A quick guide to where Uttlesford is and who we are.
Uttlesford is a thriving, predominantly rural district in north-west Essex encompassing Saffron Walden, Great Dunmow, Stansted Mountfitchet and Thaxted and about 100 villages and hamlets in between. It is home to London Stansted Airport and major road and rail networks with links to London to the south and historic city of Cambridge to the north.
With both new development and an historic and rural environment existing in harmony, Uttlesford is often cited as offering the best quality of life in the UK.
Uttlesford District Council has about 300 staff and delivers a huge range of services for residents and businesses such as bin collections, providing council housing, deciding on planning, collecting Council Tax, restaurant inspections and running Saffron Walden Museum.
The council offices are based in the beautiful market town of Saffron Walden, with its array of independent and unique boutique shops, cafes, restaurants and galleries, surrounded on all sides by fields and picturesque villages full of character.
The area is rich in history with 3,751 listed buildings and 34 conservation areas. 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. To the south is the A120 and a number of settlements are connected served by the Cambridge to London railway line. However, due to its rural nature there are accessibility issues for some without private transport, especially in outlying villages.
Economically the district is comparatively buoyant with an employment rate of 81.9% (Jan 2017-Dec 2017) and a total of 5,090 businesses operating within the borders. Of these almost 91% are classified as micro operations employing fewer than 10 people.
Compared to Essex as a whole, a very slightly lower proportion of the district's current population is of working age (60.7% against an Essex average of 61.0%), though this is set to change with a predicted growth in those aged 65 and over.
The district has relatively low levels of ethnic diversity by comparison with the East of England as a whole. Based on the 2011 Census, 92.3% record themselves as 'white' against a regional figure of 85.3%. The largest distinct group in the district are those people of Polish origin, though there is a small; but vibrant community of Nepali residents centred around the carver Barracks.
At the district ward elections in May 2015 voters elected 39 councillors representing 22 wards. A by-election was held in the Elsenham and Henham ward in February 2017. A by-election was held in the Newport ward in May 2017. The political make-up of the council is: 24 Conservative Party councillors, 4 Liberal Democrats councillors and 11 Residents for Uttlesford councillors.