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Archive for Essex & East

County Council Rejects Lib Dem Proposal To Roll Out LED Lighting

lighting

Essex County Council today rejected a bid to allocate funding for low-energy streetlights. At a meeting of the full council, the Liberal Democrat Group moved a motion calling on the council to allocate funds for LED roll-out in next year’s budget.

Moving the motion, Cllr Stephen Robinson (Chelmsford North) pointed out that the Liberal Democrats in the coalition Government have created the Green Investment Bank (GIB) to help the UK economy become greener and stronger.

Cllr Robinson said, “The GIB has £3.8 billion to support the roll-out of projects like low-energy LED streetlights. I am disappointed that the Conservative majority on the council would not agree to a plan for a roll-out of LED lights.

“Moving to LED lights would save Essex taxpayers MORE money than switching off most streetlights during the night.

“I am especially puzzled that they are willing to spend £1 million on a pilot of LED lights but will not set aside any money to take the pilot forwards if it is successful.”

Seconding the motion, Cllr David Kendall (Brentwood South) pointed to figures from the Police in Brentwood, showing that crime has risen during the “lights off” period. Cllr Kendall also pointed out that the AA are now saying that lights should be left on in roads where the speed limit is 40mph or higher, because of the dangers to pedestrians.

Councillors were also concerned that the £1 million for the pilot is being taken away from the budgets of the Local Highways Panel.

Read About Complaints Against Essex Police

Police Commissioner Nick Alston’s office has just published the latest quarterly report detailing Essex Police complaints and conduct matters.

You can download it here.

Here’s an extract (click on it to enlarge):

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Be Warned – Dartford Crossing Closed Overnight This Weekend, One Direction At A Time

From the Echo today:

THE DARTFORD Crossing will be closed overnight this weekend.

On Saturday night the northbound tunnels will be closed and on Sunday night the QEII bridge will be fully closed, with signed diversions in place via the Blackwall Tunnel.

Dart Charge project director Nigel Gray said: “This weekend will see the start of massive changes at the Dartford Crossing and by Monday morning we will have southbound traffic able to use the Crossing barrier-free.

“We will be closing the Crossing overnight, in one direction at a time, to minimise the disruption while we change the road layout. I advise drivers to plan ahead and allow extra time for their journeys.”

Erwan Huerre of Connect Plus which is carrying out the work, said: “Road users will see the benefit on southbound journeys early on, however work on the northbound carriageway, approaching the Dartford Tunnels, will take longer to complete.

“In the short term, road users will still need to drive through the old payment plaza, which will remain temporarily to manage traffic flows and maintain safety in the tunnels.

“The main works are due to be completed by spring 2015, which is when the full benefits of Dart Charge will be felt.”

The Crossing will be closed, between junction 2 (for the A2) and junction 31 (for the A1306), to northbound traffic between 11.30pm on Saturday 29 and 6am in the morning of Sunday 30 November.

It will then be closed to southbound traffic between 11.30pm on Sunday 30 November and 5.30am in the morning of Monday 1 December.

A diversion route will be in place via the A2, A102 Blackwall Tunnel and A13.

The Blackwall tunnel has a height restriction of 4m northbound, 4.7m southbound and is classed as ‘ADR Category E’ for hazardous goods.

Any vehicles above these height restrictions or carrying dangerous goods will be diverted via the western section of the M25

The Owlets Of Essex

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These photos in the Guardian today are worth a look….

Michael Hoy Starts Campaign Against School Bus Ruling

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Councillor Michael Hoy writes here about a new County Council policy:

“With effect from September 2015 Essex County Council have changed the policy on Home to School Transport for new pupils meaning parents or carers will have to pay themselves if their children go to Sweyne-Park School even though they may live over 3 miles away and would currently be entitled to free transport.  Sweyne-Park is the Catchment School for Hullbridge and currently has 248 Hullbridge children over the years 7-11…

…..I have opposed and remain opposed to this policy and will be campaigning against it.  I will post on here proposals for how the campaign will be formulated later….

…..The Echo will be taking a photograph at 3.30pm on Monday by the bus stop in Ferry Lane by the Car Park. As many people as possible are needed to be in it.

Rayleigh Town Council Wins “Council Of the Year” For Essex !

trophy

Congratulations to Rayleigh Town Council for winning ‘Council of the Year’ by the Essex Association of Local Councils. This award was presented at the EALC’s Annual General Meeting last week when the Chairman Councillor Eddie Dray and Town Clerk Kerry Cumberland were presented with a certificate and silver platter. We understand that the Chairman of the EALC, Sheila Jackman MBE, remarked in her speech that the EALC includes all 274 Parish and Town Councils in Essex and Rayleigh Town Council won this award by a long way.

The Christmas Lights, and annual visits by schools councils (who are invited into the Council Chamber to ask the Chairman questions), were apparently two of the big points in Rayleigh’s favour.

xmas 1

Excessively Rewarded ?

Southend Labour Councillor Julian Ware Lane criticises the head of the East of England Ambulance trust here, who apparently receives £232,000 plus expenses.

Julian writes:

The story of the last few years has been of a growing pay divide with some Chief Executives like Dr. Marsh receiving salary bumps well in excess of those who work for them. Their pay rises are well in excess of inflation, whilst those that work for them are lucky to see a 1% rise.

“Lib Dem councillor censured for revealing plans to increase council pay”

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It’s just happened in Cambridgeshire. As Mark Pack writes here

Maurice Leeke, leader of the Liberal Democrats on Cambridgeshire County Council, has been found guilty of breaking the council’s rules after he issued a press release about plans to increase pay for senior council staff.

From what Mark has written, Cllr Leeke issued a press release, based on the title of a document – ‘corporate leadership team pay review’, for which the title was in the public domain. Perhaps having a surname like “Leeke” is a bit of a disadvantage when trying to defend yourself from an accusation of well, leaking, but there’s a serious point that Maurice Leeke makes here:

I’m very disappointed with the decision, which shows an authority that’s keen to hide behind secrecy for matters which are inconvenient.

It’s quite inexcusable to think any authority should increase the salary of any of its staff behind closed doors without the public being aware of what is being discussed, and all along my concern has been about what I considered to be an unjustifiable pay decrease which would have been devastating for staff morale.

Essex’s Cabinet

essex consult

Councillor Michael Hoy writes here about changes in the County Council cabinet.

There are now ten cabinet members and eleven deputy cabinet members but the changes really throw up some important issues.

Council Leader David Finch has a deputy cabinet member to his position which is very strange as surely that role belongs to the Deputy Leader Kevin Bentley, who himself has two deputies of his own.

With 21 members of the Conservative party now either a Cabinet Member or a Deputy exactly half of their elected members are involved in Cabinet and receiving enhanced allowances paid on top of the standard allowance for Councillors (Full Member £34,378; Deputy Member £13,374).

Note that two of our local County Councillors – Malcolm Maddocks and Terry Cutmore – are now deputy Cabinet Members

Blame It On The Tunnel…

Apologies for no item tonight, blame it on the Dartford Tunnel…!

Liberal Democrats ‘Call-In’ Lord Hanningfield Decision

lord-hanningfield

Breaking news from the County Council – Liberal Democrats at County Hall have ‘called in’ the decision by Essex County Council Tories not to pursue Lord Hanningfield in the Civil Courts. Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Cllr. Mike Mackrory said:

“I called in this decision because I believe we owe it to the council taxpayers of Essex to scrutinise this decision. There is an overwhelming public interest here for justice to be seen to be done; the £51,000 originally claimed back is a token amount out of the total £288,000 claimed by him whilst Leader of the Council. Why should he get away with this when people who are in arrears with their council tax or people who have committed fraud against the council are relentlessly pursued through the courts? Why is there one rule for Lord Hanningfield and another for ordinary people?”

Big Spending On Big Roads In South Essex (Though Not Much In Rochford)

From the Echo:


WORK is set to begin on three major transport schemes in South Essex after the Government agreed to plough in £155.8m of funding.
A four-and-a-half mile stretch of the A13 between Pitsea and the Orsett Cock, in Thurrock, is to be widened to six lanes while the A127 will get an overhaul at four-pinch points.
Southend’s Victoria Avenue will also get a facelift, while transport in the town will get a £7million boost.

The A13 needs to be widened to 6 lanes largely because of the the new London Gateway container port.

The only improvement in our district is actually on the very edge – a planned £15 million pound improvement to the Fairglen interchange, which will be welcomed by many commuters. Though what impact will this have on the proposed employment land and traveller site that RDC are planning there?

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Latest Comments

  • admin: We will be writing about this later tonight…. Save your comments till then!
  • Jim Cripps: Oz @ 22 & 23 above – It is you being so cheerful that keeps us all going mate 😛. @22 – I...
  • The Mighty Oz: And here is some more depressing news, still all those new people will need somewhere to eat…....
  • The Mighty Oz: I’m with Christine @ 1, the developer will be back again and again until the golf course is...
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  • Jim Cripps: A Matthews & 3 – please name him/her , as they are clearly not doing their job.
  • Sue Murton: I am delighted it was refused it is like a heavy weight lifted from my shoulders and I cannot thank those...
  • A.Matthews: What concerns me is the lack of County responsibility to Highways and Waste Management issues .It was...
  • Jim Cripps: A mighty well done to all concerned – gives me some hope of a fair hearing for the forthcoming...
  • Christine Paine: To say I am delighted to read this would be an understatement. I’m sure this won’t be...
  • Jim Cripps: Well , surprise-surpri se – one look at the EA Flood Risks maps and here we go again with wholesale...
  • Whitevanman: Oh Yeah – Politician = spin = statistics = lies . I am back in the real world now
  • The Mighty Oz: Sue@1, I’m sure you feel pretty fed up about the golf course but come on, Elf & Safety...
  • Jim Cripps: So, houses in the flood risk zone but not Solar Panels – what is the rationale there then?.
  • A.Matthews: Beware of politicians bearing promises! You may not get what you expect! Still no Rochford Matters . Good...
  • admin: Doesn’t EVERY candidate promise to address the local issues?
  • admin: Sue , I’m very sorry for not getting back to you with the revised plans, I have sent you a separate...
  • Sue Murton: Chris Black said he would get back to me with revised plans but I have heard nothing. My property will...
  • Whitevanman: Here’s a thought – We all have the perfect opportunity to express our feelings next May at...
  • The Mighty Oz: Linda @ 14, Any idea who stole the banner yet…̷ 0;just wondered if you had any clues….
  • Greenbelt: Linda Kendal @ 14. You are missing the point. I have protested about further development. The point I...
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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.

The Core Strategy

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

Planning Applications…

If you want information on a particular planning application, you can find it on the District Council website here.

If you want to know what new planning applications have been submitted this week, click here.

Reporting A Problem

If you want to report a problem, you can email Lib Dems councillors by clicking here.
There's also an independent website called FixMyStreet. It's very good for reporting minor street problems like holes in the road, grafitti or failed streetlights. You can find FixMyStreet here.

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To find the food hygiene rating for eating places and other businesses in our district , click here.

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“Rayleigh was the birthplace of Britain’s first surviving quintuplets, but that’s just one of its many claims to fame”

When the Olympic Torch came to Rayleigh, Chris Black wrote about the town in the Guardian - read it here

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