Friends of Dagnam Park Newsletter
25th September 2006
Firstly, Don't forget
next Sunday 1st October we meet in the car park at 2.30pm for our fungus
foray, Tony Boniface, the leading Essex specialist will guide us round
and hopefully find fungi galore.
and Glow Worms
On Friday 21st July 14 members set off in the dark to see Glow-worms in Laindon and we did. We all had good views of several females, the first I've ever seen so well worth while.
And Now The Beauty Spots Saga
The Council's response was a simple acknowledgement on the 24th May, we waited another couple of weeks and on the 11th June we wrote again asking for a reply to our first letter and threatening court action. On the 16th June we received another holding letter and on the 3rd of July a letter arrived claiming that the clear up was complete.
I returned to the wood on the 9th July to inspect the results of the clear up and was appalled to find that the wood was in the same condition as when I first visited it in early May. A cursory attempt had been made at clearing the vegetation between the boundary fence and the public highway, this seems to have been done mechanically and the large amount of refuse amongst the vegetation was left there in a shredded condition. It looked worse in fact because rubbish which was once partly concealed by vegetation was now clearly visible. Beyond the boundary fence no litter or fly tipping had been cleared whatsoever, a pile of old tyres still in situ and an old armchair was in the same position albeit now partially burned. I wrote immediately to the council pointing out that their clear up attempt was a hopeless failure and I informed them I would be visiting the Magistrates Court the following week for preliminary discussions.
Having heard nothing from the Council by the 17th July we wrote giving formal notice that we would be in court applying for a litter abatement order on the 24th. Still nothing was heard from the Council so on 24th July we went to court and obtained a summons against Havering Council to appear for the first hearing on the 24th August. On the 9th August a letter arrived regretting that we had gone to court and informing us that they had done another clear up.
Off I go to the woods again this time accompanied by Dennis Cook and one of the newly elected Councillors, Dennis Bull. You will not be surprised to know that there had only been a minor improvement. Cllr Bull also agreed it was not of an acceptable standard.
On the 17th August I wrote
for the fifth time suggesting that it was not good enough and if a senior
officer were to meet prior to the court case we may be able to avoid
the legal action. On the eve of the case they made contact and agreed
to meet on site, with hours to go I asked the court to set a new date
to allow time for discussions. A new date for the hearing was set for
1. Before the end of this
year work will be undertaken to cut back the vegetation two metres into
the wood all along the boundary of both Leamington and Stratton Roads.
A day before the hearing at the Magistrates Court I finally withdrew the case and the council agreed to pay our costs.
Some thanks are due to two people not already mentioned, firstly Phil Butler for bringing to my attention the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and secondly to Peter Jones for attending court with me and his general support and encouragement. Peter is currently pursuing his own battle with the council on the rubbish in Sage Wood which runs down from Dagnam Park Drive, across Wickford Drive then Swindon Lane and on into Central Park.
On a separate but connected issue, in August I pointed out verbally that our next case would be the small area of woodland on the junction of Whitchurch Rd and Dagnam Park Drive, to their credit the council took that on board and cleared a large amount of rubbish, they have also agreed to keep it clear by litter picking it 18 times per year.
We shall see.
We still have a problem or two, hence :-
See below copy of an Email sent to Pete Williams, the boss of Havering's Countryside Management Services on 24th September 2006. He has not yet had time to reply.
I bet you love getting emails from me. Best Wishes Del
The salient points from Pete's reply today
The contractor is replacing the restrictors
and they are currently on order.
It would be useful if we could organise an indoor meeting soon, if enough members are present at the fungus foray we can try to fix a date then.
Finally something of special interest to Harold Hill residents
Many of those reading this
would have had their gas cut off in early February. The shut down affected
about 2,500 people at the Dagnam Park end of the estate and was spread
over several days.On the 3rd of
February you would have received a letter
from National Grid (formerly Transco).
Well I waited and I waited
and two weeks ago I contacted Robert Goode (Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org)
at Powergen and asked where was my cheque, He said he would look into
it and he did and he came back and said that they still had not had
the lists from National Grid and that he had ascertained that I could
contact National Grid direct for a payment. I said I wouldn't do that.
There were thousands of other people involved many elderly and many
on low incomes and many were probably unaware of their entitlement and
I was interested in all of us getting the payment. Well he took that
onboard, and ignored it by applying to National Grid for a one off payment
on my behalf. I have since had a letter from National Grid informing
me that my cheque is in the post.
I am not sure how compensation is calculated because I have seen two different methods quoted, in any case the amount due to us is two days at £30 per day. This payment should be made to you by cheque and not simply deducted from your bill. I will be interested to hear of any other experiences on this matter good or bad.
National Grid Customer Support 01604 816303 9-5 mon-fri only
You should be able to find the telephone number of your own gas supplier from the top of any recent bill.