onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003

 

Archive for Hawkwell

BREAKING NEWS: Phil & Tracy Capon Quit Tory Group

blue rosette

We understand that District councillors Phil and Tracy Capon have quit the Tory group today and gone independent.

That means we now have 25 Conservatives and a combined opposition of 14….

The Capons’ Greatest Moments

 

Phil and Tracy Capon are husband and wife, and both are currently  Conservative Councillors on Rochford District Council. In fact Phil is the Chair of the Development Committee. Word reached us at the weekend that they had both been deselected by the Conservative Association – so they cannot stand as Conservatives when they both come up for election next May.

This is pretty dramatic by Rochford standards – councillors are very  seldom deselected against their wishes, except on the grounds of old age, which doesn’t apply here. Might it possibly be that they can’t manage to slavishly follow the party line? Here’s a  few things we have written -on onlineFOCUS over the years:

 

September 12th, 2014 |

An Admirable Attitude

Rochford Life has a short interview with Hawkwell Tory District Councillor Phil Capon. Phil is Chair of the Development Committee – the one that deals with planning applications. He makes some good points, for example:


I’ve always believed that if you are going to be on the Council you should be open to all views and be open to change. It’s what I don’t like about party politics where it tends to be go with the prevailing view rather than think through alternative possibilities that may be good from other parties.

July 27th, 2014 |

The Ones Who Signed – And The Ones Who Didn’t

These are the 20 Conservative Councillors who signed the motion to abolish ordinary councillors’ rights to call in a decision to full council:

Cllrs T G Cutmore; Mrs C E Roe;
K H Hudson; D Merrick; I H Ward; M R Carter; M J Steptoe; Mrs L A Butcher;
Mrs M H Spencer; Mrs G A Lucas-Gill; Mrs J E McPherson; M Maddocks;
C G Seagers; K J Gordon; S P Smith; Mrs A V Hale; Mrs C A Weston;
R R Dray; Mrs J A Mockford and B T Hazlewood:-

and these 7 are the ones who haven’t signed:

Phil Capon
Tracy Capon
Heather Glynn
John Griffin
Jack Lawmon
Dave Sperring
Barbara Wilkins

June 20th, 2009 |

A Very Important Principle

At the last meeting of the Standards Committee, there was an item on updating the Councillors Code of Conduct On Planning Matters.

You can find the full officers report here. Chris Black noticed that something quite startling was being suggested by officers:

Members should copy and pass on any lobbying material, such as correspondence or leaflets they receive, to the Head of Planning and Transportation.


This would have meant that if anyone wrote to a councillor about any planning issue, the councillor would have been required to pass a copy on to the Head of Planning – Shaun Scrutton – or otherwise face disciplinary action!

Chris strongly opposed this. One reason is that it would destroy any privacy between councillors and members of the public. (What would be next? Tapping councillors’ phones? ) The other is that it wasn’t practical. On a really contentious planning application, 20 people might write to each councillor. That means that Mr Scrutton would have to receive nearly 800 copies of letters!

Thankfully, other members of the committee supported Chris on this – in particular, Cllr Phil Capon. And the sentence was changed to something reasonable:


‘Members should consider whether it is appropriate to copy and pass on any lobbying material, such as correspondence or leaflets they receive, to the Head of Planning and Transportation’.

 

October 10th, 2006 |

“Vote for Parent and Child places? – We’ll throw you out of the Tory Group”

At tonight’s District Council Committee meeting we had the debate on whether to allow some Parent and Child bays in our Council Car Parks.

As we wrote a few days ago, the officers were recommending… doing nothing. Apparently there are some spaces that could be widened into Parent and Child spaces, but it would cost an estimated £500 per space (!) to adjust them, and then it might be a problem that they might be left empty when they could be occupied by non-parents.

However the item was up for debate by councillors. The committee has 9 Tories (2 of them didn’t turn up), 1 independent (who didn’t turn up) and 1 Lib Dem (Chris Black.) When the chairman of the committee, Tory Phil Capon , began speaking, it looked like we would get some spaces agreed:

“Since becoming a father my eyes have been opened to the many issues and problems that the parents and carers of children face. I can appreciate what my residents have been telling me for some time.

To return to your car and find you are unable to get your child back in his or her car seat due to the thoughtlessness of others is potentially dangerous and annoying.

I don’t advocate the loss of parking bays but merely that end bays should be designated ‘parent and child”

We continually hear that we must prevent the High Streets from dying and that ‘out of town’ shopping centres are luring people away. This is true – they appreciate the problems and offer suitable parking bays.

We can not only show our commttment to child safety but also that we support local businesses.”

Chris Black felt quite good at this point as he was on balance in favour of the idea and it looked like it was going to happen. BUT THEN – a sombre Cllr Capon continued to speak:

 

Sadly members, my dream is not to be. Due to the blinkered views of other members, who I can only assume care nothing for the wellbeing of children and who don’t want local shopping centres to survive, a wonderful chance is being lost.

The “whip” is on, I cannot vote against it otherwise I lose my right to represent ny residents. Morally , I cannot vote for the recommendation so I will abstain”

The situation became clear. Cllrs Phil and Tracy Capon had raised the item in the private Tory group meeting. They’d lost out in a vote to the Tory ‘dinosaurs’ . Then the Tory leadership had enforced a whip, so that if Phil Capon voted for Parent and Child parking bays, he’d be thrown out of the Tory group.

After Phil Capon spoke, there was an embarassed silence. Chris jumped in and proposed allowing some Parent and Child parking spaces but didn’t get a seconder. So Tory leader Terry Cutmore proposed having no Parent and Child Bays and Cllr Tony Humphries seconded that.

Chris then scornfully said that in his 20+ years on the council he’d never seen any political party impose a whip on such a small item. He was very disappointed with the Tory group’s behaviour.

The voting was:

No Parent and Child Bays : 5 Cllrs Terry Cutmore, Tony Humphries, John Pullen, Mavis Webster and David Merrick (all Tories)

Abtaining : 2 Cllrs Phil Capon and Colin Hungate (both Tories)

For Parent and Child Bays: 1 Cllr Chris Black (Lib Dem)

A big mistake by the Tory leadership tonight. If they’d let Phil Capon vote with his conscience, the issue would have been over in 5 minutes. But now it won’t be forgotten so quickly, and it shows them in a bad light.

An Admirable Attitude

Rochford Life has a short interview with Hawkwell Tory District Councillor Phil Capon. Phil is Chair of the Development Committee – the one that deals with planning applications. He makes some good points, for example:


I’ve always believed that if you are going to be on the Council you should be open to all views and be open to change. It’s what I don’t like about party politics where it tends to be go with the prevailing view rather than think through alternative possibilities that may be good from other parties.

and

I’ve found over the years that sometimes there are councillors who think they are big but the truth is we’re no different to anyone else. The only difference is we’ll give up time to do it. Some people do it for personal gain; I do it for the residents’ gain, because that what we’re here for. My view is that you do what is best for the District, whatever political colour you may be.

Travellers In Hawkwell

Hawkwell Councillors John and Christine Mason have this evening posted on their facebook page:

TRAVELLERS – Just to let everyone know that Essex Police and Rochford District Council are aware that 8 Travellers Caravans (inc Campers) are visiting the Car Park at the rear of Clements Hall Leisure Centre nearest Hawkwell Park Drive, Hawkwell.

Planning Meeting Next Thursday – Sports Pitches In Rawreth, Flood Risk Questions In Hawkwell

Apart from the full Council meeting next Tuesday, there is also a meeting of the Development Committee next Thursday. Three of the items are:

1) Application by Academy Soccer for 8 sports pitches and other facilities in Old London Road Rawreth, next to the A130. This is recommended for approval by officers.
2) Application by David Wilson Homes for their 176- home development in Hawkwell to have a revised Flood Risk Assessment and revised mitigation measures.

To quote from the report:


3.2 Environment Agency:
The original strategy was to provide two discharge points to the north of the
site. Since the original submission, a more detailed survey of the river has
been undertaken and it is now known that the discharge points, as originally
proposed, will not function adequately. The revised proposals do not alter the
scheme from that originally agreed, other than to alter the point of discharge
from the site. The discharge rates, storage volumes and methods for storage
have not been altered. We therefore have no comments to add in that regard.
3.3 However, the proposal is to discharge all surface water to a smaller water
course, which runs along the eastern boundary of the site, rather than to the
water course to the north, as originally proposed. We would advise that this
water course should be checked for its capacity for carrying flows discharged
DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE – 27 February 2014 Item 5
5.5
from the site to ensure that this water course will not become overloaded and
increase flood risk to the surrounding areas. We recommend that you are
satisfied, through consultation with the developer, that there is capacity within
the water course to carry and store flows from the site, without compromising
the capacity of the system for flows that it may already receive from other
developed areas in the vicinity. We would recommend that the developer
demonstrates to you that there are no known capacity issues with this water
course that result in localised flood risk problems and that the additional flows
to this water course will not increase flood risk to the surrounding area, before
the condition is discharged.

3) Application by David Wilson Homes to waive one of the original planning conditions of their site, to allow 22 homes to be occupied before highways improvements have been completed.

Congratulations To Myra Weir BEM

myra

 

Congratulations to former Labour councillor Myra Weir for being awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours List. Myra is one of those people whose devotion to her community didn’t end after she stopped being  a district councillor.

 

As the Daily Telegraph reports:

Mrs Myra Anne Weir. For services to the Rochford Day Centre and to the community in Rochford and Hawkwell, Essex. (Hawkwell, Essex)

Myra was a Labour councillor for Hawkwell West until 2003, serving on the council alongside her husband, Jock.  They are both still  members of Hawkwell Parish Council.

 

 

Planning Concerns In Hawkwell

Over in Hawkwell Councillor John Mason is writing about what’s going on in his patch:

As District Councillors we expected that the detailed work with large scale planning applications would be carried out prior to Approval of the Planning Application.
Certainly our formal Pre-Application discussions with Officers and the developers indicated that.
Legal Agreements, formal traffic management agreements, hours of work, delivery routes, building materials etc., were all discussed before the Application was put to the Development Committee for a vote.
If an application is passed, as this one eventually was, then the Officers flesh out the Agreements and Conditions many of which should be in place before commencement of work.
We were concerned and perturbed to find that work commenced before these Agreements and Conditions were finalised and we are having to constantly re-negotiate these on behalf of residents with our Officers. In our view this should not have happened

This is something we will have to watch out for with future applications in Rayleigh, Rawreth and Hullbridge.

Hawkwell Update – An Issue About Reporting Environmental Problems.

The “Rochford Independent” website, edited by Councillor John Mason, has had some technical problems lately but is back in action now.

They have an update on the current big development in Hawkwell:


We have been concerned by a suggestion from Rochford District Council that problems and complaints on Environmental Health could be directed by residents in the first instance to an organisation other than RDC or Ward Members.
“you may wish to pass on the details of Meeting Place Communications to your constituents so that they may direct any queries or complaints they may have to them in the first instance.”
“Meeting Place Communications are the complaints handling firm employed by David Wilson Homes”.
We do not agree. It is important that all complaints are logged at RDC, investigated by RDC and any action necessary is taken in accordance with planning regulations and environmental health legislation.

Councillor Pointer Resigns

A Conservative District Councillor for Hawkwell North, Robert Pointer, has resigned. He was only elected in May 2011

On the District Council website:

Notice of Vacancy – Hawkwell North
District Ward of Hawkwell North

Notice is hereby given

that a casual vacancy has arisen in the Office of Councillor for the said District Ward

To call an election a request must be made in writing to the Returning Officer at the address below by TWO electors for the said District

Dated 12 March, 2013

A Road Closure- In Hawkwell

Thorpe Road in Hawkwell is likely to be closed temporarily to road vehicles. Councillors John and Christine Mason write about it here:

We have been very concerned that the Thorpe Road Closure proposals were not included in the planning application. We only learnt about this last Thursday and immediately protested in the strongest possible terms to the Managing Director.

But we are pleased to be able to advise you that DWH have taken the problems and concerns that their construction is causing seriously and DWH have put forward certain arrangements that will hopefully ease the disruption and perceived potential problems as far as possible.

A View From The Ward Councillors…..

Hawkwell District Councillor Christine Mason has written on the Rochford Residents Party website about the recent planning application in her ward:

What we as your District Councillors asked for at the Development meeting was for Rochford District Council to step in and negotiate with David Wilson Homes to prevent future problems for our community in line with their own publicly stated policy. The vote was narrowly lost 10/12. That is why we voted against the development despite all the many, many hours of work we have both put in to improve the design of the estate.

The full article is here.

Pool? Drainage Feature ? Hazard?

The other major planning application last Thursday was near King Edmund School.

This is a 13 acre site, and the scheme was for 100 houses and flats, a new access road, a new car park and new bus park for King Edmund School, and some open space.

This scheme had already been approved ‘in outline’ – it was the details that were being agreed here.

The big issue was, rather unexpectedly, over a new large water retention pond. It would slope very gently, and the maximum depth would be 4 feet. The idea was to have a new pond here to receive rainwater and prevent flash flooding. But some councillors, such as Gill Lucas-Gill, were concerned about the safety aspects for children . Councillor Keith Gordon was concerned that when there wasn’t much rain it might it get full of mosquitoes. Other councillors were simply very wary – this wasn’t in the middle of a big park, it wasn’t too far from houses.

In the end the scheme was passed.

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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)

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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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