Raising The Flag For Britain`s Armed Forces

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Our activities, Out and about, Your council

Armed Forces Day 27 June

Epping Forest District Council proudly joined the nation`s celebrations on Monday 22 June 2009 to recognise the contributions of Her Majesty`s Armed Forces. A specially commissioned flag was raised as part of Britain`s first ever Armed Forces Day, which will now take place on 27 June each year.

A short service was conducted by the Reverend Bryony Morrison, Team Vicar in the Epping District Team Ministry. The Chairman of Council, Councillor Penny Smith raised the flag in front of senior councillors, officers from the district council and members of the Royal British Legion. A piper from the Epping Forest Pipe Band played the bagpipes during the service.

Chairman Cllr Penny Smith shows the special Armed forces Day flag

Councillor Penny Smith, who had the honour of raising the flag for the first time said: The day is an opportunity for the whole nation to show its appreciation for the contribution made by all those who serve or have served in Her Majesty`s Armed Forces past, present and future.

Epping Forest is one of hundreds of towns and cities around the country to fly a special flag throughout Armed Forces Week which runs from 22 to 27 June 2009. After the ceremony, the Chairman of Council hosted a short reception for those attending the event.

Chairman’s Golf Day Raises Money for Charity

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, Councillors, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Your community, Your council

Chairman Penny Smith thanked all involved for taking part

Golfers raised close to £600 for charity in the annual Chairman`s Charity Golf Day on Tuesday 16 June 2009 at Chigwell Golf Club. Twenty-one golfers comprising of Councillors, Officers and Guests of the Chairman of Council, Councillor Penny Smith took to the fairways to raise money for the Epping Forest branch of the Alzheimer`s Society, the Chairman`s chosen charity for 2009 to 2010.

The winner and champion golfer for 2009 with a score of 34 points was David Clifton from the Housing Directorate.

He received the much coveted Don Spinks Shield. Both Councillor Anthony Watts and former EFDC employee Trevor Johnson scored 33 points with Trevor Johnson declared as runner-up on the count-back rule.

Wendy Macleod from Democratic Services won the Robert O`Mallby Cup for ladies golfers with a score of 31 points, followed by the winner of the Longest Drive competition, Julie Chandler from the Office of the Deputy Chief Executive, with a score of 28 points.

Chairman Penny Smith and champion golfer for 2009, David CliftonChairman Penny Smith and the Robert O Mallby Cup for ladies golfers winner, Wendy Macleod

Nearest the Pin prize was awarded to Councillor Ricki Gadsby and Ron Sutcliffe won the award for being the highest placed Guest of the Chairman. Former Council employee Bill Brooks scored 32 points with Council Officers Tony Cooper also scoring 32 points and both James Warwick and Gary Woodhall scoring 31 points.

The Chairman of Council, Councillor Penny Smith provided strawberries and lemonade to contestants from the hut on the 9th green at the halfway stage.

Chairman of Council Councillor Penny Smith thanked all those involved for taking part and raising £568.67 for her nominated charity.

Land Army Girls Honoured

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Community, Councillors, Older people, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council

Former Chairman Cllr John Knapman thanked the Land Girls on behalf of the District

Over thirty surviving `Land Girls` who toiled on the Home Front to provide food for Britain were officially honoured at a reception host by Epping Forest District Council at Theydon Bois Village Hall.

Official recognition of their role has been woefully late in coming. When the Women`s Land Army was disbanded in 1950 the members were shabbily treated, receiving neither medals nor gratuities, and being required to return most of their uniforms.

It was not until the new millennium that members of the Women`s Land Army and Women`s Timber Corps were allowed to join the annual Remembrance Day march in London to the Cenotaph, despite the fact that other national service organisations had for some time been part of the parade.

Chairman Cllr Penny Smith listens to stories of happy memories and comradeship

It took a further eight years of pressure before the British Government agreed to officially recognise the efforts of Land Girls in 2008 and award a specially designed badge to commemorate their service.

The badge has been specially designed by the Garter King at Arms and bears the Royal Crown. It shows a gold wheat sheaf on a white background surrounded by a circlet of pine branches and pine cones to indicate the work of both the Land Army and the Timber Corps.

Each `Land Girl` was represented with her official badge and a specially designed certificate by former Chairman of Council, Councillor John Knapman and the Deputy Lieutenant of Essex, Michael Chapman.

Former Chairman Cllr John Knapman enjoys a cup of tea with the Land Girls

The afternoon reception was a very happy occasion with many of the guests getting a chance to recall their wartime memories with fellow `Land Girls`, of whom many are now over 80 years of age. Stories told were of the incredibly hard work, long hours and even some of romance. But overwhelmingly it was a time of happy memories and comradeship.

Following the presentations Florence Harrison 86 from Theydon Bois said I`m very proud to be given this medal, although I didn`t think about what I was doing at the time. We just got on with it and had a thoroughly enjoyable time – just like this afternoon`.

A full list of the Epping Forest District Land Girls who received an official badge is listed below with links to photographs of those who attended the reception.

Susanna Andrewes Ivy Grant Christine Rumball
Frances Astrella Lillian Griffiths Muriel Rush
Marjorie Bird Joan Hammond Doris Sage
Evelyn Bolden Dorothy Harris Margaret Saggers
M P Butcher Florence Harrison Rosetta Saville
Edna Campion Queenie Harvey Doris Seaman
Doreen Childs Betty Holland Joan Sleet
Joan Cloughton Sheila Horsham W M Smith
Sylvia Cole Constance Jackson Myrtle Stallan
Frances Cray Gladys Kempton Margaret Starling
Elsie Dearson Phyllis Kennerley Sylvia Studwick
Irene Edwards Kathleen Knott Mary Trower
Amy Eldridge Rita Lea Lilian Twaites
Joan Everett Jenny Lowe Violet Webb
Lilian Fensom Joan Lynes Barbara Williams
Doreen Fitzpatrick Constance McPhail Rita Williams
Ivy Gaze Jean Ann Murray Joan Wood
Mollie Gingell Joyce Pollard Jessie Wood
Bessie Goss Gwendoline Rae Marcia Wood
Jane Gottschalk Flora Rideout

Council Teams Up With BBC

Written on . Posted in Countryside and wildlife, Health, Our countryside, Out and about, Working with the council

Epping Forest District Council is one of 50 local Councils across the UK and the only one in Essex that has joined forces with the BBC Breathing Places campaign to turn their communities into breathing places.

In the next 12 months each Council has committed to make space for nature and create wildlife friendly communities in urban and rural locations.

Working in partnership with the BBC, Councils will encourage nature novices to join events, learn new skills and make a long lasting difference to their community. Across the Epping Forest district the plan is to change the community by holding regular volunteer days and transforming a number of sites for both people and wildlife over the next year.

Karen Gregory BBC Breathing Places Project Executive said: “I am delighted that Epping Forest District Council has joined us for what promises to be an exciting year for the Breathing Places Campaign. Working in partnership gives us both a wonderful opportunity to reach thousands of people and inspire them to get out and do one thing for nature.

Inspired by existing wildlife priorities local Councils have set practical targets for the year including tree planting, bird box building, pond clearance, wasteland transformation, wildflower planting and litter clearance. Everyone and anyone can get involved locally as Councils will be teaming up with schools, libraries, children`s centres and existing wildlife organisations.

    The year kicks off with the BBC Breathing Places ‘Dirty Weekend’ – click on the link below for more details.

  • BBC Breathing Places Dirty Weekend website (opens in a new weekend)

Pupils Catch Speeders Outside School

Written on . Posted in Health, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community

On Wednesday 6 May 2009 pupils dressed in fluorescent jackets from the Leverton Junior School were given speed guns to pinpoint speeding motorists outside their school in Honey Lane, Waltham Abbey. Members of the Essex Casualty Reduction Board were on hand to help the Year 5 pupils operate the equipment paid for by the Epping Forest District Safer Communities Partnership.

Leverton Junior School pupils with speed guns

Road Policing Officer PC Duncan Stapleford stopped the speeders who were sat down and quizzed by the children asking questions such as `how would you feel if you had killed me?` and `why were you going so fast?`. Local road safety officers were there to offer advice and education. Although the results are not legally enforceable, the initiative is seen as a good way to teach both children and speeding motorists about road safety, encouraging those driving too fast to think about their actions and get them to slow down. The team will be visiting more schools around the District in the future.

PC Duncan Stapleford, Year 5 pupils Rebecca Kirk, Hayley Square and Luke Crisci and Caroline Wiggins

John Gilbert, Chairman of the Epping Forest District Safer Communities Partnership said: “The aim of the initiative is to educate road users and children of the dangers of speeding and to see speeds reduced outside the school. The children detected speeds from between 36mph and 44mph in a 30mph zone, with two people that who lived in the road clocked at 39mph and 41mph! This initiative has been a fun but effective way of helping the children to understand some of the real dangers on the roads and hopefully make drivers think twice before putting their foot down breaking speed limits near to and outside schools.”

Fit For Business

Written on . Posted in Business, Health, Our activities, Out and about, Supporting business

Epping Forest District Council is the fourth organisation to achieve the `Fit for Business` (FFB) recognition on the Big Lottery Funded `Wellbeing in the East` portfolio. It is also the first business to achieve this in Essex. The National Lottery funded programme works with 37 businesses across the East of England as part of a grant from the Care Services Improvement Partnership (CSIP Eastern) to launch a `Workplace Health and Wellbeing` programme. This money comes from an original sum of £3.9 million from the Big Lottery to initiate sport and wellbeing programmes across England.

Epping Forest District Council has achieved Fit for Business recognition with a total of 579 points. These points have been gained from both mandatory and optional activities. Organised and facilitated by the Council`s Sports and Health Development Team, activities include lunchtime walks, badminton, Nintendo Wii sessions, alcohol awareness, stress busting sessions and one-off interventions.

These activities meet the five `Fit For Business` (FFB) remits of workplace health: Physical activity, healthy eating, mental health and wellbeing, smoke free workplaces and drugs and alcohol awareness. The final points score achieved by Epping Forest District Council exceeds the 410 minimum points required for the `Fit For Business` (FFB) recognition, demonstrating that a well-balanced employee health programme has been instigated and delivered within the organisation.

The Sports and Health Development Team at the Council is currently developing a year two action plan, which will be completed once staff have completed and returned their Employee Needs Questionnaire. Successes from year one will continue and new lunchtime initiatives will be offered for all staff to participate.

Join the Green Team

Written on . Posted in Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Our countryside, Out and about, Playschemes

The Green Team Programme at Epping Forest District Council, a partnership between Community Development and Countrycare the Council`s countryside management service, is giving young environmentalists from across the district the opportunity to take part in a number of environmentally friendly activities.

The aim of The Green Team activities is for young people to learn about all aspects of care in the countryside. Children aged five to eleven years and young people in school year seven and above are welcome to take part in various activities.

The Green Team logo

Events being organised in the next few months include pond dipping, hay making, woodland discovery, insect and butterfly safari, bug hunting, seed gathering, cutting down trees and making a fire to dispose of the wood.

Activities are planned to take place at the Royal Gunpowder Mills in Waltham Abbey, Epping Forest Burial Park in North Weald and various other places of interest in the district.

To find out more about future events, please call Chris Burr on 01992 564363.

Hurricane Gate Guardian Mounted at Airfield

Written on . Posted in Civic events, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Out and about, Your council

After 18 months of hard work and fundraising, the Spirit of North Weald Gate Guardian was mounted at the entrance to North Weald Airfield on Wednesday 25 March 2009.

The replica Hurricane being mountedThe Gate Guardian being mounted at the entrance to the airfield

The Gate Guardian was first unveiled to the public on 18 May 2008 at the Spirit of North Weald Airfield Open day and Fly-in, an event commemorating the 90th Anniversary of the birth of the RAF. The full size fibreglass replica Hurricane was lifted into position with the help of UK Lift and Haul Ltd, Airfield tenant Dave Young and the North Weald Airfield Operations Team.

The Gate Guardian in position at sunset

Arthur Moreton, airfield Historian and a major driving force behind the project said: “The Hurricane looks magnificent and is a fantastic achievement for everyone who has been involved. It truly reflects the spirit of North Weald. It is not only a fitting tribute to everyone who served at RAF North Weald but also something the whole community can be very proud of.”

Arthor Moreton received a Special Award at the Civic Awards this year for his work at North Weald Airfield, click on the link below for news, pictures and a webcast of the event.

Civic Awards 2009 Special Awards

The replica Hurricane was first unveiled at the Spirit of North Weald Airfield Open day and Fly-in, click on the link below for news and pictures of the event.

Hurricane Returns to Guard Airfield


Written on . Posted in Arts, Chigwell, Community, Loughton, Older people, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community

Makedo&mend image

Makedoandmend, an artistic collaboration between young and older people and adults with disabilities from Loughton, Chigwell and Waltham Abbey will be officially launched on Tuesday 7 April 2009 at 3pm at Loughton Youth Centre, 106 Borders Lane, Loughton 1G10 3SB. Vice Chairman of Council Councillor Penny Smith will be attending.

As we end a decade where recycling has become a global imperative, makedo&mend, a multi-disciplinary arts project run by Epping Forest District Council, takes its artistic inspiration from a decade in the previous Century when rationing was the norm, new clothing items rare and a harsh post-war era required people to make do with what they had or mend and repair items normally thrown away. The project sees groups `recycling` the fashion, music and film of the 1940s with contemporary styles to `make do` or `mend`, to create new and original work.

Makedo&mend has distinct strands that feed into each other throughout the year. Young and older people and adults with disabilities from Waltham Abbey, Chigwell and Loughton will collaborate to create a body of work consisting of an original fashion collection, a dance video, a music track and a style magazine featuring all the work produced. The initiative culminates in an exhibition running for two months in partnership with Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey from 10 October to 1 December incorporating rare pieces from the Museum`s costume collection and a programme of public workshops on the themes of makedo&mend.

The fashion aspect of the project grew out of the need to develop cross-generational relationships in Loughton. Makedo&mend will encourage older residents to pass on their memories and experience of 1940s fashion to young people on a project that is relevant to present day issues.

The London College of Fashion is also involved as a partner in the project to reach out to young people in environments such as youth centres to make them feel confident about their ability to achieve at higher education. As well as bringing generations together and creating pathways to careers, makedo&mend also reaches out to groups in care. Alder House is a residential home for people with disabilities aged 23 to 65 years and they will work with artist Emily Jost to design clothing with a 1940s slant but use their disability as an opportunity for design innovation.

Another aspect of makedo&mend is the music. The music becomes a pathway to mend relationships between groups of young people. A group from Waltham Abbey will create a tune using a 1940s track as inspiration and a group from Limes Farm will work with sound artist Arjunan Manuelpillai to write lyrics and record the vocals. In doing so, this part of the project facilitates two groups of young people who would normally be rivals to share and inspire each other.

Image details – John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library. Make do and mend, pamphlet, ca 1943. JCPML00715/7 Original held by National Archives of Australia B5641/1, K4.

Landscape Officer Invited to House of Commons

Written on . Posted in Community, Countryside and wildlife, Our countryside, Out and about, Trees and landscapes, Your area, Your community, Your environment

Landscape Officer Chris Neilan

Epping Forest District Council`s Landscape Officer and Arboriculturist Chris Neilan was invited to a special reception at the House of Commons hosted by Tree Council Vice President Brian Donohoe MP at which Baroness Andrews, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at Communities and Local Government, officially launched National Tree Week.

Chris Neilan said: I was invited because CAVAT (Capital Asset Value for Amenity Trees), the tree value method I have developed, is crucial to current major national initiatives to help protect trees. Over the previous few months it has featured in articles in many national newspapers, including a photograph on the front page of the Times and a feature in The Observer and is currently reported on the front of the current Tree Guardian, the Tree Council’s newsletter to their tree wardens.

CAVAT is specifically reviewed in the Trees and Design Action Group Green Paper `No Trees, No Future – Trees in the Urban Realm `, also launched for consultation at the event. The paper includes two sets of proposed guidelines. One is for Large Species Trees in New Development – including maximising opportunities to plant large species landscape trees in new development and overcoming issues such as perceived threats to foundations. The other is for Assessing the Value of Urban Trees – dealing with the potential approaches to assessing the financial value of trees in developments, including their value to the community. CAVAT is reviewed under this heading and its adoption by the insurance, loss adjusting, Local Authority and private arboricultural sectors (in connection with setting evidence levels in subsidence cases) praised as an excellent example of joint working.

Chris Neilan concluded: I was delighted to attend this special event at the House of Commons and am very happy that my tree valuation method is now helping to improve the management of trees and to save trees that might otherwise be lost, well beyond the bounds of Epping Forest District.