From the District Council website :
Haltern Am See
As a mark of respect, in relation to the sad loss of 16 children and two teachers from the Joseph-Konig-Gymnasium in our twin town of Haltern am See, the Council has lowered flags to half-mast and will remain so, until further notice. The Chairman of the Council, Councillor Mrs June Lumley, has written to the Burgermeister of Haltern am See, Burgermeister Bodo Kimpel, expressing condolences on behalf of the District
Some readers may remember when the District Council took an active role in twinning with the town of Haltern, in Germany. One of the highlights was the visit of two German minesweepers to Baltic Wharf on Wallasea Island.
Today we have heard the distressing news that sixteen teenagers and two teachers from Haltern were amongst those killed in the Germanwings plane crash yesterday. The loss of so many young lives, full of promise, is shocking.
We are sure that many people’s thoughts and prayers will be for them and their families tonight.
One of our regulars contacted us today – she’d had some sad news. Someone that she knew purely online has died.
Unfortunately it is one of those very sad cases where the deceased lay undiscovered in his flat for, it’s thought, around 3 weeks. He was only discovered when another poster on the online board got really worried because he hadn’t been heard from him and rang the local Police Even his mothers nursing home hadn’t bothered alerting authorities when he hadn’t visited her even though he used to go every day without fail. Neighbours hadn’t noticed he wasn’t around, no-one.
The deceased lived in central London, maybe out here people know their neighbours a little better. So if your don’t see or hear anything from your neighbour for an unusually long time, how about checking to see that they are OK?
From Section G of our code of conduct on the Council website:
Don’t decide or discuss how to vote on any application at any sort of political
group meeting, or lobby any other Member to do so. Political Group Meetings should never
dictate how Members should vote on a planning issue.
We are getting a Focus for Downhall and Rawreth Ward printed tomorrow…
It was reasonably lively but without any bad temper. Here’s a few points:
Council Chairman June Lumley was admirably frugal tonight. Most Council Chairman request a buffet with wine for councillors on the night of the December meeting. June didn’t do this, but did arrange refreshments to the public who attended the Civic Carol Service on Sunday, which raised about £245 for charity.
Green Party Leader Michael Hoy made the best point of the evening. The decision to offer free parking on 3 Saturday afternoons before Christmas was taken as “an urgent item” which couldn’t be challenged. Michael asked why the decision was taken so late in the year that it had to be an urgent item. “Didn’t the Council know Christmas was coming?” The answer given was that the council didn’t know it could afford this until quite late in the year. John Mason and Chris Black followed this up later with some forensic questioning , which revealed that the council knew in June it had about £60,000 available – the cost of 3 free Saturday afternoons was about £9,000. Chris Black asked for an earlier decision next year, which might allow an extra free afternoon, either earlier in December or just after Xmas.
UKIP leader John Hayter had a go at the adoption of the “Development Management Plan”: This is basically a new version of the council’s “Bible” of planning policies. Not the zoning of land for development, but all the other policies. Things like the design of new developments, housing density, infilling of gardens, phone masts, what is allowed in the Green Belt, green tourism, playing pitches and other leisure and recreational uses…. John criticised the document because of all the new development proposed in the district, but John Mason, Chris Black, and Michael Hoy pointed out that he was criticising the wrong document for that.
The Tories best part of the night was a report showing that the council’s financial situation was improving.
Ron Oatham made it clear his opinion of central government when John Mason asked whether a certain financial amount “was being lost back to central government, or worse?” Ron immediately called out “Could anything BE worse?”
Chris Black asked how many planning enforcement cases were currently ongoing – the answer was 362, just four less than last year. He asked what could be done to reduce this figure quicker, and was told they would soon have three members of staff again, instead of the current two.
Rochford District Matters (the council newspaper) is being delivered this week.
The council’s senior communications officer would like to know of any residents who don’t receive a copy. So if you don’t receive one by the end of tomorrow (Friday 28th) , please feel free to leave a comment below, with your postcode
Credit where it’s due – Its good to see that the District Council de-silting the ditches in Sweyne Park, and carrying out other work to reduce the risk of flooding.
See more on the council website here.
Hopefully this will prevent incidents like the one pictured above.
Plenty more work around the district still to do though.
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If you want information on a particular planning application, you can find it on the District Council website here.
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