This week, I laid the first brick for the new state of the art Medical Centre in Beaulieu Park. Once completed, the facility will include consulting rooms for doctors, paramedics and nurses as well as other medical professionals. It will be one of the largest GP surgeries in Chelmsford. It will have knock-on benefits all across Chelmsford as it will help take pressure off other surgeries. The nearby Mountbatten Surgery will also remain open and expansion work is also getting underway at Sutherland Lodge surgery in Great Baddow.
I was pleased to hear that the recent police’s intensive “hot spot” operations in Chelmsford City Centre have been highly successful. 53 arrests have been made within a three week period. There has been an increase in visible local patrols, knife arch operations, and joint operations with the British Transport Police, Trading Standards and other local partners as well as senior support from Essex Police. Arrests have been for a variety of offences including burglary, theft and shoplifting as well as assault. Eight people have been arrested for drug dealing.
I met the bosses of Greater Anglia to discuss trains in Chelmsford. The new trains and carriages mean our local train service is now much more reliable than previously and user numbers are now nearly back up at pre-covid levels. The new passing loop at Beaulieu Station will help to make the service even more reliable and flexible. There are number of weekend disruptions due to the works on the new station and I have asked for more regular updates on the work being carried out.
Consultations will soon start for the annual train timetable amendments. I have asked for more “Chelmsford Starters”. I have asked for an improved flexy season ticket and for contactless ticketing to come to Chelmsford. I would love to hear the views of train users on these issues so please do email me.
In Chelmsford, I joined young women students from a number of our local schools. They have been working on a project to help give support to those who have suffered from sexual abuse but are uncertain of how to get support and what may happen if they report the crime.
Reporting a sexual offence and seeing an offender prosecuted can help victims get justice and hold the offender to account. It can help to deter the offender from re-offending in the future and can also deter others. But victims often face many uncertainties at a traumatic time.
With support from the police, social services and others, the students are putting together questions and answers to help victims. I hope that this will help reassure victims that they will always be treated with confidence and that their thoughts and decisions will be respected by authorities. The NSPCC is also supporting the students with their campaign.
I had a very busy time at Party Conference with a huge number of meetings and discussions on topics including protecting children, education, energy, cancer research, home heating and mental health. It is always a packed agenda, so thankyou to all the Chelmsford residents who had written to me asking me to catch up with the many different charities and other organisations who attend.
If you are interested in new career opportunities, skills or apprenticeships, please do come along to my apprenticeship fair on Friday 13th October 2023 at ARU from 10am. It’s the fourth time I have held this fair. It will be packed with different employer stands and a lot of information.