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

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    BRAINTREE Town were made to pay for several wasted chances as they were beaten 2-0 by Southport at Cressing Road. The Iron were guilty of several missed opportunities, especially from striker Jordan Cox, as Luke George and Amadou Bakayoko sealed all three points for the visitors. Dan Sparkes made his return to the starting line-up after recovering from an ankle injury. However, Simeon Akinola was out of the squad with an ankle injury of his own, which he picked up in the 3-1 defeat to Gateshead. Braintree started well and spent the majority of the first 15 minutes inside the Southport half with Sparkes and Ryan Peters delivering dangerous balls into the middle but unable to find the final product. Jordan Cox had the best chance of the opening exchanges when Dan Walker clipped in a lovely ball to his striking partner. Cox was free in the middle of the box but could only guide his header into the roof of the Southport net. Nick Hamann was then forced into a good save in the 23rd minute. David Fitzpatrick whipped in a dangerous free-kick which Luke Foster rose highest to meet and head downwards. The Iron stopper did well to get down to his left and tip the effort round the post. The game evened itself with neither side really able to create a decent opportunity. Both teams lacked a little bit of quality in the final third in the first 35 minutes of the game. Walker drove well with the ball from the halfway line in the 38th minute to get himself on to the edge of the Southport box. He fired in a left-footed shot but it went safely into the hands of David Raya Martin. But then in the 42nd minute Cox missed a glorious chance to put the Iron into the lead. The ball bounced into the box from a James Mulley cross and fell to the striker on the six-yard line. With only the keeper to beat, Cox snatched at the ball with his left foot and dragged his effort wide of the post. Five minutes into the second half Kenny Davis sent in a header goalwards from a Sparkes free-kick, but again it fell kindly to the Southport keeper. The Iron started the second half the much brighter of the two teams, with Cox wasting another good chance. He met Sparkes' corner but could only glance his header over the bar. Walker – still looking for his first Iron goal – turned in the box and fired in with his left foot, but once again Raya Martin saved well to his right. But in the 69th minute the Iron were made to pay for their missed opportunities when the visitors took the lead. The ball fell to George on the edge of the box, who fired in his shot through a crowd of bodies and into the bottom corner past the despairing dive of Hamann. With ten minutes to go Cox was guilty of missing another glorious chance to grab the equaliser. Walker got down the left and fired in a great cross to the near post. Cox got there first but only glanced his header wide of the back post. And in the 84th minute the game was put beyond the Iron with Southport's second. Richard Brodie played the ball into substitute Bakayoko, who spun and shot, firing the ball past Hamann from close range. Braintree Town: Hamann, Peters, Habergham, Brindle, Massey, Mulley, Davis, Isaac, Sparkes (Marks 68'), Walker, Cox (Case 85') Subs not used: Smith, Pentney Bookings: Massey (90') Southport: Raya Martin, Colins, Foster, George, Brodie, Lynch, Joyce, Rutherford, Marsden (Bakayoko 46'), Fitzpatrick, Connor Subs not used: Lloyd-Weston, Mitchell, Dyer, Smith, Bookings: Foster (54'), Brodie (80'), George (90+4) Goals: George (69'), Bakayoko (84') Referee: Nigel Lugg Attendance: 810

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    Brooks Newmark is to stand down as an Conservative MP for Braintree after the General Election next year in the wake of the tabloid sex sting scandal.

    The 56-year-old resigned from his job as minister of civil society the day before the Sunday Mirror exposed his explicit messages he exchanged with an undercover male reporter, who was posing as female Tory PR worker 'Sophie Wittams'.

    Dad-of-five Mr Newmark previously told the Chronicle he hoped to stay on as MP, but in a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron today, has put his change of heart down to 'media intrusion' and the effect on his family.

    He said: "I have therefore decided to stand down at the general election.

    "I again appeal to the media to respect my family's privacy and to give me a chance to try to heal the hurt I have caused them.

    "I have no one to blame but myself and take full responsibility for my own actions."

    Mr Newmark resigned the day before the Conservative party conference, and came on the same day Rochester and Strood MP Mark Reckless announced his defection to UKIP.

    But in the week following his resignation, the actions of the Sunday Mirror also came under the spotlight. 

    Its editor-in-chief, Lloyd Embley, apologised to the Swedish model whose pictures were used in the undercover sting but defended the story on the grounds of public interest. 

    Fellow Tory MPs suggested IPSO, the press standards watchdog, take a close look at the actions of the reporter, with one also stating he would write to the police.

    Braintree MP Brooks Newmark to stand down after 'sexting' sting


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    Heybridge manager Keith Wilson slammed his team's performance after his side laboured to a 1-0 defeat away at Great Wakering Rovers.

    The only goal of the game came just before the hour after youngster Tom Ranger smashed home from six yards out after a goalmouth scramble. Full-back Billy Radley's cross hit the crossbar and the ball came back out and a low cross was partially cleared, only to fall to Ranger who made the yellows pay.

    Wilson said: "Overall I thought we were very poor today. It was our worst performance of the season. There was no desire and we just did not create enough. Great Wakering were the better side today and deserved the three points."

    Heybridge had more of the ball in the first half but the greens had more clear cut chances - the best of them falling to striker Billy Johnson who controlled well from a ball over the top but fired just wide. 

    Daniel Lopes looked like the Swifts' most likely threat down the left-hand side. He hit the post midway through the first half and made some decent runs which caused a few problems for the Wakering defence.

    During the second half the visitors seemed to tire. The extra legs of Stuart Hepburn, Max Kent and Ranger seemed to just give the hosts that extra edge in the final third which in the end was the deciding factor.

    Heybridge battled away towards the end and had plenty of possession in the last 15 minutes but failed to get a shot on target. Wakering used their dominance to hit them on the break and could have had further goals, the best chance falling to Jay Nash who headed just wide.

    Overall, Heybridge will see this as a day to forget. It will be back to the drawing board for the yellow and blacks ahead of Tuesday night's fixture at home to Dereham Town.

    Wilson blasts Heybridge Swifts as they slip to Great Wakering defeat


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    WITHAM Town reached the FA Cup fourth round qualifying for the first time in the club's history with a 2-1 victory at Needham Market.

    Garry Kimble's men went behind in the 34th minute courtesy of a Kemal Izzet.

    But second half strikes from Tom Wraight and James Stevens sealed the win and put Witham's name into the hat for the next round.

    The draw will be made on Monday (October 13) with Witham to play in the next round October 25.


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    CHELMSFORD City goalkeeper Nicky Eyre has retired from football after stating that "The Goalkeeping tightrope that we walk every game has finally snapped for me."

    The 29-year-old made the announcement on the blog on his goalkeeping glove website, KZ Goalkeeping, with the decision sure to be a massive shock to the Clarets' fans.

    In the statement, Eyre cites his on-going battle with injuries and having to play 'half-fit' as the final reason for the decision.

    However, Eyre did go slightly deeper into detail saying:

    "For anyone who has followed my career, even casually you will find a host of Non League clubs. Some of which I spent very limited time for various reasons.

    "I have continually battled with over analysing and constant 'self doubt' and although this can be linked to a few very specific circumstances I can also openly say that the football industry has beat me.

    "From being owed vast amounts of wages to being chewed up and spat out when new managers take over and in most cases just generally given a rough end of the deal.

    "I have made every effort on this particular occasion to give 100% to my hometown club with everything sitting perfectly for me to be a huge success.

    "Previously It had been suggested that I could not handle the pressure of playing for the club?

    "Perhaps to a few closed minds that would be the over all assumption made however there is a real and deep underlying factor here.

    "Success is what defines us once our careers are done. For those who have crossed my path will probably see a complete different side to me. Bubbly, encouraging, supremely confident and to those who I am not known by – possibly arrogant, rude and 'difficult.'"

    Eyre stated that he has made his feelings known previously to the Clarets' management staff, but also praised the club, saying: "I'm proud to say that I will end my playing career for my hometown club and for a top set of passionate supporters."

    Chelmsford City goalkeeper Nicky Eyre retires


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    A GREAT-GRANDMOTHER-OF-FOUR still singing in the bath celebrated turning 100 with more than 60 members of her family.

    But Dorothy Morley, who lives at St Dominic's Residential Home in Kelvedon, said she felt "no different" upon reaching the milestone.

    "It was just another birthday for me," she said. "But the celebrations were lovely."

    Born in 1914 as the third of four children in Bermondsey, she first worked at a doctor's surgery.

    At 17, she gave up her job to care for her ill mother.

    Once she had recovered, Dorothy, known as Dorrie, was told to take a holiday and visit her eldest sister Rose in Dagenham.

    It was here she attended a dance at Ilford Palais and met her future husband, John.

    He asked to walk her the mile and a half home and after initially saying it was too far, she ditched her lift and walked with him. They married in Dagenham in 1940, while John was serving with a Spitfire squadron.

    Due to wartime restraints, Dorothy made her own wedding dress, the dresses of the bridesmaids, her mother's, and all the bouquets.

    "The dresses all fitted, so they did the job," said Dorothy.

    She was evacuated during the war to Buckinghamshire, where she had her daughter Trixie in 1942, and had son Trevor in 1949.

    Before moving into St Dominic's two and a half years ago, Dorothy spent nearly 40 years of her life living in East Hanningfield, where she was at one time president of the district's Women's Institute branch.

    Last year, when pupils from Honywood School in Coggeshall visited the home, she made her first video phone call to Trevor in Spain and joked she thought an iPad "was something you put on your eyes".

    In July she was one of five people, about to turn, or who already turned, 100, invited to an afternoon tea hosted by the Bishop of Chelmsford, Stephen Cottrell.

    The mother-of-two, grandmother-of-seven and great-grandmother-of-four, said: "I've lived a very normal life. I don't think I did anything special.

    "Take life as it comes and don't worry.

    "Just live your life from day to day and enjoy yourself; that's what I recommend."

    Great grandma 'doesn't feel any different' despite turning 100


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    A SCHOOL is celebrating the opening of a new £1 million hall and nursery – the biggest redevelopment in its history.

    Work at Maldon Court Preparatory School started in July 2013 and now boasts new space covering 4,500 square feet split over three floors.

    Pupils will have a larger school hall for sports games and equipment, and the facilities will include a new nursery for children aged one to three.

    Headteacher Ann Olive said: "It was great to see prospective parents, current parents, teachers and pupils all come together for the opening – and I think everyone was really impressed.

    "Now that the improvements are complete, this is a big plus for the people of Maldon.

    "We can now welcome children from the ages of one to three into the school family and what is to be a great nursery."

    The school, built in 1969, is owned by Loraine and Steven Guest, both 60, who oversaw the renovations.

    The Guests have owned the school since 2004 and have seen pupil numbers increase from 96 to 146 in that time.

    Pupils entertained dignitaries and visitors at the opening on Saturday September 27 with maypole dancing, country dancing, singing and even an orchestra.

    They also presented Maldon mayor, councillor Stephen Nunn, with £320 raised to boost this year's Mayor Charity Fund.

    The school on Silver Street, which has 24 staff, now intends to offer new gymnastic classes and dance clubs in their new school hall.

    "We now have the opportunity to offer a wider range of activities," added Mrs Olive.

    "And the school hall is loved by all the children – the acoustics are something to be heard."

    Mrs Olive said that the facilities form part of a number of improvements seen at the school which has 'come a long way' since she joined 12 years ago.

    She added: "It's a totally different school. Since the Guests took over, Maldon Court has had an amazing transformation.

    "The new developments have been paid for by the school for us all to enjoy for years to come."

    While the building work was ongoing, pupils met regularly with the site foreman, who gave them progress reports so they could then write articles and take photographs for a weekly newsletter.

    The extensive new build also incorporates a new entrance to the head teacher's office, a new school office and increases the size of the main assembly hall to 1,500 square feet.

    In May, the school was awarded 'excellent' by the Independent Schools Inspectorate, the highest rating.

    New £1m hall and nursery for Maldon Court Preparatory School


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    IT TOOK the end of his marriage, the loss of his business and being told he had just weeks to live before Terry Martin came to terms with his alcoholism.

    "I was drinking one to two bottles of vodka a day," said the 59-year-old, who has an engineering business in Ongar.

    "It was hell, I lost my business, my wife, everything."

    Hitting "rock bottom" in September 2000 was the wake-up call he needed and Terry checked himself into The Priory for a 28-day rehabilitation programme.

    He hasn't touched a drop since.

    After experiencing the devastating effect of such heavy drinking first-hand, Terry, and two fellow addicts he met in The Priory, Debby Peirson and Nigel Bongard, joined forces to set up alcoHELP, which has visited 1,400 primary schools so far this year, speaking to more than 100,000 children to educate them on addiction.

    And this week, the charity fired a warning to the county's drinkers after new figures reveal 16 per cent of people in Essex are drinking at a level which is bad for their health, while there were 202,865 alcohol-related hospital admissions in the county in the past year.

    Terry, who began drinking at a young age when alcohol was cheaper and attitudes towards underage drinking were less strict, told the Chronicle: "I wouldn't stand a chance now.

    "Vodka, the drink of the alcoholic, hasn't gone up in price. It's cheaper now than when I bought it 15 years ago."

    But he says there is a change in perception amongst younger people towards alcohol and, in particular, binge drinking.

    "There's a divide opening up, because youngsters are more aware. As socially acceptable amongst young people as it was in the past – much like with drink driving – it used to be the case that people didn't see a problem with that, but that has changed.

    "But there are a lot of functioning alcoholics that still hold down jobs for years, and a lot of binge drinkers don't even realise they are alcoholics. But if you then say to them 'go a week without a drink', they say 'oh no I couldn't do that'.

    "But that does as much damage to the body and is a drain on the health service and there's a link to drugs because I don't know of a drug addict that doesn't drink a lot as well."

    Speaking of the charity, which celebrated its 10th birthday in April, Terry, who lives in Ridgewell, near Finchingfield, added: "We wanted to give something back, but didn't know what direction to go in at the time.

    "We decided that to really make a difference we'd need to get the message about the dangers of alcohol across to young people.

    "It takes 30 seconds from drinking alcohol for it to start taking effect.

    "Alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs and if it was discovered now, it would be a Class A."

    AlcoHELP has now been visiting schools in the county for a decade, teaching children as young as 10 about the dangers of alcohol and reaching more than 100,000 pupils with its hard-hitting presentations, including real-life videos of booze-fuelled car crashes.

    It even gets youngsters to try wearing the aptly named "beer goggles", which mimic the effects of being drunk without having to take a sip, while others can see what they will look like in 10 years' time if they drank 20 pints of lager a week, thanks to the "Change Your Face" drinking time machine.

    "We try and visit as many primary schools as we can in a two week intensive period, sometimes we go to over 30 schools during that time," said Terry, a former governor at Felsted School.

    He estimates he has gone into 1,400 primary schools so far this year, speaking to more than 10,000 children to educate them on addiction.

    "All of us in the team are ex-alcoholics, we know what it's about, there's nothing we don't know and we're honest with the kids about what we've been through," he added.

    "A lot of the kids, even young ones, will already have experience of addiction in their families, whether it's brothers, sisters or parents."

    Terry and his colleagues blame the rise in drink problems at advertising targeted at young people and cheap drink deals offered by supermarkets.

    "There are so many different products now, some are made to look like sugary soft drinks," said Terry.

    "And cheap, super strength, extremely powerful, drinks are a big problem too,

    "80 per cent of all the shop sales are to people with drink problems."

    But Terry says the team is not advocating abstinence.

    "We're not prohibitionists, having the odd drink is a great pastime, but people need to be aware of the dangers."

    The charity held a day of action earlier in September with a 10-point action plan, in which it lobbied the government for a minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol for all alcohol sales, restricted alcohol sales to certain times of day, and larger warning labels on booze bottles.

    The dangers of drink: 'Ex-alcoholic Terry Martin: 'I lost my business, my wife, and everything'


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    What better way to celebrate the cooler autumn nights than getting stuck into the kitchen for decent, three course Sunday roast?

    Try the below out for size if you're stuck for ideas this weekend

    Autumn vegetable soup with cheesy toasts 

    Estimated time of preparation: 35 minutes (serves four)

    Ingredients:

    • 1 leek, chopped quite small
    • 2 carrots, chopped quite small
    • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
    • 1 potato, chopped quite small
    • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
    • ½ tsp sugar
    • 410g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    • 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
    • 2 x 400g cans chopped Italian tomatoes
    • 425ml vegetable stock
    • For the toasts
    • 8 slices of baguette, cut on the diagonal
    • 1 garlic clove, cut in half
    • 50g Edam, finely grated

    Put the vegetables into a large saucepan with the garlic, rosemary, stock and sugar. Season well, stir, bring to a simmer and cover. Cook gently for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender.

    Preheat the grill to high. Spin the tomatoes in a food processor or blender until smooth, then tip into the vegetables with the chickpeas and parsley. Gently heat through, stirring now and then.

    For the toasts: rub both sides of the bread with the garlic. Grill on one side until golden, turn the bread over, cover with edam cheese and grill. Serve at once with the hot soup.

    Jamie Oliver's quick-time sausage cassoulet, with tomatoey beans and chunky breadcrumbs

    Estimated time of preparation: 1 hour 25 mins total (serves eight)

    Ingredients:

    • 2 handfuls dried porcini mushrooms, broken up
    • 8 thick slices dry-cured higher-welfare streaky bacon
    • Extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 large bunch mixed fresh rosemary, thyme and sage
    • 2 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
    • ½ heart celery, finely chopped
    • 2 bay leaves
    • ½ bottle red wine
    • 3 x 400 g tinned plum tomatoes
    • 2 x 400 g tinned borlotti or cannellini beans or use a mixture
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 24 higher-welfare chipolata sausages, or use 16 larger sausages
    • 1 large stale loaf, crusts removed
    • 1 small handful fresh thyme, leaves picked

    Preheat the oven to 200˚C/400˚F/gas 6. Put your porcini mushrooms into a dish, cover with 565ml of boiling water and allow to soak until soft. Heat a large roasting tray on the hob. Slice the bacon across into strips. Fry in four tablespoons of olive oil until crisp and golden.

    Tie your herbs together with some string and add to the bacon in the pan with onions, garlic, carrot, celery and bay leaves. Drain the porcini, reserving the soaking liquid, add them to the pan and fry nice and slowly for about 5 minutes. Add the red wine and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half.

    Add the tomatoes to the pan, breaking them up with a spoon, then add your strained porcini soaking liquor and the beans. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Lightly season then lay your sausages on top. Break up your bread into coarse, chunky breadcrumbs, toss with the thyme, a little salt and olive oil and sprinkle around the sausages. Place in the oven for around 40 minutes until the sausages and breadcrumbs are golden and crisp. 

    Plum & almond crumble slice

    Estimated time of preparation: 1 hour and 20 minutes (serves 16)

    Ingredients:

    • 250g pack butter (this must be very cold)
    • 225g caster sugar
    • 300g ground almonds
    • 140g plain flour, plus 25g/1oz
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • approx 6 plums, stoned and cut into sixths
    • 50g flaked almonds

    Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Line a tin with baking paper, Throw the butter, sugar and almonds into a food processor before mixing together until it resembles rough breadcrumbs. Take out half the mix, put it in a bowl and set it aside.

    Add 140g flour into the mix in the processor and whizz until it just forms a dough. Tip into the tin and press down with the back of a spoon. Bake for 15-20 mins until golden. Leave to cool for 10 mins.

    To make the filling, put the remaining butter and the sugar and almond mix back into the processor, saving a few tbsp for the topping. Add the eggs, the 25g flour, cinnamon and baking powder and whizz to a soft batter. Spread over the base.

    Top with the plum pieces and a little extra caster sugar and cinnamon. Bake for 20 mins, then sprinkle with the remaining crumble mix and flaked almonds. Cook for another 20 mins before cooling before slicing.

    Autumn recipes: vegetable soup, sausage cassoulet, and plum and apple crumble slice


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    CHELMSFORD Golf Club have become the first team in more than 40 years to win back-to-back Thornton Cups.

    The last team to achieve the feat in 1966 were Romford Golf Club, who Chelmsford beat this year.

    The morning foursomes started out spectacularly with Chelmsford being up in all five matches early on.

    This was not to last, however, and the last two holes on the course saw a swing to the Romford side.

    At lunch, honours were even at 2.5 points each and the momentum was firmly in the hands of the opposition.

    In the afternoon singles Chelmsford were only three up after nine holes and were looking at best to claw a way to a play-off.

    With another four of the matches going to the last hole it was proving to be a very tense and exciting climax to what had been a fantastic match.

    However, Chelmsford won every one of the games on the 18th to seal what on paper looked a very easy win by eight games to two in the afternoon.

    Special mention must go to Michael Gilbert, playing in only his second Thornton Cup match.

    He beat Dan Garner, who plays off scratch, by a 4&3 margin, all at the tender age of 14.

    In a momentous year with some outstanding performances by the team in every round of the tournament, very special mention must go to the standout performer who, leading mostly from the front, went through the whole tournament without dropping even half a point, Alex Bradley.

    Chelmsford Golf Club  make history and reclaim Thornton Cup


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    Bicknacre's James Graham can finally name his X eight-piece boy band – and its called Stereo Kicks.

    The octet – who up until Saturday night were in a unnamed "new boy band" - made an notable first impression with a rendition of Katy Perry's Roar.

    James, 17, who attended Sandon School was among seven others brought together prior to the boot camp stage.

    Judge Simon Cowell said: "I am not saying this is perfect but you have only been together for a few weeks. This is exciting for me because I am seeing something really good here."

    Bicknacre's James Graham makes flying X Factor live show debut with his band Stereo Kicks


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    The X Factor live shows are in full swing, with all 16 acts taking to the stage for the first time this series on ITV last night.

    It was as if Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez Versini had never been away as they joined Louis Walsh and Mel B to judge the contestants.

    Two acts face being voted off this evening, but they are unlikely to include Billericay's Lauren Platt or Italian singer Andrea Faustini, who brought the house down with his rendition of Michael Jackson's Earth Song.

    Bicknacre singer James Graham's eight-strong boy band were finally named, and the Stereo Kicks delivered a solid performance.

    However, the two-piece Blonde Electra and Stephanie Nala look vulnerable after a mixed response to their performances from the judges - and the audience - on last night's show.

    Pharrell Williams and Taylor Swift are the star guests on tonight's show.

    The X Factor Results will air tonight on ITV at 8.15pm

    What time is The X Factor Results on ITV tonight?


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    THIS coming winter is being forecast as the coldest for decades with a deep arctic freeze set to just be weeks away.

    Forecasters are warning that Britain could face an Arctic winter in 2014, with some forecasts of snow in some parts of the country as early as next month.

    Reports, based on forecasts from Vantage Weather, warns the UK is set for a 'horror freeze' which will bring brutal winds and fierce blizzards.

    The predicted cold weather is being blamed on the jet stream which is expected to be stuck south of the UK, allowing a continual flow of freezing Arctic air.

    Although forecasters at the Met Office say that it is impossible to predict seasonal and long term forecasts with any sort of accuracy, Essex County Council has already started preparations for winter.

    The county's 60-strong fleet of gritters were out in force this week to test drive their routes in preparation for plummeting temperatures.

    The vehicles began their pre-season checks on the busiest roads in Essex on Saturday, October 4 and will be seen again on Saturday, October 11.

    Essex County Council's highways department, which is in charge of keeping the roads safe during cold and icy weather, also said some of the gritters will briefly be spreading salt to make sure they are working properly.

    The council is responsible for salting 2,000 miles of roads in Essex – 40 per cent of the county's road network – which includes all A and B roads, access routes for emergency services, rural link roads and major public transport routes.

    Official weather recording only started in 1910 and despite similar headlines predicting an artic freeze, the winter of 2012/13 was only the 43rd coldest on record with an average temperature of 3.3celcius.

    Winter officially starts on December 1, with MET Office forecasters saying it is too early to tell how this year's winter will turn out.

    A MET Office spokesman said: "There is absolutely no certainty about what weather the UK will see over the winter period.

    "The science doesn't exist to predict forecasts that far in the future accurately."

    The MET Office says the rest of October will remain unsettled with temperatures around normal or a little below normal with a risk or fog and mist.

    The unsettled conditions are due to continue into the early part of November.

    Forecasters warn of coldest winter for decades


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    Three men from Braintree have been taken to hospital with head and facial injuries after being assaulted in the high street which has been closed while police carry out investigations

    One of the men, a 26-year-old, suffered head injuries which were serious and he is currently in a stable condition after the attack at 12.40am today (October 12).

    It is believed that the disturbance had started in Bar Sport in the High Street before spilling out into the road.

    Braintree high street has been closed while police carry out forensic investigations at the scene.

    A number of witnesses have already been spoken to but the area was busy at the time and detectives would also like to speak to anyone else who saw what happened either in the bar or outside.

    They can call Braintree CID on 101 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Police are hopeful that the High Street will be gradually reopened as the day progresses. 

    Braintree high street closed following town centre attack


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    Relatives found an elderly woman still asleep unaware that thieves had activated her panic alarm when they stole it.

    Police want to hear from anyone with information about a break-in at a house in Maldon between 3.45am and 4.15am on Wednesday October 8 when thieves forced the back door of the house, on a side street close to the junction of Colchester Road and Goldhanger Road.

    Once inside they began removing Careline equipment installed so that the elderly householder could call for help if she was in trouble.

    Detective Sergeant Ray Hull said: "The equipment activated due to its removal and a member of the family turned up to find that the lady was fortunately still asleep and unaware of the break in and the only thing taken was the Careline equipment.

    "This is valued at around £1,000 and now needs to be replaced. If anyone saw any suspicious activity in the area at the time or has been offered similar items for sale I would ask them to contact me at Chelmsford CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."

    Elderly woman's panic alarm activated in burglary


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    CASES heard by Chelmsford and Colchester magistrates from Wednesday, September 10 to Wednesday, September 17.

    Sent to prison

    STEPHEN EDMONDS, 57, of Crushden Place, Chelmsford, was sent to prison for eight weeks for calling 999 and using threatening behaviour towards members of the emergency services at Chelmsford on September 9. 

    The defendant was in breach of an anti social behaviour order imposed on June 24 and it was the third time he had breached the order in a short time. He must pay an £80 victim surcharge.

    MATTHEW GETTINS, 27, of Coronation Avenue, Braintree, was sent to prison for six weeks for the original offence of assaulting another person. 

    He had failed to attend appointments on July 7 and August 5 in accordance with a community order imposed on October 1 last year. He was also given six weeks' concurrent for the original offence of assaulting a police sergeant and two weeks concurrent for the original offence of possessing drugs.

    ANTHONY LEE GEORGE, 37, of Humphreys Farm Lane, Chelmsford, was sent to prison for 23 weeks. 

    It was the defendant's fourth serious offence for excess alcohol and he had shown a disregard for court orders. 

    He had driven along South Street at Little Waltham on May 9 when his breath contained 94 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, more than two and a half times the limit. 

    He was disqualified from driving for three years and must pay £310 costs to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

    RYAN AMADI, 24, of Kennet Way, Chelmsford, was given a five week sentence, implemented in place of an eight week suspended sentence, for failing to comply with a suspended sentence order imposed on September 19 last year. 

    He had shown unacceptable behaviour to staff during a telephone call to Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on September 4.

    Suspended sentences

    BONNIE ANDERSON, 19, of Harberd Tye, Chelmsford, was given a six week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, for the original offence of assault. 

    She had not complied with the requirements of a community order made on September, 2013 by failing to attend three appointments in August. 

    The defendant must participate in the Bridge Project for 15 days, attend appointments with a responsible officer, carry out 40 hours of unpaid work within 12 months and pay £50 costs.

    GARY DEAN CARELESS, 27, of Tamar Rise, Chelmsford, was given a 12 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, for harassing Stephen Muir by sending multiple Facebook messages between July 12 and 14 and threatening violence towards him. 

    He was also given four 12 week concurrent sentences for breaching restraining orders by either sending texts to other people or asking other people to send texts on his behalf on June 4, June 16, July 11 and between July 11 and 14. 

    The defendant must carry out 120 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months, and was given a restraining order not to contact Stephen Muir or Amie Evans and must pay an £80 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    VULI HLELA PARIRENYATWA, 37, of Parkinson Drive, Chelmsford, was given an amended 16 week sentence, suspended for 18 months, for failing to comply with a suspended sentence order imposed on June 16. 

    The defendant had failed to attend unpaid work on August 20 and on August 26 had failed to comply by leaving the site after four hours without an acceptable reason. 

    The defendant must carry out 70 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months and pay £50 costs.

    Assaulting a PC

    MICHELLE TERESA ORPIN, 40, of New London Road, Chelmsford, was fined £100 for assaulting a police constable in the execution of his duty at Chelmsford on August 7. She was ordered to pay £50 compensation, a £20 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    Criminal damage

    RICHARD JOHN HAMMOND, 32, of Lambourne Chase, Chelmsford, was given a community order for causing £2,353.52 worth of damage to a Vauxhall Corsa belonging to Samuel White at Hullbridge on March 16. 

    The defendant was ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months, pay compensation of £2,353 plus a £60 victim surcharge. 

    He was also found guilty assaulting a person on the same day and must pay £150 compensation and £300 costs to the CPS.

    Criminal justice - assault


    NATHAN PACKHAM, 20, of Grenville Road, Braintree was fined £230 for assaulting Henry Mosley by beating him, acting together with Michael Morris, another person at Chelmsford on March 23. 

    He was ordered to pay £1,100 compensation, a £23 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    GARY STEVEN PALMER, 44, of The Vineyards, Great Baddow, was given a community order for assaulting Valarie Lopez-Gaskin by beating her at Chelmsford on August 2. 

    The defendant must attend appointments with a responsible officer, carry out 150 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months and was given a restraining order not to contact Valarie or to go to any address where she is living. 

    He must pay £100 compensation, a £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    JOHN SMART MANNION, 53, of Hatfield Grove, Chelmsford, was given a community order for assaulting Mary Mannion and Kimberley Mannion by beating them at Chelmsford on August 21. 

    The defendant must participate in Medium Alcohol Requirement Intervention for 12 days, participate in Building Better Relationships for 29 days, attend appointments with a responsible officer and pay a £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    VICTORIA ULRIKA ELSA DEAN, 33, of The Withy Windle, South Woodham Ferrers, was given a community order for assaulting Catherine White and Daniel MacDonald by beating them at Chelmsford on November 25. 

    She must attend appointments with a responsible officer and was given a restraining order not to contact either of them or go to Treebeard Copse in South Woodham Ferrers. She must pay a £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    ALYSON TURRELL, 35, of Shrubsland Close, Chelmsford, was fined £25 for failing to attend two appointments in August in accordance with a community order imposed on December 20. She must also pay £25 costs.

    Criminal justice – Failed to comply


    PAUL VICTOR WELHAM, 47, of Southview Road, Rettendon Common, was fined £100 for failing to comply with a community order imposed on September 30, 2013 by failing to attend two appointments in August and showing unacceptable behaviour on September 1. He must also pay £50 costs.

    JAMES DIGBY, 25, of Fortinbras Way, Chelmsford, was ordered to carry out 20 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months in addition to the original requirements of a community order made on May 9. 

    He had failed to comply by not attending three appointments in August. He must pay £50 costs.

    ROBERT DAVANZO, 20, of Crix Green, Dunmow, was ordered to participate in the Bridge Project for five days in addition to the original requirements of a suspended sentence order imposed on April 7 for showing unacceptable behaviour at the Bridge Project.

    DAVID BRIAN RADLEY, 36, of Nelson Place, South Woodham Ferrers, was fined £50 for failing to attend two appointments on August 11 and 18 as required by a community order imposed on August 8. He must pay £50 costs.

    Drugs – possession


    HAMED AHMADI, 25, of Dorset Avenue, Chelmsford, was fined £70 for possessing two grammes of cannabis, a controlled class B drug, at Chelmsford on August 28. 

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

    Family Law


    JAMES NICHOLAS SMITH, 22, of Roxwell Road, Chelmsford, was given a community order for breaching a non molestation order made on May 23 by sending three Facebook messages to another person between July 6 and August 9 at Chelmsford.

    He was ordered to carry out 60 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months, pay a £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    GARY ROBERT YORK, 35, of Coggeshall Road, Braintree, was given a community order for attending Boscowan Gardens in Braintree while prohibited by a non molestation order and speaking to Melody Green on September 12. 

    The defendant was ordered to participate in Bridge Project for 15 days, attend appointments with a responsible officer and pay a £60 victim surcharge.

    OLIVER JEE SWAINSON, 28, of Green Lane, South Woodham Ferrers, was given a community order for harassing Katie Mullins by sending numerous text messages, causing her alarm and distress, on March 23. 

    The defendant must participate in Thinking Skills for 19 days, attend appointments with a responsible officer, pay a £60 victim surcharge and £150 costs to the CPS.

    Offensive communications


    RICKY DEAN ALAN O'SULLIVAN, 27, of Eves Crescent, Chelmsford, was given a community order for sending a grossly offensive message at Chelmsford on August 25. 

    The defendant was given a restraining order and prohibited from contacting Jasmine Camblin-Smith other than to arrange child contact. 

    He must participate in Thinking Skills for 19 days, attend appointments with a responsible officer, and pay a £60 victim surcharge.

    Public order offence


    LEE STEVEN HUGHES, 25, of London Road, Kelvedon, was given a six month conditional discharge for using threatening, abusive or disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress at Kelvedon on May 10.

    He must pay a £15 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    Social security offences


    LAURISSA AMY NIE, 20, of Western Road, Burnham on Crouch, was given a conditional discharge for six months for failing to give notification that she had commenced employment on or about October 7 last year at Maldon which would have affected her entitlement to a reduction under a billing authority's council tax reduction scheme. 

    She also failed to notify Maldon District Council that would have affected her entitlement to housing benefit. She must pay a £15 victim surcharge and pay £250 costs.

    Theft – shoplifting

    JULIAN ANDREWS, 43, of Epping Close, Chelmsford, was fined £37 for stealing food items to the value of £15.22 from the Co-op in Chelmsford on September 12. 

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

    ANDREW MAURICE GASS, 52, of Napier Court, Chelmsford, was fined £73 for stealing two toys valued at £7.98 in total from Store Twenty One at The Grove Shopping Centre in Witham on August 18. 

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

    NICK GEORGE JOSEPH HOPKINS, 23, of Mortimer Way, Witham, was given a community order for stealing 600 pairs of sunglasses, postage stamps and packaging to the value of £2,400 from Stephen James of Logic Imports Ltd at Langford between February 14 and May 3. 

    The defendant must participate in a Thinking Skills Programme for 19 days, attend appointments with a responsible officer, and carry out 100 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months. 

    He must pay £2,000 compensation, a £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    JOSEPH ROBERT HILL, 53, of Woodhall Grange, Chelmsford, must pay £5.50 compensation after stealing beer and a cake to the value of £5.50 from the East of England Co-op in Witham on September 7. 

    He was also fined £110 for trespassing in Prezzo, Newland Street in Witham on September 8, and stealing alcohol valued at £60. He must also pay £20 costs.

    DEAN HEATH, 35, of Pedlars Path, Danbury, was given a community order for stealing wine valued at £10 from Marks & Spencer in Chelmsford on September 10. 

    The defendant must have treatment for alcohol dependency for six months, attend appointments with a responsible officer, pay a £10 fine and a £60 victim surcharge.

    SYLVESTER ISICHEI, 40, of Beach Avenue, Braintree, must pay £9.99 compensation after stealing salmon valued at £9.99 from Sainsbury's at Braintree on September 10. 

    He must pay £85 costs to the CPS.

    PETER MARTIN, 45, of Broomfield Road, Broomfield, was given a community order for stealing food items to the value of £4 from Poundland in Chelmsford on August 26, and had failed to attend Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on September 11, having been released on bail on August 27. 

    He committed the offence while subject to a community order imposed on March 26 was in force for offences of theft and possessing cannabis. 

    The defendant must carry out 80 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months, pay £4 compensation, a £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    Drink-driving

    TAKUDWZA MLAMBO, 24, of Dickens Close, Braintree, was disqualified from driving for 12 months for driving along Lady Lane in Chelmsford on May 3 after he had been drinking. 

    The proportion of alcohol measured 109 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine, which exceeded the limit. He was fined £140 and must pay a £20 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    JOANNE DALTON, 38, of Deanery Hill, Braintree, was given an 18 month driving ban for driving along Courtauld Road in Braintree on August 25 after she had been drinking. 

    The alcohol measured 62 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, more than one and a half times the limit. 

    She was fined £110 plus a £20 victim surcharge and must pay £85 costs to the CPS.

    CHARLOTTE JOANNE WHITE, 40, of Courtauld Road, Braintree, was disqualified from driving for 20 months for driving along Bradford Street in Braintree on August 26 after she had been drinking. 

    Her breath contained 83 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, more than double the limit. 

    She was fined £275 plus a £28 victim surcharge and must pay £85 costs to the CPS. 

    The defendant also pleaded guilty of failing to stop following an accident which damaged another vehicle.

    GEMMA LOUISE SAYE, 29, of Fell Christy, Chelmsford, was banned from driving for 32 months for driving along Broomfield Road, Chelmsford, on August 28 after she had been drinking. 

    The alcohol measured 137 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, just under four times the legal limit. 

    She must participate in Drink Impaired Drivers Programme for 30 days, attend appointments with a responsible officer, pay a £240 fine, a £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    NATHAN BIBBY, 38, of Brewers Yard, Southminster, was banned from driving for 29 months and given a community order for driving along Queen Street in Southminster on August 31 after he had been drinking. 

    The alcohol measured 123 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, more than three and a half times the limit. 

    He was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months, and pay a £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    LIAM CLARKE, 26, of Dunmow Road, Great Bardfield, was given a 20 month disqualification for driving along Braintree Road at Great Bardfield on August 31 after he had been drinking. 

    The proportion of alcohol was 81 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, more than double the limit. He was fined £110 plus a £20 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    Road traffic offences


    PAUL FAGE, 55, of Tyrells Way, Great Baddow, was fined £333 for driving, stood or plied for hire, a hackney carriage in Springfield Road, Chelmsford on March 15, which was not licensed as such under the Town Police Clauses Act. He must pay a victim surcharge of £33 and £205.69 costs.

    JAMES HOWARD-WILLIS, 26, of Marys Way, Kelvedon, was banned from driving for 20 months after failing to provide a specimen for analysis at Colchester on August 29. He was fined £220 and must pay a £22 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

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


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    CHELMSFORD City secured an FA Cup third round qualifying replay after playing out an eight-goal thriller with Whitehawk on Saturday. The game ended 4-4 with the replay to be played at Melbourne Stadium on Monday night. Goals from Michael Cheek and Joe Ward inside the first five minutes gave City the perfect start although they were pegged back by the half hour thanks to goals from Osei Sankofa, Jake Robinson and a thunderbolt by Lee Hills. But City levelled matters before the break when Cheek equalised from a corner only for Whitehawk to retake the lead through Robinson. A third penalty miss in three games – this one from Rohdell Gordon – was at least followed up by Ward tapping in his second as both him and Cheek had glorious chances to win it late on. Following the agonising 1-0 defeat to Concord Rangers, City boss Mark Hawkes made just the one change to his starting 11 choosing to select Niklas Fruend in goal ahead of Nicky Eyre. The disappointment of Monday though would have been short lived as City made a blistering start to the game scoring twice in the opening five minutes to stun the home side. Cheek made up for his second penalty miss in as many games on Monday by opening the scoring after latching onto a flick on by Luke Callander to smash home. And then three minutes later a free kick awarded 25 yards out was struck low and into a dangerous area from Ward, curling into the bottom corner and past Lewis Ward to double City's advantage. City could not have asked for a better start but their joy was tapered somewhat as Whitehawk reduced the deficit quickly as Sankofa bundled the ball in from a corner. And with City rattled another corner almost produced an equaliser as James Love was forced to clear Danny Mills' header off the line. But the hosts did not have to wait too much longer as they were level again before even a quarter of the game had been played. Having looked susceptible to balls into the box City failed to clear another ball into the area and Whitehawk's Robinson was on hand to steer the ball past Freund on the turn to level it up. Having let their two goal lead slip City were at sixes and sevens and the hosts completed the turnaround just past the half hour mark when another ball into the box wasn't cleared far enough. Falling to Hills, the Whitehawk left back let fly from distance, arrowing the ball into the top corner giving Freund absolutely no chance. So having made the perfect start the Clarets now had to regroup and found themselves having to come from behind, but the City bosses' half-time team talk would have taken a twist after Cheek brought City level on the stroke of half time. A succession of corners eventually led to one being swung towards the far post by Ward. Cheek rose highest at the far post to bury his header and give the visitors the impetus again going into the second half. In comparison the second half was tame but the Clarets were forced to come from behind once again as midway through the second half Robinson grabbed his second and Whitehawk's fourth. A slide-rule ball through the middle had Robinson one on one with Freund with Robinson's first effort being superbly saved by the young German 'keeper. But the recovering Yado Mambo could not prevent Mills from squaring the ball back to Robinson to tap in the rebound. The host's fourth goal appeared the set light the blue touch paper in the second half as this crazy game of football took yet another twist as City were awarded a penalty for foul on substitute Gordon Having missed his last two, Cheek passed penalty duties onto Gordon but his penalty was poor and was saved by Lewis Ward only for Joe Ward to thankfully mop up and tap home the rebound. With both Ward and Cheek now on hat-tricks both had brilliant opportunities to win it as Ward was denied by his namesake at the far post and Cheek slipped in the area when clear through. The game looked destined for a Monday night replay at the Melbourne Stadium, but Whitehawk had one final chance to nick it as City gave away a free kick in a dangerous area. The initial effort from Deering struck the wall, falling kindly to David Ijaha at the far post. With hearts in mouths the Whitehawk man failed to hit the target sending the ball wide as City held on to force a replay.

    Chelmsford secure Whitehawk replay in eight-goal FA Cup thriller


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    ESSEX teachers are gearing up for one the biggest shake-ups of the secondary school exam system.

    Details of the new GCSEs, which will be tested by exams at the end of two years of study, are now being scoured by teachers across the county.

    They are preparing to teach the new exams in English, English literature and maths next September, and in the sciences, languages and humanities the year after.

    Pupils now in Year 9 – aged 13 and 14 – will be the guinea pigs for the English and maths papers, which will be graded from nine to one, rather than A* to G.

    The aim of the new GCSEs is to raise British academic standards and bring them into line with those being achieved by teenagers in other countries, including China and Japan.

    Tom Morgan, head of upper school at Chelmer Valley High School, believes the public may have more confidence in the new regime as it will be much tougher to achieve the top grade of a nine.

    He said: "The public do have this perception that GCSEs have been getting easier as most schools say their results are better each year.

    "I think the GCSEs have remained consistent over the past few years and it is the quality of the teaching that has improved.

    "The introduction of the new levels will mean more discrimination between high achievers – level nine will be the holy grail – only the very, very best students will gain this."

    Mr Morgan said he welcomes the return of linear exams and the removal of continuous assessment tasks in English, as this will give teachers more time to actually teach the subject.

    The revamped GCSEs come as the Government has brought in an entirely new National Curriculum this autumn, affecting all learning.

    Andrew Weaver, deputy head teacher at The Sandon School explained: "Some topics are now being taught at a lower level; for instance some secondary science must now be covered in primary schools, and some GCSE level maths has come down to Key Stage Three.

    "We are busy making sure our curriculum meets these changes while also swotting up on the new GCSE specifications.

    "I'm pleased the new maths GCSE, which still has algebra and geometry, now includes functional maths, based on real-life problem solving.

    "We must welcome a rigorous, high-quality exam system, which will allow our pupils to compete on a world-class level."

    Tom Carter, acting head teacher at King Edward VI Grammar School, said the school was looking forward to the new exams.

    Although its pupils take the usual English and maths, in nine other subjects including the sciences and some languages, pupils take international IGCSES, which are mainly exam-based.

    Mr Carter said: "Not all the specifications have been published so far but I think we will opt for the new GCSEs in most subjects.

    "We have no objections to the exam shake-up and welcome the stretch and challenge that the new GCSEs will offer students."

    Essex schools prepare for new-style GCSEs


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    The wife of MP Brooks Newmark has reportedly left the family home in the wake of the sting in which he sent explicit photographs of himself to an undercover reporter.

    Yesterday, Mr Newmark's wife Lucy, 52, appeared to have moved from the family's mansion near Braintree, Essex, to their £7million London home.

    Just earlier he had said he would stand down as an Conservative MP for Braintree after the General Election next year in the wake of the tabloid sex sting scandal.

    The 56-year-old resigned from his job as minister of civil society the day before the Sunday Mirror exposed his explicit messages he exchanged with an undercover male reporter, who was posing as female Tory PR worker 'Sophie Wittams'.

    Dad-of-five Mr Newmark previously told the Chronicle he hoped to stay on as MP, but in a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, has put his change of heart down to 'media intrusion' and the effect on his family.

    He said: "I have therefore decided to stand down at the general election."

    Brooks Newmark wife moves out of Braintree home in wake of sex scandal


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    Thousands of NHS workers, including midwives and ambulances have gone on strike this morning in a row with the government over pay.

    Staff from six trade unions, including the Royal College of Midwives, Unison, and GMB, are staging a four hour walkout, due to last until 11am.

    The industrial action is expect to disrupt some services, although emergency response is not expected to be affected.

    RCM's chief executive Cathy Warwick said: 'At a time when MPs are set for a 10 per cent pay hike, we're told that midwives don't deserve even a below-inflation one per cent rise. 

    And politicians wonder why the public does not afford them more respect. It feels to a great many people, including midwives, that there is one rule for them and another rule for everybody else.

    'The independent panel of experts who advise the government on NHS pay recommended a 1% pay rise for midwives, nurses, paramedics and other NHS staff. 

    "Unfortunately, health secretary Jeremy Hunt rejected that recommendation, and he and the employers decided that midwives and others won't get a pay rise this year.

    'I ask them to think of the pressure midwives have been under for years, made worse by a shortage of staff that never goes away. I ask them to think of the responsibility midwives have every single day, caring for both mother and baby. 

    "And I ask them to think how it feels to those same midwives when, despite all that, they are told they aren't worth a one per cent pay rise."

    Steve Wheaton, from the East of England Ambulance Service, said: "A considerable amount of contingency planning has taken place in preparation for this strike.

    "We have been working closely with our union colleagues to ensure that those who need an emergency ambulance response get one."

    "However, there is likely to be some disruption to the 999 service and as always we are urging the public to think about using alternative services especially during the hours of strike action. 

    "If you need medical help but it is not an emergency, consider your options, such as calling 111, contacting your GP or visiting your local pharmacist. This will help keep ambulances available to those in the greatest need."

    NHS workers go on strike in pay dispute


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