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Police appeal over missing woman 

UPDATED 12.58pm - 23rd March 2015

POLICE say Angela Fiddes, who was reported missing from her home in Harlow, has been found in London this morning. 
She was located by Met Police officers shortly after 9am and is now receiving medical care. 

8.31am - 23rd March 2015

POLICE are concerned for the safety of a woman missing from her home in Harlow. 
Angela Fiddes, 37, of Hare Street Springs, was last seen by her husband at 10pm last night (Sunday) when she went outside her house to have a cigarette. 
After 15 minutes she had failed to return and her bicycle was missing. 
Angela is described as white, about 5ft 8ins tall, with shoulder length wavy brown hair. 
She was last seen wearing a blue fleece with Wildlife Park written on it and black leggings. She could also be wearing a hat. 
Her bicycle is a green men's pedal cycle with a child seat on the front and white writing. 
Anyone who has seen Angela is asked to ring Essex Police on 101.

Breast cancer charity reaches £2m milestone 

4.48pm - 18th March 2015

A CUBAN-themed party for the breast cancer clinical trials charity turned into a massive celebration when fundraisers realised they had passed the £2m mark for the total raised for the charity.
Some 200 people enjoyed a Cuban Fiesta night at the Manor of Groves, High Wych, raising £20,000 for breast cancer clinical trials at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow, and St Margaret's Hospital, Epping.
The event was organised by Tim and Amanda Barr, Victoria Gerlis, Jo Bischoff, Polly Dully, Kim Jarvis and Victoria Rex. 
Amanda, 51, said: "We were so thrilled to pass the £2m mark. It was already a fantastic party with Cuban food, a live band, salsa dancers and a disco, and when we realised we'd done it, the place went wild!"
Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 and given the all-clear in 2009, Sawbridgeworth hairdresser Amanda has conquered Kilimanjaro - the tallest mountain in Africa - and trekked in Cuba, Peru and the Great Wall of China for the cause raising well over £100,000. 
Ashraf Patel , associate specialist at Princess Alexandra Hospital, thanked everyone who had helped the charity raise £2m since April 2003. 
He said: "I'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us over the last 12 years, joining a trek, run, bike ride, abseil, sky dive or sponsoring a friend, coming to a party like this to help us reach this unbelievable amount, especially David Lewis and the Sunseeker London team, without whose support reaching the £2m mark would have taken many more years, and Amanda, who has inspired an awful lot of people to start fundraising for the charity which benefits so many women in east Herts and west Essex. 
"Amanda is a great friend to the clinical trials charity and has been a big part of raising this incredible amount, so it was fantastic to cross the £2m milestone at one of her events. 
"As well as fundraising, she volunteers at our Fabulous and Beautiful programme to support women living with cancer, and we are so very grateful for her energy, enthusiasm and dedication to the cause." 
He added: "We rely on charitable donation to continue our important work to improve our understanding and find out how to prevent, diagnose and treat different kinds of breast cancer. 
"We always have lots of events coming up, so please help us." 
Anyone who would like to join a 2016 Cuba trek or Borneo trek to help the charity can contact the fundraising office on 01279 827857, email pahbreasttrials@outlook.com or search for The Princess Alexandra Hospital Charitable Trust - Breast Trials Unit on Facebook for more information.

Police renew appeal over assault 

4.46pm - 18th March 2015

DETECTIVES are renewing their appeal for witnesses to an assault in which the victim suffered serious facial injuries. 
A group of males and females are believed to have been involved in the attack on a man in his 50s in The Stow, Harlow, at about 10pm on Saturday, February 28. He needed surgery for his injuries. 
A 15-year-old girl, a 16-year-old girl and a 19-year-old man, all from Harlow, were arrested in the early hours of Sunday, March 1. 
They have been bailed until May 29 pending further enquiries. 
Anyone who witnessed the assault or has any information should ring PC Jo Snell at Harlow CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Hospice welcomes new chaplain 

3.43pm - 18th March 2015

THE Bishop of Barking, the Rt Rev Peter Hill, gave a blessing at St Clare Hospice to celebrate the arrival of the charity's new chaplain. 
Rev'd Marion Williams was officially licensed for her new ministry by the Bishop during a ceremony in the hospice's Sanctuary. 
Rev'd Williams, who was ordained an Anglican Deacon in June 2014, said: "I have been called quite late to the Priesthood but always knew my calling lay in helping people and that this is what God had planned for me. 
"My role at the hospice is very varied, from sitting with patients and their loved ones at the end of life, or giving prayer and advice when needed. It is responding to that spiritual need, and to those questions in all of us. 
"And although I am a Christian and I represent the Church of England, I am available to all, to those of any faith or none."

School's lessons in languages 

3.41pm - 18th March 2015

A HARLOW school with students speaking up to 50 different languages is celebrating its diverse culture.
Freshwaters Primary Academy has seen an increase in the number of pupils joining without any English skills. 
To encourage non-English speaking families to feel a part of the school, a language of the month is being highlighted. 
Head of school Marios Solomonides said: "We have quite a few children start here without any English at all. We had one child start in Year 6 this year with no English and they are now achieving level four - that is the level children who have completed their entire education in England should be at, which is just amazing. 
"The idea of language of the month is for teachers to use a bit of the language and to invite parents in who speak it to share their culture with the children. 
"Language can be a barrier stopping parents from coming in and speaking to us, telling us what they want or if there is a problem. 
"We believe they will feel more welcome if they are invited to share photos of their home country or maybe cook with the children." 
Children starting at Freshwaters with no English are helped with the basics of being able to communicate the things they need, like going to the toilet, or how they are feeling and to be able to respond to the register. 
Pictures are used to help develop communication. 
Mr Solomonides said: "We have one child in Year 6 who has joined from Germany so close to his SATs that our colleagues at Burnt Mill Academy are creating a maths dictionary to help him. 
"Maths should not be about understanding a language." 
The first language of the month focuses on Urdu, the countries it is spoken in and the children and staff at Freshwaters who speak it. 
A display board in the school's corridors celebrates the language of the month. 
The school has also launched a new website which can be converted into 90 languages to improve communication with its families.

Council to hold public meeting over travellers

2.33pm - 12th March 2015

HARLOW Council is holding a public meeting on Thursday, March 19, about the interim town-wide injunction and future planned actions for tackling unauthorised traveller encampments. 
The meeting, which will begin at 7.30pm in the Council Chamber, Harlow Civic Centre, will include information on the process for securing an interim injunction followed by a discussion on existing powers for public authorities, traveller site provision across Essex and further securing land in Harlow. 
The meeting will be chaired by Harlow Council leader Jon Clempner. 
MP Robert Halfon, Essex Police Chief Superintendent Sean O'Callaghan and Essex County Council customer services, planning and the environment cabinet member Roger Hirst are also expected to attend. 
The meeting follows Harlow Council and Essex County Council's joint action to secure an interim town-wide injunction which bans travellers from setting up unauthorised encampments in Harlow. 
A hearing for a full injunction will take place later this year. 
Mr Clempner said: "Now we have the interim town-wide injunction in place I believe the time is right to hold a public meeting where residents and businesses can find out more about the injunction, future plans and ask questions. 
"Finding a long-term solution to deal with repeated unauthorised encampments has been a top priority for Harlow Council since the summer and residents and businesses have played a key part in reminding everyone of the impact this issue has had on the town. 
"For a long time we have been unable to talk about the legal action we were planning and we know this added to the frustration the community were feeling. 
"I am sure there will be lots of questions the public have about this issue and this is their chance to talk to us and share their thoughts as we continue to prepare and look at future actions to address this issue."

Parliamentary candidate visits Passmores Academy

3.04pm - 10th March 2015

LABOUR parliamentary candidate Suzy Stride visited Passmores Academy to talk to young people about their career plans. 
As part of her series of school visits under the title 'Aim High', Miss Stride seeks to hear the views students have on career prospects and identify common areas which prevent Harlow's young people from achieving their potential. 
The focus of her visit was on university places with Miss Stride listening to students' views on what might prevent them from going on to higher education. 
Miss Stride said: "I think it is always really interesting to hear from young people about what barriers they see to them achieving their potential. 
"It's striking that many students did talk about the potential for debt and how that would influence their decision on whether to go to University. 
"For me this shows why bringing down tuition fees is so important, so that we remove that barrier and give young people the encouragement to go and follow the path their talents take them down. 
"That's good for them, it is also good for Harlow and ultimately it's good for our country as a whole."

Five arrested after three injured in Old Harlow

3.23pm - 9th March 2015

FIVE people were arrested after three men were attacked in High Street, Old Harlow.
A man in his 50s, from the Harlow area, suffered a fractured wrist. 
A man, aged in his 40s, also from the Harlow area, suffered a broken rib and bruising to his chest. 
A third man was assaulted. 
Enquiries are ongoing into the circumstances surrounding the incident which happened at about 12.30am on Sunday, February 22. 
A 16-year-old boy, from Harlow; a 16-year-old boy, from Sawbridgeworth; two 17-year-old boys, from Harlow, and a 19-year-old man, from Harlow, were arrested on suspicion of assault. 
They were released on police bail until Monday, March 30, pending further inquiries. 
Police are appealing for anyone who was in the High Street or Bengal Cottage Indian restaurant and saw the incident to ring PC Richard Canning at Harlow CID on 101.

Pupils go behind the scenes at Tesco

3.21pm - 9th March 2015

CHILDREN at Cooks Spinney Primary School, Harlow, are learning about where their food comes from.
Year 1 and Year 6 classes have gone behind the scenes at Tesco in Church Langley and the rest of the school will follow. 
They found food items on the shelves before locating the country of origin on a map. 
They also visited the warehouse and experienced the extreme temperatures of the fridges and freezers.
Headteacher Stuart Pope said: "This is an opportunity to show our children the journey their food takes, from farm to fork. "Not only are the children getting to find the food in the store and try it, they are learning how far the items have travelled by referring to their maps. 
"It is an absolutely amazing experience and something else that enriches and inspires their learning. 
"We are very far from the stereotypical curriculum here; it's what makes us different."

Pyjamas and tea party for World Book Day

3.19pm - 9th March 2015

PUPILS at Freshwaters Primary Academy, Harlow, spent World Book Day listening out for the bell which prompted them to drop everything and read. 
The children dressed in their pyjamas for the day and were instructed to carry their favourite bedtime story around with them so they were prepared for the spontaneous reading at any time. 
Head of school Marios Solomonides said: "World Book Day was a perfect opportunity to promote reading for pleasure, which is why we chose a bedtime story theme rather than coming to school dressed as a book character. 
"Children and adults relished the opportunity to drop everything and read. It showed them they can escape to a different world just by opening the pages of a book. 
"I firmly believe books change lives and if we only had one aim as a school, it would be for all pupils to leave us with a deep love of reading. If they read, they will succeed." 
Children also enjoyed a Mad Hatters Tea Party themed lunch to highlight the story of Alice in Wonderland and took photographs to school of them reading in the most unusual places. 
* Meanwhile pupils at Cooks Spinney Primary School, Harlow, dressed as their favourite storybook stars for World Book Day before visiting the local library. 
Other pupils read The Gingerbread Man and baked their own gingerbread men or created their own characters and wrote stories.

Pupils creating mural for school entrance

3.17pm - 9th March 2015

YEAR 6 pupils at Little Parndon Primary School, Harlow, are working with Burnt Mill Academy art teacher Rosie Hayes to produce a mural. 
The work, for the entrance to the school, will feature laser-cut stars made by each pupil. 
Miss Hayes, who is working with the pupils once a week, said: "The children's work will become a 3D instalment with the theme 'reach for the stars'. 
"It was down to them to work together to come up with a theme and to bring that to life through art."

Stansted school offer to Harlow children

3.17pm - 9th March 2015

CHILDREN on the waiting list to join Burnt Mill Academy, Harlow. from September are being offered a place at its new partner school in Stansted. 
A total of 210 Year 6 pupils discovered they had secured their place at the academy for the new school year last week. However the school still has more than 300 names on its waiting list. 
Headteacher Helena Mills has recently taken responsibility for Forest Hall School, in Stansted Mountfitchet, which which received an Ofsted rating of Good in 2013. 
The school joined the Burnt Mill Co-operative Academy Trust (BMAT) on February 1. 
Children failing to get into Burnt Mill are being offered the opportunity to instead go to Forest Hall, dubbed "mini Burnt Mill", as it is being run by the same leaders and with the same ethos and routines. 
Former Burnt Mill deputy headteacher Stephen Hehir has been drafted in as acting headteacher at Forest Hall. Children from Harlow joining Forest Hall will be taken to and from by school bus on the 20-minute journey.

Ambulance service to take over patient transport

2.15pm - 9th March 2015

THE East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust will run the patient transport services in west Essex from May 1.
This follows a competitive tender process carried out by West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group. 
Liz McEwan, head of non-emergency services, said: "We know our patients really appreciate the work of our staff and the services we run which is shown time after time in our excellent patient satisfaction survey results and we look forward to taking on this opportunity in west Essex." 
Toni Coles, from West Essex CCG, said: "Our aim is to make sure people who need help getting from home to their place of care get the best possible patient transport service. 
"It's not just about getting from A to B though, it's also about making sure they can book their journey easily, the transport turns up in a timely fashion and provides patients with a positive experience from door to door. 
"We are confident the East of England Ambulance Service shares our patient-centred values and will provide a good quality, safe patient transport service for the people of west Essex." 
The ambulance trust will be undertaking about 42,000 patient journeys every year in west Essex and plans are now being put in place to ensure a smooth transition on May 1. 
The fleet is almost ready and the ambulance service is actively recruiting staff to work alongside those who want to transfer into the service from the current provider. 
In addition, the trust will be recruiting volunteers to help provide the best possible service to patients. 
Specialist vehicles are used to convey patients who are elderly, disabled and frail or with mobility or medical needs but those who are mobile and able to sit comfortably in a standard saloon car may also be taken to hospital by a volunteer drivers, known as the Ambulance Car Service.

Health Secretary visits hospital

2.13pm - 9th March 2015

HEALTH Secretary Jeremy Hunt has visited Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow. 
He met some of the hospital's management team, doctors, nurses and other staff following an invitation from MP Robert Halfon. 
The hospital's A&E department has been under significant pressure recently due to a surge in extra visits over the winter months. 
Figures show the hospital is one of the busiest in the country with significantly more patients per bed than much bigger hospitals.

Boy punched while sitting in car

11.08am - 6th March 2015

POLICE are appealing for witnesses to an assault on a teenage boy outside Passmores Academy, Harlow. 
The incident happened at about 3pm on Monday, February 23, when the suspect, believed to be a teenaged boy, opened the door of the car the victim was sitting in and punched him in the face. 
The victim was left with cuts and bruises to his lip. 
Anyone with any information should ring PC Dawn Shearing at Harlow Police station on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

MP helps school mark World Book Day

8.52am - 6th March 2015

HARLOW MP Robert Halfon visited two schools to mark World Book Day to highlight the importance of books to a range of different year groups. 
At St Marks West Essex Catholic School, Mr Halfon headed an assembly with Sixth Form students where he spoke about the deep value of literature and what books meant to him. 
Mr Halfon spoke of his favourite books and engaged with many students on the subject of politics in a question and answer session. 
He later commended the students' honesty and willingness to speak up and ask questions. 
Mr Halfon then visited Year 5 children at Holy Cross Primary School where he read some of C.S. Lewis's classic 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe' before handing out certificates. 
Many of the children were dressed in colourful costumes and spoke to Mr Halfon about their characters. Mr Halfon said: "I often go round to schools across Harlow reading to kids and handing out bookmarks. 
"It is wonderful to be able to take part in World Book Day in Harlow. 
"It is a day that shows Harlow and the world why books are such wonderful things to have, and hopefully encourages people to read more often."

Disabilities Minister visits Motability

8.46am - 6th March 2015

DISABILITIES Minister Mark Harper visited Motability's main headquarters in the Pinnacles, Harlow.
Accompanied by MP Robert Halfon, Mr Harper saw how Motability works and the important role it plays in helping disabled people travel for work. 
Motability specialises in providing adapted vehicles for people with disabilities, enabling them to retain a greater level of mobility and independence. 
They then met one of Motability's customers who demonstrated her adapted vehicle and explained how it allows her to travel independently to work, an opportunity she said she might not have without it. A number of other adapted cars were also on show. 
The MPs also met employees and discussed the day-to-day operations and fundraising for the scheme.
Mr Halfon said: "I was delighted to visit Motability headquarters in Harlow, it's an incredible organisation that helps people with disabilities have cars, and empowers people with disabilities. 
"This is my third visit and it was really good to bring the minister up from London and tour round and meet all the employees who do an incredible job. We should be proud that Motability has chosen Harlow as a base for their headquarters." 
Mr Haper said: "I was very pleased to accompany Robert Halfon to Motability's operations and view the work being done to make sure the scheme is being properly managed. 
"I also saw vehicles that have been adapted to meet the needs of disabled customers, which ensures they are able to travel to work and contribute to a fuller economy and society in general."

Council invites interest for improved sports facilities

8.35am - 6th March 2015

HARLOW Council is inviting expressions of interest for the lease of the community building at Nichols Field when improvement works to the Nichols Field Pavilion and pitches are completed. 
The project is part of the multi-million pound Harlow Gateway Scheme that also funded new homes, Harlow Leisurezone, Barrows Farm Stadium, Mark Hall Athletics Track and the refurbishment of Ash Tree Field Pavilion aims to promote health and wellbeing whilst regenerating a community facility. 
The council is inviting expressions of Interest for the lease of the community building at Nichols Field with options for facility management of Nichols Field Pavilion and / or playing pitches. 
Significant improvements are being made to the site and the council is interested in receiving expressions of interest for facility management (building, changing rooms and sports pitches), building-only management (excluding changing rooms) and sports pitches and changing rooms only. 
It is expected that successful bidders will offer a range of community uses such as youth activities, sport and physical activity, services for children, services for families, crèche and health services. 
For an informal discussion or tender pack ring Chris Purvis on 01279 446435 or email chris.purvis@harlow.gov.uk by Friday, March 13.

Councils granted interim injunction over traveller encampments

4.46pm - 3rd March 2015

HARLOW Council and Essex County Council have been granted an interim town-wide injunction from the High Court banning the setting up of unauthorised traveller encampments in Harlow. 
The interim injunction remains in place until a hearing for the full injunction takes place later in the year.
The news has been welcomed by MP Robert Halfon. 
He said: "For over a year now I have been working hard in Parliament with debates, questions and meetings with ministers and the police to help get the siege of Harlow ended. 
"Today's announcement is a major step forward to ridding our town of this blight once and and for all and comes alongside commitments made by the Chief Constable to look at what more can be done." 
He added: "It's good news for Harlow residents that an interim injunction has been granted which will ban the setting up of illegal encampments across the town until there is a full hearing later in the year.
"Although I think this is something that should have been done a long time ago, I am grateful for all of the fantastic work of the Harlow Anti-social Behaviour Team who have worked hard alongside Essex County Council to secure this injunction.
"I am hopeful that in the time before we get the full injunction the town can get to normality. 
"We must ensure Harlow never again is seen as a soft touch for unauthorised or illegal encampments."

Rare breeding birds stolen

10.45am - 1st March 2015

FOURTEEN rare breeding bullfinches, worth over £3,000, have been stolen from a property in Peterswood, Harlow. 
The seven pairs of birds were stolen between midnight and 8am on Thursday, February 26. 
Police say a window on one of two aviaries was forced after the suspects climbed over the garden wall. 
It is believed they would have had a large box or cage to transport the birds which would have made a lot of noise when they were separated from their mates. 
Police are appealing for witnesses and particularly want to hear from anyone who has seen or heard birds being carried or stored since the burglary. 
Anyone with any information can ring Harlow Police Station on Essex Police 101.

Winter Walkies set to raise £7,500

10.40am - 1st March 2015

WALKERS with two and four legs took part in the St Clare Hospice Winter Walkies fundraising event.
More than 100 dogs of all shapes and sizes set out for the walk as a record-breaking 170 walkers left the hospice at Hastingwood for the sponsored 5km countryside stroll. 
The event, sponsored by estate agent Mullucks Wells, was supported by the Epping-based Forest Veterinary Centre, with staff offering a free microchip checking service and pet care advice as well as handing out doggy treats. 
Half Moon Pets, of Bishop's Stortford, provided goody bags for everyone who took part and have donated a prize hamper for the person who raises the most sponsorship. 
The competition for the best dressed dog was won by Connie the Chihuahua and her owner Fern Patterson who wore matching animal print coats and accessories.
There was also a 'Guess the Famous Dog' competition for children and a tombola. 
Winter Walkies is expected to raise £7,500. 
St Clare event fundraiser Heather Cameron said: "This was the ninth year we have organised Winter Walkies and it gets more and more popular every year, this time attracting a record number of dogs and their owners. 
"It really was a sight to see so many happy wagging tails held aloft as all the dogs set off out the hospice gate and it was wonderful to hear the positive comments from those who took part saying what a lovely atmosphere there was among their fellow dog lovers. 
"We'd like to thank everyone who came along or supported the event, helping us raise much-needed funds so we can provide our skilled and compassionate care to every local family who needs us."

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