A plea was made for all children in families receiving Universal Credit to receive free school meals. This was called for by Liberal Democrats on Essex County Council on 12 July but was rejected by the Conservatives.
Lib Dem councillors pointed out that, since the Free School Meals policy was introduced (seven years ago by the Liberal Democrats in Government), theConservatives have increased funding per pupil from £2.30 to just £2.34 - anincrease of 1.3% compared to inflation of 7%. As a result, children in theEssex County Council area have lost the equivalent of £1,171,603 - morethan any other area in the country. Had funding increased with inflation, itwould currently stand at, at least £2.46 per pupil. This funding cut has leftEssex schools covering the extra cost by spending less on textbooks andteachers.
Chelmsford City Council will give a higher priority to action on climate change, affordable housing and community facilities in an upcoming review of its Local Plan. This change of priorities is driven by the Liberal Democrats, who want to address the failings of the current Local Plan, written by the previous Conservative leadership of the City Council.
The planned Garden Community north-east of Chelmsford will create new, high-quality neighbourhoods where people really want to live and work. This initiative by the City Council, working with developers, has been recognised by the Government, with an award of more than £450,000.
The grant will be used by Chelmsford City Council to continue the work of bringing new development forward. A proportion of the money will also be used on improvements to existing cycle and walking projects in the area.
Tenants in Chelmsford can feel assured that the council will challenge unfair or unsafe treatment by landlords, after it won a conviction in the courts.
Chelmsford City Council took Susan Wu to court for illegal eviction and harassment.
She had unlawfully evicted a family of five from their home in Chelmsford. The locks to the property were changed without the tenants' knowledge that this would happen. They were not given a copy of the new keys, until the council intervened. The keys were then given back to them in the middle of the night.
Chelmsford Smart Hangar Scheme (CSHS) was launched earlier this month to help cyclists to safely store their bikes in Chelmsford's city centre. Currently, there are three 'bike hangars' that can hold up to six bikes. They are located in:
Can Bridge Way (by Meadows Surface car park)
Market Road (by the public toilets)
Market Square (on the corner of Cornhill and Bellmead)
The bike hangars cost £1 per hour or £3 for a full day.
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