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June 26th, 2014 |

Rangers Replaced

For a few years now, the County Council has had teams of ‘rangers’ to do work such as cutting back vegetation on highways. Not simple grass cutting, but dealing with the sort of foliage that covers up road signs.
The County and the District Council are now launching a new scheme whereby the District Council takes over the ranger’s work. This was discussed today at the Local Highways Panel. The County will give the District extra funding for this, and hopefully this will give a more responsive service. It should stop road signs being covered up by greenery, as in London Road in Rayleigh!
This work is , in theory, separate from the normal cutting of grass verges. But we can see the successors to the rangers doing some cutting of grass verges by special request when the normal grasscutting programme isn’t adequate.
However it’s going to take a while to get this new scheme running, so don’t hold your breath waiting!

5 Responses to “Rangers Replaced”

  1. 1
    Richard Lambourne:

    This announcement seems to be more worrying than it looks seems RDC are taking over the LHP without any more discussion than a cosy chat between CCllr Bass and Cllr Hudson

    Neither the LHP or the full RDC were asked to debate the change

  2. 2
    richard lambourne:

    This initiative is wider than the rangers work being taken over, the Tories have completely sidestepped the LHP and will no doubt be using the budget for their own pet projects rather than letting the LHP suggest proirities

    This could lead to an abuse of power

    Why wasnt it discussed in Full Council (both district and county) rather than a cosy deal hatched by CCllr Bass and Cllr Hudson

    Chris you are on the LHP what do you think of the wider implications ??

  3. 3
    Chris Black:

    Richard, it’s difficult to be sure what will happen because I don’t think the details have been worked out. But I think the extra ‘rangers’ money will allow RDC to do a better job than the county have done.

    There is talk in the press release about the County providing match funding for other stuff, particularly drainage works but the details haven’t been worked out on this. In any case the County and the District have , apparently, already been successful in getting Anglian Water to fork out for one drainage improvement.

    Whether it is foliage or drainage, its not a question of sidestepping the Local Highways Panel because the LHP hasn’t really been involved in foliage or drainage in the past. So in that respect I’m not worried about the LHP being sidestepped.

    In terms of the wider implications – we have a council in Rochford that has adopted the cabinet system in a big way, with a very powerful leadership and a very powerful cabinet. Most of the council is run in that way and has been for some years now. When you question the system – and people like myself and John Mason do question the system – you are told that those cosy deals are actually a good thing, because so much of local government is run on a partnership basis between different bodies.

    I still don’t like the cabinet system and if I could I would replace it tomorrow by old-fashioned committees. I think they are cheaper, more democratic, lead to better decisions because more councillors are able to pool information, do not have to be much slower, and would help attract more people , and more high-calibre candidates , to stand for election.

  4. 4
    Jim Cripps:

    Quite right Chris – cosy decision making between “partners” suggests vested interest to me , me cynical – no because day after day now we here of things in government ( even at the highest level ) that should be inconceivable ie:- expense fiddling on a grand scale and now 114 files relating to potential child abuse by ministers have been LOST ……..what other skeletons will come to light?.
    Elected people should be accountable to those that elect them – they are not.

  5. 5
    richard lambourne:

    Thans Chris for your response and the cosy deal reference is pertinent

    What we must all do is question if the Cabinet memebers are stepping outside there delegated remit, and we should remind the officials that they should only follow properly sanctioned initatives

    This one was announce to the press on the 25th, but not to the LHP until the 26th, also the officials at both councils need to meet to work out the modus operandi It may well not be feasible in which case the press release should have waited

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