Basildon woman guilty of housing fraud

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Housing, Media, Out and about, Performance, Private housing, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Uncategorized, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Fadimana Altinsoy of Basildon Essex was successfully prosecuted by Epping Forest District Council in March 2018 of three offences under the Fraud act 2006 and Money Laundering under the Proceeds of Crime act 2002.

Landscape

Change of plea

Initially pleading not guilty at Chelmsford Magistrates Court in February 2017, the Magistrates declined jurisdiction and transferred the matter to Chelmsford Crown Court.

Ms Altinsoy maintained her not guilty pleas at a number of hearings in that court but on the first day of a trial listed for six days in January 2018 she changed her pleas to guilty.

Fraudulent applications

The basis of the prosecution was when applying for Council housing in 2003 Fadimana Altinsoy had failed to declare her ownership of two properties jointly owned by herself and other relatives in Forest Gate London E7 and Grays in Essex RM17.

She was granted tenancy of a property in Copperfield Chigwell 22 January 2007, the following day she completed a further Housing Application form seeking a move from a flat to a house and again failed to state that she jointly owned the properties.

Had the Council been aware of her ownerships, she would not have been given the tenancy of the property at Copperfield Chigwell.

Home ownership grant

June 2010 Ms Altinsoy applied for a home ownership grant to assist her in purchasing a private property and again failed to reveal that she had an interest in two other properties.

Epping Forest District Council awarded Ms Altinsoy one of six available grants of £28,000 which she used to purchase a property in Basildon, SS13 in June 2011.

However having not been entitled to the tenancy of the property in Chigwell, she was  therefore not entitled to have received the home ownership grant.

Over £40,000 worth of fines

After the hearing in January Ms Altinsoy agreed to pay the sum of home ownership grant £28,000 back to the Council together with the prosecution costs of £12,500 before 5 March 2018 and a sentence hearing was fixed for 9th March 2018.

On that date she was given a 2 year suspended sentence, together with 200 hours unpaid work with a probation supervision order for 12 months.

Do you think someone is committing fraud?

Don’t let them get away with it. You can report it anonymously. You don’t have to give your name or contact details unless you want to.

Decisions from DDMC 28 March 2018

Written on . Posted in Building control, Business, Community, Democracy, Housing, Meetings, Our performance, Out and about, Planning, Private housing, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your money

Planning application decisions from the District Development Management Committee Wednesday 28 March 2018.

Decisions

  • EPF/2662/17 – Chigwell Library, Victory Hall and Chigwell Members Club, Hainault Road, Chigwell
    Permission refused

Planning application search

Celebration of grant aid success

Written on . Posted in Arts, Business, Chairman, Community, Democracy, Equalities, Grants, Health, Local business, Media, Older people, Our activities, Our performance, Out and about, Performance, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Supporting business, Uncategorized, Volunteering opportunities, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Recognising the valuable contribution the local community and voluntary sector does for the district was celebrated Friday 23 March at our grant aid celebration event.

Ongar In Bloom

Click to enlarge photo and then click to see more photos

Diverse mix of groups

A diverse mix of groups helping a wide spectrum of people across the District has received grants in the last year enabling them to continue their much needed and valuable work.

Vital and much needed services

Epping Forest District Council Chairman Councillor David Stallan said: “It’s so encouraging to see such a wide variety of groups receive these vital grants. This year we have given over £83,000 in grants and it’s great to see the improvements they are making within our communities.”

“The voluntary and community sectors do so much so for our District and its important their much needed hard work is recognised.”

“If you know of any local or community groups that could use our grant aid schemes help, get in contact today.”

Want to know more?

New exhibition opening Easter weekend

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Epping, Loughton, Media, Museum, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community

From itsy, bitsy bikinis to one-piece bathing suits.

The new exhibition at Epping Forest District Museum highlights the changes in style, design and inspirations of swimwear from the 1940s, 50s and 60s.

Beauty and the Beach exhibition at Epping Forest District Museum

  • Where: Epping Forest District Museum, 39-41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL
  • When: Saturday 31 March to Saturday 30 June 2018
  • Time: Monday to Wednesday and Friday 10am to 4pm, Saturday 10am to 5pm
  • Free entry

Events

Look out for the exciting events and activities we have to accompany this exhibition, including our very own beach at the museum.

Decisions from Plans South 21 March 2018

Written on . Posted in Building control, Business, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Councillors, Licensing, Local business, Media, Meetings, Our activities, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Planning, Private housing, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee South meeting Wednesday 21 March 2018.

Decisions

  • EPF/1012/17 – 12A Alderton Close, Loughton, Essex, IG10 3HQ
    Permission refused
  • EPF/2625/17 – 40 York Hill, Loughton, Essex, IG10 1HU
    Permission granted
  • EPF/2984/17 – 26 Murtwell Drive, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 5ED
    Permission granted
  • EPF/2989/17 – 35 Forest Lane, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 5AF
    Permission granted
  • EPF/3058/17 – 67 Newmans Lane, Loughton, Essex, IG10 1TN
    Permission granted
  • EPF/3264/17 – Grange Court, 72 High Road, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 6PT
    Permission granted
  • EPF/3275/17 – Grange Court, 72 High Road, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 6PT
    Permission granted
  • EPF/3436/17 – Cornerways, Turpins Lane, Chigwell, Essex, IG8 8BA
    Permission granted

Planning application search

Delay in submission of the Local Plan for Independent Examination

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Local plan / planning our future, Older people, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Submission of Epping Forest District Council’s Local Plan has been delayed following a Planning Court ruling on 20 March 2018.

The Court granted CK Properties Theydon Bois Limited (“CK Properties”) permission to apply for judicial review of the Council’s decision on 14 December 2017 to approve the Epping Forest District Local Plan Submission Version 2017 (“LPSV”) for publication and submission to the Secretary of State for independent examination.

CK Properties complains that its land to the east of Theydon Bois was not allocated for residential development in the LPSV and contends that it has been prejudiced by the unavailability of Appendix B to the Site Selection Report (Arup December 2017), during the Regulation 19 publication period.

The Court ordered that the Council be restrained from submitting the LPSV for independent examination until the final determination of the judicial review claim, or further order. The Court also ordered that the judicial review hearing can be expedited and it is listed for hearing on 23 and 24 May 2018 with a time estimate of 1½ days.

The Council will be contesting all the claims made and to be heard at the full hearing but the ruling means the Council cannot meet the agreed submission date of 31 March 2018.

Councillor John Philip, Planning Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council was disappointed by the Court decision but confident of the final outcome. He said; “It is frustrating but it is not the end of the road. We are ready to submit the Plan but circumstances outside our control have created this delay.”

Councillor Philip continued: “Fortunately, the Government’s deadline  extension means the case can be heard without compromising our position. When all the evidence is placed before the judge, we fully expect to win the review. We are still on target to agree 11,400 homes during the Local Plan period up to 2033.”

Countrycare Easter scavenger hunt 2018

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your home

Come to the Epping Forest District Council Countrycare Easter Scavenger Hunt on Wednesday 4 April 2018 11:00am to 13:00pm at Roughtalleys Wood, North Weald.

Booking is essential and costs just £3 per child.

Easter - countrycare

Come and try your hand at our wildlife riddles and quiz questions hidden in the wood and be in with a chance of winning some Easter treats!

Event details

Local heroes celebrated at awards evening

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chairman, Chigwell, Civic events, Community, Councillors, Epping, Health, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

The district’s most celebrated residents were recognised at the annual Epping Forest District Council Civic Awards Ceremony held at the Marriott Hotel in Waltham Abbey on Friday 16 March 2018.

Winners at the Civic Awards 2018

You make the world a better place

The glittering awards evening was hosted by the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor David Stallan.

Chairman David Stallan said: “Every year we dedicate an evening to celebrate Epping Forest’s residents achievements, successes and their unwavering dedication to the area and their communities. This year was no different.”

“To the winners and runners up, congratulations. It is people like you that make the world a better place. Thank you for your selflessness, generosity and compassion.”

In honour and celebration of the Youth Council’s 10th anniversary this year, serving and former Youth Councillors were asked to present each award to the winners.

Click on the award below for details

 

Citizens Advice sessions come to Ongar

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Media, Ongar, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your home

Citizens Advice Epping Forest District will now be running regular monthly outreach sessions from Chipping Ongar Library.

Following a successful pilot between October 2017 and February 2018, there has been a steady increase in the number of clients attending the sessions. The good feedback received highlighted the need for the service in the Ongar area.

Citizens Advice Epping Forest District Ongar sessions

Chipping Ongar Library is located at The Pleasance, High Street, Chipping Ongar, Ongar CM5 9AB (map).

An adviser will be available between 10am and 12 noon on every 3rd Tuesday of the month

  • 17 April
  • 15 May
  • 9 June
  • 17 July
  • 21 August
  • 18 September

Citizens advice provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to help people overcome a range of problems.

Most of the issues Citizens Advice Epping Forest District deal with fall broadly into money/debt, benefit, housing, family or employment problems. Whether you are facing a crisis, or just considering your options, come and see their friendly adviser for help to find a solution to your problem.

Contact Citizens Advice Epping Forest District

Visit the Citizens Advice Epping Forest District website

Call them on 03444 770 808

Landlord fined £21,575 for illegal HMO

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Councillors, Crime and safety, Environmental health, Epping, Licensing, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Private housing, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Epping Forest District Council successfully prosecuted and fined Mr Veli Bunul £21,575, when found operating an unlicensed house in multiple occupation (HMO) and breaching legislation designed to protect tenants.

HMO Licence

The Council was called to inspect a three storey family town house in Tillingham Court Waltham Abbey, found to be occupied by three separate families, each with young children, all sharing one kitchen and two bathrooms.

Potential tragedy

Housing 11 occupants, the property was overcrowded, had inadequate fire precautions or a safe means of escape in event of an emergency.

Basildon Magistrates court was particularly concerned about these failings which could have potentially led to lives being at risk and tragic circumstances.

The Court heard that Mr Bunul of Chase Side, London E14 had ignored all of Epping Forest District Council’s warnings about his responsibilities to licence the property and his obligation to make it safe.

He alleged he was unaware that the property was being occupied by several families, claiming someone else collected the rent on his behalf. The court did not find this a reasonable excuse and so carried his conviction alongside a hefty fine.

Zero tolerance

Housing Portfolio Holder, Councillor Syd Stavrou said, “We will not tolerate landlords who rent properties which fail to meet standards.  The Council has a commitment to ensure that private landlords in the Epping Forest district do not take financial advantage of vulnerable tenants and put their lives at risk.  We will not hesitate to prosecute landlords who show a disregard for the law and their responsibilities towards occupants”.

New licensing rules

The Government are bringing in an extension to the  current licensing regime. From 1 April 2018, any property with five or more people from two or more households will require a licence regardless of how many floors there are in the property.

Landlords must comply with licence conditions to ensure properties are safe for the amount of people occupying them. In addition, minimum space requirements are to be imposed to prevent exploitation by overcrowding.

Advice to Landlords

Landlords that currently operate a licensable HMO in Epping Forest District (3 or more storeys, occupied by 5 or more people living as 2 or more households) but do not currently hold a licence should contact the Council’s Private Sector Housing Team immediately to avoid prosecution.

Anyone operating such an HMO without the appropriate licence is committing an offence, risks a criminal record and an unlimited fine on summary conviction.

Other landlords operating or thinking of operating an HMO that will fall under the new licensing regime from 1 April 2018 are encouraged to contact the Private Sector Housing Team for further information and advice.

Advice to tenants

If you think you may be living in a property that requires a licence and one is not displayed in the property, or you are concerned about the property conditions, please contact the Private Sector Housing team on the details below.

Contact