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Sawbridgeworth Town Council launches 37-point action plan following residents’ survey

Councillors have put together a town action plan for Sawbridgeworth following an extensive consultation with residents.

The plan identifies 37 action points – but residents are warned Sawbridgeworth Town Council is not responsible for a number of them.

A report on the plan, which was agreed at Monday’s meeting of the full town council, outlines the responsibilities for the actions and highlights that they are subject to feasibility, owing to budgets, resourcing, facilities, political leadership and ownership. It states that “it may simply not be possible to deliver on some of the actions”.

The town council will work with Herts CC to explore options over traffic concerns
The town council will work with Herts CC to explore options over traffic concerns

The action points were taken from the five key issues identified in the consultation process carried out by residents, which were: transport, traffic and associated infrastructure; housing, planning and preparedness for the future; provision, maintenance and development of local community facilities; safety, policing and social issues; and civic pride, community engagement and supporting local businesses.

Each action point is given a priority from lower to higher, and feasibility, timing and resources are measured. The following action points have been given a “higher” priority rating:

Traffic and congestion along the main A1184 is highlighted, with suggested actions including exploring weight limits, traffic flow and new routes. Sawbridgeworth Town Council (STC) will work with Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) and East Herts Council (EHC) to explore the options and the feasibility is seen as “more difficult”.

West Road was highlighted as an issue and included in the action plan. Pic: Vikki Lince.
West Road was highlighted as an issue and included in the action plan. Pic: Vikki Lince.

Speeding cars – with Bullfields and Vantorts given as examples – and dangerous driving examples given as Fair Green and Sheering Mill Lane. Actions will arise from the 20mph consultation and the introduction of one-way in Sheering Mill Lane, and STC will encourage monitoring and enforcement by police. STC will work with HCC and Herts police and an option for a community speed watch will be explored. The feasibility of this action is seen as “likely”.

Poor road conditions, with West Road and the A1184 near Harlow given as examples, will see STC working with Herts county councillor Eric Buckmaster and Herts Highways and developing a relationship with Essex County Council (ECC). Resurfacing is scheduled on the A1184, and West Road should be considered for resurfacing when the housing developments there are completed. Feasibility: Likely.

Accessibility around the town (uneven narrow pavements, not enough drop kerbs) will see STC carry out assessments and identify areas for resurfacing and additional drop kerbs for action by HCC. Feasibility: Possible.

Lack of parking provision and cars parking on pavements: STC will identify areas of insufficient parking provision and explore options. STC will discuss enforcement over pavement parking with HCC and Herts police. Feasibility: Possible.

Overgrown paths and footpaths maintenance and loss of green spaces: STC will liaise with EHC with regard to cutting overgrowth in key areas and explore where green spaces can be better maintained, protected and made accessible for sustainable use. Feasibility: Possible.

Protecting character of town whilst integrating new residents: STC will continue to develop community events and improve promotion of these to all new residents, particularly in newer developments on West Road. Feasibility: Possible.

New/improved facilities for youth and teens, eg youth café, games arcade: Identify possible sites and consider as part of District Plan review. Also consider possible use of SYPRC/Bullfields. Feasibility: Possible.

Investment in local essential services: HCC to continue monitoring statutory provision and work with EHC to assess impacts of any new developments. STC will monitor demand, residents’ feedback and future Section 106 assessments. Feasibility: More difficult.

Increase in crime (or perception of it) particularly burglaries and antisocial behaviour and lack of visible police presence: STC will continue to support police communications, CCTV monitoring and consider increase in CCTV footprint around town centre. Identify hotspots and work with residents to identify areas that may benefit from more regular police patrols. Feasibility for both: Possible.

For the full plan see https://www.sawbridgeworth-tc.gov.uk/town-action-plan

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