Need help with your housing repairs?

Written on . Posted in Building control, Community, Energy efficiency, Grants, Housing, Housing repairs, Media, Our activities, Out and about, Private housing, Residents, Uncategorized, Working with the council, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

Need a housing repair, energy efficiency works or disabled adaptations? Got an empty home? Financial assistance for home-owners and private tenants is available.

Landscape

Am I eligible?

Under the Housing Assistance Policy there are several types of financial assistance available to home owner and private sector tenants.

What type of assistance is available?

  • Mandatory Disabled Facilities Grants are available to provide adaptations for disabled home owners and private tenants. Subject to qualifying criteria the mandatory grant will be for the full cost of the work up to a maximum of £30,000.

The Council also gives 3 main types of discretionary assistance; Decent Homes Repayable Assistance, Empty Homes Repayable Assistance and Small Works Repayable Assistance.

  • Decent Homes Repayable Assistance is financial assistance available to owner occupiers and long leaseholders to bring private homes up to the ‘Decent Homes Standard’. Subject to qualifying criteria the Assistance will be for the full cost of the work up to a maximum of £10,000.
  • Small Works Repayable Assistance is financial assistance available to owner occupiers and long leaseholders to remove hazards or repair defects that are likely to damage the fabric of a property. Subject to qualifying criteria the Assistance will be for the full cost of the work up to a maximum of £3,000.
  • Empty Homes Repayable Assistance is financial assistance available to persons intending to bring empty properties back into use and live in them as their home. Assistance is to a maximum of £10,000.

More financial options now available

Leader of the Council Councillor Chris Whitbread said: “Needing adaptations or repairs to your home can really put a strain on your finances, we want to give people a fair opportunity to carry out the works they need.”

“Under our new Housing Assistance Policy there are now more financial options available to home owners and private sector tenants.

So don’t put it off, get in touch today to see if you are eligible.”

More information

For more details on eligibility criteria and how to apply please contact

December fun thanks to the Lottery

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

Epping Forest District Museum and Lowewood Museum will be offering a 10% discount in gift shops and Lowewood Museum’s refreshment area to National Lottery players.

EFD Museum

Come visit

Our museums are joining 350 National Lottery funded visitor attractions across the UK in saying ‘thanks’ to people who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket.

  • Where: Epping Forest District Museum, 39 – 41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL
  • When: Monday 11 – Saturday 16 December 2017
  • Opening times:
    Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday – 10am to 4pm
    Saturday – 10am to 5pm

Heritage Lottery Fund

Epping Forest District Museum has received £1,782,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The money paid for the recent redevelopment as well as a range of projects, enabling community engagement and collections acquisition.

Lowewood Museum has received £156,000 for exhibition and engagement projects including the restoration of the Pulham kiln site in Broxbourne.

Providing opportunities for communities

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “December is a wonderful time to experience the UK’s rich, diverse and exciting heritage, which has been transformed by more than £7bn National Lottery funding since 1994. This is a small gesture of thanks and a way of giving something back to the people who buy tickets.”

Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder, Councillor Helen Kane said: “Thanks to National Lottery players we’ve been able to provide a fantastic new museum offer in the Epping Forest District and the opportunities for our community to explore the heritage has been massively enriched.”

Terms and Conditions

  • One National Lottery ticket provides 10% off in the museum gift shop and refreshment area at Lowewood Museum.
  • All National Lottery games qualify for the offer, including tickets from any National Lottery draw based game or National Lottery Scratch card. Proof of ticket can be paper or digital.
  • The offer is valid on the days the museum is open between Monday 11 and Saturday 16 December. Epping Forest District Museum is open 10am to 4pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and from 10am to 5pm on Saturdays.
  • Only one ticket can be used per transaction.

For more information, visit:

‘Submission’ version of Local Plan published

Written on . Posted in Community, Councillors, Leader, Local plan / planning our future, Media, Meetings, Our activities, Our performance, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Uncategorized, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

The Epping Forest District Local Plan – Submission Version 2017 is available to view ahead of a special Council meeting to be webcast on 14 December.

Local plan time line

Epping Forest District Local Plan Submission Version 2017

Councillors will be asked to approve formal publication of the ‘Epping Forest District Local Plan Submission Version 2017’. If agreed, residents will be invited to make representations on the legality and soundness of the Plan during a six week period between 18 December and 29 January. Representations will then be submitted with the Local Plan for examination by a government-appointed planning inspector.

Consideration of the Local Plan has been brought forward following Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid’s announcement that councils failing to submit a Local Plan for examination before 31 March 2018 could see housing allocations significantly increased. If Epping Forest District’s Plan is not submitted in time, the 11,400 new housing requirement allocated for the District could increase to 20,000 over the Local Plan period up to 2033.

Subject to Council approval, the Plan and all supporting documents will be published to its website from 18 December with a special form for residents, developers and any other interested stakeholders to complete.

The Council hopes people will use the online form specially created for the purpose.

The next stage in the process

Planning Portfolio Holder, Councillor John Philip said: “We held extensive consultation on the Local Plan last year. The next stage in the process restricts representations to legal compliance and soundness of the Plan. The online form is designed to help everyone follow the guidelines and submit comments in the right format for the planning inspector who will ultimately hold the public examination and approve or reject the Plan. Using the form will give you the best chance of ensuring the inspector takes your views into account.”

However, Councillor Philip added: “We know online forms are not for everyone. We will also provide a printable version if you prefer paper as well as accepting email submissions on behalf of the inspector.”

Watch the meeting online

The ‘Submission Version 2017’ of the Local Plan has been published online as part of the Council agenda.

Due to the nature and complexity of the Plan, the meeting is scheduled to start earlier than usual at 6pm. Limited public viewing is available in the Council chamber and the Council will also provide access via breakout TV screens in the atrium of the Civic offices.

The meeting will also be webcast and residents will be able to watch live and recorded online from the comfort of their own homes.

Councillor Philip added: “Publication over the Christmas period is not ideal but the government consultation leaves little choice if we are to hit the 31 March deadline. However, by sharing the Plan through the Council agenda as early as possible, we can effectively give people an extra two weeks to think about any comments and submissions before the formal representations period starts.”

The Council is also writing to everyone who previously expressed interest in the Local Plan.

Santa Claus is coming to town

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

Come visit Father Christmas in his grotto Saturday 9 December at the Epping Forest Museum and receive a gift.

Father Christmas 2017

  • Where: Epping Forest District Museum, 39 – 41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL
  • When: Saturday 9 December
  • Time: 11am to 4pm
  • Price: £5 per child

No need to book, just drop in to the museum between 11am and 4pm. You’ll be given a time slot on arrival and while you wait, there will be Christmas themed crafts to make.

Free festive foods

As well as Santa visiting, various cafes and restaurants in Sun Street, Waltham Abbey are offering you a taste of winter from different places and cultures.

Vendors will be giving free samples of their food in the museum garden from

  • 12pm to 2.30pm

Get in festive the spirit

Leisure and community portfolio holder Councillor Helen Kane said: “Now the lights have been switched on and the days are getting colder it can only mean one thing, the festive season is upon is. Come visit the museum and their special guest and get in the festive spirit.

This is a great community event for all the family, not only is Santa stopping by but you’ll get the chance to experience festive food from around the globe.

This is such a special time of year and we look forward to helping you celebrate, no need to book, just drop by”

Residents give their views to the PFCC

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Council tax, Crime and safety, Democracy, Epping, Equalities, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Older people, Ongar, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex (PFCC) Roger Hirst hosted a public meeting at the civic offices on Monday 20 December hearing resident’s views on crime in the district.

Watch the webcast

Roger Hirst PFCC and Caroline Wiggins of Epping Forest District Council

Working with you to keep our community safe

The public meeting gave residents a chance to hear from the police first-hand about budgets, current successes and where improvement is needed.

Safer, Greener and Transport portfolio holder Councillor Sam Kane said “It was so encouraging to see residents engaging with the Commissioner. The Epping Forest District has a strong sense of community which is demonstrated by the way we tackle these issues together, working with the police not against them.

“Our safer community’s team work closely with the Police and other agencies helping find actions to address your concerns. I look forward to seeing our working relationship grow, working with the Police, the Commissioner and our residents to keep our community safe”

Find out more about the PFCC

 

Free weekend parking throughout December

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

We are offering free car parking on Saturdays and Sundays in 18 Epping Forest District Council owned car parks from Saturday 2 December to Sunday 31 December 2017.

car parks

Support local

Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder, Councillor Sam Kane said: ”We hope that by relaxing the car parking charges over the weekends in the lead up to Christmas, we will help encourage our residents to shop locallySupporting our retailers and town centres throughout the Christmas period.”

”There are so many benefits to shopping locally. We want to give our residents easier access to our shops throughout the festive season, hopefully reducing the need to visit busy, overcrowded shopping centres and taking their custom outside the district.”

Further information

Be on your guard against Council Tax scams

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

Residents are warned to be on their guard against a recent Council Tax scam.

Council tax scam warning

Cold caller scam

We have been made aware of a cold call scam in which a resident received a call from a person that falsely presented themselves as an employee of a company called GFM, claiming they can the resident a Council Tax refund of £5,000 for an upfront cost of £150.

This is a scam.

GFM are a legitimate Marketing company based in Colchester and are not responsible for any of these calls. GFM are now aware that they are being impersonated.

Be alert

Be mindful of cold callers that contact you, especially if they ask for money up front to get a refund or cash back and be especially vigilant if you have vulnerable relatives, friends or acquaintances.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Report it

If you are unsure whether a call is genuine, please report them to Action Fraud

  • Call the Action Fraud team on 0300 123 2040

Nominate a young person for a Sports Award

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Civic events, Community, Epping, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Do you know a young person, aged between 13 and 25, that lives in the district that is a County or National standard athlete in their sport?

If so, why not nominate them for the Epping Forest District Council Young Sports award 2018!

Sports award poster

The winner of this award could get up to £1,000 towards

  • Help to buy specialist equipment or materials
  • Help towards competition/event entry fees or associated travel and accommodation costs
  • Help to fund extra or specialist coaching

Nomination details

To be eligible for the award your nominee must:

  • Be aged 13-25 on or before the closing date for applications on 24 November 17
  • Compete at county, regional or national level in a nationally governed sport
  • Live in the Epping Forest District
  • If at College or University, return ‘home’ to Epping Forest District during the holidays

Make a nomination

The deadline for applications is Friday 24 November 2017

Further information

Contact Fabrizio Ferrari

Council reacts to Government consultation on housing requirements

Written on . Posted in Business, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Media, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Uncategorized, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

The Epping Forest District Local Plan is moving closer to completion as the Council acts to finalise the Plan before new changes are introduced by the Government.

Local plan time line

Last month the Government published proposals to change the way in which housing requirements are calculated for Local Plans. Such proposals would result in major changes being required to the Epping Forest District Local Plan to significantly increase the amount of new housing for the District from 11,400 homes identified in the Draft Local Plan to 20,306 if the Plan has not been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for Examination before the end of March 2018.

As a result the Council is aiming to publish the Plan towards the end of December for a period of six weeks, at which stage it will be possible to make representations in relation to the soundness and legal compliance of the Plan before the Council submits it for Examination. Any representations received will then be made available to the Planning Inspector appointed to undertake the Examination.

By submitting the Plan for Examination before the end of March 2018, the Council is seeking to ensure that the District will be covered by an up to date Plan to meet future development and infrastructure needs at the earliest possible opportunity. The Plan will require high quality development to be accompanied by required infrastructure in the most sustainable locations, enabling the Council to resist development proposals which are deemed to be inappropriate.

Latest update sent to stakeholders

Cabinet Planning Portfolio Holder John Philip is writing to update relevant partner organisations and stakeholders.

Councillor Philip said: “We received more than 3,000 representations to last year’s consultation as well as suggestions for new sites. The sites we identify need to be practical and sustainable. Protecting the character of the district remains one of our top priorities while recognising we must have new housing if we are to meet local need. With housing we also need infrastructure, everything from, roads, public transport and electricity supply to schools, health facilities and leisure centres.”

Councillor Philip continued: “There is a severe housing shortage in the South East and a great deal of external pressure on our district. If we don’t finalise and submit our Local Plan before the end of March, new government proposals could require us to go back to the drawing board and that would leave us without an up to date Plan to guide and manage future growth. Therefore, it is now more important than ever that we get the Plan to the Inspectorate without delay.”

Town and Parish councils, residents associations, environmental groups and individuals are among those receiving the latest update on Local Plan progress.

Meet the buyer comes to Epping Forest

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Doing business with the council, Equalities, Jobs, Local business, Media, Meetings, Older people, Our activities, Our performance, Out and about, Performance, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Volunteering opportunities, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your money

Do you own a small business in the district and want to learn more from the big companies? Then join us at our free ‘meet the buyer’ event on Thursday 23 November.

Meet the Buyer logoSharing knowledge

Sponsored by the Marriot Hotel and organised in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, ‘meet they buyer’ aims to put local small and medium sized companies together with some of the biggest buyers in and around the district.

Local businesses will have the opportunity to hear first-hand how these big organisations buy goods and services, and meet key people with roles in procurement in these organisations.

The day will involve a series of short presentations from key buying organisations and the opportunities for questions and answer followed by time for networking.

Organisations attending

  • Stansted Airport
  • Public Health England
  • Waltham Abbey Marriott Hotel
  • Vibrant Partnerships
  • Essex County Council
  • Epping Forest District Council

Bringing buyers and sellers together

Economic Development Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Anne Grigg said: “This is a really important event. All the organisations we work with are keen to buy more locally, and all our local companies are keen to sell. The event is all about bringing the buyers and sellers together, explaining how procurement systems work, and hopefully enabling local companies to get more business from major organisations.”

Buying locally

Chairman of the Epping Forest Chamber of Commerce John Price said:  “Many of our small to medium size businesses struggle to manage with the growing trend of people buying products and services outside our district. Buying locally has always been supported by the Chamber whenever possible. Attending businesses will have the chance to meet and discuss opportunities available to them. This could be anything from IT, cleaning services, design, products or others. It will be a good chance to meet fellow businesses in our district as there will be ample opportunities to network.”

Register today

  • When: Thursday 23 November
  • Where: Waltham Abbey Marriott Hotel, Old Shire Lane, Waltham Abbey EN9 3LX
  • Time: 9am to 12pm

The event is free for local businesses but places limited so register for a place today

For more information contact