Since the plan has been published your Parish Council, with others, has been working towards addressing the issues raised. This has met with a mixed success rate mainly due to a lack of co-operation from outside bodies.
Traffic and parking
ECC carried out speed surveys in Wethersfield and Blackmore End and have advised us that the average speeds are not sufficiently high for them to take any action. Worse still, they are not even willing to let us erect more speeding signs at our own expense. Similarly the idea of a 20mph limit through the village fell on deaf ears as they feel that the parking situation is effective in controlling speeding. As to improving car parking, there is no obvious solution to this problem since no suitable sites exist in a location which would be likely to ease the problem which is mainly along the High Street and Silver Street.
The Council has decided to upgrade all parish owned street lights in Wethersfield and Blackmore End to modern LED units. These provide a better white light and, most importantly, are virtally maintenance free and use very little electricity which will drastically reduce the annual expenditure on lighting. Such are the gains that the capital cost will probably be recovered within three/four years. Although crime rates within the villages is very low it is believed that better lighting will prove a deterrent and ensure that the situation remains good.
Efforts are being made to find a volunteer willing to be editor. No progress can be made until we have a suitable person and a flyer is to be circulated shortly seeking interested parties.
Following successful grant applications Blackmore End Hall is currently having its toilets and kitchen facilities upgraded. This work should be completed by the Autumn.
The Wethersfield Hall Management Committee is also seeking funding for major improvements to Wethersfield Hall. If successful these will lead to upgraded toilets plus a store room and a major facelift for the hall involving insulating and dry lining the walls and upgrading the lighting to greatly improve the appearance, cleanliness and efficiency of the hall. If we are lucky in getting funding this will take place next year but even if we fail at this attempt many other possibilities exist and we will continue seeking the money. The committee feel that they lack expertise in this direction and if anybody feels they have suitable experience or skills to offer please contact the secretary, Mair Godley on 01371 850620.
Litter and Refuse
Braintree District Council has agreed to provide better, larger bottle banks and we are currently investigating the best location for them. Hopefully the bins will be installed shortly and this should stop the overflowing problems which are dangerous and unsightly. We would remind people that it is not acceptable to leave empty bags and boxes around the bins. A minority of users do this and we ask them to stop.
Clubs and Societies
There are two new users of Wethersfield Hall, a pilates class and airsoft target shooting both of which we hope will prove to be a success.
The Parish Council is reviewing the situation with the website and there should be more news shortly.