Councils across Essex are working together to develop a new Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy for the next 30 years. They developed the previous strategy in 2007, and much has changed since then, including the significant climate change challenge that we now face.
Waste management is a major contributor to climate change, accounting for about 4% of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK. Improving environmental efficiency by making different choices about how we collect and treat waste will help reduce these emissions. Waste prevention can also deliver benefits by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in other sectors, such as agriculture, transport and manufacturing.
The new strategy will focus on the following key elements:
From January 2024 Colchester City Council will be charging for Garden Waste collections. With ever-reducing government support and increasing costs, CCC are having to look elsewhere to raise revenue to maintain services. You will still be able to dispose of garden waste at Colchester’s Household Recycling Centres, and the City Council will also work to encourage other options such as composting.
You will no longer be able to use the current Garden sacks, but you can choose between 140L and 240L wheelie bins instead. If you already have a wheelie bin you can continue to use it but will still have to pay. If you want to return an existing, bin the City Council will make provision to receive them.
The new service will require you to pay £35 to register for the service plus £55 per year per bin – a household can have up to 4 bins. You can get more details from CCC’s website.
Steve Hallam will lead a guided walk at Hillhouse Wood on Saturday 23rd September to seek out autumn fruits. Join him and you can expect to learn about local berries, soft fruits, nuts & seeds. He will let you know which ones to eat, and which ones you definitely need to leave alone. You will also hear the folklore associated with them. You can reasonably expect to see around 20 different varieties.
Previous years have revealed a pleasing quantity of late flowers as well. On one recent Autumn Fruits walk, walkers saw hundreds of:
Bike Theft on the Increase – How can you protect yours?
Bike theft in the Colchester area increased by 26% over the past month. Although the figures for bikes stolen from West Bergholt/Eight Ash Green remain low (only one theft last month) please remain vigilant and make sure that you keep your bike secure at all times.
Below are a few reminders of how you can reduce the risk of having your bicycle stolen.
A high-quality robust lock is the first line of defence. Choose one that is made of hardened steel that cannot be easily cut or broken, avoid flimsy cable locks that are easy to cut. Also try using multiple locks of different types to make it more challenging for thieves.
Solar Panels & Battery System for the Orpen Memorial Hall complex
The Orpen Memorial Hall was on an electricity tariff that was due to end in September 2022. The replacement electricity contract would result in a 4-fold increase in the unit cost. Our task was to see how we could reduce the financial impact and improve the sustainability of the Hall.
To install a solar panel and battery system paid for by a grant.
We were aware that our 2-year fixed rate deal would soon be ending. We, therefore, started getting system quotes and looking around for potential grant sources earlier in the year.
Recently West Bergholt Parish Council commissioned an independent Arboriculturist to undertake a tree survey. The aim of the tree survey was to assess the Wellbeing & Safety of trees under the Council’s care. This initiative stemmed from the Council’s regular review of the buildings and grounds under its management.
The Council invited quotes for the task and were pleased that a Local Business, the Tree & Lawn Company (TLC), offered the most competitive, and timely (outside of school hours), quote to carry out the work. Subsequently, the Arboriculturist surveyed the trees at Lorkin Daniell Playing Field, The Heath, Poors Field and the Allotments. They had the task of investigating signs of declining health, dead or broken branches, decay, or fungus, etc.
West Bergholt’s Orpen Hall/Daniel Lorkin Field boasts excellent facilities, now including a brand-new external Accessible Toilet catering for all. The toilet is designed with ramps and accessible features, and it even provides baby changing facilities for added convenience. Visitors can access the toilet during daylight hours.
Hub of Activity
The field is a hub of activity, frequently used by West Bergholt Football Teams with their enthusiastic spectators. Fitness Instructors also conduct workouts and bootcamps here, promoting a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, other onsite amenities, such as Tennis Courts, Children’s Play area, and Zip Line, offer other active opportunities.
Vocal Zones Choir looked back on their two concerts at their end-of-term session in July. Jacqui from Vocal Zones reports:
Christmas & Mulled Wine
A big thank you to all those who turned out to support our Christmas concert in December.
Sea of Scarfs & Hats
Unfortunately, the heating system in the church wasn’t working on the evening of the concert. Consequently, as we looked out on our audience, all we could see was a sea of hats, scarfs and coats. We really did appreciate everyone’s support that evening. Regardless of the cold we all had a lovely evening, singing our hearts out to combat the chill and then drinking our mulled wine to keep warm and enjoying our mince pies.