Braintree District Council

Garden Waste Collections

A garden waste bin

Reminder: garden waste collections start from 4 March

If you have subscribed to our new garden waste collection service, your collections will start from next week. Please remember to attach your sticker and check your online collections calendar for the exact collection date.

Please also ensure that you put your garden waste bin out for collection no later than 7am on your collection day. This is especially important with the new service, as our crews' routes may change as we receive new subscriptions. Thank you.

Download your collections calendar or subscribe to garden waste collections
13:37, 28 Feb 2024 by Claire Waters
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Braintree District Council

Cost of living small grants

Cost of living grant

Cllr Butland, Cllr Cunningham and Braintree Food Bank Volunteers

Braintree District Council has committed £1 million into a two year programme to tackle the issues caused by the cost of living crisis.

The two-tier grant scheme will be offering Microgrants up to £1,000 and Small Grants up to £10,000.

All non-profit community groups and services can apply as long as they meet the criteria of supporting one of the main objectives of the Cost of Living Fund, have a clear purpose and benefit Braintree district residents.

The three main objectives of the Cost of Living Fund are:

  1. To provide food security and access to essential goods across the district making it easier for everyone to reach, including those living in our most rural areas.
  2. To enable physical and emotional health and wellbeing for anyone, especially young people, struggling to afford vital access to leisure activities and sports clubs. 
  3. To help the most vulnerable by supporting community groups and organisations to do more.
Find out more and apply
08:54, 27 Feb 2024 by Claire Waters
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Braintree District Council

Wethersfield Airfield updates

Wethersfield Airfield asylum accommodation centre

Wethersfield

We have a dedicated section on our website to keep you updated on the Home Office’s asylum accommodation centre at Wethersfield Airfield.

They have published a factsheet relating to Wethersfield Asylum Accommodation and a community newsletter which they have advised will be regularly updated with the latest information and updates. 

Find out more
08:52, 27 Feb 2024 by Claire Waters
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Essex County Council

Earn rewards, boost your well-being and help the planet!

Essex County Council
Earn rewards, boost your well-being and help the planet!
Download the Carbon Cutting Essex app to discover simple steps to take climate action to reduce your carbon footprint. Since May 2023, Essex residents have taken over 250,000 actions to help tackle climate change. Join them and pledge to protect the future of our planet and earn rewards.
The app provides ideas for lifestyle changes to reduce our impact on the environment. One of the ways to take climate action is by leaving the car at home to enjoy the Essex countryside. Connecting with nature can improve mental and physical health and your wellbeing.
The app has videos, quizzes and blogs to help you learn more about positive action you can take. Earn points for climate action then choose how to redeem them. Enter prize draws, donate to a good cause or receive discounts on a range of products.

For more information and download the app for free, visit:
www.essex.gov.uk/carbon-cutting-essex
 
08:47, 27 Feb 2024 by Claire Waters
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Braintree District Council

2024-25 budget special

budget

Balanced budget approved that protects vital services despite challenging financial climate

Our budget for 2024-25 focuses on continuing our commitment to maintain frontline services and deliver on priorities, without the need for cuts to balance the budget.

Prudent financial management saving over £10m over the past 10 years means we are in a sound position this year compared to many other councils.

We are still not immune to significant financial challenges ahead, driven largely by pressures outside of our control like inflation and long-term reduced government funding. This is why we continue to take necessary and cautious steps to find much-needed savings.

Whilst we have prudently set aside reserves as part of its long-term financial planning, a budget deficit increasing up to £2.3m per year is predicted up to 2027-28. 

To build sustainable services in the future, a ‘Fit for the Future’ transformation programme is underway looking at transforming how the council works, how it can use resources more effectively, work together with partners to align services and share capabilities and closely scrutinising how it uses assets and resources.

Read more
budget

Investment in priorities and services

affordable housing modern

We are continuing to invest in priorities and services across the district, including:

  • affordable housing
  • waste service delivery
  • play area improvements
  • supporting the district to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030

This is on top of existing projects that include funding for a Maltings Lane Community Centre, town centre improvements in Halstead and Witham, funding to Halstead voluntary, faith and community groups and skatepark refurbishments across the district.


Councillor community grant scheme to continue

councillor community grant scheme

We're continuing our Councillor Community Grant scheme which helps support local community groups and initiatives across the district and is a huge part of making a difference in the community.

£80,000 worth of grant funding was provided to 80 groups & individuals across the district during 2022-23!

Dance Network Association is just one of the organisations who benefitted from the scheme, receiving £500 towards the costs of providing dance sessions in Witham for people living with dementia and their carers.

Apply for funding

Financial support

council tax

With 60% of the council’s net budget being funded from council tax, council tax will increase by an extra 11p per week based on a Band D property to help protect statutory services, ensure that unavoidable cost pressures can be met and to support longer-term financial stability.

Braintree District Council continues to remain one of the lowest council tax rates in Essex and below the national average of shire districts.

Support is available if you are experiencing financial difficulties:

  • Visit our Council Tax page for council tax support

  • Visit our Cost of living page for a range of support including debt, jobs and career advice, cost of living payments, medical costs and warm rooms. 

Our income for 2024/25

budget

Our total budget is £19.6 million for 2024-2025. 

This is funded by: 

  • 60% council taxpayers
  • 35% business ratepayers
  • 5% central government grants

Your local council tax helps to fund over 100 local services, from waste collection, leisure centres, keeping the streets clean and removing litter, to providing community transport for the vulnerable and helping those in housing need.


How your Council Tax is shared

budget

Although we collect council tax, the money doesn't just pay for our services.

It also pays for services by the police, fire, county council, parish and town councils too. 

For every £1 people pay in council tax, just over 9p goes to Braintree District Council. Essex County Council receives 72p, Essex Police & Crime Commissioner receives 12p, Essex Fire Authority receives 4p and parish and town councils receive 3p.

09:51, 23 Feb 2024 by Claire Waters
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Essex County Council

Extra £12M allocated to Essex Highways

An extra £12 million allocated to Essex Highways will fund several priority areas for residents.

The funding boost was approved by Essex County Council at its recent Full Council meeting as part of the 2024/25 budget.

In addition to its normal yearly budget, the extra money will ensure Essex Highways continues delivering the council’s priority to enable safer, greener and healthier travel across the county.

This includes but is not limited to:

  • £8 million for additional crews in each borough, city and district to prioritise repairs raised by local councillors.
  • £2 million for Local Highways Panels to deliver large schemes, freeing up existing budgets for small schemes.
  • £350,000 to fund three months of defect repairs over the summer. This will expedite repairs in rural areas affected by flooding and winter damage.
  • £300,000 to enable winter-safe crews to deliver more maintenance and repairs over the next winter.
  • £100,000 to increase enforcement capabilities and hold landowners accountable for maintaining foliage.
  • £100,000 for additional highway resurfacing works across Essex.
  • £49,500 for additional communications resources, ensuring residents and members are better informed.

Councillor Tom Cunningham, Cabinet Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Sustainable Transport, said: “From enforcement to Local Highways Panels, Essex Highways is responsible for a wide variety of areas many people may not know about.

“The £12 million is a significant boost to helps us look after and improve one of the largest road networks in the country. This includes getting more crews in each borough, city and district to prioritise repairs raised by local councillors.”

Cllr Peter Schwier AIEMA

Climate Czar

Cabinet Member for Environment, Waste Reduction & Recycling

09:17, 23 Feb 2024 by Claire Waters
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Carers Voices Campaign

Healthwatch Essex and Essex County Council have jointly launched Carers Voices

Carers Voices Campaign

Healthwatch Essex and Essex County Council have jointly launched Carers Voices, an initiative aimed at connecting with the numerous unpaid carers throughout the county, with the goal of amplifying their voices and enhancing outcomes for them.

To promote this endeavour, please see below a digital flyer which is kindly requested that you share as widely as possible, in order to support the empowerment of individuals who selflessly serve others in our communities.

If you require additional information about the program, please do not hesitate to contact Sharon at
sharon.westfield-de-cortez@healthwatchessex.org.uk.
09:51, 07 Feb 2024 by Claire Waters
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ECC Recycling Centres

Larger electrical items now accepted for recycling

White goods waiting to be recycled

Essex County Council, working in partnership with the Lighthouse Furniture Project, is now accepting larger electrical appliances for reuse at 10 recycling centres in Essex, including those at Witham and Braintree.

The Lighthouse Furniture Project repairs and refurbishes the items. Once tested, they are passed on or sold at affordable prices in the local community. 

Items accepted include: electric cookers, washing machines, fridges, freezers, tumble dryers and dishwashers. In the first year of the partnership, nearly 1,000 items were saved from landfill.

Councillor Peter Schwier, Climate Czar and Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, Waste Reduction and Recycling, said: “With this project we are avoiding sending good quality items to landfill and showing how reuse and repair can work. We are supporting local communities, promoting the circular economy and protecting the environment.”

If you have larger electrical items to donate, look for the signs at your recycling centre or ask a member of staff for help. Remember that you will need to book a slot in advance. 

Find out more about donating items for recycling
11:20, 06 Feb 2024 by Claire Waters
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BDC Garden Waste collections

Garden waste bin stickers are in the post

Garden waste sticker and envelope in someone's hand

If you have subscribed to the garden waste collections, you should receive your bin sticker this week.

The sticker will arrive in an envelope like the one pictured. Inside will be a blank sticker, also pictured. All you need to do is:

  • Write your house number inside the square on the sticker, preferably using a permanent marker pen
  • Give your green garden waste bin a wipe down with some household cleaner in the spot on the back, underneath the handle, and leave it to dry
  • Place the sticker on your green garden waste bin, underneath the handle as shown on the sticker
  • Relax! You are now ready for garden waste collections, starting again from week commencing 4 March – check your collections calendar online for your exact date.

If you have subscribed and have not received your sticker by Friday 16 February, please get in touch at recycling@braintree.gov.uk 

Read more or sign up here
11:18, 06 Feb 2024 by Claire Waters
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BDC Waste & Recycling Collection

New Household Waste & Recycling Policy approved

CHANGES TO HOUSEHOLD WASTE & RECYCLING SERVICE  

The newly approved policy largely reflects what has become existing practice, but there are some changes that will impact all customers, as follows:-

 (1)      The introduction of a subscription-based garden waste collection service from 4 March 2024, as approved by Cabinet last year. 

 (2)      A requirement to report missed collections by noon the day following the scheduled collection to reflect area-based working (currently there is no deadline).  This is because as the crews move on to other areas, it becomes more difficult for them to return and collect.  This will maximise opportunities for the Council to meet its published service standard of returning to collect missed waste within 2 working days.   If a resident reports a missed bin within this timeframe, the Council will return and collect within 2 working days.  However, if reported after this timeframe, we will endeavour to return and collect, but cannot guarantee we will be able to do so before the next scheduled collection.     

 (3)    Cessation of the collection of side waste from 1 April 2024.  (The term ‘side waste’ refers to excess waste in bags or boxes or loose waste that is presented either alongside or on top of the black wheeled bin/s.)  This has been prompted by a renewed demand in recent years for waste reduction which has been driven by a number of factors including:- 

  • Climate Change
  • New waste legislation (Simpler Recycling)
  • High volumes of residual waste being generated
  • Cost/affordability of the collection, treatment and disposal of waste
  • More challenging recycling targets
  • Development of a new Waste Strategy for Essex

 This Council has always discouraged side waste through a process of education and intervention, as well as through promotional campaigns over the years in partnership with Love Essex and other partners around waste minimisation and recycling initiatives.  However, this relaxed (informal) approach has not delivered a substantive change in people’s behaviour and a more robust approach is needed to help the Council and its residents reduce their residual waste to meet recycling targets and waste minimisation objectives.     

The change will be communicated through an extensive comms package so that residents understand the importance of minimising residual waste. The Council’s Waste Minimisation and Recycling Team will support this message through their normal promotional and educational activities.

08:53, 05 Feb 2024 by Claire Waters
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ECC Highways News

Significant funding from Essex County Council has resulted in 90% more pothole repairs across the county.

Nearly double the number potholes were repaired across Essex in the last year following significant investment from Essex County Council.

11,949 potholes were transformed from road hazards to smooth surfaces by Essex Highways in 2023 – a 90% increase from 6,280 pothole repairs in 2022.

The increase was made possible by £17.4 million of additional funding for Essex Highways by the council. This included an extra £5.4 million for pothole repairs from the Department for Transport.

The funding meant Essex Highways could hire 11 more crews to carry out significantly more pothole repairs across the county in 2023.

Councillor Tom Cunningham, Cabinet Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Sustainable Transport at Essex County Council, said: “90% more pothole repairs is an excellent achievement which Essex Highways has worked hard to deliver.

“Pothole repairs are a top priority for residents and the council’s extra funding has made a real difference. We are committed to improving the county’s highways and making travel safer for road users.

“We also thank central government for its £121 million commitment to road resurfacing until 2034. With the collective efforts of Essex Highways, this will go a long way in propelling us into a decade of sustained road management.” 

Residents are encouraged to report potholes to Essex Highways online, where all defects are assessed by an inspector. Or, when there is risk to public safety, by calling 0345 603 763.

08:39, 05 Feb 2024 by Claire Waters
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