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Bridge over the River Lee to be reconstructed

Work has started to repair and reconstruct a weakened road bridge which spans the River Lee near Harlow as it can no longer support heavy vehicles.

Essex Highways structural engineers will rebuild Fish and Eels bridge, which carries Dobbs Weir Road between Harlow and Hoddesdon.

The work is expected to be finished by the end of January 2016.

A new permanent footbridge will be built on the south side of the bridge and a footpath will be provided on the north side.

"Structural surveys have clearly shown the ironwork supporting Fish and Eels Bridge has corroded to the extent that it has become dangerous for vehicles to cross it, especially commercial vans and trucks. Clearly we need to maintain the safety of everyone who needs to use it."

– Essex County Council's Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, Cllr Rodney L Bass

A signed diversion will direct drivers onto sections of Essex Road, Charlton Way, High Road, Station Road, Nazeing New Road, North Street and Sedge Green, while a temporary footpath will be provided for pedestrians and cyclists.

Boats will be allowed to use the River Lee and canal during the construction programme, however an occasional closure of the canal may be required for safety reasons.

Man jailed for child abuse

Matthew Challis Credit: Essex Police

A man from Bishop's Stortford has been jailed for three years for causing injuries to a child in his care.

The boy was four-months old when he was taken to Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow after a sudden fit. He was found to have various injuries to his body and a CT scan revealed a bleed to the brain.

Matthew Challis, 34, of Kingsmead Road, was arrested and later charged with causing serious physical harm to a child by means of an unlawful act.

Challis was found guilty following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court on Wednesday, June 10. He had claimed the injuries to the child, who was alone in his care at the time, were accidental.

"Matthew Challis has continued to maintain his innocence and disputed medical evidence which concluded that the baby had been shaken and the injuries he sustained were not accidental."

"The boy is being monitored and we will have to wait and see whether the injuries he sustained at the hands of Matthew Challis have any lasting impact on his life moving forward."

– Dc Ian Forsith


Police want to speak to man wanted over 'threats to kill' allegations

Police appeal to find Anthony Barnes Credit: Essex police

Essex Police are appealing for help to trace a man wanted for threats to kill women in the Harlow area.

34-year old Anthony Barnes was last known to be living in Spinning Wheel Mead in Harlow, and is alleged to have committed the offences in April and May this year.

Two women have reported being threatened by Barnes, and had reason to believe he would carry out those threats.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact police at Harlow on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Peterborough residents 'most at risk of eviction'

People in Peterborough are most at risk of losing their home in our region, according to housing charity Shelter.

Almost 800 people a week across the East of England face losing their home. Credit: PA Images

As many as one in 61 homes in the city are under threat of eviction or repossession.

Shelter suggests other 'hotspots' include: Luton (one in 70), Harlow (one in 78) and Stevenage (one in 92).

In total almost 800 people a week across the East of England face losing their home.

Harlow: Little girl heartbroken after thieves steal her poorly puppy

Caramel, the Chihuahua cross. Credit: Essex Police

A seven-year-old girl says she's desperate to find her puppy who was stolen from her home in Harlow.

The four-month old Chihuahua cross is scheduled for surgery to remove a lump in its stomach from a hernia.

Two men broke into the house in Ladyshot through the back door.

The girl says she doesn't care about anything else that was taken.

"We don’t care about any of the other items which were stolen - we just want the dog back. We don’t even care who the people are who stole her.

We are devastated. It’s like having one of your children taken from you. We just want her home.”

– Victim


Murder investigation launched

A murder investigation's been launched following the death of a man in Harlow.

Police were called to a house in The Hoo at around 1AM on Tuesday. A 53-year-old man was found unconscious at the scene and was taken to Princess Alexandra Hospital. He later died of a head injury.

A 49-year-old man from Harlow has been arrested. Detectives are appealing for information.

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