The chairman of the council bedded down in the cold and damp for charity.

Last Friday night Cllr Richard Bassett took part in a sponsored event organised by Chess Homeless, a charity supporting homeless people in Essex.

The chairman of Epping Forest District endured the cold weather during a night under the stars.

He said: “Sleeping outdoors on a cold, damp winter’s night really focusses your attention on what some people face every night.

"Charities like Chess Homeless bring immediate relief and a sense of hope to those who have no homes to go to. I found this a very humbling experience.”

Cllr Bassett raised £300 in sponsorship.

Chess provides a nine bedroom night shelter along with shared move on accommodation.

During the winter months it runs a winter project providing rough sleepers with food, drinks, sleeping bags and a bed for the night, normally in a local church hall.

Every year it hosts a sleep out in the grounds of Chelmsford Cathedral.