Next Week’s Cabinet – Handymen, Play, Air Pollution and Weddings

Next week’s “Executive Board” is on Thursday 19th July at 7:30. As always the public – and ordinary councillors – aren’t allowed to speak.

It has a very long agenda – with 23 items so far. If you want to, you can download it here. But here are some of the highlights:

The Handyperson and Gardening Service – The District Council helps fund a scheme that’s run by Springboard Housing Association . For ?5.50 per hour elderly or disabled people on local incomes can hire a handyman, for ?8.50 per hour they can hire a gardener or husband-and-wife gardening team. (the workers actually get paid more than this – the scheme covers the extra amount)

Rochford Play Strategy
– it is possible that the National Lottery will give our district ?200,000 towards improving the ‘play service’ here. However , as the report says “the process for accessing our fund allocation is lengthy” and we’ve never seen a truer statement in a council document. The council has had to :

  • set up a “play partnership”,
  • create a ‘play strategy’
  • do an ‘audit’/mapping of existing play facilities’,
  • carry out ‘a comprehensive consultation process’
  • and submit a portfolio of suitable projects
  • We’re sure our officers have done their best in trying to jump through all the bureaucratic hoops . The end result is a 26 page ‘play strategy’. One snippet of information that some people might find interesting is the number of under-fives in each part of the district:

    Foulness and Great Wakering – 424
    Barling and Sutton – 142
    Ashingdon, Canewdon and Paglesham – 285
    Rochford – 575
    Hawkwell – 843
    Hockley – 622
    Lodge Ward, Rayleigh – 261
    Downhall and Rawreth – 338
    Rest of Rayleigh – 1607
    Hullbridge – 380

    Air Pollution – another report suggests that air pollution in Rayleigh Town Centre might be above the World Health Organisation standard. The WHO recommends levels of nitrogen dioxide to be below 40 micrograms per cubic metre but the latest testing showed a figure well above that – 52 micrograms per cubic metre.

    The testing is done at the Eastwood Road/ High Street junction, and the nitrogen dioxide is generally produced by traffic fumes.

    Chris Black – who has a degree in chemical physics- would have liked to have asked some questions about this at the meeting, but of course, under the new cabinet system, he isn’t allowed to.

    Weddings at the Windmill – The cabinet are also going to discuss whether to make Rayleigh Windmill a licensed venue for weddings. It seems a very nice idea, although the ground floor can only accomodate 18 people.

  • I have just published an article on my web site that readers of online focus might want to have a look at. It suggests that this Executive Board needs to consider some really important issues very soon, and 6 of the Executive Councillors were not present at the initial feedback session by I&dEa Review Team.

    http://www.girltalk.pcs-net.com/rol/2-hours-on-what-needs-to-change-at-rochford-council/

    Councillor John Mason
    Rochford Residents
    Representing Hawkwell West