onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003

 

Archive for District Wide

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.

    Grassroots Issues

     

     

     

    These photos shows one of the grass-cutting problems we had last summer. This is a stretch of ground  alongside  Downhall Park Way, Rayleigh. When the council’s contractors went bust last year, it was treated by mistake as a rural ditch instead of as an urban verge. So it wasn’t being cut.

    We pointed out that
    a) there wasn’t much point having a council notice board if people couldn’t get close enough to read it
    b) the long grass going to seed was pretty tiresome for all the keen gardeners on the other side of the road and
    c) having a ditch concealed in all that grass wasn’t too safe, especially with a childrens play area nearby.

    So the council began cutting it again.

    We are now into a new growing season. We have checked again today and are assured it will be treated as an urban verge this year and be cut regularly.   But if you think there’s a patch of grass near you that isn’t being cut properly, please let us know – the council officers are keen to get things right. And if you think the grass-cutters  are doing a particularly good job, please let us know as well.

     

    OpenlyLocal, Rochford and “Prospering Suburbs”

    You’ve seen FixMyStreet – now have a look at a new website called OpenlyLocal. It’s about making local government ‘more transparent’.

    They already have a page for Rochford District They are still developing it, but so far it has stuff like recent planning applications and the average age of people in our district (40.2 years).

    It also lists each council ward within the district, and each ward has its own webpage. So if you click on, say, Lodge Ward, you get a map, more population details , information on local policing and fixmystreet reports for Lodge.

    Now, OpenlyLocal describes each ward in terms of ‘output areas’, based on census results. Unfortunately they don’t explain what it means, but in case anyone is interested, most of Rochford District is described as some kind of suburb, though Hockley West is described as “Accessible Countryside” and Hawkwell South is described as “Industrial Areas B”.

    And intriguingly, Downhall and Rawreth isn’t just listed as suburbs, but as “Prospering Suburbs”. It’s the only part of the district described that way – even Wheatley Ward, which has some pretty impressive houses /mansions hidden away , is only described as “Commuter Suburbs A”.

    We can see housebuyers in the future looking at stuff like this when thinking about moving into an area……

    Highways Changes

    Last Saturday the County Council quietly changed which group of engineers looks after our highways. This was a surprise to just about everyone – including the District Council.

    Rochford District is now part of a mid-Essex group, so we have to get to know a different set of engineers.  We haven’t heard a reason for this

    Though the boundaries for the Customer Call Centre remain the same-  but now these do not align with the operational areas.

    When Rayleigh’s Population DOUBLED – And Rochford Children Were Taught In A “SLUM”

    onlineFOCUS readers will know that we are concerned about overdevelopment in the years to come.

    But it’s still worth remembering when the population around here really soared – in the 1950s. In the fifties the population of Rayleigh Urban District (which was Rayleigh and Rawreth) doubled

    Chart of Rayleigh and Rawreth’s population 1931- 1961

    “This work is based on data provided through www.VisionofBritain.org.uk and uses historical material which is copyright of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth”.

    And here’s a chart for the whole district:

     

    Chart of Rochford District Population 1800 -2000

     

    In 1959 our MP back then was Bernard Braine. (Later Sir Bernard Braine, and eventually Lord Braine). He spoke in parliament about Rayleigh’s booming population – and the only infrastructure problem he mentioned was a lack of telephone lines:

    While thanking my right hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask him if he is aware that the population in this area is increasing at the highest rate of growth in the country? While I have no complaint against the telephone engineers, who make do with what resources they have, may I ask my right hon. Friend to see that a more generous allocation is made to enable the waiting list to be reduced?

    There was a more serious problem in the town of Rochford – a grim lack of school facilities. And Bernard Braine certainly made a good speech – it’s worth quoting in full:

    I am most grateful for having been given the opportunity to raise a matter tonight which touches on the interests of a very large number of my constituents. It is my purpose to draw attention to two matters: first, the serious lack of provision for secondary education in Rochford; and, secondly, the inadequacy of present proposals to remedy that situation in the future.
    _
    I do this with some regret because the Essex local education authority has a justifiable reputation. It can point with pride to the large number of new schools completed since the end of the war, schools which are well designed, well equipped and well staffed. Indeed, I would say that at Thundersley in my constituency there is one of the finest secondary modern schools in the country. But at Rochford, unfortunately, we have a secondary school operating under such conditions—I shall not mince my words—that more than 600 children are not receiving a secondary education at all, and unless something is done quickly they will not receive a proper secondary education for some time to come.
    _
    Part of the problem arises from the quite phenomenal expansion of population in the south-east corner of Essex. Hon. Members will recall that since 1945 there have been three constituency redistributions in this area. My own electorate increased by 25 per cent. during the lifetime of the last Parliament. In fact, since 1945, the population in the south-east corner of the county has doubled, and the school population has more than doubled. Yet the provision of new school places has consistently lagged behind the increase in population. Where there are changes in the pattern of the population that is not unusual, but my constituents feel that the provision lags much further behind in south-east Essex than elsewhere in the country and further behind than is necessary. They are justified, in my view, since they see that next door in the neighbouring new town of Basildon and in new municipal development elsewhere in the county the authority is making adequate provision in advance of the new population coming in.
    _
    My constituents consider that the authority has failed signally to appreciate the quite exceptional rate of private building development which is taking place in our area. In fact, I think I may claim that it is the highest rate of private building development in the country. This complaint is true not only of Rochford but of places like Rayleigh and Canvey Island. For the education authority has failed consistently to take account of the fact that a large number of young families with children approaching school age are moving into these districts.
    _
    It is hardly surprising, therefore, that against this background the Rochford secondary school should have been overcrowded for a long time. In fact it has been using overflow halls for the last six years. Moreover, the number of school children is increasing all the time. It increased in September; it will increase next September. An easement of this unhappy situation might have been obtained but for the fact that the main school is within 800 yards of the north-east—south-west runway of Southend Airport. This means that the school is within what the Ministry of Aviation calls the approach funnel to the airport or the public safety zone. It means also that every fifteen minutes of the school’s working day an aircraft takes off or comes in directly over the school building, making teaching difficult and sometimes intolerable for both staff and pupils. I know this myself, because I have attempted to speak in the school at such a time with aircraft overhead.
    _
    This situation will worsen, because the number of plane movements in and out of the airport in 1957 was 18,739, last year it was 22,500, and next year I understand it will be in the region of 25,000. Thus the nuisance will rapidly worsen. One would have thought that all this would have been foreseen, since the airport has not just suddenly started to expand. But by some strange myopia the local education authority failed to foresee what would happen and—I am sorry to say this to my hon. Friend—the previous Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Education did not know that noise was a factor to be taken into account until I told him about it last August.
    _
    Provision had been made for the expansion of the school in 1958. Then came the first blow. I quote from a letter from my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation which I received last July, in which he said: “The Essex County Education Committee consulted us in 1958 about a proposed extension of the Rochford County Secondary School. In our view the approach to a busy runway is a most inappropriate place for school development involving, as it does, a high concentration of children in a small area. We, therefore, felt bound to advise against extending the school within the Public Safety Zone.” Everything then came to a standstill. Since then the authority has merely tinkered with the problem. When it finally settled on a site for a new building, the proposal was for a two-form entry school only. That would have meant the ridiculous situation of having half the children and staff in a new building enjoying decent conditions while the other half remained in an area which everyone admits is both dangerous and noisy.
    _
    I say bluntly to my hon. Friend and the House that if airport expansion is necessary—and in these modern times it is—that price must be paid. At the moment the price is being paid by the children of my constituents. That is something we should not tolerate. The price clearly must be the provision of an entirely new school. On this, I assure my hon. Friend, the Divisional Education Executive, the Rochford Rural District Council, the school governors, many hundreds of parents in this area and I see absolutely eye to eye.
    _
    There is only one solution then, the provision of a new school. But the question does not end there. It is not only a matter of providing a new school, but providing it quickly for children who have already suffered from the delay in providing the additional accommodation which, but for the airport, they would have had by now. I have mentioned that throughout the period of frustration it has been necessary to use outside halls. That is a situation not unknown elsewhere, but elsewhere it is tolerable for a period of time provided that the headmaster can exercise effective control. That is not the position at Rochford. This question of control to ensure that a school has a distinct, corporate existence of its own where the headmaster and staff can exercise control over the school as a whole, is surely fundamental to education. My hon. Friend will know that the Ministry’s own pamphlet The New Secondary Education, No. 9, proudly asserts on page 17 that: “All secondary schools will have equal opportunities of fostering a healthy social life. Every pupil must be encouraged to form sound personal and social relationships. Through a school’s normal day-to-day activities, whether in or out of school time, there must run a strong sense that it is a body of people living together, helping and learning from one another.” Those equal opportunities do not obtain at Rochford. At the moment, one-third of the pupils are taught in outside halls. The first is the Oxford Social Club, and those taught in that hall get no instruction at all in the main school. They take little part in its extracurricular activities, and are isolated from the rest. They receive no practical instruction. Science lessons are restricted to those which need no equipment. There is no non-fiction or reference library.
    _
    As for the children accommodated at the British Legion Hall they have to vacate that place on Friday afternoons in order to allow the old-age pensioners to hold their weekly meeting. My hon. Friend will appreciate that it is precisely because these halls are used for other purposes that it is impossible to keep equipment in them or to display the children’s handiwork. In such an environment a feeling of belonging to a school and a sense of pride in achievement, which the Ministry, in its publications, says are essential to a proper secondary education, cannot be developed. Is it any wonder that teachers are despondent and feel frustrated and that the numbers of them leaving the school are high?
    _
    It is not merely that teaching and control are made difficult because so many of the pupils are accommodated in outside halls. It is also a fact that the halls themselves are utterly unsuitable. The Congregational Church Hall, for example, has been used as a classroom since last January. It is quite unsuitable for adults, let alone children. How any education authority can permit children to use it passes my comprehension. It is like a slum school out of Dickens.
    _
    May I describe it to the House? The outside of the building is dirty and dilapidated and rubbish is piled against one wall. Inside, the atmosphere is dingy and miserable. There are no wall windows and lighting and ventilation come from frosted skylights. In the hot weather, during the summer, the atmosphere was indescribable, although I must say that now winter is approaching two electric fans have been installed. The playground is a dirt yard adjoining an undertaker’s premises. Some fifty-five children, boys and girls, have the use of two water closets.
    _
    I am told that the Rochford Rural District Council has never approved planning permission being given for the use of this hall. The clerk told me only this morning that planning permission has never been granted under the Town and Country Planning Regulations, 1951. Although this hall has been in use since January, the authority was not consulted about planning permission until 26th August last.
    _
    The Essex County Council is not only a local education authority but is also a planning authority. Here it seems to me to be breaking the law. I want to know more about this. I do not expect the Minister to answer this question tonight, but I should like to know by what right this authority condemns our children to occupy a hall for which no local authority has yet given planning permission. Who authorised this? I beg my hon. Friend to send an inspector to this school tomorrow—not next week but tomorrow—to condemn the use of these miserable, squalid buildings as a school building.
    _
    I must tell the House frankly that the present proposals to meet this unhappy situation are quite inadequate. I understand that Ministerial approval has been given to the erection on the Oxford Club site of a new, two-form entry school. This would merely perpetuate the division of what ought to be one school. It merely nibbles at the problem. What is more—and the local education authority does not seem to be facing this eventuality—it creates a further problem because part of the proposals envisage taking over part of the Hawkwell Holt Primary School. This primary school is already overcrowded, for the same reasons as those which apply in the secondary school. Parents have told me that they are so concerned that their children, coming up to primary school age, will not get the education to enable them to qualify for grammar school entrance, that they are thinking of moving out of the district. In other words, this problem bedevils not only secondary education in Rochford but primary education also. Worse still, I understand that the land upon which the education authority proposes to erect the new but quite inadequate two-form entry school, has not yet been acquired. The negotiations for this land have been going on for a long time. Will my hon. Friend say something about what is holding them up.
    _
    The whole situation is so chaotic, is in such a muddle and is so obviously damaging to educational standards that I must ask the Minister to institute an immediate inquiry. In doing so, I must make it plain that nothing short of a drastic recasting of present plans will suffice. It seems to me—and this accords with the views of all those interested locally—that the minimum requirements are, first, the provision of a new four-form entry school capable of expansion to a six-form entry school later, and, secondly, the immediate erection of two demountable classrooms with adequate sanitary accommodation on a suitable site.
    _
    The attitude of the authority up to now has been that this is a serious problem but not capable of a quick solution. The National Association of Schoolmasters has been told, for example, by the authority: “it is unreasonable to think that a quick solution can be found” That is an attitude I reject utterly. I hope that the Minister, seeing how endangered educational standards are at Rochford, will reject it too, because if a solution is not found quickly quite clearly hundreds of children in my constituency are not going to have that educational opportunity which is their most precious right and which all of us in the House are passionately determined they should have. I am asking my hon. Friend tonight to treat this unhappy situation as one of exceptional urgency calling for quite exceptional measures.

    ==========================
    For those who are interested, here are the population figures for Rayleigh and Rawreth:

    1921 : 3,671

    1931: 6,256

    1941 : 8,067

    1951: 9,388

    1961: 19,044

    2001: 31,199 (30,196 in Rayleigh 1,003 in Rawreth)

    Unemployment News

    Some good news today nationally! There has been a surprise fall in unemployment .

    Youth unemployment is also down , as the Guardian explains:

    The ONS data also showed that youth unemployment improved, with the number of 16 to 24-year-olds out of work falling below a million in the three months to August, down 62,000 compared with March to May. That took the jobless rate among young people down to 20.5% from 21.8%.

    The Guardian also has information on a district-by-district basis:

    As you can see, youth unemployment is starting to drop in South-East Essex, except in Rochford, where the figures are unchanged. But the figures for young people still out of work and claiming after 6 months are still creeping up.

    The Census Results For Rochford

    The first population info from the 2011 census came out today.

    There’s plenty of stuff about it on the national newspaper websites – the Guardian is particularly good at presenting the data with an interactive map. Here’s their main graphic for Rochford:

    A few points worth thinking about :

  • the population of our district went up by 6% in 10 years, slightly less than the national trend. But Castle Point next door had an increase of only 1% (though they still have a much higher population density than Rochford)
  • There’s a big increase in the number of over 65s – up by 21% in 10 years. And if you are in the over 65 age group you may be encouraged to know that….
  • …There’s also a big increase in the number of the over 90s !
  • At the other end of the age spectrum the number of children under five years of age has dropped by 2%
  • The number of children aged between five and and fourteen has dropped by 6% !
  • For the rest of the population (aged between 15 and 64) there’s been a 5% increase.
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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

    • admin: Jim. bear in mind we could have completely new ward boundaries in 2016 with all 39 seats up for election in...
    • Jim Cripps: OK , research done , potentially ten targets but, discounting those only elected this year we have those...
    • Jim Cripps: Yep , what happened to those schemes where people bought 50% of a property initially ( say in their...
    • The Mighty Oz: Or less people. Simple as.
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    • Jim Cripps: So, a bit like going to court then , your ordinary Joe is priced out of it . Seems to me it would be...
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    Asda or Makro Council Budget Crime & Policing District Core Strategy District Wide Elections Essex & East Future Housing Green Belt Highways & Parking History and Culture Hockley Hullbridge Leisure and Sport Liberal Democrats Local Democracy Local Facilities National Politics No Category Planning Applications Rawreth Rayleigh Rochford Web Stuff

    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.

    The Roads That Need Repairing


    The County Council admitted in July that over 200 roads in our district need repairing! They say they will fix them by May 2013. Click here to see the list.

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    Join Your Local Team

    If you read onlineFOCUS for a while you can see the kind of things we are trying to achieve locally. Maybe you would like to help us?


    If you fancy helping us deliver leaflets, or actively campaigning for us at election time, or simply just helping behind the scenes with paperwork, please contact the onlineFOCUS team here.

    “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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