High Sheriff grant helps J9 go national

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

The Council’s J9 domestic abuse awareness initiative have been awarded a grant of £750 from the High Sheriff of Essex Fund to provide training for the Department of Work and Pensions call centre staff, which will help identify and support victims of domestic abuse nationally.

High Sheriff Awards 2017

Recognised for major contributions

The High Sheriff of Essex, Lorna Rolfe and Chairman of Essex County Council Councillor John Aldridge, presented Caroline Wiggins, Community Safety Manager at Epping Forest District Council with a grant of £750 for the J9 initiative project.

The High Sheriff hosted an evening dedicated recognising the voluntary organisations and people who have made major contributions to reducing crime and increasing safety within communities, at a ceremony held in Hylands House in Chelmsford last week.

Delivering training

The funding will deliver J9 training to the 300 members of staff at the national customer call centre for the Department of Work and Pensions, based in Basildon.

Excellent progress

Safer, Greener, Transport Portfolio Holder, Councillor Gary Waller said: ”We are delighted to have received this funding. We have had such a positive response to the progress that has been made so far and we are proud to say the project has already trained over 400 professionals and service providers across Essex.”

”The £750 funding will allow us to provide training for the 300 employees at the Department of Work and Pensions call centre, who receive calls from people around the country. This means we are now in a position to help signpost and support victims of domestic abuse nationally, which is excellent progress.”

Sign up for training

Councillor Waller added: ”Any business and organisation that would like to sign up please call 01992 564608 or email j9@eppingforestdc.gov.uk – let’s make sure the victims of domestic abuse get the help and support they need.”

About J9

The J9 domestic abuse initiative has been running in West Essex for 4 years. It was named in memory of Janine Mundy. She was killed by her estranged husband while on police bail.

The J9 initiative was set up by Janine’s family and the local police in Cornwall to raise awareness of domestic abuse and help victims get the help they so desperately need.

Spring edition business newsletter

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Doing business with the council, Epping, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community

The Spring edition 2017 of the One Business Briefing is now available to download.

One Business Briefing

Download the Spring edition (pdf 5.92MB)

Included in this edition;

  • Proof that Epping Forest is a great place to start a business

  • Celebrate the Investors in Young People Awards

  • Find out how your business could reduce energy consumption & save money

  • Best growth Hub launches workshop

  • Next phase for ‘Visit Epping Forest’ website

  • Launch of Young Traders Initiative

  • Get the latest learning resource tips

Interesting and helpful articles

Councillor Anne Grigg, Economic Development Portfolio Holder said: “The Spring edition of the One Business Briefing is another issue packed with interesting and helpful articles. It’s wonderful to start with two success stories. Firstly, it is great to see the entrepreneurial nature of Epping Forest district recognised in official statistics that reflect the area’s appeal to start-up businesses. Secondly, the annual recognition of young workforce talent and the organisations that support them is particularly encouraging and something to be applauded.”

Funding and support

She continued: ” You will also find details of a variety of funding and support programmes, each with their own particular focus, that are available to businesses. There are also details of initiatives such as the new tourism website, the ongoing delivery of ultrafast rural broadband and a new young traders market project that will bring new opportunities for the local economy.”

Council takes back management of car parks

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

From 1 April 2017 Epping Forest District Council will take over the management of their 18 car parks, saving at least £58,600 each year for local taxpayers.

Car park

The District Council will now be responsible for processing season tickets, penalty charge notices (PCNs) and other associated functions run until now by the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP).

New company to enforce

The Council has engaged a specialist company, NSL, to carry out day-to-day enforcement activities, as well as cash collection from the pay-and-display machines in the car parks.
Since 2011 Epping Forest District Council has partnered Essex County Council in NEPP, together with Harlow, Uttlesford, Braintree, Colchester and Tendring councils.

NEPP manage on-street parking

Until now NEPP has managed both on-street and off-street parking services in Epping Forest district for a number of years, and will continue to operate on-street parking enforcement and services in the district.

Efficiency improvements

The transfer of off-street management follows an analysis by the District Council which found that a number of efficiency improvements could be made, benefiting local taxpayers.

Councillor Gary Waller, Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder, commented: ”I am delighted that these new arrangements for our car parks are now being put in place. By taking functions back in-house and engaging the services of NSL, we can make very worthwhile savings, and I believe we shall provide a better service to the public as well.”

”Not only will the parking charges remain at the current level but we shall continue to operate car parks that have received the prestigious ParkMark award, demonstrating that they continue to attain the very highest standards in terms of safety and security.”

Cabinet 9 March 2017

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Epping, Housing, Leader, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Parking, Planning, Residents, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your money

The Local Plan, better use of council assets, housing for homeless people, pay and display car parks and the investment of additional fees in the planning service dominated debate at Cabinet on 9 March.

Draft Local Plan consultation

Preliminary findings from the draft Local Plan consultation were presented by Planning Portfolio Holder Councillor John Philip to the meeting of Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet on 9 March.

Councillor Philip outlined some clear themes coming through for more work on infrastructure and employment sites including the wider area of East Herts and Harlow. New potential sites and changes to previously identified sites are also being reviewed and will be fed into the revisions of the draft plan. A new transport assessment is also being done in conjunction with Essex County Council.

Councillor Philip emphasised that publication of the next draft depended on full analysis and assessment of the additional work programmed in over the next year or so. Councillors noted the initial findings of the consultation, agreed progression of the Local Plan to the next stage and approved the publication of the Council’s updated Local Development Scheme online.

Better use of council buildings

The interests of residents and customers must remain at the heart of council services. Council Leader Chris Whitbread received Cabinet support for proposals to reduce the need for office space at the Civic Offices in Epping.

Reports show flexible working by staff including home and remote working, and use of other council buildings could allow the Council to move out of the older part of the Civic Offices known as the Conder Building. Councillor Whitbread described the proposals as part of the wider transformation programme to improve services.

Pay and Display set to save £58,000

Final preparations have been agreed for the transfer of the council’s off-street parking management from the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) to NSL.

Portfolio Holder Gary Waller reminded fellow councillors of the improvements the change of contract will bring to residents and the Council. The Council will save £58,600 under the new arrangements even though Councillor Waller said that NSL did not submit the cheapest bid. They did submit the best quality bid. Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) rates remain the same.

Housing for Homeless People

Housing Portfolio Holder Councillor Syd Stavrou received approval to progress plans for a small pilot scheme of three ‘Pods’ to accommodate people at Norway House in North Weald. The pods containing individual living accommodation and shared kitchens are manufactured by a North Weald based company. Subject to planning approval, the Council plans to help homeless people who would otherwise find themselves in Bed and Breakfast.

Increased planning application fees

Cabinet accepted an offer by the Department of Communities and Local Government to increase planning fees. Governance Portfolio Holder Richard Bassett confirmed that any extra income would be reinvested in planning services.

Register for new online self-service

Written on . Posted in Benefits, Buckhurst Hill, Business, Business rates, Chigwell, Community, Council tax, Epping, Loughton, Media, Ongar, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

You can now manage your Council Tax and Business Rates accounts online.

Self serve online
 

Self-service is quick and easy 

By registering today you can:

  • Instantly view your account
  • Check payments and other transactions
  • Pay your bill
  • Sign up for Direct Debit

You can also sign-up to receive electronic bills in the future instead of receiving them by post and be able to view all notices that have been previously sent to you.

Manage your finances at a time that suits you

The service is secure, quick and easy to use allowing you to manage your account 24/7 at a time that suits you and your business needs.

Finance Portfolio Holder Councillor Mohindra said: “We are constantly looking at ways to improve our services and want to make dealing with the council more flexible and convenient for you. By registering online residents can now manage both Council Tax and Business Rates any time of the day 7 days a week. Don’t delay, manage your finances at a time that suits you and register today.”

 

Pub to replace Nu Bar

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Councillors, Crime and safety, Democracy, Licensing, Local business, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Our activities, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

As part of a crackdown on crime and disorder in Loughton, Essex Police asked Epping Forest District Council for a summary licence review after a serious assault at Nu Bar in February 2017.

Licensing noticeCCTV evidence

The review hearing took place on 7 March 2017.  The police evidence referred to CCTV footage, which showed that Nu Bar had not only failed to manage the incident effectively, but that management had been operating outside the permitted hours of their licence.

Illegal activity

Patrons were seen leaving more than 3 hours later than the licence allowed, via the back exit, in an attempt to conceal the illegal activity.

At the hearing the premises licence owners, Greene King, informed the licensing sub-committee that it had taken steps to change management.

Last orders 11pm

District councillors reduced the licencing hours, with last orders at 11pm Monday to Sunday and applied the stringent conditions agreed between Essex Police and Greene King.

Celebrating our apprentices success

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Jobs, Leader, Media, Out and about, Residents, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

The 10th National Apprenticeship Week #NAW2017 runs from 6-10 March 2017. This year we are

  • celebrating the success of our apprentices
  • seeking to recruit new apprentices in September

National Apprenticeship Week 6-10 March 2017

Click to enlarge photo and then click to see more photos

A brighter future

Leader of Council Councillor Chris Whitbread said: “I’m very proud of our apprentices. They’ve all achieved their qualifications, that’s a 100% success rate! We must remember they are the future of the district and I’m very happy we’re able to invest in them and help launch their career.”

“Developing the skills and knowledge our young people need is crucial for a brighter future for us all. I’m very pleased to announce Epping Forest District Council will be offering 10 new apprenticeships for local young people in September.”

About our apprenticeships

We are looking for young people who want to achieve a business administration or multi-trade construction qualification to provide excellent customer service and support to the community.

Join our apprenticeship scheme

You must

  • Live in the Epping Forest district
  • Be aged 16-18
  • Have or be expecting grades A-C in Maths, English and ICT

Register your interest

Send us

  1. Your name and address
  2. Your age
  3. Your email and phone number (landline and mobile)
  4. What apprenticeship you are interested in – business administration or multi-trade construction

If you are interested

Apprenticeships

Give your unwanted items a new home

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Doing business with the council, Epping, Local business, Media, Out and about, Recycling and waste, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Getting rid of an appliance like a washing machine or a piece of furniture can be daunting due to their size and weight, not to mention the effort involved in taking large items to a recycling centre.

A local charity is working to make donating items a lot easier and will be launching a new campaign to spread the word on how to donate and buy pre-loved furniture and white goods.

Matt Beckett Epping Forest ReUSE manager

Epping Forest ReUSE

Epping Forest ReUSE are working in partnership with Epping Forest District Council and Recycle for Essex to help make life easier for local people looking to donate bulky items like furniture or electrical appliances.

Epping Forest ReUSE will be launching a campaign for donations at

  • Waltham Abbey Market on Tuesday 14 March 2017
  • Epping High Street on Thursday 23 March 2017

The organisation works with volunteers to collect and refurbish pre-loved household items to sell to the public and to support people on lower incomes. But the organisation is in need of more good quality items to help more people in the area.

Helped over 1,200 people

Through 2016 Epping Forest ReUSE helped over 1,200 people buy affordable furniture and appliances.

The 204 tonnes of furniture donated and sold on to local people is the equivalent to 4,121 2-seater sofas, or roughly 2 Boeing 757 aeroplanes!

Helping local people in need

Michael Kushin from Epping Forest ReUSE said: “As a charity and social enterprise, 100% of money raised through Epping Forest ReUSE goes to helping local people in need and we’re always on the lookout for more furniture, and electrical goods like fridges and washing machines.”

“We work with everyone from the general public to social workers and housing associations to make sure that people who need us are able to access the support that they need. We are always very grateful for any donations of items as it helps us help more people.”

Donate your unwanted items

To find out more about how to donate your unwanted items contact Epping Forest ReUSE

Council Tax set for 2017/18

Written on . Posted in Business, Business rates, Community, Council tax, Councillors, Democracy, Leader, Local business, Media, Older people, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

Despite a freeze at Epping Forest District Council, most residents will pay more Council Tax from April.

Some town and parish councils are also freezing or lowering their Council Tax but Essex County Council, Essex Police, Essex Fire and Rescue and many local town and parish councils are putting their share of Council Tax up.

Council Tax agreed

Councillors at the meeting of Epping Forest District Council on Tuesday 21 February agreed the new Council Tax for 2017/18.

Epping Forest District is the local collection authority. Council Leader, Councillor Chris Whitbread said: “I am delighted we have managed to freeze our own share of the Council Tax for the seventh year running. Looking forward it is our ambition to remain a low-tax council giving our residents best possible value for money. I am sorry that bills have gone up overall. I have sympathy for the Police and Crime Commissioner and those councils which have to increase their budgets. I congratulate those town and parish councils like us that have also been able to freeze or even lower their part of the bill.”

“Epping Forest District Council has set another remarkably good budget. Local government finance is incredibly confusing but I hope residents will understand the difference between the Council Tax we collect and the Council Tax we keep.”

Good news budget and 0% increase

Councillor Whitbread covered the main items of the budget including capital investment of up to £125 million over the next 5 years. He said: “We are investing in capital to generate revenue. There is good news everywhere in this budget, good judgement, protection for front line services and good news for our residents.”

The budget found favour with cross party support throughout the Council Chamber.

Rent reductions

Rent paid by thousands of Epping Forest District Council tenants is also set to reduce by one percent in line with national guidelines. The average rent now stands at £96.17 per week.

Invest to Save

Details of the district council budget were set before Cabinet previously – Cabinet 2 February 2017.

Councillor Whitbread said: “We are working better and we are working smarter. Year on year we have become a tighter ship, investing in people, processes and policies to produce the most efficient council we can – a council fit for the future, delivering frontline services our residents need at prices we can afford.”

Preparing your electricity for Storm Doris

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Community, Crime and safety, Emergencies, Local business, Media, Older people, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Our electricity network is built to be resilient but extreme weather such as Storm Doris can damage overhead power lines resulting in some customers losing their electricity supply.

UK Power Networks - delivering your electricity

UK Power Networks

Where this happens UK Power Networks work to restore power as quickly and safely as possible, and have organised for additional staff in their contact centre and more engineers on the ground to be available to help customers whose electricity supply might be affected by the predicted weather.

Regular updates

You will be able to find regular updates on their website www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk and social media @ukpowernetworks throughout this period.

Anyone experiencing a power cut should

Priority service register

UK Power Networks has a Priority Service Register for customers who may be more vulnerable and require extra assistance in a power cut. Find out more information at ukpowernetworks.co.uk/priority.

We advise people to stay clear of power lines and report damaged power lines immediately by calling 105 – free to call from a landline or a mobile phone. If they see electricity lines that are down or causing significant risk to the public they should call 999.

Preparing for a power cut

Below is some additional advice on how you can prepare for a power cut

  • Keep our freephone number handy
  • See the website for some useful videos offering you advice during a power cut
  • Keep spare batteries for radios and torches – local radio stations often broadcast helpful information
  • Keep an old-fashioned corded phone which you can plug in, as cordless phones won’t work in the event of a power cut
  • Take care if using candles, tea-lights and other naked flames
  • Keep fridges and freezers closed, with a blanket over as they will stay cold for many hours
  • Switch off all your electrical equipment, except one light which will let you know when the power comes back on
  • Remember the street lights may also be off so take care if you go out
  • Look out for elderly neighbours and other vulnerable people; please consider taking them round a flask of hot water or hot food