Confident and bold decisions taken at Cabinet

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Epping, Health, Housing, Leader, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Meetings, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Planning, Regulations, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

A series of far-reaching decisions were taken at the meeting of Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet, meeting at the Civic Offices on 10 December.

New home for Council

Councillors have agreed in principle to relocate staff to North Weald. While customer services, civic and democratic functions will remain at the Civic Offices in Epping, new purpose-built offices will provide space for up to 380 staff at Blenheim Way, North Weald within three years.

New partners will join remaining council staff in Epping, ensuring the northern end of the town retains a strong employment focus and economic footfall for High Street shops and businesses.

Demolition of the 1960s Conder Building attached to the Civic Offices will clear the way for a mix of new homes behind the Civic Offices.

St John’s Road Cinema, Homes and Leisure Centre

As the Civic Offices evolve, the Council will also be transforming the southern end of Epping with a new leisure centre, cinema, homes, businesses and parking. Subject to detailed negotiation and agreement, Epping Forest District Council proposes to work in partnership with Epping Town Council and leisure provider Places Leisure (also known as Places for People) to deliver the development.

The existing sports centre in Epping will be redeveloped for housing following completion of the new St John’s facility, allowing the Council Offices, St John’s Road and Hemnall Street to make a substantial contribution to housing demand identified in the emerging Local Plan.

Council staff working from the current housing depot off Epping High Street will move to new facilities already built at Oakwood Hill, Loughton.

Harlow and Gilston Vision and Design

Three strategic housing locations at Water Lane, Latton Priory and East of Harlow have been identified in the Local Plan for large housing developments on the boundaries of Harlow but within Epping Forest District. Councillors approved the vision and design guide – working documents developed by Epping Forest District Council in partnership with Harlow and East Herts District Councils for Harlow and Gilston Garden Town.

£97 million Capital Programme

Ongoing development of new council houses form the major part of the five-year capital programme put before councillors at the start of the New Year budget setting process. Aside from approximately £8 million for the new Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre, completed in November 2018, around £80 million is identified for a combination of new council housing and improvements to the Council’s existing stock over five years.

Landmark Building

Councillors approved £140,000 to complete work necessary to let commercial units at the new Landmark Building in the Broadway, Loughton. Once let, rental income of around £250,000 a year will be used to support the Council’s public services.

A forward-thinking council fit for the future

After the meeting, Council Leader Councillor Chris Whitbread said: “This is probably one of the most significant Cabinet meetings in years. The strategic development of council services based in Epping, North Weald and our new depot at Oakwood Hill, Loughton dovetail with our determination to build much need new homes sympathetically and boost economic activity across the district.”

“These are bold decisions. They demonstrate vision, confidence in our council, commitment to our residents and belief in the future of our district.”

Floods Destroy – Are you at Risk? Are you Prepared?

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Crime and safety, Drainage, Environmental health, Epping, Health, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

With the onset of winter, the Environment Agency has launched its annual Flood Action Campaign.

This year it’s titled Prepare, Act, Survive and is aimed at young people who are most at risk in a flood because18-24’s are least aware of dangers of flooding in their area and more than half would not know what to do in an emergency. The Environment Agency and British Red Cross are urging young people to learn how to protect themselves and help their communities when flooding hits.

Self-help

“We are all individually responsible for the safety of ourselves, and our homes in the event of a flood,” said Cllr Nigel Avey, Cabinet Member for the Environment.

“There is so much self-help information available that there is no excuse for not being prepared in the event of a flood.”

“For instance flood doors and boards are available to hold back the water if you live in an area that is in danger of flooding, or you can buy self-inflating ‘sandbags’ that only take up a fraction of the space of traditional sandbags and can be deployed rapidly. We must all be prepared to help ourselves should the worst happen.”

I would also encourage all residents to check the flood risk in their area by visiting the Environment Agency’s website and if necessary sign up for automated email and text Flood Alerts.

Be prepared

The Environment Agency’s advice in their latest campaign is to:

Prepare a bag that includes medicines and insurance documents

Act, turn off gas, water and electricity. Move things upstairs or to safety. Move family, pets and car to safety

Survive Call 999 if in immediate danger, follow advice from emergency services, keep yourself and your family safe.

More useful information is available on:

https://www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk

http://www.essexprepared.co.uk/

http://bluepages.org.uk/

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency

#JustOneThing on YouTube

You wouldn’t leave your belongings out to be stolen, so why let them be taken by a flood? What #JustOneThing would you hate to lose in a flood?

Loughton man prosecuted for failing duty of care

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Environmental health, Loughton, Older people, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Prosecutions, Recycling and waste, Regulations, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

A shop in The Broadway, Loughton had rubbish dumped in it’s trade bin which was traced back to a resident living in Willingale Close.

Investigations by Epping Forest District Council led to the prosecution of Mr Christian Akinrinade. The waste included a number of cardboard boxes and a leather bag which were identified as having originated from Mr Akinrinade’s property in Willingale Close Loughton.

Mr Akinrinade pleaded guilty at Chelmsford Crown Court to transferring household waste to an unauthorised person. He told the Council he had given the waste to builders working at a property in his road and had paid them approximately £30 to do so.

He was fined £1153 and ordered to pay the Council’s prosecution costs of £627.82 together with a victim surcharge of £115.

Fly tipping prosecution

“We take fly tipping, and residents’ responsibility to ensure they are disposing of their waste legitimately and responsibly very seriously and will not hesitate to prosecute,” said Cllr Nigel Avey, Portfolio Holder for Environment.

“Our message is simple: Before handing your waste to somebody else, always check, consider and record in order to protect yourself, and reduce fly-tipping by rogue traders. It is a crime not to care.”

Advice on how residents can protect themselves from rogue traders who fly-tip for profit is available on the Council’s Website. Click here for more information Crime Not to Care. A series of short films produced by the Cleaner Essex Group (a campaign group made up from representatives from local authorities across Essex), are also available to view on this web page.

Chairman sleeps under the stars and raises £300

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chairman, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Epping, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Bedding down in the grounds of Chelmsford Cathedral on a cold, wet night is not something you would normally expect of a Council Chairman!

But last Friday night that’s exactly what Cllr Richard Bassett, Chairman of Epping Forest District did. He was taking part in a sponsored event, organised by Chess Homeless, a charity supporting homeless people in Essex, and was one of several civic leaders doing the same.

Humbling experience

“Sleeping outdoors on a cold, damp winter’s night really focusses your attention on what some people face EVERY night. Charities like Chess Homeless bring immediate relief and a sense of hope to those who have no homes to go to. I found this a very humbling experience.” Cllr Bassett raised £300 in sponsorship.

Night shelter

Chess provides a nine bedroom night shelter along with shared move on accommodation. During the winter months it runs a Winter project providing rough sleepers with food, drinks, sleeping bags and a bed for the night, normally in a local church hall.

Every year it hosts a Sleep Out in the grounds of Chelmsford Cathedral to raise funds and last year netted more than £20,000.

Free weekend parking in December

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

Park in an Epping Forest District Council owned car park on weekends from Saturday 1 December until Sunday 30 December 2018 and park for FREE!

So many reasons to shop local

Contract and Technical Services Portfolio Holder, Councillor Nigel Avey said: ”We hope that by relaxing the car parking charges over the weekends in the lead up to Christmas, we will encourage our residents to shop locally. Supporting our local retailers and town centres throughout the Christmas period.

”We want to give our residents easier access to our shops throughout the festive season, hopefully reducing the need to visit out of town shopping centres and taking valued trade outside of the district.

“There are so many reasons to shop locally, we hope we’re providing our residents with another!”

Further information

Paying for policing, Roger Hirst needs your opinion

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

Do you want to see an improved Police Service in Essex? And are you willing to pay more Council Tax to provide it? Those are the questions being asked by Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex.

Essex residents are being asked to fill in a survey so Mr Hirst can see what the county’s opinion is on increasing resources for Essex Police. He also wants to know what they think about the policing priorities for Essex.

Police funding

Funding for Essex Police comes from two sources – central Government and local Council Tax. Taking these two funding sources into account, Essex Police receives the second lowest funding per resident of any police force in the country and has one of the lowest Council Tax precepts for policing. Next year we are also expecting significant additional costs from increases in police officer pay, higher insurance costs and changes to police officer pensions.

There will also be costs as a result of extending the police’s Airwave radio system due to delays in the roll out of the National Emergency Services Communication Programme.

Tell the Police what you think

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “I want to provide the best possible policing service, which is what the people of Essex rightly deserve. Increasing investment will help the Chief Constable deliver this. I am working hard to lobby the Government but we cannot yet know the scale of any increase in central Government funding.  I can of course raise the policing precept. Before I do that I want to know what people think.”

5,000 responses to last survey

Last year, Mr Hirst carried out a similar survey which received more than 5,000 responses. Approximately two thirds of the people who answered (65 per cent) said they would be prepared to see the police element of local Council Tax increased by more than two per cent so more money could be made available for policing in Essex. More than half were prepared to pay up to £20 more per year.

Additional officers by Feb 2019

Mr Hirst said: “In light of the results from last year’s survey, I raised the policing element of the Council Tax by up to £12, or £1 a month for a Band D property. This increase, as part of the £450 million in police funding secured nationally from the Government last year, allowed Essex Police to recruit 150 more frontline officers, bringing the total amount of Essex Police officers to at least 3,000. These additional officers are being recruited and trained and will be arriving in local communities by February 2019.”

He added: “Whilst filling the survey I would also like people to give their views on the policing priorities for Essex. I want to make sure that they reflect the needs of the communities that Essex Police serves.”

Complete the survey

People can fill in the survey online via this link http://www.essex.pfcc.police.uk/policing-precept-survey-2018/

The survey will be live from 1am on Tuesday, November 6 and will close at midnight on Tuesday, November 27.

Further information

Hard copies are also available on request.  Please contact the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner on 01245 291600 if you would like a copy or you can email pfcc@essex.pnn.police.uk

You can also write to PFCC for Essex, Kelvedon Park, London Road, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex, CM8 3HB.

The Band D Council Tax for policing in Essex for 2018/19 is £169.02 per year.

This is not a referendum, it is an opportunity to gauge opinions so those views can be taken into account as part of the decision making process. The survey only reflects the policing element of the Council Tax precept and not the precept relating to Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.

Santa Claus is coming to Waltham Abbey town

Written on . Posted in Community, Museum, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your money

Come visit Father Christmas in his grotto and receive a gift at Epping Forest District Museum on Saturday 8 December.

Where: Epping Forest District Museum, 39 – 41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL

When: Saturday 8 December

Time: 11am – 4pm

Price: £6 per child

There’s no need to book a space, just drop in to the museum from 11am – 4pm. You’ll be given a time slot on arrival and while you wait, there will be a Christmas themed craft to make. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

“Best Father Christmas by far.” – previous visitor

Museum discount for National Lottery players

Written on . Posted in Arts, Business, Community, Local business, Museum, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

From 3 – 8 December 2018, Epping Forest District Museum and Lowewood Museum are offering 10% discount in their gift shops to National Lottery players.

UK attractions say thank you

The museums are joining hundreds of other participating National Lottery funded visitor attractions across the UK saying thanks to people, who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket.

Present a ticket to get a discount

The idea is simple: any visitor who presents a National Lottery ticket or scratch card between Monday 3 and Saturday 8 December gets a 10% discount in the museum’s gift shop.

Epping Forest District Museum has received £1,821,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The money paid for the recent redevelopment of the museum as well as a range of projects, enabling community engagement and collections acquisition.

Lowewood Museum has received £183,700 for exhibition and engagement projects including two First World War Projects commemorating the centenary of the Armistice.

Fantastic museum offer

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “December is a wonderful time to experience the UK’s rich, diverse and exciting heritage, which has been transformed by more than £7.8bn National Lottery funding since 1994. This is a small gesture of thanks and a way of giving something back to the people who buy tickets.”

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

Terms and Conditions

  • One National Lottery ticket provides 10% off in the museum gift shop (and refreshment area at Lowewood Museum).
  • All National Lottery games qualify for the offer, including tickets from any National Lottery draw based game or National Lottery Scratchcard. Proof of ticket can be paper or digital.
  • The offer is valid on the days the museum is open between Monday 3 and Saturday 8 December. Epping Forest District Museum is open 10am to 4pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and from 10am to 5pm on Saturdays.
  • Only one ticket can be used per transaction.

For more information, visit: www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/museum

Decisions from Plans West on 14 November

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Epping, Local business, Meetings, Older people, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee West meeting Wednesday 14 November 2018.

Decisions 

  • EPF/3359/17 Land to the rear of 54 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EJ
    Deferred to next meeting
  • EPF/0530/18 38 Honey Lane, Waltham Abbey, EN9 3BS
    Refused
  • EPF/1169/18 Pipers Farm, Lippitts Hill, Waltham Abbey, IG10 4AL
    Permission granted
  • EPF/2227/18 ‘Tomworld’, Shottentons Farm, Pecks Hill, Nazeing, EN9 2NY
    Permission refused
  • EPF/Curtilage of Yew Tree Cottage, High Road, Epping, CM16 4DJ
    Permission granted

Planning application search

Drug raid action across district

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Crime and safety, Doing business with the council, Epping, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Updated information – 15 November 2018

Eighteen people appeared in court yesterday morning and faced drug-related charges following a day of action across Epping Forest District.

The 18 were arrested on Tuesday 13 November, following the execution of warrants in Debden, Loughton, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Limes Farm and Hainault.

They appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court yesterday, Wednesday November 14, to face the charges.

They are

  • A 17-year-old from Ilford was charged with conspiring to supply a Class A drug.
  • Junior Lawrence, 19, of New Road, Hainault was charged with conspiring to supply a Class A drug.
  • Zaclee Purcell-Matthews, 27, of Brocket Way, Redbridge was charged with conspiring to supply a Class A drug.
  • A 17-year-old boy from Ilford was charged with conspiring to supply a Class A drug.
  • James Jackson, 19, of Robinia Close, Hainault was charged with supplying a Class A drug.
  • Cameron Morrison, 18, of Copperfield, Chigwell was charged with conspiring to supply a Class A drug.
  • A 17-year-old from Murtwell Drive, Chigwell was charged with conspiring to supply A Class A drug.
  • Jamie Jacobson, 27, of Tylers Close, Loughton was charged with supplying a Class A drug.
  • Hakeem Hearne, 22 of Queens Road, Buckhurst Hill, was charged with supplying a Class A drug.
  • Reece Phinn, 20, of St Francis Way, Ilford was charged with four counts of supplying a Class A drug.
  • Chad Morris, 20, of The Mile End, Walthamstow was charged with three counts of supplying a Class A drug.
  • Glen O’Brien, 48 of The Plain, Epping was charged with supplying a Class A drug.
  • Tom King, 37 of Colson Road, Loughton was charged with supplying a Class A drug.
  • Barry Gilbody, 48, of Paley Gardens, Loughton was charged with supplying a Class A drug.
  • Robert White, 32 of New North Road, Ilford was charged with supplying a Class A drug.
  • Joel Young, 22 of Elmsdale Road, Walthamstow was charged with possession with intent to supply Cannabis.
  • A 17-year-old boy from Buckhurst Hill was charged with possession of cannabis.
  • Tommy Shatford, 19, of Tylers Close, Loughton was charged with being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.

A further six people, also arrested, have been released under investigation.