• Suspicious blaze destroys camper van in Basildon

    A CAMPER van has gone up in flames in a possible arson attack. Fire crews were called to Delimands in Lee Chapel North, Basildon, about 7.30pm this evening after a passer-by alerted them. The Mercedes van was completely destroyed by

  • Good, simple food is a hit

    FOUR hungry girls, including one fussy eater, is a daunting prospect for any restaurant. But the Village Bar and Grill rose admirably to the challenge from the minute we walked in to the moment we settled up and left. My three companions and I decided

  • Home town concert for globe-trotting girls’ choir

    ORIGINALLY formed to give girls the same platform as their male counterparts, Southend Girls’ Choir has gone from strength to strength and on Sunday they will play a triumphant home town concert at the Palace Theatre, Southend. The choir was set up 22

  • Straight sets victory for Wickford’s Allen

    WICKFORD Tennis Club’s Autumn finals day mostly survived inclement weather on Sunday with five of the six scheduled matches completed. Mikki Allen won the ladies’ singles plate, defeating Sandy Ellis 6-4 6-1. In the men’s plate, Tony Forster came

  • Woman in £400K fraud case wants to set up charity for victims

    A WOMAN who says she fell prey to a £400,000 scam is appealing for help to set up a charity for victims of fraud. Maggie Tuttle, 67, of Carlingford Drive, Westcliff, wants people with backgrounds in accounts or finance to come forward as trustees for

  • Digger stolen from building site

    A DIGGER was stolen from a building site in Leigh. Thieves got into the locked site at the corner of London Road and Lymington Avenue and loaded the small yellow digger onto their vehicle. Police believe they may have used a low-loader, flat-bed or

  • Knife-point robbery in Southend

    A KNIFE-POINT robbery was carried out on a man as he was he left a supermarket. The victim, who is in his 40s, was walking along Southchurch Avenue with his shopping from Tesco Express at about 10.35pm on Monday August 23. He was using his mobile phone

  • Arson on public toilet

    AN ARSON attack was carried out on a public toilet. Police are appealing for witnesses after the fire started in a portable toilet in Colchester Road in Southend. It happened at about 5pm on Monday, October 4 and has caused so much damage it is now out

  • Teenager charged with burglary

    A TEENAGER is set to appear in court following a burglary in Shoebury. The 16-year-old was charged with aggravated burglary in connection with a crime in Saxon Gardens on July 13. He will appear at Southend Youth Court on October 21. An 18-year-old

  • College floodlights will blight our lives, claim

    RESIDENTS living close to a college claim the use of floodlit playing fields into the evening will blight their lives. Members of the Futures Neighbours Group, who live near to Futures College in Southend, are concerned about the extended use of the

  • Feelgoods’ Wilko to star as TV bad guy

    LEGENDARY guitarist Wilko Johnson will star in a multi-million pound fantasy television show, opposite screen idol Sean Bean. The former lead guitarist and songwriter from Canvey rhythm and blues band Dr Feelgood, who topped the British album charts

  • Church's new roof did not have planning permission

    A CHURCH could be forced to remove a new roof built to replace one destroyed by copper thieves – because it went up without planning permission. Fryerns Baptist Church, in Whitmore Way, Basildon, has nearly completed replacing its copper roof

  • Success for Beryl in medal competition

    THE ladies September medal, the LGU medal, was played last week. The winner was Beryl Bennett with 74 points. The Ross foursomes was won by Joan Parkes and Gill Hawkins with 72 points On Thursday, the past lady captains played for the Ida Bunting

  • Burstead seniors get Chelmsford revenge

    BURSTEAD Seniors played the return leg of their inter-club match against their Chelmsford counterparts, after losing the first encounter 5-3. With the benefit of some good weather, both sides played inspirational golf. It was nip and tuck in most of

  • E-mail scammers con man out of £2,000

    CONMEN persuaded a man to part with nearly £2,000 after he received a fake e-mail purporting to be from friends. The man, who is in his fifties and from Wickford, is the latest victim to fall prey to the scam, which has hit people across the UK. The

  • Old Southendian crush Chelmsford

    AFTER back to back draws in Essex Division 1, Old Southendian Ladies were determined to get their first win league win of the season against Chelmsford fourths. But they got off to a bad start and went behind to an early goal. But they responded well

  • How can we protect the island’s Dutch cottage?

    ACTION needs to be taken to stop vandals ruining Canvey’s historic Dutch Cottage Museum, councillors have claimed. In the latest attack the iconic building was daubed with graffiti on three of its walls, and yobs also pelted it with plums from a nearby

  • It’s our money council spends

    When I visit Southend I witness Southend Council spending taxpayers’ money at an ever-increasing rate. The expensive bus lane and traffic light system from Queensway to Chichester Road are now in the process of being ripped up. The junction of

  • Where will our children play?

    We would like suggestions of where our children will be able to play safely after Northlands Park land, Pitsea, has been built on. We would like suggestions of another safe visible place where our children are supposed to play. The playing field

  • Why should I pay more for drink?

    I agree with Greg Jerome that the levy for late-night policing should be banded and those venues which open later should pay more. However, I disagree with Colin Lane on his preferred solution of minimum pricing. He comments: “The problem is

  • Stroke victim needs a lift

    The excellent Dial a Ride service is being suspended at weekends, which is a shame. As co-ordinator of Different Strokes, a charity for stroke victims, it is their only means to get to and from the exercise class which is held on Saturdays at

  • Why bother with surveys?

    Nicola Smith hit the mark regarding the survey on waste food collections in Castle Point. Surveys by Castle Point Council always seem to be weighted in favour of the results it wants – pretending to consult the public, but ensuring it gets the

  • Council signed pool contract

    In comparing the fiasco of dead trees on Canvey with the paddling pool saga, Chas Mumford belittles the safety of children (Sept 28). True, it must be embarrassing for Dave Blackwell, with his horticultural background, to be the chairman of the

  • Why do we need a new library?

    I was angry to read about proposed £30million new library for Southend. The council is asking us to give our views on where cuts in public spending can be made. It doesn’t make sense this has been given a seal of approval. We already have a

  • Cut council bosses’ pay before services

    Obviously, there is a need to re-assess our local council system following Government comments about reducing costs. Rather than reduce services or cut back on the humble council footsoldier employees, surely it makes far more sense to slash

  • Why should just eight make council decisions?

    Why should just eight senior councillors decide what is right and what is wrong for Castle Point? I fail to understand how these eight persons can hold cosy chats between themselves to make decisions that will affect all the residents of the

  • There will still be open spaces

    Joanne Carlier sees the need for a new swimming pool (Oct 1), but believes instead of going to local greens, residents will have to get in their cars or get a bus to an open space or pay for the sporting village. I reiterate the fact that open

  • Farmers need to diversify

    With reference to planning application by the Lazybones boot sale held at Rettendon. Residents would be ashamed of the way the parish council representatives conducted themselves on their recent visit. Owner Peter Theobold has lived in Rettendon

  • Yet more cycle lanes will be a waste of cash

    What is the point of the proposed cycle lanes and parking bays in Thorpe Hall Avenue and Southchurch Boulevard, Thorpe Bay, (Oct 1)? There is no parking issue and thus no need for parking bays. Indeed the number of cars parked in Thorpe Hall

  • We did not leak documents

    There has been a great deal of coverage in the Echo recently regarding alternative site provision for members of the travelling community. As a public agency we have a responsibility to help local councils meet the housing needs and priorities

  • Audience’s ill manners

    I attended the Village Green Festival at Chalkwell Park (Sept 27), and was left unimpressed. We went specifically to see Ballet Black and arrived early and secured seats. We should have known better, since audience etiquette is non existent

  • Police appeal for witnesses to road accident

    POLICE are appealing for a young cyclist and any witnesses to a road traffic accident between a child cyclist and a car in Swanage Road, Southend. The collision, which happened on Thursday, September 23 involved a child on a pedal cycle and a silver

  • Family’s shock find at Westcliff seafront toilets

    DRUG addicts have been leaving their used needles in a public toilet. It appears the toilets near the Arches cafes, on the seafront, are being used by junkies. Trevor Bell, of Holland Road, Westcliff, was disgusted when he found discarded

  • Fiona Bruce stalker has been detained at Basildon Hospital

    A stalker who harassed BBC newsreader Fiona Bruce by sending her love messages has been detained in Basildon Hospital under mental health laws. Basildon Crown Court heard Peter Oakey, 51, of Burses Way, Hutton, suffered from persistent delusional

  • Paterson determined to stay in the frame

    SOUTHEND United striker Matt Paterson is determined to stay in the plans of manager Paul Sturrock. The 20-year-old seemed to be heading out of Roots Hall after falling out of favour under the Scotsman. But a brace in Tuesday night’s 3-1

  • Super King heads home late leveller

    DANNY Scopes said his side’s late equaliser against Billericay on Tuesday evening was the least they deserved from a game they should have won. Concord needed an 84th minute header from Steve King to earn a point against a visiting Town side who had

  • Blues sign Fairhurst on loan

    SOUTHEND United have taken Waide Fairhurst on loan from Doncaster Rovers for a month. The 21-year-old striker bagged five goals in 10 starts on loan at Shrewsbury Town last season. He has also made 12 appearances for the Doncaster first team, scoring

  • 2 Silvers, now Reiss targets golds

    REISS Beckford will be gunning for double gold today as he continues his remarkable week at the Common-wealth Games. The 18-year-old, a product of Basildon’s South Essex Gymnastics Club, collected his second silver medal of the tournament yesterday.

  • Thieves may face jail for stealing hall’s lead

    TWO thieves could face prison for stealing lead from a 151-year-old building. Reece Marchbank, 18, of Ruskin Avenue, Southend and Nathanial Gill, 20, of no fixed address, admitted removing the lead from the roof of the Masonic Hall in South Street,

  • Frying tonight with a gluten-free menu

    IMAGINE a world where fragrant fresh bread was forbidden, where mouthwatering cakes and biscuits were outlawed and even the nation’s favourite, fish and chips, could only be longingly gazed at through a steamy shop window. Welcome to the world of the

  • Essex Police investigated after teenager is taken ill

    Essex Police are being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission after a driver ended up in a critical condition. The 18-year-old, who was arrested by officers, is in intensive care, following a police chase. Essex

  • Police name A13 crash driver

    A DRIVER who died when his car burst into flames on the A13 has been named by police. Robert Forman, 67, of Calvert Drive, Basildon, was driving his orange Nissan Qashqai when tragedy struck. His car was involved in a collision with an articulated lorry

  • Southend Hospital ops hit by burst water main

    OPERATIONS were postponed and bottled water distributed to patients and staff after a burst main left a large part of Southend Hospital without water. Supplies to the hospital’s tower block, in Prittlewell Chase, Westcliff, were cut yesterday

  • Asian award goes to council chief

    A COUNCIL boss has won a top Asian award for helping to improve the community. Basildon Council chief executive Bala Mahendran has been named as winner of the Asian Achievers Gold Award for Uniformed and Civil Services. Mr Mahendran

  • Memorial service for chef killed near park

    A GRIEVING fiancee is preparing for a special remembrance service in memory of her partner who was killed after a concert in Priory Park, Southend. French-born Reynald Duchene, 38, was killed after a night out with Paula Haddlesley to celebrate

  • Six years for stabbing brother-in-law in chest

    A MAN has been branded a danger to the public for stabbing his brother-in-law. Scott Hayes has been jailed for six years for attacking Rand Moore a few days after Mr Moore allowed him to stay in his home when Hayes was released from prison.

  • Family’s tribute to M25 crash victim Laura Williams

    THE family of a 23-year-old woman who died in a crash have paid tribute to her. Laura Williams died at Basildon Hospital on Friday following a crash on the M25 near Thurrock. Her devastated family, plus boyfriend Dean Fox, released a glowing tribute

  • Campaigners lose fight to save playing field

    CAMPAIGNING residents were dealt a crushing blow when Basildon councillors approved plans to build homes on a cherished playing field. Planning bosses debated the controversial proposals to allow 25 homes on a playing field off Felmores, Pitsea, at a