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

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    ALEX Dowsett has signed a new three-year deal with Spanish-based Movistar Team.

    The 25-year-old has been with the team for two seasons, after his move from Team Sky, but his new deal will see him with Movistar until 2017.

    The Great Baddow rider was not picked for Le Tour de France due to injury, but has enjoyed a happy return winning Commonwealth Games gold in the Road Time Trial and also claiming the yellow jersey after Stage six of the recent Tour of Britain.

    Dowsett is set to take part in the UCI World Time Trial Championship on Wednesday (September 24)  which takes place in Ponferrada, Spain.

    Alex Dowsett signs new deal with Movistar Team

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    Dozens of suspects have been arrested during two police operations aimed at cracking down on the supply of class A drugs in Essex.

    The operations, dubbed Erasure and Booth, were aimed at combating the activities of drug-dealing gangs in Southend attempting to establish themselves as the dominant supplier in the area.

    A total of 73 people have been detained for drugs offences, and 12 warrants have been executed and six properties in Southend. More than 250 wraps of heroin and crack were recovered by police and others have been flushed away before police could intervene.

    Investigations also showed that the alleged drug dealers were picking on vulnerable women living in Southend and using their homes as a base to supply users.

    The women were forced to cooperate with the criminals through a mixture of fear and threats and their homes became a focal point for anti-social behaviour and drug-related violence.

    Chief Inspector Simon Anslow, the Southend district commander said: "On July 22 following the success of operation Erasure we saw the potential for new drug dealers moving into the town and trying to get a hold over local people.

    "We moved proactively to focus our activity to prevent this.

    "Since July 22 officers working on Op Booth have used disruptive and intrusive engagement tactics to prevent gang members from supplying drugs and moreover to safeguard the vulnerable females being targeted.

    "Drug use is a problem that goes beyond the sole responsibility of the police to solve; it is society's problem and solutions can't be found in enforcement alone.

    "That said. I know that the police need to be part of a solution, to reduce the impact on communities and minimise the harms caused to everyone involved.

    "Realistically, we won't be able to prevent every drug deal or stop every drug-related assault in the town, but that won't stop us trying, so we will continue to work day and night to make Southend safer for everyone.

    Anyone who sees drug dealing in progress should dial 999, or with any less urgent information call Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

    Heroin and crack recovered in drugs gang crackdown across Southend

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    Enfield Ignatians...24 Braintree...22 - London Two North East

    PLUCKY Braintree produced a much improved performance on their showing a week earlier but ended up losing 24-22 to Enfield Ignatians, suffering a second defeat on the trot.

    The Black and Ambers were once again forced to field a makeshift 15 after losing several of their younger players to the new university term.

    But their replacements put in a superb performance of grit and determination which should have been rewarded with the club's first points of the new season.

    It was touch and go whether Tree would actually be able to fulfil the fixture at one point due to their lack of specialist front row resources.

    But youngster Matt Pickles, who bucked the trend by travelling back from uni to play, teamed up superbly with Chris Halford and veteran Matt Moore in a combative trio.

    The visitors were put under pressure straight from the kick-off by an Ignatians side who are expected to be among the promotion front runners.

    After winning back possession in Tree's half they set up the first of a series of rolling mauls which were to prove their main weapon all afternoon.

    The move ended with the Enfield forwards powering all the way to the line to enable Steve Taylor to drop on the ball out wide and give his side a 5-0 lead after just five minutes.

    Eleven minutes later Ignatians kicked into Tree's 22 and re-gathered possession from a line-out before setting up another rolling mall which ended with Luke Ellis scoring a second, unconverted try for 10-0.

    But Tree weren't ready to roll over and hit back in the 26th minute after Joss Adams punctured the Enfield defence following good work by the forwards who stole line-out ball.

    A ruck was formed as Adams was tackled but the visitors got hands on and recycled to flanker Mikey Benfield who wriggled through to score an uncoverted try in the corner and reduce the deficit to 10-5.

    And they drew level five minutes later when, after winning turnover ball in the middle of the park, they put together a slick backs move which saw Adams' kick forward touched down by skipper Tom Carslake to make it 10-10 at half time.

    After the break Tree changed their front row with Lloyd Hardin coming in at prop for the tireless Moore and the new scrum formation had to endure a sustained period of pressure from their opponents.

    But on 45 minutes a loose pass was intercepted by fly-half Adams who sprinted the length of the pitch to score under the posts, Jamie Masters converting to give the visitors a 17-10 lead.

    The portents were even better on 53 minutes when Tree won possession again and set up a superb move involving both forwards and packs which forced Ignatians into conceding a defensive scrum deep in their half.

    Tree won the ball from the set scrum and after a few quick phases prop Pickles crashed over to score an unconverted try and give his side what had seemed an unlikely 22-10 lead.

    But defensive errors meant the black and ambers were unable to hang on to their lead for very long, with a spilled ball leading to a penalty which the hosts kicked into touch in the corner.

    Ignatians won the lineout and set up another rolling maul which ended with Frank Antwi scoring a try that was converted by Jordan Wilson to narrow the gap to 22-17.

    Prop Moore came back on for Tree but was innocuously yellow-carded shortly after his return, and the home side wasted no time in making their numerical advantage count.

    On 75 minutes Ignatians conjured up yet another rolling maul move which ended with Antwi grabbing his second try of the day to level the scores, and Wilson kicking his side to victory with a superb conversion.

    Things won't get any easier for Tree in the short-term as they face a tough local derby against a Chelmsford side who've already posted two wins at Robbswood this Saturday.

    BRUFC: Abbott, Evans, Masters, Ladyman, Moore, Adams, Page, Pickles, Halford, Moore (Hardin), Apps, Fitzearle, Carslake, Benfield, Smillie (Richardson). RNU: D Crush.

    Braintree suffer narrow defeat to Enfield Ignatians

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    Derren Brown's sell-out stage show Infamous gets it first airing tonight on Channel 4.

    The Bafta-winning illusionist's sell-out stage show was recorded at the Grand Theatre in Leeds during his Olivier-nominated tour.

    According to David Chater in The Times, the show is based on guided meditation, misdirection and feats of memory that he achieves through the use of visual association.

    Among the random things he memorises are Shakespeare works and bus timetables, dazzling those in the audience.

    The show will feature an inventive mix of traditional magic, mind-reading, memory games and thought-provoking entertainment that leaves his audience enthralled and enlightened in equal measure.

    He also works on changing perception, with people who have had a bad time of it shown how the world can be a better place.

    TV preview: Derren Brown in Infamous on Channel 4

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    It's coming up to Fresher's Week and nightspots up and down the county are pulling out the stops to make sure students are streaming through their doors.

    Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Essex are both hosting their own events, but clubs are also taking advantage of the expected boost to the county's nightlife. 

    See what you've got to look forward to.

    Mid Week Mash Up - CTZN, Chelmsford. Time -10pm - 3am

    It's the Mid Week Mash Up launch party there are two floors of chart topping, floor filling bangers. The resident DJs will be tearing up the dancefloors to keep you singing all night! Get to the bars to get your hands on the best student drink deals in town!

    This event is included with the Tier 1 wristband

    Location - CTZN

    Price - £5 in advance, wristbands and tickets are only valid till 11:30pm (18+ only)

    Emergency Services Party, The SU Lounge, Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford. Time: 9pm - 2am

    Dress up in the best emergency services costume you have got and head to town for a comedy night. The DJ's will be playing all the chart topping music combined with the best drinks around, this is one not to be missed!

    This event is included with the Tier 1 wristband

    Price - £5 in advance, wristbands and tickets are only valid till 11:30pm (18+ only)

    University of Essex Freshers' Fortnight Pass, valid from Sunday September 28 - Sunday October 11

    For those looking to hit freshers hard and head down to as many events as possible, a wristband covering all 13 Freshers'Fortnight events represents your passport to party paradise.

    Events include a freshers' beach ball with Shift Key, Propaganda, Surf Simulator and Club MTV

    Freshers' Arrival Party, University of Essex, Sunday September 28. Time 10:30pm - 3am

    The event will feature non-stop chart, urban and dance music. A very affordable night out featuring all the essentials you'll need to enjoy your night. £4 guest

    Prices £4 for a guest/£3 per students 
    £3.00 (Advance Student)

    Dench Party with Lethal Bizzle, Wednesday, October 1. Time 10.30pm - 3am

    Lethal Bizzle, currently out on his Dench party tour, will appear at the University's Sub zero club. He will be bringing giveaways from his successful "Dench" clothing line and will be joined by Arkon Fly playing live. You'll also be able to see Audio Monsters spinning on support duty.

    Prices: £10 for a guest in advance, £9 per student in advance, £12 for a guest on the door, £10 per student on the door, £8 early bird

    And in case you fancy something different? Chris Martin, Palace Theatre, Cliffs Pavilion, Southend, Friday October 10, 8pm

    Martin, star of Dave's One Night Stand and 5 Live's Fighting Talk, performing at the intimate Dixon Studio inside the Palace Theatre.

    The young funnyman, dubbed one of the country's best observational comedians, has supported some of the biggest names on the comedy circuit, including Milton Jones, Jack Whitehall, and Russell Kane, and his take on everything from dogs, tupperware and hair will not leave you disappointed.

    Tickets cost £11, buy four tickets for £34.00 A £1.50 per ticket booking fee applies, capped at four per order.

    Groups of 10 plus please call 01702 351135 to buy fee-free.

    CITYdiversions 2014 Chelmsford, Saturday September 27 10.30am to 10pm at Anglia Ruskin and noon until 5pm at other venues

    Free outdoor and tented performances, an international food market with bar, vintage craft stalls and classic fairground rides are all on offer as Anglia Ruskin University puts on its CITYdiversions festival for 2014.

    Between 12noon to 5pm, the city centre will see a smorgasbord of shows from street bands and theatre companies travelling from across the UK and Europe. Most of the promenade acts will pass through the High Street, High Chelmer and Meadows Shopping Centres. Static shows can be found in Bell Meadow and other locations.

    After 5pm, the party rolls on over to the university and 8.30pm the grand finale show "Spark" kicks off, featuring high impact choreographed drumming and lighting in a 40 minute show by Worldbeaters Music.

    A wander between the city centre and ARU takes about 10 minutes.

    A small vintage bus will provide transport between the top of the High Street and the campus. Bus operating times will shortly be available at

    Wallpaper Party, University of Essex, Thursday October 2, 2014, 6.30pm - 8.30pm

    The prize for originality at freshers goes to Essex University for hosting a wallpaper party. Creativity coupled with an enormous amount of sharpies, glue sticks and blank frames, are the order of the day. 

    Bring anything from a photo of good times with your family, friend and other loved ones from home, or any other snaps of significance.

    The Wallpaper Party certainly represents a great opportunity for you to leave your indelible mark on the freshers experience at great value.

    Freshers' Week 2014 at Anglia Ruskin and the University of Essex: What's on for students?

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    Sheridan Smith has received plenty of plaudits for her role at Cilla White in the hit new three part ITV biopic - and it now seems the seal of approval from the star herself.

    The former Blind Date and Surprise Surprise host reportedly sent Smith a bouquet of flowers after watching the first episode on Monday.

    The Jeff Pope penned drama charts Cilla's rise, fall and rise as a singer in the 60s,

    In tonight's episode, Cilla suffers a crisis of confidence after a poor performance in front of Brian Epstein (Ed Stoppard).

    But he soon changes his mind after hearing her perform in Liverpool and ends up becoming her manager. 

    Together the pair launch a new record, penned by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. 

    But after it flops in the charts, Epstein suggests a change in direction, culminating in the success of Anyone Who Had a Heart, one of her signature tracks.

    Cilla is on ITV tonight at 9pm and on ITV+1 at 10pm

    What time is Cilla on ITV tonight? Sheridan Smith returns as Sixties' singing star

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    The Essex Police helicopter spotted a man clambering through the window of a flat in Chelmsford yesterday afternoon (September 21).

    Officers on the ground were called to the scene in Widford Park Place at around 2.50pm after a report from a member of the public.

    The suspect's movements were also tracked by the chopper and the officers soon caught up with the suspect.

    However, it transpired the man was a friend of the owner and had been given permission to enter the property in the less than conventional fashion.

    An Essex Police spokesman said the call was made in good faith, and encouraged members of the public to continue to call 101 if they spot anything suspicious.

    Police helicopter spots man climbing in through open window in Chelmsford

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    Summer is now over - it's official

    Today saw the Autumn Equinox, a landmark date of the year - and a day after which we can truly say the summer has ended, despite the current decent spell of weather.

    Below we take a closer look at the event and what it means for us.

    What is the Autumn Equinox?

    The Autumn Equinox occurs every year in September, marking the point at which the sun passes the celestial equator in a southwards direction. 

    This marks the day when the amount of light in the day is roughly equal to the amount of darkness. At this point the sun will be directly above the Earth's equator. From this point onwards, the nights will start to outstrip the days in terms of length. They will continue to outstrip the days up until the spring equinox (March 20), when the sun passes the celestial equator in a northwards direction.

    This year, the Autumn Equinox took place on September 23 at 02:29. In previous years the equinox has occurred anywhere between September 21 and 24. 

    The history of the Autumn Equinox

    As well as marking the beginning of Autumn today, the Autumn Equinox has also had a significance throughout history.

    The Autumn Equinox was originally the first day of the French Republican Calendar. Created during the French Revolution, this calendar was used by the French Government from 1793 to 1805, and then again for 18 days by the Paris Commune in 1871.

    The Autumn Equinox was set as the first day of this revolutionary calendar, as they looked to eliminate religious and royalist influences from the calendar. By using the Autumn Equinox to mark the start of the year, the calendar could be based around astronomical reasons instead.

    This date also had great significance in Ancient Rome. Roman's celebrated the Autumn Equinox to praise the goddess Pomona. Pomona was the goddess of fruitful abundance and growth.

    Ways to mark the Autumn Equinox

    Here in Britain, the Autumn Equinox is chiefly marked by the celebration of the harvest festival. Whilst not officially honouring the Autumn Equinox itself, it does decide when the festival is celebrated. Every year the harvest festival is celebrated on the Sunday of the full moon closest to the Autumn Equinox. In other countries, though, the Autumn Equinox is marked as a celebration in its own right.

    In countries such as Iran, Japan and Korea, bank holidays and public festivals take place to mark the occasion.

    What is the Autumn Equinox and why does it take place?

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    A van driver ignored a police roadblock and attempted to drive through it because he feared his children might be involved, a court heard.

    Francis Casey, 33, was driving his van along Green Lane when he arrived at the scene of a serious collision between a motorcyclist and a car.

    But instead of stopping he attempted to plough through the police cars by driving into a ditch at a 45 degree angle, Chelmsford Crown Court heard.

    At a sentencing hearing on Wednesday (September 18) Casey was banned from driving for 12 months, handed a 15-month supervision order, ordered to take part in a thinking skills programme,  and made to take a retest

    The court heard a police officer at the scene tried to run up to the van and bang on the window shouting "stop, stop", but Casey continued to drive.

    Polio sufferer Casey, who walks with a crutch because of his illness, was not involved the earlier crash between the silver Ford Ka and the white Honda motorbike on April 14.

    The 44-year-old biker, from Mayland, was airlifted to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, suffering serious non life-threatening arm and chest injuries.

    The occupants of the silver Ka, a man and a woman in their 80s from Burnham on Crouch, were treated for shock but otherwise uninjured.

    Casey had been staying with his family at a campsite near the accident site and had gone out to get gas.

    He claimed he was concerned about the welfare of his children when he saw the accident but police arrested him and he was charged with failing to stop for police and dangerous driving - charges he admitted at an earlier court hearing.

    Judge David Turner said Casey drove "arrogantly, thoughtlessly and anti-socially".

    "I find it very hard to believe, as you claim, that your concern for your children meant that they may be somehow involved in the accident.

    "That concern could have been met in many different ways, but instead you drove dangerously along the side of a police car and into a ditch and then when you were asked about it you lied."

    The court heard Casey five previous convictions for seven offences over 12 years.

    Driving ban for man after 'thoughtless' attempt to plough through police road block

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    A GROUP of residents took to the streets of Coggeshall to protest against plans for a school, shopping centre and 350 new homes.

    More than 100 members of the Coggeshall Community Action Group marched through the town on Sunday (September 14) to express their concerns at proposals for the 'Honywood Community Science School Project', which could stretch across the A120.

    The group walked two miles across the countryside from the town's Victorian Clock Tower, to Marks Hall, to demonstrate that the scheme forms a joint venture between the school and the gardens estate.

    Group chairman, Martyn Lucas, said: "The group has been overwhelmed by the strength of feeling about this proposed development, which is out of proportion and risks exacerbating overcrowding on our local roads and trains, poses a greater future flood risk in our village and will put further strain on the overcrowded primary school and doctor's surgery

    "We have also been overwhelmed by the support we have received from local residents and like-minded organisations and their willingness to help us in what may well be a long and difficult fight."

    Carrying placards and wearing protest T-shirts, more than 150 residents joined the march against the proposed £30 million school development, which would include 350 houses, and an industrial park, much of which would be constructed on Marks Hall Estate land.

    It is believed the development would grow the population of the town by 20 per cent.

    The project is an idea being explored by Marks Hall, in collaboration with the Honywood Community Science School and three other local landowners.

    The estate say it would fund the building of a new, purpose built state-of-the-art premises for Honywood School, without investment from Essex County Council.

    The proceeds from the residential development would also secure £5 million of additional funds for the Marks Hall Charitable Trust, which would be invested in the future of the historic recreational facility.

    Chairman of trustees at Marks Hall, Graeme Fraser Steele, said: "We recognise that not all members of our community support these proposed changes to Coggeshall and we respect both their community spirit and their right to express their views.

    "We firmly believe that the Honywood Project offers tangible benefits to the community.

    "Future generations of children and residents in and around Coggeshall could benefit from the enhanced educational and recreational facilities that a new community school will offer.

    "In addition, the income would allow us to invest in the long term future of Marks Hall, ensuring this celebrated landscape is enhanced and maintained for the benefit and enjoyment of the public now and for many generations to come."

    The Coggeshall Community Action Group was formed in April by residents opposed to the project.

    "Upon arriving at Marks Hall we handed over a cardboard house covered with signatures of those protesting against the development to Graeme Fraser Steele, Chairman of Trustees," added Martyn.

    "We invited Marks Hall to attend a public open meeting in Coggeshall which Mr Fraser Steele was reluctant to commit to.

    "We hope to arrange an open meeting, chaired by an independent mediator, to open up dialogue between CCAG and those involved in the planned development."

    New community school in Coggeshall 'would benefit future generations'

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    A reveller has been locked up for six months after sexually assaulting a young woman as she lay slumped and drunk on a bench close to Chicago's nightclub.

    Alan Bafli, 29, of Violet Close, Chelmsford, who has 24 convictions, touched his victim's chest and slid his hand down her ribcage during the brazen attack in Moulsham Street on June 21.

    Chelmsford Crown Court heard on Thursday (September 18) the pervert was captured on CCTV. 

    He was confronted by onlookers before being followed by CCTV operators to the nearby Fancy Fry takeaway where he was arrested in the doorway.

    Sentencing Bafli, Judge Anthony Goldstaub QC ordered him to sign the sexual offences register for seven years.

    He said: "The victim was degraded and humiliated by what happened to her in a public place at your hands, literally, when you treated her like horse flesh."

    Bafli's defence barrister Matthew Bugnall said his client, who pleaded guilty to the one count of sexual assault at a previous hearing, had no recollection the incident.

    Mr Bugnall said: "Such was his intoxication he can't recall the incident and in fact feels disgusted about it.

    "He has said 'that is not me' that is 'not the way I behave'. He is extremely sorry."

    The court heard Bafli's previous convictions relate to robbery, assault, battery, drugs offences and rehabilitation order breaches.

    Chelmsford reveller Alan Bafli jailed for groping young woman as she lay drunk outside Chicago's

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    A TEN-YEAR-OLD boy cycled 62 miles to raise money for Farleigh Hospice at the charity's annual Cycle for Life event.

    Patrick Frost was one of just 826 riders who between them have pledged to raise £56,500 in sponsorship money for the hospice, which needs nearly £8,000 a day to operate.

    The cycling spectacular began at the hospice, next door to Broomfield Hospital, and saw 338 people complete the 50k route, 191 people choose the shorter 20k route, and 297 opting for the testing 100k ride, which included parts of the Tour de France route through Essex.

    Patrick joined his dad Craig to raise money as a thank you to the hospice for the care they provided for his granddad.

    "He was an absolute star," said Craig of his son. "My dad passed away at Farleigh a few years ago and they were great, so we have tried to take part in the cycle race every year.

    "This year, Pat wanted to do the longer route, and we didn't actually ask anyone for sponsorship before we did it because we didn't know how far we would get. I had my wife ready all day to pick us up from wherever we stopped, but we did the whole thing.

    "I was proud as punch. For a ten-year-old to do that and keep going, it's brilliant."

    The annual event makes a huge difference to the hospice, as well as the patients and families for whom it cares.

    Cheryl Bunkle, Farleigh spokeswoman, said: "This was the first time we've introduced a route as challenging as the 100km option and we were all amazed by Patrick, who completed it with his dad. Whatever the age and ability of our cyclists – we are proud and grateful to each and every one of them.

    "We are absolutely delighted that so many people turned up to Cycle for Life for Farleigh Hospice on Sunday.

    "Whether it's inside patients' own homes, in our day hospices, inpatient unit, clinics, our information service or the essential work of our adult and child bereavement teams, the £56,500 our fabulous cyclists pledged to raise will make a difference to the patients and families for whom Farleigh Hospice cares.

    "The weather was great and the atmosphere was buzzing as people arrived to start their chosen route between 8.30am and 11.30am. Once again we offered the opportunity for people to just turn up and register on the day and around 160 people took advantage of this."

    The event is growing in popularity, attracting an additional 63 people on last year's event.

    Patrick, 10, completes his 100k cycle ride for Farleigh Hospice

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    GAME has outlined its plans for the launch of FIFA 15 at midnight this Friday (September 25).

    The UK retailer will open more than 300 stores for FIFA super-fans to be among the first to get their hands on the football video game.

    A host of footballers will make appearances in stores across the country, including Tottenham Hotspur centre back Eric Dier, who will make an appearance at GAME's store in Westfield Stratford from 3-5pm.

    A freestyle footballer will also attend the Stratford store to entertain crowds leading up to launch.

    Fans attending these launches will have the opportunity to win a one-on-one game against one of the footballers.

    FIFA 15 is in development for Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii, PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS

    Essex stores that will open for the midnight launch:

    • Basildon Unit 3, Eastgate Centre, Basildon, Essex, SS14 1AE
    • Braintree Unit 3, George Yard, Braintree, Essex, CM7 1RB
    • Brentwood 33 High Street, Brentwood, CM14 4RG
    • Chelmsford 16 Exchange Way, High Chelmer, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1XR
    • Colchester 87 Culver Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1LF
    • Ilford Unit 13, Exchange Shopping Centre, Ilford, Essex, IG1 1RP
    • Romford Unit 15, Liberty 2 Centre, Romford, Essex, RM1 3EE
    • Romford 12 Stewards Walk Romford, RM1 3RJ
    • Southend 120 High Street, Southend, Essex, SS1 1JT
    • Southend 11 Southchurch Road, Southend, Essex, SS1 2NG
    • West Thurrock Unit 106, Lakeside Shopping Centre, Thurrock, Essex, RM16 1WT

    FIFA 15: GAME announces plans for midnight launch

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    HEAD Coach Paul Grayson believes that his Essex side deserve County Championship promotion due to the hard work that they have put in this season.

    The Eagles start their last four-day game with Worcestershire at Chelmsford today (Tuesday) in a must-win game to grab second place and overtake Hampshire for the final promotion spot.

    Essex currently sit ten points behind the Royals, who travel to Cardiff to play Glamorgan in their final game.

    But Grayson's men are on a fantastic run of form in the competition, having won five of their last six matches.

    Grayson said: "We have been good and everyone has really contributed to the performances either taking wickets, runs or catches, because if you want to win things then that has to happen. It has been a real team push that we are hoping will be enough to get us over the line.

    "The lads have worked incredibly hard, starting over the winter and then taking that into the summer. That's something people don't generally see or appreciate, so they deserve to get that second spot, but we will only get that if we play well and Hampshire slip up a little."

    Paul Grayson believes Essex deserve promotion

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    THE Ryder Cup is the biggest team event in golf which this year sees the USA and Europe battle it out for the 40th time.

    The action gets underway on Friday September 26 at the famous Gleneagles Course, Scotland, with Europe having dominated the contest over the last few years.

    USA have not won on European soil for 21 years - that year the team was captained by this year's leader Tom Watson at The Belfry, Warwickshire.

    Europe are this time captained by Paul McGinley who will be looking to retain the cup that the Europeans won under the guidance of Jose Maria Olazabal during the "Miracle at Medinah" in 2012.

    Friday morning will start with four fourball matches, followed by four foursome matches in the afternoon.

    The same will take place on Saturday, before all 12 players from each side will play on Sunday in the final singles matches.

    The aim is to reach at least 14 ½ points at the end of Sunday's matches and the team with the most points will take away the trophy.

    On Friday and Saturday the action will take place at 7:35am, with the afternoon sessions starting at 1:15pm.

    But the crucial day will be the Sunday, when the singles start at 11:36am and will decide the fate of the competition.

    Also, don't miss the opening ceremony on the Thursday evening as the two captains will announce their pairings for the first round of matches.

    Coverage will be shown on Sky Sports every day from 7am., with BBC showing highlights each evening of the day's play.

    Team Europe: Thomas Bjorn, Jamie Donaldson, Victor Dubuisson, Stephen Gallacher, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Lee Westwood.

    Team USA: Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson, Jordan Spieth, Jimmy Walker, Bubba Watson.  

    When does the Ryder Cup start?

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    Arsene Wenger will make several changes to his squad for their Capital One Cup third round tie against Southampton tonight.

    The Gunners will go into the game at the Emirates Stadium buoyed by Saturday's 3-0 win over Aston Villa, although goalscorers Danny Welbeck and Mezut Ozil are not expected to start.

    New goalkeeper David Ospina is expected to start, along with midfielder Abou Diaby, 28. Tomas Rosicky, Joel Campbell and Lukas Podolski will also hope to start.

    But Mathieu Debuchy is out for three months.

    They will come up against a Southampton team in excellent form, with only one defeat in their first four Premier League matches.

    Ronald Koeman is expected to field a strong side.

    Arsenal vs Southampton kicks off at 7.45pm

    What time does Arsenal vs Southampton kick off in the League Cup tonight?

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    It looks like Essex will be in safe hands in the event of a zombie invasion, a viral pandemic or a UFO cluster. 

    The county council has referred a request for information about its plans should there be a extra terrestrial invasion to all the right people - the stars of X Files, Ghostbusters and Shaun of the Dead.

    The request asked County Hall for details for all sightings and investigations into "paranormal activity" in the last 10 years, and how it would protect the personal information of staff and clients.

    In response, it said such a service had been contracted out to external providers, including Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, seconded from the FBI to the county council's X Files project.

    "For all investigations concerning paranormal activity please contact 555-2368 Ghostbusters and ask to speak With Dr Venkman, DR Stants or Dr Spengler," it added

    For details on its zombie invasion response plans, it directed the writer to contact "Shaun c/o The Winchester Tavern, 39 Monson Road New Cross South London", Simon Pegg's character in the 2004 hit film Shaun of the Dead.

    And for viral pandemics, the author of the request was asked to contact Major Henry West Government Disease Control Center Cambridge

    "He can only be contacted 28 days later from the receipt of this response"

    It is not believed to have been a deadly serious response.

    Who you gonna call? Spoof Essex County Council FoI response refers resident to Ghostbusters and Shaun of the Dead in virus pandemic

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    The Old Deanery Care Home which was subject to a Panorama investigation has today (September 23) announced plans to move 23 residents following a major review of their services.

    The care home, in Bocking near Braintree, plans to move the patients with higher dependency needs to facilities with specialist staff nearby in the next two months.

    The Old Deanery was placed into special measures by Essex County Council in February after the Panorama investigation emerged, and a report by the CQC showed the home had failed to meet the standards of its "providing care, treatment and support that meets people's needs", while staffing levels were also below par.

    Now, following an Inspection Report by the Care Quality Commission and the home's own audit and monitoring, the new management team has concluded that residents with greater needs can be better cared for in more specialist settings.

    Anglian Retirement Homes Ltd, owner of the Old Deanery, said the care home residents had been admitted to the home with more complex requirements than the home was equipped to manage.

    They say that the practice was identified by the new management when they took over and immediately stopped.

    The Old Deanery spokesman said: "Whilst the home was established to cater for low to moderately dependent frail elderly residential care, over recent years under the previous owners it has evolved to include residents who have significant levels of dementia and/or more complex physical needs.

    "The new management team recognised this issue and the admissions policy was changed in November 2013.

    "Since that time no residents have been admitted outside of the home's capabilities.

    "With those residents we inherited with complex needs, the new management team has tried really hard to maintain these people in the home because they are settled and want to stay.

    "However, we now accept that there are long-standing cultural issues which, combined with the underlying staff capabilities, the absence of 24 hour nursing care, and the layout of the building, makes this unachievable within an acceptable timescale.

    "Now we have decided that residents living with high levels of dementia and/or more complex physical care needs will be moving into care homes properly suited to meeting all of their needs."

    The Old Deanery say that over the next two months the home will be working closely with Essex County Council and residents and their families to find the best options for them.

    The Old Deanery spokesman continues: "With reduced occupancy and dependency levels, concentrated management and staff time and attention will ensure that the required improvements are made and embedded at The Old Deanery and that full CQC compliance is achieved more quickly.

    "Furthermore, as a result of staff dismissals earlier in the year and the need for increased staffing levels, high levels of agency staff have been required, which has slowed improvements.

    "A benefit of the significant reduction in occupancy and overall dependency levels is that agency use will be eliminated."

    Twelve residents can be accommodated at the neighbouring facility at St Mary's Court in Braintree, which has specialist staff to help persons living with dementia and persons requiring 24 hour nursing care.

    Others will be transferred to dementia nursing and other general nursing care providers as appropriate.

    In August 2014 three women appeared in court charged with assaulting and harassing elderly residents with dementia at a care home.

    Anita Ray, Adeshola Adediwura and Lorna Clark appeared at Colchester Magistrates' Court on Tuesday in connection to allegations of abuse at the Old Deanery.

    Ray, 45, of Challis Way, Braintree, is charged with four offences, including assaulting 82-year-old dementia sufferer Joan Maddison on November 24 last year.

    The carer is also accused of harassing the pensioner, as well as six other residents, between November 6 and 25. Ray is further charged with harassment of Ms Maddison between November 24 and February 8, as well as neglecting a person in her care.

    Adediwura, 32, of Clockhouse Way, Braintree, was charged with one count of assaulting Ms Maddison on February 3, and one count of neglecting a person in her care between November 29 and February 3.

    Clark, 44, of Hammond Place, Braintree, is accused of harassing two residents without violence between November 8 and 23.

    She is also said to have ill-treated a resident between October 25 and February 8, and harassment with violence of Joan Maddison between October 25 and February 8. 

    Braintree care home investigated by Panorama plans to move 23 residents

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    Chelmsford Men's 1st XI 5

    Wapping 1st XI 4

    East Prem A

    Scorers: Harry Rayner (2), Adam Hunter (2), Hugh Fillingham.

    CHELMSFORD opened their league campaign with an excellent hard fought result at the new Lee Valley Hockey Centre.

    The game started at a high intensity with Wapping applying early pressure from the opening minutes and Chelmsford found themselves on the back foot throughout the opening ten minutes. A broken down short corner gave Wapping the lead and shortly after the home side doubled their lead, as a Wapping striker mis-hit a shot which looped into the net giving the home team a 2-0 lead.

    With Chelmsford gaining momentum, man of the match CJ Mayes made a strong run into the D and maintained composure to find an unmarked Harry Rayner on the back post to score Chelmsford's first goal. Shortly after, Hugh Fillingham converted a short corner to bring the score level at 2-2, which the score remained at until half-time.

    The second half started brightly with Rumbold unlucky not to score with a fierce reverse stick strike against the upright. However, two unfortunate mistakes by the Chelmsford defence left Wapping easy conversions to bring the score to 4-2, as the hosts regained their two goal advantage.

    Chelmsford responded well keeping the intensity high and were rewarded when the ball fell to Adam Hunter who converted clinically to bring the deficit back to one goal. Shortly afterwards, with the Chelmsford forwards working well, a short corner was awarded to the visiting team. Rayner stepped up to record his second and bring the score levels once again, this time at 4-4.

    With eight minutes remaining, Chelmsford gained the lead for the first time after a slick short corner routine culminated in Hunter exquisitely scoring his second of the match. Chelmsford held strong to see out the remaining minutes to record a season-opening win against a strong Wapping side.

    Chelmsford look to build momentum with next week's home fixture against newly promoted Felixstowe, 12 noon pushback at Chelmer Park.

    Chelmsford off to winning start after spirited comeback

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    Chelmsford Ladies 1st XI 0

    East Grinstead 1st XI 4

    Investec EHL Conference East

    CHELMSFORD'S recent excellent form largely deserted them in this challenging away fixture at one of the league's leading teams.

    It's never good to lose by this margin but Chelmsford's positive takeaways included a determined and professional performance by the squad, a solid showing from the young newcomer Kate Robinson in her debut at England National league level and some outstanding goalkeeping by Lynsey Warren.

    With East Grinstead taking the initiative right from the start, Chelmsford's defence were under continuous pressure and won a series of short corners. Staying focused and well-organised, Chelmsford saw off these goal attempts and mid-way through the half started to build their own creative play in midfield. But frustrated by a determined opposition and with a clear loss of touch, the ball rarely found its way to the forwards.

    It was not until the 33rd minute that East Grinstead got their breakthrough with a neatly struck short corner. But Chelmsford were not shaken from their resolution to take the play to the home team and had the initiative at the half time break.

    Chelmsford looked more settled and fluent in the opening phases of the second period but seven minutes in another short corner for East Grinstead found the net. The match then opened into a flowing battle that either team could have taken advantage of. 

    But it wasn't to be Chelmsford's day as an East Grinstead ball into the D clipped a stick and diverted into the goal, and ten minutes later Chelmsford conceded a fourth. The final 15 minutes saw Chelmsford's best period of play as some accurate passing and well-worked efforts on goal gave real reason to expect at least a consolation goal. However, East Grinstead ground out the game to comfortably take the points.

    Chelmsford's next game is at Chelmer Park versus newly promoted Bedford on Saturday September 27 with pushback at 2pm.

    Chelmsford ladies heavily beaten by strong East Grinstead side

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