onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003

 

Archive for District Wide

New Council Bank Account Details …UPDATED

lloyds

Rochford District Council is changing it’s bank account details from 17th November 2014. If you pay Council Tax, Business Rates or Housing Benefit invoices by Standing Order you will need to let your bank know their new bank details. They are:
Account name: Rochford District Council
Lloyds Bank PLC
Sort code 30-80-12
Account number 10542560

UPDATED 14th November : we have been contacted by the revenues and benefits dept of RDC:

“Unfortunately the original message on RDC’s website did not state that we have actually contacted people direct if they are affected by the change in our account details from 17th November. This has now been corrected…. In view of the comments made against the original message, would it be possible for you to post an update in order to clarify the situation….”

Rochford District Council Publishes Record Of WWI Fallen

Wreaths outside British Legion

From the District Council Website:

Rochford District Council is proud to publish a record to remember the sacrifice of more than 400 local men who died in the First World War.

The publishing of this list of names marks the centenary of the start of the War, which begin for Britain on August 4, 1914, and recognises the contribution made by these local heroes. The list can be found below (once the PDF opens you can zoom in for more detail).

The list details the name of each man, unit or ship in which he served, date he died, and where he is buried or the memorial where he is remembered.

But it also includes some tragic stories; the soldier who was killed in action while working as a stretcher bearer carrying a casualty as a result of shellfire, the Petty Officer killed on a ship which blew up at anchor with the loss of 800 men, and the Captain who died on active service from a mid-air collision over Shotgate when searching at night for Gotha Bombers.

It also gives us a clear picture of the tender age of some of these men including the sailor  who worked as a telegraphist and died aged just 15.
———–
The details provided include, where possible, where these men lived, their occupation, family members, and how they died. In some cases, families lost more than one son.

For some there are gravestone inscriptions, including one to “a faithful soldier,” others are recognised for having been awarded decorations for gallantry.

The list was complied using the current day District boundary and includes not just those that were living in the area at the time of the War but those that have had a link to the area through residence or family connections.

It is acknowledged that this list is probably not complete or that some of those included have no more than a tenuous link to the District but it was deemed better to remember than to exclude.

It shows how these local men served in all branches of the British Armed Forces, The Royal Navy, The Army, Royal Marines, Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force across a wide range of units or Regiments. Men that had a connection to the area prior to the War but had emigrated returned to serve in Canadian, Australian and other Empire nation uniforms. Some were existing servicemen, some were in the Reserves or Territorial Force, many volunteered and others were conscripted.

Service was seen in all of the theatres of war across the world; The Western Front, Italy, Salonika, Gallipoli, Mesopotamia, Africa and at sea. Men from the District area fought in all of the major battles; Mons, Ypres, The Somme, Arras, Passchendaele, Amiens, Gallipoli, Gaza and Jutland to name just a few.

Many died in action or of wounds and several died as a result of accident or illness.

Not all of the Fallen are accorded a named grave and those are remembered on the huge memorials across the various battlefields across the world. Many are also remembered on memorials throughout the District and several are buried in the District.

————-

The list was compiled as a personal project by Rochford District Council employee, Jim Kevany, who is a member of The Western Front Association. He had the assistance of Mike Davies and John Priestley (Rayleigh Through the Looking Glass) www.rayleighhistory.co.uk . Viv Irvine (Rochford District Community Archive) www.rdca.org.uk , John Baker – Chairman, Southend on Sea Branch, Western Front Association, Karen Dennis – Memorial Officer, Essex Branch, Western Front Association, and John Priestley.

Chairman of Rochford District Council, Councillor June Lumley, said: “Rochford District Council is proud to publish this list of local heroes who died while serving their Country. It is important that we never forget their sacrifice.

“I would also like to thank those who put the time and effort into compiling this list as a lasting memory to those who fought and died for our freedom.”
—————
Mike Davies, of Rayleigh Through the Looking Glass, said: “This is a significant body of work that tells the human stories of those young men from our District many of whom died in tragic circumstances, leaving behind grieving family and friends.

“Even those that survived suffered both mentally and physically for the rest of their lives. They fought for King and Country in a war to end wars. We will remember them.”

John Baker, Southend-on-Sea Branch Chairman of the Western Front Association, added: “I’m delighted that lives of our fallen of the First World War are being commemorated by this Role of Honour, it gives you an indication of just how great the slaughter was nationally when you consider that over 400 men from this small region alone made the ultimate sacrifice.

“Thanks to Jim, the long list of names on our war memorials are no longer anonymous, we now know where they lived, worked and who they loved, may they forever rest in piece. On behalf of the silent who cannot do so, I’d like to say thank you to Jim who has put many, many hours of hard work into this project and I’d like to express my gratitude and appreciation of a job well done.”

Rochford District Council has plans for a four year programme of events from 2014 to 2018 to mark the Centenary of the First World War.

You can download the list here

 

Rochford’s Recycling In The Guardian

recycling

 

The Guardian  did a feature last Monday about recycling, looking at four councils with good recycling levels and seeing how they did it. One of them was Rochford:

Rochford district council

With England’s highest recycling rates Rochford’s head of environmental services, Richard Evans, ascribes its scheme’s success to simplicity. The biggest bin outside homes is for recycling – 240l compared with the 180l ‘residual bin’ – which has helped shift mindsets. The 140l garden and kitchen compost bin is collected weekly and the others fortnightly, encouraging anything which could get smelly to be composted. Keeping collection dates the same, even on bank holidays (except Christmas) helps keep it simple, Evans says. “In 2008, we were one of the lowest in Essex, at 29%, but as soon as we launched this scheme it was almost immediately 60%. Odd months we were going over 70%.” The council takes a ‘softly softly’ approach to contaminated recycling – persistent offenders may be asked to re-sort their waste. ”It’s in everyone’s interest to keep service costs low,” Evans says. Rochford starts using a new MBT plant at Basildon in November, which will see its landfill contribution fall further.

You can find the full article – with plenty of comments – here.

District Council’s Budget Survey

pound_coin

The District Council are carrying out a online survey on what local people think should be priorities in the council budget.

You can complete it here

It will be interesting to see if anyone mentions the various themes that we have mentioned on onlineFOCUS recently – flooding, the council cabinet, air quality, planning enforcmnt, street lighting…..

A New Set Of Ward Boundaries In 2016 !!!

Every once in a while a government commission looks at the ward boundaries in each council area to make sure that everyone is being fairly represented. For example, areas where there has been new housing might merit having an extra councillor, which might mean an area somewhere else might lose one. At the moment the  Local Government Boundary Commission is looking at our district.

 

It’s already been agreed that we will stick with 39 councillors. The commission are also keen on having 3 councillors per ward, which means having 13 big wards. The District Council has come up with some proposals . They are actually suggesting 14 wards – 12 big wards with 3 councillors each, plus a “Roche North” ward with two councillors and a “Roche South” ward with one.

If you double click on this new map, you will see the new wards (though because of the small scale of the map it’s not completely accurate):

election map 2016

Looking at two wards in particular:

Hullbridge Ward stays exactly as it is now – same boundaries, and still with 3 Councillors.

Downhall and Rawreth Ward goes from 2 councillors to 3. It has to get bigger, but not that much bigger. The new Downhall and Rawreth Ward will include all the roads it does now, but with two expansions.

The first expansion is slightly southwards along Down Hall Road, taking in Preston Gardens, Hedgehope Avenue, Downhall Close and that bit of Downhall Road between Preston Gardens and Downhall Close:

elelection map 2016  3

 

The second expansion  is to take in part of Sweyne Park ward that is closest to Rawreth – double click on this map to see more:

elelection map 2016  2

This includes :

  • The north side of London Road as far as the junction with Victoria Avenue.
  • The western side of Victoria Avenue, up to the junction with Cheapside West..
  • The western half of Cheapside West
  • Maine Crescent
  • Sweyne Close
  • Fairmead
  • Boston Avenue
  • Grosvenor Road
  • Gunn Close
  • The new development at the old Eon site.

The new ward will also include all the proposed housing “North of London Road”, because if it is approved, it is all in Rawreth.

These new wards still have to be approved by the commision, so there might be some changes. If approved , there will be elections in all the new wards in 2016.

 

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

Our Working Adults Still Living With Mum And Dad

There’s some alarming statistics this week from Shelter. To summarise their findings:

  • Almost two million working adults aged between 20 and 34 are living with their parents
  • These are working adults – not students or unemployed
  • Almost half of them say they are still at home because they cannot afford to buy or rent.
  • This map shows how the situation varies around the country
  • Castle Point has the highest percentage in the country – 45 %
  • Rochford has the second highest – 42%
  • clipped wings

    There has rightly been a lot of opposition to the proposed housing “North Of London Road” and in Hullbridge. People are justifiably concerned about infrastructure, especially roads and drainage. South East Essex – Rochford District and Castle Point in particular – seemed to have been poorly treated for decades by the county council regarding highways, and our drainage systems have been neglected. We need to carry on fighting for all the infrastructure we need.. We can certainly argue that the housing is being proposed in the wrong locations. But what we can’t do is say there is no local demand… And perhaps we should focus on getting housing suitable for local young people, rather than more 4 bedroom executive homes.

    Why is the situation so difficult for our young adults adults here? Probably the root cause goes back to the 1950s and 1960s when the population soared. The population actually doubled in the fifties. And then development continued , at a slightly lower rate, in following decades. The end result today is that housing has already spread to the edge of Rayleigh. There are very few ‘easy’ sites left to develop.

    Chart of Rayleigh and Rawreth's  population 1931- 1961

    Chart of Rayleigh and Rawreth’s population 1931- 1961

    Food For Thought

    Cafe Life DSCF0372

     

    One of our Lib Dem colleagues in Watford mentioned that their local paper had published a list of all the food establishments in that town which got a rating of “Zero” on food hygiene.

    Which prompted us to check for our district. You can find out about this by going to the Food Standards Agency website here. You can then search for a particular restaurant etc or you can search by town or district.

    There are 480 entries for Rochford District , you can find them all here.  We are pleased to say that most  get a rating of 5 out of 5. And none at all get a ‘Zero’. Just seven of them get a rating of “1”.

     

     

    Could You Be A Befriender?

    little house

    We’ve received the following from RRAVS:

    The Befriending Scheme which has been running successfully in the Castle Point area has now been extended into the Rochford area.
    ___
    The scheme aims to provide volunteer Befrienders who will visit lonely and/or isolated people in their own home, for about an hour or more every week, to provide companionship and a listening ear. Some clients benefit from a chat over a cup of tea and for those who feel isolated and lack confidence to join new groups and clubs, our volunteers will be able to accompany them until they feel confident enough to go on their own. The scheme aims to develop the client’s confidence and encourage them to join other community groups by their Befriender where appropriate; thereby integrating them back into the community.
    ____
    Our Befriending Scheme is open to anyone 18+ that may be experiencing loneliness or isolation. This may be due to lack of work, recent bereavement, low-level mental ill health or a new mum who has no local friends. However, the majority of our clients are from the older age group. We have found that the Befriending Scheme has contributed to improving the health and well being of our clients as well as raising confidence and self esteem. It has also proved to be providing our Volunteers with a feeling of value and achievement. Our main referrals are through the GP surgeries and other health professionals that visit people at home or visit their surgery, but clients or their family can refer themselves by asking their GP to refer them on to the Befriending Scheme.
    ____
    RRAVS are promoting the Free service in the Rochford area either encouraging people to become a Volunteer or locating Clients. For more information please contact Sarah Withington on 01268 772796.

    No Increase In Life Expectancy, More Violent Crime, More Smoking, More Diabetes, But Fewer Opiates.

    The new 2013 Public Health profile for Rochford District can be found on this page . Just look for Rochford, and click on the one for 2013.
    For some reason we didn’t write anything about last year’s profiles, though we did write about them in 2011 and 2006

    Here’s 10 lots of statistics about our district:

    1. A baby girl growing up here has a life expectancy of 84.0 years, that’s better than average for England and with no change from a couple of years ago.
    2. Nearly 15 percent our Year 6 children are classified as ‘obese’. Shockingly, that’s still better than average for England.
    3. Over 25 percent of our adults are classified as obese and that is worse than average.
    4. Deprivation is lower here than average. Even so, 11 percent of children – over 1,700 individual children are classified as living in poverty. (That means living in families receiving means-tested benefits and/or low income).
    The percentage of children living in poverty has increased by about a tenth in the past 2 years.
    5. Violent crime in our district is much lower than average – 6.2 reported crimes against the person per thousand population per year. That’s 519 violent crimes in the 12 month period 2011-12. But this is significantly larger than the figure 2 years ago, which was 397.
    6. 15 percent of adults smoke – that’s lower than the average in England , but higher than two years ago, when the figure was only 12 percent.
    7. 5 percent of patients on GP registers here are diagnosed with diabetes. That’s 4066 people. That’s slightly better than average, though slightly higher than 2 years ago.
    8. We have 171 people who are problem drug users using crack and/or opiates. That’s down from 223 a couple of years ago, and much better than average.
    9. Levels of skin cancer here are slightly higher than average for England – though things are getting slightly better. Apparently 12 people were diagnosed with malignant melanoma
    10. Levels of TB in our district are very low – only 3 cases a year, compared with 4 cases a couple of years ago.

    A Bit Of Good News

    … The number of people in our district claiming Job Seekers Allowance has fallen a little

    in the past 12 months:

    In August 2012 there were  1139 claimants (2.2 % of working age population.

    This August there were only 952 claimants (1.9% 0f working population).

    By comparison, the figure for the East of England is 2.6%  (down from 3.0%) and the figure for Great Britain is 3.3 % (down from 3.8%)

    New Chief Executive Coming For Rochford District Council

    Rather like Sir Alex Ferguson stepping down as the Man Utd manager, the District Council’s Chief Executive, Paul Warren, is retiring at the end of the year.

    So the council decided to recruit a new Chief Exec, and has made its choice , a very bright guy called Amar Dave, and we look forward to working with him. The council has issued a press release:

    Rochford District Council has named its successor to the existing Chief Executive Paul Warren, upon his retirement at the end of the year.

    Following a rigorous selection process, Amar Dave, who is currently Acting Corporate Director of Environment, Culture and Transport at Reading Borough Council, was selected from more than 30 applicants for the position.

    The Leader of Rochford District Council, Councillor Terry Cutmore said, “All of us on the Appointments Panel reached a unanimous decision in recommending Amar Dave for appointment. We all agreed he has the passion, enthusiasm and necessary skills to meet the future needs of the Council. With his vision and experience, I’m confident we can meet head-on the challenges that face Local Government”.

    Mr Dave has been Acting Corporate Director of Environment, Culture and Transport at Reading Borough Council since 2010 – heading up a team of 568 staff and with a revenue budget of £49 million. He has extensive experience of managing the delivery of frontline council services including highways, transport, planning, environmental, housing, arts and heritage.

    Prior to joining Reading Borough Council, Mr Dave has enjoyed success in a number of other high profile roles with organisations including Stroud District Council and Amey Facilities Management.

    Mr Dave said, “I’m really looking forward to joining Rochford District Council as Chief Executive and working with staff and councillors to continue to deliver the best possible services for residents, businesses and visitors right across the District.

    I know the Rochford District and the County well as my wife grew up in Essex and she still has family living here. It’s a pleasure to return to Essex where we can bring up our family”.

    Mr Dave is expected to join the Council in early November, when there will be a handover period before the current Chief Executive, Paul Warren, retires at the end of December 2013.

    Amar Dave’s appointment was ratified by Full Council on Thursday 1 August 2013.

     

    However the Greens and the Rochford Residents have put out a press release of their own- although they have no criticism of Mr Dave, they are not happy at how the process was carried out:

    “Residents Councillors and Green Councillors were disappointed that the Conservative Administration of Rochford District Council only invited one candidate to make a presentation and take questions from all Members of the Council on 30 July.

    Whilst all Members were initially promised that they would have a choice from more than one candidate this was changed to a presentation from a single candidate by the Conservatives.

    The Conservative Administration of the Council had made it clear at the Extraordinary Council to receive the retirement announcement of Paul Warren that Green and Residents representatives would not be invited to join the Appointments Sub Committee who would interview candidates. This was despite the Intervention of the Lib Dems to no avail given that all previous senior appointments at the Council were by full cross party interviews.

    One Tory Member who asked his Group why the Residents and Greens had been excluded was reportedly told “it would be like BP (The Conservative Administration) appointing a CEO where SHELL (Residents and Greens) would also be on the Appointments Committee.”

    This analogy unreasonably suggests that Residents Councillors and Green Councillors are, according to the Conservatives, not part of a wider representation of the interests of the people of Rochford District.

    This has been a political appointment without choice being offered to all Members of the Council.

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    Daily Reporting by Chris Black

    With support from:
    Ron Oatham Ron Oatham Bruce Smart Bruce Smart Chris Stanley Chris Stanley

    Latest Comments

    • Christine Paine: Didn’t get one of the letters, but I’ve seen the details. As far as I can see a bit of...
    • Chris Black: It may be strange …. but I heard him on Radio 2 this morning, sounding pretty good after having a...
    • admin: I’ve not seen one….
    • Local resident: Did they reply?
    • Jim Cripps: So, has anyone else received the notification of the modifications to the submitted outline planning...
    • Jim Cripps: Yes Oz – up against a long established “clubR 21; (which includes the judiciary )...
    • The Mighty Oz: Jim, no surprise that Euro Claggy has managed, yet again, to “leadR 21; his party to oblivion...
    • admin: Had another attack yesterday… ;.
    • Terry: Sounds similar to the family of one of the RDC councillors selling their land off the London road for...
    • The Mighty Oz: I understand that each case is different but this ruling may not bode well for the campaign....
    • Christine Paine: Of course green belt also gives greater profit to developers (not that that even crosses anyones...
    • Linda Kendall: Re. Objection sent in August 2013 as noted above. This document can be found in the www.Rayleigh...
    • Linda Kendall: Christine @ 5 . Yes of course it would but they don’t even have to use any energy whatsoever...
    • Christine Paine: Now this may seem like a really silly idea, but rather than put out a call for land, which almost...
    • admin: Have a look here to see how it kicked off lat time. At this stage I don’t think the land north of London...
    • admin: Well, it’s implemented by the council to see what sites could be available for development if additional...
    • Jim Cripps: How / Who / by When is this call for sites implemented – presumably small plot land owners and...
    • Christine Paine: Yeah, and I bet they said something similar to that last time round. Let’s sit back and watch...
    • Jim Cripps: Oz – I blame Cleggy myself , before you do 😁……
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    • John Mason: @D at 3 If you have any specific questions to ask on my post at 2 then I shall be pleased to try to help.
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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.

    Food Hygiene Ratings

    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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