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A Message from Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex with a link to the Policing Precept Survey

Police funding is an important topic both nationally and particularly in Essex. There is always a demand for greater police visibility by the public – it’s a very clear message I receive via correspondence from residents and businesses and from comments made at my regular public meetings held throughout the county. As Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner I have to set a budget for Essex Police that enables the Chief Constable to deliver the best possible policing service that the public of Essex deserve.

Funding for Essex Police comes from two sources – central Government and local Council Tax. Taking these two funding sources into account, Essex Police receives the second lowest funding per resident of any police force in the country and has one of the lowest Council Tax precepts for policing. Next year we are also expecting significant additional costs from increases in police officer pay, higher insurance costs and changes to police officer pensions. There will also be costs as a result of extending the police’s Airwave radio system due to delays in the roll out of the National Emergency Services Communication Programme.

Last year, I carried out a public survey which received more than 5,000 responses. Approximately two thirds of the people who answered (65 per cent) said they would be prepared to see the police element of local Council Tax increased by more than two per cent so more money could be made available for policing in Essex. More than half were prepared to pay up to £20 more per year.

In light of the results from last year’s survey, I raised the policing element of the Council Tax by up to £12, or £1 a month, for a Band D property. This increase, as part of the £450 million in police funding secured nationally from the Government last year, allowed Essex Police to recruit 150 more frontline officers, bringing the total amount of Essex Police officers to at least 3,000. These additional officers are being recruited and trained and will be arriving in local communities by February 2019.

Prior to the setting of the policing precept for 2019-2020, I am again asking for residents’ views to help inform my approach. This survey was launched today (Tuesday, November 6) and I would ask you to encourage as many people as possible to complete it.

People can fill in the survey online via this link

Hard copies are also available.  People can contact my office on 01245 291600 or email to request a copy. People can also write to PFCC for Essex, Kelvedon Park, London Road, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex, CM8 3HB.

The survey will close at midnight on Tuesday, November 27.

Yours faithfully,


Roger Hirst

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

Office of The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex


MeetUpMondays: Scheme to combat loneliness launches in the Braintree District

Scheme to combat loneliness launches in the Braintree District

MeetUpMondays is a ‘loneliness busting’, simple idea that actually has the capacity to change lives.

Local cafes, restaurants and pubs are urged to offer a couple of hours of free toast (or whatever they choose) and a cuppa to people who are fed up with their own company; whether you are a new mum, or have just moved to the area, or are retired.  The meet up is for anyone and gives people a chance to meet others and connect more with their community.

Businesses are being encouraged to invite people into a warm and friendly environment where they know they are welcome and will not stand out as being alone. Businesses may also consider offering a table quiz or some games as an ice breaker to encourage introductions and let the chatter happen.

The first ‘Meet Up Mondays’ in the Braintree District will launch on Monday 29th October at Cool Beans in the Gardens at Braintree and Bocking Gardens from 9.30am-11.30am. Residents will be offered one free drink and table games will be available. The owner of Cool Beans, Rachel McMillan, is looking forward to launching the scheme, “I am proud to be the first venue in the district to offer Meet Up Mondays. We are a commercial business but we are a local business and we want to embed ourselves within our community.  We are open anyway and a few extra cups of tea is something I am more than happy to offer if we can do our bit to help combat an important health issue such as loneliness.”

Councillor Peter Tattersley, Cabinet Member for Health & Communities said, “In the same week the Prime Minister launches the Government’s first loneliness strategy we recognize the importance of trying to combat this problem in our own district. Three quarters of GPs surveyed have said they are seeing between one and five people a day suffering with loneliness, which is linked to a range of damaging health impacts, like heart disease, strokes and Alzheimer’s disease. Research shows that loneliness is as damaging to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day (Holt-Lunstad, 2015). Around 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month. By supporting businesses to open up their doors they are giving residents the opportunity to return at any time rather than just waiting for the next meet up.”

Essex County Council’s Transport & Travel Update – October 2018

Trouble viewing? View this email in your browser.

essex county council

Transport & Travel Update

New edition of Bus Passenger News

Bus pictureFind out more about local bus service changes by reading this month’s Bus Passenger News.

If you want to find your nearest bus service or plan a journey on public transport, please or Traveline.

Follow@Essex_PT on Twitter for public transport information.

For live updates on buses, you can also follow your local bus operator on Twitter by clicking here:Arriva, Chambers, Ensign, First, Hedingham and NIBS.

Where to catch your bus in Colchester Town Centre – Sunday 21 October 2018

Colchester Town Map

When the on-street bus station in Osborne Street and Stanwell Street was created, bus services were allocated to bus stops at the new interchange and around the Town Centre to regulate their use.

As the bus network around Colchester has developed, the number of buses using individual bus stops has grown due to increased service frequency and the introduction of new routes. It has now become clear that this is making it difficult for both buses and the public to use the bus stops effectively.  It is also reducing the attractiveness, reliability and economic viability of the town’s bus services.

We have been working closely with the bus operators to resolve many of the issues.  It has been agreed to alter the allocations of services to bus stops at the bus station and around the Town Centre. Measures include opening up the spare capacity on the current Park & Ride only stops and grouping services that serve common corridors on the same stops. This has the aim of reducing the pressure at key stops, improving service reliability, improving passenger safety when boarding and reducing pollution around the Town.

As a result of the changes the majority of bus stops will have fewer services calling at them. However, a small number of stops will have more services calling at them. These stops are either underused at present or are better suited to deal with the increased number of buses than the current arrangements.

For more information, which includes a Where To Catch Your Bus & Frequently Asked Questions, please visit our []website.

Sandon Park and Ride – Sunday Christmas Operations

Chelmsford P & R

Sandon Park & Ride will operate on the following Sundays: 18 November & 02, 09, 16 December 2018.

The Park and Ride departs the site from 0930 – 1700 with a 15 minute frequency throughout the day.  On Sunday 18 November Chelmsford City Centre have the Christmas lights switch on so you can travel into the City Centre and it will depart at: 1715, 1730, 1745 and 1800. To get back from the City Centre the Park and Ride will depart at: 1709, 1723, 1738, 1753 and 1808.

These times are based on the bus stop at Reed Agency and New London Road.

If you would like to stay later in Chelmsford City Centre you can catch Services 31 & 36 Operated by First Essex Buses back to Sandon Park and Ride.  These times are based on stand DB at H&M.

Monday – Saturday service 31 departs at 2012, 2112, 2217 and 2312.

Monday – Saturday service 36 departs at 2042, 2142 and 2242.

Essex County Council Bus Consultation

Have your say

Essex County Council (ECC) regularly consults on changes to its supported bus services.  The consultations look to understand the impact of a timetable and/or route change to people using the service, as well as ensuring the service meets the criteria set out by the Bus Strategy “Getting Around in Essex”.  

Current consultations

Service 381

Harlow – Coopersale

Consultation closes: 27 Nov 2018

Questionnaires are available from the driver on the bus, or you can complete the survey online on the links above. If you have any queries or would like a copy of the questionnaire please email:


Temporary Traffic Reg Order: Morris Green Rd, Blackmore End, Pattens Farm Road, Bakers Farm Lane, Sible Hedingham

Temporary Traffic Regulation Order of Morris Green Road, Blackmore End Road, Pattens Farm Road, Bakers Farm Lane, Sible Hedingham
Please click on the following link to find details of the intended closure of Morris Green Road, Blackmore End Road, Pattens Farm Road, Bakers Farm Lane, due to commence on 17th December 2018 for 5 days. The closure is required for the safety of the public and workforce while Essex County Council undertakes carriageway patching.

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