MP fights for jaded Jaywick

AN ESSEX MP has taken concerns about a run-down coastal community in his constituency to Downing Street.Douglas Carswell, who represents Harwich at Westminster, presented a petition from concerned residents of Jaywick asking to know what action would be taken about the state of the village.

Roddy Ashworth

AN ESSEX MP has taken concerns about a run-down coastal community in his constituency to Downing Street.

Douglas Carswell, who represents Harwich at Westminster, presented a petition from concerned residents of Jaywick asking to know what action would be taken about the state of the village.

Jaywick was recently named the third most deprived area in the UK by the Government and locals want to know what plans there are for its future.

Parts of the village - a former holiday park - do not have made up roads, streetlights or even drains.

In 2003, Lord Rooker, then Minister of State for Regeneration and Regional Development, visited the area and promised that proposals would be formed to raise living conditions and standards in the area.

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A masterplan was developed by consultants Llewelyn Davies Yeang and public meetings were held to discuss it.

But some residents are concerned that since then Jaywick has slipped off the agenda and are suspicious because in the past many promises about improvements for the village have been made but few have come to fruition.

Yesterday Mr Carswell said: “For 30 years remote officials have been promising to help Jaywick. But nothing ever seems to happen - and local people are fed up.

“We've heard almost nothing. First we had the so-called Master Plan and then some outrageous suggestions about bulldozing parts of Jaywick.

“Now we have silence. Local people have every right to want to know what is going on.

“Who is in charge of regenerating Jaywick? Remote officials won't tell us.

“The council does not seem to want to know. That is why I have asked Gordon Brown to personally intervene and find out what is happening”.

Yesterday, however, Tendring District Council leader David Lines - who sits on the Jaywick Inter-Agency Group, along with representatives from Essex County Council, the East of England Development Agency and Go East - said that work was underway to formulate a plan for the area.

But he stressed that any regeneration plan - which would probably cost between £12 million and £16 million - needed to be detailed and that the problems facing Jaywick were extremely complicated.

He added that people living in the area would be fully consulted when proposals had been put together and that he felt it was essential the community was fully in agreement with any plans.

“It is a major, major project and like all big projects it has to be planned very carefully and agreed with the community.

“An awful lot of investigation and thought is needed if the problem is going to be solved.

“In my opinion there is a renewed vigour among all of the parties involved. There is a far more pragmatic approach than has existed before, in my view

“However, to say any more at this point would be inappropriate because concrete plans have yet to be put forward. Without wanting to raise expectations, I am confident they will be forthcoming shortly.”