Thank you to everyone who’s given us a smile or words of support during this campaign.
Such as the gentleman who was pulling out of his driveway, but saw one of us coming, reversed his car , parked it, and got out to shake hands, saying that he voted for another party nationally but liked what we were saying locally and would vote for us this time.
Such as the lady who had already cast her vote for all the Lib Dem candidates in her area and agreed to help deliver leaflets for us in the future.
Such as the new resident in Rayleigh who said she was voting for us – after previously living in a Conservative area she was glad to be somewhere where her vote could make a difference.
And our thoughts go out to the residents we’ve talked to , young and old, who are having especially difficult times at the moment for personal reasons.
There’s a wide range of candidates For Roche North and Rural – 3 Conservative, £ Labour, 1 Lib Dem (Daniel Irlam) and 1 UKIP. Labour’s Jerry Gibson is stepping down, and we send him our very best wishes. Meanwhile Labour stalwart Myra Weir BEM is seeking to returning to the council chamber.
Following previous results in Rochford, the Conservatives look a bit vulnerable here. The result may depend on how much helpers each party has on the day.
3 Conservatives v 3 Labour v 2 UKIP. Could be another close one, with possibly a split result.
The Campaign To Protect Rural England issued a document this month entitled “Green Belt Under Siege: 2016 “. you can download it from here. They recommend that the government should:
abandon proposals to relax Green Belt policy and make it clearer that unnecessa
ry or major losses of Green Belt should be avoided
reaffirm that high levels of housing demand or housing targets do not in themselves amount to the “exceptional circumstances” required to justify changing Green Belt boundaries
reduce pressure on the Green Belt by empowering councils (local planning authorities) to prioritise the use of brownfield sites
They have also issued a graphic showing where Green Belt is under threat- although please note that the area shown in green is ALL of the Green Belt, not just the area under threat:
Another graphic on green belt is an interactive one on the Telegraph website here – you can type in your postcode and see what green belt is near you – but be aware that this was created in November 2012, the green buffer between Rayleigh and Wickford is narrowing:
Local councillors and council officers basing their decision making on the assumption that we have a Conservative government until 2020 could be wrong::
In the news this week was the advice from the Electoral Commission to the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that they should apply for an extension to the legal deadline for investigation the 2015 general election expense returns from candidates.
The question is whether campaign activity which was included in the national Tory expense return should really have been included in constituency returns, and so would have taken them over the legal limits.
This all follows the digging by Michael Crick and Channel 4 into the way in which activities which were charged against the national election return by the Conservatives look to have included local campaigning for named candidates, and even the distribution of leaflets with the constituency candidate and agent imprint on them……..
……If all this ends up in convictions, it could result in MPs being disqualified and a round of by-elections being held to elect new MPs for those constituencies. It would only take a small number of voters in a small number of by-elections to change their views from 2015 and see the Conservatives lose their majority in Parliament.
Though this wouldn’t affect the Rayleigh and Wickford constituency.
…This is an ALL OUT Election and the Conservatives could lose control of Rochford District Council.
But this is not news for our local papers who have failed to tell readers that there even IS an Election….
And they certainly have a point. But the local papers aren’t the only ones keeping the elections quiet. The Lib Dems have two websites mentioning the local council elections (including this one), Rochford Residents have one website, the Conservatives don’t seem to have any. For example look at today’s front page of the local Conservative Party website. It’s about the same as the previous 400 days. Maybe they have a technical problem.
Rochford District Council’s own website doesn’t give much publicity to the elections either. This is last night’s front page – the highlighted story was on self-build housing.
You can get to election information here – either by clicking on the pale green link “Elections on May 5th – Notice of Poll”, or by clicking on “Council and Democracy” and following a longer route. But it could be more obvious.
This year the election count is taking place on the Friday morning, which is both good and bad from the candidates point of view. It’s good because it’s such a complicated count this time that it would literally last all night and into breakfast time, so we’d be absolutely exhausted and be too tired to drive home safely. It[s bad because some candidates will be so excited or anxious that they won’t be able to sleep much anyway.
In any case the candidates will go to the count on Friday morning with a range of emotions. But people don’t display those emotions very much , not until the result is declared. It’s considered bad form to gloat, or to whimper. Two candidates who have been fierce opponents during the campaign will often stand next together looking at the ballot papers being counted in the same detached way that a couple of surgeons might discuss a mildly interesting case of appendicitis in front of them. “Looks like you are just ahead ” one will say . “Oh, it’s too soon to tell” will come the reply.
Though usually it does becomes clear who’s ahead.The person with the biggest pile of ballot papers allows him or herself a relieved smile, and thinks about who to thank in the little victory speech.
But it doesn’t always become clear at all. We’ve seen people in Rochford win council seats by one , two or three votes. When the victory margin is small the loser quite rightly ask for a recount. A recount doesn’t normally change things by very much But if you are, say,four votes behind after the original count, you might be only two behind after the recount. Then you ask for a second recount…..
And what happens if two candidates are tied? It happened with a District Council election in Hullbridge back in the 80s, when two candidates got the same number of votes. The answer is, you toss a coin…
DRIVERS have been warned to expect delays, as work will start tomorrow to improve a busy A127 junction.
Contractors will be getting to work at the road’s Nevendon junction, near Wickford.
Improvements to its roundabout will include increasing the number of lanes from two to three, upgrading traffic signals and adding a new left turn lane for vehicles travelling east from the A127 onto the A132 Nevendon Road towards Wickford.
Work is expected to be completed by winter this year…
Essex County Council, who are behind the project, is encouraging commuters to allow extra time to complete their journeys.
Now, there are more details on the County Council website here and very interestingly they list all the ‘major schemes’ in Essex:
13 in Colchester
5 in Basildon
3 in Chelmsford
3 in Harlow
1 each in Braintree, Castle Point, Maldon, and Uttlesford
None in Brentwood, Rochford and Tendring
Congrats to the Leader of Colchester Borough Council – Lib Dem Paul Smith. Clearly Paul and his Lib Dem colleagues know how to lobby for improvements!