Last Minute Reminder…

If you live in Downhall and Rawreth ward, we’d just like to remind you that you have three votes for the District Council, and we have three candidates – Chris Black, Ron Oatham and Chris Stanley.

Please give us all three of your votes:

  • We are the most local team, and we all want to serve.
  • We need to win all 3 seats to guarantee a place for a Downhall and Rawreth councillor on the committee that deals with planning applications. That could be crucial.
  • Winning all 3 seats sends a message to the council that local people aren’t happy with the overdevelopment in our area and want improvements in infrastructure.
  • Winning all 3 seats gives you a united team of active local councillors that aren’t under the Tory whip.

We are also hoping to get Ron, Chris Stanley and Bruce Smart elected to the Town Council for the “Sweyne Park” Town Council ward , and James Newport to the Town Council “Victoria ” ward.

Also – James Newport has a very good chance of winning a seat on the District Council in Sweyne Park and Grange Ward – please give him your support if you are in that area. He would be a hard-working councillor both in the street and inside the council chamber, and it would be great to have him elected.

And finally we have all our other candidates, all able people and all worth voting for – please give them one of your votes if they are standing in your area.



Shocking Robbery In Rayleigh High Street

A nasty story just published on the Echo website:

Three teenagers punched an elderly man and stole the money he was carrying outside a bank in Rayleigh.

The man was outside Lloyds Bank in the High Street between 11am and 12pm on Tuesday, April 19.

They punched his face and stole the money he was carrying. They then made off along Crown Hill towards the station.

The boys are described as white and aged in their mid-teens.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Dc Ben Broderick at Rayleigh CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

We do hope the victim is recovering OK. As a minor point , it would be interesting to know why this only just been published, over a fortnight after the event.

dog  mess

Hounded By Dog Mess

Tonight we want to pass on a couple of complaints  from residents about dog mess in Rayleigh.

First of all, would the owner of an apparently large dog that takes a walk around the Mortimer Road / Kings Farm/ Ferndale Road please start clearing their mess up?

Secondly, whoever decided to leave a dozen little bags of mess between Bristol Close and Downhall Park Way, can they please not do it again? (It’s been cleared up now)



Lollipop Patrol Needed!

James Newport is campaigning hard with residents to get a crossing in Little Wheatleys Chase, just outside Our Lady of Ransom School, as reported in the Echo:



support pharmacies

A Rayleigh Pharmacist Talks To The Echo

From the Echo last Friday:

…..Philip Hodgkinson, from the Grange Pharmacy, in London Road, Rayleigh, has launched a petition to gather support for a national campaign led by the National Pharmacy Association.

More than 300 customers have signed his petition, which agues more pressure will be put on GPs and hospitals if community pharmacies are forced to close.

Mr Hodgkinson said: “Doctors time is so critically overloaded that pharmacies are even more popular. When GP surgeries are closed, pharmacies are the first port of call.

“I think a lot of the ones in Rayleigh are quite well used, so I hope they all stay, but you never know. About 3,000 are under threat, it’s the complete randomness of it all that’s quite chilling.”

According to the Department of Health, funding for community pharmacies is set to fall from £2.8bn to £2.63bn from October, as part of the drive to find £22bn of savings across the health service by 2020. …

polling station sign

More Election Battles – Lodge, Trinity And Wheatley

It’s about time we wrote about some more of the District Election contests….


In Lodge Ward there are 3 Tories facing one Labour, 1 Rochford Resident, 1 Lib Dem and 1 UKIP. All the candidates live in Rayleigh. Can the the Tories win all 3 seats that are up for grabs, or will Tory voters prefer a balance, and give one or two of their votes to the other candidates? Whatever happens, at least one of the Lodge councillors will be a new councillor, as only two current councilors are standing here.


Trinity Ward has a real slugfest – four of the candidates are sitting councillors, so at least one of them will be defeated.UKIP already have a councillor here (John Hayter)  and it’s surprising that they aren’t fielding 3 candidates.


Wheatley’s is a 3 Tories vs 3 opposition candidates contest.  In this case the opposition are an independent, a Labour candidate and a Lib Dem. We were chuffed to see that the independent, Jamie Burton (ex UKIP) had included some quotes about himself from onlineFOCUS in his leaflet.



scout building2

Scout Building Application At the End Of Priory Chase

There’s a new planning application just in – for a scout building next to St Nicholas School and adjacent to Arundel Gardens, Rayleigh
scout building

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.

polling station sign

The Election Battles In The West

The candidates for the Rochford District Council and town and parish council elections have now been announced – you can find them on the District Council website here and here.

Tonight we’ll look at the north-western end of the district – Sweyne Park and Grange, Downhall and Rawreth, and Hullbridge. There are 3 district council seats up for grabs in each of them.


3 Tories, 1 Lib Dem (James Newport), 1 Rochford Resident and 1 Labour  are standing. Interestingly, there is no UKIP here. Obviously , we hope that James can win one of the three seats for us. It’s possible that James, Toby Mountain and the Labour chap Mr Archer could all win, and the Conservatives win none.

For the Town Council, the Tories have won 4 seats-  unopposed  by any other candidates.



3 Lib Dems (Chris Black, Ron Oatham and Chris Stanley) ,  3 Tories, 1 Labour and 1 Rochford Resident (who lives in Hullbridge). Once again, no UKIP. Obviously we are hoping to win all three seats here and strengthen our team.

For the Town Council, the seats are contested between Lib Dems and Tories  (we will write more about this later)




There’s a big ballot paper for Hullbridge – 3 Greens, 3 Tories, 3 Labour and 1 UKIP. The biggest surprise is to see Angelina Marriot  switch from Labour to Tory. Also interesting to see former Labour councillor David Flack standing here again. With the Greens already holding 2 of the 3 seats, we’re going to stick our necks out here and say the Greens are the best option to keep the Tories out.

There  are  also elections  for Hullbridge Parish Council, with a total of 13 candidates.



James Newport Stands For Election In West Rayleigh

We are delighted to have James Newport standing as a candidate in West Rayleigh. As often happens, James is standing for both Rochford District Council and Rayleigh Town Council:

District Council: the new Sweyne Park and Grange Ward
Town Council: the new very small Victoria Ward.

James owns a small business and has lived in Rayleigh with his family for 15 years, first in London Road and now in Cheapside West. He has been very actively involved with the campaigning against over-development in West Rayleigh / Rawreth area and would be a very dedicated , determined councillor.
James will be getting involved on onlinefocus and will be writing here during the campaign.

His contact details are as follows:

Address: 31 Cheapside West, Rayleigh, Phone: 07494 226807 email:

Here’s a map of the two wards:


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.


Martyrs Memorial Unveiling Ceremony 1908

The Martyr’s Memorial

This month Rayleigh Through The Looking Glass looks at the “High Street Trio” – the Martyr’s Memorial, the horse trough and the water pump.

If you aren’t familiar with who the martyrs were, they were  four local protestants, who died in 1555 during Queen Mary’s reign. Two of the martyrs were burned at the stake where this memorial stands and two others were burnt at the stake in Smithfield Market, London.