Asian Hornets - Warning Notice
This spring sees the threat of a countrywide invasion by Asian Hornets. A non-native species, it spread through France in the 2000s; its first UK sighting was in 2014.
Otherwise known as Yellow-legged Hornets, these insects can be introduced through imported plants, cut flowers or in/on untreated timber – they are also thought to have flown across the Channel.
Asian Hornets are highly aggressive predators of native insects and pose a significant threat to honey bees and other pollinators. They nest in trees and man-made structures and feed on fruit and flowers.
People are being cautioned not to disturb active nests but to notify, with photos if possible, Asian Hornet Watch at firstname.lastname@example.org. See the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat Warning Notice for further information.
Have Your Say in how Your Community is Policed
Essex Police are looking for people to join Independent Advisory Groups that will review police work practices, offer advice and guidance and provide constructive feedback about police policy developments and recruitment.
Two consultation meetings are planned for April at Braintree District Council Offices: on Friday 20th from 10.00 - 11.00am & on Monday 30th from 7.00 - 8.00pm. More information about the reasons for these consultation meetings can be found here.
Changes to Essex Library Services
As a result of the Public Consultation carried out by Essex County Council at the end of 2017, Library Services across the County are now being rationalised.
This unfortunately means that, as of the 2nd April 2018, the Mobile Library is no longer serving Great Maplestead, since the average number of customers during its fortnightly visits latterly were fewer than one...
Further details of the Library Service changes can be found here.
DaRT F315 Bus Service - Timetable Changes
Following customer feedback, a couple of timetable changes to the F315 bus service between Halstead and Sudbury were effective from 12th February 2018.
The first bus from Halstead now leaves at 7.30am to enable customers to more comfortably link with Sudbury trains to London, while the last bus leaves Sudbury a quarter of an hour earlier, at 7.15pm, in order to reduce waiting time on the bus.
Full details of the service and the new timetable can be found here.
Essex Energy Switch
Essex County Council is continuing its backing for a collective energy switching scheme for residents and small businesses who want to economise by cutting their gas and electricity bills.
Essex Energy Switch is a completely free, easy, safe and secure way to cut your energy bills without the frustration of having to spend time comparing prices and tariffs on various energy comparison websites.
Visit www.essex.gov.uk/energyswitch to find out more information about Essex Energy Switch, how it works and how you can benefit.
Illegal Pedlar Activity
Essex Police and Neighbourhood Watch are warning residents about reports of illegal door-to-door salesmen targetting towns across the county. More information about these pedlars is contained here. Anyone suspecting that this activity is happing in their locality is being encouraged to report it to the police by calling 101.
Public Consultation on Proposed Changes to the Mobile Library Service
In recent years, fewer and fewer people have been taking advantage of Essex’s mobile library services. With the library vehicles coming to the end of their working lives, there was a need to take a fresh look at how best these services can be provided in future.
Essex County Council therefore undertook a consultation about the creation of a new library service across Essex. This ran from Tuesday 19th September until Monday 6th November 2017.
The idea is to provide a service which is available at a place and time which suits users; a service which is flexible enough to help volunteers set up a community library in a village hall, pub, sports club or shop, or a service where volunteers deliver books directly to the door and can stop to chat with the residents to help end social isolation. Such services already work well in many villages across Essex and the idea is to extend that provision, with a service that’s able to respond to different local needs and settings, making books available to more people, more of the time.
You can find more information about the proposals at www.librariesconsultation.essex.gov.uk
All the consultation responses will be analysed and a formal report produced. This will be published on the consultation website and available on request for those without internet access. The analysis will be used to help decide what changes will be implemented.
All Change for a New Bus Service
Since the August Bank Holiday a Demand Responsive Transport (DaRT) bus service has replaced the 11/12/13 Regal Busways routes serving Great Maplestead.
Great Maplestead, Little Maplestead, Gestingthorpe, Pebmarsh, Wickham St Paul and Bulmer now have a new flexible and more frequent bus service between Sudbury and Halstead – the DaRT F315.
However, unlike with conventional buses, DaRT passengers must book a seat, and register as a customer, at least two hours in advance of travel.
More details of this service, and how to book to use it, can be found here.
Community Governance Review
Braintree District Council was required to review the overall governance of all Town and Parish Councils within the District.
The review focused on:
- The appropriateness of present Town/Parish boundaries
- The numbers of Town/Parish Councillors
- Town/Parish Council names and any warding agreements
The consultation is now closed but you can find out more, and view comments, at www.braintree.gov.uk/cgr.
Essex Village of the Year Competiton 2017
Great Maplestead has won a Merit Award in the 2017 Essex Village of the Year Competition, promoted by the Rural Community Council of Essex.
The Certificate was presented to the Parish Council at the RCCE AGM held at Chelmsford City Racecourse on 5th July 2017.
This is the third year running that the village has won in this competition, having gained a Merit Award in 2015 and a Class Winner's Award in 2016.
Braintree's 'Tell Me More' Initiative
Residents and businesses in Braintree District can now sign up and subscribe to a new e-mail update service on various topics of their choice, ranging from refuse recycling and street cleaning to planning news, health and well-being tips, events, job vacancies or emergency alerts.
There will also be an e-mail newsletter especially for businesses in the district.
Local Plan Consultation
The latest Draft of the Local Plan Document for North Essex was issued on 16th June. The Public Consultation finished on the 28th July, with comments and feedback informing the next stage of the process.
The two-part document can be viewed by clicking the links below:
- Section 1 – Strategic Plan for North Essex, including the proposed Garden Communities
- Section 2 – Policies, maps and sites for development, housing, employment and regeneration within Braintree District
Downloadable versions of the Local Plan and its appendices, can be found at: https://www.braintree.gov.uk/publicationdraftlp
Life-Saving Defibrillator installed at the Village Hall
Great Maplestead Parish Council, with help from a Department of Health funding programme, has acquired a Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) and taken delivery of a Call Push Rescue (CPR) training kit provided by the British Heart Foundation.
Knowledge of the correct use of the defibrillator, and the proper administration of CPR, is essential to successfully help someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest – quick action is the key to survival in such an emergency.
In 2017 the Council organised two, free, Community Training Sessions to enable as many parishioners as possible to become potential life-savers.
If you were unable to attend these training sessions but would like more information about use of the defibrillator and carrying out CPR, please go to: https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/how-to-save-a-life/how-to-do-cpr.
Community Information Leaflet
Following discussions with parishioners, the Parish Council has produced this Community Information leaflet, containing details of – and showing how people can access – the different services, amenities and activities provided in, and by, the community. A copy was distributed to every household in the Parish in May 2017.
The leaflet is a compact, convenient centralised source of information, which it is hoped will be of benefit both to existing residents and newcomers to the village. It also includes details about whom to contact with regard to community help for residents; for information about the availability of more informal assistance we would suggest contacting either of the Church Wardens, or the Parish Clerk.
For reasons of space, the leaflet – which will be updated as and when there are any major changes to its content – can only highlight some of the Parish’s many services, activities and amenities; more details about all of these, and many others, can be found on this website.
The Council would welcome any comments/suggestions to help improve the usefulness of future editions.
According to Essex Police and the North East Essex Badger Group there has been a recent increase in badger persecution locally. Details of how to deal with outbreaks can be found here.
Power Cut 105 - A New Number to Call in an Emergency...
WHAT IS 105?
105 is a new three-digit number you can call to report or get information about electrical power cuts. You can also call 105 with any welfare concerns related to a power cut, or if you are concerned about the safety of over or underground electricity cables or substations.
105 is free of charge and will put you through to your electricity network operator – you can call 105 from most landlines and mobile phones. Launched in September 2016, 105 is available throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
The website powercut105.com will also provide you with information and direct you to your power network operator.
WHY IS IT BEING INTRODUCED?
People often don’t know who to call to report, or get updates about, power cuts, with many wrongly calling the energy supply companies they pay their bills to.
105 aims to solve this problem, providing you with an easy-to-remember number that will put you straight through to your local electricity network operator. This is particularly important when there is bad weather, as severe storms can cause major disruption to electricity supply to homes and businesses.
105 is just one of the ways you can contact your network operator, who can still be contacted directly either by phone on their 0800 number or via their website – most can be reached through social media too.
WHO IS BEHIND 105?
105 is jointly funded by the electricity network operators, who are the companies that manage and maintain the underground cables, overhead lines and substations that bring electricity into homes and businesses.
There are several electricity network operators – the larger ones each cover a different region within Great Britain. Wherever you live, 105 will put you through to the right network operator.
105 IS SUPPORTED BY THE GOVERNMENT
“British families and businesses need to know where to turn if they find themselves without power during severe weather or other incidents. Having a single three-digit number cuts through the confusion and puts people in touch with the information they need, when they need it”.
Rt Hon Amber Rudd
Former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
Essex Village of the Year Competiton 2016
Great Maplestead won the Class Award for villages of 400 inhabitants or fewer in the 2016 Essex Village of the Year Competition, promoted by the Rural Community Council of Essex.
The Certificate was presented to the Parish Council, along with a cheque for £150, at the RCCE AGM held at Chelmsford City Racecourse on 6th July 2016.
Scuppering the Scammers
Fraudsters and other scammers are increasingly targeting vulnerable people by phone or e-mail in their efforts to obtain personal information such as bank and credit card details. Unfortunately, because many of the scams are so plausible, many people fall for them with sometimes devastating consequences. Information about the most common scams, and how to guard against and avoid becoming a victim of them can be found here.
Dog Walkers can help cut crime...
Essex Police have instigated Dog Watch, an initiative whereby dog walkers can sign up to become the eyes and ears of their community in a bid to reduce local crime. Details can be found here.
Lost or Stolen Dog?
There have been a number of recent cases of dogs being either lost or, more probably, stolen in the local area. Essex Police have therefore issued some useful guidance and advice on the matter.
Essex Best Kept Village Competiton 2015
Great Maplestead has won a Merit Award in the 2015 Essex Best Kept Village Competition, promoted by the Rural Community Council of Essex.
The Certificate was presented to the Parish Council on 8th July 2015 and will be displayed in the Village Hall.
Supefast Wireless Broadband (up to 32Mb upload & download) for residential and business use has been available in Great Maplestead since 15th April 2015. More information about the service, and how to join it, can be found here.
Great Maplestead Parish Council has been awarded the new Foundation Level of the Local Council Award Scheme - click here to read more.