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News...

A130/A131 improvements
Last updated 23 September 2017

Essex County Council has secured 7.3 million of funding to make improvements to the A130 and A131 around Little Waltham. A series of roundabout and bus lane improvements are proposed. The work will be phased over a 3 year period, and will start later this year.

The proposed work includes:-
* Essex Regiment Way bus lane extension
* Deres Bridge roundabout improvements
* Nabbotts roundabout improvements
* Sheepcotes roundabout improvements
* General resurfacing and lining improvements.

Click here to see a map giving more details of all the proposed improvements.

Flower Festival
Last updated 23 September 2017

Here's a photo of the Parish Council's entry in the Flower Festival at St Martin's Church. The display, entitled "Frog Prince", was kindly created by Rosemary Weir. Click here to see a larger picture.
 
Frog Prince

Little Waltham Surgery - open meeting
Last updated 23 September 2017

The Patient Participation Group of the Little Waltham and Great Notley Surgeries is holding an Open Meeting at the Notley Green Surgery on Wednesday 1 November at 7.30pm. It's an opportunity for you to find out about what's happening in your medical practice, to see how it's adapting to NHS financial cuts, and to raise any questions about the surgeries and how they are run.

Two GP partners will be at the meeting, and you'll also be able to meet the Patient Participation Group committee and find out more about what it does and how you can help.

Gardening Club September meeting - report
Last updated 8 September 2017

The report of the Little Waltham Gardening Club's September meeting is now on the Gardening Club page, click here to read it.

Welcome to our new Councillors
Last updated 5 September 2017

Your Parish Council is pleased to welcome 3 new members, bringing us back to a full complement of 9 Councillors. Teresa Dando joined in July; Barbara Denny and Antony Kingham joined in September. Their contact details are on the "Your Councillors" page, click here to see it.

Accounts 2016-2017
Last updated 7 August 2017

The Annual Return of the Parish Council's accounts is now on the website - click here to read it.

In accordance with legal requirements, the accounts are available for inspection. The official notice of this is here.

Bus service 52 is changing
Last updated 12 July 2017

Users of bus service 52 should note that it will be changing on 29 August, when it will be replaced by bus service 10.

Essex County Council has been reviewing service 52 for some time. The number of passengers using the service has dropped over the last 5 years, and the cost per passenger had risen to 9.97 - around double the maximum subsidy the County Council will pay. On average, the service only carries 25 passengers a day, and only 2 passengers a day on Saturdays.

Following Parish Council appeals, the County Council has agreed to introduce a replacement service (bus service 10) from 29 August this year. The new service will have a reduced frequency, and will not run on Saturdays. It's hoped that the new service will minimise inconvenience to passengers.

You can see the new timetable for Service 10 here.

Gardening Club July meeting - report
Last updated 12 July 2017

The report of the Little Waltham Gardening Club's July meeting is now on the Gardening Club page, click here to read it.

Results of the latest speed surveys
Last updated 10 July 2017

Following residents' concerns about speeding in the village, and requests for a 20mph limit, the Local Highways Panel has carried out further speed surveys in The Street. These took place over a 7 day period towards the end of June.

One survey was placed just north of the White Hart car park, 65 metres north of the junction with Brook Hill. The average daily speed recorded was 20.5mph, with an average daily count of 1257 vehicles.

The second survey was placed outside 64 The Street, 70 metres north of the junction with Winckford Close. Here, the average daily speed was 27.4 mph, with an average daily count of 2768 vehicles.

At both survey locations, there was virtually no difference in speed between northbound and southbound traffic.

Nuisance doorstep callers
Last updated 7 July 2017

We have had reports of nuisance doorstep callers in the area. Typically, they prey on the elderly. They may often claim that they can do work on the house, the drive, the garden, etc. Often, after doing any agreed work, they will demand more money and can be aggressive.

The best way of dealing with these nuisance callers is simply to say "No". Don't get into any conversation, just say "No".

If nuisance callers won't go away, or if they start doing things to your home without your permission, call 999 and ask for Police assistance.

Age UK has published a booklet on avoiding nuisance callers and other scams, see here to read it.

If you have elderly neighbours, please help them to avoid problems by sharing this information with them.
 
Just Say No

Play in the Park - 2 and 23 August
Last updated 3 July 2017

Once again, we've arranged for free 2-hour multi-activity sessions in the playing field during the summer holiday, for children aged 3-11. There'll be sports, arts, crafts, games and free-play, all coordinated by Chelmsford City Sports.

The dates are Wednesday 2 August, from 10.00am to 12.00noon, and Wednesday 23 August, from 1.30pm to 3.30pm. Supervised activities will be available for children aged 6-11 who can attend without parents. Under 6s must be supervised at all times by a parent/guardian. Children aged under 8 must be dropped off and picked up by an adult and a password will be required. Just come along on the day and visit the registration desk, or you can pre-register online at www.chelmsford.gov.uk/play Pre-registration is essential for children arriving alone. Please wear suitable clothing for playing games, bring a drink, and be prepared for any weather!
 
Play in the Park

Would you like to join the Parish Council?
Last updated 19 June 2017

There are currently 3 vacant seats on the Parish Council. Rather than hold an election, we are authorised to co-opt suitable applicants. If you would like to be considered for a place on the Parish Council, please complete this form and return it to our Clerk.

Gardening Club June meeting - report
Last updated 19 June 2017

The report of the Little Waltham Gardening Club's June meeting is now on the Gardening Club page, click here to read it.

Michelin award-winning chef opens new local restaurant
Last updated 12 June 2017

The Windmill in Chatham Green re-opens on 1 July under the care of Mick and Lydia Binnington. Michelin award-winning chef Mick has spent his career working in some of the country's top Michelin starred restaurants, including Midsummer House in Cambridge, Chapter One in Kent and The Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge, most recently working as Head Chef at The Narrow, Gordon Ramsay's Thameside restaurant in London. Lydia has a passion for hospitality, and has worked in some highly regarded restaurants including Baumann's Brasserie and Smiths of Ongar.

As you'd expect, the focus will be on fine dining, but in a relaxed country pub atmosphere where locals can still just pop in for a drink. The seasonal menu offers elegant, simple food sourced from the best produce from around the local area, paired with a friendly and efficient service.

Check their website for menu details and more information. You can phone for bookings on 01245 910910.

 
Windmill

Windmill

Water mains renewal - The Street
Last updated 2 June 2017

Essex & Suffolk Water have advised that they will be renewing the water mains in The Street soon. The work will start within the next couple of weeks and will last for approximately 4 weeks.

Inevitably, there will be some disruption to residents' water supplies, but those affected will be given at least 48 hours' notice.

All affected residents will receive a letter explaining the work. You can also read this letter here.

Please remember that BOGUS CALLERS (people who claim to be employed by Essex & Suffolk Water or "the water board", but who are only interested in stealing from your property) are known to operate in our area. If you are in any doubt about the validity of a caller claiming to be from Essex & Suffolk Water, DO NOT let them into your property, call your local police station immediately or Essex & Suffolk Water's Customer Centre on 0845 782 0999. Essex & Suffolk Water employees WILL NOT object to you carrying out these checks.

Accounts 2016-2017
Last updated 2 June 2017

The Annual Return of the Parish Council's accounts is now on the website - click here to read it.

In accordance with legal requirements, the accounts are available for inspection between 6 June and 14 July 2017. The official notice of this is here, and explanatory notes can be seen here.

Austin Weir's funeral
Last updated 27 May 2017

Austin Weir's funeral will take place at 11.00am on Monday 19 June at St Martin's Church in Little Waltham.


Speed surveys in the village
Last updated 26 May 2017

Following continued complaints from residents that traffic is speeding through parts of the village, the Parish Council arranged for speed surveys to be carried out in Brook Hill and in Chatham Green earlier this month. The results show that the mean average speed in Brook Hill was just under 28mph, whereas the mean average speed in Chatham Green was just over 20mph.

The Parish Council has also, in response to residents' requests, asked the Local Highways Panel to introduce a 20mph speed limit through the village. We await their decision on whether this is possible, and further speed surveys will be required before a decision is made. If a 20mph speed limit is introduced, it will most likely involve some traffic calming measures in The Street, which would result in on-street parking restrictions. Residents will obviously be consulted before a final decision is taken.

Austin Weir - In Memoriam
Last updated 17 May 2017

Little Waltham Parish Council was very sad to learn of the death of Austin Weir. Austin was a Parish Councillor for many years, and was an active campaigner against some of the more damaging developments in our area. He was never afraid to speak his mind, but his honest and forthright nature was matched by a kindly manner and a great sense of fun.

Born in 1933 in Belfast, Austin worked as a joiner in the Belfast shipyard before, at age 22, setting off to London to seek new opportunities. In London, he met and married Sheila, a lovely girl from Co Wicklow. After working as a skilled joiner for some time, he joined the Bank of England and was rapidly promoted within the Premises Division, finally becoming the Technical Manager.

Austin and Sheila had 3 sons, and lived in the Chelmsford area for many years. Austin retired from the Bank in 1991 after 27 years, but sadly Sheila died early the following year, after 33 years of happy marriage. With support from his friends and family, Austin overcame his sadness and started doing some work again. He also travelled repeatedly to Belfast to research his family history. At the Ulster Historical Society he met Rosemary, who subsequently became his second wife and who survives him.

Over the years, Austin was involved in many aspects of the local community, including the Springfield Cub & Scout group, the Little Waltham Sports & Social Club, St Martin's Church, and of course the Parish Council.

We shall greatly miss him.


Gardening Club May meeting - report
Last updated 17 May 2017

The report of the Little Waltham Gardening Club's May meeting is now on the Gardening Club page, click here to read it.

Charity Fun Day - Sunday 7 May!
Last updated 2 May 2017

There's a great Charity Fun Day being held at the Tufnell Hall, Little Waltham, CM3 3NY, on Sunday 7 May. Proceeds will be split between Macmillan Cancer, Fairleigh Hospice, the PDSA, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The Fun Day starts with a sponsored football match between the Charity Belles and the Little Waltham Vets. Kick-off is at 12.30pm, and it'll just be 20 minutes each way.

After the football match, there'll be a whole host of fun events for you to experience, including a barbecue, "The Stocks", tombola, mini makeovers, hair dos, "Splat the Rat", a book stall, a cake stall, faceprinting, bracelets, a boat race, "Name the Ted", "White Elephant" and the "Crossbar Challenge".

Why not drop in and enjoy the event?
 
Fun Day

Proud of your garden?
Last updated 2 May 2017

Chelmsford City Council is running a competition to find the nicest front gardens. There are three prize categories - Sustainable, Planter/hanging basket and Best Kept. And there are 50 Abercorn Garden Centre vouchers to be won.

For further details of how to enter, go to www.chelmsford.gov.uk/communities/nice/nice-competitions/
 
Garden competition

Local Plan - be sure to respond!
Last updated 19 April 2017

Many thanks to so many of you for attending the Public Exhibition of the proposals in the Memorial Hall yesterday, and for coming along to our Special Parish Council meeting tonight to let us know your thoughts.

As we said at the meeting tonight, it really is vital that as many people as possible respond to the City Council's consultation. There's strength in numbers, and the more people who respond, the better! Remember, the closing date for comments is 11 May, so don't delay.

To respond online, go to the City Council's Consultation Portal at www.chelmsford.gov.uk/planningpolicyconsult

Alternatively, if you'd rather respond on paper (or if you know someone who doesn't have online access), paper copies of the consultation can be obtained from the City Council or from our Clerk, Suzanne Walker, on 01376 331251, or email her at littlewaltham@gmail.com

We'll be talking about the Parish Council's response to the consultation at our next Parish Council meeting, on 2 May.
 
Local Plan

Gardening Club Spring Show - report
Last updated 16 April 2017

The report of the Little Waltham Gardening Club's Spring Show is now on the Gardening Club page, click here to read it.

Local Plan - have your say!
Last updated 8 April 2017

The latest Chelmsford Local Plan includes proposals to build over 3000 new homes in our parish. You have until 11 May to give your views on these proposals. Further details on the proposals, and on how to have your say, are contained in the Local Plan Newsletter.

Click here to read the Local Plan Newsletter.

There will be a Public Exhibition of the proposals in the Memorial Hall on Tuesday 18 April from 5.30-8.00pm. This is an informal drop-in exhibition, so please pop in and have a look. Members of the City Council's planning team will be on hand to answer your questions.

The following evening, we will hold a Special Parish Council Meeting to discuss our response to the proposals. This meeting will be in the Tufnell Hall on Wednesday 19 April at 7.30pm, and everyone is welcome to come along and have their say.

 
Twin Peaks

New feature in the playground
Last updated 26 March 2017

The Parish Council has recently installed a fascinating new piece of play equipment in the children's playground. The "Twin Peaks" feature, built by playground specialists Sutcliffe Play, has two low platforms connected by a rope bridge. The sturdy wooden posts create a mountainous feel. Both platforms have a selection of different ways for children to climb up or get down, including a metal slide. For added play value, music pipes are fitted to one platform. The area around the equipment has been surfaced with cushioned rubber for safety. The cost of the new equipment was partially funded by a grant from Essex County Council.

 
Twin Peaks

Council Tax 2017/18
Last updated 10 March 2017

You'll see from your Council Tax Bill that our precept (the part of your Council Tax which goes directly to the costs of running your parish) has increased for 2017/18. For a Band D property, the Little Waltham precept increases from 32.46 to 46.08 - an increase of just 26p a week. The 46.08 amount is less than is charged in the nearby parishes of Great Waltham, Pleshey, Broomfield and Springfield.

In recent years, we have generally requested either no increase or a very minimal increase.

Unfortunately, this year the Parish Council will see a decline in income, because Chelmsford City Council has removed its grant funding to Parish Councils. In 2015/16, Little Waltham Parish Council received a grant of 2326 from the City Council. This was reduced to 1673 last year and has now been removed completely. Thus, to simply maintain existing services provided by the Parish Council, it is necessary for that amount to be added to our precept.

Also, many of the general administration and running costs of the Parish Council have increased this year in excess of the amount anticipated and the shortfall of some 3500 is thus met from reserves. It is important in conjunction with good financial planning for the Parish Council to retain an adequate reserve going forward.

Our strategy statement on this website details the various tasks that are carried out by the Parish Council on your behalf and what the Parish Council is looking to achieve in the coming financial year. Click here to read the Strategy Statement.

We hope that by increasing the precept more substantially for 2017/18 it will mean that the Parish Council will be in a more secure and sustainable financial position to meet our future commitments.

Gardening Club AGM - report
Last updated 6 March 2017

The report of the Little Waltham Gardening Club's AGM is now on the Gardening Club page, click here to read it.

Play in the Park - 10 April
Last updated 3 March 2017

The Parish Council has again arranged to participate in Chelmsford's "Play in the Park" programme, and there'll be a free two-hour multi-activity session for children aged 3-11 years at our playing field on 10 April, starting at 1.30pm. The session is packed full of sports, games, arts and crafts. The Memorial Hall toilets will be available during the session.

There are some sensible conditions for taking part, to ensure children's safety:-
* Under 6s must be supervised by an adult parent/guardian throughout the whole session. (Maximum 3 children per adult).
* Under 8s must be dropped off and collected by an adult (a password will be required).
* Please ensure that your child wears suitable clothing for playing games, that they bring a drink, and that they are prepared for any weather.

 
Play in the Park

Easter Sunday Bunny Hunt
Last updated 10 February 2017

For the 15th year, Chelmsford Ladies Circle invites families to hop along Chelmsford's annual Easter Bunny Hunt on Sunday 16 April in Central Park. Bunny Hunters search for the 15-year-old wooden bunnies, each named after a different famous rabbit, to earn their chocolatey prize.

The event starts at 11.00am and entry closes at 1.00pm, although prize collection will continue until 2.00pm. Tickets cost 3.50 in advance from the website (www.chelmsfordladiescircle.co.uk) or 4.50 on the day.

The event is in aid of the club's charity of the year The Ark Centre in Springfield, Chelmsford, a therapy centre for children with Autism and social and communication difficulties.
 
Bunny Hunt

Have your say on policing
Last updated 10 February 2017

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Roger Hirst, is holding a public meeting on 2 March. If you care about the way your community is policed, and want to know the facts about crime in your area, why not go along to the meeting and have your say?

The meeting is from 6.30pm to 8.30pm on Thursday 2 March, in the Woodham Ferrers Village Hall, Main Road, Woodham Ferrers, CM3 8RW. It's an open meeting, all members of the public are welcome, and you can arrive or leave at any time.
 
PCC Meeting

Gardening Club February meeting - report
Last updated 9 February 2017

The report of the Little Waltham Gardening Club's February meeting is now on the Gardening Club page, click here to read it.

Proud of your front garden?
Last updated 9 February 2017

Do you have a front garden to be proud of? If so, you may like to enter Chelmsford's Front Garden Competition, which this year includes more types of garden than ever before!

The competition has been growing in popularity since it was first run three years ago. Now, the City Council is opening it up to gardens of all types and sizes, with prizes in three categories:

* Best Kept Front Garden
* Best Planter or Hanging Basket
* Most Sustainable Front Garden

If you're proud of your delightful daffodils, colourful crocuses or blooming borders, then enter for the chance to win a 50 voucher to spend at Abercorn Plant & Garden Centre!

Entry is free: all you need to do is submit up to four photos of your garden or planter, online or by post, and tell judges about its best features.

Entries must reach us by Friday 26 May 2017. Finalists will be invited to a presentation evening in July, where the winners of the First, Second and Third Place prizes will be announced.

For more information, please call the Council's Neighbourhood Improvement & Community Engagement Team on 01245 615800.
 
Front Garden Competition

Community Infrastructure Levy
Last updated 13 January 2017

Little Waltham Parish Council received 1350 of Community Infrastructure Levy money in April 2016, and this money was put towards the purchase of two new Parish Council noticeboards.

Worried about speeding? Want to help?
Last updated 9 January 2017

If you believe that there's a speeding problem in Little Waltham, and are prepared to volunteer some of your time, the Parish Council may be able to set up a Community Speed Watch group.

Community Speed Watch is a traffic monitoring scheme coordinated by Essex Police but run by unpaid volunteers. Volunteers working in pairs monitor traffic and log any speeding vehicles. Essex Police then write to the offenders, first with a warning letter and, in the event of re-offending, with a stronger letter and further checks.

Volunteers must be over 18, but there's no upper age limit. You must be prepared to monitor traffic for at least one hour a week, logging vehicle details as appropriate. Monitoring only takes place in daylight hours, but obviously may involve inclement weather. Full training will be given by Essex Police. There's more information at https://saferessexroads.org/policecommunity/community-speed-watch/

If you would like to volunteer, please contact our Clerk, Suzanne Walker, on 01376 331251, or email her at littlewaltham@gmail.com
 
Speed Watch

Black bins go fortnightly
Last updated 29 December 2016

Starting on Tuesday 31 January, black bins will only be collected fortnightly. If you need a new bin or additional recycling equipment, see www.chelmsford.gov.uk/recycling

 
Bins

Christmas tree recycling
Last updated 29 December 2016

Wondering how to dispose of your Christmas tree? Fairleigh Hospice has a recycling scheme, and will collect your tree on 7/8 January. To take advantage, you must register before midday on 5 January at www.farleighhospice.org/treerecycling

There's a suggested minimum contribution of 5 per tree, but you may of course wish to give more.

 
Tree recycling

Gardening Club Christmas meeting - report
Last updated 9 December 2016

The report of the Little Waltham Gardening Club's Christmas meeting is now on the Gardening Club page, click here to read it.

Festive Fayre
Last updated 24 November 2016

The Wilderness Foundation will be holding a Festive Fayre on Saturday 10 December from 1.00pm to 4.00pm, followed by Carols by Candlelight in their woodland setting.

Admission costs 5 per child; adults free. The Wilderness Foundation is in Whitbreads Farm Lane, off the A131 Braintree Road (follow the signs for "Whitbreads Business Centre").

For more details, see here.
 
Festive Fayre

Heavy traffic - 23 November
Last updated 23 November 2016

As a result of a collision on Essex Regiment Way at approx 6.40pm today, police have closed the northbound road at the Park and Ride roundabout, and northbound traffic is passing through Little Waltham. It is expected that the road will be opened as quickly as possible.

 
Road Closed

Essex Energy Switch
Last updated 17 November 2016

Essex County Council's "Energy Switch" scheme is based on asking energy suppliers to bid for a collective switching scheme. Many people who have used the scheme have saved money on their energy bills. To participate, simply register for free. After the next energy auction, you'll receive an email offering you energy prices based on the auction. It's up to you whether to accept or reject the offer. For further details, see http://www.essex.gov.uk/Pages/Energy-Switch.aspx

Discovery Festival 2016
Last updated 14 November 2016

The Discovery Festival returns to Chelmsford on 30 November, in celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which aims to celebrate and acknowledge the experience and capabilities of people with disability.

Visit the stands in High Chelmer Shopping Centre from Wednesday 30 November to Friday 2 December and begin your journey of discovery.

For full details of the Discovery Festival 2016, see www.chelmsford.gov.uk/discoveryfestival
 
Discovery Festival

Free Park and Ride - 3 December
Last updated 10 November 2016

Shoppers will be allowed unlimited free travel on Saturday 3 December when they park at Sandon, Chelmer Valley and Colchester Park and Ride sites.

For full details of Park and Ride services, see www.essex.gov.uk/parkandride

 
Park and Ride

Concerned by aircraft noise?
Last updated 10 November 2016

In February this year, there were changes to the routing of some flights from Stansted. This had the effect of almost doubling air traffic from Stansted on the departure route via Clacton. This route passes over Great Notley, and is well away from Little Waltham, so is unlikely to increase aircraft noise experienced by residents here. You can see a map of the Clacton route here.

It's worth noting that many of the planes flying over our area aren't going to or from Stansted. And, of course, by the time most planes pass over our area they are already at a fairly high altitude and noise isn't usually an issue. If you have a smartphone, you may be interested in installing an app called Plane Finder. This gives you a live view of the planes overhead in a map format, and you can see the details of each plane including departure and destination airports, speed, height, course, etc. It's a fascinating little app, and is available for iPhone and Android.

The CAA requires NATS, the air traffic control service, to review the effects of changing routes. This review normally takes place after 12 months. If you feel that the increased traffic on the Clacton route has affected you, here are some actions you can take.

* Go along to one of the local consultation events and make your views heard. The next one is on 15 November in Felsted Village Hall, from 4.00pm to 8.00pm.

* Complain directly to Stansted Airport using the form at http://stopstanstedexpansion.com/noise_complaint_form.asp

* Write to Stansted Airport, at Noise Communications Team, Enterprise House, Stansted Airport, Essex CM24 1QW.

Don't assume that making multiple complaints will necessarily help. Heathrow Airport has found that around half of the 25,200 complaints they received in July-Sept this year were made by the same 10 people!

 
Aircraft

War Memorial restoration
Last updated 7 November 2016

The Parish Council intends to carry out professional cleaning of the War Memorial in The Street, and has just been awarded a 75% grant towards the costs by the War Memorial Trust. The work will commence as soon as possible.

Black Bins go fortnightly
Last updated 5 November 2016

Chelmsford City Council has decided that, from January 2017, black bins will only be collected every 2 weeks, in order to save money. Food waste collections will continue to be weekly.

Remembrance Sunday...
Last updated 2 November 2016

Remembrance Sunday is on 13 November this year. The Parish Council will be laying wreaths at the War Memorials in The Street and at Boreham Airfield.

We've seen a tribute to service personnel on the internet - click here to read it.

 
Remembrance Sunday

Parking Survey - the results
Last updated 2 November 2016

The Parish Council has recently undertaken a Parking Survey. This was done in 2 stages; firstly asking residents in The Street and Brook Hill, and secondly extending the survey to residents in side roads. Of the 292 questionnaires issued, we received 89 replies, a response rate of 31%. The results are summarised here.

The majority of respondents felt that parking was a problem. Asked whether parking in The Street was a problem, 57 said Yes, 29 said No. For Brook Hill, the figures were 64 Yes and 24 No. So it's apparent that many of you are concerned by parking in the village.

When asked about possible measures to restrict parking, however, the majority of respondents were against any measures. On the possible introduction of yellow lines, only 32 said Yes, but 52 said No. On parking being restricted to certain times of the day, 30 said Yes but 51 said No. And on the possibility of a "residents only" parking scheme, only 18 said Yes and a resounding 59 said No.

Which leaves the Parish Council with something of a dilemma! Having discussed the results in detail at our November meeting, we have decided on the following actions:-

* Introduce better signage to direct visitors to the Memorial Hall Car Park. This request has already been submitted to the Local Highways Panel.

* Investigate the possibility of extending the area of the Memorial Hall Car Park. We are currently re-negotiating the lease for this land, and the possibility of extending the car park will form part of the discussions.

* We have meetings arranged with the Primary School and the Doctors' Surgery, to discuss ways in which their staff and visitors might help reduce the parking issues.

* And we will continue to monitor the situation and respond accordingly.
 
Parking

Fancy an allotment?
Last updated 27 October 2016

An allotment is a great way to produce fresh vegetables and beautiful flowers for your home - as well as getting some regular exercise! Right now, we have a few spare places at our popular Blasford Hill allotments, both full- and half-plots.

Our Blasford Hill allotments have a handy car park, mains water and a friendly community of allotment holders. We also have regular deliveries of free horse manure in convenient bags, to help ensure bumper crops!

It's a perfect opportunity to get into allotment life! If you think you'd be interested, please call our Clerk, Suzanne Walker, on 01376 331251.
 
Allotments

Gardening Club October meeting - report
Last updated 6 October 2016

The report of the Little Waltham Gardening Club's October meeting is now on the Gardening Club page, click here to read it.

We're moving!
Last updated 1 August 2016

After some 40 years or so of holding our Parish Council meetings in the Memorial Hall, we're moving. It's not our idea, but the Memorial Hall Committee has evicted us, so that they can offer our regular first Tuesday in the month booking to a commercial profit-making "dance company" which isn't based in the village, and whose customers are mainly from outside the village.

As a result, our meeting on 6 September will be held in the Tufnell Hall.

Naturally, we objected strongly to our eviction from the Memorial Hall. We pointed out that the Memorial Hall is run as a charity, and that the Charity Commission is clear in its guidance that Trustees mustn't give priority to outside commercial users over village charitable users (such as the Parish Council). The Parish Council is in fact the longest-established user of the Memorial Hall.

The Memorial Hall Committee ignored our protestations, and ignored our offer to delay the starting time of our meetings.

The Parish Council is the Custodian Trustee of the Memorial Hall, which means that if the Hall runs out of money, the Parish Council would normally be expected to pick up the bills, using taxpayers' money. The Parish Council is concerned that the Memorial Hall is not being properly managed. It appears that the Hall hire fees have been reducing over the years and that the current financial situation is not sound. It is recognised that running a community hall is not an easy task, but the Memorial Hall Committee does not appear to have organised a strategy for the future needs of the Hall, nor would they appear to be acting in the spirit of the charity in that preference appears to be given to commercial users, which is of concern to the Parish Council.

The Hall's finances are in a fairly poor state, primarily because the Committee has failed to raise hire fees in line with inflation, to a point now where they are seriously below other typical local halls. Most local halls charge 15-20 an hour to regular users. The Memorial Hall's accounts for the year to April 2015 show that they charged the Pre-School 3555 for the year, in which the Pre-School booked 1059 hours - the equivalent of only 3.36 an hour!

As a charity, the responsibility for any debts lies with the Trustees personally, essentially the members of the Memorial Hall Committee. As the Committee has been totally uncooperative in its discussions with the Parish Council, and has refuted our concerns about the level of hire fees, the Parish Council has reluctantly decided that if the Hall falls into debt, the burden will not fall upon taxpayers, but will be recovered from the Trustees, who are personally liable.

Play in the Park - 15 & 22 August
Last updated 28 June 2016

Once again, we've arranged for free 2-hour multi-activity sessions in the playing field during the summer holiday, for children aged 3-11. There'll be sports, arts, crafts, games and free-play, all coordinated by Chelmsford City Sports.

The dates are Monday 15 August, from 1.30pm to 3.30pm, and Monday 22 August, from 1.30pm to 3.30pm. Supervised activities will be available for children aged 6-11 who can attend without parents. Under 6s must be supervised at all times by a parent/guardian. Children aged under 8 must be dropped off and picked up by an adult and a password will be required. Just come along on the day and visit the registration desk, or you can pre-register online at www.chelmsford.gov.uk/play Pre-registration is essential for children arriving alone. Please wear suitable clothing for playing games, bring a drink, and be prepared for any weather!
 
Play in the Park

Accounts 2015-2016
Last updated 1 June 2016

The Annual Return of the Parish Council's accounts is now on the website - click here to read it.

In accordance with legal requirements, the accounts are available for inspection between 6 June and 15 July 2016. The official notice of this is here, and explanatory notes can be seen here.

Healthy Homes; Active Advice
Last updated 23 May 2016

Citizens Advice Chelmsford are undertaking a project called "Healthy Homes; Active Advice", which is designed to bring their services directly into the community, rather than waiting for people to seek them out. Their remit is to try and find new ways to reach people in communities throughout Mid-Essex. Their next areas to visit are Great and Little Waltham, and they will be focusing specifically on this area from 23 May 2016 to 10 June 2016.

In particular, they will try to reach the elderly or vulnerable, with the aim of bringing them assistance to heat or maintain warm homes. The objective will be to reduce the amount of illness suffered (and the impact on the NHS) this year and next. They will also be offering advice in similar circumstances to families with children under five.

Whilst these are the primary target groups, they are also prepared to offer advice about matters such as debt, housing and benefits to anyone who contacts them as a result of this outreach.

There's a leaflet with more information, click here to read it.

Wanted - Parish Tree Warden
Last updated 12 April 2016

The Tree Warden Scheme is a national initiative to enable people to play an active role in conserving and enhancing their local trees and woods. The scheme was founded and is co-ordinated by The Tree Council, see their website.

Tree Wardens are unpaid volunteers, appointed by parish councils or other community organisations, who gather information about their local trees, get involved in local tree matters and encourage local practical projects related to the trees and woods.

In Chelmsford the Scheme is supported by the City Council. They organise 4-5 training sessions per year on subjects like winter and summer identification; conifer identification; tree health; trees and the law, etc, and you will be kept up to date with mail shots from the Tree Council.

If you are interested in becoming a Tree Warden for Little Waltham, please contact our Clerk, Suzanne Walker.
 
Tree Warden

Rented homes for independent older people
Last updated 17 March 2016

CHP is a locally managed and governed charitable housing association, based in Chelmsford, Essex, providing high-quality affordable family homes and apartments to rent and buy. CHP owns approximately 8,500 homes across Essex.

Available properties are advertised via the various Local Authorities for applicants currently on the Housing Registers, however CHP often finds that as these are predominantly web-based now, so not all older people can access these easily and may be missing out on the opportunity to move to more suitable accommodation.

CHP can offer some properties for direct let to applicants held on their own waiting list. Rents start at 100 per week. These properties are immediately available and are suitable for independent older people - those aged over 60 years, or those over 50 years if they are also in receipt of DLA or PIP.

If you, or someone you know, may be interested in one of these properties, please make an application directly to CHP, applications are held and shortlisted for suitable properties as they become available, saving people the need to check websites, etc. CHP can send property information by post if required.

To apply, phone CHP on 0300 555 0500 or visit the CHP website.
 
CHP properties



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