Cabinet 15 June 2017

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Cabinet meeting on 15 June 2017 discussed local plan, homelessness and shopping park.

View the webcast

Shopping Park 

Next (including a Costa Coffee), TK Max, Aldi, Hobbycraft, Pets at Home and Smyths Toys have been confirmed among the tenants of the new Epping Forest Shopping Park. Councillor Anne Grigg made the announcement at the meeting of Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet on 15 June. Construction of the retail units is nearing completion with the supporting highway improvements due to finish in August. The Council expects handover on 19 June with the start of shop fitting starting a week later. The park will also set high green transport standards in Essex with 10 electric charging points.

Local Plan Implementation

Proposed masterplans covering areas in Epping, Waltham Abbey, Loughton, North Weald, Ongar, Chigwell and sites around Harlow will be produced as Epping Forest District Council works towards the implementation of the new Local Plan. The need for strategic masterplans to ensure development and infrastructure requirements across groups of sites in the same area was outlined in a report presented by Planning Portfolio Holder John Philip.

Infrastructure 

Councillor Philip explained that it was necessary to show the government-appointed inspector that the Council is taking steps to ensure that growth can be delivered in a coordinated way with necessary infrastructure provided. He emphasised that this does not mean any sites will definitely be in or out of the final Local Plan or that planning approvals have been decided or approved. No definitive decisions have as yet been taken on which sites will be included in the final draft of the Local Plan.

Councillors should be involved early without being predisposed to deciding planning applications. None of the work proposed in the report committed councillors to approving individual sites or applications.

Homelessness

Cabinet approved proposals to allocate the Homelessness Support Grant. Councillors supported the recommendations by Housing Portfolio Holder Syd Stavrou to allocate £60,000 to Genesis Housing Association to provide private sector accommodation, and £29,000 to the young parents scheme at Railway Meadow in Ongar. Further allocations will be made as additional reports come to Cabinet. 

Superfast Broadband 

Reports on the extension of superfast broadband and free wifi in town centres put forward by Technology Portfolio Holder Alan Lion were supported by Cabinet colleagues.

Get in, go far with our apprenticeship scheme

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Jobs, Local business, Media, Residents, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

We’re looking for young people from the Epping Forest district to join our apprenticeship scheme.

Our scheme offers anyone between the ages of 16-18 a fantastic opportunity to earn while they learn and gain valuable qualification and skills.

Join our apprenticeship scheme

Click on an image below to start slideshow

 

Join our apprenticeship scheme

You must

  • Live in the Epping Forest District
  • Be aged 16-18
  • Have or be expecting grades A-C in Math’s, English and ICT

Last year’s apprentices

  • All passed their qualifications
  • 6 achieved permanent employment
  • 2 moved on after we helped them to find employment in other organisations
  • 1 of our apprentices won Epping Forest apprentice of the year in the Yes partnership awards

How to apply

To apply, send your CV (including expected GCSE grades and where you saw the opportunity advertised) to ESU.InterventionWest@essex.gov.uk

If you are interested and want further information contact Essex Employment & Skills Team on 03330 138962.

Young people are the future

Leader of Epping Forest District Council Councillor Chris Whitbread said:  “Apprenticeships can help develop the skills and knowledge needed in someone’s career. They can be especially beneficial for young people who have little or no experience of the workplace“

“I am very pleased that Epping Forest District Council is able to offer these apprenticeship posts. Young people are the future and I am delighted that this council is able to invest in them.  We are a small council but provide a wide range of services, so there are a number of varied and interesting opportunities here.  I would urge anyone who has finished school or college this summer and not sure of their next step to find out more about joining our apprenticeship scheme.”

Social media story wrong

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Housing, Housing repairs, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

A social media story about tenants trashing a council house in Waltham Abbey that went viral with 700,000 views in two days was wrong. Epping Forest District Council is publicising details of what actually happened to set people’s minds at rest.

Vacant property

The property is actually vacant, the former tenant having recently passed away. The Council got the keys back at the beginning of the month and contractors were clearing it out ready for refurbishment as part of routine maintenance and upgrade before re-letting.

Mistaken assumption

Councillor Syd Stavrou, Housing Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council said: “Councillors became aware of a social media storm over the weekend. A very strongly worded video showing old appliances, bath, sink and other rubbish piled in the back garden was being shared very widely. It was based on the completely mistaken assumption that new tenants had moved into the house and were ripping it apart. Blame was being attached to ‘foreign’ tenants with comments about people from other countries being put before local people.”

Working hard

“In fact, the contractor clearing the house did not speak good English, leading to some confusion. However, they were actually working extremely hard to ensure the house was ready for the old fixtures and fittings to be cleared away on Monday, ready for work on the refurbishment to start with the minimum of delay.”

Must live in district for 5 years

“The Council’s housing policy says council housing applicants must have been resident in the district for a minimum of 5 years. Once the house has been refurbished, it will be let to a family in need of a new home on our housing waiting list.”

The power of social media

Councillor Stavrou, continued: “I am sorry for all the anxiety and inconvenience this has caused. These kinds of works are routine and usually cause no trouble. However, this instance shows how powerful social media can be and how careful people need to be before leaping to conclusions. We can all take lessons from it.”

Concerned? Contact the council

”I have asked our contractor to apologise to the neighbours. I will ask our contractors in future to post an explanatory card through the letter boxes of neighbouring residents before carrying out this type of work, and hopefully, next time residents have concerns, they will ring us first, before such misleading messages go viral.”

Timeline of events

1 June – The Council received the empty property keys.
2 June – The Council’s contractor inspected the property.
5 June – Asbestos report (always required before refurbishment work) requested.
9 June – AM Asbestos report received.
9 June – PM Contractors go in.

  • This property had lots of the former tenant’s (deceased) household items to be removed before refurbishment work could start.
  • Items including the bath, basin and WC are being removed and renewed.
  • Items placed in garden for collection via back gate.

12 June – Garden scheduled to be cleared today (Monday 12 June).

  • The garden will be returned to its existing condition on completion of the refurbishment.
  • Photographs are taken before work starts to make sure the house and garden are returned a good standard at the end of the refurbishment.

23 June – Planned completion date.
26 June – Inspection and return of keys for re-letting.

Switch engines off for National Clean Air Day

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Environmental health, Epping, Health, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Epping Forest District Council’s Environmental Health officers will visit selected schools in the district to promote the first National Clean Air Day on 15 June 2017, hoping to encourage parents to switch off car engines whilst they wait for their children.

One million people tackling air pollution together

Click on an image below to begin slideshow

Potential health impact

Recently much attention has been given to the quality of the UKs air, especially within urban areas and the potential health impacts that may result from breathing in polluted air.

Small changes

National Clean Air Day provides a excellent platform to raise awareness of the impacts of poor air quality and to promote small changes to lifestyle that will reduce exposure to pollution.

Focus on idle vehicles

The focus of this years campaign is around idling vehicles, especially in and around schools.  Parents are being asked to turn their engines off when delivering and picking up their children from school.

Children are vulnerable

Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of pollution, and it is hoped that parents will also consider the impacts of idling engines on the residents that live close to their child’s school.

Sustainable travel

Schools are being provided with information to increase the numbers of children that travel to school by sustainable methods, such as on foot, cycling, electric vehicles, or public transport.

40,000 deaths per year

Polluted air is thought to contribute to 40,000 deaths every year in the UK, and is responsible for the worsening of respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma.

Air pollution increases the risk of getting lung cancer, contributing to 1 in 13 cases, and exposure over a long period of time is linked to cardiovascular disease. Premature births, and low birth weights are linked to air pollution which also affects a baby’s lung development early in life too.

What can you do?

We are asking you to pledge to do one or all of the following on 15 June 2017

  • Leave your car at home – walk or cycle instead
  • Switch your engine off instead of idling
  • Walk your children to school
  • Share tips to cut air pollution with others

Further information

Loughton Luxe licence reviewed

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Crime and safety, Emergencies, Licensing, Loughton, Media, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council

Following a number of violent incidents linked to Luxe in Loughton, Essex Police asked Epping Forest District Council for a full review of their licence after it was temporarily suspended on 5 May 2017.

Suspended for 3 months

Councillors on the licensing sub-committee met on 30 May 2017 and agreed that all licensable activities should be suspended for the next 3 months.

Reopening as a Gastro Pub

The licence holders of Luxe in Loughton informed the committee they would be reopening the venue as a Gastro Pub and renaming it the Royal Standard. Following the suspension, licencing hours would be reduced to close at 11pm on Sundays to Thursdays, and a midnight close on Fridays and Saturdays.

The licence holders agreed to hold regular community liaison committees with local residents should they need to report any concerns about the venue.

Essex Police Bank Holiday advice

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Crime and safety, Epping, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Residents and visitors to the county are advised they may see armed officers patrolling in places they may not usually.

Bank Holiday weekend

This Bank Holiday weekend is set to be hot and sunny and thousands of people will be out enjoying our countryside and coast.

Armed and specialist police

The move to have armed and specialist police officers patrolling ports, airports, railway stations as well as in places where people gather in crowds like seaside towns is as a response to the national threat level being raised to critical.

”Enjoy yourself, don’t change plans”

Chief Superintendent Ewen Wilson said: “My message to people this Bank Holiday is please enjoy yourselves this weekend and don’t change your plans.

Don’t be alarmed

“You may well see armed police officers and other specialist units this weekend. Please don’t be alarmed if you see them. It doesn’t mean they’re responding to a specific threat and there is no intelligence on any threat with an Essex link.

Say hello!

“Police officers with guns can look unusual, but please come and talk to us. Say hello, introduce yourself. We are asking officers to work long hours keeping Essex safe and a hello and a smile will top up our energy levels.”

Extra security checks

Anyone travelling or attending an event this weekend may need to allow some more time if there are extra security checks at those events.

Further information

Technical issues with payment services

Written on . Posted in Benefits, Buckhurst Hill, Business, Business rates, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Updated information 26 May 2017 – 1pm

The automated telephone payment service is now working again and all services are now working as normal.

Thank you for your patience and sorry for any inconvenience this has caused you.

Updated information 26 May 2017 – 10am

Great news! Card payment services are now available online and on-site.

We are still experiencing issues with our automated telephone payment service, so this is unavailable at present.

Our systems are being monitored closely by our supplier and we will continue to provide updates on our website as soon as they become available.

Thank you again for your continued patience, we are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused you.

Original message 25 May 2017 – 2pm

We are currently experiencing technical issues with our payment services.

Self serve online

We are unable to accept card payments

  • over the phone, including through our automated payment line
  • at our kiosks in Epping, Loughton Broadway, Limes centre Chigwell or Waltham Abbey Library
  • the online payment system

They’re working on it

Our supplier is working hard to resolve the issue as soon as possible and we will update the website as soon as service resumes.

Cash or cheque

If you need to make a payment, we are only able to accept cash or cheque payments at Civic offices in Epping High Street and at the Loughton Broadway office.

Thank you

Thank you for your patience at this time, we apologise for any inconvenience this has caused you.

Disruption to phones affects council

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Emergencies, Local business, Media, Museum, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council

Updated information 11:30am

The telephone system issue has now been resolved and you will now be able to get through.

Thank you for your patience whilst we dealt with this issue.

Original message 10:30am

Cable damage affecting 36 exchanges across London and Essex has cut off most of Epping Forest District Council’s phones. Problems emerged yesterday but have increased this morning on 17 May 2017.

The problems are wide-spread but mainly affecting business customers. Private phones are largely unaffected.

Phone disruption

Virgin Media and Talk Talk

Virgin Media and Talk Talk are issuing frequent information updates.

More information can be found at https://managed.mytalktalkbusiness.co.uk/network-status-report.php?reportid=13518

Contact us

Customers calling Epping Forest District Council for non-emergency issues are being put through to voicemail and asked to leave a message.

Alternatively, customers can email ContactUs@eppingforestdc.gov.uk.

We apologise for the inconvenience

A spokesperson for Epping Forest District Council apologised for the inconvenience. He said: “The problems started yesterday but seem to have become worse overnight. Many organisations right across North London and Essex are affected.”

We apologise for the inconvenience but hope our customers will understand and bear with us while these issues for Virgin Media and Talk Talk outside our control are resolved.”

The spokesperson added: “Emergency calls are being redirected to our partner Mears and still being answered.”

Join Lifewalks this #NationalWalkingMonth

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

Looking to get fit, get out in the fresh air or make new friends? Perhaps walking is the answer!

Find out by joining our Lifewalks group this #NationalWalkingMonth and even better, get your first walk for free!

Life walks 2017 to 2018

Download brochure (PDF 3.68MB)

May is #NationalWalkingMonth

May 2017 is national walking month, so there has never been a better time to get into your walking boots and join us!

Everyone can do it

Walking is fun, cheap and a form of exercise everyone can do.

Every week we offer a choice of five group walks, led by specially trained staff and volunteers.

Reduce the risk

Walking 3 times a week can reduce your risk of

  • Having a stroke by up to 60%
  • Developing heart disease by up to 50%
  • Developing diabetes by up to 50%
  • Developing arthritis by up to 20%

All of the walks are around the local countryside and mostly on firm paths. Walks range from 0.8 miles – 3 miles and are graded A to E – A being easier terrain than those graded E.

Pay per walk

  • Just turn up!
  • £2 per walk (please bring exact money)
  • The walk leader will collect your fee when you arrive

Privilege Card

  • £30 for 6 months
  • £58 for a year
  • Go on all of the walks
  • Pay online
  • Pay over the phone 01992 564226
  • Allow 5 days for your privilege card to arrive

Walk and get social

We have three exciting new routes this year and several new social events for your diaries, including

  • Dawn chorus walk Sunday 7 may 2017
  • Lifewalks and Countrycare in Chipping Ongar Friday 23 June 2017
  • Moth and bat night Friday 11 August 2017
  • Fungi walk Saturday 21 October 2017
  • Walk, talk, guided tour and lunch in Waltham Abbey Monday 2 October 2017
  • Take your pic walks various dates
  • Lifewalks Christmas lunch Monday 11 December 2017

Please see the brochure (PDF 3.68MB) for further details about these events

Further information

  • 01992 564222
  • kmurray@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Testimonials

  • ”I enjoy Lifewalks and believe they are keeping me alive and healthy” Sue
  • ”I do it to keep my type 2 diabetes at bay!” Joan
  • ”I find that walking improves my physical and mental wellbeing” Erica
  • ”Lifewalks are important to me for my health and fitness, but they’re also good fun! Nice places and nice people!” Helen
  • ”In the 40’s, 50’s we all walked to school, shops and stations…These days everything is against us getting very necessary exercise, Lifewalks are a very easy way of correcting this problem” David

Planning application validation list consultation

Written on . Posted in Building control, Business, Commercial properties, Community, Consultation, Local business, Media, Out and about, Planning, Private housing, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Tell us what you think about our revised planning application local validation list.

We are consulting on revisions to the validation list of local information requirements. This now includes the addition of a guidance note on the submission of viability and financial appraisals for affordable housing.

Planning application local validation list consultation

What is the local validation list?

The local validation list identifies information required to register, assess and validate a planning application. We are asking any person or organization with an interest in or involvement with planning applications submitted to Epping Forest District Council to respond.

The previous validation list was produced in 2015 and we are required to review it every 2 years.

Consultation documents

How to respond

The consultation is open for 6 weeks from 21 April until 30 June 2017 – send us your comments by