Chetwood School to be repurposed

As reported by Mark Francois MP, Essex County Council are proposing to refurbish and repurpose the former Chetwood primary school on Gandalfs Ride as a ‘sixth form’ annex to a new Special Needs school.

The school will cater for up to forty, sixth-form SEN pupils, out of an overall 190 special needs pupils.

The operation of the existing Chetwood Family Hub will be unaffected.

New Council Tax

Residents are starting to receive their Council Tax letters for the coming year.

As the County Council’s precept (including the Adult Social care charge) represents nearly 71% of the overall Council Tax bill, we thought it would be useful to show how the County Council spends our money:

Essex County Council Spend 24/25 (1)

Or, expressed as a daily spend:

Essex County Council Spend 24/25 (2)

Essex County Council – Daily Spend 24/25


New ‘Sea Wall’ steps at Marsh Farm Country Park

I was pleased to see that Essex County Council have installed two new sets of steps at Marsh Farm Country Park; one near the viewing point at Hawbush Creek and one near what the Park Runners refer to as “Bob’s Hill”.

The Locality Grant I was allowed by Essex County Council to improve local facilities funded these and, along with the two sets of steps my grant funded at Saltcoats last year, should improve access to the sea wall for residents.

Steps at Hawbush Creek, Marsh Fram Country Park

Steps at Hawbush Creek

Steps at "Bob's Hill", Marsh Fram Country Park

Steps at “Bob’s Hill”

Potholes (again)

It’s been a couple of months since the May elections, and the City Council is settling down to business as usual. Councillors have been appointed to the various committees overseeing the City Council’s running.

At Essex County Council has started another round of its ‘Member Led Potholes Scheme’ where each County Councillor is able to identify up to eighteen potholes in their area for priority treatment.

Essex Highways Highlights

I posted a request on Facebook for residents to make representations and also asked all the South Woodham Ferrers Town Councillors to identify potholes in their wards.

Only three – Peter Ferry, Lisa Kelly, and Darren Thompson took the time to respond, so I can only presume that the roads are not as bad as in other parts of our County.

Nothing, interestingly, from the local Council Taxpayers Association representatives who have declared their intention to “HOLDING THE PARTIES WHO RUN OUR TOWN TO ACCOUNT!” (their capitals), again I can only presume that there are no potholes in Woodville Ward.

Residents had already identified potholes in Benbow Drive to me, so I’ve reported those, those identified by our Town Councillors, and the potholes on the ‘S’ bend on the B1418 towards Woodham Ferrers.

Update – On July 18th I waas driving towards Chelmsford on the B1418 and saw a highways engineer highlighting multiple potholes – beyond those I reported – inclding some that had previously only received temporary repairs. It remains to be seen if Essex Highways treat the potholes with more than white aerosol, but fingers crossed! 

Early next month, Essex Highways plans to resurface the Inchbonnie Road stretch between Ferrers Road and Clements Green Lane.

Clements Green Lane itself is scheduled for resurfacing this financial year; the problems with the road surface are defined as ‘delamination’ and so cannot be treated by the County’s pothole teams.

There will be a second round of the scheme in October, so I will be asking for another eighteen potholes again nearer that time.

Bob Massey
Representing the residents of Chetwood & Collingwood Ward at Chelmsford City Council, and South Woodham Ferrers at Essex County Council.

Post Election ’23

After a fractious City Council election campaign, it’s time to contemplate the result.

Firstly, thank you to each and every one of the 707 residents who voted for me (I also voted for myself).

I will – with Ashley John and Malcolm Sismey – continue to fully represent you, and the other residents of Chetwood and Collingwood Ward at Chelmsford City Council.

Congratulations to Murrough O’Brien on his election as a Conservative councillor representing the residents of Elmwood and Woodville Ward, and also to Donna Eley and Terry Sherlock who will be representing those residents as Liberal Democrats.

To Keith Bentley, Tricia Hughes and Ian Roberts, who have represented residents over the past four years – twenty years in the case of Tricia Hughes – thank you for your service.

It is, of course, frustrating to us that Chelmsford has returned a Liberal Democrat City Council, we elected Conservative City Councillors will continue to hold them to account when their policies are found wanting.

Once again, thank you for your support.

Bob Massey
Representing the residents of Chetwood & Collingwood Ward at Chelmsford City Council.