VILLAGERS can have their say on whether a special constable should be used to keep their streets safe.

A volunteer police officer could hit the beat in Kelvedon if parish councillors agree proposals put forward by Essex Police tonight. (March 12)

A decision will be made following a police presentation and a discussion with residents at the parish council’s annual assembly.

Special constables have the same powers as paid officers and must be on duty for a minimum of 16 hours each month in their council area.

Essex Police says many of its existing specials put in closer to 45 hours.

Witham Town Council became the first in the county to sign up to the initiative, which costs councils up to £1,000 a year, last summer.

The evening will also celebrate work done by an army of volunteers behind the village’s neighbourhood plan, music festival, In Bloom campaign and community association, among others.

Kelvedon councillors will chat to residents about the work they have done over the past 12 months and talk about plans for the future.

Council chair India Jayatillake said: “This event is the perfect opportunity for residents to learn more about these groups and to hear about what the parish council have been working on over the past 12 months, and our plans for the next 12 months.

“We will also be hearing from Essex Police about the recruitment of a special constable and taking views and opinions on this scheme, so if this is something you would like to find out more about, please do attend.

“Like many villages, Kelvedon is full of volunteers making a huge, positive impact on our community, but often these volunteers go under the radar.

“We are astounded by just how many there are here in one small village, from our committed team of litter-pickers through to the community association which looks after our Christmas lights.

“There really is so much going on.”

The assembly will take place at the Institute, in High Street, on Tuesday, March 12, with doors opening at 7pm.