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Tuesday 30th March - Winter or Spring????

Tony Stockwell spoke to me this morning about his work as a Medium and his current tour which includes a date at the Towngate Theatre, Basildon on the 28th April.  If you want more information about Tony, his books and where you can see him live or on the Telly Box go to
Lorraine Thomas, Parent Coach 
Nearly three quarters of working parents in Chelmsford feel guilty about the lack of time they spend playing with their children and nearly a quarter feel they bring the stresses of their work in to the family home, according to new research released today.  We’re supposedly one of the hardest working nations in Europe but the time spent at the office is starting to take a toll on our home lives as parents struggle to let go of the boardroom and immerse themselves in the world of child’s play.
Parenting coach and author, Lorraine Thomas, believes one of the main reasons parents feel stressed is because they have unrealistic expectations and it’s important they don’t try to be the perfect Mum or Dad because they don’t exist.  “For working parents, it is a real struggle to find quality time to play and have fun with your children.  There is always too much to do, not enough time to do it and definitely never enough Mum or Dad to go round”, says parenting coach, Lorraine Thomas.  “Most working Mums and Dads say they are desperate to be ‘fun’ parents but because of the stressful demands of combining family and career – they end up as ‘frantic’ parents instead and ultimately end up feeling guilty.
“Connection is much more important than perfection.  Stop thinking of time as a burden and start recognizing just how precious it is.  Stop trying to pack as much as possible into every day.  The housework will always be there but your children won’t be small for long.  Focus on feeling good about the time you do spend with your children instead of feeling guilty about being away from them.  Finally remember, it’s better to spend 15 minutes of quality time having fun than an hour with them when your mind is on other things.”
Lorraine also points out that a lot of high-tech games can be isolating:  “Playing creative games encourages you to talk and helps children to develop really important communication skills.    Creative games also boost your child’s confidence and self-belief – they can be a lot better at letting their imagination run wild than us.”
For more information go to:
Evening Echo
  • The new "BASILDON" sign has been unveiled at the side of the A127, in the true style of Tinseltown each letter is five feet tall while the US counterpart boasts letters of about 45 feet in height.  The sign is part of a £400,000 project commissioned by Basildon Council to boost the local economy.   A council spokesman said the project is almost finished and the money came from the Thames Gateway programme. He said the cash will also be used to create new road signs, roadside lighting and entrance signs to the district.
  • A TASK-FORCE is being set up by Essex County Council to consider new rules on the location of hazardous installations, such as oil refineries and gas storage facilities.  This comes after the issue was raised by a long-running campaigner George Whatley, of the People Against Methane group.  He wants to see the introduction of a safe siting policy for facilities, such as Canvey’s Calor Gas terminal, to monitor the danger they pose to people living near by. Forum chairman and Canvey councillor Ray Howard said the panel would hear from members of the community, as well as representatives from organisations such as Calor and Petroplus, which runs the oil refinery at Coryton, in Thurrock.   If the group decides a safe siting policy is necessary, it will make recommendations to the county council.
  • Basildon is also suffering from DOUBLE-parked cars which are causing road chaos and halting rubbish collections for dozens of homes. Vehicles parked along both sides of Tinkler Side, in Basildon, have been regularly forcing rubbish collectors to turn back, affecting residents in the street and nearby Thorrington Cross and Pin Mill.   Eric Webb, 82, of Thorrington Cross, said the problem is causing massive disruptions, as dustmen have to return hours or even days late.  It’s a real problem because people are just leaving their cars there all night, but in the morning, the truck couldn’t get through to pick up the rubbish.  Mr Webb called for parking restrictions to stop drivers leaving their cars in front of the garages and the electricity substation.
Weekly News
  • A MUM-of-four, Tani Jones, 29, has spoken of her misery at living in a rat-infested council house for six weeks, which she says the council is doing nothing about. The single mum, who lives in Copperfield Gardens, in Brentwood, said her children are so scared of encountering the vermin, they won’t go into the kitchen alone, and the family is having trouble sleeping due to the noisy night-time pests.  Ms Jones said she first reported the problem to Brentwood Council six weeks ago, and has been calling every day, only to be told the pest control team is snowed under.   Things came to a head on Saturday when the family’s cooker caught fire, with Ms Jones blaming the rats who she said chewed through the wiring.  The council is yet to replace the oven, leaving Ms Jones without a way of cooking for her family. Ms Jones’ problem comes just weeks after Brentwood Council controversially announced it was scrapping its subsidised pest-control service. This means residents will have to fork out hundreds of pounds to hire private extermination services, although it doesn’t apply to council tenants such as Ms Jones.
  • Conservative Russell Quirk, councillor for Brentwood North, has been putting pressure on council officers to prioritise Ms Jones’ case. Brentwood Council said it was looking into the problem and an officer will be visiting the house to assess the damage to the cooker soon.   Louise McKinlay, leader of Brentwood Council said she could not comment on specific cases, but said: “In setting this year’s budget we had to make some very challenging decisions in respect of efficiency savings.” She added: “The pest control service was not identified as a key priority.” 

SOUTHEND United blew a two-goal lead to lose 4-3 away to Bristol Rovers in a match that also saw Blues have Franck Moussa sent off. Southend had a great start and were quickly 2-0 up, But Bristol Hughes then put the Pirates in front for the first time in the 52nd minute after being set up by Kuffour. Francis atoned for giving away the penalty by teeing up Vernon for his second goal, a header on 57 minutes. But things turned sour again for Blues in the 65th minute when Moussa was sent off. Southend looked set to get a point from the match until Anthony Grant's 90th-minute own goal handed victory to the hosts. The defeat means Southend are still 21st in the table and still in the relegation zone.


ESSEX Pirates made it back to back wins as they saw off Guildford Heat 93-84 at the Southend Leisure and Tennis Centre on Saturday Night and then on Sunday a 73-64 triumph at London Capital. 


Ashford Town (Middlesex)   VS   Canvey Island     
Aveley   VS   Hastings United     
Billericay Town   VS   Sutton United     
Waltham Abbey   VS   Kingstonian   
Steve Rudman and Anthony Crutchett Celebrate their Birthdays with Rolf Harris

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