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  • Money ()
    Article: Feb 7, 2021

    Essex Conservatives have dropped 'sound finance' from their 2021/22 budget and kicked the financial can down the road, according to the Liberal Democrats.

    Essex County Council is proposing a budget that depends on £46 million of un-named cuts that even their own finance officer says have a "risk of not being delivered". Essex CC has also delayed a 3.5% rise in Council Tax to next year (2% general fund and 1.5% social care).

  • The Emporium (The Emporium)
    Article: Feb 7, 2021

    Residents were shocked on Friday to learn that Warley Hill's Emporium Discount Store had been forcibly closed by Brentwood Council's enforcement team under lockdown rules.

    Despite shelves full of essential cleaning products, medical supplies, light bulbs, batteries, tools, toilet rolls, watch batteries, face masks and so much more, officers demanded its closure, whilst leaving similar chain stores trading in the High Street.

  • Gritter being loaded with salt
    Article: Feb 5, 2021

    Carole Mulroney

    Winter is here and Veolia, in partnership with Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, is already gritting Southend's main road network to keep the community safe, despite the ongoing pandemic.

    Veolia's street cleansing teams in Southend are ready with three gritting vehicles on stand-by, 122 salt bins and 1,500 tonnes of salt in reserve to keep the borough moving. Last year, the three gritters covering Southend were named by local residents, who had entered a competition to name the vehicles.

    So 'Brad Grit', 'Thaw Enforcement' and 'Grit Me Baby One More Time' are all on round-the-clock standby to respond according to the severity of the weather. All priority areas will be gritted first, including hospitals, nursing homes, train stations and bus stops. In the event of heavy snowfall or widespread ice, additional roads will be gritted in priority order after the main network of roads have been treated.

    As well as the roads, Veolia uses small gritting vehicles to keep miles of pavements and walkways safe across the borough. Stuart Atkinson, Contract Manager for Veolia said:

    "Our street cleansing teams work hard all year round to keep Southend clean and safe. Despite the ongoing pandemic, our gritting teams will be working hard again this winter to keep road conditions safe for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians."

    Cllr Carole Mulroney, Lib Dem councillor for Leigh and Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning, said: "Keeping Southend moving whatever the weather is crucial for our residents, businesses, and emergency services, and we are ready to act when the need arises.

    "I would like to urge all residents to ensure they check their vehicles and road conditions before setting out on what, at the moment, must be essential journeys only, and even then, if conditions are poor consider waiting until the weather improves, giving our gritters the ability to treat our roads."

  • Article: Feb 5, 2021
    By Peter Wexham, Leigh Ward Lib Dem councillor on Southend-on-Sea Borough Council in Leigh Times

    Battling climate change needs action on many fronts, and remaining constantly aware of the various challenges in Leigh and across Southend. The Environmental scheme introduced into the Council policy after we, as Liberal Democrats, joined with Labour and the Independent group, to lead the council instead of the Conservatives, this includes our wide- reaching tree policy. Tree cover has increased across the town, with the Council planting as many trees as possible in the streets, parks and open spaces.

  • Article: Feb 3, 2021

    Indecisive Labour-run Harlow Council cause waste pile up

    RESIDENTS in Bush Fair are dealing with a pile-up of food waste after a sudden pause of collections, from Labour-run Harlow Council, failed to give residents enough notice.

    Due to a van breakdown and a shortage of staff residents in Bush Fair won't have their green bins emptied for more than 4 weeks. The announcement to pause green bin collections and the advice to use their black bins instead was made just hours after many residents had their black bins emptied.

  • Roundabout sign
    Article: Feb 1, 2021
    Plans to transform the way people travel around Chelmsford have moved a step closer. A shortlist of improvement options for the Army and Navy junction has been agreed ahead of public consultation in the summer.

    Essex County Council has been thoroughly evaluating four options for the junction - a 'hamburger' roundabout, enlarged roundabout, two-way flyover and separate T-junctions. Assessment has looked at the effects on congestion, journey times and use of sustainable modes of transport, as well as environmental and construction impacts.
  • Police
    Article: Jan 30, 2021
    By Gary MacDonnell

    Yes, rural crime is on the increase. A recent report showed that rural crime has hit a seven-year high, costing the UK £50m in 2018 and up 12% on the previous year.

    These figures only confirm what people in rural areas have known and been reporting for a long time. As government gets ever more centralised our rural areas are increasingly left behind. Successive policing ministers seen to have forgotten that the countryside is our most vulnerable area. A visible presence from police in rural communities now must be a priority as a proven way of reducing crime.

  • Buttsbury Wash
    Article: Jan 30, 2021

    Annually, some 20 - 25 vehicles become stranded in the Wash. This can be a traumatic experience especially at night with no streetlighting particularly for families and senior residents. There is potential for a fatal accident with fast flowing and very cold water. Ordinarily, it is not drivers taking a chance, it is invariably that the warning signage is not there or inadequate.

  • Eastwood Park Special Covid Support Focus No. 1 2021 ()
    Article: Jan 28, 2021
  • Cash
    Article: Jan 25, 2021

    Over £4.7 million has been paid in grants to local businesses by Chelmsford City Council to help with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, since entering Tier 2 on 17 October 2020.

    Many local businesspeople have been unable to work consistently since March 2020 due to the varying Covid-19 restrictions. The government has provided a number of different grant schemes (money that does not need to be paid back) to support businesses through their periods of closure and adjustment.