Tomorrow Night’s Cabinet – Some Interesting Stuff.

The District Council cabinet meets tomorrow night, June 22nd.

You can find details about the meeting here.

There’s some interesting stuff to be discussed. What a pity the only 8 councillors allowed to speak (let alone vote!) are 8 Conservatives , none of whom represent the largest community in the district, Rayleigh.

One big item is ” Performance Report on Key Performance Indicators for the period January to March 2011″, but the report is 29 megabytes in size, and doesn’t seem to download properly.

Another item is on the council’s draft “corporate plan” (715kb)

One of the key bits of the document is below – and it all sounds very nice:

As a Council we have been asked what we envisage the District looking like under our
vision. Over the next five years, we see a number of projects coming to fruition or
making considerable progress to being delivered. These projects will contribute to
the Council achieving its vision and its aims.
_
We want to improve the quality of life for the people in our communities and play a
full role in the sustainable growth and prosperity of our county. In particular, we
wish to utilise our position within Thames Gateway South Essex to promote the
District as the ‘green part’ of the subregion. By the ‘green part’ we mean woodlands;
coast and areas for outdoor recreation and leisure – all the things which fit well with
our overarching vision. To this end, there will be improvements in the provision and
upgrade of green space, resulting in increased usage. Enhancement of heritage
sites and local facilities will improve opportunities for leisure and free time
activities, improving the quality of life for residents, workers and visitors to the
District and providing quality places to visit. Following its expansion and the completion
of the new car park entrance at the eastern end of the site, together with improved
footpath and cycle links, residents will be able to take full advantage of the resource
offered by Cherry Orchard Jubilee Country Park. In addition, the environmentally
sympathetic Wallasea Wetlands Project, will have commenced. This will become a
popular destination for bird watchers and others, particularly during the winter
months.
_
We see us developing our services and improving their access to meet the
changing needs and expectations of our communities. Our emphasis will be on
quality and cost effectiveness whilst ensuring that Rochford District will remain
one of the safest places in the country and the fear of crime will be reduced.

Our Planning Core Strategy will provide clarity as to where and how the housing
needs of our communities will be met. The new homes to be provided will offer high
quality design and include water retention and renewable energy features. There will
be growing emphasis on responding to and meeting the needs of a community which is
ageing. At the same time, engagement with and facilities for young people across
the District will have improved. We have been very successful in helping residents
to increase their recycling rate and will aim to make steady progress towards a target
of 70%.
_
The automotive development on Rochford Business Park will be complete. London
Southend Airport will have been upgraded with modern passenger friendly facilities
and passenger flights to and from the airport will have increased, resulting in new
jobs for the area. Further employment land will also be under construction in the
environs of the airport.

The next item is the likely closely of Great Wakering Sports Centre.
You can download the report here. (73kb) The recommendation is that:


1.1
To issue Virgin Active with formal notice that Great Wakering Sports Centre is
to be removed from the Leisure Management contract, as from 1 October
2011.
2.1
As part of the 2011/12 budget setting process a number of efficiencies had to
be made, one of which was the decision to look for alternative management
arrangements, including transfer of ownership, or if no alternatives, closure of the
facility.
2.2
As a result of this decision, the management of the sports centre would need
to be removed from the Council’s Leisure Management contract with Virgin
Active, for which there is an appropriate clause within the contract.
2.3
This reduction in the contract would realise an annual saving of £71,832
which is the fee for Great Wakering Sports Centre, in addition to the NNDR
[what used to be called business rate] of £9,004 per year.
2.4

The next item is about customer feedback and freedom of information requests. You can download this one easily enough(54kb). basically, compliments are up by 11%, complainst are up by 10% , and the number of freedom of information requests has soared from 213 in 2009/10 to 403 in 2010/11 !

After that there’s a report from the Head of Legal, Estates and Member Services on the Materials Recycling Facility Contract. But that’s in private and confidential so we can’t write any more about it.

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Brian Guyett
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Nice words indeed but its a case of “words and figures differ”. 89% of the new homes in the council’s Core Strategy will be directly or indirectly on current Green Belt land. So not as green as they claim.

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