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Housing scheme a step closer
- 28th May 2015
A MAJOR scheme to regenerate three
housing estates in Staple Tye - The Briars,
Copshall Close and Aylets Field - has moved a
step nearer with the signing of a Development
This means Harlow Council, Home Group and
Countryside are now in a contract to deliver the
regeneration scheme which will see 343 homes
built with a mix of homes to rent, shared
ownership and homes to buy outright.
The scheme will also provide new landscaping,
roads and parking and a new community centre as
well as training opportunities for local
The scheme includes replacing the current ageing
bungalows which do not meet the Decent Homes
Residents were involved in producing the Design
and Development Brief for the regeneration
scheme and have met with the developers and
attended consultation events over the last two
A planning application will be submitted shortly
and a planning consultation period will
The council has been supporting, and will
continue to help, council tenants living on the
estates with their individual needs and future
Council tenants are given the choice of moving
on a temporary basis and then moving back onto
the estate once the new homes have been built,
or they can choose a permanent move to an
alternative council or housing association
property elsewhere in the town.
The plan is to develop the scheme in three
Residents in phase one will shortly be contacted
for face-to-face meetings on how relocation will
work and given information on applying for
A council spokesman said: “The signing of the
Development Agreement is a key milestone for the
scheme which will now be submitted for planning
permission. This redevelopment will help deliver
the council’s priorities to provide more and
better housing and to regenerate Harlow.”
A newsletter updating residents on the estates
has been delivered and further updates will be
issued in the coming months.
Fire-ravaged building demolished
- 28th May 2015
THE former Maypole Sports and Social Club
in Harlow has been demolished following Monday's
fire which tore through the building.
Harlow Council says the remains have been
demolished to ensure the safety of the
The building is within an area of land known as
London Road North which will be developed into a
new Science Park as part of the Harlow
Harlow Council is appointing a partner to take
forward the development for research and
development, office and some light industrial
uses and it is anticipated the development will
create about 2,000 jobs.
The site will also accommodate associated
secondary retail and restaurant/café/leisure
uses to support the main employment use.
Work on a new road through the London Road North
site, which links the A414 to London Road and
Newhall, is set to start in the autumn.
Award for Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator
- 26th May 2015
A NEIGHBOURHOOD Watch co-ordinator has
received a countywide award.
Christine Beetlestone, who looks after the
Mulberry Green, Old Harlow Neighbourhood Watch,
was recognised by Essex Neighbourhood Watch at
its annual Member Awards event.
Each district within the Essex Police area was
invited to submit nominations for the awards and
all were invited to attend a ceremony last
Christine's nomination stated: "Christine
has been extremely ill over the past three years
and despite many visits to hospital for
treatments she has continued to keep us informed
of everything she knows will be of interest to
us even when she is feeling unwell.
"Our residents look forward to her chatty
newsletters which keep us informed, but also
make us smile.
"Her commitment, positive attitude and
enthusiasm are an inspiration to everyone.
"She gives freely of her time and effort
and we are extremely lucky to have her as our
Students working on mental health
- 26th May 2015
YEAR 10 students at Burnt Mill Academy
are working with Anglia Ruskin University on a
Europe-wide study into teenage mental
Tim Waller, a professor of child and family
studies at the university, spoke with staff at
the school and others from within the academic
health science partnership UCL Partners.
Paul Williams, responsible for research projects
at Burnt Mill, said: “We were told about the
project and asked our professional advice on how
to take the findings forward to develop tech to
support young people with mental health
“With teen suicide on the rise, it’s a very
important research project.”
Burnt Mill peer mentors have been gathering
information and views from students on what form
the app should take and what signposts there are
to getting the right help.
In July, the students will go to Anglia Ruskin
to work with the science faculty on developing
Robyn Gilbert, co-head of science at Burnt Mill,
has been co-ordinating the research project at
She said: “Our students have come up with some
"It’s great to be involving them in this
process as their whole lives are centred around
apps and technology so they are the very best
people to make suggestions.”
Mr Williams said: “Our children’s views and
opinions will be involved in this whole
development. They will also get invaluable
experience of developing an app and see how
computer science can be used in a real-life
The app will be trialled at Burnt Mill in
Two arrested over assault
- 26th May 2015
TWO teenagers have been arrested over an
incident in Post Office Walk, Harlow, when two
boys were assaulted.
The incident happened at about 4.30am on Friday,
One of the victims, a 17-year-old who lives in
the local area, suffered serious head injuries.
He is now recovering at home.
The second victim, a 17-year-old from Epping,
was assaulted but did not require hospital
A 19-year-old man, from Epping, was arrested on
suspicion of assault and is now on bail until
August 17 pending further enquiries.
A 17-year-old boy, from Harlow, was charged with
two counts of assault and is due to appear
before magistrates at Chelmsford Youth Court on
Any witnesses or anyone with information who has
not spoken to police officers should ring DC
Lauren Strangward at Harlow CID on 101 or
Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Entrepreneur nominated for award
- 20th May 2015
A HARLOW entrepreneur has set up a
charitable trust to help other young
Now Matthew C. Martino is in an Essex-wide
competition for young positive role models who
‘give to others’.
The 22-year-old has been nominated for the Essex
Young People of the Year Awards or ‘YOPEYs’
- Oscars for young people who ‘give to others’.
Martino who is a film executive, entrepreneur
and philanthropist was nominated for being a
positive role model for young people and
founding his international charity MMBF Trust
which provides grants and sponsors young people,
actors and filmmakers.
He donated a £50,000 endowment to the founding
of the charity in 2014. YOPEY was founded by
former national newspaper journalist Tony
Gearing, who said about Matthew:
“Many rich people do not take giving to
charity seriously until their twilight
"The fact that Matthew is doing it so young
makes him a stand-out success in more ways than
'Good' report for primary school
- 20th May 2015
A HARLOW primary school once considered
inadequate is celebrating being graded as Good
Freshwaters Primary Academy received a two-day
visit by inspectors last month. The repor graded
the school as good in all categories.
The school joined the Burnt Mill Co-operative
Academy Trust in September 2013 and an
independent report commissioned by the Trust
found the school to be inadequate.
Head of school Marios Solomonides, who was
appointed acting headteacher in January 2014
before being promoted, is described as a “dynamic
and highly motivated leader” in the new
He said: “When I began leading Freshwaters and
put together my first report for the local
advisory board, I could not bring myself to
write down that we were inadequate as I did not
want anyone to feel there was no hope. But, the
school was inadequate; our teaching and
achievements were just not good enough and
children were not making enough progress.
“My most recent report considered everything
to be good; achievement, quality of teaching,
behaviour and safety, leadership and management
and our early years provision. Ofsted agrees.”
Ofsted inspectors praised pupils for behaving
“exceptionally well” and having “outstanding
The biggest change at Freshwaters, Mr
Solomonides said, is everyone at the school now
has more freedom to be creative.
He said: “I feel teachers, parents and
children should be able to make decisions which
affect them. The rule is, if it is going to
benefit the school, then do it.
"I do not need to be notified of every last
decision. As a result, people come up with all
sorts of wonderful ideas, solutions and
"We have worked hard to develop our staff,
given them a voice and encouraged them to
develop themselves professionally and to take
ownership of that.
"We now have pupils represented through a
junior leadership team and we see far more
parents coming into school; we used to go a
whole week between visits from parents, but we
opened up our reception to make school more
welcoming for our community.
“Ofsted saw we all have a shared vision and
that we all know exactly what we are here for.
“I am very proud. We all feel even more
motivated now – positivity breeds positivity.”
Helena Mills, head of BMAT schools, said: “We
are very lucky to have a leader like Marios in
our family of schools. His passion for the
children to be successful learners and ambitious
is infectious and is shared by all of us.
“Freshwaters is a special place to be for
Freshwaters achieved its best ever SATs results
last year with 79 per cent of pupils reaching
the expected level four in Year 6.
Macmillan GP appointed
- 14th May 2015
A DOCTOR is dedicating
one day a week to improving
cancer services in Harlow,
Epping Forest and Uttlesford
after becoming the Macmillan GP
for west Essex.
In a new role funded by
Macmillan Cancer Support, Dr
Sara Astbury will work with NHS
West Essex Clinical
Commissioning Group over the
next two years to identify areas
for improvement which could
include early diagnosis and more
supported care in the
As well as continuing her day
job as a GP in Dunmow, Dr
Astbury will now spend one
morning and one afternoon each
week working alongside GPs to
enhance their knowledge and
skills around the delivery of
services for patients with
Drawing on her experience from
working with people with cancer
in general medicine, Dr Astbury
aims to improve early diagnosis
and communication between GPs
and hospitals to ensure early
intervention and the best
follow-up care is
Dr Astbury said: "I'm
looking forward to working with
my colleagues in west Essex and
the Macmillan network who have a
wealth of resources and
enthusiasm for improving cancer
"This role offers an
exciting opportunity to improve
services for local patients and
families experiencing the
difficult period that a cancer
diagnosis can bring.
"My efforts will be to
improve links between GPs and
hospitals and to promote further
resources available in west
West Essex Clinical
Commissioning Group clinical
director Dr Christine Moss said:
"This is a great
opportunity to make the most of
the partnerships we have been
busy creating as part of our aim
to commission, joined-up, high
quality care for local
Butchered swan found on towpath
- 10th May 2015
POLICE are working with colleagues from
Harlow Council and the RSPCA to identify who was
responsible for killing a swan and leaving its
butchered remains along a tow path in
A member of Harlow Safer Partnership Team
discovered the remains next to the River Stort
towards The Moorhen at 1.30pm on Saturday, May
2. It had been left in public view in an area
frequented by families.
Inspector Paul Maleary said: "This is a
very disturbing occurrence and it is an offence
for any person to kill a swan.
"There have been a number of high profile
cases where members of the public have been
convicted for offences against the Wildlife and
Countryside Act. Swans are the property of the
Crown and are a protected species."
Anyone with any information about this or any
similar incident should ring Essex Police on 101
or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Theatre launches fundraising appeal
- 7th May 2015
THE Victoria Hall Theatre is looking to
raise £30,000 for new seats and disabled
Martin Colton, chairman of The Victoria Hall
Preforming Arts Association, said the theatre
has launched a seed funding campaign using the
crowdfunding platform www.igg.me/at/vht
To help mark the 20th anniversary of the
community-run theatre, it is attempting to raise
£30,000 in 60 days (by June 23) for much needed
full disabled access and new seating.
The current seats have been in use for 20 years
and are beyond repair.
Should the full amount be raised the new seating
plan will fully cater for wheelchair users with
removable sections towards the front and rear of
Currently patrons who use wheelchairs have to
enter the auditorium via the external fire exit
or use their own portable ramp.
In addition, the theatre is also seeking a
sponsor for a ramp to be installed at the rear
of the auditorium.
Donations, from £1 up to the full purchase of
an individual seat for £250, can be made.
MIND charity seeks votes
- 7th May 2015
WEST Essex Mind is calling on people to
support its bid for funding via the Aviva
The charity needs votes to be in with a chance
to secure the money.
Votes can be cast online here
by registering or using your Facebook
The project, 'Understanding Troubled Teens', has
been devised to help parents/carers recognise,
understand and know how to deal with adolescents
with actual and potential mental health
One in ten secondary children suffer with a
diagnosable mental health disorder.
West Essex Mind aims to deliver Emotional
Wellbeing Information courses to groups of 12
parent/carers in school premises across west
The courses will run over a three-week period
for 60 minutes each session. This will enable
the charity to deliver 42 courses in one given
The courses will take place during term times in
the early evening and will be delivered by
trained West Essex Mind facilitators with a
potential audience of 524 parents/carers.
Children receive pen pal letters
- 7th May 2015
CHILDREN at Freshwaters Primary Academy
have received their first pen pal letters from
Spain and Ireland.
The pupils are enjoying the traditional hobby of
writing and sending notes to pen pals in other
Year 1 sent letters to Dublin while Year 3 and 4
have struck up correspondence with Spanish pen
pals in Barcelona.
Year 3 and 4 teacher Clara Breakwell said:
"We had already written to our pen pals in
Spanish introducing ourselves and telling them
about our school and our families. In their
replies, the Spanish children asked us about our
favourite hobbies and subjects at school.
"Some of the children were pleased to
discover they shared similar interests with some
delighted to find out their pen pals like
"Writing to Spanish children has been a
great opportunity for our children to understand
the practical importance of learning a language
and they are constantly keen to learn new
vocabulary which will help them with their
letters to their Spanish friends."
School band perform at music
- 7th May 2015
MUSICAL students at Burnt Mill Academy
performed at the Stortford Music Festival.
The Hunt House Band was picked to perform after
coming runner-up in a competition organised by
Fifty artists, headlined by The Undertones and
Toploader, played across four stages at St
Mary's Field, Bishops Stortford, over the recent
Bank Holiday weekend.
Year 7, 9 and 10 students make up the rock band
which performed five songs - from Stevie Wonder
to Ariana Grande hits.
Music teacher Carla Rubery, who also plays in
the band, said: "I am so proud of the band.
They practise so hard on their own at home and
together so they deserve this experience."
Pitch and Putt plans tee off
- 1st May 2015
HARLOW Council is looking to bring the
once popular Pitch and Putt facility back as
part of measures to improve the Town Park and
promote health and wellbeing.
The council is inviting Expressions of Interest
from suitably experienced companies to reinstate
and manage the pitch and putt facility which is
set within open parkland.
It ceased operating seasonally by the council in
the late 1990s and was taken over as a private
venture for a few years.
The operations will include land management as
well as building management for the kiosk.
The plans are part of improving Harlow Town
Park's facilities and promoting health and
wellbeing alongside the recently installed
outdoor gym following a grant from Harlow health
Centres Trust and the £2.8m regeneration works
of the park as a result of a grant from the
heritage lottery Fund and Big Lottery
For an informal discussion or a tender pack ring
Chris Purvis on 01279 446435 or email email@example.com
by Friday, May 8.
Academy shortlisted for award
- 1st May 2015
BURNT Mill Academy is the only Essex
school shortlisted for a prestigious national
Burnt Mill is among eight secondary schools in
line for a TES Schools Award from newspaper The
The awards recognise the outstanding
contribution to education made by teams and
individuals both inside and outside
Helena Mills, head of the Burnt Mill
Co-operative Academy Trust schools, nominated
Burnt Mill for the award.
The winners will be revealed at the Grosvenor
House Hotel, Park Lane, London, on Friday June