Harry Potter Night In Rayleigh !

From the District Council website:

Harry Potter Book Night at Rayleigh Library
Date: Thursday, February 2, 2017 – 17:00 to 19:00

Get in the magical spirit of Harry Potter at Rayleigh Library on Thursday 2nd February, 5-7pm.

Why not come dressed as your favourite character? Join in some wizardly fun with stories, games, activities and quizzes. The event is free but booking essential.

Contact Rayleigh Library on 01268 775830

The Loss Of Crofters

We know that many local people will be disappointed at the loss of Crofters Kennels and Rescue Centre, as the Echo reports below. As far as we are aware, this isn’t any part of a council ‘plan’ – the landowner has submitted an application for 2 dwellings, so the council has to process it and decide whether to pass it or refuse it.


“A DOG rescue centre is being forced to close its doors and move out of the area after 17 years of helping animals in the community.

Crofters Kennels and Rescue Centre, in Beke Hall Chase, Rayleigh, has been rescuing and rehoming dogs and other animals, as well as offering families a safe and trusted place to leave their pets while they go away.

But the landlords who lease the premises to the centre have now asked Gill Lewis, owner of Crofters, to vacate the buildings so they can be transformed into two homes, according to an application submitted to Rochford District Council.

Mrs Lewis, 54, who has also lived on site with her family for 18 years, said: “It is the end of our lease and we did know this was coming, but it is still very difficult to deal with.

“We were hopeful we might be able to extend the lease but the owners want it back.

“Unfortunately, because we haven’t been able to find other suitable premises, we’re going to have to relocate to Manningtree.

“It will be very sad to leave the community because we’ve been here for so long.

“It has been lovely living here as it is our family home where our kids grew up, making it harder and if we ever find land here we will move back.”

Hundreds of people have taken to the kennel’s Facebook page to wish Gill and her team the best of luck when they move…..”


The full article is here.

Development Committee On Thursday

The Development Committee of the District Council meets on Thursday evening at 7:30 . At the moment there are 6 applications on the agenda. You can find all the reports here.https://rochford.cmis.uk.com/rochford/Meetings/tabid/73/ctl/ViewMeetingPublic/mid/410/Meeting/4400/Committee/834/SelectedTab/Documents/Default.aspx

The 6 items are:

That Waste Site Could Be Here A Lot Sooner than 2026

Chris Black and Chris Stanley wrote recently about the proposal for a waste site at Dollymans Farm , on the Rawreth – Basildon border. This isn’t a council idea, but has been supported by a government inspector . We wrote that:

She was concerned about a likely lack of capacity for disposing of construction waste from about 2026 -2032.

Just to clarify, this doesn’t mean that nothing could happen until 2016. It could start in the next year or so if the idea is accepted.

So if you are concerned, please object – giving good solid reasons against it. You can object online by visiting the County Council website here.

One Good Win For the Lib Dems – And One Astonishing Win.

You won’t find the national press mentioning this much, but the Lib Dems are running rampant in council by-elections.
Last Thursday we made two gains – we won a seat off the Conservatives in the South of England, and we won a seat off Labour in the North of England.

The southern seat was for Three River District Council in Hertfordshire, and was important because we have now won control of that council:

Gade Valley (Three Rivers) result:
LDEM: 60.9% (+24.0)
CON: 19.1% (-22.9)
LAB: 11.6% (-9.6)
UKIP: 6.7% (+6.7)
GRN: 1.8% (+1.8)

The northern seat was in Sunderland – and was an astonishing result. Last May we only got four per cent of the vote, this time we won:

Sandhill (Sunderland) result:
LDEM: 45.0% (+41.5)
LAB: 25.0% (-29.9)
UKIP: 18.7% (-7.2)
CON: 10.0% (-5.7)
GRN: 1.3% (+1.3)

Sunderland voted very strongly for Brexit in the referendum, but it was the Lib Dems who surged, not UKIP.

Well done to both teams of campaigners! Read more about it on Mark pack’s website here.

FLOOD WARNING For Hullbridge Riverside Properties

The Government Flood Information Service warns here about a high risk of flooding for Hullbridge riverside properties tomorrow:

There is a high risk of flooding due to a combination of extreme weather and high tides. The forecast high water is due at Clacton on Friday 13th January 2017 at 1:00pm. High water is due at Hullbridge around 1 hour later at 2:00pm. The predicted astronomical tide level is 2.05 m AODN. The forecast surge height is 1.53 m. The forecast tide level is 3.58 m AODN. The forecast wind direction is North West. The forecast wind strength is force 8. This warning is in force until 4:00pm on Friday 13th January 2017.

Properties are at risk next to the river at the bottom of Ferry Road, Tower Park and the Dome Caravan Park.

mAODN is a standard measure used across the UK for height above average sea level. It is different to Chart Datum. The Environment Agency is monitoring the situation closely, working alongside partners including the Met Office and local authorities.

This information was last updated at 6:55pm Thursday 12 January 2017

Hat-tip: Cllr Michael Hoy on Facebook.

Old Blogs, New Blogs

Starting a blog is pretty easy. Keeping it going on a long term basis is harder. We had a ‘blip’ last year but as you can see we are back now.

If you look at the ten Essex political blogs in our sidebar, one was updated today (well done Julian Ware-Lane) , another one was updated this week (keep it the good work James Newport) and two others were upated last week. The other six haven’t been updated for months… it really can be difficult to keep blogging.

So it’s good to see another local blog – which so far seems to be about local history. It’s called JPS Rose, written by Jason Rose and you can find his first article of 2017 here, about Hadleigh Castle.

16 Days Left For Voluntary Organisations To Apply For A Grant

From the District Council website:

“The Council has a small annual budget for grants to voluntary organisations to assist in the delivery of their organisations activities. The grants are normally allocated once a year. Any organisation that has been funded in previous years that does not submit an application will not receive funding.

Please click on the ‘guidance notes’ link in Related Content for further information on submitting an application.

All applicants must complete the form located in the Related Content section and return it with the required financial information (see bottom of form for information) by email or post by Friday 27 January 2017:

Andrew Lowing, Strategic Partnership Officer, Rochford District Council, South Street, Rochford, Essex SS4 1BW or communityplanning@rochford.gov.uk

For further information please contact 01702 318061”

How To Nominate Someone For Rochford Citizen Of the Year

From the District Council website:

…Rochford District Council’s Citizen of the Year Awards are the perfect opportunity to recognise and acknowledge local people for their valuable work and outstanding achievements. From providing essential services to the vulnerable, to tirelessly volunteering to help others, we want to hear about those extraordinary people that really make a difference to our community.

The Chairman of Rochford District Council, Cllr Mrs Carole Weston, will judge the nominations, and all nominators and nominees will be invited to a special prize-giving ceremony in May.

Cllr Mrs Weston said: “The Citizen of the Year Awards are the ideal opportunity to give special recognition to those who deserve it.

“I’m particularly looking out for those who have gone above and beyond in the public services; have volunteered to provide sports activities; or have given their free time to help with disability or mental health issues.

“Please help me give recognition to the amazing people we are lucky enough to have in our district. I look forward to reading your nominations!”

Nominations are open to individuals and groups located within the Rochford district.

The categories are:

• Young Citizen (under 18)
• Charitable Support (all ages)
• Community Spirit (all ages)

For more information or to request an application form, contact 01702 318128 or CivicOfficer@rochford.gov.uk, or go to https://www.rochford.gov.uk/citizenoftheyear to submit your nomination online. Forms are also available from Rochford District Council offices.

The closing date for entries is Sunday, February 5, 2017.

The Perils Of the Cabinet System

We are not keen on the Cabinet system at Rochford – it’s expensive and not very democratic. Here’s an example from the Guardian website of how a Labour cabinet in Lewisham is pushing through a development that will force Millwall Football Club away from their home – even though the plan’s  not even supported by Labour’s own back-bench councillors:

The Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, has joined the growing chorus of dismay at Lewisham council’s “extraordinary” plans to carry out a compulsory purchase of Millwall’s land at The Den.  n a statement to the Guardian, Farron called on Lewisham council to consider the full repercussions of its land seizure. The Liberal Democrat leader said it would be “heartbreaking” if the decision to sell the land on to a mysterious offshore-owned property developer led to the club having to consider leaving the borough….

…. Farron is the first senior Westminster figure to speak out on the issue. His call for the council to work instead with the club and the community comes three days before a town hall meeting at which the compulsory purchase order is due to be confirmed or rejected by the Labour cabinet.

This will be the second time the CPO has been ruled on. The council’s own scrutiny committee urged it to reconsider last September after grave concerns were voiced by senior councillors at both the murkiness of the process and the identity of the parties involved.

Lewisham plans to sell Millwall’s land to an offshore-owned property developer called Renewal, a company whose CEO is a former Lewisham council officer, and which, records have revealed, had the last Labour mayor of Lewisham as one of its founding directors…..

…..It is understood Lewisham’s cabinet still intends to push through a decision that has been condemned by a vast majority of its own backbench labour councillors.


Full article here.