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Exposing the Rochford Core Strategy

July 4, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

As regular readers will know  I  have  been  helping  residents  and the Hawkwell Action Group fight against  the  imposition  of new houses on green belt in Hawkwell West because the majority said at three well attended public meetings that they don’t want it.

The Hawkwell Action Group (HAG) has asked me to explain comments that have been made on the local press about house building plans being put on hold.

Yes, informed sources [of the Southend Standard] have already suggested the delays on the more controversial schemes mean they may never happen.

http://www.southendstandard.co.uk/news/southend/4472212.New_housing_plans_delayed_until_2015/

Could Lib Dem MP have made allegations against Lord Hanningfield?

July 4, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

From the East Anglian Daily Times (EADT) here

ESSEX County Council leader Lord Hanningfield was yesterday reported to be under investigation after allegations that he may have wrongly claimed thousands of pounds in parliamentary expenses.

But the peer insisted he had done nothing improper and said a Liberal Democrat MP determined to blacken his name had made a groundless complaint to the police.

Mr Russell said he took Lord Hanningfield’s claims about a Lib Dem MP to be a reference to himself.

How we might get a chunk of the budget for something important in Hawkwell

July 3, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The new concept is ‘localism’  – local budgets for Highway improvements

The County Council will agree annually a budget for highway works in Rochford District and it will then be the responsibility of the Area Committees to advise on their preferred schemes/works, with the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Transportation determining, where necessary, the overall priorities for the District and to advise County Highways accordingly.

This was on this list – Rectory Road Hawkwell – Relocate street furniture to edge or rear of footway to allow greater access to pedestrians

Essex has £6.5 Billion Shortfall on Infrastructure

June 28, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Another From a paper submitted to the Cabinet of Rochford District Council.  The full paper, Strategic Countywide Economic and Housing Issues, can be downloaded here.

“Essex has traditionally taken a significant proportion of economic and housing growth without benefitting from the necessary infrastructure improvements to enable growth to take place in a truly planned and sustainable manner. The paper estimates that the cost of delivering the supporting infrastructure across Essex is some £7.6 billion, with an identified funding gap of £6.5 billion. If Essex is to continue to deliver the levels of development anticipated, then this gap needs to be closed and greater levels of infrastructure investment achieved.”

Rochford Council’s Airport Meeting Cancelled

June 28, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

southend-on-seaThe Extraordinary Full Council Meeting to be held in Rochford on 16 July has been cancelled.

It is understood that residents intended to attend the meeting to hear what their councillors thought about the JAAP Plans for Southend Airport.

Residents in both Southend and Rochford have expressed concerns about the plans in the public consultation and have read in the Press about an apparent about turn by many Southend Councillors. This was followed by a critical Press Release from Rochford District Council that the administration remain wholly in favour.

No new date has been advised as yet and no reasons for the sudden cancellation have been given.

New Houses for the Mythical World of “HockWell”

June 27, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

The latest version of the District Council’s Core Strategy is now available from the Rochford District Council website.

And the Council still is talking about this mythical place called HockWell !! This is because the Council insists that Hawkwell and Hockley are grouped together “because of housing markets and access to services and facilities”.

Hawkwell West, which is still masqueraded by the Council under the misdescription of “South Hawkwell”, is nothing at all like Hockley in terms of access to services and facilities.  

What were the recent elections like for you?

June 12, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

BeefDid the County Council Elections prove to be the best place for important questions of policy to be answered by the existing political administration and its political challengers? Did you get the chance to even ask? Did any of the candidates ask them for you?

Faced with promises from David Cameron that Council Tax could be frozen did any of the other parties put them on the spot and extract a local commitment from the Conservatives running Essex County Council?

Well No !! 

And did anyone tell us the answer to this question “When will we get anything on improvements to cope with all the extra planned housing?”

Please Protest about no Bus

June 7, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

000_0130The campaign to get our evening bus back for Hawkwell has hit an iceberg in the form of the Review Committee for Rochford District Council.

This committee is headed up by Rayleigh Lib Dem, June Lumley and it was asked by Transport Councillor Boss, Keith Hudson to examine all the bus issues that were being raised by the public about cuts in services in Hockley, Hawkwell and Ashingdon.

At the same time I raised the issue of the lack of an evening bus in Hawkwell whilst giving evidence to the committee.  At a subsequent meeting with the residents associations in Hockley and Hawkwell it was raised again for reconsideration by Essex County Council.

How do you dispose of a defunct toaster in Rochford District?

June 6, 2009 by · 3 Comments 

Or anything else that is not listed under Recyclable or Non Recyclable on RDC’s web site !!

An old toaster is not listed so what do you do with it now?  You can’t put it in any of the three bins.  Answers on a post card would be appreciated. Or rather please enter a message under Comments.

One of my residents has had a problem with the Contaminated Bin Stickers and I am at a loss at what to advise given his recent experience.

Council Tax Freeze?

June 5, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

David Cameron says in a leaflet, specifically and personally addressed to you and popped through your door during these elections, that “We’ve got plans to help people through this recession – like a council tax freeze.”

See Leaflet here http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/1063718/davidcameron.pdf

In this case the Conservative Party can take this action right now and before a General Election because it is in majority control of many local councils,  all County Councils and so they can put in a local council tax freeze just as David Cameron has personally promised you.

But will they do it?

Spin, Dirty Tricks and Expenses

May 26, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

One of the characteristics of an independent councillor is the ability to speak out without political reprisal.  True or Untrue? I’ll let you be the judge. You have a right to know directly from me all about the issues that are affecting your local councillor who is trying to do a good job representing you, rather than someone else.

Residents in the wake of revelations about our MP’s are now turning to our local councillors.  The Rochford Lib Dems published the “Councillors’ Allowance Claims April 2007 – March 2008” on their web site at http://onlinefocus.org/?p=1277 if you want to read the detail. Rochford District Council will be publishing updated figures for 2009 very shortly.

Proposed Large Housing Development in Hawkwell – Update

April 25, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

What is going on with the proposal to build 330 houses in Hawkwell?   Something that hundreds of residents of Hawkwell wrote to Rochford District Council about last November and to say “No”.  As it happens The Hawkwell Action Group and I are just about ready to deliver a new “Newsletter”.  Well here it is !!  It’s a bit long but we think that residents of Hawkwell will want to know the full story and be able to decide themselves what they want to say in the next consultation.

Hawkwell Bus Gloom – there could be hope !!

April 24, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The Local Transport Act 2008 became law in November 2008 and I have been keenly awaiting the Guidance on Quality Partnership Schemes (QPS) which came into force on 6 April 2009.

There are now  far more effective set of options and powers to improve bus services. The bus in public transport provision in Rochford District has for too long been allowed to slip into decline. Now there are powers available to local authorities to work with operators to get to grips with more of the problems behind this decline.

Extra NHS Dentist Surgery

April 22, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The Hockley Residents’ Association has informed the “Independent” that The White Hart Lane Dental Surgery, Hockley has been given increased NHS capacity and are opening an additional treatment room with effect from 6th May.
 
It will be open 4 days a week and will allow many more people access to an NHS dentist.  People needing an NHS dentist should ring the surgery on 01702 206640.

Bus Cuts Extra

April 21, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Essex County Council has now conveyed a decision not to provide an evening service on the Arriva 8 to Hawkwell.

Here are a few quotes from an Essex County Council email which was sent to me in 2003 to explain why Ashingdon has a good bus service but Hawkwell has none. It still makes no sense to me reading it again 6 years later.

Queues cut by providing blood tests clinics near to where you live

March 17, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

As of Monday 23rd March 2009 you can make blood test appointments at the following extended venues:

Rayleigh Clinic, Eastwood Road
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 9.00am to 12 noon, Thursday and Friday, 9.00am to 4.00pm.

Hockley Clinic, Spa Road
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 8.00am to 4.00pm, Wednesday 8.00am to 11.00am.

Southend University Hospital still operates a walk in clinic in the daytime between 8.00am and 4.00pm
but for your convenience please use your local clinic.

Rochford Housing Policy – What happens next?

March 16, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

So the public consultation on the Rochford Core Strategy – Preferred Options closed at 5.00 pm on 17 December 2008.

So what happens next?

Rochford District Council has shared with the public the outcome of the consultation.

But they have yet to say what they intend to do about the objections.

In the meantime the Councillors responsible for planning policy strategy have embarked on yet another tour of potential sites.  John asked the Portfolio Holder in public if these members would read all the objections before they visit a location.  He said that he would so let’s hope that all the others do and get up to speed with the problems that they did not forsee because of the lack of ward specific knowledge. 

The Future of Buses in South Essex

March 12, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

We saw this on the Rochford Lib Dems site and decided to run the story as well, which speaks for itself.

Hockley Regeneration Plan – How could this affect Hawkwell?

March 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

 But how could this affect Hawkwell?  Apart from the obvious that many, many people from Hawkwell regard Hockley Village as a place for public resources and shopping – one of the Options (2.1) involves building up to 200 houses/apartments on the Eldon Way Industrial Estate.  Is this the best Option ignoring the interests of protecting Hawkwell’s green belt?  Where would the industrial users go?  To the proposed new industrial area at the Airport. If this Option were chosen then the total number of houses that are proposed to be built on green belt in Hawkwell could be reduced from 330 to 130 which in turn could be built on a brown field site like the industrial site at Magees in Hawkwell.

Consultation – On The Airport

March 10, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

Please let us have your Comments !!

Please add them to this Article and also add them to the Council’s Web Site, http://www.rochford.gov.uk

I am very concerned about the future capacity of the B1013 to accommodate the vehicle traffic from the extended airport and the 3300 houses that the Government require to be built in our District.  I have seen no studies from Essex County Council which allay my concerns. I have already raised these concerns with the airport.

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