April 9th, 2015
You can find the list of parliamentary candidates for Rayleigh and Wickford, & Rochford and Southend East, here.
You can find the list of parliamentary candidates for Rayleigh and Wickford, & Rochford and Southend East, here.
Mark Pack writes:
The full set of Liberal Democrat policies for the 2015 general election will appear in the party’s manifesto, which is due to be published shortly. However, the front page of the manifesto, setting out the top Lib Dem policy priorities, has already been released….
From the Essex Chronicle:
BARGES, gondolas and pleasure boats could one day dominate Chelmsford’s rivers in a plan to transform the city’s waterways into a free-flowing “Venice of East Anglia”.
Campaigners are backing plans for a key canal to be built beside Essex Record Office in Wharf Road, to open up Chelmsford to river traffic from across mid Essex and beyond.
The developer which bought the land for 350 homes however, the owners of the derelict gas works nearby and a sceptical city council stand in the way of a proposal that dates back more than 20 years.
“Our waterways are a jewel in our crown that’s under-explored,” said campaigning Liberal Democrat city councillor Graham Pooley.
Essex Waterways, Chelmer Canal Trust and the Lib Dems want the 150-metre long canal, known as “the cut”, to be dug out to link the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation Canal and the River Chelmer.
It would bypass the weir and low-lying bridge which currently blocks all boats, sailing in from the sea, Maldon, Heybridge, Little Baddow and Papermill Lock, from accessing the city centre.
Instead, only canoes and rafts from the nearby canoe club in Empire Walk can paddle their way around the city.
The new waterscape might mimic not only Venice, but cities like Salisbury, Cambridge, Bedford and Chester.
The Lib Dems claim the idea has been bubbling on for at least two decades, but it has been granted fresh urgency after the land changed ownership.
The city council agreed to sell its 234-space car park at the Chelmer Waterside peninsula to developer Taylor Wimpey in a deal estimated to cost at least £15 million, stoking fears the canal idea would be ruled out forever.
Chelmer Canal Trust chairman Dudley Courtman said: “The combined presence of such boats would greatly enhance the visual landscape.
“Chelmsford is an attractive town and an added Venetian dimension would be the icing on the cake.”…..
We have a really good candidate. His name is Mike Pitt and he is definitely worth voting for.
Mike has a very strong background in education and business. After attending a comprehensive school, Mike went on to Cambridge University where he obtained a degree in mathematics. After gaining business experience he re-trained in education and now teaches maths – in a comprehensive school. He currently lives in Cambridge and is also a Cambridge City councillor. (Incidentally he wasn’t impressed about how Rochford run their cabinet system when we explained it to him).
He’s somebody who’s very bright, hardworking and with a social conscience. He’s easy to chat to, understands how councils work and how to improve them.
Over the last five years the coalition has been clearing up the financial mess left by the last Labour government. (Remember the note left by the outgoing Chief Secretary to the Treasury - “There’s no money left”). Having a stable coalition was crucial, because it helped the government to keep borrowing costs low – maybe the lowest interest rates ever . Now we can concentrate more on maintaining and improving services. To quote our candidate:
Like most of us I am proud of the NHS, and acknowledge its pressures. Under Liberal Democrat spending plans Health Service funding will be at least £8bn higher per year in real terms by 2020. The Liberal Democrats are the only political party to set out a credible road map for how we will safeguard the NHS over the next parliament. We can’t however do this without finishing the job of deficit reduction: not cutting services for the sake of it but ensuring a fair share of the load being met by a contribution from the richest in society through targeted tax changes. In particular we will continue progress made on tax avoidance and target £6billion more by 2017/18.
More from the same guy tomorrow, but about something totally different – pedestrian crossings….
This was the second page of Ron’s election leaflet four years ago (click to enlarge)….
What’s happened since?
– the council’s proposed traveller site is now at Michelin’s Farm instead of the locations on our sketch map.
– the land “North of London Road” is now allocated for housing. (though it doesn’t have actual planning permission)
– The Council are still talking about relocating the businesses on Rawreth Industrial Estate to Michelin’s Farm, and building houses there instead. But we really doubt if that’s ever going to happen.
Ron Oatham is standing again for the District Council elections on May 7th. Ron is a long-time resident in Downhall and Rawreth Ward, living in Brixham Close. He has been one of the Lib Team of District Councillors since 2002. He writes:
In our early canvassing the response on the doors has been very good, but we are never complacent. We can always do with extra help with leaflets or behind the scenes with paperwork. If you would like to help us – or even stand for election in Rayleigh in future years, please contact Chris at email@example.com
We’ve written before about the early days of aviation in Essex.
One of our readers has asked us to mention a TV programme this Sunday about Stow Maries aerodrome (over the district border to us in Maldon) It’s at 9 pm this Sunday H2 Sky 531 or vm 236. There’s a bit more programme information here.
If you’ve never heard of Stow Maries World War One Aerodrome, it has its own website.
The aerodrome’s own website has some evocative photos and some photos of what you can see when you visit. The VisitEssex website has the practical info on how to visit:
Stow Maries Aerodrome is a Great War Aerodrome set in the rural Essex countryside. The Aerodrome was in use from 1916 to 1919 as a home defence station in the war against Zeppelin and German aeroplane raids. It has many of its original buildings in situ which are currently undergoing restoration to bring the site back to its 1918 appearance. It also boasts a wildlife walk which was the winner of Maldon District Council Conservation and Design Award 2010.
For further details see www.stowmaries.org.uk
Winner of Maldon District Council Conservation and Design Award 2010.
Re-opening 31st March.
Opening days – Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4pm.
Admission Price £8 adult
Concessions and group bookings available
Ron Oatham and Chris Black had a lengthy meeting today with RDC officers to discuss the expected appeal from Countryside Developments for “North of London Road”.
The District Council has not yet received the ‘start letter’ that sets the process underway from the council’s point of view. Once the process starts, the council will send out a communication to everyone who commented on the application, telling them that anything they said in their original comments will be forwarded to the inspector, but explaining how and when they can send additional comments direct to the inspector.
It is likely to be a formal inquiry , although it could be an informal hearing. The most likely date for this is in the autumn.
If bodies like Rawreth Parish Council wish to get involved under “rule 6″ they can do so – we were advised that it is very unlikely that they could be hit for for any costs by the inspector.
This is some of what the government Planning Portal says about appeals:
Is there a right of appeal against decisions on planning applications?
If an application for planning permission is refused by the local planning authority, or if it is granted with conditions, an appeal can be made to the Secretary of State against the decision, or the conditions, under section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
Before making any appeal the applicant should first consider re-engaging with the local planning authority to discuss whether any changes to the proposal would make it more acceptable and likely to gain planning permission. A revised planning application could then be submitted.
Applicants should give consideration to the merits of the case, and whether there are strong grounds to contest the conditions or reasons for refusal of planning permission before submitting an appeal….
Is there an opportunity for interested parties to submit comments or objections regarding a planning application, once at appeal?
There are opportunities for interested parties, such as neighbours, to make comments on the majority of planning appeals. The local planning authority will normally advise interested parties of the appeal start date and the opportunity to make comment.
For appeals determined via written representations and hearings such written representations must be made before the end of the fifth week after the start date of the appeal.
Certain parties have the right to appear at a hearing or inquiry under rule 11 of the Town and Country Planning (Inquiries Procedure) (England) Rules 2000, rule 11 of the Town and Country Planning Appeals (Determination by Inspectors) (Inquiries Procedure) (England) Rules 2000 and rule 9 of the Town and Country Planning (Hearings Procedure) (England) Rules 2000. The Inspector may also allow other interested parties to speak at a hearing or inquiry. Interested parties may occasionally want to take a more substantive role in an inquiry by submitting a statement of case. They would then be entitled to appear at the inquiry, call their own witnesses and in turn would be open to cross-examination. Further information can be found in the Planning Inspectorate’s Guide to Rule 6 for interested parties involved at an inquiry, and annex J of the Planning Inspectorate’s Procedural Guide
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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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.
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.
If you read onlineFOCUS for a while you can see the kind of things we are trying to achieve locally. Maybe you would like to help us?
If you fancy helping us deliver leaflets, or actively campaigning for us at election time, or simply just helping behind the scenes with paperwork, please contact the onlineFOCUS team here.