Have you got a teenager who loves their music?
If so, we may have the perfect thing to keep them occupied during the February half-term.
Essex Music Education Hub and Colchester Institute are hosting the free In The Business ‘Plug in to the music industry’ sessions at Colchester Institute’s Swinburne Hall.
Designed to give 15 to 18-year-olds the chance to discover all there is to know about developing a career in the music industry, the four day programme, taking place from Tuesday 16 February to Friday 19 February, will focus on various aspects of the business.
Essex Outdoors’ action-packed activity day experiences run at our 4 centres during the school holidays and are the ideal way for young people aged 8-16 to try exciting new experiences in the outdoors!
Working in groups of around 10 young people, your child will have the opportunity to take part in up to four fun and challenging activities each day, ranging from archery, canoeing and climbing to mountain biking, high ropes and zip wire.
Special offer for February Half Term - School Holiday Activity Days will be just £15 per child, per day, a saving of 50%.
When an historic Grade II listed bridge near Ingatestone had to be closed to traffic following a vehicle strike, Essex Highways structural engineers swung into action and repaired its parapet in speedy time, despite the requirement to source matching bricks and lime mortar.
Buttsbury Bridge, which spans the River Wid, was hit on Friday 13 November. Essex Police closed the bridge for safety reasons.
The structures team had to source a special hand-made red stock brick. Structures manager, Clive Woodruff said: “Because the bridge is so old – the first record of a structure at the site dates from 1519 - county planning regulations say only a closely matched brick can be used.
“We sourced London Clays, which are dug from seams used almost continually since Tudor times. Every single brick is hand-crafted, using traditional methods of making and drying, and fired in a coal burning kiln which gives a distinctive finish and blends well with the originals.”
The repair work needed to be completed rapidly to avoid clashing with Highways England road closures planned for the A12 - part of the diversion route imposed following the bridge strike. The final coping stones, salvaged from the parapet, were laid on Friday 27 November.
Streetlights stay on for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day
Essex County Council has announced it will help local businesses and residents to enjoy the Christmas and New Year celebrations by keeping all street lights switched on in the early hours of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Cllr Eddie Johnson, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways Delivery, said: “As a seasonal gesture of goodwill, all street lights will remain on the night on the mornings of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
"The Council wants to help residents celebrate Christmas and the countdown to 2016 by enabling the public to enjoy late-night festive events including Midnight Mass and New Year's Eve parties."
Part night lighting usually operates on streetlights across most of Essex seven days a week between 1am and 5am (midnight until 5am on Monday mornings).
It is currently on course to save taxpayers approximately £1.4 million this financial year as well as saving carbon emissions.
Cllr Johnson added: “There has been no change to the Essex County Council street lighting policy. There is absolutely no evidence of increased crime or accidents across the county since the implementation of part night lighting.”
Essex County Council streetlights always remain on in areas where well-established exemption criteria apply.
A new shuttle bus service was launched on the 30th November linking Chelmer Valley Park and Ride car park and Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford.
The single deck bus runs every half hour between the two sites offering an easy and reliable service for those visiting the hospital.
The service costs just £3 per adult passenger and includes unlimited travel for the day on all other Chelmsford Park and Ride services (Sandon and Chelmer Valley). Free travel is open to concessionary pass holders after 9am.
Cllr Kay Twitchen, Essex County Council Deputy Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Environment, said: “There is high demand for parking at Broomfield Hospital, and we have capacity at Chelmer Valley Park and Ride. The service will be run for a year. Continuation after that will be dependent on usage, so I would urge people to take advantage of this unique service if they want to keep it.
“The primary focus of our Park and Ride car parks is to provide parking for shoppers and commuters in the city centre, but it makes sense in this case to accommodate the Trust’s request to run a shuttle bus from the car park to Broomfield, as part of their travel plan.
“We’re pleased to be working with Mid Essex Hospitals Trust to improve parking and transportation for patients, staff and visitors at Broomfield Hospital.”
From Chelmer Valley, the first bus will leave at 06.37, running every 30 minutes at 07 and 37 past the hour until 17.07 with the last two buses departing at 17.47 and 18.25.
The return journey from Broomfield Hospital will start at 06.50, running every 30 minutes at 20 and 50 past each hour up till 17.20. The last buses will depart at 18.00 and 18.40.
The journey time is 10 minutes each way.
Carin Charlton, Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust Executive Director of Strategy and Corporate Services, said: "Mid Essex Hospitals is pleased that the County Council has approved this pilot project. Broomfield Hospital is fortunate to have a number of regular and reliable bus services for patients and visitors coming from across Essex, and this will be a welcome addition to these services for patients, visitors and staff.
“This new route has been made possible by the close working between the Trust and the County Council, and we are pleased that monies we contributed to transport infrastructure as part of our town and country planning obligations have been invested in this way to directly benefit the patients, visitors and staff to our hospital.
“The Trust is very mindful about sustainability and the environment and its role in the community and is pleased to support projects that promote more sustainable travel to and from our hospital site."
- Thames Water to take on the responsibility of 4,000 sewage pumping stations from property owners and managers
- Utility will take over electricity and maintenance costs under new legislation, potentially saving customers thousands of pounds
- Firm appeals for help tracking 1,800 ‘missing’ stations
Thames Water is appealing to customers to help identify privately owned sewage pumping stations.
The utility, which serves 15 million customers across London and the Thames Valley, will take responsibility for around 4,000 pumping in October 2016, but needs to track down 1,800 currently off its radar.
New legislation means sewage pumping stations, which power wastewater away from properties and out into the public sewer pipe network, currently owned and maintained by customers will become legally owned and operated by the local water company.
The pumping stations are found in all shapes and sizes, and can be in places where there are a number of properties needing to connect to the public sewer network. Customers will know they have one as they’ll be paying to maintain and power them.
Jerry White, of Thames Water, said: “This is really good news for customers. We’d urge anyone who thinks they may have one to get in touch so we can check they are eligible for the transfer of ownership. In some cases, as well as electricity savings, maintaining and replacing pumps can cost thousands of pounds so it’s an excellent deal for them.
“We believe we know where approximately half of the stations we need to take over are, but really need help to find the other 1,800. Please get in touch if you think this applies to you and we can take on the responsibility forever.”
Anyone with a private pumping station can make Thames Water aware at thameswater.co.uk/pumphunt
Brentwood Borough Council are concerned by messages it has received regarding a person who has been doorstep cold calling residents in the Warley area in the evening.
It has been reported to us that on Tuesday night, a man was knocking on doors claiming he was carrying out a resident survey on behalf of Brentwood Borough Council. He quickly waved an unidentifiable badge before going on to ask for personal information.
The Leader of Brentwood Borough Council, Councillor Louise McKinlay said: “Although we have only had a couple of messages from residents who were concerned after they were visited by the cold caller - we suspect they are not alone. I would like to warn residents that we are not currently carrying out a residents survey and if we were, we would always do some publicity first to raise awareness. Please do not give your personal details, or any details, to the person currently doorstep cold calling claiming to be doing a survey on our behalf”.
If residents are visited by this doorstep cold caller claiming to be working on behalf of the Council and asking for personal information, we would advise you to contact us on 01277 312500 with details so we can investigate further.