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

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

Respond to final reminders for annual canvass

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Consultation, Democracy, Elections, Epping, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

The final canvass of outstanding properties will take place between now and Wednesday 15 November 2017. The deadline for a response is Wednesday 22 November 2017.

Household Enquiry Form - Annual Canvass 2017

Final canvass

The fourth and final household enquiry forms will be delivered before the electoral register is published on 1 December 2017. If you have not registered, you will need to as soon as possible. Electoral registration is now a 2 part process.

Door knocking

Returning Officer Glen Chipp said: ”Canvassers will be knocking on the doors of these properties between 6 November and 15 November 2017 to retrieve information. Electors will have until 22 November 2017 at the very latest to respond if they wish to be included in the new register.”

First Stage

You will need the 2 part security code on your household enquiry form and you can do 1 of the following

  1. Confirm online at www.householdresponse.com/eppingforest
  2. Text NOCHANGE – with your security number to 80212
  3. Confirm by phone 0800 197 9871

Need to make a change?

You will need the 2 part security code on your household enquiry form and can do 1 of the following

  1. Amend the information online easily and quickly at www.householdresponse.com/eppingforest
  2. Amend the form and return it to us in the prepaid envelope – please make sure you give a contact phone number or email address in case of queries

Second stage

Merely completing the Household Enquiry Form does not mean you are registered. Don’t forget to

You will need your date of birth, national insurance number, nationality and any previous addresses. Please also make sure you include a contact phone number and/or email address in case of queries.

Electoral registration

If you receive an email about electoral registration or a paper registration form in the post, you need to respond online, by phoning Electoral services with the information requested. You can also fill in the form and send it back, but please do not ignore it.

Affected credit ratings

Glen Chipp continued: ”Any information received after 22 November 2017 will not be added to the register until January 2018. It is worth noting that not being on the electoral register can affect your credit rating in the run up to Christmas.”

Paying for policing, the PFCC needs #yourviews

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Consultation, Council tax, Crime and safety, Democracy, Emergencies, Epping, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Do you want to increase the levels of policing in Essex? Willing to pay more Council tax to do so? The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex (PFCC) want your views.

Police car

Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex is asking Essex residents to fill in an online survey to gauge whether or not residents would be happy to pay more, so more resources can be invested in policing across the county.

Essex Police’s Funding comes from two sources

  • Central Government
  • Local Council Tax

Essex Police receives the lowest funding per resident of any police force in the country and has the sixth lowest council tax for policing.

Have your say

The survey will be live from 01.00 am Monday 6 November to 00.00am on Sunday 19 November.

The PFCC want you to join in the conversation on social media by using the #yourviews.

Providing the best service possible

PFCC Mr Hirst said: “I want to provide the best service possible for the people of Essex and increasing investment will help me deliver this. I’m not expecting any increase in central Government funding for this year but I can raise the police precept. However, before I make that decision I want to know what the views of the public are so I can take them into account.”

He added: “At every public meeting I attend I hear that the residents want more police on the streets and whilst both Essex Police and I are doing everything we can to make that happen, we don’t have the money or resources to deliver it in the best way that we want to. The demand on the police service is rising. New crime types are emerging and existing crime is rising in its complexity, this is against a backdrop of an unprecedented shift in the national security environment. My question to the public is this – do they want to pay more for those extra resources?”

12k in grants given to community groups

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Epping, Equalities, Grants, Health, Local business, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our performance, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Supporting business, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

6 local community and voluntary groups have been awarded £12,840 in grants helping the district’s social and physical wellbeing.

Grant aid banner

Grants awarded

  • Hertfordshire Boat Rescue
    £830 for radio equipment for use by volunteers on rescue missions and events
  • Playground at Theydon Association (PAT)
    £5,000 contribution towards the refurbishment of the Theydon Bois playground
  • Fyfield Bridge Club
    £1,200 contribution towards the cost of new scoring equipment for the club
  • Ongar & Villages Voluntary Care
    £1,770 to support their transporting service which supports older people
  • Loughton Voluntary Care
    £1,540 to support their transporting service which supports older people
  • Fyfield Village Hall
    £5,000 contribution towards the refurbishment of the gentleman’s toilets and cloakroom

Keeping our communities thriving

Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder Councillor Helen Kane said: “Our grants go on to help such a wide variety of people throughout our community, giving our parents and children a social place to be active in new playgrounds, to giving our older resident’s opportunities to get out of the house and gain more independence with Loughton’s voluntary care community transport service.”

“I am proud that these grants are actively helping people in our district, giving much needed and valued services the boost they need to go on and keep our communities thriving. Can you think of a community group or voluntary service that could use a cash boost? Don’t delay, apply now.”

Apply for a £5k grant

If your community group could use up to £5,000 to help with your one-off project, initiative or even the further development of an existing scheme, apply now.

Find out if your group is eligible

Woman fined £1,451 for failing duty of care

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Crime and safety, Environmental health, Epping, Licensing, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Prosecutions, Recycling and waste, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Rachel Cooper of Lushes Road in Loughton, was found guilty of a waste duty of care offence for giving 10 bags of household waste to someone who fly-tipped her waste at the junction of Bushfields and Parkmead in Loughton.

Fly-tipping Loughton

Failed to attend hearings

Rachel Cooper failed to attend two court hearings and was arrested on 29 September 2017. At court Ms Cooper pleaded guilty to handing over 10 bags of household waste to someone, who then fly-tipped them at the junction of Bushfields and Parkmead, Loughton on 30 November 2016.

Fined and prosecuted

She was fined £170 for the offence and failing to attend an interview with the council’s Environment and Neighbourhoods team. She was also ordered to pay the Council’s prosecution costs of £1281.33.

So easily avoided

Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: ”This is a situation that could easily have been avoided. Ms Cooper admitted that she had asked for the waste to be removed for cash, without first checking to see whether the person was licensed.”

”Ms Cooper’s decision was particularly foolish as over 80% of the waste could have been recycled using Epping Forest District Council’s normal doorstep collection. If she had used this, or simply checked the licence of the person removing the waste, she would not have been arrested or fined.”

He continued: ”Householders and business must make reasonable checks to ensure that they comply with their waste duty of care. You must only give your waste to a person authorised by the Environment Agency. Businesses who produce commercial waste must also keep waste transfer notes”.

#CrimeNotToCare

Love Essex, a partnership of councils, businesses and environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, has launched its #CrimeNotToCare campaign to inform residents they could unwittingly end up with a criminal record and face an unlimited fine, if a rogue trader dumps their waste illegally.

Protect yourself and help us catch fly-tippers

To protect yourself from legal action, we advise you check, consider and record

  • Check the person you are asking is licensed with the Environment Agency
  • Consider whether you think the person is legitimate. Be mindful of cold callers, if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is
  • Record as much information as possible, including licence/vehicle and contact details and what you are asking to be disposed of

If you suspect someone is disposing of waste illegally, tell us. Contact us on 01992 564608 or enofficers@eppingforestdc.gov.uk for help and advice.

Help us catch fly-tippers.

Further Information

Fireworks party at North Weald Airfield

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

Come and join us at North Weald Airfield on 3 November 2017, for a spectacular evening of fireworks and fun! Tickets are on sale, so book now to avoid disappointment!

North Weals Airfield fireworks and bonfire party

Click on an image below to begin slideshow of last year’s fireworks event.

Schedule of events

  • 5.00 pm – Gates & Ferris wheel open
  • 5.30 pm – Kids disco starts, with prizes for the best dancers
  • 7.00 pm – Bonfire is lit
  • 7.15 pm – Little Mix tribute band (2 lucky children get to meet the band, keep your ticket number handy)
  • 8.15 pm – Hot air balloons glow to music
  • 8.30 pm – Fireworks display begins
  • 9.15 pm – 80’s tribute band begins
  • 10.30 pm – Licensed bar closes
  • 10.45pm – Last bus leaves
  • 11.00pm – Airfield closes

Every ride on the Ferris wheel you take will see 50% of the price donated to The Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust, helping to fund their life saving missions!

Tickets available now!

Tickets are available to buy now, so don’t delay and avoid disappointment!

  • Buy tickets online
  • Tickets are also available from The Squadron Café at North Weald Airfield, The News Shop in North Weald and are being sold at Saturday market at North Weald Airfield

Ticket prices

  • £5 per adult
  • £3 per child (2 – 11 years old)

A limited number of tickets will be available on the night and will cost

  • £7 per adult
  • £5 per child (2-11 years old)

Getting to and from the event

By bus

  • Special bus services to the airfield from Waltham Abbey, Harlow and Ongar will be available – details here
  • Return busses to Waltham Abbey, Harlow and Ongar will leave from the control tower from 9:45pm
  • A free bus will pick up passengers from Kings Head bus stop, North Weald

On foot

  • North Weald Airfield (map)
  • A free bus will pick up passengers from Kings Head bus stop, North Weald

By car

Further information

State of the art centre for Waltham Abbey

Written on . Posted in Business, Chairman, Commercial properties, Community, Councillors, Doing business with the council, Health, Local business, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

On Thursday 12 October 2017 local school children, councillors and business members gathered to mark the start of construction for Waltham Abbey’s brand new state of the art leisure centre, which is due to open in Winter 2018.

Preparing to place the Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre time capsule

Click on an image below to begin slideshow

Exciting times for Waltham Abbey

Councillor Helen Kane, Portfolio Holder for Leisure said: “These are exciting times for Waltham Abbey. The first new council housing in 30 years has just been completed in Harveyfields, Roundhills and surrounding roads as we start the construction of this fantastic new leisure centre. Sixty independent living accommodation units providing a positive alternative to residential care and new health facilities replacing the old surgery accommodation in Maynard Court are set to follow in partnership with Essex County Council and NHS England.”

”The leisure centre will be for everyone. Working with Places for People and their construction partners Pellikaan, we are set to deliver a top class leisure facility that will promote health and wellbeing, and provide a place for people to enjoy physical activity and socialise within the community.”

Investing in our community

Councillor Kane continued: “We are investing in our community and our future. Coming hard on the heels of the recently refurbished and extended museum in Sun Street and the development of the brand new Epping Forest Shopping Park in Loughton, Epping Forest District Council is signalling its intent in the best possible way.”

Councillor Sue Lissimore, Cabinet member for housing at Essex County Council added: “These plans breathe new life into taxpayer-owned land. We’ve pledged £42m over the next five years to bring sites like this forward for much needed homes with multi-use developments that also help to drive economic growth. The leisure centre ground-breaking is a fantastic milestone and a great example of public and private sector partners working together across Essex.”

Design, build, operate and maintain

Places for People Leisure were awarded the 20-year Design, Build, Operate and Maintain contract for the new Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre by Epping Forest District Council, along with their construction partners Pellikaan Construction and architects Pozzoni.

£9.5m investment in centre

The new £9.5m leisure centre has been designed with a green roof to complement the surrounding recreational ground and will feature an 80-station fitness suite, 25m six lane pool with 15m learner pool, exercise and group cycling studio, a community room, and café.

Virtual cycling & Les Mills

The Centre will also feature a dedicated Virtual Cycling studio with classes led by Les Mills virtual master trainers, enabling customers to participate at their own convenience when it suits them.

Fantastic community leisure facility

John Bates, Business Development Director at Places for People Leisure said: “We are extremely excited to begin work on what will be a fantastic community leisure facility. Through our partnership with Epping Forest District Council we are looking forward to providing a leisure operation that will capture the local community’s imagination and encourage even more people to adopt a love of physical activity.”

Time capsule

Those in attendance yesterday included pupils from Hillhouse Church of England Primary School as well as representatives from the Epping Forest District Swimming Club who buried a time capsule as part of the ceremony which included the old set of keys to the previous community centre.

The current Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool recently received investment to improve the customer experience and will remain open and fully operational until the new centre opens.

Council Tax Support Scheme consultation extended

Written on . Posted in Benefits, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Consultation, Council tax, Democracy, Epping, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

The Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme consultation has been extended, due to a problem with a link that was published on social media. You are now able to make comments until midnight on Wednesday 25 October 2017.

We’re asking for your views on the future of our Local Council Tax Reduction 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 midnight on Wednesday 25 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.

First new council homes for Waltham Abbey

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, Councillors, Doing business with the council, Housing, Housing repairs, Leader, Local business, Media, Older people, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Epping Forest District Council welcomed the first tenants into John Scott Court, Waltham Abbey this week.

50 guests gathered for the official opening ceremony, an event which marked the completion of Phase One of the Council’s House-building Programme to provide 23 new affordable rented homes in Waltham Abbey.

John Scott Court

Click on an image below to start slideshow

John Scott

The development is named after former District Health and Housing Officer and Joint Chief Executive John Scott as a tribute to decades of service to the Council and the local community.

Guests, including John Scott, MP Eleanor Laing and local councillors joined council officers, contractors and tenants to open the nine newly built homes at John Scott Court, all of which are being let to local residents in need of housing.

Energy efficient homes

The brand new energy-efficient homes, which are built to Lifetime Homes Standards, are built on a formerly under-used garage site.

Resident delighted with her new home

One new tenant, who was delighted to move into her new home said: “I moved in last week and am so happy in my new home. I am very impressed with the size of the rooms, my son has lots of space for his toys. I’ve shown lots of friends and neighbours around my flat and they all want to live here!”

Programme of over 300 homes

The new homes at John Scott Court are the latest completions in the district-wide programme of over 300 new affordable homes to be built during the next 10 years. They will shortly be followed by the completion of Phase 2 of the Programme in Burton Road, Loughton, which is on schedule to complete by March 2018.

Proud to work with residents

Councillor Syd Stavrou, Portfolio Holder for Housing attended the official opening and said: “We are committed to making the best use of our housing stock and are continuing to build new homes for people in housing need within our community. We are proud to be working with residents and partners, building more well-designed homes for affordable rent in our district”.

After the ceremony there was an opportunity to visit another new development of six houses and flats at Hockley court, Waltham Abbey.

Further information