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.
There are 39 councillors representing 22 wards.
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 3,723 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.
There are fewer younger people in the district (those aged 15 to 39) than in England as a whole and an above average number of people aged 45 to 79.
Economically the district is comparatively buoyant with an employment rate of 80.7% (Oct 2022-Sep 2023) and a total of 5,630 businesses operating within the borders. Of these over 90% (UK Business Counts 2023) are classified as micro operations employing fewer than 10 people.
Average earnings for both full time and part-time workers are higher here than for many others in the Eastern region. But Uttlesford is also an expensive place to buy a house. Property prices in the district are higher than figures for the Eastern region due to the proximity to London and Cambridge. For example, the average price of a property is £413,829 for the Eastern region compared to £548,667 for Uttlesford (Hometrack report October 2023).
The district has relatively low levels of ethnic diversity by comparison with the Essex as a whole. Based on the 2021 Census, 94.5% record themselves as 'white' against a county-wide figure of 90.4%. 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 military base at Carver Barracks.