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Use the link above to see the FULL results.
134 residents (thank you) completed our Budget Poll.
What have residents said that the Council should listen to?
That residents are tired of add on “top up” taxes like special charges for green bins, car parking charges or even an extra charge for street lighting.
Whilst a majority did not want to see a Council Tax increase, which is understandable, those who preferred a Council Tax increase, rather than top up charges, were only just behind the No’s.
Interestingly residents were more in favour of using New Homes Bonus Grants to meet any shortfall in income rather than put it into reserves.
For the Investment Board residents were in favour of capital projects to develop land assets for development for affordable homes for social rent, a homeless shelter and an investment in a solar farm.
There was an overwhelming view from residents that the Cabinet with over £100,000 of allowances should go.
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So if it looks that the Council is not listening to residents in the public consultations on the Second Local Plan for 7500 new dwellings 2017-2037 then we will step in and raise a petition for residents to call for a Referendum before it is adopted by Rochford District Council.
We know that a Referendum on a Local Plan is not included in the list of those which must be approved by the Council but why would such a Referendum NOT be approved if the appropriate number of residents had called for it in a Petition? The cost of a Referendum would be in the region of £90,000 but that could easily be found from the New Homes Bonus from the first Local Plan in Reserves.
From the Echo
Councillors in Rochford have called for a petition to be drawn up to hold a referendum on the district’s second local plan.
In a written statement, councillor John Mason, leader of the Green and Rochford District Residents Group said that during the early stages of the new housing plan, residents have complained “they feel that they will not be listened to” about their council and councillors.
Mr Mason said: “We promise our residents that we will, whether we are Councillors at that time or not, put forward a Petition to Residents to call for a Referendum on the Second Local Plan before it is adopted by the Council.
“It is the future of our District and what we do, both councillors and residents, with it that counts. No excuses.
Residents have a right to be listened to.”
A resident added: “Don’t bother lobbying your district councillors, they will not oppose any plan unless it is in there own back yard.
“They will tell you what you want to hear but will not take any positive action.”
The second plan currently aims to create an unrestrained 7,500 new dwellings in the Rochford district across Rayleigh, Hawkwell, Hockley, Hullbridge, Ashingdon and Rochford.
Consultations have begun for the second plan which on top of the first housing plan, aims to create a total of 10,000 new homes in Rochford by 2037.
Despite support from councillors throughout the district, the council are confident the process for the new plan’s consultation is going to be effective and that resident’s concerns and ideas will heard.
Rochford District Council’s assistant director for planning, Matthew Thomas, said: “Although this is an interesting suggestion, there is no provision for a referendum in the legislation governing the preparation of a local plan.
“The council intends to ensure residents are offered substantial opportunities to participate in the plan making process and we recently sent a leaflet to all households in the district to advise of the current consultation on the issues and options stage.
“The timetable for the preparation of the local plan envisages a report from an inspector on the soundness of the plan in 2021, so there is much work to do before a plan emerges that can be considered for adoption.”
Councillors have rallied to the support of Mr Mason’s statement and they hope it will encourage more residents to become involved in the issue.
Michael Hoy, Deputy Leader of the Green and Rochford District Residents Group, said: “I fully support the statement and I believe in democracy.
“I think people have the right to say which quite often they feel their views are ignored and this is a way to show their views are not ignored, especially when it comes to one of the biggest decision in the area for the next 15 years.”
Adrian Eves, Rochford District Residents councillor for Hockley, added: “I think the actual proposal is completely unsustainable.
“When you look at the problems we have with infrastructure, we are getting power outages and losses of water pressure in Hockley.
“All we can do it be noisy as possible to get the government to learn.”
Neil Hookway, leader of the Ukip group, added: “Having local referenda in regards to housing is Ukip policy, so we will always support that, but this is something that effects the whole district and that is very important.”
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IF YOU WISH TO HELP JUST CONTACT US here.
A NEW LOCAL PLAN FACEBOOK GROUP is here.
As many residents will already know Rochford District Council is about to launch a public consultation on a SECOND Local Plan for 2017 to 2037 focusing on a maximum of ANOTHER 7500 dwellings. With the FIRST local Plan 2011 to 2025 came committed approval for 2785 dwellings so together this makes over 10,000 !!
As you might expect the Council is required to ask Landowners and their Agents to formally notify the Council if they wish their land to be considered (for obvious reasons but some might not be so obvious and the Council assumes that each has a REAL intention to see development on their site.)
The information on the land available is publicly available on these maps (https://goo.gl/grJe3A). And there is even more information here (https://goo.gl/JNVBhv).
NO DECISIONS HAVE BEEN MADE. YOUR VIEW IN THE PUBLIC CONSULTATION COMING SOON WILL COUNT.
So what will your District Councillors be doing? I can’t speak for other political groups on the Council but I can say what The Rochford District Residents and Green Group propose.
We will leaflet all homes our Wards drawing attention to the questions and options put forward by the Council and how residents can comment on the Evidence put forward.
I shall also be asking our Councillors to work with residents to create a sustainability profile for the sites that landowners have put forward in their Wards and submit these in the Public Consultation.
How? Our approach is attached.
sustainability analysis template 2017
We will welcome all other political groups, action groups and residents’ associations/community groups if they decide to join in this way.
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