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Archive for Consultations

Consultation Number 2 : On Ward Boundaries

election consultation

Another consultation is on ward boundaries for council elections…

What’s it about? It’s about drawing up new ward boundaries for council elections in Rochford District.

What isn’t it about? – it’s not about parliamentary elections. Only District Council.

What’s the deadline for replying? 12th September

Give me a bit more info: Its time for a government commission to look at all the various council wards we have in Rochford District. This is to ensure that , roughly, each councillor represents the same number of people. There’s a bit of an imbalance at the moment – for example Downhall and Rawreth Ward has more residents than average. The current intention is to keep the same number of councillors – 39. But at the moment we mostly have wards with two Councillors each , for example, Rayleigh currently has eight 2-member wards. Though some wards, like Hullbridge, have 3 councillors, and some , like Barling and Sutton , have 1 councillor. The commission would change this to have all wards with 3 councillors. Now the new ward boundaries have to be drawn up, also taking into account new housing expected in the next few years.

Are there any big changes planned? Well, it’s going to mean big changes across the district. For example, in west Rayleigh and Rawreth we currently have three wards, each with 2 councillors – Downhall & Rawreth, Grange, and Sweyne Park. These are likely to become just two wards, with 3 councillors each. Where do you draw the new boundaries? One way to begin would be to expand Downhall and Rawreth ward southwards to include all of Down Hall Road.

Where can I find out more? Look at the District Council website here You can draw your own lines on a map, and leave comments.

Consultation Number 1 : On Polling Stations

polling station sign

There are quite a few consultations going on at the moment. Here’s one on polling stations:

What’s it about? Polling Stations- where people vote in elections.

What isn’t it about? – it’s not about the boundaries of council wards , or which areas are represented by which councillors. That’s a different consultation…

What’s the deadline for replying? 12th September

Give me a bit more info: Well, there are 45 polling stations across the district,, from Rawreth Village Hall in the west to the Heritage Centre on Foulness Island in the east. This is a routine consultation to check that the polling stations we have a convenient for people to get to and convenient to use.

Are there any big changes planned Should I be alarmed? There’s not much cause for alarm. The only polling station suggested for closure is at Paglesham Congregational Church, which isn’t available anyway for 2015. Probably the key question is whether the polling station at Hullbridge Free Church should be replaced by one at Hullbridge Sports and Social Club:

The Free Church is well known as the polling station for the area, however the disabled access needs improving.
Disabled access is better at Hullbridge Sports and Social Club. Parking facilities are good, but those on foot have further to walk as the club is situated down a long access road.

Where can I find out more? Look at the District Council website here. And in particular download the Returning Officers comments and proposals here.

Judicial Review !

As was mentioned in a comment here last week , campaigner Linda Kendall has arranged and financed a legal action – a Judicial Review – into whether the council  consulted properly on its core strategy and allocations document.

Even if she wins the court case and forced a rethink it might not ultimately change the amount of housing and the locations.

But even so its a very bold – though costly – thing for Mrs Kendall to do.  If anyone wants to contribute towards the cost, you could contact her via the Rayleigh Action Group website.

Essex Consults On How Good Is Your Local Chemist

11954285111092993089molumen_Pills_and_bottle_2.svg.med

Essex County Council is holding a public consultation on local pharmaceutical services. The consultation will run until 30th April.
Members of the public are asked to complete a short questionnaire on the services provided by pharmacies, dispensing doctors and internet pharmacies in the Essex area. The results of the survey will help the County Council and the Essex Health and Wellbeing Board to understand how local people use the services, how they rate their experiences and what services they would like to see in the future.
The questionnaire is completely confidential and does not require any personal identifying information.

The results of the survey will be used to help produce a Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment for Essex determining what, if any, services will be required to meet local needs. The report will be available to the public from early 2015.

Councillor Ann Naylor, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Public Health & Wellbeing, said: “We would really encourage members of the public to tell us about their experiences of services from chemist’s shop. It will only take a few minutes to complete, so please take advantage of this opportunity to help shape the services of the future.”

The survey is live at http://www.essexinsight.org.uk/ViewPage1.aspx?C=Resource&ResourceID=919

For more information or to request a paper copy/alternative format call 01245 430 430 or email contact@essex.gov.uk

Threat To Some School Crossing Patrols

lollipop

Have you heard about the Consultation on the County Council website about removing school crossing patrols where there is a pedestrian crossing, unless the school is willing to pay for it?!

You can find it here.


School Crossing Patrols Consultation

Essex County Council (ECC) is facing a £235m shortfall over the next three years as government funding continues to reduce and demand for services increases. All areas across the Council are therefore being reviewed to see where changes can be made and services could be delivered differently. ECC wants to give schools the opportunity to protect the School Crossing Patrols from the impact of budget reductions through the following proposal.
Essex County Council is looking for ways to work with schools to support parents’ responsibilities to ensure their children travel to and from school safely.

Proposal
We are proposing to rationalise School Crossing Patrol sites where there is a zebra or pelican crossing also in place in addition to a School Crossing Patrol Officer.
There are a number of schools in Essex which are served by a zebra or pelican crossing which operate safely without a School Crossing Patrol Officer.
Although we do not believe a School Crossing Patrol Officer is required at this location, we think that some schools may wish to retain this provision and are therefore offering schools the opportunity to fund the School Crossing Patrol. This would cost approximately £5,860 per year and we would put in place an annual Service Level Agreement. ECC would still employ them on schools’ behalf and retain employment liabilities.
If schools are interested in funding the service at their school they will be asked to sign up for a minimum of one year, starting from Summer 2014. ECC would continue to provide the current service of employing, training and managing the School Crossing Patrol officers and retain the employment liabilities. In addition ECC would also continue to employ the Mobile School Crossing Patrol officers to cover absences where possible.
It is proposed that if schools do not want to fund a School Crossing Patrol at these locations, the provision will be removed.
We are interested in hearing your views on the proposal and would welcome your feedback by 24 April 2014. No decision on the removal of School Crossing Patrols has yet been taken and decisions will only be taken after this consultation has concluded.
To take part please click here
——–
If you are unable to complete the online survey please telephone 033301 39836 where someone will complete the survey for you.
The information contained in this document can be translated and/or made available in alternative formats, on request.

Recycling Consultation From The County Council

 

The latest consultation from Essex County Council is on recycling centres- you can find it here.

Review of Essex County Council’s Recycling Centre Service

Essex County Council currently spends about £7m per year providing 21 Recycling Centres across the county for residents to dispose of their waste. Although some of these sites are modern, purpose built facilities many of the sites are old and small, starting life at a time when landfill was the only way we managed waste. However, the way in which waste is handled and these sites operate has changed in recent years, with an increasing need to separate many different materials. With this in mind a number of sites that we currently run may no longer be able to efficiently meet the needs of a modern Recycling Centre.

In addition to this, there have been many improvements to and an increase in the way that recyclable material is collected at the kerbside from households, which in turn, has resulted in fewer residents needing to take their recyclable material to the Recycling Centres. Due to the pressure from central government to make savings and to streamline services, Essex County Council is required to review and reshape the way services are delivered. With unprecedented savings of £235m required over the next 3 years all our services need to be looked at in order to deliver these more effectively and efficiently. The authority is keen to ensure that it continues to provide the best recycling services for its residents within available resource; however maintaining existing levels of service may not be achievable. The purpose of this survey is to collect information from residents that use our Recycling Centres.

We will then use the feedback to help us develop a Recycling Centre service strategy, ensuring we target our resources on those services that users deem most important.

There’s Still Time To Support The “5% Cap”

develmap5

It’s time to think about the core strategy again.

For each of the housing sites, RDC had proposed that slightly more homes could be built there if there was a shortfall elsewhere, but only up to a possible maximum of 5% extra. The inspector doesn’t want to have any limit on this possible extra housing, which is worrying.
You can object to this via the council’s website. The deadline is noon on January 17th.

You need to go to:

http://rochford.jdi-consult.net/ldf/readdoc.php?docid=190

You will need to register if you haven’t done so before (theres a link at the top.)

The key items in relation to the number of houses are MM18 and MM23

For example Chris Black has objected as follows:

MM18 :This 5% cap should be kept. The whole core strategy and consultation process has been based on these figures, and to allow a possible unlimited increase in these figures at such a late stage makes the whole process flawed. In addition the North of London Road site is so problematic, in terms of highways, drainage and coalescence of Rayleigh and Rawreth, that a 5% cap is particularly appropriate here.

MM23: These 5% caps should be kept. The whole core strategy and consultation process has been based on these figures, and to allow a possible unlimited increase in these figures at such a late stage makes the whole process flawed. Other sites may be becoming available, such as aT Bullwood Hall.

Make sure that your comment is shown as “OBJECT” – there’s a little drop down menu.

How To Respond To The Council’s New Planning Consultation

About 10 days ago we reported on the last District Council meeting:

“The government inspector has asked for a number of changes to the council’s allocations document. The most notable change concerns what happens if development sites are not developed as quickly as expected…
The council has to allocate land so that there is always a 5 year supply of building land available. In case there is a shortfall somewhere , the council’s document allows extra housing at the other sites. However this only happens if
A) there is a shortfall elsewhere
B) if there is still space available for any proposed amenities or infrastructure
C) any extra housing would be capped at 5% of the original proposal. So for example, at the “North of London Road” site, where the proposed figure would be 550, there could only be an extra 5% of 550, which would be 28 extra homes.

However the inspector wants to do away with the 5% cap, which means that some sites could end up with a lot more housing.

The Conservatives pushed this through last night, despite an amendment to keep the 5 percent cap, proposed by Chris Black, seconded by John Mason, and supported by Ron Oatham, Christine Mason plus Michael and Diane Hoy.

At least one Conservative councillor abstained.

This now goes to another round of public consultation…”

Well, that public consultation has now started, and you might like to respond, especially if you are concerned about the removal of this 5% cap. The inspector probably won’t take any notice, but it’s worth a try. One argument against removing the cap is that it makes unsound the previous public consultations and the evidence base for sustainability : if people were consulted on, say, 550 houses and it suddenly turns into a lot more. Or you can argue that increasing the number of homes about the 5% level is poor in terms of sustainability and quality of life for residents (both existing residents and new ones).

The best way to respond to the consultation is online – with some effort you can find it on the council website here. You need to register and then log in to make comments.

consultation

If you want to object in terms of “North of London Road”, that is dealt with section MM20 of the document (click to enlarge)

consultation 550

and you would need to say that you oppose the deletion of the words in red: “plus a flexibility allowance of 5% if required”.

In the same way, Hullbridge is dealt with in section MM44.

A Big Consultation Next Year

We understand that if the inspector approves the allocation document, that sometime next year the house builder Countryside Developments will carry out a public consultation on the housing “North of London Road”.

It will involve leaflets to every home in Downhall and Rawreth, Sweyne Park and Grange Wards, exhibitions in 2 or 3 local venues, and a website…

Two Traveller Applications – And Another Meeting On Housing Allocations And Hockley Town Centre.

There are two district council meetings next Thursday evening.

The first is a routine Development Committee meeting – the main items on the agenda are two planning applications that , by coincidence, are both for very small traveller sites. One is at The Pear Tree, 750 New Park Road, Hockley, and the other is at Land West of The Pumping Station, Watery Lane, Rawreth.

Officers are recommending that both are given temporary permission until the end of 2018.

The other meeting is an extra meeting of Full Council to deal with the proposed Allocations Document in the Core Strategy and also the proposed Hockley Area Action Plan. It will take place as soon as the first meeting is over.

Basically the Planning Inspector has suggested some changes to the allocations document; this meeting is to agree to lots of changes in wording to comply with his suggestions, and then there will be an eight-week public consultation period. However the consultation won’t be on the whole core strategy, just on the changes that the inspector wants. So the consultation won’t include the principle of 550 houses “North of London Road” or the proposed traveller site at ‘Michelins Farm, because the inspector seems happy with this. But the consultation will include removing the 5% cap on additional housing for each site – because the inspector wants to remove that upper limit! So the council is saying, for example, it is allocating 550 houses North of London Road, but if other sites fall short they would allow a maximum extra 5% here, to increase it to 578 homes. But the inspector doesn’t want an upper limit… Thats’s something that will worry a lot of people…

In a similar way there will be changes in wording to the Hockley Area Action Plan and an 8 week consultation period.

It’s useful to quote parts of the officer’s report.

On the allocations document:

3.3 The Inspector’s initial assessment into the soundness of the Plan was
received by the Council on 18 October 2013 and published on the Council’s
website. A number of observations were made, including to the proposed 5%
cap on housing numbers for residential extensions, Policy NEL3, Policy
SER7, Policy SER1, Policy NEL1 and Policy BFR4; and recommendations to
make the Plan sound and/or legally compliant were suggested by the
Inspector. These recommendations have been integrated into the schedule of
modifications.

3.4 The schedule of modifications can be divided into main and additional
modifications. Main modifications are defined as those that are required to
satisfy legal or procedural requirements or to make the plan sound, and
additional modifications are those that do not materially affect the policies.
The Council is only required to consult on the main modifications agreed by
the Inspector, which would make the Plan sound and/or legally compliant.

3.5 Proposed main modifications in the schedule include, but are not limited to:-
 Making reference to viability testing for brown field land development
(Policy BFR1, 3 and 4);
 Removing the 5% cap for residential extensions (Policy SER1-9);
 Aligning the western boundary for proposed development to the north of
London Road in Rayleigh with the pylon line (Policy SER1);
 Amending the requirements for site access and relocation of the sports
pitch (Policy SER1);
 Removing the land to the north of Lark Hill Road and to the west of
Church Lane in Canewdon from the proposed residential allocation (Policy
SER7);
 Reducing the housing numbers to be delivered over the plan period for
Canewdon to 49 (Policy SER7);
 Removing proposed employment land to the south of London Road in
Rayleigh (Policy NEL1); and
 Moving the proposed relocated employment site for Great Wakering
(Policy NEL3) northwards so that it abuts proposed residential
development at the brick works site (Policy BFR1).

3.6 If accepted by Full Council, it is proposed that the schedule of modifications
will be consulted on for approximately eight weeks (longer than the usual sixweek
period in order to take account of the Christmas period and ensure there
is sufficient time for interested parties to respond). Those who commented at
the pre-submission stage, as well as general and specific consultation bodies,
will be invited to comment on the schedule. This is a formal consultation
stage, which forms part of the examination process.

3.7 Following completion of the consultation, the results will be submitted to the
Inspector who will consider them before preparing his final report…

For Hockley centre:

3.5 Proposed main modifications in the schedule include, but are not limited to:-
 Amendments to Policy 6, replacing the criterion that limited a new food store to a maximum of 3,000m² with one that sets a maximum overall additional retail capacity for the centre of 3,000m² (gross);
 Additional text to Policy 6 to make clear that the Council will favour the development of smaller retail units in the centre; and
 Additional text to Policy 6 setting out the criteria a larger retail store would need to meet in order to be considered acceptable.

Consultation On Youth Service

essex consult
Essex County Council has just begun a consultation on Youth Services.  The proposed cuts will cost jobs and services.
Please either participate in the survey (its not just for youths) or pass the information on to others who will.  The consultation ends 21st November.
Here’s the introduction:

Youth Service Consultation

Why are we consulting with you? Essex County Council faces an unprecedented financial challenge. Reduced funding from central government, together with the impact of inflation and increasing demand for services mean the council needs to save around £215m by 2016/17. This on top of the £365m already saved over the previous three years. Achieving this will require us to take tough decision on what services ECC provides, how we provide them and what services we must stop providing. The Essex Youth Service currently operates within a £5m budget. There is a requirement to make efficiency savings within the service over the next two financial years with a proposed savings target of £3m by 2015/16. We would like you to tell us your views to improve the quality of our decision making, by listening to your expertise and exploring your alternative ideas.

You Can Respond To the County Bus Consultation

One of our regulars readers, Sean, has pointed out the following consultation being carried out by the County Council:

Review of the County Council’s Bus Strategy

Essex County Council would like to hear your views as it starts a review of its Bus Strategy and how it provides financial support to local bus services. In this challenging economic climate it is very important that we focus our expenditure where it is really needed to ensure value for money for residents. This review will help to ensure that the bus services provided by the council meet, as far as possible, the essential needs of Essex. The outcome of the review will help to decide what types of service will be supported in future.

This first consultation stage is designed to help us understand which types of supported bus service you value most. Individual services are not being considered for change at this stage. You will have the opportunity at a later stage to give your views on any proposed changes to individual services that may result from the review.
To respond to the survey

To respond online, please click here to answer the survey. The survey is open until 9 December 2013.

Sean has also very helpfully sent us the following:

In the Rochford District, Essex County Council provide support to the following services:

Monday to Saturday
7 ECC supports three services per hour between approx 0900 and 1500 to extend from Ashingdon Schools to Hockley Spa
(see next description of cut)
8 ECC supports one service per hour between approx 0900 and 1500 to extend from Golden Cross to Hockley Spa
If support for extending weekday bus services beyond Ashingdon Schools / Golden Cross were cut there would only be an hourly service on the number 8 via Hawkwell and a half-hourly service between Hockley and Southend compared to every ten minutes at present.
10 ECC supports the whole timetable for this Wednesday only bus service between Canewdon and Rayleigh
If this support for this service were cut there would be no service.
14 ECC suports the whole timetable between Foulness/Shoebury and Southend via Barling
If this support for this service were cut there would be no service.
60 ECC suports the whole timetable between Canewdon and Southend via Ballards Gore and Rochford
If this support for this service were cut there would be no service.

Sundays
1 ECC supports from 2047 between the Thames Drive (almost Hadleigh) to Rayleigh section .
If this were cut the last Number 1 to reach Rayleigh would depart Southend at 1920 (Hadleigh 1947, Thundersley 1955). The last bus to reach Southend would depart from Rayleigh at 2006 (Thundersley 2017, Hadleigh 2025)
7 ECC supports the 1829 (1820) journey from Rayleigh to Southend
If this was cut there would be a one and a half hour gap between the last number 8 and the next number 7, or a two hour gap between services if the number 8 service were also cut.
8 ECC supports the whole number 8 timetable between Southend and Rayleigh.
If this was cut there would be no bus service in Hawkwell and only an hourly service between Southend – Rochford – Hockley – Rayleigh on Sundays.
20 Sunday – Southend to Hullbridge 1925 & 2050 journeys. Hullbridge to Southend 2014 journey. Hullbridge to Rayleigh 2135 journey.
If support for these services was cut the last bus from Hullbridge on Sundays would be the 1852 and the last bus to Hullbridge would depart Southend at 1822 (Rayleigh 1901)

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Daily Reporting by Chris Black

With support from:
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This is the official master document for planning policy in our district! To download it, click here click here. (2.5mb)

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If you want information on a particular planning application, you can find it on the District Council website here.

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