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News in Brief Leigh On Sea News

News in Brief Leigh On Sea News

News in Brief Leigh On Sea News

Number of city’s rough sleepers rises

THE number of people sleeping rough on Southend City’s streets has risen to 16, figures for the annual rough sleeper count show.

The count took place in the early hours on a date during October 2022 and the figures give a snapshot of what is happening on that one night across the country.

Southend’s figure was the third highest in the east of England region, with a figure representing an increase of six, from 10 in 2021.

Part of the count includes collecting data from the person, such as their age, nationality and gender.

As with previous years, most of those spoken to were male, over 26 and from the UK.

In Southend, the teams carrying out the count, always make sure the person sleeping rough can access emergency accommodation for the night, directing them to local services such as HARP.

Vanessa Hemmings, chief executive of HARP, Southend’s homeless charity, said: “16 people sleeping rough is 16 too many, and behind the numbers are real people who have fallen on hard times due to the cost-of-living crisis, low wages, high inflation, inadequate benefits and a chronic lack of affordable housing.

“We’ll continue to reach out to people sleeping rough, and do all we can to get as many people off the streets and into emergency accommodation as quickly as possible.

“We need the public to support this vital work, so if you’d like to get involved, head to to find out how you can help.”

If you see someone bedding down for the night, you can contact Streetlink, who will report their location and the information you give to a local outreach team. Visit:



Rayleigh woman bit and spat at police

A DRUNK woman who bit two police officers and spat at a third, has been sentenced.

Chloe Ives, 26, refused to leave a man’s home when police were called to an incident in Rayleigh last November.

During her sentencing at Basildon Crown Court, the court heard she refused to leave the property before assaulting the police officers in a fit of rage, as she was carried out of the flat.

Prosecuting, Julie Whitby, said: “When police arrived, she was laying on the floor and officers couldn’t remove her.

“She would not co-operate; police carried her from the flat and she bit an officer and he suffered grazes. She was hitting and kicking out and a second officer was bitten on his upper arm.

“She kept trying to bite the officers. She spat at a third officer at the police station, after she was arrested.”

Mitigating, Shauna Ritchie told the court that Ives goes through patterns of offending and abusive relationships, and has a history of incidences related to alcohol.

She said: “She’s (Ives) had many positive engagements with police, but she reacts badly when physical force is used and she lashes out.

“She’s not dependant on alcohol, but when she drinks it is catastrophic.”

Judge Samantha Leigh, who spared Ives a prison term, said she needed to take responsibility for her actions, commenting: “We go three steps forward and two back, but at least there are steps forward. I’ve been having monthly reviews with her.

“She is doing a little bit more open work, but she still minimises it. People have tried, but she had to meet them at least half way.”

Ives of Bardfield Way, Rayleigh, admitted three counts of assault by beating an emergency worker.

She was sentenced to one year and one month, suspended for two years, for the offences, which occurred when she was in breach of a three-year community order for separate offences.


Fines for school absences

FAMILIES in the City are being warned about fines for term time holidays, after a rise in the number of unauthorised absences.
Schools have been told by the Department for Education to be stricter with parents who request term time holiday for their children.
Since the beginning of September 2022, there have been more than 275 fines issued for unauthorised term time holidays, in Southend.

In comparison, in 2018 there were just four fines issued in total, for unauthorised absences.

Coun Laurie Burton, cabinet member for children and learning, said: “This is a very large number considering we’re only at the halfway point in the academic year.”

This move comes after the brakes of the pandemic for school children has led to a greater focus on minimising disruption in learner’s education.

Coun Burton continued: “Family holidays are important, but they should not be taken to the detriment of a child’s education.

“Children have already missed a lot of school because of the pandemic and we’ve noticed a sharp increase in the number of fines issued.

“Parents need to be aware that if they take their children out of school without permission, they will face a fine.”

Information about school attendance, requesting a term time absence and fines, can be found on the council website.


Eastwood stables could be torn down

STABLES built on green belt land in Eastwood without planning permission could be taken down.

A retrospective planning application for a block of three stables alongside LED lighting with a solar panel and hard standing paddock areas has been rejected by Southend Council.

The stables, located on area north of Roach Vale, Eastwood, are for “private equestrian purposes, for the recreational use of the applicant”.

The application outlined that the stable block would be for three horses, and to allow long-term management and maintenance of the grass yard.

It continued: “The scale and location of the proposed development, adjacent to an existing retained vegetated and tree lined boundary to the south of the field ensures that the stable block, barn and associated infrastructure will not impact on the openness of the green belt.”

The application also contained proposal for solar electric apparatus alongside an 8,000-litre freestanding water storage tank.

Neighbours notified of the application objected, with one being concerns over the potential of the site to be used equestrian events.

Commenting on the refusal of the retrospective proposal, planning officers stated: “The development constitutes inappropriate development in the green belt, which would significantly detract from the openness of the green belt.

“As such the development results in both “in principle” green belt harm and additional physical harm to the green belt. It is considered that the development as a whole has failed to demonstrate that the very special circumstances required to justify the inappropriate development in the green belt would apply to the whole development in this case such that it would not outweigh the green belt harm identified.”

The applicant is able to launch an appeal, but if it fails, the council may seek enforcement action.


Woman refused to help police

A WOMAN from Eastwood has been fined for failing to give information to police about the driver of the car, despite being ordered to do so.

Shelby Lowe, 25, of Rayleigh Road has been ordered to pay a fine of £660.

Lowe failed to give information relating to the identification of the driver of a Mercedes, who was alleged to have been guilty of an offence.

The case was proved in her absence at court on February 23.

She must now pay a surcharge to fund victim services of £264 and costs of £90.

Her licence has been endorsed with six points.


Rayleigh supermarket thefts

A MAN is due to be sentenced this month over multiple theft offences following an investigation into a series of incidents at a supermarket in Rayleigh.

Items were stolen from the Asda in Rawreth Lane between February 1 and 24.

Wayne Sullivan, 42, of no fixed address, was arrested on February 24, and has been charged with 13 counts of theft and two counts of possession of a blade or sharp pointed article in a public place.

He appeared at Southend Magistrates’ Court on March 1 where he admitted the charges.

He’s due to be sentenced at Basildon Crown Court on 31 March.


Man rescued from crash

A MAN was rescued from his car by firefighters after a two-car crash occurred in Westcliff.

Fairfax Drive in Westcliff was closed in both directions before on March 6th today at the junction with Beedell Avenue following a crash between two vehicles.

Essex Fire and Rescue Service confirmed Firefighters from Southend and Leigh were called to the busy road at 2.09pm.

Crews released a man who was trapped and gave him first aid.

They left him in the care of ambulance crews at 2.51pm.


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