A friend recently challenged me to write an A-Z of great things that I’ve seen in Chelmsford this year. There is a huge amount to choose from but here is my first attempt. I wonder what others readers might like to add to the list?
Army and Navy Task Force – The flyover will need replacing in the future, the Task Force has now been set up and has started the work to find a long-term solution.
Buses – Last Autumn, Chelmsford buses were in a real mess. Now, extra buses and new evening services are on the way. Do use them, or we could lose them!
Children’s services – Ofsted ranked our Children's Services as “outstanding.” Fewer children in care means fewer vulnerable children at risk.
Delay/Repay scheme - Now train users can get compensation, even when there is a 15-minute delay!
England and Essex – The England Women’s Cricket Team won the Tri-Nations Series at our county ground, because they are the best in the world.
Festivals - The Chelmsford Festival for Music, Art and Dance was great fun. In 2020 we will also host the British Science Festival, the first time it will come to Essex.
Green Flag – 14 of Chelmsford’s parks now have Green Flag status, making them some of the best in the UK.
Housing – Last year, 692 families in Chelmsford used a Help to Buy Equity Loan to get a foot on the local housing ladder.
Infrastructure – The Community Infrastructure Levy has funded upgrades to community centres, youth clubs, CCTV, neighbourhood policing and more.
Jobs – Job numbers across the UK are at a record high. Chelmsford is one of the best cities to get a job.
Kids – Lottery grants to Kids Inspire and the Essex Boys and Girls Clubs have helped support children in Chelmsford and across Essex.
Law Clinic - This new service at Chelmsford Citizens’ Advice Bureau is giving practical advice to some of those who need it most.
Medical School – The Medical School at Anglia Ruskin University is already training doctors of the future. Applications for next year are 12 times oversubscribed!
Nightlife – Chelmsford’s pubs and clubs won the National Award for the Best Pubwatch Scheme, keeping us safe at night.
Overhead Lines – Network Rail have upgraded the overhead lines on the Chelmsford – London line. Now we should have fewer weekend replacement bus services.
Policing – Over 300 more officers are joining Essex Police and Chelmsford’s “C-shift” Team scooped the prize for the best local police team in the UK.
Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy – I helped Thriftwood College students plant trees in Admirals Park in a project to make new woodlands across the world.
Rough Sleeping – The number of rough sleepers is reducing. Thank you to CHESS, Helping Hands, Sanctus, Open Road, Chelmsford City Council and many others.
Second Station - After two years of work, we put in the bid for Beaulieu Park station. It’s now one of the top priority projects for the Great Eastern Main Line.
Toilets – the “Changing Places” toilet at Beaulieu Park Community Centre is one of only 1,300 in the UK. It means everyone can join in community activities.
Ultima Thule – Teledyne e2v’s technology captured the furthest images in our solar system. A small piece of Chelmsford is amongst the stars.
Violence - Prison violence is being addressed. Staffing numbers have increased. New staff training and mentoring has been introduced.
Women – EqualiTea Parties were held all across Chelmsford to celebrate 100 years of women getting the vote.
X-cellent Work – Primary Schools across Chelmsford had outstanding KS2 results, well done to all involved!
Young People - Organisations across Chelmsford opened their doors for National Apprenticeship Week, 650 people stated apprenticeships across the city last year.
Zero Plastic – Many Cafes and bars joined the ‘Refill Scheme’. Which will help reduce waste from plastic bottles across Chelmsford.