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Essex County Council Job Cuts

February 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Essex County Council has announced it is cutting up to 275 managerial posts.

The cuts will be met through retirement, normal staff turn-over, voluntary redundancy and not filling existing vacancies, the council said.

The council said reducing the layers of management would help bring “quicker and sharper decision-making and… lead to enhanced local services”.

It said frontline services would not be affected and it was working with public sector unions.

The proposed cuts represent 2.5% of the organisation’s core workforce of 10,900 employees or 16.5% of the council’s 1,648 line managers.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Rochford District Council – Central Area Committee 12 June 2007

June 16, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Rochford District Council – Central Area Committee 12 June 2007

NO members of the public attended.  Why?

But there were 14 paid employees of RDC present (cost?).  And at least 7 paid employees of Essex County Council who were not presenting (cost?).

RDC Executive Councillor Mavis Webster was down to present on Tourism but she did not turn up nor send apologies.

Overview and Scrutiny – Rochford District Council

June 10, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

I am a Member of the Review Committee.

Full Council had already asked that this “investigations” Committee look at the following:

1. Understanding of Planning Appeal Procedures

From what the Chief Executive had to say this sounded more like an internally facing review rather than something that will directly affect residents.  My guess is that the Officers want Members to understand more about the cost and causes of Appeals, especially when the Development Control Committee goes against the recommendation of Officers and cause an Appeal.  But I could just be a cynic.

Community Initiatives Fund – How was it spent in Rochford District?

June 4, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Essex County Council – Community Initiatives Fund 2005/2006

How was the money spent in Rochford District? 

Reducing Council Tax : Matter of Concern Number 2, Residents Survey – Hawkwell West 2007

New RDC Area Committees

May 26, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

The new Area Committees were the only promising part of the New Political Structure put in place by the Conservative Party Group on Rochford District Council.  But that promise has been dispelled even before they have met.

They were promising because they meet almost locally and would allow residents to speak.

The Area Committees were approved before the way that they would work with public speaking had been worked out.

I have now been informed verbally by Councillor Stansby, Central Area Chair, that residents who wish to speak will have to fill in a form beforehand !!

Hawkwell Parish Council – 2007 to 2011

May 20, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

The Local Government Elections in May 2007 saw “No Contest” for any seat on Hawkwell Parish Council.

There are 17 seats on Hawkwell Parish Council but only 14 of those are filled. Consequently there was little change.

There are 3 Vacancies which the Council will have to try to co-opt.

Half of the 14 Councillors represent registered political parties:

4 Labour Councillors, 1 Conservative Councillor, 2 Hawkwell Residents Councillors

Essex County Council – NEW COUNCIL TAX

February 26, 2007 by · 3 Comments 

Essex County Council – NEW COUNCIL TAX

On 22 February 2007, Members of Rochford District Council were advised by Shaun Scrutton that Essex County Council were going to charge a swinging new tax on property developers.

Basically it is a levy of £10,000 on each new dwelling as a general charge for highway improvements.  So for the 8 flat application we were discussing this was a huge £80,000 tax.

I saw it as a NEW TAX but another Member felt that it was an incentive for RDC to pass the planning application !!

Building the green barricade By Geoff Percival

October 28, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

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.

Abolition of The District Councils

May 18, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

John Prescott now longer has the ODPM and David Miliband has moved on. Several senior civil servants are no longer involved.  It is rumoured that the Government does not wish to take on some County and District Councils.  The White Paper will now be published towards the end of October.



Recent election candidates for District Councils might find that the losers have the last laugh almost immediately as their office will most likely abolished with the District Councils as early as 2008 by the Labour Government.

The Labour Government is even thinking of calling off the next District Council elections due in 2007 to make way for early abolition of the District Councils.

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