New Park street lights energy supply
21st August 2023 - this letter was delivered to all residents of New Park, Deer Park Close, Allfrey Court and Abbey Cottages
Castle Hedingham Parish Council is responsible for the four street lights along New Park. These are the only street lights in the village paid for by the Parish Council - any others are either Essex County Council or housing association responsibility. The Parish Council was notified at the end of July by the current energy supplier, Npower Business (which was Eon) that they will be cancelling our energy supply contract for the New Park street lights, because the contract is too small. Street lights are only supplied on a UMS (unmetered supply) basis. There are very few companies which offer this, and most of them will not supply small contracts. The only supplier which is offering an alternative is SSE Energy, at a 135% increase over last year’s energy cost on a minimum three-year contract.
For this reason, Castle Hedingham Parish Council has made the difficult decision to terminate the energy supply to the New Park street lights for the time being until we can find a solution. We have approached specialist energy brokers and asked Essex County Council if they can help by taking over the lights as part of their larger contract. We have also submitted a query to Ofgem to ask if the refusal to supply small UMS contracts meets with the energy market Code of Practice. So far, we have been unable to find a satisfactory answer. The New Park street lights will be “de-energised”, which means that the supply will be reinstated if we can find a suitable contract.
The Parish Council is aware that this may not come as welcome news to residents of the New Park area, and will continue to keep the situation under review. We are obviously all aware of increasing energy costs and the Parish Council budget for this year took potential energy supply increases into account, but did not anticipate the scale of the problem we are now facing. We thank you all for your understanding and patience while we try to find a solution.
Castle Hedingham is a rural village in North Essex, known for its historic buildings and prominent Norman keep. We are very proud of our caring and engaged community and have a wide range of social and interest clubs and societies.
CASTLE HEDINGHAM NEWS - updated 21st September 2023
Rewilding New Park Castle Hedingham: Our rewilding project at the Pump House land, New Park, started in spring 2023. To take part in monitoring plant and animal species observed, try the iNaturalist App at https://uk.inaturalist.org/. This is part of a 5 year project on Braintree District Council owned land, and carried out with the support of the Essex Wildlife Trust Wilder Towns, Wilder Villages team.
We love seeing our Team Wilder councils and communities using the Urban Wildlife Champions, River Champions or Wilder Towns, Wilder Villages emblems.
These can be used on newsletters, letterheads, interpretation signage, equipment and much more!
Castle Hedingham Parish Council have used the Wilder Towns, Wilder Villages emblem on signage for their new rewilding project in collaboration with on-the-doorstep residents.
Essex County Council Cost of Living Support: An easy and accessible source of information about the various types of support available to help all residents: ECC Cost of Living support pack 2023 All information on the cost of living support on offer to residents in Essex is available at: https://www.essex.gov.uk/cost-of-living. This page is regularly updated as more information and support becomes available.
ECC Essex Local Offer (SEND) website The new website is one part of ECC’s efforts to transform the Essex SEND system and improve outcomes for children, young people and their families. It will also support SEND practitioners in their work with families. The site is available here: https://send.essex.gov.uk/.
Cost of Living Support: Braintree District Council has collated a list of Warm Rooms across the District and they can be found on the website https://www.braintree.gov.uk/community/debt-management-cost-living/8 There is also a map to show where they are located in the District and to allow people to find their nearest Warm Room.
Sustainable Warmth is a new Government grant scheme designed to fund energy-efficiency upgrades to residents who are most likely to be impacted by the high cost of rising bills. These improvements will help residents to use less energy and spend less on their energy bills.
Essex County Council: free business support Group2Grow is now open for application registration at https://backingessexbusiness.co.uk/peer-groups
Road closures All roadworks information can be found on https://one.network/