onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003

 

Archive for Liberal Democrats

Wishful Thinking?

annual report 2014

We are slightly alarmed by the District Council’s annual report , due to be approved by Full Council tomorrow.

AS Cllr Toby Mountain has pointed out to us, this important official document shows the number of councillors as follows:

1 Lib Dem

Now, there are 3 of us. We should be able to get this corrected tomorrow night – unless they have a sinister fate planned for two of us… ;)

Liberal Democrats ‘Call-In’ Lord Hanningfield Decision

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Breaking news from the County Council – Liberal Democrats at County Hall have ‘called in’ the decision by Essex County Council Tories not to pursue Lord Hanningfield in the Civil Courts. Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Cllr. Mike Mackrory said:

“I called in this decision because I believe we owe it to the council taxpayers of Essex to scrutinise this decision. There is an overwhelming public interest here for justice to be seen to be done; the £51,000 originally claimed back is a token amount out of the total £288,000 claimed by him whilst Leader of the Council. Why should he get away with this when people who are in arrears with their council tax or people who have committed fraud against the council are relentlessly pursued through the courts? Why is there one rule for Lord Hanningfield and another for ordinary people?”

A Sad Situation…

Susan Gaszczak , who was the Lib Dem candidate for Rayleigh and Wickford at the last general election, resigned yesterday  from the party over the handling of the Lord Rennard allegations. Other members of her family have also resigned.  We wish her well for the future.

The website Liberal Democrat Voice has an item here  on this sad situation -  including her resignation letter and lots of comments from Lib Dems.

Comments on this issue are disabled.

 

 

 

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.

 

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

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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.

Whipping Themselves Into Errors

ukip

 

There’s a slightly peculiar article in the latest Rayleigh Times this week,  from the UKIP candidate John Hayter. It’s called “THE SCOURGE OF THE PARTY WHIP  – ITS IN THE PARTY’S INTEREST NOT THE ELECTORATE”. As you can guess, he’s not keen on the party whip system.

The article begins:

The local elections are fast approaching with 11 wards to be contested in Rochford District. There will be several key issues . There is the matter of the party whip employed by the three main parties – the Lib Dems,  Labour and the Conservatives…

… The Conservative councillors are told which way to vote, and do so for their party, and not for the electorate. The same applies to the other two main parties in councils…

And that’s just incorrect . Because the Lib Dems haven’t had a whip on the District Council for years  and there haven’t been any Labour councillors at all for years.  It shows a pretty shocking lack of knowledge about the council.

And then the article goes on to describe things that UKIP are committed to doing in our district.  Which is weird. Because how can UKIP promise in advance how any UKIP councillors would vote – without having some kind of a whip themselves?

 

 

 

 

Chris And Chris

Why do Downhall & Rawreth and Grange wards have Liberal Democrat councillors? We think that’s because:

- people like how we have voted on various issues, such as the overdevelopment of our area.
– we try harder than the other parties to keep people informed with newsletters and onlineFOCUS
– the Lib Dems want to have listening councillors who engage with the public
– we vote for what’s best for our areas, not just following a party line like the current Conservative group.

There are District Council elections in May and we’d like to tell you what we are doing in these wards:

Chris Black (11 of 20) small

Chris Black is standing again in Downhall and Rawreth. Four years ago he beat the Conservative candidate pretty comfortably, but that was four years ago and we are taking nothing for granted.
Contact details for Chris Black are:
Telephone: 01268 778973
Email: cllrchrisblack@gmail.com
Letters: 56 Love Lane Rayleigh Essex SS6 7DX
Chris is a life-long Rayleigh resident, he went to Glebe, Downhall and Sweyne Schools. He works in the shipping industry along the Thames.

chris stanley smallish

In Grange ward Liberal Democrat councillors Chris and June Lumley have a great record dealing with local problems in a friendly non political way that residents like, that is why they have been re-elected many times. June remains a Councillor but this year Chris Lumley has decided to retire from the District Council – although he will still be on the Town Council.

We have carefully chosen Chris Stanley as our candidate here, we think he is definitely the best person to follow in Chris Lumley’s footsteps. Chris has been part of our team for several years, helping to deliver our newsletters and getting involved in  local issues. He wants to be another listening councillor, keeping in contact with people. He has lived in the Down Hall Road area since 1970 and is a semi-retired electrician. “Chris and Chris” are already working together on issues – you might have seen them recently at events at the Mill Hall and St Nicholas School.

Contact details for Chris Stanley:
Phone 01268 785732
Email: chrismstanley@hotmail.co.uk
Home address: 48 Hambro Avenue Rayleigh, Essex

We put our hearts into working for our areas because we really do care. Too many people have been elected elsewhere in our District, just because their party is doing well in the national polls and they are wearing the right colour rosette. We don’t want that to happen here, but we could do with some help!  If any onlinefocus readers can help us a little, delivering 150- 200 leaflets or spending a hour helping us on election day May 22nd, we’d be very grateful!

Nothing Tonight

Apologies, no new item this evening, we are busy at Onlinefocus Towers writing some leaflets….

Liberal England’s 10th Birthday

lord bonkers

Congratulations to Jonathan Calder for writing the Liberal England blog for the past 10 years. He’s thoughtful, funny and often wistful…

Any Chance Of Some Help?

ViewRayleighMount5

One of our volunteer helpers who delivers  some Focus leaflets for us has had to step down through poor health.

So we could do with another helper – to help in Downhall and Rawreth Ward.

We give people 100-150 leaflets to deliver, every few months. It can be quite fun – you get to look at people’s gardens and talk to their cats…..

We do need helpers, they are very important for us. If you live anywhere in the ward (or even just outside it) and would like to help , please let us know.

“10 Reasons Why Mary From Sherlock Should Stick With The Lib Dems”

sherlock

On Buzzfeed here

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The list begins with…

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And Congratulations Also To Geoff Williams !

Congratulations also to Basildon Lib Dem Councillor Geoff Williams who has been awarded an OBE.

It is very well deserved.

Geoff also has the distinction of having  had his face on the side of local buses…. he’s really an all-round inspiring person…

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Who We Are

We are Liberal Democrat councillors and campaigners in Rochford District.
We want to improve local decision-making and we see onlineFOCUS as a good way of keep residents informed and involved.
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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

  • Chris Black: Oz, the father left school in Bristol at the age of 13 and was still working when he died at 69, when...
  • The Mighty Oz: Chris, re post 12, if the dad died after 55 years at work and he started work at 15 then would have...
  • admin: The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has the final say, not the council. They will definitely...
  • Jim Cripps: So who actually has the say on the divi-up ? – if it is the Cabinet then this will almost certainly...
  • admin: Bruce is checking on that for you…
  • Angelina: It’s very good to see him taking such a caring view towards our Police officers and PCSOs.
  • Mrs J Burgess: Is there a family fun day on this bank holiday monday 25th august 2014
  • Chris Black: Grannyt – I think you can always quote individual anecdotes to support an argument for and...
  • Grannyt: I knew someone who had free school meas for her children and thought the Council should still provide them...
  • RAB: There are still free school meals for any family who are in receipt of a benefit and should still remain the...
  • The Mighty Oz: This one could run and run but, someone with 2 kids already gets nearly £130 a month in child...
  • JIM Cripps: Catch up – apparently we are still in the fund raising phase ( a grant is being applied for...
  • JIM Cripps: I’m not really in either camp on this - On the one hand do-gooders have actually help create a...
  • Christine Paine: I completely agree with funding education, basically for the reasons stated. However, I cannot agree...
  • admin: Oz at 4 . Let’s go back a step – Why should you fund education for other peoples children? Because...
  • admin: Oz at 3 – the thing about a paper based system is that it is quite hard to rig the results. Not...
  • The Mighty Oz: OK, not the right place for this post ( and yes, it’s not local BUT ) this is Euro Claggy̵...
  • The Mighty Oz: Er, why not, you could say that about a paper based system. What a strange remark to make.
  • admin: But could you trust the results?
  • The Mighty Oz: Given it’s now 2014 why on earth can’t we vote on line. I am sure we would get a much...
  • The Mighty Oz: Now this would be interesting ! https://www.gov .uk/government/ news/lights-cam era-democrac...
  • Christine Paine: At least he has the advantage of not being that far away from Westminster. I’ve often thought...
  • Jim Cripps: So as you can see, the question was’nt answered ( my question was which Council meeting discussed...
  • Angelina: I don’t know James Duddridge, but have seen him around at various RDC events. When he has his...

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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”

When the Olympic Torch came to Rayleigh, Chris Black wrote about the town in the Guardian - read it here

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