Your Views DO matter!
Your local Independent Councillor, John Mason, WILL listen !
Please spend a few minutes filling in this survey so that we know what really matters to you.
Thousands of homes to be built in Green Belt
Government agency agrees with HRA concerns
Hockley Residents Association (HRA) is very concerned that Rochford District Council (RDC) are planning to put thousands of houses on Green Belt land. Under government policy, RDC has to provide for an additional 4,600 homes by 2021. This is a net increase of about 3,700 homes over existing plans.
Building the green barricade
By Geoff Percival
A country park which acts as a green buffer separating Southend from Rochford is set to be extended by 50 per cent under new plans revealed today.
Rochford District Council is behind plans to increase the size of Cherry Orchard Country Park by 80 acres and create a new access.
The council has earmarked £250,000 in this year’s budget to start the ball rolling.
The park, which is on the borders of Southend, is seen as an important green lung for the whole of the area. The first part was opened two years ago by the Princess Royal.
Members of the district council said the acquisition of what was originally Blatches Farm from Essex County Council would ensure there was no development of the site in the future.
There was a real concern that although the area was green belt it could have been sold by Essex County Council for housing leading to loss of a big part of the Roach Valley between Hockley, Rochford and Eastwood.
Despite what they say there is no scheme like this set up for Rochford District !!
Policy is “It is not our policy to link to websites expressing personal opinions that could be mistaken for the views of the Council”
Obviously the Council does not want to get firmly involved in localism, engaged with the community and recycling however it is provided – how could the views of the Council differ?
There is no furniture recycling scheme in Rochford District – period -it all goes to landfill. Why doesn’t the District Council want to save costs, if not protect the environment?
We are in touch with a number of organisations across the Rochford District and will be advertising what is available.
Starting with Rochford District Residents, we run a series of Fun Quiz Niights over the year – if you are interested contact Christine on christine.mason [at] rochfordessex [dot] net
From our personal friend of more than 30 years, Brian O’shea here are the trips that the Hockley Residents’ Association have asked us to advertise.
Friday 29 September, London Wetlands Centre & Guided Tour Of The Royal Albert Hall.
Saturday 18 November, The King and I at the Cliffs Pavillion by SODS.
RDC have refused to consider HRA complaints, before the Development Control Committee meeting next Thursday, that the Pond Chase Mushroom Farm planning application has not been properly processed. The application is to convert part of a mushroom farm in the Green Belt into industrial units.
Once granted, planning permission cannot be rescinded. This means that if RDC or the Local Ombudsman subsequently uphold the complaints, RDC could face massive compensation bills from home owners whose properties have lost value as a result of the change of use.
Who’s behind phone box graffiti?
By Michael Clarke
Graffiti vandals have been paying tribute to late Aussie adventurer Steve Irwin by spraying his image on walls and bus stops.
The images, created by spraying over a stencil, have appeared since the naturalist died after being slashed by the barb of a stingray’s tail.
A service in memory of Irwin took place in Australia yesterday.
His cheeky face has appeared at a bus stop in White Hart Lane, Hawkwell, amongst a handful of other locations.
I am being challenged on the way I voted at Rochford District Council on two planning applications concerning the same property in HOCKLEY.
The locally waged campaign against the development included a spate of fly posting which was reported to the police for investigation. I was shocked at the content of e-mails and the fly posters. This was the worst campaign on a planning application I have ever encountered in 26 years of being involved in community issues.
FOR THE RECORD
I only voted on two applications because I was away for the application which was considered on 26 April 2005.
The Clerk to the Parish Council has been receiving a number of requests for allotments.
If there are any other interested residents please contact John Mason.
Some years ago the council tax raised by Hawkwell Parish Council was much lower than it is now. If memory serves me correctly it was about £50,000 per annum and when the Spencers and Magnolia Open Spaces were taken over the costs increased to the high 80’s and now over 100,000.
So when the Council decided to take over the Glencroft Open Space, I was concerned that the costs were fully understood before the land was taken over rather than discovered as the project proceeded.
When Hawkwell Parish Councl took the decision to take over the Glencroft Open Space on 12 June 2006 this was made without any presentation of the way it was to be managed and by implication the costs that will be incurred on a permanent basis together with those additional capital costs of plant and equipment that will be required,
As the Open Space is being taken over from Rochford District Council it would have been appropriate to find out exactly what current costs are being incurred by RDC. This has not be done.
I supported, with another 6 Councillors, a Motion on Notice to rescind the Council decision made on 12th June regarding the Glencroft Open Space.
Unfortunately the vote to protect your financial insterests was narrowly lost 8/6 and the project will proceed on a hand to mouth basis with the Parks Committee asking for money as required. What this will do to the figure raised as council tax I do not know.
This is the letter I sent to all councillors before the meeting in an attempt to get them to not commit unless the costs were known.
We have composed a collection of reference documents relating to Rochford District online and have pooled these into a database that can be searched.
Click here – http://cardshark.pcs-net.com/index.htm
You can also search the articles on this site by making another search at the very bottom on the left hand side of the home page.
2,000 new homes for New Ranges
Exclusive By Steven Blaakman
Up to 2,000 new homes could be built at the New Ranges weapons testing base in Shoebury.
Consultants are proposing a vibrant new town with a tree-lined main avenue, a central park and the possibility of a landmark tower block.
Investment from big companies and the University of Essex could also create more than 3,000 new jobs, consultants Llewelyn Davies Yeang believe.
A light rail system transporting residents to nearby shops and facilities could be built along the main avenue.
The project would also include a new road to the north of the site, the catalyst for the long-awaited Southend outer relief road.
Call for boost to prison security
A Tory MP whose constituency includes Bullwood Hall Prison has called for extra security following the switch from female inmates to male.
Rayleigh MP Mark Francois called for improvements at the Hockley prison in response to anxious calls from local residents.
By Jo Bowring
A £21million redevelopment of Rochford Hospital should be fully open by March 2008, NHS officials have announced.
The news came as Rochford district councillors were given a sneak preview of facilities at the hospital for mental health patients.
Reluctant Rochford’s 3,000 new homes
By Geoff Percival
Rochford councillors have reluctantly agreed 3,000 more homes might have to be built in the district by 2021.
But councillors are angry that the Government is trying to force so many new houses on area.
The proposals will mean 90 per cent of the extra homes would be in Rayleigh, Hockley, Hawkwell, Rochford and Ashingdon.
However, Rochford District Council leader Terry Cutmore (Con, Ashingdon) pointed out the plan had yet to be ratified by the East of England Regional Assembly, which drafted it.
It has been pointed out to us that Hawkwell Residents’ Association say on their web site and in their newsletter that “The Association has been contacted by a number of members who are confused as to whether the Association is linked in some way to Rochford Residents. The Association has no links to this political party.”
I think that now is the time to clear some air.
Rochford District Residents is a registered local political party and we say that upfront on this page. We have two Councillors. Christine Mason has a seat on Hawkwell Parish Council and John has a seat on both Rochford District Council and Hawkwell District Council.
RDC has not got a co-ordinator as such to access lottery and other funding streams. However, RDC has acquired access to Grantfinder, a software system which helps us source funding streams and the criteria employed. A selected number of staff, particularly in Leisure , Contracts and Corporate Policy can access it. Those staff are those who work with and are in contact with voluntary, community, businesses and the parishes so that if projects do emerge/ develop, they can give help and advice re potential funding sources and criteria.
RRAVS are currently employing a funding officer to try and build up oppportunities.
The Rochford District Recycling Exchange is here http://rochfordessex.net/recycle/phpBB2/index.php
Since Southend Borough Council cancelled the grant for the warehouse there is no more furniture re-cycling for our residents either.
As RDC previously rejected the idea of our district having its own warehouse we applied for a Rochford District Freecycle Group.
Unfortunately there was a long waiting list !! They said a month but that has now long gone.
This recycling scheme runs of the same basis as Freecycle. We do not think that they will mind.
The Rev Peter Smith was inducted as the rector of Emmanuel Church, in Main Road, and St Mary’s Church, in Rectory Road, during a special service on Monday.