Check hygiene ratings this Food Safety Week

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As part of National Food Safety Week (4 – 10 June 2018), Epping Forest District Council has partnered with the Food Standards Agency, to shine a light on food safety and the team working to help ensure that the food we buy and eat is safe and honest.

Public Health team

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We love our food, there’s simply no denying it. In fact, as a nation, we spent over £203 billion on food and drink last year alone. But the safety of our food is often something we take for granted. There are a whole host of people that work to keep food safe. The Council has a team of dedicated Environmental Health Officers whose job it is to inspect local food businesses to ensure hygiene standards are up to scratch.

The Rating Scheme

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme helps people choose where to shop for food and where to eat out by giving them clear information about the businesses’ hygiene standards.

Find the sticker

There are six hygiene ratings ranging from ‘0 – urgent improvement required’ to ‘5 – very good’. Businesses are given green and black stickers for display at their premises and all ratings are published online, so people can make more informed choices about where to buy and eat food. The vast majority of food businesses in and around Epping Forest are ranked generally satisfactory, good or very good.

80% rated 3 or above

80% of businesses inspected in Epping Forest received a food hygiene rating of 3 or above, under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. The scheme covers businesses supplying or serving food direct to consumers such as restaurants, pubs, cafés, takeaways, food vans or stalls, canteens, hotels, supermarkets, schools, hospitals and care homes.

Dedicated and hard working team

Epping Forest District Council’s Environment Portfolio Holder Councillor Nigel Avey said: “We have a dedicated team that work hard to ensure that food is safe in Epping Forest so that residents and visitors can dine out with peace of mind. Research shows that food hygiene when eating out is the UK’s number one food safety concern so we are really pleased that the majority of our local food businesses hold a rating of 3 or above.”

Angela Towers, Head of the Food Hygiene Rating Team at the Food Standards Agency said: “Working in partnership with Epping Forest District Council and their expert Environmental Health Officers we are dedicated to ensuring that people can trust that the food they buy and eat is safe and honest. Our Food Hygiene Rating Scheme empowers the public to make informed decisions about where to buy and eat food, it’s also proved hugely effective in driving up standards in food businesses across the country”.

Further information

Keep your kids entertained this summer

Written on . Posted in Arts, Business, Community, Health, Media, Museum, North Weald Airfield, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our performance, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Uncategorized, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Need ideas for kids activities this summer? Look no further and see what we have planned for the summer holidays.

Sport, art, adventure, play, music, gardening, textiles and more – whatever your children’s interests, we have something for everyone.

Book now

Our activities run from Monday 23 July to Friday 31 August 2018 for children of all ages, abilities and interests.

Don’t wait for our activities to sell out – book now and keep your kids entertained this summer.

or call our telephone booking line 01992 564226 Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm.

What’s on?

Turn your engines off for Clean Air Day

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

Epping Forest District Council’s main focus for Clean Air Day on 21 June 2018, is to help reduce air pollution by tackling idling vehicles, particularly outside schools.

clean air day

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Risk of hefty fines

Epping Forest District Council has adopted legislation to deal with idling cars. It is now an offence to withhold information or fail to switch off your engine if requested by an authorized officer. You could be taken to court, convicted and fined up to £1,000.  Alternatively, an on the spot fixed penalty notice of £20 can be issued by authorised officers.

Air pollution

Leaving engines running while stationary is a significant source of air pollution. Combating this is particularly important in locations where there are high numbers of idling vehicle engines, such as outside schools and hospitals. Not only is idling harmful to the environment but it can be harmful to the vehicle itself and your pocket – as it wastes fuel.

Modern cars no longer need to be warmed up in advance and the act of restarting the engine does not cause damage to the vehicles as it used to with older models. In fact, it can do more damage to keep a stationary vehicle idling than to switch off the engine.

Linked health issues

There are several health issues linked with poor air pollution including:

  • Increased respiratory conditions such as Asthma, coughs and bronchitis
  • Reduced birth weight of babies and premature births
  • Links to Lung Cancer
  • Increased risk of death from cardiac and respiratory issues
  • Possible links to incidence of Dementia, Type 2 Diabetes and Bladder Cancer

Small changes

Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Nigel Avey said: “Turning off your engine when stationary is just one of the small changes that can be made to help improve poor air quality. Thursday 21 June sees the return of Global Action Plan’s “Clean Air Day” which the Council are supporting to help increase awareness and reduce air pollution.”

“We have provided local schools with toolkits and promotional materials to help them plan their own Clean Air Day events and on the day Enforcement Officers will be in place at some school gates, to help educate those who still have their engines running while waiting for their children.”

What can I do?

Some of the other small changes you can make to improve air quality include

  • Use your feet! Leave your car at home and walk! Stick to routes away from main roads and boost your steps
  • Use public transport. If it’s too far to walk, go by bus or tube – try alternative methods
  • Car share. Is there anyone you can share your journey with?
  • Maintain your car. Having well inflated tyres and an empty boot helps use less fuel
  • Getting a new car soon? Look into alternative options such as hybrid, electric or LPG

Further information

If you would like more information on Clean Air Day and how you can be involved

Have your say on rural crime

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Crime and safety, Epping, Loughton, Ongar, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your environment, Your home

Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, is urging people to have their say and take part in a national survey which helps to paint a picture of rural crime nationally and locally.

Rural crime survey

It has been three years since the last National Rural Crime Survey revealed the huge cost of crime to rural communities – both financial, at £800 million per year, and fear, with chronic under-reporting, anger and frustration at the police and government.

Steps taken to improve

The National Rural Crime Network produced a series of recommendations and, in many areas, the police took steps to improve matters. Essex has been one of the few forces in the country to introduce a dedicated rural team to work with communities to tackle specific rural issues. Essex Police along with partners also launched the Rural Crime Strategy in 2017.

Have your say

Safer, Greener & Transport Portfolio Holder, Councillor Sam Kane explained: “If you have an opinion about policing locally and want to have your say, now is the perfect time. Complete the survey before Sunday 10 June 2018.”

What has changed?

Roger Hirst said: “Now we want to know what’s changed. Do you think rural crime has gone up or down in Essex? Do you feel safer? What’s your view of the police in your community? In short, we want to know the true picture of crime and anti-social behaviour in rural communities across Essex – and the impact it has where you live or work.”

The survey is now available at www.nationalruralcrimenetwork.net and is open for submissions until Sunday 10 June 2018.

Decisions from Plans South 30 May 2018

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Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee South meeting Wednesday 30 May 2018.

Decisions

  • EPF/1608/17 – Forest Place, Roebuck Lane, Buckhurst Hill, IG9 5QL
    Permission refused
  • EPF/2885/17 – 39 Traps Hill, Loughton, IG10 1SZ
    Permission refused
  • EPF/3512/17 – Land to the rear of 33-37, Hillyfields, Loughton, IG10 2PT
    Permission refused
  • EPF/0193/18 – 19 Cranleigh Gardens, Loughton, IG10 3DD
    Permission granted
  • EPF/0199/18 – Royal Oak, Forest Road, Loughton, IG10 1EG
    Permission granted
  • EPF/0287/18 – 51 High Road, Loughton, IG10 4JE
    Permission granted
  • EPF/0339/18 – 2 Gladstone Road, Buckhurst Hill, IG9 5SW
    Permission refused
  • EPF/0471/18 – 38 High Beech Road, Loughton, IG10 4BL
    Permission refused
  • EPF/0486/18 – 53 Queens Road, Buckhurst Hill, IG9 6DN
    Permission granted
  • EPF/0487/18 – 53 Queens Road, Buckhurst Hill, IG9 6DN
    Permission granted

Planning application search

Annual Council 24 May 2018

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chairman, Chigwell, Civic events, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Elections, Epping, Leader, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

Councillor Richard Bassett is the new Chairman of Epping Forest District Council.

His appointment follows the retirement of David Stallan. Councillor Ricki Gadsby is the Council’s new Vice-Chairman. Following the retirement of Will Breare-Hall at the local elections, Council Leader Chris Whitbread has added Councillor Nigel Avey to his Cabinet.

Chairman Cllr Richard Bassett

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Cabinet appointments

  • Leader – Councillor Chris Whitbread
  • Assets & Economic Development – Councillor Anne Grigg
  • Environment – Councillor Nigel Avey
  • Finance – Councillor Gagan Mohindra
  • Planning & Governance – Councillor John Philip
  • Housing and Deputy Leader of Council – Councillor Syd Stavrou
  • Leisure & Community Services – Councillor Helen Kane
  • Safer, Greener & Transport – Councillor Sam Kane
  • Technology & Support Services – Councillor Alan Lion

‘What a year and what an experience’

In his closing speech to councillors, David Stallan said that he would not have missed his year as chairman for the world! Among the ‘standout’ moments of his year, Dave listed teeing off at Chairman’s Charity Golf Day, his ‘visit’ to the gym, a steam train footplate, aircraft simulator, sports events the Petanque trophy wrestled back – all in fun – two Chinese delegations, the Ongar Festival, many arts events and working with the Youth Council. As Chairman, Dave learned that a few hundred pounds can make a massive difference. Through generosity of others he raised £5,500 for local charities and Diabetes UK.

It was Dave’s sad duty to announce the passing of 11 current and former councillors during his year. Concluding with thanks to his family he noted not only ‘two great women behind me – daughter Amy and wife Sue, but also a third Pat Seager, the Chairman’s Secretary.

Praise for David Stallan

Chris Whitbread led thanks to David Stallan. During a tough year including meetings on the Local Plan, Councillor Whitbread described Dave Stallan as first class, handling himself so well as he travelled across the district by being himself and being such a ‘nice guy’.

Councillor Whitbread said: “A good chairman brings the whole council together – you had a brilliant year – thank you”.

Councillors Stephen Murray, Caroline Pond, Anne Grigg, Jon Whitehouse and Stephen Neville echoed Chris Whitbread’s words – thanking David Stallan for a brilliant year.

Communities Director Alan Hall thanked Dave Stallan on behalf of the staff recalling their years working closely together on council housing and Dave’s support for council staff.

In one of his first presentations as Chairman, Councillor Richard Bassett also had great please in presenting Dave Stallan with a long service medal for 19 years representing the residents of North Weald.

New Chairman

Richard Bassett’s nomination for Chairman was proposed by Councillor Mary Sartin. Councillor Bassett took on his first cabinet role in 2010 before accepting the role of vice-chairman last year. As a former Chairman, councillor Sartin assured Councillor Bassett that he would meet many wonderful people over the coming year.

Thanking fellow councillors for bestowing the honour of Chairman on him, Councillor Bassett particularly singled out Dave Stallan for his support over the year. Councillor Bassett is making small business his theme for the year. He will undertake to get out and meet as many businesses as possible.

As a trustee of Epping Forest Community Transport, Councillor Bassett also wants to raise its profile along with young people’s sports groups during his year as Chairman.

Key appointments

Other key appointments at Annual Council included:

  • Chairman Plans Sub Committee East– Councillor Paul Keska
  • Chairman Plans Sub Committee West– Councillor Liz Webster
  • Chairman Plans Sub Committee South – Councillor Darshan Sunger
  • Chairman District Development Management Committee – Councillor Brian Sandler
  • Chairman Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Councillor Mary Sartin

Council remembers Elizabeth Downes

Tributes were paid to former Nazeing ward councillor Elizabeth Downes who passed away on 7 May. As a fellow councillor from Nazeing, Richard Bassett shared some thoughts on his predecessor, remembered by local residents as a lovely lady.

Shared accommodation standards survey

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If you live in, manage or own shared accommodation, let us know what you think of our proposed Essex-wide amenity standards. This covers bedroom sizes and living space, kitchen and bathroom facilities, number of toilets and other amenities like heating and washing and drying facilities.

Essex HMO consultation

Take the survey

The survey should only take 10 minutes and will close on 19 June 2018.

Landlords and tenants – tell us your views

“It’s really important that both landlords and tenants tell us their views” said Councillor Syd Stavrou, Deputy Leader and Housing Portfolio Holder. “If landlords don’t respond they risk having standards imposed on them that they don’t like and which may be costly. Equally for tenants this is their opportunity to let us know what they would reasonably expect when living in shared accommodation.”

Councillor Syd Stavrou ended by asking landlords and tenants to complete the survey: “It only takes 10 minutes to complete and closes on 19 June 2018, this is your chance to help us better understand your views.”

Clear space and amenity standards

Essex Councils want to ensure that clear space and amenity standards for HMOs are in place across Essex so that landlords and tenants know what is expected.

Please have your say as we seek to ensure that HMOs are safe, suitable and well-managed.

Council 24 April 18 – Freedom of the District – RAF 100 anniversary celebrations

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chairman, Chigwell, Civic events, Community, Consultation, Councillors, Democracy, Epping, Loughton, Meetings, North Weald Airfield, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

The ‘red carpet’ was rolled out for the Royal Air Force when the ‘Freedom of Epping Forest District’ was conferred on 56 Squadron. Wing Commander Matt Fleckney, Officer Commanding 56 Squadron, witnessed the sealing of the ‘Freedom’ with Council Chairman, Councillor David Stallan at a special meeting of Epping Forest District Council to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the RAF on 1 April 1918.

RAF, ATC, North Weald Operations and Airfield Historian Arthur Moreton

(Click on an image to start the slideshow)

The meeting unanimously passed the motion proposed by Councillor Brian Rolfe and seconded by Councillor Anne Grigg.

“That, in the year of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918, this Council reaffirms its commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant and the bonds of friendship between our Armed Forces and the people of Epping Forest District through the conferral of the Freedom of the District on 56 Squadron – the Royal Air Force”.

The District and the RAF

Epping Forest District has a long and profound relationship with the RAF. The associations stretch back as early as 1916, when the fledgling Royal Flying Corps first arrived at North Weald.

By the end of World War II, the district had three airfields at North Weald, Stapleford Abbotts and Willingale. Blake Hall had become a centre of RAF operations while RAF Chigwell – known as the ‘Balloon Site’ for its barrage balloons also became an intelligence centre. In Nazeing a dummy airfield was created in to draw enemy bombers away from their real targets.

Norwegian connections

North Weald also became an important focus of Norwegian national resistance. Escaping the invasion of their homeland, Norwegian pilots flying Spitfires under the colours of the RAF became some of the most successful squadrons of WWII.

Squadron 56

However, 56 Squadron has by far the longest relationship with the District. Based at North Weald from 1927 until 1941, 56 Squadron’s honors include Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain. The 56 Squadron Standard is displayed in St Andrew’s Church, North Weald.

Personal accounts and tributes

Before opening the debate to Councillors, Councillor Stallan broke with convention by asking the Council’s Director of Communities, Alan Hall to read a personal statement. Alan Hall, spoke with pride of his father, Sergeant Bill Hall, an instrument maker who worked on the Hurricanes of 56 Squadron at North Weald. In later years, Bill Hall left no doubt of his affection for the ‘Fighting 56’ frequently reminding his family how it was his job to turn on the light at the top of St Andrew’s Church tower to guide the pilots safely back the base after dark.

Councillors spoke with emotion. An RAF veteran in his own right, Councillor Rolfe led the calls for the ‘Freedom’ to be conferred. Councillor Stephen Murray spoke of the military traditions of his own family and the insight he had received through his brother’s RAF service.

Councillor Chris Pond described the history of a previous owner of his house in Loughton – a young RAF officer shot down and killed in defence of his country. Councillor Anne Grigg joined Councillor Murray is speaking of the proud record of 56 Squadron and it’s sad distinction of being the first RAF squadron to lose a pilot – killed in action – in World War II.

Councillor Jon Whitehouse spoke of joining the Chairman only a few days previously to rededicate a war memorial, counting the cost of war and what we ask members of the armed services to do.

Perhaps the most moving contribution from Councillor Syd Stavrou described the loss of the father she never knew – part of a Lancaster crew, shot down and killed in Germany months before she was born.

Freedom accepted

Wing Commander Matt Fleckney was joined in the Council Chamber by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Essex Michael Chapman and officers of 56 Squadron. He took great pleasure in accepting the Freedom of the District. Describing North Weald as the ‘Spiritual Home’ of 56 Squadron, the Wing Commander also reflecting on the RAF’s wider connections across the district, the ‘finest hour’ in the sky above, the jet age and some of the brave people who did not return.

56 Squadron will exercise the Freedom of the District with a parade from North Weald Village Hall to the Airfield Gate Guardian on Sunday 10 June.

Other business

In keeping with protocol, the agreement to confer the Freedom of the District concluded the business of the extraordinary meeting of Full Council. Following a short break, the second meeting of the evening convened at 8pm with a minutes silence to remember former councillors Ron Braybrook and Peter Riley, plus Peter Adams, an independent member of the Standards Committee since December 2012.

Portfolio Holders answered questions on a range of subjects including:

  • Lorry parking in Waltham Abbey
  • Food banks
  • Progress towards the redevelopment of the St John’s Road area of Epping
  • The Local Plan
  • Pollution caused by stationary cars with idling engines
  • Recycling (Epping Forest District Council’s domestic recycling is the 22 highest of all 350 English councils)
  • Additional council funded police officers due to begin work in June
  • The completion of a £1.1million refurbishment of Epping Sports Centre and plans to provide even better sports facilities for residents in the future
  • Epping Forest Shopping Park, the Broadway and its new Landmark Building
  • Sport and Leisure Centre water quality at Loughton and Ongar
  • Council House building programme
  • Electoral Review
  • The Restore charity
  • Waltham Abbey’s new leisure centre due for completion in November
  • Reduced price home composting bins
  • Voluntary Action Epping Forest

Comments wanted for Chigwell Neighbourhood Plan

Written on . Posted in Business, Chigwell, Community, Consultation, Local plan / planning our future, Media, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

The Council is publicising the submission version of the Chigwell Neighbourhood Plan and are are seeking comments from residents, business and other interest stakeholders on the Plan and supporting documents.

The publication period is from 12 noon on Tuesday 15 May to 4pm on Tuesday 26 June 2018.

Representations

All representations received regarding the plan proposal will be forwarded to an appointed examiner, who will assess the plan proposal and supporting documents against the basic conditions set out in national policy.

The 7 basic conditions that a neighbourhood plan / neighbourhood development order must meet are

  1. having regard to national policies and advice contained in guidance issued by the Secretary of State it is appropriate to make the order (or neighbourhood plan)
  2. having special regard to the desirability of preserving any listed building or its setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest that it possesses, it is appropriate to make the order. This applies only to Orders
  3. having special regard to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of any conservation area, it is appropriate to make the order. This applies only to Orders
  4. the making of the order (or neighbourhood plan) contributes to the achievement of sustainable development.
  5. the making of the order (or neighbourhood plan) is in general conformity with the strategic policies contained in the development plan for the area of the authority (or any part of that area)
  6. the making of the order (or neighbourhood plan) does not breach, and is otherwise compatible with EU obligations
  7. prescribed conditions are met in relation to the Order (or plan) and prescribed matters have been complied with in connection with the proposal for the order (or neighbourhood plan)

How to make a representation

For more details and how to make a representation please visit the Chigwell Neighbourhood Plan Regulation 16 publication and examination page on the Council’s website at

Decisions from Plans South 25 April 2018

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Building control, Business, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Consultation, Councillors, Democracy, Housing, Local business, Loughton, Meetings, Our activities, Out and about, Planning, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee South meeting Wednesday 25 April 2018.

Decisions

  • EPF/2315/17 – 49 Manor Road, Chigwell, IG7 5PL
    GRANTED
  • EPF/0319/18 – 52 & 54 Palmerston Road, Buckhurst Hill, IG9 5LH
    GRANTED
  • EPF/2758/17 – 12 High Elms, Chigwell, IG7 5PN
    DEFERRED
  • EPF/3177/17 – 105 Manor Road, Chigwell, IG7 5PM
    REFUSED
  • EPF/3210/17 – Former Delivery Office, 256 High Road, Loughton, IG10 1RB
    GRANTED
  • EPF/0201/18 – 1 Brook Parade, Chigwell, IG7 6PD
    GRANTED
  • EPF/0206/18 – 25 Felstead Road, Loughton, IG10 3BB
    GRANTED
  • EPF/0330/18 – 157 Manor Road, Chigwell, IG7 5QA
    GRANTED
  • EPF/0336/18 – Greenacres, Vicarage Lane, Chigwell, IG7 6LS
    GRANTED
  • EPF/0353/18 – 71 Roundmead Avenue, Loughton, IG10 1PZ
    REFUSED
  • EPF/0523/18 – 12 Eleven Acre Rise, Loughton, IG10 1AN
  • GRANTED

Planning application search