Category Archives for Opinions

A Few Words from the Managing Director

A number of us local councillors run blogs in our spare time, as an aim to keep the wider public informed of our actions, intentions and views. So it is interesting to see that the MD of Rochford District Council has now decided to write a blog.

One of his first blog posts is about homelessness. A worthy topic of a blog post, however, I’m sceptical of how this will pan out and there may have been second thoughts since there have been no updates to the blog since August. As many blog writers know readership falls heavily if there are large gaps in new content.

I have mused if the move is an unusual one and how, as Managing Director, if he will be able to maintain an apolitical view on the workings & decisions of the council.

If the blog continues it will be an interesting read, and one that will be heavily scrutinised by ALL parties I’m sure.

Watch this space

Participation Not Required (By Some)

Politics can be cruel, it can be kind, but it can be disappointing too. I often have a wry smile when I attend District Council meetings. For they are the meetings when participation is not required by some it seems. The administration appear to have some voices that are not to be heard. Some faces look expressionless into the room waiting only for the crucial moment to raise an arm to make sure the votes add up. It could be that even local government is suffering the lack of participation that House of Lords is suffering

I believe I am not alone in my thinking of who votes for these Councillors that take their seat ignoring the very reason they are in the room? Perhaps Rochford District has bred a "something for nothing" culture that has gone unnoticed for too long?

Let's hope next May brings us some fresh voices and a wider debate on the future for Rochford's residents.

Holy Hustings!

If tonight’s hustings audience was representative of Rayleigh & Wickford then I don’t think Mark Francois would retain his seat….

however, I fear this will not be the case. It would appear the audience was not on side and Mr Francois was only being supported by his over protective, front row, con club members. Like proud parents at the Christmas production, the Tory sheep lined the front rows of the Holy Trinty church for the hustings. However this had little impact of the mood of the evening which showed strong support for our Lib Dem candidate, Ron Tindall & the Labour candidate. The Green Party candidate although at times showed some inexperience held his own too.

It has to be said that some Tory party members (district councillors) felt that they held some authority on the evening with outbursts from the audience on how the debate should be run. This were quite unwelcomed.

The evening started with a question about defence. Policing and Nuclear deterrent were thrown into the mix, some may have thought that this was Labours Achilles heel, but Mark Daniels (Lab) handled it well. Ron Tindall (Lib Dem) handled the question better with a good take on Theresa Mays inability to make a decision in a timely manner!

The next question tackled the issue of social care. A hot topic to be discussed. Mark Francois, regurgitated the party line with Ron Tindall (Lib Dem) quickly pulling the Tory policy apart due to the fact that there is no cap on what the Tories will steal from you.

more to follow…….

MISSING SINCE 2013 Essex County Councillor

In great fanfare this Councillor was elected in 2013, claiming a victory over the Tories and becoming one of the first UKIP County Councillors in the country. The question is, how many residents actually know who it is that’s supposed to be representing them and have they been effective for Rayleigh South. Flooding, Congestion, Part Night Street lighting, chaos at recycling centre in Castle Road with homeowners being turned away due to having the ‘wrong vehicle’ – it’s time for you to decide.

If you want to know who it was that elected click here

Let’s Get Our Skates On In Rayleigh

I want to get the Town Council to consider the idea of an Ice Rink in Rayleigh over the Christmas period, but need the support of our residents. I’ve create an e-petition here to collect all those names of residents who will support the idea. Once I reach 1000 signatures I will commit to carrying out a feasibility study to present to the council. Come on residents – let’s all get our skates on!

We'd like Rayleigh Town Council to consider the idea of an Ice Rink at Christmas

  

**your signature**

Share this with your friends:

   

My Idea Has Been Given The Cold Shoulder

Sometimes I have these crazy thoughts about enhancing success.

A lot of people strive for success and they want to better themselves. They want to build on what they have achieved. Like buying a house – people move in, you redecorate, you might add a conservatory, you might even build an extension… you want to make it better.

So recently I took it upon myself in a moment of madness to think about the Rayleigh Christmas lights event could be enhanced. Don’t get me wrong, it’s enjoyed by ALOT of people and has enjoyed incredible success. This year I helped out as a member of Rayleigh Town Council and thoroughly enjoyed my time working alongside my fellow council members, it gave me a new perspective to see how much work goes in to organising such an event. However, back to enhancing….. I thought about the event and it seems we all enjoy the big build up to the light switch on with the stalls and music. Once the lights go on, what happens… everyone goes home! How about this – an ICE RINK? For families to enjoy their special time together, those who don’t want to skate could stand and spectate whilst enjoying hot chocolate, whilst watching Dad grasp to the sides edging his way around tentatively while trying to keep the little ones upright.

Alas though, it seems my dreams are put on ice – I am met with the opinion of my fellow council members

This was considered by the Committee but members agreed that we do not have the available space on the event night and RDC would not want car parks used for this purpose.  The KGV field is locked at 5pm

No investigation into the feasibility…. nothing! Do you share my dreams and hopes? I however will lock these crazy ideas away once more and continue on the journey of stagnation.

Let me know what you think…

Feeling Conned by the Consultation?

Recently we’ve seen lots of consultations by Rochford District Council. First came the local plan workshops, which has been swiftly followed by a budget survey, followed by an air quality survey, only to be followed by a community safety partnership survey. Wow I’m feeling pretty consulted out…. it almost seems like the council are so ‘out of touch’ with the residents that they don’t really know what they should be doing or is it that there is a mandatory requirement to consult?

So is it worth your time and effort to respond to these surveys? Well judging by the responses so far I’d say most people think they’d rather not bother. I’ve heard all sorts of reasons why people don’t respond to these surveys, overwhelming I hear the same reason – the council don’t listen. Cllr Chris Black, recently commented on this at a planning sub committee meeting. Residents whom had come along to the local plan workshop had made suggestions and had ideas. What happened to these ideas and suggestions….. they got buried in this document! It wouldn’t have taken much to capture residents details and follow up with them on their ideas. Sorry RDC but if you really want this ‘relationship’ to work it can’t be one way!

If you have the urge to respond to the surveys the follow the links above or if you want to see my opinions here’s the posts I’ve written on a few of the consultations.

RDC Budget Consultation

The Consultation Process 

Rayleigh has an Unseen Killer on the Loose!

The Introduction of Electric Vehicle Charging Points in Rayleigh – A Lightbulb Moment?

Part of the draft Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) references Electric Vehicles (EV’s).

Hmmm, is this a feasible alternative to our gas guzzling, fume belching vehicles I pondered? Well, there seems to be an increase in sales in the EV market, sadly though that doesn’t appear to the case in the UK. Our slow adoption might be why there are NO public charge points in Rayleigh! So unless you are at home, you are clean out of luck. Looking at ‘ZAP MAP’ the nearest public charging point is Leigh On Sea or Wickford. Whatever the urge I feel right now to come ‘clean’ – this isn’t going to work for me I’m afraid, I simply don’t think I could bear the 1hr round journey to charge my vehicle for it’s 100 mile range. Those that don’t have off street parking are left with no alternative other than to use these public charge points. Sadly, it appears this is the story of our lives here in Rayleigh, infrastructure not being in place to handle the needs of our residents. However attractive this may look I think it’s just wishful thinking by our local council. I’ll cross this one off the AQAP list for now!

 

screenshot_2016-12-10-19-45-45

The Definition of Affordable?

It’s something I’ve had many conversations about and I’m sure other Councillors have also had thoughts about but I’ve never really got a clear answer. What is the definition of ‘affordable’ when it comes down to new housing developments. I found this definition on the Government’s website

Affordable housing is social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market. Eligibility is determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices. From April 2012 affordable housing is defined in the National Planning Policy Framework (prior to this the definitions in Planning Policy Statement 3 apply). Affordable housing should include provisions to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households or for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision.

So that clears that up.

The short answer is if you want to know how affordable housing is defined, don’t ask me! I’m going to admit I’m beat on this one, but I will ask about and see if someone can give me a clear explanation on it. Watch this space!

>