Emergency medical services in the United Kingdom
Emergency medical services in the United Kingdom provide emergency care to people with acute illness or injury and are predominantly provided free at the point of use by the four National Health Services of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Emergency care including ambulance and emergency department treatment is free to everyone, regardless of immigration or visitor status; the NHS commissions most emergency medical services through the 14 NHS organisations with ambulance responsibility across the UK. As with other emergency services, the public access emergency medical services through one of the valid emergency telephone numbers. In addition to ambulance services provided by NHS organisations, there are some private and volunteer emergency medical services arrangements in place in the UK, the use of private or volunteer ambulances at public events or large private sites, as part of community provision of services such as community first responders. Air ambulance services in the UK are not part of the NHS and are funded through charitable donations.
Paramedics are seconded from a local NHS ambulance service, with the exception of Great North Air Ambulance Service who employ their own paramedics. Doctors are provided by their home hospital and spend no more than 40% of their time with an air ambulance service. Public ambulance services across the UK are required by law to respond to four types of requests for care, which are: Emergency calls Doctor's urgent admission requests High dependency and urgent inter-hospital transfers Major incidentsAmbulance trusts and services may undertake non-urgent patient transport services on a commercial arrangement with their local hospital trusts or health boards, or in some cases on directly funded government contracts, although these contracts are fulfilled by private and voluntary providers; the National Health Service Act 1946 gave county and borough councils a statutory responsibility to provide an emergency ambulance service, although they could contract a voluntary ambulance service to provide this, with many contracting the British Red Cross, St John Ambulance or another local provider.
The last St John Division, to be so contracted is reputed to have been at Whittlesey in Cambridgeshire, where the two-bay ambulance garage can still be seen at the branch headquarters. The Regional Ambulance Officers’ Committee reported in 1979 that “There was considerable local variation in the quality of the service provided in relation to vehicles and equipment. Most Services were administered by Local Authorities through their Medical Officer of Health and his Ambulance Officer, a few were under the aegis of the Fire Service, whilst others relied upon agency methods for the provision of part or all of their services.” The 142 existing ambulance services were transferred by the National Health Service Reorganisation Act 1973 from local authority to central government control in 1974, consolidated into 53 services under regional or area health authorities. This led to the formation of predominantly county based ambulance services, which merged up and changed responsibilities until 2006, when there were 31 NHS ambulance trusts in England.
The June 2005 report "Taking healthcare to the Patient", authored by Peter Bradley, Chief Executive of the London Ambulance Service, for the Department of Health led to the merging of the 31 trusts into 13 organisations in England, plus one organisation each in Wales and Northern Ireland. Following further changes as part of the NHS foundation trust pathway, this has further reduced to 10 ambulance service trusts in England, plus the Isle of Wight which has its own provision. Following the passage of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, commissioning of the ambulance services in each area passed from central government control into the hands of regional clinical commissioning groups; the commissioners in each region are responsible for contracting with a suitable organisation to provide ambulance services within their geographical territory. The primary provider for each area is held by a public NHS body, of which there are 11 in England, 1 each in the other three countries. In England there are now ten NHS ambulance trusts, as well as an ambulance service on the Isle of Wight, run directly by Isle of Wight NHS Trust, with boundaries following those of the former regional government offices.
The ten trusts are: East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust London Ambulance Service NHS Trust North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS TrustThe English ambulance trusts are represented by the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, with the Scottish and Northern Irish providers all associate members. On the 14 November 2018 West Midlands Ambulance Service became the UK's first university-ambulance trust; the service was operated before reorganisation in 1974 by the St Andrews’ Ambulance Association under contract to the Secretary of State for Scotland. The Scottish Ambulance Service is a Special Health Board that provides ambulance services throughout whole of Scotland, on behalf of the Health and Social Care Directorates of the Scottish Government.
Due to the remote nature of many areas of Scotland compared to the other Home Nations, the Scottish Ambulance Service has Britain's only publi
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is the statutory fire and rescue service for the county of Essex in the east of England, is one of the largest fire services in the country, covering an area of 1,338 square miles and a population of over 1.7 million people. In 2015, the service attended around 14,000 emergency incidents within the year fires and road traffic collisions. Additionally, lift releases, effecting entry into buildings, flooding incidents and animal rescues are incidents dealt with by ECFRS. However, around 40 percent of these incidents are false require no further action. Between 2004 and 2014 the number of incidents attended by ECFRS decreased by around 50 percent, with around 38 calls per day, compared to around 77 calls per day in 2004. ECFRS employs 1,448 staff: 620 full-time firefighters, 519 retained firefighters, 33 control personnel and 240 support staff. There are 50 fire stations in Essex, 12 of which are wholetime and located in the more densely populated areas. ECFRS have 74 frontline fire appliances, with between 55 and 70 available for mobilisation at any moment.
Major risks covered include Stansted and Southend airport, Harwich seaport, Lakeside shopping centre, Coryton oil refinery, power stations and docks at Tilbury and part of the M25 and M11 motorways, A127 and A12 road. As well as attending fires, traffic collisions and other rescue operations, ECFRS provides emergency response to hazardous materials incidents and has an Urban Search and Rescue team of officers with specialist training and equipment to conduct rescues from collapsed buildings and enclosed spaces; the Urban Search and Rescue team have their own fire station separate from others across the county, ECFRS being the first to do this in the country. One of their resources include a search dog trained to locate people trapped in rubble. Another primary role of the service is preventative community safety work. ECFRS's headquarters is located in Kelvedon; the Service is divided into four Groups: North East Group North West Group South East Group South West GroupThe Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive is Jo Turton.
On the 1st October 2017, governance of ECFRS was transferred from the Essex Fire Authority to the Police and Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst. It was made clear, that both Essex Police and ECFRS would retain their Chief Officers, however the new PFCC would have overlying governance over the two, the Chief Officers would answer to the PFCC. Essex were the first to do this in the country; the Emergency Operational Fire Control is situated in the headquarters at Kelvedon. 33 control staff handle over 14,000 999 emergency calls. The control staff carry out incident co-ordination, appliance mobilisation and movements to ensure strategic fire cover. Radio communications are made between incidents and Fire Control, control staff liaise with other emergency services to provide additional resources when requested by firefighting personnel. Emergency calls are handled on an average of 54 seconds from the time of answering the call, to the time of dispatching the fire crew. There are five firefighter training centres, located in Basildon, Orsett and Wethersfield.
Each of these centres specialise in different forms of training firefighters must become accustomed to, in order to be operationally prepared. The Service workshop is in Lexden, where the operational fleet of frontline fire appliances and specialist appliances are maintained, the reserve fleet of spare appliances are stored. In 2016, the Service started a co-responding scheme with the East of England Ambulance Service, whereby fire crews would respond to life-threatening cardiac emergencies, alongside ambulances, in a way to ease pressure off the ambulance service, grant better survival for patients. Fire Stations that partook in the scheme were: Basildon, Ongar, Newport and Colchester; however in 2017, the co-responding scheme ceased due to disputes between the Service. Regardless, the Service still have close relations with the ambulance service, on a daily basis, fire crews work with partners like paramedics and police officers efficiently. ECFRS has the following fire appliances in operation: 43 Rescue Pumps: the standard firefighting vehicle mobilised to all emergency calls.
These appliances are equipped with a high-pressure two-stage main pump capable of making foam via an onboard foam inductor system, two high-pressure hose reels, 13.5 metre ladder, a light portable pump, six breathing apparatus sets, two spare breathing air cylinders and hydraulic rescue equipment, thermal imaging cameras and other tools. These appliances ride with a Watch Manager in charge, along with another 3 - 5 firefighters on board. 20 Water Tenders: similar to the Rescue Pump except with less emphasis on rescue equipment and a greater water capacity. These appliances will have a smaller 10.5 metre ladder but similar equipment to the Rescue Pump. The Water Tender is mobilised to support the Rescue Pump or respond to incidents that require only one pump; these appliances ride with a Crew Manager in charge, along with another 3 - 5 firefighters on board. 8 Heavy Rescue Pumps: similar to the standard Rescue Pump but specialised more towards heavy rescue operations and incidents. These appliances ride with a Watch Manager in charge, along with another 3 - 5 Firefighters on board.
4 Aerial Ladder Platforms: 32 meter extendable ladder platform with a rescue cage and additional lighting, these vehicles provide high-level access and firefighting capability, with a verti
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East of England Ambulance Service
The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust is the authority responsible for providing National Health Service ambulance services in the counties of Bedfordshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Suffolk, in the East of England region. These consist of 7,500 square miles, it is one of 10 Ambulance Trusts providing England with emergency medical services, is part of the NHS, receiving direct government funding for its role. There is no charge to patients for use of the service, under the Patient's Charter every person in the United Kingdom has the right to the attendance of an ambulance in an emergency; as well as providing an emergency ambulance service, the Trust provides non emergency patient transport services, commercial services and special operations such as emergency planning, hazardous materials incident response. The service support a number of emergency charities, such as air ambulances, who provide doctors for serious incidents; the Trust controls the mobilisation of critical care charities throughout its area.
These include Magpas, Essex & Herts Air Ambulance, East Anglian Air Ambulance, BASICS Essex Accident Rescue Service, SARS, NARS and BASICS Hertfordshire. The service can if required, mobilise London's Air Ambulance and the Kent and Sussex Air Ambulance if there is a major incident requiring more than one critical care team, where other teams in the region are operating at maximum capacity; the trauma teams are dispatched by a Critical Care Paramedic at the Critical Care Desk, in their Control Room in Chelmsford, who filters through every call the ambulance service receives and makes a clinical decision on whether to dispatch a critical care resource. The trust was formed on 1 July 2006 following the three-way merger of the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust and the Essex Ambulance Service NHS Trust; the result was a service covering an area of over 7,500 square miles with a population of 5.8 million people, one which answers more than one million emergency calls per year.
The East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust had been formed in 1994 from the three-way merger of Cambridgeshire and Suffolk Ambulance Services. In 2009, the Trust was censured by the Care Quality Commission after inspection of an ambulance depot and seven of its 100 ambulance stations found patient-carrying vehicles were "dirty" and that staff were "unsure of basic measures for infection prevention and control"; the service launched an "urgent and comprehensive review" of its ambulance cleaning programme and reiterated its stance on patient safety, adding that "ensuring consistent high standards of cleanliness is a challenge" with so many stations, covering six counties and an area of 7,500 square-miles. In 2015/16, the trust received 1,037,119 emergency calls and handled 500,620 non-emergency patient transport journeys; the trust arrived at 73.6% of emergency Red 1 calls within eight minutes, 69.4% of emergency Red 2 calls within eight minutes. EEAST has around 1,500 volunteers; as of July 2016, the Trust has the following resources in operation: 357 front-line emergency ambulances 201 marked rapid-response vehicles 164 non-emergency ambulances 52 major incident support vehicles Over 130 ambulance stations and response posts 3 emergency operations centers in Bedford and NorwichThe Trust has its own emergency driving school, which trains drivers in 999 emergency driving under blue lights and sirens.
The Trust used the Mercedes Sprinter as front-line Double Staffed Ambulances, with the exception of a single Vauxhall Movano 4 wheel drive vehicle for use at Newmarket Racecourse. In 2009, the service started the transition to a brand-new Sprinter only fleet from a wide range of other brands - including Fords and older Mercedes vehicles; the scheme was finished in 2016, when the last brand-new Sprinter was delivered, although many of the older ones are now ending their cycle life. In March 2018, four new vehicles will be trialled across the East of England, with one concept vehicle being designed for and by the Trust. In May 2018 the trust bought 32 five-year-old vehicles decommissioned by the West Midlands Ambulance Service - described as "clapped out vehicles which colleagues in other trusts would have sent to the scrapyard" and contrasted with the luxury cars with which senior managers were provided in 2017. Ford Mondeos and Skoda Octavia Scouts are the most common amongst the fleet. In addition Land Rover Freelander and Land Rover Discovery Sport operate out of a limited number of bases.
Some Land Rover are used as Officer Cars. Renault Masters and Vauxhall Movanos are used for the Patient Transport Service. A number of these vehicles are fitted with blue sirens for High Dependency transfers; the Hazardous Area Response Team team uses Volkswagen Transporters and Mercedes Sprinters, all of which have 4x4 capability. The new fleet arrived in 2017, standardising these vehicles across the 10 ambulances services in England and Wales, it replaced Iveco Dailys. The trust provides Critical Care Paramedics to 3 local charity air ambulances in the region: Magpas, Essex & Herts Air Ambulance and the East Anglian Air Ambulance; these paramedics work alongside doctors to administer advanced treatment at the scene of the accident. Although the service uses the air ambulances, it does not fund the charit
East of England
The East of England is one of nine official regions of England at the first level of NUTS for statistical purposes. It was created in 1994 and was adopted for statistics from 1999, it includes the ceremonial counties of Bedfordshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Suffolk. Essex has the highest population in the region, its population at the 2011 census was 5,847,000. Bedford, Basildon, Southend-on-Sea, Ipswich, Colchester and Cambridge are the region's most populous towns; the southern part of the region lies in the London commuter belt. The region has the lowest elevation range in the UK. North Cambridgeshire and the Essex Coast have most of the around 5% of the region, below 10 metres above sea level; the Fens are in North Cambridgeshire, notable for the lowest point in the country in the land of the village of Holme 2.75 metres below mean sea level, once Whittlesey Mere. The highest point is at Clipper Down at 817 ft, in the far south-western corner of the region in the Ivinghoe Hills. Basildon and Harlow, with Stevenage and Hemel Hempstead, were main New Towns in the 1950s and 1960s, with much industry located there.
In the late 1960s, the Roskill Commission considered Thurleigh in Bedfordshire, Nuthampstead in Hertfordshire and Foulness in Essex as a possible third airport for London. The East of England succeeded the standard statistical region East Anglia; the East of England civil defence region was identical to today's region. England between the Wash and just south of the town of Colchester has since post-Roman times been and continues to be known as East Anglia, including the county traversing the west of this line, Cambridgeshire; the inclusion of Essex as part of East Anglia is open to debate, notably because it was a Saxon kingdom, separate from the kingdom of the East Angles. Essex, despite meaning East-Saxons formed part of the South East England, as did Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, a mixture of definite and debatable Home Counties; the earliest use of the term is from 1695. Charles Davenant, in An essay upon ways and means of supplying the war, wrote, "The Eleven Home Counties, which are thought in Land Taxes to pay more than their proportion..." cited a list including these four.
The term does not appear to have been used in taxation since the 18th century. East Anglia is one of the driest parts of the United Kingdom with average rainfall ranging from 450 mm to 750 mm; this is because low pressure systems and weather fronts from the Atlantic have lost a lot of their moisture over land by the time they reach Eastern England. However the Fens in Cambridgeshire are prone to flooding. Winter is cool but non-prevailing cold easterly winds can affect the area from the continent, these can bring heavy snowfall if the winds interact with a low pressure system over the Atlantic or France. Northerly winds can be cold but are not as cold as easterly winds. Westerly winds bring milder and wetter weather. Southerly winds bring mild air but chill if coming from further east than Spain. Spring is a transitional season that can be chilly to start with but is warm by late-April/May; the weather at this time is changeable and showery. Summer is warm and continental air from mainland Europe or the Azores High leads to at least a few weeks of hot, balmy weather with prolonged warm to hot weather.
The number of summer storms from the Atlantic, such as the remnants of a tropical storm coincides with the location of the jet stream. The East tends to receive much less of their rain than the other regions. Autumn is mild with some days being unsettled and rainy and others warm. At least part of September and early October in the East have warm and settled weather but only in rare years is there an Indian summer where fine weather marks the entire traditional harvest season; the most deprived districts, according to the Indices of deprivation 2007 in the region are, in descending order, Great Yarmouth, Luton and Ipswich. At county level, after Luton and Peterborough, which have a similar level of deprivation, in descending order there is Southend-on-Sea Thurrock; the least deprived districts, in descending order, are South Cambridgeshire, Mid Bedfordshire, East Hertfordshire, St Albans, Rochford, Huntingdonshire, Mid Suffolk, North Hertfordshire, Three Rivers, South Norfolk, East Cambridgeshire and Suffolk Coastal.
At county level, the least deprived areas in the region, in descending order, are Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire, with all three having a similar level of deprivation Essex. The region has the lowest proportion of jobless households in the UK – 0.5%. In March 2011 the region's unemployment claimant count was 3.0%. Inside the region, the highest rate is Great Yarmouth with 6.2%, followed by Peterborough and Southend-on-Sea on 4.7%. In the 2015 general election, there was an overall swing of 0.25% from the Conservatives to Labour, the Liberal Democrats lost 16% of its vote. All of Hertfordshire and Suffolk is now Conservative; the region's electorate voted 49% Conservative, 22% Labour, 16% UKIP, 8% Liberal Democrat and 4% Green. Like other regions, the division of seats favours th
Essex is a county in the south-east of England, north-east of London. One of the home counties, it borders Suffolk and Cambridgeshire to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent across the estuary of the River Thames to the south, London to the south-west; the county town is the only city in the county. For government statistical purposes Essex is placed in the East of England region. Essex occupies the eastern part of the ancient Kingdom of Essex, which united with the other Anglian and Saxon kingdoms to make England a single nation state; as well as rural areas, the county includes London Stansted Airport, the new towns of Basildon and Harlow, Lakeside Shopping Centre, the port of Tilbury and the borough of Southend-on-Sea. The name Essex originates in the Anglo-Saxon period of the Early Middle Ages and has its root in the Anglo-Saxon name Ēastseaxe, the eastern kingdom of the Saxons who had come from the continent and settled in Britain during the Heptarchy. Recorded in AD 527, Essex occupied territory to the north of the River Thames, incorporating all of what became Middlesex and most of what became Hertfordshire.
Its territory was restricted to lands east of the River Lea. Colchester in the north-east of the county is Britain's oldest recorded town, dating from before the Roman conquest, when it was known as Camulodunum and was sufficiently well-developed to have its own mint. In AD 824, following the Battle of Ellandun, the kingdoms of the East Saxons, the South Saxons and the Jutes of Kent were absorbed into the kingdom of the West Saxons, uniting Saxland under King Alfred's grandfather Ecgberht. Before the Norman conquest the East Saxons were subsumed into the Kingdom of England. After the Norman conquest, Essex became a county. During the medieval period, much of the area was designated a Royal forest, including the entire county in a period to 1204, when the area "north of the Stanestreet" was disafforested; the areas subject to forest law diminished, but at various times they included the forests of Becontree, Epping, Hatfield and Waltham. Essex County Council was formed in 1889. However, County Boroughs of West Ham, Southend-on-Sea and East Ham formed part of the county but were unitary authorities.
12 boroughs and districts provide more localised services such as rubbish and recycling collections and planning, as shown in the map on the right. A few Essex parishes have been transferred to other counties. Before 1889, small areas were transferred to Hertfordshire near Bishops Stortford and Sawbridgeworth. At the time of the main changes around 1900, parts of Helions Bumpstead, Sturmer and Ballingdon-with-Brundon were transferred to Suffolk. Part of Hadstock, part of Ashton and part of Chrishall were transferred to Cambridgeshire and part of Great Horkesley went to Suffolk; the boundary with Greater London was established in 1965, when East Ham and West Ham county boroughs and the Barking, Dagenham, Ilford, Romford and Wanstead and Woodford districts were transferred to form the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Newham and Waltham Forest. Essex became part of the East of England Government Office Region in 1994 and was statistically counted as part of that region from 1999, having been part of the South East England region.
In 1998, the boroughs of Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock were granted autonomy from the administrative county of Essex after successful requests to become unitary authorities. Essex Police covers the two unitary authorities; the county council chamber and main headquarters is at the County Hall in Chelmsford. Before 1938, the council met in London near Moorgate, which with significant parts of the county close to that point and the dominance of railway travel had been more convenient than any place in the county, it has 75 elected councillors. Before 1965, the number of councillors reached over 100; the County Hall, made a listed building in 2007, dates from the mid-1930s and is decorated with fine artworks of that period the gift of the family who owned the textile firm Courtaulds. The highest point of the county of Essex is Chrishall Common near the village of Langley, close to the Hertfordshire border, which reaches 482 feet; the ceremonial county of Essex is bounded to the south by its estuary.
The pattern of settlement in the county is diverse. The Metropolitan Green Belt has prevented the further sprawl of London into the county, although it contains the new towns of Basildon and Harlow developed to resettle Londoners after the destruction of London housing in the Second World War, since which they have been developed and expanded. Epping Forest prevents the further spread of the Greater London Urban Area; as it is not far from London with its economic magnetism, many of Essex's settlements those near or within short driving distance of railway stations, function as dormitory towns or villages where London workers raise their families. Part of the s