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September 26th, 2013 |

Questioning and Debate On Street Lighting

The County Council Lib Dems have advised us today:

Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways today stated that he would definitely proceed with switching off nearly all street lights in Essex over the coming months. Cllr Bass was speaking today (Thursday 26 September) during questioning from Councillors on ECC’s Place Services Committee.

The issue was on the Agenda following a “Call In” (by Liberal Democrat Highways Spokesman Cllr Stephen Robinson) of the decision to switch off lights in Chelmsford and Braintree.
Cllr Bass faced questions from Councillors for well over an hour, as they all expressed their concerns about the scheme. Councillors from all the political groups were concerned about the consultation process.

Cllr Robinson said, “The Lib Dem group wants the council to listen more to comments from the public about particular ‘danger spots’ where lights should be kept on, and they should also press ahead now with low-energy LED lights as widely as possible.

“We do realise that the council has to save money and has to cut carbon emissions but they could achieve both those objectives by moving to LED lights over a period of time.
“In the areas where lights are being left on, LEDs could make a big difference fairly quickly, and on new housing developments using LEDs from the start will save money even on installation.”
Cllr Bass didn’t reject the LED proposal but said he was in no hurry to introduce them.

Cllr Robinson reported that one resident had narrowly avoided hitting a shopping trolley with his car that had been left in the road, and a cyclist had hit a wheelie bin. He also stated that many more people are out and about after 12 midnight than seemed to be assumed by the council, including people using the 24 hour supermarkets.

Cllr Bass felt these were minor points that did not undermine his plans, and he rejected a plea to take more notice of the “fear of crime”. He stated that people will just have to adjust their behaviour if they are concerned. In response to a question from Lib Dem Jude Deakin, he stated that he was not concerned if householders started buying lamps and spotlights for outside their own homes.

63 Responses to “Questioning and Debate On Street Lighting”

  1. 1
    Mike Bolton:

    Cllr Bass sounds exceptionally arrogant.

  2. 2
    Christine Paine:

    So Cllr. Bass thinks people should “adjust their behaviour” when the lights are turned off. What abour shift workers who may be arriving home or leaving home during the times the lights are off. Not all of them have cars, many will be walking, either actually to work if they are close enough, or to public transport, or to where they normally get picked up for a lift, that sort of thing. Still, that sort of attitude shouldn’t be surprising really, it goes along with RDC when you think about it. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that we actually voted for any of these people.

  3. 3
    Janet Warner:

    I agree with both Mike & Christine! What arrogance Cllr Bass shows! As for “adjusting our behavior”, words fail me!
    When will politicians at all levels of government, local & national, remember they were voted in to serve the general public.
    Elections in May folks. We will remember them!

  4. 4
    Jason Richer:

    “and he rejected a plea to take more notice of the “fear of crime”. He stated that people will just have to adjust their behaviour if they are concerned.”

    So what specifically does “adjust their behaviour” mean? does it mean that residents should change their jobs so that they make it home before the lights are switched off? or does it mean that a Resident may think he or she has implied consent from Councillor Bass that they should – I don’t know – prowl around their property with an AK47 and a couple of snarling Rottweilers (or something similar) if they are concerned about crime?

    “he stated that he was not concerned if householders started buying lamps and spotlights for outside their own homes.”

    But wouldn’t this totally negate the sole reason given for the switch off in the first place? To cut light pollution and reduce energy consumption ? as quoted vebatim from the essex highways website:

    “Why are our lights being ‘turned off’?

    Essex County Council is changing from all night lighting to part night lighting on certain street lights. This is in accordance with ECC exception criteria to help reduce energy consumption and light pollution. It is proposed to turn the lights off between midnight and 5am.”

    Councillor Bass’s lack of concern “if householders started buying lamps and spotlights for outside their own homes” sounds slightly incongruous to the message being delivered ECC? or are we actually being given a glimpse as to what this switch off is really all about – Money?

  5. 5
    John Mason:

    Yes, I agree.

    There is a trend in all levels of Government to cut Services, reduce Services in the Public Sector and where they might be regarded as important to transfer the costs from the Public Sector to the Sector of Ordinary Folk. Not austerity measures to reduce excess and the unnecessary but pure robbery of the purses of Ordinary Folk which have been reduced by inflation over 5 years of pay “restraint”. If you are OK with this remain silent.

  6. 6
    Jim Cripps:

    Not sure why anyone is surprised that politicians (MP’s or Councillors) are an arrogant bunch and no I’m not OK with this. The overseas aid budget has been increased from 8.2 billion to 11.2 billion at
    a time when the Nation is in fiscal crisis at home –
    how can that ever be justifiable (vested interests no doubt).We need a British Spring ………….

  7. 7
    Christine Paine:

    John, I like the sentiment, but the truth is that remain silent or kick scream and shout, they will do exactly what they want to with no regard to public comments or feelings at all. I’m afraid the party system of local politics here, and probably elsewhere, means that be it ECC, RDC, they can vote through just about anything any time they like. Until the public at large (a) wake up to this and (b) actually turn out in high numbers at local elections to vote for independent candidates, this will not change.

  8. 8
    The Mighty Oz:

    Christine is spot on, this is a lift from the ECC web site:

    The results of the 2013 Essex County Council election were confirmed by 3.30am last night with the overall result seeing Conservative taking the majority of seats (42) and retaining their position as the Administration.

    Of the 1 million electors across the county there was a 27.6% turnout of voters

    So roughly 72% of people could not be bothered to get off of their backsides and vote, let’s hope none of them are now complaining on this site….

  9. 9
    Jason Richer:

    John – good points and it will be very interesting to see when these times of imposed “austerity” end whether the services and cuts that have taken place will actually revert back to the way they were or if as I strongly suspect it will be just be the new “ahhh well thats just the way things are”

    I echo the sentiments on here that shout and swear or remain silent nothing changes. I also truly believe that the majority (generalisation made on purpose I know not all) of the public by and large only have themselves to blame as a direct result of their wretched apathy (I also wonder if this apathy has been encouraged) – qui tacet consentire videtur.
    I think however people are actually waking up, as they are so fed up of uncontrolled immigration, forced PC, high taxes, high/inflated property prices, fuel and utility costs, transport costs, parking costs, insurance, rail travel etc etc and all the austerity measures foisted upon the common man/woman.
    I do fear that Joe Public’s pockets, patience, trust and apathy only runs so deep. Already people’s trust in the EU, high level government, the corporations and banks (generalisation again made on purpose)is ebbing quickly and it will get to a point where will be so entrenched in the mire that Political debate will not cut it and the only act of act of emancipation open to the serfs will be civil rebellion. I hope that this is not the case and the general public make their point at the european elections and at the next general election but they have been so brainwashed that there is no alternative to the big three that imminent political change is a long way off yet.

  10. 10
    Christine Paine:

    Good point Jason. The big three proved during their conferences that they inhabit a different reality from the rest of us. I think the problem is that these days politics is not entered into out of any sense of public service, it is a career stepping stone. Councillors thing that if they are good party loyalists they will get selected for a parliamentary seat. Those in Parliament are looking at the consultancies, Directorships etc. that will come when they loose/resign their seats. As a result they don’t want to look after their ward/area/county/country as they don’t want to appear “parochial”. They have to be Global, Inclusive, etc. etc. or these perks won’t come their way. In the good old days there was this sense of public service, this country came first, can you imagine Churchill or McMillan being told what to do by a European Parliament?

    Yes, we have been brainwashed into apathy and the big three, but I think and hope that is changing. We all know we have been lied to and deceived and we are getting angrier about it, and hopefully that will translate to the ballot box. However, if people just don’t vote as a protest then nothing will change. There needs to be viable alternative candidates, and we need to get out and vote for them.

    Chris, John Mason, others who read this and really do work for their wards, I am generalising, I know there are guys like you up and down the country who do do their best for their wards/areas, but there are too many with an eye to the main chance who don’t, or who just toe the party line.

  11. 11

    Although I did not agree with everything that RAGs stood for as too little too late ,their sentiments would have been useful several years ago .Why do they not carry on the fight for Rayleigh and Rawreths. interests by putting up candidates in the next local elections to stand for local principles .We do need to break the party hold on the council where there or two vociferous Councillors who admittedly have clear vision if slightly blinkered,whilst the rest sit on their hands,wringing them at the same time ,must be very uncomfortable for them!

  12. 12
    Chris Black:

    Alistir, I’d like to think that you already have Councillors in Downhall and Rawreth who stand for local principles – or are Ron and myself the “one or two vociferous Councillors who admittedly have clear vision if slightly blinkered” ?!

  13. 13
    John Mason:

    Chris, on the Cuts to Street Lighting does the following, with a deadline of 9 October, infer that if exceptions have not been put forward by RDC to ECC then the turn off will be 100%?

    The County propose that lights in areas meeting the following exception criteria will continue to be lit throughout the night. This amounts to around 30% of streetlights.

    From Paul Warren, Chief Executive of RDC;

    “The County’s consultation seeks views and particularly suggestions as to those areas which meet the exception criteria, advising of the location of the lights including street and settlement names and the reason for meeting these criteria. As part of the consultation exercise the Parishes and emergency services have been contacted and asked for their views direct.”

    “Before the matter is discussed at the Executive [at Rochford District Council] on 9 October, the Leader [District and County Councillor Terry Cutmore] has asked that I [Paul Warren] email all Members seeking their suggestions as to which specific areas and locations should be suggested for inclusion under the exception criteria. These can then be taken into consideration at the Executive before comments are passed to the County Council and it starts to work on the detail to implement the proposal in this District.”

  14. 14

    Sorry Chris I did mean not yourself or Ron or indeed other independent Councillors who all do sterling work .I ran out of time had to go drill some wheat!

  15. 15
    Chris Black:

    John , I don’t think you can infer that – I imagine that ECC already have a provisional, basic list. (Though that begs the question why haven’t we been provided with it)

    Regarding 9th October, I think there’s a good chance of a call-in on this to Full Council, would you agree ?

  16. 16
    John Mason:

    Hi Chris

    Thanks for the second opinion. I agree that the provisional list of the exceptions should have been provided. I hope, like you, that it is just poor administration at Essec County Council.

    Call In? You obviously have the advantage of me. Too cryptic !!

  17. 17
    John Mason:


    Item 7, “Consultation……….regarding Part Night Street Lighting” is stated on the Report of The Chief Executive as not being subject to Call In because of the consultation deadline set by ECC. In fact I thought that it closed on 27 September and for some reason RDC has an extension.

    Have I missed something?

  18. 18
    Chris Black:

    No John, you are right, I’m wrong !

  19. 19
    Christine Paine:

    A. Matthews. I don’t disagree with you, but I think people do not stand for Council for a variety of reasons other than apathy. Fistly I think a lot of people think you have to have party backing. Then they have no idea of what is involved, think they won’t be qualified to do the job. They don’t want it taking over their lives. I know John has offered to mentor anyone who wants to stand as an independent but perhaps it would be helpful if Chris could run a piece here about what being a local Councillor actually involves. Perhaps between you a piece on Parish Council duties could be done as well. I have considered standing for the Parish Council a couple of times but a couple of things have stopped me. I don’t want to walk to the Hall on dark winter evenings, I wouldn’t get the car out for a such a short distance, but that could be overcome. The bigger issue is I have no idea of what would be involved and how much time it would take up, or even if I would be suitable to do it.

  20. 20
    John Mason:

    Hi Christine

    If anyone were wishing to find out more about being an Independent Candidate then this web site (not mine, not associated) then this might be a good starting point.

    Politically Independent Candidate

    Standing for a national political party is easier because the party itself is well known to the electorate with national and local policies and they help guide you with how to write leaflets, when to deliver them, how to canvass etc., You get a party logo or product brand on the ballot slip.

    They will also help you fill in the Nomination Papers and how to gather the supporter signatures required making sure that they are on the electoral register !!

    But an Independent can, as you say, also get guidance and mentoring from an existing Independent Councillor.

    As for Parish Council, I started there 33 years ago, and there are residents groups, independent and political party councillors on some Parish Councils. Some Parish Councils are comprised of just independents.

  21. 21
    colin seagers:

    How silly of Essex CC to consider cutting some street lighting in the early hours. Despite the open secret that there is a hugely prolific plantation of money trees hidden in the atrium in County Hall, they stupidly insist on making cuts and refuse to consider increasing their Council Tax precept dramatically. Instead they continue spending the whole crop of money on totally unnecessary and useless ring-fenced things like education or elderly and youth social care. Other money is wasted on equally unnecessary libraries, road maintenance, subsidised buses, waste, recycling centres, parks etc.
    It is now alleged that the money tree crop is declining and that despite having made only £325M of savings to date since the Coalition government began to address the mess Labour left the country in, Essex CC claims it must find just the mere small change of an additional £220M odd savings over the next couple of years. It is also alleged that if the EC Highways budget were required to cope with the same or possibly even less than in 2013/14, something has to be cut from its budget. So if you don’t want street lighting cut during the early hours, with certain exemptions, for pity’s sake don’t let anyone know what you would prefer Essex CC to cut instead, otherwise you may not be able to enjoy the vicarious privilege of paying much more Council Tax next year.

  22. 22

    Thankyou Colin ,I am in total agreement I have always felt that we are obsessed with light ,so much so the enjoyment of the stars is lost on this generation .I believe if the safeguards are sensible ,then why do we need to light the streets in the early hours ? Why do cars have increasingly efficient LED lights ,if they cannot make use of them ?If the crime figures for Uttlesford and Maldon are in line with the decrease elsewhere then that is not a reason for over lighting ! Obviously in rural areas like Rawreth there are few lights anyway and there is a good case to retain those ,still think why do we need streets lit at 3o,clock in the morning? Global warming is a reality .Eat more British carrots and you will all get used to natural darkness !

  23. 23
    Chris Black:

    Christine , thanks for the suggestion, I’ll run a piece in a few days on what being a councillor actually involves…

  24. 24
    Christine Paine:

    Thanks Chris.

    I think though that anyone reading Cllr. Seagers comments here might feel that having to deal with people like that on a regular basis was enough to put any sane sensible person off even thinking about standing for Council. He obviously never got told that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.

  25. 25
    colin seagers:

    Actually it was irony not sarcasm that I used to highlight the budgetary problems facing Essex County Council. If I had wanted simply to be sarcastic I should probably have said something like “Christine, I look forward to seeing your many sane suggestions for items to cut in addressing the next £220M of savings required of Essex CC to follow the £325M already made”; but that is me, timid and kind to a fault.
    However, I am sure there must be a few other existing Essex CC Members who will welcome all your ideas for alternative cuts to non-essential services so as to preserve all early hours street lighting throughout the County, but beware that you may not then be able to enjoy complaining about a very large increase in the ECC Council Tax precept.

  26. 26
    Christine Paine:

    Well, we could try abolishing all Councillers expenses, or putting in an annual maximum, that I’m sure would save a bit. Could try getting all the money back from Lord Hanningfield as well. Maybe do away with the subsidised canteen, private sector don’t get that these days. I’m sure some in depth investigations of other items like that would produce a substantial saving across the board.

  27. 27
    The Mighty Oz:

    I think A Matthews makes a very good point about eating carrots because I have never seen a rabbit wearing glasses……

  28. 28
    The Mighty Oz:

    On a serious note, Colin is right ( although I don’t think he came across very well )
    As he says, where else should the savings be made ? We can’t have it all ways.

  29. 29
    Mike Bolton:

    This may seem a really daft suggestion, and I apologise for that in advance, but has any consideration been given to investing in some luminous paint that could be put on street lamps, say 3 hoops or bands for each post, so at least it would give those people travelling in the unlit areas a guide to a path or route? I appreciate there would be a cost involved in this, I’m just trying to think of ways of pleasing everyone.

  30. 30
    colin seagers:

    Get real and cut out the exceedingly cheap shots at Councils and current Councillors that you have conclusively proved you know so little about.
    Your suggestions in total would realise savings of not even an extremely minute fraction of one per cent of the £220M savings ECC requires.
    For your information my expenses are visible on line, as they are for all County Members. Mine to date are precisely NIL, despite having a 50 mile round trip to County Hall, Chelmsford for meetings; and nor do I claim for the 24 mile round trip to District meetings in Rayleigh, but if you foolishly insist on trying to tar me anyway with the Hanningfield brush (long before my time at County) then perhaps I could be tempted to consider claiming.

  31. 31
    Christine Paine:

    I think that’s a good idea Mike. Yes, Cllr. Seagers does have a point over savings having to be made, however, I maintain my concern for people who cannot “adjust their behaviour” in the way Cllr. Bass suggests because they work shifts and will be coming and going, without a car, in the hours when the street lights are off. I still maintain that that remark was both arrogant and flippant and dismissed the very real concerns many people have regarding crime, accidents etc.

  32. 32
    colin seagers:

    Mike Bolton
    It may be something to think about over the long term whenever a lamp post were due to be re-painted anyway (never concrete only metal ones presumably) but I believe that a figure has been quoted of some 177,000 lamp posts existing in Essex, so even if it cost only £10 or so extra for each in paint and labour (probably a rather optimistic under-estimate!) it would likely cost over £1.5 Million. Not sure that the conservation areas would be too keen on the daytime aesthetics either.

  33. 33
    Mike Bolton:

    What is the time frame suggested for making the £220M savings? Is it within 12 months or over a longer period? And are there any penalties if a council doesn’t manage (or even refuses) to make the saving required?
    The only question that’s bugging me is how many of the council were serving when we were under the Labour ‘SPEND, SPEND, SPEND!’ regime and did they not foresee that spending was a little bit out of control and could cause issues in the future?

    The other question I have is if I were to make a request to the council for permission to paint luminous bands on the street lamps near me, at my own expense, would it be given serious consideration?

  34. 34
    Jason Richer:

    I would just like to know the following (and can we please put aside the petty squabbles about where savings may or may not come from for the moment).

    If the public all decide to light their own properties after the switch off how is RDC going to comply with the “ECC exception criteria to help reduce energy consumption and light pollution”

  35. 35
    Mike Bolton:

    Hi Colin, Thanks for quoting those figures. I think £10 would be a steal if it could be done for that, but I doubt it. I appreciate that there would be an initial outlay, but over a period of time (so that it isn’t taken out of a single years budget) and, as you say, when street lights are to be maintained I think it could be considered as worthwhile. But you are right, conservation areas might not be too keen on the idea of having ‘disco’ street light suddenly appear.

  36. 36
    colin seagers:

    Jason Richer
    Given the impact upon energy pricing that all of the world-wide rise in demand for carbon fuels, green energy subsidies, the lack of new nuclear or other generation, and UK shortage of gas storage are and will have, I very much doubt that all or indeed many Rochford District residents will decide to increase their energy consumption by adding more lighting to their properties on both capital and running cost grounds in response to cuts in early hours street lighting.

    However, if they did so decide there is little any authority, including Rochford District Council (‘RDC’) could do to deter them, apart from advising them that PIR activated LED security lights are a far more efficient and effective way of utilising energy and that those are now available with sufficient power to replace most inefficient halogen lights at reasonable capital cost and with very significant long term energy cost savings.

    RDC has an excellent record of investing in and making energy savings and green credentials in other utilities that it uses, but RDC does not have anything to “comply with the ECC exception criteria……….etc.’, which statement so far as I know applies solely to the street lighting which ECC supplies and controls and is now endeavouring to make savings in, both green and financial.

    Lastly, I would not wish anyone to be deterred from making serious suggestions for cost savings in all areas of activity for ECC (ever more difficult though such savings may be to identify) lest ring-fenced statutory service level requirements squeeze important but non-statutory areas’ budgets ever harder. Similarly, note also that RDC is currently running a survey of residents on their preferences for its own 2014/15 Budget planning. The survey is available both on-line via the RDC website and in the recent Autumn edition of the Rochford Matters newsletter distributed to all properties in the District, but be aware that its statutory duties to provide many services will often tend to trump any major spending cuts that the survey may suggest in those, generally at the expense of non-statutory service preferences expressed.

  37. 37
    colin seagers:

    Mike Bolton re post #33
    I don’t believe many or indeed anyone in the vast majority of UK authorities quite knew the extent of likely required austerity cuts in central government funding that it would bring to each of them. Few will ever forget that Liam Byrne, lately fired from the Shadow Cabinet by Red Ed, found it such worthwhile new information to impart in May 2010 that he left on his desk for the incoming Coalition a note to the effect that ‘The money has all gone’. The extent of the growth of the deficit under Labour and the significance of its future impact on local authorities had remained realised by relatively few until then, when the books were opened. Modesty should have prevented me from mentioning it, but I do still recall a leading RDC Lib-Dem Member several years ago comparing me with the current Coalition Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable, for my prescient warnings in Council on the matter. I do not dance as well as him though, and most would not relish even the mental vision either!

    I doubt that EC Highways would be too pleased and you may very well run the risk of being charged with vandalism/graffiti if written permission was not given by EC Highways in advance for painting luminous stripes on lamp posts, a rather unlikely permission to be granted I consider.

  38. 38
    colin seagers:

    Mike Bolton
    I overlooked your query re the timescale of the £220M of savings required of ECC. The amount saved annually must be effected by 2017, but in essence that will mean identifying and staging implementation over the next two financial years 2014/15 and 2015/16.
    County would not be in a position to refuse, as even rises in precepts by local authorities exceeding 2% would necessitate a favourable referendum vote by residents first, an unlikely outcome (crudely, turkeys don’t vote for Christmas!)and yet a further cost to stage it whether or not successful. I suppose the penalty would effectively be temporary bankruptcy followed swiftly by near certain imposition of grey suited appointees of central government replacing your elected councillors and making more savage and less informed cuts than locally empathetic councillors could have undertaken.

  39. 39

    Admin, I note in post 36 above that the latest Autumn edition of the Rochford Matters newsletter has bee distributed to all properties in the District. I have certainly not received one. Could it be that Wakering get theirs first an Downhall and Rawreth last. Not unusual for us to be last or even ignored on RDC matters.

  40. 40
    Christine Paine:

    Just to confirm I have not had Rochford Matters Autumn Edition either.

  41. 41
    colin seagers:

    Re Rochford District Matters Deliveries

    Have you enquired of RDC whether they believe they have completed deliveries already in your particular areas of Downhall & Rawreth yet?

    Please could you check whether any other member of your households may have taken it or even disposed of it prior to your seeing it? That has occasionally been the case when claims of election literature etc. have certainly been delivered personally by me but later claimed were never received.

    I am sending an email today to RDC Officers enquiring whether deliveries to all parts of the District have been completed, and I will hopefully be able to provide their response on Monday.

  42. 42

    Thank you Colin

  43. 43
    Christine Paine:

    Colin, only my husband, me and the dog, and my husband confirms he has definitely not seen autumn edition of Rochford Matters. The dog wouldn’t bother, not the type of thing she likes to read.

  44. 44
    Michael Buzza:

    No Rochford Matters on the Birds estate either.

  45. 45
    colin seagers:

    Re Rochford District Matters (‘RDM’) deliveries (post #41)

    As hoped I received a response from an RDC Officer today, which was as follows:

    “The distribution of the Autumn edition of Rochford District Matters commenced on Saturday 21 September and finished on Friday 27th September.
    The publication is delivered by Street Runners Ltd who were given the contract for distribution following a recent procurement process. I believe this is the same company that also deliver the Yellow Advertiser. They are the new distributors for Rochford District Matters and this was their first edition to deliver for us.
    With a new distribution contract, you can expect a few teething problems with the first delivery. To try and minimise this, as we have a lot of staff members who live in the District, I asked if staff could let me know if they didn’t receive a copy. I was contacted by seven members of staff (from various areas in the District) who didn’t receive Rochford District Matters. I contacted Street Runners Ltd with my concerns and supplied them with the missing postcodes. They subsequently delivered to the missed out postcodes on Friday 4 October.
    The distribution company carry out their own spot checks – which they assured me showed a good delivery. They also gave me access to a delivery report that gave me a general idea of postcodes/areas of successful delivery. However, the report relies on the people delivering wearing a tracker and unfortunately, for this first delivery – they weren’t always wearing it. I have raised concerns about this and have been assured it won’t happen again.
    I am really disappointed to hear that there are residents who haven’t received their copy and I am keen for every resident to receive it as they should. I would urge any resident who doesn’t receive their copy to contact me directly at with their address and I will post them a copy, as well as ensuring with the distributor that their postcode is being covered for future editions.
    The Winter edition of Rochford District Matter is due to start being delivered the week commencing 25th November.
    Leona Murray-Green
    Senior Corporate Communications Officer
    Rochford District Council
    Tel: 01702 318139 ”

    I was rather concerned to see that it may perhaps be delivered alongside the Yellow Advertiser, which is never delivered to my own address in Great Wakering, however a copy of RDM was delivered to me during the 21st-27th September period stated.
    To put the RDC staff feedback in perspective, there are a little under 220 full time equivalent staff currently in RDC I believe, so on the basis of 7 staff reporting a failure to receive delivery and assuming all staff had reported any failure, it would indicate that if applied similarly across the District then up to 97% of properties would have received a delivery of RDM.
    For all those residents that did not receive a copy, please take the trouble to report it to the officer as she requests, as that is the surest way to enable RDC to monitor the performance of the new delivery contractor and also ensure that your address is covered by them for the future.

  46. 46
    colin seagers:

    Rochford District Matters (2)
    I have also been advised that the previous contract for RDM delivery was held by Royal Mail and, in case anyone should jump to a false conclusion that RDM may have been undelivered to many addresses during the Core Strategy process since it was begun in 2006, responses to the various consultations etc. over those years were originated from addresses spread widely across the Rochford District, rather contradicting recent RAG claims that deliveries of RDM were not made throughout that time.

  47. 47
    The Mighty Oz:

    Rochford Matters is available on line so that saves costs right away. If you don’t have a PC then by all means ask for a paper copy but otherwise do the right thing and look on the interweb.

    My gut feeling is that only people who care about the district will read a hard copy, the rest wrap their old veg in it ready for the recycling bin……..

    ps. Just think, each time you look on line it’s a bit more money towards paying off the seventy thousand quid to move the bus stop….

  48. 48

    Colin, first of all, thank you for obtaining this information for us. Have to say though, that the figure of 3% non-delivery may be too low. To get to that figure you have to assume that 1) every member of staff who didn’t get a copy reported it and 2) nearly every employee lives in the district.

    We will flag up this issue on onlinefocus around 25th November when the next issue is going out…

  49. 49

    Cllr. Seagers, Delivery of the Yellow Advertiser ceased in Rawreth Lane at least six months ago and from what I remember, the last RDM I received detailed RDC Council Tax proposals for 2013/14, so probably the Spring issue Surely the Senior Corporate Communications Officer at RDC had information to hand that no YA’s were being delivered in this area. If it helps my post code is SS6 9RN.

  50. 50

    Mighty Oz, you make a good point about reading RDM online but that will not reduce the cost of producing and delivering it if RDC have no information of who in the district accesses it in that manner. Until they request such information from residents to form a data base, surely they must continue deliveries to every household.

  51. 51
    Brian Guyett:

    A couple of years ago, when the Hockley Area Action Plan was being consulted upon, a large area of Hockley did not receive RDM but RDC refused to believed this and insisted that RDM had been delivered.
    To cut a long story short, it later emerged that the Post Office had not delivered to around half of Hockley because of snow and ice. The council’s tracking system was clearly not fit for purpose and nothing seems to have changed.

  52. 52
    Christine Paine:

    What is the publication schedule for Rochford Matters? I never really notice the dates when it arrives so unless something is said here or somewhere similar I wouldn’t actually know I was missing out on one.

  53. 53

    We didn’t receive the Autumn edition of RDM and haven’t had a yellow advertiser delivered to Laburnum Way for YEARS! (Not too worried re the latter unless someone is paying for a company to deliver this that aren’t fulfilling their contract). I for one however do read RDM. An online option is a good suggestion but how would I know when to check online to see when the latest edition is published ready for reading? An emailed notification might work? Otherwise a paper copy seems reasonable, I will read it and then recycle it afterwards -I’m sure RDC will be printing on recycled paper!!!

  54. 54
    colin seagers:

    Greenbelt & Brian Guyett
    I only mentioned my concern about the Yellow Advertiser deliveries as an aside, whether that is delivered or not should have no bearing on any contractors obligation to deliver Rochford District Matters. What is of concern is that it would seem trackers were not worn by all Street Runners Ltd deliverers despite that it may apparently have been a contractual obligation judging from the officer’s remarks. I do not know if wearing such technology was either available to or a contractual obligation for the Royal Mail and its staff, which may have been contracted up to seven or more years ago.
    So far as I know currently the trackers and the supporting system are and were not the property of RDC, but more probably of Street Runners Ltd. I will endeavour to check.

    Mighty Oz
    There is still a significant proportion of the RDC population that either cannot or do not wish to go online, and for whom it would not be appropriate to drop hard copy delivery of RDM. So, until it becomes possible to be sure which residents could/would undertake to receive electronic copies by email attachment and register and keep updated their email address with RDC to do so, it will almost certainly be the case that RDC will continue aiming to have hard copies delivered to all properties in the District. A selective hard copy delivery would doubtless be harder and costlier to administer.

  55. 55
    colin seagers:

    Christine Paine
    The following is a link to an on-line list of posting, dated approximately as quarterly RDM publications, for Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter editions, which are archived on-line at and

    Tags: audio version, podcast, rdm, rdm autumn 2013

    Rochford District Matters – Autumn 2013 – Listen online here

    Posted on 03 October 2013 by admin

    Rochford District Matters is also available in audio format, if you click on the video below to start the video – listen to the Autumn 2013 edition. Continue Reading

    Tags: audio version, podcast, rdm, rdm summer 2013

    Rochford District Matters – Summer 2013 – Listen online here

    Posted on 01 August 2013 by admin

    Rochford District Matters is also available in audio format, if you click on the video below to start the video – listen to the Summer 2013 edition. Continue Reading

    Tags: audio version, podcast, rdm, rdm spring 2013

    Rochford District Matters – Spring 2013 – Listen online here

    Posted on 14 March 2013 by admin

    Rochford District Matters is also available in audio format, if you click on the video below to start the video – listen to the Spring 2013 edition. Continue Reading

    Tags: audio verison, podcast, rdm, rdm winter 2012

    Rochford District Matters – Winter 2012 – Listen online here

    Posted on 16 January 2013 by admin

    Rochford District Matters is also available in audio format, if you click on the video below to start the video & listen to the Winter 2012 edition. Continue Reading
    Tags: podcasts, rdm, rdm autumn 2012

    Rochford District Matters – Autumn 2012 – Listen online here

    Posted on 31 October 2012 by admin

    Rochford District Matters is also available in audio format, if you click on the video below to start the video & listen to the Autumn 2012 edition. Continue Reading

  56. 56
    The Mighty Oz:


    That is true about the database, anyway I have a cunning plan. Why not include a few lines and “tick box” in the next Electoral register letter ( the one where you have confirm your name etc )if want a hard copy of the paper . I’m pretty sure all households get one of those.

  57. 57
    Christine Paine:

    Thank you Colin, it seems as though the autumn edition is the only one I didn’t receive.

  58. 58

    We have definitely not yet received the Autumn Copy of RDM. We live in the Downhall area and have in the past been so late in receiving copies that when a survey has appeared in it, the date for receiving responses has long expired.

  59. 59
    Chris Black:

    Thank you for all the comments on this.

    Councillor Chris Lumley has just told me he doesn’t get RDM through his letterbox either…. and he lives in London Road.

  60. 60
    John Mason:

    Nor did I on this issue.

    I have advised RDC who say “I am not aware of any particular distribution issues in the District, but I am of course monitoring the situation.”

  61. 61

    Normally mine sent by post ,nothing yet .Not unusual as sometimes it never comes .Took years for RDC to get any copies to me ,never knew what Rochford Matters was .

  62. 62
    colin seagers:

    To all those reading this who have not yet received a copy of Rochford District Matters Autumn edition in the past three weeks, please notify the RDC officer as she has requested, as in my post#45. That can be done by telephoning 01702 318139 or by emailing and giving your name and full postal address, to assist RDC officers in identifying the areas affected and getting to the root of the distribution problem experienced with the new contractor.

  63. 63
    Robert Burns:

    I seriously doubt there is any economic benefit of shifting existing lights to LED. A few facts demonstrate this point. Southend is to spend £2,650,000 to change their 13,000 street lights to LED in a three year project. The Council tax bill has an amount of about 29p per month to cover existing electricity use. At 100% saving (which is clearly not achievable) that means it will take 59.5 years to payback on this and thats without any renewals of equipment. Wholesale change is not a realistic way to save money. For new builds and replacement of existing stock as they fall into obsolence then yes I would say it makes enviromental sense to make the changes

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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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