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

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    NEIL Richmond grabbed a hat-trick for Heybridge Swifts, while Billy Hunt was also on target as both former Burnham players heaped derby day defeat on the Ramblers as Keith Wilson grabbed an all important 4-1 victory over his former club.

    Daniel Lopes provided the pass inside the Burnham half to release Richmond for the opening goal on ten minutes with a lob of the advancing keeper Matt Bercher.

    Burnham had a claim for a first half penalty waved away when L'Heureux Menga slotted in Bradley Nobbs on the edge of the six yard area, Nobbs was challenged by Steve Good before Danny Sambridge collected the loose ball.

    Richmond grabbed his and the Swifts second in first half stoppage time, Liam Springett whipped over a corner which rebounded off the chest of Paul Shave having been headed in the wrong direction from a defender and Shave was powerless to stop Richmond from connecting with the perfect volley to send Heybridge into the break two goals to the good.

    Swifts begun the second half in perfect fashion with Neil Richmond completing his hat-trick inside the opening minute, a short pass back from skipper Shave left Richmond sliding in to nudge the ball home ahead of defender Kye Jude who was desperately trying to rescue the home side.

    Liam Burgess struck one back on 51 minutes for Burnham, firing home from just outside the box. A frantic ten minute spell followed as Ramblers' player-manager Bertie Brayley was a hair's breadth away from grabbing the hosts another goal on 54 minutes but for an outstanding save from Sambridge flying to his left to flick away the long range effort.

    Burnham were denied a goal just shy of the hour through offside, to make matters worse Heybridge raced to the other end and struck a fourth from the left as Hunt drove a shot in for 4-1.

    Nobbs connected nicely to a cross on 63 minutes with a downward header but again Sambridge made a fine stop, Brayley shot over the bar with twenty to go from a free kick.

    Reece Morgan should have added a fifth for Heybridge with eight minutes to play but despite getting in on goal with the keeper to beat, Morgan blazed over.

    A crucial win for Keith Wilson and Heybridge who now travel to league leaders Needham Market on Tuesday. 

    Burnham will be looking to bounce back on Tuesday night when they host in-form Brentwood Town, who are coming off the back of a nine-game unbeaten run.

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    CASES heard by Chelmsford and Colchester magistrates from Monday, September 18 to Friday, September 26.

    Sent to prison

    GEORGE MILES, 27, of Kings Road, Chelmsford, was sent to prison for eight weeks for attending an address in Chelmsford on July 25 in breach of a restraining order. 

    He is a persistent offender and had failed to comply with court orders. 

    He also got eight weeks to be served consecutively for each of two counts of going to the address in Chelmsford in breach of a restraining order and while on bail on July 28 and August 14. He must serve a total of 24 weeks in prison.

    ALEX CHARLES GOODRIDGE, 24, of HMP Chelmsford, was sent to prison for 12 weeks for possessing 368.3 grams of cannabis, a controlled class B drug, at Southminster on April 23, while on bail for drug offences.

    JAMES HERD, 68, of Marlborough Avenue, Tillingham, was sent to prison for ten weeks after pleading guilty to assaulting Eileen Herd by beating her at Southminster on August 13. 

    It was a serious offence including a knife, and previous domestic incidents having caused injury. He was given a restraining order not to contact Eileen or go to Marlborough Avenue in Tillingham.

    Suspended sentence

    JAMES CHRISTIAN GERREY, 45, of no fixed address, was given an eight week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, for assaulting Gill O'Brien by beating her at Chelmsford on August 15, while under the influence of alcohol and immediately after being given a community order. 

    The defendant must participate in MARI for 12 days, attend appointments with a responsible officer and pay an £80 victim surcharge.

    DWAYNE JASON DORSETT, 25, of Begonia Close, Chelmsford, was given an eight week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, for possessing a taser stun gun in a night club in Chelmsford on March 15.

    He must participate in Thinking Skills Programme for 19 days and attend appointments with a responsible officer. 

    He was also given one week concurrent for possessing 6.7 grams of cocaine, a controlled class A drug; one week suspended for dishonestly taking a full driving licence photocard between March 9 and 15 at Chelmsford; and a further week suspended for handing a townlink radio, valued at £400, from the Saracens Head in Chelmsford between July 20 last year and March 15 this year. 

    He must surrender the gun and the drugs and have them destroyed.


    MARK KEITH PLATT, 46, of no fixed address, was given a community order for assaulting Adam Wallis by beating him at Chelmsford on July 20. 

    The defendant must have treatment for alcohol dependency for six months, attend appointments with a responsible officer, pay £100 compensation and a £60 victim surcharge.

    ANTHONY EDWARD PETER DAY, 43, of Victoria Crescent, Chelmsford, was given a community order for assaulting Emma Leither by beating her at Chelmsford on June 27.

    He was ordered to participate in Medium Alcohol Requirement Intervention (MARI) for 12 days, participate in Building Better Relationships for 29 days, attend appointments with a responsible officer, and carry out 40 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months. 

    He must pay £100 compensation, a £60 victim surcharge and £50 costs to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

    Bail offences

    DANNY JAY BROOKS, 25, of Sawkins Avenue, Chelmsford, was fined £150 for failing to surrender to custody at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on June 16, having been released on bail in criminal proceedings on May 31. 

    He must pay a £20 victim surcharge and £85 cost to the CPS.

    Breach of order

    MICHAEL JOHN HARRIS, 47, of Hallowell Down, South Woodham Ferrers, was sent to prison for four weeks for breaching a Domestic Violence Protection Order imposed on August 11 within a week of the order being imposed. 

    It was a serious offence causing significant injuries to the victim.

    RIKKI DEAN O'SULLIVAN, 27, of Eves Crescent, Chelmsford, was fined £400 for breaching a Domestic Violence Protection Order imposed at Billericay on August 22, imposed by Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on July 28.

    Criminal damage

    GARY ROBERT YORK, 35, of Manor Street, Braintree, was ordered to pay £150 compensation for damaging a mirror and a glass door at Boscawen Gardens, Braintree, to the value of £250 on July 19. 

    He was also given a community order for attending an address in Braintree between July 18 and 21 in breach of a non-molestation order made on April 24. 

    He must have treatment for alcohol dependency for 12 sessions, participate in Building Better Relationships for 29 days, and attend appointments with a responsible officer.

    PHILIP SOLARI, 54, of South Primrose Hill, Chelmsford, was ordered to pay £530 compensation for damaging a front door to the value of £1,000 at Chelmsford on July 14 belonging to Michael Coulson. 

    He must also pay a £23 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS. 

    He was also fined a further £230 and must pay £25 compensation for assaulting Mr Coulson by beating him.

    RICHARD BROWN, 43, of Dover Close, Braintree, must pay £1,000 compensation for causing £1,000 of damage to a vehicle belonging to Natasha Mouatt at Braintree on August 3. 

    He must also pay £85 costs to the CPS.

    STEVEN ROSS PARKHURST, 26, of Clements Close, Chelmsford, was fined £200 for damaging a door lock to the value of £30 at Chelmsford on August 7. 

    He must pay £30 compensation, a £20 victim surcharge and £120 costs to the CPS.

    Possession of a knife

    MARK MICHAEL CRABB, 22, of Homemead, Galleywood, was given a community order for being in possession of a six inch kitchen knife with a sharp blade in Barnard Road, Chelmsford, on August 1. 

    The defendant must attend Essex Senior Attendance Centre for 24 hours, and was placed under a curfew for two months with electronic monitoring. 

    He must pay a £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS and must forfeit the knife and have it destroyed.


    EDWARD MARLOW, 24, of Bridge Street, Great Bardfield, was fined £67 for possessing a quantity of cannabis resin, a controlled class B drug, at Harlow on May 9.

    He must pay a £20 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS as well as forfeiting the drugs and having them destroyed.

    Failed to comply

    CHRISTOPHER IAN LUFF, 25, of Everest Way, Heybridge, was ordered to carry out an additional ten hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months for failing attend appointments on July 26 and August 2, according to a community order made on June 20. He must pay £50 costs.

    Family Law

    GARY ROBERT YORK, 35, of Manor Street, Braintree, was given a community order for sending text messages, voice messages and using social media to contact another person at Braintree between July 29 and 31 while prohibited by a non molestation order made on April 24. 

    He was ordered to have treatment for alcohol dependency for 12 days, attend appointments with a responsible officer, pay a £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    Public order offences

    NEVILLE HOWARD PAYNE, 40, of Broomfield Road, Chelmsford, was fined £33 for using threatening or abusive words or disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress at Chelmsford on August 1.

    He must also pay a £20 victim surcharge and £50 costs to the CPS.

    COLIN JOHN CAVANAGH, 34, of The Chase, Boreham, was fined £600 for using threatening, abusive or disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress at Chelmsford on April 1. 

    He must pay a £60 victim surcharge and £620 costs to the CPS.

    LEVI GEORGE PECK, 20, of Christchurch Road, Tilbury, was fined £110 for using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour likely to provoke unlawful violence being used at Chelmsford on August 3. 

    He must also pay a £20 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    Resisting a constable

    THOMAS ROY BROWN, 28, of John English Avenue, Braintree, was fined £225 plus a £23 victim surcharge for resisting a Police Constable in the execution of his duty at Braintree on June 18. 

    He was also fined £300 for failing to attend Colchester Magistrates' Court on July 3 and August 14, having been released on bail in criminal proceedings on June 18. 

    He must pay £85 costs to the CPS.

    Sexual offences

    REECE TONY ARTHUR BROWN, 18, of Meadgate, Chelmsford was given a restraining order for carrying out a sexual act on a woman aged 16 or over at Braintree on October 10 when she did not consent. 

    He must not contact her or go to Crabbs Croft at Braintree. 

    The defendant was ordered to participate in Education, Training and Employment for 60 days, attend appointments with a responsible officer, carry out 90 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months and pay a £15 victim surcharge. 

    He was also required to register with the police in Chelmsford for 30 months.

    Theft – other

    JANIS JAUNZEMS, 23, of Copperfields, Craigavon, County Armagh, was fined £400 for being in a vehicle that had been taken without the owner's consent at Braintree on November 29. 

    He must also pay a £40 victim surcharge and pay £85 costs to the CPS.

    THOMAS WILLIAM ALLAN DOWNTON, 19, of Rothmans Avenue, Chelmsford, was given a community order for stealing cash to the value of £2,940 from the Co-op in Duke Street, Chelmsford, between May 1 and August 1. 

    He was ordered to participate in Education, Training and Employment for ten days, attend appointments with a responsible officer, and carry out 120 hours of supervised, unpaid work within the next 12 months. 

    He must pay compensation of £2,940, a £60 victim surcharge and £120 costs to the CPS.


    JONATHAN ROGER SILLETT, 33, of no fixed address, was given a 40-month driving ban and a community order for driving along Roxwell Road in Chelmsford, on August 1, after he had been drinking. 

    The proportion of alcohol measured 86 microgrammes in 100 millilitres of breath, more than double the limit. 

    He was ordered to participate in Drink Impaired Drivers Programme for 14 days, attend appointments with a responsible officer, carry out 60 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months and pay a £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    PURGYIK AMBRUS, 33, of School Green, Blackmore End, was disqualified from driving for one year for driving along Butler Road at Halsted on August 3 without insurance and after he had been drinking. 

    His breath contained more than one and a half times the limit, with 59 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. He was fined £120 plus a £20 victim surcharge and must pay £85 costs to the CPS.

    ADAM SHREEVE, 26, of Nipsells Chase, Mayland, was disqualified from driving from 17 months after driving a vehicle along Green Lane at Althorne on August 4 after he had been drinking. 

    The proportion of alcohol in his breath was 61 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, more than one and a half times the limit. 

    He was fined £540 plus a £54 victim surcharge and must pay £85 costs to the CPS.

    Careless driving

    ROBERT JAMES ASHWORTH, 54, of Ouse Chase, Witham, was given six penalty points for driving without due care and attention along Maldon Road, Witham, on May 12. 

    He pleaded guilty to an accident which damaged another vehicle and of failing to stop. 

    He must pay a fine of £240, a victim surcharge of £24 and £90 costs.

    RORY COULTER-OLNEY, 20, of Pump Mead Close, Southminster, was banned from driving for 12 months and fined £300 for driving along High Street, Burnham on Crouch, on August 9 after he had been drinking. 

    His breath contained 49 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, just under one and a half times the limit.

    He was also fined £160 for failing to stop following an accident and provide his name and address. 

    He must also pay a victim surcharge of £30 and £120 costs to the CPS.

    Named and shamed: a round up of cases heard by Essex magistrates

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    PEOPLE in the county carrying a few extra pounds may be pleased to hear that a free NHS weight management service is coming to mid-Essex.

    Two programmes, Shape Up and My Weight Matters, offered by community healthcare provider, Anglian Community Enterprise (ACE), have already been trialled to successful results in north east Essex.

    Alison Cook, Project Lead for Adult Weight Management at ACE, said: "There is no charge to attend our programmes. All we ask is that people are motivated and ready to make changes to their life.

    "The programmes will be held initially at locations in Chelmsford, Braintree, Maldon and Witham during the day and evening so there should be a location and time to suit everyone. These programmes are not 'just another diet' and it's not just about losing weight short-term.

    "Our programmes are proven to deliver long-term health benefits, including weight loss which stays off.

    "They include the use of psychological approaches to help people overcome barriers which can get in the way when trying to change eating habits and increase physical ability. Programmes are run by trained facilitators with experience in helping people lose weight."

    The programme looks at eating a healthy, balanced diet, managing portion size, physical activity and understanding food labels.

    After this time, they can attend on a drop-in basis to be weighed and share their progress towards a healthier lifestyle for as long as they feel necessary.

    A University of Essex study found that the programmes offered by ACE produced better results than one of the country's top slimming programmes.

    The study, led by Dr Gavin Sandercock, compared how people fared on My Weight Matters with results from those attending a leading commercial weight-loss programme.

    In his conclusions, Dr Sandercock said: "My Weight Matters is an effective intervention to promote significant weight loss.

    "The continued weight loss at six months suggests that clients were continuing to use the behaviour changes learned during the programme."

    For information about the service, call 0800 022 4524

    Are you ready? Lose weight for free with Shape Up and My Weight Matters

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    TOXIC fumes from "dangerous" boilers could be the reason behind the ill health of people living in flats in Melbourne.

    Tenants at the CHP-owned apartments on Arnhem Road were left without the use of their boilers for a week after experts condemned the systems as posing an 'immediate risk', forcing the Chelmsford-based housing association to replace them.

    But those living at the privately-rented flats now fear the boilers could have been releasing toxic fumes into their homes causing prolonged coughs, stomach aches and respiratory conditions in both them and their children.

    Mother-of-two Emily Smith said: "I just feel like CHP have let everyone down. You trust that you're living in a safe property, and when you find out this could be making your children ill it's just a worry. They don't seem to care about people's safety."

    Emily, who moved into the property in 2009, was visited on Tuesday, September 2, for her annual boiler check.

    But before even looking at her system, the engineer told her it would need to be switched off after checks on a neighbour's boiler had revealed that the two flue pipes importing and extracting gases were positioned too close to one another to be safe.

    The concerned 33-year-old quickly e-mailed CHP to ask why all the boilers in the building were not undergoing the same checks. The next morning workmen arrived to condemn boilers in neighbouring flats, and organise replacements.

    "If I hadn't e-mailed they wouldn't have told everyone else, they wouldn't have gone to the lengths they have gone to. It's the fact that they have just ignored everyone's safety – how many other properties are dangerous?" Emily told the Chronicle.

    The neighbours now fear that the boilers could have been emitting unsafe levels of nitrogen oxides, produced by combustion, causing poor health in their young children.

    Tenant Susan Carson, whose husband has been advised to consider civil action against CHP, said: "Both my daughters have had bad coughs ever since we moved in and me too.

    "I had my annual check just three months ago and they told me it was fine. The only reason I heard about this was through Emily."

    Emily's six-year-old daughter Charlotte has suffered with asthma since she was a toddler, which her mum believes becomes more severe in the house.

    In particular, it flares up during the colder months when the boiler was being used more.

    Both mums say their children suffer with almost nightly stomach aches.

    "We've always said there's something to do with the flats which make us feel ill.

    "I'm just concerned about the health of my children," added Emily.

    Denise Kent, CHP director of commercial services, said: "CHP's contractor identified a defect with a small number of heating systems in Arnhem Road, which the company swiftly rectified and has responded to all concerns raised by the residents."

    Toxic boilers blamed for causing families in Arnhem Road, Melbourne, to fall ill

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    THE doors of Braintree's historic Town Hall were flung open to the public on Friday as part of a national heritage celebration.

    Visitors were free to explore the Grade II* listed building and learn more about its history.

    A DVD of the official opening of the building in 1927 was played, while an exhibition of photographs were on view. And visitors were even able to marvel at the technology of the town's clock by climbing up the tower to see the original mechanism.

    "The Town Hall has many fascinating aspects, each room was unique and made out of different wood," said Geoff Fuller, Braintree Town Hall manager.

    "The North Committee Room was made out of Australian bean tree wood. No one who visits has ever heard of it before, even carpenters who come here, so God knows where they found it."

    The hall, built with a £50,000 donation from William Julien Courtauld, was first used to house the Urban District Council of Braintree and later Bocking.

    It is now used to host a range of events such as weddings, trade exhibitions, and conferences.

    Robert Rose, manager of Braintree Museum, said: "The Courtauld building is the focal point of Braintree town centre, a superb example of Georgian-style architecture, and has played an important role in the town's civic and community life for over 87 years."

    There were free guided tours of the building at 11am and 4pm and visitors also had the opportunity to take part in a quiz.

    For more details, visit or go to Braintree Town Hall's Facebook page

    Visitors given the run of Braintree Town Hall during heritage event - see pictures

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    The body of murdered University of Essex student Hannah Witheridge has been returned to the UK, her family have confirmed. 

    It follows the 23-year-old's family travelling to Bangkok on Tuesday to learn more of the Thai investigation into the death of both Hannah, and 24-year-old David Miller, who were found beaten to death on a beach just a 100 years from a party spot on Koh Tao island on Monday. 

    In a statement Hannah's family said they had been able to bring their "beloved Hannah" home. 

    They added: "As a family we feel enormous relief to have Hannah back at home where she belongs.

    "We continue to work closely with officers to assist in the investigation and bring those responsible to justice.

    "Our family is broken and require time to grieve in private - as do Hannah's many friends. With the support of our fantastic family liaison officers we will make further statements as required and when we feel able.

    "As such, we would be very grateful for time and privacy to try and come to terms with our devastating news."

    The news comes amid reports today (September 21) that Thai police have found DNA from two unknown men on the student's body, leading to fears she may have been the victim of a sexual attack prior to her murder. 

    Thailand's police chief Somyot Poompanmoung - who flew to Koh Tao to oversee the investigation last night - told local press: "We still don't know who did it but DNA tests show an Asian was responsible. I don't know if the killer is still on the island. We have some new leads but no new suspects. I will do my best to solve this crime. We are so sorry."

    CCTV footage released last night showed Hannah, who had been living in Colchester, on the night of her murder, wearing a pink top and white skirt as she walked with friends. There were also new images of David and his friend Chris Ware, both from Jersey.

    It is now believed the pair met just hours before they were killed enjoying drinks together in a bar before wandering to the beach together where their bodies were later found, a bloodied garden hoe uncovered nearby. 

    Body of murdered backpacker Hannah Witheridge is flown back to UK

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    A "DEARLY loved" wife and mother was killed after being struck by an HGV in Southminster on Wednesday (September 17). 

    Marina Moore, 33, from Chelmsford, died after stepping out of her black Vauxhall Zafira and being struck by an HGV on Foxhall Road, in Steeple. 

    She was rushed to Addenbrookes Hospital but doctors were unable to save her. 

    In a statement her family said: "Marina was a dearly loved wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt and friend to everyone who knew her. Marina was a full time housewife and all her free time was spent caring for her family.

    "The family haven not made any arrangements at this stage regarding Marina's funeral.

    "All the family members and friends will greatly miss Marina very much."

    The investigation into the circumstances of the collision continues.

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    A REFURBISHED fleet of trains will soon be taking passengers to and from London after Abellio Greater Anglia finalised a major contract for the work.

    A £9.4 million overhaul of seats, tables, carpets, lighting, and even the addition of environmentally-friendly toilets, will begin next year on intercity trains running on the mainline between Norwich and London, which includes Chelmsford, Hatfield Peverel, Witham and Kelvedon.

    For many the upgrade – the single biggest investment of their tenure – will represent the first visible signs of progress since the publication of the Rail Prospectus for East Anglia in 2012, which outlined a vision of future improvement of rail services across the region.

    Greater Anglia's managing director Jamie Burles said: "This major refresh will deliver a significant improvement in the travelling environment for passengers on our key intercity services between Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester and London, with the first upgraded carriages due into service in the first quarter of next year.

    "It is good news for customers, stakeholders and the region that this major enhancement will be delivered during our current short franchise contract to October 2016."

    Set to be carried out by firm Vossloh Kiepe UK at a site in Norwich, the renovation of existing carriages will also involve repainting the entire interior saloon, LED lighting, and new plug points for charging devices.

    But trains between Witham and Braintree, and Shenfield and Southminster, are not part of the current overhaul, but are included in the operator's long-term goals.

    The first refurbished carriages are due to enter into service in the first quarter of 2015, with the full programme completed by the end of Abellio's current franchise in October 2016, which it is hoping to extend.

    The report shows that of 21 short-term priorities outlined in the original report, "significant progress" has been achieved on 11 over the past two years.

    However, "more ambitious" projects to increase line speeds and install additional track capacity to the north of Chelmsford, to complement the plans for Beaulieu Park Station, require "additional stakeholder effort" to make progress.

    Head of corporate affairs at Greater Anglia, Jonathan Denby, told the Chronicle: "I think we are probably as far ahead as we could hope to be at this stage. There is definitely momentum now in a way that there wasn't three years ago, and we've got to keep that up."

    Some responsibility for maintaining that momentum will now fall to Chelmsford MP Simon Burns, after he was appointed to represent Essex on the Norwich in Ninety task force, replacing Witham MP Priti Patel after her ministerial promotion.

    Established by Chancellor George Osbourne in November last year, the group is charged with determining a way to speed up rail services in East Anglia by up to 25 per cent, including a way to cut journey times to London by around 30 minutes, and is set to deliver its findings soon.

    Of the appointment, Mr Burns said: "As a former transport minister, I am particularly pleased to have been given this position because a lot of work needs to be done in Essex to enhance capacity on the Liverpool Street-Chelmsford- Ipswich line, to influence the tender document for the new franchise for the rail service from 2016, and to improve road infrastructure, hopefully getting, among other things, the A12 upgraded to a motorway."

    To learn more on the plans of the Great Eastern Rail Campaign, which brings together stakeholders to improve rail services across the region, go to gerailcampaign

    £9.4m overhaul on Greater Anglia trains through Chelmsford

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    PARENTS have voiced their concerns at plans to merge Witham's academies into one big school.

    Proposals to create one large Witham Academy out of New Rickstones Academy in Conrad Road and Maltings Academy in Spinks Lane were unveiled last week.

    Since then parents of children at both schools and those with children about to begin secondary education have raised concerns about how the change could affect students' education.

    "This is a critical time in our children's education, students are already facing disruption with the changes to GCSEs, and now the Government has stopped re-sits it means that this is it, they only get one shot," said Karen Skinner, who has a child in Year 10 at Maltings Academy and another in Year 6 about to go into secondary education.

    "Some parents who live on the edge of town would not be happy if they'd have to send their children to the other side of Witham as the traffic is so bad.

    "Will teachers have to cross town during the day as well or will pupils have different form tutors once they leave the lower school?

    "The last thing they need is more disruption, some students are already complaining of feeling stressed with all the uncertainty at the moment."

    Over 40 residents gathered at the Railway pub in Chipping Hill, Witham, to discuss the plans and set up an action group.

    Paula Hoskin also has a child at Maltings and another in Year 6 and feels parents' choice has been taken away.

    "We feel choice is being diminished for generations, if this goes ahead it can't be changed back," she said. "It's about the children's education and children who are in their GCSE years will see some of them moving school and other children having to be moved into their school.

    "It's a case of trying to find out if this merger can be stopped and if so will they listen to us as parents?"

    Currently both schools operate a joint sixth form, with Years 7 to 11 operating as separate institutions.

    The make-up of each secondary school is roughly 480 at New Rickstones and 620 at Maltings, giving a joint capacity of 1,100.

    It is proposed that once they have amalgamated there will be 1,200 pupils plus 400 sixth form students.

    The idea is to create an upper school at one site, and a lower school at the other.

    Phase one will start in September next year, when Year 7 pupils at both schools will relocate to one site, which is yet to be chosen.

    The following September will see the official amalgamation as phase two gets underway.

    Years 7, 8 and 9 at both schools will be then located on one site, with Years 10, 11 and the sixth form remaining on the other site.

    Current Year 10 and 11 pupils will not be affected by the changes, but exactly which site will be home to which year groups has not yet been decided.

    "I believe this is being driven by money and the under subscription rate of New Rickstones," added Karen, 46, from Carraways, Witham.

    "If it was two equally performing schools then it would make sense, but this merger is not addressing the underlying issues."

    Both head teachers and trust bosses were keen to stress that the changes would not have a detrimental effect on pupils' education.

    A spokesman for the trust said the scheme will be completed in phases, beginning with a consultation period where parents, staff, children and members of the community will get the chance to give their opinions on the move.

    "Although we are just a few days into a lengthy consultation period, there has already been a significant response to the proposals," he said.

    "The open meetings at Maltings on October 2 and New Rickstones on October 9 will be a further opportunity for the local school communities to consider them in detail and to express their views, which they can do in many ways before the deadline date of Friday November 7."

    The action group say they will begin the process of lobbying both schools not to go ahead with the merger and if unsuccessful will take their fight to the Education Funding Agency.

    Parents' fears school merger plan could cause disruption and 'diminish choice'

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    GYPSY and traveller numbers will double in Essex over the next two decades to meet stringent government targets.

    Council bosses across the county must identify new sites to ensure traveller pitches increase from 798 to 1,584 by 2033, as they come to tackle their local development plans over the next few years.

    The "daunting" prospect has left politicians, gypsies themselves, and one entire village debating where to accommodate a centuries-old community, still tarnished with the "Dale Farm brush", in the years to come.

    "The subject certainly stirs up emotions and wherever it occurs, opposition occurs, so finding a site is very difficult," said Chelmsford City Council leader Roy Whitehead.

    The Essex Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Accommodation Assessment, published by an independent research group in July this year, reports there are nearly 3,000 travellers from 918 households in Essex.

    Yet before even anticipating a future influx, there are already 440 households on the waiting list for Essex sites.

    Pitches in the Chelmsford district must increase by 55 from 79, by 40 on top of 58 pitches in Braintree, and by 41 on top of 58 in Maldon.

    A pitch usually comprises enough space for one, sometimes two, caravans, an outhouse and water supply.

    "The targets are daunting, I think that's the right word," said Mr Whitehead, who lives close to Chelmsford borough's biggest traveller plot of 37 pitches in Meadow Lane, Runwell.

    "But if we have to provide it for travellers who are always on the move, travelling from authorised site to authorised site, that makes it a lot easier for us."

    The same study found that 71 per cent of travellers had lived at their home for more than five years.

    Housing minister Brandon Lewis meanwhile launched a ten-week consultation last week proposing that only travellers who still lead a traveller lifestyle can be defined as such.

    Mr Whitehead added: "The majority of the traveller sites, such as in Writtle and Runwell, are all manageable and well behaved and we don't have terrible problems but there are ones who come and go and cause problems," said Mr Whitehead.

    "But the problems usually lie between themselves rather than with the local residents."

    For East Hanningfield village, where its 350 households have submitted nearly 500 letters of objection against a plan for just five traveller pitches, the "emotive" subject is already igniting tempers.

    Farmer Carol Hilliard sold her five-acre field off Old Church Road for about £80,000 to Levi Breaker, who had previously failed to convert land into traveller plots in Waltham Abbey earlier this year

    David Rackham and his neighbour unsuccessfully bid £70,000 for the field which their gardens back on to, unaware what it would be used for.

    "The village is 99.9 per cent against this," said Mr Rackham, 74, who said only the church reverend and one resident backed the plan at a parish council meeting.

    "My position is frank. I am objecting to the plan because I can't sell my house if it goes ahead and its value has reduced already.

    "I will write to the chief executive of Chelmsford City Council to seek compensation if it gets approval.

    "If the gypsies are nice, they're quiet and live like the rest of us then I won't make a song and dance about it, but I will still lose value on the house."

    Mr Rackham's wife Janet said: "It will be a blight on our lives and if we and the neighbour had known it would be sold to gypsies we would have upped our price."

    The Chronicle called Mrs Hilliard, who has moved to Suffolk, and Mr Breaker for comment, but received no answer.

    City councillor for East Hanningfield and planning committee member Richard Poulter said villagers were concerned crime would go up if the plan was given the green light.

    "I don't want to cast depression on gypsies as a whole but where there is a gypsy site near existing properties there is a fear that crime will increase," said Mr Poulter.

    "My opinion is that it's a total disaster of a plan. It doesn't relate at all to the village, the facilities don't exist for it and the properties that are close to it, I am told, would be rendered virtually unsaleable.

    "The pitches should be further away where they don't share borders."

    The planning application to convert four acres of the field into the five pitches will be decided upon at a committee meeting either in the next few months.

    Council leader Mr Whitehead added: "It is my understanding that our planning officers will recommend it for refusal."

    Number of travellers (according to 2011 UK census):

    Essex: 2,631

    Chelmsford: 212

    Braintree: 132

    Maldon: 201

    Number of pitches (according to June 2013 research)

    Essex: 798

    Chelmsford: 79

    Braintree: 58

    Maldon: 58

    Top four biggest Essex traveller plots:

    Oak Lane, Crays Hill: 43 pitches

    Meadow Lane, Runwell: 37 pitches

    Pilgrims Field, Thurrock: 22 pitches

    Twin Oaks, Braintree: 21 pitches

    'Daunting': Essex needs an extra 786 traveller pitches to meet targets

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    POLICE have now re-opened the A12 northbound after a section was closed for five hours during the night due to an accident. 

    Emergency services attended the 'serious' road traffic accident at just before 10pm last night (Sunday) between junctions leading to the A130 to Boreham, and the B1137 to Hatfield Peverel. 

    A grey Vauxhall Corsa had struck the central reservation and then overturned at Junction 19 but no injuries were sustained and recovery work had been completed by 2.30am, and the section of road re-opened. 

    The Highways Agency tweeted their thanks for the efficient response from emergency service: "#A12(N) at J19 A138 near Chelmsford. Road now fully open after earlier RTC. Our thanks @EssexPoliceUK @ECFRS - no delays!"

    A12 northbound re-opens near Chelmsford after 'serious' accident

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    POLICE and Crime Commissioner for Essex Nick Alston has defended the importance of his role following the recent scandal in Rotherham. 

    Mr Alston has said in a statement it would be "a backward step" to abolish the position which was introduced to hold police to account for their failings. 

    He said: "Police and Crime Commissioners are elected by local people and are closely in touch with them. They will be directly answerable to local electors at the ballot box in exactly the same fashion as MPs.

    "It would be a backward step to return to the era of invisible, unelected police authorities during which so many failures of police leadership occurred without any meaningful oversight.

    "There has been legitimate focus on the terrible failures in Rotherham: failures of the council, of the police, of social care and of the PCC. The people of South Yorkshire will now get the chance to elect a new PCC to hold their police force to account and to serve and protect victims."

    It follows the resignation last week of Shaun Wright, who had been elected as the PCC in South Yorkshire, but whom had come under increasing pressure to step down after it emerged he had been the councillor responsible for children's services in the area from 2005 to 2010, during the period of widespread child sexual exploitation in the area.

    Mr Alston made his comments in his role as Chairman of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC).

    Nick Alston defends role of Police and Crime Commissioners after Rotherham scandal

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    ADMINISTRATORS looking to salvage as much as possible from struggling retailer Phones 4u are expected to confirm the sale of about 60 shops as part of an effort to rescue hundreds of jobs. 

    While the final terms of the deal have not yet been announced it is thought they will include the sale of the stores to network EE, and other firms in order to save between 300 to 400 jobs, after the company announced it had gone into administration last week. 

    It is not yet known whether the branch on Chelmsford High Street will be one of those included in the sales. 

    Vodafone has already agreed to buy 140 stores, preserving 887 jobs, while Dixons Carphone has offered positions to the 800 workers who worked in the in-store departments at their outlets. 

    Despite this however it is thought the job losses could run into the thousands.

    Phones 4u expected to sell 60 shops to EE to save jobs

    0 0

    MANAGERLESS Maldon and Tiptree suffered their fifth defeat in a row as they were beaten 2-0 by Chatham Town at Park Drive.

    The Jammers slipped down to 19th in the Ryman One North as Mason Bloomfield and Austin Gacheru sealed the win for Chatham.

    Visitors Chatham shocked their hosts with a goal in the very first minute when Lee Hales got away down the right and his fine cross was swept home first time by Bloomfield.

    Chatham continued to attack and Liam Hickery fired in a cross shot from the left that flew just wide of the far post, before the home side created a good scoring chance when Hayes Thomas did well down the left and got in a fine cross that Tony Martin hit wide when well placed.

    The Jammers' Alberto Pinto then sent a good ball forward that Kyle Asante just failed to control when moving through on goal before Nathan Koranteng delivered a free kick that new signing Paul Kurtis just put wide at the far post.

    Chatham responded with a good break led by Matt Solly who crossed for Lewis Knight to see his shot saved then the visitors surprisingly, and somewhat against the play, added to their lead after 34 minutes when Gacheru swung at the ball and rather luckily saw it lob into the net over home keeper Jack Giddens despairing dive.

    Visiting keeper Lee Kidman then just managed to beat away a 30 metre strong drive from Koranteng before both Martin and Asante just failed to get a final touch to a cross along the goal.

    With the visitors seemingly content with their goal tally it was the home side who made most of the running in the second half with Martin finishing a fine move down the pitch but his fierce cross shot from a narrow angle flew wide.

    Jammers substitute Joe Pearman then put a cross in that gave Asante a scoring chance in front of goal but he could not get a clean contact and the chance was lost, before Chatham's Cory Holder shot weakly when played in by Gacheru.

    Visiting keeper Lee Kidman then came to his teams rescue when he just managed to push away Koranteng's strong low shot and then from the resultant corner he threw himself along his goal line to keep out new signing Paul Kurtis's header.

    Towards the end of the half the home side almost laid siege to the visitors goal and Kidman again excelled when blocking Asante's low shot before the keeper could not keep possession of a cross but Asante put his effort over the goal from almost under the bar.

    0 0
  • 09/22/14--01:35: Kevin Bryan's record reviews
  • Jacques Brel,"Simply Brel" (Union Square  Music)-The delights of French chanson are still something of an acquired taste on this side of the English Channel but Jacques Brel's literate and theatrical creations  transcend  all barriers of language and culture,and this fine 3 CD set brings together a generous selection of his early recordings,including what is arguably his best known song,"Ne Me Quitte Pas." The Belgian singer-songwriter's finest material  may have been covered in translation by rock and pop luminaries such as Scott Walker,David Bowie and Alex Harvey over the years but these  archive  performances possess  a power and passion that has rarely been equalled by any of  his  well meaning admirers.Canned Heat,"Live in Europe 1973" (Salvo SVX031)- The latest CD/DVD package in  Salvo's excellent series of recordings from the Montreux Jazz Festival captures the 1973 incarnation of Canned Heat in concert at the prestigious Swiss event.  Inveterate record collector and larger than life frontman Bob Hite  led an outfit which was steeped in the authentic spirit of the blues,and they were joined on four of the tracks here by veteran Texan  guitarist and fiddler Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, who added his own  unique brand of showmanship to fine ditties such as "Please Mr.Nixon" and "Worried Life Blues." Splendid stuff.Steve Earle,"Live in Europe 2005" (Salvo SVX 037)- Perennial protest singer Steve Earle is in typically honest and self-deprecating form  in another richly rewarding two disc set  from the Montreux archives. Armed with just an acoustic guitar,mandolin and wheezing harmonica ,Earle  regaled the audience as the city's Stravinsky Auditorium with some choice extracts from  his challenging repertoire,including the title track from Steve's  1988 breakthrough album,"Copperhead Road" and some pointed examples of his flair for acute social commentary such as "Dixieland"  and  the sadly all too topical  "Rich Man's War."Jim Keaveney,"Out of Time" (Available from Keaveney's name may not be familiar to all but the most dedicated devotee of authentic Americana but "Out of Time" is actually the Texas based performer's fifth album,and if its four predecessors were anything like as good as this they must have been rare works of art indeed. Jim's  music is a beguiling throwback to the golden age of the singer-songwriter,prompting comparisons with the likes of  Dylan,Woody Guthrie and Townes van Zandt as he serves up free flowing and tuneful gems such as   "From The Black," "How Was I To Know"  and "Eugene To Yuma"  for your listening pleasure.Erja Lyytinen,"The Sky Is Crying"(Tuohi THC-001CD)-This impressive new CD finds Erja Lyytinen paying homage to the rich musical legacy of  Elmore James  as she tackles some of the legendary bluesman's most  compelling creations,including "Dust My Broom," "It Hurts Me Too" and the emotionally charged  title tune. Her  vocals may still be something of an acquired taste,  but surely no-one could quibble about Erja's  instrumental prowess as the Finnish slide guitarist  brings her modern sensibilities to bear on these  stirring offerings from one of the leading lights of fifties blues.

    Kevin Bryan's record reviews

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    The second episode of ITV's hit drama Cilla returns to screens tonight.

    The rags to riches story of the singer turned successful TV presenter was written by Jeff Pope and dramatised in three parts. Sheridan Smith plays the eponymous star, with Aneruin Barnard starring as future husband Bobby.

    Smith has received plaudits for her acting and singing performance.

    In tonight's episode, Cilla suffers a crisis of confidence after a poor audition for Brian Epstein (Ed Stoppard). But he soon changes his mind after hearing sing in a club in Liverpool and ends up becoming her manager.

    Together the pair launch a new record, penned by Lennon and McCartney. But after it flops in the charts, Epstein suggests a change in direction, culminating in the performance of Anyone Who Had a Heart.

    The first episode pulled in almost seven million viewers.

    Cilla is on ITV tonight at 9pm

    Cilla on ITV: Sheridan Smith returns to dazzle as 60s singing siren

    0 0

    BRAINTREE TOWN can have no complaints about their 1-0 defeat at Eastleigh on Saturday because they were below par all afternoon with a rather lethargic display and a lack of urgency with too many wayward passes going astray.

    It was the first game since the opening day of the season that the Iron had failed to find the net and it was all down to the home side's Stuart Fleetwood's headed goal in the 34th minute that was enough to win it for the hosts.

    The key to the home side's win was that they simply stopped the Iron from playing their usual fast pace and passing game, slowing the whole game down to literally walking pace at times.

    The Spitfires too have an expensively gathered team with older, more experienced players, including ex-Football League men, who know all the professional tricks to cope with quicker, younger sides and in this game they used this streetwise know-how to outwit the younger Iron side.

    Despite all that Eastleigh on this showing are not a particularly good side despite their big spending and had Iron, who created the more clear-cut goal chances in the game, taken at least one they would have returned home with a point.

    Their two best chances came in the first half a minute when on 17 minutes Simeon Akinola set up the unmarked Danny Sparkes with a right wing cross but he headed just the wrong side of the upright.

    The second came a minute after the home side had scored when Sparkes was through on goal from a super pass by Akinola only for keeper Ross Flitney to pull off a great save.

    It proved a disappointing afternoon for Sparkes who was about to substituted in the second half when he picked up an ankle injury that now looks set to deny him his first England C call-up this week.

    Just on half-time the busy Akinola almost equalised but like Sparkes his header was just the wrong side of an upright.

    The Iron did improve a little in the second half, again creating a few half chances, but there was a general lack of conviction once nearing the home goal.

    On 57 minutes Sparkes was substituted and his replacement Dan Walker did create some problems for the home rearguard down the left but again it was that final delivery into the danger area that left him down.

    He did pulled one ball back from the byline on 63 minutes but young Akinola's second touch of the ball let him down as he was about to shot from close range and a good chance of an equaliser was lost.

    The Iron continued to press but their general poor quality passing and play let them down and five minutes from time they almost conceded a second but Mitch Brundle was on hand to head the ball off the goal line.

    Their best second half chance came a minute from time when substitute Michael Bakare worked the ball deep down the left and his cross was right in the path of Jordan Cox who somehow managed to miss with an easy header that would have given the Iron a point.

    That last act about summed up a dismal afternoon for the Iron and they will need to get back to form for this Saturday's visit of high riding Halifax.

    Braintree Town: Hamann; Peters, Massey, Brundle, Habergham; Sparkes (Walker 57 ), Issac, Davis, Mulley (Bakare 75 ); Cox, Akinola. Unused subs: Smith, Case, Pentney.

    Braintree beaten by experienced Eastleigh outfit

    0 0

    It isn't every day you see a Chinese dragon, a talking 6ft plant, and giant dodos wandering the streets of Witham.

    But at the annual International Puppet Festival on Saturday (September 20) the town was dominated by a host of weird and wonderful creatures performing to a packed crowd of onlookers at venues up and down the High Street.

    Now in its 15th year, the free event appeared to be under an early threat, with the morning's heavy rainfall leaving one venue unusable, volunteers trapped in flooded homes, and organisers forced to keep the High Street open as a result of numerous road closures elsewhere.

    Town clerk Mark Squire said: "The forecast had said there wouldn't be a drop of rain but there were flash floods in the morning so we had to move a couple of acts, and keep the road open.

    "Some people couldn't turn up because their houses were flooded and a couple of shops in the high street too – but in the circumstances it went very well.

    "It's become an established event; it's the one thing that puts Witham on the map I think as it brings people into the town, it's all a bit quirky."

    The festival mixes the traditional with the contemporary, with a classic Punch and Judy sketch taking place yards away from the ever-popular Titan, an eight foot interactive robot.

    Performers flocked to the town from as far afield as the Netherlands to entertain – and in some cases scare - families squeezed into the Newlands Shopping Centre, and the Grove Centre, although performances in the library had to be abandoned as a result of the flooding.

    And for the first time the life-size puppets were also allowed to run free on the main thoroughfare meeting and greeting bemused shoppers.

    Those who wanted to much in as well as watch could also craft their own scarecrow puppet at workshops run throughout the day, including eight-year-old Pearl Turoff,who had designed her scarecrow a very fetching pair of blue and yellow checked trousers and a feather headpiece.

    "I think the puppets are really good, I don't find them scary. I haven't thought of a name yet for my scarecrow though," said Pearl.

    Mum Tracey Hall added: "We came last year, it's great. It's a lovely day out for the kids."

    Floods fail to dampen the fun at Witham's International Puppet Festival

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    ESSEX have been handed a tough draw for the 2015 Royal London One-Day Cup, which took place during the final of this year's competition between Warwickshire and Durham at Lord's.

    The Eagles reached the quarter-final of this year's competition, losing to beaten finalists Warwickshire by 67 runs.

    And Essex have discovered that they will be coming up against the Bears again, along with Kent, Hampshire, Sussex, Lancashire, Middlesex, Nottinghamshire and Glamorgan next season.

    Essex get their final game of the season underway tomorrow (Tuesday) when they host already-promoted Worcestershire at Chelmsford in the County Championship.

    James Foster's team are currently ten points behind Hampshire in the race for promotion, with the South-Coast outfit travelling to Cardiff to play Glamorgan.

    Essex handed tough draw for 2015 Royal London One-Day Cup

    0 0

    CHELMSFORD came from behind to see off local rivals South Woodham Ferrers 16-5 in a tense and competitive London Two North East derby game.

    The match was played at a fast pace to record an ultimately deserved victory by three penalties, one try and a conversion to one try.

    Chelmsford had to shuffle their side, as influential backs, Simon Hoult, Jamie Ash and new centre Adam Cunnah were all unavailable from the previous week, plus wing Will Ferrier and prop Phil Dechamp were both injured against Rochford. Also hooker Seth Robinson has still not recovered from a back injury, so skipper and No 8 Paul Redford continued in his hooking role. The home side gave league debuts to Luke Cunnah, fly half and Jack Acorn on the right wing.

    Woodham played down the slope in the first half and were early on the attack, showing their strengths, which come from a strong running forward pack. Chelmsford were uneasy in the initial stages and showed some nervousness, as they were conscious of the fact that Woodham did the double over them last season, which was their first season in this division.

    They gave a penalty away after 10 minutes, but luckily a long range kick from 45 metres fell just underneath the posts. However, Woodham did manage to score five minutes later when good ball was secured from a scrum and with the ball being fed down the backline, right wing, Warren Duggan beat his opposite number to touch down for an unconverted try to take Woodham into a 5 – 0 lead.

    Chelmsford were guilty of giving away a number of penalties, but luckily Woodham didn't take full advantage of this. Chelmsford then reduced the arrears to 2 points, following a successful penalty kick from debutant Cunnah, after Woodham were guilty of not rolling away in a tackle situation.

    The visitors had a chance to increase their lead through a penalty kick, which narrowly failed and Chelmsford themselves had two chances of penalty kicks, which both fell wide. Chelmsford were probably the happier side to reach half time with just a two point deficit.

    Three tactical substitutions were made at half time by Chelmsford Coach, Eddie Gooby in an effort to freshen up the side. Chelmsford did manage to exert some early pressure on Woodham in their own 22, but a chip kick ahead by Cunnah went out of play, when perhaps they should have kept the ball in their hands and exert more pressure on the visitors defence.

    A relief kick saw the ball driven back into Chelmsford's half and the impetus was lost. As a consequence Woodham put together a series of good forward drives, but they were ultimately undone by some poor handling and some tenacious defence from the home side.

    After 20 minutes fly half Cunnah put Chelmsford ahead for the first time in the game from a penalty kick and this seemed to galvanise the Chelmsford forwards, who became more prominent and they began to obtain some good turnover ball.

    Five minutes later Cunnah was successful with third penalty kick to take Chelmsford into a 9 – 5 lead. Whilst the latter stages of the game were a little scrappy, eight minutes from the end, Woodham were found guilty of boring in at the scrum and the resultant penalty kick saw Chelmsford into Woodham's 22. From a set scrum, scrum half, Luke Venn saw a gap in the visitor's defence and he beat several men to score a try by the posts and with the conversion by Cunnah, Chelmsford were now 16 – 5 in the lead. Despite some late surges by the visitors, Chelmsford's defence held firm and in the end they ran out deserved winners.

    Chelmsford off to perfect start with back-to-back victories

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