Cllr Maria Pearson and Cllr Cat Tierney (pictured last year before the current lockdown restrictions)
Local Councillors lead fight to defend All Saints Parish Church, East Horndon
At the Full Council on Wednesday earlier this week, local Conservative Councillors Cllrs Maria Pearson and Cat Tierney brought forward an urgent motion to lead the fight to defend All Saints Parish Church in East Horndon from the anti-social behaviour that culminated in an unauthorised New Years Eve "rave" during the COVID-19 lockdown that had to be broken up for Essex Police officers.
The motion brought forward by Cllrs Pearson and Tierney read as follows :
"The Council acknowledges the on-going problems with Anti-social behaviour at the Half Way House and its particular effect on East Horndon All Saints Parish Church Members and encourage officers to work up a range of options to bring the long term resolution of these problems."
Damage to All Saints Church
The illegal rave held at the church caused thousands of pounds of damage to the building. The church was made safe and an initial clear up did take place but it really is necessary to work to eliminate such anti social behaviour from reoccurring going forward.
Other Anti-Social Lewd Behaviour
As well as the rave there is frequent littering, illegal parking and anti-social behaviour that makes the area that means many residents do not feel they can take their family. Sadly the area has been publicised nationally as a meeting place for adults. A church yard is simply not an appropriate place to be disrespected in this way.
If you do witness anti-social behaviour, we would urge you to report it to the police as soon as possible including car registration numbers. If a complaint is received from a local resident then this can lead to prosecution.
There are a number of offences that someone could be charged with if caught - including indecent exposure and gross indecency, and it could end up with their name being added to the sex offenders register. The charge would either come under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 or alternatively for outraging public decency.
Reclaiming our historic church for our community
Back in July Cllr Tierney and Cllr Pearson had a meeting with officers, the leader, police and all interested parties including representatives from the Church Conservation Trust, Woodlands and other local land owners.
They proposed a three tier solution to the problem which would over time bring this area back to use as a community area incorporating the church and its grounds into a family friendly area with trails, wild flowers and an area people were able to appreciate both the church and its surrounding beauty. They have asked officers to devise long term solutions that can realistically be executed to bring the area to return to a beautiful area that can be enjoyed by the whole community and protected for future generations.
Motion received overwhelming support
Cllrs Pearson and Tierney were pleased to agree to a request to include part of the Brentwood Town Centre which is also affected by anti-social behaviour into their request to Council officers for the benefit of local residents.