John Whittingdale visited Buddies Children's Centre in Poulton Close, Maldon to open the new £60,000 extension. Founded by the Maldon District Handicapped Children's Association, Buddies is a day care centre for pre-school children, many of whom suffer from disabilities. The extension, which was funded with the support of the National Lottery, will allow the centre to accommodate up to 40 children.


John joins staff and pupils at Burnham County Primary School.

John Whittingdale recently visited Burnham County Primary School in Dunkirk Road, Burnham on Crouch. John was given a tour of the school and was able to participate in the pupils' art lessons. John is pictured here with Cllr Peter Elliott, Mayor of Burnham, Mrs Pam Longmead, Chairman of Governors and Mrs Helen Elliott.

John visits Endoline Services in Maldon.

John Whittingdale saw first hand how a HIGH-TECH Maldon company is making a valuable contribution to the UK environment. Mr Whittingdale was the guest of the IT equipment recycling company End-O-Line (EOLS) at its Station Road Maldon premises on 20 February. He saw how the company, which is the foremost independent IT asset disposal company in the UK, is giving redundant IT equipment such as computers a new lease on life. EOLS operates a zero landfill policy for the 5,000 pieces of IT equipment it handles each week on behalf of its Blue Chip Clients including global banks and financial institutions. After all data is erased, 50 per cent of the computer equipment is resold, 40 per sent is given a new lease on life as components and the remaining 10 per cent is passed to other recycling companies to use in an environmentally-responsible way. Since it moved to Maldon from Danbury in April 2004, the company has employed 14 more people and increased by 50 per cent. 



John opens Kirk Mews, accommodation for the over 55s in the village.

John Whittingdale opened Kirk Mews, Althorne. Kirk Mews is a development of 14 close care bungalows for the over 55s adjacent to Mansion House Residential Home. These are sold on a leasehold basis and bespoke care packages are available to residents provided from Mansion House.

John Whittingdale said: "I am convinced that this kind of development provides a very attractive alternative for elderly people who require care but wish to maintain their freedom and independence in their own home. It also makes financial sense since the cost is considerably below that of full residential care and residents have an asset which will go on increasing in value. I am delighted that it is being pioneered in Althorne and I am sure that the residents will be very happy here."

John Whittingdale welcomed the first two residents, Mrs Ruby Ovenden and Mrs Doris Steatham and then unveiled a plaque. He is pictured with Mayor of Chelmsford, Cllr Mrs Margaret Hutchon, Mrs Jacqueline Kirk, owner Mr Frank Kirk andf Mayor of Burnham, Cllr Peter Elliott.


John Whittingdale attends Larkrise Primary School, Great Baddow

John performs the official opening of the extension to Larkrise Primary School in Great Baddow, at the invitation of the Headteacher and Governors.