Calling All Future Councillors

This week I’ve received a letter from NALC (National Association of Local Councils). One item in the letter writes about ‘Strengthening and promoting local democracy’

You might remember I briefly wrote last year about why I’m not average and the NALC goes on to write in it’s letter this year about one of it’s priorities

One of my personal priorities is to see more people from all backgrounds getting involved in the work of local councils and is why I set up our Diversity Commission. The findings of its first ever councillor census survey make for challenging reading:
• the average age of a local councillor is 61
• 25% have served for more than 10 years
• 60% are men
• just 11% are aged under 45
This is why this year’s local elections in many parts of the country provide a timely, in fact crucial, opportunity to address this.
One statistic I was particularly struck by in our survey was 80% of local councillors would recommend becoming a councillor.

Our own Lib Dem Councillor, Cllr Craig Cannell, is probably the youngest Councillor on the Council, but he brings with him a refreshing change. In his career, he works to help develop the future vision of a Global manufacturer and he brings his enthusiasm and alternative view to the table as a Councillor.

I believe we need to see some diversity on the Council and would love to see more people putting themselves forward. Despite what some existing Councillors might say – it doesn’t have to overwhelm your life and we need desperately need a more balanced representation of our community.

Computer Says…… Not Again!

It’s fair to say the IT systems at RDC during my tenure as a District Councillor, were at best flaky and at worst a disaster. So much so that the Council used it as an excuse to ‘rerun’ a development committee meeting and some members even set up a task group to try and find out what the hell was going on. With a massive overspend on the IT budget, some £600k+ you would hope that things would be a little more ‘stable’ by now.

Well, it seems that is wishful thinking as the council has announced today that they have cancelled the development committee meeting scheduled for this coming Thursday citing IT problems yet again. Their internal IT systems spend time down than up, some staff have now resorted to slate and smoke signals to communicate!

I’ve written to the Managing Director at RDC to ask when they actually think this whole sorry mess will be sorted out. I personally believe they are out of their depth and a lot of costly mistakes have been made and continue to be made.

When I hear back, I’ll update this post further

Exclusive First Look at Crown Hill New Public Toilets

Long time readers on the Rayleigh public toilet saga will know that I’m no superfan of the decisions made around the new toilets for the town centre. I’ve baulked at the cost of the Rochford District Councils £365,000 toilet project along with many residents and the cost shifting to Rayleigh Town Council.

The new toilets for Crown Hill are of a modular nature and have been constructed offsite. Here’s an exclusive first look at what you will see when they are finally installed.

Residents will have to wait though to test out the new facilities as there has been a delay due to an ‘oversight’ that the road will need to be closed for a crane to lift them into place and telephone lines moved….. just a slight oversight!