onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003

 

April 18th, 2014

“All Nature Lovers Welcome”

barling reserve

April 17th, 2014

A U-Turn In the Car Park?

Market Car Park 2 78009. crop

There’s a growing feeling that the district council is going to do a U-turn and keep free car parking on Saturday afternoons. Either the leadership will gracefully back down on this, or there will be another vote.

As the Echo reports here

….the Tory-run council now says the charges have been put on hold until they can be debated further at a full council meeting in June – after May’s local elections.

the Echo adds:

a council statement said: “The charges are under review to consider the objections received and are set to be discussed at full council in June.”
Part of those objections will be a 500-strong petition collected by Chris Stanley, Liberal democrat candidate for the Grange ward.
Collected in Rayleigh High Street, Mr Stanley submitted the petition on the grounds of a possible increase in on-street parking and congestion.

stanley petition 2

April 16th, 2014

Primary School Places: How To Challenge A Decision

From the Guardian today:

The parents of thousands of children will learn on Wednesday that they have not been allocated their first choice of primary school. If you are one of them, it is possible to challenge the decision. Here is what you can do:

• Make sure you respond to any request to include your son or daughter on the waiting list in case any places become available.

• Decide if you have grounds for an appeal. Primary schools are limited to a maximum of 30 students per class for five- to seven-year-olds, and any application for such schools will be turned down if a school has already reached that limit.

Also consider that the independent appeal panel will not take into consideration any fresh information that you may submit if it was not available to the admission authority when it reached its original decision. Parents need to demonstrate why their child needs to go to the school to which they are appealing.

Full article with more information and links here.

Meanwhile the Essex County Council page on appeals is here.

It shows the following timetable:

Appeals timetable for children starting infant/junior/primary school from September 2014 onwards
16 April 2014 Essex Offer Day – parents informed of outcome of application
16 May 2014 Deadline by when appeals should have been lodged
2 June 2014 to 22 July 2014 Appeals heard for those lodged by deadline and where possible for late appeals
September 2014 onwards Appeals heard for any appeals not heard before 22 July

The above appeals timetable information applies in relation to community and voluntary controlled schools. Foundation, voluntary aided schools and academies may have different timescales for appeals – please check with the individual school.

April 15th, 2014

A Good Start – £400,000 Being Spent On Piping

From the Echo:

FLOOD victims are hoping to benefit from £400,000 of new drains being laid by Anglian Water.
The work, which is due finish next month, involves laying more than 5,500ft of pipes in Beeches Road, Rawreth, which has regularly suffered flooding in recent years.
Two new pumps will also be installed at Anglian Water’s pumping station, along with a equipment to contain sewage.
Peter Plummer, chairman of the newly-formed Rawreth Flood Action Group, lives nearby in Church Road, which has similar problems, having been flooded 19 times in the past 13 years.
He said: “It is a start, but only a start.
“If they’re laying pipes, they are just going to get blocked with silt. When it rains heavily, you can see it getting washed off fields into Watery Lane and Beeches Road.
“They need to find a way to stop that happening. Ditches and culverts also need to be cleared to re-establish the natural flood defences.”

Full story here.

April 15th, 2014

Pushing For A Public Meeting On Infrastructure

no meetings

At tonight’s Full District Council meeting Chris Black pushed for the council to hold a public meeting about infrastructure in the West Rayleigh / Rawreth / Hullbridge area – to discuss drainage, sewerage, highways, education, health etc. He pointed out that the council has a page on its website to list public meetings but the page was blank. He stressed that many members of the public would welcome a meeting. Cllr John Mason backed the idea, saying it should actually deal with infrastructure for the whole district.

The initial response from Cllr Cutmore and Cllr Hudson was rather negative- Cllr Cutmore saying that the council held business breakfasts where these things could be discussed. But as discussions went we on began to make some progress, with Cllr Hudson saying he would welcome the reinstatement of the old area committees.

No vote was taken, but we made a bit of progress, and will keep pressing the issue.

April 15th, 2014

Judicial Review !

As was mentioned in a comment here last week , campaigner Linda Kendall has arranged and financed a legal action – a Judicial Review – into whether the council  consulted properly on its core strategy and allocations document.

Even if she wins the court case and forced a rethink it might not ultimately change the amount of housing and the locations.

But even so its a very bold – though costly – thing for Mrs Kendall to do.  If anyone wants to contribute towards the cost, you could contact her via the Rayleigh Action Group website.

April 14th, 2014

Old Files Coming Out Of The Loft …

We are being asked lots of questions at the moment about the District Council’s development plans, so we’ve been looking back at old files. In fact some very old files – if anyone wants to see the original paper copy of the outline planning application for Downhall Park Way, please let us know! Or the original plan “A” for Sweyne Park, with a cricket pitch near where the rebound wall is now, and a formal garden near Eastcheap, and 4 car parks…

April 13th, 2014

The Giants Of Pine Tree Avenue

giant redwoods

 

This is nothing to do with our district, but the Liberal England blog has an interesting piece on the trees in a suburban avenue in Leicester. They aren’t pines, they are flippin’ Giant Redwoods.

Pine Tree Avenue in Humberstone, a village that has become a suburb of Leicester, is not lined with pines. It is lined with sequoia gigantea – giant redwoods.
Some are currently under threat of replacement with a smaller species by the city council because of the damage they are said to be causing to houses and drives. Some residents welcome the plan and some do not. You can read about the controversy in the Leicester Mercury.
This remarkable avenue exists because Pine Tree Avenue used to be the drives to Humberstone Hall. The estate was sold as housing land by the Paget family after World War I, when they moved to Lubenham near Market Harborough….

 

April 12th, 2014

Essex Consults On How Good Is Your Local Chemist

11954285111092993089molumen_Pills_and_bottle_2.svg.med

Essex County Council is holding a public consultation on local pharmaceutical services. The consultation will run until 30th April.
Members of the public are asked to complete a short questionnaire on the services provided by pharmacies, dispensing doctors and internet pharmacies in the Essex area. The results of the survey will help the County Council and the Essex Health and Wellbeing Board to understand how local people use the services, how they rate their experiences and what services they would like to see in the future.
The questionnaire is completely confidential and does not require any personal identifying information.

The results of the survey will be used to help produce a Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment for Essex determining what, if any, services will be required to meet local needs. The report will be available to the public from early 2015.

Councillor Ann Naylor, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Public Health & Wellbeing, said: “We would really encourage members of the public to tell us about their experiences of services from chemist’s shop. It will only take a few minutes to complete, so please take advantage of this opportunity to help shape the services of the future.”

The survey is live at http://www.essexinsight.org.uk/ViewPage1.aspx?C=Resource&ResourceID=919

For more information or to request a paper copy/alternative format call 01245 430 430 or email contact@essex.gov.uk

April 11th, 2014

VW Event Tomorrow

We understand there is a Volkswagen  meeting tomorrow Saturday the 12th of April  at the Crouch Valley Showground, on the A1245 just before the Fairglen Interchange,  this is to be followed by evening entertainment.

You can see more details here.

Let’s hope everything goes well without any noise or parking problems….

April 10th, 2014

BREAKING NEWS: Chris Stanley Organises Petition And Formal Objection To Ending Free Saturday Afternoon Parking

The District Council has had a public notice up about the car parking increases and the ending of free Saturday afternoon car parking in council car parks.. It said

 If you wish to object to this proposed Order you should state your reasons by email (Legal@Rochford.gov.uk) or in writing to Legal Services by 9th April 2014.

The only legal grounds people on which people could object was on the effect on the public highway – that is, a possible increase in on-street parking and congestion.

stanley petition 2

Chris Stanley has done just that. With the help of a friend he organised a non-party-political petition in Rayleigh High Street, obtained 500 names pretty easily, and submitted the petition to the council. It says:

We hereby object to item 5 of the above proposal: ‘to introduce parking charges in all car parks on Saturday afternoons, increasing the operational hours from 7 am to 1 pm
to 7am to 7pm’. We note that the purpose of local authority providing parking spaces both off street and on roads is to prevent congestion of traffic. However we consider that this change in the regulation is entirely motivated by financial gain and is a form of taxation of local residents . Furthermore we consider that the primary aim of the provision of car parks to prevent congestion will be frustrated by the change as additional on-street parking will occur in roads close to the town centre, many of which do not have a Saturday afternoon parking ban. For the above reasons we object and call upon the Council not to impose item 5 of their Notice of Proposals dated 19th March 2014.

Chris Stanley says:

“I was delighted at the response of shoppers in Rayleigh High Street. We got over 500 hundred signatures in a few hours. People were actually queuing to put their names to the petition! We are keeping the petition non-political because this price hike seems to offend everyone, we all want to see our town centre continue to prosper but realise that it cannot be taken for granted. I think people will reluctantly accept a parking increase but for the normal charge times, we are are strongly against the extra hours being charged. At present Saturday afternoon is a relaxed time when people can shop, dine or socialise without rushing back for parking tickets. Is the Council so mean spirited that they cannot understand why people value this small exemption? We took the petition to the Council and are now awaiting their response.”

chris stanley petition 3

April 9th, 2014

Food For Thought

Cafe Life DSCF0372

 

One of our Lib Dem colleagues in Watford mentioned that their local paper had published a list of all the food establishments in that town which got a rating of “Zero” on food hygiene.

Which prompted us to check for our district. You can find out about this by going to the Food Standards Agency website here. You can then search for a particular restaurant etc or you can search by town or district.

There are 480 entries for Rochford District , you can find them all here.  We are pleased to say that most  get a rating of 5 out of 5. And none at all get a ‘Zero’. Just seven of them get a rating of “1″.

 

 

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Daily Reporting by Chris Black

With support from:
Ron Oatham Ron Oatham Bruce Smart Bruce Smart Chris Stanley Chris Stanley

Latest Comments

  • Jim Cripps: A good point Brian , in fact it is now obvious that most Towns & Villages in all the SE Essex...
  • Corey Vost: It is becoming increasingly obvious that ECC Highways have precious little intention of adopting this...
  • Christine Paine: Thanks Chris. I think noise depends to a great extent on wind direction. At least, with quite a few...
  • Tom Smith: Thanks
  • Chris Black: Christine – I spoke to the licensing people yesterday. They visited the site the day before with...
  • Chris Black: Hi Tom – its a good question, things have gone quiet on that. I will try to find out.
  • Tom Smith: Hi, Is the Waste recycling centre still being moved from Castle Road to this area? There seem to be no...
  • Brian Guyett: A welcome, overdue initiative but I agree with John Mason – we need to consider the whole...
  • Jim Cripps: PS: And can you explain how a party political leaflet “in touch” has the authority to cancel...
  • A.mattbhews: Please note this is not a flood prevention solution but is the replacement of a foul sewer . Despite...
  • Jim Cripps: Well done Chris/ John and sorely needed as they have already cancelled two promises ( RTSSC & new...
  • Jim Cripps: Two quotes for you :- Cllr K Hudson via Evening Echo ( Fri 11th April ) – “The process we...
  • Jim Cripps: That is exactly why it is later ( negative election impact ) , however all the voters need to do is ask...
  • Jim Cripps: Greenbelt – it is’nt the same show ( the Battlesbridge one is in June ), the one last weekend...
  • John Mason: As far as I can see “by 9 April” quoted in your Article allowed “the 5 day rule”...
  • Greenbelt: The ‘RaveR 17; type event last year which caused many complaints on this site was clearly audible...
  • Christine Paine: We could hear it over the television. I’ve got nothing against the showground as such,...
  • admin: I would think you can hear it over half of Rayleigh, with the windows closed….
  • admin: Not sure…
  • John Mason: So what happens next please?
  • Jim Cripps: I think you will find that ECC will be running this site ( not RDC ) so who knows, this might be a Fee...
  • admin: David – I would expect them to pay. I know some travellers elsewhere do.
  • David. B: Will any of the travellers who will be living on the new proposed sight be paying Council tax? i.e. just...
  • Jim Cripps: Christine - 1. I did’nt have any part in the legal challenge, it is a private action. 2. I have no...

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The Core Strategy

This is the official master document for planning policy in our district! To download it, click here click here. (2.5mb)

Planning Applications…

If you want information on a particular planning application, you can find it on the District Council website here.

If you want to know what new planning applications have been submitted this week, click here.

Reporting A Problem

If you want to report a problem, you can email Lib Dems councillors by clicking here.
There's also an independent website called FixMyStreet. It's very good for reporting minor street problems like holes in the road, grafitti or failed streetlights. You can find FixMyStreet here.

The Roads That Need Repairing


The County Council admitted in July that over 200 roads in our district need repairing! They say they will fix them by May 2013. Click here to see the list.

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“Rayleigh was the birthplace of Britain’s first surviving quintuplets, but that’s just one of its many claims to fame”

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