Over 25 million people in the UK have now received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
If you are 50 or over, are clinically extremely vulnerable, are an eligible frontline health or social care worker, are eligible for carer's allowance or have a learning disability, and have not yet had or been booked for your first vaccination, you can book online or call 119.
If you have had the vaccine there is still a chance you could spread coronavirus. This means it is important that you continue to follow government guidance, including social distancing rules
Are you a first time voter? Don't miss the chance to have your voice heard. You have until midnight on 19 April to register to vote.
Registering for a postal vote is quick and easy and can be done online. The closing date for applying for a postal vote is 5pm on 20 April.
You can also request a proxy vote if you want someone else to vote on your behalf because you can't get to your polling station on polling day. The closing date for applying for a proxy vote is 5pm on 27 April.
Residents anywhere in the district can use Click It Local Uttlesford, allowing them to buy from any independent shop and have it delivered to their doorstep.
From weekly food essentials, gifts and treats to last minute basics, customers can buy everything they need from as many different shops as they like with one payment and one delivery.
Delivery costs are now capped at £6 meaning customers can shop from more of their favourite shops.
Essex Police, in partnership with Uttlesford Community Safety Partnership, have created a guide to the most common scams seen during the pandemic, along with advice on how to protect yourself from becoming a victim in the future.
The booklet, which has been sent out to households across the district, includes information about fake emails, texts and phishing, suspicious phone calls, online shopping fraud.
If you or someone you know is vulnerable and has been a victim of fraud, please call Essex Police on 101.
Census Day is 21 March
Census 2021 day is this Sunday, 21 March.
By filling in your census, you will help shape Uttlesford for the next 10 years.
The census is collecting information about us and where we live on Sunday 21 March, but that is not a deadline that you have to meet for returning forms.
The vast majority of people will be completing the census online, but if you are using a paper copy you can put that in the post after 21 March. If you'd prefer to complete your questionnaire on paper you can request one to be sent to you.
Census information events
Local information event
Great Notley Parish Council is hosting a virtual event for you to learn more about the census, get help with the questionnaire and have your questions answered. The event is on Wednesday 24 March, 7pm to 9pm.
Virtual support session
The Office for National Statistics is putting on a series of safe space virtual workshops where they will walk you through the online and paper census forms and answer any questions you may have. The workshops run until 24 March.
We are aware of hundreds of people who have been actively supporting the community and individuals throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
The Uttlesford Making a Difference Awards aim to recognise those people who have made a difference to others.
The closing date for nominations is 14 April.
Details are available on the Uttlesford District Council website.
Celebrating Diversity Across Uttlesford
The first in a series of virtual 'listening events' has been held to celebrate diversity across Uttlesford and delve deeper into the challenges faced in creating a diverse and inclusive community.
Hayley Bennett, a multi-award-winning diversity and inclusion consultant, led the event which included presentations given by Victim Support and campaign project, Snapping the Stiletto.
Local people from the Black and ethnic minority community also spoke of their experiences, whilst discussions were centred on identity, impressions of Uttlesford and experiences of living in the district.
The government has confirmed that Uttlesford will remain a Tier 2 area (High Alert) as part of the Covid-19 restrictions.
Under current guidance, anyone living in a Tier 2 area must:
Not mix with other households indoors
Only meet people outdoors in groups of six or less
Work from home if possible
Reduce the number of journeys they make
This is in addition to washing your hands regularly, wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces and staying at least two metres apart from other people – or one metre with a face covering or other precautions.
Essex residents are being residents to continue following Covid guidelines as the latest rate for the county has risen to 305.3 per 100,000 – a 79 per cent increase over the last seven days.
Nearly every area of Essex has seen a significant increase in the rate of Covid, with the total number of cases rising to 4,547 in the seven days up to 10 December.
Cases are very high in specific age groups, with the rates for people over 60 now standing at 140 per 100,000 – an increase of 37% in the past week. The 11-18 age group has also seen an especially steep and rapid rise, with the rate now standing at 457 per 100,000.
GP-led local vaccination centres are beginning to open their doors in the district, with Stansted Surgery being one of the first to administer the vaccination.
To protect those who are the most at risk first, the vaccine is initially being offered in the community to people aged over 80. Getting the vaccine to all those in the priority groups will take a number of months.
We can all play our part to assist the vaccination programme by:
waiting to be contacted by the NHS – you will be invited to an appointment when it is your turn. Remember the NHS will never ask you to pay for a Covid-19 vaccination
attending both of your booked appointments
continuing to follow all the guidance to control the spread of the virus and save lives – this means hand-washing thoroughly and regularly, wearing a face covering in line with guidance and maintaining social distancing
New funding to cut fuel bills and help tackle climate change
A government grant has been awarded to Essex County Council and seven of the county's city, district and borough councils – including Uttlesford District Council – to install insulation and energy efficient heating in Essex homes.
The new funding will see even more people who are unable to heat their homes properly get help to keep their homes warm this winter.
Click it Local continues to go from strength to strength with 60 independent retailers now on board, including some of our best-loved stores in Saffron Walden and Great Dunmow. Delivery is available across the whole of Uttlesford, Cambridge, Ely and Haverhill.
Click it Local gift vouchers are also available – so if you are stuck for a last minute present idea this could be the perfect way to continue supporting our local shops in January!
Downloading the NHS COVID-19 App is the fastest way to see if you're at risk from the virus.
Based on an Apple/Google privacy framework, the app has a number of tools designed to help protect those we love, like contact tracing, checking into venues through an in-built QR code scanner, risk alerts by postcode, a symptom checker and test booking.
The more people use the app, the more we can keep each other safe and stop infection rates rising.