John Whittingdale has recently become Patron of Home Start Maldon, a charity offering support to young families.

Active throughout the Maldon District, Home Start's volunteers provide free support, friendship and practical help to families with at least one child under five. Families are visited regularly in their own homes by volunteers who have ass had experience of parenting, and knoww how hard it can be. Home Start has recently been successful in obtaining major funding from the Ntional Lottery to enable it to extend its work in the District. Pictured here, John Whittingdale recently met the Chairman and some of the staff at their office in St Cedd's House.

John Whittingdale received a petition of over 400 signatures from Mrs Jacqueline Yaxley, proprietor of Jabberwocky in Maldon High Street. The petition called on the Royal Mail to retain the existing collecting box in the High Street , which was closed when the Post Office was relocated to the rear of Budgens. John Whittingdlae has sent the petition to the Chief Executive of Royal Mail urging him to reopen the Collecting Box and has received a response saying that the Royal Mail are carrying out a feasibility study to see if a Postbox can be placed in the High Street outside Budgens. John Whittingdale said;

"I welcome the fact that Royal Mail are looking again at the possibility of keeping a Collecting Box in the High Street. This is undoubtedly preferable to the existing position of a box at the rear of Budgens where it is only accessible when the store is open. However, I do not see why it is necessary to move it from one side of the street to the other. I will also be seeking assurances that the existing Post Box will be either retained or replaced with one of similar design which is keeping with the historic nature of our High Street."


Since receipt of the petition, the Post Box in the High Street has been reopened and is now functioning again. John Whittingdale said: "I am delighted that the Post Office has listened to the views of local residents and that common sense has prevailed."

John Whittingdale was among the local dignitaries who greeted Princess Anne on her recent visit to the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club in Burnham on Crouch.

HRH Princess Anne was attending the Classic Yacht Regatta which is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Royal Corinthian One Design yacht.
Among those also pictured are Mr Martin Makey, Commodore of the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, and Mrs Makey, Cllr Mrs Julia Peel, Chairman of the Maldon District Council, Cllr Rodney Bass, Christopher Manning-Press, Chairman of Essex County Council and Mrs Manning-Press, and Mrs Jenny Tolhurst, High Sheriff of Essex and Mr Philip Tolhurst.

John Whittingdale MP awards prizes for a children’s photographic contest at the Burnham Museum.

The children took part in a contest, organized by the Burnham and Dengie Focus Group, to take photos of their favourite places in the Dengie Hundred. The contest formed part of the feedback process for the groups consultation on the area’s future needs. Mr. Whittingdale presented Lewis Norman, eight, with the top prize for his photo of conker trees on Burnham marshes. The winning photo will now be displayed in the museum.


John Whittingdale supported a demonstration by local residents outside Budgens in Maldon High Street campaigning to save Maldon's Post Office, Budgens is due to close at the end of March and with it, the Post Office. John Whittingdale is shown with County Councillor Brian Mead, Cllr Steven Savage and protest organiser, Kirsty O'Callaghan, together with local residents. Statement by John Whittingdale OBE MP Member of Parliament for Maldon and East Chelmsford I am horrified to learn of the impending closure of the Budgens store in Maldon High Street at the end of March, and with it, the loss of the Maldon Post Office. At the time of its relocation to Budgens in July 2006, I was given explicit assurances by the Post Office that Budgens were making a significant financial investment into the franchise partnership and that this relocation "will further safeguard main Post Office services in Maldon into the longer-term future". Yet it now appears that Budgens have been seeking to withdraw from Maldon for the past two years. It is wholly unacceptable that Maldon should be left without a main Branch Post Office located in the High Street. If an alternative franchise holder cannot be found in time then the Post Office should reopen their original office. Anything less would be a betrayal of the undertakings given to me and to the people of Maldon less than two years ago. I strongly assured at the time that it would safeguard post office services in Maldon into the longer-term future. I accept that this latest development is not the fault of the Post Office and I note that they are considering legal action against Budgens for breach of contract. However, it does vindicate those of us who originally expressed concern at the loss of the Post Office’s own premises. I therefore convened a meeting at Westminster with Post Office management and representatives of the County Council, District Council, Town Council and Postwatch. This proved constructive and I hope has identified a way forward.

The Post Office make clear that they are committed to a long-term presence in Maldon High Street and they will shortly begin advertising for a new franchise holder. Unfortunately, the option of moving back into the old building is not available as it has been sold and the new owners are not interested. The Post Office also intend to establish a sub-post office in the High Street as a temporary solution until a new location can be found. A sub-postmaster has been found to take this on and it is hoped to find premises shortly. Unfortunately, this will still leave a gap between the closure of the existing Post office on 19 March and the establishment of the temporary solution. I have made clear that I regard any break of service as unacceptable and we are therefore seeking to find a way of providing a basic level to ensure continuity. One possibility is for the District council to take this on and this option is urgently being explored. It may also be possible to provide free transport to the sub-post offices in Heybridge and in Washington Road. I very much regret the disruption and inconvenience which is bound to be caused. However, I and the District Council are working with the Post Office to ensure that this is kept to a minimum and I am hopeful that a satisfactory outcome can be found.'


John Whittingdale recently visited Select Window and Door Systems Ltd in Galliford Road, Maldon.

One of the fastest growing companies in Maldon, Select manufactures up to 2,500 frames per week and is now seeking to double production. Seen here with District Council Chairman, Cllr John Archer, and Select Managing Director, Jeff Cole, John discussed the problems the company has had in recruiting employees and finding a second factory site in the District.


John Whittingdale visited Southminster Primary School at the invitation of Chairman of Governors, Phil Brewster, and Headteacher, Karen Harden.

Formed in September 2007 through the merger of the original infant and junior schools, Southminster Primary is a Church of England Voluntary Controlled school with around 200 pupils. John was given a tour of the school round by two pupils, Maddison and Billy, and then discussed a number of issues with the Head and Chairman of Governors. In particular, John promised to raise with the County Council concerns about the additional costs facing the school as a result of operating from two separate buildings. John said: "I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and was greatly impressed by the happy atmosphere throughout the school. Since its formation, the school has made huge progress and that is in large part due to the hard work of the headteacher, staff and governors."

John is pictured with Phil Brewster, Graham Martin (former Chairman of Governors), Karen Harden and Maddison and Billy.

On 25 July, John Whittingdale joined in the celebrations to mark the 25th anniversary of St Barnabas Pre-School in Maylandsea.

John is pictured outside St Luke's Hall with a number of the staff who had dressed up for the occasion.

John Whittingdale visited St Nicholas Church of England Primary School in Tolleshunt D'Arcy.

While there, he was given a tour of the school by members of the School Council and then spent time talking to pupils in The Oaks class who had been learning about how laws are made. The children prepared three Bills - one to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12, another to lower the legal age at which one can buy a pet to 10 and a third to allow children to drive electric cars in cycle lanes. John discussed these ideas with the children and answered questions about his job as a MP.

John is pictured receiving the Bills from members of The Oaks class with Assistant Headteacher, Daniel Woodrow.






John Whittingdale recently attended the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of St Peter's High School.

John is pictured here with Carole Noble, Mayor of Burnham and David Stevenson, Headteacher of St Peter's.

John Whittingdale visited St Peter’s High School, Burnham on Crouch, to help Sixth Formers with their entry in the National Youth Parliament Competition.

The competition is organised by the Citizenship Foundation and is intended to help students gain a better understanding of the legislative process and the role of the House of Commons. John helped students stage a mock Prime Minister’s Question Time and Second Reading debate which was filmed for submission to the Judges. John is shown with a group of students alongside Cllr Peter Elliott, Chairman of Governors, and David Stephenson, Headteacher of St Peter’s.

The Swan pub in Little Totham held a mini-beer festival to raise funds for projects in the village.




John joined villagers to send up balloons in an attempt to send them across the world to raise funds. The fundraiser was organized by John and Valerie Pascoe who run the pub. The event was a celebration of the Swan’s honour of being named the Rural Pub of the Year by the National Farmers Union magazine, and Mr Pascoe expects that it will raise £1,000 for village projects.

John Whittingdale presented computer equipment to children from Maldon schools who had collected vouchers in Tesco's annual Computers for Schools scheme.

John Whittingdale is pictured with Steve Hinckton, Manager of Tesco Maldon, and children from Plume School, All Saints Primary School and Watership Down Nursery.

John Whittingdale presents computer equipment to local schools.

John Whittingdale MP gathered with children from across Maldon at the local Tesco store. He was on hand to participate in the Computers for Schools program which allows children to collect vouchers and exchange them for computer equipment for their school.

For the more than £14,000 collected by local schools, Mr. Whittingdale handed out printers, digital camcorders, and laptops. Among the schools receiving computer equipment were Cold Norton Primary, Maldon Primary, Maylandsea Primary, and Heybridge Primary.

John Whittingdale attended the Topping Out ceremony for the new £148 million wing at Broomfield Hospital. The new hospital will be complete by Summer 2010 with the first patients due to be treated there in autumn 2010. It will have more than 300 bed, seven new operating theatres, new A & E and out patients departments, a special care baby unit and a roof top helipad. The new hospital wing is being built by contractors, Bouygues UK and is a PFI project.

John is shown alongside Chief Executive of Mid Essex Hospitals Ruth May, Simon Burns, MP for West Chelmsford, and Lord Petre, Lord Lieutenant of Essex.

John Whittingdale visited Buddies Children's Centre in Poulton Close, Maldon to open the new £60,000 extension. Founded by the Maldon District Handicapped Children's Association, Buddies is a day care centre for pre-school children, many of whom suffer from disabilities. The extension, which was funded with the support of the National Lottery, will allow the centre to accommodate up to 40 children.


John joins staff and pupils at Burnham County Primary School.

John Whittingdale recently visited Burnham County Primary School in Dunkirk Road, Burnham on Crouch. John was given a tour of the school and was able to participate in the pupils' art lessons. John is pictured here with Cllr Peter Elliott, Mayor of Burnham, Mrs Pam Longmead, Chairman of Governors and Mrs Helen Elliott.

John visits Endoline Services in Maldon.

John Whittingdale saw first hand how a HIGH-TECH Maldon company is making a valuable contribution to the UK environment. Mr Whittingdale was the guest of the IT equipment recycling company End-O-Line (EOLS) at its Station Road Maldon premises on 20 February. He saw how the company, which is the foremost independent IT asset disposal company in the UK, is giving redundant IT equipment such as computers a new lease on life. EOLS operates a zero landfill policy for the 5,000 pieces of IT equipment it handles each week on behalf of its Blue Chip Clients including global banks and financial institutions. After all data is erased, 50 per cent of the computer equipment is resold, 40 per sent is given a new lease on life as components and the remaining 10 per cent is passed to other recycling companies to use in an environmentally-responsible way. Since it moved to Maldon from Danbury in April 2004, the company has employed 14 more people and increased by 50 per cent. 



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. 


Page 5 of 5