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

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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

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.

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.

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.”

Join us & become an Active Living Champion!

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Local business, Media, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Supporting business, Uncategorized, Volunteering opportunities, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Do you enjoy being active? Do you like meeting new people? Would you like to encourage and support people to make a positive change? If so why not become a Active Living Champion!

Active Living Champion

Friendly active people

We are looking for friendly active people who would like to help others improve their fitness within there community.

The role will include:

  • Meeting and greeting at activities
  • Befriending people so that they have a friendly
  • Encouraging people to try new activities
  • Joining people at new activities
  • Providing positive reinforcement
  • Encouraging people to sustain their activity

Benefits

Benefits to you:

  • Access to free training opportunities
  • Free access to community classes
  • Free branded clothing
  • Develop new skills
  • Helping others to change their lives
  • Making new friends

For more information 

Contact Fabrizio Ferrari on: fferrari@eppingforestdc.gov.uk / 01992 564567

Best of British community spirit

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countrycare, Epping, Health, Loughton, Media, North Weald Airfield, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

The local community came together for an exciting day full of fun and smiles at the Best of British Community Day at North Weald Airfield on Sunday 16 July 2017.

Click on an image below to begin the slideshow

Visitors were entertained in the central arena with music, dance, gymnastic displays, bike stunt shows and Morris dancers. A big swing carousel was the centrepiece for the event at the council owned airfield.

Planes on display included Jet Provosts, Hawker Hunter, Sea Fury, Westland Scout and Wasp helicopters lined the arena. People were also able to see classic cars, military vehicles and a mini zoo. Children were entertained all day by an exciting adventure land.

Real community spirit

Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor David Stallan said: ”The weather may have been dull, but the atmosphere certainly wasn’t! What can I say, I’ve had such an amazing day at the Best of British North Weald Airfield Community Day! I met so many different people; community groups, charities and services that work hard for the district and most importantly I’ve really enjoyed meeting the residents that came, they gave the event real community spirit!

Thank you

He continued: ”Everyone I spoke to said what a wonderful time they were having, from the children in adventure land, the stall holders, the performers and those watching, those up above taking an aerial tour in helicopters, to those on the ground speaking to the re-enactors! A magnificent day out. Thank you to everyone that came and well done to everyone involved who made the event a success.”