Supporting the local community
News by Subject
Essex-&-Suffolk-Water With thanks to Essex & Suffolk Water for funding support of this website through the Abberton Reservoir Community Fund.


Reports and other matters relating to the town of Colchester.

ECC & CBC News Updates

Essex & Colchester News updates – July 2015

This is a summary of a number of recent announcements made by Essex & Colchester Councils during July 2015:

Listen to council meetings how and when you want

A new audio webcasting system is now in place streaming live from some of our council meetings and debates, available through our website and twitter feed, or you can choose to catch up later.

Links to the audio are from the ‘Your Council’ tab of with recordings available alongside meeting details and agendas. You can jump straight to a specific agenda item if that’s all you want to hear again.The Full Council meeting broadcast is planned for 14 July and committees of the council have also started to come online. Look out for tweets with links to the audio stream at the beginning of each meeting on the @ECC_DemSer twitter feed.


Transparency on calls to ECC’s Contact Centre

Telephone calls to Essex County Council’s Contact Centre now start with a recorded message about call charges. This follows new legislation introduced by the communications regulator Ofcom and the Advertising Standards Authority for 084, 087,09 and 118 numbers, as part of the national UK Calling scheme.

Callers to the Contact Centre on all 0845 numbers are informed that calls cost 5p per minute plus the access charge from respective service providers.


Road rollerEssex ahead on pothole repairs

The number of unrepaired potholes on county roads has fallen. In the three months leading to June 30, unrepaired potholes and carriageway defects on the county’s busiest roads have reduced by 70 and 75 per cent respectively, compared with the same period last year. According to Essex County Council figures, potholes and other carriageway defects were maintained at under 350, with 137 on the county’s busiest roads and 206 on main and key roads. Outstanding carriageway defects on local roads have also fallen over the same period, from 5,212 to 4,626, with 2,581 potholes repaired, continuing the positive trend seen over the previous three months. Since the same period last year, carriageway defects on local roads are down by 23 percent, from 6,001 to 4,626. To report a pothole or carriageway defect visit


Essex Outdoors children's activitiesHave a summer holiday to remember with Essex Outdoors

Essex Outdoors exciting 2015 summer holiday programme for 8-16 year olds has been released. Centres in Bradwell, Danbury, Harlow and Mersea will be running School Holiday Activity Days, which include up to four activities in one day, between 23 July and 28 August. Activities include aerial trekking, archery, bouldering, BMX, canoeing, caving, climbing, kayaking, low ropes, orienteering, zip wire and much, much more. Harlow is running additional climbing days as well as canoe and kayak days between 23 July and 28 August, with Bradwell also running a canoe day on 18 August. Activity days are the perfect way for children and young people to try the challenge and excitement of new activities. Activity days cost £30 per day or buy four days and get the fifth free. Dates, times and activities vary per centre so please check the website for full details or contact your nearest centre.


Aiming High for Disabled Children – summer programme

Essex Outdoors will be running the ‘Aiming High for Disabled Children’ programme this summer. The programme offers a range of day and overnight activities for free to disabled children and young people who are aged 8 to 18, as well as their carer. The programme includes:

  • Activity days at Harlow from 24 July to 28 August
  • Activity days at Danbury on 28 and 30 July
  • Sailing/crabbing day at Bradwell on 25 July
  • One night break in either Bradwell or Danbury on 15 August.
  • Mersea Island Festival overnight (five nights from 23 August)
  • Mersea Island Festival day visits from 25 to 30 August

Please note participants must live within the administrative boundary of Essex County Council to qualify for free places. For eligibility as well as dates, times and activities per centre please check the website.


Family fun at Bark in the Park

Bark in the parkJoin us at this special dog themed fun day for dogs and their owners on Sunday 9 August in Colchester’s Castle Park.

Bark in the Park will transform the open space in Colchester’s park into a dog and dog owner’s extravaganza.  This event, led by Colchester Borough Council’s Animal Control Team, will offer everything man’s best friend needs. There will be plenty to keep the whole family (and their dogs) amused throughout the day and visitors are assured of a great day out.  Owners will also have the chance to enter their pet pooches into the various dog show events that will take place during the day.

Dog Show Categories

  • Best Young Handler
  • Smiliest Staffy
  • Most Gorgeous Rescue
  • Handsomest Dog
  • Prettiest Bitch
  • Calmest Tail
  • Best Trick
  • Overall Best in Show

 There will be entertainment and demos, competitions and prizes, K9 Aqua Sports, dog agility, doggie trade stands and much more! Make sure you register online (for free) to enter one of the seven pet Dog Shows on the day!  Find out more here.


Have you watched CBC’s latest video?

A brand new tourism video promoting Colchester has been created to showcase everything that the Borough has to offer! If you haven’t had a chance to watch it on their YouTube channel yet, then click the link:



CBC Summer News 2015

summer-2015-activitiesWhat’s On Summer 2015

Colchester Borough Council report on a number of activities throughout the upcoming Summer holidays ranging from comedy, activity workshops, events at country parks, doggy activities and more.  They advise you check their websites (links below) to find out more:

Activities at Leisure World Colchester include animation workshops, swimming, arts, crafts, dance, tennis and much more!  There’s also water fun for all the family – fly down flumes, travel along a crazy river of waves, plunge down drops in the crazy outside rapids, dodge the water cannons and more in the leisure pool!  As they say:

We’ll take care of the kids!

Colchester Museums have lots of fantastic events the summer, including Go Live! Week, mediaeval medicine, Roman Food, Archery and much more.  Don’t forget you can visit one of our three museums where history comes alive through displays, technology and hands on activities.  Their site has a handy calendar so you can see what is on any day of the holidays.

Colchester’s Country Parks offer a host of activities and events for you and your family to enjoy at from learning about foraging and making your own den or dream-catcher to wildlife and health walks. Why not make the most of warmer weather by coming along to one of our wonderful parks to enjoy all the great outdoors has to offer!

jimmy-carrJimmy Carr – Funny Business at Charter Hall

On Friday 31 July Charter Hall, Colchester’s premier events venue, is excited to welcome back Jimmy Carr with his live show ‘Funny Business’. Tickets are £25, book now at Street Life! presented by School of Street (SOS) are performing on Sunday 5 July and tickets are now on sale for Robot Wars: The 2015 Live Show on Saturday 19 & Sunday 20 September.

Bark in the Park

Come and have fun with your pet pooch on Sunday 9 August, from 10am in Colchester’s Castle Park. K9 Aqua Sports UK, three show rings, dog agility and doggie trade stands. £5 adults, kids and dogs FREE. Enter your dog into one of our shows, for FREE, Best Young Handler, Smiliest Dog, Handsomest Dog, Prettiest Bitch, Calmest Tail and Best Trick. Book your dog into a show & book tickets.

past-inhabitantsLooking for something a little different?

Colchester’s Visitor Information Centre has a fantastic range of guided tours so you can find out more about Colchester’s fascinating history. Listen to the lives and times of characters from Colchester’s past as they take you through the dread, drama and dismay of Colchester’s important history. Theme tours are great fun for all age groups!  Visit their website for themes, dates and booking information.


CBC News Update May 2015

Colchester News – Market, Park & Ride

Latest news updates received from Colchester Borough Council…

Colchester Market has a stylish new home

Colchester Market has moved to its new home on Colchester High Street. The new site has bigger, sophisticated, branded stalls providing a mix of exciting new products alongside regular favourite traders. Find out how you could become a trader to trial your small business idea here>>

Park and Ride service now open

Essex County Council have launched the new Colchester Park and Ride facility. With a car park situated north of the A12, just off  junction 28, it links to Colchester Railway Station and Colchester Town centre.


  • Adult daily: £3 (Monday to Saturday)
  • Adult weekly: £15
  • Adult monthly: £55
  • Children (aged between 5 and 15 years inclusive) – daily £1, weekly £5, monthly £20.
  • Children under 5 years old travel for free at all times


Concessionary pass holders travel free after 9am Monday-Friday and all day Saturdays. Find out more here>>

Have your say on The Wonderhouse

The Wonderhouse is an exciting new concept, which will transform Colchester’s heritage offer and provide an innovative attraction for local residents and visitors. We would like to hear your views on it. The distinctive history and heritage of Colchester, Britain’s oldest recorded town, is reflected by the rich range of objects collected by Colchester Museums for over 150 years. The three museums; Colchester Castle, Hollytrees Museum and the Natural History Museum; highlight selected objects from the collection, which showcase the town’s key stories and unique character. However, it’s impossible to display everything. A wealth of collections are also stored by the museums service. These objects include items from Colchester’s more recent history, archives, photographs and oral history- all awaiting discovery by the public. A new collections centre, ‘The Wonderhouse’, will provide the key to unlocking their potential. Councillor Tim Young, Portfolio Holder for Licensing, Community Safety and Culture comments: “The Wonderhouse is an exciting project that will add to Colchester’s already rich heritage offer. It will be a real draw for residents and tourists alike.

Colchester is extremely lucky to have a wealth of internationally significant objects. The Wonderhouse will give people the opportunity to discover and appreciate them for the first time. This project will also unveil a vital piece of the town’s previously hidden Roman Wall. It will create a launch pad to explore Colchester’s many historic sites. I’d invite residents and visitors to complete the survey and let us know their views on this project.

Find out more here>>  


Free Dog Chipping


Free Dog Chipping

The Safer Colchester Partnership are offering free dog chipping in the Colchester Exhibition Unit which will be located at School Road Green Space, Monkwick, CO2 8NN on 26th may between 9:30am and 2pm.

Local wardens will either chip them then and there or, if it isn’t convenient, issue you with a voucher to be used at a later date (booking an appointment for a warden to visit). If your dog hasn’t been chipped it makes sense to follow well know dog trainer Cesar Millan’s advice, especially when the chipping is free:

I think it’s so much safer than other forms of identification. If your dog gets lost, he might lose his collar and tags; if your dog is stolen, the thief might remove his collar and tags. With a microchip, you can help people who find your dog find you and if someone else says it’s their dog, you can prove the dog is yours.
They make some neat stuff that works with your dog’s microchip, too. Like a pet door that recognizes your dog’s chip and lets him into the house (but not the raccoon that comes by later). The microchip won’t track your dog though. Your dog has to be taken somewhere to be scanned.

… not that we need to worry about too many racoons in Colchester.

As well as chipping, there will also be an ‘advice surgery’ on dog’s behaviour, so come along and talk about him if your terrier is a terror.


Colchester Events

cbc-logoColchester Events

Colchester Borough Council run numerous events throughout the year, some upcoming events are:

Bandstand Concerts in Castle Park

The concerts take place on Sunday afternoons (and the occasional Saturday) through the summer from May to September. Highlights areThe Band of the Parachute Regiment, The Colchester Band and Sweeting Swing Band.
Find out more here

Half term activities at Colchester Museums & Leisure World

Colchester Museums: live animal encounters, Roman food, puppets, kites and more!
Fine out more here

Leisure World Colchester: badminton, short tennis, swimming, arts, crafts, dance and more! 
Find out more here

Celebrate the Moot Hall Organ restoration

Celebrate the restoration of the Moot Hall Organ with a mix of great events at firstsite and Colchester Town Hall. Meet the Organist,  make your own organ pipe, join the Big Pipe Busk, Organs in the Archives and Organs in the Movies. Don’t miss the inaugural recital on 24 May!  Find out more here


There are lots of great events taking place in Colchester – why not take a look at the Visit Colchester website


CBC Delivery of Black Bags

Black sacksIn an earlier news update we advised that a roll of 52 black bags should be delivered to every household by the end of May.  We have now heard that because CBC have been let down by their bag suppliers the dates are going back. Instead of deliveries in Winstred Hundred happening in w/c 6th May it will now be w/c 27th May.  The date for complaining yours haven’t come goes back from 20th June to 11th July.


CBC Update on recycling containers

Recycling Green BoxRecycling Containers from 1 April 2014

From the 1st April all garden waste sacks will be available to residents at a cost of £3.64.  Free exchanges on worn out sacks will no longer be available.

This change will enable the Council to cover the cost of providing these containers as part of the service for those residents who choose to use the kerbside collection to recycle their garden waste.  The Council’s garden waste sacks are specially designed and manufactured for us to safely collect this particular material.  

All other recycling containers continue to be free of charge.

Where to get recycling containers

Free and paid-for containers can be collected or purchased from the network of stockists listed online at  These online listings are regularly updated, including for stock availability, so it is always best to check online first including how to pay.

Suppliers can be found in communities across the borough.  Similarly, Community Zone team-led events, where the free recycling containers are available for collection, take place year-round.  In the next few months we aim to expand these networks, working with partners.  .

Residents requiring garden waste sacks without a nearby stockist can go online and arrange free home delivery, or alternatively email [email protected] or phone 01206 282700.

  • Green boxes – Free, collection from stockists
  • Clear bags – Free, collection of rolls from stockists plus one roll of 52 delivered in April – May
  • Food waste bins (small and large) – Free, collection from stockists
  • Food waste caddy liners – recommended retail price £1.00 per roll,- available from our network of retailers listed online
  • Garden waste sacks – £3.64, collection from stockists or pay for and order online for home delivery
  • Black bags One free roll of 52 bags delivered in April – May. Further purchase from supermarkets and other retailers


Recycling Centre Changes

recycling centreEssex Council have asked us to let you know about changes to opening hours of their Recycling Centres for Household Waste. As of 9th January 2012 the following changes will commence:

  • All sites will open at 9am rather than the current 8am.
  • Winter opening times (from 9th January 2012– 29th February 2012) for all centres will be 9am to 4pm.
  • Summer opening times (1st March – 15th October) will be 9am to 5pm.
  • Late night opening on Tuesdays during a limited period over the summer will no longer take place.
  • Some recycling centres in the county will be closed on certain days of the week from the 9th January 2012 (including West Mersea – closed on Sunday, Wednesday & Thursday).

For further information on recycling centres or to find details about any specific centre either visit or contact 0845 603 7625.



homefinder_schemeJoin Colchester Borough Council’s (CBC’s) Homefinder scheme today and you could secure a steady return on your property with no arrangement fee. CBC urgently need landlords for families waiting to be housed. Many of their customers want to rent in the private sector. This is a positive choice and CBC can help them, and you, sustain a positive tenancy.

Before CBC put any families forward for a private tenancy they check they are capable of sustaining a tenancy and make sure that this is the best option for them.

When you join Homefinder you can choose either:

  • a full property and tenancy management service which offers guaranteed rent, together with regular property checks and protection against tenant damage…. Call 01206 244700 OR
  • if you’d prefer to manage your property yourself, we can give you peace of mind with our free property checks and the first month’s rent and deposit paid directly to you…Call 01206 506513

Download the Homefinder leaflet by clicking here.


Colchester Customer Survey – be heard

cbc-survey-jul11Colchester Borough Council has launched a Customer Service Survey to understand why residents access Council Services in the way that they do. From 11th July the Council begun to gather customer feedback to ensure it is providing the right services at the right location. Customers visiting the Customer Service Centre, High Street will be asked to take the opportunity to have their say, by participating in the survey and shaping the future delivery of Council services. The Customer Service Survey asks:

  • Why customers prefer to visit their office rather than use the phone or email and
  • Where they have travelled from and what mode of travel they use when they come into town to visit CBC.
  • Whether they would prefer to access Council Services within their local community from locations such as library or Parish Council premises.

Cllr Beverley Oxford, Portfolio Holder for Customers, said: “The Council is committed to providing excellent customer service to residents and the business community, and wants to future proof its services so that we can ensure we are providing customer service in a format and location that meets our customers changing needs. “Residents’ views are very important in helping us to shape the future of Council services. Complete our customer survey and communicate your priorities and needs to the Council.”  

Customers can also complete the survey online at until 2 September 2011. Following the 2 September we will collate and consider responses as part of the first stage of the Council’s customer services consultation.