Top

Affordable Housing?

July 16, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Discuss it here

Is this the big debate that is needed in Rochford District?

July 15, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Do you know someone who is finding it difficult to rent or buy their own home in Rochford District, or know someone who has had to move from the District to find a home? Most likely, Yes. But what is Rochford District Council going to do?  It has been reminded that it must look at the following data so by the IDeA Review Team this week.

A Housing Needs Survey was completed in 2004 and it identified that 67% cannot afford private rental and home ownership is beyond the reach of 75% of concealed households, even though nearly 40% of them earn over £25,000 p.a.The Survey established an outstanding net total need for 291 affordable homes per annum. This calculation took into account the Council’s waiting list, homeless and concealed households, and requirements emanating from demographic changes. It is clear from the study that there is too little affordable housing in the district to satisfy local needs. Over 15 years that means 4,500 affordable homes. The current Government target for Rochford District for the same period is an additional 3700 houses. But the Rochford District Council is only proposing 30% of that figure based on each new development over 25 houses contributing 30%. There will be an affordable homes deficit of around 3,300 homes.

The two public consultations on the “Housing Target” (LDF) have shown that the public is overwhelmingly against further loss of Green Belt. But did they realise that 67% of the population of Rochford District cannot afford private rental and home ownership. Most likely, No. (Here are the latest consultation results.)

But it is clear from anouncements this week from Gordon Brown and David Cameron that this issue must be faced up to by Rochford District Council.

Gordon Brown has put affordable housing at the top of his Government’s agenda by announcing plans to build three million new homes by 2020. He told MPs that the number of new homes to be provided each year would be raised by 40,000 to 240,000 a year. He promised to “protect robustly” the green belt but left the door open to some limited building in it, saying that “principally brownfield land” would be used for the new programme. But there appears to be little brownfield available in Rochford District.

David Cameron has warned his party it may need to drop its opposition to new housing so don’t expect the Conservatives at Rochford to be able to protect Green Belt.

Health Profile of Rochford District

July 14, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Residents Survey 2007 – Matter of Concern Number 4 – Health

Rochford Health Profile 2006

Rochford Health Profile 2007

Local authority health profiles are designed to show the health of people in each local authority area, and include comparisons with other similar populations.  With other local information these profiles demonstrate where action can be taken to improve people’s health and reduce health inequalities.

Please take the opportunity to read the full documents attached.  But if you do not have the time here are some things that I think that you ought to know;

2 Hours on What Needs to Change at Rochford Council

July 14, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Tory Councillor Heather Glynn said “how sad it was that only 3 (of the 9) Executive Councillors attended.” Those absent included the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council.

All Councillors were invited to attend the initial feedback.  Important because it was fresh with direct explanation from the whole Review Team.  Apart from many staff only 7 Councillors attended.  Tory Executive Councillors Seagers, Starke and Stansby.  Ordinary Councillors Humphreys, Glynn and Cottis for the Conservatives and myself, John Mason an Independent representing Rochford Residents.   

IDeA Peer Review – 2 hours on what needs to change at Rochford Council

July 12, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

During the week a review team made up of Councillors and Officers from other local authorities visited Rochford District Council. The review team undertook a review, not an inspection and sought to help the Council to recognise where it is strong and to identify areas for improvement, in particular, so that it can improve the assessment of POOR from the last Audit Commission inspection.  Please see the report below.

Overworked Rochford Police are asking public for help

July 3, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

POLICE officers are searching for volunteers to give up a few hours of their time to help free up police in their area.

Chief Insp John Walker, of Rochford police, said civic-minded people of all ages could make the most of their skills, whether they are in accountancy, human resources or manual labour, by helping police with small tasks.

They could even spare just a few hours to water the window boxes, wash police cars or help with administrative tasks.

Mr Walker said: “One of our big drives is about engaging with the general public, making sure we work closely together to improve the community.

The Conservative Policy on Housing in Rochford District

June 30, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

The Local Tory Manifesto says ” Housing – Rochford Conservative Councillors will forever be the guardians of our most precious resource; our countryside, our green and pleasant land. At the same time we recognise the needs of our growing population. We will always ensure that we make the best possible use of the land that is available to us for the benefit of our residents and their children.”

Fine words, just that, and only that, unless residents see that the ACTIONS they want are being taken to back this up; not just promises.

Breaking News Feeds for South Essex, Rochford District & Hawkwell

June 30, 2007 by · Comments Off on Breaking News Feeds for South Essex, Rochford District & Hawkwell 

You can keep up to date with breaking News from South Essex, Rochford District & Hawkwell by clicking on the links below and choosing the subject you want to know more about.

These news feeds come from a diverse series of sources and we hope that you find it both interesting and informative. 

If you wish to send us a new story please click on this link

New Youth Centres possible in Rochford District

June 29, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

There appears to be a general consensus both from the general public and youngsters that designated meeting areas, which are supported by all, are preferred to ad hoc gathering points on street corners or other inappropriate venues. Consultation with youths across the District has already confirmed their perception that they have nowhere to go.  It therefore appears that we are all united in recognising the need to identify suitable locations for youngsters to meet up.
 
I was actually referring to some preliminary discussions about re-establishing a youth club at Rocheway, Rochford and in proposals for a new youth club in Eldon Way at Hockley.
 
In summary the police would support buildings and locations that diverted the prospect of anti social behaviour away from more residential areas, but we will do no more that support the general principles.  It is very much in the hands of local residents and councils to determine whether specific locations are deemed appropriate.

Review of Taxi Licence Conditions NOW Underway

June 28, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

I raised this issue with the Leader of the Council on 16 June 2007 by letter.

http://www.rochfordessex.com/rol/rochford-district-council-executive-board/

There has been no reply, of course.

But the RDC “Taxi Talk” Newsletter, Volume 1, Issue 12 that was issued today, 28 June 2007, contains the following;

taxitalk

Page 6

Conditions Update

A full review of Licence Conditions is underway. 

A successful outcome, and although the Conservative Administration is going to suggest it was already happening, clearly it was not without the intervention of an Ordinary Member !!

Arriva No 8 Bus – Improvements sought by RDC

June 25, 2007 by · 3 Comments 

Planning Policy & Transportation Committee – 3 April 2007
Review of Bus Services

Resolved
(1) That County Highways be asked to:-
– Explore with the local residents ways in which the transport link between the Dome and Hullbridge could be improved.
Planning Policy & Transportation Committee – 3 April 2007
-Explore ways of improving evening services generally.
-Explore the possibility of reinstating the No. 8 service from Hawkwell to Rayleigh during the week.
-Explore with the local residents ways in which the local bus services could be expanded to cater for people wishing to visit places of recreation from the Rochford District.
(2) That Central Government be lobbied to increase its funding to support subsidisation of the bus services in the county.
(3)  That Arriva be lobbied via Essex County Council to improve the condition of their buses and make them more user friendly.

The Massive (Youth) Project by Janet Snelling of Ark II

June 23, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

In brief we are a registered charity that has already set up Together on Sunday Afternoon – a group for people in the community that would otherwise be on their own on a Sunday.

We meet in the Public Hall, Bullwood Road for two hours and have a free tea and social activities.  This group has been establised for 18 months now and we have recently been trying to initiate something for young people – especially a meeting place.

Rochford District Houses Allocation – Call for Sites

June 23, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Dear Councillor

Rochford District Allocations DPD – Call for sites

In January, the Council put out a ‘call for sites’ with the aim of gathering information from landowners and developers about land that might be allocated for development in the Allocations Development Plan Document.

For your information, please find enclosed a schedule listing the details of the sites received, together with maps showing their location within the district.

I should stress that the schedule of sites is for information only and no decisions or commitments have been given about the likelihood of any of the sites being eventually included in the Allocations DPD. The information will be reported to a meeting of the LDF Sub-committee later in the year.

Snouts in the Trough

June 23, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

In financial terms 39 Rochford Councillors ate twice as many free sandwiches as over 200 Rochford Council Employees.

In terms of sandwiches that is really 10 times as many.

Here are the figures;

In 2006/07 the records for officer buffets etc show expenditure of £1,825.
 
In 2006/7 the records show we spent £4,065 on buffets for Members.

That means that in a year 39 Councillors devoured 8000 sandwiches paid for by your Council Tax.  And no healthy options with even doughnuts being insisted on by some Members !!

‘Tell us more about local homes plans’

June 23, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

‘Tell us more about local homes plans’

Evening Echo Article

A COUNCILLOR is calling for more information about possible future housing developments in his village to be made public.

John Mason, independent Rochford district councillor for Hawkwell, thinks the district’s present development strategy does not give enough details of the kind of developments on the cards in the future.

Well, Members received that information for the whole of the District on Thursday, 21 June just a week before closure of the Consultation.

But will it be made available to the public?  I have asked Shaun Scrutton, Head of Planning at RDC, for an electronic copy of the maps but I have had no reply.

No surprises there then.  If you want to see the information contact me or your Ward Councillor. 

Disability Essex Opposed

June 23, 2007 by · 3 Comments 

The insanity which is prevalent in the Conservative Party reared its ugly head again last Thursday, 21 June in the Development Control Committee (Planning).  The sane Members only narrowly approved a new education centre for the disabled being provided in Rochford District.

Disability Essex is arguably the leading organisation in its field in the UK.  Not only were they applying for a learning centre but they were proposing to build an eco friendly facility which is the only one in the UK to achieve a gold design standard.

Hawkwell/Hockley Anti Social Behaviour Reduction Plan

June 19, 2007 by · 3 Comments 

Anti Social Behaviour : Matter of Concern Number 1, Residents Survey – Hawkwell West 2007

So the Police want the Youth to congregate at Clements Hall Leisure Centre. Not good news for Hawkwell residents living nearby.  But the Police want the Youth to be able to use the facilities.

So will Virgin Active and RDC offer the use free or subsidised?

I have written to a senior officer of RDC to ask how this Police request will be actioned.

Verge Destroyed by Factory Parking – Main Road Hawkwell

June 17, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

This issue has been the source of a constant trickle of complaints ever since I was first elected in 2000.

The planning application for a car park on the farmland was understandably refused by RDC in 1999/2000.

A then also newly elected Conservative Member of RDC asked if I would sort this out for the factories. But no one ever contacted me.  That Member has now lost his seat and at the Count I remembered that conversation.

Basically the chewed up and deeply rutted, water and mud filled verge is an eyesore and in terms of amenity value it has none.

Ironwell Lane – Hawkwell to Rochford

June 16, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Rochford District Councillor Sue Harper has written to me about closing Ironwell Lane to all Motor Traffic.

Ironwell Lane has been a Green Lane since Medieval times.  So what is a Green Lane?

It is explained here http://www.ramblers.org.uk/footpaths/ridgeway.html

Councillor Harper was proposing to write to Essex County Council and request this but I hope that I have persuaded her to deal with this through the RDC Area Committees and obtain public views first. 

One of the reasons for doing this is because it appears that Hawkwell Parish Council does not agree with closing Ironwell Lane to traffic. In March 2007 our Parish Council suggested in Minutes published on its web site that it wanted to see Ironwell Lane designated a Quiet Lane. A Quiet Lane is open to cars.

Conservative Party Group – RDC

June 16, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Is the Conservative Group on Rochford District Council already seriously split and are some Tory Members on the verge of not only resigning the party whip but leaving the Conservative Party Group?

Here is an anonymous comment made on the Lib Dems web site: http://onlinefocus.org/?p=670#comment-18795

anonone Says: June 15th, 2007 

Has the council changed forever? There are quite a lot of Tori councillors here in Rayleigh that are very unhappy with this situation and are trying to band a group to bring back the old council as we used to know it. And im not talking any of the portfolio holders whoos slip of the ______ Its time this council was reverted back to it previous state were councillors felt they were taking part not left like ZOMMBIES.

« Previous PageNext Page »

Bottom