Recently, I met some of the extremely talented children from Trinity Road Primary school who had designed the stunning murals on the Bunny Walks under Chelmer Valley Road Bridge. The murals were then painted by a professional artist.
This is all part of a massive government funded project to make the Bunny Walks safer and more welcoming for all, as well as work to improve safety and reduce violence against women more broadly in Chelmsford.
Thank you to Roger Hirst Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex (pfcc.police.uk) jumping to it as soon as I suggested we should bid for the Safer Streets fund for this part of Chelmsford and to local resident James Tyrrell for his constant views that this part of Chelmsford needed focus.
Roger Hirst pulled the bid for funding together and thank you to the many local organisations who worked together to make it all happen - including Anglia Ruskin University Essex Police - Chelmsford District Essex County Council, Chelmsford City Council, our Street Pastors and so many others.
On the Bunny Walks we saw the new CCTV camera network and heard how overhanging branches have been removed helping to make the area feel much safer. Benches, replacing graffiti with the murals and other improvements to the environment for nature (including planting of wild flower areas) are also encouraging more people to the area which also makes it feel safer. It was great to see so many people enjoying a walk, run or cycle and hear first hand how they now feel safer in this area.
The government funding has also been used to protect areas near the prison where the school grounds and local residents’ properties were being used by those wanting to “throw over” drugs into the prison complex as well as other projects to tackle violence against women.