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.



A New Clock Tower In Rochford?

A new planning application is just in for a 6.4 metre high Clock Tower in Cherry Orchard Way. Unfortunately there’s a problem on the RDC website tonight, so we can’t look at the details yet…


Lollipop Patrol Needed!

James Newport is campaigning hard with residents to get a crossing in Little Wheatleys Chase, just outside Our Lady of Ransom School, as reported in the Echo:



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More Election Battles: Hawkwell and Hockley

hockleyHockley is another ward where we have three Tories facing three opposition candidates – in this case two Rochford Residents candidates and one Labour. Hockley is traditionally a very ‘blue’ area. But they elected three very good Hockley Residents Association councillors in the 1990s, and of course Michael Hoy is the Green Party County Councillor for this area.


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There are only two opposition candidates standing here – one Labour and one Rochford Resident. So  the Conservatives are guaranteed at least one seat here.

hawkwell westHawkwell West is the stronghold of Christine and John Mason, and the Rochford Residents could have been expected to sweep the board here. But they don’t have a third candidate here , which means that former councillor Liz Marlow may make a comeback for the Tories. Unless Labour’s Robert Clemenson can grab the third spot. Only he and the Masons have  a Hawkwell postal address, which is a point in his favour. Also he is at the top of the ballot paper.

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A Rayleigh Pharmacist Talks To The Echo

From the Echo last Friday:

…..Philip Hodgkinson, from the Grange Pharmacy, in London Road, Rayleigh, has launched a petition to gather support for a national campaign led by the National Pharmacy Association.

More than 300 customers have signed his petition, which agues more pressure will be put on GPs and hospitals if community pharmacies are forced to close.

Mr Hodgkinson said: “Doctors time is so critically overloaded that pharmacies are even more popular. When GP surgeries are closed, pharmacies are the first port of call.

“I think a lot of the ones in Rayleigh are quite well used, so I hope they all stay, but you never know. About 3,000 are under threat, it’s the complete randomness of it all that’s quite chilling.”

According to the Department of Health, funding for community pharmacies is set to fall from £2.8bn to £2.63bn from October, as part of the drive to find £22bn of savings across the health service by 2020. …

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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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A Follow-Up On Pharmacies

Following our post earlier this week about supporting local pharmacies, the Guardian has a lengthy article about what’s allegedly happened to Boots after it was bought by a guy who lives in Monte Carlo. Key sentences:

Asked how often “commercial incentives or targets have compromised the health, safety or wellbeing of patients and the public, or the professional judgment of staff”, more than 60% of Boots pharmacists said that was the case half the time or more. That compares to 52% of chemists at other chains.

Support your local pharmacies!

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More Election Battles – Lodge, Trinity And Wheatley

It’s about time we wrote about some more of the District Election contests….


In Lodge Ward there are 3 Tories facing one Labour, 1 Rochford Resident, 1 Lib Dem and 1 UKIP. All the candidates live in Rayleigh. Can the the Tories win all 3 seats that are up for grabs, or will Tory voters prefer a balance, and give one or two of their votes to the other candidates? Whatever happens, at least one of the Lodge councillors will be a new councillor, as only two current councilors are standing here.


Trinity Ward has a real slugfest – four of the candidates are sitting councillors, so at least one of them will be defeated.UKIP already have a councillor here (John Hayter)  and it’s surprising that they aren’t fielding 3 candidates.


Wheatley’s is a 3 Tories vs 3 opposition candidates contest.  In this case the opposition are an independent, a Labour candidate and a Lib Dem. We were chuffed to see that the independent, Jamie Burton (ex UKIP) had included some quotes about himself from onlineFOCUS in his leaflet.



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Scout Building Application At the End Of Priory Chase

There’s a new planning application just in – for a scout building next to St Nicholas School and adjacent to Arundel Gardens, Rayleigh
scout building

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Support Our Local Pharmacies

In another doctrinaire move, the government is  thinking about cutting the number of pharmacies in the UK. The website supportyourlocalpharmacy.org explains:

What is this all about, in a nutshell?

The Department of Health (DH) has indicated it believes that there are up to 3000 too many pharmacies in England.  At the same time, they have proposed a series of policy measures which would divert investment from local pharmacies to other care settings or to online suppliers of medicines.  Beyond this, there is little detail about the Government’s plans.  Nevertheless, it is easy to see that the current direction of policy, if not challenged, will lead to a serious fracturing of the pharmacy network in England.

Why are people saying that the Government’s proposals are wrong?

The Government is conducting a dangerous experiment which will see pharmacies close, thereby reducing people’s access to medicines and healthcare advice, and putting extra pressure on GPs and hospitals.   The proposals put at risk a part of the health system that holds the key to solving many of its problems. Patients would be the biggest losers.  There are particular concerns about the risks to the most vulnerable people and the most deprived communities, where local pharmacies are often (literally) a lifeline….

We have some very good small pharmacies in our district. The government is wrong to threaten any of them.

Find out how to help the campaign in support of local pharmacies here.

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A Curious Situation In Wakering

From the Mad Man Wth A Blog (who is a Labour chap) :

“…..Whilst picking over the statement of nominated candidates for Rochford District, a familiar name jumped out at me. With the ward boundaries having been withdrawn, the district next door to Southend is electing all of its councillors at once.

And one of those on the ballot paper as a Conservative candidate is Anne Holland. And yes, that is the same Cllr Anne Holland who currently represents Southchurch on Southend Borough Council and is the deputy leader of the Conservative Group.


Now, I’ve mentioned Cllr Holland before, in the context of the Conservatives’ tendency to have ‘non-doms‘ amongst their councillors, who sit on the council and vote on measures such as the council tax, but live outside the borough so don’t have to pay the rates they set.

Being an elected representative in two different local authorities is quite another matter, though.

The first election that I fought was a by-election back in 2011, triggered by my own local councillor at that point winning election in the neighbouring borough and resigning. I’ve been looking over electoral law, and should Cllr Holland win in Foulness & the Wakerings, then she would be legally able to remain as a member of both councils, no matter how absurd it seems…”


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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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