superfast broadband

Superfast Essex Programme Update – August 2016

superfast bbWe did it – 65,000 now have superfast!

The Superfast Essex programme has successfully completed the first phase of its superfast fibre broadband rollout to 65,000 homes and businesses. Superfast download speeds of 24Mbps and above are available to 87% of Essex premises. The target was achieved three months earlier than scheduled with the programme finishing its £24.6million Phase 1 rollout at the end of June ahead of the original expected finish in September this year, after starting work in April 2014.

In that time 355 new green fibre cabinets have been installed across Essex and more than 600km of fibre cable has been deployed – enough to cover three and a quarter laps of the M25 or the distance from Braintree to Land’s End, in Cornwall.

The early finish of Phase 1 has allowed the programme to continue with the rollout efforts and move into the next phase of the programme (Phase 2) early. Engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, are now extending coverage to another 51,000 homes and businesses, thanks to a further £18.9million investment from ECC, BT, Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and other local councils. The aim is to provide 95% superfast broadband coverage across the county by the end of June 2019 when the second phase of the BT rollout and Gigaclear’s Superfast Essex Rural Challenge Project are completed.

Check the status of your area on our interactive map – if it’s available contact a broadband provider and ask to switch to fibre.


Crackdown on illegal waste at recycling centres

Waste from Essex businesses which has been illegally left at recycling centres has left taxpayers with a disposal bill running to hundreds of thousands of pounds.

To tackle the problem, Essex County Council is set to announce changes to the way sites will operate in the future, to prevent taxpayers footing the bill for business waste, reduce queues for genuine customers and prevent daytime closures. Follow the link to read the recycling centre press release.

(photo credit; Laura Gilmore, flickr)

Victim Support

Volunteer opportunity

Victim Support is a charity organisation supporting victims of crime.  It is in urgent need of volunteers to assist deliver our service in Tendring. Please follow the link to the charity’s website.

As a Victim Support Volunteer you can help support victims affected by crime, through phone or face‐to‐face appointments, listening to their concerns and helping them to move on with their lives. You will get a rewarding sense of having made a positive difference to people’s lives. No experience is necessary, just the willingness to help and a little time. Victim Support will pay your expenses and provide you with nationally accredited training.

For further information contact Essex Service Delivery Team on 01277 357557 or email

essex police badge

Active Citizen Programme

Across the UK there are examples where members of the public are volunteering in roles to support local policing activity.  Essex Police are creating their own Active Citizen programme, expanding an existing volunteer framework which will enable more members of the public to be become involved in supporting their local community through volunteering with local police.

Active Citizen will incorporate a number of existing volunteer programmes such as Special Constables, Dog Watch, and Volunteer Police Cadets but goes much further.  Opportunities will be tailored according to availability, capacity and capability of the volunteer and imagination is key to success.

Some example of opportunities include:

  • Patrols of the streets to assist the police in keeping people safe;
  • Setting up crime prevention stands;
  • Distributing crime prevention leaflets;
  • Assisting with back office functions.

This is available to volunteers from the age of 16+ and can be an invaluable opportunity to gain experience in customer service and problem solving. Please follow the link to view the recruitment flyer.


sports participation

Stats show upsurge in people doing sport

Sport figures reveal an extra 340,000 people in England getting active. 

New figures from Sport England’s Active People Survey show that 15.83 million people over the age of 16 played sport in the last year.

That’s a return to the level seen after the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. This equates to 1.75 million more than when London won the right to host the Games.

While 81,900 more men are playing sport, the overall increase is largely because more women are getting active, accounting for over 75% of the increase. The gender gap in sport has therefore  been reduced slightly to 1.6 million.

Keep fit and going to the gym remain hugely popular, with the number of people doing them every week breaking the seven million mark for the first time. Exercise classes, like spinning and boxercise, continue to attract large numbers of people, especially women.

Team sports are also becoming increasingly popular:

  • Cricket has seen an increase of 43,500
  • Rugby union is up by 23,000
  • Netball is played by 13,100 more people

The boom in sports participation looks like it is set to continue, with 138,100 more people running regularly in the last 12 months and a remarkable one million more people running compared to 10 years ago. 


Police Chief visits Great Bentley

District Commander Chief Inspector Russ Cole attended a meeting of Great Bentley Parish Council on 4 August. He provided Parish Councillors and local residents with a fascinating insight in to modern policing.

Chief Inspector Cole, a local lad who grew up in neighbouring Alresford, shared the priorities of Essex Police and his personal priorities. He reflected on how policing has changed during his 27 year career. He referred to a number of salient statistics, advising that traditional criminal activity (e.g. burglary and car crime) is deceasing but there is an increase in computer and IT type crime and violent crime. Most of the violent crime is related to domestic abuse. Worryingly there is an increase in sexual offences.

Essex Police continues to change to address changing criminal activity with increased partnership working. The identification of trends and patterns and the development of specialist skills.

C/Insp Cole provided reassurance that community policing remains a focus and is as important as ever to Essex Police in its fight against crime. While Great Bentley has a very low crime rate in comparison with other areas in the District, he reiterated how important the partnership with Great Bentley Parish Council to provide a shared PCSO remains.C/Insp Cole fielded questions enthusiastically from residents on a variety of topics.

He provided an insightful and informative presentation and will be welcomed back whenever he chooses.



Celebrate England

Celebrate England – Big Lottery Fund

The Big Lottery Fund are offering grants of between £300 and £10,000 for groups to hold one off events or activities which celebrate their local community.

You could celebrate something from your community’s history or a local hero. Or maybe it’s a chance to bring people together to get to know their neighbours better. £3.875m is available for projects in England.

Voluntary and community organisations, schools and statutory organisations can all apply. Higher priority will be given to applications from:

  • projects which demonstrate communities coming together to celebrate and share their diverse cultures
  • projects which actively bring different generations together.

Celebrate opened for applications on 6 July 2016. Applications will be assessed and awarded on a first come, first served basis. The fund will be closed to new applications when all the money has been awarded.

Police Officers

Essex Police has a new-look website

Essex Police has a new-look website giving people greater and easier access to our services. The new site, which still operates from our address, will allow people to report non-emergency crimes and road traffic collisions as well as lost and found property.

The website is easier to navigate, more accessible and is designed to be smartphone and tablet friendly. The site will also allow people to access online reporting services for fraud, hate crime, potholes, abandoned cars, street lighting and noise nuisance issues. The site also incorporates a link to the “AskThePolice’national website which provides answers to frequently asked policing questions avoiding the need for people to phone us. In 2009,

Keep in touch with all our latest news via the following: Web: Twitter: YouTube: Facebook: Instagram:

(photo credit; fotdmike, flickr)


Have your say on general practice and mental health services

Clinicians at North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are seeking views from local people on two new strategies that are being developed.

The proposed general practice strategy describes how GP services might be provided in the future.  It has an emphasis on providing modern, efficient, quality healthcare services in response to increases in demand, complexity of peoples’ conditions and the rising cost of care, against a backdrop of finite available resource.

Views are also being sought on peoples’ experiences and views of mental health services.  Responses will help develop a new mental health strategy for Essex. All feedback received to both surveys will remain strictly confidential.

North East Essex CCG, said:  “We would strongly urge people to take part in both of these surveys as any feedback received will be used to help shape the way these services are provided in the future.” To complete the surveys visit,

(photo credit; The Bees, flickr)


Monthly Planning Committee and Parish Council Agenda’s

The next monthly meetings of the Planning Committee and Parish Council will be held at 7pm and 7.30pm respectfully this Thursday 4 August 2016. Follow the links to view the agendas. Residents are welcome to attend meetings as they are open to the public.