Letter In The Echo

One of our regular readers has just had a letter published in the Echo:

The letter from Mavis Webster states Rochford district must provide for 4,600 dwellings and the council have recommended that Rayleigh take 1,800 (Letters, June 21).

Now the truth. The figure is now 3,700. Already 900 houses have been built.

Do Mrs Webster and her colleagues want another 1,800 built in Rayleigh as well as those houses built here in the intervening months?

Much off the 900 dwellings built in the district have already been built here in Rayleigh.

Mrs Webster, please answer this one.
Mike Nobes
Navestock Close
Rayleigh

  • I think Mrs Webster has lost the plot, perhaps its time she should retire off the council and concentrate on her badgers and foxes and even Petr as well if she has time after doing all of thate

  • Jeff, in the council chamber we try to be courteous to each other even when we disagee (although earlier this week one senior Conservative called a senior Lib Dem ‘stupid’!)

    I hope that those who leave comemnts here can be courteous to the individual Conservatives as well 🙂

    For what it’s worth, when we voted on consulting the public on the 1800 houses for Rayleigh , Mrs Webster actually abstained when the other 5 Tories voted ‘for’. For a Conservative to even abstain on a vote like that is very rare these days ….

  • I understand both Jeffs’ and Chris’ sentiments but it appears that the people of Rayleigh have been mislead. We have had development after development built in Rayleigh, we have to say enough is enough to the councillors who advocate more development in this town. They all have their wards to protect, however I do not believe it should be at the expense of this lovely town. Councillor Webster should not just abstain at the next vote, that is a cop out of the highest order. If she truly has her constituents at heart, Councillor Webster should vote against the 1,800 houses earmarked for Rayleigh. If she does not do her utmost, she will not be voted back into the council by the people of Rayleigh, I will do all I can to ensure this. Sometimes people in her priveliged position become demi-gods believing they know best when in fact they have no idea what the people they represent really want, only what they believe we SHOULD WANT.

    Councillor Webster this is your chance to to do the right thing for the people you represent, be they Tories, Lib Dems or Labour. Make the right choice and vote against the overdevelopment in Rayleigh.

  • “Please make your views known; we are here to serve and represent YOU! It is not the other way around”

    These are the words of Cllr Hudson on the Rayleigh Conservatives’ website and in particular the local framework subsection.

    Dictum sapienti sat est

  • I received a reply by post this morning from Deputy Council Leader and Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transportation, Councillor Hudson, to my letter which was published in the Echo on Tuesday, 26 June.

    I was privileged to find out some more information on Conservative Policy from that letter and the Rayleigh Conservatives Web Site. http://www.rayleighconservatives.org.uk

    You can read part of it on my web site here:

    http://www.girltalk.pcs-net.com/rol/the-conservative-policy-on-housing-in-rochford-district/

  • Very interesting John, it is obviously a time for Councillor Hudson to deflect some of the adverse publicity that the local Tories have been receiving over the past few weeks on to the Labour Government. Your observations are spot on, if the local Tories had been objecting to the Labour Govt. national planners etc. it would have been very well publicised and I have not heard or read of a single example of this. They have handled this extremely badly and it has taken all this time for Mr. Hudson to come clean about what is really going to happen to our town. I hope you will let the Echo publish this letter and let the whole of the town know exactly what is planned.

    If the whole of the local Tories resigned from the council the problem would get national exposure, as it is I doubt if any will resign, although morally I think many (not all) should. That would be the right thing to do.

    Where is the Tory backbone? And I am still waiting for an answer from Mavis Webster. Maybe Councillor Hudson has just answered the question!

  • John, I have just heard part of an interview from Prime Minister Gordon Brown who stated “The people want to know how decisons are made”, Please let Mr Warren know next time you see him!

  • Apologies for yet another comment however I think this one will need concrete answers from our councillors. I read from comments by Chris and John that all this development that is being built in the district will not be subject to extra funding from the state coffers to enable the infrastructure to be built and cope with the extra population, ok, so where will the extra funding come from?

    I would keep an eye on your Council Tax in the next few years because I would expect it to substantially rise!

  • Mike: When I’ve hinted to the Conservative Councillors that it might be worth trying to prolong the process in case we get a national Conservative government soon that might reduce the 4600 figure for Rochford, I get no response.

    As far as I can tell, they don’t think that a Tory government would change the figures. In fact one of them told me that he believes that was spelt out in an article in the Times about a month ago by a Tory shadow minister.

    At this stage someone might put me on the spot and ask what a Lib Dem government would do. I saw the following on the national Lib Dem site today, which is related to our problems:

    “We will help tackle the affordable housing crisis by making available public sector land currently owned by the Ministry of Defence, the Department of Health and English Partnerships, sufficient to build 100,000 more homes both for rent and for affordable purchase through shared ownership schemes for local people. We will reform VAT to encourage developers to repair and reuse empty buildings and brownfield land, rather than building on greenfields and eroding the countryside. We will take 150,000 homebuyers a year out of paying stamp duty altogether, by raising the threshold to £150,000.

    The Liberal Democrats would free local councils from many of the stifling controls imposed by central government so that they can innovate and deliver services to meet local needs. Councils would be genuinely accountable to their local communities rather than being agents of Whitehall. To cut bureaucracy and increase effectiveness we would go much further than Labour or the Tories to cut the burden of inspections, merging eight government inspectorates into one, a streamlined and independent Audit Commission.

    In the nineteenth century Liberals used local democracy to transform our cities, delivering for the first time clean water and sewerage, public health and education, power and transport. In the twenty-first century we need to strip away central government red tape and unelected quangos and set communities free again, to reinvigorate local services on the front-line and to hold those responsible properly accountable.”

  • Mike, re the cost of funding infrastructure – it’s a good question.

    However I actually don’t think your council tax will be affected too much, the costs of any big or medium-sized improvements will have to be borne by the developers, or by funding from central government, otherwise I don’t see them happening.

    The District Council certainly wouldn’t be given leeway by Whitehall to raise its coucnil tax figure by very much.

  • Chris, then that raises another question if all the building goes ahead and there is nothing coming out of RDC to say it wont we could be left with daily gridlock. We all know what developers promise and what they actually deliver is a million miles apart and if we do not get public funding then we will be left with a nightmare scenario. Why cant the local authorities get together and put in an ultimatum to the government, that is something that all residents would support and appreciate. I think we are putting the the cart before the horse again. As far as local taxes are concerned I think the council will need to raise money anyway they can and if that means from us I can see Gordon Brown going along with it.

  • Mike – if you are thinking about roads, developers WILL have to pay for improvements directly related to their site – e.g. maybe a new mini-roundabout, traffic lights, traffic calming etc. County Highways are also trying to get a straight £10000 form each new home built to go into their general coffers and now routinely ask Rochford DC to include this as a condition on new permissions – but this is something that the District Council hasn’t agreed to yet.

    But MAJOR road improvements cost millions. What Southend Council wanted to do -merely widen Priory Crescent – would cost £21 million.

    I don’t see any significant increase in road capacity in the next decade, unless someone agreed to a HUGE amount of housing to pay for it.

    During that time I would guess at an extra 10 percent increase in traffic just as part of a national trend, plus maybe another 10 percent on top from the 4600 houses.

    If any councillors out there know better, please say something!

  • Sorry to harp on this point Chris but as you probably know getting into Rayleigh town centre on any day now is pretty horrific, just ask anyone using Crown Hill and with another 1800 houses it will be unbearable, you might as well ban all traffic within a few miles of the town. The A127 has large traffic jams as it is. And we are not just talking about the 4600 houses for Rochford it is all the other developments that will be going on at the same time. I have seen the same sort of thing happen in some outer London boroughs where large building projects have been going on and the next action is to make roads bigger by knocking down other houses and commercial property. Also dont lets forget that our new Prime Minister wants to step up housebuilding and our Tory led council will no doubt nod their heads and get on with it.

    I just get very annoyed when people cannot see what in all probability will happen. (This is not aimed at you Chris but rather our ineffectual council.)

  • Hi Chris, It seems that your plea for more information regarding last weekends comments, above, fell on deaf ears!

    I think that I will have to send an open letter containing all the questions that I have asked over the last few months direct to the Cabinet and ask for a response. Could I please ask if there are any readers of this website who would like to put sensible questions to the Cabinet or who have not had sensible questions answered, to comment here and I will add those to my own. I will then send these in to the ‘Top Table’ with a copy to the Echo and we will see if the Council can come up with sensible answers.

  • Have you seen the new statement from Gordon Brown AN EXTRA 250,000 HOUSES OVER THE ORIGINAL FIGURE. This time it is good bye Green Field sites and now what about amenities and the infrastucture!

  • Mike , just as well then that we have a strong case – and strong public support, growing by the day – regarding development in Rayleigh!

    However it’s not clear what impact, if any, that our new Prime Minister’s proposals will have on our area:

    According to the Telpgraph today:

    He [Gordon Brown] promised to keep protections on Green Belt land, though Downing Street said later that it would be up to local councils to decide on individual developments.

    Up to 100,000 homes could be built on around 550 surplus sites owned by arms of central government like the Ministry of Defence and the NHS, while councils are under pressure to give up brownfield land for another 60,000…..

    The Campaign to Protect Rural England welcomed Mr Brown’s assurances on the Green Belt and said it was “encouraged” by his emphasis on using brownfield sites.