EDITORIAL: May 19th 2013 How time flies! Where has this fortnight gone? It seems that two weeks ago we were only just seeing the real signs of Spring appearing but now trees and bushes are fully green and the first flush of blossom has gone. Looking back to our May Seasonal Page I see that in 2011 we were in bright sunshine at this time while last year we were still in a rainy grey period! Well all things considered, I know it was a cold Spring and I know there has been almost constant wind, but the balance of sunshine and occasional showers seems to have worked to make everything grow at a furious pace in recent weeks. As his funeral is coming up this next week, we would like to make brief mention of the sad passing of Dave Patmore, chairman of the Rochford Allotment Association. Here at Rochford Life, we first met Dave for the first time a little over two years ago and were struck by the warmth, friendship and helpfulness of this servant of the community. We will miss him and his loss will create a real hole in the community. If you would like to pay tribute to Dave, please e-mail us by the link at the top of the page. World news over these past two weeks seems to have been dominated by David Cameron, rebelling conservatives, and the whole question of a referendum over our place in the European Community. Only time will tell how it will be resolved. Here at Rochford Life, in these two weeks we have found the focus being on the wider community and recently had the pleasure of meeting Ann-Marie Fordham who is the Rochford Area Befriending Coordinator from Castle Point Association of Voluntary Services who is hoping to extend to Rochford the befriending service that has been running for the last year in Castle Point. If you are interested in helping out, please have a look at her page. It was also good to meet with Emma Clark, Crime Prevention Adviser for Rochford & Castle Point, and Clive Mayhew, the Essex Watch Liaison Officer who are of course closely linked to the Neighbourhood Watch team in Rayleigh whose Spring Newsletter is now also here online. It was while reading this last newsletter that we realised we already carry some of their materials in our General Information section and so we have now separated it out in a dedicated “Crime Prevention Advice” section which we hope will grow as we receive information in the days to come from either Emma or the Neighbourhood Watch Team. In the meantime can we recommend reading a booklet about scams referred to in the latest NW newsletter. In respect of newsletters we have again updated the Essex Wildlife’s activities into May. If you have never taken a trip to these pages, or to their web-site you will have missed the incredible number of things that are constantly going on around the county in respect of the environment. On the recreational side of the magazine we have also recently added yet another mind stretching quiz, “Find the T words”, a good way of extending your general knowledge and stirring up the little grey cells. As we were into a new month, for the faith community and for seekers there is the May Thought for the Month, and our latest May/June Review page is all about “The Workings of our Local Authorities” so if the work of the Councils has always been a mystery to you, we hope this article will shed a little light on the subject for you and stir you to read the many articles we’ve done with the various local councils over the last two years. So there it is, lots more reading matter for you, shedding light on the workings of the community together with a bit of other light reading as well. We hope you enjoy it. Have a good fortnight. Tony
EDITORIAL: May 5th 2013 In our house we measure Spring by when the leaves come off the Oak tree which is a sign that new buds are pushing forth. Well, ten days ago suddenly the oak leaves were descending in profusion. But you didn’t need to go by our oak tree, blossom is appearing in abundance and the countryside is turning green rapidly, and as for the sunshine!!!! Pity about the cold wind. On the news front in this past fortnight, at the beginning of it we were coming to the end of the Boston manhunt, and the reality of measles and the furore over parents who hadn’t trusted in the MMR jab took up quite a lot of media space. Michael Gove managed to make more teachers hate him with talk of shorter summer holidays, and as your editor is married to an incredibly hard working teacher, you may guess with side of the fence we settle on! A collapsing factory complex in Bangladesh killing at least 400 people made some of the media question how we get our cheap clothes. However in the last few days of this fortnight all the talk has been of the County Council election results. We note in Rochford North Terry Cutmore takes the seat . As we have interviewed Terry twice, you’ll see from our last November Review page, we hold Terry in high esteem and are sure he’ll work tirelessly for the District as he takes his place on County. Congratulations Terry. For Rochford South we see Colin Seagers, who we also interviewed recently, took the post, so congratulations Colin. However we also interviewed Jerry Gibson who didn’t quite make it - but a close run race - so commiserations Jerry. In Rochford West local favourite and Green Party member, Michael Hoy, beat off Conservative strong man Keith Hudson. We’ve interviewed both men and respect them both, so congratulations Michael and commiserations Keith. The UKIP phenomena seems to have struck Essex with Rayleigh South pushing the UKIP man out front. The future looks interesting from a number of vantage points. In our own little sphere in this past fortnight we have seen a really mixed bag of things crossing the computer screen. As far as new businesses go, we first had an invite to meet the two young guys who have started up Miss Wish Boutique in West Street. More clothes on your doorstep ladies! A little later on we met Karen Edwards of Edwards HR Solutions who is starting up her human resources consultancy locally. On the interview front we had a delightful time meeting John & Christine Mason, the two district councillors for the Hawkwell West ward. It is always interesting to hear a new viewpoint from within the council, and as Independents, members of the Rochford District Residents Party, John and Christine did not disappoint. A much shorter and more familiar viewpoint came when we did an April Catch-up at Waterman Primary and met with Chair of Governors, Alan Sparks, and visiting teacher from Kenya, Agnes. The world is definitely getting smaller! Another ‘new kid on the block’ we were introduced to was the charity Smellies for the Sick which operates into Southend Hospital in such a simple way. Being the second local charity we’ve covered in the last two months, we decided to create a new ‘Charities’ category. If you know of other local charities who would like some free publicity, put them in contact with us. Sitting on our southern boundary, the airport created a bit of a stir with a young Malaysian pilot flying who is the youngest solo world flier who was dropping in for a stopover on his global challenge. Of course this last week has also seen starting from the airport, new flights to Edinburgh. You may remember in our series of articles about the airport, in the one about the Future of the Airport last December, we asked then would they be linking us to Scotland. We take no credit for this new service but it’s good to have it. Well there is the fortnight. Oh, have added another ‘Thinking Green’ page called ‘Bee Careful’ if you might be interested in environmental issues. Keep an eye on the ‘Events’ pages as well . New events continue to flow in. See you in two weeks.