Vote for VAEF

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

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

Volunteer Essex new website launch

Tesco initiative

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

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

Voluntary Action Epping Forest

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

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

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

Cast your vote

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

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

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

Make a positive difference

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

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

Want to volunteer?

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

Council Tax Reduction Scheme consultation

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

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

Council Tax Reduction Scheme consultation

Government grant

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

Making changes

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

Generate savings

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

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

Let us know what you think

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

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

Make a detailed reply or comments

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

We cannot respond individually to each response.

Your rubbish, your responsibility

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Councillors, Environmental health, Epping, 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, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Fly-tipping in Essex is draining more than £1 million of taxpayers’ money each year.

#CrimeNotToCare

Partnership working

This week, Love Essex, a partnership of councils, businesses and environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, is launching 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.

”Your rubbish is your responsibility”

Epping Forest District Council’s Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: “We need the public to understand their rubbish is their responsibility and they must do the right thing with it. Giving it to a man with a van who offers to get rid of it cheaply could prove costly for people and result in them getting a criminal record.”

Incidents on the rise

In the Epping Forest district there were 2,384  incidents in 2016 to 2017, a significant rise from the previous year’s figures of 1,944. The number of prosecutions of residents where fly-tipped waste has been traced back to them is also on the rise.

Successful prosecutions

A man was recently fined £461 and ordered to pay £758 prosecution costs after pleading guilty to failing his ‘duty of care’, at Chelmsford Magistrates Court. The Loughton resident had allowed a man who knocked at his door to take 40 black sacks away for £70 cash, without checking he was authorised to transport the waste – rules he was unaware of.

The rubbish was then fly-tipped in a garage area in Loughton and traced back to the resident.

”Important campaign for our country”

Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton added: “#CrimeNotToCare is an important campaign for our country and we are delighted that Epping Forest District Council as part of Love Essex, is partnering with us.

“There are almost a million fly-tipping incidents in England every year and cleaning it all up costs us £50million a year. It blights communities and our countryside and is a menace.”

Seek advice

Ensure you don’t fall foul of the law, visit www.recycleforessex.com/crimenottocare for advice.

Top tips to dispose of waste correctly

  1. If you use a trader to remove your waste ask to see their waste carrier registration number issued by the Environment Agency. It is illegal for them to take your waste if they don’t have a permit. Check their credentials and vehicle details here
  2. Make sure you get a receipt or transfer notice before your waste is taken away
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask where your waste is going and request paperwork that shows where it will be disposed. A legitimate waste carrier will not object to this questioning
  4. Protect yourself by being careful with your waste. Never leave rubbish, such as old washing machines or scrap metal on your drive or in the street as it could end up in the wrong hands. You can donate working items to reuse organisations or charity shops

Report fly-tipping

Decisions from Plans South 23 August 2017

Written on . Posted in Community, Councillors, Democracy, Licensing, Media, Meetings, Our performance, Out and about, Private housing, Residents, Uncategorized, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Planning application decisions from Area Planning Sub-Committee South meeting on Wednesday 23 August 2017.

Watch the webcast

Decisions

  • EPF/2446/16 – Buckhurst Hill FC, Roding Lane, Buckhurst Hill, Essex, IG9 6BJ
    Permission granted
  • EPF/3386/16 – Land West of Froghall Lane, South of Chigwell Cemetery, Chigwell, Essex, IG7
    Refused then deferred to DDMC
  • EPF/0877/17 – 55 Hainault Road, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 5DH
    Decision deferred
  • EPF/1011/17 – 80 Bracken Drive, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 5RD
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1012/17 – 12A Alderton Close, Loughton, Essex, IG10 3HQ
    Decision deferred
  • EPF/1514/17 – 51 Parkmead, Loughton, Essex, IG10 3JW
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1531/17 – St Merryn, Grove Lane, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 6JD
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1618/17 – Shepperd’s Nursery, Chase Lane, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 6JW
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1620/17 – Mirravale Court, 137 Queens Road, Buckhurst Hill, Essex, IG9 5BH
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1667/17 – 7 Beech Close, Loughton, Essex, IG10 2PH
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1818/17 – 102 Southern Drive, Loughton, Essex, IG10 3BX
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1844/17 – 240 The Broadway, Loughton, Essex, IG10 3TF
    Permission granted
  • EPF/1852/17 – 12 High Road, Buckhurst Hill, Essex, IG9 5HP
    Permission granted

Planning application search

Stay well this winter

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

With the colder months closing in it’s time to prepare with our ‘stay well this winter’ events.

Stay Well This Winter 2017

Time to prepare is now

Our free stay well this winter events in partnership with West Essex Clinical Commissioning group provide the best health care information with talks from professionals and community groups highlighting the great services available to you this winter.

They day includes informative talks from

  • Pharmacists
  • Community Nurses
  • Specialist health advisors

Stands from health and community professionals including

  • Alzheimer’s society
  • EFDC Housing team
  • VAEF
  • Essex Road Safety
  • Essex Fire Service
  • And more

You will also receive a free lunch and goodie bag.

Where

  1. Tuesday 3 October
    10 am – 2pm
    Waltham Abbey Town Hall
    High bridge Street
    EN9 1DE
  2. Wednesday 25 October
    10am – 2pm
    Theydon Bois Village Hall
    Coppice Row
    CM16 7ER
  3. Friday 10 November
    10am – 2pm
    Roding Hall
    Buckhurst Hill
    26 Station Way
    IG9 6LN

Join us

Booking is required, call 01992 564226 to confirm your place.

Roydon man fined for illegal tree felling

Written on . Posted in Community, Countryside and wildlife, Environmental health, Licensing, Media, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Prosecutions, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Uncategorized, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your money

Mr Paul Hayden of Old house land, Roydon was fined a total of £3,199 after illegally cutting down trees protected by tree preservation orders (TPO’s).

Reckless actions

On 6 July at Chelmsford Magistrates Court Mr Hayden pleaded guilty to cutting down 2 oak trees, 2 Hawthorn trees and willfully damaging another Hawthorn, all were protected by Woodland Tree Preservation Orders in a conservation area.

Mr Hayden told the magistrates he had occupied the property for 26 years before buying in it 2016 but did not instruct his solicitor to carry out usual conveyancing searches.

He cut down the trees to clear a riding path for his daughter to avoid the horses eating acorns, which he said are found to be poisonous to them.

£3,199 worth of fines

The Magistrates considered his actions to have been reckless but not for monetary gain and implemented fines of £400 for each tree cut down and £250 for the damaged Hawthorn. He will have to plant replacement trees.

Mr Hayden has also been ordered to pay the council’s prosecution costs of £1,309 and a victim surcharge of £40 making a total of £3,199.

More information

For any inquiries regarding tree protection orders (TPOs) please contact

51% of households responded, have you?

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

51% of Epping Forest district households have responded to the annual canvass so far, that’s 28,600 household Enquiry Forms (HEF) in total, 20,000 were received online, by text and by phone!

Household Enquiry Form - Annual Canvass 2017

Do it online, it’s easier & cheaper

”Responding online, by text or by phone is by far the quickest and simplest way for you to respond and it’s also the cheapest, which helps us keep our costs down” explained Glen Chipp, Electoral Registration Officer for Epping Forest District Council.

”We still have 27,600 households to go, so we will be doing really well if we can keep up this good rate of automated responses before our deadline of 23 August 2017.”

What is a HEF?

Every year we have to send out a household enquiry form (HEF) to update the register of electors and find out if there have been any changes. Don’t ignore it, please respond immediately.

This is known as the annual canvass. It tells us details of people who have moved out and adds details of new occupants. You must respond, even if your details haven’t changed and even you voted in May and/or June this year.

Complete your household enquiry form online

No changes, all details are the same

You will need the 2 part security code on your household enquiry form and can do 1 of 3 options

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

If there are changes

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

  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

And finally…

Remember – the HEF is only an enquiry form.

If you are adding new names in your response to the HEF, you need to complete the registration process at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote to add those people to the register.

For this, you will need your date of birth, national insurance number, nationality and any previous address.

Please also make sure you include a contact phone number and/or email address in case of queries.

Make sure you can vote

Glen Chipp added: “People think that they are automatically added to the register of electors because they are paying Council Tax or receiving Housing Benefit but that’s not the case. Not being on the register of electors can affect your credit rating and therefore you might have difficulty opening a bank account, getting credit, a loan, a mortgage or even a mobile phone!”

“Don’t ignore your HEF, by law you must confirm your details, or you may face a fine of up to £1,000. Please respond immediately, by 23 August 2017 at the very latest.”

Do you know a cheat in your street?

Written on . Posted in Business, Business rates, Community, Council tax, Housing, Media, Out and about, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

“If you know or suspect someone is committing fraud you should report them straight away” urges Finance Portfolio Holder Councillor Gagan Mohindra.

Fraud affects everyone. Money stolen by housing tenancy fraud, council tax fraud or business rates fraud is depriving our public services of the vital resources they need.”

Know a cheat in your street?

Report someone you think is committing fraud

Don’t let them get away with it. You can report it anonymously. You don’t have to give your name or contact details unless you want to.

Fraudsters are cheating us all

Housing tenancy fraud – someone who has committed a social housing fraud by

  • illegally sub-letting
  • not living in the property and leaving it empty
  • making a fraudulent Right to Buy application
  • taking (or making) a payment for a mutual exchange
  • living in a property after the tenant has died, where they had no right to succeed
  • giving false or misleading information to get the tenancy

Council Tax fraud – someone who gets a Council Tax discount by falsely

  • stating the property is empty
  • claiming they live alone
  • claiming they are a student
  • claiming Council Tax Support falsely by doing undeclared work or having capital/property in excess of the limit

Business rates fraud – a person or business liable for Business Rates who falsely

  • claims an exemption or relief they are not entitled to

Not a victimless crime

Cllr Mohindra said: “Fraud is not a victimless crime. Don’t think that reporting benefit fraud is wrong or underhand. If a fraudster commits fraud in the Epping Forest district we will use the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to seize and confiscate their assets.”

We need your help

“We constantly look for fraud but no matter how hard we try, we cannot do it alone – we need your help” said Councillor Mohindra.

“Please tell us if you suspect someone is committing fraud by filling in our online form or by calling our fraud investigation team on 01992 564444.”

Loughton men prosecuted for fly tipping

Written on . Posted in Community, Environmental health, Loughton, Media, Our countryside, Prosecutions, Recycling and waste, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

2 Loughton men were fined a combined sum of £2,788.38 after pleading guilty to fly-tipping in 2 separate cases in Loughton.

Case 1 – Dominic Bennett

Dominic Bennett of Colson Road, Loughton was caught on CCTV dumping a fridge freezer on a patch of grass in Bushfields, Loughton. Our Environment & Neighbourhoods team were made aware of the fly tipping on 25 October 2016.

Mr Bennett could have paid a fixed penalty of £200 and avoid prosecution proceedings, but he decided not to pay the penalty. Mr Bennett pleaded guilty to fly tipping at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on 6 July 2017. He was ordered to pay a fine of £320, as well as the council’s prosecution costs of £1,170.52 together with a victim surcharge of £32. Total fine of £1,522.52.

Fly tipping Prosecution Mr Bennett

Case 2 – James Leach

We were made aware of fly tipped materials in a garage area in Chequers Road, Loughton on 10 November 2016. The materials were traced back to James Leach of Harvey Gardens, Loughton.

Mr Leach admitted he had asked a person who knocked on his door to remove 40 black sacks for £70 cash in hand.

Mr Leach was fined £461 and ordered to pay £758.86 for the councils prosecution costs together with a victim surcharge of £46. Total fine of £1,265.86.

Fly tipping Prosecution Mr Leach

Paid the price

Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: “It’s vital when you’re disposing of waste that you do it responsibly. Mr Leach failed to check the man he used was licensed to carry out the job and he ultimately paid the price. To avoid ending up in the same situation always remember to Check Challenge and Record.”

Check, challenge, record

Getting rid of some rubbish? If you’re using a private contractor always ensure you check, challenge & record.

Find out more on GOV.UK waste duty of care.

Check

  • Always check that the company or person you are intending to give your waste to is authorised to take it
  • Ask for their waste carriers registration details
  • Telephone the Environment Agency to check the public register on 03708 506 506

Challenge

  • Always ask for their details and what will happen to your waste
  • Ask yourself – Is it a good idea to employ somebody who has cold called offering to remove waste before you have checked their details
  • Trust your instincts. If in doubt, don’t give them your waste

Record

  • Always record the details of who you give your waste to and any vehicles involved. Legal waste operators will be happy to cooperate
  • Householders must make reasonable checks and businesses who produce commercial waste must keep waste transfer notes to comply with their waste duty of care

Whats on? Summer activities – Week 5

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Epping, Media, Our activities, Our attractions, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Looking for summer holiday activity inspiration? Take a look at what we have in store for Monday 21 August to Friday 25 August 2017 of the summer holidays…

Summer Activities P1

Click on an image below to begin slideshow

Be an Animator!

  • Monday 21 August 2017
  • 10:30am – 3:30pm
  • Epping Forest District Museum, 39 – 41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL
  • £20 including materials

Suitable for ages 8+

Book

Musical in 2 days! – Annie

  • Tuesday 22 & Wednesday 23 August 2017
  • 10:30am – 3:30pm
  • St James Hall, St James Avenue, Ongar, CM5 9EL
  • £40 including materials

Suitable for ages 5+

Book

Tudor Family Fun with clay

  • Tuesday 22 August 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 just drop in!

Go wild: Let’s get painting 

  • Thursday 24 August 2017
  • 10am – 12pm
  • Epping Forest District Council Community Services, 25 Hemnall Street, Epping, CM16 4LU
  • £4.50

Suitable for ages 6-12

Book

Multi-sports, forest adventures and more…

We have also planned a wide range of sportplay 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