Written on . Posted in Arts, Chigwell, Community, Loughton, Older people, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community

Makedo&mend image

Makedoandmend, an artistic collaboration between young and older people and adults with disabilities from Loughton, Chigwell and Waltham Abbey will be officially launched on Tuesday 7 April 2009 at 3pm at Loughton Youth Centre, 106 Borders Lane, Loughton 1G10 3SB. Vice Chairman of Council Councillor Penny Smith will be attending.

As we end a decade where recycling has become a global imperative, makedo&mend, a multi-disciplinary arts project run by Epping Forest District Council, takes its artistic inspiration from a decade in the previous Century when rationing was the norm, new clothing items rare and a harsh post-war era required people to make do with what they had or mend and repair items normally thrown away. The project sees groups `recycling` the fashion, music and film of the 1940s with contemporary styles to `make do` or `mend`, to create new and original work.

Makedo&mend has distinct strands that feed into each other throughout the year. Young and older people and adults with disabilities from Waltham Abbey, Chigwell and Loughton will collaborate to create a body of work consisting of an original fashion collection, a dance video, a music track and a style magazine featuring all the work produced. The initiative culminates in an exhibition running for two months in partnership with Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey from 10 October to 1 December incorporating rare pieces from the Museum`s costume collection and a programme of public workshops on the themes of makedo&mend.

The fashion aspect of the project grew out of the need to develop cross-generational relationships in Loughton. Makedo&mend will encourage older residents to pass on their memories and experience of 1940s fashion to young people on a project that is relevant to present day issues.

The London College of Fashion is also involved as a partner in the project to reach out to young people in environments such as youth centres to make them feel confident about their ability to achieve at higher education. As well as bringing generations together and creating pathways to careers, makedo&mend also reaches out to groups in care. Alder House is a residential home for people with disabilities aged 23 to 65 years and they will work with artist Emily Jost to design clothing with a 1940s slant but use their disability as an opportunity for design innovation.

Another aspect of makedo&mend is the music. The music becomes a pathway to mend relationships between groups of young people. A group from Waltham Abbey will create a tune using a 1940s track as inspiration and a group from Limes Farm will work with sound artist Arjunan Manuelpillai to write lyrics and record the vocals. In doing so, this part of the project facilitates two groups of young people who would normally be rivals to share and inspire each other.

Image details – John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library. Make do and mend, pamphlet, ca 1943. JCPML00715/7 Original held by National Archives of Australia B5641/1, K4.

Real help now

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Local business, Residents, Supporting business, Your community


Where to find help with homes, jobs and finances when you need it.

The international financial crisis and the recession it has caused around the world, and now in the UK, is having a real impact on individuals, families and businesses.

The Government is acting because extra support is needed to get us through the downturn. So a range of new help is being made available for those who need it, from homeowners with difficulties paying their mortgages, or people seeking employment or training, to small businesses with cashflow problems and larger businesses needing working capital.

A booklet tells you what help is available now and where to find it. It also includes details of extra support that is being introduced this spring, and we will update it as more help becomes available. It can be downloaded from either of the below links.

The Government`s priorities to get Britain through the recession are:
  • to prevent the collapse of the banking system, so that people`s savings are secure and the banks can do their job
  • to get the financial system lending responsibly again so as to support businesses, jobs and growth
  • to support the economy and jobs through direct government action, including tax cuts and important investment projects
  • to help people through more difficult times with the support described in this booklet

Action has also been taken to boost our economy by putting money in people`s pockets and bringing investment plans forward.

    This includes:

  • income tax cuts of £145 for every basic rate taxpayer
  • £60 extra for pensioners this winter
  • a VAT cut worth on average over £200 to every family this year
  • an extra £3 billion investment in projects that will protect and create jobs
  • a £75 above inflation increase in the child element of the Child Tax Credit from April 2009, worth up to £2,235 a year for families

Real help now, when you need it.

Disability Equality Consultative Group

Written on . Posted in Community, Residents, Your community, Your council

Do you have a disability or do you know someone who has a disability?

Can you use the Council`s services and does the Council understand what you need to help you to use the Council`s services?

Epping Forest District Council is working hard to make all its services accessible to people with disabilities. To do this effectively we need your help. We need to know what we need to do so that you can use our services.

You are invited to join our Disability Equality Consultative Group.

The next meeting is on Tuesday 10 March 2009 at 2:30pm and will take place at the Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4BZ.

Crime Reduction at Limes Farm

Written on . Posted in Chigwell, Community, Crime and safety, Democracy, Residents, Working with the council, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Residents at Limes Farm in Chigwell have been invited to express their views on the dramatic reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour on the estate over the past year.

Organised by the Safer Communities Partnership a Special Action Group has been working with local residents at Limes Farm for the past 16 months and has seen a 31% reduction in crime and a 39% reduction in anti-social behaviour.

From 16 to 20 February 2009 questionnaires were distributed. Residents were invited to the community police office on the estate for a cup of tea to have a chat and fill in a questionnaire about their experiences of actions taken so far.

Some of their comments included:

I am pleased to see more Officers patrolling

There has been less crime

People feel safer on the estate and there is a good community atmosphere

Loughton Inspector Simon Werrett from Essex Police said: “All the hard work has paid off, not only by The Safer Communities Partnership and Police but by local residents working together to really make a difference in improving the quality of life on the estate. They truly believed in making the change and they have succeeded.”

Councillor Syd Stavrou Epping Forest District Council Community Wellbeing Portfolio Holder said: I think these results speak for themselves. There has been a lot of hard work put into this group by many different organisations and individuals. This has shown the value of a co-ordinated problem solving response. Lessons have been learned and the Special Action Group process will become `best practice` for other areas requiring attention in Epping Forest district.

Epping Forest College Recycling

Written on . Posted in Community, Epping, Recycling and waste, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Councillors and student ambassadors for recycling

The Leader of Epping Forest District Council is delighted at the opportunity of working together with Epping College to introduce recycling in the new £38m College campus.

During a recent visit to the college the Leader of the Council Councillor Diana Collins and the Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services Councillor Mary Sartin were introduced to the recycling scheme within the college by the students of the Green Group, formed to champion environmental action starting with recycling.

Epping Forest District Council was able to assist the college in their recycling initiatives by extending the recycling services to the College.

Councillor Diana Collins said: I am pleased that we have been able to assist the college in introducing the new recycling scheme. This will enable those already recycling at home to continue their good habits in the College whilst also encouraging those who discover recycling at College to spread the word.

The Green Group has plans for recycling expansion and is already talking about collecting unwanted clothes from fellow students and staff.

Councillors, staff and students with the new recycling bins

The new scheme was launched as part of Positive Contribution Week at the College. Students from the Green Group have acted as ambassadors for recycling – wearing distinctive t-shirts they have been setting a good example and actively encouraging others to recycle their cans, paper, card and plastic bottles.

They have also manned stands in the College explaining the benefits of recycling, demonstrating the items that can be recycled, and giving away recycled pencils, pens, bags, mugs and other goodies as well as booklets with tips for further ways to recycle “ all provided by the Council.

The Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services Councillor Mary Sartin said: I am very impressed by the enthusiasm and hard work of the students. This is very encouraging and shows that our younger generation is keen to tackle the issues that affect our future.

Council Tax 2009 / 2010

Written on . Posted in Community, Council tax, Housing, Residents, Your community, Your home, Your money

Epping Forest District Council has set another low increase on its Council Tax precept.

Residents living in an average Band D property will see the amount they pay to the District Council go up by £3.60 for next year, less than seven pence a week. The increase of just 2.5 per cent will consolidate the Council`s position as second cheapest in Essex and our aim is to become the cheapest over the period covered by the Medium Term Financial Strategy.

The new rate was confirmed at the meeting of the District Council on 17 February 2009. It comes at a time of falling income from investments, fees and charges and a very low increase of only £46,000 overall in the Council`s grant settlement from the Government. However, being debt-free with some substantial investments still earning high rates of interest fixed before the recent Bank of England cuts, Epping Forest remains in a much better financial position than many other Councils.

Unlike many Councils, we are well prepared against the economic down-turn and that will help us through the next three to five years, said Councillor Chris Whitbread, Finance Portfolio Holder. We have managed our budgets carefully, putting money away in case of a `rainy day`. That day has arrived and we are well placed to weather the storm.

Councillor Whitbread continued: Our residents are our first priority. As well as keeping our Council Tax precept down, we will do whatever else we can to help our community through the rough economic times to come. Local businesses should benefit from the freeze on increases to car parking charges. The Council will try to source as much of our spending as locally as we can and we will pay our bills quickly. We continue to fund organisations such as the Citizens` Advice Bureau, new projects such as the proposed Furniture Exchange scheme to be based in Waltham Abbey and a range of Housing- related schemes to help people struggling to keep a roof over their heads.

He added: The budget also allows for improvements to a number of services, including year-round weekly collection of kitchen refuse for recycling.

As the collection authority, Epping Forest District Council also agreed the overall Council Tax at its meeting on 17 February 2009, including rates set by Essex County Council, the emergency services and Town and Parish Councils. Band D residents will pay an extra £19.89 to Essex County Council, £6.03 more to Essex Police and £2.34 to the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service. Combining the elements collected by Epping Forest District Council on behalf of all precepting authorities, the total for an average Band D Council Taxpayer would be £1,460.29, an overall increase of 2.4 per cent.
    Broken down into its constituent parts, the bill for an average Band D Council Taxpayer in Epping Forest district will be:

  • £1,066.50 to Essex County Council
  • £128.25 to Essex Police
  • £64.62 to Essex Fire Authority
  • £146.61 to Epping Forest District Council

An additional payment (depending on where you live) to the Town or Parish Council will range from £13.33 in Stapleford Abbotts to £91.79 in Waltham Abbey.

Cabinet 5 February 2009

Written on . Posted in Community, Consultation, Council tax, Councillors, Democracy, Gypsy and traveller, Housing, Meetings, Residents, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

A Council Tax increase of 2.5 per cent is being recommended by Cabinet for adoption at the next full meeting of Epping Forest District Council. Members of the Cabinet also agreed a further extension of the ongoing public consultation on future provision of sites for Gypsies and Travellers.

Watch the webcastView webcast of Cabinet meeting on 5 February 2009 (opens in a new window)


Against a very difficult national economic backdrop, Epping Forest District Council is set to achieve a low Council Tax precept increase of 2.5 per cent. For a family in an average Band D property, it means an increase of just £3.60 in the District Council precept for the entire year, or less than seven pence per week. It is likely to be one of the lowest Council Tax precepts set in Essex.

This comes despite reductions in income from investments, a very low financial settlement increase from Central Government of just £46,000, no increase in car parking charges and lower income from fees and charges. Drawing on reserves and finding compensatory savings of £300,000 per year, the Cabinet is charting a medium term strategy designed to bring the budget back into balance whilst assisting local businesses and residents through the forecast economic turndown.

Councillors re-iterated recent commitments to make faster payments for services provided by local businesses, an increase in rental loans to homeless people and introduction of a mortgage rescue scheme in partnership with the Citizens` Advice Bureau and Moat Housing Association.

The District Council will re-allocate money from the defunct Lighthouse Furniture Project in Epping Forest to Voluntary Action Epping Forest (VAEF). If successful in bidding for the tenancy of 15 Market Square, Waltham Abbey, VAEF will use District Council funding to support a new Furniture Exchange Scheme designed to help people on lower incomes who need good second-hand furniture and are unable to afford normal High Street prices. Long-term, the project aims to become self-financing.

Major investment in the domestic waste and recycling service is included within the budget. Councillors previously agreed to implement the favoured option of residents in recent public consultation. Enhancements to the service will see extension of recycling to include kitchen waste, collected weekly with garden refuse in a new wheelie bin.

Traveller and Gypsy Consultation

Rescheduled training, originally planned for late 2008 but actually received in January prompted Members to agree a further extension to the consultation period on traveller and gypsy site provision. The extension to 20 February will give local residents an additional two weeks in which to submit their views.

Customer Transformation

In a far-reaching report, Members of the Cabinet considered proposals for changing the way Epping Forest District Council serves its residents. Councillor Brian Rolfe Chairman of the Customer Transformation Task and Finish Panel outlined improvements the Council could make in how it deals with the public. The report looks directly at face to face contact, contact by phone and through other channels such as The Forester magazine and website.

Recognising current financial constraints, Councillor Mitchell Cohen proposed a temporary increase in resources to the Council website, engaging a second member of staff to support the website for a fixed three-year term.

Councillor Diana Collins Leader of the Council congratulated Councillor Rolfe on the Panel report and supported the principles. She asked Councillor Rolfe for a further report providing guidance to Cabinet on the priorities of the Panel.

Councillors Visit The Broadway

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Leader, Local business, Loughton, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council

Councillors Diana Collins and Anne Grigg lend a hand

The Leader of Epping Forest District Council Councillor Diana Collins and the Planning and Economic Development Portfolio Holder Councillor Anne Grigg visited The Broadway in Loughton on Wednesday 28 January 2009. They met with representatives of local traders and reassured them that every effort is being made to reduce the impact on local businesses whilst work to regenerate the area is being carried out.

This is following concerns expressed earlier by local traders and residents at a Town Centre Partnership meeting that steps should be taken to minimise disruption to businesses and residents. A number of steps have been taken to keep the Broadway accessible for traders and shoppers.

Access is being maintained to all the shops on The Broadway, only the eastbound carriageway has been shut for now. Crossing over points have been provided so shoppers can get from one side of The Broadway to the other, Vere Road Car Park has been re-designated for short-stay and permit holders only and free parking has been retained for The Broadway.

Councillors and local traders view work at the Broadway

Councillor Diana Collins said: I understand the concerns of local traders but every effort is being made to minimise the impact of this scheme to local traders and shoppers. Unfortunately large engineering projects can cause disruption but at the end we will have a much improved and enhanced town centre.

Bursary Deadline for the Sports and the Arts

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Residents, Sports, Your community, Your council

Sports and Arts Activities

Epping Forest District Council is reminding the district`s talented young people that the deadline for leisure bursary applications is fast approaching. Each year this scheme provides two awards of £1,500, one to the arts and one to sports. Applications for this year`s bursaries need to be in by Friday 30 January 2009 as interviews are due to be held in Mid-February.

Applicants need to be aged between 13 to 25 years and live in the Epping Forest district to be eligible for these bursaries and must demonstrate an outstanding talent for their activity. These bursaries are intended to pay for additional opportunities to enable young people to reach their potential.

Last year`s winners included Somalia Seaton who used the funds to support her theatre productions at the national student festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Sharing the arts bursary with Somalia, Nichola Miles spent her funds on equipment to help her complete her college course and gain a place at University to study graphic design. Jim Lewis was awarded the sports bursary and purchased a bespoke bike to help him achieve his goal of competing in the 2012 Olympics.

Full information on eligibility and what the bursary funds can be used for are detailed in the application pack available from Lynne Hague on 01992 564551 or James Carstairs on 01992 564567.

European Elections 2009

Written on . Posted in Community, Democracy, Elections, Older people, Residents, Your community, Your council

It has been confirmed that European Parliamentary elections will take place across Europe between 4 and 7 June 2009. The UK polling day is Thursday 4 June 2009. Epping Forest District residents will be voting to elect seven Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) for the Eastern region. Those elected will represent the Region for a five-year term. A total of 500 million European citizens in 27 countries will be voting for 736 MEPs on the same date. The election will be run from a regional policy centre in Huntingdon by the Regional Returning Officer. On the same date an election for seven the County Councillors for the Epping Forest District will also be held.

The Electoral Services Team at Epping Forest District Council would like to remind residents that if your name does not appear on the Register of Electors 2009, you will not be able to vote in either election. There are no scheduled elections for District Councillors this year.

The Register of Electors (also known as the Electoral Register, the Electoral List, the Electoral Roll or even the Voters’ Register) was published on 1 December 2008 following the Annual Canvass of Electors. If you moved house after 15 October 2008 your name might not appear on the Register at your new address. To update your registration call the Electoral Services Team on 01992 564411 for a voter registration form (even if you are paying Council Tax at your new address it does not automatically mean you are on the Register of Electors). You can check your entry in the Register of Electors by contacting the Electoral Services Team on 01992 564411 or view the Electoral Register at the Civic Offices in Epping, Waltham Abbey Town Hall or at the Council`s Information desk inside Loughton Library.

The Council must receive voter registration forms by 5pm on 19 May 2009 for them to take effect for the 2009 European elections. If you are unable to vote in person on polling day and you have not already registered for a postal or proxy vote, please contact Electoral Services for details about how to apply. If you have moved or changed your name since applying for a postal vote, it will now be invalid so you will need to complete a new application. The closing date for completed postal applications is 5pm on 19 May 2009 and for proxy applications is 5pm on 27 May 2009.

Epping Forest District Council`s Ian Willett is the local / deputy Returning Officer for these elections said: “This year polling day is on 4 June 2009 and not the usual day in May. This is because the Government has decided to delay the County Council elections so that they are held on the same day as those for the European Parliament. Voters should bear this in mind if they want a postal or proxy vote and make sure they are registered to vote on polling day.

Mr Willett continued: “The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy but if you don’t register and obtain a postal or proxy vote if you need one, you lose that right and won’t be able to vote. If you don’t have a vote, you can’t have your say. If you are not sure about what you need to do, call the Electoral Services Team on 01992 564411 now.”