Rayleigh and Rawreth have been treated unfairly over the past 20 years. We?ve had far too much development, without enough extra amenities and facilities. When the Lib Dems led the council for a few years, things were changed – an allotments site was saved from development, and one housing site in Rawreth Lane was delayed for 5 years. But since then the overdevelopment has continued.
Now the council has to start allocating land for development over the next fifteen years or so, and we hope that it will act fairly. There are possible sites all across the district – most of them are NOT in Rayleigh. We want to see things done properly, so that no part of the district is ?victimised? in the same way that ours has been.
Let the Public Speak!
The public can go and listen at council planning meetings. But they aren?t allowed to speak ? unlike councils elsewhere in the country. We think this can cause unfairness and prevents councillors from getting information. So we want the rules changed to allow up to four members of the public to speak on each planning application ? two in favour, and two against.
Graffiti and Vandalism
Graffiti and vandalism are a significant problem in our area ? but we think the council should do more to deal with it. In fact we got the Conservatives to amend their budget to switch more money into clearing up grafitti. This means that the council now has two ?clear-up days? per month instead of one.
Worrying about the Council Tax
Yet again the council tax has risen by just under 5 per cent. It was only kept at this figure because it was thought that the Government might stop the council from making it even higher. However even at this level it is well above the inflation rate, and will cause problems for lower income earners, those raising families and of course those on a pension. Also it is forecasted that this level of rise will continue year on year.
How the Council uses call centres?
The District Council has started to use call centres ? so sometimes when you ring the council on a financial matter, you?re not speaking to a council staff member at all.
This saves the council time and money, but the Lib Dem Councillors feel there?s a limit to how far this should go. So at our suggestion, the council has arranged the contract so that these services can?t be moved overseas.
Inhumanity at the County Council?
We are shocked and disappointed that our Conservative- controlled County Council has voted to increase the cost of Meals on Wheels from ?2.30 per meal to ?3.50 ? a huge increase, way above the rate of inflation. They ignored alternative proposals from the Lib Dems. It will hurt some of the most vulnerable residents of Rayleigh.