You can download the District Council’s vision statement “From Vision to Reality” from the council’s website here. (628 kb)
In the old days you might have expected a powerful group of 30 ruling councillors to produce an election manifesto, but now we get council documents instead.
The opening of it is pretty good though:
We want to create an environment that is
vibrant, inclusive, safe, sustainable and
modern while retaining the essential
characteristics of the salt marshes, rivers,
woodland, open countryside, villages and
market towns that make Rochford what it is
We see the District as a place with
high quality natural and built environments
that retain their distinctiveness, foster civic
pride and where all have access to quality
… And it’s difficult to argue with most of the stuff here. There was one sentence about housebuilding that we disagreed with, but after pressure from the Lib Dems it was changed.
But here’s a few points to bear in mind:
For my own personal view, The vision does not fit easily with what has happened over the past 18 months. Inclusive and Democracy are not terms that has been turned into reality in that time. If you look at some of the ugly apartment blocks that have appeared around the District, these have diminished the quality of the environment rather than enhanced it. The refusal of planning consent that has recently been more noticeable has come about because of the pressure that the residents, with others, have put on the planning committee, not because of a change of heart. The Council give us their vision, how do they believe that this can be achieved, by selling out to the ASDA’s and developers of this world? Why do we not keep a tight grip on what the developers are up to? Why do we allow retrospective planning applications when we all know that some of these applications were held back in anticipation that these would get an easier ride if applied for at a later date? What are we doing for the youth of the District who have nowhere to go in the evenings then hang around in the Town centres. Let us have some pro-active action, not the re-active action that has been happening since I have lived in this town. Foe Gods sake let us get some action in this District, lets engage the residents and other parties instead of being so insuler that very little, in real terms, gets done. As I say that is my personal belief, however I think many more people have similar views