“Keep Party Politics Out of The Police”

Sir Bob Russell is the only Lib Dem MP in Essex, and has his own way of doing things – whether with keeping down expenses, or giving blunt answers to constituents.

Here’s his view on the Police and Crime Commissioner Elections:

Sir Bob Russell, MP for Colchester, is urging residents across Essex to “keep party politics out of our Police” and vote for Independent candidates in the Election on 15th November for the Essex Police and Crime Commissioner.
Sir Bob noted that “people have two votes – a First Preference and a Second Preference. There are two Independent candidates. For those who do not think we should bring party politics into our Police Force I hope they will vote for both of them.”
Sir Bob said that he would be giving his First Preference to Mrs Linda Belgrove, the former Vice-Chairman of the Essex Police Authority, with his Second Preference for Mr Mick Thwaites who is a retired Essex Police Officer.
He added: “Both of them have qualities which I feel are more important than giving a party political direction to the policing in Essex. Both are worthy candidates. I just hope that people will vote for both of them, whatever the order they feel their preferences should be given.”

Another Look At Rayleigh Town Football Club

The latest District Council proposals aren’t yet agreed, but they involve building houses where Rayleigh Town football club currently play!

The club would be offered a new site.

If you don’t know much about the club, The Grounds For Concern Blog has a very thorough look at Rayleigh Town Football Club here and makes some positive comments:

“Most clubs in this division only have the most basic railed off pitches, so it was nice to see a small bit of cover here.”

From http://hoppysnaps.blogspot.com/

What Could Really Happen In Our Green Belt

Last week we showed the following figures for proposed housing in the Green Belt:

However the document going to councillors at the moment says these are only minimum figures, the council may allow more houysing if required to meet our five year supply. So if houses don’t get built in one location they may get built in another!
Here’s how the new ‘maximum’ figures look:

– North of London Road :maximum of 1019 compared with the policy figure of   550

– West Rochford: maximum of 748  compared with the policy figure of 600
– South Hawkwell: maximum of 252 compared with the policy figure of 175
– East Ashingdon: maximum of 144  compared with the policy figure of 100
– South West Hullbridge: maximum of 614 compared with the policy figure of of 500
– South East Ashingdon :maximum of617 compared with the policy figure of of 500
– West Great Wakering :maximum of 341 compared with the policy figure of 250

That’s an especially alarming situation for Rawreth….. and for anyone who uses London Road or Rawreth Lane…

The overall housing figures for Hockley have already been dropped by 50. The council says “Community involvement has suggested that large-scale residential development of this site would not be appropriate, consequently fewer dwellings are envisaged.” That’s nice for Hockley..

Asda Licensing Application

We’ve had a few people contact us about a licensing application from Asda in Priory Chase, Rayleigh. It is licensing application 12/00667/LAPREV and you can find it on the District Council website here.

The application is for :

Supply of Alcohol – Time period : Everyday, 06:00 to 00:00 (we assume this means until midnight)


Late Night Refreshments – Time period : Everyday, 23:00 to 00:00


As Ron is a member of the Licensing committee it wouldn’t be appropriate for us to write very much here. But – any thoughts from anyone?

28th October Update : here’s a photo of the notice outside Asda (click to enlarge)

Seek Out The Art

The Rochford Art Trail starts tomorrow, and lasts until  the following Saturday:

Visit the town of Rochford to discover a week-long showcase of arts and creativity that connects local business with local artists. Temporary art exhibitions will be on view in shop windows, retail premises and public spaces.
Download a Rochford Art Trail Map …. and follow a Trail of art from more than 100 artists including professionals, students and local art groups.

For example, you can see a landscape by Barry Rust at Rochford Furnishings …

You can download the Art Trail Map here  (900kb)

A Question For Our Readers About Roads

Ron and Chris would be glad of your comments on the following question.

The proposed new housing ‘North of London Road’ is likely to be in the area marked in mauve: (click on it to enlarge it)


Most of this will be housing, some will be open space.

The intention is that two-thirds of the housing will be accessed from London Road. About one-third will be accessed from Rawreth Lane

The proposal is to have a link for buses, cyclists and pedestrians only between the two parts of the site. A bus link could be good, allowing a circular bus route going Rayleigh High Street – Station – London Road – New Housing – Asda – Rawreth Lane – Hullbridge Road- Down Hall Road – Station – High Street.

Our question is – should this link allow car access too, to create a new traffic route between Rawreth Land and London Road ? Would this help traffic flow – or would it cause new bottlenecks at the new junctions of Rawreth Lane and London Road?  Downhall Park Way was deliberately designed to only have one entrance , to avoid the various side roads off Down Hall Road becoming rat-runs. But do people at the southern end of Downhall Park Way feel cut-off from things – or is it more peaceful being at  at the end of a big cul-de-sac?

The Green Belt Losses

This is a table from the latest District Council ‘allocations’ document, showing where new homes are going to be built across the district in the Green Belt (you can double-click on it to enlarge it)


However here’s a few points to bear in mind:

  • It doesn’t include new housing on former industrial sites, such as the Rawreth Industrial Estate
  • The government requires councils to show ‘flexibility’ , which means numbers could increase at a particular site.
  • The 550  “North of London Road, Rayleigh” and 250 of the “South West Hullbridge” are actually in the parish of Rawreth. Though it’s still better than the 1800 we originally campiagned against.


Michelins Farm Likely To Become Industrial / Traveller / Recycling Site.

As the Echo have reported the District Council look set to create a Traveller Site at Michelins Farm, near the junction of the A127 and A1245.

It’s not been offically decided yet, but we can’t see the council picking another site now.

Although it is called a farm , it’s really just a piece of poorly -maintained land at the moment. One corner of the site would provide 15 pitches for travellers (=30 caravans), and the rest would become an industrial site. Also, the recycling centre in Castle Road, Rayleigh, would be moved here.

On the whole this looks to be the most suitable location for a traveller site in the District. It would also make it much easier to take enforcement action against unofficial traveller sites. However, some care will need to be taken to provide separation from the industrial uses.

The other possible sites that the council has looked at were the A1245 (where travellers are now) , Madrid Avenue off Rawreth Lane, and to the south of London Road. Michelins Farm does seem a better choice than these alternatives.

Though it will strike some people as odd that the council could find 5 potential sites in Rawreth and West Rayleigh, but not one possibility from Hockley, Hawkwell, Rochford, Ashingdon, Canewdon, Stambridge, Paglesham, Great Wakering, Barling, Shopland and Sutton put together. Perhaps a more suitable location has been overlooked.

Conservative Motion On The Post Office

Three Conservatives have put forward a motion for tomorrow night’s meeting of Full Council; it’s from Terry Cutmore, Keith Hudson and Heather Glynn:

‘This Council calls on the Royal Mail to reconsider very carefully the proposals to relocate the delivery offices currently available in Canewdon, Great Wakering and Rochford town.
Whilst noting the need for efficiency, the Council is concerned for the service level available for elderly and disabled residents as well as residents without transport in respect of the collection of non-delivered items and business collections of mail.
We trust that the Royal Mail will make their concluding decisions taking these matters fully into account.’

Mexico City vs Rayleigh

Lib Dems are still working to get potholes fixed.

In particular our colleague Chris Lumley  has been pressing to get The Approach repaired. Last week he emailed the council to say:

The state of the road outside the entrance to the station in The Approach is now a disgrace. The road seems to be breaking away and I have complained about this many times. Visitors to the district when leaving the station must this they have arrived at a third world country.

Well, this may be slightly unfair on Third World Countries. Here’s a couple of pictures that Chris Black took yesterday of The Approach and Grange Gardens, together with an image of the backstreets of Mexico City, as found on GoogleStreet: