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Essex Chronicle stories feed from registered users of the site and Northcliffe Media editorial

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    A BLACK Notley singer was selected to go on a week-long tour with X Factor band Kingsland Road.

    Jessica Crow, 22, known as Jessica Alice to her fans, performed on six dates, supporting the five-piece boy band.

    She said: "It's really exciting, hopefully it will increase my fan base and get interest from bigger labels."

    Her new single My Life, featuring rapper Yomi, is out at the end of September and Jessica's video will be appearing on MTV and other music channels, however, a sneak preview is now on her YouTube channel.

    "It's a positive song about doing what you want in your life," said Jessica, who released an anti-bullying song last October, touring schools and venues around the country to spread the message to stand up to bullies.

    The tour at the start of this month saw her perform at Thorpe Park, Stratford, Bristol, Birmingham and Newcastle.

    To catch up on Jessica's tour and watch her video, visit www.facebook.com/JessicaAliceOnline

    Black Notley singer Jessica Alice gets an X Factor break with Kingsland Road


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    Smokers who turn to e-cigarettes in an attempt to quit may be doing more harm than good. The World Health Organisation has recommended they be banned until there is firm evidence that they help smokers give up the habit. The report also called for a ban on fruit or alcohol flavoured e-cigarettes, which could encourage children or non-smokers to start using the devices. E-cigarettes contain liquid nicotine, which becomes water vapour when heated. The government has put in motion plans to prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under 18. But campaigners and tobacco companies say any talk of regulation is over the top, and say they are considerably less harmful than cigarettes themselves, with those who take them up more likely to quit.

    Calls to ban e-cigarettes indoors over health fears for children and pregnant women


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    Summer is fading, the kids are going back to school and the nights are drawing in. It can only mean one thing: the X Factor is back. Simon Cowell's talent search show is now 10 years old and returns for its 11th series on ITV tonight (August 30). It'll be in that spot for weeks and weeks, part of the now customary three month ritual/campaign to get Cowell and his cronies a Christmas number one. But, like food that starts to whiff a bit as it goes past its sell-by date, so the X Factor is growing increasingly stinky as it reaches 10. It's tired, it's worn out and even with Cowell returning to the show, it's time for him and his chums to take their curtain call. I must admit, I've never been a fan of the X Factor. I didn't mind Pop Idol, the X Factor's predecessor, which was basically the same idea and made a star out of Will Young. It seemed something a bit different for a Saturday night's entertainment. But now, year after year, watching this tawdry parade of wannabes and wallies trying so desperately hard to impress a panel of, frankly, unimpressive judges is just aggravating... Can't they serve up something better on a Saturday night? The dramas and traumas are so predictable, the contestants' 'journeys' are utterly contrived and as for the theatrics of Cowell, Walsh and co... What even qualifies them to be arbiters of taste? As you may have gathered then, I'm not an X Factor fan - my favourite bit of the show's history is the Rage Against The X Factor campaign - so I think Simon Cowbell and co dpshould the decent thing on the show's 10th birthday; take a bow and get lost. I certainly won't be tuning in; a repeat of Dad's Army is far more exciting and interesting, after all.What do you think? Is it time to say goodbye to Simon, Cheryl, Louis, and the whole show? Register and comment below

    The X Factor: 'Simon Cowell's contrived show is tired and worn out and it's time for it to go'


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    A PERSON has been hit by a train this morning at Romford (August 30). It happened around 10.30am and emergency services are on the scene. Great Anglia are advising: "Trains will be cancelled, delayed by up to 90 minutes, or revised at short notice. "Mainline train services from Ipswich, Norwich and Colchester will terminate/start at Shenfield, or Colchester. "Transport for London Underground services are conveying passengers via any reasonable route until further notice. Arrangements have been made for Abellio Greater Anglia rail tickets to be accepted for these journeys. "Local bus services are conveying passengers via any reasonable route until further notice. "Arrangements have been made for Abellio Greater Anglia rail tickets to be accepted for these journeys. Tfl Bus routes 86 & 25 serve stations between Stratford and Harold Wood. "C2C services are conveying passengers via any reasonable route until further notice. Arrangements have been made for Abellio Greater Anglia rail tickets to be accepted for these journeys. "Customers for Norwich and Ipswich, may travel on services via Cambridge and onwards to Ipswich or Norwich. "Customers holding Advance Purchase tickets may use alternative trains, if your designated train does not run."

    Person hit by train at Romford railway station - delays at Chelmsford of up to 90 minutes


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    A man was bitten by a white Labrador dog on the stomach while walking along a path outside a supermarket.

    The man's skin was punctured in the incident, which happened on footpath at the side of Morrisons, Wycke Hill in Maldon, on Monday  (August 25) around 9.50pm. 

    The victim was a  25 year-old local man, while the dog was with a man and a woman who are both described as white and between the ages of 35 and 45. 

    The man was wearing a black coat with a hood and the woman was wearing a white coat. They were also walking with a black Labrador.

    Pc Steve Clay would like this couple to contact him, or anyone who recognises their description. He can be contacted at Maldon Police station on 101.

    Walker bitten on stomach by Labrador outside Morrisons


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    CHELMSFORD City suffered their third defeat of the Conference South season as they were beaten 3-1 by Staines Town at Melbourne Stadium. A brace from Calum Willock and a Louis Theophanous strike was enough to sink the Clarets, with Glen Southam's penalty the only consolation. The home side enjoyed the majority of the possession but were unable to provide the quality needed on a difficult afternoon for the Clarets. Mark Hawkes kept the same starting eleven that beat Bishops Stortford 3-2 on Bank Holiday Monday. But the manager was forced to watch the game from the stands, after given a one-match touchline ban for being sent-off against Gosport Borough. Chelmsford got off to a bright start when Lee Sawyer released Luke Callander down the left. He shrugged off his marker to put in a cross, which Michael Cheek met, but his poke towards goal was deflected over the bar. The opening goal went to the visitors, completely against the run of play, in the 21st minute. The Clarets were on top of the game, but were undone by a long ball down the middle. Nicky Eyre came to meet it but was beaten to the ball by Willock who headed past the Chelmsford keeper into an empty net. Chelmsford looked to hit back straight away, but Cheek's header just went over the bar from ten yards out. Then Cheek had the best chance of the half for the Clarets when Sawyer put him through one-on-one. The striker raced towards goal, but then sliced his shot horribly wide as he tried to curl it round the Swans keeper, Jack Turner. The Clarets were almost undone by another long ball just before half time, when Willock once again latched on to it. But this time Eyre was able to save well with his legs and clear the danger. But on the stroke of the break the Clarets were awarded a penalty when Mark Haines was brought down in the box following a corner. Southam stepped up to take it and put it to the left of Turner who was unable to keep it out and Chelmsford went in deservedly level. However, Staines regained the lead just seven minutes into the second half. Joe Ward lost the ball on the right and the Swans' skipper Max Worsfold bent the ball in. Willock was there at the front post to meet it and fire his header past Eyre who couldn't keep the ball out. Mark Hughes almost got a second equaliser five minutes later. The cross came in from the left and Cheek flicked it on. The ball fell to the Clarets' skipper in the middle of the box but he could only hook his left-footed volley high over the bar. Staines then sat back for the last twenty minutes, allowing Chelmsford a lot of possession, but the Clarets lacked that little bit of quality in the final third to break down the visitor's defence. The Clarets' best chances came through headers, with Callander and Hughes guiding balls past the post. But the killer blow came in the 85th minute as Staines sealed the win with their third goal. Theophanous latched onto a through ball by Stephane Ngamvoulou and guided it past Eyre. The defeat meant the Clarets slipped down to 19th in the table and will be looking to bounce back when they travel to Bromley next Saturday. Chelmsford City: Eyre, Love, Girdlestone, Hughes, Haines, Ekpiteta, Sawyer, Southam, Callander, Cheek, Ward (Gordon 67'). Subs not used: Smith, Morgan, Redwood, Freund. Bookings: Southam (38') Goals: Southam (45+2') Staines Town: Turner, Ming, Worsfold, James-Lewis, M'Boungou, Ifil, Felix (Neville 64'), Ngamvoulou, Theophanous, Ekim (Lodge 59'), Willock (Pashaj 64') Subs not used: Bassett, Aribo. Bookings: Ming (47'), M'Boungou (55'), James-Lewis (90') Goals: Willock (21', 52'), Theophanous (85')

    Chelmsford City suffer Conference South defeat to Staines Town


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    COLCHESTER are still searching for their first win of the season after a 3-1 home defeat to Peterborough this afternoon. Connor Washington and Kgosi Ntlhe gave the Posh a 2-0 half time lead before Freddie Sears hit back. But flooding forward in the closing stages Jermaine Anderson secured the win with a breakaway goal. The result means the U's are still searching for their first win of the League One season and have just one point from their first five league games. Joe Dunne made two changes to the side who lost to Doncaster at home last week, with Gavin Massey replacing Dominic Vose, while Sammie Szmodics was handed a debut start in the place of Marcus Bean. But Szmodics's first ever start got off to a nightmare start when he was deemed to have handled in the box handing Posh a penalty within three minutes. But Sam Walker came to the youngster's rescue when he pulled off a smart save low to his left and Magnus Okuonghae superb goal line clearance from the follow up kept the scores level. The U's then went on the front foot and Massey came close to giving them a lead when attempted to slide the ball past Ben Alnwick but the former Tottenham keeper saved well to his right. From the follow up the ball broke to Ben Gordon who skipped past two Peterborough defenders before firing in a shot but Alnwick was more than a match to the effort and saved well. Two quickfire goals from Peterborough then changed the course of the afternoon for the U's. Washington eager to atone for his penalty miss was latched onto Jack Payne's through ball and calmly slotted past Walker in the 21st minute. Things went from bad to worse for Colchester three minutes later when Ntlhe surged forward from left back and finished well at the back post from a low whipped cross. The U's nearly got an instant reply when Freddie Sears long-range effort pulled a decent save from Alnwick but that was as close as they came before the break. Dunne made two changes 11 minutes into the second period with Sanchez Watt and Vose replacing Vose and Massey respectively and they made an immediate impact. Watt made a superb run down the left and pulled the ball back for Sears who missed the target from close range. Minutes later the U's pair linked up again and this time the result was a goal with Sears applying a better finish that went in despite Alnwick getting a good hand on the ball. The goal sprung life into the U's and they were in the ascendancy putting the visitors under waves of pressure as the came ran into the final 15. But Peterborough soaked up the pressure and scored a clinical breakaway goal when Anderson crashed in Washington's cross from close range to seal the points. The U's now sit second bottom in League One and face tough away trip to Walsall next week still in search of their first victory of the campaign.

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    A FORMER soldier blinded in one eye playing five-a-side football has cycled around the First World War memorials of Europe to raise money for partially-sighted veterans.

    Ian Slack, 47, of Broad Road, Braintree, travelled around France and Belgium, visiting some of the most famous First World War battlefields and memorials, including Tyne Cot, Ypres and Amiens.

    He said: "It was very emotional to see the amount of young men who lost their lives. It's just staggering. We were overwhelmed by the scale of it.

    "There were graves stretching across the landscape. It was a good period of introspection," said Ian, who cycled about 130 miles a day during the trip earlier this month.

    His five-day journey started with a train ride to Folkestone, then a bike ride of ten miles to Dover then on to Calais by ferry, before cycling about 57 miles to Ypres in Belgium.

    Whilst in Ypres, Ian, and a fellow cyclist, also raising money for Blind Veterans UK, laid wreaths at the Menin Gate.

    Ian chose the charity after being blinded in his right eye when he was hit by a football during a match he organised whilst stationed in Germany.

    "It was only the third time I'd played football and I organised it as a fitness exercise. It was quite ironic after a lifetime of slagging off footballers – the first time I played football I broke my leg, the second I was sent off and the third I was blinded," he added.

    The former Royal Engineer was also left temporarily blind for six weeks in his left after contracting a parasite while playing rugby in the Thailand Rugby Union.

    Ian was medically discharged from the Army in 1997 after a ten-year career.

    The group of 27 other cyclists raising funds for various veterans' charities, then travelled to Tyne Cot near Passendale – the biggest Commonwealth cemetery in the world.

    They then journeyed nearly 90 miles south from Tyne Cot in Belgium to Arras in northern France, passing the Loos Memorial and the Vimy Trenches.

    At the Thiepval Memorial they met a group of Chelsea Pensioners on a tour of the area in between Arras and Amiens before going the 63 miles to Compiegne, then on to Paris.

    Ian has raised nearly £5,000 so far. To see his just giving page visit www.justgiving.com/ianslack and his blog is at www.slacky.me

    Braintree ex-soldier Ian Slack left 'overwhelmed' by scale of WWI tragedy after memorial ride


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    MOTORISTS were left furious after a new road surface laid by Essex County Council in the rain damaged their cars.

    Repair bills could run up to more than £1,000 for some vehicles following work to Steele Road between Mayland and Latchingdon.

    It was undertaken during a torrential downpour, leaving loose Tarmac on the surface, which splashed the sides of vehicles and ruined tyres, according to some residents.

    Kevin Gipson, 55, of Bramley Road, Mayland, saw his silver Ford Mondeo damaged by the loose stones and tar.

    He has had to pay his £400 insurance excess for new tyres and a re-spray, for damage that could cost thousands.

    He said: "I was furious when I saw the damage that the tar had done to my car. The car is my pride and joy and cost £13,000 and now it looks like a wreck.

    "I have one neighbour who was towing a caravan with his 4x4 and it cost him £850 for four new tyres and my repairs could come to well over £1,000."

    Kevin was returning from a shopping trip to Maldon in the heavy storm on Monday last week and only spotted the damage when he arrived back at his home.

    "I was coming home from Maldon and didn't even realise.

    "I thought the sound may have been water on the car," added Kevin, who lives with his wife, Rinata.

    "When I got out of the car I noticed immediately.

    "I've spoken to all my neighbours and no-one is very happy about it. There must be tonnes of cars nearby that the same thing has happened to.

    "It's not like you can do anything to sort it out yourself – it needs special treatment to remove the tar and you can't drive with the stones on the bottom of your tyres because they have nothing to grip to."

    Kevin, who works at car accessory firm Amtec in Witham, also expressed his disappointment that the Essex County Council complaints procedure which may take up to three months to settle.

    "They've said basically that you are on your own and if you want to get anything fixed on your car then it's at your own risk which is not OK.

    "You shouldn't have to wait three months to find out if a claim was successful, it should be a lot quicker than that.

    "It's very frustrating. I would expect someone to come down and speak to me about it personally."

    Essex County Council had not responded to a request for a comment at the time of going to press.

    Motorists' fury as road surface laid in the rain wrecks cars


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    An 11-year-old has pleaded guilty to having a knife in a residential street.

    The child had the weapon in Great Notley.

    He appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on Thursday (August 21) and admitted one count of possessing a knife in a public place in relation to the incident on Friday, June 6.

    The youngster, who cannot be named due to his age, was given a referral order for three months, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £15 and costs of £20.

    An order to forfeit and destroy the kitchen knife was also made by magistrates.

    Boy, 11, had knife  in Great Notley street, Chelmsford Magistrates' Court hears


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    A PENSIONER died in a crash on the A12 outside Chelmsford on Friday (August 29) it has emerged.

    The man, in his 70s, appears to have been taken ill at the wheel and collided with the central reservation between junctions 16 and 15 outside Galleywood around 2pm.

    The crash involved one vehicle, a silver Hyundai. 

    He was treated at the scene by ambulance crews, but unfortunately died. 

    Pensioner dies in A12 crash near Galleywood


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    Firefighters are continuing to monitor a fire in Mountnessing that started 13 days ago.

    As of 9am Sunday (August 31), two crews are currently on the scene at Thoby Lane where a controlled burn of 5,000 tonnes of woodchip is taking place.

    The fire, which started on Monday, August 18, and at its height had nine appliances battling it, is expected to go on for a few more days before it is extinguished.

    Two fire crews remain at site of Mountnessing fire 13 days since it started


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    The ambulance service covering Essex has been fined £1.2m because of their slow response times to life-threatening emergencies.

    The East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) failed to respond to 75 per cent of the most serious emergencies within eight minutes from April to July.

    And the trust, which deals with more than 900,000 emergency 999 calls a year, has also been fined £300,000 over turnaround times at hospitals. 

    The fine was issued by the 19 clinical commissioning groups, the GP-led organisations in charge of local NHS budgets where the ambulance service covers.

    It serves 19 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), the GP-led organisations in charge of local NHS budgets.

    Wendy Tankard, chief contracts officer at Ipswich and East and West Suffolk CCGs, and East of England Ambulance Consortium lead, said :"The Commissioning Consortium will continue to work with and monitor EEAST to address areas of under performance and ensure those improvements are made to ensure our population receives the best possible care."

    It must pay the £300,000 fine now and the £1.2m at the end of the financial year.

    Statistics

    All ambulance NHS trusts are expected to respond to potentially life threatening cases (or Red 1 & Red 2) by reaching targets set by the Government in eight minutes.

    NHS Mid Essex ambulances responding to Red 1 and Red 2 calls within eight minutes:

    April 64.71% (Red 1)  59.12% (Red 2)

    May 61.43% (Red 1) 56.84% (Red 2)

    June 65.22% (Red 1) 60.12% (Red 2) 

    July 75.81% (Red 1) 58.02%  (Red 2)

    Patient handover at hospital

    It is expected to take no more than 15 minutes for a patient to be handed into the care of hospital emergency department staff and another 15 minutes for the ambulance crew to clean the vehicle and be available to respond to the next 999 call. 

    Broomfield Hospital July 2014

    Hours, minutes and seconds lost on arrival to hand going over 15 minutes

    03:16:06 

    Hours, minutes and seconds lost over 15 minutes for ambulance crews to clean the vehicle and be ready for next 999 call

    23:20:42

    £1.2m fine for East of England Ambulance Service for slow 999 response times


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    A POLICE helicopter was sent up over Chelmsford to look for a man acting suspiciously this afternoon (August 31).

    At around 1.30pm, a man was seen climbing over the fence of Whitley House Surgery in Writtle Road.

    As of 2.40pm, police are now at the scene and the helicopter was sent up to assist with an area search for the man.

    He is described as white, in his 20s, approximately 5 ft 8 ins tall and wearing a dark coloured flat cap. Enquiries are ongoing. 

    Police helicopter scrambled over Chelmsford


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    A woman  has suffered severe burns to her face, arms and chest after attempting to tackle a chip pan fire by throwing water on it. 

    The 999 call to Gideons Way, Stanford le Hope, came in at 12.03pm and two crews from Orsett dealt with the fire by 12.18pm. 

    They then gave the woman first aid and trauma care before leaving her in the care of the Ambulance Service.

    Sub Officer Kevin Hercock, incident commander, said: "Incidents like this show how dangerous it is to throw water on burning fat. The water causes the fire to flare up and become much larger and in this case the woman was left suffering terrible burns as a result of throwing water on the fire.

    "Incidents like this show how quickly an everyday activity like cooking can become extremely dangerous unless care is taken. It is vital that people pay attention when they're cooking and that if a chip pan or frying pan does catch fire that they never ever throw water on it."

    The best thing to do if a fire does break out on a pan is to throw a damp tea towel over it, leave the kitchen closing the door behind you, get everyone safely out and dial 999.

    More than half the house fires in the county start in the kitchen.

    Essex County Fire and Rescue's tips to staying safe in the kitchen:

    • Avoid leaving cooking unattended and never leave children in the kitchen alone.

    • If you have to leave the kitchen to answer the door or send a text, turn off the cooker.

    • Never leave children alone whilst cooking – what's more important, your text or your child?

    • Take care if you're wearing loose clothing – they can easily catch fire.

    • Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.

    • Check toasters are clean and placed away from curtains and kitchen rolls.

    • Keep the oven, hob and grill clean and in good working order. A build up of fat and grease can ignite a fire.

    • Take care when cooking with hot oil – it sets alight easily. If the oil starts to smoke – it's too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool. Ideally cook oven chips but if you are deep fat frying then use a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer - they can't overheat.

    • Never try to cook after a night out drinking. It is far better to grab a kebab on the way home than to attempt to cook while intoxicated.

    Women 'badly burnt' after throwing water on chip pan


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    DRASTIC cuts to firefighter numbers in Chelmsford will lead to a death, the chairman of the Essex Fire Brigade Union (FBU) has claimed.

    Alan Chinn-Shaw claims Essex Fire & Rescue Service's ongoing reshuffle, which is whittling the 60 officers based at Waterhouse Lane down to 52, will increase response times.

    "Every second counts so if you slow response times down it will end with someone losing their life," he said.

    "By reducing the numbers you reduce the amount of time that fire appliances are available for fire call and it's my opinion, and the FBU's, that this is creating a risk that is waiting to happen."

    Eight officers of the Chelmsford workforce have started being placed at other county stations struggling to make up numbers.

    By September these officers will be based permanently at other stations, leaving Chelmsford with 13 officers per shift as opposed to 15.

    Figures released to the Chronicle via a Freedom of Information Request in February also revealed 53.7 per cent of shifts were under-crewed in 2013.

    Mr Chinn-Shaw, who was sub-officer at Chelmsford before he was drafted into the union in July 2012, said the reduction in staff will mean only one of Waterhouse Lane's two fire engines will be available at any one time.

    "In effect, where you previously had two fire appliances available you only have one," he said.

    "You will have to wait a considerable time for another one to attend. The time people have to wait is being increased."

    But a Essex County Fire and Rescue spokesman said the service was now attending fewer than half the incidents it did 10 years ago.

    Fire Authority chairman Anthony Hedley said. "The reduction in fire calls is testimony to the significant safer communities work the Service does in rising to the challenge of pro-actively preventing and protecting the communities of Essex from the impact of operational incidents." 

    The spokesman further explained the changes were being implemented due to a lack of demand.

    He said: "The service has five aerial ladder platforms which are strategically located at fire stations to provide the best cover across the entire county. 

    "Although the aerial ladder platforms (ALP) offer a very important operational capability, a detailed analysis of three years' operational activity revealed that each one was called out an average of 50 times a year and Chelmsford's ALP attended an average of just 44 calls a year in that period and only 34 calls last year.

    "The staffing costs to solely crew these without the rescue tenders would be £1.8 million a year.

    "Chelmsford Fire Station has two other special appliances: The Incident Response Unit which attended one incident last year and the Water Bowser which has been used just 41 times since November 2012."

    But he admitted the new plans will see the service 'jump crew' each aerial ladder platform, and the other special units based at Chelmsford.

    He said: "This will mean that, where the special appliances are needed, there will be times when one of the pumping appliances at Chelmsford is then not available for further operational calls. 

    "However, the number of occasions this will occur will be minimal and in releasing personnel to assist in keeping the pumping appliance available, it is highly probable that this decision will lead to pumping appliances having a higher availability."

    The Chelmsford reshuffle, which is also being implemented in Colchester, forms part of a series of cutbacks by the service.

    It aims to reduce its 656 county officers, as of 2012/13, by 179 and make £7.7 million in savings by 2017/18.

    The service was initially hoping to find savings of £5.9 million, but upped the estimation after announcing it was paying £15 million in debt to the government.

    Essex Fire Authority, responsible for the service, announced the debt earlier this month, explaining it had been building up a £1.8 million shortfall every year since 2006 due to an accounting discrepancy.

    Mr Chinn-Shaw added: "It would be a travesty through an accounting error if we end up reducing fire cover in Essex."

    He accepts the service needs to make cuts, but believes it should do so by tackling backroom staff as opposed to frontline officers.

    He said: "We believe they shouldn't have frozen the council tax requirement which would have raised an extra £1.5 million and we believe in better rationalisation of support and background staff to help fund.

    "I don't want anyone to lose their job and be made redundant. However, the people of Essex pay their taxes for their money to be spent and focused on fire prevention and quick response times.

    "But the bulk of savings are coming from frontline response."

    The Chronicle tried speaking to serving officers at Chelmsford but they would not communicate with us on the subject.

    But a spokesman for the service said this would not affect the full-time Great Baddow or South Woodham Ferrers stations in "any way at all".

    Fire services cuts in Chelmsford 'will lead to a death'


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    Heybridge Swifts were dumped out of the FA Cup in the Preliminary round for the first time since 2010 after a 2-1 defeat at Theobalds Lane against FC Romania. Heybridge were left heartbroken, especially after missing a second half penalty which could have taken the game to a replay. It looked like the perfect start for Swifts when Billy Hunt gave them a fifth minute lead but Romania showed why they deserved to go through with some fast moving counter attacks and fine individual play from the man of the game in Valentin Vasile, who wouldn't leave the defence alone. Danny Sambridge saved from Vasile early on whilst Liam Springett blocked the follow up from Cornel Cornea. A ninth minute corner yet again saw Vasile threaten but this time despite going even close, Vasile's shot was the wrong side of the post and into the side netting. A 24th minute equaliser from the hosts left the cup tie wide open when a strong header from Claudiu Vilcu from Vasile's corner levelled for Romania who are in their first season of entering the FA Cup. Daniel Lopes went close for Heybridge on 37 minutes but flashed his shot wide from just outside the box. The afternoon worsened for the visitors on 40 minutes when a long ball over the top left for Sorin Bugiu to fire home from 16 yards to give the hosts a 2-1 half time lead. The game fired up just after the hour when Vilcu seemingly head butted Michael Fitzgibbon in the box leaving Romania down to ten men and Heybridge with a penalty. But a poor kick from Neil Richmond left Dragos Banica with a comfortable dive to his left to save the 66th minute spot kick and with it the hopes of forcing a comeback faded fast. Despite late urgency there was worse to come when Andy Tomlinson was sent off for a second yellow after tripping the speedy getaway from Romania's star man of the afternoon, Vasile. FC Romania came through the last round by beating Haverhill Rovers 3-0 after a replay and in the debut season in the Cup they now find themselves in the first qualifying round with either Redbridge or AFC Sudbury in the next round.

    Heybridge exit FA Cup after defeat to FC Romania


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    It might be the start of September this week, but the Met Office say it will still feel like summer. Overcast skies will make way to sunshine tomorrow (September 2) Wednesday and Thursday in Essex.

    Tomorrow is forecast to start with light cloud before sunny intervals from 2pm onwards, with highs of 20C.

    And the clear skies and sunshine will continue throughout Wednesday and Thursday, with the mercury predicted to reach 22C.

    Sunny intervals are also expected on Saturday, while Sunday is thought to be cloudy, but dry.

    Overcast skies to give way to sunshine in Essex this week


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    The summer holidays will be a distant memory for youngsters as they trudge back to school throughout this week.

    But it will also be an anxious time for parents and they wave goodbye to their youngsters for the school and gates. Not to mention those moving up the ladder to secondary school. But how can they have peace of mind?

    These top 10 tips, from parenting experts,and mothers alike might help them along:

    Have a practice run

    For a child used to a routine of nursery and staying home with mum, the sudden introduction of the school day can be unexpected and surprising. To minimise this surprise, it is therefore a good idea to take your child through a dry run of how the day might go. This would involve doing the school run with your child and visiting the school before their first day. If the child can become familiar with their classroom and teacher beforehand, it will be less of a shock when they have their first day, and should help them cope better with this new setup.

    Introduce school rules to the home

    One of the biggest changes your child is going to have to deal with when starting school for the first time is the requirement to obey school rules. To a young child used to the freedoms of home life, it may not be immediately clear why they should 'keep your shirt tucked in' or 'put their hand up to talk'.For this reason, it can be a good idea to begin the implementation of such rules prior to your child's starting school. By getting used to a set of rules, the child is likely to grasp them more quickly, and stay out of trouble.

    Let go 

    Starting school can be a stressful time for the children, but often it can be even more stress inducing for the parents. Parents want to cling hold of their children for as long as possible, and letting their children out into the big wide world of school poses a daunting prospect. The problem is that such smothering does nothing to help the child. Not allowing their child to do this would have dire consequences for how they are able to socialise with other children, as the child becomes too used to the comfort of home life.

    Arrange playdates 

    It's up to you to solidify the grounds of a potential life-long friendship by arranging playdates with the parents of other children in their class. This is a crucial step in ensuring your child develops strong friendships within the class. One point to note though is not to overload your child with playdates. It might be best to identify just one or two other children in the beginning and let your child build a friendship with them, before branching out further.

    Make school seem fun 

    Encourage the idea of school as a place of fun If your child enjoys school, and even finds it fun going to school, not only does it going to keep your child smiling, but it's also going to make them a more willing pupil. Tell them funny stories about the times when you were at school, ask them about the funny things that happened at school that day – anything to reinforce the idea that school is a fun place to be.

    Trial the walk to school 

    Whilst starting primary school for the first time can be an unnerving experience, the transition to secondary school is arguably even more intimidating. One thing that you don't want your child to be worrying about though is something as basic as how to get there. At this age, your child should be capable of walking to school by themselves, but it can be well worth the effort of walking through the journey with your child before their first day, just to make sure they are comfortable with the journey.

    Help them organise a system 

    One of the main differences between primary and secondary school is that the responsibility for getting things done shifts from the parent to the child. It is important that you prepare your child for this shift, as when they turn up with the wrong books for class; it's going to be them who gets the blame. As well as making sure they are aware of this, it is worth forming something of a system to ensure they are organised. Organisation will be key not just in their time at school, but also beyond that in future.

    Check they are on top of their homework 

    The sudden influx of homework on a larger scale is one of the key differences between primary and secondary school. Even the most organised pupil will sometimes require extra encouragement to ensure they get all their homework done on time and as a parent you can help provide this encouragement. Ask them what homework they have to do and check they've done it. 

    Keep up with school affairs 

    In secondary school, the parents can often feel cut out of the loop. Messages from the school about events and affairs are trusted to the children themselves, and often the message can get lost between child and parent. But it's worth keeping up with what's going on at the school in case there is some opportunity you feel your child should take advantage of. So why not rummage through their school bag to check if there are any letters that didn't get passed on, or check the school website for latest bulletin updates to make sure you are on top of everything going on at your school.

    Talk to your child 

    With starting secondary school, worries and fears can frequently be buried by children, and significant issues can be left to fester. Often a parent is the only person the child might feel comfortable talking to about such issues, so it's important to regularly talk to them about their school day, to ensure problems are not left alone.

    Back to school: 10 tips for getting your child off to the perfect start


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    Today's the day many football fans will be waiting for, when the final day's business is conducted in the Barclays Premier League.

    The likes of Manchester United are expected to be extremely busy as a manic day of comings and goings is conducted.

    The transfer window officially closes at 11pm GMT today (September 1), but final transfer business can sometimes continue after that.

    The transfer window for permanent moves next opens in January but loan moves can be made from September 8 until November 25.

    What time does the Premier League football transfer window close?


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