Countrycare volunteer day Tuesday 22 January cancelled

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Building control, Chigwell, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Loughton, Older people, Olympics, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your environment, Your home

Due to the adverse weather the Countrycare volunteer day on Tuesday 22 January 2013 has been cancelled.

Countrycare is sorry to disappoint those of you who were intending to jump in a pond and clear some reeds tomorrow in North Weald, but the task has been cancelled due to weather conditions. We apologise to anyone who had been looking forward to an ice cold dip. Thursday’s volunteer task is still expected to go ahead.

Media Pack puts Waltham Abbey on the map

Written on . Posted in Business, Countryside and wildlife, Local business, Museum, North Weald Airfield, Olympics, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey

The partnership of local businesses, community and political leaders in Waltham Abbey launched its own Media Pack to raise the profile of the town on Thursday 17 January 2013 at the Marriott Hotel. The Pack in a handy USB keyring contains all the information national and international media organisations need to raise the profile of Waltham Abbey as the town and district seek to promote the local economy through tourism.

Timing of the launch could not have been more appropriate as news emerged of the impending arrival of the Tour de France in Epping Forest as part of a special UK stage between Cambridge and London in 2014. It follows the success of the Olympic Lee Valley White Water Centre, one of a number of new and expanding visitor attractions across the the district. Among those at the launch of the Media Pack were representatives from Secret Island, the new name of the Royal Gunpowder Mills.

The Pack was officially launched by Councillor Liz Webster, Mayor of Waltham Abbey and Epping Forest District Council portfolio holder for Leisure and Wellbeing. Tony O’Connor of Epping Forest District Museum gave a talk on the history of Waltham Abbey from the earliest evidence of prehistoric settlements through to modern times. Waltham Abbey has been at the centre of many historical events with royal associations from King Harold through to Henry VIII.

John Houston of One Epping Forest, the Local Strategic Partnership presented the Media Pack video produced by Chamber of Commerce Member and local businessman John Price. Drawing particular attention to the role played by Norma Green and the hard work of the Waltham Abbey Town Partnership, he congratulated everyone involved in the project.

 

 

One Business Briefing – brimming with news for local businesses

Written on . Posted in Abandoned vehicles, Animal welfare, Buckhurst Hill, Building control, Business, Business rates, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Doing business with the council, Drainage, Energy efficiency, Epping, Grants, Gypsy and traveller, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Media, Older people, Olympics, Ongar, Planning, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Trees and landscapes, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

The January 2013 edition of ‘One Business Briefing’ is now available.

In this edition Reed in Partnership gives local businesses advice on how they can use Government funding to get staff job relevant qualifications at no cost to the employer or employee. It also introduces MP Eleanor Laing’s new Business Forum, reports on current tourism development work, including a key event on 31 January 2013 to develop tourism within the area and much more.

Read the January 2013 edition – One Business Briefing

Produced by Epping Forest District Council, One Epping Forest and local partners the briefing provides information for businesses and those looking to start up in business in the Epping Forest district. The briefing is designed to report on business funding opportunities / access to finance, business support, workshops / events for business, town centre news and other local economic development initiatives.

If you would like to receive future editions of ‘One Business Briefing’ by email please email economicdevelopment@eppingforestdc.gov.uk.

Leader calls on residents to Shop Local

Written on . Posted in Arts, Business, Council tax, Countrycare, Democracy, Health, Housing, Leader, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Olympics, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Parking, Private housing, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business, Travel, Trees and landscapes, Your money

Hello,

When I became the new leader of Epping Forest District Council back in the summer, the country was poised for the Olympic Games.

The Olympics proved to be the most fantastic success. As a Country, we staged probably the best Olympic and Paralympic games ever. At a time when the economy is flat and families are struggling to make ends meet, we all showed the rest of the world what Great Britain can achieve.

I am very proud to say that Epping Forest District played its part in our national success. The Lee Valley White Water Centre outside Waltham Abbey was completed on time and budget, giving thousands of people their first taste of the Olympic rapids before any of the other new venues had opened.

But this was just the platform – we helped to provide a stage but it was the people, the volunteers, the spectators, and most of all, the athletes that made the Games such a success. And as we look ahead to 2013 that is how I see the job of Epping Forest District Council – to provide the stage and the conditions in which the residents of Epping Forest can perform to their maximum potential.

So how do we do that?

To begin with we must leave as much of your money in your own pocket as possible. We are a low tax council. It is three years since the last increase in the Epping Forest District element of the Council Tax. We have one of the lowest Council Taxes in Essex.

We are pro-business. A healthy business sector means jobs and services for local people. Pay and Display parking charges in our towns are among the lowest you can find. Many car parks are free at weekends in the run up to Christmas. Working with local businesses, we promote our town centres, visitor attractions and tourism for local residents and visitors alike.

We are pro the environment. There is terrific demand on local housing because people want to live here. We do all we can to defend the Green Belt and we are trying to provide homes to meet the needs not only of people today, but our children and grandchildren in the future.

Healthy living and an active social life go hand in hand with a good life at home and work. We provide leisure centres, support a Youth Council and keep our older residents fit and active. Much of our work is supported by volunteers. Whether you are clearing country paths and coppicing trees with Countrycare or leading a walk for older people through Epping Forest or the Lee Valley Regional Park, the work of the council is magnified and enhanced by the generosity and spirit of volunteers.

Everyone has a part to play and there is never a better time than Christmas to show your support for the district. I want everyone who lives and works in Epping Forest to join with me in making 2013 the year our district takes off.

Use your local high street

One Shops Local and Visit Epping Forest are two websites designed to support local business. Created by Epping Forest Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, the council and other members of our Local Strategic Partnership, these sites are the place to find all the information, deals and recommendations you need to support your local high street.

If you have a few hours to spare and want to make another kind of difference, why not contact Voluntary Action Epping Forest to find out what you could do.

So next time you are thinking about a day out, looking for a good tradesperson or writing your shopping list remember the answers are all online and available on your doorstep.

On behalf of all the councillors and staff at Epping Forest District Council may I wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Chris Whitbread
Leader – Epping Forest District Council

Business Briefing hot off the press and brimming with news for local businesses

Written on . Posted in Abandoned vehicles, Animal welfare, Buckhurst Hill, Building control, Business, Business rates, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Doing business with the council, Drainage, Energy efficiency, Epping, Grants, Gypsy and traveller, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Media, Noise, Older people, Olympics, Ongar, Planning, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Trees and landscapes, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

The October 2012 edition of ‘one business briefing’ is available. Produced by EFDC, One Epping Forest and local partners the briefing provides information for businesses and those looking to start up in business in the Epping Forest District.  The briefing  is designed to report on  business funding opportunities/access to finance, business support, workshops/events for business and local economic development initiatives.

The October edition highlights a new training grant available from Essex County Council which is available to businesses but those eligible must be quick as the grant is only available from now until March 2013. The briefing also highlights specific support available to manufacturing and construction businesses in the Epping Forest district.  If you are looking to set-up in business the briefing directs individuals to support being offered by HMRC, including its free and informal workshop sessions held in Epping.

Read the October 2012 edition – One Business Briefing

If you would like to receive future editions of ‘one business briefing’ directly to your email inbox please email vwillis@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Olympic hero returns

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Olympics, Our attractions, Out and about, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council

Gold medallist Etienne Stott was welcomed back to Waltham Abbey for the unveiling of a commemorative London 2012 shield.

Etienne and his partner Tim Baillie claimed Britain’s first ever Gold in the Men’s C2 Canoe Slalom at the Lee Valley White Water Centre at the beginning of August with Richard Hounslow and David Florence taking Silver in a memorable afternoon of sport.

Etienne joined civic leaders from Waltham Abbey, Epping Forest and Broxbourne on Monday 17 September 2012 for the official unveiling of the commemorative shield on Highbridge Street Roundabout. District and Town Councillor, Liz Webster who is also Mayor of Waltham Abbey had the honour of cutting the ribbon.

The shield is symbolic of the co-operation between Broxbourne and Epping Forest councils. John Gilbert, Director of Environment and Street Scene for Epping Forest paid tribute to his colleagues at Broxbourne for their generosity in agreeing to the LOCOG funded shield being placed on the Essex side of the boundary. Both councils worked closely together with Lee Valley Regional Park Authority and LOCOG during the development of the Lee Valley White Water Centre.

The White Water Centre was the first the first new Olympic venue to be completed. Opened to the public before the Games, the Centre is open again for rafting and canoeing on two purpose built courses.

Councillor Brian Rolfe, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council said: “London 2012 has proved to be the finest summer of sport most of us can ever remember. It was a great privilege to meet Etienne and see the gold medal close up. Lee Valley White Water Centre is a fantastic facility and the British success in the C2, where we took Gold and Silver, was one of the most memorable afternoons of the Games.”

The Shield is embossed with the image of the town’s most famous historical figure, King Harold, believed to be buried within the grounds of the Abbey. Henry VIII also features along with civic and Olympic symbols of the present day.

Proposed changes to the need for planning permission for home extensions

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Building control, Business, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Epping, Housing, Local business, Loughton, Olympics, Ongar, Planning, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

The Government announced its intention to allow larger extensions to be built to houses than presently permitted on Thursday 6 September 2012. The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government advised that local authorities will be consulted on the proposed changes – but to date the extent of the changes, or the date of their implementation, are not known.

Guidance relating to works which may presently be undertaken without the need to seek express planning permission from the Council can be obtained from the council’s website – view the planning permission guidance notes.

Epping Forest District Council can also determine whether or not planning permission is required for an extension to a dwelling following the submission of an application for a ‘Certificate of Lawful Development’ (the relevant application form can be downloaded here).

For enquiries relating to whether or not planning permission is required, please contact the Duty Planner between the hours of 10.30 am and 1 pm by telephoning 01992 564477, or by sending an email to contactdc@eppingforestdc.gov.uk.

New white water rafting season at Lee Valley White Water Centre

Written on . Posted in Local business, Olympics, Out and about, Sports, Waltham Abbey

Thrill seekers are being given the opportunity to try a London 2012 venue even before the world’s greatest sporting event comes to a close next month.

The Lee Valley White Water Centre hosted the hugely-successful, five-day Canoe Slalom event during the first week of the Olympic Games.  It will open to the public once again on Saturday 8 September and tickets are already on sale.

See video of the final White Water Olympic competition day below.

The Centre was the only brand-new London 2012 venue to open ahead of the Games and there has been a huge demand for white water rafting and paddling ever since.

Councillor Liz Webster, Epping Forest District Council’s Olympics Champion and Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Wellbeing, said: “Lee Valley White Water Centre has already given thousands of people the chance to experience the thrill of the rapids so far.  I am delighted that it will be re-opening just four weeks after the Games and will continue the fantastic legacy that this venue has already provided.  I am sure many more thousands of people will want to experience it for themselves.”

Councillor Webster concluded:  “This is an excellent facility right on our doorstep.  It is a tremendous legacy not only for the people of Waltham Abbey but people all over the country.  I would encourage everyone to visit and whilst there to enjoy many of the other attractions the Epping Forest district has to offer.”

Tickets for the new season are available from Lee Valley White Water Centre  or the booking and enquiry hotline on 08456 770 606. You don’t have to be an Olympian, the Centre is suitable for paddlers of all abilities, from grassroots to elite.

Lady Godiva wows Abbey crowds

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Councillors, Local business, Museum, Olympics, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Your community

Cultural Olympiad 2012Up to 2,000 people turned out to greet Lady Godiva as she made her spectacular way through Waltham Abbey on Saturday (4 August). The crowds of people were awed as the graceful lady, standing 6-metres tall, made her way regally from the Abbey to Epping Forest District Museum in Sun Street. Powered by some incredible mechanics, she waved and bowed to the crowds as she walked sedately across Market Square, gazing down upon spectators from rooftop level.

Part of the Cultural Olympiad celebrating the London 2012 Olympic Games, Waltham Abbey was a very appropriate overnight stop for Lady Godiva. She is believed to have been the grandmother of Queen Ealdgyth, wife of King Harold who is reputed to be buried in the grounds of Waltham Abbey church.

The modern Lady Godiva, set out from Coventry where the original is said to have ridden naked through the town in protest at the heavy taxes levied on the people by her husband, Leofric. The modern Lady Godiva, also travelled by horse, although this time powered by a team of cyclists and was fully clothed. Her journey ended on Sunday in Waltham Forest.

Councillor Liz Webster, Mayor of Waltham Abbey and Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council greeted Lady Godiva. Waltham Abbey residents Jack (9) and his brother Oliver (4)  joined civic and religious leaders at the Museum where Jack presented Lady Godiva with his own model horse made earlier in the day.

Mountain bike preparations

Written on . Posted in Crime and safety, Olympics, Out and about

Epping Forest District Safer Communities Partnership logoThe two-day Olympic Mountain Bike event takes place at Hadleigh Farm on 11 and 12 August. Around 19,000 spectators are expected to travel to the 550 acre site. Following the tremendous success of the Canoe Slalom at the Lee Valley White Water Centre, Essex Police is keen to ensure everyone with tickets for the Mountain Bikes is well prepared and has a great time.

Essex Police say:

Travel

There is no parking at the venue or in the surrounding areas so think about using the park and ride or travelling by train. The park and ride service will be running from New Holland tractor plant in Cranes Farm Road, Basildon and the recommended train station is Leigh on Sea. The park and ride is no longer running from Waterside Park on Canvey Island.

Clothing and footwear

There is a lot of walking to be done at Hadleigh Farm and there are lots of steep climbs, loose stones and gravel at the venue so sensible sturdy footwear is essential. Heeled shoes and flip-flops are not suitable. Be prepared for the possibility of wet or hot weather.

Security

LOCOG has provided every ticket holder with advice around what items can and can’t be taken into the venue so take the time to read it in advance. There are restrictions around taking liquids in to Hadleigh Farm so think about taking an empty water bottle which you can fill up once you are inside and have passed through security. No alcohol is allowed inside the venue.

Valuables

While we don’t anticipate theft, it can’t be ruled out so keep personal possessions like mobile phones and cameras safe. Keep an eye on your children too – don’t let them get lost in the crowd.

Assistant Chief Constable Sue Harrison said: “Hadleigh Farm is a great venue and we want everyone to enjoy their Olympic experience, but there is some advice we’d like people to follow.

“We’d like everyone to make sure they have plenty of time to reach the venue and to have planned their journey. Hadleigh Farm is quite a bumpy and hilly area. There are lots of steep climbs, loose stones and gravel so the important thing is to wear decent sturdy footwear.

“Make sure you are ready to deal with the weather too. It’s a very exposed location and there’s very little cover if it is a hot day.”