Archive Monthly Archives: February 2018

Looking to Buy a House? You’ll Need 10 Times the Average Salary

We often hear the argument that more housing is needed to meet the demands of residents and in particular their children. So while you contemplate the ‘affordability’ of housing in our district here are some interesting facts that you are faced with when trying to get onto the property ladder in the Rochford District.

  • Average house prices are above the national average at £306,852
  • The rising cost of homes in the Rochford District means that the average home costs over 10.2 times the average salary
  • In addition, average private rents in the Rochford District now cost £898 a month
  • Many working households are reliant on Housing Benefit to cover rents, with 25% of all Housing Benefit claimants in work
  • The income required to get an 80% mortgage is a whopping £70,138

What are the options for those starting out on the property ladder? Better jobs, the bank of Mum & Dad, lower expectations, renting or perhaps an inheritance.

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on getting your foot on the property ladder here in the Rochford District.

*Statistics from ONS – correct as of 2016

Doctor Doctor

It’s really no joke, yes it’s true I’ve been trying to get an appointment at Audley Mills in Rayleigh for the last 2 weeks. It’s not a life-threatening condition (or at least I hope not) but I need a face to face appointment. Being greeted by a ‘we can not connect your call’ at 8 o’clock in the morning isn’t exactly the way I like to start my day.

So today I took to Facebook to seek advice from the grand masters of getting a doctor’s appointment to see how exactly I can get an appointment at my doctor’s surgery. I was beginning to think it was either witchcraft or voodoo magic that was needed but now I’ve found ‘just what the doctor ordered’

Option 1

The Tent – Camp out until 7am in the morning when the doctor’s surgery opens. You can then rush the receptionist for that 1st appointment






Option 2

The Computer – Wait till midnight to use the online booking system







Option 3 

The Phone – Call frantically at 8am and ‘hope’ you get through to a human






I’m going to take the advice of these experienced operatives and by the time I get to see a doctor I will need treatment for hypothermia, tiredness and repetitive strain injury. Wish me luck!

For more helpful advice and tips on getting to see your doctor, funded by YOU the taxpayer see the Facebook post

Cyber What?

I was rather bemused to read this ‘tweet’ sent out by RDC

Back in June 2017, I sent an email to the Managing Director, Shaun Scrutton, with my concern that some members were still operating iPad 4’s which were shortly to become ‘end of life’ – this means, of course, no further security updates released for the devices. In December 2017, again I made an attempt at getting the Council to ‘see sense’ and take action on this worrying state of affairs. I have now had to ask whether I am liable for any data breach if my iPad is ‘hacked’ – no reply at the time of writing.

I was assured in another more recent email that we would be migrating to O365 in January – still no sign of that migration happening!

This is not just a fuss about nothing – lessons should have already have been learned from the NHS cyber attack. Let’s hope Cllr Cutmore, as leader of the council, puts into practice his understanding from his recent lesson in cybersecurity and orders that Rochford District Council updates their iPad’s as a matter of urgency.

If you are interested in reading more about the issues that could affect ios devices, here’s an article from the Telegraph.


The New Local Plan

I’ve been out today delivering leaflets in the Sweyne Park & Grange Ward informing residents about the New Local Plan and the possible scale of development. If you’ve read our leaflet, I hope you’ve found it to be informative. There is ‘a lot ‘ of information in the issues and options document. So if there is anything you would like to ask me, please post in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer in a plain English way!