We’ll fight to stay in our own centre

We’ll fight to stay in our own centre

We’ll fight to stay in our own centre

First published in Echo News

A RESIDENTS’ association is being shut down to make way for a nursery.

Members of Five Links Residents’ Association have vowed to take legal action against Basildon Council after being told to leave the centre in Somercotes, Laindon, by next Monday.

The council sent a letter via recorded delivery on Tuesday.

John James, the association’s chairman, received it on Thursday, just ten days before the eviction.

The building is set to be used by Busy Bees pre-school, which lost its home next to Bluehouse Farm Community Centre, in Laindon Link, after a suspected arson attack in February.

It will eventually be converted to a shop or other business when the nursery finds a new home.

Mr James, 75, said: “If they get us out, that is it, we’re gone. You can’t run without legs.

“There is nowhere else on the estate for us to go and residents won’t use a centre that isn’t on Five Links.

“We’re the first port of call for them when they have any problems.

We just want to make a difference in our community.

“We know Busy Bees didn’t ask to be burnt down and we were even thinking about whether we could help, but there has been no discussion about how we could work around each other.”

In its letter to Mr James, the Tory council says the association is being asked to leave under clause 9 of its lease agreement, which relates to structural damage to the building.

Nigel Smith, leader of the opposition Labour party, has called for an urgent suspension of eviction action while the group seeks legal advice.

He said: “This is a really important, crucial community facility. The council has shown a lack of respect to the residents of Five Links.

“The people on this estate have suffered a hell of a lot, and just as we believed things were finally improving, this has happened.”

Mark Ellis, Ukip county councillor for Laindon Park, said: “It seems like they’re being persecuted by their own council for no reason.”

Five Links Residents’ Association was set up in 2009 and moved into the building in October 2011 after a £20,000 grant from waste management firmVeolia.

Members have repaired and renovated the former shop, putting down new carpets, installing a burglar alarm, and fitting new locks.

Basildon Council says the facility is underused and has promised to help the residents’ association find alternative premises.

Shivani Harrison, the association’s treasurer, said: “We feel unsupported by the council, which only hinders our efforts to involve the community and build community spirit.”

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:48pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Kim Gandy says...

I cannot see why the place can't be used for both. Surely residents' meetings are largely in the evenings and nurseries generally work around the working day.

So why can't both sides get heads together?

I'm not seeing the full picture here. Something is missing. Surely there can be compromise. It's not rocket science for the council and two groups to get round a table.

Or is this Labour yet again bandwagon jumping, like they do everything else, then try to claim the credit. May 22nd is looming and they're running around like headless chickens trying to find causes to attach themselves to. Pity they don't do it all year round instead of wasting time launching hate campaigns and Tweeting rubbish.

I see no earthly reason why somebody cannot organise something. There is a building that can be used for more than one purpose. Why not just get on with it?
I cannot see why the place can't be used for both. Surely residents' meetings are largely in the evenings and nurseries generally work around the working day. So why can't both sides get heads together? I'm not seeing the full picture here. Something is missing. Surely there can be compromise. It's not rocket science for the council and two groups to get round a table. Or is this Labour yet again bandwagon jumping, like they do everything else, then try to claim the credit. May 22nd is looming and they're running around like headless chickens trying to find causes to attach themselves to. Pity they don't do it all year round instead of wasting time launching hate campaigns and Tweeting rubbish. I see no earthly reason why somebody cannot organise something. There is a building that can be used for more than one purpose. Why not just get on with it? Kim Gandy
  • Score: 1

7:21pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Adrenaline_Junkie says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
I cannot see why the place can't be used for both. Surely residents' meetings are largely in the evenings and nurseries generally work around the working day.

So why can't both sides get heads together?

I'm not seeing the full picture here. Something is missing. Surely there can be compromise. It's not rocket science for the council and two groups to get round a table.

Or is this Labour yet again bandwagon jumping, like they do everything else, then try to claim the credit. May 22nd is looming and they're running around like headless chickens trying to find causes to attach themselves to. Pity they don't do it all year round instead of wasting time launching hate campaigns and Tweeting rubbish.

I see no earthly reason why somebody cannot organise something. There is a building that can be used for more than one purpose. Why not just get on with it?
Kim your opinions are so true. You should certainly be considered for Prime Minister. How good would that be, especially coming straight out of Rayleigh too. The country would soon improve and be a much better place to live. Your family must be so proud of you. A very quick witted intelligent woman who only seems to care about other peoples lives.
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: I cannot see why the place can't be used for both. Surely residents' meetings are largely in the evenings and nurseries generally work around the working day. So why can't both sides get heads together? I'm not seeing the full picture here. Something is missing. Surely there can be compromise. It's not rocket science for the council and two groups to get round a table. Or is this Labour yet again bandwagon jumping, like they do everything else, then try to claim the credit. May 22nd is looming and they're running around like headless chickens trying to find causes to attach themselves to. Pity they don't do it all year round instead of wasting time launching hate campaigns and Tweeting rubbish. I see no earthly reason why somebody cannot organise something. There is a building that can be used for more than one purpose. Why not just get on with it?[/p][/quote]Kim your opinions are so true. You should certainly be considered for Prime Minister. How good would that be, especially coming straight out of Rayleigh too. The country would soon improve and be a much better place to live. Your family must be so proud of you. A very quick witted intelligent woman who only seems to care about other peoples lives. Adrenaline_Junkie
  • Score: -2

9:08pm Tue 29 Apr 14

tracy91 says...

After reading about the centre I asked people if they knew the centre was there and the majority said no the rest said yes they give out pink sacks.
The school has nowhere to go and haven't been really since the fire in February. This means children are missing out on education. It would be great if they could share as I'm sure the school doesn't want anyone to be in the position they are in. However the premises will have to be changed for the school to use would this still be suitable for the association?
I hope it gets sorted for both parties
After reading about the centre I asked people if they knew the centre was there and the majority said no the rest said yes they give out pink sacks. The school has nowhere to go and haven't been really since the fire in February. This means children are missing out on education. It would be great if they could share as I'm sure the school doesn't want anyone to be in the position they are in. However the premises will have to be changed for the school to use would this still be suitable for the association? I hope it gets sorted for both parties tracy91
  • Score: 5

9:49pm Tue 29 Apr 14

dmlocke83 says...

To be honest ive lived in the area all my life and didnt even no this places existed, everytime I walk past the shutters are down. So let the playschool have it as its much needed in this area as at the moment 70 children have no where to go and missing out. The community needs this playschool back up and running.
To be honest ive lived in the area all my life and didnt even no this places existed, everytime I walk past the shutters are down. So let the playschool have it as its much needed in this area as at the moment 70 children have no where to go and missing out. The community needs this playschool back up and running. dmlocke83
  • Score: 3

6:48am Wed 30 Apr 14

sesibollox says...

Good luck in Court, organise the cash, for the costs, when you lose
Good luck in Court, organise the cash, for the costs, when you lose sesibollox
  • Score: 1

9:24am Wed 30 Apr 14

Howard Cháse says...

Is this in the same building as the shops in Somercotes?
Is this in the same building as the shops in Somercotes? Howard Cháse
  • Score: 1

10:49am Wed 30 Apr 14

leslog says...

you know what to do when voting comes around this party running the council do not negotiate with residents that just act to save money they know the cost of everything but the value of nothing
you know what to do when voting comes around this party running the council do not negotiate with residents that just act to save money they know the cost of everything but the value of nothing leslog
  • Score: 0

11:07am Wed 30 Apr 14

Howard Cháse says...

leslog wrote:
you know what to do when voting comes around this party running the council do not negotiate with residents that just act to save money they know the cost of everything but the value of nothing
Problem being that no matter how the locals in Five Links vote, the controlling block of the Council all sit in safe, solid Tory seats north of the 'Great Divide' that is the A127.
[quote][p][bold]leslog[/bold] wrote: you know what to do when voting comes around this party running the council do not negotiate with residents that just act to save money they know the cost of everything but the value of nothing[/p][/quote]Problem being that no matter how the locals in Five Links vote, the controlling block of the Council all sit in safe, solid Tory seats north of the 'Great Divide' that is the A127. Howard Cháse
  • Score: 1

2:51am Fri 2 May 14

keithrg says...

I helped set up this association and building. The building is in a poor state of repair and years ago it was deemed unfit to let without £33,000 0f repairs being carried out. The site is totally unsuitable for children and ofsteed would never grant permission for a nursey. The centre could ne used more but residents are selfish. Its open 3 days a week and there is a lot off money to fund community projects but lack off support means money sits in the bank or even gets given back to donators. At the end off the day badolfon council wants to wrongly evict them. Not offering alternative accommodation or compensation for losses that would be incurred. I mean even simple things such as contract they have with companies. The council should use insurance money from nlaze to put demountables on blue house. Lot quicker. Basildon council legal are appauling.
I helped set up this association and building. The building is in a poor state of repair and years ago it was deemed unfit to let without £33,000 0f repairs being carried out. The site is totally unsuitable for children and ofsteed would never grant permission for a nursey. The centre could ne used more but residents are selfish. Its open 3 days a week and there is a lot off money to fund community projects but lack off support means money sits in the bank or even gets given back to donators. At the end off the day badolfon council wants to wrongly evict them. Not offering alternative accommodation or compensation for losses that would be incurred. I mean even simple things such as contract they have with companies. The council should use insurance money from nlaze to put demountables on blue house. Lot quicker. Basildon council legal are appauling. keithrg
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree