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Arriva announces bus route changes

2.19pm - 16th February 2018

BUS company Arriva is making changes to four routes in the Harlow area - routes 1, 59, 10 and 724 - from March 11. 

There will be a revised timetable for Route 1 - Harlow to Sumners and Katherines - which is aimed at helping onward connections for commuters. 

Four new journeys will be added to Route 59 - Harlow to Chelmsford - a 6.05am service from Chelmsford to Harlow, a 7.20pm service from Anglia Ruskin University to Harlow, a 5.42am service from Harlow to Chelmsford and a 6.20pm service from Harlow to Anglia Ruskin University. 

Route 10: Harlow to Church Langley will see more frequent buses with off-peak frequency rising from every 20 minutes to up to every 15 minutes, with an hourly service to and from Hertford via Stanstead Abbotts.

With regards to Route 724: Harlow to London Heathrow Airport, short journeys between Harlow and Hertford Bus Station are being renumbered route ‘10’ and extended to Church Langley. However journeys between Harlow and London Heathrow Airport are unchanged. 

Arriva Southern Counties marketing manager Craig Taylor said: "Listening to feedback and keeping routes up to date with customers’ needs is key to improving our services. 

"We aim to make passengers’ journeys as efficient and enjoyable as possible, and hope that these developments will do just that for our Harlow customers."

Nine arrests during police operation

2.10pm - 16th February 2018

NINE arrests were made, knives and drugs seized and two vehicles taken off the roads during a three-month operation to tackle anti-social behaviour and crime in Harlow.

The Harlow Community Policing Team-led operation, Op Latte, which was due to last 12 weeks was extended to 16 weeks. 

Police operations included implementing and overseeing three dispersal orders in the town centre with officers carrying out an additional 250 hours of foot patrols. 

There were nine arrests for various offences with knives and drugs seized, three cannabis warnings issued, two vehicles seized and dozens of fixed penalty notices issued. 

The team also took part in a joint operation to seize 17,000 counterfeit cigarettes from shops in the town centre. 

Inspector Tony Walker, of Harlow Community Policing Team, said: "We were determined to reduce anti-social behaviour and crime in the town centre with extra officers patrolling on foot over the busy weekends and into the early hours of the morning. 

"There has been a significant reduction in violent crime, nuisance related calls and anti-social behaviour and the extra patrols have been warmly received by local residents and business owners. 

"It hasn’t all been about enforcement, by working with partners we have been able to make improvements to the Harvey Centre CCTV system and made sure repairs were carried out to broken fencing and street lighting. 

"Further work still needs to be done and we are continuing to work hard to ensure Harlow is a safe and welcoming place for people to visit and work. 

"I would like to thank the community for their support throughout our operations."

Everest Base Camp trek for hospice supporter

12.36pm - 15th February 2018

A SPORTS therapist is set to ascend 5,380m to Mount Everest Base Camp in the Himalayan Mountains of Nepal in aid of St Clare Hospice. 

Annabel Moeser, 28, from Sawbridgeworth, will take on the challenging 42-mile trek in aid of the Hastingwood-based charity after being inspired by her patients’ accounts of hospice care and support from St Clare. 

Annabel is aiming to raise £4,000 - enough to fund more than two weeks of care from the hospice's Patient and Family Support team which offers practical, psychological, emotional and spiritual support to people who are living with a life-limiting illness, and their families. 

Annabel said: "I always hear such lovely things about St Clare Hospice from my patients. The care they offer at the hospice is amazing.

"It will be an honour to support a local charity which is doing such great work in the community - all offered free of charge! 

"As they have to raise most of their funding themselves, it’s so important that they receive help from their community so that they can continue to offer their vital services." 

Annabel will fly from London on Wednesday, March 7, arriving in Kathmandu a day later. 

Taking a further flight on a propeller plane to Lukla airport, Annabel’s 16-day adventure trek begins on Saturday, March 10. During the trek she will endure sub-zero temperatures of -15°C before reaching Mount Everest Base Camp on Saturday, March 17. 

Ascending a further 120m, Annabel and a team of 17 fellow thrill-seekers will climb to the summit of Kala Patthar peak (5,500m) to witness breath-taking views from the world’s tallest mountain. 

Annabel said: "I am really excited to be taking on this challenge for St Clare. 

The scenery is going to be amazing! I am a little bit nervous but we’ll be taking it slow and allowing ourselves time to acclimatise to the extreme altitudes. 

"Every night once we reach camp, we will ascend for an extra hour and then come back down, so we are acclimatised before we sleep. 

"We’ll be hiking for about five to seven hours every day for over two weeks to reach Everest Base Camp and back down again - so it won’t be easy!” 

If you would like to sponsor Annabel visit her fundraising page www.justgiving.com/fundraising/annabel-everestbasecamp

Man jailed for nearly seven years

3.19pm - 14th February 2018

A MAN who tried to evade justice for an attempted robbery has been jailed for nearly seven years. 

Derek Lawless was arrested in September 2014 after a 63-year-old man was assaulted in Harlow. 

The victim had gone to a shop in Partridge Road at about 2.30pm on July 28, 2014, when he was approached outside by a driver who asked for a cigarette. 

He said he was about to buy some from the shop and would let him have one on his way out. But when he gave him the cigarette, the man demanded money, rifled through his trouser pockets and pushed him to the ground.

The suspect drove off, leaving the victim injured in the street. 

The man was taken to hospital and required treatment for a fractured hip and arm. 

Following an investigation and witness accounts, Lawless was identified in connection with the incident and arrested. He was subsequently charged that December with attempted robbery and GBH. 

He denied the offences and after failing to attend court on six occasions eventually stood trial at Chelmsford Crown Court on December 19 last year. However he failed to turn up part way through and the court issued a warrant for his arrest. 

Lawless, now 37, of Primrose Field, Harlow, was arrested on December 22 following a public appeal for information on his whereabouts. 

A re-trial took place on February 5 this year and a jury found him guilty of both counts and failing to surrender to custody at the appointed time on February 9 this year. 

He was jailed the same day for a total of six years and nine months. 

Investigating officer DC Laura Cuthbert said: "This was a vicious attack on a man going about his daily business, all for the sake of a few pence and some cigarettes. 

"The victim is still recovering from his serious injuries and has had to wait three-and-a-half years for justice to be served. 

"Derek Lawless sought to thwart the trial process failing to appear at court and then absconding while the trial was ongoing. 

"I am glad the victim has finally seen justice done and I hope he now has the closure he desperately needed. 

"I thank him and the witnesses who have provided evidence to the court for their support throughout this prolonged ordeal."

Pupils visit national newspaper

9.30am - 10th February 2018

YEAR 6 pupils at Little Parndon Primary Academy visited the London newsroom of the national Guardian newspaper. 

Reporters and sub-editors talked the 60 pupils through the process of putting a newspaper together, explaining how to gather and write stories and design pages. 

During a workshop, pupils put together their own newspaper front pages and were challenged to complete their work to a tight deadline. 

The children researched and wrote stories focusing on science and the environment, before sub-editing the articles, writing headlines, selecting images and completing their pages. 

Lead practitioner Jayne Lilley said: "Visiting the Guardian newspaper was amazing for the children. 

"Visits like this give real meaning to what children are learning at school. They have been so inspired by their day that pupils are now keen to launch their own school newspaper."

Production role for students

9.30am - 10th February 2018

YEAR 8 students at Burnt Mill Academy took charge of the lighting, sound and projection for a recent production. 

They were supporting Year 9, 10 and 11 students who performed DNA, the set text for this year’s GCSE drama course. 

Phil Watson, lead practitioner in drama, said: "Our senior drama company auditioned for roles in the full-length production. 

“For the first time, a Year 8 tech team added the design aspects which are an important part of the GCSE course."

The black comedy explores the nature of human violence through a group of teenagers. 

Mr Watson said: "It is hard-hitting and challenging to the audience." 

The audience included students from fellow Burnt Mill Academy Trust school, Royal Docks Academy, as well as GCSE and Trinity Arts Awards students from Burnt Mill.

Man arrested over blaze

4.30pm - 7th February 2018

A MAN has been arrested in connection with a fire at a property in The Chantry, Harlow.

Firefighters were called out shortly before midnight last night. 

A woman and two children who were in the premises were taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.

A 28-year-old man, from Harlow, has been arrested on suspicion of arson and remains in police custody for questioning. 

Witnesses or anyone with information about the incident are asked to ring Harlow Police Station on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Two men arrested after stolen lorry pursuit

4.28pm - 7th February 2018

TWO men have been arrested near Ongar and two police officers injured after officers pursued a stolen articulated lorry that was used in a ram-raid in Harlow. 

Officers received reports that the vehicle was used to ram gates at a business in Temple Bank at about 11.15pm last night (Tuesday). Two suspects then stole a skip and drove off. 

Officers quickly located the lorry, gave pursuit and signalled for the vehicle to stop, without success. 

A police spokesman added: "The vehicle was then used to ram our police car with officers suffering minor injuries before a stinger was successfully deployed. 

"The suspects decamped in Blake Hall Road, Bobbingworth, at about 11.35pm and following a search of the area using police dogs and our helicopter we located them." 

A 23-year-old man, from Laindon, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to steal a motor vehicle and a 29-year-old man, from Hockley, was arrested on suspicion of driving while disqualified, theft of a motor vehicle, theft and failing to stop. 

They remain in custody for questioning.

Harlow Council chief appointed 

10.02am - 3rd February 2018

BRIAN Keane has been appointed Managing Director of Harlow Council having initially taken on the role last November on an acting basis. 

The permanent appointment follows a proposal agreed by the council last April to create a new single Chief Officer post for the authority. 

The managing director replaces the former posts of chief executive and chief operating officer. 

Reducing the council’s top management team to one post saves the council more than £424,000 over the next four years. 

Mr Keane, who was the council’s Head of Governance for four-and-a-half years, has held senior management roles in other Essex councils including working at Brentwood and Braintree and has carried out governance investigations for public bodies. 

He said: "Harlow is a great place with huge potential and I am delighted to take up this opportunity on a permanent basis. 

"I have enjoyed working in this role over the last few months and my priority is to continue working with and support our fantastic staff, councillors and partners to ensure that we deliver what the local community wants and needs. 

"This is a huge opportunity in a very exciting place and I can’t wait to get on with the job."

School now ranked among the best 

4.07pm - 1st February 2018

LITTLE Parndon Primary Academy has been placed sixth nationally in the latest Department for Education school performance tables for its Key Stage 2 achievements. 

The school took the top spot for reading results where 96 per cent of pupils achieved national standard. The table shows 84 per cent of pupils are meeting the national standard expected of them in reading, writing and maths with reading and maths progress well above average and writing considered to be above average. 

The overall results mean the school is in the top ten per cent of schools nationally and the third best in Essex. 

When the Burnt Mill Academy Trust took control of the school in 2015 it had been given a 'Requires Improvement' grading by Ofsted. 

Sophie Laing, who stepped in as Head of School and set about turning the situation around, said: "The school was ranked below 300 on the table previously; it was near the bottom. 

"We have taken the school from the bottom to the top in a couple of years. 

"The school has never been near the top, nationally or in Essex. The turnaround has happened through developing excellent teaching, by carefully crafting a bespoke curriculum, by creating a sense of comradery across the school and in Year 6, particularly, by adopting the Incredibles theme. 

"We finely tuned each child’s curriculum timetable and became acutely aware of the various needs of those individuals. It has been a three-year process to get to this point." 

New leaders were brought in to focus on improving teaching, children’s progress, attainment, reception and Year 6 transition, early years, literacy, numeracy, Key Stage 1 and special educational needs. 

Mrs Laing, now executive headteacher of Little Parndon and Freshwaters Primary Academy, added: "Expectations were raised, the quality of teaching was improved and children’s needs were met which resulted in these wonderful SATs results. 

"Progress has always been good at the school, but now with the change in culture the attainment is where children are making headway. 

"The model we have implemented is sustainable and will see these standards continue. 

"I am proud and blessed to have such highly skilled and dedicated staff who bring the very best out of all the children. I am immensely pleased for the children and their families." 

With the school having now also secured a 'Good' Ofsted rating, next on the list of improvements is the school environment. 

Mrs Laing said: "Now we are going in the right direction with our parents behind us I am going to focus on creating an outstanding environment for our children. 

"Our vibrant PTA are devoting the year to fundraising for new outside play equipment and I am researching sensory rooms to install next year." 

An additional classroom, which will be freed up when the large Year 6 group move on next year, will become the new library and ICT suite and the existing library will be used for the sensory space. 

The kitchen is also being developed into the Little Parndon Pantry."

Students get a taste of France 

8.48am - 1st February 2018

YEAR 7 and 9 students at Burnt Mill Academy spent two days putting their language skills to use in France. 

Students visited markets in Lille and Arras, tried French food and took on a range of speaking challenges, including speaking with shop owners and interviewing locals. 

Teacher Guylaine Ganzhorn said: "The trip was about putting what they had learnt in the classroom into practise. 

"For Year 7 it was about getting them engaged in the topic and to develop an interest and for Year 9 it was to support their GCSE course which involves a lot of culture. 

"All the students loved the visit. It was a new experience for them and, for many, the first trip without their parents. 

"They were a bit nervous at first about speaking French but they all gave it a go and were really enthusiastic and realised they could do it. 

"Year 9 in particular were really pleased as it proved to them they knew far more than they had realised.

"Trips like this really help students understand what we talk about in lessons having been there and experienced it for themselves."

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