• 547 Days Later……. (Tesco’s)

    There may be a glimmer of light at the end of a very long tunnel for Vernon Avenue residents. Last week I spoke to a surveyor for Tesco’s who was there for the long-awaited reconfiguration of the car park.

    Since being elected in May 2016, I have relentlessly chased Rochford District Council to get this issue resolved. However, it came to light that the issue lay with Essex County Council & Tesco, due to an issue with the lease and has been tied up with solicitors ever since.

    The proposed works will see the area of grass (which I previously request bollards to be installed around due to the damage caused by illegal parking) leased to Tesco to create additional parking spaces. The current dropped kerb on Vernon Avenue will be reinstated to a raised pavement and that entrance closed. The car park will be configured to allow delivery vehicles to turn around in the space.

    I will be contacting Rochford District Council to see if they can get up an update on when the work should be commencing.

    Hopefully, this will be near the end of a very long journey for residents in the local area.

     

  • Public Toilets – Pt II

    The public toilets issue continues with the Echo Newspaper picking up the story today.

    Thanks to Echo reporter, Hsin-yi who did a wonderful job of pulling the article together from our information. As you can see from the Echo News website, the piece has gained a lot of attention from readers, who are equally as disgusted by the actions of the councils. As we remain in times of austerity and the daunting mishandled Brexit process, now is not the right time to be spending huge sums of money without proper financial justification.

    This is my opinion of course, but alternatives were put forward and simply dismissed out of hand.

  • Online Crime Rising

    Rising Cyber Crime & Learn How to Protect Yourself

    No one wants to be a victim of crime and it could be even more devastating if you are a victim of cyber crime. Shocking figures given to us at a recent Police Crime Commissioner briefing shows there has been an increase of 245% in online crime, nationally, in the past year. (May 2016 to May 2017)

    My personal view of this is that online crime will continue to grow as our lives become more and more dependant on online services. Police resources have been diverted away from traditional crime to trying to tackle this surge in online crime which is becoming increasing more sophisticated.

    As an IT professional myself, it is a constant learning curve, which takes a great deal of time to keep updated on the latest threats and ways of tackling the risk of crime.

    If you want to know more about how you can protect yourself from online crime there are a number of practical steps you can take.

    Education, education, education! Take advantage of free schemes such as Digital Eagles from Barclays Bank. These systems are open to anyone and they also offer a wide range of online courses that you can do at home. The nearest Digital Eagles workshops are in Basildon, so not too far away.

    RRAVS, in Rayleigh also run a computer course which appears to be targeted at the elderly, although I have not confirmed that with them.

    There are other valuable resources online that you can check out for further information, it's important to keep your computer skills current.

    What ever you use the internet for online crime can take many forms so here is a selection of useful links to check out. If you know of any other links that might be of interest to other readers please let me know and I'll add them.

  • Poisoned Playgrounds

    There's a killer lurking outside of our children's playground across the Rochford District and residents don't currently have the comfort of knowing it's not about to get into the playgrounds. Why? there is absolutely NO air monitoring data outside of school playgrounds in the Rochford District.

    That is why the Lib Dems, Rochford Residents & Green groups have come together to carry out their own air monitoring tests. We want to know if our residents are at risk from illegal levels of air pollution. Client Earth's postcode checker does not represent our area and I'm in contact with them to get this ammended. 

    Watch the video below, it's pretty powerful stuff.

  • 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!

  • Rutty Roads! When Will Yours Be Fixed? Essex County Council Reveals All

    If you cherish your vehicle or wallet, you might be interested in when Essex County Council is preparing to resurface our local roads. Looking at this map which is available on the Essex County Council website it doesn’t appear as though Rayleigh is in for much funding for new road surfaces from ECC.

    Surfacing Program Map

    It’s come at a good time that they’ve released this interactive map, with the Essex County Council elections on May 4th,  it does beg the question if our current incumbents that are supposed to represent Rayleigh have been making enough noise at County Hall on residents behalf. The condition of our local roads have only gone one way, and that’s down. The number of pot holes and poor surfacing I have noticed has become ever increasing. Rayleigh is a market town and I’m really starting to think that we would be better off travelling on horse and cart over these dirt tracks they like to call roads!

    Recently I’ve heard stories of residents claims being rejected by Essex County Council for damage to their vehicle due to the poor road surfaces we all suffer.

    Our Highways are a priority for our Essex County Council candidates, Chris Black and Chris Stanley to make sure that we get fair and real representation for Rayleigh.

     

     

  • Essex CC Launches Best Pothole Award 2017

    Essex County Council who are renown for their high standards of maintaining our county road network and making the ‘right choice’ when approving plans for new housing developments, have now launched ‘The Best Pothole Award 2017’. Entries are simply made by following this link. The winner could actually expect their chosen pothole to be repaired in a timely manner and not suffer the ongoing inconvenience of having to swerve every time they think they are about to hit it.

    Good luck with your entry!

  • CSE Awareness Day

    It’s CSE Awareness Day. Even in the Rochford District we need to make ourselves aware of this important subject.

    Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual abuse that involves the manipulation and/or coercion of young people under the age of 18 into sexual activity, sometimes in exchange for things such as money, gifts, accommodation, affection or status.

    For more information on this subject there is a dedicated website www.stop-cse.org which contains lots of useful information and what to do if you suspect someone of CSE.

  • Essex County Council Elections – 4th May 2017

    As another political leaflet falls to your door mat you will be correct in thinking that it will be election time once again!

    Yes, I am a perpetrator of this practice – we are leafleting a huge number of households across “Rayleigh North” and “Rayleigh South” for our Liberal Democrat candidates. I myself, am not standing as we have two excellent candidates for Rayleigh who between them could bring an effective and formidable team to County Hall.

    If you vote for anyone – vote for Chris! Yes we have two Chris’ standing – Cllr Chris Black and Cllr Chris Stanley. Chris Black has a vast knowledge and experience of the political scene and Chris Stanley has the tenacious attitude to get Rayleigh recognised for what is needed in our area. Both of these candidates would be a great choice if you live in Rayleigh.

    Make sure you are eligible to vote by using this link

    Look out for the leaflet through your door and if you have any questions please feel free to contact us using the contact details on the leaflet.

     

  • The Hole Truth About Our Highways

    An Audience with Essex Highways

    Last night I attended an epic 2 1/2 hour briefing by Essex Highways about how they operate. (Death by Powerpoint yet again)

    There is a pretty much constant complaint from residents about the poor condition of our roads in Rochford District. So it was interesting to hear for myself and Cllr Chris Stanley to hear that Essex County Council (ECC) highways report that our roads are pretty much meeting the targets. PR1 at 98%, PR2 at 99% and local roads 94% (although it was noted that they said these need some improvement)

    So some statistics.

    • ECC say the Essex road network is an asset worth £10bn
    • The budget for maintaining these roads is £100m
    • Rochford District gets a £1.6m share in the budget for our roads

    So it seems that the ‘road’ we were led up was that all is good – there will be potholes but some will not be fixed as any matter of urgency. Some will get repaired urgently. There is criteria – I’m not sure I fully understood although you can be sure the ones on the main carriageways will be fixed before the local roads.

    One thing I did takeaway from the briefing that if you want to report potholes, lighting issues etc do it via the official ECC website as this gets fed directly into the database. Also the more people that report the problem the more likely it will gain the ‘attention’

    Report Here on the official ECC website (Mobile Friendly as well I’m told)

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