John opens Kirk Mews, accommodation for the over 55s in the village.

John Whittingdale opened Kirk Mews, Althorne. Kirk Mews is a development of 14 close care bungalows for the over 55s adjacent to Mansion House Residential Home. These are sold on a leasehold basis and bespoke care packages are available to residents provided from Mansion House.

John Whittingdale said: "I am convinced that this kind of development provides a very attractive alternative for elderly people who require care but wish to maintain their freedom and independence in their own home. It also makes financial sense since the cost is considerably below that of full residential care and residents have an asset which will go on increasing in value. I am delighted that it is being pioneered in Althorne and I am sure that the residents will be very happy here."

John Whittingdale welcomed the first two residents, Mrs Ruby Ovenden and Mrs Doris Steatham and then unveiled a plaque. He is pictured with Mayor of Chelmsford, Cllr Mrs Margaret Hutchon, Mrs Jacqueline Kirk, owner Mr Frank Kirk andf Mayor of Burnham, Cllr Peter Elliott.


John Whittingdale attends Larkrise Primary School, Great Baddow

John performs the official opening of the extension to Larkrise Primary School in Great Baddow, at the invitation of the Headteacher and Governors.




John Whittingdale visits Little Owls Nursery in Danbury.

On 31 March, John Whittingdale visited Little Owls Nursery in Danbury.
Opened a year ago, the Nursery is a purpose built facility offering care between 7.30 am and 7.00pm for children from 3 months upwards.
Also run from the premises is Barny's Club providing holiday and after school activity for children between 4 and 12.
John Whittingdale is pictured with Nursery Centre Manager, Sara Hampson and owner, Jan Smith.

John Whittingdale visited Servowatch, manufacturers of integrated control systems for marine vessels. The company is based in Woodrolfe Road in Tollesbury and exports around the world. John Whittingdale presented Stafford Williams with an award from the RNLI for his work in developing the new Systems and Information Management System for the Tamar class lifeboat.

Also pictured are Director, Steve Smith, and Manager of Naval and Commercial Systems, Martyn Dickinson.

John Whittingdale visited St Mary's Church of England Primary School in Burnham on Crouch to talk to head teacher, Mrs Geraldine Denham-Hale, staff and pupils.

 John is pictured with the Mayor of Burnham, Cllr Peter Elliott and children learning about different countries of the world.

 John represents local parents in their concern about standards at St Peter's School, Burnham.

Following concerns about poor results at St Peter's High School in Burnham on Crouch and approaches from the parents of current and future pupils, John Whittingdale asked the Chief Inspector of Schools to arrange an early inspection. Following this, St Peter's was judged to be a failing school and has been placed in Special Measures.

John Whittingdale said: "I recently visited St Peter's and was impressed by the obvious commitment and dedication of the staff that I met. However, while the school has many strengths, the Inspectors' report has identified a number of weaknesses that need to be urgently addressed. Instead of damaging gossip and anecdote, we now have an independent report which will allow action to be taken to tackle the areas that need to be improved. Under the leadership of the new Head and with the help of the local education authority, I hope that we will now see swift improvements so that St Peters delivers the high standards which parents are entitled to expect. 



John Whittingdale is a regular visitor to local schools and recently went to St Peter's High School, Burnham on Crouch to be interviewed by pupils for the School report project being run with BBC Essex.

John is pictured here with Chairman of Governors, Cllr Peter Elliott, Deputy Mayor of |Burnham, Mrs Helen Elliott, Headteacher David Stevenson and pupils wearing the new school uniform.


John Whittingdale visited Wilkin & Sons for a meeting with members of the Essex NFU involved in Horticulture to discuss current issues affecting the industry. John was given a tour of Bounds Farm, Goldhanger, where strawberries are grown for, among other products, the company's famous Little Scarlet jam. John is seen here with Bernard Jenkin, M\P for North Essex, and Priti Patel, prospective Conservative candidate for Witham, being shown some of the fruit by Chris Newenham, Managing Director of Wilkin & Sons.

Among the issues discussed at the meeting were the future of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme, Water Use and Irrigation licences, Sea Defences and Energy Costs.

John Whittingdale met protestors against the Wind Farm which is proposed to be built on Bradwell and Tillingham marshes at the exhibition held at Bradwell Village Hall


John Whittingdale visited Brooks Bros Timber Yard in Danbury to support the "Wood for Gold" campaign. Ken Walsh, Managing Director of Danzer UK in Maldon, invited John to back the campaign, which is seeking to ensure that the Olympics and the legacy Olympic Park is environmentally sustainable and makes the best use of renewable building materials such as wood. Danzer UK is a major timber and lumber producer importing from Africa, America and elsewhere. Brooks Bros are a major customer supplying timber products across the country with yards in both Maldon and Danbury.

John is pictured with Mark Sherriff, Managing Director of Brooks Bros, and Ken Walsh, Managing Director of Danzer UK.

Each year thousands of people across the UK take part in Wallace & Gromit's Wrong Trousers Day. This is a national fundraising event to support children in hospitals and hospices all over the uk. For one day a year everyone at work, school or nursery swaps their normal below-the-waist attire for wierd, wonderful and wrong trousers!

Wrong Trousers Day started in the South West in 1997 to launch the capital appeal to build the new Bristol Children’s Hospital, growing in 2000 to support sick children in hospital and hospices in Bristol, Sheffield, Cardiff, Nottingham, Leicester, Manchester, Stockton-on-Tees and Newcastle. In 2003, Wrong Trousers Day became a national event supporting children's healthcare in the UK through the creation of Wallace & Gromit’s Children’s Foundation.

Wallace & Gromit’s Children’s Foundation is a national charity raising funds to improve the quality of life for children in hospitals and hospices throughout the UK.

Serious illness is always distressing but in a child it is cruelly so as it steals away childhood itself. The Foundation funds an innovative range of projects to ensure children in hospitals and hospices have a better, brighter future.

Since 2003 Wrong Trousers Day has been an outstanding success raising nearly £1 million for children in hospitals and hospices. Wrong Trousers Day has helped to build two new children’s hospitals and a new children’s hospice, provide state of the art equipment, create landscape garden and family accommodation facilities and fund specialist art, play and music therapy projects.

John Whittingdale recently attended the celebration of local produce organized by Maldon District Council in the Promenade Park. Among the many exhibitors was the Mighty Oak Brewing Company, based in West Station Yard, Maldon. Mighty Oak produce a range of beers including monthly and special brews.They have won many awards including Champion Golden Ale of Great Britain 2007 for Maldon Gold and Champion Mild of Britain 2006 for Oscar Wilde.

John is pictured with owners of the Company, John Boyce and Ruth O'Neill, together with Chairman of Maldon District Council, Cllr Sheila Young.


John signed the Anne Frank Declaration - a copy of the decleration is below:

I pledge my support to:

Anne Frank is a symbol of the millions of innocent children who have been victims of
persecution. Anne’s life shows us what can happen when prejudice and hatred go unchallenged.
Because prejudice and hatred harm us all,

I declare that:
• I will stand up for what is right and speak out against what
is unfair and wrong
• I will try to defend those who cannot defend themselves
• I will strive for a world in which our differences will make no difference – a world in which everyone is treated fairly and has an equal chance in life.


John Whittingdale attended the annual Burnham on Crouch Civic Service which was held this year at All Saints Church, Creeksea.
Among those pictured are Cllr Brian Mead (Chairman of Maldon District Council), Rev Tony Jones, Rev Vera Wadsworth, Rev Hugh Beavan, Carole Noble (Mayor of Burnham), Cllr Ron Pratt (Deputy Mayor), John Whittingdale and Cllr Penny Channer (Leader of Maldon DC).

On 07 August, John Whittingdale visited Wallasea Island to see the site of the RSPB's Wild Coast Project.

The Island, which is across the Crouch from Burnham has been chosen for this landmark conservation and engineering project which is on a scale never attempted before in the UK and is the largest of its type in Europe. Under the scheme, inert material produced from work on the CrossRail project in London will be shipped to Wallasea and used to raise land which is currently protected by sea walls. The walls will then be breached allowing the water in to transform 620 hectares of arable land into the coastal marshland it once was. This will become a wetland mosaic of mudflats and saltmarsh, shallow lagoons and pastures. The project will take ten years to complete but in time it is estimated that it will support 40,000 to 50,000 birds - almost twice the number which is currently supported by the estuary.

John Whittingdale was anxious to confirm that the disturbance to local residents is minimized while the work goes on. He said: "The unloading of aggregate will take place some way downstream from Burnham and noise and dust suppression with down lighting will be used. There are strict planning conditions on noise and I hope that this will ensure minimal disturbance for people living in Burnham. A Sailing and Shipping Management Plan should also ensure that there is no interference with sailing activities. Once completed the Project should become a tremendous asset to the community providing a beautiful natural environment for local visitors and tourists to the area."

John is pictured with Chris Tyas, the RSPB Project Manager, with Burnham across the river behind.

On 10 July, John Whittingdale visited Maldon County Primary School to see around the school and to attend an assembly where the children showed the work that they had done to learn about China. This followed a visit to China by assistant head teacher, Mrs Linda Goode and it is hoped to continue to build links between the school and one in China. 


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