District’s ‘Active You’ health project to continue after Easter
‘Active You’ workshops, organised by Rochford District Council in partnership with Active Rochford, have proved to be very popular, and now more sessions have been arranged after Easter.
The free workshops, to be held in Rayleigh, will include dance fit, circuits, interval training, yoga and Pilates. Short informative talks will be given at the end of each week, including ‘making healthy choices’, ‘healthy eating’, and ‘maintaining an active lifestyle’.
The ‘Active You’ health project is coordinated by organisation Active Life, which has a track record of sport and physical activity delivery using the expertise and resource of NHS health trainers. The project encourages healthy and active lifestyles, and aims to get people across the district active.
The original workshops took place after £15,000 of funding was granted to the Council to deliver free fitness workshops to Rochford district residents. Sport and physical activity sessions were delivered across the district over the winter period, encouraging those who do not lead an active life to participate in regular, sustainable activities. They proved to be very popular, with a total of 35 people attending six separate 12-week blocks of classes in Rochford.
Participants will be signposted via their GPs and health providers, or are able to self-refer. For more information contact Active Life on 01702 567327 or visit www.activelife.com.
Hickory Dickory Dock, sign up for the ‘Election Alarm Clock’!
With the 2015 Parliamentary (General) and local elections on their way, Rochford District Council is offering a special ‘Election Alarm Clock’ service to residents, to keep them updated during the run-up.
The Election Alarm Clock is a convenient way to receive, by email, all the latest information regarding upcoming elections.
By signing up to the Election Alarm Clock, residents will be alerted to:
- When and how to register for elections
- The wards where local elections will be held
- When and how to vote
- Where to vote
Rochford District Council’s Chief Executive, Amar Dave, said: “The Election Alarm Clock is a helpful facility, which sends email alerts and reminders relating to the upcoming elections.
“With this year’s polling day, on Thursday May 7, set to include the UK Parliamentary Election, it’s even more important that residents register for the Alarm Clock so that they can keep up to date with the very latest information”.
It’s easy to sign up for the service. Just visit www.rochford.gov.uk/electionalarmclock, and answer a few simple questions.
The second stage of the play area improvements at Hullbridge Recreation Ground has been completed.
The Climbing Web which has been funded by Hullbridge Parish Council and the Communities Initiative Fund has now been installed and will be ready for use from Saturday 28th March, this equipment is suitable for a wide age range of Children and we hope that you enjoy it.
The last stage will start after the Easter School Holidays and will be completed by the end of April.
Rochford District Council buys 10 acres of woodland
Rochford District Council has purchased 10 acres of woodland in order to safeguard it for future generations.
The land, which adjoins Cherry Orchard Jubilee Country Park, came up for sale at public auction and the Council stepped in to purchase it to the benefit of residents and visitors.
The land was previously owned by Anglian Water Services Ltd and adjoins the Rayleigh Water Recycling Centre, off Connaught Road, in Rayleigh. Three parcels of land were included with the lot, which incorporates the ancient woodland known as Rawreth Hall Wood.
At present these parcels of land, to the south of the water treatment works, provide informal access to the country park from Grove Woods. There was a distinct possibility that if sold to another party, such access would cease, and cast doubt over any future possibility of an east to west pathway link from Rayleigh to Cherry Orchard Way. There was also a concern over what land use such areas could attract, and the potential conflict this may cause with the many people who enjoy using the country park.
The Council had already outlined an intention to purchase this land as part of the Cherry Orchard Country Park Project, with a long term aspiration to develop a bridle route and surfaced footpath linking the car park in Grove Road recreation ground to Cherry Orchard Jubilee Country Park. This land purchase has brought this one step closer to being realised. The purchase cost was £38,000.
Rochford District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Enterprise, Councillor Mike Steptoe, said: “It was brought to the attention of the Council at rather short notice that this land was to be sold at public auction, and we decided to act swiftly in the interests of residents.
“The last thing we wanted is for this land to be sold to someone who might block access to the country park, as it is so important we keep this beautiful facility accessible to all.”
The purchase also ties in with the council’s Open Spaces Strategy which seeks to tackle obesity by encouraging people to make the most of our open spaces. It also supports the Strategy’s intention to preserve and join the various assets of the Rochford District’s landscape – which will involve working with partners to develop and promote footpaths, cycle-routes and bridleways.
Rochford District Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment, Councillor Keith Gordon, said: “I’m delighted that we have been able to purchase this land to the benefit of the many families, dog walkers, cyclists and horse riders who love using Cherry Orchard Jubilee Country Park. It can now be brought into proper management, with efforts made to increase biodiversity and encourage wildlife into the area. It will also mean that we can now improve accessibility to the park and preserve out ancient woodlands for future generations to enjoy.”
Penelope Down, from the Friends of Cherry Orchard Park, added: “The Friends of Cherry Orchard Park are delighted that RDC have been able to purchase these parcels of land, ensuring the link from Cherry Orchard Way to Grove Wood. We appreciate that the Open Spaces Team will have to work even harder to continue to maintain the park to it's present high standard and the Friends look forward to supporting them in whatever way they can. In the long term we look forward to the extension of the bridleway and footpath from Flemings Farm through to Grove Wood, a long awaited project that has moved a little closer now.”
Budding photographers of all ages are invited to share their work with the district, and maybe even win a prize!
Rochford District Council is pleased to launch the spring 2015 Rochford District Photographic Competition. Residents are invited to submit the photograph which really portrays their perception of the Rochford district at springtime.
There are two age categories for the competition, with Amazon gift vouchers worth up to £50 awarded to the top three photographs in the over-18s category, and up to £30 in the under-18s category. All work will also be used in future Council publicity and displayed at an exhibition at Rayleigh Windmill later this year.
The closing date for entries is Friday, April 24. Visit www.rochford.gov.uk/springphoto for more information, to see the full terms and conditions, and to submit your entry.
Rayleigh Windmill springs back into action
Rayleigh Windmill is reopening its doors this spring, with a variety of exciting events and exhibitions planned for 2015.
The award winning windmill offers a small museum as well as stunning views across the district, and volunteers are always on hand to give tours of the windmill and answer questions. Everyone is welcome to come and explore this 200 year old Grade II listed building, learn how the Windmill worked, try the quiz in the museum, dress up in their new children’s costumes and find out about the Castle that once stood on Rayleigh Mount. Entry is free of charge, however a minimum donation of £1 per person is encouraged to help with the windmill’s upkeep.
The windmill is also hosting various exhibitions throughout the season including local graphic artist, Jonny Doodles; photographer of local scenery, Kerri Webb; stunning works of art in glass by Keith Gravestock; and an Edwardian themed Wedding collection!
Local Artist Keith Gravestock, who is hosting exhibition ‘A Bit of Glass’ from June 10-28, said: “Following redundancy a few years ago, I decided to extend my glasswork hobby into a career, and so ‘A Bit of Glass’ was born. The work I create stems from a desire to produce items that are affordable, can be of practical use and are also good to look at.
“My main outlet is through craft fairs, and as glasswork has a history going back thousands of years, the historical Rayleigh Windmill seemed like an ideal venue in which to display my work. I will have a wide range of items on display at the exhibition including stained glass effect mirrors, hand painted vases, a leaded window panel, and fused glass dishes, plates and jewellery. I will also be giving copper foiled work demonstrations whilst I am there”.
The windmill will reopen at 1pm on Saturday, March 28, and will then be open every Saturday and Sunday from 1pm-4pm, and Wednesdays 10am-1pm, until September 30, 2015. It will also open on the bank holiday Mondays May 4 and August 31 from 10am-1pm. Visit the website www.rochford.gov.uk/windmill to view the full exhibition programme, for information about the latest events, and to check for changes to opening times. You can also follow the Windmill on Twitter @rayleigh_mill
Hop along to some Easter Holiday Activities!
Families are being urged to ‘hop along’ to some of the wide range of activities on offer this Easter Holiday.
A fun-fuelled events programme is being run by Rochford District Council, in partnership with Fusion Lifestyle and Rochford Extended Services, and includes a selection of arts, sports and leisure activities for all ages.
For those who love a good ‘sing-along’ there will be a chance to belt out some tunes from the hit children’s movie ‘Frozen’, or you can warble along to ‘Grease’ or ‘Matilda’.
Or why not try your hand at a clay workshop, Easter workshop making various crafts, or painting sessions? There will also be an Easter Parade, Family Theatre Events, and a ‘Family Fun Day’ where you can all enjoy some quality time together.
This will be on top of many other activities including golf sessions, swimming, cookery, pony riding, and even a Nerf gun battleground!
Easter activities run from March 30 until April 3, and cater for young children, families and teens. Note that places must be booked.
To find out more go to www.rochford.gov.uk/holidayactivities or call 01702 318191.
New Open Air Cinema coming to town!
A new Open Air Cinema is set to be launched in the Rochford District – and film buffs will get a chance to decide on one of the showings!
With summer on the way, the council is inviting residents to grab a blanket, pack up some snacks, and head outside to see some classic movies in the open air at some of the most impressive surroundings in the district.
These evening events, hosted by Essex Outdoor Cinema, are a first for the district and will incorporate pre-film entertainment, a bar and food outlets. The showings are sure to be popular, so if you want to catch a movie it’s advised that you book early.
The first showing will be Shakespeare in Love, (Age Rating: 15)onSaturday, June 6, at Hockley Woods. Or you can sing-along to Grease (Age Rating: PG) onSaturday August 15, at Sweyne Park.
There will also be a chance to vote on which film should be shown on Sunday, June 7, at Hockley Woods. Whether you fancy an old classic, a heart-warming family movie, or a tear-jerker, just visit www.essexoutdoorcinema.com and get voting!
Rochford District Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Community, Councillor Jo McPherson, said: “This Open Air Cinema is a first for the district and clearly demonstrates what a diverse and vibrant arts programme we have here. It really is perfect for anyone who wants to relax and enjoy some al fresco entertainment this summer, and I’m particularly expecting ‘Grease’ to attract plenty of people for a sing-along with their friends and family.
“It’s also great that movie-lovers will get a chance to choose one of the showings themselves – and I’d really urge everyone to get on the website and vote for their favourite!”
Tickets for all showings are £12 and gates open at 7pm.
Please note that Open Air Cinema venues are subject to capacity restrictions, and entrance without a pre-booked ticket is not guaranteed. Please pre-book your ticket and arrive early to avoid disappointment.
For up to date information and to book tickets visit www.essexoutdoorcinema.com
Please find below Council Tax amounts for 2015-2016.
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Following on from a number of complaints from residents stating that horse riders are using the footpath that runs from Keswick Avenue through to Pools Lane, opposite the recreational ground, we have now ericted "No horseriding" signs at both entrances as this is a footpath and not a bridal path.
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