A summer of fun at the museum

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

Epping Forest District Museum was buzzing with visitors over the summer with all sorts of fantastic art and craft activities.

Be a textile artist

Click on any image below to begin slideshow

Painting and drawing

Ocean masterpieces were made from the budding artists at How to Paint: Acrylic; who used a mixture of sponges, cardboard, sand and toothbrushes to get different textures.

How to Paint: Watercolour artists experimented with techniques such as dry paint on dry paper and wet paint on wet paper, making beautiful sunsets and their own interpretations of work by JMW Turner.

Creating illusions

The new How to Draw Level 3 session taught our young artists to look for the negative space in their drawings, that there’s no such thing as cheating and how drawing creates illusions.

The rain wasn’t going to spoil the new Art & the Garden workshop; instead we brought the museum garden inside! The young artists and keen gardeners designed their own flowers, created their own Latin style names; took cuttings of leaves and flowers to draw, paint and press; and planted their own bulbs to watch grow.

Forest focus

Focus was then on the forest in ‘Be a Textile Artist’ and ‘Be an Animator’. Participants designed beautiful pictures, inspired by the forest, to print on to a bag. The budding animators created characters and stories for their own ‘crazy forest’ sets, making some fantastic 2D animation.

Paths Unseen

As part of the Paths Unseen project, funded by Arts Council England, participants explored ‘found poetry’ with performance poet Keely Mills and learnt valuable tips on performing their own work. Artist Jef Winter led an illustration workshop exploring different styles and techniques.

You can see Keely and Jefs’ work at the Paths Unseen exhibition until Saturday 30 September 2017 at Epping Forest District Museum.

Fun for all the family

Over 300 children and their families attended five drop-in events; taking part in a range of historical themed art and craft activities together, including clay modelling, printmaking, designing a Tudor shield and making a hobby horse.

At all the activities, families were given a wide selection of art and craft materials to encourage their creativity and imaginations.

In addition to this, a Family Fun Day was held at the museum on Saturday 5 August where over 200 people enjoyed puppet shows and willow weaving crafts.

Across the district

The Museums, Heritage and Culture team was out and about across the district delivering activities too.

There was another great and wacky show from Booster Cushion Theatre Company; Alan in Wonderland and the 3 Goats Plus. The show was full of audience participation, funny jokes and amazing props including a book that turned into a table and a bridge!

At the Little Storytellers workshop in North Weald, Oliver Jeffer’s sweet story ‘Lost and Found’ was used as inspiration for participants to create their own sea scene, boats, boys and penguins as well as being birds, sea creatures and stormy waves.

There were two ‘Musical in 2 Days’ workshops this year: Charlie and the Chocolate and Annie. Both casts worked incredibly hard to learn the songs, a number of scenes and the choreography to perform in just two days!

Reviews

  • ‘Always good events for the children.’
  • ‘Really lovely and fun event. Well organised and resourced. Friendly, kind staff. We love the museum and this added even more fun.’
  • ‘Great fun, creative event, unhurried making it very enjoyable and relaxing’

Further information

Water quality consultation

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Community, Consultation, Environmental health, Local business, Media, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Your area

Are you on a private water supply? DEFRA have launched a 6 week consultation on updates to the public and private drinking water regulations. This consultation will be of interest to those concerned with public and/or private supplies of drinking water.

Drinking Water Directive

The changes will bring the regulations in line with the Drinking Water Directive. The Drinking Water Directive was updated to reflect World Health Organisation principles for the risk based sampling and analysis of drinking water supply.

The consultation closes 24 October 2017.

Consultation

Lower Sheering Notice of Election

Written on . Posted in Community, Democracy, Elections, Media, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council

Notice of election of 1 district councillor for the Lower Sheering Electoral Ward on Thursday 19 October 2017.

Notice of election

  1. Forms of nomination for the District Election may be obtained at Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, CM16 4BZ from the Returning Officer who will, at the request of an elector for any electoral area prepare a nomination paper for signature.
  2. Nomination papers must be delivered to the Returning Officer, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, CM16 4BZ on any day after the date of this notice but no later than 4pm on Friday 22 September 2017.
  3. If any election is contested the poll will take place on Thursday 19 October 2017.
  4. Applications, amendments or cancellations of postal votes and amendments or cancellations of proxy votes must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, CM16 4BZ by 5pm on Wednesday 4 October 2017.
  5. New applications to vote by proxy at this election must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, CM16 4BZ by 5pm on Wednesday 11 October 2017.
  6. Applications to vote by emergency proxy at this election on grounds of physical incapacity or for work/service reasons must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, CM16 4BZ by 5pm on Thursday 19 October 2017. The physical incapacity must have occurred after 5pm on Wednesday 11 October 2017. To apply on the grounds of work/service, the person must have become aware that they cannot go to the polling station in person after 5pm on Wednesday 11 October 2017.

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Ongar leisure centre refurbishment unveiled

Written on . Posted in Community, Councillors, Health, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Ongar Leisure Centre unveiled its newly refurbished fitness suite on Saturday 9 September 2017.

Cllr Kane cutting the ribbon

Click on an image below to begin slideshow

State of the art equipment

The new suite now includes a state of the art cardio and strength kit, rowers, multifunctional training equipment and Watt bikes. It also features a new training rig which is ideal for rehabilitating an injury and high intensity training, as well as a Technogym Skillmill, which is a powerless treadmill that allows users of all abilities to perform at their own pace.

Official launch

An official launch event was held on Saturday 9 September 2017, which offered visitors free swimming, badminton and virtual cycling sessions, special deals on membership and the chance to see improvements made following the £450,000 worth of investment.

Track your swim technology

Investment into Ongar leisure centre has also included new energy saving technology, IT systems to enhance the customer experience as well as the introduction of state of the art equipment such as SWIMTAG, which is the latest wearable technology that helps customers track their swim activity.

Commitment to leisure

Epping Forest District Council Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Community Services Councillor Helen Kane said: ”It is such a pleasure to see the first major investment of the new leisure contract come to fruition at Ongar Leisure Centre. I know there has been some local concern about the future of the centre but this refurbishment and Places for People Leisure’s investment of £450,000 is a clear commitment to leisure services in Ongar.”

Major refurbishment across district

”Across the District major refurbishment works start in Epping and Loughton this Autumn while preliminary work has already started for the brand-new leisure centre at Waltham Abbey. I’m pleased to say that the outlook for leisure services is positive throughout the District.”

Opportunities for everyone

Geraint Hole, General Manager at Ongar Leisure Centre comments: ”We are delighted to be able to offer the local community a newly refurbished and equipped leisure centre that will provide opportunities for everyone to take part in physical activity and enjoy the wide range of facilities on offer. As a social enterprise, we aim to open up even more opportunities for people to adopt a healthier and more active lifestyle and are looking forward to offering customers free sessions as part of this event.”

Nominate your Citizen of the Year

Written on . Posted in Arts, Chairman, Civic events, Community, Democracy, Equalities, Grants, Media, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Performance, Residents, Volunteering opportunities, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Epping Forest District Council’s Citizen of the Year Awards recognises people in the community who go above and beyond and make positive changes in our district.

Citizen of the year Civic Awards 2018 poster

If you know an individual or a team who make a real difference nominate them for

  • Citizen of the Year
  • Team of the Year

Highlighting positive work

Chairman David Stallan said: ‘The Citizen of the Year award is a great event, highlighting the positive work that goes on throughout the district. There are people among us who go above and beyond, making positive contributions to our society.’

‘If there’s and individual or group who springs to mind, now is your time to nominate them for a Civic Award.’

Make a nomination

Applications close Friday 24 November 2017.

Vote for VAEF

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Councillors, Epping, Grants, Local business, Media, Ongar, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Uncategorized, Volunteering opportunities, Your area, Your community, Your money

Voluntary Action Epping Forest (VAEF) is bidding to bag a cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

Volunteer Essex new website launch

Tesco initiative

Tesco’s has teamed up with Groundwork to help fund community projects. The ‘bags of help’ initiative sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 being awarded, which is all raised through the sales of 5p bags.

3 groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.

Voluntary Action Epping Forest

VAEF is part of a nationwide network of independent agencies that act as “matchmakers” for people seeking volunteering opportunities for non-profit and charity groups needing volunteers.

They match the interests and skills of local people with the needs of groups operating in the Epping Forest district. They also encourage and support organisations to operate good practice in volunteer management.

VAEF aims to use the funding to reach more potential volunteers and increase recruitment of volunteers for community groups in the area.

Cast your vote

  • Voting is open throughout September and October
  • Cast your vote in Epping, Theydon Bois and Ongar Tesco stores

Alec Brown, Head of Community at Tesco said: “We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for September and October. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see these come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury said: “We’re looking forward to learning the results of the customer vote and then supporting each group to bring their project to life.”

Make a positive difference

Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder Councillor Helen Kane said: “We are thrilled to see VAEF shortlisted. The work they do for our community bringing people and services together through volunteering makes such a positive difference.”

“Along with Finance Portfolio Holder Gagan Mohindra, who through the grants service help fund the vital and much needed work, we urge you to cast your vote for VAEF. Allow them to continue to the vast and varied work throughout our district.”

Want to volunteer?

Interested in becoming a volunteer? VAEF has a variety of opportunities for you to get involved with, take a look.

Cabinet 7 September 2017

Written on . Posted in Community, Consultation, Councillors, Democracy, Doing business with the council, Housing, Housing repairs, Leader, Media, Meetings, North Weald Airfield, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our performance, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Uncategorized, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

A new Police helicopter base, anti- social behaviour in Waltham abbey and the Oakwood hill depot were among items discussed at Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet meeting Thursday 7 September 2017.

North Weald set to become new Police helicopter base

North Weald Airfield is set to become a new base for the National Police Air Service. Three helicopters and a fixed-wing aircraft will be based at the council-owned airfield.

Police Helicopter

Police Helicopter

Asset Management Portfolio Holder Anne Grigg put forward recommendations for a 25 year lease with the helicopter service. The proposals would include a new hanger and buildings to support a range of police helicopter activities.

The Police will be joining a range of other aviation tenants including the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance which has operated very successfully from North Weald for several years. Receiving reassurances about flight lines and noise levels from members of the National Police Air Service at the meeting, councillors welcomed the report and the aspiration for continued development of aviation at North Weald.

Hillhouse Statement

Councillor Sam Kane was welcomed to his first Cabinet meeting as Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder by Council Leader Chris Whitbread. Councillor Kane has stepped into the role previous held by Councillor Gary Waller who recently passed away.

Councillor Kane’s first act was to deliver a strong statement regarding anti-social behaviour in Waltham Abbey.

Councillor Sam Kane’s Statement:

“Fellow Councillors will know that Epping Forest District Council is working in partnership with local residents and other organisations to improve the quality of life for everyone in and around Hillhouse on the Ninefields housing estate in Waltham Abbey.

Work has started in just the last few weeks on a brand new leisure centre. Health, housing and social facilities are coming together in a major multi-million pound investment.

The vast majority of residents in this area are the most decent and law-abiding citizens you could ever wish to meet. We also know there is an element of anti-social behaviour, a group of people who seem intent on making the lives of everyone else miserable. We are working with all our partners including Essex Police to tackle this behaviour but events in the last day or so have taken a new and very ugly twist.

Fishing line has been tied at knee height between posts and fences with the deliberate intention of tripping and hurting people. This mindless and stupid act has resulted in injury to a small child. Pictures of the serious cuts to his face have been circulated on social media.

I know this will come as a shock to you and I know every councillor would wish to send our sympathy to this innocent young child and his family.

Local residents and all right-minded people will be incensed by this latest incident. Through this meeting I want to let our residents know that we stand with them. The anti-social behaviour of the last few weeks must now stop.

A temporary dispersal order has been put in place from tonight. You will appreciate that many other things are going on behind the scenes that I cannot discuss in public.

Council staff have been working incredibly hard. Plans of action drawn up with Essex Police even before this latest event are being put into effect now. We believe we know who the perpetrators are. It saddens me to say that they are very young. We have been working with our local schools and have passed the identities of the perpetrators to Essex Police.

Enough is enough. Anti-social behaviour is a blight on our communities which must end. As the action plan goes into effect, I expect to see the situation improve significantly. I also know that you can never eliminate all crime, but with the support of my council colleagues I want to send out a clear message. We stand with all the decent and law-abiding residents of Waltham Abbey.

We will not let the few ruin the lives of the many.”

Oakwood Hill

New council office and depot facilities accommodating Grounds Maintenance, Fleet Maintenance and the MoT centre opened recently at Oakwood Hill in Loughton. Latest proposals for the transfer of the Council’s Housing Repairs service to Oakwood Hill were scrutinised at Cabinet.

Proposals for additional staff car parking received particular attention. A petition opposing the use of green space opposite the new facility was delivered by Councillor Chris Roberts.

Councillors agreed the recommendations in the Cabinet report with the proviso that alternatives to the proposals of additional parking would also be investigated. Full public consultation would also take place as part of any planning application process if the proposals for parking set out in the report went forward.

Customer Services

Council Leader Chris Whitbread updated fellow councillors on a range of projects geared towards improving customer service including a new public customer service reception, plans for which are due to come before Cabinet by the end of the year.

Decisions from Plans East 6 September 2017

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Community, Democracy, Epping, Media, Meetings, Ongar, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Planning application decisions from Area Planning Sub-Committee East meeting on Wednesday 6 September 2017.

Watch the webcast

Decisions

  • EPF/0270/17 – 47 Weald Bridge Road, North Weald Bassett, Essex CM16 6ES
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1216/17 – 15 Curtis Mill Lane, Stapleford Abbotts, Essex RM4 1HS
    Decision deferred to DDMC with recommendation to grant planning permission
  • EPF/1400/17 – 41 Bowes Drive, Ongar, Essex CM5 9AX
    Decision deferred to DDMC
  • EPF/1414/17 – 7 Harrison Drive, North Weald Bassett, Essex CM16 6JD
    Permission refused
  • EPF/1647/17 – 31 Bower Hill, Epping, Essex CM16 7AL
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1794/17 – Land adj to Tilegate Farm, Tilegate Road, Magdalen Laver, Ongar, Essex CM5 9HX
    Lawful

Planning application search

Council Tax Reduction Scheme consultation

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

We’re asking for your views on the future of our Local Council Tax Support scheme (LCTS) to see whether any changes should be made. It’s important we get the views of our residents as it could affect the amount of Council Tax you pay, or the services you receive.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme consultation

Government grant

“The Government gives us a grant to pay Local Council Tax Support which is reducing each year” explains Finance Portfolio Holder Councillor Gagan Mohindra, “if we spend more than the grant, we have to decide how we pay for the excess.”

Making changes

“This year, in addition to looking at how the scheme is funded, we are deciding whether changes should be made to reduce the number of different Council Tax bills that people get when they receive Universal Credit, and whether Bereavement Support Payments should be disregarded. There are also changes to the way that we treat decisions by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).”

Generate savings

Councillor Mohindra said: “We’ve looked carefully at the LCTS scheme and are aiming to providing a fair level of support to those residents on a low income as well as identifying potential changes which would generate savings for the council.

We will of course continue to fully fund support for those who suffer exceptional hardship, and none of the changes would make a drastic change to the amount of council tax individuals would pay.”

Let us know what you think

“Let us know what you think on this important issue” Councillor Mohindra asked residents. “ It takes just 10 minutes to complete the online questionnaire which runs until 12 October 2017.

Any recommendations from this consultation will be considered by Full Council later in the year, with a view to bringing in changes from April 2018.”

Make a detailed reply or comments

If you want to make a detailed reply or comments, email benefits@eppingforestdc.gov.uk and enter ‘consultation’ in the subject heading. If you don’t have access to a computer, you can get a paper copy from the Benefits Division at the Civic Offices.

We cannot respond individually to each response.

Learn about local mammals with Countrycare

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Loughton, 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

Join Countrycare on Saturday 16 September 2017 at 7:30am for a close encounter with some of the small mammals found in Roding Valley!

Small mammal event 2017

Help us identify which animals live in and around Roding Valley, followed by breakfast!

Details

  • Saturday 16 September 2017
  • 7:30am – 9:30am
  • The Grange Farm Centre, Grange Farm Lane, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 6DP (click here for a map)
  • £6
  • Call 01992 564224 to book

Further information