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Man released on bail over Spruce
18th September 2014
A MAN arrested in connection with a fire
at a property in Spruce Hill, Harlow, has been
released on police bail.
The incident happened in the early hours of
Monday (September 15) when the front door was
damaged by fire.
A 39-year-old man from Harlow, who was arrested
on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger
life, has been released on police bail until
December 8 pending further enquiries.
Parents tuck into school dinner
16th September 2014
RECEPTION pupils at Freshwaters Primary
Academy invited their parents in to school for
their first day to enjoy lunch together.
The 45 children, now entitled to free school
meals along with Years 1 and 2 under the
Government's universal infant free school meal
initiative, enjoyed a two-course meal with their
The menu included local butcher's premium
sausages with mashed potato and vegetables or
salad, followed by chocolate marble cake, fresh
fruit or yoghurt.
School business manager Amanda Forrow said:
"It was fantastic to see so many parents
have the opportunity to share their child's
first experience of a school meal.
"We hope this gave parents an insight into
the expectation pupils become independent at
lunchtime - carrying their own tray and using a
knife and fork correctly are essential skills
pupils need to learn."
Kayleigh, 11, celebrates karate
16th September 2014
BURNT Mill Academy student Kayleigh Tyler
- just four belts off her black belt - scooped
gold and silver medals at the United Martial
Arts Academy dojo in Croydon.
Kayleigh had to compete in both kata - a
sequence of precise moves - and kumite
Kayleigh, a member of the Lea Valley Karate
Academy for four years, said: "I train
three times a week and have won medals before. I
wasn't expecting to come away with medals from
this event though as it was mainly
Kayleigh won a gold medal for her kata and took
silver in kumite.
Chance for parents to speak on
children's health services
16th September 2014
PARENTS and carers can discuss how they
get the most out of local health and care
services at a parent focus group at the Latton
Bush Centre, Southern Way, Harlow, between 1pm
and 2.30pm on Monday (September 22).
Parents will be able to discuss the choices they
make for their children when they are ill. It
will also assist them in making the right
choices for their families.
Members of the West Essex Clinical Commissioning
Group, a doctor, health visitor and community
paediatric nurse will be on handt to listen to
parents' experiences and provide advice on where
to access the most suitable services for their
* The CCG's annual general meeting is at Harlow
Leisurezone, Southern Way, Harlow, at 2pm on
Thursday, September 25.
Work starts on 'Space to Breathe'
15th September 2014
WORK is underway to create an outdoor
haven for patients and families at St Clare
Hospice after supporters helped secure a
£49,832 grant from the Big Lottery.
Thousands of people voted for the Hastingwood-based
hospice as part of last November's People's
Millions competition in conjunction with ITV,
helping the charity scoop the vital funding to
turn its vision for a 'Space to Breathe' family
garden into a reality.
Work started last week on transforming an area
of the hospice's grounds into a secluded space
where patients and their loved ones can spend
The project, expected to take eight weeks, is
being carried out by Harlow-based landscapers
The Whitelaw Brothers.
St Clare director of fundraising and marketing
Elizabeth Palfreman said: "It is wonderful
work has now started on our 'Space to Breathe'
garden and we can't wait to see it starting to
take shape over the coming weeks.
"We were thrilled and overwhelmed by the
response of our community during the People's
Millions competition - polling an incredible
12,403 votes - and we very much feel that
without the public's support this important
project would not be possible.
"As well as caring for the physical needs
of those with a life-limiting illness, helping
to relieve suffering and making them
comfortable, we also care for their emotional
"As such, we know the many therapeutic
benefits a garden can bring, so this project
will make a very real difference to the lives of
those we support and their loved
The tiered garden, designed by Stansted-based
landscape architects Liz Lake Associates, will
feature raised flower beds, a calming water
feature, seating and wheelchair-friendly
It will be accessed via the newly renovated
family room in the eight-bed in-patient unit.
Witness appeal over attempted arson
15th September 2014
POLICE in Harlow are appealing for
witnesses or anyone with information after the
door of a house in Spruce Hill was set alight in
an attempted arson attack.
Firefighters contacted police after they
attended the property shortly before 2am this
morning (Monday) however the fire was out when
Damage was caused to the door. No-one was
Police officers are making enquiries to find out
a motive for the attack and want to hear from
anyone who was in the area and saw suspicious
activity or vehicles.
Anyone who can help should ring Harlow Police
Station on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Police appeal after cycle path
15th September 2014
POLICE are appealing for witnesses to a
robbery on the cycle path between Third Avenue
and Abercrombie Way, Harlow.
The incident happened between 6pm and 6.30pm on
Thursday, September 11, when the victim, a local
man in his 30s, was approached by three men on
The men pushed him before snatching his red
rucksack from his shoulder and riding off.
The rucksack contained a Samsung camera worth
The men are all described as white and aged
about 20. One had shoulder length dark hair and
was seen wearing a white sleeveless shirt.
Anyone with information should ring DC Jo Lanz
at Harlow CID on 101.
Witness appeal over arson
13th September 2014
POLICE are appealing for witnesses
following an arson attack in Cannons Brook,
Harlow, when cardboard boxes were set on fire,
and the blaze spread to a Ford Focus car.
The incident happened at about 5pm on Thursday
(September 11) with the fire causing extensive
front end damage to the vehicle.
Police officers are seeking witnesses to the
fire and in particular are keen to speak to a
group of boys with bicycles who alerted local
residents to the fire and who may have vital
information to help with the
Anyone with any information should ring Pc James
Selwood at Harlow Police Station on 101 or via
Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Six men arrested in drugs operation
13th September 2014
SIX men have been arrested on suspicion
of being involved in the supply of drugs
following a drugs operation at business premises
Police officers executed a search warrant at the
premises yesterday (Friday).
One man has been charged and will appear before
magistrates in Chelmsford today.
John Twitchings, 61, of Oak Avenue, Enfield, has
been charged with possession of Class B drugs -
cannabis (72 kilos), with intent to
The five other men have been released on police
bail while enquiries continue.
They are a man aged 60, from Harlow; a 43
-year-old man, from Roydon; a 45-year-old man,
from Enfield; a 43-year-old man from Nazeing and
a 39-year-old man from Harlow.
They have been bailed until November 26.
Hospice receives Foundation boost
12th September 2014
ST Clare Hospice has received a £1,000
grant from the Santander Foundation after being
nominated by a supporter as thanks for caring
for her father.
The hospice was put forward for the Community
Plus cash award by Tracy Begley who filled out a
form at the Chelmer Village branch.
Her dad was supported by the St Clare community
team before he died last December while her
sister has been receiving bereavement
counselling at the hospice since his death.
Hundreds of people attend school
11th September 2014
HUNDREDS of families attended an open
evening at Burnt Mill Academy, Harlow.
More than 500 welcome packs were handed out and
two talks from headteacher Helena Mills were
given to packed audiences.
Children in Years 5 and 6 at local primary
schools - as well as older students looking to
transfer from other secondary and private
schools - tried out practical lessons in
science, maths, art and music.
Miss Mills highlighted the school's GCSE results
which saw 86 per cent of students achieving five
or more A* to C grades, including English and
She said: "Those results are because we
have outstanding teachers; teachers who I truly
believe are the very best in the
Year 6 students will soon be able to submit
their application for their chosen secondary
Pupils at primary schools within the Burnt Mill
Co-operative Academy Trust - Freshwaters, Roydon,
Little Parndon and Cooks Spinney - will be given
places first, along with siblings of existing
Burnt Mill students and cared-for children.
Council reveals views on budget
11th September 2014
HARLOW Council has published the findings
from its two-month public consultation on budget
priorities as it plans for a future with less
There were two parts to the consultation - 489
surveys from randomly-selected homes were
A further 540 surveys were completed online and
on paper by other residents or groups who wanted
to have a say.
The survey included funding choices for services
Harlow Council provides or pays for directly.
This included services the council is not
legally obliged to provide (discretionary
services) and those services it has to provide
by law (statutory services).
The headline findings were:
* The majority of respondents said they wanted
to see the council's services stay the
The council scored each service based on the
number of responses it had for ceasing, reducing
or increasing service provision (cease was not
an option for statutory services).
Based on the scoring system used:
* The discretionary services which received the
highest scores were parks, playgrounds and green
spaces, regeneration of the town and reducing
* The discretionary services receiving the
lowest scores were Harlow Youth Council, sports
and leisure, The Playhouse, paddling pools and
grants to the voluntary and charity
* Statutory services which scored the highest
were road and pavement repairs (the majority of
roads and pavements are owned by Essex County
Council however around one-quarter are
maintained by Harlow Council), street cleaning
and meeting housing need.
* Statutory services which scored the lowest
were Local Council Tax Support, Planning,
Licensing and the administration of Revenues and
There were also questions on council tax levels
and what residents' priorities are for making
Harlow a better place to live.
The key findings were:
* Half of respondents from the household survey
felt Harlow Council's share of council tax
should stay the same, 16 per cent would agree to
an increase but around a third (34 per cent)
would favour a decrease.
* Thirty-nine per cent of respondents in the
open survey felt Harlow Council's share of
council tax should stay the same but the same
number (39 per cent) would agree to an increase
with just over a fifth (22 per cent) favouring a
* The top five areas respondents in both surveys
cited as most important or in need of
improvement to make Harlow a good place to live
are road and pavement repairs, reducing traffic
congestion, providing affordable decent housing,
local job prospects and the level of
Residents were also asked for views on services
that the council did not currently
Nearly 400 suggestions were made.
Topping the list was street lighting (provided
by Essex County Council), followed by garden
waste collections and youth services.
The council's Government grant, which funds
nearly half (46 per cent) of the council's
services, has reduced by nearly 50 per cent from
2011 to 2014-15.
The current forecasts indicate the situation
will worsen with an expected further grant
reduction of 16 per cent in 2015-16 and 10 per
cent in 2016-17.
The council has to save £5.3m over the next
four years. In 2015-16 the council will need to
Proposals for the 2015-16 budget will be
announced in January as part of the council's
normal budget setting process.
Harlow Council leader Jon Clempner said:
"This is the first time the council has run
a consultation of this size on such an important
issue, and reflects the desire to be open and
transparent on the decisions we have to
"We have some challenging decisions ahead
of us. Having a picture of what services are the
most important to the community will help with
"This consultation is the start of an
ongoing conversation with the community about
the budget challenges the council faces and the
services the council funds for the town and its
"Now the results are published I'd like the
community to provide feedback and
"I want to be clear that no decisions on
the future of any service have yet been made and
we will not rush into short-term
"We will follow the council's normal budget
setting process, taking into account the
consultation, the money available to the
council, the constraints placed on us on how we
spend it, the need for the finances to be
sustainable in the medium to long term, and
ensuring fairness for all for Harlow's
"I welcome the fact that residents share my
view that they want to see a positive, visible
difference to Harlow, in areas such as parks,
playgrounds and open spaces, and in street
"While progress has already been made in
this area, we will certainly be taking into
account these views when setting next year's
He added: "This consultation has been about
the Administration finding out what the
community thinks the council should directly
provide or fund in the future.
"We will now take time to consider
priorities and will also be thinking about
delivering or funding services in different
ways, in a way that is sustainable and fair, and
reflects as much as is possible the views of
"There will be much work for the
Administration to do in the coming months as it
prepares its 2015-16 budget proposals and
considers the longer term priorities and
financial plans for the council."
Cost of meals-on-wheels to increase
10th September 2014
ESSEX County Council is to increase the
cost of meals-on-wheels by 25p per meal to
£4.20 from November.
The decision comes after public consultation
revealed service users did not want to lose the
service and believed a full removal of the
subsidy would result in the service being
As a result the council has decided not to
remove the subsidy but to increase the cost of
Councillor Anne Brown, cabinet member with
responsibility for Adult Social Care and Public
Health, said: "The consultation showed us
that MoW's customers really valued the service
that is offered. I'm delighted we have been able
to protect this service allowing older residents
across the county to have access to an
affordable hot meal.
"Essex County Council is faced with
significant financial pressures and we have had
to review the subsidy the council currently pays
towards these meals.
"From November we will reduce the subsidy
the council pays resulting in a 25p increase in
the cost of meals for service users.
"I believe this is a manageable increase
for service users and ensures our service
remains low compared to the private market and
other local authorities.
"Ultimately this is good news for service
users and shows we have truly listened to
consultation feedback. Meals-on-wheels costs
remain extremely low and affordable, and have
only increased by 45p in the last seven
Accuro charity needs your vote
8th September 2014
THE Accuro Saturday Play Club has been
shortlisted for the Lloyds Bank Community Fund
By encouraging the public to vote, Accuro
Saturday Play Club has a chance to receive a
grant of up to £3,000 from Lloyds Bank to
enable it to continue doing good work in the
Accuro Saturday Play Club, part of Accuro (Care
Services), the Hastingwood-based charity which
provides services for children, young people and
adults with disabilities, is based at Dame
Bradbury's School in Saffron Walden.
The club aims to provide opportunities for
children and young people aged between six and
16 with a range of disabilities and needs, to
engage in constructive and imaginative play
within a safe, caring environment.
The club aims to develop each individual's
confidence and self-esteem by increasing their
communication, social and life skills through
the medium of play.
Many of the children and young people who access
Accuro's Saturday Play Club have communication
Some are unable to communicate verbally
therefore it is necessary to find other ways to
communicate with them. In the last 18 months
staff at the club, working in partnership with
parents, have successfully implement a new
communication system for a user using an Apple
The outcome means a young man has been able, for
the first time in his life, to make choices in
several areas of his life.
Accuro Saturday Play Club is committed to
continue developing functional communication
systems for the children and young people
attending the club.
Winning the Lloyds Bank Community Fund would
enable Accuro to significantly expand its work
in this area.
For example it could fund a range of equipment
which by co-operating with parents and schools,
can carefully match the needs of individual
The funding would also enable the charity to
provide appropriate training for staff.
The benefits of such a project would be long
term with the user having a communication system
that is appropriate for their current needs and
which can be adjusted and developed to meet
Accuro chief executive Arthur Steward said:
"Communication is so vitally important to
all of us that it is easy to see what a huge
difference the Lloyds Bank Community Fund could
make to children and young people attending our
Saturday Play Club.
"Many of us take for granted being able to
easily express our wishes and needs but for some
young people with a disability, for whom this is
not the case, providing a means by which they
can express themselves can frankly be life
"I would ask you to vote for this project.
In so doing you really could help make a
significant, lasting difference to the lives of
a group of local children with a
Members of the public can vote for their
preferred community group on-line, by text
message, via Twitter, or in Lloyds bank branch
until October 10.
The local good cause that receives most votes in
each community will receive an award of £3,000,
with the other groups receiving £2,000, £1,000
or £500 depending on the votes received.
For more about the Community Fund and Accuro
Saturday Play Club, and to cast your vote, visit
the Lloyds Bank Community Fund website www.lloydsbank.com/communityfund
Hospice launches scratch card
8th September 2014
ST Clare Hospice has launched a scratch
card as part of the expansion of the St Clare
As part of the launch the Hastingwood-based
charity held a 'Bring a £1 to Work Day' for
staff and volunteers, with 112 cards sold and 23
cash prizes won.
St Clare lottery manager Caron Lakey said:
"Buying one of our £1 scratch cards is an
easy and affordable way to support your local
hospice, helping us generate vital income to
ensure we can continue providing our incredible
care, comfort and support free of charge to
local people with a life-limiting illness and
The scratch cards are on sale at the seven St
Clare shops and other selected outlets within
the hospice area and will also be available at
The hospice is inviting local companies to
become St Clare Corporate Ambassadors to help
promote the scratch cards by organising their
own 'Bring a £1 to Work' days.
In May St Clare introduced a new prize structure
for its weekly lottery giving players the chance
of winning one of 24 weekly cash jackpots and
introducing a new rollover prize of up to
"With better odds than a national lottery,
more than 6,700 people play the St Clare
Lottery, helping raise over £16,000 each
To sign up for the St Clare Lottery, ring the
Lottery team on 01279 773730, email firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit www.stclarehospice.org.uk/hospicelottery.htm
Basketball in the Harvey Centre
4th September 2014
THE Harlow Hawks basketball team will be
at the Harvey Centre this weekend giving
shoppers the chance to have a go at the
Visitors will be able to enjoy a range of
demonstrations, kicking off with Under-8s at
11am on Saturday followed by demonstrations from
the U11s, Adult Walking Basketball and
On Sunday (11am-4.15pm), the U14s and Hawks
Girls’ players will have their turn.
The weekend concludes on Sunday afternoon with
two live 3v3 competitions with the Hawks senior
There will also be lots of opportunities for
members of the public of all ages to practice
their shooting and dribbling skills - and battle
it out in a public shooting competition.
Harlow Hawks head coach Shab Niaz said: “We’re
really looking forward to being at The Harvey
Centre this weekend.
"Our players of all ages will be showcasing
their skills and encouraging shoppers to take
part and get involved in basketball.”
Improvements made to recreation
2nd September 2014
IMPROVEMENTS have been completed by
Harlow Council to several outside free-to-use
public recreation areas in the town.
The surfaces at the council-owned tennis courts
at Blackbush Springs, Bush Fair and The Dashes
have been repaired and new anti-vandal tennis
Surfaces have also been repaired at
multi-use-games-areas at Bush Fair, The Dashes,
Foldcroft, Northbrooks and Staple Tye and
perimeter fencing has been replaced.
The money for improvements was allocated from
the council's Capital Programme to both improve
health and safety at the sites and refurbish
facilities to increase sport and play
The work cost £62,500.
Youth and Community portfolio holder Emma Toal
said: "Harlow has so many open spaces for
residents to enjoy but a number of the tennis
courts and multi-use-games-areas owned by the
council were showing their age.
"This is a major investment by the council
to improve free outdoor play areas across the
"It is important we provide facilities and
opportunities for families and young people to
get active and improve their health and
"The usage of these sites has been low for
a long time due to their poor condition. Some of
the sites were full of potholes which have now
been repaired making it safer and more enjoyable
New Local Policing Team launched
10.43am - 1st
A NEW Local Policing Team structure for Harlow and the rest of the county
is being introduced from today.
Each of the ten policing districts, under the
direction of a local Chief Inspector, has a
team of officers responsible for responding to
and investigating crime and other community
The new Local Policing Teams will work from
local stations and operate on a 24/7
The changes will move 500 officers to work under
the direct control of local police
This is made possible by aligning the currently
centrally co-ordinated response officers to the
local policing teams.
The reorganisation recognises the importance of
local policing, clear accountability to
communities and strong understanding local
A policing 'hub' will operate in each district
with each hub, led by a local inspector, and is
responsible for maintaining strong community
ties and working with partners to tackle local
The teams will take a particular interest in
dealing with issues such as anti-social
behaviour, safeguarding repeat and vulnerable
victims and tackling drug and alcohol
Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said:
"Local policing is at the very heart of how
I believe the public want policing delivered in
the county. The changes we are making
demonstrate our commitment to local
"The development of local teams, supported
by the new policing hubs, recognises the fact
that communities want officers with good local
knowledge who really understand their local
"Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs)
visibly patrolling their beat continues to be a
key part of the policing style in Essex.
"I understand and agree with the importance
residents and businesses attach to this local
Essex Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston
said: "I welcome the introduction of a new
model for local policing which will ensure high
levels of local responsibility for responding to
and investigating crime and ASB incidents.
"I'm pleased Essex Police has been
consulting widely with local stakeholders about
"At the heart of the Police and Crime Plan
for Essex is the concept of local solutions for
local problems, and I know Chief Constable
Kavanagh remains committed to this approach.
"Returning officers to local supervision
ensures ongoing ownership of crime and ASB
incidents by local officers.
"I'm delighted that PCSOs remain an
integral part of the local policing model. I
know how highly they are valued by local
communities, and the visible presence they
provide through their regular patrol beats is
"Another key element is close working
between Essex Police and key partner agencies,
such as Community Safety Partnerships, who
together can help build a safer Essex.
"As the local policing model develops,
plans for enhanced and focused meetings between
local officers and PCSOs and the public they
serve will be implemented.
"I see the opportunity such engagement
provides for ensuring local challenges are
addressed and resolved over time as a key part
of the new local policing model."
Dedicated domestic abuse investigation teams,
code named Op Juno, have also been introduced
across the county.
Specialist officers and staff will oversee all
domestic abuse investigations as well as work
closely with partner agencies ensuring the best
possible support for victims and a robust, co-ordinated
response to those responsible.
The Harlow Local Policing Team is led by
District Commander Chief Inspector Alan Ray.
Views sought on future of The Stow
7.41am - 1st
RESIDENTS, businesses and community
groups are invited to have their say on how The
Stow area of Harlow could be improved.
The Stow is 62 years old and Harlow Council is
looking at ways to regenerate and secure
investment to improve the area.
The council is working with Essex Place Services
to produce a Design Framework which will help
A drop-in event for the community to give their
views is being held at the Annexe, Moot Hall,
The Stow, between 1pm and 7.30pm on Thursday
Further consultations events will be held as
With the recent Aldi supermarket opening it is
hoped this will help support and secure further
regeneration of the Stow.
It also highlights the need for a plan to
promote and guide further improvements in the
neighbourhood centre, ensuring a
well-integrated, designed and complementary mix
of uses which is sustainable, best meets local
community needs, supports business and improves
quality of life.
The study will explore a range of issues, likely
to include access, security, future development,
links between different parts of the
neighbourhood centre, the condition of
buildings, and the quality of streets and
Harlow Council regeneration and enterprise
portfolio holder Tony Durcan said: "The
Stow was the first neighbourhood shopping centre
in Harlow and will always have an important
place in the town's history. Today it is still a
vibrant place with many local businesses
operating in the area and there is some
community activity but we know it could be a
better place for local residents.
"Recent investment with the Aldi
development gives us the opportunity to
regenerate the Stow and we want to put a plan in
place to help make that happen.
"The first, and most important, phase of
this work is get the views of local residents,
businesses and community groups so we can start
putting options together."
The views and opinions expressed as part of the
consultation will help inform the Design
Views can be made online at www.harlow.gov.uk/spd-the-stow
Completed questionnaires can be handed in at the
drop-in event, sent by post or emailed to the
council. All comments should be returned by
Friday, September 19.
Once proposals for the Design Framework are put
together a formal consultation exercise will be
undertaken to gain local opinions and views on
the proposed content and preferred
Any comments received will be analysed and a
final proposal published.
The plan will be known as The Stow Neighbourhood
Centre Design Framework Supplementary Planning