It’s Been A Frustrating Business….

Image: Stevie Turner
Image: Stevie Turner

We have been writing about the District’s Core Strategy since 2006, and there are literally hundreds of items on onlineFOCUS with the category “District Core Strategy”.

If you want to see them all, starting at the beginning, you can click here. It’s been a frustrating business. It would have probably gone better if we had had a few more allies in the chamber…especially at the beginning. But in 2006 the only opposition councillors were 4 Lib Dems and one resident (John Mason).

  • Admin – I will hold my own hand up and admit that I did’nt realise what was going on until two or so years ago , then I started to attend random Council meetings and began to realise the nature of the way we are ‘governed’ locally , and became active to expose it as it is clearly not democratic . A 39 seat Council steered by only a 9 seat ‘Cabinet’ plus un-elected Officers dictating policy is obviously not representing the electorate.

    Obviously central and Eastern based Councillor’s are happy to see the West of Rochford District sacrificed in order to keep their own
    residents happy ( no over-development / Traveller Sites etc; ) so go along with the Whip – but they will be next eventually as London
    overspill slowly but surely will impact them ( no seat on a train or a place in the traffic To and from work ).
    But the real villains are Rayleigh Councillor’s who do not fight for Rayleigh/ Hullbridge , some even reside in the Wards directly affected,
    these people need to be exposed over the coming months leading up to the next Council elections – there will be Chamber votes on both the Delayed Hullbridge proposal and the re- submitted North of the London Rd ( conveniently before the Appeal which will never now happen) let’s see which way they vote – for Rayleigh or the PARTY Whip?.

  • There has been some very underhand activities over the whole core strategy saga .Right from the beginning Rawreth has been involved, having been assured at the first stage that we would be able to have a chance to object or contribute only to be told at the next stage that it was too late .It seems also that Councillors did not grasp the concept early enough leaving Officers to push through their agenda. I am afraid that the majority of Councillors have no individual thoughts of their own or the guts to push for common sense .We now have our fears confirmed that these houses are not for local needs but for “refugees ” from the London property market ,which will make many of the properties unaffordable to locals .

  • You and the other opposition Cllrs are to be congratulated for fighting the fight against overwhelming odds. How you all carry on in Council I don’t know, hopefully one day the tide will turn

  • “Obviously central and Eastern based Councillor’s are happy to see the West of Rochford District sacrificed in order to keep their own
    residents happy…”

    Funny I thought much the same the other way round, when watching Rayleigh councillors help vote two or three big estates (two of which are now built, no idea why Hall Road is still hanging fire) into Rochford.

    I guess we really need to resist letting ourselves be split and played off against each other by the developers this way. “Your ward next” is something they should all be bearing in mind.

  • The prime mover for all Local Plans / Allocation Documents are the Un-elected Council Officers ( Planners ) not the Developers – they just cash in on the opportunities created for them; did you know the quotas ( new homes numbers ) they come up with are double what ‘ natural growth’ calculations say we need. Right now an independent assessment of Basildon’s estimate ( 16,000 ) is coming up with a max
    of 8,300 as the real need – a pretty typical situation , in fact Castle Point growth is actually negative but the cOuncil are proposing 4000?.

    So you are right in terms of divide and conquer – that’s how they do it.