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Top 10 tips to save energy this Winter

Mile End resident and Lib Dem team member Venessa Moffat has come up with the following energy saving tips, especially in the current looming energy crisis we all face!

1. Heating and water
Turn the water temperature down a bit, or turn the heating down by 1deg – over time this will save you more than you realise. The timings of the heating and water over each day can equally impact the size of the bills you receive. People are also heat-creating machines – we turn food into heat. If you’re cold sitting down, then consider moving around and go up and down the stairs a couple of times. There’s the added benefit of getting a bit of exercise!

2. Windows, curtains and blinds
Just as double glazing works to keep heat in and cold out, your blinds and curtains can also help. Even if you have double or triple glazing in your home and they are draught-proofed you can still lose heat through your windows. If the sun is warm in the day time, you can benefit from the heat by keeping curtains open, and then at night time close them to keep the heat in.

3. Call the supplier and check you’re on the right tariff
If you live on your own, or are on a low income, you may be on the wrong tariff. Call your provider, and ask them if there is a better one. Alternatively, check with uswitch.com and see if there is a cheaper provider.

4. Does your supplier offer smart meters?
These meters can be installed by some providers for free, and will allow you to see how much energy you’re using. You’ll no longer need to take manual readings for your gas and electricity. With a smart meter, all that data is sent to your supplier automatically. All of this helps with budgeting and forward-planning.

5. Obvious one – turn off things when they are not being used, including standby
There are several studies that show a significant saving by turning off all standby devices. This could be your TV, or Alexa / Echo, or your toothbrush charger – turn them all off when they are not being used, and you’ll save even more.

6. Reduce the use of hot things
Anything that creates heat is using more energy than other devices like the hairdryer, the kettle, the tumble-dryer etc. The less you use these devices, the more you will save. Simples.

7. Think more circular – what can be re-used?
As an example, instead of boiling a kettle for gravy, consider using the hot water from the vegetables – it adds more flavour too! If you have a wood burner, look for people in your local community who are trying to offload wood from projects. Facebook marketplace can be good for this. These are just a couple of examples!

8. Consider using the microwave more
Microwaves heat things up much faster than the oven, so there may be some foods which can be microwaved, rather than oven baked. One way of leveraging this may be to batch cook meals such as spaghetti bolognaise (with friends maybe) and then the resulting extras can be stored and ‘pinged’ in the microwave in minutes.

9. Efficient LED bulbs
The old energy-efficient light bulbs were slow to warm up and still broke after a while, whereas now, there are some very good energy-efficient LED bulbs on the market. They do cost a little more than normal bulbs, but they more than make up for it in decent light output and longevity. It goes without saying to turn lights off when the room isn’t in use….

10. Invest in smart tech products
Last on the list are smart tech products, such as Zado or Hive, which can help you manage your heating and hot water more efficiently. These are last on the list because there is a bit of an outlay to purchase them and then have them installed. However, with the energy prices soaring, you could see ROI in months this Winter. Now might be a good time to invest. Don’t forget to employ a local tradesperson to help your local community!

Issues in Mile End

With the school holidays now here, there are low level issues going on in Mile End keeping the team busy.

These include dealing with low level anti-social behaviour where residents face disturbances from children causing issues in our neighbourhood. This can be noise, leaving litter around, swearing or slightly more serious matters.

All issues must be reported to the police at the time of the incident and this can be done via 101, in an emergency 999 or via the Essex Police website.

If you have an issue you’d like to discuss please do get in touch with the team.

Bin replaced at Mill Road youth shelter

Following some anti-social behaviour issues at the Mill Road youth shelter where both bins were vandalised, following local intervention of the Mile End Team and local police, a new sturdy bin has been fitted.

The area is being monitored closely by the police and the Mile End team.

Phil Coleman said “We have been proactive in working with local youths and residents to try and find solutions to the recent issues encountered at the Mill Road youth shelter and basketball court. We will continue to try and ensure the area remains well used but recent issues must stop so everyone lives in the community in peace.”

A big thank you from Cllr David King

“A BIG THANK YOU!” said David King following his successful re-election on May 5th 2022. The Tory vote collapsed even further to a record low!

The results were:

David King (Lib Dem) 1,885 (66.3%) – up 1% on 2021
Tory 447 (15.7%) – down 3.2% on 2021
Labour 350 (12.3%) – up 1.5% on 2021
Green 163 (5.7%) – up 1.1% on 2021

David said “I am honoured to be re-elected again for a second term of four years to serve the great area of Mile End – where I live and work for all the community. It’s very humbling to achieve such a result!”

David King to stand for re-election on May 5th 2022

Great news for Mile End that Cllr David King has been selected to contest the seat of Mile End for the Lib Dem team.

David was first elected to Colchester council in 2018 and is therefore seeking to be elected again for a further 4 years.

As Mile End Lib Dem Survey and Focus lead David involves himself the issues of residents. He raises their concerns with others, provides assurance and or information that may help, and supports Ward and County Councillors in the work they do, to make the best of the many changes underway within Colchester and Mile End.

David cares deeply about the health of the community, whether new to the area or long-standing residents. He has worked for a local Community Action Plan that brings improvements to the area and support to local community groups that help others. And working with local service providers and developers he has looked to help them communicate better and to be more aware and responsive to the needs and concerns of the community.

David was also successfully voted in to continue the work of former County Cllr Anne Turrell who retired in May 2021.

David is now also County Cllr for Mile End and Highwoods. He plans to continue the good work of Anne.

With your help David will also continue a fresh term as Mile End Cllr working with Phil and Martin.

Your Mile End survey responses

We have been out knocking on thousands of doors in our area getting your views and feedback on Mile End.

Your priorities include the NHS (we fight for better pay & recruitment).
Climate change (we press Government to keep their promises. And do
all we can, from installing heat pumps & insulation, to tree planting)
Education and schools (where we press for better funding, a Personal
Education and Skills Account to help later life learning and
more apprenticeships). We also help schools directly with
grants towards gardens and forest schools and help with planners).

Locally you like what we do (thank you!) but ask we continue to chase the
County Council over road repairs and to help tackle litter. We do of course!

Trinity school update!

Great news that after a sustained campaign and lots of pressure from your Lib Dem team the Trinity school design plans have at last been lodged! Parents and pupils were let down by the Department for Education and their builders. But we now are underway.

David King and Martin Goss have met with DfE, and David has engaged Essex County Council and the Gilberd, to ensure everyone does all they can to deliver the new school at Chesterwell to the latest opening date of September 23. That will be tight. Contingency plans are being worked up.

But we will do all we can to ensure plans are passed in Colchester as swiftly as possible. And that DfE deliver to time. We will continue to chase and keep the pressure on all parties.

Shepherd Drive sign replaced

Small things matter, including correcting accidental damage caused by others.

For some reason an HGV delivering to the local Coop store on Nayland Road,
decided to take a wrong turn into Dickenson Road in August 2021, which
is a very narrow 20mph zone.

Martin Goss got onto the East of England Coop and after being pushed from pillar to post was eventually given details of the Manchester Coop who deliver for East of England Coop.

Martin said “I got the right contact after numerous emails and being pushed from pillar to post but tenacity pays off! The Coop insurers paid Colchester Council for a new sign and repair work where the verge was also badly damaged.

It has taken 5 months to sort this out but I am pleased to say the massive hole left and damaged sign have been repaired and rightly at nil cost to the taxpayer.

Residents are delighted with the new sign and repair.”

Trinity School latest

The new Trinity School for Chesterwell is running late. We know delay and
disruption is a worry and have been working closely with the Gilberd and
Trinity Schools to reduce the impact and to keep parents up to date.

David and Martin have pressed the Department for Education hard to minimise
the delays and to keep parents informed.

We have been assured the new school will have to happen for September 2023. David will update when we have more news.

Election results in Mile End & Highwoods – a big thank you!

A big thank you Mile End!

The election was held on May 6th and both Martin Goss and David King were successful in their election results.

Mile End for the Colchester Borough Seat was as follows:

Martin Goss (Lib Dem) 1974 (65.5%)
CON 583 (19.3%)
LABOUR 328 (10.8%)
GREEN 139 (4.6%)

Mile End and Highwoods County Council seat was as follows:

David King (Lib Dem) 2221 (39.9%)
CON 1856 (33.3%)
LABOUR 946 (17.0%)
GREEN 387 ( 7.0%)
REFORM UK 162 ( 2.9%)

Thank you to everyone with a heartfelt thanks from Martin and David who voted to elect us to carry on the great work in Mile End and Highwoods along with Cllr Phil Coleman.

A huge thanks also to Anne Turrell who retired from being County Councillor with nearly 20 years service!

She will still be helping the team in the background.