New idea for health centre location

edited May 2013 in Health Centre
How about the Masonic Hall? I wonder if anyone has approached the Masons for a sale? It has a huge car park and could be built up. Who are the Masons - are any on the WTC?



  • lizliz
    edited May 2013
    Simon, maybe you could ask him if he is a Freemason, and if so, please could he consider letting us have the hall for a possible Health Centre. I think the Freemasons are meant to be very helpful. Relief is one of their principles, ie to relieve the distress of others. Compassion is part of their Brotherly Love principle too. They could perhaps meet in someone's lounge instead. Community spaces are so rare in Wivenhoe it seems a shame to have a hall and big car park for one group of people.
  • edited May 2013
    The Wivenhoe Masonic Lodge...formed in 1968

  • No Simon, that's just my look at the moment. 

    I do know of a Mason but I'm not supposed to know he's a Mason. Though having seen him going into the Masonic lodge once I'm not sure that I can't un-know that he at least has some involvement with the Masons (i.e. He's a Mason).

    I hope that's clarified matters.
  • So according to that informative link, Roger, the Masonic Lodge is largely aimed at university usage - in which case with the universities expansion, surely they can have a lodge on campus and kindly suggest that the people of Wivenhoe consider it as a possible place for the urgently needed health centre. The access to the car park from the back seems especially useful.
    It does not appear to be used much - I and others cannot remember any dances or other events being mentioned at this location for many many years.
    If it is just a place for a handful of people to meet it is a great waste of potential community or Health Centre space.
  • edited June 2013
    Actually Liz I think the connections with Essex University are pretty flimsy. In 2010 Freemasonry Today reported only two "possible" applications. There maybe a few more now of course.

  • Whilst I am not a mason I do find the posts a little inappropriate. If they choose to be secret that's their choice and it should not be for people to try and out them on here. Why do you want to know if WTC councilors are members? We wouldn't ask what religion they are or sexuality, so why ask if they are masons? I haven't met all the councilors but the ones I have met come across as highly proffesional and wouldn't let their personal lives affect their judgement.
  • lizliz
    edited May 2013
    I just thought any freemason councillor - should they exist - might hold some sway on whether the usage was possible. I understand that the Freemasons decided to move away from secrecy towards transparency over the last few years so the secrecy element is far less relevant today. It's no different to being in the Rotary Club. It's not anything like a religion or similar and related jokes are old hat.
    I'm simply asking if it is a location that would ever be open to consideration.
    I can't see any reason why I can't bring up the topic given the very serious situation of having no health centre on the horizon - indeed, not even a viable location.
    Edited to add: my grandfather was a Freemason and my Father was in the Rotary Club - two men, two clubs and no big deal.
  • Transparency is key if you want to engage in public life. Why would there be any need to be secretive about being a mason, I was given to understand by someone who should know that there are a few masons on the WTC. Personally I think it's peculiar.
  • I really think this is a tangent - this thread isn't about the Freemasons. It's about a building in Wivenhoe that they own, and that might, just might, be potentially invaluable to the community and not just a handful of people. Assuming that there isn't a Freemason reading this, I'll write and ask:
    A) is the hall used much and by many
    B) is it rarely used by university linked members (cf original reason for being set up)
    C) would members be open to discussing a sale as a health centre if it was seen as a potential location by the developers
    and I'll cc Realise Health.
  • Excellent questions Liz. You should stand for election to WTC - they could benefit from your commitment to the public good, and your ability to think 'outside the box'.
    By the way, I know several Masons, and while some of their ceremonies are secret, their membership of the Brotherhood is not.

  • lizliz
    edited May 2013
    Adrian, your words are very kind and generous, but I don't think I have the skills of a councillor...

    I have another suggestion for a possible site - but it's a bit controversial. And I'm only tentatively throwing it into the discussion - and I'm certainly not saying it's a good idea but ...(and given there's no reason for the developers not to approach any land/building owner)...
     I've noticed that The Flag has had a 'To Let' board up for ages and I've noticed that it's just round the corner from the chemists... Now I'll run away before anyone chucks an egg at me.
    edited to add: actually forget that idea. I've gone off it already because it's an historic building and probably has many regulars, plus it supplies a vital community service.

  • If I can do it Liz - I'm sure you can..............!
  • No need to close it, just make half of it the surgery, nothing would be more appropriate for Wivenhoe than a doctors surgery in a pub!
  • Worth investigating I'd have thought.
  • Hi just an idea here, where the new wildlife garden is (which is behind the council offices where there are lots of parking spaces). Could we take a bit of the playing field and build a surgery there? Just looked at the aerial view of wivenhoe for a suitable 'central' place. Any thoughts?
  • edited June 2013
    Hi  Debbie -  interestingly the question of using part of King George Vth playing field was brought up on the original Health Centre thread as well. There are problems with it though as former Wivenhoe councillor Christopher Thompson explains in point 3 of this link.

    The idea got an airing in 2004 when the application to build a health centre at the fire station site was rejected by CBC planners. In a written response to Wivenhoe Town Council explaining their decision, the Colchester planning department made an alternative recommendation of building a new surgery on King George Vth playing field. 

    B. W. Carrington of the planning department wrote -  "I feel the top section of King George V
    playing field would make a more appropriate site with ease of access to the majority of patients."

    * this was referenced in this posting on the Health Centre thread, but unfortunately the link to the document that was on CBC's website is showing up as an internal error at the moment.

  • And while were at it, lets concrete over playing fields everywhere. After all we are all so fit and healthy these days so we don't need things like playing fields anymore.
    At least that's what politicians have been saying for years and years.
  • As Colchester Borough Council are going to build 10 council houses for Colchester residents on the garages at Rosabelle Avenue I would like to suggest that as a perfect site.  If the ill fated location on the Cooks Shipyard passed a traffic survey anything would and at least it would keep the site as a community asset.
  • The area that Wivforever refers to. It is about 1/3 of an acre:

  • Well, it ticks most boxes.

    1. Quite a way from a bus route.

    2. Down a narrow road.

    3. Parking will be a problem.

    4. A long walk for a lot of elderly residents.

    5. Will cause disruption to neighbours.


  • See more about this in today's Gazette (p11 I think - not seen a copy yet).
  • Here is the Gazette article about the Rosabelle Avenue garages site.  Click on the thumbnail image to enlarge it, but you have to be logged into the Forum for that to work.

  • Or go and buy the Gazette - and help keep me in a job ;-)
  • Colchester Borough Council's meeting about the social housing in the Broomgrove catchment area is at Britannia Court from 5pm on 9th July for anyone interesting in attending.

  • edited June 2013

    Just like to reply to Mike

    1  Bus stops on The Avenue only 27 houses walk away on level ground

    2  The road is no more narrow than most roads in Wivenhoe, a school double decker bus comes down twice a day with no apparent problem  Certainly must be considered as they looked at the shipyard site

    3  Parking will be more of a problem if housing or flats built than a medical centre as a medical centre is not used early morning or overnight so space is created by local residents going to work etc.

    4  In this location most of the sheltered housing is located very nearby. Indeed the meeting is held at one.

    5  A medical Centre is certainly less of a disruption to neighbours 

    Also having the medical here would ease traffic congestion at The Cross, and not create any more traffic increase  locally. I cannot think of anywhere else where an adequate site could be obtained within budget.

  • edited October 2013
    Sorry to see what appears to be some party politics creeping in there Shaun!

    To clarify - the chair of Colne Housing is Colchester Labour Group leader Tim Young. Tim's wife is County Councillor  Julie Young (Labour) who won the County Council elections in May this year for Wivenhoe St Andrews Ward. The Liberal Democrat candidate in those elections's the full list:
    Wivenhoe St Andrew: Shaun Boughton (LD), Timothy Glover (G), Mo Metcalf-Fisher (C), Graham Tricker (UKIP), Julie Young (Lab)

    [Edit: Since writing the above paragraph I see Shaun has removed the sentence which was in his original posting - "Colne housing, interesting that they will be the ones building the development
    when you think who is the chairman ". That was where I thought there was a bit of party politics going on as it is Tim Young who is the chairman. But it's been removed now, so that's all good.]

    But leaving all that to one side and concentrating on the merits or otherwise of this site......I did check with Richard Warner of Realise Health about it and although the site is small (1/3 acre) the phrase used in response was "tight but just about do-able assuming parking on the road is fine."

    (A further edit to explain that Shaun Boughton, who is referenced above, decided to leave the Forum and delete all his posts. Jason explained it here )

  • Why is Shaun's post 'party political'?

  • edited June 2013
    I may have stood for the Looney Party (which I haven't) . Politics should not and does not come into it. It's criminal that our council can even think about building houses anywhere in Wivenhoe when they can't provide the basic needs of the Community and this site was not even forwarded as a an option. I have under the Freedom of Information Act regarding the Health Centre copies of the correspondence to/from relevant bodies that state they need 600 - 650 sq metres. This site is DOUBLE that.  Also extra parking could be created for local residents and room for expansion down the line.
  • Can't they build a health centre and flats into one building?
  • Interestingly 1/3 of an acre is the same area as last year's Cooks Shipyard site proposal. But I think there is some doubt as to whether the whole site is being considered for release from its current use. It may just be half. All will hopefully become clear at the meeting on July 9th.
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