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All set for Harlow Parkrun events

2.26pm - 18th December 2014

A NEW Year's Day Harlow Parkrun event is being held to get people active on the first day on the new year. 
The event will start at 10am on the cycle track near the Greyhound car park. 
There is also a festive Parkrun on Saturday (December 20) at 9am. 
Anyone taking part is invited to wear festive clothing. 
There will be mince pies and runners are encouraged to take sweets and cakes. 
Participants are asked to arrive by 8.40am for photographs, if they are wearing festive clothing. 
Anyone interested in participating on the New Year's Day or at any other parkrun events are encouraged to register online to get a barcode required to obtain run times.
All ability levels are welcome. 
Parkrun is managed and delivered by volunteers. If you would like to help, email harlowhelpers@parkrun.com
Visit www.parkrun.org.uk/harlow for updates on Harlow Parkrun events.

Roadworks suspended over holiday period

1.07am - 18th December 2014

ROADWORKS at the Harlow Clock Tower roundabout will be suspended from 5.30pm on Tuesday (December 23) until 7.30am on Monday, January 5. 
Essex County Council says traffic management will remain in place, and subject to inspection and maintenance visits, include temporary signals at Second Avenue. 
An emergency 24-hour telephone number is displayed on the signals. 
The work on the main A414 through Harlow will ease congestion to and from the M11, improving access to the new Enterprise Zone and town centre.

Shadow Minister visits his old school

4.50pm - 17th December 2014

SHADOW Universities, Science and Skills Minister Liam Byrne returned to the Harlow school where he studied until 1986. 
Mr Byrne, who visited Burnt Mill Academy with Harlow's Labour parliamentary candidate Suzy Stride, said: "I am so proud to be here. The transformation is the ambition to be world class and for students to compete with the best on earth. It is inspiring." 
He toured the school and saw the classroom where his late mother taught science. 
He was also wowed by the extensive performing arts facilities added since his time and the good behaviour and mature attitude of students. 
Students from Years 7 to 11 told Mr Byrne of any barriers they see to them achieving their career goals during a group activity, such as university tuition fees. 
He told them: "Everything you have achieved is a real testament to your amazing teachers who really love you and cherish you and want you to be the best you can be. 
"Coming back here it feels buzzy and happening. You have got such amazing ideas and ambitions for the future. It's incredible.
"One of the reasons I wanted to come back is I didn't do terribly well when I was here. Somehow I got into uni and found something I really loved doing; I did well and got myself a decent job. 
"I went off to Harvard University in America before joining the House of Commons ten years ago. 
"My message is if I can do it, then so can you. You are more motivated, better trained and better equipped than I was when I was sitting where you are. 
"The second reason for coming to see you is lots of people will tell you in life nothing is possible, when in fact you are in a world of opportunity. 
"I took inspiration from this town. It didn't matter where I started in life, I was going to make certain I got as far as I wanted to go. "Coming back here, I see that lesson is still being taught." 
Headteacher Helena Mills, who presented the MP with his own Cheshire house tie, said: "I have been desperate for Liam to return to see us. 
"Once we achieved outstanding status I started to talk about us becoming world class, but people didn't really know what I meant. 
"Liam has mentioned being aspirational. It's not just about Harlow, London or even the UK, but our roles in the wider world and what we will contribute."

Golfers help raise money for Sam's Place

10.31am - 17th December 2014

MEMBERS of a pub golf society have helped raised £2,000 for the Friends of Sam's Place which helps run a youth club for children and young people with disabilities. 
The money was jointly raised by the Cock Inn Golf Society and staff and customers of the Cock Inn pub in Cock Green, Harlow. 
The Friends of Sam's Place is a group of parents who work on a voluntary basis with Harlow Council to deliver a Thursday night youth club for eight to 19-year-olds. 
The money will be used to buy essential equipment and materials and to fund outings for all young people who attend Sam's Place. 
Sam's Place, based at Harlow Fields School and College, provides a wide range of opportunities for social interaction and development for children and young people with a disability.

Work underway on new council houses

10.29am - 17th December 2014

BUILDING work is underway on the first new council houses to be built in Harlow for over 25 years. 
The council's £2.7m housing building programme will see 18 two-bedroom homes built on former garage sites in the town - Fesants Croft, Felmongers and The Hill. 
The homes will be added to the council's housing stock of some 9,700 properties. 
All the new homes will be available to rent and allocated to families on Harlow's housing needs register.
The keys for the first home could be handed over next summer. 
The new estates and homes have been designed by local architects and are being built by Borras Construction. 
Harlow Council's housing portfolio holder Rod Truan said: "We are in year two of our programme to modernise existing council homes with our £100m housing investment programme. 
"I'm delighted we are now ready to start building new modern council houses. Together these two programmes meet our number one priority which is more and better housing. 
"Building new homes is the result of months of planning and organisation and once finished this programme will change the lives of local families on Harlow's Housing Needs register." 
Deputy leader and regeneration and enterprise portfolio holder Tony Durcan said: "This is a key moment for social housing in Harlow. It has been over 25 years since the last council house was built in Harlow.
"This programme will provide new high quality homes and also regenerate disused or under-used garage sites making a positive, visible difference to Harlow.
"This is only the beginning of what we want to achieve from building new council houses for local people."

Have your say on musculoskeletal services

10.08am - 17th December 2014

WEST Essex Clinical Commissioning Group is asking people to share their experiences of musculoskeletal services as part of a wide-reaching service review. 
Musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism, back pain, joint pain and muscle pain, are the most common cause of disability in the UK according to Arthritis Research UK. 
Local services within this speciality like physiotherapy, podiatry and orthopaedics, are commissioned by West Essex CCG which is exploring how care for people with these conditions can be improved. 
As part of the review all people aged 16 and over who have received care in orthopaedics, rheumatology, pain management, physiotherapy or podiatry are invited to complete a short questionnaire or attend a feedback event in January to help shape the future of the service. 
The questionnaire can be accessed here 
Dr Christine Moss, Epping Forest GP and clinical director at West Essex CCG, said: "Local people's opinions form the most important feedback we will receive in this review so we urge people who have experiences, good or bad, to share these with us. 
"People's feedback is anonymous and will go directly to the people who organise musculoskeletal services in this area to shape the service for the future." 
The feedback event will be at Harlow Leisurezone, Harlow, on January 22 (1.30pm-4pm) with lunch from 1pm. For more details and to book a place, email Elisa Berni-Gorton elisa.berni-gorton@nhs.net or ring 01992 566138. 
The review has been prompted by the West Essex CCG's ambition to commission more joined-up and patient-focused care and in doing so,ensure people in west Essex get the best care possible with the resources available. 
The CCG is also gathering feedback from GPs, consultants and therapists which will be reviewed alongside extensive data analysis. 
The opportunity to give feedback remains open until January 30.

Work to start on Kao Park

9.46am - 17th December 2014

WORK is ready to start on transforming the former Nortel Telecommunications site on the Harlow Enterprise Zone into a 21st century Business Park and Data Centre campus to be known as Kao Park.
The 35-acre London Road site is to be developed by new owners HPL who have appointed Goldacre Ventures to build upon the site's heritage as the birthplace of fibre optic technology. 
It was on the site in 1966 that Sir Charles Kao first transmitted light over long distances via optical glass fibres making modern fibre optic communications possible. 
The development moved forward this week with the appointment of Pryor, a Harlow-based civil engineering company employing more than 50 local people, as the main contractor. Pryor has already started on site to prepare for major enabling works to begin early in the New Year. 
The works will include the demolition of redundant buildings, providing new utilities supplies and new road access. 
This is the first phase in a programme to create a premium data centre campus as well as 200,000sq.ft of grade A office space set in a newly-landscaped business park. 
The Kao Park development will occupy the southern sector of the London Road Enterprise Zone with a further 35-acre northern sector being developed by Harlow Council for Med Tech, Life Science and ICT design and build opportunities. 
The development is financed by the private sector alongside public sector loan funding of £2.5m from each of Harlow Council and the Homes and Communities Agency. 
David Bloom, of Goldacre Ventures, said: "Kao Park is a unique opportunity to leverage the legacy of cutting edge technology and develop a highly connected and secure, state-of-the-art data centre campus that will attract and service a broad range of tenants for the Enterprise Zone." 
Graeme Howard, managing director of Pryor, said "The Pryor Group are very pleased to have secured this prestigious contract in our home town, where we have been trading since 1947. 
"We have been working closely with our supply chain, the majority of which is from Harlow and the surrounding area, to ensure the project will be run safely, to time and budget. We look forward to working with HPL to develop the site next year. 
Harlow Council leader Jon Clempner said "This year has seen a real acceleration in progress to start bringing the Enterprise Zone to life so I am delighted work is ready to begin to transform this iconic site.
"The fact that a local firm has been appointed as the main contractor is also tremendous for the Harlow economy and is a key part of ensuring the Enterprise Zone provides opportunities for local people and local businesses. 
"Harlow Council is very pleased to have played a significant role in helping to bring this development forward and we look forward to continuing to work with both public and private sector organisations in the coming years to ensure its success." 
Harlow Enterprise Zone board chairman John Keddie said: "This announcement heralds the first major development on the Harlow Enterprise Zone and two years of extensive background work have now borne fruit. 
"This will pave the way for the creation of hundreds of new jobs on this site alone and provide the impetus for the development of the remainder of the Enterprise Zone at London Road. 
"We expect very shortly to be able to announce further investment by companies bringing their business to Harlow and 2015 will be an exciting year for the Enterprise Zone."

Charity receives unexpected £5,000 boost

2.53pm - 16th December 2014

THE Hastingwood-based charity Accuro (Care Services) has received an unexpected  £5,000 donation from the Donald Forrester Trust. 
Accuro's CEO Arthur Steward said: "These are particularly challenging times financial for many local charities and Accuro is certainly one of these. 
"To receive, out of the blue, such a generous donation as this is a real bonus and we are very grateful to the trustees of the Donald Forrester Trust for their support." 
Accuro will put the money towards the cost of maintaining its Under 19 Project which provides a range of leisure and social activities for young people aged 11 to 19 with a disability in the Great Dunmow and Saffron Walden areas that would otherwise not exist. 
The project delivers a range of activities including: a weekly social club in both towns, small group outings, one-to-one befriending and, when funding permits, an annual group holiday. 
One of the features and strengths of the project is the significant number of local young people aged 16 to 19 who act as volunteers. 
The Accuro Under 19 Project is currently being funded primarily by donations and fund-raising hence the importance and significance of the donation from the Donald Forrester Trust. 
Trust trustee Melissa Jones said: "The Donald Forrester Trust was set up in memory of my uncle. I am particularly interested in giving awards to local charities, especially in these challenging financial times. 
"I really enjoyed meeting the staff, volunteers and the wonderful young people at Accuro and I am delighted that our award will enable their excellent work to continue and to thrive." 
To find out more about the services offered by Accuro and how you might consider supporting the vibrant and valuable local charity visit the charity's website at www.accuro.org.uk, email enquiries@accuro.org.uk or ring 01279 433667.

MP presents his business awards

9.32am - 14th December 2014

HARLOW MP Robert Halfon has announced the five winners of his Harlow Business Awards. 
Mr Halfon received hundreds of nominations after launching the competition earlier in the year. 
He spent the morning of Small Business Saturday vsiting the winning businesses to present each of the owners with their trophies. 
The winners were: 
Best Retailer - Bernard Chapman Florists 
Best Restaurant / Cafe - Bishaal Indian 
Best Pub - The Crusader 
Best Salon / Hairdresser - Tiara's Hair & Beauty 
Best Other - Phoenix Theatre School.
Mr Halfon said: "Small Business Saturday is the time when we are encouraged to shop local and support the small businesses in our community. 
"I was really pleased to visit these five outlets in particular, which the people of Harlow chose to be the very best in their respective categories. 
"I would also like to congratulate all of the other businesses that were nominated. Regardless of who took the top spot, all of them are a part of our town's success. 
"We also mustn't forget the local residents who took the time to make the nominations. I am hugely grateful to everyone who took part." 
Everyone who nominated a business will be entered into a prize draw for a £50 shopping voucher and a collectable wristwatch.

Students study war with visits and drama

9.30am - 14th December 2014

YEAR 7 and 8 students at Burnt Mill Academy, Harlow, have been learning all about the issues the First World War brought to the country. 
A drama company put on a performance on pacifism in the First World War and looked at the religious reasons for some people not fighting. 
Pupils from primary schools within the Burnt Mill Co-operative Academy Trust were given roles in the performance, along with Burnt Mill students. 
Year 8 students visited the Imperial War Museum where they took part in workshops looking at war from personal perspectives before donning white gloves and handling wartime artefacts. 
The Muddy Choir visited the school and performed a short play on trench warfare before a question and answer session. 
Assistant head of humanities Robyn McDonald said: "It's a very important year with the 100th anniversary and so we are putting on lots of events and activities to help our students to fully understand. 
"The trip to the Imperial War Museum was the best trip I have ever been on."

Funding boost for town attractions

9.27am - 14th December 2014

HARLOW Council will continue to provide funding for community-run services Harlow Museum and the Gibberd Gallery. 
In 2012 Harlow Council transferred the Gibberd Gallery, Parndon Wood Nature Reserve, Harlow Museum and Town Park events to external organisations and provided funding for three years. 
This week the cabinet agreed to grant a further three years' funding, from April 2015, worth £195,000, to Science Alive to provide the museum service (including building and gardens). 
Funding of £45,000 has also been allocated to Harlow Art Trust for the Gibberd Gallery and a further £21,000 could be allocated to the Trust for weekend opening of the Gallery. 
The money is coming from the council's Discretionary Services Fund. Parndon Wood Nature Reserve, operated by Environment Conservation Cooperative (ECCO), and Town Park events, provided by Great Parndon Community Association (GPCA), will be financially self-sufficient from April 2015 and require no further funding from the council. However the council will continue to work with these organisations to oversee the delivery of services. 
Youth and community portfolio holder Emma Toal said: "ECCO and the GPCA will continue to run Parndon Wood Nature Reserve and the event service as part of their overall business plans with no future funding from the council. 
"The Museum and Gibberd Gallery are operated differently by small charities that rely on external partnership funding therefore both ScienceAlive and Harlow Art Trust will continue to require some funding. 
"The money we are granting will not only enable these services to continue to be provided but allows organisations to develop and improve them and plan ahead." 
Although there is money in the council's Discretionary Services Fund to continue directly funding Pets' Corner, the Playhouse and the Paddling Pools for at least the next three years, the council will continue to actively explore how these services are best delivered. 
Council leader Jon Clempner said: "When the public budget consultation findings were released in September I said we would take time to consider our priorities and that we 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 residents. 
"Now we have reviewed the funding requirements of the transferred discretionary services, work will continue on looking at how Pets' Corner, the Playhouse and the Paddling Pools are provided and funded in future."

Police officer praised for life-saving efforts

12.05pm - 8th December 2014

A HARLOW police officer has been praised after he performed life-saving CPR on a man who had collapsed while cycling in the town. 
PC Lee Sheppard, 42, of the Harlow Local Policing Team, was flagged down after the man in his 50s collapsed in Post Office Road shortly after 1pm on Saturday (December 6). 
PC Sheppard said: "Luckily I was really close to where the man had collapsed and autopilot just kicked in and I performed CPR until the paramedics arrived. I just did what anyone else would have done." 
The father of young twin boys acknowledged the importance of the first aid refresher training officers receive each year; his was in August. 
He said: "The training we have as police officers came in really handy and is why I knew what I needed to do."
PC Sheppard is also familiar with the importance of administering lifesaving medical help as quickly as possible due to his wife being a former emergency medical technician. 
The man was taken to hospital in Stevenage where he is currently receiving treatment. Supt Trevor Roe, West LPA senior officer, said: "PC Sheppard's actions demonstrate that he is a credit to the police service and I'm sure his quick thinking will have given this man a greater chance of survival. 
"I will be endorsing a recommendation that he receives official recognition for his efforts to help this man." 
PC Sheppard has served in the Harlow district since 2007 when he was a PCSO and latterly as an officer since 2008.

Pitchfork used to break into house

10.57am - 7th December 2014

A PITCHFORK taken from a garden shed was used to break into the house, police say. 
A police spokesman said a house in Fennells was broken into after an insecure shed was entered and a pitchfork removed between 11am and 3.20pm on Wednesday. 
The pitchfork was used to open a rear patio door. 
Various items of jewellery, cash, a pair of trainers and a commemorative American football shirt were stolen. 
Police want to a well-dressed man seen in the area at about noon. He is described as white, slim, aged between 20 and 30 with brown hair and clean shaven. He was dressed all in black smart clothing.
Anyone with information should ring PC Moira Kennedy at Harlow Police Station on 101.

Woman seriously injured in road collision

10.55am - 7th December 2014

A DRIVER has been seriously injured in a road crash in Hastingwood. 
Police were called shortly after 1pm on Thursday following reports of a collision involving a silver Toyota car and a white Citroen van at the junction of Harlow Common Road and Mill Street. 
The car driver, an 80-year-old woman from the Harlow area, received serious injuries and was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital. 
Her condition on Friday was described as "serious but stable". 
The van driver was badly shaken but uninjured. 
Police closed the road until about 5.30pm while initial investigations were carried out. 
Any witnesses, or anyone with information about events leading to the collision, should ring investigating officer PC Mark Pearce or his colleagues at the Essex Police Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 101 or email collisionappeal@essex.pnn.police.uk

Tributes paid to "larger than life character"

9.43am - 2nd December 2014

TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Matching parish councillor and council chairman who died on Friday. 
Alf Drake was a councillor for many years as well as a school governor and chairman of the Matching Green Classic Car Club. 
Speaking at last night's Matching Parish Council meeting, chairman John Binder said: "He worked tirelessly for this council. He was chairman and a councillor and a school governor for quite a few years, and he was chairman of the classic car club. 
"Those who knew him will say he was 100 per cent behind what he did. He put a lot of effort into everything and this parish will miss him. He was a larger than life character."

M11-A414 junction to get £50m upgrade

3.47pm - 1st December 2014

A £50M upgrade of the M11-A414 junction at Hastingwood is part of the Government's £1.5 billion roads infrastructure improvements, it has been announced. 
The Government says the work will ensure "extra capacity" at junction 7 "through significant upgrades and more technology". 
Harlow MP Robert Halfon said the improvements to junction 7, exact details of which have not been released, will make development easier and provide quicker access to and from Harlow. 
Mr Halfon said the upgrade to junction 7 would ease congestion, boost local businesses and benefit Harlow's enterprise zone.

Police launch anti drink-drive campaign

1.48pm - 1st December 2014

A 24-YEAR-OLD man from Buckhurst Hill has been charged with drink-driving - on the first day of Essex Police's Christmas anti drink-drive campaign. 
He has been released on bail to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on December 16. 
The consequences of drink driving last longer than a hangover - that's the message from Essex Police as the force launched its Christmas anti-drink drive campaign. 
Essex Police says it takes drink-driving seriously 365 days a year but is stepping up patrols in towns with bustling night-time economies and in rural villages where drink drivers believe they have less chance of getting caught. 
Officers will also be increasing rush hour stop checks to crack down on people who refuse to believe they could still be unfit to drive the morning after a night of drinking. 
This year Essex Police has teamed up with other forces to push home the messages using The Honest Truth - a road safety campaign created by Devon and Cornwall Police. 
The award-winning campaign uses eye-catching images of drivers with the heads of animals to identify poor driving habits including drink driving. 
Essex Police's campaign runs from today until Thursday, January 1, and will use one of The Honest Truth's animal images to push home its messages on flyers and social media messages. 
The image shows a man with the head of a bulldog at a Christmas party. In one hand he holds a glass of champagne and in the other a bunch of mistletoe. 
The text reads: "Don't kiss your licence goodbye. You could still be unfit to drive the morning after…consequences last longer than your hangover." 
As well as breath tests, officers will be testing drivers for drug use with roadside impairment test and targeting those who use the road to commit other types of crime. 
Police are asking people to stop family and friends getting behind the wheel if they have had an alcoholic drink, dialling 999 if they know someone is drunk and they are seen getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and giving information about people who regularly choose to drink and drive by calling Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 
Casualty reduction officer Adam Pipe, who is heading up this year's campaign, said: "Every year I am shocked that some selfish and foolish people still choose to put lives at risk by drinking and driving.
"Sleeping it off after a night out or drinking a strong coffee doesn't mean you're fit to drive. Alcohol takes time to work its way through your system and you could find yourself over the limit the morning after. "Christmas is a time for fun and celebration. 
"We don't want to spoil that but are asking everyone to remember the message of our campaign because the consequences of drink driving really do last much longer than a hangover. 
"Drinking driving risks lives, not just that of the driver and their passengers but other innocent people using the road. It can result in a criminal record, the loss of a driving licence or a fine of up to £5000. More seriously, it can kill or injure someone and leave the driver facing up to 14 years in prison and having to live with their actions for the rest of their lives. 
"Please be a safe and responsible driver this Christmas, please don't drink and drive."

Man, 78, attacked in his home

8.49am - 1st December 2014

A 78-YEAR-OLD man has been attacked by three masked men in his Harlow home. 
A police spokesman said it is understood that three men called at a property in The Briars shortly before 5pm on Friday, November 28. 
They assaulted him and stole items of jewellery and cash. 
The man was taken to hospital for treatment for facial injuries. 
Officers carried out house-to-house enquiries and preserved the scene for forensic checks. 
All three were wearing balaclavas. 
Anyone with any information should ring Harlow CID on Essex Police 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Appeal follows wine and champagne theft

8.47am - 1st December 2014

POLICE are appealing for witnesses after two men stole six bottles of wine and champagne from Fine Wines and Spirits in High Street, Old Harlow. 
The theft happened at about 9pm on Friday November 21. 
Police say the men left the store walking along the High Street. 
One of the men was white and about 5ft 10ins tall. He was skinny and clean shaven and spoke with a local accent. He was wearing a dark blue hoodie, with the hood up. 
The other man was of medium build and wearing a white hoodie with the hood up and blue jeans.
Anyone with information should ring PC Richard Canning at Harlow Police Station on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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