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Get Involved with Chelmsford City Council
Essex Fraud Alert – Covid 19 related scams
Road closure in Downham Road beginning Monday Aug 3 2020
Chelmsford City Council – Consultation on Community Involvement on Planning
Free Walks in Essex
Corona Virus Information
Recent planning applications
1 Get Involved and have you say with Chelmsford City Council
There’s never been a better time to live a more involved life.
The pandemic has caused a lot of damage – to people’s lives and wellbeing, to the economy and even to the services and businesses close to your home in Chelmsford. But in some ways, it has also brought us closer together.
There are opportunities too, and you have the opportunity to help shape how Chelmsford looks in the future. If you’ve never been involved much in local democracy, now is a great time to start.
What’s happening at Chelmsford City Council?
It’s no secret that the coronavirus pandemic has had a big impact on everyone’s finances. Local councils are no exception.
In June, the City Council announced that it expects its budget to have a shortfall of around £8.6 million this year. Last month, the estimate went up to £9.5 million.
Why does this matter to you?
The City Council manages a lot of essential services in Chelmsford. That includes…
– helping people who are threatened with homelessness
– keeping the streets clean
– emptying bins and collecting recycling
– enforcing against people who fly-tip and behave antisocially
– looking after parks and green spaces
– educating young people about the dangers of gangs
– managing the city cemetery
– working out what is built where and making sure there’s infrastructure to support it
This is all on a tight budget…
Local councils no longer receive big grants from Government to provide these services and your City Council only keeps 11% of your Council Tax. Normally, income from car parks, theatres, museums and leisure centres helps to pay for it all – but the pandemic has wiped much of this year’s income out.
So a big budget gap means that tough decisions are being made to protect the most vital services. This is relevant to everyone in Chelmsford. We will keep you informed through this newsletter and the @ChelmsCouncil Facebook and Twitter pages – and if you would like to be part of local decision-making, why not attend one of the Council’s public meetings?
Be part of local democracy
All our meetings are now virtual. They cover all kinds of decisions, from granting events licenses and planning permission to deciding which services get the most funding.
Each meeting starts with a Public Question Time, then moves on to talk about different issues one by one. The topics for discussion are set in advance on an agenda, and there are usually documents which the councillors read before the meeting so they’re well-informed before they make decisions.
The agendas and documents are public, so you can read them too.
It’s up to you how you take part. You can just watch, or if there is something you want to talk about, you can request to speak and ask the councillors a question.
There are many other ways that you can be more active in your local area – you can do kind things for others in your community, be creative or take part in events. We would like to invite you to be part of VJ Day 75 in Chelmsford.
15 August marks 75 years since Japan surrendered to the Allies, ending the Second World War.
The Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor Jude Deakin, is inviting people to join her in remembering VJ Day by making origami birds in the form of cranes. They will be sent to the Japanese embassy and made into a paper wreath for the Children’s Peace Monument in the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park.
2. Road closure at Downham Road, Ingatestone to support drainage works
We would like to make you aware that arrangements have been made to carry out drainage works on Downham Road at the junction of Stock Road and going southbound stopping just before Lower Stock Road. Works will take place from Monday 3 August 2020 and expected to take approximately four weeks to complete.
This will involve drainage investigation works and either repair or replace where needed. In addition, we will also will clear the ditches to relive the flooding along Downham Road.
In order to support these works it will be necessary to close Downham Road for the duration of the works however, access will be maintained throughout. During working hours, banksmen will be at either end of the closure to guide traffic through. Overnight the works will be protected by barriers and access only signs will be in place.
Works will take place Monday to Sunday between the hours of 8am to 5pm.
Residents/Businesses in the immediate vicinity will shortly receive a letter providing further details (example letter attached).
Have a look at Walking in Essex (https://www.walkinginengland.co.uk/essex) which has hundreds of FREE walks to download and print plus details of all the walking clubs in the country and loads more information.
A message from Leader of Essex County Council, Cllr David Finch
Following on from the government’s announcement of the gradual easing of some of the restrictions of lockdown, Essex County Council has begun its own work to gradually reintroduce some services.
The new #StayAlert guidance is by its nature more complex than what it replaced. Necessarily so, because we are entering a more complex phase of the national response to COVID-19. Advice and guidance to businesses and individuals must guide individual choices and actions.
In Essex, from Monday, 15 recycling centres will open, but with a reduced service because of social distancing. Further details are in this newsletter and on our website.
We are also working with primary schools and early years settings to help them plan how they will return. This will be phased, gradual and small-scale, from 1 June.
In our town and city centres, where there is less motor traffic and the safest way to get to and from work is walking or by bicycle, we are beginning work to put temporary cycle lanes in place, and expand footpaths so that people have more room to socially-distance. We will be talking to local councils and cycling groups about the potential locations for such lanes in the coming days and weeks.
Cllr David Finch
Leader, Essex County Council
Changes to our services
Our website includes information on what you should do, the latest changes to our services and how you can get help in your community.
Recycling centres opening
15 recycling centres in Essex will be open from Monday 18 May. Only waste and recycling which cannot be stored at home without causing a health or safety risk will be accepted.
You should only visit a recycling centre if absolutely necessary. The safest way to get rid of your waste and recycling is using your kerbside collection.
New restrictions and social distancing measures will be in place to ensure the safety of all residents and site staff. Please check for up to date information before travelling.
Preparing for phased school reopening
The government has announced that schools, colleges and early years settings could begin to reopen to more pupils from 1 June, subject to set conditions being met, such as the infection rate continuing to fall. This will initially apply to reception, year one, year six, and year 12 pupils.
We are supporting education settings with their preparations for this phased reopening. In line with guidance, any return will take place on a small-scale basis, with a focus on the health and safety of pupils, families and staff.
Schools and other settings will be contacting parents and carers with details of their arrangements in the coming weeks.
Save time and check online for updates. You can also help family and friends who don’t have access to the internet by checking for them too.
Key workers carrying out essential work
Key workers are currently undertaking essential work on our telecommunications network. We ask that you please help support these engineers by respecting the important work they are doing on both network installation and maintenance. Any instances of abuse will be reported to network operators.
A revolution for footways and cycle paths
Cycling and walking will be at the forefront of getting the county moving again. We are planning to expand the cycle path and footway network in town and city centres across the county. This will allow people to cycle or walk to work or shops more easily and help with social distancing.
Plans are being developed for a number of areas in Essex. More details will made available over the coming weeks.
In the space of just a few days, life in Chelmsford has changed completely for all of us. We hope you are managing to adapt during this very difficult time and whatever happens, we will do our best to bring you all your key services.
Our vital services like bin collections and street care are all running as normal and our teams are working around the clock to keep things going. We’ll stay in touch over the coming weeks and we’ll be keeping this page constantly updated: www.chelmsford.gov.uk/coronavirus. Please do check it if you need more detailed information about our services or if you need to get in touch with us.
Here is the latest information on our services as of Friday 27 March:
Waste and recycling: waste and recycling collections are running as normal with no disruptions.
Council tax, business rates and benefits: all teams are working normally but the service is dealing with very high demand, which is expected to continue for some time. If your income has been stopped or reduced as a result of coronavirus, you may be eligible for a council tax reduction: www.chelmsford.gov.uk/benefits/council-tax-reduction.
Street care services: all street cleaning is continuing.
Customer service: you can phone the Customer Service Centre between 8.45am and 4.45pm, Monday to Friday. Call 01245 606606 or contact us online via www.chelmsford.gov.uk/contactus.
Housing: the housing team is responding to all housing enquiries as usual, although some of our partners are operating a reduced service. If you think you may be at risk of homelessness, please contact us as soon as possible.
Chelmsford Cemetery and Crematorium: services are still operating, but the office on Writtle Road is closed to visitors and staff are responding to enquiries by phone and email. The Memorial Chapel is closed, and the number of mourners allowed has been limited in both the North and South Chapels.
Car parks: Most of our car parks are open but Meadows Retail car park, Townfield Street car park and High Chelmer are now closed to the public. Any season ticket holders affected by these closures may park in one of our other car parks instead.
Parking: Enforcement patrols are focused on keeping important routes clear and restrictions have been relaxed around one-hour single yellow lines in residential areas since more people are working from home. Visits to assess requests for parking restrictions have been suspended.
Retail Market: the indoor area of the market is now closed until further notice. However, the fruit and veg stall and the butcher will be selling essential items from 8.30am to 1.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday at the front of the park end of the market. We’ll be keeping this under review, and we’ll update you if this arrangement changes.
High Street Market: this will be operating on Friday and Saturday until 4pm, but only with stalls selling essential food items, including fruit and vegetables, cheese, and bread.
Public toilets: all public toilets in our parks are now closed but the toilets in Market Road in the city centre are open between 10am and 3pm.
Shopmobility: the wheelchair and scooter loan service which operates from the rear of the Market Road toilets, is now open between 10am and 3pm.
Planning and Building Control: routine site visits have been suspended and planning advice will only be given in written form. The planning team is not currently posting site notices. The building control team have replaced physical site inspections with virtual ones.
Licensing: the licensing team can still be contacted by phone and email, but they will not be accepting any new hackney carriage or private hire drivers licence applications at present. The Taxi Knowledge Test will be cancelled until further notice.
Pest control and stray dogs: Pest control bookings are only being taken for rats and mice at present. The stray dogs service will operate a reduced service.
Noise and nuisance enforcement: services are operating normally, although non-essential visits will be reduced.
Parks:our parks are still open but equipped play areas, outdoor gyms and public toilets are closed. Volunteering has been suspended for now.
Committees and meetings: All scheduled meetings of the Council’s cabinet, committees and sub-committees have been postponed at present.
MOTs at Freighter House: The Government has announced that any MOTs which run out after 30 March will be extended for a further six months. You will not be able to book an MOT at Freighter House after 30 March, unless your MOT ran out in March.
Essex County Council recycling centres: these are not currently open to the public.
Hylands Estate: the park is open butHylands House and The Stables are closed, including The Stables Café and Hylands Artist Studios. Events and bookings are being postponed and the Open House, Farmers’ Market, Scrapbook Safari and Tuesday Toddles are suspended for now. The adventure playground and Mauro’s Café at the Writtle end of the park are both closed. All public toilets are closed.
Leisure centres: all four of our leisure centres, including Riverside, have been closed until further notice. Easter holiday clubs and activities have been cancelled and refunds are being issued.
Chelmsford City Theatres: the theatres are closed and refunds for all affected shows are being issued. There are many payments to process, so please don’t worry if you haven’t heard about your refund yet; our box office will be in touch with you directly as soon as they can.
Chelmsford Museums: the museums are closed but the collections can still be accessed online.
We’ll also be posting regular updates on the @ChelmsCouncil Facebook and twitter accounts if there are any changes that may affect you.
Stay safe and well and thank you for your understanding. Everyone at Chelmsford City Council will be doing all we can to be there for you in the weeks ahead.
HELP AVAILABLE FOR ELDERLY / VULNERABLE RESIDENTS
19 March 2020
I am writing to advise that in conjunction with the Parish Council, a group of residents have kindly offered their services to deliver food parcels and collect medication from pharmacies for anyone who needs help within the Parish during these worrying times.
We are working with local stores to deliver essential grocery packs, such as bread, milk, tea, toilet roll, tissues, eggs, soup, biscuits etc….. These packs will cost £20 and £30. We will also try to cater for food allergies.
All initial communication will be made via myself, and if you require any assistance, I will filter this through to the volunteer who resides nearer to your home. We have a total of 30 volunteers covering all three wards, Ramsden Heath, Downham and South Hanningfield.
The volunteers will also be available via telephone, should you wish to contact them directly. We are currently seeing if we can purchase some I.D for the volunteers, if this is not possible within the time frame, they will be supplied with my business card.
If this is a service you feel you would like to use, please contact me on 07985-430365, as I may be working from home and not from the Parish Office.
I would also advise that Hall & Co, Hemming Stores Too and the Fox & Hounds are currently offering a delivery service.
If the above is not a service you would use, but you need help or assistance of another nature, please do not hesitate to contact me and we will try to help.
Mrs Julie Moule
Clerk to the Council
South Hanningfield Parish Council
Recent Planning Applications
First Bus Services: 10 – 13 – 14 – 94 from Jan 2020