Recycling our waste and unwanted objects is a way we can all participate in making a difference to the environment. I recently went to the Centre in Chelmsford run by Essex County Council to learn more about what happens to the different items and materials that the public bring for disposal. With 12,000 visitors every month this is a huge task, the Council have recently decided to end their contract with an external company and bring the running of these sites back "in house". This will save taxpayers money.
Each month around 1,400 TVs and a similar number of washing machines or dryers are brought to the site. Producers of certain items like TVs, fridges and washing machines pay towards the deconstruction of these items as well as safe disposal of any parts that can’t be recycled. Under the new Environment Act which has recently been voted through parliament this “producer responsibility” will be extended to more products which will encourage manufacturers to make sure that products are more durable and have longer life spans.
I also recently visited the site where a new Country Park is proposed near Sandford Mil with a local resident who is a keen ornithologist has been monitoring the bird life on this site for many years. It is home to many different species of bird and animal life, a number of which are on the “red list” for species that are under threat. The Environment Act also introduces new measures to make sure that any new housing development must encourage habitat for wildlife to increase biodiversity.
Another visit was with our Police Fire and Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst, to see the work that has been done to improve safety on the Bunny Walks in Chelmsford. Last year when the Government announced new funding for Safer Streets, I encouraged Roger Hirst to look at whether Chelmsford could benefit from this funding. He then co-ordinated a huge number of partners to put together the bid which as led to over £500,000 being invested in safety in Chelmsford.
The project not only includes CCTV cameras and environmental work along the Bunny Walks but also many different projects around the city centre focusing on reducing violence against women and girls. Since Roger and I were first elected in 2017 we have worked together on increasing police numbers in Essex and there are now over 700 more officers in Essex Police than five years ago.
I hope you and your loved ones are able to enjoy some of the events over the Queens Platinum Jubilee as we give thanks for her 70 years of service. I have been hugely honoured to be asked to represent Chelmsford and the UK at the Jubilee Service at St Paul’s Cathedral. Thank you to staff at the Marie Horn Boutique in the Meadows Shopping Centre for selling me a wonderful hat for the occasion.
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