We delivered a two week deep clean of Colchester Town Centre which commenced on Wednesday 25 July 2018
We received planning permission in July 2018 for a new 76 acre sports hub at the Northern Gateway which will increase opportunities for our residents to lead healthier lifestyles
In August 2018 we invested in a new Trailer Mounted Pressure Washer to help keep our streets clean. Its use of steam enables us to remove grease and gum.
In August 2018 we announced our plans for our Town Centre Action Plan (TCAP). Working with Essex Police we are investing over £240,000 into the delivery of TCAP, to fulfil on our priority to Fight Crime and Improve Community Safety.
The TCAP investment will see an additional ten new officers – “Team 10” – recruited to join forces with the borough’s existing team of Zone Wardens, Licensing Officers and Anti-Social Behaviour Officers re visible police officers and PCSOs on our streets.
We agreed with Essex County Council in August 2018 to each make an additional £100,000 available for the Colchester Local Highways Panel this year. It means the Panel will have around £700,000 this year to invest in schemes such as junction improvements, 20mph zones, and cycleway enhancements. We have also agreed that meetings of the Panel are held in Colchester.
Vineyard Street car park customers can now choose easy contactless, Apple Pay or chip card payment following the instalment of an updated pay and display machine (August 2018). This will make things easier for residents, visitors and workers in the town and supports the borough’s economic growth.
In August 2018 we announced our work with Age Concern Colchester to improve facilities and services for older people in Colchester. The partnership provides a more sustainable way forward with a single, accessible town centre location, offering great support and activities for older people.
We strive to ensure we provide the best possible service for everyone living and working in the borough and in August 2018 we announced that the number of complaints made to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman about services provided by us has fallen by nearly 20 per cent in two years.
In August 2018 we announced that in the months April to June 2018, the Borough recycled an average of 58% of all its rubbish – an 11% increase on the recycling rate seen during the same period in 2017.
We value our heritage and in August we confirmed that we are currently redrafting our management framework and agreement with Historic England, to ensure that all aspects of Colchester's town wall are carefully considered and continue to be effectively managed.
As part of Better Colchester’s commitment to promoting heritage sites, we are working on a series of projects to lighten up parts of the town. We have already applied to light up the front and sides of the War Memorial in Cowdray Crescent. Research and feasibility studies are also taking place throughout November to look at ways we can light up further segments of the Roman Wall. The Castle lights are due an upgrade as well and a feasibility study is currently underway.
In support of Colchester’s Plastic Pledge, we will be bringing new drinking water fountains to Colchester in Summer 2019. The fountains also support Better Colchester’s commitment to improve the health and wellbeing of residents and visitors. Up to five new locations will be considered for the new water fountains, including reopening old water fountains and providing modern ones. The feasibility study will be completed by the end of November 2018.
As part of Better Colchester, we are in the early stages of creating a green wall. We’re identifying suitable sites for the structure, also known as a living wall, with the intention for installation to begin in 2019. The green wall will improve the aesthetic of the town, making it more appealing and welcoming for residents and visitors.
In November 2018, our Licensing Committee approved a new Pavement Permit Policy, which is now set to go to Full Council in December 2018 for review. If approved, the new Pavement Permits policy will come into effect in January 2019. The Policy will ensure that outside seating for street cafes are controlled and managed in a mindful way, sensitive to the needs of other footway users whilst enhancing the customer experience of businesses with outside tables and chairs.
Our aims to make Colchester a better place to live has had a flying start thanks to the new plastic recycling facilities introduced to flat two months ago. As of the 16 November 2018, 6.1 tonnes (equivalent to the weight of an elephant) of recyclable plastic has been collected. Since the scheme begun, 545 communal bins have been delivered to 473 locations, providing 7,330 flats in the borough with improved recycling facilities.
Across the town centre six Christmas Trees have been installed to create an even more colourful and bright Christmas. Located at Cowdray Crescent, Firstsite, Lion Walk, Culver Square, the Town Hall balcony and Mercury Theatre, the trees were lit on the 25 November as part of the towns wider Christmas Light switch on.
As part of our Better Colchester campaign, we have allocated £28,000 (£20,000 from Colchester Borough Council and £8,000 from ‘Best Foot Forward’ Legacy funding) to the Colchester Orbital project; a 14-mile circular walk around the outskirts of Colchester. The Colchester Orbital route links Colchester’s most important green spaces and will connect to heritage points of interest.
‘Team 10’, a new dedicated Town Centre Team made up of Special Constables, Police Community Support Officers and a Police Constable joined Essex Police in December 2018 as part of the Colchester Town Centre Action Plan (TCAP) – a multi-agency project delivered in partnership by Essex Police, Colchester Borough Council and Colchester Borough Homes. Team 10 have been introduced to crack down on crime and anti-social behaviour in the town centre. Team 10 has been made possible thanks to a £300,000 investment by Colchester Borough Council as part of Better Colchester.
In December 2018, a contractor was appointed for a new multi-million-pound Northern Gateway Sports and Leisure Park. Following a competitive tender process, R G Carter, will deliver the initial phase of the development, comprising of 76-acres of innovative and exciting sports and leisure facilities. This will include a cycling track sports centre, archery range and outdoor mixed-use leisure spaces. In addition, a new and high specification clubhouse will be created for Colchester Rugby Club, with floodlit 3G and natural grass pitches, allowing plenty of space for the club’s busy senior rugby matches and popular youth and mini rugby events.
We do it with bottles, cans, glass, paper, batteries and more – now Colchester Borough Council is making it easy to recycle our chewing gum! In January 2019, we installed 34 bright pink Gumdrop bins in and around the Town Centre in locations identified as gum litter ‘hotspots’. All gum collected will be 100% recycled into making more Gumdrop bins.
In January 2019, statistics were released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs identifying Colchester Borough Council as the local authority in England with the third largest increase in household recycling rates in 2017-18. During the year, Colchester achieved a recycling rate of 55%, a 9% increase from the previous year and 10% above the official recycling rate for England in 2017.
In January 2019, we introduced a new parking offer at St Mary’s and Priory Street Car Parks. Drivers can now park for just £2 flat rate, if they arrive after 2pm, allowing them to park during the afternoon, evening and overnight until 6am, Monday to Friday. The offer is available when driver pay for their parking through the MiPermit cashless app, text or phone. The offer makes it even easier for residents and visitors to visit the town.
Since the launch of our Plastic Pledge in October 2018, 150 residents (as of February 2019) have submitted a Colchester Plastic Pledge with the three most popular pledges being to use reusable bottles, reusable food containers for packed lunches and to stop using plastic straws. Colchester Plastic Pledge is part of our drive to help the environment by reducing waste.
Following planning approval in January 2019, work will soon begin on developing a new mini golf course in Colchester Castle Park. The demolition of the old pavilion and construction of a new pavilion, putting facility and café will begin in early March, with the project due for completion in early summer. The new facility ties in with our vision to make a Better Colchester, encouraging healthier and more active lifestyles.
Following a £21,000 invested in February 2019, new recycling bins are being installed in the Town Centre and surrounding key locations to encourage even more recycling. The new bins will replace 14 general waste litter bins which will be re-located to other parts of the borough.
In March 2019, we lit 30-metres of our Roman Wall for five nights. The lit section extended to the south of Balkerne Gate and took place from dusk until 11pm. The temporary lighting scheme highlighted a commitment to light a section of Colchester’s Roman Wall on a permanent basis. The lighting committed to celebrating and showcasing Colchester’s rich heritage to residents and visitors.
We launched our Neat Street campaign in March 2019, in partnership with Our Colchester Business Improvement District (BID). Neat Street is a voluntary campaign which encourages Town Centre businesses of all types to show their pride in the town by making sure their shop or cafe/restaurant fronts and pedestrian areas are clean, tidy and appealing.
We’re going to refurbish the lift at Vineyard Street from March 29 as part of our commitment to make Colchester a better place to live in, work in and visit. The revamp will include refurbishing and painting all the interior and exterior panelling, before vinyl graphics depicting some of Colchester’s best loved heritage sites will be installed to cover all glass panes.
We’re chipping in and supporting the country’s biggest mass-action environmental campaign. The Great British Spring Clean, which runs from March 22 to April 23, will see up to half a million people acting to clean up streets, parks and beaches across the country. We are encouraging community groups and individuals to sign up and show their support by contacting email@example.com, were our Zone Wardens will be in touch to ensure enough clear sacks for litter picks are available.
From March 2019, residents and businesses across Colchester are being urged to show their support for preventing and alleviating homelessness in the borough. As part of the Homelessness Prevention Charter – jointly set up by Colchester Borough Council and Colchester Borough Homes – residents and companies can now publicly state how they want to help tackle the issue through making an online pledge. The aim of the initiative mirrors our Better Colchester campaign, making Colchester an even better place to live, work in and visit.