Tendring: Progress being made to tackle rural issues, say district council

Tendring District Council's Sarah Candy

Tendring District Council's Sarah Candy - Credit: andrew partridge

A bid to tackle the key issues facing people in Tendring’s rural communities is making progress, according to councillors.

Tendring District Council (TDC) has carried out a survey – which included town and parish councils –and has identified fuel poverty, the absence of services such as mains drainage or water, and domestic flooding to be the priorities.

The council now aims to use its role as a community leader to influence the agencies involved to address the problems and improve people’s quality of life.

TDC’s cabinet has agreed to set up a cross-party workshop of councillors to contribute to its Rural Infrastructure Project and approved an action plan on a way forward.

Members have also pledged to provide advice and guidance to householders and bring various partners round the table to come up with solutions.

Cabinet member for inward investment and growth, Sarah Candy, said it had become clear that issues identified have a major impact on people’s lives.

“Tackling these issues will require considerable commitment but it is the council’s aspiration to enable all households in Tendring the option to be connected to all the key services,” she said. “We can take the lead in supporting our rural residents – and where we cannot make changes ourselves we can influence those who can bring about necessary improvements.”

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TDC carried out a web-based survey which was also sent to all town and parish councils in rural areas.

It received a wide range of responses but those issues common to most were properties without mains gas, water, drainage or sewerage; domestic flooding; slow broadband speed; poor transport provision, poor maintenance of roads and pavements and a lack of local amenities.

The council said it has already begun to research into the collective buying of gas, electricity and oil in a bid to reduce the impact of fuel poverty. It has also looked into the ways that other local authorities have set about solving problems in their own rural communities.

TDC is also looking to roll out superfast broadband in rural areas next year through its Wireless Coast Project. The project will involve using TDC assets – mainly CCTV columns – to relay signals to ensure a good level of coverage across the district.

The idea is to roll it out in phases with the first phase focusing on Clacton town centre and seafront and to be ready for the main holiday season this year. In 2014 it will extended to Walton on the Naze, Frinton, Harwich, Dovercourt, Manningtree and Brightlingsea.

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