onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003

 

April 18th, 2015

Mike Pitt On the NHS

A Downhall and Rawreth resident (not one of our team) asked Mike Pitt “Will you keep the NHS free at the point of use?” – and received this response:

mike pitt rosette

Yes. I will be alongside my Liberal Democrat colleagues in fighting to keep NHS services free at the point of use.
We have made the NHS one of our priorities at this election: we are committed to increasing the funding by £8billion by the end of the parliament, and are the only party to have provided a clear and costed plan for this funding. I am pleased some of the others agree it is needed now.
If you would like more detail I am happy to do so, but I thought a short answer to a short question would be appreciated.
Thanks for getting in touch,

April 17th, 2015

Bob, The Campaigning Squirrel

BOB THE SQUIRREL

If you are seriously interested in nature issues, have a look at the RSPB’s campaign for the election here.

April 16th, 2015

No Time To Write….

No time to write tonight… lots of leaflets to sort out….

April 15th, 2015

Riding Roughshod Over Some Else’s Property….

houses2The Conservative Party’s proposal to allow the sell-off of housing association homes has been criticised from the left – and from the right.

Lib Dem Nick Barlow writes on his blog:

Back in 2010, the Tories made a big play of how they would transform the country through localism and the Big Society. Localism would free communities from the dead hand of Whitehall controlling everything, while the Big Society would encourage a new era of civic involvement, getting people involved in community organisations, allowing them to really make a difference.

If the first leaks from their 2015 manifesto are anything to go by, both those ideas have been thrown into the bin, which has then been set on fire and the ashes scattered to the four winds to prevent any prospect of them ever coming back together again. Community-based organisations are to be ripped apart by Government policy, while councils will have to follow diktats from the centre in order to raise the money to fund this dismemberment.
———-
Housing associations are private non-profit organisations, generally run by members of the community they’re based in and providing a valuable service in providing social housing. The proposed Tory policy will declare them to be nothing more than another arm of the state, in order to compel them to sell off their housing at below the market rate. Yes, because we’re not suffering enough problems in the housing market thanks to forcing councils to sell their stock off cheaply, they’ll go on to compound the error by doing the same to housing associations. Remember, these aren’t government-owned organisations, and yet the Tories – the usual champions of property rights – seem to see no problem in riding roughshod over someone else’s in pursuit of their policy.

(Of course, this policy won’t apply to other private landlords, and tenants in the private rented sector won’t get any right to buy their homes no matter how long they’ve lived there. Perhaps if Housing Associations were allowed to donate to the Tories, they’d have been exempted from this policy too?)

Even the most barking policy to sell assets off at below market price has a cost, and in order to fund this, they’ve decided to show how much they’ve decided localism was a bad idea by committing to a true policy of anti-localism…..

Meanwhile in the Daily Telegraph, Julia Hartley-Brewer describes the idea as “dumb, economically illiterate and – even worse – morally wrong.”

…by helping those 1.3 million lucky souls in housing association homes, Mr Cameron won’t do anything to help the many more unlucky ones who aren’t and, indeed, will actually make life that little bit harder for everyone else who wants to share in his property-owning dream.

Selling off social housing at a discount is great for those individual families who benefit, but are these really the families that are most in need of the state’s help?

Why should people who have already enjoyed the benefits of secure tenancies in affordable social housing now be granted extra help worth up to £102,000 (and, in some cases, hundreds of thousands of pounds more when they later sell their property) while millions of others get absolutely nothing?
———
First of all, many of those 1.3 million tenants – the poorest – won’t be in any position to get a mortgage to buy their home, regardless of the generous discounts, while those who are able to take advantage of the scheme are unlikely to be those in the direst need.

Indeed, there are many people living in housing association homes who are not in any need at all and are more than capable of renting in the private sector or buying their own home but are understandably reluctant to relinquish a home with a subsidised rent.
———
This, then, is a policy which (almost by definition) will help people who are in a better position to help themselves than many others.

It’s all very well rewarding hard work but what about all the many millions of other families who also work hard on low incomes but who are stuck paying sky-high private sector rents? What about their dreams of home ownership?

April 14th, 2015

1580?

Readers of onlineFOCUS will know we sometimes write about local history. Well, we’ve just stumbled across the blog of the Essex Archive Office, and they have some interesting stuff there. Their latest piece is on a new book about Essex in WW2.

Seraching for articles about our part of Essex doesn’t lead to much – there are few entries for Rayleigh or Rochford; nothing for Hullbridge, Rawreth, Canewdon or Hockley. But one of the items for Rayleigh is rather surprising, it indicates that the earliest mention of black person in Essex is in Rayleigh – over four hundred years ago:

“The earliest mention we have found of a Black individual in our collections is the burial record of Thomas Parker, ‘a certayne darke mane’ in Rayleigh in 1579/80 (D/P 332/1/3). Thomas was buried on 12 February in the year that we would call 1580; at the time, however, New Year was marked on 25 March rather than 1 January, so contemporaries would have thought of it as still being 1579. As with so many records this little snippet raises more questions than answers, as we know nothing else of Thomas Parker.”

You might think that being a “certayne darke man” might be a reference to hair colour – but would someone’s hair colour really be mentioned in burial records? According to Wikipedia, the earliest Africans to arrive in England in the 16th Century were as follows:

“Early in the 16th century, Africans probably arrived in London with Catherine of Aragon when she travelled to England to marry Henry VIII. Among the six trumpeters depicted in the royal retinue of Henry VIII in the Westminster Tournament Roll, an illuminated manuscript dating from 1511, is a black musician. He wears the royal livery and is mounted on horseback. He is generally identified with the “John Blanke, the blacke trumpeter” who appears in the payment accounts of both Henry VIII and his father, Henry VII.[19] There was also a group of Africans at the court of James IV of Scotland, including a drummer referred to as the “More Taubronar”. Both he and John Blanke were paid wages for their services.[20]

When trade lines began to open between London and West Africa, Africans slowly began to become part of the London population. For example, merchant John Lok brought five Africans to London in 1555. The voyage account in Hakluyt reports that they:

“were tall and strong men, and could wel agree with our meates and drinkes. The colde and moyst aire doth somewhat offend them.”

Whoever Thomas Parker was , he probably led an eventful life….

April 13th, 2015

Fancy A Wallasea Wander? (Booking Essential!)

“Wallasea Island Wild Coast project is a landmark conservation and engineering scheme for the 21st century, on a scale never before attempted in the UK and the largest of its type in Europe.The aim of this project is to combat the threats from climate change and coastal flooding by recreating the ancient wetland landscape of mudflats and saltmarsh, lagoons and pasture. It will also help to compensate for the loss of such tidal habitats elsewhere in England.

Once completed, this will provide a haven for a wonderful array of nationally and internationally important wildlife and an amazing place for the local community, and those from further afield, to come and enjoy.”

Find out more here. And there’s a special event next Saturday:

wallasea wander

April 12th, 2015

Not registered to vote? You must act now

polling station sign

From the District Council website:

Rochford District residents who have not yet registered to vote must do so by Monday, April 20, to be able to cast their vote in the May 7 Local and Parliamentary (General) Elections.

If you have recently moved house – whether you have moved within the District, or are new to the District – you need to register to vote at your new address. You are not automatically registered even if you pay council tax.

There is still time to register, but you must act now. To register to vote you can:

1. Go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote to register online – you will need your National Insurance number

2. Visit the Council Offices in South Street, Rochford or Rayleigh Civic Suite, to collect a form

3. Phone the Elections Office Helpline on 01702 318187

Registering to vote gives you a chance to elect your Member of Parliament and District and Parish Council representatives – don’t miss out on your chance to have your say about how your country and district are run.

For more information about the upcoming elections visit www.rochford.gov.uk/elections.

April 11th, 2015

Some Questions That UKIP Really Ought To Answer

question marks

Independent Councillor Toby Mountain aims his fire in an open to letter to UKIP here.
It’s too long to summarise… You might like to leave any comments on Toby’s website rather than ours..

April 10th, 2015

The Picnic District 3 – Rayleigh Mount

Everyone who lives in Rayleigh has been to Rayleigh Mount. Haven’t they?

It’s rare for a town to have such a place so close to the town centre. We should make the most of it.

The dedicated volunteers do a lot of work around the mount, including providing notices like these.

The dedicated volunteers do a lot of work around the mount, including providing notices like these.

 

If you want to, you can walk in a circle around the bottom of the mount, passing the pond.

If you want to, you can walk in a circle around the bottom of the mount, passing the pond.

You can walk up to the next level....

You can walk up to the next level….

... where there's grass and trees .....

… where there’s grass and trees …..

 

... and a view of the windmill...

… and a view of the windmill…

..... and then you can walk up to the top...

….. and then you can walk up to the top…

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

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

This photo was taken in spring 2014

This photo was taken in spring 2014

April 9th, 2015

The List of Candidates

You can find the list of parliamentary candidates for Rayleigh and Wickford, & Rochford and Southend East, here.

April 9th, 2015

“Babies Will Become Heathier”

sun

 

As the coalition government brings in new rules allowing shared parental leave, and the Lib Dems propose extensions on that, the Daily Mail outlines the health benefits:

How paid parental leave helps your baby: Children with a stay-at-home parent are less likely to develop asthma and hearing problems … and the health benefits last for SEVEN years

  • A baby is more likely to become a healthy child with paid parental leave
  • If a parent stays at home with paid leave for baby’s first months, the child is less likely to develop health issues, including asthma and hearing problems
  • A seven year study followed the health of more than a thousand babies
  • Paid leave has the greatest impact on health of babies in families with a lower socio-economic status
  • Parents are likely to stay at home and breastfeed their baby for longer
  • Government-funded leave’s more beneficial than workplace-funded leave

 

April 8th, 2015

The Main Lib Dem Policies

Mark Pack writes:

The full set of Liberal Democrat policies for the 2015 general election will appear in the party’s manifesto, which is due to be published shortly. However, the front page of the manifesto, setting out the top Lib Dem policy priorities, has already been released….

policiesClick on the image to enlarge it.

Choose the layout you want to see

April 2015
M T W T F S S
« Mar    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930  

Who We Are

We are Liberal Democrat councillors and campaigners in Rochford District.
We want to improve local decision-making and we see onlineFOCUS as a good way of keep residents informed and involved.
Please click here to email us .


Comments Policy

We welcome your comments, they are very important to us. However please note:
* We may not necessarily agree with the comments made by our readers
* We ask everyone to treat people with respect when making a comment. No personal abuse please.



Daily Reporting by Chris Black

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

Latest Comments

  • Oz the Positive: I have a question, why did you not turn up at Sweyne School for the hustings ? Was it too far to...
  • admin: HUGE thanks to Maureen, Steve and Melissa…
  • Oz the Positive: Er, what happened to Pitt the Remote…..
  • admin: By the way Linda you might like to have a word with the RSPB – they don’t seem to have your...
  • admin: It was a pity Linda that we didn’t attend but our absolute priority in the last few days had to be to...
  • Linda Kendall: I like the new post ‘the campaigning squirrel’ Last night at the Rayleigh Hustings at...
  • Oz the Positive: Jim@6, mate, you will give yourself a seizure at this rate….it& #8217;s only an electionR...
  • Jim Cripps: This one is difficult , it is a British culture ( to own your own home) , even if it is only an...
  • Jim Cripps: Oz @4 – Lecturer in Statistics says it all , the condescending Geek is almost certainly one of...
  • Jason Richer: If voting changed anything they would ban it. I think parties of all colours should take a long hard...
  • Toby Mountain: Jamie Burton – This article mentions immigration, women and europe! What more can I add??
  • Oz the Positive: Here is an interesting fact taken from the BBC site, puts all those election promises of will spend...
  • Jamie burton: Toby, what an irresponsible, inaccurate and mischievous comment to make. Perhaps you could explain why...
  • Chris Black: I see this as of historical interest rather than political interest. I wonder waht work he did here. As...
  • Angelina: By candidates, I mean all 6 of them.
  • Angelina: Toby, the candidates views on this little article might make interesting debate at Friday’s hustings.
  • Toby Mountain: I hope UKIP don’t read this article – They’ll be outraged!
  • admin: Thanks Green Belt. …
  • Jim Cripps: To be honest they all annoy me , it seems to be a daily menu of promises trying to out bid each other for...
  • Greenbelt: Chris. A location suggestion which is not commonly known. As it’s only open in summer months, now is...
  • A.Matthews: Did not go to hustings,but I do despair that UKIP are taken seriously as they only have one rather...
  • bruce smart: Judging by last nights performance at Holy Trinity one question would be does the UKIP candidate know...
  • Rob Brown: A maths teacher, very interesting. Would be keen to hear his views on AS levels (would he abolish or...
  • James Newport: Chris – I was not saying that should he not stand your votes would go to Linda, although opinion...
  • Chris Black: I can remember going there when I was primary school age. I think what makes it special is that you...
  • Jim Cripps: Oz ( the not so positive these days ) is I think right , the previous majority is so large that turning...
  • Jim Cripps: About 5 years ago the National Trust people asked for ideas for the Mount – I suggested that a...
  • Oz the Positive: Mike@21, I would not worry too much, there is absolutely no chance that Pitt the Remote will be our...
  • Oz the Positive: For luck you mean other tax payers funding their choice of lifestyle ?
  • admin: James.you are assuming that if Mike wins he won’t move to Rayleigh, that’s not the case! Mike...

Recent Posts


Lib Dem logo
Legal Statement for the purposes of complying with electoral law: This website is published and promoted by Stephen Tellis at 22 Beech Av, Rayleigh, SS6 8AE on behalf of Liberal Democrat Candidates all at c/o 22 Beech Av, Rayleigh The technology and hosting used for this website is provided by 1&1 Internet Limited, The Nova Building, Herschel Street Slough SL1 1XS

Technical Help : Graham Osborn

Posts To Remember

Categories

Categories

Asda or Makro Council Budget Council Drama Crime & Policing District Core Strategy District Wide Elections Essex & East Future Housing Green Belt Highways & Parking History and Culture Hockley Hullbridge Leisure and Sport Liberal Democrats Local Democracy Local Facilities National Politics No Category Planning Applications Rawreth Rayleigh Rochford Web Stuff YouTube and Video

500 HOUSES BETWEEN LONDON ROAD AND RAWRETH LANE

There's lots of information on the District Council website about the planning application "North of London Road ". To see it , just click here.

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.

Food Hygiene Ratings

To find the food hygiene rating for eating places and other businesses in our district , click here.

Essex Political Blogs

Geography, History , Science

Lib Dem Websites

Local Council Websites

Local History

Local Info

Non-Political Stuff

Other Lib Dem Blogs

Planning Issues

Join Your Local Team

If you read onlineFOCUS for a while you can see the kind of things we are trying to achieve locally. Maybe you would like to help us?


If you fancy helping us deliver leaflets, or actively campaigning for us at election time, or simply just helping behind the scenes with paperwork, please contact the onlineFOCUS team here.

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

When the Olympic Torch came to Rayleigh, Chris Black wrote about the town in the Guardian - read it here

Join the National Team

If you would like email updates on what the Lib Dems are doing nationally, click here.
If you would like to join the Lib Dems click here.

Meta