Confirm your voting details by 21 October 16

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Every household that has not confirmed their voting details has been sent a third reminder to complete their Household Enquiry Form (HEF). Please look out for this letter and respond by registering your voting details online before 21 October 2016.

Complete your houshold enquiry form online

Your form will be in an envelope marked ‘Do not ignore this’, it is not junk mail.

If there have been no changes to your household, by law you still need to respond to confirm your details.

It is not necessary to return the form to us – in fact it’s far easier to confirm your details online, by freephone or text message. It only takes a couple of minutes and all you need is the 2 part security code on your form.

  • Confirm online

  • Confirm by phone 0800 197 9871

  • Text NOCHANGE – with your security number to 80212

Make changes online

If there are changes you can amend the information online easily and quickly. You will need the 2 part security code on the form.

You can also amend the form and return it to us in the prepaid envelope.

Individuals will then be contacted to verify the changes.

Just because you are eligible to vote, it doesn’t mean that you are registered to vote. You will need to register individually at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote this is separate from the Household Enquiry Form.

Help keep costs down

If you have received a third reminder, it is because we are yet to receive confirmation of your voting details. We will be moving to a final stage of the process within the next month, so please respond as soon as you can to help us keep costs down. If you have a query please contact the Electoral Office on 01992 564411.

Elections can be called with as little as 6 weeks’ notice. Registering to vote makes sure you can have your say. It also helps your credit rating as credit agencies can see you live where you claim to live. Electoral law means we have to do this every year, it’s known as the annual canvass.

Shopping Park in Loughton underway

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Business rates, Chairman, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Councillors, Doing business with the council, Epping, Jobs, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Planning, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Work has started on the construction of the Epping Forest Shopping Park at Langston Road,  Loughton.

Howard Parkes with (L-R) Councillor Jeane Lea, M and H Project Manager Alex McCalley, Councillor Anne Grigg and Derek Macnab

View photos in a slideshow by clicking on a picture below and then click start slideshow

Site tour

Councillor Jeane Lea, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council and Councillor Anne Grigg, Cabinet Portfolio Holder responsible for the council-owned scheme met McLaughlin and Harvey construction project manager Alex McCalley and members of the workforce during a tour of the site on Monday 26 September 2016.

Accompanied by the Council’s Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Neighbourhoods Derek Macnab, Councillors Lea and Grigg inspected well-advanced demolition work as the former council depot buildings come down. The adjoining site bought by the council previously is already clear with excavations already evident where surface water storage tanks are to be installed.

Assisted by Alex McCalley of McLaughlin and Harvey, Councillor Lea posed for traditional ground-breaking photographs.

Biggest names in retail

Once completed, Loughton Shopping Park will potentially host some of the biggest names in retail including Next, Aldi, TK Maxx, Pets at Home and Hobbycraft.

New jobs

Around 200 permanent new jobs will be created while rental income from the park will help Epping Forest District Council provide public services to local residents and maintain one of the lowest Council Taxes in Essex. Associated highway improvements on Chigwell Lane will also ease congestion on one of Essex’s busiest roads. There will be on-site shopper car parking for up to 350 cars as well as excellent public transport links a short walk away at Debden Underground Station. With a footprint of 94,000 square feet (or almost 150,000 square feet taking account of mezzanine floors) there will be plenty of retail space with something for everyone including children with Smyths Toys expecting to be a big draw for families.

Boost to the local economy

Councillor Grigg said: ”I was delighted to see the progress. McLaughlin and Harvey has made a cracking start. The site is clean and the demolition work is being carried out with meticulous attention to safety. Now the barriers between the old council depot and the adjoining site have been removed you start to get a real perspective on the size and scale of the shopping park. It will be a fantastic asset and a tremendous boost to the local economy.”

Minimal disruption

During the tour, Alex McCalley explained some of the ways in which McLaughlin and Harvey will minimise disturbance to neighbours. He said: “Years ago we would have had hundreds of lorries coming on and off site as we transported the thousands of tonnes of hardcore rubble. These days we are much more environmentally friendly. Nearly all the rubble will be recycled into the foundations of the new retail park. We are using better methods of pile driving, drilling our way down to the London Clay rather than the old method of banging away with the pile-driver. We are also making contact with our neighbours, keeping people informed and setting up those vital lines of communication that let everyone work together.”

First shoppers next summer

Councillor Jeane Lea was also very impressed: she said: ”McLaughlin and Harvey are one of the most experienced retail park developers. They have worked with some of the biggest companies to deliver large schemes. I would like to thank Alex and his team for such an informative tour and  look forward to being invited back to review progress.”

Construction is expected to take around 40 weeks meaning the first shoppers through the doors next summer.

Confirm your single resident details online

Written on . Posted in Benefits, Council tax, Media, Residents, Your council, Your money

We are currently undergoing a review of all the residents receiving a 25% Single Resident Discount on their council tax. If you are receiving the discount, you will receive a letter asking you to confirm your current circumstances online before 30 September 2016.

Single persons discount review

Civil Penalties for no response

If you receive a letter and do not respond you will have your Single Resident Discount removed and further investigations may be undertaken. This could result in a back-dating of the full council tax and could lead to a civil penalty of £70 being imposed.

If it is found that false information has deliberately been supplied to the council in an attempt to defraud the Single Resident Discount scheme this may lead to prosecution under the Theft Act 1968.

Single Resident Discount is claimed when an adult is the only person over the age of 18 living in a property.

Complete the form online – its easy

All you need is your Council Tax account number, PIN and postcode – this information is on your letter.

Dedicated to protecting the public purse

Finance Portfolio Holder, Councillor Gagan Mohindra said: ”Whilst we are aware that most residents are claiming the discount appropriately there are, however, some who have forgotten to notify the council of a change in circumstances and are no longer entitled to the discount, as well as a minority who are deliberately attempting to defraud the system.”

He continued: ”Rest assured, we are dedicated to protecting the public purse and detecting fraud. We take council tax fraud very seriously and therefore we are pro-active in confirming all entitlements to discounts and exemptions. We would like to thank our residents for their on-going support and cooperation throughout this and other forms of canvassing and urge you to confirm your details online as soon as possible.”

Council Tax Support scheme consultation

Written on . Posted in Benefits, Consultation, Council tax, Media, Residents, Your area, Your council, Your money

The Local Council Tax Support scheme helps people in financial need to pay their Council Tax. We get a grant from the Government to pay the Local Council Tax Support but it is reducing each year and we are consulting with residents on how to fund the shortfall.

Council Tax reduction scheme consultation

Continue or change?

If we continue with the current scheme this could affect the amount of Council Tax you pay or it could mean we have to cut services, but if residents choose to change the current scheme there are 4 options

  • Option 1 – Removing the Family Premium for all new working age applicants
  • Option 2 – Reducing Backdating to 1 month
  • Option 3 – Reducing the period for which a person can be absent from Great Britain and still receive Local Council Tax Support, to 4 weeks
  • Option 4 – To limit the number of dependant children within the calculation for Council Tax Reduction to a maximum of two when children are born on or after 1 April 2017

The consultation is open to all residents to complete and closes on Sunday 16 October 2016.

Tough financial decisions

Councillor Gagan Mohindra, Finance Portfolio Holder said: “We will continue to support residents who need our help as much as we can, but we don’t have unlimited resources. As funding from the Government is reduced we have to make tough financial decisions and we want to be as fair as possible to protect our most vulnerable residents.”

“We really want to hear the views of everyone in the district, whether they’re receiving Council Tax Support or not. The feedback from this consultation will be discussed by the cabinet on 1 December 2016 before any decision is taken.”

Untaxed vehicles crackdown

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In a national drive to crack down on untaxed vehicles on public roads, Epping Forest District Council will be working in partnership with the DVLA from 1 August 2016.

Untaxed vehicles

Clamped or seized

With the assistance of the DVLA, Council officers will be able to check the road tax record of any vehicle. If the vehicle is not taxed, it will be either clamped or seized and taken to a DVLA contractors depot.

The owner could have to pay as much as £160 (plus storage costs) and will have to prove the vehicle has valid road tax before the vehicle can be reclaimed.

Delighted to be working in partnership

Epping Forest District Council’s Environment Portfolio holder, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: ‘’I am delighted that the council is working in partnership with the DVLA. Untaxed vehicles are often difficult to trace, but with our help, the DVLA will broaden their ability to find the offenders and reduce the number of untaxed vehicles within our district.”

He continued: ‘’Untaxed vehicles contribute to congestion, take up valuable parking spaces and use resources paid for by others. Their drivers are more likely to commit traffic offences such as speeding, illegally parking and driving without insurance, which presents risks for other drivers. Untaxed vehicles are often abandoned and eventually become vandalised. Working alongside the DVLA will help to improve road conditions for our residents and other road users.’’

Parents, vote for our museum!

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

Vote for Epping Forest District Museum in the ‘best museum’ category for the Essex mum’s awards 2016!

Essex Mums Vote for us

Top ten Essex museums

Parents in Essex are being asked by Essex Mum’s to vote for the people, places and things that make your life in Essex that little bit easier and more enjoyable.

The museum has already been nominated as one of the top ten best museums in Essex and with your help, we could be voted the best!

Show your support

We are asking our visitors and residents to show support for our newly redeveloped museum and vote for us! Winning would be the perfect way to celebrate all that has been achieved at the museum over the last few years.

You have until Tuesday 6th September to vote and the winners will be announced on the Essex Mum’s website.

EFD Museum reopening

Ultrafast broadband for Stapleford Tawney

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

The next phase of Gigaclear’s Rural Challenge Project plans to deliver ultrafast broadband to Stapleford Tawney and the surrounding area.

Gigaclear broadband community event

Gigaclear will be holding a Q&A event at Abridge Village Hall, 39 Ongar Road on Wednesday 13 July 2016 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm, at which residents and local businesses are invited to ask any questions they have.

The Rural Challenge Project, funded by Epping Forest District Council, Essex County Council, UK Government and Gigaclear, forms part of the Superfast Essex broadband rollout programme which aims to give 116,000 premises across Essex access to superfast broadband by 2020.

Benefits of fibre technology

  • Speed – the minimum speed provided is 50Mbps and with 1000Mbps available, you could download a 3GB high definition film in 53 seconds
  • Capacity – all of your family can use online services on multiple devices at the same time
  • Fibre cables are laid underground – so they are not subject to disruption due to weather changes
  • The same level of service for all – regardless of the distance from the connection
  • Uninterrupted streaming – with no buffering from the network

Technology and Support Services Portfolio Holder, Councillor Alan Lion said: “I’m delighted that many rural customers in the Gigaclear service area will be able to take advantage of the fibre delivered ultrafast service”.

Register your interest in the event on 13 July 2016

Use the postcode checker to see whether your area will be covered

UK votes to leave EU

Written on . Posted in Community, Democracy, Elections, Loughton, Media, Older people, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

The UK has voted by 52% to 48% to leave the European Union after 43 years in an historic referendum.

The full results can be found on the BBC News EU Referendum website.

The Epping Forest district voted to leave by 63% to 37%.

The Eastern region also voted to leave by 56% to 44%. Eastern region results.

EU referendum result

Written on . Posted in Community, Democracy, Elections, Loughton, Media, Older people, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

On Thursday 23 June 2016 over 41,000 polling stations were open from 7am and 10pm in the UK, with 75 in the Epping Forest district, so that voters can cast their vote in the EU Referendum.

EU referendum

Updates

Keep up to date – follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

  • 11.15pm – all ballot boxes are at the count centre at Debden Park High School
  • 1.05am – verification well underway
  • 1.30am – verfication announced – electorate 100,016 / verified ballot papers 76,900 = turnout for Epping Forest district 76.9%
  • 3.30am – result declared for Epping Forest district – REMAIN 28,676 / LEAVE 48,176
  • 7.05am – UK votes to leave EU by 52% to 48%.

EU Referendum count process

Once polling stations close at 10pm, the sealed ballot boxes will be transported securely to one of the 382 count centres in the UK. The local count centre for the Epping Forest district is at Debden Park High School in Loughton.

Verification

The ballot papers will be verified first. Once our Local Counting Officer Glen Chipp is satisfied all ballot papers are accounted for, the local turnout figure will be announced.

The local turnout figure is the number of votes cast as a percentage of the total electorate for that area.

Counting the votes

Once the contents of ballot boxes have been verified, these votes can be sorted into the 2 outcomes – Remain or Leave – and the number of votes for each will be counted.

Local totals

Once all votes have been counted at the local count centre, the Local Counting Officer Glen Chipp will relay the local total to the Eastern Regional Counting Officer.

Regional totals

There are 11 regional collation centres, where the Regional Counting Officers will be located. The Regional Counting Officer for the Eastern region is based at Chelmsford. They will collate all the local totals for their electoral region and submit the regional total to the Chief Counting Officer for authorisation.

Once authorised, Steve Packham, the Regional Counting Officer for the Eastern region will declare the regional total.

National UK totals

Once all of the regional totals have been received, authorised and declared, the Chief Counting Officer will declare the national result.

Jenny Watson, Chair of the Electoral Commission is the Chief Counting Officer.

Images

View photos in a slideshow by clicking on a picture below and then click start slideshow.

 

 

Conservatives retain district council control

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Elections, Epping, Loughton, Media, Older people, Olympics, Ongar, Residents, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

On Thursday 5 May 2016 people in the Epping Forest district had their say and voted for their DistrictParish and Town Councillors, and a new Essex Police and Crime Commissioner.

Green and LRA gains in elections

The Conservative Group retained an overall majority while the Green Party and the Loughton Residents Association (LRA) increased their representation on Epping Forest District Council. Buckhurst Hill East is now the seat of Green candidate Simon Heap. The LRA also won in Loughton Forest.

Former Conservative Sylvia Watson has moved to the Independent Group. Vice-Chairman Jeane Lea is back after winning a 4-candidate race in Waltham Abbey.

Results

First results in Chigwell

Chigwell Conservative councillors John Knapman, Alan Lion and Brian Sandler were among the first councillors to be announced as re-elected when staff and volunteers reconvened for a second day of counting at Debden Park High School on Saturday 7 May 2016.

Conservative wins PCC

Friday’s count at Theydon Bois Village Hall concentrated on the Essex Police and Crime Commissioner elections. Conservative Roger Hirst is the new Commissioner after UKIP candidate Bob Spink took the contest to the second stage count.

New faces, familiar faces

Former councillor Rose Brookes is back on the council, succeeding Ken Angold-Stephens in Loughton Roding. Council Leader Chris Whitbread has been joined on the council by his daughter Holly, the new councillor for Epping Lindsey and Thornwood Common.

Cabinet members John Philip and Helen Kane were returned in Theydon Bois and Waltham Abbey respectively.

Councillors Leon Girling, David Wixley and Caroline Pond for the Loughton Residents Association, Tony Boyce, Gavin Chambers, Maggie McEwen, Glynis Shiell for the Conservatives, and Jon Whitehouse for the Liberal Democrats were all re-elected to their seats. Councillor Heather Brady was re-appointed after an unopposed election in Passingford.

Other new councillors for May 2016 are Judy Jennings, Debra Roberts and Amy Beales for the LRA in Loughton.

Parish and Town Council votes also took place in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Loughton, Fyfield.

Photos 

To view photos in a slideshow, click on a picture below and click start slideshow.

Referendum warm-up

With the Referendum just 6 weeks away, Returning Officer Glen Chipp thanked all the staff and volunteers for a smoothly run set of elections. He said: ‘Thanks to everyone including all those staff who worked right through Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Candidates, agents and residents appreciated the efficient and professional approach of our staff. See you all again on the 23 June!’