onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003

 

December 7th, 2014

Don’t Put Turkey Fat Down The Pipes!

We aren’t quite in festive mode yet, but here’s a song to remind you not to put turkey fat into the sewer:

And this is what can happen if people ignore this advice:

December 6th, 2014

Beryl Handford

white-lily-wreath

We were shocked to hear of the death of Beryl Handford, the wife of Mike Handford, a former chairman of Rochford District and Rayleigh Town Councils. Beryl was born in London in 1938, and moved with Mike to Rayleigh in 1964.

Beryl was a person who always thought about others, and so worked so hard for others , not for a little while, but for many years! Her outstanding efforts for local voluntary organisations were recognised by Rochford Council in the 2003 “Citizen of the Year – Community Spirit” award. This recognised her decades of work for:

  • WRVS Day Centre, 40 years of service. (volunteer)
  • Rayleigh Blind Club 25 years of service (driver and treasurer)
  • Rayleigh Ladies Club 25 years of service (organiser)
  • Rayleigh Age Concern 40 years of service (organiser/cook for midday meals service)
  • Friends of Holy Trinity 10 years of fundraising.
  • In 1977 she joined the Rayleigh Liberal Association, becoming an Executive Committee member, a post she held until 2005.

    To quote former counciloor Richard Boyd:

    “Beryl was an example of selfless voluntary service, putting more into society than she ever sought to take out.

    The Town is the richer for her work, and thousands of residents received help, meals, and support from her in

    the decades she lived in Rayleigh”

    Beryl is survived by her husband, Mike, and 3 grandchildren (Anthony, Nathan, and Stephanie) and of course our thoughts are with them .

    December 5th, 2014

    Three Applications : A Dance School, Later Hours For Marco’s And A Rawreth Golf Course

    There are three particularly interesting planning applications on today’s “Weekly List”. All of them are recommended for approval, unless any district councillor calls them in by 1 pm next Wednesday. You can download the full list (with detailed officers’ reports) here. (261kb) The start of each of the officer’s reports are shown below (click on them to enlarge)

    DANCE SCHOOL

    MARCOS

    GOLF COURSE

    December 4th, 2014

    Read About Complaints Against Essex Police

    Police Commissioner Nick Alston’s office has just published the latest quarterly report detailing Essex Police complaints and conduct matters.

    You can download it here.

    Here’s an extract (click on it to enlarge):

    police2

    December 3rd, 2014

    Cake Night In Rawreth

    chocolate cake

    Tonight’s Rawreth Parish Council meeting dealt with some serious issues but was a good-natured affair. This was helped by the excellent home-made cheese scones and chocolate cake provided for the public as a seasonal treat (other councils please copy!).

    Here’s a few key points:

  • The parish council are giving grants to a number of good causes, including 500 pounds to the new Rawreth Flood Action Group. The Action Group will be setting up their own website.
  • Another grant was 800 pounds for the parish newsletter.
  • It was pointed out that our last onlinefocus item on flooding in Rawreth wasn’t accurate – Church Road and Old London Road DID flood that evening.
  • There was some discussion about the uprated pumps for the Fairglen Interchange causing flooding problems for some residents. The water is pumped into balancing ponds which couldn’t cope with the 1000 tonnes of water from the last lot of rain.
  • There was concern about the unauthorised excavations on the highway next to the traveller site on the A1245 . The district and the county councils have seen this but apparently taken no action.
  • 5 residents said they didn’t get Rochford District Matters and Chris Black got their postcodes to pass on to RDC.
  • It was queried as to why Watery Lane / Beeches Road had to be closed for litter picking and how much it cost.
  • On the financial side, the parish council are not increasing their level of council tax.
  • Finally, it was queried as to why Rawreth had been overlooked for a proposed Crouch arts festival – after all, it is on the Crouch!
  • December 2nd, 2014

    The Coalition’s Planned Road Improvements

    roads1

    The Gov.uk has an interactive map of the coalition’s proposed road improvements – you can find it here.

    The two projects closest to us are:

    roads2

    and

    roads3

    The M25 is scheduled to be 4 lanes throughout by the end of this year….

    December 1st, 2014

    Solar Farms and Other Enviromental Applications

    As the Echo has reported here, there’s an application in for a big solar “farm” in Canewdon

    A MONSTER solar farm generating enough energy to power 4,125 homes could be built in Canewdon.

    Under plans submitted to Rochford Council, farmers Paul and Mark Woodford would lease the 50-acre stretch of farmland between Fambridge Road and Canewdon Road to solar panel company Solar Assets.

    The deal would be for 25 years, and the solar farm could be generating renewable energy for the area as early as April next year.

    Canewdon Parish Council has already voted overwhelmingly to support the plans for approval ahead of them going before Rochford councillors in January.

    The three-metre-tall panels would be positioned at an angle facing the River Crouch and would have a wildflower meadow around it, with sheep keeping the grass short….

    You can find the application here on the council website here.

    There is also an application for a ‘solar farm’ at Southend Airport – you can find that one here.

    Meanwhile there are also two applications in connection with the creation of the wildlife reserve on Wallasea Island:

    “Continuation of the importation of waste to develop a coastal nature reserve without compliance with condition 2 (compliance with submitted details) attached to permission ref ESS/09/14/ROC to allow modifications to the landform design within Cells 1 and 5, including a net reduction of suitable natural waste material in Cell 1 by approximately 450,000m3.”

    and

    “Continuation of the importation of waste to develop a coastal nature reserve without compliance with conditions 2 (compliance with submitted details); 39 (cessation of operations and restoration by 31 December 2019); and 40 (removal of construction in frastructure) attached to planning permission ref ESS/54/08/ROC to allow importation of suitable natural material and to require cessation of site operations and restoration by 31 Decmeber 2025, together with the inclusion of previously agreed non-material amendments to permission rf ES/54/08/ROC. Condition No 8. Noise monitoring.”

    Looks like the Wallasea project is going to take 6 more years than expected…

    November 30th, 2014

    The Care And Support Alliance…….

    care and support

    The Care And Support Alliance describes itself as follows:

    The Care & Support Alliance was set up in July 2009. The Care & Support Alliance represents over 75 of Britain’s leading charities campaigning alongside the millions of older people, disabled people and their carers who deserve decent care.

    Case for Change

  • The social care system is broken and seriously underfunded. It cannot cope with a rapidly ageing population and people living longer with illness and disability. Urgent reform is essential, together with sufficient extra money to put it into effect and to close the big and growing funding gap.
  • There is a real public appetite for reform. Families will no longer tolerate a social care system which leaves many with no support and others with poor quality services. The public are angry that they can face huge care charges, and end up losing all their savings or being forced to sell their homes.
  • The Care Bill significantly improves the legal and policy framework. The Care Bill helpfully updates the law and sets out a positive vision for social care, based on the principle of wellbeing. Its provisions could generate real and lasting improvements – but only if the money is there.
  • The Government’s acceptance of ‘the Dilnot approach’ is welcome, but both funding and implementation are concerns. It’s good that the Government is implementing a version of the Dilnot principles to end the fear of endlessly spiralling care costs, but it is doing so on a minimal basis. As a result, the Government’s scheme will not ‘cap’ all care costs, some people may still have to sell their homes, and there are major worries about introducing and running a complex new system in a fair and efficient way.
  • It’s time to act. The Care Act is a once in a generation opportunity to make social care better, but there is a huge gulf between its aspirations and the reality as experienced by millions of older and disabled people each day. The Care Act’s vision is the right one: now politicians on all sides must step up and commit to the funding to bring it about. Together we can build a fair and sustainable care system which delivers dignity, independence and peace of mind for older and disabled people and their families. But failure to act would continue a cycle of cuts, neglect and abuse in social care, at great cost to our economy, public services and society – a tragic lost opportunity.
  • They have some graphics available from here showing the need for social care in each constituency (click to enlarge)

    care and support ray wick

    Hat-tip: Julian Ware-Lane

    November 29th, 2014

    Next Flood Forum Meeting – 10 am Monday December 15th

    brook in rawreth

    From the District Council Website:

    The [next] meeting of the Forum for Surface Water Flooding Issues will be held at 10am on Monday, December 15, at the Civic Suite, Rayleigh, and members of the public are welcome to attend.

    Although Rochford District Council is not directly responsible for flood-related issues, it set up the Forum to bring together agencies including Essex Highways, Anglian Water, the Environment Agency and the Essex County Council Flood Management Team in order to tackle ongoing issues together.

    The purpose of these meetings is to find out who is responsible for various watercourses, ditches and drains, and then try to ensure that those responsibilities are complied with.

    Deputy Leader of Rochford District Council and Deputy Chairman of the Forum, Councillor Keith Hudson, said: “At the last meeting more than 30 hotspots were discussed in relation to flooding. This meeting will review these sites to ensure that progress is being made in relation to the necessary maintenance work.”…

    ….The latest meeting has had to be scheduled for the morning as it proved impossible for the various agencies, who are extremely busy in the run-up to Christmas, to attend an evening meeting….

    It will still disappoint some residents that they will have to take a morning off work if they want to attend this meeting.

    November 28th, 2014

    Watery Lane Update

    Watery Lane

    Watery Lane

    Ron Oatham went to a meeting last Monday regarding Watery lane. The consultant presented a report which basically put forward nine possible options, none of which significantly reduced the the flood risk enough to attract Flood Defence Grant Aid.
    The option to raise the road by 1.2 Metres was clearly out of the question financially.
    ECC agreed to look at the possibility of a new ditch on the south side of the road and the installation of a pump to route water direct to the River Crouch. This wouldn’t deal with once-in- 30-years events but might help with the less extreme rainfall.
    It was frustrating that some of the bodies involved wanted another body to take a step before they would take a step…

    November 27th, 2014

    Rochford District Matters Is Coming Out This Week….

    Rochford District Matters (the council newspaper) is being delivered this week.

    The council’s senior communications officer would like to know of any residents who don’t receive a copy. So if you don’t receive one by the end of tomorrow (Friday 28th) , please feel free to leave a comment below, with your postcode

    Thanks.

    November 26th, 2014

    Be Warned – Dartford Crossing Closed Overnight This Weekend, One Direction At A Time

    From the Echo today:

    THE DARTFORD Crossing will be closed overnight this weekend.

    On Saturday night the northbound tunnels will be closed and on Sunday night the QEII bridge will be fully closed, with signed diversions in place via the Blackwall Tunnel.

    Dart Charge project director Nigel Gray said: “This weekend will see the start of massive changes at the Dartford Crossing and by Monday morning we will have southbound traffic able to use the Crossing barrier-free.

    “We will be closing the Crossing overnight, in one direction at a time, to minimise the disruption while we change the road layout. I advise drivers to plan ahead and allow extra time for their journeys.”

    Erwan Huerre of Connect Plus which is carrying out the work, said: “Road users will see the benefit on southbound journeys early on, however work on the northbound carriageway, approaching the Dartford Tunnels, will take longer to complete.

    “In the short term, road users will still need to drive through the old payment plaza, which will remain temporarily to manage traffic flows and maintain safety in the tunnels.

    “The main works are due to be completed by spring 2015, which is when the full benefits of Dart Charge will be felt.”

    The Crossing will be closed, between junction 2 (for the A2) and junction 31 (for the A1306), to northbound traffic between 11.30pm on Saturday 29 and 6am in the morning of Sunday 30 November.

    It will then be closed to southbound traffic between 11.30pm on Sunday 30 November and 5.30am in the morning of Monday 1 December.

    A diversion route will be in place via the A2, A102 Blackwall Tunnel and A13.

    The Blackwall tunnel has a height restriction of 4m northbound, 4.7m southbound and is classed as ‘ADR Category E’ for hazardous goods.

    Any vehicles above these height restrictions or carrying dangerous goods will be diverted via the western section of the M25

    Choose the layout you want to see

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    Latest Comments

    • Jim Cripps: Disappointing yes, surprise no – the ‘establis hment ‘ always gets what it wants via...
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    500 HOUSES BETWEEN LONDON ROAD AND RAWRETH LANE

    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)

    Planning Applications…

    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.

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    “Rayleigh was the birthplace of Britain’s first surviving quintuplets, but that’s just one of its many claims to fame”

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