What do you think?
Have your say on the news articles that appear
or text brief comments to 07710 447868. Please include your name and address (however
you may request for both to be withheld from
Council seeks funding to help rough
24th May 2018
HARLOW Council has submitted a proposal
to the Government to help get people sleeping
rough in the town into housing.
The council has asked for £250,000 from a
targeted £30m fund which aims to reduce the
number of people rough sleeping before and
throughout the next winter period.
Council officers have been working with the
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local
Government on the co-production of a
The council says there were 24 rough sleepers in
Harlow when the last estimated rough sleeper
count took place last November, compared to
seven in 2010.
This year during the severe weather Harlow’s
emergency provision was activated three times
and supported up to 36 people sleeping
The council would use the money on a range of
measures including employing a full-time co-ordinator
to oversee services and support for rough
sleepers, funding two extra outreach/tenancy
support workers to work for Streets2Homes,
providing support to help get people off the
street and into settled accommodation suited to
their needs, extending severe weather provision
across the winter (November to February) so a
range of accommodation can be provided to suit
individual circumstances, and turning a disused
council property into short-term supported
accommodation where up to six rough sleepers can
stay and receive targeted support from
Housing portfolio holder councillor Mark
Wilkinson said: "We see rough sleeping
everywhere, not just in Harlow, and the increase
in figures locally speaks for itself.
"People want to see more done to help get
rough sleepers into housing and into a more
"Behind every rough sleeper’s story there
are usually many different circumstances and
"We know that rough sleepers need more than
just a place to live - that is the first
solution for many - but it’s the specialist
support and help over the long term which is
"Sadly, some people choose to sleep rough
and reject support; overcoming these barriers is
all part of the project.
"Our bid includes a range of measures
working with Streets2homes to provide the
support to meet the different needs of different
"I’m hopeful the Government will confirm
its support for our proposal so that together we
can do more to help those sleeping rough."
Fairground workers convicted over
bouncy castle death
4.32pm - 9th
TWO fairground workers have been
convicted of manslaughter by gross negligence
after a girl died when the bouncy castle she was
playing on in Harlow Town Park became untethered
during poor weather conditions.
Married couple Shelby and William Thurston had
not adequately anchored the inflatable dome to
the ground and failed to monitor weather
conditions to ensure it was safe for it to be in
use, a court heard.
Summer Grant was trapped inside when a gust of
wind blew it into the air. It travelled 300
metres down a hill and struck a tree before
coming to rest.
The seven-year-old, from Norwich, was taken to
hospital but died a short time later.
Shelby Thurston, 25, and William Thurston Jnr,
28, both of Whitecross Road, Wilburton, were
arrested following the incident on March 26,
Following a thorough investigation, they were
charged in June last year with manslaughter by
They were also charged with two counts of
failing to discharge a general health and safety
duty under the Health and Safety at Work
The couple stood trial at Chelmsford Crown Court
on April 16 and today (Wednesday) a jury found
them both guilty of all the charges.
Witnesses told the court it had been raining and
windy on the day of the incident.
A yellow weather wind warning was in place and
the weather forecast for the coming weekend was
stormy, with Storm Katie expected to arrive on
The Thurstons were running a number of rides at
the funfair, including three inflatables - a
large slide, a smaller slide and the Circus
Super Dome that was involved in the
They opened their rides at about 2.15pm but at
3.30pm William Thurston decided to deflate the
large slide due to forecast weather
While the larger slide was
being deflated, Summer was on the dome when it
lifted into the air and blew away.
The Thurstons told the court they had regularly
checked Met Office weather updates on the day
and had seen the wind was due to pick up in a
few hours, so agreed to deflate the big slide
first due to the rain.
They claimed it was not windy and a sudden gust
blew the dome away.
A meteorologist confirmed weather warnings were
in place that day for the area covering the park
and wind speeds and gusts had increased
throughout the day, reaching as high as 35mph to
45mph during the late afternoon.
As part of the police investigation, the dome
was re-inflated and examined by experts from The
Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
They said although it was generally of sound
construction and thought to be in a satisfactory
used condition before the incident, the design
did not conform to guidance given in the British
Standard for safety for such equipment.
It had insufficient anchorage points but would
have been able to withstand wind speeds of
The inspectors also identified damage to a power
cable, which should have been identified during
daily checks of the dome.
However during police interviews, the Thurstons
said they were familiar with the instructions
for using the dome and it was checked before and
Speaking after the hearing, senior investigating
officer, Detective Chief Inspector Daniel Stoten,
of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate,
said: “Summer Grant was a seven-year-old girl
who lost her life in the most tragic of
“The inflatable should never have been in use
in those weather conditions and the operators
should never have allowed Summer to play on
“The Thurstons held a huge responsibility to
ensure the safety of the children that used
their rides. They treated this responsibility
with total disregard, putting profit before
“I welcome the convictions in this case,
however this is a tragedy for everyone
“Summer Grant was a beautiful little girl with
a beaming smile and a caring nature. She will
never be forgotten.
“Summer’s parents Cara and Lee, her sister
Lily and her wider family have suffered an
“They have displayed utter dignity throughout
the last two years and during the court process.
They have my complete respect for the strength
and courage they have shown.”
HSE inspector Nicola Jaynes said: “Anyone
operating an item of fairground equipment should
be aware of their legal duty to protect the
health and safety of those not in their
“They should be aware that HSE will not
hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action
against those that fall below the required
“An inflatable should be checked before use
and these checks should include ensuring it is
adequately secured to the ground. “When in use
operators should monitor the weather closely and
an inflatable should not be used in wind speeds
above 24mph or as directed by the manufacture.”
Sentencing has been adjourned until a date yet
to be set.
Exhibitions for new M11 junction 7A
9.15am - 9th
TWO public drop-in events relating to the
M11 Junction 7A scheme are taking place in Old
The events are an opportunity for people to meet
project staff and discuss the latest
developments which include noise barriers along
Gilden Way / Sheering Road.
These are planned to install noise barriers at
some locations along Gilden Way and Sheering
Road to reduce the impact of traffic noise on
The barriers are typically wooden fences,
although other materials can be used such as
brick and clear plastic.
The scheme will also see the removal of The
Oxleys underpass. Harlow Council has told the
county council there are significant benefits to
removing the underpass under Gilden Way between
The Oxleys and Gilden Close.
The underpass does not conform to the latest
accessibility standards, is prone to flooding,
and has become associated with anti-social
The existing crossing near the junction with
Mulberry Green would be upgraded, ensuring it
provides a safe crossing across Gilden
The events are at Mulberry Green Church Hall,
Catholic Church of the Assumption, Mulberry
Green, Old Harlow, between 2pm and 8pm on Friday
(May 11) and between 10am and 4pm on Saturday
Chance to enter Royal Parks Half
8.28pm - 1st
ST Clare Hospice is offering ten
supporters the opportunity to take part in the
Royal Parks Half Marathon on Sunday, October 14,
as part of Team St Clare.
Setting off from Hyde Park, the 13.1-mile route
passes through four of London’s eight Royal
Parks and passes some of London’s most iconic
landmarks on closed roads, including Buckingham
Applications to apply to run for Team St Clare
can be made until the noon deadline on Monday,
April 30. Places are not given on a
All applications are assessed on an individual
Application forms can be downloaded from the St
Clare Hospice website at www.stclarehospice.org.uk/event/royal-parks-half,
or from Emma Broadbent on 01279 773754 or by
Registration open for Go Bright
7.43am - 1st
REGISTRATION is now open for St Clare
Hospice's first Go Bright Walk.
The 5km walk will be held on Saturday, July 14,
when participants will set off from the Water
Gardens in Harlow.
Walkers are encouraged to don rainbow colours
for the event.
Organiser Emma Broadbent, St Clare’s
challenges and events fundraiser, said:
"Our first-ever Go Bright Walk promises to
be the brightest 5k in town!
"It is the perfect event to kick-start your
summer with the whole family. Setting off at
11am, and with a free family festival of stalls,
games and treats taking place all day, there is
something for everyone to enjoy.
"The lovely, bright St Clare logo is all
the colours of the rainbow, and we want to
celebrate the brightness and happiness that St
Clare brings to the lives of our community. That’s
why we are asking all our Go Bright Walkers to
dress in their favourite, brightest and most
exciting clothing to represent the brightness of
Dave Hartery, operations manager at The Water
Gardens, said: "We are delighted to be
hosting the first-ever St Clare Go Bright Walk
and to be helping our local hospice’s biggest
"Every year St Clare’s events bring such
a great atmosphere to Harlow town centre - with
hundreds of people gathering for a fantastic
"We are excited that this year’s event
includes a family festival of stalls and games,
so that there is something for everyone to
The Water Gardens is proud to support St Clare
in hosting this bright event to kick-start
summer!" The Go Bright Walk will set off at
11am with the day-long festival running from
10am until 3pm.
The 5k route around Harlow town is wheelchair
and pushchair friendly.
All children aged under 16 must be accompanied
by a responsible adult.
Advanced entry costs £12 for adults (over 16s)
and £5 for children (4-15 years) with children
under three free. A family ticket (two adults
and two children) costs £30 in advance.
On the day entry is £15 for adults, £7 for
children and £40 for a family. Entry includes a
pair of rainbow sweatbands and a Go Bright
Participants can register online at www.stclarehospice.org.uk/event/go-bright-walk
or ring 01279 773754.
Registration forms are also available from the
hospice reception at Hastingwood and all St