John Whittingdale visited the Dengie Pumping Stations with the Environment Agency. The three Pumping Stations remove surface water through a network of man-made channels which is then discharged through 6 gravity out falls into the sea. This protects an area of around 55 square kilometres which is mainly high grade arable land with 46 residential properties within the flood cell. This lies behind an earthen embankment of about 24km stretching from St Peters Chapel to Burnham Wick Farm.

John discussed the future strategy for the protection of the Dengie Peninsula with Environment Agency Area Director, Simon Hawkins. John said “The risk of flooding, both from flooding and from the sea is particularly severe in the Dengie Peninsula. I am pleased that the Environment Agency have recently invested in new pumps and flooring at the Bridgewick Pumping Station and that the current flood defence strategy is working well. Although the priority is bound to be the protection of property, the land in the Dengie is of huge agricultural value and I welcome the Agency’s commitment to protect it as well”.

John is pictured with Environment Agency Area Director, Simon Hawkins, at Landwick Pumping Station in Dengie Marshes.

John Whittingdale presented Exceptional Service Awards on behalf of The Berkeley Leisure Group to Raymond and Gloria Bradford, the management team of Temple Grove Park in West Hanningfield. Raymond and Gloria have worked for the company for many years and have done a huge amount to improve the environment and facilities of Temple Grove Park: 

John Whittingdale said “I am delighted to present these awards to Raymond and Gloria in recognition of their hard work and commitment to ensure that Temple Grove remains a great place to live. The Park is well run and maintained and is a credit to the Park Homes sector. A large part of the credit is due to them and these awards are richly deserved.”

John is pictured with Raymond and Gloria Bradford, and David Curson, Managing Director of The Berkeley Leisure Group.

John Whittingdale attended events to mark the 50th Anniversary of Maldon’s Twinning with Cuijk in the Netherlands. The town of Cuijk is situated on the river Maas in the province of Noord-Brabant, near the German border. There have been regular exchanges between the two towns and strong links established:

Around 40 visitors from Cuijk spent the weekend in Maldon. John is pictured in front of the Twinning Symbol in Promenade Park with: Burgemeister Wim Hillenaar and his wife, Mieke Dengerink of the Cuijk Twinning Committee, Jill Hipsey of Maldon Twinning Association and Mayor of Maldon, Flo Shaughnessy with her husband, Terry.

John Whittingdale chaired and spoke at a public meeting at the Plume Academy on the subject of Climate Change. The meeting was organised by Jill Bruce, a WI Climate Ambassador, and Hattie Phillips, a Year 8 pupil at Plume Academy. The other speakers were Gareth Redmond-King of WWF-UK, Darren Tansley of Essex Wildlife Trust and Prof Sam Fankhauser of Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the LSE.  John said:

“I warmly congratulate Hattie on helping to organise the meeting and speaking with such passion. Climate Change is one of the greatest challenges we face and it is Hattie’s generation who are in the lead in calling for more to be done. I am proud that the UK has one of the best records of any country in the world in cutting carbon emissions and is now going to legislate that we must achieve a net zero carbon emission target by 2050. However, we need to do more and every person has a responsibility to think about their own lifestyle and what more they can do to reduce carbon emissions. It was good to see so many people come to the meeting and to commit to doing so.”

John Whittingdale helped launch the perpetuation of Sailing Boat “Pudge” by the Thames Sailing Barge Trust at Hythe Quay, Maldon. The project aims to restore “Pudge” by replacing her decking and hatches, improving her facilities and accommodation, researching and interpreting her heritage and addressing the skills shortage in the Thames Sailing Barge community. It is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund with a grant of £3328,000 and will take approximately two years.

John said: “I am delighted to learn that the Thames Sailing Barge Trust has, with the help of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, raised enough money to proceed with the restoration of SB Pudge. For may people, the Thames barge is the symbol of Maldon and the Trust does great work in maintaining the two it owns and at the same time keeping alive traditional shipbuilding skills”. 

John is pictured with Mayor of Maldon, Cllr Jeanette Stilts, Chairman of Maldon District Council, Cllr Henry Bass, Chairman of the Thames Sailing Barge Trust, Brian Dawson and other Trust supporters.


John Whittingdale visited the newly refurbished Maldon Mosque in Church Street run by the Maldon District Islamic Cultural Association. Founded in January 1988, the Association purchased the old Labour Hall in 2005 and converted it into a mosque. Following a crowd-funding appeal to the Muslim Community across the country, a new floor was added to provide an extra area for worship, an Imam’s room and a children’s study room. John was given a tour of the new building and also spoke to worshippers attending Friday prayers with the Imam.

John is pictured with the President of the Islamic Cultural Association, Jhual Abdul Hafiz, who is also proprietor of the Maldon Tandoori.

John Whittingdale visited Down Hall Residential Home in Bradwell on Sea to lunch with staff and residents. A lively conversation ensued covering the changes to the Maldon District over the last 30 years to the current political debate around Brexit!

John said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Down Hall and had a delicious lunch. It was a real pleasure to talk to the residents and staff as well as our local Priest, Steven Poss. I will certainly drop in again soon”.

John is pictured with Karen Johnson (Manager), Reverend Steven Poss and Louise together with two of the residents.

John Whittingdale opened the new Chelmer Housing Partnership development at Grangewood Park, Southminster Road, Burnham on Crouch. This is a new development of 72 affordable dwellings representing the first rented and shared ownership homes provided by CHP in Burnham. All of the rental properties will be owned by CHP with Maldon District Council nominating people to live in them – a quarter of which will go to people with a local connection.

John Whittingdale said: “I am delighted to launch this scheme which will provide badly  needed affordable homes in Burnham. We face a severe housing shortage in the District and I hope that those who are fortunate enough to obtain a property in this development will be very happy in their new homes”.

John is pictured with:

Cover picture:      Cllr Brenda Harker, Cllr Bryan Harker, Cllr Bob Boyce, Mayor of Burnham Wendy Stamp, Cllr Ron Pratt, Mary Gibbons (Chief Exec CHP, Cllr Penny Channer, Emma Foy (Maldon District Council)

Main article picture: Mary Gibbons (Chief Executive, CHP), Glen Alger and Melissa Banes (purchasers of Plot 39: 1 Harbour Road)

John Whittingdale joined other Essex MPs at a meeting with Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst, and Chief Constable BJ Harrington.

The meeting was held to discuss policing in the County. John raised concerns about response rates, particularly in rural areas, as well as drug abuse and the need for more visible policing in High Streets.

John Whittingdale opened the new Coffee Room at Bradwell Community Shop and Post Office: 

The new Coffee Room has been built to provide a meeting place for members of the village with the help of Essex Community Foundation and Bradwell Windfarm Community Fund. John met residents of the village including a number of those from Down Hall Residential Home.

John is pictured with Chairman, Brian Main,  with joint Shop Managers, Rachael Smith and  Carol Fennell, and Eric behind the Counter.  

John Whittingdale joined over 500 other MPs to plant trees as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, a network of forest conservation initiatives to mark Her Majesty's lifetime of service to the Commonwealth.

The trees were planted in Riverside Park, Burnham-on-Crouch on Friday 9 November by John Whittingdale, Cllr Henry Bass, Chairman of Maldon District Council, Cllr Bob Boyce, Chairman of Community Services and Cllr Ron Pratt and Nick Sandford, Regional External Affairs Officer, the Woodland Trust

They were donated to John Whittingdale thanks to a partnership between the Woodland Trust, Sainsbury’s and ITV, which in April screened a landmark documentary, The Queen's Green Planet, following Her Majesty the Queen and this ambitious legacy project which brings together her deeply held commitment to the Commonwealth and her little-known love of trees. At the heart of the film was a conversation between the Queen and Sir David Attenborough filmed in the gardens of Buckingham Palace last summer.  In a rare opportunity to see the Queen talking informally to Sir David, the conversation ranged from climate change, to conkers and of course trees, and was watched by 6.4 million viewers, making it ITV’s most watched factual programme of the year.

In support of the programme the Woodland Trust provided 50,000 trees for ITV viewers, and via the Rt. Hon Frank Field MP, who conceived the QCC initiative, also offered a special commemorative pack to every MP in the UK. 

John Whittingdale said:

“I am delighted that the Maldon District will be helping to provide the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy through these trees which I shall look forward to seeing grow in Riverside Park. This is an excellent project and I am grateful to Her Majesty, the Woodland Trust, and to Maldon District Council for their help”

Woodland Trust Chief Executive Beccy Speight said:

“We are delighted so many MPs have decided to join us in our bid to plant trees as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.  We all need trees. They are a cornerstone of our landscape and countryside, forming an essential and cherished part of our cultural identity. They are crucial in improving soil health and water quality, reducing carbon, trapping pollutants, slowing the flow of flood water, sheltering livestock, providing a home for wildlife or a space for us to breathe. I hope the residents of the Maldon District will enjoy watching them flourish as part of this wonderful legacy initiative.”

John Whittingdale visited Trinity St Mary’s Primary School in South Woodham Ferrers to present the newly elected School Council members with their badges and to talk to the children about his work as a Member of Parliament. John said:


“I was delighted to meet the new School Council members and to congratulate them on their election. School Council elections provide a great introduction to the principles of democracy and I also enjoyed answering questions from all the pupils. These were wide-ranging and challenging covering topics like Brexit and the working of the economy as well as my role in representing the Maldon constituency in Parliament”.


John is pictured with Headteacher, Mike Williams, and members of the School Council.

John Whittingdale had a meeting with Chief Inspector Gerry Parker, the new Police Divisional Commander for Chelmsford and Maldon.


John said:


“I was very pleased to meet Chief Inspector Parker, the new Divisional commander and was encouraged to hear of his determination to step up pro-active policing across the Division. We are fortunate that the overall crime rate in the district is still the lowest in Essex and it remains a safe place to live. However, I am concerned that there is a perception that crime is rising and that there are not enough police available. This has been increased by recent break-ins that have occurred in Maldon High Street and the increasing incidence of drug-related crime, often fuelled by gangs. It is good news that an additional 6 front-line police officers are being deployed in the District to strengthen coverage of the rural areas.  I also welcome Chief Inspector Parker’s intention to work more closely with local schools, as well as publicans and community groups, and to make more information available through facebook and social media:



John Whittingdale met Ella Pennycott from Burnham on Crouch who had come to Westminster to talk to MPs as part of the Stolen Futures Campaign of the National Deaf Children’s Society:


Ella, who is a Year 8 student at Southend High School for Girls, is a member of the Youth Advisory Board of the NCDS.


John said: “I was delighted to meet Ella during her visit to Westminster. She spoke powerfully about the difficulties faced by deaf children and how schools, universities and employers need to do more to help meet their needs. I will certainly be taking this up with Essex County Council and warmly congratulate Ella on her participation in this important campaign”.


John is pictured with Ella Pennycott by the NCDS bus in Old Palace Yard opposite the Palace of Westminster.


John Whittingdale visited Burnham on Crouch Rugby Club to see the volunteers in action as part of the NatWest RugbyForce weekend. Natwest Rugby Force is a nationwide programme designed to make rugby clubs stronger by improving and renovating their facilities with the support of volunteers and the local community over a summer weekend. In its ninth year, NatWest RugbyForce has helped over 650 clubs.

John saw volunteers clearing ditches, repairing fences and helping to prepare the grounds for the beginning of the new season.

John is pictured with Club President, Niall Hornett, Burnham Councillor Peter Elliott and Mayor of Burnham, Wendy Stamp.

John Whittingdale presented Kam, Proprietor of Chillies Indian Fusion in Oaklands House, South Woodham Ferrers, and his chef a certificate and apron for being Highly Commended in the 2018 Tiffin Cup competition.

The Tiffin Cup winner is chosen from a list of restaurants that have been nominated by local MPs. This year, 60 restaurants were nominated by their MPs. The competition aims to raise the profile of the quality and diversity of South Asian food in Britain while raising money for the charity World Vision.


John Whittingdale joined Maldon district Councillors and others to mark the opening of the Maldon Saltmarsh Coast Hub. This is supported by the Dengie Gateway Project which has been supported by the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund.

The Dengie Gateway Project has delivered a number of elements, including, a 5 year District Tourism Marketing Strategy, the new Visit Maldon District website, eshop and improved social media presence. The Project has also sought to promote the District’s wonderful Saltmarsh Coast through the installation of new signage and way-marking, dedicated webpages and the creation of a network of inspiring and bespoke Saltmarsh Coast Visitor Information Hubs, with the Maldon Saltmarsh Coast Hub in the centre.


John Whittingdale attended the Royal Yachting Association “Push the Boat Out” event at the Blackwater Sailing Club’s Open Day at Heybridge Basin.

RYA Push the Boat Out is intended to give people the opportunity to get out on the water and to find out how easy it is to get involved in sailing and windsurfing. Hundreds of Sailing Clubs and training centres take part throughout the month of March, including Blackwater sailing Club, Royal Corinthian Yachting Club, South Woodham Ferrers Yacht Club and Marconi Sailing Club in the Maldon constituency.

Blackwater Sailing Club was established in 1899 and is one of the leading sailing clubs on the East Coast with more than 1,000 members. It has an active Cadet section and it offers both cruiser and dinghy sailing. The Open Day was the most successful ever with 295 visitors and over 30 new members signed up on the day. Over 500 tasters provided for our visitors including John who went out for a sail in a Quest on the large freshwater lake owned by the Club. 

Blackwater Sailing Club website

Picture 1: John is pictured with Rob Haigh, Deputy Cadet Skipper

Picture 2: John is pictured with Rear Commodore, Nigel Butler


John Whittingdale attended the service at St Lawrence Heritage Church to bless the new telescope and display boards which have been installed in the churchyard looking over the Blackwater estuary.

The blessing was conducted by the Dean of Chelmsford, the Very Revd Nicholas Henshall. John is a co-Patron of the Friends of St Lawrence Church, along with Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP whose family still own a house locally.

John is pictured with Cllr Penny Channer, Nicholas Henshall and his wife, Christine, and Chairman of Essex County Council John Aldridge and his wife, Christine.

John Whittingdale visited Lookers Ford in South Woodham Ferrers. Lookers is a member of the National Franchised Dealers Association which is represents the 5,100 franchise vehicle retail network. Lookers Ford has dealerships across the UK. In Essex, there are showrooms in Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester, and South Woodham Ferrers.

John discussed concerns of the automotive industry about the arrangements after Britain has left the European Union as well as possible plans for the expansion of the South Woodham Ferrers showroom.

John is pictured with lookers Regional Director, Rob Dier.

John Whittingdale visited Woodville Primary School in South Woodham Ferrers.

John spoke to the School Assembly about his work in Parliament and the importance of democracy. He then met the School Council and answered questions on Brexit, Windrush and Migration, Syria, and a number of other topics raised by pupils.

Following his visit, the Head Boy, Ed, and Head Girl, Holly, wrote this report:

On the 27th of March, our local MP John Whittingdale (MP of Maldon) came and visited our school. He produced an interesting and political assembly about his job, and what democracy means. After the assembly, he visited the school council in Mrs Turner’s room and we discussed about the law and Brexit. Brexit means Brittan Exiting the EU.  Most of Britain and the members of parliament have voted and have decided to leave Europe. The main reason to leave was because of other bigger parliaments have been sending their rules ,but now our MPs can decide our rules. 

John Whittingdale visited Sandon School to talk to Sixth Formers on a range of political issues.

As well as having a tour, John discussed with students  a number of subjects which they wanted to raise including pollution and climate change, funding of the NHS, university admissions, global security and Brexit. John said: “it was a real pleasure to hear the views of a number of my younger constituents and to engage with them. I was greatly impressed by their knowledge and interest and was also very encouraged that a number said that they would like to get involved in politics in future”.

John Whittingdale welcomed Phil and Abby Wilcox, proprietors of Wibblers Brewery in Southminster to the House of Commons to celebrate their best-selling  Apprentice ale, being guest beer in the Strangers Bar of the House of Commons for the week beginning 4th December.

Wibblers was established on a commercial basis in 2007 in a converted barn in Mayland by Phil Wilcox, following 20 years of home brewing experience. Its beers have won numerous awards and John also recently attended the opening of their new premises and tap room in Goldsands Road, Southminster.

John said: “This week is a particularly busy one in Parliament and the House of Commons sat until 1.00am on Monday. The bar is always full with Members and guests and I am delighted that my colleagues will have plenty of opportunity to enjoy Wibblers Apprentice throughout the week.”

John Whittingdale attended the Digging and Delving exhibition at the Burnham on Crouch Museum on the history of the allotments in Burnham and launch of the associated publication. The concept and implementation of this project was carried out by Create and Flourish CIC, a Community Interest Company based in Burnham which helps local people to build resilience and maintain or improve mental and physical well-being through gardening and arts & crafts activities. The project was funded by the Heritage  Lottery Fund. 


20 acres of land were first leased to Burnham Parish Council for allotments in 1895 and Digging and Delving is a fascinating history based on many personal recollections of locals and allotment holders.


John is pictured with Triss Norman and Sharon Chan of Create and Flourish CIC as well as Carl Wilson, Angela Stearn and Zoe Bridges.

John Whittingdale visited Wentworth School in Viking Road, Maldon, as part of their British Values Week. John met the members of the School Council and then addressed a School Assembly to talk about Democracy and to answer Questions.

John said: “I very much enjoyed my visit to Wentworth and was most impressed by the perceptive questions from the children there. I am always happy to visit schools in my constituency to talk to pupils and am also pleased to welcome any local school which wishes to visit the Palace of Westminster”.

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.

John Whittingdale attended the  annual Armed Forces Day celebration at Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome. The event included a short religious service and flag-raising ceremony as well as a march past by local cadet forces.

John Whittingdale said: “Armed Forces Day provides an opportunity for us to pay tribute to the fantastic job which the armed services do on our behalf. It is particularly fitting that this even took place at Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome where young men sacrificed their own lives defending our freedom one hundred years ago”.

John is pictured with the Colchester Garrison Sergeant Major,  Commander of the Colchester Garrison, Lieutenant Colonel Ciaran Griffin, Dave Monk of BBC Essex, and Cllr Mark Durham, Leader of Maldon District Council.

John Whittingdale welcomed TV Historian, Dan Snow, to Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome before Dan spoke at a fund-raising dinner at Hylands House in aid of the Charitable Trust that runs the Aerodrome, of which John is Patron. John is pictured with Dan Snow, Chairman of the Trust Peter Martin, and Chief Executive, Ian Flint

John Whittingdale welcomed a group of international travel buyers from the United States and Ireland to Maldon.

Having previously visited the RHS Gardens at Hyde Hall, the group were given a presentation by Topsail Charters on board the Thames Barge Kitty on the Hythe Quay.

John said: “Tourism is an increasingly important industry in the Maldon District but it is not yet established on the itinerary of international visitors to the UK. I am delighted that Visit Britain has chosen to bring these representatives of international tour operators to Maldon so that they can see all that we have to offer”.

The group of buyers were visiting the East of England as part of VisitBritain’s flagship travel trade event ExploreGB. Now in its third year ‘ExploreGB’ took place in Brighton. More than 400 international buyers from 40 countries gathered to do business with 430 travel industry suppliers from across England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Buyers from Britain’s largest and most valuable inbound visitor markets including the USA, Germany, France, Canada and Australia attended. Important growth markets including China, the world’s most valuable outbound market, India, Italy and the Gulf countries were also represented.


John recognises the important contribution that pubs make to their local communities and is pleased to show his support for brewing and pubs across the Country by signing the MP pledge card. 

The industry creates hundreds and thousands of jobs in the UK and adds over £20 billion to the economy.   Permitted development rights allow the change of use of public houses to shops and supermarkets without the need for a planning application. Planning regulations enable councils to remove these permitted development rights to protect local assets.

When a pub is listed as an Asset of Community Value, permitted development rights are removed and a planning application is required for its change of use or demolition. This provides an opportunity for local people to comment and enables the local planning authority to determine the application in accordance with its local plan, any neighbourhood plan and national policy. Over 1,280 pubs are now Assets of Community Value.

The local planning authority may also take the listing into account as a material consideration when determining any planning application.

The Government has launched a new £1.5 million Pub Loan Fund to enable local communities to take control of pubs at risk of closure. Local people will be able to apply for small loans to help restore their pub, to help pay for feasibility work or lawyers' fees.


John Whittingdale visited Brynleigh Technology Ltd in Heybridge House Industrial estate off The Causeway in Maldon.

Brynleigh Technology is a family owned business which was founded in 1993 and manufactures printed circuit boards using its own advanced software. The firm has expanded steadily and will shortly be moving to new premises in Maldon. John toured the factory and spoke to managers and staff.

John is pictured with founder and Managing Director, Maurice Apthorp, Technical Director, Richard Apthorp, and Commercial Director, Lisa Apthorp.

John attended the opening of the Wibblers Brewery at their new home in Goldsands Road, Southminster, which was performed by John Fisher and his mother, Mrs Maud Fisher.

Wibblers was established on a commercial basis in 2007 in a converted barn in Mayland by Phil Wilcox, following 20 years of home brewing experience. Its beers have won numerous awards including Crafty Stout which won a Gold award in the Stout Class in the CAMRA National Winter Festival in 2015/16.  

John is pictured with Head Brewer, Phil Wilcox.




John recently attended NHBC’s Parliamentary event celebrating the Pride in the Job winners across the country and was particularly pleased to have the opportunity to congratulate the Site Manager of the recently completed St Luke's Park development, Mick Montgomery, who won Pride in the Job Seal of Excellence Award at the NHBC East Regional Finals.

John Whittingdale met Chief Inspector Ronnie Egan, Divisional Commander of Chelmsford and Maldon Policing Area, to discuss local policing issues including the levels of crime, police cover and the possible relocation of Maldon Police Station to the offices of Maldon District Council.

John Whittingdale said: “The Maldon and Chelmsford area remains one of the safest places to live with low levels of crime. However, it is essential that we keep it that way and I am very much aware of local concern about the level of police cover and response times. I strongly welcome plans to invest more in frontline policing and also the emphasis that Chief Inspector is putting on tackling Rural Crime, particularly in the Dengie Peninsula.”

John Whittingdale opened the 100th new home built by Chelmer Housing Partnership in the Maldon District. The house in Reminder Close off Park Drive is one of a development consisting of 27 affordable homes to rent and 12 homes for shared ownership.

CHP currently has (approximately) 9,000 properties throughout Essex and is working to have 10,000 homes in ownership by 2020. From April 2015 – March 2016 CHP built 286 new homes across Essex; 211 were for affordable or social rent, 67 for shared ownership and eight for market rent.

John Whittingdale said: “I am delighted that CHP is continuing to invest in new affordable homes in the Maldon District. I am very conscious of the acute shortage of social housing locally and these high quality homes, some at affordable rents and others for shared ownership, will  help to meet that demand. I hope that the new tenants will be very happy in their new homes”.

John is pictured with Cllr Peter Elliott, Chairman of Maldon District Council, Ursula Heelis, Chairman of CHP and Cllr Richie Miller, Mayor of Maldon.


John was pleased to lend his support to the David Randall Foundation

The David Randall Foundation was conceived by members of Maldon Cricket Club in February 2012 when David Randall, a member of the club since the age of 6, was diagnosed as having terminal cancer.

The Charity aims to encourage dedicated people to pursue their ambitions and give those with life threating illnesses the chance to live life to the full as long as possible. Its Patron is former England Captain and Opening batsman, Alistair Cook.


John attended a road safety awareness day in Burnham. The event which was organised outside the Co-op in Burnham saw the Essex Police roads policing team, Burnham speed watch group and the Safer Essex Roads Partnership on hand to answer any questions.

Following a fatal crash in Southminster in April and a serious crash in Bradwell on Sea in May, the event was aimed to raise awareness about speeding issues on the Dengie. Police have also been carrying out a number of speed checks across Burnham in recent months.

John Whittingdale said: “The number of road traffic accidents in the District has long been a matter of concern, particularly as a number have resulted in serious injuries or fatalities.  Overwhelmingly the causes of these have been excessive speed, alcohol or the use of mobile phones. All three are illegal and I welcome this initiative to get across the message that drivers must remain safe”.


John Whittingdale was one of the judges for the Young People’s Art Competition in Maldon. John had to judge entries in four age categories: Under 7s, 7-10, 11-13 and 14-16. The winners will be announced on 16th September at Maldon Library.

John said: “The theme for this year’s competition was Maldon events and the standard was remarkably high. Entries covered the Maldon Regatta, the Mud race, the Carnival, the Barge Race, Saltmarsh 75 and Maldon in Bloom. It was very hard to pick the winners and I would like to congratulate all those on taking part”.

John is pictured with fellow judges Lynn Marston, Chair of Maldon Art Trail, Richie Miller, Mayor of Maldon, and the Maldon Tesco Community Champion.



John visited Dan Hull Foods in Burnham on Crouch. Dan established a farm shop just outside Burnham on Crouch  selling locally sourced meat, local produce, homemade pies and ready meals. He also now supplies East of England Co-op stores, other farm shops and Selfridges and is seeking to expand to new premises. John is pictured with Louise Jones of Dan Hull Foods and Beverly Davies, Programme Manager of the Essex Rivers Local Action Group, which has allocated a LEADER grant to help the firm expand.


John Whittingdale met Andrew Gardner, Chief Executive of Essex AgeUK, at their offices in Widford Hall, Chelmsford to discuss the work of the charity in the county.

Age UK offers a number of services to those aged over 50 in Essex including Home Help, Toenail Cutting, Advocacy,  Sitting to provide respite for carers and Dementia Connections to help people living with dementia. Last year, Essex Age UK helped over 60,000 people in the county.

Its Information and Advice service is a free and confidential advice service for anyone aged 50 or over, their family, friends, professionals or carers. Through a team of professional advisers, they can provide up to date information and advice on a range of topics including welfare benefits, social care, bereavement and legal queries.

Essex AgeUK can be contacted on 01245 346106 or through the website:

John Whittingdale visited leading geosynthetics manufacturer, TERRAM, which is based on the Blackwater Trading Estate in Maldon. TERRAM, which is part of the Berry Plastics Group, supplies specialty Geosynthetics and materials for the landscape and construction markets. In particular, it manufactures a range of products which can help protect, manage or prevent flooding. John was given a presentation by Nick Hurt, Senior Director, on three of these core products: TERRAM Geocells, Bodpave 85 paving grids and TUBEX  tree shelters.

Read more ...

John Whittingdale visited Maldon Primary School to see the presentation at assembly to pupils by the Google Legends Tour. Deputy Head Teacher, Lea Tyler, welcomed Mr Whittingdale and the Google team to the school. 

The tour aims to keep children safe online by giving them the tools they need to make the internet work for them. The Internet Legends assembly introduces pupils to the Legends Code, four simple guidelines for staying safe and having fun online. They are:

1. Think before you share

2. Protect your stuff

3. Check it’s for real

4. Respect each other

John Whittingdale: “The Internet is part of our lives and has brought huge benefits. But it also carries risks and it is vital that young people understand these. I am delighted that Google has set up the Internet Legends Tour to take the message about the importance of Online safety to schools around the country and was most impressed by the fun way in which it was presented. I have no doubt that for the pupils at Maldon Primary, it was a very valuable lesson”.

MPs from across the region have added their support to the South East Business Growth Hub and Creative Prospectus at a joint launch event hosted by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SE LEP) and sponsored by Jackie Doyle-Price MP at the House of Commons.

The event on Monday afternoon (March 14) saw the Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP, Secretary of State for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, launch the SE LEP Creative Prospectus.

The prospectus has been drawn up by business leaders from the creative sector, SE LEP and local authorities from across the region. It has established the scope and scale of the creative economy in the LEP area, promotes the local benefits of a thriving creative economy and identifies actions that will help the sector realise its growth potential. 

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John Whittingdale visited St Cedd’s Primary School, Bradwell on Sea, with Vicky Ford MEP.

John met Pauline Ward, Headteacher, to discuss potential opportunities arising from the possible development of a new nuclear power station at Bradwell financed and operated by China General Nuclear. The school is considering employing a Mandarin teacher in conjunction with Ormiston Rivers Academy in Burnham.

John also opened the new Multi Use Games Area sports facility in the playground. This has been funded through the Primary Spaces project run by Sport England.





John Whittingdale visited the Bradwell site to see progress in decommissioning the old power station. John was accompanied by Vicky Ford MEP and met Scott Raish, Site Director. (pictured).

The site is following an accelerated decommissioning programme and is now in the Care and Maintenance phase. John went on the roof of one of the old reactors now being clad in aluminium and also saw the Fuel Element Debris treatment plant and the Intermediate Level waste store. John said “remarkable progress has been made since I last visited Bradwell in March with both reactors now almost fully clad. Bradwell is the first commercial reactor to be decommissioned in the UK and the techniques being developed here will be used across the industry. I congratulate all involved on the fantastic job that they are doing”

Following their visit, John and Vicky went with EDF to see the possible site of the new Bradwell B nuclear power station which may be built next to the old power station by the China General Nuclear Corporation.

John Whittingdale visited Elmwood School in South Woodham Ferrers to talk to pupils about his work both as the local Member of Parliament and as a member of the Government. His visit coincided with a themed week at the school on British Values.


John Whittingdale visited Downham Primary School to talk to pupils about his work as a member of Parliament and a member of the Cabinet. John spoke at the morning assembly and then presented badges and certificates to the newly elected members of the School Council.

The School said:

All week, the students of Downham had been learning about democracy, writing manifestos and debates which culminated in an exciting election where children voted in a secret ballot for their class reps for the new academic year. The children were extremely excited and felt privileged to have such a prominent figure in Britain’s Government to join them and share his wealth of expertise.

Kayleigh Talbot (PSHE co-ordinator) said “Mr Whittingdale has always been a strong supporter of pupil voice and really brought the idea of one person making a difference come to life for the children. The new council cannot wait to get started in their role and make changes for the school and Ramsden community.”

The new council will assemble in November to raise money for the school’s chosen charity ‘Teddies for Tragedies.’

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