swordsFree courses available to residents and businesses across Essex, through Multiply


More than 5,000 residents have improved their numbers skills with free courses through Multiply in Essex.

Multiply has been running in Essex since January 2023. Offering bite-size training to adults aged 19 and above, over 5,000 people have so far benefitted from courses.

Delivered by a network of college and education providers, courses focus on things like:

  • assisting residents to gain qualifications and progress at work
  • support with managing finances
  • helping children with their schoolwork

Charity 3Food4U runs both face-to-face and online Multiply courses. Subjects include everything from functional skills qualifications to cooking on a budget.

One of the participants, Jill, from Ongar, said: “I was very nervous. I was never any good at maths at school. But this was different, very relaxed and practical. I feel so happy I’ve achieved something.”

Ian, from Loughton, said: “The course is very easy to understand, and I did it online in my own time. I’ve learnt so much and feel more confident with numbers.”

The Multiply campaign is now in phase two. This will see at least 4,000 new opportunities created, including 800 specifically targeted to businesses, helping them upskill their workforce.

Multiply aims to address a skills gap in Essex, where adult numeracy ranks lower compared to the national average.

Find out more at the Essex Opportunities website:

Read more about how Multiply is benefitting residents in Essex.

Cllr Peter Schwier AIEMA

Climate Czar

Cabinet Member for Environment, Waste Reduction & Recycling




Free climate action packs have been created by Essex County Council to help residents and businesses become more              sustainable.

The five Climate Action Advice Packs offer cost-effective and achievable solutions tailored for four different groups. These are:

  • Residents
  • Schools
  • Businesses
  • Early years and childcare settings

The packs, originally launched in 2022, have been updated with new information as well as a fresh look and feel.

This includes funding and volunteering opportunities. The residents pack has also been produced in an accessible easy-read version.

Climate Action Advice Packs are part of the council’s Everyone’s Essex commitment to work closely with communities and businesses over climate action.

This involves providing advice and support to empower local action in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building climate resilience. 

The advice packs are just one of the projects being delivered under the council’s ambitious Climate Action Plan.

Sam Kennedy, Director for Environment & Climate Action at Essex County Council, said: "These climate advice packs are fantastic resources for everyone in Essex who wants to become more sustainable.

“Each pack signposts to links and opportunities specific for each group so we can all do our part in working towards net-zero by 2050.

“I am also delighted to see the launch of an easy-read version of our resident pack which will help make climate action accessible to more people across our county.”  

The Climate Action Advice Packs can be downloaded for free at

Cllr Peter Schwier AIEMA

Climate Czar

Cabinet Member for Environment, Waste Reduction & Recycling


June July 2024





 RCCE is recruiting!

 Rural Community Council of Essex is recruiting for the following role within the organisation. It is home based and there can be flexibility around hours.

Community Agent - Maldon (South)

This is a permanent, home-based part time position.

Do you enjoy or want a rewarding role working for a local charity, supporting adults to live independently?

This is not a carers role

We are a network of people who provide advice and guidance to adults; in particular older people, but it can be anyone over 18 who requires a home visit to help them to remain living in their own homes. We’re also here to help Informal carers.

The job involves visiting people in their own homes – on an appointment system – and explaining the help and support that is available to meet their individual needs. It is not a personal caring role.

The job is flexible to fit around personal/family commitments, working between 15 and 20 hours a week .

The starting salary is £12.00 per hour plus travelling expenses. Full training and support will be provided but you must have a good knowledge of the local community and the district.

You must be able to demonstrate that you can proactively engage with and support people in the community often on a one-to-one basis. Working as part of a wider team, we form a network of agents covering Essex. You must have excellent spoken and written communication skills and possess the ability to problem solve. You must have good IT skills, a full driving licence and use of your own car.

All appointments will be subject to a DBS check.

to find out more and apply visit Rural Community Council of Essex website

Applications are preferred using the application form

All applications or enquiries should be sent to:

To apply visit



BDC Local Plan

The easiest way to submit a site (a map of the site is a requirement) is on the consultation portal: Consultation Portal

We are currently undertaking a call for sites. Open until 5pm on Friday 24th May, developers, landowners, residents, businesses, parish councils and other stakeholders are invited to put forward suggested sites which might be suitable for development in the district. 

The sites can be for uses including housing, commercial, retail, health care, business, leisure, community facilities, open spaces, wildlife sites or education.

Sites received during this exercise are not automatically marked for development, nor do they gain any special status. They are only being collected and every site will need to be assessed to determine whether they are suitable, available and achievable for development for the updated Local Plan.

Alternatively, you can email for a hard copy and post it to Planning Policy Team, Causeway House, Bocking End, Braintree, Essex CM7 9HB or visit our offices at Causeway House.

Please provide as much detail and information as possible. A map is an essential part of the submission and can be electronically uploaded along with other supporting files. All submissions will go through a validation process, and we will contact you if we require further information.

We have a specially designed consultation portal for our Planning Policy consultations . You can register at any time to comment on consultations and receive alerts on future consultation launches of planning policy documents, including future Local Plan consultations. 



This consultation will influence the Government’s decision on the number and type of night flights to be permitted at Stansted after the present  restrictions end in October next year.  It is an important opportunity for local residents, as well as local councils, to make their
views known to the Department of Transport.  The consulation closes on 22 May 2024.  For more ingormaiton please click HERE 


Foodbank  The May shopping list for the Braintree Area Foodbank is available by clciking HERE

If you are interested in being a volunteer finance director for the Briantree Area Foodbank please click HERE for more informaiton. 


To see the annual report from County Councillor Peter Schwier please click HERE

The publication Everyone's Essex from Essex County Council please click HERE.  This provides details of ECC's priorities and what they have achieved and what they deliver.

District Councillor Richard van Dulken's annual report can be viewed by clicking HERE.


Foodbank   For the April shopping list from the Braintree Area Foodbank                                 please click HERE 


Travel Essex is conducting a survey to better understanding public opinion of the bus services in Essex. We are committed to enhancing public transportation services across the region. To achieve this goal, we are reaching out to gather valuable insights from residents regarding their opinions and suggestions for improving bus services in Essex.

We kindly request your assistance in sharing the attached document within your respective communities. Whether through your social media channels, website, or other communication platforms, your support in promoting this survey is greatly appreciated.

The online survey will be accessible starting Monday, March 4th, 2024, and will remain open until Sunday, March 17th, 2024.

Please note that the survey link provided below will only be active from the specified start date:

Survey Link:



Travel Aid poster 2


For the latest Newsletter from Stansted Airport Watch please click HERE



Thank you all for your support during 2023.  We are really seeing the cost of living have a huge effect with over 11,000 visitors needing our help.  This has meant that there is a fine line between supply and demand for items that go into our food parcels. Your support through publication of our shopping lists and donation points make a real difference to those in food poverty.  
This month we have our Give In Lent Calendar, formerly known as the AdLent calendar as our shopping list for the months of February and March 2024.   
We are also pleased to announce that we are opening a centre in Braintree Town Centre on a Saturday and are looking for volunteers to help us to run this.  We are looking for managers, signposts and drivers.   
Thank you all again for your support.


To See the AdLent calendar please click HERE

For volunteer warehouse staff and drivers please click HERE

Volunteers 24



Did you know you can report potholes and other issues directly to Essex County Council?

If you visit the Essex County Council Website at Tell us - Essex County Council ( you can report any of the following issues and follow the directions. The quicker issues are reported the quicker they will hopefully be resolved. 

  Highways report it

To pin point the exact location of your issue you can use the What3words app as described in this video by Essex County Councillor Peter Schweir.





 Foodbank    Please Click HERE for the February shopping list request



RCCE   Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE) are recruiting.  

Community Engagement Officer

Part Time position – 14-18 hrs per week negotiable. Circa £26,000 (pro rata)

 Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE) has a vacancy within its Community Engagement Team.

At RCCE, we believe that communities have the power to influence change and our Community Engagement Team are at the heart of that by working with local communities to plan for their future, in particular, by supporting parish councils and community groups in the production of Community Led Plans. The team also works to help communities identify local housing needs and aspirations, and provides a Village Halls Service, supporting communities to manage their local assets.

You will help promote the services within the team, provide advice and guidance for volunteers working on Community Led Plans, in particular Neighbourhood Plans and provide support to parishes engaging with their wider community to identify priorities. You will also keep up to date with local and national policy, making groups and parishes aware of any changes and will be involved with training and network events.

To be successful in the role you need to versatile, comfortable engaging with groups and individuals, able to prioritise and problem solve and have experience of, or ability to present to parish councils and groups, with the capacity to understand policies. Having a can-do attitude and good communication skills will help you in the role.

If you understand the challenges that rural communities face, have a passion for enabling volunteers and can enthuse people, then we would love to hear from you.

There will be some evening and weekend working, but time off in lieu is given for this work.  This post requires you to have a full driving licence and access to a car.

Application deadline: 12pm Monday 27th January 2024

Contact: Sarah Sapsford (Community Engagement & Services Manager) - or   RCCE registered charity no 1097009 Registered company no 4609624

To apply you must complete an application form and an equality monitoring form - which are attached and can also be downloaded from the website or by contacting RCCE:



Braintree District Council approves Policy for Household Waste and Recycling Collections

Members agreed to implement a Policy for Household Waste and Recycling Collections from 1 April 2024.

At Braintree District Council’s Cabinet meeting held on Monday 18 December 2023, Members agreed to implement a Policy for Household Waste and Recycling Collections from 1 April 2024. This includes the non-collection of additional waste put out for collection that is not contained within grey wheeled bins, referred to as side waste.

Therefore, the council will be ceasing the collection of all side waste from 1 April 2024 and will only collect waste which is presented in the grey bin and the lid must be shut.

For the full article detailing changes please click on the following link.  Braintree District Council approves Policy for Household Waste and Recycling Collections – Braintree District Council


Com 360 lolgfor the latest information from Community 360 please click on the link below

C360 News Update 7 December 2023 (



Xmas 23

Messy Church Dec23


Residents and businesses can now share how they think Essex County Council should prioritise its 2024/25 budget, as part of a new consultation.

Next year, the council will spend over £2 billion on essential services, as well as investment in the county’s infrastructure and future growth. 

The council has a track record of robust financial management, having saved £235m over the past five years.

However, the financial outlook for local authorities in general is highly uncertain. This is in large part due to the significant impacts of high inflation, rising interest rates and the continued pressure of the cost-of-living situation.

With this uncertain outlook in mind, the council is asking residents and businesses for their views on:

  • the big issues it faces and the challenges that lie ahead for Essex
  • the things that concern you and your family
  • where we should focus resources as we work to improve lives across our county

The responses received will be used to inform the delivery of Everyone’s Essex in 2024/25 and beyond.

Councillor Chris Whitbread, the cabinet member responsible for finance, said: “We don’t have all the answers when it comes to addressing the challenges we face locally and nationally. Like many households across Essex, we must also make difficult choices about where we spend our budget and where to make savings.  

“We can learn a lot from our communities and it’s important we create opportunities for people and businesses to help inform our priorities for the coming year. A positive way of doing this is by sharing your views during the consultation.”

The consultation on the county council’s 2024/25 budget is open until Sunday 3 December. It can be completed here:

swordsCllr Peter Schwier AIEMA, Climate Czar, Cabinet Member for Environment, Waste Reduction & Recycling


 Foodbank   For the Christmas shopping list please click here.  

2023 has been a year like no other with Braintree Area Foodbank seeing even more people in food poverty and is experiencing a marked decrease in the number of donations made as everyone feels the pinch in the rising cost of food.  We have spent over £46,000 on food to keep up our stocks of normal food parcels and we can not sustain this.
To enable us to keep supplying our much needed food parcels we are asking people to donate from our Winter shopping list rather than donating Christmas food. 

Thank you, as always, for your continued support.  

Braintree Area Foodbank Ltd


swords       Apply now for 2024 primary school places

Primary school applications are now open for children set to start school in September 2024.

Children are entitled to start primary school in the September after their fourth birthday. Parents and carers of children born between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2020 need to apply during this window.

Applications can be made from today, Monday 6 November, until the national closing date of Monday 15 January. Parents and carers can apply online at

Applications received after the 15 January deadline will only be considered once all on time applications are determined. This means applying late could reduce your child’s chance of getting a place at their preferred school.

Councillor Tony Ball, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Education Excellence, Lifelong Learning and Employability, said: “Starting school for the first time marks an exciting milestone in a child’s life and we want to ensure the application process is as smooth as possible for parents and carers.

“Parents applying on time and using their four preferences will help to ensure their child gets the best possible opportunity of a place at a preferred school for when they start their primary education from September 2024.”

Further information about the admissions process and individual schools can be found at



Thank you very much for all the donations to Braintree Area Foodbank you have made over harvest.    An especial thanks to those church partners and school partners who held harvest festivals.   

Looking ahead, the November Shopping List is below. Foodbanks would like to render themselves unnecessary.  Our aim has always been to run ourselves out of business in ten years... but unfortunately the need for food and other essential items is greater than ever.  As always we appreciate your support.

Nov 23


Essex County Council (ECC) are running a public consultation regarding the future of Recycling Centre bookings from 

Monday, 9 October to Sunday 19th November 2023.  

The consultation website address is  

 This is an opportunity for members of the public to have their say on the current appointment based system and all feedback will be used to help determine whether or not this should become a permanent arrangement.  ECC will publish a summary report of the consultation feedback after the consultation is complete and responses have been analysed.  


London Stansted is hosting a jobs fair to recruit hundreds of new employees ahead of the winter season.

Around 500 job openings will be on offer in the areas such as flight crew, baggage handling, security, retail, and hospitality at the airport's Radisson Blu Hotel on October 10.

Stansted has made the best recovery of any airport in the UK following the pandemic and August was one of its busiest months on record.

The airport and some of its on-site businesses are now looking to recruit staff for the winter, especially for the Christmas peak.

There will be free parking or free travel to the event.

Pre-registration is required, for more information please click HERE  


Foodbank  A message from the project manager

I am reaching out to you myself this month as we approach Harvest Festival. Every year we face different challenges, and we are ever thankful for your continued support to aid us to meet these challenges head on. 

This year we have seen a huge increase in demand for our service and anticipate we will feed more people than we did last year. Last year we fed 9,473 people which is by far our busiest year on record. This calendar year we have had to spend over £40,000 on food and essentials to ensure that our shelves are stocked to be able to deal with this increased demand. Without us spending funds on food and other essentials we would have empty shelves for several of our key items. 
The current cost of living crisis is forcing many people who would have never previously thought of using a Foodbank turn to us in their time of need. 
With your support, we are confident that we will be able to continue to meet the demand for our service in the Braintree District. Harvest is a wonderful time of year to celebrate what we have and what we can be thankful for, whilst thinking of others and giving in whichever way we can. Any donation, no matter how big or small supports us in our mission to ensure that no one has to go hungry. 
Below my email you will find our Harvest Festival Shopping List for 2023 in the form of a poster and a PowerPoint presentation which you may find useful. This presentation details how we work, how we are campaigning to end the need for Foodbanks and what trends we are currently seeing this year. 
As always, we are more than happy to arrange a collection for you with our transport team if transporting your Harvest Festival collection to us is going to be a challenge. If you would like to arrange this please let me know and I will have a look at scheduling something in to suit you. 
If you are a Church, we also have lots of resources that you may find useful including a Harvest service talk guide, bible studies and songs. We also have resources that everyone can take part in, in the form of youth group worksheets, essential costs activities and more. Please let me know if you would like me to discuss this with you further and provide you with these resources free of charge. We can also provide you with a personalised Harvest Festival poster with your date of collection included. 
Thank you as always for taking the time to read our Harvest ask for this year, I hope you have a wonderful few months as we move into the Autumn season. Personally, my favourite time of the year!

Kind Regards,
Lee Ranson - Project Manager
                                                   Harvest Shopping List                                                     Presentation of Braintree Area Foodbank

Garden waste expression of interest

Braintree District Council (BDC) will be introducing the new opt-in subscription service to collect garden waste across the district in March 2024.

You can now register your expression of interest to join the new service.

Collections will be every fortnight throughout the year apart from the week before and the week after Christmas, compared to the current service which is suspended for 3 months over the winter period. 

The subscription fee from 4 March up to and including 31 March 2025 (13 Months) is £55 however if you sign up by 30 November 2023 you can benefit from a 50% early bird discount, bringing the cost down to just £27.50 which equates to around £1 per collection in the first year. Additional bins are available for an extra charge.   

When can I sign up for the 50% early bird discount?

BDC will let you know when the payment system goes live in a future newsletter, and you can keep an eye on our social media.

To find out more about the new subscription service, answers to some frequently asked questions and to register your expression of interest, please visit the BDC website.

Register your interest


swords   Unfortunately, the number number of children coming into care continues to rise and more foster cares are needed to ensure every child can grow up in a safe, secure and nurturing home.  Could you help? 

Fostering Poster


    Could you spare some time to help?

  shopping list drivers volunteers



Essex residents can sign up for free one-to-one coaching with a qualified coach under a trial scheme run by Essex County Council.

Coaching for financial wellbeing provides the opportunity to access confidential support about  spending behaviours and money management to make small changes that can help you get to where you want to be with your finances.

 The coach works with the client to explore their relationship with money, set financial goals and help boost confidence and skills in managing finances.

 The scheme is aimed at residents who feel ready to make changes to improve their financial wellbeing.

The sessions can be face-to-face or online and can be scheduled at a time which suits the client.

 The coaching scheme is available to parent(s) with a child or children under the age of 18 who have £100 or more income per month after outgoings.

 To be eligible, residents must live one of the following areas: Braintree

 Bumpstead, Gosfield and Greenstead Green, Halstead St Andrew’s, Halstead Trinity, Hedingham, Stour Valley North, Stour Valley South, The Colnes, Three Fields, Yeldham

Councillor Louise McKinlay, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council, said: “We know that with the current financial pressures there are some families that would benefit from additional support with tackling their financial situation. This innovative scheme involves working one-to-one with a skilled coach who can provide the space and time to help residents reflect on their financial situation and feel more confident manging their money in the long-term.”

 The scheme is funded by Essex County Council, working with OLightOn. It is available until 17 April 2024.

 Residents can apply to take part in the scheme at

For more information, email or call 07759 835548.


For the latest information from the Stansted Airport Watch click HERE


Foodbank For the July shopping list please click here.  

Unfortunately the lists are becoming longer and longer and, apart from being difficult to fit on the page (which they are!), they present a sad reflection on the difficulties faced by our clients.  To be brutally frank, we are running through our stocks very rapidly and have been doing so for several months.


Thank you, as always, for your continued support.  


Braintree Area Foodbank Ltd




Essex Library Service has a fantastic new challenge for pre-schoolers happening this summer.

Ready… Steady… Go To School is a fun challenge full of activities which will help your child to practice skills that they’ll need to help them feel confident and be ready to start school in September.

The challenge is running in all Essex libraries until 31 July and will include a range of activities within seven challenge areas. These are:

  • speaking and listening
  • being active
  • personal, social and emotional skills
  • early reading and writing
  • maths and numbers
  • understanding the world
  • express yourself

Children will earn stamps in their special booklet as they go along and receive a certificate once they’ve finished all seven sections.

The challenge is a great way for your child to prepare physically and emotionally for starting school and will provide parents and carers with some top tips and useful information too.

Cllr Louise McKinlay, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council and Cabinet Member for Community, Equality, Partnerships and Performance, said: “Starting school is an exciting time for children and parents but it can be a daunting experience too.

“This challenge aims to prepare little ones for when they take that big step through the school gates, by building their confidence as they start to learn what to expect on their first day.”

Visit any Essex library to sign up now and don’t forget to follow @essexlibraries on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, where you can send in pictures of you completing your challenges.

You can find out more information about the challenge on the Essex Library Service website here:

The library service is also running Big School Meet Ups during the May Half Term for children who will be starting school in September. You can find a session near you here:


 Foodbank     For June's shopping list please click here



For the latest information from Stansted Airport Watch please click here


Foodbank     For this months shopping list please click here


 swords     to view the Hedingham Division annual Report 22/23 please click here



Highways Bus Fare Increase on ECC Supported Services 01 April 2023

                                                                             please click here to see more information. 



 Foodbank   For the April shopping list please click here.  

It is understand that, comparing January and February of this year with last year, we have fed 119% more people  in January and February 2023 than in the same months in 2022.   




Essex Highways is calling on landowners with ditches and low hanging trees near roads to make sure these are cleared and cut back ahead of the spring.

Carrying out this work ensures that roads and pathways are kept clear as vegetation grows during the warmer months making them easier to use for pedestrians and motorists. 

Landowners are responsible for maintaining trees, hedges, shrubs and ditches on their land, even if they are close or next to a road or pavement. They have a duty of care to take reasonable steps to prevent, or reduce as far as possible, the risk of injury or damage that could be caused to anyone else. 

In addition, Essex Highways will resume grass cutting and weed spraying services to prevent overgrown vegetation from blocking the highway and causing flooding.

Completing this work before the spring also ensures nesting birds are not disturbed and helps prevent flooding in wet conditions, as well as improving visibility and usability of the network for local residents.

Examples of works that should be carried out by landowners include:

  • Cutting back overhanging branches, which reduce the width of or block the view of the road.
  • Cutting back overhanging branches that reduce the height or clearance of the road for tall vehicles such as double decker school buses.
  • Removing or trimming a damaged or diseased tree that is in danger of falling onto the road or pavement.
  • Trimming overgrown hedges obscuring road signs or streetlights.
  • Clearing of any ditches located on private land to avoid any flooding during periods of heavy rain.

Most trees and hedges by roads are on land owned by private landowners, including district councils, city council, parish councils, housing associations and homeowners.

Cllr Lee Scott, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways Maintenance and Sustainable Transport said: “The maintenance of the vegetation found on our road network plays a crucial role in ensuring they are safe for all road users.

“We will do our bit to ensure that the vegetation and ditches located on our land are maintained. However, we are unable to maintain anything located on private land. This is where we will need the help of landowners.

“Please look after the area outside your home by keeping any overhanging vegetation and ditches clear and encourage your neighbours to do the same.”


The consultation on Essex Highways’ plans to remove and replace the 200-year-old bridge in Finchingfield are now available to view and residents will be able to submit their views from Thursday 19 January.

The plans propose replacing the existing bridge, which is weak and deteriorating with a new bridge and temporary pond crossing, to support traffic flows in the area during bridge construction.

The replacement bridge will be built in the same place as the existing one and where possible, Essex Highways will retain the same look and feel, so as not to impact on the aesthetic of the picturesque village.

Councillor Lee Scott, Cabinet Member for Highways Maintenance and Sustainable Transport said: “I understand the bridge in Finchingfield takes pride of place in the centre of the village, but its weak and deteriorating state means it is imperative it is replaced. I would encourage members of the public to take this opportunity to review the plans and share their views with us.”

Further information on the project can be viewed here:

The planning application can also be found in accessible form here:

Cllr Peter Schwier

Climate Czar

Deputy Cabinet Member to the Leader

Image.jpegBDC Logo (1 col+tint)

MEDIA RELEASE: Braintree District Council updates on Ministry of Justice Wethersfield prison proposals

 Councillor Graham Butland, Leader of Braintree District Council, said: “Over a year has gone by since the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) announced their proposed plans to build two prisons on the Wethersfield airfield site. The Council and local communities are still waiting on a decision whether the MoJ are going to submit a planning application for the proposals or not.

 “We share resident’s frustration on wanting answers about the MoJ’s intentions on the prison proposals. It is not fair for our local communities to continue to face the current uncertainty. I will therefore be sending an official letter to the Secretary of State for Justice to ask for an update as soon as possible, so we can understand their future plans and impress upon the Secretary of State the need to share those plans with the local community at the earliest opportunity. 

 “We know how much interest there has been amongst residents and communities around these proposals, and we absolutely value resident’s opinions and views. Council officers, alongside expert environmental and other consultants, have had lengthy discussions with the MoJ over the past year through a Planning Performance Agreement, advising them on planning matters as they consider whether to submit a planning application or not. Throughout this time, officers have raised several issues related to the proposals that were put before us and the community, including the suitability of location, accessibility, road and environmental impacts, and have been clear through this engagement that the MoJ would need to address the issues highlighted by the council and the local community if a planning application is submitted in the future.

 “Braintree District Council, as the local planning authority, must remain impartial and transparent given its future role in any potential planning application coming forward. To act otherwise could be considered as pre-determination, which could form the basis of a legal challenge against the council to any final decisions made. We will however be watching several planning appeals for proposed prisons elsewhere in the country with interest in the New Year.

 “The Council will continue to fulfil its planning related role and play an active role in discussions about a potential application, but we recognise that it has now got to the point, over a year since the MoJ’s public consultation, where we need answers and clarity to stop the uncertainty continuing to hang over our communities. We also know that the prison proposals cover only part of the current airbase site and there is wider interest in the future use of the whole site. We are pleased therefore to be supporting local parish councils to consider the future of the whole airbase through neighbourhood plans.

 “We have previously committed to keeping residents updated on what we can regarding the prison proposals, and we will continue to do so, including pressing the MoJ to keep communicating with residents on their proposals.”




The Braintree Town Future Transport Strategy is an important new strategy which will provide a blueprint against which future highways and transport schemes will be identified and assessed for funding.
Setting out how we can support more active and sustainable travel, the strategy outlines three zones with different priorities for the town centre, the wider town area and the strategic road network.
Developed as a partnership between Essex County Council and Braintree District Council we would welcome your feedback to help further shape the strategy. You can read more and have your say by visiting:
Future PLC
According to the Environment Agency, over five million people in England live and work in properties at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea, whilst more face flood threats from groundwater, surface water, sewers, and reservoirs.

At Gocompare, we have put together a guide to preparing for a flood and protecting your property -

In extreme conditions you won't be able to stop flood water, and you should always put personal safety above attempts to protect property and possessions. Despite this, there are steps that you can take to keep water out, to buy yourself time to preserve property and possessions, and to limit the damage that flood water does.
Can you help shape the future of transport in Braintree?
The Braintree Town Future Transport Strategy is an important new strategy which will provide a blueprint against which future highways and transport schemes will be identified and assessed for funding.
Setting out how we can support more active and sustainable travel, the strategy outlines three zones with different priorities for the town centre, the wider town area and the strategic road network.
Developed as a partnership between Essex County Council and Braintree District Council we would welcome your feedback to help further shape the strategy. You can read more and have your say by visiting:



Residents are invited to sign up to fully funded retrofit courses. Training is available at levels 2, 3, 4 and 5 and will support those who are just starting their retrofit journey, as well as those looking to progress in their career.

 Retrofitting is the process of adding new technology or features to make homes more energy efficient, which will play an essential role in reducing the county’s CO2 emissions.

 It will also help to achieve the environmental goals in Essex County Council’s (ECC) Levelling Up agenda by creating green jobs, raising living standards and improving health and wellbeing.

 ECC has received £94,575 from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through the Home Decarbonisation Skills Training competition. ECC is providing match funding, creating a total project value of £189,150.

 This funding will help draw on the success of last year’s pilot, which saw Essex become the first UK county to deliver Fit for Retrofit Training.

 ECC was also one of the first authorities to partner with Retrofit Academy, alongside Devon County Council.

 New funding will enable ECC to provide 50 spots on retrofit courses, which were oversubscribed during the pilot phase.

 Training will be available to residents across Essex, with a focus on Colchester, Basildon and Castle Point (Canvey Island) – three of the County Council’s priority Levelling Up areas.

 Courses will be delivered by Retrofit Academy CIC and ECC’s Adult Community Learning (ACL). They will take a blended approach with a mixture of e-learning and face-to-face tutoring.

 Cllr Lesley Wagland OBE, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Renewal, Infrastructure and Planning, said: “We are thrilled to support another year of retrofit training following last year’s incredibly successful pilot.

 “Our Sector Development Strategy identifies retrofit as a key industry for economic and environmental growth across the county.

 “Additional retrofit courses will enable individuals and businesses to take advantage of this growing industry, which could create 13,000 Essex-based jobs by 2050.”

 Find out more or apply for a fully funded training opportunity via ACL Essex.



Essex County Council (ECC) have created a newsletter which summarises all the support available at present in addition to Help for Households.

Essex County Council have set up a cost of living hub on their website where they will house all the support available to you. Also available is the Government’s Help for Households campaign website for national support. Help for Households - Get government cost of living support

It isn’t always easy to ask for help, but whatever your situation, if you need support, please reach out. 



Councillor Beverley Egan, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Early Years said: “We were so pleased to see John Lewis feature a foster family this year in an advert which will resonate with our foster carers across Essex.  While fostering is not always easy, our carers tell us that it is hugely rewarding and lifechanging. If you are interested in becoming a foster carer, please get in touch and find out more.”

Fostering is incredibly rewarding, offers great flexibility and puts family at its heart. Carers are welcome from any background, including single, married, LGBTQ+ or retired. 

Essex County Council matches children to your family, offers all foster carers excellent local training with an active network of support groups providing opportunities to meet and learn from other foster carers. It also offers 24/7 local support, a dedicated social worker and access to a clinical psychologist and mental health coordinators. Families can receive on average £483 per child, per week to help with the costs associated with raising a child.

To find out more about fostering visit: 

Information events are held regularly with the next events on 26 November and 3 December.

You can also call 0800 801530


Cost of Living Support for Essex Residents - Support from Essex County Council 

Please click HERE to see what help you could be available to you. 



Essex Police are currently recruiting for active citizens in the Braintree District.

Active Citizens play a vital role in making the area in which we live, work, or visit, safer and less vulnerable to crime and antisocial behaviour.

They do this by working with the community and through supporting community policing teams in distributing crime prevention advice.

They advise people on what they can do to secure their homes, protect their belongings, and prevent becoming a victim of crime.

They’ll also support our community policing teams with proactive days of action and lend their administrative skills and support to those organising the events.

Many of our Active Citizens work with our community policing teams, but there are also opportunities to work alongside some of our specialist teams too.

These include our Fraud Prevention Team, Hate Crime Team, Management of Sexual Offenders and Violent Offenders (MOSOVO) Team and our Cyber and Digital Forensic Team.



Or for more information contact PC James Draper

Braintree Community Safety & Engagement Officer Mobile 0798 0917130


For the latest newsletter from Stansted Airport Watch please click HERE.              



swords  Essex County Council have recently launched the TravelEssex app to help people plan their journeys more sustainably –                         download it, it’s easy to use:



Bus Network Reviews 

As part of a Countywide review of the Essex bus network, we would like to get your views on how the local bus network could be improved.

An online public survey has been launched to get the view of bus users and non-users on the bus network. To make the information as relevant as possible, we are most interested in responses which relate to the districts in which the responder travels most often by bus or (if not) where the person travels most often within the county.

Please see the links below to the surveys for each district.

Basildon -

Braintree -

Brentwood -

Castle Point -

Chelmsford -

Colchester -

Epping Forest -

Harlow -

Maldon -

Rochford -

Tendring –

Uttlesford -


Essex County Council - WECAN 

TEC Mates is a programme to support the use and uptake of Digital Technology and Technology Enabled Care (TEC) products and services. It aims to inform vulnerable people, their friends, family and carers on TEC and its capabilities, and to consider its adoption for accessing social and health care services.

Could you be a TEC Mate Volunteer?

WECAN are looking for people with a good all-round knowledge of smart phones, tablets, Chromebooks,

laptops and smart speakers, as well as the enthusiasm to help others gain the skills they need. 

Please click Here to find out more. 


Could you be eligible for up to £10,000 of free heating and insulation improvements?



If you are an Essex resident, you could be entitled to up to £10,000 of free funding for energy efficiency home improvements, thanks to the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme. 


Improvements can include insulation, heating and hot water systems, solar panels and lighting. Upgrading your home can reduce your energy bills, keep you warm and lower your carbon emissions.

The scheme is for properties with a D, E, F or G Energy Performance Certificate rating (EPC), and a total household income of below £30,000. However, if your household income is above £30,000 you may still be eligible if someone in your household claims benefits. If you know someone who might be eligible, why not suggest it to them?

Find out now if you can cut your energy costs!




 For the latest information regarding the future plans for Finchingfield Bridge please click on the link below.


Stop Stansted Expansion - for their November newsletter click here and their October newsletter click here.



To view the parish council's response to the Ministry of Justice regarding the Wethersfield Prison Proposal please click here.