onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003

 

Archive for Canewdon & Around

A Flock Of Godwits

a flock of godwits

The webpages for the Wallasea Island Wild Coast project have fairly quiet this year , but there’s some new stuff on there now:

Many visitors to the reserve have come to catch some great views of the hen harriers, marsh harriers and short-eared owls that are hunting across the reserve daily. Some have taken some great images of these birds hunting across the rough grassland and wild bird cover. I wish I was as good a photographer!

We have also seen our annual increase in wader and waterfowl numbers on the lagoons and mud flats. A large flock of over 300 black-tailed godwits along with a few hundred lapwing can be seen on the lagoons, along with smaller numbers of golden plover and ringed plover.

Crossrail are continuing their work as best they can now the ground conditions have become so wet. They have imported over 90% of the material they are bringing in and once you have crossed the footbridge, you can now see the work up close to the sea wall. Channels have been created to spread the incoming sea water across the area, and you can see lagoons which will stay wet even on a low tide and islands which the birds will be able to use for roosting and nesting.

Believe it or not at this time of year it is well worth a visit!

Solar Farms and Other Enviromental Applications

As the Echo has reported here, there’s an application in for a big solar “farm” in Canewdon

A MONSTER solar farm generating enough energy to power 4,125 homes could be built in Canewdon.

Under plans submitted to Rochford Council, farmers Paul and Mark Woodford would lease the 50-acre stretch of farmland between Fambridge Road and Canewdon Road to solar panel company Solar Assets.

The deal would be for 25 years, and the solar farm could be generating renewable energy for the area as early as April next year.

Canewdon Parish Council has already voted overwhelmingly to support the plans for approval ahead of them going before Rochford councillors in January.

The three-metre-tall panels would be positioned at an angle facing the River Crouch and would have a wildflower meadow around it, with sheep keeping the grass short….

You can find the application here on the council website here.

There is also an application for a ‘solar farm’ at Southend Airport – you can find that one here.

Meanwhile there are also two applications in connection with the creation of the wildlife reserve on Wallasea Island:

“Continuation of the importation of waste to develop a coastal nature reserve without compliance with condition 2 (compliance with submitted details) attached to permission ref ESS/09/14/ROC to allow modifications to the landform design within Cells 1 and 5, including a net reduction of suitable natural waste material in Cell 1 by approximately 450,000m3.”

and

“Continuation of the importation of waste to develop a coastal nature reserve without compliance with conditions 2 (compliance with submitted details); 39 (cessation of operations and restoration by 31 December 2019); and 40 (removal of construction in frastructure) attached to planning permission ref ESS/54/08/ROC to allow importation of suitable natural material and to require cessation of site operations and restoration by 31 Decmeber 2025, together with the inclusion of previously agreed non-material amendments to permission rf ES/54/08/ROC. Condition No 8. Noise monitoring.”

Looks like the Wallasea project is going to take 6 more years than expected…

BREAKING NEWS: Phil & Tracy Capon Quit Tory Group

blue rosette

We understand that District councillors Phil and Tracy Capon have quit the Tory group today and gone independent.

That means we now have 25 Conservatives and a combined opposition of 14….

The Capons’ Greatest Moments

 

Phil and Tracy Capon are husband and wife, and both are currently  Conservative Councillors on Rochford District Council. In fact Phil is the Chair of the Development Committee. Word reached us at the weekend that they had both been deselected by the Conservative Association – so they cannot stand as Conservatives when they both come up for election next May.

This is pretty dramatic by Rochford standards – councillors are very  seldom deselected against their wishes, except on the grounds of old age, which doesn’t apply here. Might it possibly be that they can’t manage to slavishly follow the party line? Here’s a  few things we have written -on onlineFOCUS over the years:

 

September 12th, 2014 |

An Admirable Attitude

Rochford Life has a short interview with Hawkwell Tory District Councillor Phil Capon. Phil is Chair of the Development Committee – the one that deals with planning applications. He makes some good points, for example:


I’ve always believed that if you are going to be on the Council you should be open to all views and be open to change. It’s what I don’t like about party politics where it tends to be go with the prevailing view rather than think through alternative possibilities that may be good from other parties.

July 27th, 2014 |

The Ones Who Signed – And The Ones Who Didn’t

These are the 20 Conservative Councillors who signed the motion to abolish ordinary councillors’ rights to call in a decision to full council:

Cllrs T G Cutmore; Mrs C E Roe;
K H Hudson; D Merrick; I H Ward; M R Carter; M J Steptoe; Mrs L A Butcher;
Mrs M H Spencer; Mrs G A Lucas-Gill; Mrs J E McPherson; M Maddocks;
C G Seagers; K J Gordon; S P Smith; Mrs A V Hale; Mrs C A Weston;
R R Dray; Mrs J A Mockford and B T Hazlewood:-

and these 7 are the ones who haven’t signed:

Phil Capon
Tracy Capon
Heather Glynn
John Griffin
Jack Lawmon
Dave Sperring
Barbara Wilkins

June 20th, 2009 |

A Very Important Principle

At the last meeting of the Standards Committee, there was an item on updating the Councillors Code of Conduct On Planning Matters.

You can find the full officers report here. Chris Black noticed that something quite startling was being suggested by officers:

Members should copy and pass on any lobbying material, such as correspondence or leaflets they receive, to the Head of Planning and Transportation.


This would have meant that if anyone wrote to a councillor about any planning issue, the councillor would have been required to pass a copy on to the Head of Planning – Shaun Scrutton – or otherwise face disciplinary action!

Chris strongly opposed this. One reason is that it would destroy any privacy between councillors and members of the public. (What would be next? Tapping councillors’ phones? ) The other is that it wasn’t practical. On a really contentious planning application, 20 people might write to each councillor. That means that Mr Scrutton would have to receive nearly 800 copies of letters!

Thankfully, other members of the committee supported Chris on this – in particular, Cllr Phil Capon. And the sentence was changed to something reasonable:


‘Members should consider whether it is appropriate to copy and pass on any lobbying material, such as correspondence or leaflets they receive, to the Head of Planning and Transportation’.

 

October 10th, 2006 |

“Vote for Parent and Child places? – We’ll throw you out of the Tory Group”

At tonight’s District Council Committee meeting we had the debate on whether to allow some Parent and Child bays in our Council Car Parks.

As we wrote a few days ago, the officers were recommending… doing nothing. Apparently there are some spaces that could be widened into Parent and Child spaces, but it would cost an estimated £500 per space (!) to adjust them, and then it might be a problem that they might be left empty when they could be occupied by non-parents.

However the item was up for debate by councillors. The committee has 9 Tories (2 of them didn’t turn up), 1 independent (who didn’t turn up) and 1 Lib Dem (Chris Black.) When the chairman of the committee, Tory Phil Capon , began speaking, it looked like we would get some spaces agreed:

“Since becoming a father my eyes have been opened to the many issues and problems that the parents and carers of children face. I can appreciate what my residents have been telling me for some time.

To return to your car and find you are unable to get your child back in his or her car seat due to the thoughtlessness of others is potentially dangerous and annoying.

I don’t advocate the loss of parking bays but merely that end bays should be designated ‘parent and child”

We continually hear that we must prevent the High Streets from dying and that ‘out of town’ shopping centres are luring people away. This is true – they appreciate the problems and offer suitable parking bays.

We can not only show our commttment to child safety but also that we support local businesses.”

Chris Black felt quite good at this point as he was on balance in favour of the idea and it looked like it was going to happen. BUT THEN – a sombre Cllr Capon continued to speak:

 

Sadly members, my dream is not to be. Due to the blinkered views of other members, who I can only assume care nothing for the wellbeing of children and who don’t want local shopping centres to survive, a wonderful chance is being lost.

The “whip” is on, I cannot vote against it otherwise I lose my right to represent ny residents. Morally , I cannot vote for the recommendation so I will abstain”

The situation became clear. Cllrs Phil and Tracy Capon had raised the item in the private Tory group meeting. They’d lost out in a vote to the Tory ‘dinosaurs’ . Then the Tory leadership had enforced a whip, so that if Phil Capon voted for Parent and Child parking bays, he’d be thrown out of the Tory group.

After Phil Capon spoke, there was an embarassed silence. Chris jumped in and proposed allowing some Parent and Child parking spaces but didn’t get a seconder. So Tory leader Terry Cutmore proposed having no Parent and Child Bays and Cllr Tony Humphries seconded that.

Chris then scornfully said that in his 20+ years on the council he’d never seen any political party impose a whip on such a small item. He was very disappointed with the Tory group’s behaviour.

The voting was:

No Parent and Child Bays : 5 Cllrs Terry Cutmore, Tony Humphries, John Pullen, Mavis Webster and David Merrick (all Tories)

Abtaining : 2 Cllrs Phil Capon and Colin Hungate (both Tories)

For Parent and Child Bays: 1 Cllr Chris Black (Lib Dem)

A big mistake by the Tory leadership tonight. If they’d let Phil Capon vote with his conscience, the issue would have been over in 5 minutes. But now it won’t be forgotten so quickly, and it shows them in a bad light.

When The Rockets Fell….

 

v2flight

The Rochford Community History Archive has a new article listing all the known cases of V2 Rockets hitting our district in World War 2.

Canewdon, Foulness and Rawreth received five hits each, which may seem surprising, but these are three of the largest parishes in area and the rockets were more or less falling at random

Wildlife Walks At Wallasea !

From the RSPB website – note you have to book in advance !  :

Wallasea Wander

Saturday 30 August and Saturday 27 September

13:46 to 15:45 August, 9:30 to 11:30 September

Price: £3 donation

Booking essential

 

Find out more about the development of this exciting new nature reserve.
Booking essential, limited spaces.
Please contact 01268 498620 or southessex@rspb.org.uk to book a space.
Please note that booking closes the Thursday before the walk date.

Directions

Meet at: RSPB car park, Wallasea Island

 

Lost Walks Of Rochford

Paglesham -lookingouttoWallaseaIsland

 

From the District Council website

 

Help us rediscover lost walks and hidden heritage in rural and coastal Rochford District.

Join us on foot or online and help reveal the stories of Rochford’s changing landscape through a series of public walks.

Walk 1: Barling – Wakering
Wednesday 9 July 2014
10am to 2pm
Meet at All Saints Church, Church Road, Barling
Ends at St Nicholas Church, 2 New Road, Great Wakering

Walk 2: Hullbridge – Hockley – Hullbridge
Wednesday 9 July 2014
4pm to 8pm
Walk starts and ends at the Anchor Riverside Pub, Ferry Road, Hullbridge
Free Public Car Park next to the Anchor Inn

Walk 3: Ashingdon – South Fambridge – Canewdon
Thursday 10 July 2014
10am to 2pm
Meet by Ashingdon Primary Academy, Fambridge Road, Ashingdon
Ends at St Nicholas Church, High Street, Canewdon

Walk 4: Canewdon – Wallasea Island – Paglesham East End
Thursday 10 July 2014
4pm to 8pm
Starts at St Nicholas Church, High Street, Canewdon
Ends at The Plough and Sail Public House, East End, Paglesham

Please further information please phone 01702 318171or email arts@rochford.gov.uk

Share your stories and photos of rural and coastal Rochford on the Facebook page in related links

Follow the walks on Twitter @RochfordWalks

Lost Walks of Rochford is led by artists Ali Pretty and Richard White, working with Rochford District Council Arts Development. Ali and Richard regularly collaborate on creative walking projects described as ‘feet on the ground and digitally connected’. Their walks through Rochford District will be documented and archived using social media, mapping and tracking technology.

 

Wallasea Wander

Paglesham -lookingouttoWallaseaIsland

 

From the RSPB website, a morning you might enjoy:

Wallasea Wander

Saturday 12 April

9:45am to 12pm

Price: Free, donations welcome.

Booking essential

Join our monthly walks to spot some of the amazing wildlife that makes Wallasea Island its home. Find out more about the development of this exciting new nature reserve.

Directions

Meet at: RSPB car park, Wallasea Island

 

Don’t forget that Wallasea Island ( in our district) is going  to become a pretty wonderful place:

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.

Although the reserve is planned to be in development until around 2019, you’re welcome to come along and view the progress as each phase comes to life and the marshland naturally regenerates. The current sea wall access along the North (Defra) sea wall is a wonderful place to come to relax and enjoy, whether for walking, cycling, birdwatching, painting, photography or simply taking in the sea air.

Over the coming years, the scheme will create a varied wetland landscape with more than nine miles (15 km) of new and improved access routes, and eventually a range of visitor facilities.

Opening times

The sea wall footpath is open at all times.

Entrance charges

None – it’s free.

Information for dog owners

There are plans for a dog walking area on part of the island – please contact us for details.

 

Enjoy The Fresh Air On Wallasea Island !

Yellow Wagtail (?) on Wallasea Island – from Paul G, RSPB website

If you want to get some fresh air, try going to the Wallasea Island Wild Coast Project and:

View the marshes in bloom – sea lavender, sea aster and sea purslane create a carpet of colour
See the rusty seals basking on the mudflats, gleaming red-golden in the sunshine
Soak up the sun on the sea wall and hope to see a migrant butterfly – will it be a clouded yellow or painted lady?

Seafarers Of The Past…

If you are interested in history, or in ships, you might like to read a new 22-page booklet called “London Gateway – A Maritime History”. You can download it here

Did you know that the first signs of river travel in the Thames area is actually a bronze age paddle found at Canewdon? It’s about 3,500 years old. Then there’s the wreck of a Roman ship found at Blackfriars with a cargo of stone, the Anglo-Saxon ship carrying hops, the navy ship “London” that suffered an explosion in 1665 killing 300 people, and many more wrecks from the last two centuries…. There were many ships and planes lost during World War Two….

About Debbie Taylor

Here’s some more information about our candidate Debbie Taylor, who is standing in Rochford North:

  • Debbie Taylor has lived at 24 Larkfield Close for more than 30 years, so knows the surrounding area very well.
  • She is newly retired, so is a suitable age amnd has plenty of time to serve as a County Coucnillor.
  • Debbie worked until recently as a chaplain at Bullwood Hall Prison and as an administrator for the University of East London.
  • Debbie has been involved in the Lib Dems for quite a while, and was previously our constituency chair.
  • Some FixMyStreet Updates

    Here are some new reports that people have made on FixMyStreet. Let’s hope the County Council respond quickly….

    This evening , a dangerous pothole in Hulbridge Road Rayleigh:

    Pot hole

    Reported in the Potholes category anonymously at 18:17 today
    Sent to Essex County Council 3 minutes later

    Fairly substantial hole in the road just after you turn left from the roundabout. Caused the car in front to swerve onto oncoming side of the road so as to avoid.

     

    and more from Thursday, for Rochford, Canewdon and Rawreth:

     

     

    Pot hole around drain cover

    Reported in the Potholes category anonymously at 19:30, Thursday
    Sent to Essex County Council 5 minutes later

    As with most pot holes on this road, it is quite deep and hard to avoid on a busy narrow road

     

    Potholes

    Reported in the Potholes category by Steve Currell at 18:17, Thursday
    Sent to Essex County Council 3 minutes later

    Four potholes round four drain covers between shops past oxford rd and holt farm school over a 100m length of road on the oxford road side of the Southend bound track

     

     

    Pothole

    Reported in the Potholes category by Steve Currell at 17:48, Thursday
    Sent to Essex County Council 1 minute later

    Pothole sycamore way on anchor lane side of cedar way

    Roads and Pavements, pothole

    Reported by StreetReport iPhone in the Potholes category by Steve Currell at 14:18, Thursday
    Sent to Essex County Council 1 minute later

    First noticed on Thu, 21 Feb 2013.

    I see this as high priority.

    Massive pothole at junction of slip into rawreth lane

     

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    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.

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

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