It is our usual practice to present petitions to the House of Commons via our Patron Sir David Amess MP.

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RAW Secretary David Glover (left) and RAW Chairman Brenda Smith (right) pictured whilst presenting the Local Post Office Petition to David Amess MP in June 2008.

We have undertaken several petitions; some of which are detailed as follows.

Bulky Waste Collections Petition.

A petition to support the introduction of a free bulky waste collection.

Fly tipping has been a long term problem within the Ward.  A steady stream of brown and white goods, furniture, beds, mattresses and settees appears in alleys and on the streets.

We proposed a free collection of bulky waste by Southend Borough Council.

They opposed the measure on grounds of cost and the belief that it would exacerbate the situation.

Chalkwell Park Cafe Petition.

A petition to support the introduction of a public cafe in Chalkwell Park.

Chalkwell Hall is the historic, grade two listed, Georgian building situated within Chalkell Park and comprises of three stories plus an attic loft.  The Hall was built in 1830 on the natural brow of a hill and has extensive views of the surrounding park, the Thames Estuary, the Isle of Grain and Northern Kent.


Chalkwell Hall, rear elevation, facing south.
The Hall was virtually empty.  It had two upper storey flats whilst the rest was used for gardener's storage.  The building required renovation and the green painted, cast iron veranda across the rear had long since disappeared.  

Many dog walkers, park users, RAW members and residents asked about the possibility of a cafe in the park and supported the petition.  

Several investors were interested in running a restaurant but too many hurdles were placed in their way. 

Southend Borough Council decided 40,000 was required to make the venue compliant with Food Hygene and Safety Standards including the installation of massive extractor fans.  Opening hours were also restricted.

The Council did not want to invest the money and investors saw it as a punitive condition on the lease; a financial obstacle to investment.

The situation was further clouded as Chalkwell Park Rooms, a function room, already existed within the park.

The Council eventually decided to lease the Hall to Metal; an Arts Group.

We believe this was a massive lost opportunity for a cafe, restaurant and wedding venue which could have been a major attraction for the local area.  

Local Post  Office Petition.

A petition to oppose the announced closure of the last local Post Office within the Ward at Argosy Toys by the Labour Government (in office from 1997 to 2010) and Post Office Management.

Argosy Toys.  A close up view.

Image result for david glover westcliff on sea essex

Argosy Toys. The Sub Post Office was originally situated next door in the set back building (hence the Post Box on the extreme left). The new building on the right; Socata House, was built on a derelict site which had previously been a row of shops and a large yard and workshop where Cooks Coaches of Southend parked their vehicles.


Five Post Offices were originally situated within Westborough Ward.

One had closed at Ronald Park Avenue due to robberies.

Three were closed; at West Road, Chalkwell Park and Inverness Avenue.

Further afield; local Post Offices at Queen Annes's DriveThe Ridgeway The Ridgeway Queen Annes's Drive Hamlet Court Road Southend and Queen Anne's Drive were closed whilst Hamlet Court Road Crown Office was eventually downgraded (thrice) and Southend lost a main Crown Office.

Many other Post Offices were closed in the Southend on Sea area.

In June 2008 the Petition was presented to Southend West MP David Amess by RAW Chairman Brenda Smith and RAW Secretary David Glover for onward submission to Parliament.

fortunately, for the consumer; Sub Post Masters had been offered favourable redundancy terms which precluded transfer of the Post Office franchise.  Sub Post Master Rod Wohl, 62, told RAW he "wanted to retire with the money".  The authorities continued with the closure of the Argosy Toys Sub Post Office in September 2008 despite the fact it was a busy and viable concern used by numerous local businesses and the general public. The authorities continued with the closure of the Argosy Toys Sub Post Office in September 2008 despite the fact that it was a busy and viable concern. 

The upshot was; the authorities were biased to close as many Post Offices as possible in order to reduce costs.   

We believe the closure was a major loss to the Ward.  

Westcliff Library Petition.

A petition to oppose the closure of Westcliff Library by the Conservative Administration and Southend Borough Council. 
Westcliff Library is an elegant grade two listed, single storey 1960's building within Westborough Ward.  It was built on a vacant plot which was the result of WW2 bomb damage.  Town planning courtesy of the Luftwaffe!
Westcliff Library: Westcliff front entrance

<a href=""><img alt="" src=""/></a><br/>This photo of Westcliff Library is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Westcliff Library; main entrance as seen from London Road.  Picture courtesy of Trip Adviser.

We had intended to present the RAW Westcliff Library Petition to our local Member of Parliament, David Amess MP, for presentation to the House of Commons with the intent to ask the minister to raise the matter of library closures with Southend Borough Council.
So; whatever happened to the RAW Westcliff Library Petition?

It disappeared!

With much "assistance" and yet more interference from; guess whom?

Six guesses; A, Adolph Hitler.        
                     B, Artful Dodger.         
                      C, Attila the Hun.       

                       D, Genghis Khan. 
                        E, Joseph Stalin.
                         F,  Martin Terry.

Answer is as follows; F, Martin Terry!

Cllr Martin Terry refused to return the petition signatures (he collected on behalf of RAW and collected from a RAW member) and subsequently submitted them to Southend Borough Council (SBC) without our permission.

SBC would not divulge as to whether said items were in their possession and sought paid advice from a barrister.

SBC did not therefore consult RAW for the complete and entire facts.

SBC subsequently refused to return the petition signatures to RAW.

SBC subsequently returned the petition signatures to Terry without our consent.

SBC subsequently advised Terry to destroy the petition without our consent.

Dear oh dear; SBC; what a total shambles.

The problem is; we will have to take matters further in order to exonerate ourselves of being complicit with unlawful behaviour.

We believe Terry may have "chanced his luck" too far this time!

More information to follow.  Much, much, much, more to follow!


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It would appear that RAOW 2012 has been intentionally and permanently deprived of it's rightful and legally owned property.

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