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:
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.
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:
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:
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.
Join us on foot or online and help reveal the stories of Rochford’s changing landscape through a series of public walks.
Walk 1: Barling – Wakering
Wednesday 9 July 2014
10am to 2pm
Meet at All Saints Church, Church Road, Barling
Ends at St Nicholas Church, 2 New Road, Great Wakering
Walk 2: Hullbridge – Hockley – Hullbridge
Wednesday 9 July 2014
4pm to 8pm
Walk starts and ends at the Anchor Riverside Pub, Ferry Road, Hullbridge
Free Public Car Park next to the Anchor Inn
Walk 3: Ashingdon – South Fambridge – Canewdon
Thursday 10 July 2014
10am to 2pm
Meet by Ashingdon Primary Academy, Fambridge Road, Ashingdon
Ends at St Nicholas Church, High Street, Canewdon
Walk 4: Canewdon – Wallasea Island – Paglesham East End
Thursday 10 July 2014
4pm to 8pm
Starts at St Nicholas Church, High Street, Canewdon
Ends at The Plough and Sail Public House, East End, Paglesham
Please further information please phone 01702 318171or email email@example.com
Share your stories and photos of rural and coastal Rochford on the Facebook page in related links
Follow the walks on Twitter @RochfordWalks
Lost Walks of Rochford is led by artists Ali Pretty and Richard White, working with Rochford District Council Arts Development. Ali and Richard regularly collaborate on creative walking projects described as ‘feet on the ground and digitally connected’. Their walks through Rochford District will be documented and archived using social media, mapping and tracking technology.
We were very sorry to hear about the passing of former Lib Dem Councillor for Ashingdon, Clive Wren, who died recently , aged 78. Our thoughts are with his family.
We were kindly sent the following obituary and photo, which we are very happy to publish.
Clive Wren, 78 of Hullbridge, passed away, 2 November 2013.
Clive was born in October 1935 to Robert and Leah Wren of London.
He left school after passing his matriculation exams and joined the RAF to complete his National Service where he gained his pilot’s licence. Like many others in his position he became interested in motorsport and spent his leave designing his own ideal sports car. Unlike many others though he turned his dream into reality and on completing his National Service founded Convair Developments with his brother Terry. They set up their business in a corner of their father’s cabinet making workshop. Clive made a full scale model of his design and set to making moulds using glass fibre. Soon they were producing high quality glass fibre body shells to sell in the embryonic kit car industry.
Similar likeminded pioneers and members of the 750 Motor Club would meet up at The Abbey Hotel on the North Circular to discuss ideas and developments. Clive listened in on numerous heated debates including those between Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus, Leslie Ballamy and others. Terry looked after the commercial side of the business while Clive immersed himself in the engineering mastering a wide range of skills. As a result it was not long before Convair were selling suspension conversions, complete chassis’s and undertaking other bespoke engineering work.
The introduction of the Austin Healey Sprite effectively put an end to their dreams as they realised they could not compete with a mainstream manufacturer. Unlike a number of other fledgling sports car companies of the time Clive and Terry decided to wind up the business and change direction rather than fight on. In all about 130 bodies were made in three different styles and 50 or so chassis. One complete car exists in the Haynes International Motor Museum in Sparkford, near Yeovil and several others are in private hands.
The brothers went their separate ways and Clive’s next enterprise was to run a fleet of oil tankers supplying heating fuel to establishments in the East End of London. The flying bug never really disappeared though and the brothers soon got back together and started importing used light aircraft from abroad for resale back home. Again Terry looked after commercial matters and Clive took on the maintenance and restoration work. This led to Clive running an aircraft maintenance company based at Southend Airport dealing mainly with light aircraft and small commercial planes. The business became quite a success and Clive diversified into other areas of aviation acquiring or setting up businesses in ticketing, ground handling, aircraft chartering and a flying club. He also stood for and won a seat on Rochford District Council. He was the instigator, of the then secret meeting, in the early ‘80’a between representatives of Manchester Airport, and the Council Leadersof Essex, Castle Point, Basildon, and Rochford to offer to Southend Airport Committee a “lifeline” to develop the airport rather than Southend hand the running of it over to a subsidiary of Stansted/BAA. His fear was that Stansted would overpower Southend, taking away aircraft maintenance and cargo – and how right he was! Now, 30 years later, Stansted is owned by Manchester Airport!
Southend Airport gradually declined and Clive closed his businesses one by one until he finally retired at the beginning of the new Millennium.
He was survived by his wife Patricia; his daughter Amanda and his two grandchildren. Our thoughts are with them. In lieu of flowers, the family have requested donations to Fair Havens Hospices in Southend.
Angus Dudley/Richard Boyd OBE DL
Rest in Peace , Clive
From the Essex Police website:
|Date:||24th July 2013 11:00 – 12:00|
|Where:||Hullbridge Sports & Social club,
Hullbridge. SS5 6BJ
|Extra Info:||The Neighbourhood Meeting is a monthly meeting for anyone living or working in Hullbridge to attend and highlight issues that directly affect the area. The meeting is open for any member of the public to attend and share their comments and concerns. Please advise us of any particular requirements you have, or of any other arrangements we should make for you, to ensure that you can fully participate in the meeting.|
|Date:||1st August 2013 11:00 – 12:00|
|Where:||Hockley Library Southend Road
Hockley Essex SS5 4PZ
|Extra Info:||Officers will be available to discuss issues and concerns for Hockley and Hawkwell.|
|Date:||1st August 2013 13:00 – 14:00|
|Extra Info:||Officers from the Neighbourhood Team will be at the library to discuss any concerns or issues in your area.|
|Contact:||Mobile: 07710 046161
|Date:||12th August 2013 19:00 – 20:30|
|Where:||Parish Council Rooms
82 West Street
Rochford SS4 1AS
|Extra Info:||The Neighbourhood Meeting is open to any member of the public living or working in Rochford. It is held in order for those in attendance to highlight any issues and concerns that directly affect the neighbourhood & also to receive updates as to what’s happening in your area, community & Policing wise. At the conclusion those in attendance will decide on up to 3 priorities that they would like to be actioned and these will be progressed for updates at the following meeting. Please advise us of any particular requirements you have, or of any other arrangements we should make for you, to ensure that you can fully participate in the meeting.|
|Date:||20th August 2013 19:00 – 20:00|
|Where:||Ashingdon & East Hawkwell Memorial Hall
|Extra Info:||A Neighbourhood Action Panel is a multi-agency, problem-solving group that consists of relevant partner agencies, key stakeholders and, most importantly, members of the local community. The Neighbourhood Action Panel focus’s their work around the main priorities that are identified after consultation with the local community. Members, who are all volunteers, take on responsibility for achieving certain tasks on behalf of their neighbourhood. If you are a member of a partner agency, key stakeholder, or a resident of the local community, then you can attend without prior invitation. If you would like to know more about the Neighbourhood Action Panel then please contact us as soon as convenient.|
The local highways panel met yesterday . Here’s some snippets:
There was a lot of anger about the state of Ashingdon Road. It is overdue for resurfacing, but despite repeated promises , it hasn’t been done.
After some years of complaints from councillors like Gill Lucas-Gill, resurfacing was promised for this Easter , then this summer, now next summer. The latest problem is a cast iron gas main that ‘s been found there. And apparently a detailed design for the works hasn’t been prepared yet, and the design itself will take seven months. As you can imagine, Mrs Lucas Gill was very critical of County Highways…
And the promise of repairs next summer is ‘if funding is available”.
Pedestrian Crossing in Hullbridge Road, opposite Lubards Farm.
We’ve avoided this being killed off, there will be another traffic and pedestrian survey in September.
800 Designs To Do
Later on in the meeting Chris Black probed further into the question of ”designs’. It seems there are 800 highways schemes in Essex that are still waiting for designs to be prepared! There’s about 20 highways officers to do them.
Some of these schemes are very small – the installation of a couple of bollards, for example – but even so it’s another sign of how things have gone wrong at County Highways.
Safety Schemes Approved
The panel agreed a number of safety schemes at:
Junction of Ashingdon Road with Dalys Road and Roche Avenue, Rochford
Junction of Ashingdon Road with West Street and Hall Road, Rochford
Junction of Lower Road with Church Road , Hullbridge
Junction of Warwick Road with Clarence Road, Rayleigh
Rayleigh Weir – the slip road from the A127 eastbound into Rayleigh.
All of these sites are where there have been accidents in the past. Some of the sites involve some minor engineering works, such as a ‘compact urban roundabout’ at the first location. But it’s noticeable that some of the issues identified in the report are simply proper maintenance. For example, with the 3rd site one road sign is covered with graffiti and another by moss, with the 4th site the road surface and road markings are in poor condition, with the last scheme there is overgrown vegetation!
Hullbridge Road Bus Stop
At a previous meeting it was agreed in principle to move the bus stop opposite Hambro Parade, Rayleigh a little way up the hill towards Down Hall Road . The idea is to install a bus layby on the wide grass verge in order to reduce cars queuing behind stationary buses. This is being opposed by neighbouring residents who came along and spoke very eloquently at yesterday’s meeting, They would prefer to leave the bus stop where it is, or if it has to be moved, down near Ferndale Road. Anyway, a design and safety audit will be prepared to see if moving it is actually feasible.
Two Rawreth Issues
Before the meeting Chris Black discussed drainage problems in Rawreth Lane with a couple of officers. (the problem is opposite the junction with Laburnum Way).
Also, the panel agreed to installing a gate in London Road Rawreth, to close off a disused hammerhead that is attracting crime and ASB. Regular attenders at Rawreth Parish Council will know where this is – and in fact the minutes of the JUn 2009 Rawreth PC meeting were included in the agenda as supporting evidence.
Chair and Vice-Chair:
The panel consists of 5 County Councillors: Colin Seagers , Malcolm Maddocks and Terry Cutmore (all Tory) , Michael Hoy (Green) and Keith Gibbs (UKIP) plus 5 District Coucnillors Keith Hudson, Gill Lucas-Gill , Toby Mountain and Mike Steptoe (all Tory) and Chris Black (Lib Dem).Colin Seagers was elected Chair. Keith Gibbs then proposed Chris Black and Vice-Chair (no political clash between UKIP and LIb Dem here!) but Chris declined. Keith Hudson was then chosen as vice-chair.
Here’s some more information about our candidate Debbie Taylor, who is standing in Rochford North:
If you are coming to Hadleigh for the Olympics, you might fancy coming to Rayleigh for a meal. There are plenty of cafes and tea-rooms, and a good range of restaurants – whether you want Fish and Chips, Italian, Spanish, Chinese or Indian. Plus lots of pubs….
If you’ve come from abroad, and are interested in science, then you could drive to Paglesham, where the remains of Darwin’s Beagle are somewhere in the river bed. There’s absolutely nothing of H.M.S. Beagle to actually see, but the pubs do good food and it’s a very tranquil place to walk.
And if you are more religious-minded, there are plenty of ancient village churches to see, including one at Paglesham. The view from the churchyard at Ashingdon is particularly fine.
There’s a few new reports on the FixMyStreet website -as usual potholes are the main issue.
Road surface breaking up in nearside lane of southbound track of A129 100m north from the slip onto the A127
Potholes in Waltham Road: (Incidentally Chris Black and Chris Lumley have also the Waltham Road potholes via the District Council – it probably has more potholes than anywhere else in Rayleigh).
I am reporting severe Pot Holes in our road which do not appear to be being fixed. I complained about this to the highways team, when I first moved into the road in September 2011 but as yet I haven’t had any feedback or seen and remedial action being taken. These pot holes have deteriorated since the recent snow fall and we would like them to be filled in as a matter of urgency. In particular there are an accumulation of ‘Bigger’ holes near my drive way which deters me from parking on my drive due to the possibility of damage to my vehicle. However, these are not the only ones – the road is full of them and they continue round into surrounding roads too. Please could you look into this as a matter of urgency. Thank you Mrs Tanya Jenkins
Reported in the Potholes category by Dr j hamblin at 10:38 today
Sent to Essex County Council 1 minute later
About 100 yards on near side after the acute right hand corner bend past first house on left. Caused serious damage to two tires and wheels yesterday.
Reported in the Street lighting category by myra pallen at 14:39 today
Sent to Essex County Council less than a minute later
Street light out opposite 4 Oldbury Cottages,Southend Rd,Gt Wakering SS3 0PR It is only about out 6 months since it was last done ! This is very urgent as it is almost the only one on this road, and it lights up our 7 cottages when the traffic ZOOMS past at 100 miles an hour!!!
The latest list of new planning applications can be found on the District Council website here. It’s the list dated February 17th.
There’s quite a lot of medium sized or large applications this week:
Application for a mobile home that’s already there:
Parish: Ashingdon Parish Council Ward: Ashingdon And Canewdon
Retrospective Application for the Use of the Site for Siting of Mobile Home for Residential Use Including Retention of Hardstanding for Parking of Domestic Vehicles, Hardstanding Base for Mobile Home and Access Track.
Location: Land End Of Oakfield Road New Park Road Hockley
Four flats in Rayleigh (a similar application has already been passed here) :
Parish: Rayleigh Town Council Ward: Downhall And Rawreth
Amended Application to Demolish Existing Dwelling and Construct Two Storey Building with Rooms in Roofspace Comprising 4no. One Bedroomed Flats, Parking, Amenity Areas and Garden Shed
Location: 138 Down Hall Road Rayleigh Essex
A barn in Canewdon:
Parish: Canewdon Parish Council Ward: Ashingdon And Canewdon
Construct Barn to Contain 3 Stables and Feed/Tack Store
Location: Mill Hatch Lark Hill Road Canewdon
2 bungalows in Hawkwell:
Parish: Hawkwell Parish Council
Ward: Hawkwell North
Demolish Existing Dwelling and Construct 2No. 3-bed Detached Bungalows With Off-Street Parking
Location: 1 Clifton Road Ashingdon Essex
Change of use in Hockley from warehouse to “retail warehouse”:
Parish: Hockley Parish Council Ward: Hockley Central
Change of Use from Warehouse to Retail Warehouse Including New Front Facade, New External Staircase to Rear to Provide Access at First Floor Level.
Location: 27 Eldon Way Hockley Essex
Keep a temporary road at Southend Airport:
Parish: Rochford Parish Council
Retention of the existing vehicular access off Southend Rd for emergency access (access having previously been constructed pursuant to a temporary planning permission), Retention of vehicular access track and retrospective permission to retain reprofiling and grading of site
Location: Land On The Eastern Side Of Southend Airport Rochford
Extend the airport terminal !
Parish: Rochford Parish Council Ward: Rochford
Extension Of Passenger Terminal Building; Configuration Of An Aircraft Parking Area For 5 Aircraft Stands; Passenger Walkways; And Associated Works
Location: London Southend Airport Southend Airport Rochford
Knock down a bungalow in Hullbridge , build a house:
Parish: Hullbridge Parish Council Ward: Hullbridge
Proposal: Demolish Existing Bungalow and Construct Detached Four Bedroomed House With Integral Garage. Widen Existing Vehicular Crossing.
Location: 37A Hilltop Avenue Hullbridge Hockley
Covered parking at the new flats in front of Asda:
Parish: Rayleigh Town Council Ward: Downhall And Rawreth
The installation of 3 double carport photovoltaic systems to provide covered car parking for the approved commercial/retail units.
Location: Land At Junction Of Rawreth Lane Priory Chase Rayleigh
Convert a pair of industrial buildings in Rayleigh into a home:
Parish: Rayleigh Town Council Ward: Wheatley
Proposal: Change of Use of Two Light Industrial Buildings to a Single Dwelling. Extend External Wall/Roof and Form Porch and Covered Parking Area 72 High Road Rayleigh Essex
Have we missed out anything that you think we should mentioned? If we have, please let us know.
Rochford Life has an interview here with Kelly Holland, the Parish Clerk for both Ashingdon and Canewdon Parish Councils.
Here’s some extracts:
RL: How would you sum up the purpose or role of the Clerk?
Kelly: It’s so difficult to define the role because there is so much that we do. We are minute takers, we do the finances, we instruct contractors, we get grants, we get consultations from government that we have to put into normal terms for the Parish Council to comment upon. There is just so much. In Canewdon we do the allotments, we have the street lights, we’ve got benches; basically it is managing the Parish Council.
RL: You are essentially the executive arm of the Council?
Kelly: Yes we are, but in so many people’s eyes we’re just secretaries. Writing letters is about 1% of the job; a lot of it is around the law and all the things that are coming in from the Government like the Localism Bill. We have to know exactly what they are talking about and then inform the Parish Council accordingly……
…….RL: Do you see being a Clerk something that will just go on, perhaps as part of your lifestyle now?
Kelly: Yes, it’s very fulfilling; no two days are the same so it’s not a job you get bored with. It’s a profession even though it is not seen as a profession, and now I have the two it’s full-time hours so it’s what I hope to continue to do.
Today we received the following press release from Regal Busways
Regal Busways are set to introduce three new bus services from Tuesday 30th August. Two of the new services, numbers 2 and 6 are special shopper services and the third service, the R3, is a special commuter service to Rayleigh rail station, connecting buses with morning and evening London train services.
The number 2 service will link Southend, Ashingdon, Hockley and Rayleigh to Chelmsford and operates every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The service will provide a direct link to Chelmsford for Ashingdon and Hockley residents for the first time.
The number 6 service will link Southend, Eastwood and Rayleigh to Chelmsford every Tuesday and Thursday.
The R3 service will inter-work with Regal Busways’ existing number 3 service and operates between Rawreth Lane (Asda) and Rayleigh rail station. The services will see the number of journeys between Rawreth Lane (Asda) and Rayleigh rail station in the morning peak increase from 2 to 7 and similarly on the return evening services.
A special promotional ticket will also be introduced on the R3 service until the end of the year. Daily fares will be just £1 single, £2 return or £10 for a weekly ticket.
Adrian McGarry, Managing Director of Regal Busways said, “Using the new R3 service to Rayleigh station rather than the car is an excellent way to make significant savings on station car parking and fuel costs and helps to reduce congestion on the road at peak times. I’m also delighted to offer two new shopper services to Chelmsford, which will open up new journey opportunities for Ashingdon and Hockely residents”.
For more information about the services visit www.regalbusways.com or call Regal Busways on .
We are Liberal Democrat councillors and campaigners in Rochford District.
We want to improve local decision-making and we see onlineFOCUS as a good way of keep residents informed and involved.
Please click here to email us .
We welcome your comments, they are very important to us. However please note:
* We may not necessarily agree with the comments made by our readers
* We ask everyone to treat people with respect when making a comment. No personal abuse please.
Asda or Makro Council Budget Crime & Policing District Core Strategy District Wide Elections Essex & East Future Housing Green Belt Highways & Parking History and Culture Hockley Hullbridge Leisure and Sport Liberal Democrats Local Democracy Local Facilities National Politics No Category Planning Applications Rawreth Rayleigh Rochford Web Stuff YouTube and Video
If you want information on a particular planning application, you can find it on the District Council website here.
If you want to know what new planning applications have been submitted this week, click here.
If you want to report a problem, you can email Lib Dems councillors by clicking here.
There's also an independent website called FixMyStreet. It's very good for reporting minor street problems like holes in the road, grafitti or failed streetlights. You can find FixMyStreet here.
If you read onlineFOCUS for a while you can see the kind of things we are trying to achieve locally. Maybe you would like to help us?
If you fancy helping us deliver leaflets, or actively campaigning for us at election time, or simply just helping behind the scenes with paperwork, please contact the onlineFOCUS team here.