Make a point of visiting us weekly!        Tell a friend about us. Local  Rochford District         “News from RDC - January/February” Rochford District Council,  South Street,  Rochford. 01702  546366 Talk to Rochford Life by E-mail or ring us on 0786 342 7294

21 February: £2 million award to release public land for new Essex homes

More than £2 million has been awarded to a number of Essex-based schemes that will help address housing needs across the county.

Essex Housing, the housing development arm hosted within Essex County Council but operating on behalf of all public sector partners across Essex, has secured £1.94 million from the Government’s Land Release Fund which helps councils release unused or surplus land and property for housing. 

The Government set up the national fund to mitigate the risk that surplus assets in public ownership drift into disrepair or lay empty and help to enable and accelerate the housing development potential of the sites. Essex Housing has been working pro-actively with public sector bodies in Essex since 2016 to ensure the maximum benefit is realised from these assets in terms of their potential to deliver much needed housing, job growth, regeneration and operating efficiencies to a range of public service providers. The schemes include:

Chelmsfordsite clearance and demolition of the surplus element of the former St Peter’s College site and enabling works at the Moulsham Lodge site in Chelmsford

Maldon – site enabling works at The Friary – the vacant former adult community learning college

Rochford – demolition of the vacant former adult community learning college located at Rocheway, The Freight House site and enabling works for surplus Rochford District Council offices.

16 February:  £1 million secured for greener Essex buses

Buses in Essex are set to become greener and more eco-friendly after Essex County Council secured more than a million pounds in grant funding from the Government.  Essex County Council has today (Monday) announced £1,072,500 secured from The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ ‘Clean Bus Technology Fund’.

The money will be used to retrofit 60 buses across the county with devices to reduce vehicle emissions. It was secured through a joint bid with Colchester Borough Council, Rochford District Council and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.

The successful bid was put together with help from Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Rochford District Council and Colchester Borough Council.

Essex is one of just 20 local authorities in the country to have secured funding and is now looking to upgrade buses as soon as possible.

Some of the first buses expected to benefit from the upgrades will be in Colchester where commercial and Park and Ride services will be improved.  A number of bus services which run along the A127 corridor, where air quality issues have been identified, are also set to benefit from the funding.

5 February: Community pulls together to help those in need

The local community has come together in Rochford to seek to help those living in food poverty in the area.

With food poverty being on the rise in the UK, many households or individuals are unable to regularly obtain a nutritious affordable meal, so a number of local churches are working together with the community to offer two separate provisions in the town that will give out free meals to those who need them.

The free meals will be running on a pilot basis for the next few months at:

 Hawkwell Baptist Church, Rectory Road, Rochford on a Saturday morning, between 10.00 -11.00.

 Rochford Methodist church, North Street, Rochford on a Wednesday lunchtime, between 12.00 - 1.00.

Volunteers have come from a number of local churches and the wider community have been supported in setting up this project by Rochford District Council. Those that use the service will also have the opportunity to refer any concerns that they may have to other local agencies.

1 February: South Essex Councils form joint association to work together like never before

A ‘game-changing’ association of south Essex councils has been formed with the signing of a memorandum of understanding. The Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA) consists of Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Essex County, Rochford, Southend-on-Sea, and Thurrock Councils.  All seven councils have recognised the need to work across borders on strategic issues such as infrastructure, planning and growth. Leaders and Chief Executives agreed in June 2017 to develop a joint ‘place vision’ for the region up to 2050 that will show how south Essex is a dynamic, modern place providing the conditions for people, communities and businesses to prosper.

Alongside this, some key aims of ASELA will be to transform transport connectivity, open up spaces for housing, business and leisure development through a spatial strategy and shape local labour & skill markets.

Next steps for the group include publishing a ‘statement of intent’ explaining work that has already taken place and a forward plan of work, and developing an engagement plan.

5th January 2018:  Council introduce new parking restrictions to ease local traffic problems

In order to reduce local traffic problems, Rochford District Council has requested that the South Essex Parking Partnership put in place new parking restrictions along Bradley Way and part of Southend Road in Rochford.

The scheme will provide a 24 hour Clearway which will prohibit stopping and/or parking on the carriageway, verge and footway at all times. However, there will be exemptions for deliveries to properties, utilities vehicles, public services vehicles and explanatory signage will be installed at regular intervals on the highway.

Marcus Hotten, Assistant Director Environmental Services, commented “Parking on Southend Road can cause severe traffic congestion in Rochford and the surrounding area. This initiative will help keep the road clear and will also prevent damage to the grass verges.”

The Traffic Regulation Order for the Clearway will be implemented in early 2018 and will be enforced by the South Essex Parking Partnership Officers.

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To make reading and access easier, from the beginning of 2018 we will carry news from RDC  two/three months at a time