Council adopts ICE emergency measures for staff

Written on . Posted in Business, Emergencies, Media, Residents

In response to the latest reports on child obesity Shapes Gym at Waltham Abbey has launched a new exercise class for youngsters.

TEENSPIN is the latest exercise craze sweeping the UK so Shapes has started 30-minute instructor led static cycling classes to classic, modern and upfront beats for Teens aged 13 – 15 years, of all abilities

It`s a brilliant way to get fit and have fun, said Health and Fitness Manager, Sarah Linger. We launched the sessions five weeks ago and they`ve been sold out every week since.

Sessions cost £1-50 for Teen gym members and £2-00 for non-members and take place every Tuesday evening at 5pm “ and Mondays and Fridays during school holidays at 2.30pm.

TEENZONE sessions are also held in the gym on Sunday evenings and daytimes throughout the school holidays.

For more information on the sessions or to book (as spaces are limited) please call 01992 716733.

London Explosions

Written on . Posted in Business, Emergencies, Residents, Your community

Following the closure of the London Underground and London Bus networks, Epping Forest District Council has put members of its emergency planning team on standby and alerted senior councillors.

Councillor John Knapman, Leader of Epping Forest District Council said: Many of us will have seen the distressing images from London on our TVs this morning. So far we understand that the London authorities are dealing with the situation and we have not been asked to assist. However, as a district with Central Line services and many residents who commute to work in London each day, we are obviously concerned and keeping the situation under review.

Councillor Knapman added: This is not a time for speculation or needlessly increasing the concern of family and friends who will already be trying to contact loved ones. The District Council is one small cog in a large machine of London-based organisations and neighbouring authorities which sadly have to plan and prepare against the day when such events as this may happen.

Councillor Brian Sandler, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council added to Councillor Knapman’s comments. He said: My heart goes out to everyone who has been touched by the terrible events in London. Yesterday, London received the best possible news when the world community placed its faith in us to deliver the 2012 Olympic Games. As a nation we are renowned for rising to challenges and overcoming adversity. Those people who seek to terrorise us do not understand the spirit and determination of the British people. London has received a grievous blow but I know we will recover from these acts. Now is the moment for us to pull together as a nation and as a community.

Councillor Sandler added: “It will be my privilege in the next few weeks to attend ceremonies to commemorate the end of the last World War and remember those who gave their lives in the defence of our peace, security and freedom. I know these events, like the events of 60 years ago, will unite us and make us more determined than ever never to give in to such atrocities. The terrorists must not win.”


London 2012 Olympics – Fantastic News!

Written on . Posted in Business, Olympics, Residents, Travel, Your community

Councillor John Knapman, Leader of Epping Forest District Council said: This is fantastic news. I am absolutely delighted. London is one of the greatest cities in the world. As a nation we are renowned for rising to challenges and I am sure we will make this one of the most successful Olympic games ever.

He continued: The potential benefits for the people of London and the surrounding area are enormous. This is the chance not just to regenerate East London. It is the best opportunity we will ever have to tackle the under-investment in our roads, public transport and housing as well as business and sports facilities. For Epping Forest District, so well placed right on the edge of London, this is a great opportunity for us too. After the spectacle of the games themselves, the spin-off benefits to the district should last for generations to come.

Councillor Knapman concluded: The next seven years will be crucial. There is a tremendous amount of hard work to do but I for one can’t wait. In town halls across London and the South East of England people will be meeting to digest the news and make plans. We are no different in Epping Forest and I will be calling meetings of councillors and staff to map out the challenges the district faces. I have already asked senior officers to be in my office at 9.30 this Friday to get the ball rolling. We owe it to future generations as well as ourselves  to make the absolute best of 2012.

Council Objects to East of England Plan

Written on . Posted in Business, Conservation and listed buildings, Countryside and wildlife, Local plan / planning our future, Our countryside, Planning, Regulations, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your environment

Development of North Weald on the scale proposed in the East of England Plan is not only excessive but could also undermine the regeneration of Harlow according to Epping Forest District Council. Councillors met at the Civic Offices in Epping on Tuesday (8 March) and Thursday (10 March) to agree their response to the East of England Plan consultation.

If the Government goes ahead with proposals to develop North Weald Airfield and surrounding land at the same time as developments in Harlow, Councillors believe the effect would be for people and businesses to gravitate towards North Weald. Harlow would struggle to attract the same people and businesses the Government believes the town needs for effective regeneration.

Councillor Robert Glozier, Planning and Economic Development Portfolio Holder said that undermining the regeneration of Harlow was one of many reasons why the number of new houses and businesses proposed for North Weald and other parts of the district should be reduced.

He said: Aside from the potential damage to Harlow, development at North Weald and to the South West of Harlow does not look sustainable. The impact on the environment from so much development in the Green Belt would be immense. There are fundamental issues ranging from basic health, welfare and education service provision through to concerns about the supply of water. Even if promises of huge investment in infrastructure such as public transport and roads can be afforded, many other questions remain unanswered.

Councillor Glozier continued: There is an enormous amount of concern among local people. They range from those who believe the great historic significance of the Airfield should prevent development to those who fear the scale of development overall would destroy the fundamentally rural character of our local environment.

Councillors voted to tell the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA) and the Office of John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister that the overall proposals of 11,000 extra households plus employment developments were too much for Epping Forest district. They specifically rejected the proposal for 6,000 houses at North Weald and 2,700 to the South West of Harlow. District Councillors also believe that whatever the final number of houses allocated to the district, planning control should be retained by the Council and not transferred to a non-elected organisation such as an Urban Development Corporation.

Councillor Glozier said: We are not saying no to any development in the district. By our own assessment we know we need to find capacity for something like  3,000 new houses over the next 16 or so years. We are particularly concerned about the cost of housing and the need to provide affordable homes for young families and key workers such as nurses and teachers. We want to provide homes for these people.

He concluded: We are saying to the Government that we believe their assumptions about the needs and capacity of our district are wrong. They need to stop and rethink their whole strategy.

Residents demonstrated their opposition to the East of England Plan before listening to the debate in the Council meeting. Epping Forest District Council`s objections to the Plan were sent to the Regional Assembly before the deadline for submission of comments on 16 March.

The next main stage in the process will be an Examination in Public (EiP) starting on 13 September. A Panel of Inspectors will identify topics for consideration and may call local people and organisations to give evidence. The Government will expect to receive the recommendations of the Panel in early 2006.