“Oh, Only Since I Was Two”

The Polls close at 10 pm this evening. A huge thanks to everyone who has voted for us!

The count starts at Clements Hall tomorrow morning, we will obviously write about it tomorrow, though the quickest news online is probably from the Evening Echo Twitter Feed.


It’s traditional for us to have a video on election days. So here’s something from the “West Wing” about wanting to serve. Blonde Republican Ainsley has been invited to the White House after she criticised the Democrats’ education policy  on TV, and she gets an unexpected offer:

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Fancy Building Or Designing Your Own Home?

The District Council website has a page on building your own home- or having a custom design:

“What is Self Build and Custom Build?

Self-build housing normally means that you manage the design and construction of your own home, and may undertake some of the building work as well. Custom build usually means that you work with a specialist developer who will organise the design and construction to help you deliver your new home to your specifications.
What is the register?

The Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 requires the Council to keep and have regard to a register of those who are interested in self build or custom build housing projects in their area. The purpose of this register is inform the Council of how much demand there is for self build and custom build plots in the District.
How do I add my details to the register?

To register your interest and add your details to the Council’s register, please complete the online registration form by clicking on the link below.

How will my information be used?

The information from the Self Build and Custom Build Register will be used to gain a greater understanding of the demand for self build and custom build projects in the District….”

For inspiration , have a look at this article and watch the video from the Denver Post  featuring a lovely home built from something a bit different….

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Meet The Mayor Who Got Elected At 19

We were proud last year to have 18-year-old Daniel Irlam as an election candidate for us in Rochford. But in America they go one better:

Brandon Paulin gazed at the cameras, notebooks and laptops resting on knees among rows of seats at the National Press Club in Washington. “I’ve never been at a press conference before,” the mayor said. “It’s a little bit different.”

Paulin is not your typical career politician, used to fending off questions from reporters ravenous for a gaffe. When he took office last year, he was 19, the youngest mayor in Maryland’s history…..“I’m still doing it,” he added. “I think hopefully I’ve changed a lot of those minds within my own community. Yes, outside my community, they’re going to say, ‘That’s that young mayor guy,’ but they don’t know what I’m doing inside the community.”

Full report in the Guardian here.

Well Done Liberal England


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Congrats to Jonathan Calder – his “Liberal England”  has won the  Lib Dem Blog of  the Year  award.

This weekend he has written about the late Lynsey de Paul,  the Queen Mother in Market Harborough in 1927, and a walrus in St Pancras.

Another worthy blog belongs to Mark Pack. He shows a remarkable bit of  wartime “town planning” here.


Could This Really Work? It’s Good If It Does…..

Solar roadways that produce energy, can stay frost-free and with inbuilt graphics and lighting!

More about it here.

“When Planners Get Bored”

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Nothing to do with our local area, but how would you like to live in an area where all the road names begin with “Z” ?
Or where all the side names are three letters long, so you have barely pronouncable addresses like “Atf Road” which is of course next to “Atg Road”?
Or where twelve “roads” converge at one point?

Find out the background to these at the geography blog “TwelveMileCircle”

Learning From Another Chris

Here’s a couple of videos showing Republican Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie.

In the first one he says “My job is to work for the people who elected me , and not to work for my political party first.” That’s a viewpoint we certainly have at onlineFOCUS:

In the second one he tells an eight year old that the best thing about being Governor is that the serious ‘best thing’ about being governor is that “Every day you have the chance to change peoples lives for the better” As councillors we also have a chance, though it’s not so easy….. Then he explains what the fun ‘best thing’ is ….. and gets a lot of laughter.

The 36 Street Stumble

In New York City , one step at a subway station was slightly out of kilter with the rest. It was causing people to stumble.

It was only half-an-inch too high, but that half-inch was enough to make people trip up.

To get it fixed, a filmmaker created this video, which has now had over a million views – and the problem is now being dealt with.

Is this worth trying here for a pothole or two?

Hat-Tip : Andrew Sullivan.

Bumps On the Roof Of Our Cars?

Nissan with bumps on roof.

If you drive on roads like the A13 you’ll find quite a few drivers are sticking to 50 mph and cruise control to save fuel.

Here’s another idea (no guarantees that it works!)

We found a new article on the Pacific Standard website that’s quiet intriguing.

It’s about a Californian deep-sea diver and inventor who’s looked at the tiny bumps on whales. He reckons that if you put the same type of bumps on car roofs you improve the aerodynamics and save on fuel:

The pods—spaced four inches apart and located 10 inches from the lip of the roof—reduced aerodynamic drag by 5 percent when a two-door VW Golf was driven at 65 miles per hour….

The pods come in loud flashy colors. Some can be permanently glued to the roof. A more expensive model attaches via magnets. Prices currently range from $60 to $100, but those, Evans said, will come down to reflect how much a driver might save in a couple of months.
Aside from the monetary relief, Evans said the pods offer drivers the opportunity do something about climate change.
“People don’t want to be told what to do; they want to do it themselves.”

The sellers of these bumps have a website here.

Does anybody fancy being a pioneer? Should County Highways invest in a set and see if they work?

The Long-Term Future Of Motoring?

Driving can be fun and pleasurable.

But it’s not much fun driving along congested roads (such as the A13 at the moment) , or being involved in an accident.

We will have more and more cars on our roads in the future – is the answer to have driverless cars? They would very probably reduce congestion and improve safety.Google are working on the idea….

You don’t believe it? Watch these: