Gambling Act 2005 Statement of Principles

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Licensing of premises for gambling came under the control of local Councils following the Royal Assent on 7 April of The Gambling Act 2005.

    Epping Forest District Council now has responsibility for: 

  • Preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime
  • Ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way
  • Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling

The Licensing Authority will not be involved in licensing remote gambling or the individuals who operate gambling establishments, as this falls to the Gambling Commission via Operator Licences.

Click here to download the Gambling Act 2005 – Statement of Principles in pdf format

Christmas Carol Service

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Image of St John the Baptist Church Carol Service

The Annual Civic Carol Service hosted by Councillor Mrs Ann Haigh, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, was held at St John the Baptist Church in Buckhurst Hill on Friday 8 December 2006.

Councillors and staff were joined by family and guests of the Chairman for the traditional Christmas Service led by Reverend Corinne Brixton. Readings were given by Councillor Mrs Diana Collins, Councillor Malcolm Woollard, Mrs Kay Ericson of Essex Ambulance First Responders, Mrs Pat Steele of Action in Mental Health, Mrs Sheila Jackman MBE, Chairman of Ongar and District Healthcare League of Friends, and Workplace Chaplain Reverend Mike Gibbs.

The pupils of St John’s Church of England VC Primary School also sung for the appreciation of the congregation.

Image of Pupils of St John's Church of England VC Primary School singing at the Christmas Carol Service

More than £530 was raised in donation to the Church and Councillor Mrs Haigh’s Chairman’s Charities, Action in Mental Health and Essex Ambulance First Responders.

Council Accepts Ombudsman Verdict in 25 Year old Case

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A mistake twenty five years ago has been accepted by Epping Forest District Council as maladministration. The Council agreed a report by the Local Government Ombudsman that it did not carry out proper procedures in responding to a request from Essex County Council for information about the history of a local waste transfer business. A letter issued by the council in 1980 indicated that the site had an established use whereas at that time there was insufficient evidence to support the view. As a result two complainants have suffered noise, nuisance and a possible fall in the value of their properties. The Council has apologised for the error.

Essex County Council was equally criticised by the Ombudsman for taking the District Council information at face value when issuing a licence to the business. The Ombudsman has recommended that each complainant be paid £1,000, that the feasibility of relocating the transfer station continues to be pursued and if this proves not possible, to pay compensation to the complainants for any loss in value of their properties.

Councillor Mrs Di Collins, Leader of Epping Forest District Council commented on the findings of the Ombudsman. She said: This case is unique. The Ombudsman had never before been asked to go over a complaint with its origins in the early 1960s. Many of the people involved moved on long ago and we were heavily dependant on file records. While we accept and have apologised for the errors made in 1980, I am also pleased to see that the Ombudsman approved of our subsequent approach when we began to re-investigate this case in 1999, since when the Council has behaved entirely correctly.

Under the terms of the Ombudsman investigation, Epping Forest District Council is not allowed to reveal the real names and location of the business at the centre of the complaint. In his conclusion, Local Government Ombudsman Tony Redmond says: I find no maladministration in the manner in which the authorities dealt with the subsequent complaints about the site “ the District took the matter seriously and has tried to resolve a particularly intractable problem.

A full copy of the Ombudsman`s report can be found on the Local Government Ombudsman website.

Click here to view the full report from the LGO

Copies of the Ombudsman`s report can also be obtained at the Council`s information desks at Civic Offices in Epping, Town Hall, Highbridge Street in Waltham Abbey and the Library at Traps Hill in Loughton from 6 December for four weeks.

District Bursary Scheme for Sports and the Arts

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Help is at hand for talented young sportsmen and women and artists who come from the Epping Forest area.

Epping Forest District Council`s Leisure Bursary scheme provides a cash award of up to £1,500 in arts and sport categories. It must be used for specialist equipment or clothing, competition expenses, additional tuition or coaching, travel and accommodation or for arts research or developmental projects. Applicants should be aged between 13 and 25 years and living (or return to live during University or College holidays) in the Epping Forest District.

Sports applicants must be competing at National level, or at Regional Level with clear potential to attain National standards or be part of a National team. Artists can be from any artistic background and must be able to demonstrate a very high level of ability and / or achievement in their chosen art form.

The closing date for this year`s applications 26 January 2007. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed on 7 February 2007 by a panel of judges and awards will be presented by Epping Forest District Council Chairman, Councillor Ann Haigh at the Civic Reception in March. More information and an application form can be obtained from James Carstairs – Sports Development Officer on 01992 564567 or Chris Burr – Administration Assistant on 01992 564551.

Tree Warden Networks Celebrated at House of Commons

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Epping Forest District Council`s Portfolio Holder for Planning and Economic Development Councillor Anne Grigg and Landscape Officer and Arboriculturist Chris Neilan, together with Roydon Tree Warden Alan Burgess met at the House of Commons recently. The meeting, during National Tree Week, was to receive awards for a decade of commitment to protecting local trees and woods through The Tree Council`s Tree Warden Scheme.

Volunteer Tree Wardens, their local network co-ordinators (many of whom are Council officers), officials and politicians met Communities and Local Government minister Baroness Andrews at a special reception on 29 November 2006, hosted by Brian Donohoe MP, Vice President of The Tree Council. Councillor Mrs Grigg accepted an award on behalf of Epping Forest District Council for ten years` commitment to the Tree Warden Scheme.

Tree Council Chairman Sue Roe with National Grid Director of Communications Isobel Hoseason with recipient Councillor Anne Grigg, Epping Forest District Council (centre)

Councillor Mrs Grigg said: I was delighted to accept this award on behalf of the Council and all our tree wardens. They all work so hard for the benefit of everyone who lives or works in the district and it is a fantastic achievement. I look forward to the next ten years.

Countrycare the Council`s countryside management service is currently recruiting new tree wardens for an ancient tree hunt which is a continuation of its `50 Favourite Trees` initiative. For more information contact Countrycare on 01992 788203.

Councillor Sandler Presents Cheque To St Clare Hospice

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A cheque for £9,500 was presented by Councillor Brian Sandler to Richard Cowie, Chief Executive of St Clare Hospice on Monday 30 October 2006. The money was raised by Councillor Sandler during his year as Chairman of Epping Forest District Council. St Clare was one of two local charities supported by Councillor Sandler who recently presented a separate cheque to Chigwell Riding Trust for Special Needs.

Councillor Sandler said: I am extremely proud to have been associated with St Clare. The help, guidance and care given by the staff and volunteers is exemplary. I visited St Clare several times during my year of office. Speaking with some of the day patients it was always apparent how happy and comfortable they are made to feel by St Clare.

Councillor Brian Sandler presents cheque to St Clare Hospice Chief Executive Richard Cowie

Councillor Sandler continued: One of the biggest problems for St Clare is the lack of bed spaces and the money raised during my year of office will therefore go towards the cost of building an extension. I wish all at The St Clare Hospice much success and every good wish for the future.

In recent weeks Councillor Sandler has presented cheques totalling £20,874 to his chosen charities. However, a little over £1,000 in pledges still remains to be collected from his various fundraising activities. Councillor Sandler appealed for people who promised donations to send them to him. He said: I am very proud of the money people helped me raise during my year as Chairman. We have already been able to present some substantial cheques but it would be fantastic to collect the full amount pledged. St Clare and Chigwell Riding Trust for Special Needs are terrific causes. Every penny helps to make a difference.

Roydon Conservation Area Character Appraisal

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The final version of the Roydon Conservation Area Character Appraisal has been published by Epping Forest District Council. This follows public consultation earlier in the year when local residents were invited to comment on the draft document.

Roydon Conservation Area was first designated in 1973 and extends from the village green at the northern end of the village as far as Harlow Road and Epping Road at the southern end. The latest appraisal was put together between February and July 2006 when the area was surveyed and photographed in detail. A range of historic maps was consulted and documentary research carried out.

The purpose of a character appraisal is to define the special interest of a conservation area and highlight any parts of it in need of improvement. The Roydon appraisal is now available to view on the Epping Forest District Council website.

Alternatively, a paper copy can be obtained by telephoning 01992 564 068.

The Council is now working on character appraisals for the conservation areas at Matching, Matching Tye and Matching Green. These are due to be out for public consultation from November 2006.

Councillor Sandler Presents Cheque to Pony Riding Charity

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Money raised by Councillor Brian Sandler during his year as Chairman of Epping Forest District Council will be put to good use by Chigwell Riding Trust for Special Needs. Councillor Sandler presented a cheque for £11,374.34 to Deborah Hall of the Trust on Wednesday 11 October 2006. The money will help to fund much needed new seating for the outdoor arena.

Councillor Sandler was delighted to make the presentation. He said: Chigwell Riding Trust for Special Needs is one of the best charities I have ever known. The work Deborah Hall, her staff and volunteers do with the young people here is just fantastic. Visiting the facilities and seeing how much the young people benefit from working with the horses is always marvellous. I feel privileged and honoured to have played a small part in helping Deborah and her team.

Image of Chigwell Riding Trust cheque presentationImage of Chigwell Riding Trust cheque presentation

Images captions: Piebald Cob Jake ridden by fourteen year old Charlotte Bissell with Chigwell Riding Trust for Special Needs volunteer Karen Backhouse and Trust Manager Deborah Hall receiving a cheque for £11,374 from Councillor Brian Sandler, part of the money raised during his year as Chairman of Epping Forest District Council.

Fourteen year old Charlotte Bissell from Loughton who goes to Oak View School showed Councillor Sandler her horse-riding skills with the help of Jake and his leader Karen Backhouse, one of the team of employees and volunteers who make the charity possible. Councillor Sandler said: I was very impressed. Anyone who thinks that Charlotte and her friends are riding around on small ponies should stand next to Jake. He is one very serious horse!

Councillor Sandler organised and supported a range of events during his year of office to raise funds for the Trust and St Clare Hospice. However, Deborah Hall doesn`t just need money to maintain the Trust, she is also appealing to volunteers over the age of fourteen who can help out.

She said: We are a charity and we cannot work without the help of volunteers. I am particularly short of people on Saturdays but would also welcome new volunteers in the week. Anyone over the age of fourteen who likes horses and would like to work with the Children and young people would find a day spent at the Trust very rewarding.

To volunteer, call Deborah on 020 8500 6051 or e-mail Deborah@chigride.co.uk.

Firebreak Students Pass Out In Harlow

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A passing out parade was held at Harlow Fire Station on Friday 6 October 2006 to mark the end of the course for Firebreak students. The Firebreak programme aims to promote a culture of safety and citizenship for Key stage 4 children (between the ages of 13 -16 years) by providing a range of vital life skills whilst undertaking the various disciplines of the Fire Service in non-residential course lasting 5 or 7 days.

Proud parents, teachers and friends were treated to a display by the team demonstrating the skills and confidence gained in a relatively short space of time. The skills displayed included students wearing breathing apparatus entering a smoke filled room, simulating a road traffic accident by cutting a dummy out of a car, performing a hosepipe drill and performing a leglock up a ladder “ all before the passout parade itself!

 

The Firebreak course endeavours to:
  • Instil a sense of self discipline, self worth, independence and responsibility
  • Promote teamwork amongst the attendees
  • Encourage trainees to respect the differences between people
  • Confirm the benefits of worthwhile and fulfilling relationships
  • Urge trainees to play an active and worthwhile role as a member of their community
  • Ensure that the trainees make the most of their own and others potential

The Firebreak scheme is run by the Essex Fire and Rescue Service, Harlow and Epping Forest Community Command and is funded in part by the Epping Forest Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership.

Epping Forest District Council Community Wellbeing Portfolio Holder Councillor Mrs Syd Stavrou said: The Firebreak course has become an extremely useful tool in working with those young people who may not respond well to mainstream education techniques. The programme provides a learning environment that combines practical skills and scenario based training, with classroom centred theory and discussion workshops. During the course, Firebreak students will take part in activities aimed at improving self-esteem, self-discipline and responsibility. This is achieved by employing fundamental Fire Service principals of leadership, teamwork and motivation.

 

For more information on the Firebreak project in Epping Forest please contact Caroline Wiggins on 01992 564 616 or by email on cwiggins@eppingforestcvs.org.uk

Loyalty Award and Examination Certificates

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Members of staff from Epping Forest District Council who have either completed over 25 years` service or passed examinations, received certificates from Chairman of the Council, Councillor Ann Haigh at a special reception at the Civic Offices.

Councillor Ann Haigh said: It was a pleasure to be able to reward the hard work and dedication of so many long serving members of staff and also pleasing to note that staff are committed to their own professional development by taking examinations in a wide variety of subjects ranging from Construction Project Management to an Internal Auditor Course, and from Acoustics and Noise Control to a Disability Trampoline Coach Award.

Image of Chairman Ann Haigh with loyalty award and examination certificates recipients

Councillor Ann Haigh went on to say: I would like to add my congratulations to all those who received certificates and wish them all the very best for the future. Loyalty Awards were given to five members of staff as recognition for the many years service they have given to the Epping Forest District and its residents. As an organisation, Epping Forest District Council is only as good as the people who work for it, and we must be a good Council as this year we have recognised five people who have been with us for 25 years or more.