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Archive for Elections

Winning And Losing

rosettes

Southend Lib Dem Neil Monnery writes here about winning and losing in politics, and why you need a thick skin:

Winning is like a drug and winning is great but with winning comes long-term responsibilities. On the other side of the ledger is losing. Losing is not fun, most people don’t want to lose but losing badly is a different thing altogether. The only time I’ve personally stood I got a battering and in all honesty it was mostly fair. I also knew it was coming and it didn’t effect me one jot….
….May is very much going to be a tale of two stories for the Lib Dems. The vote is going to collapse but yet the number of MPs won’t collapse to anywhere near the same degree. The power of incumbency is going to do well for the party in many places, including some that the bookies have written off as Lib Dem losses.

Budget Meeting On Tuesday Night…

The District Council have their budget meeting at 7:30 on Tuesday night, it is open to the public (although there is no public speaking).
You can find the agenda here.

Items on the agenda :

Medium Term Financial Strategy 2015/16 – 2018/19 This includes setting the level of District Council tax for next year, and most council fees and charges.

New Council Ward Boundaries - report on the second stage consultation response to the Boundary Commission on new Council ward boundaries.

Allocation of Seats on Committees- report on the allocation of seats to Committees following Toby Mountain, Phil Capon and Tracy Capon joining the Rochford Residents Group.

Red and Green – Clashing Colours

Over the border in Southend West, things seem to be turning unfriendly between Labour and the Green Party.

To find out more, read the latest from Labour parliamentary candidate Julian Ware-Lane here.

Government Commission Proposes New Ward Boundaries !

The 13 proposed district wards

The 13 proposed district wards (click on image to enlarge)

The Local Government Boundary Commission has proposed new council ward boundaries for our district. This follows proposals put forward by the District Council earlier this year.

You can find the details here

This is what they are proposing for the west of our district (West Rayleigh and Rawreth)

1) There would be 39 district councillors for the entire council, representing 13 wards, with three councillors per ward. In the west of our District there would be two wards, Downhall & Rawreth, and Grange.

2) Downhall & Rawreth Ward would be based on the existing ward that Chris Black and Ron Oatham represent. However it would GAIN all of the Victoria Avenue area but would LOSE the Deepdene Avenue area. It would have a slightly lower population than other wards but this is to allow for population growth here in accordance with the council’s development strategy! Grange Ward would be based on the existing Grange ward, but would gain most of the existing Sweyne Park Ward (excluding the Victoria Avenue area) and also gain the Deepdene Avenue area from Downhall & Rawreth.

props map 2

props map 3

Deepdene Avenue area

 

Victoria Avenue area (click to enlarge)

Victoria Avenue area (click to enlarge)

3). The boundaries of each parish would stay the same. Rawreth parish would stay the same size; so would Rayleigh . But Rayleigh Town Council would get a new mix of Town Council wards. For example Grange ward would have four Town councillors , what is currently Downhall would be renamed Sweyne Park and have two, a little ward based around Deepdene would have one and a new ward around Victoria Avenue would have one.

props box 1

4) If you want to object to any of this, or suggest improvements or alterations , you can do so. The commission actually has quite a good record of listening to sensible suggestions. You can do this online and draw your own maps here. For example, residents in the Deepdene Avenue might prefer to stay in Downhall and Rawreth ward.

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.

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Daily Reporting by Chris Black

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Latest Comments

  • Chris Black: Toby , I’m actually fairly relaxed about the Standards Committee situation. I would expect all...
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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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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”

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