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.
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.
Properties in the district that have not yet confirmed their voting details will shortly receive a third Household Enquiry Form (HEF). Please do not ignore this form as by law you are required to respond, even if there are no changes to the details printed on the form. Please respond online, by phone or by text before 19 October 2017.
What is a Household Enquiry Form?
All properties in the district have been sent a household enquiry form. This is known as the annual canvass, it happens every year and there are two stages to complete your registration. It tells us details of people who have moved out and adds details of new occupants.
“It’s the easiest and quickest way for you to confirm your details or make any changes,” says Glen Chipp, Electoral Registration Officer, “it helps keep our costs down, which keeps the cost down for you too. You must respond, even if your details haven’t changed since the last election.”
Registering someone not already on the electoral register is a two stage process – adding a new name to the Household Enquiry Form is only stage one.
Stage 2 is providing more information about the new person so we can verify their identity.” Glen explained ”We will make contact either by email, phone or by sending out a registration form. Please do not ignore this – until the new person has been verified we cannot add them to the register. To respond please either register online (www.gov.uk/registertovote) or call the elections helpline (01992 564411) before 19 October 2017 with the information required.”
You will need the 2 part security code on your household enquiry form and you can do 1 of the following
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.
Register to vote
Glen added: ”Please do not ignore the next round of reminders and have your responses back to us before 19 October 2017. If you ignore this reminder to register, you won’t be eligible to vote in the next election, you could face up to a £1,ooo fine and it could affect your credit rating too.”
Epping Forest District Council is launching a new pilot recycling scheme 1,600 households in 100 blocks of flats across the district, ‘Recycling Rewards’.
Rewards for recycling
The scheme will reward residents for recycling their waste correctly. Cutting down on bin contamination, increasing recycling rates in flats where we know it is more difficult to recycle and educating people on the different materials that can be recycled and how.
Improve recycling rates
Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: ‘’We know recycling rates in flats are below where they should be. This scheme is a wonderful opportunity for residents in the blocks of flats involved, to improve their recycling rates and get rewarded for doing so.’’
‘’We hope that these incentives will encourage the people taking part to recycle as much as they can, so that we can increase recycling and improve the quality of recycling collected. We’re also delighted that we can support some fantastic local charities with this scheme too.”
Supporting local charities
Four local charities and community projects including; Epping Forest Community Transport, Chigwell Riding Trust, Epping Forest Foodbank and Safer Places will be supported by Recycling Rewards, donating £1,750 this year.
Recycling advice and help
The scheme will be delivered on behalf of the council by specialist recycling reward scheme provider, Local Green Points. Specially trained door knocking teams will be visiting over 1,600 properties across 100 participating blocks of flats in the district over the coming weeks, offering recycling advice and helping residents sign up to the scheme.
Collect ‘Green Points’
Once registered, residents will collect ‘Green Points’ for recycling, taking waste to recycling centres and reporting fly tipping. The scheme offers monthly voucher prizes for the highest green point earners and donations to your favourite local charities. The scheme will also offer a discount card, which will entitle the resident to discounts and special offers in local businesses.
Local businesses, get involved
If you are a local business and you are interested in taking part, please contact Local Green Points on 0207 326 5055 or email email@example.com to find out more.
If you are a resident in a block of flats, Local Green Points will be sending a welcome pack and knocking on your door soon, if your block is involved in the pilot scheme.
Along with members of the Waste Management Team and City of London Volunteer Wardens, Youth Councillors dressed in protective clothing cleaned up over 550 laughing gas canisters in Epping Forest, Traps Hill, Loughton and Cornmill Lane, Waltham Abbey.
So what is laughing gas?
The Home Office has found Nitrous Oxide (N2O) more commonly known as laughing gas, to be the second most popular recreational drug among 16 to 24 year olds in England and Wales.
Nitrous oxide is not a controlled drug, and has legitimate uses in medicine and dentistry.
Under the Intoxicating Substances (Supply) Act 1985, it is illegal to sell to under 18s when the seller believes the substance may be inhaled for the purposes of intoxication.
While it is not illegal for an adult to inhale the gas, many authority’s across Britain are concerned about its use.
Youth Councillors are currently conducting an on line survey in schools, aiming to identify
Young people’s understanding of drugs
What drugs they have tried
What made they try them
Curiosity or boredom
The findings will be published as part of the Youth Council’s drug awareness project.
Youth Councillors are currently designing a poster campaign to take into their schools and raise awareness of the dangers of the laughing gas craze.
Youth Councillor Nina Honey said: “It is important young people understand the serious health risks the substance can pose.”
“Nitrous oxide can be very dangerous when misused. When inhaled the gas restricts oxygen getting to the brain and can cause someone to become faint or unconscious and can even cause heart attacks.”
“The amount of canisters we found whilst out and about is worrying and it shows laughing gas is a real issue for young people today. Through our drug awareness project we hope to highlight the risks and make young people aware of the damage they are doing.”
Ongar Leisure Centre unveiled its newly refurbished fitness suite on Saturday 9 September 2017.
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State of the art equipment
The new suite now includes a state of the art cardio and strength kit, rowers, multifunctional training equipment and Watt bikes. It also features a new training rig which is ideal for rehabilitating an injury and high intensity training, as well as a Technogym Skillmill, which is a powerless treadmill that allows users of all abilities to perform at their own pace.
An official launch event was held on Saturday 9 September 2017, which offered visitors free swimming, badminton and virtual cycling sessions, special deals on membership and the chance to see improvements made following the £450,000 worth of investment.
Track your swim technology
Investment into Ongar leisure centre has also included new energy saving technology, IT systems to enhance the customer experience as well as the introduction of state of the art equipment such as SWIMTAG, which is the latest wearable technology that helps customers track their swim activity.
Commitment to leisure
Epping Forest District Council Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Community Services Councillor Helen Kane said: ”It is such a pleasure to see the first major investment of the new leisure contract come to fruition at Ongar Leisure Centre. I know there has been some local concern about the future of the centre but this refurbishment and Places for People Leisure’s investment of £450,000 is a clear commitment to leisure services in Ongar.”
Major refurbishment across district
”Across the District major refurbishment works start in Epping and Loughton this Autumn while preliminary work has already started for the brand-new leisure centre at Waltham Abbey. I’m pleased to say that the outlook for leisure services is positive throughout the District.”
Opportunities for everyone
Geraint Hole, General Manager at Ongar Leisure Centre comments: ”We are delighted to be able to offer the local community a newly refurbished and equipped leisure centre that will provide opportunities for everyone to take part in physical activity and enjoy the wide range of facilities on offer. As a social enterprise, we aim to open up even more opportunities for people to adopt a healthier and more active lifestyle and are looking forward to offering customers free sessions as part of this event.”
Epping Forest District Council’s Citizen of the Year Awards recognises people in the community who go above and beyond and make positive changes in our district.
If you know an individual or a team who make a real difference nominate them for
Citizen of the Year
Team of the Year
Highlighting positive work
Chairman David Stallan said: ‘The Citizen of the Year award is a great event, highlighting the positive work that goes on throughout the district. There are people among us who go above and beyond, making positive contributions to our society.’
‘If there’s an individual or group who springs to mind, now is your time to nominate them for a Civic Award.’
A new Police helicopter base, anti- social behaviour in Waltham abbey and the Oakwood hill depot were among items discussed at Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet meeting Thursday 7 September 2017.
North Weald set to become new Police helicopter base
North Weald Airfield is set to become a new base for the National Police Air Service. Three helicopters and a fixed-wing aircraft will be based at the council-owned airfield.
Asset Management Portfolio Holder Anne Grigg put forward recommendations for a 25 year lease with the helicopter service. The proposals would include a new hanger and buildings to support a range of police helicopter activities.
The Police will be joining a range of other aviation tenants including the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance which has operated very successfully from North Weald for several years. Receiving reassurances about flight lines and noise levels from members of the National Police Air Service at the meeting, councillors welcomed the report and the aspiration for continued development of aviation at North Weald.
Councillor Sam Kane was welcomed to his first Cabinet meeting as Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder by Council Leader Chris Whitbread. Councillor Kane has stepped into the role previous held by Councillor Gary Waller who recently passed away.
Councillor Kane’s first act was to deliver a strong statement regarding anti-social behaviour in Waltham Abbey.
Councillor Sam Kane’s Statement:
“Fellow Councillors will know that Epping Forest District Council is working in partnership with local residents and other organisations to improve the quality of life for everyone in and around Hillhouse on the Ninefields housing estate in Waltham Abbey.
Work has started in just the last few weeks on a brand new leisure centre. Health, housing and social facilities are coming together in a major multi-million pound investment.
The vast majority of residents in this area are the most decent and law-abiding citizens you could ever wish to meet. We also know there is an element of anti-social behaviour, a group of people who seem intent on making the lives of everyone else miserable. We are working with all our partners including Essex Police to tackle this behaviour but events in the last day or so have taken a new and very ugly twist.
Fishing line has been tied at knee height between posts and fences with the deliberate intention of tripping and hurting people. This mindless and stupid act has resulted in injury to a small child. Pictures of the serious cuts to his face have been circulated on social media.
I know this will come as a shock to you and I know every councillor would wish to send our sympathy to this innocent young child and his family.
Local residents and all right-minded people will be incensed by this latest incident. Through this meeting I want to let our residents know that we stand with them. The anti-social behaviour of the last few weeks must now stop.
A temporary dispersal order has been put in place from tonight. You will appreciate that many other things are going on behind the scenes that I cannot discuss in public.
Council staff have been working incredibly hard. Plans of action drawn up with Essex Police even before this latest event are being put into effect now. We believe we know who the perpetrators are. It saddens me to say that they are very young. We have been working with our local schools and have passed the identities of the perpetrators to Essex Police.
Enough is enough. Anti-social behaviour is a blight on our communities which must end. As the action plan goes into effect, I expect to see the situation improve significantly. I also know that you can never eliminate all crime, but with the support of my council colleagues I want to send out a clear message. We stand with all the decent and law-abiding residents of Waltham Abbey.
We will not let the few ruin the lives of the many.”
New council office and depot facilities accommodating Grounds Maintenance, Fleet Maintenance and the MoT centre opened recently at Oakwood Hill in Loughton. Latest proposals for the transfer of the Council’s Housing Repairs service to Oakwood Hill were scrutinised at Cabinet.
Proposals for additional staff car parking received particular attention. A petition opposing the use of green space opposite the new facility was delivered by Councillor Chris Roberts.
Councillors agreed the recommendations in the Cabinet report with the proviso that alternatives to the proposals of additional parking would also be investigated. Full public consultation would also take place as part of any planning application process if the proposals for parking set out in the report went forward.
Council Leader Chris Whitbread updated fellow councillors on a range of projects geared towards improving customer service including a new public customer service reception, plans for which are due to come before Cabinet by the end of the year.