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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.

 

Register To Vote Online

polling station sign

You can register online to vote at the gov.uk website here.

It takes about 5 minutes, you will need your NI number , if you have one.

Consultation Number 2 : On Ward Boundaries

election consultation

Another consultation is on ward boundaries for council elections…

What’s it about? It’s about drawing up new ward boundaries for council elections in Rochford District.

What isn’t it about? – it’s not about parliamentary elections. Only District Council.

What’s the deadline for replying? 12th September

Give me a bit more info: Its time for a government commission to look at all the various council wards we have in Rochford District. This is to ensure that , roughly, each councillor represents the same number of people. There’s a bit of an imbalance at the moment – for example Downhall and Rawreth Ward has more residents than average. The current intention is to keep the same number of councillors – 39. But at the moment we mostly have wards with two Councillors each , for example, Rayleigh currently has eight 2-member wards. Though some wards, like Hullbridge, have 3 councillors, and some , like Barling and Sutton , have 1 councillor. The commission would change this to have all wards with 3 councillors. Now the new ward boundaries have to be drawn up, also taking into account new housing expected in the next few years.

Are there any big changes planned? Well, it’s going to mean big changes across the district. For example, in west Rayleigh and Rawreth we currently have three wards, each with 2 councillors – Downhall & Rawreth, Grange, and Sweyne Park. These are likely to become just two wards, with 3 councillors each. Where do you draw the new boundaries? One way to begin would be to expand Downhall and Rawreth ward southwards to include all of Down Hall Road.

Where can I find out more? Look at the District Council website here You can draw your own lines on a map, and leave comments.

Consultation Number 1 : On Polling Stations

polling station sign

There are quite a few consultations going on at the moment. Here’s one on polling stations:

What’s it about? Polling Stations- where people vote in elections.

What isn’t it about? – it’s not about the boundaries of council wards , or which areas are represented by which councillors. That’s a different consultation…

What’s the deadline for replying? 12th September

Give me a bit more info: Well, there are 45 polling stations across the district,, from Rawreth Village Hall in the west to the Heritage Centre on Foulness Island in the east. This is a routine consultation to check that the polling stations we have a convenient for people to get to and convenient to use.

Are there any big changes planned Should I be alarmed? There’s not much cause for alarm. The only polling station suggested for closure is at Paglesham Congregational Church, which isn’t available anyway for 2015. Probably the key question is whether the polling station at Hullbridge Free Church should be replaced by one at Hullbridge Sports and Social Club:

The Free Church is well known as the polling station for the area, however the disabled access needs improving.
Disabled access is better at Hullbridge Sports and Social Club. Parking facilities are good, but those on foot have further to walk as the club is situated down a long access road.

Where can I find out more? Look at the District Council website here. And in particular download the Returning Officers comments and proposals here.

Election Result : UKIP gain 3, Labour gain 1, Lib Dems Lose 1, Tories lose 3

Rayleigh at dawn this morning

Rayleigh at dawn this morning

The final results came just after 4 this morning and we left the count as the dawn broke over Rayleigh.

Here’s the outcome :

UKIP gained their first 3 seats – Great Wakering & Foulness, and Trinity ward from the Conservatives, and Grange Ward from the Lib Dems. But after two early gains their challenge fizzled out a bit. They failed to take Hawkwell North (where they only lost by 25 votes last year) and Whitehouse (where they only lost by 7 last year). UKIP now have 3 seats , and are equal in size to the Lib Dem group.

Labour gained a seat, after being completely absent from the council for some years. The Labour candidate Jerry Gibson, beat James Cottis.

The Lib Dems lost Grange to UKIP, which is really disappointing for us after having a good candidate in Chris Stanley to follow Chris Lumley. However at least Chris Black was a comfortable winner in Downhall and Rawreth.

Michael Hoy comfortably held Hullbridge for the Greens and John Mason did the same for the Rochford Residents Party in Hawkwell West.

The Conservatives lost 3 seats but had comfortable wins in Hawkwell South (Heather Glynn) and Hockley Central (Carol Weston). . They had narrower wins in Hawkwell North, Rayleigh Central, Wheatley and Whitehouse.

And now… off to bed after being up for 23 hours!

A Year After Rayleigh South

Last year Keith Gibbs (UKIP) beat John Flack (Conservative) in the County Council election for Rayleigh South.

They are both standing for election tomorrow.

Even though Keith Gibbs is already a County Councillor for Rayleigh South, and so has to deal with Rayleigh’s highways, education , social services issues etc, he is standing for the District Council in Hawkwell North. Which is pretty odd, and it’s hard to see how it can help his present constituents in Rayleigh.

Meanwhile John Flack is on the Conservative list for the European elections..

Steve Tellis For Central Ward

steve tellis

Steve Tellis is our Liberal Democrat candidate for Rayleigh Central ward. He describes himself as follows:

Lived in Rayleigh for over 25 years .
Married, children educated in Rayleigh schools.
Experienced former councillor, works in London (train commuter).
Strongly against the Council’s introduction car park charges on Saturday afternoon, which will harm the town centre.
Campaigned against extra housing development during the consultation period.

Steve was the guy who got the names for the car parking petition together with Chris Stanley (he took the photo of Chris that has been in the press).

 

Steve mentions he is a former councillor – indeed he was elected as a Lib Dem for Wheatley ward some year ago. The way he got elected was pretty extraordinary. Wheatley Ward has generally been the Conservative’s strongest ward in Rayleigh and winning it is a pretty awesome task. Steve stood there in the early 1990s and lost – by just one vote. As it happened, the other seat in the ward came up the following year and Steve had another go. As you can imagine, the closeness of the result made it easier for both the Tories and the Lib Dems to get people out to vote – because one person’s vote really could make a difference. The end result was that Steve won the second time around by over a hundred.  The extraordinary thing was the turnout – over 60% in an ordinary council election.

 

Poll Cards

Just to say .. if you are in a ward with a District Council and European election on May 22nd, you will probably have received one polling card that covers both elections…..

It’s not essential to take your polling card with you to the polling station, but it does help.

When We’re Good We’re Very Very Good And When We’re Bad We’re Horrid..

lib-dem-libby small

Southend Labour blogger and councillor Julian Ware-Lane has a summary here of council by-elections across Britain last month.

He mentions that in a by-election in Lincolnshire the Lib Dems only got 9 votes. That is an amazingly poor vote – bearing in mind you need 10 names on your nomination paper.

But on the positive side, the Lib Dems were the only party to actually gain any seats – winning one from the Conservatives and one from an Independent.

It shows that where we are working hard and have a real connection with local residents, we can do very well, despite the national opinion polls.

What We’ve Learned From Our Canvassing So Far

Rainbow over West Rayleigh this evening

Rainbow over West Rayleigh this evening

Canvassing is a pretty enjoyable experience this year.

In our key wards of Downhall & Rawreth and Grange our support seems about as strong as in previous years. People are generally friendly, and even those who are not voting for us are polite. We’ve even gained a couple of extra leaflet deliverers!

Frequently in Grange Ward residents tell us that they think Chris Lumley has done a really good job as a ward councillor.

Main issues? Well, national politics isn’t being mentioned much. (Though a few people are still pretty unhappy with the Lib Dem national party over Tuition Fees.) The main local issue is the proposed housing – residents are mostly concerned about traffic, flood prevention and schooling, which is what we expected. People are asking where the proposed Traveller site will be – it’s further away than most people had thought, though they are generally still concerned about it.

There are also a lot of very local items cropping up , such as parking in Grange Gardens, and on the junction of Fairland Close and Hambro Hill.

But away from the issues, it’s great walking around talking to people and chatting about things like their gardens. And – not for the first time this year- we’ve had someone praising the work of the Basildon Cardiothoracic Centre.

The Final Five Wards ….

Rayleigh Central
The current Conservative Councillor, Pat Aves, is stepping down.
David Bodimeade (Labour)
Margaret Spencer (Conservative)
Stephen Tellis (Lib Dem)
Sally-Ann Twydell (UKIP)

Rochford
The current Tory councillor here is James Cottis , although he is giving a Paglesham address. The UKIP candidate is giving a Shoeburyness address.
James Cottis (Conservative)
Jerry Gibson (Labour)
Jacqueline Moyies (UKIP)
Arthur Williams (Independent)

Trinity
The current Conservative Councillor, Jim Grey, is stepping down. The Labour candidate is giving an Ashingdon address.
John Hayter (UKIP)
Bob Milne (Conservative)
Victoria Williams (Labour)

Wheatley
The current Conservative Councillor, the well-known Mavis Webster, is stepping down. The Labour candidate is giving a Hullbridge address.
Rachael Broomfield (Labour)
Jack Lawmon (Conservative)
Robert Murgatroyd (UKIP)

Whitehouse
The current councillor is Conservative Robin Dray, although he only beat Linda Kendall of UKIP by a handful of votes last year. UKIP have a diffent candidate this time.
Robin Dray (Conservative)
Jason Hodson (UKIP)

The Next Four Wards……

Hawkwell South
Currently a Conservative seat . Veteran councillor Heather Glynn is standing again for the Conservatives:
Heather Glynn (Conservative)
David Lench (Labour)

Hawkwell West
Currently held by the Rochford District Residents party. John Mason is defending his seat.
Gill Gibson (Labour)
John Mason (Rochford District Residents)
Michael Webb (Conservative)

Hockley Central
Currently a Conservative seat. The current councillor Carole Weston is standing again.
Steve Hickin (Labour)
Carole Weston (Conservative)
Gabrielle Yeadell (Green Party)

Hullbridge
The seat that comes up this year is currently held by Michael Hoy from the Green Party. He is standing again.
Mark Hale (Conservative)
Michael Hoy (Green Party)
June Mather (Labour)

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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

  • JIM Cripps: Also pleasing is the number of new names appearing on the postings on here now – A big increase...
  • A.Matthews: This is great news all power to the Capons ,hope others follow suit.You can retain your principles whilst...
  • A.Matthews: We also have cameras on the Bridge and Goose Cottages in Battlesbridge.H ope they do not go walk a bout...
  • admin: Some Conservative councillors have a quiet read, but we don’t know if either of our district’ s...
  • The Mighty Oz: Does our MP read this site ? If so Mr Francois would you please respond to the above comments from...
  • Jim Cripps: Great news, slowly but surely we are moving back towards a democracy – now just needs some of the...
  • collin: Thank god its now open, but I guess the flooding (as last week) will now become a regular issue once again....
  • Christine Paine: Linda – that of course was after he had been out in the High Street collecting signatures on a...
  • Linda Kendall: The Mighty Oz.@ 16. Re.The article in the Echo. Some people have very short memories. Mark Francois...
  • Jim Cripps: Yes , that you think it is a big ask for the judge to decide against a Council ( because of wider...
  • Angelina: Great news.
  • Proper Planning: If the Judge were to find in the appellant’ ;s (Linda Kendall) favour, then his decision would...
  • Jim Cripps: James – beyond our own ‘local event’ I think there is now a dawning by the public at...
  • bruce smart: Sadly one mans voice seems to carry, or people posting think it will, carry more weight than that of...
  • The Mighty Oz: I wonder what could have woken up our invisible MP, look, he’s at it again. He will wear himself...
  • admin: Jim @ 13. , that’s the next one to write about. But I,m just back from serious dental work, so it might...
  • James w: Then again….th is may be his plan. If he knows development wont go ahead, as it’s so unpopular,...
  • Jim Cripps: Admin – as you have quoted the MF objection , you might want to quote the objection from the RTSSC...
  • richard lambourne: Christine@ @3 cynic maybe, but I think he has noticed that UKIP have taken over parts of his...
  • Linda Kendall: Chris. Your comments are all true. At last years hearing one local Tory Councillor, sitting listening,...
  • James w: Don’t be fooled! He knows he can object and win over some naïve voters, whilst development will...
  • richard lambourne: Well Angelina @5..why not cite an example where his “concerns ” have translated into...
  • Chris Black: Any attempts by Mark Francois to improve the situation would have been boosted 10 fold if there had been...
  • Jim Cripps: @ 5 – well 10 years is enough time to have done something about it…… ;😳

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

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