During the summer months we see a rise in the number of “Creeper Burglaries” where burglars take advantage of open gates, and windows and doors left open for ventilation or that you forgot to close.
If you have unoccupied rooms that are accessible to others from outside or off flat roofs make sure the windows are closed, if you need ventilation in these rooms whilst at home at least lock the larger window and only have the small window open, even during the daytime. If you only have bigger windows consider a lockable window restrictor and a small alarm sensor on the window to detect entry.
Leave any external door open door and in comes trouble, even during the day. If that door is accessible (garden gate left insecure?) an opportunist thief will pop in and anything lying around will be gone. You may have only popped next door, or down the end of the garden or having a quick shower; it only takes a second for a thief to steal.
A new audio webcasting system is now in place streaming live from some of our council meetings and debates, available through our website and twitter feed, or you can choose to catch up later.
Links to the audio are from the ‘Your Council’ tab of essex.gov.uk with recordings available alongside meeting details and agendas. You can jump straight to a specific agenda item if that’s all you want to hear again.The Full Council meeting broadcast is planned for 14 July and committees of the council have also started to come online. Look out for tweets with links to the audio stream at the beginning of each meeting on the @ECC_DemSer twitter feed.
Telephone calls to Essex County Council’s Contact Centre now start with a recorded message about call charges. This follows new legislation introduced by the communications regulator Ofcom and the Advertising Standards Authority for 084, 087,09 and 118 numbers, as part of the national UK Calling scheme.
Callers to the Contact Centre on all 0845 numbers are informed that calls cost 5p per minute plus the access charge from respective service providers.
The number of unrepaired potholes on county roads has fallen.
In the three months leading to June 30, unrepaired potholes and carriageway defects on the county’s busiest roads have reduced by 70 and 75 per cent respectively, compared with the same period last year.
According to Essex County Council figures, potholes and other carriageway defects were maintained at under 350, with 137 on the county’s busiest roads and 206 on main and key roads.
Outstanding carriageway defects on local roads have also fallen over the same period, from 5,212 to 4,626, with 2,581 potholes repaired, continuing the positive trend seen over the previous three months.
Since the same period last year, carriageway defects on local roads are down by 23 percent, from 6,001 to 4,626.
Have a summer holiday to remember with Essex Outdoors
Essex Outdoors exciting 2015 summer holiday programme for 8-16 year olds has been released. Centres in Bradwell, Danbury, Harlow and Mersea will be running School Holiday Activity Days, which include up to four activities in one day, between 23 July and 28 August.
Activities include aerial trekking, archery, bouldering, BMX, canoeing, caving, climbing, kayaking, low ropes, orienteering, zip wire and much, much more. Harlow is running additional climbing days as well as canoe and kayak days between 23 July and 28 August, with Bradwell also running a canoe day on 18 August.
Activity days are the perfect way for children and young people to try the challenge and excitement of new activities. Activity days cost £30 per day or buy four days and get the fifth free.
Dates, times and activities vary per centre so please check the website for full details or contact your nearest centre.
Aiming High for Disabled Children – summer programme
Essex Outdoors will be running the ‘Aiming High for Disabled Children’ programme this summer. The programme offers a range of day and overnight activities for free to disabled children and young people who are aged 8 to 18, as well as their carer.
The programme includes:
Activity days at Harlow from 24 July to 28 August
Activity days at Danbury on 28 and 30 July
Sailing/crabbing day at Bradwell on 25 July
One night break in either Bradwell or Danbury on 15 August.
Mersea Island Festival overnight (five nights from 23 August)
Mersea Island Festival day visits from 25 to 30 August
Please note participants must live within the administrative boundary of Essex County Council to qualify for free places. For eligibility as well as dates, times and activities per centre please check the website.
Join us at this special dog themed fun day for dogs and their owners on Sunday 9 August in Colchester’s Castle Park.
Bark in the Park will transform the open space in Colchester’s park into a dog and dog owner’s extravaganza. This event, led by Colchester Borough Council’s Animal Control Team, will offer everything man’s best friend needs.
There will be plenty to keep the whole family (and their dogs) amused throughout the day and visitors are assured of a great day out. Owners will also have the chance to enter their pet pooches into the various dog show events that will take place during the day.
Dog Show Categories
Best Young Handler
Most Gorgeous Rescue
Overall Best in Show
There will be entertainment and demos, competitions and prizes, K9 Aqua Sports, dog agility, doggie trade stands and much more! Make sure you register online (for free) to enter one of the seven pet Dog Shows on the day! Find out more here.
A brand new tourism video promoting Colchester has been created to showcase everything that the Borough has to offer! If you haven’t had a chance to watch it on their YouTube channel yet, then here it is:
Every year the national Summer Reading Challenge aims to keep the country’s children reading throughout the holidays and as this year’s theme is ‘Record Breakers’, Essex Libraries wants as many pledges of support as possible to set a new Guinness World Record™ for ‘the most number of pledges received for a reading campaign’, and to contribute to an Essex record.
Children pledge to visit their local library, read six books of their choice and collect stickers in six categories to secure medals. Adults and volunteers pledge to support children to read. Older children can take part in a reading and arts programme called ImagiNation.
Councillor Roger Hirst, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Customer Services, Libraries, Planning and the Environment said:
Getting more children to read for pleasure during the summer holidays will be a fantastic achievement. This record attempt will be used to highlight the importance of reading for pleasure as well as the importance of libraries in communities. I want to see Essex playing its part in creating this new world record.
The Summer Reading Challenge is produced by The Reading Agency in association with Guinness World Records™ and delivered by libraries, bringing together fact and fiction and helping young readers to discover some wonderful and truly amazing records from around the world.
West Bergholt Methodist Church are holding some more of their popular fun activity mornings for young families during the school holidays.
The Summer Coffee and Craft sessions will all take place on Monday mornings from 10.30 to 12.00 in the Methodist Church Hall, Chapel Lane, West Bergholt, CO6 3EF. There will be a variety of craft activities and free coffee, tea, squash, biscuits and cakes will be available.
There will be an entrance fee to cover the cost of craft materials of £2.50 per family (any number) but please note that, sorry, we are unable to accept unaccompanied children. Each morning will follow a different theme, which will be reflected in the craft activities. The dates of the mornings are:-
Monday July 27th 10.30 to 12.00 – Seaside Fun,
Monday August 10th 10.30 to 12.00 – Animals,
Monday August 24th 10.30 to 12.00 – Sky.
All are welcome.
For more details contact Andrew Wilks on 01206 242511.
Colchester Borough Council report on a number of activities throughout the upcoming Summer holidays ranging from comedy, activity workshops, events at country parks, doggy activities and more. They advise you check their websites (links below) to find out more:
Activities at Leisure World Colchester include animation workshops, swimming, arts, crafts, dance, tennis and much more! There’s also water fun for all the family – fly down flumes, travel along a crazy river of waves, plunge down drops in the crazy outside rapids, dodge the water cannons and more in the leisure pool! As they say:
We’ll take care of the kids!
Colchester Museums have lots of fantastic events the summer, including Go Live! Week, mediaeval medicine, Roman Food, Archery and much more. Don’t forget you can visit one of our three museums where history comes alive through displays, technology and hands on activities. Their site has a handy calendar so you can see what is on any day of the holidays.
Colchester’s Country Parks offer a host of activities and events for you and your family to enjoy at from learning about foraging and making your own den or dream-catcher to wildlife and health walks. Why not make the most of warmer weather by coming along to one of our wonderful parks to enjoy all the great outdoors has to offer!
Jimmy Carr – Funny Business at Charter Hall
On Friday 31 July Charter Hall, Colchester’s premier events venue, is excited to welcome back Jimmy Carr with his live show ‘Funny Business’. Tickets are £25, book now at www.charter-hall.co.uk.
Street Life! presented by School of Street (SOS) are performing on Sunday 5 July and tickets are now on sale for Robot Wars: The 2015 Live Show on Saturday 19 & Sunday 20 September.
Bark in the Park
Come and have fun with your pet pooch on Sunday 9 August, from 10am in Colchester’s Castle Park. K9 Aqua Sports UK, three show rings, dog agility and doggie trade stands. £5 adults, kids and dogs FREE.
Enter your dog into one of our shows, for FREE, Best Young Handler, Smiliest Dog, Handsomest Dog, Prettiest Bitch, Calmest Tail and Best Trick.
Colchester’s Visitor Information Centre has a fantastic range of guided tours so you can find out more about Colchester’s fascinating history.
Listen to the lives and times of characters from Colchester’s past as they take you through the dread, drama and dismay of Colchester’s important history. Theme tours are great fun for all age groups! Visit their website for themes, dates and booking information.
Amongst other topics Food and Volunteering feature in Colchester Borough Council’s latest Green Living newsletter:
Save big on tasty food this summer
Are you planning tasty garden BBQs and picnics out? Make your money go further – get the most from the food you buy, store and cook. Find easy tips, recipes and more to help you Love Food and hate waste. Over the year it could save you £hundreds – perhaps enough to enjoy a family holiday! Visit the Love Food hate waste website to find out more.
Share your Green Home experiences
If you’ve already started greening your home through heating, lighting or power initiatives, big or small, why not show it off to others wanting to save £££ on energy bills? Register as a Green Open Home host for the forthcoming September event. A great way to share tips, techniques and experiences of green technologies, and discover new sustainable living ideas. You can see homes in the Colchester have already registered on the Green Open Homes website which also gives you the opportunity to register your own home.
Fresh air, new friends, feel great
This summer and year-round there are lots of ways to enjoy Colchester’s great outdoors, while giving a little back too. Whether you’re a budding gardener, enjoy walking or want to get stuck in to something practical there’s a volunteering opportunity for you! From the town to the countryside and however long you’d like to be involved including:
Volunteering as a Countryside Volunteer Ranger,
Health walk leader,
The Big Garden – organic community garden (pictured right),
Did you know? Going online for services is better for the environment and can save you money on travel, postage and through online discounts!
Switch to take up core Council services online – whether you need to find information, make a payment or provide us with your details, its easy and secure with an online account. Plus if you need to, enjoy free friendly help at events borough-wide to brush-up your internet skills for shopping, finding local events, services and more.
West Bergholt Methodist Church are holding some more of their popular fun activity mornings for young families during the school holidays. The Coffee and Craft sessions will all take place on Monday mornings from 10.30 to 12.00 in the Methodist Church Hall, Chapel Lane, West Bergholt.
There will be a variety of craft activities and free coffee, tea, squash, biscuits and cakes will be available. There will be an entrance fee to cover the cost of craft materials of £2-50 per family (any number) but please note that, sorry, we are unable to accept unaccompanied children.
Each morning will follow a different theme, which will be reflected in the craft activities. The dates of the mornings are:-
Don’t miss the final session of The Methodist Church’s family fun activities for young families at their Coffee and Craft mornings on Monday 2nd September. The session (£2.50 per family) in the West Bergholt Methodist Church Hall, Chapel Lane from 10.30 – 12.00 is targeted towards children, ages 0-11, but please remember bring a parent along, sorry no unaccompanied children.
Starting slowly in it’s first week, the last session was much busier and a happy time was had by all enjoying a wide range of different craft activities with plenty of coffee, squash and cakes for everyone.
The activities vary each week including, such as mosaic coasters, painting, beadwork, fabric painting etc.. and are designed to allow families with differing ages to all be accommodated with age appropriate activity. Look out for posters for further details or contact Susie Connor who started running these sessions near her own home some years ago because she found it so difficult to find a single activity that all ages could enjoy together. Either call her on 07585 457215 or email [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”].