onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003

 

Archive for Web Stuff

What’s Out At Sea?

ais

If you are  down by  the Thames , and are curious  about a cargo ship going past, you can find out about it by going to http://www.marinetraffic.com/ Type in “Thames Estuary” and you will get a map of the Thames with little markers showing the ships. You can click on the markers to get more info. Or you can search for the ship by name. It covers most of the world….

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.

 

Under Attack

Sorry for our brief absence . We’ve had nasty online criminals attacking our website, but things are OK now and we are back…

The Essex Eye

the essex eye

OnlineFOCUS readers may be interested in a newish website called “Essex Eye”. It has local crime news and crime prevention advice. It’s not altogether clear who’s writing it. The site conveniently collects together information that’s been published elsewhere.

There is almost too much crime data to look at , including links to monthly crime figures for each council ward!

“Lights, Camera , Action”

Thanks to the Mighty Oz for pointing this item from the government website

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles today published a new guide for local people explaining how they can attend and report their local council meetings. New guidance explicitly states that councils should allow the public to film council meetings.

The new how-to guide gives practical information for the public to attend meetings of a council’s executive and how to obtain council documents. The government has changed the law to allow citizens to report, blog, tweet and film council meetings in England. It also outlines the assorted rights that taxpayers’ have to access council papers and documents….

You can find quite a few council chamber videos on Youtube. Here’s one from a small City council in the USA, which gets a bit tetchy, nothing spectcular, though there is some hat throwing after about 2 minutes 15 secs:

Thank You For Reading OnlineFOCUS

onlinefocus stats

Thank you for reading onlineFOCUS – July was our best ever month for visitors, with an average of 230 different visitors every day.

District Council Website Disrupted Tonight

From the district council website :

There will be severe disruption to our online services today (17th July 2014) from 6pm – midnight for essential maintenance.

This will affect the following systems:

Services for viewing council tax, business rates or benefit account, registering or obtaining a PIN and council tax banding
Online forms
Online parking services
Committee Management Information System (CMIS)
Online planning, building control and licensing searches
If you would like to comment on an application, please email:

planning: planning.applications@rochford.gov.uk

building control: building.control@rochford.gov.uk

licensing: licensing@rochford.gov.uk

Any emails to the Council will not be received until the Council opens on Friday morning.

We apologise for any inconvenience.

A Deluge Of Data

“Datashine” is an impressive new online tool for looking at census data. It’s been developed by James Cheshire and Oliver O’Brien at University College London. If you are curious about our district it’s definitely worth a look (especially if you are a councillor!)

If you click here you go to a map centred on Rochford.

Then you can play around with the “Data Chooser” and select from a deluge of census data. For example, if you adjust the data chooser for 1 ) “Health” 2) “General Health” and 3 “Very Good Health” you get the following display, where the green roads have the highest number of healthiest people. As you move your cursor around , the key tells you what council ward you are in. So with the cursor at the top of the image you can see that only 22% of people on one of the caravan sites in Hullbridge said they were in very good health. (Click on the image to enlarge):

datashine1

Here’s some more examples (in each case with the cursor pointing to Brixham Close in Rayleigh).

Percentage of families with dependent children:

datashine2

Percentage of adults with a university degree:

datashine3

Percentage of adults aged 17-74 who commute by train:

datashine4

Percentage of people who are Christians:

datashine5

Percentage of people aged 75 or over:

datashine6

Hat-tip: The Guardian

How Many Readers Do We Get?

For anyone who wonders if anyone reads onlineFOCUS , here’s our daily figures for June – you can click on the image to enlarge it:

stats daily

This month we had between 114 and 255 visitors each day. The software we use defines a ‘visitor’ as someone who hasn’t look at the site in the previous 24 hours – in other words someone having a look 20 times a day counts as one visitor, not 20.

Here’s the monthly figures for the past year:

stats

The stats  show that we get between 5000 and 7000 visitors in most months. That figure is a bit lower in December (probably due to Christmas)! The figure for June this year is about 1000 higher than for June 2013…

 

How To Protect Yourself From Malicious Software

desktop computer

From the National Crime Agency website:


The National Crime Agency is warning people they have two weeks to save their computers from a powerful malicious software attack. The malware called GOZeuS is hiding within attachments in emails and, once downloaded, enables hackers to access computers and scan them for valuable information.

If no data is found, a second malware, known as CryptoLocker, locks the computer, displays a window with a countdown, and demands a ransom to grant access again.

According to the NCA, people are asked to pay 1 Bitcoin (£200 – £300) to regain access to their files.

The NCA is advising people to make sure security software is installed and updated, by running scans and checking that computer operating systems and applications are up to date….

Get information here on how to keep your computer safe and follow the advice as soon as possible. Here is part of it:

This page has been created to help you protect your computer, your finances, your identity and your family against a new global online threat. The threat is targeted at random private individuals and small businesses, so it is critical that you read this page and apply our advice immediately if you have a computer running any version of the Windows operating system – including Windows running as a virtual machine on an Apple Mac, any server running Windows and Windows embedded. This is not a case of isolated attacks, as over 15,000 computers in the UK alone are thought to have been already affected.
What you need to do NOW…
—-
Go to one of the links to internet security software companies at the bottom of this page to download a free tool to scan for Gameover Zeus and CryptoLocker, and remove them from your computer. We advise you do this even if you haven’t had a communication from your ISP.
Do not open attachments in emails unless you are 100% certain that they are authentic. Click for more info.
Make sure your internet security software is up-to-date and switched on at all times. Click for more info.
Make sure your Windows operating system has the latest Microsoft updates applied. These normally include the latest security precautions. Click for more info.
Make sure your software programs have the latest manufacturers’ updates applied. These normally include the latest security precautions. Click for more info.
Make sure all of your files including documents, photos music and bookmarks are backed up and readily available in case you are no longer able to access them on your computer. Click for more info.
Never store passwords on your computer in case they are accessed by Gameover Zeus or another aggressive malware program. Click for more info.
———
This warning is not intended to cause you panic but we cannot over-stress the importance of taking these steps immediately. This is because the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has taken temporary control of the communications used to connect with infected computers, but expects only a very limited window of opportunity to ensure you are protected.

Rayleigh View

rayleigh view

Councillor Toby Mountain has just launched his own newsblog – RayleighView.

Looks classy and professional. You can find it here.

How To Report Potholes Online

Pothole in Leasway, Rayleigh

Pothole in Leasway, Rayleigh

Potholes are a County Council responsibility. You can always contact one of your councillors, but there are two ways of reporting potholes (or other highways defects online)

You can go to http://www.fixmystreet.com/  and report it there, This has the advantage that other people can see that you’ve done it. The people at FixMyStreet will then forward it on to County Highways. This is a national website, so if you see a street problem anywhere in the country, they will forward it on to the appropriate department.

Or you can go directly to the County Council website and report it there. This has the advantage that you get a reference number for following it up if nothing happens.

Pothole in Leasway , Rayleigh

Pothole in Leasway , Rayleigh

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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.
Please click here to email us .

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We welcome your comments, they are very important to us. However please note:
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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: Jim @ 13. , that’s the next one to write about. But I,m just back from serious dental work, so it might...
  • James w: Then again….th is may be his plan. If he knows development wont go ahead, as it’s so unpopular,...
  • Jim Cripps: Admin – as you have quoted the MF objection , you might want to quote the objection from the RTSSC...
  • richard lambourne: Christine@ @3 cynic maybe, but I think he has noticed that UKIP have taken over parts of his...
  • Linda Kendall: Chris. Your comments are all true. At last years hearing one local Tory Councillor, sitting listening,...
  • James w: Don’t be fooled! He knows he can object and win over some naïve voters, whilst development will...
  • richard lambourne: Well Angelina @5..why not cite an example where his “concerns ” have translated into...
  • Chris Black: Any attempts by Mark Francois to improve the situation would have been boosted 10 fold if there had been...
  • Jim Cripps: @ 5 – well 10 years is enough time to have done something about it…… ;😳
  • GordC: Way too late Mr Francios.. surely this land she be kept to help feed the country with the crops is...
  • Angelina: He has had concerns about infrastructure for at least the 10 years I have been dealing with him. I first...
  • A.Matthews: Oops just been told road is now en !
  • A.Matthews: Also wires appearing in old Chelmsford Road both exits from Beeches Road/Watery Lane ,and it’s not...
  • Linda Kendall: Am I permitted to say isn’t this just too little too late from someone who hasn’t lifted a...
  • Linda Kendall: Christine. Judge said he will act as fast as is possible but estimate was 6-8 weeks from 3rd October.
  • Christine Paine: Oh Richard you cynic! Perhaps he finally got round to reading all the letters sent by his various...
  • Jim Cripps: Been away for a few days , just noticed more road survey wires set up in both Rawreth Lane and Hullbridge...
  • Jim Cripps: Oz at # 8 – I know, you are probably right , I’ve always thought it will happen but if you...
  • Jim Cripps: Obviously Rawreth Village put potential downstream flooding as their main issue – but some useful...
  • Jim Cripps: Oh how very dare you – the man has obviously been reading all our comments on here and taken them...
  • richard lambourne: Must be an election looming
  • admin: Linda, their full response is what we published on October 17th…
  • Linda Kendall: Can you kindly post a copy of the Rawreth Parish Council consultation reply to RDC? I have been...
  • Christine Paine: Do we know when the judgement will be given? Seems to be taking a long time

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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.

Essex Political Blogs

Geography, History , Science

Lib Dem Websites

Local Council Websites

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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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