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Political Leaders from Essex County Council Visit the Maldon District

Published on Wednesday, 15th June 2022

Maldon District Council recently welcomed a delegation from Essex County Council’s (ECC’s) Political Leadership Team to the District.

The aim of the visit was to explore, discuss and showcase some of the great initiatives which the Council are undertaking, whilst highlighting some of the challenges that are being faced.

It was also an opportunity to strengthen collaboration and partnership working between the two Councils.

The day started with a tour of the unique and historic Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome, followed by ECC’s Political Leadership Team Meeting, which was joined by Cllr Penny Channer, Leader of Maldon District Council.

Cllr Penny Channer, said “I am very proud to represent the Maldon District, and there is a sense of pride that exists in the area. From historic high streets to coastal towns and villages, fabulous built and natural landscapes and buildings, amazing food and drink, open space, big skies and opportunities. But we are not without our challenges.”

Cllr Channer emphasized the need to work together with ECC in areas like economic and cultural renewal, equality of opportunity and tackling social challenges. She also stressed the importance of investment in rural areas and coastal communities.

In the afternoon 5 tours were arranged for the County Councillors. Including visiting Maldon High Street, Heybridge Causeway, Tollesbury, Burnham Primary School and attending a meeting of the Maldon District Food Support Network.

Each group were shown some of the best of the District. From historic and dynamic built and natural landscapes, community spirit and partnership working, to the dedicated work of our local schools and community services.

The afternoon tours also enabled some challenging conversations about real problems facing residents and businesses of the District.

Cllr Kevin Bentley and Cllr Lesley Wagland were led to Maldon High Street and the amazing Moot Hall. To appreciate our unique, independent, and thriving High Street and riverside location, as well as the challenges it faces with connectivity, public transport, air quality and congestion.

Cllr Lee Scott and Cllr Chris Whitbread visited the Causeway Industrial area to understand the risk of flooding, congestion, and the need for landscape and public realm enhancement and safe walking and cycling.

All four councillors also walked to Hythe Quay to better understand the history and importance of the historic quay, its connection to the town, Promenade Park and Leisure quarter. As well as future opportunities for cultural renewal and investment.

Cllr Louise McKinlay and Cllr Holly Whitbread joined a meeting of the Maldon District Food Support Network at Salvation Army Church. They herd how this local partnership is building on the work of the Maldon District Community Covid Response to help existing services to support local people. As well as the significant challenges local people and communities are facing.

Cllr Tony Ball and Cllr Beverley Egan were welcomed by Burnham Primary School and Tree Tops Nursery to show the great work of our local Primary Schools and early years services. They were also joined by local parents and discussed the very strained local school capacity, including Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) provision, the lack of post 16/18 education and skills opportunities in the district.

Cllr Peter Schwier, Climate Change Czar met with representatives of Tollesbury Climate Partnership (TCP). An independent, community-led organisation to reduce the impact of climate change and protect the village for future generations. The group discussed local marine issues including flood risk, natural climate change protection through seagrass & saltmarshes and water quality.

Through this work ECC Cabinet Members were able to gain a better understanding of local success and significant challenges, to aid future decision making around provision and investment.