Echo are giving a toally biased view, which is really unfair.
I have totally trusted Havens Hsopices to look after my friends and family over the years, and this trust will continue with this proposal - the Leader and Editor of the Echo are accusing them of being liars. I certainly know who I believe.
I am deeply disappointed that the our Leader of the Council has blatantly given HIS view of the proposals BEFORE the planning meeting to day without giving Havens the Chance to respond. Our esteemed leader and the Echo are giving a toally biased view, which is really unfair. I have totally trusted Havens Hsopices to look after my friends and family over the years, and this trust will continue with this proposal - the Leader and Editor of the Echo are accusing them of being liars. I certainly know who I believe. Carmie
  • Score: 4

10:43am Wed 17 Oct 12

PRoch says...

Why do people (including Holdcroft & the Echo) continue to bang on about how the plans have EQUALLY divided opinion? Look at the report. Almost 1,200 letters of support, only 200 or so against. Plus 17,000 signatures in favour. Hmmmmm.
Do the maths people.
Why do people (including Holdcroft & the Echo) continue to bang on about how the plans have EQUALLY divided opinion? Look at the report. Almost 1,200 letters of support, only 200 or so against. Plus 17,000 signatures in favour. Hmmmmm. Do the maths people. PRoch
  • Score: 4

11:47am Wed 17 Oct 12

Dapper Dave says...

No matter what happens with the Councils vote today (which I hope is a Yes), I will still support the Hospice. I truly do feel they are fighting for their patients here, that there is no other agenda. I am actually very proud that they care enough to have gone to all this effort in the first place! Good on you Havens Hospices! :)

I really would urge the councillors to say Yes if they read the Echo's story, it is a very worthwhile cause.
No matter what happens with the Councils vote today (which I hope is a Yes), I will still support the Hospice. I truly do feel they are fighting for their patients here, that there is no other agenda. I am actually very proud that they care enough to have gone to all this effort in the first place! Good on you Havens Hospices! :) I really would urge the councillors to say Yes if they read the Echo's story, it is a very worthwhile cause. Dapper Dave
  • Score: 4

12:26pm Wed 17 Oct 12

Interested Local says...

As leader of the council, Mr Holdcroft should not be expressing any opinion in public, under whatever circumstances, until the final decision has been made an issued by the committee. He should remain professional and impartial until that point.
As leader of the council, Mr Holdcroft should not be expressing any opinion in public, under whatever circumstances, until the final decision has been made an issued by the committee. He should remain professional and impartial until that point. Interested Local
  • Score: 2

12:29pm Wed 17 Oct 12

Interested Local says...

In response to marshman, you may want to check your facts before engaging keyboard. Not a penny of the £450,000 spent so far has come from the charity's general funds and no care or any aspect of their service has been comprimised as a result. The costs so far have been paid for from a legacy left to the charity expressly for the purpose of building a new adult hospice and can only be used for this purpose.
In response to marshman, you may want to check your facts before engaging keyboard. Not a penny of the £450,000 spent so far has come from the charity's general funds and no care or any aspect of their service has been comprimised as a result. The costs so far have been paid for from a legacy left to the charity expressly for the purpose of building a new adult hospice and can only be used for this purpose. Interested Local
  • Score: 2

1:57pm Wed 17 Oct 12

barneldu says...

What absolute rubbish. I have two questions for Nigel Holdcroft. Firstly how does he know that Havens have upset and dismayed it's supporters? Has he asked them all? Secondly, I didn't think councillors were allowed to give personal opinions, I thought they were there to represent their constituents. Let's face it, whilst Holdcroft is Head of the Council, nothing will get done that he doesn't like.
What absolute rubbish. I have two questions for Nigel Holdcroft. Firstly how does he know that Havens have upset and dismayed it's supporters? Has he asked them all? Secondly, I didn't think councillors were allowed to give personal opinions, I thought they were there to represent their constituents. Let's face it, whilst Holdcroft is Head of the Council, nothing will get done that he doesn't like. barneldu
  • Score: 1

2:33pm Wed 17 Oct 12

barneldu says...

Interested Local wrote:
As leader of the council, Mr Holdcroft should not be expressing any opinion in public, under whatever circumstances, until the final decision has been made an issued by the committee. He should remain professional and impartial until that point.
I think it is totally unprofessional of him and I think the council should be looking for another leader and this really contravenes what he should be doing. To give his personal opinion like this, and it must be a personal one as there is no way he could have spoken with all the Havens supporters, before the Planning Committee meeting is just a blatant attempt to swing the vote the way he wants it to go. It is common knowledge that he is the main one behind the new hospice being built on Belton Way and to use his position on the council this way is disgraceful. He should be sacked.
[quote][p][bold]Interested Local[/bold] wrote: As leader of the council, Mr Holdcroft should not be expressing any opinion in public, under whatever circumstances, until the final decision has been made an issued by the committee. He should remain professional and impartial until that point.[/p][/quote]I think it is totally unprofessional of him and I think the council should be looking for another leader and this really contravenes what he should be doing. To give his personal opinion like this, and it must be a personal one as there is no way he could have spoken with all the Havens supporters, before the Planning Committee meeting is just a blatant attempt to swing the vote the way he wants it to go. It is common knowledge that he is the main one behind the new hospice being built on Belton Way and to use his position on the council this way is disgraceful. He should be sacked. barneldu
  • Score: 1

2:37pm Wed 17 Oct 12

barneldu says...

marshman wrote:
I don't think it's a case of 'Nigel Holdcroft going to the papers'. More like a journalist seeking comment from the leader of the council on a highly contentious planning application. There's nothing at all wrong with that and I'd be more concerned if the journalist had failed to do so.

I also think Cllr Holdcroft has been careful not to attempt to influence the outcome of the decision with his comment and has merely stated the obvious. Opinion IS divided and some supporters of the hospice ARE upset.

We haven't donated to Havens for the money to be blown on failed planning applications, government inspector appeals and an advisory team of planning consultants. Had a less contentious site been chosen from the outset it would be built by now, open and providing care to those who need it.

Instead (in an effort to save some face) the chief executive of Havens Hospices, Andy Smith, has embroiled himself in an ever increasingly bitter war of words with anyone against the proposal.

That's not what it's all supposed to be about is it.
Please get your facts straight as another writer has already pointed out. Firstly no monies were ' blown on failed planning applications, appeals or consultants. The money used was left to the hospice as a legacy FOR THIS SOLE PURPOSE. Secondly, I agree that opinions are divided but NOT amongst Havens supporters who are fully in support of the application.
[quote][p][bold]marshman[/bold] wrote: I don't think it's a case of 'Nigel Holdcroft going to the papers'. More like a journalist seeking comment from the leader of the council on a highly contentious planning application. There's nothing at all wrong with that and I'd be more concerned if the journalist had failed to do so. I also think Cllr Holdcroft has been careful not to attempt to influence the outcome of the decision with his comment and has merely stated the obvious. Opinion IS divided and some supporters of the hospice ARE upset. We haven't donated to Havens for the money to be blown on failed planning applications, government inspector appeals and an advisory team of planning consultants. Had a less contentious site been chosen from the outset it would be built by now, open and providing care to those who need it. Instead (in an effort to save some face) the chief executive of Havens Hospices, Andy Smith, has embroiled himself in an ever increasingly bitter war of words with anyone against the proposal. That's not what it's all supposed to be about is it.[/p][/quote]Please get your facts straight as another writer has already pointed out. Firstly no monies were ' blown on failed planning applications, appeals or consultants. The money used was left to the hospice as a legacy FOR THIS SOLE PURPOSE. Secondly, I agree that opinions are divided but NOT amongst Havens supporters who are fully in support of the application. barneldu
  • Score: 1

4:28pm Wed 17 Oct 12

Alan Robbo says...

By voting NO to the building on Green belt land by a majority of the Council members, they have for filled their civic duty. As a donor to Havens Hospices I still give my 100% support, and wish them luck in the next step to a new hospice in Southend.
By voting NO to the building on Green belt land by a majority of the Council members, they have for filled their civic duty. As a donor to Havens Hospices I still give my 100% support, and wish them luck in the next step to a new hospice in Southend. Alan Robbo
  • Score: 1

4:44pm Wed 17 Oct 12

barneldu says...

Is saddened that Southend Council are so short sighted that they have to follow Nigel Holdcroft and again reject Havens application to build the new hospice. What hold does that man have over them? Isn't he content by bleating to the local paper last night about how Havens have lost their supporters by trying to build on green belt. Doesn't he know it is wrong to try and sway the vote before the application is heard before committee. I hope the man is sacked, he is a disgrace to his profession and this town. I would also like to point out that the Council passed permission for the new football stadium to be built on green belt. SInce when has a game of football been more important to those in need of solace.? Oh sorry, I forgot that the dead and dying do nothing for the so called image of the town.
Is saddened that Southend Council are so short sighted that they have to follow Nigel Holdcroft and again reject Havens application to build the new hospice. What hold does that man have over them? Isn't he content by bleating to the local paper last night about how Havens have lost their supporters by trying to build on green belt. Doesn't he know it is wrong to try and sway the vote before the application is heard before committee. I hope the man is sacked, he is a disgrace to his profession and this town. I would also like to point out that the Council passed permission for the new football stadium to be built on green belt. SInce when has a game of football been more important to those in need of solace.? Oh sorry, I forgot that the dead and dying do nothing for the so called image of the town. barneldu
  • Score: 1

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