Thats my starter... DSCF0446

Two Food Premises On Zero

We haven’t reported on the local food hygiene ratings lately, – you can find them on the Food Standards Agency website here.

Out of the 418 premises in Rochford District, there are currently two places with zero stars out of five, and seven places with just one star.

Meanwhile a Labour MP has suggested that food premises should be required by law to show their ratings. :

“Betts called the food inspection service “one of the unsung services of local government” – a service the public doesn’t usually notice, but would “suddenly become aware [of] if they weren’t there”.

“There is a worry with cuts to local authorities and budgets, food inspection is one of the areas that has been hit the hardest, so it’s important that what work they do do gets results,” he said.

Cuts to local government funding have meant the number of food inspectors has declined in recent years. The ratio of food safety inspectors to businesses has dropped from 4.2 full-time inspectors per 1,000 food businesses in 2012-13, to 3.7 per 1,000 in 2014-15. This figure is dragged down considerably by England, where there are only 3.2 officers per 1,000 businesses, compared with 5.7 per 1,000 in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Betts said that as well as being effective, a mandatory display scheme was likely to be cost-effective.

“The inspections are done, so there’s no extra cost to the local authority and there’s no cost to the business of sticking something in the window,” he said.”

downhall-park-way-repair

Finally Fixed…

About 17 months ago we spotted a cracked cover in the pavement in Downhall Park Way (opposite Canterbury Close). It was quite a serious trip hazard – we reported it to County Highways and they acknowledged receipt on May 4th 2015. (and we chased it later).

County Highways have finally carried out the repair! This is an example of how long it takes to get non-urgent (but necessary) work done….

...where there are views of West Rayleigh and beyond. (The masthead photo of onlinefocus was taken here )

Evening Consultation On October 4th

The District Council has advised interested individuals and organisations today that there will be an evening consultation on the new local plan:

” …..As an individual or organisation registered on the Council’s mailing list, and as part of the early engagement that the Council is actively undertaking to inform the preparation of the new Local Plan, I am writing to invite you to a workshop at Cloister Hall, Rectory Garth, Rayleigh, SS6 8BA on Tuesday 4 October between 7pm and 9pm. The purpose of the workshop is to help explain the role of the Parish Council in plan-making and to discuss the future development of the parish – the workshop will inform, but not set, future planning policy.

For more information on adopted planning policy documents and the new Local Plan, please visit: http://www.rochford.gov.uk/planning/policy.

We hope that you are able to attend the workshop. The event will be limited to a maximum of 50 people (due to venue restraints), therefore we kindly please ask all those who were able to attend the workshop during the day on Tuesday 12 September to allow other residents the opportunity to share their issues and ideas. The structure of the event will be identical to the previous workshop, to reach out to anyone who was unable to attend the daytime workshop. If you have been/are unable to attend either workshop, please note that there will be other opportunities to be involved and to inform the plan-making process in the future. The Council has also produced an Issues & Options survey, which provides residents with an opportunity to make their issues and ideas on the future development of District known to us. The survey is available at www.rochford.gov.uk/cee and in local libraries and Council offices.”

polling station sign

Hello Woodham – And, Er , Purleigh.

The District Council Website has a page here on the current review of parliamentary constituencies. There is a public consultation running until December 5th.

You can find the detailed proposals for our local constituencies here.

The main proposed changes for South East Essex are:

  • The three Wickford wards move from “Rayleigh and Wickford” constituency to “Basildon and Billericay”.
  • Two council wards in Pitsea will move into Castle Point.
  • Two Castle Point wards  (St James and Victoria) will move into Southend West
  • One ward -Ashingdon and Canewdon – will move from the old Rayleigh and Wickford Ward into Rochford and Southend West.
  • “Rayleigh and Wickford” constituency is losing Wickford but will have Bicknacre, Rettendon Runwell, two of the Hanningfields plus South Woodham. So it will be renamed “Rayleigh and  Woodham Ferrers “.
  • According to the proposals, “Rayleigh and Woodham Ferrers” will also gain one ward from Maldon – namely Purleigh.  We have to say this is a bit of a surprise, Woodham Ferrers has been part of a Rayleigh constituency before but a bit of Maldon hasn’t been part of the same constituency as Rayleigh since 1832.
  • These boundary changes are happening because the government is deliberating reducing the numbers of MPs in the UK, which doesn’t sound particularly democratic.  It seems a bad omen that the last time that a MP represented both Rayleigh and a part of Maldon, in 1832, he was the ludicrously named William Pole-Tylney-Long Wellesley ( yes he had a quadruple- barrelled name) and is  described by Wikipedia as “an Anglo-Irish Nobleman with a notoriously dissipated lifestyle”. This fellow has a good claim to be the worst Tory MP of all time. (Just read the Wikipedia article)
  • We also wonder whether Purleigh has much in common with Rayleigh, apart from similar names.

If you aren’t happy with these proposals, have a look at the Boundary Commision Report, at the end they give enough information on the number of voters in each council ward for you to make your own proposals. but constituencies have to have between 71031 and 78507 electors – without Purleigh, Rayleigh and Woodham Ferrers will fall short.

 

lib dem rosette

Nice One, Nick

Lib Dem Colchester councillor Nick Barlow writes here about he wants to make Colchester Borough Council meetings better for the public. Colchester is currently run by a joint Lib Dem / Labour / Residents administration.

Colchester is already doing better than Rochford – for example, as Nick explains on his blog, at most meetings the public can already turn up and speak.

Perhaps we should ask Nick to come to Rochford and give us a training session….