John Whittingdale opened a new affordable housing development at Everest Way, Heybridge. The development by Colne Housing consists of 30 properties built on 1.5 acres of farmland at at the end of Everest Way. Colne currently owns 187 units within the Everest Way estate. The project was supported by £70,000 capital grant from the Homes and Communities fund. In addition to this, Colne provided £2.5 million to deliver the 30 new homes. The properties are a mixture of one and two bedroom flats and two and three bedroom houses.
John Whittingdale said:
“I am very much aware of the severe shortage of social housing in the Maldon District which is trapping many families in inadequate accommodation. I am delighted to be able to open this impressive housing development which will help meet that demand. I congratulate Colne Housing and Maldon District Council on this project and hope that all those fortunate enough to be housed there will be very happy in their new homes”
John is pictured with Mark Powell Davies, Chief Executive of Colne, Cllr David Williams, Chairman of Maldon District Council, and Cllr Tim Young, Chairman of Colne.
John Whittingdale attended the Morning Assembly at All Saints School, Maldon, in order to present them with the Platinum Sing Up Award.
Sing Up aims to put Singing at the heart of every Primary School and is a resource for schools that encourages excellent singing to support all areas of the curriculum. Singing improves learning, confidence, health and social development. It has the power to change lives and help to build stronger communities. Sing Up's mission is to ensure this happens by providing schools with excellent musical resources and workforce development opportunities, supported by a network of expert music education providers.
All Saints Primary School in Maldon is the first Essex school to be given a platinum award from Sing Up. John is photographed with pupils form All Saints School and former pupil, Charlotte Hume, who also sang one of her own songs at the presentation assembly.
John Whittingdale attended the RNLI Open Day in Burnham on Crouch. Celebrating nearly 40 years as a lifeboat station, Burnham-on-Crouch is one of only three lifeboat stations that has their inshore lifeboats kept in floating boathouses. The station has two boats – one being an Atlantic 75 B733, the ‘Brandy Hole’. This boat arrived on station in February 1997 and was officially taken into service on the 7th June 1997. It also has an IB1, the ‘Ernest & Rose Chapman II’. This is the second boat to be donated by David & Barbara Chapman in memory of David’s parents. This boat arrived on station in February 2007 and was officially taken into service on the 9th June 2007.
John Whittingdale attended the Armed Forces Day ceremony organised by Maldon District Council at Longfields, Maldon. At the event, there was a display of military vehicles as well as a fly past of three vintage aircraft organised by Stow Maries Aerodrome. At 12.00pm, the flag was raised accompanied by a piper with the sea cadets parading. All proceeds went to "Help the Heroes".
John is pictured first with Lance Corporal Shaun Morgan, 103 Bn REME and Sgt Jack Scott, Essex Army Cadet Force and then with Cllr Tony Shrimpton, Cllr Bob Boyce (Leader of Maldon District Council) and Flt Lt Richie Miller (Essex Air Cadets).
John Whittingdale MP joined Sajid Javid MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, to celebrate the first cut in beer duty for half a century. John Whittingdale had last year met members of Maldon and Dengie CAMRA at Westminster and joined them in calling for an end to the beer duty escalator. In his Budget, not only did the Chancellor announce the scrapping of the escalator, he also cut the duty on a pint by 1p.
John and Sajid are shown on the Terrace of the House of Commons enjoying a pint of "Sajid's Choice" brewed by Birds Brewery of Bromsgrove.
John Whittingdale attended the Lawn Tennis Association Mini-Tennis session for children from two local schools, Wentworth Primary School in Maldon and Heathcote School, Danbury.
The event was held at Danbury Tennis Club in Mayes Lane, Danbury, which is one of only 100 clubs to have been chosen as Mini Tennis Ambassador Clubs. The intention over the course of the week from 10th to 16th June is to make tennis accessible with a target of 15,000 new young players aged between three and ten years old accessing tennis for the first time.
John is pictured with children from Wentworth School as well as Head Coach, Matt Ford, and other coaches.
John Whittingdale attended the fly-in at Stow Maries Aerodrome, the last surviving First World War airfield in the country. Stow Maries Aerodrome is a Great War Aerodrome set in the rural Essex countryside.
The Aerodrome was in use from 1916 to 1919 as a home defence station in the war against Zeppelin and German aeroplane raids. It has many of its original buildings in situ which are currently undergoing restoration to bring the site back to its 1918 appearance. It also boasts a wildlife walk which was the winner of Maldon District Council Conservation and Design Award 2010.
Following a period of organisation and training at Stow Maries the first recorded operational flight took place from the aerodrome on the night of 23rd/24th May 1917 when Ridley (now promoted to Captain) and Lieutenant G Keddie were ordered aloft in response to a large Zeppelin raid targeting London. They scored no success on that occasion but as time went on the amount of operational flights grew as did the aircraft establishment of the station.
John Whittingdale attended the Burnham Rugby Club Fun Day on Millfields, Burnham on Crouch. John is pictured with the teams at the conclusion of the Veterans Match.
John Whittingdale attended the 11th Maldon Beer Festival in the Town Hall, Maldon. John Whittingdale joined with members of the Maldon and Dengie Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale to celebrate the announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget of a 1p cut in Beer Duty and the end of the Beer Duty escalator. Since the policy of raising Beer Duty by 2% above inflation was introduced by the Labour Government over 5,800 pubs have closed and the number of pub-goers has fallen by 3 million. John previously met CAMRAS members at Westminster who were lobbying for an end to the escalator and signed the Early Day Motion calling for it to be reviewed.
John is pictured enjoying a half of Red Herring from Green Jack in Lowestoft with Chris Harvey, CAMRA Pub Liaison Officer, and Jim Morton of the Queens Head, Burnham.
John Whittingdale visited local micro-brewer, Wibblers, in Mayland. Wibblers Brewery was started by Phil Wilcox and his father, Jeremy, in 2007. Phil began as a home brewer as an impoverished student 21 years ago with a Boots kit behind his parents' sofa. Since then, he has enjoyed success winning a number of awards and in 2007 he went commercial after "Hoppy Helper" won the Beer of the Festival atthe Maldon Beer Festival. Wibblers now produces 5 permanent beers and 6 seasonal ones and supplies Asda in East Anglia and JD Wetherspoon. The best selling beer is Apprentice which has won numerous awards including the Gold Standard at the 2011 Society of Independent Brewers East of England Competition. John is pictured with Commercial Manager, Nigel Sadler.
The Post Office will continue to offer accessible driving licence and tax services to millions of customers in the UK, including in Maldon.
John Whittingdale MP attended an event yesterday (Monday 21 January) to show support for the win by signing a dedicated congratulations board.
John Whittingdale MP said: “I know how important sub post offices are to local communities and I received hundreds of cards from people living in the Maldon District who were concerned about the future of their local sub post office if the Post Office failed to win the DVLA contract. I am delighted that the Post Office was successful and hope that this will help to ensure a secure future for them” Martin Moran, Commercial Director at the Post Office said: “We are delighted to have the support of John Whittingdale MP. The Post Office has a strong track record in successfully delivering essential government services. Winning the DVLA contract again is testimony to the quality of our staff and subpostmasters, whose longstanding commitment to serving local communities contributed greatly to this success.”
The Post Office secured the seven year Framework Agreement with Department of Transport in November 2012. It confirms that the Post Office will continue to deliver DVLA services from spring 2013, including:
• Driving Licence photocard renewal
• Motor Vehicle Licence Issue
• Statutory off road notices (SORN)
• Duplicate Vehicle Licence.
On Tuesday (22nd January), John Whittingdale MP joined members of the Essex Wildlife Trust in Parliament to press the Government to designate the Blackwater Estuary as a Marine Conservation Zone.
The proposed Zone will cover the Roach, Crouch, Blackwater and Colne estuaries John is pictured with John Hall, Chief Executive of the Essex Wildlife Trust, and Mike Sandison, Chairman of the Trust, who lives in the Maldon District in Maylandsea. John Whittingdale’s comments come as The Wildlife Trusts held a parliamentary event to show support for the proposed network of Marine Conservation Zones in English and offshore Welsh waters, as the Government consults on which areas should be designated. The event brought to a close The Wildlife Trusts' ‘Petition Fish’ campaign, which secured almost 250,000 signatures in support of marine protection, 14,000 of which were collected in Essex.
Petition Fish was part of The Wildlife Trusts’ campaign to secure an ‘ecologically coherent’ network of Marine Protected Areas around the UK. This would allow our seas to recover from past damage and sustain current pressures.
John Whittingdale said; “I was delighted to join The Wildlife Trusts to show my support for the recommended Marine Conservation Zone network and to press the Government to include the Blackwater MCZ as one of the first designated zones. The estuary is of huge importance environmentally and it will benefit greatly from the protection that designation will bring. In particular, it will help protect the Native Oyster beds which are the UK’s rarest marine habitat. I congratulate the Essex Wildlife Trust on the work that they have done to draw up a management plan in cooperation with all those who use the estuary including the oyster fishermen and I hope that the Government will now proceed with its designation”.
Joan Edwards, Head of Living Seas for The Wildlife Trusts, said, "The recommended network of Marine Conservation Zones was chosen following an extensive process involving sea users from fishermen and the aggregates industry to divers and boat-users. The proposals represent a significant step forward towards an ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas." The consultation runs until 31st March. People can respond through The Wildlife Trusts' website wildlifetrusts.org/haveyoursay
The Wildlife Trusts (TWT) wildlifetrusts.org There are 47 individual Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK. All are working for an environment rich in wildlife for everyone. We have more than 800,000 members including 150,000 members of our junior branch Wildlife Watch. Our vision is to create A Living Landscape and secure Living Seas. We manage around 2,300 nature reserves and every year we advise thousands of landowners and organisations on how to manage their land for wildlife. We also run marine conservation projects around the UK, collecting vital data on the state of our seas and celebrating our amazing marine wildlife. Every year we work with thousands of schools and our nature reserves and visitor centres receive millions of visitors. Each Wildlife Trust is working within its local communities to inspire people about the future of their area: their own Living Landscapes and Living Seas. Petition Fish The petition was signed by 249,859 people calling for greater marine protection in UK waters. Supporters signed silver scales and stuck them onto fish, sea horses and other marine shapes - see attached image. We can supply other images of people signing scales or with the eye-catching boards on beaches all over the country. Marine Conservation Zones 127 recommended Marine Conservation Zones were chosen after two years’ work by more than one million stakeholders from all sectors of the marine environment and at a cost of over £8.8 million to Government. You can visit all these zones on our interactive map and see some of the wonders they are home to at www.wildlifetrusts.org/MCZmap . The network was designed to ensure that special marine landscapes do not become isolated and vulnerable, and to ensure that the wide range of marine habitats found in UK seas are protected. Failure to designate all but a very small proportion of sites recommended by these stakeholders would mean that we lack the ecologically coherent network that our seas so badly need to recover. In December 2012, Defra launched its public consultation and proposed to designate only 31 of the 127 sites recommended by a broad range of sea-users through its regional projects.
Following a study by the Boston Consulting Group that indicated that businesses who have a presence online, grow four to eight times faster than those who don’t, John Whittingdale secured a Google Juice Bar for businesses in Maldon.
On 21 December, Google came to Maldon for a day's session in the Maldon District Council offices to offer free advice and tips to business owners on how to make the most of the Internet and grow a business online, especially over the busy Christmas period. The Juice Bar is designed to support and advise businesses regardless of their technical expertise – from starting out and creating their first website, through to improving an existing website and online marketing.
John Whittingdale said: " I am delighted that Google agreed to come to Maldon to help local businesses improve their online presence and that every available slot was filled .The internet is becoming more and more important for business and I know that the businesses that attended found it very valuable".
Pictured are John Whittingdale and Cllr Bob Boyce, Leader of Maldon District Council, with three of the Google Training Staff.
John Whittingdale visited the Ladbrokes shop in Market Square. South Woodham Ferrers to discuss Gambling issues and the contribution that Ladbrokes' two shops make to the town.
John talked District Supervisor, Cheryl Knights, and members of staff. He also took advantage of Ladbrokes offer to place a £50 bet on the Grand National taking place that day with any winnings going to charity. Sadly, John's choice, "West End Rocker", although strongly tipped, fell at the second fence.
John Whittingdale presented a certificate to Jhual Ahmad, proprietor of the Maldon Tandoori in Maldon High Street to mark their Highly Commended Award in the 2012 Tiffin Cup. The Tiffin Cup is an annual British competition run by the Tiffin Club to find the best South Asian restaurant in the United Kingdom. One restaurant from every region is then shortlisted and invited to participate in the Grand Final cook-off event held in the House of Commons as judged by MPs and guest celebrities, with the proceeds going to a selected charity.
John is pictured with Jhual and his brother, who is wearing the Chef’s hat and jacket which was given to award winners. John said: “As a regular customer, I am delighted that the Maldon Tandoori has won an award in the Tiffin Cup competition. It is a great family business and deservedly popular, not just in Maldon but for a long way around. I was also fascinated to see behind the scenes and watch how a real Naan is made”
John Whittingdale visited Smith’s Environmental Systems Ltd based in Blackall Industrial estate, South Woodham Ferrers. John is pictured with Phil Cross, Works Director, and Gary Webster, Managing Director.
Smith’s has specialised in the manufacture of fan convectors for the domestic and light commercial markets for more than 20 years. The company has recently moved into the sustainable sector with the development of heat pumps and PV Thermal systems, which can be installed on residential and commercial premises to generate electricity for domestic heating and hot water.
Mr Whittingdale met with Smith’s founder and managing director Gary Webster and toured the facility, meeting shop floor staff, office staff and visiting the company’s product test, demonstration and Research & Development areas.
“I am always delighted to discover a local business which is designing and developing world-beating products,” said Mr Whittingdale. “Smith’s are in the forefront of the manufacture of green energy heating products at a time when it is becoming ever more important that we increase our energy efficiency by adopting low carbon technologies. And with the commitment to developing a low carbon economy in the UK, I’m quite sure that Smith’s are moving into the green heating and sustainable sector at exactly the right time.”
“We are very proud to be a local, British manufacturer,” explains Gary Webster. “We are a family company and we are all very proud of what we do and how we do it. It’s important to us to make sure that important people like Mr Whittingdale are aware of the great work our staff are doing.”
Further information about Smith’s products is available from www.smiths-env.com
John Whittingdale attended the annual Bikes & Barges Rally on Hythe Quay, Maldon. The event was once again held in aid of SWANS (Sometimes We All Need Support). John had the job of judging the best motorcycle and chose a Sporty Chopper made by Lee Newitt of Maldon. John is shown on a New York Fire Department Harley Davidson Road King with Andy Harris of AHCC and Julia Wingfield of SWANS
John Whittingdale attended a reception organised by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in the House of Commons to hear more about the work of the Foundation in raising awareness of Type 1 Diabetes and in trying to find a cure.
At the reception, John met his constituents, Mrs Louise Stringer and her son, Jack, who live in Burnham on Crouch. Jack was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes three years ago and requires frequent insulin injections each day. Jack has now been fitted with an insulin pump which he demonstrated to John and discussed how it affected his lifestyle and schooling.
A shop has opened in Mayland to support the Remus Horse Sanctuary in Ingatestone, which cares for more than 200 animals, including horses, ponies and donkeys, as well as cows, sheep and cats.
At the opening of the Imperial Avenue shop on Saturday, Emma Greenfield brought along her horse Maestro, adorned in feathers, to impress passers-by and Maldon MP John Whittingdale was there to cut the ribbon. The shop is open from Monday to Saturday and sells all of the usual donated items such as clothing, books and toys, but also has a special horse riding section with old bridles, jodhpurs and hats. Maestro got a little spooked by the ribbon cutting and uncged forward to investigate!
John Whittingdale visited EOL IT Services in Station Road, Maldon to present awards to staff and to hear how the company has fared since his last visit in 2006. Founded in 1996 by CEO Jan Smith, EOL provides IT Asset Recycling and Managed IT Services to many of the leading companies in Britain. Now employing around 50 staff and operating a 24/7 nationawide service, EOL recently undertook one of the largest IT decommissioning projects in the City of London, handling over 30,000 technology items spread across 10 floors. EOL has also opened a retail showroom in Maldon for the Christmas period, offering second-user IT equipment at affordable prices.
John Whittingdale said: "I was delighted to have the opportunity to visit EOL IT Services once again to see the progress that the company has made and to meet some of the staff. It is tremendous that a Maldon-based company is providing such a vital service for so many of the biggest companies in the City and elsewhere. In these challenging times, it is great news that the company is doing so well and providing jobs for so many young people".John is pictured with Jan Smith - Chief Executive, Adam Mitchell - Apprentice of the Year, and Wendy Davies - Supply Chain Director.