What goes around comes around – it’s all getting a bit 1980s

Have readers (of a certain age) got that déjà vu feeling of late?

We have an authoritarian female Prime Minister – then Thatcher, now May.

A left wing Labour leader – then Foot, now Corbyn, with a Welsh wanabee – then Kinnock, now Smith.

Plucky Liberal leader – then Steel, now Farron.

It is difficult to place UKIP (unless you go further right, a lot further right maybe…)

One rather frightening piece in the jigsaw is the thought of replacing Reagan with Trump….

Who has the power now?

So, after her mini re-think, our new Prime Minister Theresa May has given the ‘green light’ for EDF to build a nuclear power station at Hinkley Point – together with their Chinese backers. We are bound to say that this looks like a very bad deal for Britain. The future subsidy for the power produced will make the plant a white elephant.

Don’t take our word for it see what the experts say:

“Appalling value for money” is the way Professor Paul Edkins, deputy director of the UK Energy Research Centre described it, pointing out that the energy market had changed in recent years and that renewable energy costs had halved, also that new storage systems have led to the reliability of new green energy (power available even when the wind doesn’t blow).

Lib Dem Lynne Featherstone said “Hinkley is now very bad value for money for the British Taxpayer and should be abandoned immediately”.

The only crumb of comfort is that it will only form 7% of British power supply and cost, in theory we only pay when the power plant is up and running (‘in theory’ because we have seen such agreements change before).

photo of the present Bradwell Power Station

The present Bradwell Power Station

Locally many of us are very concerned by the prospect of the Chinese designing and building their own nuclear power plant at nearby Bradwell. Here is the present Bradwell Power Station: The national security concerns have been well rehearsed regarding the Chinese involvement. All credit to the Chinese ‘tiger’ coming from the chaos of the Cultural Revolution and largely peasant farming culture to modern country in just a few decades. However extra caution is justified when trusting newly acquired technology in the field of nuclear power plants – the most critical science on the planet. Not taking anything from the Chinese ability to mass produce cheap consumer products, but some of their modern technology has been found wanting. The critical nature of the Bradwell plant which will demand openness and transparency throughout construction and operation makes us uneasy. This issue is about more than just money.

A letter from Tim Farron

I am devastated and I am angry. Today we wake to a deeply divided country. Nigel Farage’s vision for Britain has won this vote, but it is not a vision I share.

Young people voted to remain by a considerable margin, but were out voted. They had a clear ambition for their future, yet it has been taken from them.

Even though the result was close, there is no doubt that the majority of British people want us to leave.

We should be proud of our positive, principled, and patriotic campaign for the UK to Remain at the heart of Europe.

Our fight for an open, optimistic, liberal, diverse and tolerant Britain is needed now more than ever.

Together we can still make the case for Britain’s future with Europe, as millions of people voted for it. Together we cannot afford to let that vision to die.

The Liberal Democrats will continue to stand and fight for a better kind of Britain than the one painted by the Leave campaign – tolerant, openhearted, optimistic, and outward looking.

Later today, I will deliver a speech on the outcome of this referendum, what it means for our country and how the Liberal Democrats will continue to fight for a liberal and united Britain. 

Yours sincerely,


Tim Farron MP

Leader of the Liberal Democrats

EU Referendum

EU Referendum

Result for the Rochford District are below.

Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

Description Result
Remain a member of the European Union 17,510
Leave the European Union 34,937
Rejected Papers 32
Turnout 78.8%


That is a resounding two thirds for leave, one third for remain in Europe. Not in line with our principles and beliefs of course but such a substantial vote must be respected.

Thank you!

Rayleigh Liberal Democrats would like to welcome new Lib Dem Councillors James Newport and Chris Stanley onto the District Council’s Lib Dem bench. Excellent campaigns, best of luck with your duties, we know you will do well!

You can see all the election results by clicking here.

Downhall and Rawreth:

Candidate’s Name Description Results Elected
Chris Black Liberal Democrats 1111 Yes
Ron Oatham Liberal Democrats 945 Yes
Chris Stanley Liberal Democrats 865 Yes
Shaun Cain Labour 145 No
John Richard Chaffin Rochford District Residents 279 No
Tony Hollis Conservative 266 No
Deborah Mercer Conservative 303 No
Keith Brian Podd Conservative 305 No

Sweyne Park & Grange:

Candidate’s Name Description Results Elected
James Newport Liberal Democrats 599 Yes
June Rosemary Lumley Conservative 785 Yes
Toby Mountain Rochford District Residents 847 Yes
Carol Ann Pavelin Conservative 514 No
Craig Matthew Archer Labour 375 No
Margeret Helen Spencer Conservative 464 No

These four District Councillors were also elected to Rayleigh Town Council, along with Bruce Smart.

Our thanks to everyone who helped, including our unsuccessful candidates Steve Tellis and Mike Handford.

The Tory Budget – more sour than sweet

This is George Osborne’s sweet and sour budget. His sugar tax may seem sweet, but his hidden cuts are sour. This is not a long term economic plan, it is a short term economic scam.

He has missed his targets and is making ordinary people pick up the pieces, with cuts to disability support, universal credit, and local services. Once again his words simply don’t match his actions.Here is what the Independent said about the cuts to disability payments:

“Charities have warned that the cut to the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) WRAG would make it more difficult for disabled people to find work and that many struggled to afford food on the benefit at its current level. The Government however says the cut, which applies to new claimants, will incentivise disabled people to find work.”

The Chancellor had promised he wouldn’t fix the figures to fit the plan, but he has cut vital spending to fit his own arbitrary and unnecessary spending surplus.

Worse, what the Conservatives have done to junior doctors they are now doing to teachers. Schools will open for longer but it is underpaid teachers who will have to do more work for the same pay. Osborne should lift the 1% cap on public sector pay.

Britain deserves better.

Our Tory council pushes through planning application for 475 houses

On September 30th the Conservative District Council finally pushed through the application from Countryside Developments for 475 houses between London Road and Rawreth Lane.

This was despite fierce opposition from local residents, Lib Dem Councillors, Rayleigh Town Council, Rawreth Parish Council, Sport England and the Rayleigh Action Group.

chris It was the second application – the first one was refused back in January this year as a result of a motion to reject from Lib Dem Councillor Chris Black (pictured).

An almost identical application was brought back to Council on 30/09/15, Councillor Black supported by fellow Lib Dem Ron Oatham again proposed refusal on grounds of highways, drainage and flooding, lack of school capacity and insufficient sports pitches.

However we lost by 15 votes to 12. So the scheme was passed and cannot be reversed. There 
will be some further applications with layout details etc.  SEE ‘9 YEAR BATTLE’ BELOW


There will be some improvement: London/Downhall Road junction, probably something at the Rawreth Lane / Hullbridge Road junction and some money for drainage and mini football pitches.

However we don’t think this is enough – this is simply the kind of infrastructure that we have already needed for years!


2006 –District Council prepared ‘Local Development Framework’.   In one informal meeting councillors were asked where they thought future development should go, many Conservative Councillors wanted ALL development to go into West Rayleigh.

 2007 – Officers proposed 1800 new homes in Rayleigh, 1000 for ron-2015-april-2Rochford/Ashingdon, 400 for Hockley/Hawkwell and 500 for ‘smaller settlements’. The Tories support these figures and go out to consultation. But the exhibition in Rayleigh is hidden away – inside the Windmill for just 3 hours on a Sunday! Lib Dem Councillor Ron Oatham (pictured), complained forcefully. The Council relented and provided a better exhibition for our town. Local Liberal Democrats delivered thousands of leaflets throughout Rayleigh to publicise this vital public consultation. There was a big response, but only 1% of the public supported 1,800 new houses in Rayleigh. The Tories backed down and reduced the Rayleigh figure to 740!

2009 – The Core Strategy is voted through by the Tories 23-4 (all 3 Lib Dem Councillors and 1 Ratepayer vote against), and Lib Dem Councillor Chris Black is accused of being a NIMBY by the Conservatives. After this vote it was always going to be an uphill struggle to change things.

2010 and 2011– The Government Inspector signs off the Core Strategy. The public were now very angry – there were big public meetings at the Grange Community Centre and in Hullbridge – but as the months went by the issues dropped out of the headlines.

2012 District Council Officers quietly work on the ‘Allocations Document’ mapping out the new developments. The Lib Dems become increasingly concerned that important infrastructure and amenities issues are being overlooked. The Lib Dems voted against saying there was no traffic study for the developments, inadequate open spaces and bullying of Rayleigh Sports and Social Club by the Council. But of course the Conservatives voted it through, with just one Tory abstaining. Perhaps the Conservatives were thinking the public had lost interest.

2013 and 2014 – Public Anger In early summer the Rayleigh Action Group became active, they opposed many of the Council’s plans and were active at the Inspectors’ inquiry, and a last ditch legal case was mounted by a resident.   But the Allocations Document still went through.

2015: January – Lib Dems reject the Planning application with the support of other parties.   September – almost the same plan returns to the Council and is passed by Conservatives plus one independent, Lib Dems fiercely opposing the development and voting for refusal.

Want to know more? Want to help the local Liberal Democrats?
Why not contact us now:
for Rayleigh, Rochford & Wickford email: rayleighandwickfordlibdems@mail.com
For Castle Point email: castlepointlibdems@mail.com
Or phone / text Steve on 07799.345795
We would like to hear from you!