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New Government Planning Statement

Saturday, March 26, 2011 admin 3

Prue Bray, who is a Lib Dem Councillor in Berkshire, has pointed out a rather worrying statement on March 23rd by Conservative MP Greg Clark, the Coalition minister for Decentralisation. You can find it here. It’s about ‘planning for growth’, which sounds good in terms of improving the economy, but […]

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?5,300,000 For Fixing Essex Potholes

Friday, March 25, 2011 admin 0

From the Echo website, some positive news on potholes: ESSEX will get ?5.3million from the Government to plug potholes across the county. . The higher-than-expected payout was announced on Wednesday by Chancellor George Osborne as part of this year?s Budget measures. . Yesterday, the Department for Transport confirmed the figures […]

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National Politics Number One- The Future Flat Rate Pension

Wednesday, March 9, 2011 admin 0

We’ve had the following email from an onlineFOCUS reader: “Can any bright spark explain to me, the idea behind the suggested pension changes announced today by the coalition government. The idea is to introduce a flat rate pension for ease and simplicity [agreed!] and to protect women who do not […]

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An End to Clamping On Private Land

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 admin 0

We’ve written before about private road clampers in our area. The charges are extortionate – and people can be charged about 200 pounds extra, just for paying by card. And we’ve seen instances where the vehicle was apparently parked on public highway, and still got clamped. So we think most […]

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The End Of The Audit Commission

Saturday, August 14, 2010 admin 1

A few years ago, when Audit Commission staff were assessing the District Council, they came along to a Full Council meeting. One senior Conservative Councillor couldm’t conceal his annoyance at the amount of extra work the assessment was causing, and said in a very loud voice “You’ll be out of […]

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A Real Council Meeting – With Some Really Bad Decisions

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 admin 12

Well, tonight’s council meeting actually went on after 9 pm. But the Tory block vote triumphed on everything, In brief: The Lib Dems proposed reintroducing a 30 minute car parking period and to stop charging at 6 pm for parking. We were supporting by Councillors Michael Hoy and John Mason […]

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Cuts In the Schoolbuilding Programme – What’s Happening In Essex?

Monday, July 5, 2010 admin 9

The Guardian reports on the government announcement that the Schoolbuilding programe is being drastically cut: Michael Gove today cancelled Labour’s school building programme, suspending projects for 715 new schools as part of the coalition’s latest tranche of spending cuts, which also saw funding culled for new housing projects, school swimming […]

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Remember The Committee System?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010 admin 2

Chris Black and Ron Oatham have submitted the following motion, which will be up for debate at the next ordinary Full Council meeting in July: “That this council welcomes the statement by the Liberal Conservative Coalition Government that they will allow councils to return to the committee system, should they […]

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A Big Re-Think?

Monday, June 14, 2010 admin 0

The District Council has just sent the following letter to all those who made representations on the Local Development Framework. It looks like the Inspector is giving an opportunity here to have a big rethink on housing numbers now we have a new Coalition government: Dear Representor, . As you […]

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An End To “Garden Grabbing”? – Not Quite

Friday, June 11, 2010 admin 2

This week the Coalition Government announced that it was going to give powers back to councils to reduce “Graden Grabbing” – the practice of building new housing in existing gardens. The Guardian explained it as follows: The government is announcing new measures to stop the practice of “garden grabbing” which […]

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“ABOLITION OF REGIONAL STRATEGIES”

Saturday, May 29, 2010 admin 11

The new coalition government is starting to act on giving powers back to local councils! The first important example of this that we’ve seen is a short letter that the new government minister, Eric Pickles, has sent out to councils: 27th May 2010 . Dear Chief Planner, . ABOLITION OF […]