This month’s ‘community focus’ concentrates on an Essex Charity helping thousands of homeless people every single month. Friends of Essex & London Homeless are a local charity driven by one single goal: “to do their part in making the world a better place for all.” They are a small group made up of volunteers who travel to central London every Wednesday evening to set up a ‘pop up’ soup kitchen at Charing Cross, which ensures hundreds of homeless receive a hot meal.

At the end of 2018, Highways England held a consultation in which almost 29,000 people shared their views on proposals for the Lower Thames Crossing, a new road connecting Kent, Thurrock and Essex through a tunnel beneath the River Thames.

Highways England reviewed the feedback received through the consultation and have continued to progress designs ahead of submitting a Development Consent Order application later this year.

They would now like to hear your views on our proposed changes to the route.

The London Marathon Charitable Trust has announced new funding to deliver its vision of inspiring activity and enabling people to become and remain physically active regardless of age, gender, ability, race or background.

More than £5 million of grants are available for the Facilities Grants Programme to fund building, renovation or modernisation of facilities in London and Surrey.

The grants thresholds are: small grants £5,000 - £50,000, major grants £50,001 - £250,000.

Havering Council are currently developing ‘Havering’s Homelessness Prevention and Rough Sleeper Strategy 2020-2025’ and are asking residents for their input.

The Council have stated that they are committed to enhancing local services to support and protect those who find themselves homeless and vulnerable. They aim to learn the lessons as to why this happens, and plug the gaps where possible to improve early intervention and preventative work.

Last month, Havering Council launched a public consultation on a newly proposed policy for how they are planning to deliver travel assistance in the 2020-21 academic year starting in September.

The Local Authority provides support to students who are eligible and need support in order to get to school or college because of their needs.

Over the last few weeks, residents of South Hornchurch who wrote to Havering Council objecting the proposed ‘Stopping Up Order’ (P1004.18) of Dovers Green, received letters from the council asking whether they would like to withdraw their objection.

Havering Council applied for a ‘Stopping Up Order’ to take the land bounded by New Zealand Way, Queenstown Gardens and Gisborne Gardens, Rainham, RM13 8JT (locally known as Dovers Green) out of ‘Highways’ to start development.

This week, Havering Council announced that two local businesses have been awarded demolition contracts by joint venture partners, Havering Council and Wates Residential, as part of Havering’s new regeneration project.

Napier and New Plymouth House in South Hornchurch Ward, Rainham will be demolished as part of the council’s 12 estates joint venture project. The project aims to provide 3,000 new homes around the borough, seeing the regeneration of 12 council estates.

This week Havering Council launched a new scheme which will see an extra £400,000 invested by the Council into street cleaning. The extra money will see the frequency of cleaning in residential streets increased from once every three weeks to fortnightly.

In addition to investing into more street cleaning the scheme will see the Council encourage more reporting of fly-tipping and littering and increasing enforcement action around both.

Lastly, the council have promised increased action to keep Havering’s local rivers and parks clean and healthy.

This week, Havering Council have announced that they are investing more than £18 million over the next four years to open new schools and improve and expand existing schools to meet the growing demand for places in the borough.

A new programme of projects is being developed by the council to meet the need for school places from early years to post-16 and special education. This also includes a plan for a new primary school at Beam Park, Rainham.

Options are currently being finalised and will be presented to Council’s cabinet for approval later this year.

Last month, residents of Blewitts Cottages, New Road, Rainham contacted Jon Cruddas MP regarding continuous power cuts. Residents had experienced cuts to power three or four times since the start of the new year, leaving some vulnerable residents with no light or power for medical equipment.

Jon Cruddas urgently contacted UK Power Networks on the 6th of March, expressing the danger vulnerable residents are facing when being left without power. Within days UK Power Networks were present along Blewitts Cottages carrying out works to fix the continuous issue.

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