Colchester Council leader Mark Cory invited residents and businesses to email questions and selection will be answered each month, as part of the “Ask Mark” feature.

Answers to questions are filmed and published on the Better Colchester Instagram page, and now, working with students at Essex University and the Gazette, answers will also be made available as a monthly podcast at

Questions can be about anything related to Colchester and how Cllr Cory leads the borough council.

This month Cllr Cory answers questions about the council’s air pollution and congestion strategy, roadworks at the Ipswich Road roundabout and electric vehicle charging.

Questions, along with a first name, initial and ward of residence should be emailed to ask.mark@

Congestion and air quality

Madihah Rahman(MH), multimedia journalism student: “What is the council strategy to reduce congestion and air pollution in Colchester?”

MARK CORY (MC): We’ve received a grant from national government to try and reduce air pollution in the town.

“We’re going to be spending that by first of all by engaging with people trying to show them how we can reduce pollution whether that’s through no idling or just using different transport or trying to avoid the hot spots we have in the town,.

“Also we have been declared as one of the top councils across the country we were third in the country and first in the east by Friends of the Earth because of the other work we have been doing and we’re aspiring to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2030.

“We’ve got a task and finish group aiming to employ sixmonth action plans to reduce a number of climate change indicators and also we’ve reduced emissions across the council by 55 per cent over the last ten years.

“So we are making a start and we’re also looking at new projects through the air quality bid that we put into government.”

Ipswich Road works

MR: “It is such a failure of governance that the roadworks around the Ipswich Road roundabout is taking two years.

“I have lived abroad and when there are disruptive works the work is done as quickly as possible

“I notice the signs have stickers informing of an extension why are you allowing this to happen to us?”

MC: “I share the frustration of residents. I drive across town and it is a nightmare.

“Essex County Council is responsible and run our highways and our roads, it is responsible for these roadworks.

“We have been communicating with them with the dialogues saying why can it not happen quicker?

“Why can the hours not be extended? In terms of the hours the workers work, so that we can halve the time of the roadworks.

“We also believe they’re not innovative enough including sort of future proofing.

“So, sadly what I see is constantly not enough work happening there a resident myself these road acts are really causing problems for residents and for businesses locally.

“So, we appreciate the changes being made the highways department but really we think they’ve got it wrong on this one and I need to work more with the country council to prove to them they need to make changes and get it done sooner rather than later because any further extension is just unbelievable.”

Electric vehicle charging

MR: “Why do council-owned car parks have no public electric vehicle charging infrastructure?

MC: “That is our responsibility and we need to do more so we are investigating a number of different car parks; St Mary’s car park, Park Road, Napier Road.

“We are looking at putting in electric charging points and also because we have been a bit slower compared to some other areas take up we will be able to get the second generation charging points which provide 80 per cent charge in half an hour, that will be really quick that’s what we are going to be invest in.

“We’re just doing surveys at the moment about the best places to go to and working with companies to work out what the best way is to incentivise people to use electric vehicles to reduce the congestion and air pollution we were talking about earlier particularly that air pollution.”