Well House – With the closure of our biggest residential home due any time now you can imagine the tears, frustration and unbelievable sadness this town is experiencing. Over the last couple of weeks I and others have been contacted by residents and their families and also employees. There was a meeting last Thursday for families. Councillor Karen Yallop attended the afternoon meeting with Essex County Councillor Alan Goggin and myself attending the evening meeting.

A lot of residents have now been moved by their families, many of them are people I grew up with and worked with, starting with simple things like hand rails to care packages then to day care and eventually full time residential care.

I have spent time with the Day Care staff trying to find alternative accommodation for them to continue. There are approx. 68 residents who need new homes with only about 45 vacancies so some have gone out of our area.

A petition of 500 has been handed in to the CEO of Well House.

There is also a covenant on the land so it has to stay for care and I contacted Tendring District Council to have the trees protected.

I would like to thank County Councillor Alan Goggin for all his help and support through this very emotional and difficult time, both for me and the residents and families.

Voluntary minibus drivers could be forced to give up driving mini buses if a new system is bought in. Under new plans from the Department of Transport community drivers will need to obtain a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence costing more than £1,000 each and undergo 35 hours of training. Organisations will also need a Passenger Service Vehicle bus operating licence.

Age UK is fighting this new licence as they fear it will lead to isolation and loneliness in elderly people. It would lead to teachers, scout groups etc. not being able to take people on trips. It would spell the end for many local transport services.

Please send letters to our local MP to object to this new scheme.