There’s a slightly peculiar article in the latest Rayleigh Times this week, from the UKIP candidate John Hayter. It’s called “THE SCOURGE OF THE PARTY WHIP – ITS IN THE PARTY’S INTEREST NOT THE ELECTORATE”. As you can guess, he’s not keen on the party whip system.
The article begins:
The local elections are fast approaching with 11 wards to be contested in Rochford District. There will be several key issues . There is the matter of the party whip employed by the three main parties – the Lib Dems, Labour and the Conservatives…
… The Conservative councillors are told which way to vote, and do so for their party, and not for the electorate. The same applies to the other two main parties in councils…
And that’s just incorrect . Because the Lib Dems haven’t had a whip on the District Council for years and there haven’t been any Labour councillors at all for years. It shows a pretty shocking lack of knowledge about the council.
And then the article goes on to describe things that UKIP are committed to doing in our district. Which is weird. Because how can UKIP promise in advance how any UKIP councillors would vote – without having some kind of a whip themselves?
Chris Black writes:“Rochford District Council have arranged a telephone survey to ask residents about their shopping habits, and as it happens I was phoned today! When I was asked what would make me shop in Rayleigh more I replied free parking on Saturday afternoons, and a wider range of shops. (We do shop in Rayleigh quite a lot anyway)”.
Join our monthly walks to spot some of the amazing wildlife that makes Wallasea Island its home. Find out more about the development of this exciting new nature reserve.
Meet at: RSPB car park, Wallasea Island
Don’t forget that Wallasea Island ( in our district) is going to become a pretty wonderful place:
Wallasea Island Wild Coast project is a landmark conservation and engineering scheme for the 21st century, on a scale never before attempted in the UK and the largest of its type in Europe.
The aim of this project is to combat the threats from climate change and coastal flooding by recreating the ancient wetland landscape of mudflats and saltmarsh, lagoons and pasture. It will also help to compensate for the loss of such tidal habitats elsewhere in England.
Once completed, this will provide a haven for a wonderful array of nationally and internationally important wildlife and an amazing place for the local community, and those from further afield, to come and enjoy.
Although the reserve is planned to be in development until around 2019, you’re welcome to come along and view the progress as each phase comes to life and the marshland naturally regenerates. The current sea wall access along the North (Defra) sea wall is a wonderful place to come to relax and enjoy, whether for walking, cycling, birdwatching, painting, photography or simply taking in the sea air.
Over the coming years, the scheme will create a varied wetland landscape with more than nine miles (15 km) of new and improved access routes, and eventually a range of visitor facilities.
The sea wall footpath is open at all times.
None – it’s free.
Information for dog owners
There are plans for a dog walking area on part of the island – please contact us for details.
Just to say that we are aware that some trees have been removed in the Hatfield Road / Purleigh Road area of Rayleigh. District Ward Councillors were not consulted or advised about this (it’s a County Council matter) and we are getting more information….
Why do Downhall & Rawreth and Grange wards have Liberal Democrat councillors? We think that’s because:
- people like how we have voted on various issues, such as the overdevelopment of our area. – we try harder than the other parties to keep people informed with newsletters and onlineFOCUS – the Lib Dems want to have listening councillors who engage with the public – we vote for what’s best for our areas, not just following a party line like the current Conservative group.
There are District Council elections in May and we’d like to tell you what we are doing in these wards:
Chris Black is standing again in Downhall and Rawreth. Four years ago he beat the Conservative candidate pretty comfortably, but that was four years ago and we are taking nothing for granted. Contact details for Chris Black are: Telephone: 01268 778973 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Letters: 56 Love Lane Rayleigh Essex SS6 7DX Chris is a life-long Rayleigh resident, he went to Glebe, Downhall and Sweyne Schools. He works in the shipping industry along the Thames.
In Grange ward Liberal Democrat councillors Chris and June Lumley have a great record dealing with local problems in a friendly non political way that residents like, that is why they have been re-elected many times. June remains a Councillor but this year Chris Lumley has decided to retire from the District Council – although he will still be on the Town Council.
We have carefully chosen Chris Stanley as our candidate here, we think he is definitely the best person to follow in Chris Lumley’s footsteps. Chris has been part of our team for several years, helping to deliver our newsletters and getting involved in local issues. He wants to be another listening councillor, keeping in contact with people. He has lived in the Down Hall Road area since 1970 and is a semi-retired electrician. “Chris and Chris” are already working together on issues – you might have seen them recently at events at the Mill Hall and St Nicholas School.
Contact details for Chris Stanley: Phone 01268 785732 Email: email@example.com Home address: 48 Hambro Avenue Rayleigh, Essex
We put our hearts into working for our areas because we really do care. Too many people have been elected elsewhere in our District, just because their party is doing well in the national polls and they are wearing the right colour rosette. We don’t want that to happen here, but we could do with some help! If any onlinefocus readers can help us a little, delivering 150- 200 leaflets or spending a hour helping us on election day May 22nd, we’d be very grateful!
Last month we praised Rawreth Parish Council for ordering a pair of waders for their clerk:
At its last meeting, Rawreth Parish Council agreed to buy a pair of waders for it’s clerk, Hayley Bloomfield. This may seem unusual , but seems very sensible, as Mrs Bloomfield has been very active, walking through waters to help deliver sandbags and to check on conditions. This is very much to her credit.
This may seem a minor matter, but symbolises the flooding problem in parts of Rawreth and the determination of the parish councillors and clerk to try to deal with it. It would be interesting to know if other parishes in the district have provided waders for their clerks.
There are quite a lot of items at tonight’s meeting of the District Council Development Committee. However 2 of the items were:
35 London Hill, Rayleigh- build 3 houses in the garden. This is a very unusual , large , sloping garden bordering on Rayleigh Mount and the Windmill, largely hidden from the road. Ward councillor John Griffin moved refusal with a lot of help from other councillors, and it was indeed refused, on the grounds of (roughly) , effect on the Rayleigh Conservation area, lack of information on drainage, and being detrimental to the residential amenity of neighbouring properties.
The Lawn, Hall Road, Rochford. Install 6 rows of solar panels. This was recommended for refusal by officers on the grounds of being in the Special Landscape Area, and effect on the listed building. However ward councillor Keith Gordon successfully moved approval.
The Council’s Executive – the ‘cabinet’ – meets on April 2nd.
There are two items – one is the “Rochford Growth Strategy 2014 -2017 ” , which we are still reading. It’s 21 pages on promoting economic growth in the District.
The second is “Draft Open Spaces Strategy”, which is private and confidential, so we can’t tell you anything about it….
The way the council is run at the moment, the only councillors who can speak at these meetings are the 8 members of the cabinet themselves, all Conservatives. Only one is from Rayleigh – Councillor Simon Smith.
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.
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Daily Reporting by Chris Black
With support from:
Chris Black: Christine – I spoke to the licensing people yesterday. They visited the site the day before with...
Chris Black: Hi Tom – its a good question, things have gone quiet on that. I will try to find out.
Tom Smith: Hi, Is the Waste recycling centre still being moved from Castle Road to this area? There seem to be no...
Brian Guyett: A welcome, overdue initiative but I agree with John Mason – we need to consider the whole...
Jim Cripps: PS: And can you explain how a party political leaflet “in touch” has the authority to cancel...
A.mattbhews: Please note this is not a flood prevention solution but is the replacement of a foul sewer . Despite...
Jim Cripps: Well done Chris/ John and sorely needed as they have already cancelled two promises ( RTSSC & new...
Jim Cripps: Two quotes for you :- Cllr K Hudson via Evening Echo ( Fri 11th April ) – “The process we...
Jim Cripps: That is exactly why it is later ( negative election impact ) , however all the voters need to do is ask...
Jim Cripps: Greenbelt – it is’nt the same show ( the Battlesbridge one is in June ), the one last weekend...
John Mason: As far as I can see “by 9 April” quoted in your Article allowed “the 5 day rule”...
Greenbelt: The ‘RaveR 17; type event last year which caused many complaints on this site was clearly audible...
Christine Paine: We could hear it over the television. I’ve got nothing against the showground as such,...
admin: I would think you can hear it over half of Rayleigh, with the windows closed….
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This is the official master document for planning policy in our district! To download it, click here
click here. (2.5mb)
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.
Reporting A Problem
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.
The Roads That Need Repairing
The County Council admitted in July that over 200 roads in our district need repairing! They say they will fix them by May 2013.
here to see the list.