Out And About Today

Chris, Ron and Chris out on the “Devonshire Estate” today. We had a very good afternoon.


“Irresponsible dog owners could soon be fined”

From the District Council website:

Irresponsible dog owners could soon be fined for letting their pooches foul in public.

Each year, thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money is spent on cleaning up after irresponsible dog owners.

Whereas the majority of dog owners care about our environment and clean up after their pets , there is a small minority who do not. So this is a warning to this small minority of irresponsible dog owners, enough is enough.

Rochford District Council staff who are already out and about in the community in their daily roles are undertaking the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS). The CSAS grants accredited people certain enforcement powers, including issuing fixed penalty notices for dog fouling. The scheme commences in June.

Cllr Jo McPherson, Portfolio Holder Environment, said: “This scheme is not aimed at the majority of dog owners who are responsible and clean up after their pets, but those who have no regard for the environment or their community. Picking up after your dog is such a simple thing to do. Just left, it is a blight for football players, children playing, and wheelchair users, to name just a few. The message is clear : pick it up, or expect a fine”.


New Downhall and Rawreth Focus

We’ve got a new Focus leaflet at the printers right now, for Downhall and Rawreth (including the expanded area after the May elections)

We have our regular wonderful volunteers, to help deliver them, but if anyone else wants to help, especially in the Victoria Avenue / Cheapside West area,  we”d be very grateful!


Beware Of Pretty Planning Pictures…

Architects and developers often like to provide pretty pictures to go with their planning applications these days. But they don’t have much impact on how councillors think. And sometimes the pictures are less than convincing.

For example, look at the attractive picture above – it’s apparently for a high-tech biomedical lab in Cambridge. It’s probably a great idea, and will hopefully lead to some important medical advances. But it seems to be in a different solar system – one with two suns! Look at the cyclist. And the the big building on the left doesn’t seem to have a shadow at all?

Hat-tip: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions.

ten commandments of logic

The Ten Commandments Of Logic

It’s been a busy weekend .. no time to write much. But we found the above graphic on Facebook – something for all politicians (and would-be politicians) to bear in mind!

And It’s always nice to have a bit of Latin…

sweyne park sunset small3

Anyone Having A Go?

From the District Council website:

Winter in Rochford photography competition

With the Rochford District featuring ancient woodlands, marshland, coast and estuary landscapes, Wallasea Island, Foulness, fields and wildlife residents are invited to take photos of what Winter in Rochford means to them.

The Chairman of Rochford District Council, Heather Glynn, will judge the competition. There will be a prize and certificate for each winner from two categories. The first under 18s and the second Adult. The categories are:


Under 18s and adult

Landscape scene

Under 18s and adult


Under 18s and adult

Please email your entry to . By entering the competition the applicant agrees to their photo being used by Rochford District Council. Please state your name, age, address, phone number and location for your photo. Good Luck! Keep an eye on Facebook for Winter in Rochford photos.

The closing date is 29th February


Happy New Year!!

We would like to wish all our readers health and happiness for 2016….. and thank everyone who’s helped us in 2015.

The next year is going to be a busy one for us, there are lots of things to do for our area. There are also elections in May. But we hope to rise to the challenge!

Gorgeous Cat from the Rayleigh Cat Protection website.

Do You Want A Cat in 2016?

From the Rayleigh Cat Protection website:

Thinking of offering a cat a new home in 2016?   If so, please come along to our next Homing Show, which has been  arranged for Sunday 10 January at Smallgains Hall, Creek Road, Canvey, SS8 8QP.   The Show will be held between 11.30am and 1pm and there’ll be lots of cats there, all in good health,  microchipped, vaccinated and, dependent on their age, neutered.  They also come covered by four weeks’ Pet Plan insurance (excess applies).

But you don’t have to wait until the Show to offer a cat a home – we’d be delighted to hear from you today.    Please contact Yvonne on 01268 750831 for more information and to arrange the Home Visit that will be needed before the cat is homed with you.

Even if you are not ready to take on a new cat, why not come along and see how the Homing Show works?  As well as many lovely cats and older kittens looking for homes, we’ll also have tables selling a wide range of cat and dog goods plus Cats Protection gifts and novelty cat items, unique to the Branch, and that would make ideal presents.   Please come along and support us – admission is free but donations are very welcome.

civic suite

Don’t Go To the Development Committee Meeting Tomorrow Night… It’s Cancelled!

There were three items on the agenda, two have been withdrawn by the applicants’ agents, the third will be held over…

civic suite

District Council Is Spending Much Less Than Expected – Largely Due To Staff Vacancies.

We have a full meeting of the District Council on Tuesday evening. You can find the full agenda here. . It includes a big report on how the council’s finances are looking halfway through the financial year.

Headline figures are:

  • The council is spending less than predicted – overall spending is about £610,000 under budget.
  • The biggest reason for this is that the council is restructuring, which means there have been lots of vacancies – so the predicted cost of salaries this year is £523,000 below budget.
  • Income from planning and building control fees is predicted to be £40,000 above budget – although still lower than last year.
  • Income from Pay and Display from car parks is expected to be £11,000 above budget , and about £44,000 higher than last year
  • Income from recycling is expected to be about £333,000 below budget
  • There are some nifty graphs included, for example this one on car parking:car parking graph


    The Investment Board Meets

    The Investment Board is a new District Council committee that means for the first time on Monday evening. It’s membership and terms and reference are shown above. It doesn’t look like the first meeting is going to be very exciting. However this committee could be an interesting sort of animal, we will have to see what is intended.

    Further on in the agenda it says:

    It is envisaged that the members of the IB, will be required to ‘roll-up their sleeves’ and contribute to projects and schemes as these are progressed through the various stages from inception to delivery.

    When the meetings start to deal with important issues, we will let you know! (Unless things go private and confidential)


    A Great Message From Tim

    It’s not every party leader who sends messages of support to young candidates, so we are delighted that Tim Farron has sent this one:

    Just been told that Mr Irlam is standing to be  District Cllr in Rochford.

    It’s always great to hear of young members taking the plunge and putting themselves forward. It makes a huge difference to the party and gives me huge confidence and hope for the future.

    Good luck Daniel and I hope you all get right behind him and support him as much as possible over the next couple of weeks. Tim