£43 million - or to be precise, £42,700,000 - is a lot of money.

And Halstead is to get a CCTV upgrade paid for from this huge sum of money. Fortunately it’s not going to cost anywhere near £42 million.

The vast majority of money is destined to be spent in and around the centre of Braintree. Of course.

Not all of it, Braintree District Council is always very fair when it comes to spending money on behalf of everyone within the confines of Braintree District, evidenced by the volumes of money spent in Halstead and surrounding area.


Having checked with BDC’s own population data there should be 158,321 people living in the district in 2020.

Of these 45 per cent live in or close to Braintree, 55 per cent do not. They live in Witham, Halstead or the villages around - in fact it’s 30 per cent for the south of the district and 25 per cent for the north.

Working with these figures, Braintree (population 29 per cent of area) should have £12,383,000 spent on it from the £43 million cake, Halstead (population 8 per cent of area) would have £3,416,000 spent on it. That’s a lot of CCTV.

With this comes an increase in council tax.

This is fine if that money I and the other 55 per cent of council tax payers are coughing up is being spent on my or your area, but it isn’t, it’s being spent in Braintree.

£3.4 million could go towards a bypass, it could go to a community centre, it could go to developing a business park in Halstead, it could buy the land east of High Street and turn it into a park.

It could even be spent on the Sainsbury’s car park bridge.

It won’t though, because the majority of it will be spent in Braintree.

Andy Bird

Colchester Road, Halstead