Ayub Khan


The cost of living crisis continues to bear down on the Stansted community. Some measure of relief from it is being offered by Uttlesford, writes District Councillor Ayub Khan.

Cost of living

The cost of living crisis continues to bear down on the Stansted community regardless of income level. Stansted District Councillors are concerned about the impact especially for residents on low income as well as those in the middle income bracket. It is one of the reasons why Stansted Councillors put together a budget motion at the February 2022 meeting of the Uttlesford District Council to provide an additional £100 payment for those families who qualify for the Local Council Tax Support Scheme.

I was pleased that our motion was accepted providing additional help, over and above the Government initiatives currently available. Following on from our approach, UDC has extended the hardship scheme to those struggling to pay their bills in homes where your council tax band is E-H.

There is a list of qualifying criteria that can be found at: www.uttlesford.gov.uk/energyrebate-ehf The scheme will close on the 31st October 2022. The maximum award that will be granted from this scheme is £200.00. Please do look into this and see if you qualify.

Energy costs

The high cost of energy will impact on all of us. More so those who are recovering from illness and those that need specialist medical equipment on throughout the day and night. We await the Government’s response to the October price hike, but if you are struggling to pay your bill it is advisable to contact your energy provider in the first instance. They have a statutory obligation to provide a payment plan that you can afford. The local Citizens Advice Team will have an energy team to provide further advice on reducing your bill, home insulation and other practical help. Please do contact them: Citizens Advice (Tel 01799 618840).

Uttlesford District Council Housing Department

In 2019, the R4U Administration entered into an agreement with an external provider called Uttlesford Norse to deliver maintenance, gas and electrical checks of its council house stock. This is a 10-year agreement.

Recently, the service of this provider has been under scrutiny as they have failed to undertake timely gas safety checks of the council-owned properties. This is a serious breach and given that UDC is the legal landlord, the Chief Executive of the Council has had to refer the authority to the Housing Regulator. This means that UDC housing could be put under special measures which invariably would lead to intervention by the Regulator.

There is an improvement plan in place with Uttlesford Norse but the key weakness has been the lack of contract management of the contract applied by the District Council. Stansted Councillors will continue to hold the administration to account to ensure that they put in place the appropriate arrangements to monitor the provider and ensure that tenants get the very best possible service.


Following concerns from residents, I am pleased that the Parish Council Highways Panel has agreed to look into parking across Stansted, starting with the Foresthall Park development. It’s really positive that residents have agreed to join a small working group to see what solutions can be found.

We know that there is no universally agreed approach to parking, whether it is a resident’s scheme, yellow or red lines. I hope the working group can take forward discussions with a tailored approach for the development. Further information can be obtained from the chair of the working group, Parish Councillor Peter Jones.

Finally, I know that it’s a worrying time for many, particularly residents who are facing difficulty in paying bills, but there is advice and support available, be it through the excellent work of Stansted’s voluntary sector, health partners such as Stansted surgery and our local businesses. All of whom are working hard and will have, staff/volunteers who in some way are also affected by the current economic crisis.