IT was Friday, so off to my boy’s u9 cricket ‘el Classico’ Belhus v Horndon. It’s the away leg for our go-ahead Belhus club team. All the boys are brilliant. Truly entertaining fare and our team edge it by just one run. Sunday, it is an all day football tournament at st clere’s school in Stanford-le-hope. All day because my daughters u11 LTD team played in the morning and the afternoon with my Son fits in nine games for his Thurrock FC u8s. What a truly well run football tournament, the best organised that i have attended. St clere’s is a cooperative academy school and clearly the school work hard with their local community. Long may this continue.
I’M 31, fairly typical- beautiful wife and two gorgeous daughters. I’m in shape, I look healthy- I run, I circuit train and from time to time I shift some weight. I eat well 90-ish% of the time. And yet this month, I learned that I’ve got a bit of testicular cancer.
POLITICIANS want to be re-elected, at any price, and would say anything to get re-elected. They love deflecting blame to others and GPs are the punch bags of the NHS. The reason patients go to A&E, is only partly due to lack of GP appointments. However this is relative. Increase in demand has outstripped supply. We are 10,000 GP short in England alone. Politicians are good at talking big, bragging about our “world class” standards. Really?! If one of the poorest countries in the world, Cuba, has 500 patients per GP, and we the seventh richest nation on earth have circa 2000 patients per GP, what meaning does that give our “world class” standards?. Humbug!
THAT may well be the case but I believe the UKIP Councillors missed the opportunity to impress upon the Labour and Conservative groups that they were not just the beneficiaries of a protest vote but were elected because they were more in tune with the concerns and aspirations of a vast and growing number of indigenous citizens of the UK. One of their oft repeated pledges is “a vote for UKIP is a vote for change to the current political systems” both locally and nationally. Given the opportunity to demonstrate their influence in the Council Chamber by casting their votes they chose instead to allow Labour and Conservative Councillors to fight it out between them. By abstaining you surrender the power to influence and make an impression, the only impression made by “sitting on the fence” is the one made on your backside.
Another said we voted Ukip to get Cameron out! I replied, he was not up for election!!! (that’s worrying). Others truly believed that UKIP would run the council with six cllrs????. I suppose a simple leaflet or article would help to explain the process. What I do find frightening is once that cross is cast in the box and the voting paper put into the ballot box it matters.
THE first piece of advice he offered was: “Always remember the importance of being there for your constituents. How false and insincere those words must be to the residents of the South Ockendon ward who for the past three years, have been saddled with an absentee councillor, namely Cllr Aaron Kiely, and will have to suffer this sham of a councillor for a further 12 months. Cllr Kiely, making a rare appearance in the Council Chamber, was unashamedly sitting just a few feet away from Cllr John Kent. In the light of Cllr Kent’s words and the smugness and contempt Mr Kiely has displayed over the past three years his presence was an affront to those Councillors who take their responsibilities seriously and work tirelessly for their constituents.
IF there are risks to the health and wellbeing of people living in owner-occupied houses or privately rented properties, surely it is the responsibility of the owner-occupier or landlord to remedy them. In the case of Landlords, I consider it would be inappropriate for the Council to spend money on improving privately rented properties, especially if it was at the expense of improving council rented properties. Most private landlords charge high rents and in some cases are already subsidised by the Council.
Blogpost by Neil Davies SO, the political earthquake has started. OK, if you look at the actual results then it looks like a healthy move in the right direction for the Labour Party and a pretty damning judgement of the Conservative/Liberal coalition. However, if you take a closer look at the overall gains, then surely […]
YES we can and yes we will win’ is Rupert’s response to the recent polling  that suggests The Green Party will gain 12% of the national vote, and 14% in the South. The European Elections give a bright future for the Green Party. These are elections held under a proportional system, that allocates seats on the percentage of votes throughout each region, not based on the person with the most votes. That percentage would return the green party 6 seats nationally, triple the current number of MEPs they hold, having had an MEP in London and the South East since 1999.
I HAVE lived in South Ockendon all my life. I’ve heard people say that once you’ve visited Ockendon, you’re never likely to leave, and not necessarily in a complimentary way. I thought I knew every nook and cranny of the town, but getting out and about with the dog has led me to places I have never seen before. The greatest revelation on my relentless pounding of the walkways and byways of this little town has been Davy Down. I’ve known of it, and heard about it and even been there but never had the genuine pleasure of exploring properly.
HOLDING more than one election on the same day could create confusion in the minds of voters who are required to vote on both local and national issues at the same ballot. That is not to say that voters are incapable of dealing with more than one election at a time but, in my opinion, a more considered vote would be arrived at if elections of councillors were held separately and were based entirely on local issues.
THINK of great live music and you’re unlikely to think of Thurrock. It has been several years since the borough had a recognised central venue for its music scene in the Fat Surfer, and it seems like eons ago when, at the height of 1990s Britpop, the finest bands in the borough, acts such as Lunar Sea, Honeylust and More Tea Vicar, created their very own spotlight at Stanford’s Luna Club. In recent years however, the Thurrock scene has struggled in a climate of recession where the pub industry has struggled to attract in the punters.
ON a visit to Australia to go to my grand-daughter Annika’s wedding, I was invited to go to her hen night. This was a first for me. Lots of her friends and relatives had come over from England with their children and several from other countries. So I had no idea of what to expect.
AT the risk of sounding tautological, modernisation seems to be a modern obsession in the NHS. Politicians seem to think that they can gain popularity by modernising this that or the other service. Behind this thinking is an assumption that modern is good and old is bad. This is one of the most arrogant assumptions that go unchallenged most of the time. We can all think of many examples where old is much better than new. Generally speaking, old means durable and reliable.
NO one likes revising! We spend six hours a day, five days a week doing school work and now home we go to do some more, and as the weather improves from the winter storms the last place we want to be is inside. So instead of getting it over and done with we delay, and delay, and delay! These are my top ten delaying tactics for when you can’t bear the thought of doing MORE school work.
THE reason I didn’t provide fully detailed solutions was because, although I am observant enough to see the problems being caused and open-minded enough to not be taken in by the ConDem propaganda, I was never and will never be arrogant enough to claim that I had all the answers. I have always been of the opinion that there are those who point out the problems and those who have the knowledge and skills to actually provide the answers. I have also been of the opinion that no one person has all the answers and that provoking a debate to get many differing viewpoints is the best way of arriving at the solution; however, on this singular occasion, I have decided to have a go at putting forward some ideas for an economic policy for the UK. They still aren’t fully detailed but they are a lot more detailed than any previous answers I’ve put forward in the past.
WHILST watching and listening to the Councillors on the planning Committee debating the issue of what to do about the Benton’s Farm site in Mollands Lane, South Ockendon, Cllr Charles Curtis angrily declared “there is serious green belt and this site is not” [serious green belt]. So there we have it, straight from the old horse’s mouth, there are two types of green belt land “serious” and “not serious”.
IN a medical context, a normal consultation is a meeting between patient and doctor, in which a patient seeks advice regarding health matters. Consultations in which a patient makes their own diagnosis and determines the course of action, against medical protocol, is not a consultation, or at best a dysfunctional consultation. For a patient to behave in this manner, they have to assume that they know more about medicine than their doctor. Alternatively, they have to assume that their doctor is not trustworthy. If the latter is the case, one must beg the question of why such a patient would remain with the same GP.
I ASK him WHEN and to what end? On Wednesday 26 Feb, 2014 at the meeting of Full Council he scornfully told the Conservatives to stop attacking the attendance record of Kiely and take account of the attendance record of one of their own members, namely Cllr Herd, who had attended only once during the current council year compared to Kiely’s 2 as if that was somehow a mitigation. Two wrongs do not make a right. Cllr Kent and his Labour colleagues appear to delight in giving the people of South Ockendon a reverse two fingers victory salute. To add a further insult, despite Labour support, Kiely voted against the Labour motion to set the budget.
WHILST the daily parade of the sick and disabled, as ordered by the Department of Work and Pensions, continues to report to designated ATOS assessment centres our current Member of Parliament, Ms Jackie Doyle-Price and the Labour Party parliamentary candidate, Ms Polly Billington appear to have little, if any, interest or concern regarding the fear and distress caused to vulnerable members of the community.
RAY related a story that has gone round in my mind since. He called one of his female patients to tell her how concerned he was that despite her multiple serious problems, she had not asked for her prescription or come for a review for almost two years. His receptionists and nurses had phoned her, written to her and texted her.
THERE are a number of problems with this process. Starting with water, each well uses up to 29 million litres of it. Across all the fracking fields this can lead to series problems in areas already facing droughts, like our own. This water is also pumped with chemicals and sand, rendering it mostly useless. In cases throughout the world we’ve seen water dumped in holes in the ground and into rivers. In Australia a river has been filmed visibly bubbling at the surface.
I’M going to have to wait till April to see Thurrock’s Marmite warrior. And it meant I missed out on my most selfish parent of the year award. We went to the bazaar, and pleasant it was (I got a photo of my babies with Father Christmas.) It weren’t the same though, I wanted to dress up and have an epic night out with my husband. Instead I sat at home drinking a bottle of Buck’s Fizz with a raffle ticket stuck to the side.
Selections marked with a (*) are considered “all women shortlists” and only female panel members will be eligible for selection”. Thus there will be no male candidates allowed for selection in Chadwell St. Mary. The figures shown in brackets are a breakdown, by gender, of the current incumbent Labour Party Councillors. So it will be seen there are eight male and nine female and the overall number of Thurrock Labour Councillors is 13 males and 11 females. Even allowing for “positive discrimination” I do not rate the balance to be sufficient grounds for excluding male candidates in 2014.