onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003

 

Archive for Public Safety

FREE SANDBAGS

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From the District Council website today

Rochford District Council issues free sandbags

Due to the adverse weather conditions, Rochford District Council will be providing free sandbags and sand to those in need.
These will be available from BSG Buildbase, at Purdeys Industrial Estate, in tomorrow (Friday, February 14).
Residents will need to take proof of residency with them, such as a council tax or utility bill.
They will not be expected to pay for them, merely to sign for them.
Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Keith Hudson, said: “Because of the exceptional weather conditions we are experiencing at the moment, following urgent discussions with our officers this afternoon, Rochford District Council has approved this move to help residents all that we possibly can.”
Rochford District Council also called a meeting on Wednesday afternoon with partner agencies to discuss the response to flooding issues.
The meeting was a move to work more closely with Anglia Water, Essex County Council’s Highways department and the Flooding Partnership manager at Essex County Council to find joint solutions to tackle flooding.

Something For The UK To Be Proud Of

Not exactly local news – but this interactive map shows the number of road deaths per 100,000 people in the year 2010.

Move the curssor onto any country to get the figures. For the UK the figure was 3.7 deaths per 100,000 people. That’s still 3.7 too many, but still better than almost anywhere else!  The figure for Germany was 4.7 , USA 11.4, Russia 18.6, Iran 34.1…

hat-tip: Andrew Sullivan

Pool? Drainage Feature ? Hazard?

The other major planning application last Thursday was near King Edmund School.

This is a 13 acre site, and the scheme was for 100 houses and flats, a new access road, a new car park and new bus park for King Edmund School, and some open space.

This scheme had already been approved ‘in outline’ – it was the details that were being agreed here.

The big issue was, rather unexpectedly, over a new large water retention pond. It would slope very gently, and the maximum depth would be 4 feet. The idea was to have a new pond here to receive rainwater and prevent flash flooding. But some councillors, such as Gill Lucas-Gill, were concerned about the safety aspects for children . Councillor Keith Gordon was concerned that when there wasn’t much rain it might it get full of mosquitoes. Other councillors were simply very wary – this wasn’t in the middle of a big park, it wasn’t too far from houses.

In the end the scheme was passed.

Embrace Life !

We’ve never posted this film before …. almost incredibly “How It Feels To Be Run Over” was made in 1900. And hopefully it shocked those watching it to think about road safety.

We post this beautiful video about once a year and will carry on doing so…. So many people are feeling good right now, with the summer holidays and the Olympics. So let’s be careful and “Embrace life” and the ones we love….

Beware Of the Algae ! Do Not Touch Scum!

Image from the Environment Agency leaflet

From the District Council Website today:

Rochford District Council is issuing a warning to all pet owners in the District who use Cherry Orchard Jubilee Country Park after the discovery of potentially toxic algal blooms in the lake.
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During periods of warm, sunny, calm weather algal blooms can naturally appear in water.
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Following the discovery of what appeared to be algae and algae scum on the lake at Cherry Orchard Jubilee Country Park, the Council put up precautionary notices around the lake warning visitors of the possible dangers of Blue Green Algae.
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Samples of the algae and water were taken and sent for testing by the Environment Agency.
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The results of these samples have confirmed that potentially toxic Blue Green Algae is present in the lake which may cause illness in humans and animals.
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The Council is requesting that visitors to the lake take the following precautions:

• Keep away from the water’s edge.
• Keep pets away from the water’s edge.
• Do not touch scum, either in the water or on the banks.

The full article is here.

You can download the Evironment Agency leaflet on blue-green algae here. (360kb)

It says:


How can blue-green algae affect you?

Bloom and scum forming blue-green algae can produce toxins. Toxin producing blooms are called Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs).
These toxins can kill wild animals, farm livestock and domestic pets . In humans, they can cause rashes after skin contact and
illnesses if swallowed. Not all blue-green algae blooms and scums are toxic, but you can’t tell just by looking at them, so it’s best to assume they are.

County Council Paying Over A Million Pounds A Year In Pothole Compensation

From thisistotalessex:

POTHOLES on Essex roads have forced the council to pay injured motorists and pedestrians more than £4 million in compensation in just three years.
A Chronicle Freedom of Information request reveals Essex County Council paid £4,395,144 of taxpayers’ money in damages to residents hurt by falling or driving into potholes on our county’s roads.

And with budgets being squeezed at county hall and funding for capital projects cut to a third, opposition councillors say that compensation claims are likely only to rise.
Tom Smith-Hughes, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said: “Contrary to what the administration has been saying – the state of our roads is pretty bad.
“Compensation claims are only likely to rise with the cuts, as there won’t be enough money to fix all the roads.
“My one worry is that the council accepts these payouts because it can’t afford to fix the underlying problem.”

Neil Greig, the Essex spokesman for the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: “The problem lies partly in years of underinvestment.
“Essex, like most local authorities, has fallen into that trap.
“Not only are we wasting millions of pounds in compensation claims but we have a huge backlog of roads that need improving.

It’s going to take years to sort this out. A good starting point would be for the Conservatives on the County Council to admit they have got us into this mess. They can’t say they weren’t warned. The Lib Dems warned back in 2008:

“It will mean that people in Essex will have to get used to bigger potholes being around for longer, as the ruling party fail to balance its funding of road maintenance. The proposals come just weeks after the Conservatives announced a £10m overspend on the highways budget.
“The report is riddled with inconsistencies and it is hard to see how it will be of benefit to residents . The basic premise seems to be to wait until damage to road surfaces get worse before even looking to see whether it should be fixed or not. The Conservatives are recommending that when dealing with misaligned kerbs, for example, there is no commitment at all to provide a date for work to be carried out.
“Apart from the obvious inconvenience to the public, we have concerns about the additional hazard that damaged road and footpath surfaces will have for cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians alike. This will inevitably lead to more and higher level compensation claims being made against the council.

The Rules On Storing Petroleum

We had the following email today from one of our regular readers, “Greenbelt”

Hi ,
I thought you may be interested in what the Petroleum Regs. say about storage of petrol in cans as not even Francis Maude is aware of the law.
I have attached a couple of extracts from the regulations, which where amended by Statutory Instrument when plastic cans came into use, and these laws are,as you know, enforceable by the Local Authority.
I thought that your Focus readers may be interested in this and perhaps some guidance from RDC should be published.
The link to the full regulations is:- http://www.hse.gov.uk/fireandexplosion/petroleum.htm

A Map Of Road Deaths

The BBC website has a map showing all the road deaths in this country from 1999 to 2010.

It’s a very sobering experience to look at it and reflect that every orange circle represents a collision in which somebody has died.

The map is here, and we’ve shown below what it looks like for our area:

Let’s all be careful out there.

Embrace Life

It’s our tradition here to show a video on election day, and this one is a work of art.

So enlarge this video to full screen, and remember to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

Embrace life.

What’s Happening With Our Fire Service?

The Essex Fire service seem to be considering replacing the full-time fire crews at Rayleigh Weir with part-timers.

To quote from the Echo last Tuesday:

Essex Fire and Rescue Service deputy fire chief Adam Eckley….. has now revealed more stations with full-time crews across the county could be manned solely by retained crews…….

……. Mr Eckley said pounds could be saved by changing stations from full-time to retained.

He added: “An average retained station costs around £110,000 a year.

“The lowest one is £50,000 and the most expensive one is £300,000.

“Rayleigh Weir, a whole time, four watch system, costs just over £1million a year. It would save us about £900,000 if we turned that pump from whole time to retained.”

Yet back in 2009, when the old fire stations at Rayleigh and Hadleigh were closed, the whole big ‘selling point’ to the public was that having fulltime crews at Rayleigh Weir would compensate for having one station instead of two. . To quote from onlineFOCUS September 16th 2009:

Representatives from the Fire Service explained the reasoning behind closing Hadleigh and Rayleigh Fire Stations and replacing them by one station at Rayleigh Weir. The existing stations used by retained (=part-time) firemen who had to live within 5 minutes of their station. The new station would have full-time firemen ready at the station, so the average times for answering calls would be reduced.

The implications are that two years ago we had two stations staffed by part-timers, we now have one full-time station, and could now end up with just one station staffed by part-timers…….

There’s also a financial point. The Essex Fire and Rescue Authority collect about £818,000 from Rayleigh residents this year. (for those interested in council tax calculations, that’s based on 12,321.66 band D equivalents @ £66.42 each)

We don’t have the figures for Hadleigh handy, but surely the council tax given to the Essex Fire and Rescue Authority from Rayleigh + Hadleigh combined must be quite a bit higher than the cost of running Rayleigh Weir as a full-time fire station. So why shouldn’t the residents of Rayleigh and Hockley get what they pay for?

A Small Fire

There was a small fire at the Castle Road Recycling Centre in Rayleigh this afternoon.

The Fire Brigade dealt with it quickly and the centre soon re-opened.

Apparently it was caused by a barbecue that someone had left there.

Surely nobody was foolish enough to try to throw away a barbecue when it was still hot?!

Come And Hear About Flood Management

The public can’t speak at meetings of the District Council Review Committee. But they are welcome to come along.

And we think one or two of the public might fancy coming along to the next one on February 8th.

They have a guest speaker:


Flood Risk Management in Essex
To hear from Nicholas Humfrey, Flood Partnership Manager at Essex County Council on the work they are undertaking as lead Local Flood Authority for Essex and how it relates to the Rochford District

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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

  • admin: Corey, no more news since from County Highways, we will chase them…
  • Corey Vost: A week shy of 3 months later and still no progress!!! Have we been forgotten?
  • Greenbelt: Maybe it not being on Google maps is the same reason it is not on satnavs. It comes up on the satnav as...
  • A.Matthews: Chestnut drive is nearly opposite Asdas down towards Trenders Avenue between two bungalows .
  • JIM Cripps: Yep, fair play a decisive action based on common sense – a rare commodity , but where is Cheshunt...
  • Christine Paine: I popped into the exhibition this morning as I had some time left on my parking ticket after doing...
  • Christine Paine: Full marks to the Council on this one. It wouldn’t be the first time that Travellers have...
  • Chris Black: Hi, Bawler, you beat us to it :) we were going to post something tonight – and will still do so,...
  • Bawler: Couldn’t work out how to start a new post, so tagged this on the end of this one -couldn’t see it...
  • Janet Warner: A bit depressing! I was born in 1943, & it’s not encouraging that 71 years on we are still...
  • Jim Cripps: Rochford was actually established as a fighter base in WW1 , along with Stow Maries and Goldhanger it...
  • Christine Paine: You thoroughly piqued my curiosity about the bath chair murder, so I looked it up. Very gruesome
  • 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...

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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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