Today has been a real mix of emotions in my Councillors role, let me explain further…..

The Good

Rayleigh Christmas light switch on has always been a popular event and today was no exception. Working as a Rayleigh Town Councillor, I was involved in helping setup safety barriers, crowd control and general duties (along with some coffee drinking!). I was fortunate enough to work along side other members of the town council who are all generally a great bunch of people all with a common goal – to make the switch on a success. By 6.30pm when the big switch on occurred we could see the fruits of our labour. A bustling High Street, awash with families enjoying the great atmosphere, which reminds us of one of many reasons that makes Rayleigh a great place to live.

The Bad

As a district councillor, I had to attend the development committee meeting tonight. One of the items on tonight’s agenda was application 16/00731/OUT – LAND WEST OF LITTLE WAKERING ROAD AND SOUTH OF BARROW HALL ROAD, LITTLE WAKERING, ESSEX. What I witnessed tonight was a far from comprehensive report presented by our RDC officers. Confusion reigned in the council chamber as the addendum to the report on the application was attempted to be explained by the officer, looking around I saw raised eyebrows and blank expressions. Personally I can only describe my emotions as anger and frustration at the expectation by officers, of making a decision based on this far from complete report. Ultimately and with some relief, all members agreed this matter should be deferred. There would have been a serious injustice to both the electorate and developer if we had pressed ahead.

The Ugly

Sad news to read the Echo report that someone had been stabbed last night in Rayleigh.

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About the author 

James Newport

Essex County Councillor for Rayleigh North, Rochford District Councillor for Downhall & Rawreth and Rayleigh Town Councillor for Sweyne.

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