News in brief...

By Times Reporter in Community News

POLICE are appealing for information following a deliberate fire in Hadleigh.

The roof of a replica iron-age round house was set on fire at the Hadleigh Mountain Bike course in Chapel Lane at some point between 5.30pm and 9pm on June 13.

It caused damage worth a five-figure sum and it is being treated as arson.

Pc Stuart Rawlings said: “This is a senseless crime where significant damage has been caused.

“This type of damage not only affects the owner but that of the wider community who want to spend any time at the centre.

“There is no excuse for this damage and I urge anyone with any information to contact me as soon as possible.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Pc Rawlings on 101 quoting crime reference number 42/83892/17 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

SEVENTY five people were arrested during the first three weeks of Essex Police’s summer anti-drink and drug driving campaign.

Fifty two people have been arrested on suspicion of drink driving offences and 23 on suspicion of drug driving offences.

The campaign ran until June 30.

SOUTHEND Hospital’s Maternity Unit has been successful in its bid for Maternity Safety Training Funds from Health Education England (HEE).

The £53,400 awarded has been invested in an advanced training manikin which will enhance the care for women and their babies by providing ongoing specialist training for the multidisciplinary team.

CONSTRUCTION work is well underway to convert an empty seafront unit into a vibrant cultural venue.

Located at the foot of the Pier Hill lift, the empty unit, to be named ‘Twenty One’ will offer a varied programme of art exhibitions, performances, music and spoken word from a modern café setting, complete with patio seating and serving delicious healthy food and drinks.

Scheduled to open by the summer holidays, plans are now being drawn up for the launch of the venue.

JENNIFER Tolhurst, a current Deputy Lieutenant, will take over from Lord Petre, as Lord Lieutenant of Essex who will stand down on August 4 after turning 75 - the obligatory retirement age for the Sovereign’s representatives.

Mrs Tolhurst, a former High Sheriff of Essex, who lives in Danbury with her husband Philip.

THE Forum in Southend is hosting the debut exhibition until July 24 by self-taught artist Garnet Marriott. Comprising abstracted photographic prints of Southend, this exhibition promises to challenge superficial perception, and seeks to present sights of the town in an innovative way which may inspire us to look differently.

He commented: “I hope that visitors will enjoy my abstracted compositions of shape, colour and movement, and can share a positive sense of deeper realisations lying beyond the incidental beauty of everyday reality.”

AN ARTIST who took part in the Leigh Art Trail, Patricia Gibbons has a fascinating exhibition of portraits of ‘interesting people’ n The Forum Space until July 24.

Self-trained artist Patricia Gibbons presents her interpretations of the well-known and much-loved, juxtaposed with works from life.

Patricia has seen her abilities expand and her successes proliferate: exhibiting works in the prestigious Essex Open Exhibition at the Beecroft Art Gallery and participating in the Leigh Art Trail.

A great claim to fame is that a recent portrait of Boris Johnson now resides in his private collection!

THIS is the ‘happily ever after story’ of Frankie the cat. Frankie sadly went missing from his home with heartbroken Paul and Sadia French in Southend, almost a decade ago.

Fast forward nine years and 46 miles away in Battersea London, a cat was brought into Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and upon arrival was scanned for a microchip.

Luckily, Frankie had been microchipped and Battersea were able to get in touch with Frankie’s original owners. It was a shock for the French family – but they are so happy to see their little boy again.

RAIL fare dodgers have been fined more than £32,000 by magistrates in Southend.

Greater Anglia brought prosecutions against 185 people caught deliberately evading buying a train ticket.

They were caught by revenue protection inspectors on the Greater Anglia network in Essex.

At a hearing in Southend Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday June 7, magistrates issued fines of £32,625 and ordered defendants to pay costs of £15,600.

SOUTHEND Council has welcomed an announcement from Arts’ Council England that two cultural services providers operating in the borough have secured funding to continue their work for a further four years.

Arts’ Council England announced that Focal Point Gallery will receive £745,536 over four years. Meanwhile, Metal in Southend, will receive £753,837 over four years as a proportion of their overall award, which covers their operations in Liverpool and Peterborough too.

LEIGH cider lovers will be able to enjoy an unbeatable range of draught ciders from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, during a 17 day festival at four pubs in the area.

The cider festival will take place at The Last Post in Weston Road, Southend, The Elms in London Road, Leigh, The Roebuck in High Street, Rayleigh and Parson’s Barn in Frobisher Way, Shoeburyness, until Sunday July 23 inclusive.

The pubs will each offer up to 20 ciders including some not previously available in the pubs and others produced exclusively for the festival.

LEIGH Town Council will not raise any objection to a planning application by The Salvation Army in Leigh to demolish an existing single storey link building and build a two-storey link building at their premises in Elm Road.

LEIGH Town Council have joined the objectors to the planning application demolish an existing block of flats at 31 Grand Parade, Leigh replace it with a six-storey building comprising five flats with basement car parking.

Permission was given by a planning appeal inspector for a five-storey building –but the applicant now wants to extend this by six storey.

NO objections have been raised to a planning application todemolish existing buildings at 1379-1387 London Road, Leigh and replacethem witheight three-storey terraced houses.

LEIGH Town Council will object to an application by the Bellini Bar and Brasserie to extend their opening hours by one hour on the gounds thatit would cause further noise and disturbance.

EARTH Angel Allotment School., a new charity has been formed to train teachers, community leaders and encourage children to enjoy the benefits of growing their own vegetables both through a secure network (video link) and occasional site visits.

Leigh Town Council welcomed the move and are looking at ways of involving their allotment plot holders.

THE new licensing application for The Ship in Old Leigh has been approved by Southend Council’s licensing subcommittee which will allow it to reopen. It was closed suddenly earlier this year.

ENVIRONMENTAL health officers have forced the closure of a mouse-infested takeaway in Westcliff to protect diners from contracting potentially fatal diseases.

During a routine inspection of Jerk Kitchen UK on Milton Road on Tuesday, June 2, Southend Council’s environmental health officers discovered mouse droppings on food preparation surfaces and kitchen equipment along with heavily gnawed food packaging.

Because of the risk posed to public health – which includes the spread of potentially fatal diseases – the officers immediately ordered the restaurant to close by issuing a formal Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice.

ARRIVA encouraged more people to use its services during Catch the Bus Week (July 3-9) with a day pass costing just £1 and valid on all of its services in Essex.

Available to users of the m-ticket via the Arriva UK Bus app, the offer ran for the whole of Catch the Bus Week, and aims to raise awareness of the benefits both personally and environmentally of taking the bus.

POLICE appealed for witnesses to a break-in between 4pm on June 23 and 7am on June 24 in Olive Avenue, Leigh.

Call 101 quoting incident 42/89474/17.

SOUTHEND’s oldest family store, Ravens in Clifftown Road, is to close for good.

It was opened 120 years and is the second big family store to announce its closure in the past month. The other was Havens in Hamlet Court Road. Both have commented how the growth of Internet shopping has affected their businesses.

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