Essex Air Ambulance

Read about Essex Air Ambulance’s summer fund raising initiatives  click here

(photo credit; Andy Wilkes and Steve Lynes, Flickr)20264883755_7041328afe_n

Great Bentley – Housing Needs Survey

You may be aware that the Parish Council is organising a Housing Needs Survey for the Parish, which will help to guide us on what new housing is actually needed by local residents. The survey questionnaire will be delivered to every household and it would be very helpful if you could complete and return it promptly when it arrives.

Cllr Pippa Drew is coordinating the delivery of the survey questionnaires and would welcome any volunteers to assist with this task. It is anticipated surveys forms will be ready this weekend (9 and 10 April) for delivery over the following week or so. If you are able to join in the delivery effort, please contact Pippa directly or the Community Resource Centre Tel. 01206 256410 or email

(photo credit: Pippa Drew)

Roads Surface Dressing Information/Programme

It’s that time of year again when the Essex County Council (ECC) Capital Maintenance Programme for roads surface dressing commences.

Works will be starting on Saturday 9 April 2016 and usually the programme runs right through to September, weather permitting.  It involves spraying the existing road surface with a coating of hot bitumen and covering it with stone chippings.  For more information on Surface Dressing please visit the ECC website –

To view the first quarter schedule for this year and to see what works are being undertaken in your area please visit –

The ECC website will be updated accordingly with future schedules throughout the year.

(photo credit: Jeremy Segrott, Flickr)


UKPN Energy Efficiency Advice

UKPN has produced a leaflet that provides advice on energy efficiency. It also contains useful contact details of other organisations who are able to offer advice for residents on keeping warm and reducing energy bills. This can be found on this website:

Funding Opportunity – Princes Countryside Fund

The Prince’s Countryside Fund provides more than £1m in grants each year to projects across the UK. There are grants of up to £50,000 available for innovative projects that will provide a lasting legacy to the individuals and communities they seek to benefit.

It recognises that rural communities face a range of challenges. One way in which we help grassroots organisations overcome these is through our grant programme.

The Prince’s Countryside Fund seek applications to support activity that results in a long-term positive impact on rural communities by helping the people that live and work in the countryside. The grant programme currently aims to tackle the following key rural issues:

  1. Developing thriving rural communities by improving service provision in rural areas.
  2. Transforming rural livelihoods by supporting rural enterprise and farming businesses.
  3. Creating the farmers of the future by providing training opportunities for young people and unemployed people.

Open for applications until midnight on 13th April 2016.

(photo credit: The Princes Countryside Fund)

Consultation on review of Essex Parking Standards, Design and Good Practice 2016

Essex County Council is seeking your views on the proposed changes to the Essex Parking Standards, Design and Good Practice.  This review of the Essex Parking Standards is to update it in light of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (2012) and at the same time take the opportunity to address some issues which have come to light as the policies and standards have been applied over the last few years.  It is however an interim review, as to make any fundamental changes requires a robust evidence base and this is not yet available as only a few developments have been built to the new standards and are operational.

A Strategic Environmental Assessment and Sustainability Appraisal of the reviewed Parking Standards has also been undertaken and this is also out to consultation.

How do I comment?

The draft documents are available for consultation for six weeks until Friday 13th May 2016 through the Essex Insight portal which can be accessed via the link below

Consultation on review of Essex Parking Standards, Design and Good Practice 2016

The website includes copies of both documents, a summary of the key changes and a short questionnaire asking for your views on the changes.  You can respond directly online at our website by using the link above.

If you are not able to access the questionnaire please call Customer Services on 0345 7430430 who will be able to provide a mediated service.  The documents are also available in alternative formats, if required please email –

ECC Strategic Development Team

(photo credit: Peter Miller Flickr)

Railway Station Footbridge Reopens

After months of hard work, negotiations, consultation, frustrating delays and behind the scenes talks, the Great Bentley Transport Minister is pleased to announce that the footbridge at Great Bentley Station reopened at 09:00 Sunday 3 March 2016. It is understood that there is still some 2/3 weeks of residual painting to complete, nevertheless the bridge will be open. This will enable the village and car parking to return to normal life and allow commuters to have an extra 10 minutes in bed!

Transport Minister

(photo credit: Parish Magazine)


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)