Cool Chairman in the Shade for Guide Dogs

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Healthy Eyes Shades Day logo

Councillor John Knapman Chairman of Epping Forest District Council encouraged everyone in the district to look cool by wearing their sunglasses for Guide Dogs, supporting the charity`s annual fundraising event Shades Day. He joined Vice Chairman of Council Councillor Penny Smith on 20 June 2008 in wearing sunglasses to highlight the importance of protecting your eyes from UV (Ultraviolet) sunlight which can cause long-term eye damage and potential sight loss. Also joining them were four trainee Guide Dogs.

The Chairman and Vice-Chairman with Guide Dogs

The Chairman was amongst thousands of schoolchildren and adults all over the UK who will be making a donation of £1 to The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association to wear their sunnies on Shades Day. The special day provides a unique opportunity to learn more about eye care, particularly in the sun, such as the importance of wearing good quality sunglasses.

Group picture with Guide Dogs and trainers

Pictured above with Chairman Councillor John Knapman and Vice-Chairman Councillor Penny Smith are Jo Willey and Hazel (Black Golden Retriever/Lab cross), Mary Issit and Duchess (Golden Retriever/Lab Cross), Jennifer Crane and Quizzy (Golden Retriever/German Shepherd) and Laura Skinner and Leah (Italian Spinone/Labrador).

Councillor Knapman said: Shades Day is a fantastic way both to raise money for Guide Dogs and to highlight an important eye care message for us all. I was delighted to support this event and hope that everyone will wear their sunglasses to protect their eyes when out and about this summer.

Further information on Shades Day 2008 can be found at

Broadway Consultation Starts 23 June

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Debden Town Centre and Broadway public consultation

Residents have the chance to comment on multi-million pound regeneration plans for Loughton Broadway. Starting on 23 June 2008, Epping Forest District Council and consultants Urban Practitioners will be holding a series of events aimed at gauging local views on the proposals. A special leaflet will be produced and there will be information available on the internet. Meetings will be held with stakeholder groups and public exhibitions where anyone can comment.

Central to the process will be a travelling exhibition. It will be stationed at various locations around the Broadway during the four-week consultation period ending 18 July 2008. Urban practitioners and the Council also hope that taking a market stall on Thursday 10 July will maximise the number of people able to respond.

Councillor Mrs Anne Grigg, Planning and Economic Development Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council said: Urban Practitioners have developed some very exciting proposals based on earlier rounds of consultation and an in-depth assessment of the current Broadway area. We are looking at homes, shops, businesses and public transport. The next step is to test those proposals with the people who know the Broadway best, our residents and local businesses.

Full details of the consultation schedule and venues will be published next week.

Crucial Crew 2008

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From Monday 9 June to Friday 13 June and from Monday 23 June to Friday 27 June 2008, every Year 6 school pupil in Epping Forest District schools, over 1,300 pupils, will be visiting Gilwell Park, Chingford to take part in the annual Crucial Crew event.

Crucial Crew is an interactive safety initiative based around key life skills that targets 10-11 year old children. Crucial Crew teaches children how to tackle the dangers they may encounter in everyday life and helps prevent them becoming involved in crime in a very interactive way.

    It is designed to help the children to:

  • Cope with dangerous situations
  • Accept responsibility for their own safety
  • Learn social responsibility
  • Make sensible decisions based on acquired knowledge
    Crucial Crew is based very firmly on four principles:

  • Children learn by doing
  • Crime prevention and personal safety education can be challenging and exciting
  • Everyone is concerned about crime prevention and personal safety
  • The most effective way of tackling the problem is a partnership approach

Superintendent Simon Williams, Essex Police states, “Crucial Crew is a fun way to prepare children to remain safe in a variety of emergency situations and to be aware of dangers they are likely to encounter as they advance through life. Messages are conveyed through interactive role play allowing children to react to the problems they encounter and to learn how to make the correct choices about their personal safety.

Set out below are the scenarios the children will be dealing with this year. Each interactive scenario lasts for ten minutes during which time the children will be asked to make personal choices about their safety.

2008 Scenarios
Scenario Aim Provider
Road Safety For young people to consider how collisions can happen and how they can be avoided and the consequences for all involved. EFDC Highways Dept
First Aid For the children to have a basic knowledge of how to assess an unconscious patient and place them in the recovery position. Ambulance Crew
Internet Safety To show to the participants the dangers of disclosing personal information whilst using social networking sites on the Internet. Essex Police
Drug Awareness For children to understand their own responsibilities concerning drugs and to recognise peer pressure. To gain an awareness around the identity of drug users and dealers and to understand the consequences of using cannabis. Drugs Line / EYPDAS
Fire Safety To enable children to identify common causes of domestic fires and to respond to a simulated fire scenario. Essex Fire & Rescue Service
Alcohol To help young people learn not to follow the crowd. To warn of the dangers of drinking (using embarrassing incidents as example). To inform children of the law with regard to alcohol. Essex Trading Standards
Self Esteem & Bullying To understand what is bullying and the forms it may take. To find out what you can do about bullying and how to cope. School Nurses
Safety in the Countryside To provide knowledge of how to recognise and help to address / avoid anti-social behaviour within the Lee Valley Regional Park and other countryside areas. Lee Valley Parks Authority
Burglary To encourage young people to take notice of what goes on around them, the importance of good observational skills and the importance of property marking valuable items. Essex Police
Recycling To enable young people to identify what can be recycled out of the day-to-day domestic rubbish generated. EFDC Environmental Services

Quality Award for Housing Service

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A new way of focusing on customer needs has helped the Council to renew an important quality accreditation. Six years ago, the Housing service was awarded ISO 9001:2000 certification. This is an internationally-recognised quality award which must be renewed every three years. Following a successful re-assessment, the 2008 certificate renewal report noted a number of further improvements, including the introduction of an innovative `customer perspective programme`.

The customer perspective programme was introduced last year to take a close look at all the ways in which Housing communicates with its customers. Leaflets, letters, forms and every other kind of communication have been subjected to close scrutiny. The customer perspective group meets regularly and includes the Chairman of the Tenants` and Leaseholders ` Federation.

The external assessor of Housing’s ISO 9001 quality management system is Lloyds Register Quality Assurance (LRQA). In addition to the three-yearly assessment, LRQA carries out regular audits, inspections and site visits. The re-certification assessment took place recently over a three-day period. LRQA`s assessor said that the service provided is of a consistently high quality. He also recorded in his report that the Housing Directorate has a matured and user friendly quality management system, with effective control measures. As well as praising the customer perspective programme, reference was made to the Housing Business Plan and the fact that a number of key performance indicators are in place to demonstrate the system`s effectiveness.

    The ISO 9001 accreditation covers most of the Housing Directorate`s work, including:

  • Council housing repairs, maintenance and management
  • Housing options and homelessness prevention
  • Older people`s housing (incorporating the Careline emergency alarm system and sheltered housing)
  • Housing resources (including the Council home ownership team, housing information and strategy, Council rent administration and support services)
  • Architectural services

Following a transfer of the private sector housing function into the Housing Directorate under a recent restructuring, Housing’s Quality and Performance Officer will be working with private sector housing staff over the next year in order to seek extension of the certificate to cover this area of work.

By taking steps to improve continually the quality of our service and our performance, we aim to bring direct benefits to the public who use our services, says Councillor David Stallan, Housing Portfolio Holder. Our systems are rigorously assessed by an independent, accredited body and through internal audits. Gaining ISO 9001 accreditation involved a major commitment from the staff in Housing and we are proud to have retained our certification.

The Housing Directorate also has the Cabinet Office`s Charter Mark award for customer service excellence in the public sector.

Cabinet Question Time

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Ask the Cabinet

If you live or work in the Epping Forest District you will soon be able to put your questions direct to Cabinet members in a new `Public Questions` item at each Cabinet meeting. The introduction of this new item will begin at the first Cabinet meeting of the new Council year on 9 June 2008 with 15 minutes being allocated at the start of each meeting at 7pm for questions.

To register to ask a question you will need to contact the Office of the Chief Executive before 4pm on the day of the Cabinet meeting. You can do this by phone, letter or email including your name, address and the subject of your question. You can ask questions on any aspects of the Cabinet’s business although some issues will not be considered.

The Cabinet is made up of 9 Councillors, each responsible for specific services (known as a Portfolio). Cabinet members have responsibilities for making many of the decisions relating to how the Council Services are run. They follow the broad policies set down by Council and manage its multi-million pound budgets. Portfolios cover topics as diverse as Planning, Housing, Leisure and Young People, Civil Engineering and Community Wellbeing.

If you intend to ask a question you should bear in mind that Cabinet meetings are webcast live and can be viewed online via the Councils website for up to 6 months after the meeting.

Leader of Council Councillor Mrs Diana Collins said: We are committed to encouraging local democracy, improving communication and making our services more accessible. Our Council meetings have always been open to the public and are now available to view online following the success of the webcasting initiative. Politicians have the chance to ask the Cabinet questions and it was thought it’s time the public had the same chance. I hope that this will help to reinvigorate interest in local democracy and I am really looking forward to seeing the public take full advantage of this opportunity.

Chigwell Row Notice of By-election

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Epping Forest District

Election of a Parish Councillor for Chigwell Row

Notice is hereby given that:

  • An election is to be held of One Parish Councillor for Chigwell Row.
  • Forms of nomination for the Parish Election may be obtained from Clerk to Parish Council or Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4BZ from the Returning Officer who will, at the request of an elector for the electoral area prepare a nomination paper for signature.
  • Nomination papers must be delivered to the Returning Officer, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4BZ on any day after the date of this notice but no later than NOON on Friday, 6 June 2008.
  • If the election in contested, the poll will take place on Thursday, 3 July 2008.
  • Applications, amendments or cancellations of postal votes must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4BZ by 5pm on Wednesday, 18 June 2008.
  • Applications to vote by proxy at this election must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4BZ by 5pm on Wednesday, 25 June 2008.
  • Applications to vote by proxy at this election applied for on grounds of physical incapacity, where that physical incapacity occurred after 5pm on Wednesday, 25 June 2008 must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4BZ by 5pm on Thursday, 3 July 2008.

Dated Thursday 29 May 2008

Ian Willett
Returning Officer

Trees Planted to Commemorate Jamboree

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Cllr Caroline Pond with Chairman of Council Cllr John Knapman

To commemorate the arrival of 40,000 young people at North Weald, the gateway to the World Scouts Jamboree last Summer, a ceremonial international tree planting took place at North Weald Airfield on Tuesday 27 May 2008. An avenue of six trees is to be planted adjacent to the memorial garden, each representing a continent of the world from where the scouts originated.

The Airfield, owned by Epping Forest District Council, acted as the logistical hub throughout the eleven-day Jamboree in July and August last year. It became the check-in centre, the food distribution centre and ran the park and ride service to Hylands Park in Chelmsford where the Centenary celebrations of the Scouting Movement took place.

Among the guests at the ceremony was the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor John Knapman who said: I am very proud that North Weald Airfield was able to offer so much support for this historic event. It was a massive challenge and it is a tribute to all the organisations concerned that it was so successful.

Representatives from the Scouts Association joined Councillors and Council staff for the ceremonial tree planting.

    Each tree will represent a continent of the world from which Scouts came to North Weald:

  • Africa -Tamarisk
  • Australia – Eucalyptus
  • South America – Beech
  • North America – Sweetgum
  • Asia – Birch
  • Europe – Oak

Hurricane Returns to Guard Airfield

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North Weald Airfield Open Day and Fly In

On Sunday 18 May 2008, the skies above North Weald Airfield once again echoed to the sound of Hurricane and Spitfire aircraft. The Second World War aircraft were part of the Spirit of North Weald Airfield Open day and Fly-in, a unique event commemorating both the 90th Anniversary of the birth of the RAF and the unveiling of the North Weald Gate Guardian Project, a full sized replica of a Hawker Hurricane.

The unveiling of the North Weald Gate Guardian Project

Standard Bearers and Pipers provide the backdrop to the ceremony as Wing Commander Tom ‘Ginger’ Neil who flew the real aircraft from North Weald on which the replica is based, unveiled a commemoration plaque before crowds of onlookers. A Spitfire and Hurricane of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flew past.

Tom Neil with Standard Bearers

The special relationship between North Weald Airfield and the Hawker Hurricane was born during the Battle of Britain when the airfield was affectionately known as “the Hurricane Station”. The Gate Guardian will be mounted in a realistic flying position at the airfield’s main entrance later in the year.

Tom Neil in front of the commemoration plaqueSpitfire

There were fly-pasts of military aircraft that flew from RAF North Weald, a Spitfire display by locally based pilot Peter Teichman and the landing, static display and take off of a Dakota aircraft. There were also fly pasts by Bulldog aircraft of the Sky Hawk Formation Team and ‘Red Arrow’ Folland Gnats.

Spitfire flies over North Weald Airfield

During the day, visitors were able to enjoy a large selection of aircraft from the Airfield’s historic collections as well as an RAF re-enactment group, veteran cars, WWII military vehicles, children’s rides and amusements.

A Spitfire and Hurricane of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flew pastDakotaThe replica Hurricane

The event was made possible by the hard work, co-operation and fundraising of Epping Forest District Council, North Weald Parish Council, North Weald Flying Services and Hughmark International as well as many other local organisations. The project was managed by Epping Forest District Council’s Airfield Operations Manager Darren Goodey together with local resident and airfield historian Arthur Moreton.

WWII military vehicles on displayHistoric  collection of helicopters

Foundation Helps Youngsters Get Fitter

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On Thursday 15 May 2008, nine children from the MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do it) Programme in Epping Forest District celebrated their success in transforming their lifestyles at an awards and celebration evening at the home of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, White Hart Lane.

Nine children from the MEND Programme celebrate their success

MEND is the UK`s largest weight management scheme for overweight children and young people aged between 7 and 13. The ten-week programme was delivered at King Harold School in Waltham Abbey by Tottenham Hotspur Foundation coaches and nutritionists and theory leaders from West Essex Primary Care Trust, in partnership with Epping Forest District Council. The sessions, which were offered completely free to participating families thanks to funding from Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, combined fun games, exercise and activities to help participants learn about food and make healthy food choices.

Participants received certificates of achievement and goody bags and were treated to a behind the scenes tour of the stadium.

The MEND Programme was developed by experts in child health to help young people lead a healthier lifestyle, increase self-esteem and confidence, improve behaviour and demonstrate that getting fit can be fun! By the end of the programme, each of the nine participants had a smaller waistline and body mass index (BMI) and were following much more active lifestyles. Up to 85 more youngsters in the Epping Forest district stand to follow in their footsteps and benefit from the MEND Programme, as West Essex Primary Care Trust is funding seven more MEND Programmes from September of this year.

    Families with overweight children between the ages of 7 and 13 interested in applying for free places on the MEND Programme should contact Rebecca Margetts, theory leader:

  • by telephone on 01279 827443
  • or by email

Council Elects New Chairman

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Councillor John Knapman was elected Chairman of Epping Forest District Council by his fellow Members at the Annual Meeting held on 15 May 2008. Councillor Penny Smith was elected Vice-Chairman.

Chairman Cllr John Knapman, Chief Executive Peter Haywood and Cllr Caroline Pond

Vice-Chairman Cllr Penny SmithCouncillor Knapman received the support of colleagues across the Political groups. He has previously held senior executive roles as Leader and Portfolio Holder for finance. Returned at the recent local elections held on 1 May 2008 by the voters of Chigwell, he has held his seat for the Chigwell Village Ward since 1998.

Watch the webcastClick here to view webcast of the Full Council meeting

Chairman Cllr John Knapman, Cllr Caroline Pond and Debra Knapman

Councillor Knapman succeeds outgoing Chairman, Councillor Caroline Pond who received thanks and many warm accolades for her year of office.

New Cabinet

Councillor Mrs Diana Collins was re-affirmed as Leader of Epping Forest District Council. She will lead an enlarged Cabinet of nine Portfolio Holders. New faces on the Cabinet are Councillor Richard Bassett from Nazeing who picks up the Civil Engineering and Maintenance Portfolio, and Councillor Heather Harding from Sheering who takes over responsibility for Leisure and Young People.

    The full Cabinet is:

  • Leader
    – Councillor Mrs Diana Collins
  • Deputy Leader and Finance and Performance Management
    – Councillor Chris Whitbread
  • Civil Engineering and Maintenance
    – Councillor Richard Bassett
  • Community Wellbeing
    – Councillor Ms Syd Stavrou
  • Corporate Support Services and I.C.T.
    – Councillor Mitch Cohen
  • Environment
    – Councillor Mrs Mary Sartin
  • Housing
    – Councillor David Stallan
  • Leisure and Young People
    – Councillor Mrs Heather Harding
  • Planning and Economic Development
    – Councillor Mrs Anne Grigg

Former Councillor Doug KellyScrutiny and Main Committees

Councillor Richard Morgan was re-elected as Chairman of Overview and Scrutiny while Councillor Brian Sandler was re-affirmed as Chairman of District Development Control. Councillor Pat Brooks is the new Chairman of the Licensing Committee.

Returning Councillors offered thanks and best wishes to a number of former members who retired or lost their seats at the last election. Particularly warm tributes were made to Doug Kelly, former member for Fyfield and Chairman of the Council. In a break with tradition Members welcomed ex-Councillor Kelly to address them one more time before receiving a rousing ovation.

Click here to view tributes to Doug Kelly webcast