Pupils learn life lessons at Crucial Crew 2017

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Over 1,338 Year 6 pupils from Epping Forest took part in Crucial Crew, a week of interactive days to educate young people about staying safe, fit and healthy.

Crucial crew 2017

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Crucial Crew experience

Crucial crew teaches children how to tackle the dangers they may encounter in everyday life and encourages them make sensible decisions about personal safety and lifestyle choices.

This year the annual event was hosted at Debden House Centre in Loughton for a week from 12 June 2017 to 16 June 2017.

Over the week the children took part in 10 scenarios including

  • Road safety (Essex County Council)
  • Vehicle blind spots (Sainsbury’s)
  • Building sites – dangers and hazards (Mears)
  • Healthy relationships (Safer Places and Epping Forest District Council)
  • Drugs and alcohol (Adas)
  • Bullying (Red Balloon Learner Centres)
  • Internet safety (Essex Police)
  • Healthy lifestyles (ACE – Anglian Community Enterprise)
  • Ambulance (East of England Ambulance Service)
  • Fire safety escape plans & smoke alarms (Essex County Fire & Rescue Service)

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(Left to right – council Community Health and Wellbeing Manager, Gill Wallis, Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder Councillor Gary Waller, council Chairman Councillor David Stallan, The High Sheriff of Essex, Simon Hall, Community Engagement Officer at Essex County Fire & Rescue Paul Fenwick, council Vice Chairman Councillor Richard Bassett, council Safer Communities Manager, Caroline Wiggins)

VIP visit

Epping Forest District Council’s Chairman, Councillor David Stallan was welcomed to the event by council organisers, alongside other VIP’s including the High Sheriff of Essex, Simon Hall, Vice-Chairman, Councillor Richard Bassett, Councillor Gary Waller and Councillor Helen Kane for an informative and enjoyable visit.

Fun way to learn

Councillor David Stallan, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council said: “Crucial Crew is a fun way to prepare children to remain safe in a variety of emergency situations and to be aware of dangers they are likely to encounter as they advance through life. This fantastic and well-supported event allows us to offer awareness and safety advice to our young people just as they’re ready to take a big step in their lives and go to secondary school.”

”It leaves our children with the right skills and knowledge to keep themselves safe, both now and in the future. I enjoyed my short visit and was pleased to see how the different agencies work together to provide this to the kids”

Life lessons

Councillor Helen Kane, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder said: “All children who attended Crucial Crew will take home a wristband with a link to the Crucial Crew pages which includes advice on dealing with challenging or potentially harmful situations. They can also find out more information about the scenarios they have seen and how to make positive choices regarding their own behaviour. I hope the children remember and use the lessons from Crucial Crew, which one day might save their lives.”

“Crucial Crew is organised and facilitated by the council’s Community Health and Wellbeing team but could not take place without the hard work and continued support of partner agencies – a big thank you to all involved.”

Further information

What’s on? Summer holiday activities week 1

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Health, Loughton, Museum, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your environment, Your home

Need ideas for kids activities this summer? See what we have planned for the first week of the summer holidays, Monday 24 July 2017 to Friday 28 July 2017!

Summer Activities P1

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Discover your inner artist

  • Monday 24 July 2017
  • 10:30am – 3:30pm
  • Epping Forest District Museum, 39 -41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL
  • £20 including materials

Suitable for ages 7+

Book

Tudor family fun with clay

  • Tuesday 25 July 2017
  • 12pm – 3pm
  • Epping Forest District Museum, 39 -41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL
  • £1.50

Suitable for ages 5-13

No need to book

Musical in 2 days! Charlie and the chocolate factory

  • Wednesday 26 July & Thursday 27 July 2017
  • 10am – 3pm (both days)
  • Chigwell Hall, Large marquee, Chigwell, IG7 6BD
  • £40 including materials

Suitable for ages 5+

Book

Basketball drop in!

  • Wednesday 26 July 2017
  • 2pm – 4pm
  • Roding Valley recreation ground, basketball court, Roding Road, Loughton, IG10 3BS
  • £3

Suitable for ages 10-15

Book

Tennis Activators

  • Thursday 27 July 2017
  • 4pm – 5pm
  • Roding Valley recreation ground, tennis courts, Roding Road, Loughton, IG10 3BS
  • £3

Suitable for ages 5-10

Book

Go wild: DIY grass heads

  • Thursday 27 July 2017
  • 10am – 12pm
  • Epping Forest District Council Community Services, 25 Hemnall Street, Epping, CM16 4LU
  • £4.50

Suitable for ages 6-12

Book

Be an illustrator

  • Thursday 27 July 2017
  • 10:30am – 12:30pm
  • Epping Forest District Museum, 39-41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL
  • £8

Suitable for ages 8+

Book

How to…draw, level 1

  • Friday 28 July 2017
  • 10:30am – 12:00pm
  • Epping Forest District Museum, 39-41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL
  • £8

Suitable for ages 7+

Book

Multi-sports, forest adventures and more…

We have also planned a wide range of sport, play and adventure days regularly, at multiple locations, throughout the 8 week holiday

  • Multi-sports days (book)
  • Forest adventures (book)
  • Play in the forest (no need to book)
  • Play in the park (no need to book)

Check the full brochure for locations, dates and times.

Further details

Cabinet 15 June 2017

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Grants, Leader, Local business, Media, Meetings, Our attractions, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Cabinet meeting on 15 June 2017 discussed local plan, homelessness and shopping park.

View the webcast

Shopping Park 

Next (including a Costa Coffee), TK Max, Aldi, Hobbycraft, Pets at Home and Smyths Toys have been confirmed among the tenants of the new Epping Forest Shopping Park. Councillor Anne Grigg made the announcement at the meeting of Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet on 15 June. Construction of the retail units is nearing completion with the supporting highway improvements due to finish in August. The Council expects handover on 19 June with the start of shop fitting starting a week later. The park will also set high green transport standards in Essex with 10 electric charging points.

Local Plan Implementation

Proposed masterplans covering areas in Epping, Waltham Abbey, Loughton, North Weald, Ongar, Chigwell and sites around Harlow will be produced as Epping Forest District Council works towards the implementation of the new Local Plan. The need for strategic masterplans to ensure development and infrastructure requirements across groups of sites in the same area was outlined in a report presented by Planning Portfolio Holder John Philip.

Infrastructure 

Councillor Philip explained that it was necessary to show the government-appointed inspector that the Council is taking steps to ensure that growth can be delivered in a coordinated way with necessary infrastructure provided. He emphasised that this does not mean any sites will definitely be in or out of the final Local Plan or that planning approvals have been decided or approved. No definitive decisions have as yet been taken on which sites will be included in the final draft of the Local Plan.

Councillors should be involved early without being predisposed to deciding planning applications. None of the work proposed in the report committed councillors to approving individual sites or applications.

Homelessness

Cabinet approved proposals to allocate the Homelessness Support Grant. Councillors supported the recommendations by Housing Portfolio Holder Syd Stavrou to allocate £60,000 to Genesis Housing Association to provide private sector accommodation, and £29,000 to the young parents scheme at Railway Meadow in Ongar. Further allocations will be made as additional reports come to Cabinet. 

Superfast Broadband 

Reports on the extension of superfast broadband and free wifi in town centres put forward by Technology Portfolio Holder Alan Lion were supported by Cabinet colleagues.

Overview and Scrutiny 6 June 2017

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Princess Alexandra Hospital is in special measures after its services were rated ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission. Senior staff from Princess Alexandra met with Epping Forest District councillors at the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday 6 June for an improvement plan update.

View the webcast here

  • Lance McCarthy – Chief Executive
  • Stephanie Lawton – Chief Operations Manager
  • Nancy Fontaine – Chief Nurse

Waiting times

A&E waiting times and delays in bed allocation were raised by Councillor Stephen Murray.  Stephanie Lawton apologised for the long waiting times but confirmed that patients remain safe. She said that some improvements had been made to flow and discharge of patients with support from community teams. Building works have been commissioned to extend admission facilities. Together with other plans these improvements should improve admission times. Nancy Fontaine added that where elderly patients are being admitted there is some discretion in allowing family members extra access to provide support.

Recruitment and retention

Responding to a question by councillor Aniket Patel, Nancy Fontaine outlined a number of new ward management and leadership training programmes. Councillor Yolanda Knight praised hospital staff following a ‘faultless’ recent visit. However, she also knew from experience that the quality of service varies greatly across different areas of the hospital. She raised the issue of staff morale, staff retention and the training provided to staff in dealing with difficult members of the public.

Nancy Fontaine was pleased to report that some members of staff have been with the Trust for many years. In some instances, three generations from a family are working in different areas of the hospital while many staff trained at Harlow coming back as more senior staff in later years. However, Lance McCarthy did acknowledge that recruitment was affected by the special measures issue.

Safeguarding for children

Councillor Steven Neville sought reassurance on safeguarding for children. Nancy Fontaine responded with a discussion around a culture of failing to follow policy and training. Safeguarding is now more embedded into hospital standards. She said that policies were now tough but it is probably never possible to ’do enough’.

Responding to a question by Councillor Holly Whitbread, Nancy Lawton described methods of recruitment including links with local colleges and interviews by Skype. Councillor Roger Baldwin asked about the financial deficit and plans to reduce reliance on agency workers.  Nancy Fontaine responded that there is a very clear direction to reduce reliance on temporary staff. Lance McCarthy was able to provide figures illustrating the drop in agency expenditure from more than £20m a few years ago to somewhere nearer £13m more recently.

Emergency Planning

Responding to Councillor Nigel Bedford, Lance McCarthy said that the hospital managed the recent cyber attack on the NHS thanks to internal IT protecting services and installing the relevant patches very quickly. Stephanie Lawton outlined the processes and partner agencies working together to coordinate patient discharge in a timely way. She said this was not ‘cracked yet’ but improvements were being made.

Nancy Fontaine and Lance McCarthy outlined in more depth the health and social care solutions used to address issues of patient isolation raised by Councillor Aniket Patel. Stephanie Lawton also confirmed the regular update, review and training for emergency planning situations such as the recent terrorist attacks in London and Manchester.

Lance McCarthy acknowledged the Trust has a long way to go in moving out of special measures but felt the hospital was in a much more positive position. He is also looking at the long term redevelopment or relocation of Princess Alexandra to a better site.

Caring Hospital

Committee Chairman Councillor Mary Sartin thanked Lance McCarthy, Stephanie Lawton and Nancy Fontaine for answering so many questions and offered best wishes for the future. She said that whatever the issues, the CQC report made clear that Princess Alexandra Hospital was a ‘caring’ hospital.

Corporate Plan

In other business Council Leader Chris Whitbread reminded committee members of some of the key achievements of previous years including the freeze on Council Tax for a seventh year and the development of new assets such as the Epping Forest Shopping Park. He said that the delivery of keys to residents for the first newly built council houses had taken place.  Focusing on community services he also applauded the work of the Council in attracting external funding. Local Plan development continues. The Council has listened and consulted with residents.

Councillor Whitbread continued with a description of the transformational changes being implemented across the Council leading to modern working, better use of technology and the facilitation of future service improvements. He also reminded fellow councillors of the benefits of the new leisure contract with a projected income of £20m over the next 20 years.

Other items covered by Overview and Scrutiny included:

  • Select Committees Terms of Reference
  • Select Committee membership
  • Task and Finish Panels
  • Annual Report of Overview and Scrutiny

An exciting summer for the kids!

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Health, Loughton, Museum, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

If you are looking for different ways to keep the kids entertained this summer, look no further! We have an 8 week schedule of fun activities for children of all ages and abilities!

Summer Activities P1

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All ages, abilities and interests

We have a wide range of activities for children of all ages, abilities and interests, available from July to September 2017!

We are also offering our increasingly popular Disability Inclusion Project activities for children and young people with SEND. Please check the brochure for full details.

Don’t miss out

All you need to do is make sure you book in advance. It’s as easy as that!

Sport, art, adventure and many more

Whatever your children’s interests, we have something to suit!

Sport, art, adventure, play, music, gardening, textiles and many more!

Book now!

Most activities need to be booked and paid for in advance, unless otherwise indicated.

Get race ready with couch to 5K

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Want to start running? If you are new to the sport, our couch to 5K programme is exactly what you need! Coaching begins on 20 June 2017.

Couch to 5K

Our weekly sessions will help you build your fitness and stamina. It’s the perfect way to get fit for local park runs and with 4 weeks to go until race for life, there is no better time to get started!

When: Every Tuesday

Date: 20 June 2017 to 5 September 2017

Where: Stonards Hill Recreational Ground, Epping, Essex, CM16 6SP

Time: 17:30pm – 18:30pm

Cost: £3 per session

There is no need to book, just turn up!

More information?

Contact Rosie 07721556315 / enjoyfitnesswithrosie@gmail.com

Safer sleep for babies

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The Safer Sleep Campaign is back to raise awareness of key risk factors and safer sleep habits that can significantly reduce the risk of sudden unexpected deaths of infants (SUDIs).

Safer Sleep Campaign_Social Media Icon

The 2017 campaign launched on 12 June to raise awareness among families with young children as well as the general public about the dangers of poor sleeping conditions and co-sleeping risks for young babies.

While there is a decreasing trend nationally, there was actually a marked rise in the number of SUDIs in recent years in Essex and Thurrock.

Risk factors

No evidence has been identified to suggest a particular cause for the recent increase but there are certain risk factors

  • Co-sleeping with a regular smoker
  • Co-sleeping on a sofa
  • Co-sleeping after consuming alcohol or drugs
  • Co-sleeping if baby was born prematurely or had low birth weight

What can parents do to ensure their baby is sleeping safely?

Safer sleep tips – this advice is for all sleep times, not just at night …

Do

  • Always place your baby on their back to sleep, with their feet to the foot of the cot
  • Place your baby in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first 6 months
  • Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition
  • Breastfeed your baby if you can
  • Keep your baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth

Don’t

  • Sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby
  • Sleep in the same bed as your baby if you smoke, drink, take drugs, if your baby was born prematurely or was of low birth weight
  • Let your baby get too hot
  • Cover your baby’s face or head while sleeping or use loose bedding

Further information and advice

Social media story wrong

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A social media story about tenants trashing a council house in Waltham Abbey that went viral with 700,000 views in two days was wrong. Epping Forest District Council is publicising details of what actually happened to set people’s minds at rest.

Vacant property

The property is actually vacant, the former tenant having recently passed away. The Council got the keys back at the beginning of the month and contractors were clearing it out ready for refurbishment as part of routine maintenance and upgrade before re-letting.

Mistaken assumption

Councillor Syd Stavrou, Housing Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council said: “Councillors became aware of a social media storm over the weekend. A very strongly worded video showing old appliances, bath, sink and other rubbish piled in the back garden was being shared very widely. It was based on the completely mistaken assumption that new tenants had moved into the house and were ripping it apart. Blame was being attached to ‘foreign’ tenants with comments about people from other countries being put before local people.”

Working hard

“In fact, the contractor clearing the house did not speak good English, leading to some confusion. However, they were actually working extremely hard to ensure the house was ready for the old fixtures and fittings to be cleared away on Monday, ready for work on the refurbishment to start with the minimum of delay.”

Must live in district for 5 years

“The Council’s housing policy says council housing applicants must have been resident in the district for a minimum of 5 years. Once the house has been refurbished, it will be let to a family in need of a new home on our housing waiting list.”

The power of social media

Councillor Stavrou, continued: “I am sorry for all the anxiety and inconvenience this has caused. These kinds of works are routine and usually cause no trouble. However, this instance shows how powerful social media can be and how careful people need to be before leaping to conclusions. We can all take lessons from it.”

Concerned? Contact the council

”I have asked our contractor to apologise to the neighbours. I will ask our contractors in future to post an explanatory card through the letter boxes of neighbouring residents before carrying out this type of work, and hopefully, next time residents have concerns, they will ring us first, before such misleading messages go viral.”

Timeline of events

1 June – The Council received the empty property keys.
2 June – The Council’s contractor inspected the property.
5 June – Asbestos report (always required before refurbishment work) requested.
9 June – AM Asbestos report received.
9 June – PM Contractors go in.

  • This property had lots of the former tenant’s (deceased) household items to be removed before refurbishment work could start.
  • Items including the bath, basin and WC are being removed and renewed.
  • Items placed in garden for collection via back gate.

12 June – Garden scheduled to be cleared today (Monday 12 June).

  • The garden will be returned to its existing condition on completion of the refurbishment.
  • Photographs are taken before work starts to make sure the house and garden are returned a good standard at the end of the refurbishment.

23 June – Planned completion date.
26 June – Inspection and return of keys for re-letting.

General Election results

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Results of the UK Parliamentary election on Thursday 8 June 2017 for the Epping Forest district.

General Election Thursday 8 June 2017

Epping Forest constituency results

Thomas Hall (Young People’s Party YPP) – 110
Simon Heap (Green Party) – 1,233
Eleanor Laing (Conservatives) – 31,462 elected
Patrick O’Flynn (UKIP) – 1,871
Liam Preston (Labour) – 13,219
Jon Whitehouse (Liberal Democrats) – 2,884

Rejected ballot papers – 130

Turnout 68.12%

Epping Forest constituency full results

Declaration of result of poll


Brentwood & Ongar constituency results

Gareth Barrett (Labour) – 10,809
Alex Burghart (Conservatives) – 34,811 elected
Karen Chilvers (Liberal Democrats) – 4,426
Paul Jeater (Green Party) – 915
Louca Kousoulou (Independent) – 104
Michael McGough ((UKIP) – 1,842

Rejected ballot papers

Turnout 70.6%

Brentwood & Ongar constituency full results


Harlow constituency results

Hannah Clare (Green Party) – 660
Mark Gough (UKIP) – 1,787
Robert Halfon (Conservatives) – 24,230 elected
Geoffrey Seeff (Liberal Democrats) – 970
Phil Waite (Labour) – 17,199

Rejected ballot papers – 75

Turnout 66.37%

Harlow constituency full results


Election news

Remember to vote on 8 June

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

Epping Forest district residents will be taking to polling stations on Thursday 8 June to vote in the 2017 General Election. Voters must aged 18 or over, a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen, however EU citizens cannot vote in a UK Parliamentary election.

Candidates

General Election Thursday 8 June 2017

Where to vote

Your poll card was sent to the address where you are registered. It will say where the polling station you vote at is.

Polling stations open from 7am to 10pm. Plan what time you want to vote, leaving plenty of time before the 10pm deadline. If you are in a queue at your polling station at 10pm you will still be able to vote, but if you arrive after 10pm the poll will be closed and you will have missed your chance to vote.

Your polling station could be in a school, church, village hall or sports club – we’re very grateful to all the groups who let us use their premises as polling stations.

At the polling station

When you arrive at the polling station give your polling card to the polling station staff. It’s ok if you don’t have your poll card with you, it is for your information only. You just need to tell the polling station staff your name and address and they can check whether you’re on the electoral register.

You will be given a ballot paper listing the candidates you can vote for. Mark your ballot paper with an X next to your chosen candidate. A pencil will be provided, but you may use your own pen if you prefer.

If you make a mistake on your ballot paper, don’t worry. So long as you haven’t already put it in the ballot box just let the polling station staff know and they can issue you with a replacement ballot paper.

Fold your completed ballot paper in half and pop it in the ballot box – that’s it all done!

Voting constituencies

There are 650 parliamentary constituencies in the UK. Each is represented by 1 Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons. The Epping Forest district covers all of the Epping Forest constituency and part of the Brentwood & Ongar and Harlow constituencies.

Epping Forest residents will be voting for their local MP and not the leaders of the political parties. You can find your candidates here.

If you live in Ongar, North Weald, Fyfield, Stapleford Abbotts, Toot Hill, Lambourne End, Abridge and Matching Tye you will vote in the Brentwood & Ongar constituency, run by Brentwood Council. Residents living in Roydon, Sheering or Nazeing will vote in the Harlow constituency run by Harlow Council.

Use your voice

Glen Chipp, Acting Returning Officer for the Epping Forest constituency said: “Politics shapes everything we do. From the health and social care we all need, to the jobs and businesses and security of the country. Whatever your politics, make sure you vote and use your voice on 8 June.”