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

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    A recent study by has looked at Europe's elite leagues and the players who have the best shot-to-goal ratio - and there's a surprise inclusion.

    Scraping in at tenth place is Tottenham Hotspur's Nacer Chadli who has managed six goals from just 21 shots in the ten games he's played this season.

    That gives the Belgian international a ratio of a goal every 3.50 shots beating off the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Alexis Sanchez etc.

    Unsurprisingly Diego Costa tops the list with his eleven goals from ten games and with 32 shots on goal gives him ratio of better than a goal every three games at 2.91.

    Second is Leicester City's Leonardo Ulloa and, although he's only managed five goals, he's done so with just 16 shots at goal.

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    THE county's tourism boss says a bid for £10million of EU funding to improve the A120 could help "unlock the economic potential" of Essex and the eastern region. George Kieffer, chairman of the Haven Gateway Partnership and also chairman of Visit Essex, believes the government should rubber-stamp Essex County Council's recent bid for cash. "The A120 is currently a low standard road suffering from capacity constraints, heavy congestion, high accident rates and poor journey reliability," he said. "This bid for funding, if successful, will naturally help to unlock the economic potential, not just of Essex, but of the eastern region and also the south-east of this country." Essex County Council has submitted a bid for the cash, which it says could be used for safety works and to develop options for route improvements, including the 12-mile stretch between Marks Tey and Braintree, where land has been earmarked for a 14,000-home garden city. Sites earmarked for safety improvement include the junction at Horsely Cross for Tendring Europark, Millennium Way slip road and Galleys Corner roundabout, in Braintree, the Earls Colne junction, and Pellens Corner, Little Bentley. Cllr Rodney Bass, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: "What is needed is endorsement to improve the A120 and this funding will help secure its development. "A proposal has been submitted to the Department for Transport for response and approval. This bid is critical to the development of the A120. "This is a project which will also enhance the transport network of the EU as a whole, creating faster and safer travel between, into and out of the UK through the transport hubs of Stansted and Harwich. "At a time of economic austerity, we need barriers to trade and private sector growth and investment to be removed."

    Essex County Council bids for £10m of EU funding for A120 overhaul

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    Chelmsford Men's 1st XI5

    Cambridge City 2nd XI2

    East Premier A

    Chelmsford put last weeks dissapointing result behind them by leap-frogging Cambridge City in the league with a 5-2 victory.

    Despite early dominance from the away side it was the hosts who took the lead with quarter-of-an-hour on the clock after James Stock did well in the Chelmsford goal to charge down the initial shot but the deflection fell kindly to a City forward who applied the finishing touch.

    Chelmsford didn't rest on their laurels as just minutes later they equalised followed by two more inside ten minutes to shock Cambridge into submission.

    First Vasan Veerapalan's cross was not dealt with by the Cambridge goalkeeper, and Adam Hunter was quickest to react and turn the ball over the line.

    Moments later Steve Harrison found himself through on goal, and although the keeper made a smart stop, the ball fell in the path of Sam Rayner, who fired an unstoppable shot into the top corner. Chelmsford capped off a fine period of play when C.J. Mayes notched his first goal at this level with a calm lifted finish off the post.

    The second half started in much of the same fashion as the first did with City taking the iniative and cutting the deficit to just the one goal but Chelmsford grew into the half again and gave their opponents no chance.

    Alex Rumbold, whose pace had caused the City defence problems all afternoon, ran half the length of the pitch before squaring for Tom Woollatt to deflect home at the near post, before Harry Rayner completed the scoring with a well-executed short corner.

    Scorers: Adam Hunter, Sam Rayner, C.J. Mayes, Tom Woollatt and Harry Rayner.

    Next week Chelmsford complete the first half of the season when they host bottom of the table Wisbech at noon.

    Chelmsford men get back to winning ways in East Prem A

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    Chelmsford Ladies 1st 1

    St. Albans 1st XI 0

    Investec EHL Conference East

    Chelmsford Ladies put in a brilliant performance to overcome the odds against second placed St Albans and move up the table.

    St Albans lost their game of the season last week and Chelmsford were clearly smelling blood having managed a draw against them earlier in the season.

    With the scores level at half time in a closely fought match, the tension was palpable but a result was certainly on the cards for the visitors. 

    Halfway through the second half Jess Bryan scored a field goal to break the deadlock and the last 15 minutes proved tense with a penalty corner awarded to Albans just before the final whistle which the ladies defended successfully.

    Off the back of a win last week, confidence is high and the ladies moved up another place in the table to fifth. A home game against undefeated leaders East Grinstead will be another hard fought game.

    Scorers: Jess Bryan

    Chelmsford Ladies claim all three points against high flyers St Ablans

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    Chelmsford Shotokan Karate Club capped an outstanding 2014 in their final competition for this year winning eight out of a possible nine Golds!

    On Saturday the 22 November a large number of young competitors, aged from five to fifteen years old, from seven different Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB) Clubs entered the Shotokan Tigers Competition held at William De Ferrers Leisure Centre in South Woodham Ferrers.

    The KUGB, as the largest single style Karate organisation in the UK, hold a number of British, National and Regional Championships throughout the year.  In addition to these, KUGB clubs throughout Britain get together in their local areas to hold a 'Friendly' Tournament of which the Shotokan Tigers competition here in Essex is one.  Smaller in scale and targeted to the younger population, it provides both an opportunity to introduce those new to competing whilst more experienced competitors have a platform to prepare for future championships.

    This event requires a lot of organisation and we arevery proud that the Tigers competition was supported by a number of Sponsors.  They were Church and Hawes, Loulabelles and Edith & Elizabeth (all from South Woodham Ferrers), UK Electrical and Lighting (Braintree), Finishing Touches (Southend), Jeans Laundry (Leigh on Sea), Kamae (Martial Arts Wear and Equipment - Wirral) and Sensei Peter Heal (Stoke By Nayland Shotokan Karate Club). 

    So, with Karateka from Essex, Suffolk and London arriving early on the day all eager to take part, the tournament kicked off promptly with Sensei Jane Naylor-Jones (5th Dan) explaining the order of events.  Sensei Richard Naylor-Jones (5th Dan), Chief Referee for the competition, meanwhile briefed the enthusiastic team of Referees, Judges and Match Officials.

    Understanding that for many of the young Competitors in attendance, this was their first competition, the eliminations started with the Individual Black Belt and Brown Belt Kata (set forms).  This set the standard as these high grade kata performances were excellent throughout the eliminations.  Next were the White to Red Belts and Yellow to Purple Belt categories.  For the young karateka, the thought of performing their kata in such a large crowd was daunting. The crowd, who were terrific throughout the high grade categories, rose to another level to support each and every one of the low grades as they competed. The atmosphere was fantastic, with all those competing encouraging each other and the officials were actively involved in making sure those new to competition completed their individual matches, reinforcing a positive experience for all.

    With the individual Kata eliminations completed, the KihonIpponKumite (basic sparring) events started.  This was divided into three categories based on age; Under 10 years old, 10-11 years old and 12-15 years old.  With safety being of paramount experience the "rules of the match" were strictly adhered to, to ensure that both the blocks and counters were delivered accurately and with good control.  In each of the categories, there were many fierce battles between Karateka as they fought eagerly to get through to the next round and eventually to the finals. 

    It was then on to the Team Kata eliminations, which were split into two categories; white to purple belts and black and brown belts.  Both events were very well represented with teams for each category competing for the top four scores to get to the final.  Teams had been training hard in the build up to the tournament to make sure that they performed their Team Katas with good timing and technique. This certainly was evident as the standard was superb.  

    It was then on to the Finals that were opened with a special demonstration by Jack Somers, who himself had competed in these Tiger competitions when he was younger.  Since that time he was won numerous titles at both National and International level.  Although only 20 years old himself, he currently holds the titles of Senior European Kata champion and World Junior Team Kata Champion.  We were very privileged to have Jack perform an excellent demonstration as in a few days time he will travel with the KUGB England team to compete at the European Shotokan Karate-Do Championships in Zurich, Switzerland.

    From a Chelmsford perspective it was certainly pleasing to see so many of our students through to the finals.  In the Yellow to Purple Belt Category, Lee Rifat came 3rd with KataHeianYondan, whilst Anya Dunbar performed an excellent HeianNidan to win Gold.  

    Next were the Brown Belts and it was an all Chelmsford final.  The places were fiercely contested amongst their team mates, especially as all four decided to perform KataBassai Dai.  Benjamin Pickwick took 4th, 3rd was Jessica Steadman, 2nd was Romilly Pope who was beaten by Alexander Lockett with an excellent performance of his kata.

    The final Individual Kata event was for the Black Belts.  The top two positions were taken by Chelmsford students.  Megan Naylor-Jones took Silver with KataEnpi whilst Jamie Lottering took gold with a strong performance of Kata Gojushiho Sho.

    The finals of the KihonIpponKumite began with the Under 10 year olds.  Benjamin Pickwick came joint 3rd whilst Alexander Lockett who fought strongly, added a second gold of the day to his impressive collection for 2014.  In the 10-11 year old category.  Anya Dunbar came joint 3rd whilst Romilly Pope met fellow team mate, Matthew Gilbert, in the final with Matthew taking gold.  In the 12-15 category, Rosie Caddy had fought well all day to come joint 3rd while Jamie Lottering won gold in a strong determined and skillful final.

    It was then to the last event, Team Kata, with the first category being white to purple belts.  In this category, Team Chelmsford (2) consisting of Calum Brown, Simone Brown and Alicia Willis, came second with KihonKata but it was Team Chelmsford (4), Rosa Conley, Caitlin Glover and Lauren Jenkins, who won gold with an excellent performance of KataHeianNidan.  In the Black and Brown Belt Team Kata, Chelmsford (C) Anya Dunbar, Alexander Lockett and Jessica Steadman came 2nd with KataHeianSandan.  Chelmsford (A) Jamie Lottering, Megan Naylor-Jones and Romilly Pope produced an outstanding performance of Bassai Dai to take the gold.

    At the end of the finals, there was a ceremony where our Sponsors (or their nominees) of each category presented the finalists with their medals and posed enthusiastically for the many photographs.  

    This brought the Shotokan Tigers competition to a successful close.  We would like to thank everyone who supported this event, the Competitors, Spectators, Officials, our Sponsors, First Aider, Dave Jeffery, the Team of Helpers and the Leisure Centre Staff.  We have received a lot of positive feedback from all those who attended as their thoroughly enjoyed this event.

    Sensei Dot Naylor, Chief Instructor of Chelmsford Shotokan Karate Club, said she was particularly pleased with the standard of Karate and behaviour of everyone who competed from all of the KUGB Clubs.  With so much young talent on display, the future prospects of Karate in this region looks very good.

    The Tigers Competition is organised by Chelmsford Shotokan Karate Club who have been established since 1967 and train at Dovedale Sports Centre and Anglia Ruskin University.  For more information about this competition, or the club, please call Jane on 07973 672663 or visit the website


    Young Talent Shine at the Shotokan Tigers Karate Competition

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    Witham Town take part in their last remaining cup competition tonight against Brightlingsea Regent but assistant manager Brad King insists the league is more important.

    Town have enjoyed good cup runs this year but King admits that, even though he doesn't want 'to disrespect the cup,' they are playing catch up with their league fixtures.

    "These cup runs are great. The FA Cup, The FA Trophy and the League Cup but we've got a small squad and we now find ourselves with five league games behind some sides. We need to make sure the league is our priority," said King.

    "Tonight gives a chances for those players who haven't had as many minutes or game time that they need or deserve so it gives the others opportunities to come in and put a performance in that makes us think 'well actually should they be starting on a Saturday.

    "Whatever happens today, as long as we can give a good account of ourselves, then I'm not going to be too upset. I don't want to disrespect the Cup but we're such a small squad and we're already five league games behind.

    "This is great for giving players opportunities but all I'm concerned about is getting our league games chalked. We're five games behind and we haven't even hit the poor weather yet so it's quite concerning really."

    With a small squad, the cup competitions have also given Witham the chance to carry on their good form but this time around King hopes to see the players who will be involved make the most of it still.

    "They are all first team players, they're just either not in the squad or they've been on the bench. There will be a few players that want to keep up their match fitness and a couple of players still need that so it will still be a very strong side out."

    "They're all first team players because we always want to progress as far as we can in the cup, it's just the league's our priority."

    King admits league is priority ahead of tonight's cup match

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    FA TROPHY: Heybridge Swifts 2- 3 Lewes

    Heybridge Swifts fought back twice to level the scores but the third evaded them in their 3-2 defeat to Lewes in the FA Trophy.

    Lewes took the lead through substitute Leroy Griffiths but against the run of play Heybridge equalised through Reece Morgan on the stroke of half-time.

    The visitors regained the lead when a Griffiths deflected shot found its way to Jordan Badger but the home side came back again when Michael Fitzgibbon attacked a back-post ball to equalise.

    The scores weren't level for long though when just minutes later Sam Cole got on the end of a free-kick to volley confidently into the far corner to send them through.

    The home side opted to keep much of the side that played against Lewes in the first match with Joe Pearman the only change coming in for Paul White whilst Lewes started in a 3-5-2 formation to pack out the midfield.

    There was an early penalty shout rightly waved away by Alan Dale when Sam Cole went down in the box but was clear to see that nobody touched him and was lucky to escape the referee's book.

    The extra man in the midfield was starting to pay dividends for the visitors with Heybridge finding it hard to keep hold of the ball when they cleared and the dangerous Nicky Wheeler had a great effort matched by Danny Sambridge in the Heybridge goal.

    Lewes had a ten minute spell of domination soon after with Wheeler often the chosen out ball to make something happen whilst two corners were coped well by the home side.

    Lewes took the lead with just five minutes left of the first half when the referee's advantage worked in Lewes' favour when Cole ran down the left-wing to whip in a dangerous cross where substitute Leroy Griffiths was at the near post to score with his head.

    Heybridge equalised against the run of the play in a scrappy goal when Billy Hunt picked up a loose ball to shoot but Daniel Lopes got in the way of it.

    The striker then tried his luck on the rebound and Rikki Banks saved but Reece Morgan was alert to the second rebound to finish and put the team levels at the break.

    The visitors regained their lead before the hour mark when a corner dropped to Griffiths at the edge of the area and, despite Sambridge's best efforts to keep out the deflected shot, he couldn't do anything to stop the oncoming Jordan Badger scoring.

    Heybridge equalised once again with 20 minutes to play when Michael Fitzgibbon met a corner at the back post but that was short lived when Lewes scored a carbon copy goal from a free-kick minutes later with Cole volleying into the opposite corner.

    Heybridge were throwing their centre-backs forward in the final ten and brought on Aaron Gayle as a third striker but Lewes held on to progress in the FA Trophy.

    Heybridge Swifts: Sambridge, Griffin (Boswell 74), Barber, Glowacki (Gayle 80), Fitzgibbon, Beale ©, Morgan, Pearman, Richmond, Lopes (Spencer 64), Hunt
    Unused subs: Good, Springett.

    FA TROPHY: Heybridge Swifts bow out in five-goal thriller against Lewes

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    BRAINTREE Town's mini revival came to a disappointing end after they were beaten 1-0 at home to Welling United.

    After securing excellent victories over Wrexham and AFC Telford United the Iron were looking to make it three wins on the spin against a visiting team one place above the relegation zone, with four away points this season and having sold their best player and top scorer Harry Beautyman to Peterborough United the day before.

    But Charlie Penny's 63rd minutes goal proved enough to win a match that saw just two notable shots on target, one of them being the winner, in what was a rather flat performance from the Iron.

    Braintree were unchanged for the third game running, a rarity for the Iron in an injury-hit season so far.

    They started with promise and Chez Isaac's cross from the left was just a fraction too high for Charlie Strutton at the back post after just two minutes.

    Two minutes later Strutton's purposeful run into the box from the left caused problems in the Welling box and after Sean Marks had a shot blocked Welling managed to clear.

    The visitors first sighter at goal came on 13 minutes when player-manager Jamie Day's corner from the right was met by Zac Fagon's free header but his effort went harmless over the bar.

    Braintree suffered another scare on 19 minutes when keeper Nick Hamann slipped as he came to collect Day's free-kick from deep. Jake Gallagher got his head to the ball, but with Hamann stranded on the deck, the header went over.

    Welling's Joey Taylor fizzed a ball across the Iron area they was picked up by no one as they visitors started to shade the game.

    Gallagher got his head to a Day corner but Braintree hacked the ball clear before the same man latched on to a ball into the box, but saw his scuffed effort blocked.

    In between Isaac curled a free-kick from the Iron, left of centre 19 yards out, over the wall and then bar.

    Alan Massey went into the book, after he brought down Penny as he looked to burst through the Iron back line.

    Three minutes before the break Simeon Akinola wriggled free in the right corner and sent a cross to the back post which looped over Benji Buchel, but sadly no Iron player was there for the easiest of tap ins.

    The Iron's best chance of the game came seven minutes into the second half when a driven ball from deep angled across the Welling penalty area made it's way through several bodies to James Mulley unmarked on the right channel.

    However, the right midfielder didn't even hit the target blasting his effort into the advertising hoardings at the side of the goal.

    Welling also should have done better on 57 minutes when Penny was fouled close to the penalty area on the right byline. Day rolled the free-kick to the edge of the box to Sam Corne arriving from deep but he blazed over.

    Two minutes later a keeper was finally forced into a save as Strutton saw his effort from a tight angle in the left channel of the box saved by Buchel.

    Six minutes later Welling made their first shot on target count. Barney Williams got free down the right and crossed into the box for Taylor, who scuffed an effort towards goal, it deflected off an Iron defender and Penny pounced to blast home from eight yards.

    Remy Clerima went into the book for similar foul to Massey's with Penny looking to get clear again.

    Manager Alan Devonshire replaced Strutton and Mulley with Kenny Davis and Dan Walker, but it was third substitute Dan Sparkes, on for Akinola who had more of an affect on the game in the closing stages.

    With nine minutes to go he got away down the right and crossed to the near post where Sean Marks volleyed over.

    A minute later his driven shot from 20 yards was deflected for a corner and from the quickly taken set piece Braintree caused panic in the Welling penalty area, but the hosts couldn't force the ball home.

    Four minutes were added on, but it was the visitors who threatened with substitute Kieron St Aimie pulling the ball back from the byline to Joe Healy but he fired over when unmarked on the edge of the penalty area.

    Braintree: Hamann, Peters, Massey, Clerima, Habergham; Mulley (Walker 70), Isaac, Paine, Akinola (Sparkes 73); Strutton (Davis 70), Marks. Unused subs: Brundle, Pentney.

    Penny drops for Braintree Town as Welling United cash in with win

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    STANDING at more than six feet tall, and weighing around 16 stone, it might be hard to believe that international rugby player Gareth Thomas was once the victim of bullying.

    But at Moulsham Junior School the 40-year-old spoke to pupils of his own experience of overcoming school bullies who teased, hit and spat at him, in an assembly to mark national Anti-Bullying Week.

    Gareth, who played for both Wales, and the British and Irish Lions, told students from Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 that he'd never let the abuse get in the way of his sporting ambitions.

    "When I was your age I had a really big dream, and my dream was that I wanted to play rugby. I worked hard, and I had lots of dedication but things got tough for me as I started getting bullied," he told students.

    "People used to pick on me, they punched me, and spat on me but I beat all the bullies and carried on to become a rugby player."

    Gareth, who was born in Sarn, Bridgend, and started his career at Pencoed RFC, visited the school as part of his work backing a campaign called Balls to Bullying run by Prospero Teaching, a national teaching agency, which has taken him all over the country running workshops and school assemblies.

    "I understand the effects of bullying both short-term and long-term. I was a child once; people who see me now don't understand I was the same size as them.

    "Bullies perceive that weakness and attack. I think you have to show a bit of vulnerability and show that this can happen to anybody, so they understand the effects," he added, while watching a tag ruby match played by the primary school pupils.

    "I'm not just coming to talk about it because I care, but because I was a victim of it too. I love working with the children and that has to come across. People don't give them credit for how intelligent they are, how emotionally intelligent they are, because they're growing.

    "I don't come as a teacher but somebody with a life experience, who is willing to share that with the children so they can become better at school and better at life."

    During his two 20-minute assemblies the sportsman, who was the first professional rugby player to announce he was gay, talked pupils through ways to communicate that they're being targeted by bullies, the importance of looking out for one another, and the 'three Hs' to show support – a handshake, a high five, or a hug.

    He also touched briefly upon cyber bullying with tips on how to collect evidence by printing out screens of conversations, and blocking numbers on a smartphone or tablet.

    Moulsham's personal, social, health and economic education co-ordinator, Katie Barclay, added: "I think it's been a real success, it's been great for the children to have such a positive role model. Gareth gave the children some important messages about anti-bullying, friendship and self-esteem."

    Ex-rugby ace Gareth Thomas tells Moulsham Junior School pupils how he beat the bullies

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    WORK on the first phase of a groundbreaking Chelmsford development has been launched.

    With hard hats, high-visibility jackets and a symbolic spade or two, bosses at developer Countryside were joined by councillors and dignitaries at the Beaulieu site, off White Hart Lane, to kick off work on the initial 49 houses of the 600-acre development.

    Once complete, the £1 billion project will boast 3,600 homes, three schools, a business park, neighbourhood centre, and a second railway station for the city, on a plot vast enough to count as an entirely new town in its own right.

    But speaking at the launch, Andrew Carrington, strategic land director at Countryside, insisted the vision had always been to integrate with existing parts of Chelmsford.

    "I think by working with the likes of Springfield Parish Council it means that when we're long gone in years to come the organisations that have an in interest in making a cohesive community are involved," he said.

    "I think it will help add to the identity of Chelmsford. As a community there has been a real shortage of new housing coming through, and an undersupply for many years of new stock, so to have homes coming through in a significant number will really add to the city.

    "It's the end of an era in one sense in that the planning phase has come to an end, but the start of a larger one as we'll now be delivering the development, creating places and building homes."

    Detailed applications for the second phase of housing, which will be made up of 184 new homes, 27 per cent of which are affordable, are expected to be approved before Christmas, along with the application for an adjoining neighbourhood centre.

    It's hoped the first wave of residents will arrive next autumn to move into completed properties in the new neighbourhood, the first of some 10,000 new people who will call Beaulieu home.

    It is expected that the entire development, the largest in Chelmsford's history, will take up to two decades to deliver in full.

    The developers were keen to point out that the scale of the new district had only been made possible by the "enlightened" approach from Chelmsford City Council, compared to other local authorities across the country.

    "We actually like development," said Councillor Roy Whitehead, leader of the city council.

    "But the important thing is to control it and put it where we want it, and where residents want it. I hope we have managed to integrate the development into Chelmsford as a whole.

    "It's exciting times for the city with lots and lots of things happening, and there's more to come."

    Work starts on £1billion 3,600 Beaulieu Park development in Chelmsford

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    THE disgraced former leader of Essex County Council is again at the centre of a huge fraud investigation in which 50 peers are being accused of conning taxpayers by simply clocking in and clocking out of the House of Lords. The Met Police have reopened their probe into allegations that Lord Hanningfield routinely claimed for a full day's £300 allowance, instead of the half-day £150 allowance, to foot the bill for his dog and chicken-sitter. The 73-year-old, born as Paul White, denied using that as an excuse for the latest "clocking-in-and-out" parliamentary scandal in which he was ordered to repay £3,330 worth of falsely-claimed £300-a-day attendance allowance by a House of Lords conduct panel earlier this year. He claimed to know at least 50 other peers who had been using the same clocking-in and clocking-out method to claim thousands of pounds for doing no more than turning up at the House of Lords He has now been challenged to reveal those other names by sitting members of the Lords. A Met spokesman said: "Following receipt of a letter in December 2013, officers within Specialist Crime and Operations undertook a review of allegations of unlawful claiming of allowances at the House of Lords. "The review considered specifically whether there was evidence of any criminal offence. "The conclusion of the assessment was that based on the information officers had access to at that time, there was no evidence that a criminal offence had been committed and that the matter should be investigated by the House of Lords Commissioner for Standards. "Following the publication of the Lords Commissioner's report in May 2014, officers conducted a thorough review of both the contents of the report and the full material available to them and a decision has been taken to instigate an investigation. "We can confirm a 73-year-old man attended by appointment an east London police station and was interviewed under caution in relation to an allegation of fraud." Speaking to the Chronicle from his home in May, he said: "No, I did not use the chickens as an excuse, it's ridiculous. You can see my list of employees. You will find out everything in due course." The House of Lords launched an investigation in December last year after the Daily Mirror filmed him clocking into Parliament on 19 occasions in July 2013, collecting a total £5,700 in attendance allowance and claiming £470 for travel costs. But on 11 of those occasions he was there for no more than 40 minutes, with his shortest stay just 21 minutes. In December last year he told the Chronicle: "It's a storm in a teacup – I haven't broken any rules, I haven't done anything wrong." Hanningfield, who was handed his peerage in 1998 for his help founding the Local Government Association, was forced to step down from the Government front bench in the Lords, resign as Essex County Council leader and suspended from the Conservative Party in February 2010 after being charged with fraud over £14,000 of Parliamentary expenses. Between 2006 and 2009, Hanningfield had falsely claimed for hotel rooms in London when in fact he had been chauffeured back to his home in West Hanningfield at the Essex taxpayer's expense. He served nine weeks of a nine-month jail sentence in 2011 and was reinstated into the Lords in April 2012, after repaying £30,000 to Parliament. In November 2012 Essex County Council released full details of Hanningfield's credit card spending, amounting to £287,000 between 2005 and 2010, including lavish meals out and trips abroad. Despite this, a further police investigation was dropped. The authority said about £40,000 of his bill was irrefutably wrongly claimed and is to this day attempting to reclaim the money. He is currently suspended from the Lords until the next general election.

    Police probe Lord Hanningfield in House of Lords fraud

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    A man from Harold Hill has been jailed for six years killing a mother while speeding.

    Sam Tucker, 24, of Goodshayes Drive, was jailed for six-years and four-months and following death of Yothini Sriskandapalan on the A12 in May

    He was also disqualified from driving for eight years.

    Officers were called at 11.10pm on Monday, May 13 to reports of two cars in collision on the A12 outside Newbury Park underground station (eastbound).

    A red Vauxhall Corsa being driven by Yothini Sriskandapalan, 29 of Aldborough Road North, Ilford, Essex and a silver BMW driven by Tucker were in collision.

    The Corsa was travelling west along the A12 and, as it turned across the eastbound carriageway, the BMW collided into the front nearside, causing Mrs Sriskandapalan to suffer severe head injuries, she was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Tucker is believed to have been driving the 319d model BMW at a speed of at least 65mph in a 40mph zone.

    Tucker was arrested at the scene on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and later charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

    Detective Sergeant Abi Lambkin, Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: "Tucker was driving a powerful vehicle well in excess of the legal speed limit, and his recklessness in doing so sadly resulted in the death of Mrs Sriskandapalan.

    "I hope that his sentence acts as a deterrent to anyone who thinks that speeding and driving dangerously on the roads of London is an acceptable thing to do - It is not, and this sad incident is a stark warning of the dangers and consequences faced by those who do."

    Harold Hill man jailed after killing mother in high-speed crash

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    A pub chain faces a hefty fine after been found guilty of serving unsafe food to a mum who died after eating contaminated turkey in a pub Christmas dinner.

    Mitchells and Butlers, the company that owns the Railway Hotel, Hornchurch, have been found guilty of placing unsafe food on the market following an incident of food poisoning in December 2012.

    Della Callagher, 46, died from clostridium perfringens bacteria because meat was not was not cooked or reheated properly while 33 other diners became violently ill.

    Della was among early Christmas revellers who fell ill following a Christmas Day lunch.

    As her symptoms worsened she was taken to Queen's Hospital in Romford on Boxing Day, but she was sent home to recuperate.

    However, the health of the mother to a teenage girl, continued to decline and later that day she was taken back to hospital where she died on December 27.

    Verdicts for former head chef, Mehmet Kaya, of Purfleet, Essex, and former manager Ann-Marie McSweeney, of Hornchurch, who both deny placing unsafe food on the market are yet to be decided.

    The pub company will be sentenced next month.

    Hornchurch pub found guilty of serving contaminated turkey to a mum who died from food poisoning

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    A BOY was found with stab wounds to his back in Chelmsford last night (November 25). 

    The 15-year-old, thought to be local, was found by a female resident in a front garden in Gardeners at around 9.30pm with the injury to his back, and was rushed to hospital for treatment. 

    His injuries are thought to be serious but not life-threatening. 

    DI David Miles, of Chelmsford CID, said: "I would ask any witnesses or anyone who may have seen anything suspicious around the time of the incident to get in touch with us as soon as they can."

    Anybody with any information is asked to contact officers at Chelmsford CID on Essex Police 101.

    People can also give information to the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at

    Boy, 15, found stabbed in the back in Chelmsford

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    PEOPLE in Essex are to benefit from the proceeds of crime, without having a brush with the law, in a pioneering match funding scheme being introduced for the first time in the UK by Essex Police in conjunction with the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF). The new initiative means that each year, money from the sale of property and items seized by Essex Police from criminals will be recycled to encourage local giving and provide grants to voluntary and community organisations for community safety projects in the county. The motivating incentive at the heart of the scheme offers individuals and companies the chance to have their donations match funded by 50 per cent by the money channelled through ECF by Essex Police. ECF will manage the match funding scheme, which is being launched with £75,000. Further match funding will be made available annually by Essex Police and will depend on the monies which are raised from the sale of criminal assets seized by Essex Police. Individuals and companies who donate £25,000 or more can have the opportunity to establish their own endowed fund with ECF. All other donations will be pooled in a general Essex Community Safety Fund managed by the Foundation. Stephen Kavanagh, Chief Constable of Essex said: "The launch of the Essex Police Proceeds of Crime Match Funding Scheme is a highly innovative, if not unique approach which will result in money collected from criminals being used to help increase charitable giving across the county. "It is something I have wanted to see for a long time and it demonstrates the commitment of Essex Police to giving support to people and local charities in Essex working and making the county a better and safer place to live. We are a bit like Robin Hood – taking from the greedy and giving to the needy. "We are delighted to be working closely with such a highly respected organisation as ECF to make the scheme work and to ensure it has a lasting impact. It will be extremely satisfying to see that it is payback time for criminals and the money will be used to make our communities safer. The scheme is not going be short-term, it will be ongoing and we are planning to make funding available every year." Bob Reitemeier, Chief Executive of ECF said: "We are pleased to be working with Essex Police, who are to be congratulated for coming up with a completely fresh way of converting the proceeds of crime into something positive for the benefit of the community. We believe this scheme deserves a widespread welcome and that it will inspire and increase charitable giving across the county. "It is very fitting that all grants will go towards activities promoting community safety and we know that even modest grants will make a big difference to people's lives." For more details about the scheme contact ECF by calling 01245 355947 or visit

    Essex Police to use cash from criminals’ ill-gotten gains for Essex Community Foundation charitable fund

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    SHOPPERS in Essex will join the rest of the country in a bargain-hunting frenzy today, as Black Friday gets underway.

    Stores ranging from Asda to Argos, Currys, Walmart and Chelmsford Star Co-op will be offering cut-price deals today, and experts predict spending across the country could go up by 20 per cent compared with yesterday.

    Traditionally, Black Friday is an American custom, and takes place the day after Thanksgiving – marking the beginning of the Christmas shopping period. But in the last few years, it has been adopted by the UK, and is expected to be the country's biggest shopping day this year.

    Shoppers can expect to see more than 50 per cent off kettles, sat navs, coffee makers and blenders at Chelmsford Star Co-op today, while Asda will be offering almost £100 off televisions, and online retailer Amazon has a weekend of special offers to entice customers.

    Today will kick off a weekend of spending, which will see shoppers hit the high street today, followed by online retailers on Saturday and Sunday.

    Black Friday 2014: Shoppers set to hit Essex stores in day of deals

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    ALEX LYNN has spoken about his 'fantastic' year after he sealed the GP3 Series championship in Abu Dhabi at the weekend – before the final race had even started.

    The Dunmow driver has dominated the season, having topped the leaderboard since the very first race in Barcelona back in May.

    But the 21-year-old was made to wait to start the celebrations after clinching the title following the qualifying session for the final leg in Dubai.

    He said: "You get four points for pole position in GP3, and with my main rival Dean Stoneman not getting pole that meant no one could catch me.

    "We knew it was a matter of time we just didn't know when, but for it to have finished in the qualifying was nice.

    "That meant the race was just that little bit less stressful and I didn't have to worry too much and enjoy the Yas Marina.

    "It has been a fantastic year and I am really happy that I was able to finally clinch the title. My family were there and it was also an emotional moment for the team.

    "You spend so much time together during the year and for us to get the drivers' and the constructors' title for the year is something amazing.

    "To spend that moment with the team was pretty special."

    To add to an already incredible week for Lynn, has driven one of the Lotus F1 Team's cars in the post-season tests.

    Lynn has been one of the contenders to take the vacant 2015 Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 seat, with this chance with Lotus his first taste of life in the main event.

    "It is pretty exciting as it will be my first time in a contemporary Formula One car. It will be a really cool experience but at the moment it is just going to be a bit of a taster. I've never driven one before and it will be important for me to show what I can do and they will be looking to see what I am like.

    "I think a race seat in Formula One is nearly impossible and it is hard to say what I will be racing in next year. I think GP2 is one of the main goals, while trying to get some F1 involvement too. That would be the ideal scenario."

    Alex Lynn eyes 'impossible' dream of F1 after claiming world title

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    KEITH WILSON has says Heybridge Swifts face a massive seven days if they to keep themselves away from trouble in Ryman North.

    First up is a trip to Redbridge tomorrow (Saturday), followed by Wroxham Tuesday and Tilbury at home a week on Saturday and the Heybridge boss wants nothing less than two wins to bounce back from going out of the FA Trophy.

    "We've got a massive seven days," said Wilson. "We need six points out of nine as a minimum because if we lose to those three sides we're in trouble so we need to get some results.

    "I want nine and really I'd want seven but Wroxham are flying and that will be tough Tuesday but Redbridge and Tilbury are down there with us and we've got to make sure we take points off of them and not vice-versa. "

    Heybridge are on a bad run of form at the moment having only won twice in their last 12 games in all competitions and find themselves 18th in the table and just a point away from the drop zone.

    With Redbridge and Tilbury both below them Wilson knows that anything but wins will leave them in trouble.

    In the reverse fixtures Heybridge only got one point with a draw at home to Redbridge whilst they lost 3-0 to Tilbury so the manager is hoping to call on his players to put a real shift in starting tomorrow.

    "Saturday's going to be a battle so I need people that are going to roll their sleeves up, run through a brick wall and put a foot in when the muck is flying around because I can guarantee Redbridge's pitch won't be like ours," said Wilson.

    "We'll take a win any shape or form against anyone that's why I wanted to win tonight [Tuesday against Lewes] to get a bit of confidence.

    "We're going to have to go there, battle and really grind out a result. We've got to win because we've got to get a win from somewhere and hopefully it comes Saturday."

    Heybridge Swifts face a huge seven days says boss Wilson

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    CHELMSFORD Chieftains took up the challenge last weekend when they faced tough back-to-back games against Premier Division opposition in the Challenge Cup.

    On Saturday they went down 4-1 to last season's Premier Division play-off champions, Basingstoke Bison, before putting on a fantastic giant-killing show on Sunday at Riverside against Bracknell Bees, beating them 4-1 and at last getting the better of a team from the tier above.

    James Ayling was again missing through injury, but the Chieftains' ranks were boosted by another two players from the City's ice hockey academy getting their chance to test themselves out against some tough opposition.

    Ollie Baldock and Brandon Ayliffe, who ice for both the Chelmsford Warriors and U18s, joined team-mates Bailey Chittock and Jake Sylvester, who have already enjoyed senior team experience this season.

    Saturday's game in Basingstoke started brightly enough when Chieftains took an early lead.

    Ross Brears scored with 8mins 47secs on the clock. They led for just eight minutes as at 16.49 ex-Chieftain Aaron Connolly equalised.

    The home side took the lead midway through the second period, a powerplay goal from Joe Baird, and just three minutes later Ciaran Long gave his team a two-goal cushion.

    Chieftains tried desperately to pull a goal back, but when Long scored his second at 46.57 the game was effectively over.

    The Bison demonstrated their class, but the Chieftains had put on a good performance, gaining the respect of both the opposing players and fans who applauded the team as they left the rink.

    This was a massive boost for the team and they took to the ice on Sunday at Riverside looking confident.

    The U18s were again in the squad having already tasted victory earlier in the day with a 6-3 win against Guildford.

    And once again they were to be given a fair amount of ice time, demonstrating the faith player-coach Dwayne Newman has.

    The first period was a goalless affair with both Euan King in the Chieftains net and the Bees' Tom Annetts dealing with everything that was thrown at them.

    But early in the second period Chieftains struck with two quick fire goals from in form forward Cameron Bartlett and Danny Hammond.

    The first at 22.20 saw Chittock's perfect pass finished in style by Bartlett. Three minutes later Hammond put the finishing touch to another slick passing play from the Chieftains, scoring with the assists going to John Connolly and Darren Brown.

    The Bees responded almost instantly with their captain Matt Foord putting his side on the scoreboard. It was now game on and it was turning into a physical encounter.

    With a little over a minute of the second period remaining Bartlett was on target again. Matt Turner found space and attacked the Bees' net, his shot was pushed away by the netminder and just as it looked like the chance was gone, Turner passed into the danger zone, where Bartlett smashed home.

    In the final period the Bees knew what they had to do and pressurised the Chieftains defence, but the home defence was resilient and determined to hold on to the advantage they had worked so hard to gain.

    For the third time in as many weeks at Riverside the travelling team pulled their netminder with two minutes remaining.

    However, with this tactic there is always a chance it will backfire and with seconds of the game remaining Martin Piecha and Brears combined with the latter sliding the puck along the ice, between the posts and over the red line.

    This weekend the Chieftains travel to Guildford to face the Flames and on Sunday it is Bracknell again that visit Riverside. But this time it is the Hornets in NIHL Division One South action. Face-off is at 6.30pm.

    Chelmsford Chieftains give Premier Division Bracknell Bees a sting

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    A female dog walker was punched in the stomach with a "sharp implement" in an alleyway in Chelmsford yesterday (Thursday November 27).

    The woman was left with minor injuries after the assault which occurred off Braganza Way between 2.15pm and 2.30pm.

    Police want to track two suspects described as black and aged in their late teens.

    The first was around 6ft tall, with a slim build and wearing a dark hooded top.

    The second was around 5ft 10, with a stocky build and was wearing a grey tracksuit style top and trousers.

    Officers are investigating the possibility that the assault was targeted against the victim.

    Investigating Officer Pc Ben Hall said: "I would like to speak to anyone who saw anything suspicious around the time of the assault and I would especially like to speak to a woman in her 40s who was seen walking two white Chihuahua type dogs nearby."

    Anyone with any information is asked to contact Pc Hall at Chelmsford police station on 101.

    People can also give information to the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at

    Female dog walker punched in stomach with

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