• Police Crime Commissioner is put in the dock by Councillors

    Last nigh Essex Police Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst, gave a briefing to District and Parish Councillors in the Rochford District. The council chamber was fairly full (rather like Southend Police Cells! More on that later) and attended by 13 opposition members and just 9 Conservative members. 

    The presentation started with a brief slide show from Roger Hirst on the revenues received by selling off the police estates and the investment that the police have made in modern technology. I wonder what they will sell off when everything has been sold, but I'm sure someone has already thought of that.

    Members were invited to ask questions to Mr Hirst once his presentation had finished and there was plenty of those!  A usually vocal (ahemmm), Cllr Newport remained quiet throughout, as I had the insight to present my questions to the PCC prior to the meeting and which I had already had responses from Chief Inspector Westley.

    There were some interesting questions presented to the PCC and he was challenged on accusations (as the Echo reported) of the police being too busy to collect CCTV evidence from a recent crime scene. A slightly embarrassed Mr Hirst, could only accept that the police were 'guilty as charged'

    A recurring theme of Councillors went on to report to Mr Hirst that the spiraling drugs problem across the district is not being addressed. (one of the questions I had already put prior to the meeting) Concerned Parish Councillors reported how the lack of police presence in Hullbridge has seemily led to open drug dealing outside the primary school and the persistant Parish Councillor repeatedly told Mr Hirst that the lack of police presence in Hullbridge was acutely noteable. 

    CCTV evidence was another topic of conversation, as members informed Mr Hirst that there seemed to be a reluctance by police to process footage. Mr Hirst explained that the current technology that the police have means that it is cumbersome for the police to process this evidence. 

    Other challenges made to Mr Hirst were made on the 101 service and the severe delays on getting through to report crime (some references to 1hr plus), one example given the caller was asked if they could be called back and to wait until at least the next day! Again the evidence put to Mr Hirst was damning and there was little defence from Mr Hirst only that they need to do better.

    I think it was an uncomfortable evening for Mr Hirst and his defence was weak. He is clearly a 'hands up' guy and he can only be commended for admitting where there are failures - I think he has his work cut out. Will he be able to get the confidence in the police service restored any time soon? I'd be hesitant to think so. 

    If your interested to know more on how the evening went Cllr Chris Black will be reporting here

  • 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.

  • Autumn 2017 e-FOCUS is out!

    Our team has been out busy delivering our Focus leaflets in the Sweyne Park & Grange Ward and Down Hall & Rawerth. However, since we are a progressive party….. you can read our e-Focus (our online edition) which is available here for Sweyne Park & Grange.

  • Meeting the needs of our residents with affordable housing

    There must be more that we can do to meet the needs of residents with affordable housing right? Well today on my journey home from London, I read this article.

    If you want to skip to the interesting part - the article discusses Community Land Trusts. Is this the way forward for to help people get their foot on to the property ladder at realistic prices?

    More information on Community Land Trusts here - http://www.communitylandtrusts.org.uk/

  • Local Policing

    What's a Tory doing on a Lib Dem blog?

    Well for those that don't know this is Roger Hirst. He's the police crime commissioner for Essex Police. 

    For sometime there have been comments from residents about policing (or the apparent lack of it). So with this in mind I recently wrote to Roger's office asking if they were planning on visiting leafy Rayleigh anytime soon to answer our residents concerns.

    I had a lovely reply from Roger's office informing me that he will attend a meeting at RDC on the 12th September. I can of course put forward any questions from residents for Mr Hirst to answer at this time. 

    If there is anything you would like to ask then please contact me here and I will pass your question to Mr Hirst.

  • Toilet Petition Now Live!

    Not being one to give up so easily, there is a petition now live on the council's website. You can find the petition by clicking the button below.

    With over 300 signatures already added we need a further 1200 to get a debate in full council, where Councillors will be forced to explain the logic (if there is any!) and the costs of £330k that the taxpayer will foot.

    Do you know a friend, relative or neighbour who doesn't have internet access? No bother! Some of our local businesses are holding paper petitions for people to sign. Full details below.

    Hicke​y's DIY, 9 London Rd ,Rayleigh SS6 9AX


    Ashley Knotts Barbershop, 221 London Rd, Rayleigh SS6 9DN, UK

  • Save Southend 1 – NHS Success Regime 0

    Save Southend A&E have scored an epic victory over the NHS Success Regime, with a U turn on the downgrade of Southend A&E, it is a victory for this campaign group that should be admired. Undoubtedly without this well organised group, the plans would have slipped through and we’d be none the wiser until the deal had been done.

    I like to think that some of us Councillors at Rochford District Council played a small part in this U turn. A group of opposition Councillors (including myself) put forward a motion to have the NHS give a presentation to full council on the future plans. This was led by an Independent Councillor, John Mason and I can only hope that this helped Save Southend by giving Dr Howard a platform to give her strong views against the proposals.

    Politically it was quite amusing in some ways to watch the Conservative group in shock of what they were being told when it was their masters forcing further cuts to the NHS that brought forward these plans. When will they learn that austerity has gone too far?

    Now we watch and wait for further plans for cost saving measures. We will continue to support Save Southend A&E group and keep our residents informed of future developments.

    VIVA Save Southend A&E !!

    Want to know more about the campaign? Then click here to be taken to ALL the information you would ever need about this disastrous proposal

  • Muddy Puddles

    Walking through Sweyne Park bridle track yesterday, reminded me of this Peppa Pig story. Muddy puddles were definitely to be found and I wondered how many residents are discouraged by the amount of water that this part of the track seems to hold. I wish they would level this out as it's a great cut through for the pedestrian & cyclists to get to ASDA, St Nicholas primary school & Rayleigh Leisure Centre.

    I've asked the ward Councillors to see if we can get this small part of the track maintained. In my humble opinion we need to make walking & cycling in our town more accessible to help reduce the congestion on our roads. 

    What's the problem?

  • Fed Up Motorists Get Nailed Again

    As my brother often reminds me when I mention the cost of running a car, that it’s “the joy of motoring”, however Rayleigh residents have had no joy recently with the damage to a lot of residents tyres caused by nails left on one particular cut through. On numerous occasions, Station Cresent has had nails left in the road to purposely damage drivers tyres.

    Image Courtesy of Google

    It seemed the police were slow to react and the culprit has yet to be caught, however, whether the Echo’s report of it being ‘yobs’ is accurate remains unknown.

    It seemed the police were slow to react and the culprit has yet to be caught, however, whether the Echo’s report of it being ‘yobs’ is accurate remains unknown.

    Reported in the Echo

  • Could a Youth Market Come to Rayleigh?

    This week whilst working I came across this innovative idea from Basildon Council. A youth market for aspiring entrepreneurs for people aged 13 to 25. What an awesome idea to find our next generation of shop keepers and small business owners. It’s a really exciting idea that this could give the younger generation a platform to showcase their ideas and talents. I’ve already been in touch with our town clerk to see if we too, could accommodate this idea in Rayleigh. I for one would love to see this happen in Rayleigh. I know there are youngsters out there just waiting to be given the chance to show their entrepreneurial side!

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