Good Week, Bad Week….

So….

It’s been a good week for the Conservatives in Rochford gaining an extra councillor, and the national Tory website Conservativehome reports on it here. There’s a mixed response in the comments.

It’s been a bad week for UKIP in Essex , on the same day that Nigel Farage visited the county, they lost one of their council seats in Harlow to Labour. And a UKIP councillor in Thurrock has been suspended from the party following drink driving. Why oh why do councillors say to the police “Do you know who I am? I am a prominent councillor, I know the police commissioner.”

It’s been a good week for the main opposition group on Rochford District Council. The 5 residents Councillors and 2 Greens all spoke at Full Council on the budget, there was actually a bit of a debate for once. We’ll write more about the Budget meeting when the minutes are published and we can link to them..

Michael Hoy Set To Chair Review Committee

Looking through the paperwork for tomorrow night, we can see that Michael Hoy is the nomination to chair the review committee. This is the important committee that can call in and scrutinise decisions.

Having someone who is both a district councillor AND a county councillor chairing it is going to be interesting, he will have some additional channels of communication, and additional sources of information, which can only be good…

A Surprise Manoeuvre From The Green Corner !

A surprising development today – the Greens (Diane and Michael Hoy) and the Rochford Residents (Christine and John Mason) have announced they are joining forces to become the largest opposition group in the council chamber. This means that one of them will chair the important review committee, and the number of committee places for each group will have to be recalculated. This is their joint statement:

Rochford District Residents and the Green Party have today formed an alliance on Rochford District Council.

The Group will be called ‘Green and Rochford District Residents’ which means that this Group is now the main opposition to the Conservative controlled Administration by being the largest opposition Group.

Over the last three years the Liberal Democrats Party has been the ‘Main Opposition’ in Rochford but this may not have been as effective as it could have been possibly due to the Coalition in Government blurring some political policy boundaries.

Both Rochford District Residents and the Green Party feel a more robust Opposition is called for in the interests of residents across the whole District.

Both Parties will remain entirely separate in Elections continuing to remain true to their own objectives.

The last three years have demonstrated that our two Groups can work well together when polices coincide but believe that formal co-operation will lead to a more effective and positive questioning of the Conservative Policies which will lead to an improvement in outcomes for residents. Examples of this can be found in our joint opposition to the abolition of FREE Saturday Afternoon Parking and the questions that residents of the District are regularly raising about the capacity of infrastructure to sustain the house building quotas in the Rochford Core Strategy.

The Group Leader in Council will be John Mason and the Deputy Group Leader will be Michael Hoy.

This is not a joining of political parties but an alliance in the Council Chamber.

Each member of the Group will continue to represent their own Wards and the parties will campaign separately as before remaining true to their core objectives.

“Green Party Leader Coming To Hullbridge And Hockley”

It’s probably been a looooong time since a leader of one of the political parties came to our district. David Steel stopped off for a photo at Rayleigh Weir in 1983, but we can’t recall any others since then.
However according to Cllr Michael Hoy, the leader of the Green Party, Natalie Bennett, will be coming to Hullbridge and Hockley tomorrow.

Clearly the election there is hotting up…..

We’d like to officially deny the rumour that David Cameron was going to come, but was afraid of getting marooned in Watery Lane!

Watery Lane

Questions From the Greens

Councillors Michael and Diane Hoy have submitted the following questions to Full Council on Wednesday:

1.2 From Cllr Mrs D Hoy:-
Of the Leader of the Council
Further to the question I asked at the meeting in June and the full answer I
received could you please advise me:-
(1) Of the income received for advertising within Rochford District Matters,
how much is generated from Rochford District Council itself?
(2) In the answer given in June it was stated that a measure of Rochford
Districts Matters circulation was through the feedback received by the
Council to articles and notices in it. For the record, how many
communications (split by letters, emails and phone calls) were received
from the public directly in relation to items in Rochford District Matters
over the last financial year?

1.3 From Cllr M Hoy:-
Of the Portfolio Holder for Young Persons, Adult Services, Community
Care and Well Being, Health and Community Safety
With regard to the Ageing Population Strategy 2011-14:-
(1) On page 15 the Strategy talks about ‘Support the financial security of
older people’.
Current provision includes ‘Signpost those who cannot pay their bills to
the Citizens Advice Bureau and similar organisations’.
The objectives for Action includes ‘Continue to support financial and
income advice services, such as the Citizens Advice Bureau’.
How do you reconcile the pointing of people towards the Citizens Advice
Bureau for help whilst at the same time cutting its funding by a third?
(2) On page 16 the Strategy talks about ‘Supporting Access to mainstream
services and information for older people’.
Current provision includes ‘Supporting Wyvern Community Transport
Scheme’.

The objectives for Action includes ‘Continue to support community
transport within the District’.
How do you reconcile this with the fact that Wyvern Community
Transport received no grant for the current year, despite a specific
request for £5,000, and in fact the reason given was …‘it received
funding from other sources’?

It’s good to see a new councillor like Diane Hoy getting ‘stuck in’ and being active at full council….

The Greens Make A Stand

The following motion has been submitted to next Thursday’s Full Council:

The Proper Officer reports that, pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 13, the following Motion has been received from Cllrs M Hoy and Mrs D Hoy:-

‘Further to the consultation on the Allocations DPD Discussion and Consultation Document, which closed on 30 April 2010, the 891 responses received from Hullbridge residents, of which 4 were in favour, 20 were comments and 867 were objections, and with regard to responses from the District as a whole, this Council recognises that over 90% of the respondents to the Allocations DPD Discussion and Consultation Document object to that document and that the Council agree that they should not be pursuing a policy so overwhelmingly rejected by the population in all parts of the District.

An Excellent Night For The Greens

.. according to their website, they have won yesterday’s district council by-election in Hullbridge by 198 votes.

Hullbridge people don’t like the idea of hundreds of houses by Watery Lane, and they like Diane Hoy.

The Green Party now become an official group on the District Council.

Congratulations to Diane, and commiserations to the losing candidates.

We’ll publish the full result when it is up on the council website.

Update:

Mark Peter Hale The Conservative Party Candidate 555
Diane Hoy Green Party 757
Angelina Donna Marriott The Labour Party Candidate 182
Carl Whitwell UK Independence Party (UK I P) 76
Rejected Papers 2
Turnout 29.01%

Green gain from Conservatives.

A Bigger Better Green Blog

Hulbridge Green Councillor Michael Hoy has revamped his blog here.

He writes:

After 18 months of Mikes Musings we have decided a major revamp is in order.

The name is now gone but the blog remains, renamed A Green Read. The idea is to widen the scope of the blog to bring in all of the Rochford District and allow other members to contribute. Although it may not seem so it can be quite hard sometimes to find the time to write on here (the amount of council business I deal with on top of my normal work can be quite large) and the extra people should allow more regular posts.