Offers to help you join Energy Switch and Funding opportunities are just two of many subjects in the numerous news updates Essex County & Colchester Borough Councils issue every week, the following are extracts that might be of particular interest.
An energy-saving initiative which has already saved Essex residents almost £1 million has reopened for new applications. Register now for the Essex Energy Switch to potentially save hundreds of pounds on your energy bills.
Registration is open till 1 February 2016. After this, energy providers will bid against one another in an auction with the winning bidder being the company offering the lowest price to all applicants. Following last year’s Switch, residents saved approximately £263 per household.
Anyone who pays for energy is eligible to take part. Signing up takes just a few minutes online. Visit www.essex.gov.uk/energyswitch for more information and to find out how to take part.
Colchester’s Big Choice funding application process is now open! Bid for a share of £200,000 to fund new or existing community projects in Colchester. Finalists will be entered into a public vote at the end of February 2016 to decide on the winners.
If you have a project that could be eligible CBC needs to know more about it. Not all applications will go through to the final vote but in order to qualify CBC needs to know who you are, what you do and how your idea will benefit the residents of Colchester Borough.
Completing this online application form will guide you through the information CBC needs so please complete it carefully and take note of the deadlines as CBC has to stick to them. The online application form needs to be completed and received by CBC by 12 noon on the 15th January 2016. Click here to find out more
What best describes Essex culture to you? Is it some of our buildings and architecture; our artwork and theatres; local street and contemporary social culture; or perhaps there’s an iconic image you think sums up the county? Whatever it is, the #InstaEssex campaign wants to capture it with a photography competition that’s open to both amateur and professional photographers.
15 winning images will be displayed at London Liverpool Street station and at branch line stations across Essex. From these winners the top three will be awarded cash prizes of £1,000 (first prize), £500 (second prize) and £250 (third prize).
If you don’t fancy submitting a photo but still want to share your thoughts, you can join the discussions on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using #Instaessex. The competition is open until Mon 15 February 2016 so there’s plenty of time to get snapping!
Free “No Cold Caller” stickers are now available at Essex libraries to help vulnerable people protect themselves from rogue traders.
Taking place twice a month in various parts of the North East Essex area, these meetings are free to attend without prior booking and give you an opportunity to discuss matters of concern or interest to you regarding Local Health matters. The minutes of the recent meeting in Colchester will give you an idea of what they are about:
If you were fortunate enough to receive a new smartphone, tablet or PC at Christmas and you’d like help to get online, then why not brush up your IT skills for free at CBC’s digital bazaar events and online drop-in sessions beginning this month and running throughout 2016.
At CBC’s digital bazaar events and online drop in sessions, you are encouraged to bring your own device where you will receive professional help with setting it up.
Computers are available at all of the events and staff are there to support and teach you and undertake tasks such as setting up email addresses. You will also have the opportunity to meet some of CBC’s dedicated multi-skilled Zone Teams who have in-depth knowledge of local areas.
CBC also offer one-to-one support at any of the library hubs across Colchester. To book a free one hour session please complete CBC’s online form or call 01206 282222.
The unseasonal mild spell is coming to an end. Are you ready for wintry conditions on the roads? Keep up to date with road conditions via Essex County Council’s website or Twitter accounts.
Visit ECC’s winter travel web page for useful information about salt bins, salting (gritting) routes and links to other winter-related advice about school closures, flooding alerts and health. Follow @Essex_Travel and @EssexGritters for all the latest winter road updates from Essex County Council on Twitter. ECC does not manage the A12, A120, M11 and M25. Visit the Highways Agency website for information about these roads.
At midday every day during winter a weather report comes in to Essex County Council and the decision is made whether to send gritters out onto the Essex roads. Essex County Council has 59 gritters which grit 2,500 miles of roads in the county using a mixture of salt and brine. Find out how the gritting service works in a feature which appeared in the East Anglian Daily Times this week.
Remember to always drive to the weather conditions to keep safe on the roads this winter.
The NEE Health Forum is a largely enthusiastic and committed body of people who are interested in health matters. They are all people who have registered as public members of North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group.
The Health Forum is not formally part of the Clinical Commissioning Group, but members of the Health Forum Committee are invited to be part of all decision-making meetings within the CCG so that they can obtain and reflect the views of people from North East Essex to the group in a timely way. The Clinical Commissioning Group wants the Health Forum to be as inclusive as possible, and so the criteria for eligibility are very broad. There is more detail on the Join the Health Forum page of their website.
Members of the Health Forum are able to vote for the Health Forum Committee. The Health Forum Committee has a number of sub-groups which are looking at specific health related issues. The Health Forum does not have any legal powers, but has been given local powers by the CCG. It works very closely with Essex HealthWatch, who do have legal powers.
Their important reports, including local Health Forum meeting dates, agendas and minutes and similar material relating to the Health Forum Committee can be found on their site in the Library.
The Health Forum holds local meetings which any public member of the CCG can attend, regardless of where they live. The 3 local meetings are held at Colchester; Harwich; (rest of) Tendring – this is usually held in Clacton.
The next meetings are being held on 2nd, 3rd & 4th February (2pm – 4pm) respectively. The agenda vary slightly both from meeting to meeting but also by location, but will typically include items such as those due to be discussed in the February meetings:
These meetings give Health Forum members a chance to receive presentations and ask questions relating to key health care issues and services in their area. They are also to raise concerns with the NEE CCG staff directly and Health Forum Committee members.
The Agendas for the local meetings are set by the Health Forum Committee who request speakers on the subjects they believe local people want to hear more about. The CCG supports the Health Forum Committee by finding suitable speakers and health professionals that are in a position to answer relevant questions.
All three local meetings are usually held within a week of each other and they occur bi-monthly (every other month). The dates of future meetings can be found on their events page
The agendas and minutes of the Local Engagement forum are published in their Library under Health Forum.