The Future - 1949
Canvey Island Guide and Chronicle
In these clays of austerity and economic uncertainty so little of the present is permanent, that to offer an opinion on the future is inviting catastrophe, but a little of Canvey’s ultimate future is clearly outlined for us.
The supply position as it affects building and road-making is the insuperable bar to immediate progress under present conditions, and until the position improves we can move but slowly towards our goal.
The comfort and welfare of fully two-thirds of our citizens is adversely affected bv the lack of suitable roads and one or more of the essential services, but we note with relief that it is practically certain that reasonable access will soon be granted to Winter Garden residents. Additional road works and extensions of public services are being undertaken in other parts of the Island, and the shape of a sound comprehensive scheme is clearly to be seen.
Possibly still more important to the ultimate welfare of the Island and likely to make a deeper mark on Canvey’s future is the development of the Industrial Estate. Small factories in temporary buildings are already in operation, other sites are earmarked for building immediately the building situation improves, and essential services are already available.
With the erection of these factories should start the beginning of a new era for Canvey and many of its inhabitants. Local labour is available for almost any trade and its employment will add to the leisure time of those who at present waste three or four hours daily in travelling. The amount of seasonal unemployment should decrease and the spending power of the community increase by virtue of reduced daily expenditure on travel and incidentals.
As the general supply position improves, new industries will start up and those already operating will increase their labour intake with corresponding benefit to the Island. A rise in the rateable value of the Island will improve our local finances and make available more funds for the improvement of our social services.
Another pointer to the future is the adoption of a definite beach improvement policy, entailing the ploughing back of all profits accruing from beach revenues.
This is a sound scheme and one that should meet with the approval of all who have Canvey’s future at heart, since with it goes a plan for the extension of sanitary and health services designed to meet the requirements of increased holiday traffic, safeguarding the interests of resident and visitor alike.
Public recreational facilities have been enormously increased by the purchase of the Paddocks, an example of clear thinking and sound business acumen on the part of Canvey’s Council. When the scheme is complete, the Island will have a well-equipped sports ground situated in its very centre, a possession almost beyond price. The potentialities of such a prize are apparent to all and can hardly be exaggerated.
The proposed War Memorial Hall to be erected opposite the Rio Cinema will fill a need which is felt almost daily by every section of the community. We are at present without any public hall of generous proportions, and the provision of one in such an ideal position will add considerably to our social life. One hopes that its advent will not long be delayed.
If indeed we ourselves can help in the shaping of our own future, and surely we can indirectly do so, it can best be achieved by taking an interest in the different activities designed to improve existing conditions.
A hopeful sign of a brightening future is the rapidly growing increase in social activities apparent during the past year. During this short period several new societies have been formed to stimulate interest in pursuits hitherto unrepresented; these, without exception, are growing in a healthy fashion and gaining adherence, while old-established bodies report satisfactory increases in membership.
This fostering of interest in arts, sciences and athletic pursuits is a work of supreme importance to the community; the interchanging of ideas and the sinking of self in the interests of the many can do nothing but good, and it is with pleasure we devote full publicity to the activities of the various societies and associations of the Island. Some may seem unimportant, perhaps trivial, but each organisation satisfies the needs of a number of fellow citizens and is worthy of its place in Canvey’s society.