Tonight’s West Area Committee – Making Progress On Two Issues




Tonight’s West Area Committee got quite stormy at times tonight. Not surprising, as it was held in Rawreth, at a time when the District Council are considering building around 1000 houses in the parish.

Tomorrow night we’ll deal with the frustrating parts of the evening. But for tonight we’ll mention a couple of areas where we made some progress.

The first was on housing figures. Resident Tony Plummer asked the written question:

Why are a Tory Controlled Council pushing an undesirable Labour housing plan
that their own party has already announced it does not agree with and will drop
when in office?

The chairman of the meeting, Cllr John Pullen, correctly ruled that this was a political question that councillors should answer , rather than officers. None of the Conservatives wanted to have a go – so Chris Black spoke up.

Chris said that the Lib Dems had wanted to give more power and freedom to local councils for years. Now he’d recently read a piece in the local press from Mark Francois MP. saying that the Conservatives would do the same thing and wanted to see ‘constituents take back control of their own local environment” Chris emphasised that he certainly wasn’t there to speak on Mr Francois’ behalf but his decision to go to the press on this seemed to be a pretty strong signal – the council should move more cautiously on the housing figures because things could be changed by the next general election!

Later on the evening Mavis Webster, the Tory Deputy Leader returned to the subject, agreeing with what Chris had said and saying that she’d like to see the council drag it’s feet on the housing figures! So let’s see if this will having an impact…

The second was after a presentation by NHS South East Essex on their future plans. Chris was very critical of the idea of building a Primary Care Centre for Rayleigh , Hockley and Rochford in Rawreth. He stressed that he didn’t want to see people’s GPs dragged down to Rawreth and that new facilities such as X-Ray and physiotherapy should be in somewhere like a Town Centre with good public transport. Interestingly the reps from the NHS began to agree and it looks as though common sense may now win on this issue! If so, this is a significant turnaround fromj what Rochford DC have suggested.

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  • Admin, The recycling policy seems to be going very well and after a few teething problems, I think the people involved should be congratulated. I do have a question however. Many councils are stockpiling their recycling waste because it costs more to recycle than to store these objects. Does anyone know if RDC are stockpiling our recycle waste or are the companies still taking it?

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