|Status:||Ceremonial & (smaller) Non-metropolitan county|
|Region:||East of England|
1.2% S. Asian
Essex County Council
Essex () is a county in the East of England. The county town is Chelmsford, and the highest point of the county is Chrishall Common near the village of Langley, close to the Hertfordshire border, which reaches 482feet.
The area under the control of the county council, or shire county, is divided into a number of local government districts. They are Harlow, Epping Forest, Brentwood, Basildon, Castle Point, Rochford, Maldon, Chelmsford, Uttlesford, Braintree, Colchester, and Tendring. Thurrock and Southend-on-Sea are unitary authorities which form part of the county for various functions such as Lord Lieutenant but do not come under county council control. Essex Police also covers the two unitary authorities.
The ceremonial county, an area including the unitary authorities ennumerated above, is bounded:
See main article: History of Essex.
In pre-Roman Britain the territories of Suffolk and Essex were home to a tribe known as the Trinovantes, which had grown wealthy through intensive trade with the Roman Empire, contemporary to the decline of Atlantic Sea trade as roads and better in-land trade-routes were established in Romanized Gaul. Catuvellaunian and Trinovantian territory was the first to be annexed by the Roman Emperor Claudius in AD 43 when he began his invasion of Britain (Cunliffe, 2001).
The name Essex originates in the Anglo-Saxon period of the early Middle Ages and has its root in the Old English Ēastseaxe (i.e. the "east Saxons"), the eastern kingdom of the Saxons. The East Saxon lands bordered those of the Angle peoples of East Anglia (the latter comprising Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire).
The Kingdom of Essex was traditionally founded by Aescwine in 527 AD, occupying territory to the north of the River Thames, incorporating much of what would later become Middlesex and Hertfordshire, though its territory was later restricted to lands east of the River Lee. Colchester in the north east of the county is Britain's oldest recorded town, dating back to before the Roman conquest, when it was known as Camulodunum, and was sufficiently well-developed to have its own mint.
Subsequently the Kingdom of Essex was subsumed into the Kingdom of England and Essex eventually became the historic county.
Essex County Council was formed in 1889. However, the County Borough of West Ham, and from 1915 the County Borough of East Ham, formed part of the county but were not under county council control. A few parishes were transferred to other counties at this time; parts of Haverhill, Kedington, and Ballingdon-with-Brundon went to Suffolk, and Great & Little Chishill and Heydon to Cambridgeshire.Southend-on-Sea also formed a county borough from 1914 to 1974.
The boundary with Greater London was established in 1965 when East Ham and West Ham county boroughs and the Barking, Chingford, Dagenham, Hornchurch, Ilford, Leyton, Romford, Walthamstow and Wanstead and Woodford districts were transferred to form the London boroughs of Barking, Havering, Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest. Essex became part of the East of England Government Office Region in 1994 and was statistically counted as part of that region from 1999, having previously been part of the South East England region. In 1998 the districts of Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock separated from the shire county of Essex becoming unitary districts.
The pattern of settlement in the county is diverse. The London Green Belt has effectively prevented the further sprawl of London into the county, although it contains the new towns of Basildon and Harlow, originally developed to resettle Londoners following the destruction of London housing in World War II but since much expanded. Epping Forest also acts as a protected barrier to the further spread of London.
Because of its proximity to London and the economic magnetism which that city exerts, many of Essex's settlements, particularly those on or within driving distance of railway stations, function as dormitory towns or villages where London workers raise their families. Essex is known for being the origin of the political term Essex man, and of the Essex girl joke.
Part of the south east of the county, already containing the major population centres of Southend and Thurrock, is within the Thames Gateway and designated for further development. Parts of the south west of the county such as Buckhurst Hill and Loughton are contiguous with Greater London and are included in the Greater London Urban Area. A small part of the south west of the county (Sewardstone), is the only settlement outside Greater London to be covered by a London postal district postcode (E4). To the north of the Green Belt, with the exception of major towns such as Colchester and Chelmsford, the county is rural, with many small towns, villages and hamlets largely built in the traditional materials of timber and brick, with clay tile or thatched roofs.
The main airport in Essex is London Stansted Airport, serving destinations in Europe and North America; Southend Airport, http://www.southendairport.net once one of Britain's busiest airports, is undergoing redevelopment, but still has limited passenger flights to destinations such as the Channel Islands. There are several smaller airfields, some of which owe their origins to air force bases built during World War I or World War II. These are popular for pleasure flights or to learn to fly; examples include Clacton Airfield http://www.clacton-aero-club.uk.com, Earls Colne and Stapleford Aerodrome. http://www.flysfc.com
The Port of Tilbury is one of Britain's three major ports, while the port of Harwich links the county to the Hook of Holland and Esbjerg. A service to Cuxhaven closed in December 2005. Plans have been put forward to build the UK's largest container terminal at Shell Haven in Thurrock and although opposed by the local authorityhttp://www.thurrock.gov.uk/news/content.php?page=story&ID=134 and environmental and wildlife organisationshttp://www.foe.co.uk/campaigns/transport/portswatch/port_proposals/london_gateway.html now seem increasingly likely to be developed.http://www.sandandgravel.com/news/article.asp?v1=10983
Despite the road crossing to Dartford in Kent across the River Thames, a pedestrian ferry to Gravesend, Kent still operates from Tilbury during limited hours, and there are foot ferries operating across some of the county's rivers and estuaries during the summer months.
The M25 motorway and M11 motorway both cross the county, and the A12 and A13 trunk roads are important radial routes from London. There is an extensive public transport network. http://www.essexpublictransport.info/images/county_map.pdf
The main rail routes include two lines from the City of London to Southend-on-Sea, operated by c2c from Fenchurch Street (including a route via Tilbury) and National Express East Anglia from Liverpool Street, the Great Eastern Main Line from Liverpool Street connecting Harwich and onwards into Suffolk and Norfolk, and the West Anglia Main Line from Liverpool Street linking to Stansted and onwards into Cambridgeshire. The Epping Forest district is served by the London Underground Central Line. The routes operated by National Express East Anglia (formerly known as 'one') and c2c, are both owned by National Express.
This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Essex at current basic prices published (pp.240-253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of Pounds Sterling.
|Year||Regional Gross Value Added||Agriculture||Industry||Services|
The Lakeside Shopping Centre at Thurrock was one of England's first out-of-town shopping centres, which remains popular despite congestion on the nearby M25 motorway and direct competition from Bluewater Shopping Centre.
Industry is largely limited to the south of the county, with the majority of the land elsewhere being given over to agriculture. Harlow is a centre for electronics, science and pharmaceutical companies, while Chelmsford is the home of Marconi (now called telent plc and owned by Ericsson of Sweden since 2005), and Brentwood home to the Ford Motor Company's European HQ. Loughton is home to a production facility for British and foreign banknotes. Chelmsford has been an important location for electronics companies since the industry was born, and is also the location for a number of insurance and financial services organisations, and is the home of the soft drinks producer Britvic. Other businesses in the county are dominated by light engineering and the service sector.Colchester is a garrison town, and the local economy is helped by the army's personnel living there.
The county council was formed in 1889, and sits at County Hall, in the centre of Chelmsford. Before 1938, it regularly met in London near Moorgate, which was easier to access than any place in the county. It currently has 75 elected councillors. Before 1965 the number of councillors reached over 100. County Hall, which dates largely from the mid-1930s, and is decorated with fine artworks of that period, mostly the gift of the family who owned the textile firm, Courtaulds, was recently (2007) made a listed building. Essex County Council is currently controlled by the Conservative Party. The chairman of the county council 2006-08 was Gerard McEwen of Norton Mandeville near Ongar, and since May 2008, Elizabeth ("Bonnie") Hart, of Hockley.
In November 2008 the council advertised in the European Journal for a private sector 'delivery partner' to provide a wide range - and potentially all - of its services[https://essex.bravosolution.com/esop/toolkit/notice/public/tender.do?caller=0&tenderId=tender_22113]. The value of such a contract could amount to £5.4 billion. The arguments advanced in favour of such a step include better service quality and greater efficiency. However, critics including the council's opposition leader have complained of zero consultation before launching this procurement. The council nevertheless hopes to choose a partner before the elections scheduled for June 2009.
The council has until recently had a strategic partnership with British Telecom which has generated a debate locally about the effectiveness of such arrangements. In January 2009 the council's cabinet decided to terminate this contract early. The trade union Unison has questioned the council's competence in managing major private sector contracts. Press reports indicate that BT are considering taking legal action against the council. Unison estimate that the cost to the taxpayer of early termination could be as much as £50m. 
The political composition of the county council is as follows.
Education in Essex is substantially provided by three authorities being Essex County Council and the two unitary authorities, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock. In all there are some 90 state secondary schools provided by these authorities, the majority of which are comprehensive, although one in Uttlesford, two in Chelmsford, two in Colchester and four in Southend-on-Sea are clearly selective.http://www.essexcc.gov.uk/vip8/ecc//setSchoolType.do?stype=Secondary There are also two Public Schools providing secondary education in Essex. http://www.independentschools.com/england/
The County's coat of arms comprises three Saxon seax knives (although looking rather more like scimitars) arranged on a red background; the three-seaxe device is also used as the official logo of Essex County Council having been granted as such in 1932.http://www.civicheraldry.co.uk/essex.html.
The traditional county flower of Essex is the cowslip, locally known as the paigle or peggle, and frequently mentioned in the writings of Essex bucolic authors such as Samuel Bensusan and C. H. Warren. As part of a 2002 marketing campaign, the plant conservation charity Plantlife chose the Common Poppy as the county flower. .
Samuel Bensusan and others have suggested that if Essex had a county bird, it would be the lapwing (known locally as the peewit) whose lonely cry characterises the Essex marshes known as saltings.
Most English counties have nicknames for people from that county, such as a Tyke from Yorkshire and a Yellowbelly from Lincolnshire; the traditional nickname for a person from Essex is an Essex Calf, so named because the county was famous for rearing beef cattle for sale in London meat markets; calves from the county were famed for their large size and known as 'Essex lions' http://www.fromoldbooks.org/Grose-VulgarTongue/e/essex-lion.html.
See the List of places in Essex