Welcome to the Sustainable Community Strategy for Uttlesford

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Welcome to the Sustainable Community Strategy for Uttlesford ...

Sustainable Community Strategy:

A vision for our future - 2018

June 2008


    Page Foreword from the Chair 3 District profile 4 Vision, themes and priorities 9 Relationship to other strategies 12 Evidence base 16 Themes

    ? Children and young people matter 18

    ? Staying healthy 21

    ? Developing business 25

    ? Feeling safe 28

    ? Protecting the environment 33

    ? Getting around 38 Delivering the strategy 40 Partner contacts 42


Foreword from the Chair

    The Sustainable Community Strategy is a long term vision for Uttlesford and its people. It aims to create a sustainable community by addressing economic, social and environmental needs.

    Sustainable communities are places in which people want to live, now and in the future. They embody the principles of sustainable development at the local level. This means they improve quality of life for all whilst safeguarding the environment for future generations. Delivering genuinely sustainable communities requires a joined-up approach which brings together social, economic and environmental considerations. With this in mind, Uttlesford’s public, private, voluntary and

    community sector agencies have formed a partnership - Uttlesford Futures - to work together strategically and join-up the delivery of services. The Sustainable Community Strategy presents our vision for the future of Uttlesford and sets out what the Partnership will deliver over the forthcoming years.

    The vision, themes and priorities outlined in the Strategy have been developed through extensive consultation with partners and the local community. The Strategy is the ‘grandparent’ of all plans for Uttlesford and fundamental to delivering an ambitious and exciting future.

    The Partnership looks forward to working together and with you to help Uttlesford achieve its vision.

Councillor Howard Rolfe

    Chair of Uttlesford Futures


District profile

District Location and Character

    Uttlesford is located in the North West corner of Essex. The district borders Hertfordshire to the West and Cambridgeshire to the North. It is the largest district in Essex at 63,752 hectares, and is mainly rural in character with four market towns - Saffron Walden, Great Dunmow, Stansted Mountfitchet and Thaxted, and 56 parishes. There are 3,751 listed buildings and 34 conservation areas.


    Uttlesford has a population of 71,400 (ONS, 2006) which is set to increase over the next 10-15 years with new housing development. 45% of residents are aged 30-59, with relatively few residents aged 20-29 (9%) compared with the county average. The proportion of younger (0-19) and older (60 plus) residents is on par with the county (2001 Census).


    Uttlesford has a very small representation of black and minority ethnic groups at 2%, though there are growing migrant worker communities living or working in the district.

Economic Migrants 1There are 585 registered migrants from ‘Accession 8’ countries working in

    Uttlesford (Essex Trends, 2007). 74% of these are from Poland, 11% from Slovakia, 7% from Czech Republic, 3% from Hungary, 3% from Latvia, 2% from Lithuania and 1% from Estonia. Migrants tend to work full-time in lower skilled and therefore lower income jobs. Agricultural and care work are common in Uttlesford. Only a small minority declare that they have dependants living with them in the UK.


    The Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) rank for Uttlesford falls in the fourth quartile at 341, which makes it one of the most affluent areas in the country. Uttlesford is the least deprived district in Essex. However, due to its rural nature there are areas which are amongst the 25% most ‘access deprived’ wards in

    England (IMD, 2004).

Education and Skills

    Uttlesford has 34 primary and 6 secondary schools (2 of which are independent). Post-16 learning opportunities are diverse and providers include Adult Community Colleges and the Youth Service Alternative Education Programme. There are no Further Education Colleges and post-16 students who do not remain at one of the three post-16 educational establishments need to travel out of the district.

     1 Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia


    Uttlesford has seen an increase in the number of pupils achieving five or more A* to C grades from 52.8% in 1997 to 69.6% in 2006 (DoE, 2006). This is well above the county average of 59.0%. Uttlesford has also seen an increase in the number of 14 year olds reaching the required literacy level from 71% in 1997 to 84% in 2005, 10% above the national average of 74% (DoE, 2005).

    Overall educational attainment is high. 30.2% of 16-74 year olds have NVQ level 4/5, significantly above the regional and national average. However, 21.8% have no formal qualifications. This is significantly above the regional and national averages (ONS, 2006).


    Uttlesford has a working age population of 43,100. There are 39,700 economically active, of which 32,200 are in employment and 6,800 are self-employed. There are 7,000 economically inactive, of which 6,000 do not want a job (ONS, 2007).

    There are 34,100 jobs in Uttlesford. 24,700 are full-time and 9,400 are part-time (ONS, 2006). 81.1% are in the service sector (2001 Census) - distribution, hotels and restaurants (22.1%), transport and communications (20.3%), finance, IT, other business activities (17.1%), public administration, education and health (17.8%), other services (3.8%). Unemployment is low at 1%. 0.8% claim Jobseekers Allowance, of which more than half are aged 25-49. The majority (73.6%) claim for less than 6 months (ONS, 2008).

There are 4,110 VAT registered businesses (ONS, 2006).

    12% of the resident workforce commute to London and a further 13% work from home (2001 Census). Weekly average earnings are ?577.70, much higher than the regional and national averages (ONS, 2007). 45% of people working within the district live outside the area (2001 Census). Workplace average earnings are ?491.6 (ONS, 2007).


    76.2% of households are owner-occupied. Average household size is 2.46. Single person households make up 9.9% of the district total (2001 Census).

    The average house price in Uttlesford is ?302,756.46 (Local Knowledge, March 2007), significantly higher than the national average of ?183,626 (Local Knowledge, April 2008). Uttlesford has a housing affordability ratio (lower level) of 12, above 2the regional average of 8.56 (Local Knowledge, 2007) .

     2 This represents the ratio of workplace based earnings to house prices. The figures are based on lower quartile house prices and the average workplace based earnings amongst the lowest 25% earnings within the area. The higher the ratio, the less affordable the area is.


    During 2006/07, 82 new units of affordable housing were built in Uttlesford for allocation to those on Uttlesford District Council’s housing waiting list and shared ownership register.

    In 2007/08, a further 62 units were delivered. It is predicted that a further 350 units of affordable housing will be built in Uttlesford between 2008 and 2011. This will be a mix of affordable rented, allocated by the Council through Choice Based Lettings and shared ownership units which will be allocated by Moat Homebuy.

Health and Activity

    In 2002-04 life expectancy for males in Uttlesford was the fourth highest in the country at 79.9 years. The female life expectancy was 81.9 years, also significantly higher then the national average (ONS, 2004). Yet life expectancy for men in Uttlesford is increasing faster than for women and analysis of trends shows that for women, life expectancy is not increasing as fast in Uttlesford as nationally. In Uttlesford there is 14.7 years difference in life expectancy between the highest (Littlebury) and the lowest (Barnston and High Easter) wards.

    There is a five fold variation in premature cancer death rates between wards within Uttlesford. Cancer mortality for women has been increasing since 1999 and now is the highest mortality rate for cancer in females out of all the localities in West Essex. Breast cancer mortality in this locality is the highest in Essex (NCHOD, 2005). Premature mortality from lung cancer amongst Uttlesford women is well below the national average but worryingly has been increasing since 2001. There is a 10 fold difference in death rates between wards within Uttlesford (NCHOD, 2005). Mortality from suicide and injury undetermined amongst Uttlesford men were less than one per year, however in the last six years, this has doubled and is now two per year (NCHOD, 2005).

    Uttlesford has one of the lowest teenage conception rates in the country and is much lower than the average for the region. However, there are some wards in Saffron Walden, Great Dunmow and Stansted Mountfitchet that have rates much higher than the district average (ONS, 2004).

    Uttlesford has a rate of 125.5 persons providing unpaid care per 1,000 18+ population, below the Essex average. The district has a high rate of volunteering with 8.3% of adults doing at least an hour of volunteering a week to support sport. 1 in 4 adults participate in 30 minutes moderate physical activity at least 3 times a week (Sport England, 2006) and 70% are satisfied with local sports provision.

Voluntary and Community Support

    There are over 600 voluntary and community groups known to the Council for Voluntary Services Uttlesford (CVSU). Many provide direct services which enable people to stay at home, provide support to people with long-term conditions or provide respite for carers. For example, there are 170 known older people groups, 8 learning disability groups, 20 physical disability groups, 76 children’s groups and 9 community transport groups.

Crime, Alcohol and Drugs


    Uttlesford is a very safe place to live. It has the lowest crime rate in Essex at 15 per 1,000 population (Essex Police, 2008). Uttlesford suffered 2,489 crimes in the last year at a rate of 7.8 crimes a day. Across a whole district this is extremely low and the vast majority of these were criminal damage, non-dwelling burglaries, and thefts from motor vehicles. According to the British Crime Survey, Uttlesford has the lowest crime of all similar districts across the UK (Essex Police, 2008). Uttlesford has a rate of violence against the person of 8 per 1,000 population, lower than the national and Essex averages (Essex Police, 2007). The rate of crime attributable to alcohol is 4.12 per 1,000 population. This is lower then the national and regional rates and second lowest in Essex. In terms of violent crime attributable to alcohol, the rate of 3.00 per 1,000 population is a lot lower than the national and regional averages and also the second lowest in Essex. It is estimated that 16.6% of adults in Uttlesford binge drink, which is below the regional average. However, Uttlesford has high hospital admissions rates for under 18 year old females for alcohol specific conditions at 46.59 per 100,000 people which is above the regional average (NWPHO, 2007). Rates of people accessing drug treatment services are lower than the national average in Uttlesford (NWPHO, 2007).

Crime Against Business

    In the North West of Essex, of which Uttlesford forms the largest part, the average cost of business crime to the victim is the highest in the region (estimated at ?4,000 plus). Theft is the most frequent crime perpetrated against businesses at 53%, followed by criminal damage at 27% and burglary at 20%. Up to 13% of respondents to the Federation of Small Businesses Business Crime Survey 2007 also reported assault as an issue. Credit card fraud was measured at 13%. Crime against business is not a key indicator in current crime statistics but there is a strong will to combat these issues, with 76% of victims prepared to become involved in crime reduction schemes. Up to 87% have already taken steps to reduce the incidence of crime against their business.

Climate Change

    The mean annual temperature in Uttlesford is predicted to increase by 2-3?C by 2070 (UK Climate Impacts Programme). Summer rainfall will reduce by 45-60%, and winter rainfall will increase by 15-30%. Overall, the future local climate will resemble Portugal’s current climate, and large changes will be required to adapt our society and its infrastructure to cope.

    On a per capita basis, Uttlesford has much higher carbon dioxide emissions than the national average. For domestic emissions Uttlesford is in the top 10% nationally (Defra, 2005). Of the emissions that will be measured for NI186, which include all sources minus motorways, heavy industry and aviation, Uttlesford is in the top 20% (and the second highest in Essex). Particular problems arise from the rural nature of the district, which leads to dependence on private cars for transport and use of high emissions fuels for heating such as oil, LPG and electricity.

Transport and Accessibility


    Close to both London and Cambridge, Uttlesford is well served by major road, rail and air links. The M11 runs through the district and Stansted Airport is located within its boundaries. However, due to its rural nature there are accessibility issues for some without private transport, especially in outlying villages. The district has a population density of just 1.1 per hectare which is not conducive to the provision of frequent public transport. A recent survey of bus usage in North Uttlesford revealed that 52% of users were aged 65 plus and that 65% of trips were primarily for food and other shopping. The survey also revealed that only 6% of bus users were aged 24 and under (Essex County Council, 2008).

Road Safety

    The rate of all people killed or seriously injured on Uttlesford’s roads was 75 in

    2007. This represents a rate of 105.49 per 100,000 population (Essex County Council) and is the second highest rate in Essex after Epping Forest (107.38 per 100,000 population). Young drivers and motorcyclists predominate. However, where the numbers of motorcyclists killed or seriously injured fell between 2006 and 2007, the numbers of young drivers killed or seriously injured rose.


    Vision, themes and priorities

    The Sustainable Community Strategy captures the key issues that affect our local community. The themes and priorities have emerged from extensive consultation with stakeholders and the community and will be the driving force for the Partnership over the next few years.

    The Strategy does not attempt to capture the specific responsibilities of partners but draw on the issues where partners collectively through the pooling of expertise and resources can make a difference. It is about working together to achieve more than each partner can achieve on its own.


    The vision for Uttlesford is to sustain a high quality of life in which the benefits of the unique character of the district are equally available to all residents, workers or visitors.


    Based on the evidence and results of consultation, we have decided on the following themes for the Strategy. Each theme is supported by a number of specific priorities for action.

    ? Children and young people matter

    ? Staying healthy

    ? Developing business

    ? Feeling safe

    ? Protecting the environment

    ? Getting around

Cross-cutting themes

Equalities and Diversity

    Uttlesford Futures seeks to ensure that its membership and work adhere to equality, diversity, sustainability and social inclusion values.

Social Groups

    Uttlesford Futures seeks to ensure that vulnerable and minority groups such as children and young people, older people and migrant workers are adequately considered and services reflect individual needs.


Access to Services

    This is a recurring theme which Uttlesford Futures seeks to improve by ensuring that services are available to communities in the right locations and at the right times, and individuals are able to access them through appropriate means of transportation.

Voluntary and Community Sector

    The voluntary and community sector in Uttlesford is engaged in all aspects of the community. The sector helps address health issues, offers preventative support,

    drop-in care, home visits, and educates, advises, counsels and befriends. As such, the sector plays an important role in the Partnership and contributes significantly in delivery of the Strategy. The sector supports children and young people, older people, people with learning and physical disabilities, families through difficult times, individuals who, for a wide range of reasons, have hit the lowest point in their lives, and reaches out to those that have slipped through the system. The sector also supports the arts, sport and culture.


    ? Every Child Matters Children and young ? Gaps in provision of services people matter ? Commissioning services

    ? Alcohol related hospital admissions

    ? Mortality from breast cancer

    Staying healthy ? Access to services

    ? Sustainability of the voluntary sector

    ? Adult obesity

    ? Developing high value jobs in small businesses

    ? Carbon footprint of local businesses Developing business ? Tackling deprivation and poverty

    ? Local tourism

    ? Road safety

    ? Young people and crime

    ? Anti-social behaviour

    Feeling safe ? Core crime

    ? Violent crime

    ? Substance misuse

    ? Feeling safe

    ? Climate change mitigation

    ? Climate change adaptation Protecting the ? Ensuring new development is sustainable environment ? Environmental protection

    ? Waste minimisation


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