I am one of your 3 District Councillor's for Sweyne Park & Grange Ward and your Town Councillor for Victoria. Please feel free to contact me about any local issues that are of concern to you using the contact page. I am here to serve the residents and I will work hard to make our community a better place for all.

Best wishes,


  • Who, Where, When & How? – My Ward Work

    Do you want to know what I’ve been up to? Here’s a map showing the ward (hard) work I’ve been carrying out. I’ll be adding more information over the course of time.

  • Survey

    Rayleigh Residents Survey 2017 is now LIVE!

    The Lib Dems are always ready to listen to the residents to find out what you think is good, bad or could do with improving. We’re launching our Residents Survey 2017 so you can tell us more. Please take 5 minutes to complete the survey.

  • What Our MP Mark Francois thinks about Southend A&E Downgrade Proposals

    Confusion for many reigns on the proposals to downgrade not only Southend A&E, Broomfield as well. To get some clarity we (Rochford District Residents, Lib Dems & Green Party) put a motion on notice to invite the NHS to give a presentation on the proposed changes.  

    This was indeed a shocking eye opener for Councillors as to what these changes will mean. No bluelight services into Southend A&E or Broomfield meaning every ambulance would be transported to Basildon. With increased journey times this would be a disaster for mortality rates. Speaking with paramedics recently, I couldn't help but feel the amount of undue pressure on them would be enormous. The lead clinical, Dr Howard, had me at convinced with her damning speech on what this would mean for A&E patients. Our own Cllr Chris Black summed up the mood of the council chamber with his classic turn of phrase....

    “Half Of Us Are Doubtful…. And The Other Half Are Dead Against” Cllr Chris Black (Lib Dem) on A&E Downgrade Proposals 

    Read more on Chris' take on the downgrade here.

    Previously MP Mark Francois was questioned on the same proposals at the recent parliamentary hustings. He took a different view on the proposals. He was more worried about whether we had enough ambulances to go around. Here's how he explained his concerns.

    The truth is out there....

    So if all this information has got your head in a spin head over to Save Southend A&E website to dispel the myths. They are doing an amazing job of trying to get the information out to residents. Please support them by sharing with everyone you know and signing the petition.

    For now though at least, I'll stick with putting my life in Dr Howard's & her amazing teams hands, should I or my family need it, at Southend Hospital. Read how Dr Howard slams the proposal here!

  • Time to pull the chain on Crown Hill toilets

    There has been a great deal of discussion about the public toilets across the Rochford District. It would appear that the district council didn’t have the financial acumen to make the maintenance of the toilets cost effective in the long term. So it has now successfully had the ‘deal’ waved (voted) through by Rayleigh Town Council to ‘offload’ the financial burden. (many members of the town council are portfolio holders for the district council too!)

    With the only resistance coming from the opposition (Lib Dems and Rayleigh Independents) it would appear the Tories have managed to saddle the Town Council (and the tax payer) with a 10-year lease on the maintenance of a new block of unisex toilets next to the existing site. The costs to maintain this new block have been budgeted at £20k per year to maintain, although the council has not put the contract out to tender at the time of writing so, in fact, is unsure of costs!

    I have expressed to the council that a break clause should be put in the contract to between RTC and RDC for the lease on these toilets. In a 10 year period, the shape of the high street can dramatically change. Will there be such a demand in 5 years for public toilets when they are not used for the night time economy?

    I’m finding this deal very difficult to swallow knowing that the MAIN reason is so they (RDC) can shift this cost from their balance sheet onto the Town Council and the taxpayer is subject to possible further increases in council tax to pay for this facility.

    Personally, I’d like to flush this whole idea down the pan – we will see whether this get’s past the investment board at their next meeting


  • Land North of London Road

    So ‘Pave over the Countryside’ are back with their application for ‘reserved matters’ – Chris Black explains more in his blog here


  • Sanctuary Housing Turns Property Developer?

    Today I've received an invite. This is an invite to view the plans for the old HMP Bullwood Hall site, which has been acquired by Sanctuary Housing. However I am confused..... Sanctuary Housing describes itself as "Providing good quality, affordable housing is at the heart of what we do."

    So when I've received this invitation I was more than a little surprised unless affordable & social housing is now being described as 'exclusive'

    Just a note before you go rushing along though - the invite address is incorrect. They are having to reissue the invites. If you want to attend let me know and once I receive the correct address I'll let you know!

  • Just a quick note….

    Have been out with my fellow ward councillor this evening making sure residents who don’t have access to the internet or social media, are kept informed of what’s going on in our area. It’s good to work with  another councillor who is as equally as passionate about representing the people who elected us.

  • A Load of Old Bollards

    Anyone that lives near Tesco’s Express on London Road will recognise this familiar sight…

    Well folks after 6 months of nagging I’ve only gone and done it……

    Yes today, the contractor has been along to erect bollards around this piece of land. Why? Numerous complaints from residents of mud being dragged on to the road, illegal parking on this land making it dangerous and impossible to pull out of Vernon Avenue and the unsightly mess that has been made – all contributed to the reasoning for getting these temporary bollards installed.

    The wrangling with Tesco’s and Essex County Council continues, but I will continue to persevere with getting Tesco’s to get this woefully inadequate car park redesigned.

    One small victory for a District Councillor…..

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BiographyJames NewportSweyne Park & Grange Ward

Published & promoted by Steve Tellis 22 Beech Avenue Rayleigh, on behalf of Liberal Democrat candidates at 22 Beech Avenue Rayleigh .


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