onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003

 

Archive for Rochford Residents Party

Residents And Greens Group Grows To Seven

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The Greens and Residents Group on the District Council, led by John Mason and Michael Hoy, has just grown to 7 members. Toby Mountain , Phil Capon and Tracy Capon, who were previously Independents and before that Tories, have just joined the group. The council elections are going to be very interesting in the next couple of years….

A Surprise Manoeuvre From The Green Corner !

A surprising development today – the Greens (Diane and Michael Hoy) and the Rochford Residents (Christine and John Mason) have announced they are joining forces to become the largest opposition group in the council chamber. This means that one of them will chair the important review committee, and the number of committee places for each group will have to be recalculated. This is their joint statement:

Rochford District Residents and the Green Party have today formed an alliance on Rochford District Council.

The Group will be called ‘Green and Rochford District Residents’ which means that this Group is now the main opposition to the Conservative controlled Administration by being the largest opposition Group.

Over the last three years the Liberal Democrats Party has been the ‘Main Opposition’ in Rochford but this may not have been as effective as it could have been possibly due to the Coalition in Government blurring some political policy boundaries.

Both Rochford District Residents and the Green Party feel a more robust Opposition is called for in the interests of residents across the whole District.

Both Parties will remain entirely separate in Elections continuing to remain true to their own objectives.

The last three years have demonstrated that our two Groups can work well together when polices coincide but believe that formal co-operation will lead to a more effective and positive questioning of the Conservative Policies which will lead to an improvement in outcomes for residents. Examples of this can be found in our joint opposition to the abolition of FREE Saturday Afternoon Parking and the questions that residents of the District are regularly raising about the capacity of infrastructure to sustain the house building quotas in the Rochford Core Strategy.

The Group Leader in Council will be John Mason and the Deputy Group Leader will be Michael Hoy.

This is not a joining of political parties but an alliance in the Council Chamber.

Each member of the Group will continue to represent their own Wards and the parties will campaign separately as before remaining true to their core objectives.

A Little Bit Of Help For Hospital Patients

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Councillors John and Christine Mason are launching a modest but worthwhile initiative to help hospital patients a little:


…. we have become increasingly aware that there are other needs that some patients have, especially those with a slightly longer hospital stay and it is these simple needs that the TLC fund hopes to address.
Imagine being ill and in bed, alone but not alone, with nothing to occupy your mind. However because you have no family or friends able to visit, no one that can fetch that half finished book or knitting, you are unable to take your mind away from the situation you are in.
——————
….This is where the TLC fund comes in, administered by the Hospital Chaplaincy team, the funds aim is simple – to provide the means for a crossword book or a newspaper, to allow the patient the dignity of purchasing some sweets or biscuits of their choice. It sounds so simple but if you are imprisoned in a Hospital bed relying on the services of strangers sometimes it is the little things that can lift spirits and bring that extra measure of comfort.
We are not trying to change the world, just improve our corner of it.
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Donations can be sent to Rochford District Residents at Wistaria Cottage, Englefield Close, Hawkwell, Essex SS5 4LE, clearly marked for the TLC Fund. All donations will be paid into Rochford District Residents Bank Account and given in cash to Southend Hospital…..


Full article on their website here.

A Guest Post On Snakes And Science

We have a guest post for the third day running…. this is from District Councillor John Mason – about a personal scientific project he has been working on in Cyprus….

Protecting Snakes And Humans

Chris Black, the Editor of OnlineFOCUS spotted a personal video clip of mine on the internet which was about my friend Snake George who was testing a snake deterrent that I had designed.

He invited me to write an article about this diversity in my interests.

My family’s interest in Cyprus is that we spend many of our holidays there and having been an amateur herpetologist since I was 7 it was no surprise that I went to meet Snake George, real name Hans Jorg Wiedl, at his Reptile Park about 12 years ago now. George is an expert in the Snakes, Lizards and Amphibians of Cyprus. He has written many articles and at least two books.

Snake George (Hans-Jorg Wiedl) re-discovered the Cyprus Grass Snake after it had been thought extinct for nearly 40 years. Secondly he proved that the most venomous snake on Cyprus, the Blunt Nose Viper lays eggs, other than bearing live young as it had been thought and apparently proven.

George has been working hard to win the right from the Cyprus Government to establish a conservation and breeding project to save the Cyprus Grass Snake from extinction. I have run a Petition at the EU Parliament to bring this into focus for action before it is too late. There are some articles that I have written about this on http://rochfordessex.com/cyprusreptiles

Many people in Cyprus are frightened of snakes and, despite education, this will probably remain so for several generations.

The worst part is that all snakes suffer from indiscriminate killing, even the harmless ones!!

This is placing all species at risk and especially now in Cyprus the Large Whip Snake (harmless) which is a natural predator, ironically, of the Blunt Nosed Viper which is the only venomous snake in Cyprus that can endanger human life.

George and I were having coffee at the New Roots Garden Centre near Coral Bay one morning and he lamented that the product that he had been selling on as Snake Buster was ShooSnake (I think) from Australia and he had been banned for importing this by the Cyprus Authorities. He reckoned that a repellent would still help conserve snakes as they would not frequent areas where people do not want them. I agreed to research the substances used in current products under safety for use in the environment and that which could be imported into Cyprus with a chemical license and distribute for use as a pesticide.

The EU fairly recently banned practically every pesticide previously in use and licensed in the EU, which includes Cyprus.

The product that I have produced has been tested initially by George. There is scientific data which backs up the recommendation I made on the basis of my research.

There are a number of commercial snake repellents on sale in Cyprus. Some are electronic. It is not clear whether Cyprus has any natural safe snake repellents available to help people ward off snakes from their homes, business premises and gardens. If the snakes are repelled from the place then everyone is happy, especially the human.

It is a CONSERVATION PROJECT…………it conserves and protects both snakes and humans!!

There are harmful materials that people might use but these are also harmful to the human species!! And environmentally dangerous.

With the knowledge I had gained at QMC, London and the ecology of Cyprus snakes I had learnt since then my independent research has been undertaken on ancient ethnobotanical archives in order to derive such a product with the safest possible attributes.
It does not involve chemicals only plant extracts which are safe for both humans and the environment but repel snakes. My research has produced a product that achieves these objectives. This is a very important project for Cyprus given the issues that humans have with snakes. I would welcome any input offered on the commercial aspects of this project.

The Return Of “The Rochford Independent”

The website of the Rochford Residents Party (whose councillors are John and Christine Mason), hasn’t been updated for a while due to technical reasons.

But its back in action now….

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Daily Reporting by Chris Black

With support from:
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Latest Comments

  • bruce smart: Any pictures of the 100 or so outside who were denied the opportunity to hear what was going on?
  • Jim Cripps: Chris , is there a link to RDC in order to lodge an objection – think this is overshadowed by the...
  • Jim Cripps: Has to be opposed on the same grounds ( Traffic / Flooding impacts ) and most important of all now with...
  • James Newport: [edited] Chris Black – you did very well last night considering scrutton’ s attempts at...
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  • bruce smart: It is clear from the numbers that some Rayleigh Conservative members voted against the application....
  • James w: Chris @ 12 – yes you’re right Chris, it was nice and refreshing to see that councillors across...
  • Chris black: Bruce at 10- Understand what you are saying. The problem is that for these meetings a member of the...
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  • admin: Actually Linda Kendall would have been an obvious choice to speak. but Mark Francois made a couple of very...
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  • admin: We will publish the list as soon as the minutes are on the council website…
  • Jim Cripps: Given the Council spent years and £2.1million on not realising the roads and flooding are the big issue...
  • The Mighty Oz: Countryside will make small changes and the application will go ahead on appeal come what may. However...
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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.

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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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