• Who, Where, When & How? – My Ward Work

    Do you want to know what I’ve been up to? Here’s a map showing the ward (hard) work I’ve been carrying out. I’ll be adding more information over the course of time.

  • Rainbow

    The Pot of Gold at the end of our Rainbow

    Last nights Full District Council meeting was a long time coming for most of us opposition members. With 20 items on the agenda we were sure to be in for a long evening.

    With apologies for absences from the Tory side of the chamber, this was going to get interesting! The Tory majority now is very marginal and they are particularly vulnerable to attack from the opposition. – that is of course if the ‘rainbow’ of the opposition is perfectly formed!

    Well on this occasion, the ‘rainbow’ was perfectly formed and the Tories faced a night of misery in chamber. With most of their motions voted against by the opposition they were left frustrated.

    Most of the ‘good stuff’ was in exempt (top secret) and this fact was kicked around the chamber for some time during the evening, as we tried to get them to remove the items from exempt so we could actually talk about it in public – Unfortunately we didn’t get to that point.

    However, suffice to say by the end of the evening (11.30pm) we had found our pot of gold and walked away, our residents that much richer 🙂

     

     

  • Full Council – RDC

  • 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)

  • Secret

    Toilet Leaks

    If you've been following the Crown Hill toilets saga. this week I have been handed 'The Masterplan' - So you know what is happening? I'm publishing the full details here which reveals the full approach and timescales to the future of the toilets.

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    Toilet Plan

  • Money, Money, Money

    Budgeting for the following financial year is undoubtedly an important year. I assume most households run some sort of budget, trying to live within their means.

    I’ve recently been invited to attend the Rochford District Council ‘budget away day’. As a new councillor I was invited to the same ‘away day’ last year. After attending I wondered if it held much value for us as councillors and indeed whether it was entirely necessary to hold such a day.

    On weighing up the pro’s and con’s this year I’ve decided to decline the invitation. I feel in times of austerity, with threatened closures of public toilets, cuts to children’s playgrounds and the huge costs involved in dealing with homelessness, the money could be well spent elsewhere. Now is not the time to be frivolous with the publics money. In my reasoning for not attending I have citied the former to the council and I have also stated that the council has adequate facilities to hold this ‘away day’ on its own premises that is already being paid for.

    I’m pleased to report, I am not alone in my thinking and other members of the Lib Dems have declined the invitation as well.

    Let’s hope the council see that their number is up on this one!

     

  • Jaywick

    The Threat of Flooding

    This week, Jaywick in Essex was evacuated. This should be a stark reminder of the real threat of flooding that we face across our district. Just a few years ago, flooding caused devastation for families in Rayleigh when their homes were flooded. Our own home too, came under threat. Although not in the news this week, Rochford District could easily be back in the news in the blink of an eye. The flood risk is severe and mother nature has no mercy to it’s victims.

    So what are are Lib Dems doing?

    ​Lib Dem Councillor Chris Stanley has been proactively, trying to ensure that ALL ditches and drains are being maintained regularly by Essex County Council. Chris is a member of Rawreth Parish Council, whose community is constantly threatened with the fear flooding. If you spot a drain or ditch that is blocked please contact cllrchris.stanley@rochford.gov.uk

    What other help is available?

    If you are living under threat from flooding and live in Rayleigh, the Town Council operate a sandbag scheme. More details can be found in this link.

    Continue Reading
  • RDR Group Councillor Adrian Eves speaking to BBC Essex on Public Toilets Closure

  • 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!

  • District Council Committees

    When you become an elected member of the council, your party is allocated a number of seats on different committees. I’ve been ‘lucky’ enough to have been asked which committees I had a preference to. I’ve chosen development, licensing and investment. 

    Why did I chose these particular committees?

    Firstly, there’s development. Everyone, residents and councillors, have a keen interest in this one. There’s certainly a lot of changes in our district in terms of development and I felt I wanted to be in a position to keep a close eye on things coming before committee. Some hard decisions will be made but I’m hoping I can keep my ward members updated quickly on anything that ‘stands out’

    Next the is licensing. This is anything from taxi licensing, kennels and pubs/clubs. There may be others but as yet I’m not sure of all the details. As Rayleigh seems to be drawing a crowd on the weekends, both taxi and pubs need to be watched. Watch this space…

    Investment – this is were the council makes investments for its portfolio. Not really sure what will come up in this one but I’m hoping with my business experience that I can make a valuable contribution.