onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003

 

Archive for Liberal Democrats

Beryl Handford

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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

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    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?

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    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

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    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….

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    Daily Reporting by Chris Black

    With support from:
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    Latest Comments

    • Sue Murton: I am delighted it was refused it is like a heavy weight lifted from my shoulders and I cannot thank those...
    • A.Matthews: What concerns me is the lack of County responsibility to Highways and Waste Management issues .It was...
    • Jim Cripps: A mighty well done to all concerned – gives me some hope of a fair hearing for the forthcoming...
    • Christine Paine: To say I am delighted to read this would be an understatement. I’m sure this won’t be...
    • Jim Cripps: Well , surprise-surpri se – one look at the EA Flood Risks maps and here we go again with wholesale...
    • Whitevanman: Oh Yeah – Politician = spin = statistics = lies . I am back in the real world now
    • The Mighty Oz: Sue@1, I’m sure you feel pretty fed up about the golf course but come on, Elf & Safety...
    • Jim Cripps: So, houses in the flood risk zone but not Solar Panels – what is the rationale there then?.
    • A.Matthews: Beware of politicians bearing promises! You may not get what you expect! Still no Rochford Matters . Good...
    • admin: Doesn’t EVERY candidate promise to address the local issues?
    • admin: Sue , I’m very sorry for not getting back to you with the revised plans, I have sent you a separate...
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    • The Mighty Oz: Well I’ve seen it all now, even the protesters are protesting against each other ! 👎
    • Linda Kendall: Greenbelt @ 12. I am sorry if the protest of Rayleigh Action Group has come about at an inconvenient...
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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.

    Food Hygiene Ratings

    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”

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

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