polling station sign

Why Online Voting Is An Unsafe Idea

There were some surprise results last week. Really surprising results. But would we trust the results if the voting was done online?


“Oh, Only Since I Was Two”

The Polls close at 10 pm this evening. A huge thanks to everyone who has voted for us!

The count starts at Clements Hall tomorrow morning, we will obviously write about it tomorrow, though the quickest news online is probably from the Evening Echo Twitter Feed.


It’s traditional for us to have a video on election days. So here’s something from the “West Wing” about wanting to serve. Blonde Republican Ainsley has been invited to the White House after she criticised the Democrats’ education policy  on TV, and she gets an unexpected offer:


With A Little Help From Our Friends

We have a very busy election day next Thursday!

If any of our onlineFOCUS friends can spend one or two hours at one of the polling stations for us , please let us know. We could do with a little help.

You just wear a rosette, take numbers and smile at people….

And in any case it gives us an excuse to play this version of the Beatles song…


A Song For St Georges Day

A song about missing England and missing someone there….

This is  “Home Thoughts From Abroad” by Clifford T Ward.


civic suite

This Could Be The Last Time….

There’s a meeting of the District Full Council on Tuesday evening. There’s nothing sensational on the agenda, but it’s the last Full Council before the elections, so it could be ‘the last time’ for any councillor present. And it will definitely be the last time for those who aren’t seeking re-election – unless they make a comeback in future years.

Expect a few farewell speeches. And possibly some point-scoring.

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Fancy Building Or Designing Your Own Home?

The District Council website has a page on building your own home- or having a custom design:

“What is Self Build and Custom Build?

Self-build housing normally means that you manage the design and construction of your own home, and may undertake some of the building work as well. Custom build usually means that you work with a specialist developer who will organise the design and construction to help you deliver your new home to your specifications.
What is the register?

The Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 requires the Council to keep and have regard to a register of those who are interested in self build or custom build housing projects in their area. The purpose of this register is inform the Council of how much demand there is for self build and custom build plots in the District.
How do I add my details to the register?

To register your interest and add your details to the Council’s register, please complete the online registration form by clicking on the link below.

How will my information be used?

The information from the Self Build and Custom Build Register will be used to gain a greater understanding of the demand for self build and custom build projects in the District….”

For inspiration , have a look at this article and watch the video from the Denver Post  featuring a lovely home built from something a bit different….

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Under Attack !

Our website has been under attack – but we seem to be OK for now…. so let’s have some ABBA to celebrate…

roar waste

The Future Of Waste Collection ?

A video from Sweden about an experimental robot system…. seems a bit slow though!


A Busy River

Imagine if the shipping moving in and out of the River Thames went into decline – it would be a sign of a reduction in international trade , and a bad sign for the UK economy as a whole and for Essex, London and Kent in particular. Happily the reverse is happening – and The Port of London Authority are recruiting more marine pilots :

The Port of London Authority (PLA) is recruiting twelve new pilots this year to respond to increased traffic on the Thames….

….The PLA recruitment drive is also in response to an anticipation of growth in traffic resulting from significant investments taking place at the port’s terminals. The Thames welcomes a wide variety of ships from dredgers to warships and tankers to super yachts. And now the Thames is also able to welcome the world’s largest 400m long container ships, which requires specialised training….

Robin Mortimer, PLA chief executive said:

“The Port of London grew to 45 million tonnes in 2015 and is the UK’s busiest inland waterway. We are forecasting that over the next two decades the Port of London will become the largest its ever been and we are adding to the team to help bring a variety of ships, including the largest in the world, safely on to the Thames.”

Key investments on the Thames include those at DP World London Gateway and the Port of Tilbury. London Gateway is due to open their third berth in Q4 2016, adding capacity to handle an extra 600,000 containers per annum, while the Forth Ports recently announced plans for a £100m investment at the Port of Tilbury and are currently building a state-of-the art temperature-controlled distribution centre in the port and London Distribution Park adjacent to the port….

If you want to get a perspective on shipping – and what it’s like to be a mariner –  try these videos from Humans At Sea:



A Billion Pound Tunnel

A video about politics and infrastructure….

Share the Orange

We shouldn’t accept that dementia is part of ageing  – it’s a disease we can conquer

Beautiful Southend

Try watching this video with headphones or good speakers:

Southend-on-Sea Time-Lapse (Hyperlapse) from Rustad Media on Vimeo.