Our sister blog, The South Essex STIRRER has had plenty to say on the problems afflicting the ¾ estate in Vange: Where the new town dream has died… – https://southessexstirrer.wordpress.com/2017/07/06/where-the-new-town-dream-has-died/ and: Eight weeks! – https://southessexstirrer.wordpress.com/2017/07/11/eight-weeks/ Both of these posts have an analysis of how the problems developed with some indications as to how they can be tackled.
What The Estuary Alternative is partly about is promoting and celebrating community based groups who are doing their level best to make a difference at the grassroots. When it comes to the ¾ estate, there are some positive developments to report. Firstly, there’s the Vange Hill Community Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/180311358699122/ – who are lobbying Basildon Council and Circle Anglia Housing (who are responsible for much of the social housing on the estate) to pull their finger out and do the job they’re paid to do. They also encourage residents to take more responsibility for keeping the estate clean. Then there’s The Plot (Vange Hill Drive Community Allotment) – https://www.facebook.com/theplotvange/ who as the title of the Facebook group suggests, run a community allotment next to the estate. We’re big fans of community allotments: Get digging! – https://theestuaryalternative.wordpress.com/2017/05/27/get-digging/ as they help with neighbourhood resilience through building solidarity and providing self sufficiency as well as being a source of healthy food and an opportunity for exercise. Last but by no means least there’s Basildon & Southend Housing Action – https://www.facebook.com/basacton/ – who see their role as facilitating and offering practical and logistical support to groups such as Vange Hill Community Group.
Turning around the fortunes of the ¾ estate is a massive undertaking and no one is under any illusions that it’s going to be a long slog. However, as you can see from the above, the elements are in place on the ground to start to make a real difference, creating the community spirit that’s needed to make a difference to people’s lives…watch this space for developments…
The Estuary Fringe was created with the aim of taking art back from the pretentious art elites who have somehow insinuated themselves into the borough and hand it back to the local community, to everyone, where it belongs.
Dreamt up by four fools from Southend and under the direction of the fringes creative director John Bulley, hold on “creative director”, that’s art bollocks, the fringe is about anarchic fun without the guilt.
The first festival in June 2013 was incredibly successful. Organised in just 7 weeks with no money and no idea what we were letting ourselves in for, we were blown away by just how well it all went, so we have decided to keep doing it.
Over two weeks in August this year’s festival will be bigger and better with even more artist, local, national and international from all genres, painters and musicians, graffiti artists, poets, performance artists, the festival really will have it all as this year we are pleased to announce that we will have theatrical productions and independent films as well.
The 2016 Estuary Fringe Festival will be from Saturday 30th July until Sun 14th August. Come see what’s on and enjoy.
No need to pay £10 + booking fee for tickets, its free… just turn up, join in and have fun…
The Estuary Fringe Production Team….
We would like to extend our thanks to Oxford GreenPrint for a superb print job and swift delivery of the paper. Distribution of this will start in Southend tomorrow, including venues such as The Railway in Clifftown Road. Given the kind of paper this is – celebrating and promoting grassroots community projects – we won’t be delivering it door-to-door as we want to make sure each and every copy gets into the hands of people who want to make a change in this area.
So, if you support the aims of this blog and paper and want to take a small bundle to hand out to friends, family and neighbours, feel free to get in touch and we’ll sort something out. Also, if you know of or frequent a venue that you think will be sympathetic to what we’re trying to achieve, let us know and we’ll get the papers in there.
As we’ve stated and written before, we really do want to make this a collaborative project, giving a voice to all of the grassroots community projects operating in the area. The headline on the paper is ‘Working better together’. The aim is to encourage the development of an informal network of groups who help each other out as and when necessary, share experiences and skills and end up becoming considerably greater than the sum of their parts. So, it’s over to you to build on what we already have and build something that can start to bring about real, meaningful change…