onlineFOCUS’ Summer Rebuilding…

Regular readers will have have noticed that we haven’t updated the website recently. Apologies for that – it’s due to a mixture of people’s holidays and some technical problems.
We are trying to get rid of a hack this weekend, which means the website will disappear for a maybe a day, and when it comes back we will rebuild all the content added from March- plus we expect photos to disappear. But we will be back 🙂


“Sorry It’s Not My Department”

There’s a new blog called Sorry Its Not  My Department that is well worth a look.

It describes itself as follows:

“This is a site dedicated to sharing ideas, thoughts and opinions on issues in local government. The site is aimed at officers, leaders and anyone who has ever dealt with their own local council. As a former council officer I want to lift the lid on the inner workings of town halls ….This blog is an open forum and welcomes posts from anyone who wants to contribute. Your articles can be general reflections on why things go wrong or specific stories about your own dealings with your council and how things might have improved.”

It’s intelligently written and conveys some of the real flavour of being a counciilor or council officer , much better than anything you will find on say, facebook. Though because it is a national blog not everything will apply to Rochford.

Here’s an extract from a piece about councillors dealing with local problems that is definitely pertinent to Rochford:

Essentially more and more councillors are becoming the middle men; passing on a message from the electorate because they are not getting the service they expect. Sometimes these expectations are unrealistic, more often they are just being fobbed off so have to escalate their issues. Officers getting a phone call from a councillor respond differently and more effectively than they do to a call from the public. Therein lies the problem. If the public got the “councillor gold standard service” when they rang up then councillors wouldn’t get dragged in. Elected members then become the sticking plaster to deal with the wider problem of councils not providing the right level of service to the public. But while councillors continue to get dragged into the proverbial fire-fighting activities they are unable to focus on preventing the fire in the first place.

Perhaps some councillors are loathed to change this approach. “Being seen” to be the councillor sorting out the broken streetlight will guarantee at least that one person’s vote. However being the councillor who sorts out the street lighting service as a whole behind closed doors is largely invisible and while it helps 100,000 people it might not result in a single vote.

The above paragraphs are fairly perceptive but don’t tell the full story – most councillors here would like to sort out the streetlighting service or pavement repairs service etc. but don’t get a chance to…


Another Way Of Seeing Rayleigh Online

Have you looked up Rayleigh, or Bygone Rayleigh, on Pinterest? It’s another way of seeing pictures of the town….

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 . 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…

question mark

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,, 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….