Monthly Archives: March 2016


It is that time of year again when we start preparing to take part in the Best Kept Village Competition organised through the Rural Community Council of Essex. This year the Parish Council, with Cllr Pippa Drew leading, is preparing for the “Clean for the Queen” event.

You can read in the Parish Magazine how Pippa has been busy encouraging village organisations to take part in the event, with a view to ensuring that we all try to keep the village litter free and tidy throughout the coming months in preparation for when the judges arrive to make their assessments for the Best Kept Village award during May and June.

Previously, the Shops, Doctors Surgery, Pharmacy, School and Businesses have all taken up the challenge and played their part in making the village successful. If you could please help again this year, it would be greatly appreciated. We know the dog walkers are always very helpful with picking up litter all year round which is also greatly appreciated. It would be great if we could once again win the Best Kept Village in our group.

If you do see large amounts of litter and/or fly tipping, could you please contact the Village Caretaker, Bobby McWilliams Tel. 01206 250732.

(photo credit: denisbin, flickr)




Well, it has to be said that there was a brilliant turn out for the village clean up event on 16th April, despite it being a decidedly chilly start to the day. More than 40 people gathered in the Village Hall car park to collect equipment and be allocated an area of the village. The Scouts, Cubs and Explorers were out in force, and many other village groups were represented including the Guides, Friends of the Green, the Conservation Group, the Bentley Green Players, the Conservatives and Protect Great Bentley. There were individual residents from the village joining-in, in pairs or teams and with so many people, each area allocated was quite manageable.

The Brownies did a great job in the Cricket Club, serving refreshments and home made cakes to everyone.

Unsurprisingly, the largest collection came from the verges along Plough Road, with the removal of a countless number of tin cans, bottles, mugs, food wrappers, car wing mirror parts and even a car suspension spring.

Luckily the rain held off until the afternoon, by which time everybody was tucked up in their homes again, hopefully suitably proud of a job well done. We managed to fill Bobby’s trailer with our purple bags of rubbish, and he will be disposing of this (responsibly!) for us.

Cllr Pippa Drew would like to say a huge thanks to everyone who joined in, including those who baked cakes, lent equipment, and helped with the organisation.

(photo credit: Pippa Drew)

Important Changes to the Local Bus Service Network in Essex

From the 10th April 2016 there will be important changes to many of the routes, timetables and service numbers of bus services in Essex.

Passengers, particularly those using the bus to go to school or work, are strongly recommended to check for the revisions using the National Traveline Service, available at: shortly before undertaking their journey, so that they are aware of any changes that have been made.

The majority of dedicated school contract services, which are not open for use by the general public will not be affected.

(photo credit:  jpodgorski1)

Bags of Help grant funding

Tesco Bags of Help programme will support thousands of projects each year. It will fund capital projects that provide community benefit that do not charge for access.

The grants programme will be open to organisations such as: voluntary/community organisations, registered charities, health bodies, Parish/Town councils, social enterprises, Community Interest Companies, schools, hospices, community councils, local authorities and housing organisations.  Other not-for-profit organisations might also be eligible. Read more.

(photo credit: Bags of Help programme)

The importance of rural volunteers

From providing services in your local community to doing whatever is required to help out, understanding the social value of volunteering is now finding its way onto the policy agenda. What traditional and newer measurement approaches are emerging and what do they mean for rural communities? Jessica Sellick investigates for the Rural Services Network. Read more

(photo credit: Kevin Dooley, flickr)

Work to repair the A120 between Braintree and Coggeshall

Highways England is organising work to repair the road surface of the A120 at two sites – at the junction with Colne Road/B1024 (north of Coggeshall) overnight on Monday 21 March, and at the junction with Hollies Road/Bridge Hall Road between Bradwell and the A131 at Braintree overnight on Tuesday 22 March. Works will take place between 20:00 and 06:00 and may result in delays for local road users and through traffic.

To stay informed about all the latest major roadworks happening near you, visit to register for the latest alerts. If you have any enquiries please contact the Highways England Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000, or by e-mail to [email protected]
(photo credit: David Howard, flikr)

TDC Planning Committee – Site Visit

The TDC Planning Committee has arranged a formal site visit on Tuesday 22 March 2016 to access planning application 15/01820/OUT at the site known as ‘land west of Heckford’s Road’, Great Bentley

The estimated arrival time is 10.15 am and departure time is 10.30 am. This time is approximate and may vary by as much as 30 minutes either way.

Public attendance is allowed. This is not, however, a public meeting and there is no opportunity to speak with the Committee or individual members but it’s sometimes interesting to listen to the points raised by the committee members.

(photo credit; Pippa Drew)

Bus Service 77 – Change of Operator

Panter Travel the current operator of bus route 77 issued a notice its customers notifying that from 11th April, the company will no longer operate the Essex County Council supported 77 Bus Route. The contract has been won by Network Colchester.

It is assumed that the route and the times will remain unchanged but for further information please contact Tel. 01206 877620.

(photo credit:  jpodgorski1)