Working together for Uttlesford’s future

A HOST of public and voluntary sector organisations are gearing up for a major event in October which will help establish new and exciting projects to improve life in the Uttlesford district.

The district’s local strategic partnership, Uttlesford Futures, is holding its Annual Assembly on Thursday October 27 at the district council offices in Saffron Walden.

Every local authority area has a local strategic partnership, through which organisations come together to deliver projects they would not be able to carry out on their own.

Uttlesford Futures is led by Uttlesford District Council and also includes representatives from Essex County Council, the police and fire services, the NHS, the voluntary sector, the small business community and community organisations.

At the Annual Assembly, these organisations will be pooling ideas about what they can do together to help people who live and work in the district to further improve their quality of life as well as reviewing the work that they have been doing over the past year.

Uttlesford Futures chairman Cllr Howard Rolfe, the district council’s cabinet member for community partnerships and engagement, said: “This district has an impressive track record of working together.

“We are lucky to have a very active community, ready and willing to get involved in all sorts of initiatives to improve even further the already high quality of life in Uttlesford.

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“Uttlesford Futures is an important way that public sector bodies, along with others, can collaborate on particular issues and ensure even greater success. I look forward to welcoming all our partners to the Assembly next month.”

Uttlesford Futures is split into six smaller groups which carry out specific projects. These groups report to the Futures board. At its most recent board meeting, members heard updates on various initiatives.

The Uttlesford Community Safety Partnership (CSP) reported another successful Crucial Crew project this summer at Clarence House, Thaxted, with almost 1,000 pupils from across the district learning important life skills, from dealing with bullying to the dangers of drugs. This year, the event was visited by the High Sheriff of Essex, Lady Rosemary Ruggles-Brise who was full of praise for the work being done.

The CSP has also made a number of presentations to members of the Uttlesford Farm Watch and to parish councillors and other residents to encourage the community to be vigilant in reporting any odd behaviour or incidents that could be related to terrorist activities.

The Transport Forum has been involved with rail and bus services, including the roll-out of new trains on the Liverpool Street line and, through the Forum’s Bus Working Group, how bus information could be better advertised and distributed. Meanwhile the Economic Development, Skills and Learning Group has been looking into the development of alternative fuels and has engaged Hertfordshire University to produce a Woodfuels Feasibility Study.

Cllr Rolfe added: “Uttlesford Futures has become a successful partnership and continues to make a positive difference to life in the district.

“We are always happy to hear from groups or individuals who feel they have something to contribute, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.”

To find out more about Uttlesford Futures, become involved in a project or attend the Annual Assembly, contact partnerships officer Kerry Vinton at or 01799 510449.