Achievements so far for Better Colchester: 

 
  • 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.

  • In August 2018 we received a Silver Award from the Ministry of Defence for our work to acknowledge and support the work of the Armed Forces.
     
  • Following the £192,000 received earlier this year (2018), in September 2018 we have been provisionally awarded an additional £204,753 of Government funding to support our work in reducing the amount of people sleeping rough in the borough.
     
  • In September 2018 we announced that St John's multi storey car park will close overnight (10pm to 5am) from 1 October 2018. This is to ensure members of the public who park their cars at St John’s Car Park can consistently rely on it being a safe and clean environment. The move was prompted due to the increasing instances of unacceptable criminal and antisocial behaviour by a small minority of people late at night.
     
  • As part of National Recycling Week in September 2018 we announced that the first phase of plastic recycling facilities were being introduced for residents living in flats. In the first phase 63% of flat residents in the borough will benefit from these facilities and be able to recycle their plastics at home. In the next phase we will continue to work with other private management companies to try and implement plastic recycling facilities in as many of the outstanding flat developments as possible.
     
  • Over the summer of 2018, Visit Colchester launched its first ever television advert on SKY AdSmart and its social media channels. The advert achieved 459,651 impressions (views) during the campaign period, via Sky AdSmart, and a further 123,000 views via Visit Colchester’s social media channels!
     
  • The official launch of a business-led partnership which aims to provide a sustainable future for town centre traders was welcomed by Colchester Borough Council when it launched in October 2018. The Business Improvement District (BID) will run for five years and aims to tackle a range of issues to help drive footfall and attract more visitors to the town centre.  
     
  • As of October 2018, key voluntary and community groups that provide valuable services are invited to apply for a share of a £190,000 Voluntary Welfare Grantfunding aimed to support services.
     
  • In October 2018 we pledged to phase out single-use plastics and launched a campaign, Colchester Plastic Pledge, to encourage residents and local organisations to make their own online pledge to reduce their use of single-use-plastics. Colchester Plastic Pledge is part of our drive to help the environment by reducing waste.
     
  • During national Get Online Week, we held events to encourage residents and businesses to get online. Across the borough, free community learning, skills sessions and courses took place. Allowing members of the public to meet our Digital Access Support Team and to ask for support and advice about Council online services and general digital access.
     
  • Throughout October (2018) half term, youngsters discovered fun outdoor activities to celebrate Halloween at High Woods Country Park. Including Batty about Brooms, The Halloween Pumpkin Event and the Halloween Bingo Trail. Attracting families to explore the great outdoors.
     
  • Four Colchester residents have won free entry to Colchester Castle for a year as part of the #LoveColchesterCastle competition on Facebook. Many Colchester residents shared their best images of the Castle along with the hashtags #LoveColchesterCastle and #ResidentPass; capturing the heart and soul of the castle. 
     
  • An amazing mural has been completed in St Mary’s car park, celebrating the history of Colchester. The artist, who wishes to remain anonymous, worked evenings and weekends for six months to complete the artwork. We’re very pleased that a second Mural is in the pipeline; due to be finished mid-spring 2019. The Murals are part of a series of improvement works for St Mary’s and St John’s car parks that started in the summer. These include improved LED lighting, new painted steel window frames and work to close off spaces under stairwells to turn them into solid walls.
     
  • Charter Hall is undergoing a revamp. Generating a more attractive space for performances and events. In October new exterior signage was installed and the interior will be updated in the coming months.
     
  • Colchester Arts Centre has been awarded with a Small Capital Grant fund of £499,000, by Arts Council England, to make the venue more accessible for deaf and disabled people. The successful bid was supported by a £30,000 investment from us. The development will take two-and-half-years to complete and includes accessible handrails, ramps, toilets and better access to the bar.
     
  • 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 communities@colchester.gov.uk, 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.