A good meeting last night/late afternoon with the Leader of Essex County Council, Peter Martin, at County Hall in Chelmsford.

Peter is one of the Good Guys in my books, a County Councillor who has risen to the top and is not afraid to get his hands dirty, having been to Harlow to help out in election campaigns and knocked on doors alongside myself and Rob Halfon. He knows and understands Harlow and that makes our conversation even more productive.

We are able to chat with excitement about the new LEP and how to make it work best going forward, and we are also able spend some time talking about how councils can think out of the box and share more services, something you will know I am very keen on.

I look forward to working closer with Essex over the coming years.

Up to 30,000 people across Essex are going to be given £100 to help them with their Council Tax in these economically difficult times.

The Conservative administration at County Hall, have decided that those in most need, families with young children and those over 80 years of age should receive financial assistance.

Essex residents are of course already benefiting from the lowest council tax rise in the county in history.

A number of people reciveing this £100 will be from Harlow, and I was really happy when Lord Hanningfield the leader of Essex County Council told me about the scheme.

Harlow District Council are helping to distribute the money to those people who meet the criteria.

Of course the ability to pass this money back to hard pressed tax payers has only been achieved by the sound financial management of Essex County Council by Lord Hanningfield and his Conservative team;

A big difference to the previous Lib/Lab adminsitration who drained the reserves, a situation those of you who know Harlow will not be surprised by!

Further details of the £100 pound give back can be found here.

Well done Lord Hanningfield – this is the kind of thing that makes Conservative councils different.