Roundup of District Council news and events

UDC NEWS UPDATE

Have your say on Local Council Tax Support

Uttlesford residents are being invited to have their say on how much support the council should give to people who might struggle to pay their Council Tax bill.

Local Council Tax Support (LCTS) is designed to help the most vulnerable. The local scheme is set by Uttlesford District Council which has some discretion over how it is administered.

For 2023/24, the council is proposing to maintain the scheme on the same basis as this year, meaning the amount that LCTS claimants pay towards their Council Tax would be kept at 12.5% of their full bill. The council is also proposing to continue to protect vulnerable and disabled residents and carers who are on a low income. Pensioners who are on a low income are automatically protected from any changes.

 Get more details about the scheme and how to have your say

 

£150 energy bills payment – discretionary scheme

Uttlesford District Council is currently finalising the Discretionary Energy Scheme which will include a hardship element. This scheme covers Uttlesford residents living in a property in Council Tax bands E to H who haven’t received the £150 rebate from the government to help with the cost of energy bills.

Further details will be published shortly. Keep an eye on our website and social media channels.

 

New timetable for Local Plan

Uttlesford District Council is in the process of drafting a new Local Plan that will set our strategic priorities for future development, including sites for new housing, provision of infrastructure, and policies to protect our historic buildings and places.

Producing a local plan is a very complex process that requires a substantial amount of evidence and consultations with the public and stakeholders. Some additional time is being taken to explore as many options as possible to create a robust local plan that best meets the needs of the district.

 Find out more about the Uttlesford Local Plan and what the next steps are

 

Apply now for an Active Uttlesford Grant

We want to continue to support the health and wellbeing of residents and communities, and have launched a new grant scheme for projects or activities that help people get more physically active or recover from the effects of coronavirus.

The Active Uttlesford Grant scheme will be open until we have allocated all of the £10,000 annual grant fund.

Constituted groups and clubs, registered charities, voluntary or community organisations, and not-for-profit companies or community interest companies can apply for grants of up to £1,500.

► Find out more about the Active Uttlesford grant scheme criteria and how to apply*

 

Look out for a form checking who’s registered to vote at your address

Have you received a letter from the council asking who is eligible to vote at your address?

We’ve started writing to households which we do not hold a valid email address for. These letters are printed on yellow paper and are part of the annual canvass.

If you receive a letter please read through carefully and confirm the information we hold is correct.

 Get more information about the annual canvass

 

Discover Uttlesford this summer

Looking for ways to keep the kids entertained this summer? Visit the Discover Uttlesford website for ideas on where to stay, what to do and where to eat and drink.

You can also download Dscvr, the free app dedicated to enhancing your experience of the local area. Whether you’re planning a visit or rediscovering your home town, it’s a handy addition to your day out.

The app is totally free and easy to use.

 

Looking for a fresh start?

DevelopMe

Whether you have been made redundant, looking for your first job or simply feel like it’s time for a change, there’s help available.

The DevelopMe Hub is packed with tips and advice to guide your job search.

•Careers assessment and skills training

•CV Builder

•Interview simulator and practice questions

•Job Search

Go to the DevelopMe hub or download the mobile app on iOS and Android.

 

Essex Opportunities

Essex Opportunities is the go-to portal for skills training and apprenticeships information.

Students, employers and residents wishing to upskill can use the site to find out about career path development, apprenticeships and work experience, skills development and professional qualification programmes.

 Go to the website for more information

 

Essex ActivAte returns with summer clubs

Essex ActivAte returns this July and August, offering free activity sessions and holiday clubs for those who are eligible for free school meals, or those from low income working families.

The programme previously ran over the Easter holidays and saw children offered a safe space to have fun, make friends and learn new skills.

Activities will run until 29 August.

 Find out what’s on in Uttlesford

The zipwire on the Rec has been taken out of action as a precaution following a routine safety check

ZIP WIRE – THE REC

Following this week’s safety checks, we have some concerns about the zip-wire on the Recreation Ground off Chapel Hill.

We are awaiting a site visit from the manufacturers, and it will be back in action as soon as possible, but until then PLEASE DO NOT USE THE ZIP-WIRE. 

Roadworks will close Church Road from August 27 for 3 days

CHURCH ROAD CLOSURE

Three days of roadworks from August 27 will see the temporary closure of Church Road.

The closure is needed for UK Power Networks to carry out a new service connection in the area.

Church Road will be shut from its junction with Station Road to its junction with Park Road.

DIVERSION ROUTE

An alternative route will be available via Chapel Hill, Silver Street, Pines Hill, Stansted Road, Birchanger Roundabout, Bishops Stortford Bypass, M11 Flyover, M11 J8 Roundabout, Thremhall Avenue, A120 From M11 J8 Roundabout To A120 M11 J8 Spur Roundabout E, Priory Wood Roundabout, A120 M11 J8 Spur Roundabout, Round Coppice Road, Bury Lodge Lane, Church Road and vice versa.

Access for emergency service vehicles and pedestrians will be maintained at all times during the closure.

You can find out more about this road closure by reading the Essex County Council’s Intention to Shut Church Road Closure Notice (PDF)

Or head to the one.network map.

 

The Village Knight has been mended after suffering damage from Storm Eunice

KNIGHT SIGN REPAIRED

It is great to welcome back the Knight sign at the north end of the village. 

The sign near the B1383 – High Lane roundabout was blown down by Storm Eunice earlier this year. 

The Parish Council would like to thank Stansted-based building repairer M P Gerber for fixing and reinstating the sign. 

The Knight’s old pine wood support has been replaced with a sturdier oak one. 

Both of Stansted’s Knight signs underwent extensive repair in 2021, partly funded by the Parish Council as well as contributions from Sworders Auctioneers, and District and County Councillor grants. 

 

£3,320 were raised for the community from the Parish Council's jubilee events

JUBILEE CHARITY FUNDS

We are delighted to announce that the Platinum Jubilee Community Picnic held on the Rec on June 4 was a resounding success.

Thanks to the support of our District Councillors and local businesses, after all costs had been met, we had a surplus of £3,320.78 which we said would be passed to a local charity.

The funds have now been donated to the Stansted Trust Funds, a charity which specifically supports Stansted residents through referrals from organisations such as TouchPoint and Citizens Advice.

Join our Climate Change Community Group and help fight climate change

CLIMATE COMMUNITY GROUP

We are starting to see the effects of climate change and declining biodiversity.

Because of this the Parish Council has joined others in declaring a climate change and biodiversity emergency.

As part of the Council’s initiatives to take action on this front, we are setting up a Climate Change Community Group.

We believe as a community we can act and make a difference at a local level by taking small actions together to bring about significant overall change.

What will the group do?

The focus of the Community Group is to work on events, campaigns and workshops that will more reduce our carbon footprint and improve biodiversity locally.

The group will work independently, but with the support of the Parish Council.

Who can join?

Any resident* over the age of 11* is welcome who:

• Has the passion and drive for the Climate cause

• Wants to inspire and engage with the local community

• can plan and execute projects focused on climate change and biodiversity

Interesting in signing up?

If you have any questions or wish to join please email our Project Officer: laila.azure-marxen@stansted.net

We will hold an introduction meeting for interested residents soon.

 

  • *Any resident or representative from businesses or organisations in Stansted or the surrounding area. The age restriction is based on the minimum age for members of our Youth Council.
Report on Climate Change

CLIMATE ACTION REPORT

A report You Called a Climate Emergency – What’s Next was presented to the Full Council on July 27, 2022. In it its author Parish Councillor Peter Jones detailed why climate change should be taken seriously by the residents of Stansted and outlined a course the Parish Council could take in leading the way to carbon reduction.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO ACT NOW?

Landmark UN report from 2018 showed the urgency in cutting carbon emissions:

We only have a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C. Even half a degree more will significantly worsen the risks of extreme weather events and biodiversity loss.

The government has committed to cut carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 and be net-zero by 2050.

Net zero will require change of consumption habits (of energy, transport, food, products, etc)

UK is one of the world’s most nature depleted countries. Since 1970, there has been a 70% decline in species due to destruction of habitat and pollution.

Since the 1930s we have lost 97% of wildflower meadows.

We have lost 50% of all biodiversity.

Climate change events like rising temperatures and weather changes also contributes to biodiversity loss.

Light and chemical pollution have a devastating effect on wildlife.

With the decline of pollinators we face global food insecurity.

WHAT CAN THE PARISH COUNCIL DO?

Many Parish and Town Councils don’t believe that they have the influence or resources to make a change.

Report from New Local highlights importance of local action in the face of national and international inaction.

So…. Lead by example and bring the community together on the cause! Many small actions can contribute to great change!

 

CLIMATE CHANGE COMMUNITY GROUP

A community group lead by residents, local business’ and organisations

Community grounded projects

Focus on climate change and biodiversity

Working independently, with the support of the Council

Engage and inspire the community

Appeal to join in August 2022 – Social media, website and the Link

MEASURE CARBON EMMISSIONS

Parish Council’s own carbon footprint:

  • Requires an audit!
  • Act on recommendations

Individual footprint:

  • Measure staff and members footprint
  • Motivate residents to measure theirs
  • Communicate how to reduce it
  • Community footprint:
  • Impact-tool.org.uk
  • Communicate how the community can do better

REDUCING CARBON EMMISSIONS

Updating street lighting to LED

  • Approx 250 PC owned street lights

Change/upgrade office operations:

  • Deleting unnecessary emails and old files
  • Reducing thank you emails
  • Go paperless and recycle
  • Switch to a green energy provider
  • Avoid single use plastic
  • Less commuting to office, car sharing, etc.
  • Buy refurbished furniture and tech

Planning applications:

  • create a green check list

NDP working group: Highlighting the importance of taking action against climate change:

  • renewable energy
  • reduced car usage and speed limits

IMPROVING BIODIVERSITY

Lighting pollution: Consider what the Parish Council can:

Establish green corridors

  • Tree planting
  • Rewilding of POS and verges (requires collaboration with Essex Highways)
  • Wildflower planting

Neighbourhood Development Plan:

  • Highlight a green agenda
  • Preservation and reestablishment of nature

Consider biodiversity in the grounds maintenance contracts:

  • No toxic chemical use
  • No mow May
  • Pollinator friendly plants

POTENTIAL COSTS TO CONSIDER

Carbon footprint audit:

  • Groundworks could undertake
  • They have worked with Parish
  • Councils before
  • They quoted approx £5,000

Carbon literacy course:

  • Groundworks could undertake
  • 8-hour training course
  • £165 per person

LED street lighting

  • Updating approx 250 street lights
  • Costs still to be determined (£40,000+)
  • Potential annual energy savings of 70%

Tree planting:

  • Funded via EFI

Rewilding

  • Potential costs savings on grass cutting and gardening
  • Low/no establishment costs
  • Best option: will establish native grasses and flowers

Wildflower seeding:

  • Unknown costs
  • Recurring costs of preparation of soil and seeding

WHAT’S NEXT?

Taking action is urgent so next step would be to consider the information and ideas given in this presentation and:

• Create a working group – who is interested?

• Create an action plan with long-term and short-term goals/projects

• Discuss and decide on funds to put towards climate change (next years budget)

• Make climate change a recurring agenda item

• Engage with the community and local Councils

• Share information from District, County and Government

• Dedicate a part of the PC website to climate change