An Important Consultation

The district council are running an online survey about future planning issues. You can find the link by clicking here.

This may be everyone’s best chance to influence future decisions – so respond and ask your local friends to do as well. The deadline is 5 pm on October 10th.

Some extra thoughts:
– we hope residents without Internet access will be able to comment.
– we hope that a meeting of the Planning Policy Sub-Committee will meet to discuss this – and in the evening, so that its easy for the public to come and watch.
– We’d like to hear your views on the design of the survey itself – is it nice and easy to use , or is something a bit more detailed required, with more in the way of background information to allow informs comments?

overall rankings2

Social Mobility in Rochford District

Most people would agree that, in a ‘good’ country , someone from a poor or disadvantaged background should be able to achieve success in life. We’ve hopefully moved beyond the feudal age. So it follows that in a ‘good’ district , the same also applies. But just how socially mobile are we in Rochford?

There’s some new figures out from the government that are at least mildly interesting on this. Where does Rochford come ? In the top 30 % of districts in England. Which isn’t bad. That’s better than Southend, Basildon and Castle Point. Maldon comes top in Essex.

You may wonder how these things are calculated. Well it’s based on a lot of statistical data. We could say it’s hard to explain, but actually we don’t understand the calculations either. 😉

overall rankings

rochford life

An Interview With The Leader

Rochford Life has an interview with Terry Cutmore, the leader of the District Council here.

Key quote:

“Yes, there have been complaints. I can’t hide from that because we publish them; they aren’t terrible figures but we have a challenge there. Inevitably in an organisation you’d like to deliver a Rolls Royce service but we probably deliver a Ford Focus service and there’s nothing wrong with a Ford Focus.”

map district

Nominate your Citizen of the Year – And Group Of The Year

From the District Council Website:

As 2015 draws to a close, the time has come once again to nominate your Citizen of the Year. And this time the awards are even more exciting, with some brand new group categories to choose from!

The Citizen of the Year Awards are the perfect opportunity to recognise and acknowledge local groups and people for their valuable work and outstanding achievements. From helping our District’s children to providing essential services to the vulnerable, and from helping neighbours to tirelessly working in the community, we want to hear about those extraordinary groups and individuals that really make a difference to the community.

The Chairman of Rochford District Council, Cllr Mrs Heather Glynn, will judge the nominations and present the awards at a special Citizen of the Year Awards Ceremony. She said: “The Citizen of the Year Awards are the ideal opportunity to give special recognition to those who deserve it.

“This year I wanted to do things a bit differently by opening up the opportunity to the many local groups and clubs which do wonderful things for the district. Therefore this year’s categories include Charitable Group and Youth Group, as well as Individual’s Achievement of the Year.

“Please help me give recognition to the amazing groups and people we are lucky enough to have in the district. I look forward to reading your nominations!”

Nominations are open to individuals and groups located within the Rochford district. The categories are:

• Individual’s Achievement of the Year (an individual of any age, who lives in the district)
• *NEW CATEGORY* Charitable Group (groups of all ages)
• *NEW CATEGORY* Youth Group (groups for those aged under 18 years)

You can nominate using the online form -For more information or to request a paper application form email

The closing date for entries is 31st January 2016.


Why Does Rochford Have As Many Places With Zero Hygiene Ratings As Southend, Basildon And Castle Point Put Together?

Back last February we wrote about the food hygiene ratings for restaurants, cafes etc in our district. At that time there was only one premises in our district with a food hygiene rating of zero out of five.

But if you look now at the Food Standards Agency website you will see there are now eleven premises in Rochford district with a zero rating – meaning ‘urgent improvement necessary’. There are another eighteen with a one rating – meaning “major improvement necessary”.

By comparison, there are only four zero rated premises in Southend.
There are only three in Basildon.
There are four in Castle Point.

So Rochford has as many places with zero hygiene ratings as Southend, Basildon and Castle Point put together! Is that because hygiene levels are really lower at these places, or are the inspections here tougher?


Aiming For A Healthier Essex

The District Council’s Review Committee met last night to hear two presentations on health and care in Rochford and Castle Point.. They were unusually interesting – although too detailed to summarise here. Also full marks to the Labour chair of the committee, Jerry Gibson, for allowing the public to ask questions at the end.

However there are two points worth making. First of all, an effort is being made to get all GP surgeries in Rochford and Castle Point to open 7 days a week.

Secondly , the County Council has a fairly new website to encourage healthy living   – Its worth a look.


Benefits Update

From the District Council website:

Intermittent disruption to Revenues and Benefits online services

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

We are experiencing intermittent issues with Revenues and Benefits online services, which are currently being investigated.  These may affect access and/or functionality.  The online payments service is unaffected.

We apologise for any inconvenience.

extensive but contented

Satisfied In Our Expensive Homes – and Reasonably Happy

According to the Daily Telegraph Rochford District has expensive homes – but also lots of satisfied people.

The data on ‘satisfaction’ comes from the Office of National Statistics. Between 2012 and 2014, people were asked how satisfied they were with their lives , where 0 meant not at all satisfied and 10 meant completely satisfied. Rochford came out well, with an average score of 7.9. We are the most satisfied district in Essex:


The survey also asked “To what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?” and on ‘worthwhile’ Rochford has an average score of 8 – a little bit above the national average. Uttlesford and Epping came out ahead of us in Essex.


The next question was “How happy did you feel yesterday? and for that the Rochford average was also slightly about the national figure. Once again, Uttlesford and Epping beat us.


The final question was: “How anxious did you feel yesterday?” – and for Rochford, the answer was reasonably good, although Uttlesford came out ahead of us:


If you want to delve further into these figures for other areas, you can find them here. Though always remember these are only averages, and that not everyone is happy, or free of anxiety….

essex police crop

Some More Crime Stats…

Delving further into the website, we’ve found four charts:

First of all, a chart showing the number of burglaries in Rayleigh each month for the past year:

burglary chart

Secondly, a chart showing Rochford District has the lowest number of burglaries in Essex per head of population:

burglary comparison

Thirdly, a chart for violence and sexual offences – we come second lowest in Essex per head of population:

violence  comparison

and finally a chart showing that Rochford District has the lowest number of all crimes in Essex per head of population:

crime  comparison

A Nice Little Earner

million-pounds cash

The Daily Mirror has been looking at the private landlord companies that, overall, receive billions of pounds of housing benefit payments from the government each year. In particular they focused on UKIP’s housing spokesman, whom they state receives £800,000 of housing benefit money each year from Haringey council.

However the Mirror also has a nifty interactive page where you can find out which companies receive housing benefit money, council by council – including Rochford, Castle Point and Southend.

The amounts in Rochford are relatively small – we don’t have much privately rented housing. The biggest recipient is in Castle Point.

This is the situation at the moment. If the Conservatives win a majority of seats and are able to sell-off housing association homes, things will go from bad to worse (unless you are a landlord).