onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003

 

Archive for Liberal Democrats

Mike Pitt On the NHS

A Downhall and Rawreth resident (not one of our team) asked Mike Pitt “Will you keep the NHS free at the point of use?” – and received this response:

mike pitt rosette

Yes. I will be alongside my Liberal Democrat colleagues in fighting to keep NHS services free at the point of use.
We have made the NHS one of our priorities at this election: we are committed to increasing the funding by £8billion by the end of the parliament, and are the only party to have provided a clear and costed plan for this funding. I am pleased some of the others agree it is needed now.
If you would like more detail I am happy to do so, but I thought a short answer to a short question would be appreciated.
Thanks for getting in touch,

The Main Lib Dem Policies

Mark Pack writes:

The full set of Liberal Democrat policies for the 2015 general election will appear in the party’s manifesto, which is due to be published shortly. However, the front page of the manifesto, setting out the top Lib Dem policy priorities, has already been released….

policiesClick on the image to enlarge it.

Rayleigh And Wickford Parliamentary Election- Mike Pitt

mike pitt  crop

 

We have a really good candidate. His name is Mike Pitt and he is definitely worth voting for.

Mike has a very strong background in education and business. After attending a comprehensive school, Mike went on to Cambridge University where he obtained a degree in mathematics. After gaining business experience he re-trained in education and now teaches maths –  in a comprehensive school.  He currently lives in Cambridge and is also a Cambridge City councillor. (Incidentally he wasn’t impressed about how Rochford run their cabinet system when we explained it to him).

He’s somebody who’s very bright, hardworking and with a social conscience. He’s easy to chat to, understands how councils work and how to improve them.

Over the last five years the coalition has been clearing up the financial mess left by the last Labour government. (Remember the note left by the outgoing Chief Secretary to the Treasury - “There’s no money left”). Having a stable coalition was crucial, because it helped the government to keep borrowing costs low – maybe the lowest interest rates ever .  Now we can concentrate more on maintaining and improving services. To quote our candidate:

Like most of us I am proud of the NHS, and acknowledge its pressures. Under Liberal Democrat spending plans Health Service funding will be at least £8bn higher per year in real terms by 2020. The Liberal Democrats are the only political party to set out a credible road map for how we will safeguard the NHS over the next parliament. We can’t however do this without finishing the job of deficit reduction: not cutting services for the sake of it but ensuring a fair share of the load being met by a contribution from the richest in society through targeted tax changes. In particular we will continue progress made on tax avoidance and target £6billion more by 2017/18.

mike and chris

 

 

Downhall And Rawreth Election – Ron Oatham

Ron after visiting the council offices yesterday.

Ron after visiting the council offices yesterday.

Ron Oatham is standing again for the District Council elections on May 7th. Ron is a long-time resident in Downhall and Rawreth Ward, living in Brixham Close. He has been one of the Lib Team of District Councillors since 2002. He writes:

I’ve always believed that a councillor’s first priority is to represent the interests of their residents. One of the good things about the Lib Dems is that we don’t use a party whip here. So I can always vote for what I think is right!

I have opposed the Tory administration’s plans for massive housing in Rawreth and West Rayleigh since the process began in about 2007. We had an early success in getting the numbers reduced from 1800 down to about 700- 800 but the infrastructure is still lacking and much needs to be done. I was pleased to second refusal of the planning application when it came to committee in January.

Nationally the Lib Dems have been in coalition with the Tories but in the council there has definitely been no coalition! We have a good local record of sticking up for residents and I hope you will give me your vote on May 7th so I can carry on with my work.
– Ron Oatham

In our early canvassing the response on the doors has been very good, but we are never complacent. We can always do with extra help with leaflets or behind the scenes with paperwork. If you would like to help us – or even stand for election in Rayleigh in future years, please contact Chris at cllrchrisblack@gmail.com

“Just go forward in all your beliefs …”

Colchester Lib Dem Councillor and blogger Nick Barlow is stepping down after 8 years. He explains why in a thoughtful piece here. It is worthwhile reading for anyone trying to become a councillor. Key extracts:

…But what about localism, I hear you ask? Don’t you have all sorts of new powers to do things your way? Pause to hear a legion of councillors laughing sadly at that. Localism sounds good, especially when put through the party political spin machine, but in practice it just means we get to locally decide how much we agree with Eric Pickles on something – total or absolute. For instance, the old centrally imposed housing targets have been removed, which sounds good, but the evidence base on which councils have to decide their housing targets haven’t, so it’s a case of no longer being told from the centre that the answer is 10, but instead being give two fives and told to go away and add them up locally, and you’ll be entirely responsible for the result. After a while being caught between voters’ expectations of what the Council can do, what it can actually do, and Whitehall’s continued belief that we should just be local delivery arms for the Government can get pretty tiring.

I’m reminded of what Tony Benn said when he left the House of Commons, that now he’d have more time for politics. One of the problems of being involved in the day-to-day politics of being a councillor is that you get swamped by the process and forget the wider issues. There’s a tendency to let everything become a process story, and I think that goes some way to explaining why a lot of politicians are suckered by the cult of managerialism – you can feel that the important thing is the sheer action making of decisions, rather than what decisions actually are….

….I’ve still got a month left on the Council, so it’s probably a bit early for epitaphs, but it’s been fun and I’d still recommend it to people who want to have some impact on their community, even if the Council’s not quite the grand seat of power it used to be. To those who remain, and those who come after me, I can only echo the words of someone much older and wiser than me:

One day, I may come back. Yes, I may come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.

Goodbye June

blue rosette

We heard from our Lib Dem colleague June Lumley today that she is going to seek re-election to the District Council this year – but this time as a Conservative.

June has been both a District and Town councillor in Grange Ward for a long time, with a good reputation that has helped her survive repeated Conservative challenges. June has indeed been a dignified and serene chairman of the District Council this year.

If June had stood as an independent, that would not have been a surprise – June has been an independent on the Town Council for a long time. But standing for the Tories isn’t going to be easy- the Conservatives are pretty unpopular in West Rayleigh right now! Her switch is bound to be seen as an endorsement of the Tory District Core Strategy which may lead to all the proposed development North of London Road.

If she wins it will be interesting to see how she manages moving from the Lib Dems, where she has not been whipped, into a tightly-whipped Conservative Group.

For the local Lib Dems , this gives us the chance for more some vigorous campaigning and recruiting in Grange Ward. In a period of 10 years, we found 7 good candidates in Downhall and Rawreth to stand for us around Rayleigh. No new candidates came from Grange Ward.

Beryl Handford

white-lily-wreath

We were shocked to hear of the death of Beryl Handford, the wife of Mike Handford, a former chairman of Rochford District and Rayleigh Town Councils. Beryl was born in London in 1938, and moved with Mike to Rayleigh in 1964.

Beryl was a person who always thought about others, and so worked so hard for others , not for a little while, but for many years! Her outstanding efforts for local voluntary organisations were recognised by Rochford Council in the 2003 “Citizen of the Year – Community Spirit” award. This recognised her decades of work for:

  • WRVS Day Centre, 40 years of service. (volunteer)
  • Rayleigh Blind Club 25 years of service (driver and treasurer)
  • Rayleigh Ladies Club 25 years of service (organiser)
  • Rayleigh Age Concern 40 years of service (organiser/cook for midday meals service)
  • Friends of Holy Trinity 10 years of fundraising.
  • In 1977 she joined the Rayleigh Liberal Association, becoming an Executive Committee member, a post she held until 2005.

    To quote former counciloor Richard Boyd:

    “Beryl was an example of selfless voluntary service, putting more into society than she ever sought to take out.

    The Town is the richer for her work, and thousands of residents received help, meals, and support from her in

    the decades she lived in Rayleigh”

    Beryl is survived by her husband, Mike, and 3 grandchildren (Anthony, Nathan, and Stephanie) and of course our thoughts are with them .

    Norman Lamb , Frank Bruno, And Mental Health

    We don’t post national Lib Dem stuff here very often, but we’ll make an exception for this encouraging video:

     

     

     

    Essex Street Lights Switch-off To Be Raised In Commons

    street-lights-1
    The decision by Essex County Council to switch-off street lights at midnight is to be raised in the House of Commons this morning by Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell.
    Liberal Democrat Sir Bob has had his name drawn for this morning’s Questions to the Secretary of State for Transport – and he has said that he will be asking about the road safety consequences for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians because of the black-out.
    Sir Bob – who is a former Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Road Safety Group – has tried to get Essex County Council to alter its policy, but the Council has refused to do so.

    Well Done Liberal England

     

    central park arrest

    Congrats to Jonathan Calder – his “Liberal England”  has won the  Lib Dem Blog of  the Year  award.

    This weekend he has written about the late Lynsey de Paul,  the Queen Mother in Market Harborough in 1927, and a walrus in St Pancras.

    Another worthy blog belongs to Mark Pack. He shows a remarkable bit of  wartime “town planning” here.

     

    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

    lord-hanningfield

    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?”

    Choose the layout you want to see

    April 2015
    M T W T F S S
    « Mar    
     12345
    6789101112
    13141516171819
    20212223242526
    27282930  

    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.
    Please click here to email us .


    Comments Policy

    We welcome your comments, they are very important to us. However please note:
    * We may not necessarily agree with the comments made by our readers
    * We ask everyone to treat people with respect when making a comment. No personal abuse please.



    Daily Reporting by Chris Black

    With support from:
    Ron Oatham Ron Oatham Bruce Smart Bruce Smart Chris Stanley Chris Stanley
    viewfrommount

    Latest Comments

    • A.Matthews: They (politicians) must think we are stupid falling for the usual sound bites,unfortuna tely some do .It...
    • Linda Kendall: Policy on the back of a fag packet (sorry probably an opera programme) as usual. Please don’t...
    • Peter Scott: Indeed so Chris. Thatchers blunder was serious enough but this one defies logic. I am not against RTB...
    • Oz the Positive: Forget Pitt the Remote, meet Pitt the Invisible… ;.he could give Gino a run for his money in...
    • James Newport: I have a question too – will you turn up to any public events or is it too far from Cambridge?...
    • Christine Paine: I agree, this is a very badly thought through Policy, but what can you expect. Jim has said we need...
    • bruce smart: For years I have been asking for a slip road from Rawreth Lane into Hullbridge Road so traffic can ease...
    • Chris Black: I agree Peter. I imagine there will be a few Tory councillors around the country considering switching...
    • Jim Cripps: Are they taking the Micky or what 😋 . I watched a low-loader Lorry , coming from Hullbridge turn right...
    • Peter Scott: The whole policy is not only badly thought through but is also reckless. We have seen the damage to the...
    • Oz the Positive: I have a question, why did you not turn up at Sweyne School for the hustings ? Was it too far to...
    • admin: HUGE thanks to Maureen, Steve and Melissa…
    • Oz the Positive: Er, what happened to Pitt the Remote…..
    • admin: By the way Linda you might like to have a word with the RSPB – they don’t seem to have your...
    • admin: It was a pity Linda that we didn’t attend but our absolute priority in the last few days had to be to...
    • Linda Kendall: I like the new post ‘the campaigning squirrel’ Last night at the Rayleigh Hustings at...
    • Oz the Positive: Jim@6, mate, you will give yourself a seizure at this rate….it& #8217;s only an electionR...
    • Jim Cripps: This one is difficult , it is a British culture ( to own your own home) , even if it is only an...
    • Jim Cripps: Oz @4 – Lecturer in Statistics says it all , the condescending Geek is almost certainly one of...
    • Jason Richer: If voting changed anything they would ban it. I think parties of all colours should take a long hard...
    • Toby Mountain: Jamie Burton – This article mentions immigration, women and europe! What more can I add??
    • Oz the Positive: Here is an interesting fact taken from the BBC site, puts all those election promises of will spend...
    • Jamie burton: Toby, what an irresponsible, inaccurate and mischievous comment to make. Perhaps you could explain why...
    • Chris Black: I see this as of historical interest rather than political interest. I wonder waht work he did here. As...
    • Angelina: By candidates, I mean all 6 of them.
    • Angelina: Toby, the candidates views on this little article might make interesting debate at Friday’s hustings.
    • Toby Mountain: I hope UKIP don’t read this article – They’ll be outraged!
    • admin: Thanks Green Belt. …
    • Jim Cripps: To be honest they all annoy me , it seems to be a daily menu of promises trying to out bid each other for...
    • Greenbelt: Chris. A location suggestion which is not commonly known. As it’s only open in summer months, now is...

    Recent Posts


    Lib Dem logo
    Legal Statement for the purposes of complying with electoral law: This website is published and promoted by Stephen Tellis at 22 Beech Av, Rayleigh, SS6 8AE on behalf of Liberal Democrat Candidates all at c/o 22 Beech Av, Rayleigh The technology and hosting used for this website is provided by 1&1 Internet Limited, The Nova Building, Herschel Street Slough SL1 1XS

    Technical Help : Graham Osborn

    Posts To Remember

    Categories

    Categories

    Asda or Makro Council Budget Council Drama 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 YouTube and Video

    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.

    Food Hygiene Ratings

    To find the food hygiene rating for eating places and other businesses in our district , click here.

    Essex Political Blogs

    Geography, History , Science

    Lib Dem Websites

    Local Council Websites

    Local History

    Local Info

    Non-Political Stuff

    Other Lib Dem Blogs

    Planning Issues

    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

    Join the National Team

    If you would like email updates on what the Lib Dems are doing nationally, click here.
    If you would like to join the Lib Dems click here.

    Meta