John Whittingdale visited the refurbished Victoria Passenger Boat at Paper Mill Lock, Little Baddow, which is owned and operated by Essex Waterways. The boat was purchased and restored by Essex Waterways with the help of a grant of £32,838 from the Essex Rivers LEADER programme, administered by the Rural Community Council of Essex. 

John is pictured with Roy Chandler, Chairman of Essex Waterways. Since November 2005, Essex Waterways has managed the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation which runs from Springfield Basin in Chelmsford to Heybridge Basin with moorings at Springfield Basin, Sandford, Paper Mill, Howe Mill and Heybridge Basin.

John Whittingdale performed the opening ceremony for the Bradwell Community Shop which has been completely fitted out with new shelving, counters and chiller cabinets. The Community Shop is run by volunteers from the village on a not-for-profit basis and has benefitted from grants from Magnox as well as the Essex Community Fund. 

John is pictured with Bob Nichols, Bradwell Site Closure Director, Cllr Adrian Fluker, Deputy Leader of Maldon District Council, Brian Main, and Jill Curd of Essex Community Foundation. 

John Whittingdale attended a briefing for Essex MPs  from the Essex Fire and Rescue Service at Fire HQ at Kelvedon Park.

In particular, John was briefed on the work being done to check the safety of all high rise blocks in the County following the Grenfell Tower tragedy. As well as watching a training exercise in which officers released a victim trapped in a car in a simulated road traffic collision, John was briefed on  the work of the Specialist Animal rescue unit, the team dealing with chemical spillages and the dog rescue team.

John was briefed by Adam Eckley, Chief Fire Officer, and other senior officers. John is pictured with Chelmsford Fire Station officer, James Hall and also with Essex Rescue Dogs,  Kirby and Jarvis.

 

 

 

 

John Whittingdale attended the Burnham on Crouch RNLI Open day at Burnham Lifeboat station.

The day provided opportunities for visitors to learn more about the work of the lifeboat station and included a mock rescue from a life raft in the marina. John said: “it was a thoroughly enjoyable event on a beautiful day. However, it also reminded us of what we owe to the lifeboat crews who risk their lives in all weathers to save those in trouble at sea”

John is pictured with Graham Richardson, Area Life Saving Manager, RNLI< and David Nicholls, Lifeboat Operations Manager, Burnham on Crouch RNLI.

John Whittingdale opened the new wine shop and tea room attached to Clayhill Vineyard on Lower Burnham Road. The business is owned by Dale and Vicky Symons who first planted the vines in 2006. It now produces approx 50 tonnes of grapes per annum and more than 4,000 bottles of wine have so far been produced.

The new building is a converted barn with a new cellar to allow expanded production. It benefited from a grant of £38,000 from the Essex Rivers LEADER programme funded through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and which is managed by the Rural Community Council of Essex. The £95,000 project will ultimately create an additional 2.2 full time jobs and will create a tourist destination in an area which is becoming a centre of wine-making.