polling station sign

The Invisible Election

The Rochford Residents’ website had an article yesterday about the lack of publicity for the local elections:

 …This is an ALL OUT Election and the Conservatives could lose control of Rochford District Council.
But this is not news for our local papers who have failed to tell readers that there even IS an Election….

And they certainly have a point. But the local papers aren’t the only ones keeping the elections quiet.  The Lib Dems have two websites mentioning the local council elections (including this one), Rochford Residents have one website, the Conservatives don’t seem to have any. For example look at today’s front page of  the local Conservative Party  website. It’s about the same as the previous 400 days. Maybe they have a technical problem.


Rochford District Council’s own website doesn’t give much publicity to the elections either. This is last night’s front  page – the highlighted story was on self-build housing.


You can get to  election  information here – either by clicking on the pale green link “Elections on May 5th – Notice of Poll”, or by clicking on “Council and Democracy”  and following a longer route.  But it could be more obvious.


newport text

“I’ve joined a very passionate and proactive local Lib Dem group, who already, do very good work in our district.”

We now have another Lib Dem website for Rayleigh – our candidate James Newport has set up his own blog at www.jamesnewport.co.uk . It’s already got a lot of good stuff on it- including a copy of his election leaflet for Sweyne Park and Grange.


Under Attack !

Our website has been under attack – but we seem to be OK for now…. so let’s have some ABBA to celebrate…

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Have A Look At James’ Survey!

James Newport is carrying out an online survey  –  about what issues concern you in  Rochford District and how you view your councillors.

You can fill complete the survey here – it doesn’t take long and you don’t have to live in any particular area. The results should be interesting…


Trying Out New Themes…

If you are seeing onlineFOCUS changing appearance a lot today , we are trying out new themes…. please bear with us. We need to have the site ready for the election campaign…

essex police crop

Police Station Counters Close, New Police Website Opens

As reported in the Echo:

Non-emergency crime can now be reported to Essex Police via the internet as front counters in Canvey and Rayleigh close today.

The webpage, www.essex.police.uk/doitonline, lets people report non-emergency crime, road traffic collisions and access a range of information and advice easily and conveniently.

Online reporting for lost or found property will be added during April.



Time To Play

As it’s Easter, we are relaxing a little and playing around with a  new layout for the website. Let’s see what we can do…..


Getting Back To Normal – And Back To Business

Hopefully, the hacking attack on onlineFOCUS has been dealt with now (fingers crossed).
We are trying to get back to normal.

The main event this week is tomorrow night’s meeting of the Development Committee, where a decision will be made on the big housing application on the SW Hullbridge /Rawreth borders and the roundabout application at the Hullbridge Road / Rawreth Lane junction…


We’ve Been Hacked :) We’re Trying To Fix It ….

Hello everyone , we’ve been hacked but are trying to fit it ,

Please bear with us and ignore the garbage following….


“Tincture Of Museum”

If you love museums, you might enjoy reading the blog “Tincture of Museum” – you can find it here..

It’s written by someone passionate about museums – particularly the smaller ones. Here’s a sample:

Our heritage, our history, our quirky collecting natures are being eroded and erased by the need to make financial savings, to economise, to pare down and re-shape. The Museum of Fire in Edinburgh is housed in the engine room and stables of an original fire station, with fireman’s pole, high tiled walls and large entrance doors. It makes sense, it makes total sense to have the collection there, it makes history come alive, you can live it and breathe it everywhere you turn. You can smell it and feel it. A new museum is promised, somewhere at some date. This all sounds very familiar to me. What happens to the passionate volunteers who work so hard to keep that history alive in the meantime? They drift away, as museums sit in storage and plans drag on and never see the light of day.

Hat-tip: Jonathan Calder

full fact

“Full Fact”

As some of our commenters have said recently, its hard to find impartial advice on the EU.  One possible source is the website for “Full Fact” – who describe themselves as follows:

We’re Full Fact, the independent, non-partisan, factchecking charity.

We check claims made by politicians, the media and pressure groups, and stop misinformation spreading by pressing for corrections.

We separate the facts from the spin and present our findings and sources so that you can judge the claim—and our factcheck—for yourself.
What do you do?

  • Factchecking
    We’ve published thousands of factchecks on topics that inform our readers, and the media, and help keep the players in public debate on their toes. We have also pioneered live factchecking in partnership with BBC Question Time, Sky News and CNN.
  • Corrections
    Corrections help stop misinformation spreading further. We’ve secured corrections from Ministers, government departments, MPs, the BBC, pressure groups and national newspapers.
  • Making factchecking easierFactchecking shows up the patterns in how unreliable claims get started and what we can do about it. Picking up on those patterns has led to big changes like the Daily Mail and Sun setting up their first ever corrections columns; Ministers being required to stop using unpublished statistics; and new efforts to make official statistics easier to use and understand.

Find them here


political betting

The Best Website To Follow For The EU Referendum Is Probably….

We will be having the occasional post at onlineFOCUS on the EU referendum, with local aspects as the starting point.

However if you are looking for the best website to follow the twists and turns of the campaign, it’s probably Political Betting