• Tescos – Every Parking Space Helps

    A common complaint by many residents is the lack of parking in the Tesco's Express on London Road. You will notice that in the last week or so, work has finally begun on extending the Tesco's car park to increase the number of spaces. Plans for this extension have been around for some time (over 2 years) and I have been constantly chasing the various authorities on progress.

    The redesign of the car park will see bollards installed along Vernon Avenue to stop pavement parking and an extension of the double yellows. Delivery lorries will no longer be able to exit Vernon as the car park has been redesigned to allow them to turn around and exit onto London Road in a forwards motion. 

    I expect this design will not please everyone but this is a site that in my opinion, should never have been allowed planning permission. If you want more information about this application the full details are here

  • 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!

  • The Great British Spring Clean

    I’m pleased to announce that the next litter pick will take place at 11am on 4th March in Sweyne Park. After the success of the last one, we will be back to tackle more of the littering that has occurred in this open space.

    Everyone is welcome and we’ll be there come rain or shine!


  • Why I’m Not Average

    I just happened to stumble across the “National Census of Local Authority Councillors 2013” today and what I found made for very interesting reading.

    • 67% of Councillors are male
    • Councillors have an average age of 60.2 with Councillors aged over 70 increasing
    • Just 19.2% of Councillors are in full-time employment
    • 96% are of white ethnic origin

    How can this be truly representative of our community and why don’t more residents come forward and stand as candidates?

    Isn’t it about time we had a broader cross-section of the community representing residents views?

    I have been a Councillor for nearly 2 years and intend on standing again in May. I see myself as bucking the trend, being a young 41 years old, but I would still love to see more women and younger people stand as candidates.

    So if you want to know more feel free to get in touch with me


  • Election Countdown


    The past two years for me has been a whirlwind of activity. A steep learning curve and a lot of work. I've attended countless meetings, spoken to many residents, campaigned on local issues and kept a close eye on those 'secret' decisions being made by the Conservatives behind closed doors.

    It's hasn't been an easy ride for us Lib Dems, particularly with the loss of our leader, late last year. However, we continue, as always, to remain committed to giving our residents a voice and taking a common sense approach to decision making. I hope residents will support me going forward and are safe in the knowledge that I will always act in their interests first. 

  • Can You Help Me?

    I spend a lot of time trying to keep my residents informed of local issues that may affect them. To do this I rely on a small number of volunteers who give me an hour or two of their time every so often. From folding leaflets, writing addresses and delivering door to door, all these jobs take up time.

    Are you able to help me? I need more volunteers in the Sweyne Park & Grange Ward to help me get the message out on local issues.

    If you are happy to help please get in touch with me here

    • B95E5B3A-1595-461D-AF03-480454D70DA9
    • 12DDFD96-0F4A-44FB-A1A5-1C0022E037D5
    • 4EBF680B-8023-4D82-A418-D07266840734
    • 407D65D2-1602-47F4-89D0-FA49315D9E5D
    • BA8722DA-0DF4-45BF-97EB-ACBC5B77CB9D
    • 4D97B9BE-CAF9-4704-921B-966C0075E66D
    • ED864758-FF1F-4EFD-A54B-F1A27C2DFFAA
    • 3D06D3F8-7EE6-40EE-83EA-F880469E7579
    • 6794ACDD-F220-4498-99F9-4AE4F4C98872

    Litter Duty

    When I was in school punishment was litter duty. Well today, I’ve been out with other Lib Dem Councillors and volunteers to do a ‘litter pick’ in Sweyne Park.

    Despite the elements, we had a small number of volunteers turn up and between us, we manage to collect over 20 bags of rubbish – not bad for a couple of hours work! It was somewhat satisfying to see the difference to the bridle track once we had finished.

    As always, we are extremely grateful to the team of volunteers.