Here are five letters which have been published in the Echo this week:

'Southend is becoming a concrete jungle'

Whatever environmental and planning laws are in place regarding housing, green spaces, green belt land and tree felling are not working.  

We are becoming a city of concrete and there seems to be nothing ordinary residents can do about it.  

The 62 trees “axed” in Shoebury to make way for 72 new homes was done despite very public outcries to prevent it.  

Over in Wickford, residents are struggling badly to prevent homes being built on green belt land, and for us, there has been talk about the land by Bournes Green Chase being used for housing. 

These developments are generally not affordable for Southend residents, and all they do is increase the population, putting more pressure on our strained public services.  

Yet, the 20,000 national government housing target for Southend, recently scrapped, is set to be reinstated by Starmer if he gets in.  

I believe it is time to get our priorities in order, and I wonder if other residents feel the same.


Southend Confelicity Party leader

'Loss of our pubs is very depressing'

I PASS the Dick Turpin pub on the A127 every night when I go home. I’ve never been in and the bikers often congregating outside on a weekday night has always been nice to see.

I was shocked to read the Echo news item about the pub’s owners running at a loss for three years.  Although the parent company is quite big and can withstand this for a while, it does underline the stark reality that pubs are in trouble. 

It is beyond brave, therefore, that the new owners of the Punch Bowl in Paglesham and the Cricketers in Westcliff have re-opened the pubs despite this terrible economic backdrop. We should never forget their importance.

I really hope the owners of the Punch Bowl and Cricketer’s succeed. They should get all our support.



'Tucked away restaurant is wonderful'

AS a family, we went to the Spaghetti Junction restaurant in London Road, Westcliff for a birthday celebration. What a wonderful place!

We haven’t been there for many years and always spotted it tucked away on the London Road just opposite Chalkwell Park.  We thought we’d give it a try again because it’s in walking distance. It really was lovely.

The menu, which is very reasonably priced, had beautiful dishes. I could not recommend this restaurant more highly.



'Don’t chop down our treasured trees'

I urge anyone with a few spare minutes to read Southend Council’s Tree Policy, 2020-2030. 

It’s a brilliant document, bursting with information on the benefits of trees in our streets, ranging from lowering crime to encouraging visitors to our city centre and increasing residents’ wellbeing.

It also points out that Southend’s canopy cover is below the national average and states the council’s aim at increasing this significantly by 2050. 

It notes that in consultation with residents, the most common comment was a wish to see more trees and urban greening in the town centre.

I would also therefore urge Southend Council to take a look at their excellent document, packed with information which should influence their actions when it comes to removing street trees. 

I am particularly referring to the 150-year-old plane tree in our city centre which is currently earmarked for removal and ask the council to please seriously reconsider this decision. 

The vast majority of Southend residents value and understand all that this tree brings us and do not want to see it disappear; I hope you can hear and respect their wishes. 


Cotswold Road, Westcliff

'End the crashes on Noak Hill Road'

I am writing about another accident  which was a multi vehicle one on February 8  just after 3pm on Noak Hill Road, Billericay.

I have written a few times to the Echo highlighting the need for  a foolproof way to ensure the 40mph speed limit it upheld.

Despite my repeat attempts to highlight the dangerousness of this road, there has not been an iota of change.

It is heartbreaking that accidents are treated as a normal occurrence and the residents and vehicle drivers have to be ever ready and accepting of  the next one.

The accident brought total disruption to traffic during peak hours. 

I personally witnessed a car when I walked in the evening stranded on a footpath with inflated air bags and completely smashed!

I wonder if anyone cares!

I have written on the need for average speed cameras to enforce the 40 mile limit and this is the only deterrent that has the element of absoluteness.

You can  theoretically drive more than 70 miles per hour on this road and get away with it! 

You cannot do this on a motorway with average speed cameras without getting caught !

I look forward to a day when I do not have to write about accidents. 

People living here and vehicles commuting deserve this.