Have Your Say on the NHS Constitution

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Consultation, Older people, Residents, Supporting business, Your community, Your council

Don`t miss out on the chance to have your say on plans for the NHS Constitution – but hurry, time is running out. The NHS Constitution will record in one place what the NHS in England does, what it stands for and should live up to. It will also state how decisions affecting the NHS should be made.

The NHS Constitution is the first of its kind in the world and comes as a result of discussions with staff, patients and the public as part of the Darzi review. It declares the Government`s commitment to the NHS being a service for all, funded by taxes and based on clinical need and not an individual`s ability to pay.

It recognises the future of the NHS is too important to be left to chance. The Government will be obliged by law to renew the NHS Constitution every ten years. Any changes made will be as a result of a full and transparent debate.

The Constitution means local people will have important rights around access to drugs and treatments, health services, information, quality of care and environment, dignity and respect, complaint and redress.

West Essex PCT Chairman Alan Tobias OBE said: The NHS Constitution explains your rights as patients to make choices about your healthcare. It also sets out principles on how all parts of the NHS should act and make decisions. It describes what we can all do to make better use of the NHS. This is your opportunity to make comments about how we provide health services in the future.

Created 60 years ago the NHS has changed radically and for the better. Secretary of State for Health Alan Johnson said: The content of the Constitution was not dreamt up by me or civil servants in Whitehall. It is something that has arisen out of discussions with thousands of NHS staff, patients and the public across the country. The NHS belongs to the people. I would urge everyone to take part in this consultation to ensure that the NHS is fit for the future.

More information on the consultation together with contact details can be found on the Department of Health website and you can also record your views on the NHS East of England`s blog.

The consultation on the draft NHS Constitution, run by the Department of Health, ends on 17 October 2008.

Alternate Weekly Collection Resumes

Written on . Posted in Community, Older people, Recycling and waste, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your home

Epping Forest District Council is reminding residents that residual waste (that which cannot be recycled) will be collected every other week as from the week commencing Monday 6 October 2008 on the alternate week to the recycling collection, which will continue as before. Throughout the summer months residual waste has been collected every week. However, it will now revert to alternate weekly collections until May next year. Details of collection dates can be found in the most recent edition of the Council`s waste and recycling collection calendar.

Collection of wheelie bin residual waste

Portfolio Holder for Environmental Protection Councillor Mary Sartin said: The Council responded positively to feedback from residents who wanted a weekly collection when the weather is at its warmest because of problems associated with flies, smells and maggots. However, during the cooler months the majority of residents felt they could cope with a collection every other week.

Councillor Sartin went on to say: I really appreciate the efforts of our residents and I would encourage all of them to continue with and improve upon their excellent record of recycling almost 42% of their household rubbish. In particular I would urge them to make full use of the kerbside recycling facilities the Council provides.

Councillor Sartin concluded: I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all residents to complete our public consultation on the waste and recycling service which can be found on the homepage of the Council’s website (click on the ‘« back’ button below to return to the homepage) or in the centre of the current edition of The Forester. We really need everyone`s views in order to improve and develop the service. Working together we can recycle more and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and help protect our environment.

Safer Communities Partnership 3 Year Plan

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Older people, Our performance, Performance, Residents, Working with the council, Your community, Your council, Your home

 

The Epping Forest District Safer Communities Partnership is a statutory collaboration of organisations and groups working together to reduce crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour in the District.

It is made up of Epping Forest District Council, Essex Police, Essex County Council, West Essex Primary Care Trust, and Essex Fire & Rescue Service (Responsible Authorities), but includes many other local bodies such as Probation, Victim Support, the Youth Offending Team, Registered Social Landlords, Neighbourhood Watch and residents groups.

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 requires the responsible authorities within each District in England and Wales to form a Safer Communities Partnership (SCP), also referred to as Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) or Community safety Partnership (CSP).

Each SCP is required to conduct an annual strategic assessment of crime, disorder, anti-social behaviour and issues which affect the quality of life of residents. The assessment identifies the key problems the district has by examining a wide range of data sets held by many organisations. Analysis of the data provides a comprehensive picture of issues affecting the District. Priorities for action are agreed, directed by the results of the strategic assessment. Those priorities are formulated into a 3 year partnership plan which sets targets to reduce crime, disorder and improve community safety.

Buckhurst Hill Green Festival

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Community, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community

Buckhurst Hill`s annual green festival is returning for it`s third year on Saturday 27 September 2008. Organised by the Buckhurst Hill town centre partnership and Epping Forest District Council, the festival is taking place in the upper car park on Queen`s Road and along the rest of Queen`s Road between 11am and 4pm.

This green family fun day is organised each year to bring the Buckhurst Hill community together and show people how they can live healthier and more environmentally friendly lifestyles. Demonstrations, stalls and activities will be running throughout the day to show how saving energy can also save you money.

The Essex Energy Efficiency Advice Centre (EEAC) will be their demonstrating micro renewable solar hot water panels, etc and giving away free low energy light bulbs. The Leisure Gardens Association will be on hand providing advice on organic gardening, and Waitrose supermarket will provide tasty organic snacks for everyone to sample. West Essex PCT will be available to give advice on healthy living and the Council`s recycling advice trailer will be there to provide information on the waste and recycling service provided by the Council. A Honda hybrid car will be on display.

A highlight of the day will be a theatre play, about walking to school, called `What if it rains?` for children up to 12 years of age. A treasure hunt has been organised along Queen`s Road where they will be able to win prizes. A bouncy castle and face painters will also be there to make the day as much fun as possible. Some local shops will be running special promotions for the day to showcase the best of Buckhurst Hill.

Citizens of the Year Nominations Sought

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Community, Democracy, Older people, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

The search is on to find the Epping Forest District Council Citizens of the Year 2009.

Do you know someone who has shown outstanding courage, or has done something of great benefit to you or your community? Perhaps someone who has shown extraordinary commitment, energy and effort in their particular field or towards achieving a particular goal?

If that person is a resident of the District, why not show your appreciation and nominate them for Epping Forest District Council`s accolade, a Citizen of the Year Award? The Citizens of the Year 2009 will receive their award at the Annual Civic Reception in March 2009.

If you know someone who fits the bill and deserves to be recognised, fill in a nomination form and make sure it reaches the Civic Offices by Friday 28 November 2008.

 

Annual Canvass of Electors 2008 Reminder

Written on . Posted in Community, Councillors, Democracy, Elections, Older people, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council

Epping Forest District Council will be sending out annual canvass of electors form reminders to all properties that did not respond to the original form. The forms will be in an envelope addressed to The Present Occupier which is also clearly marked `Register of Electors form`.

Registration Officer Ian Willett is urging everyone to fill in and return the form as soon as possible. He said: If you do not return your form and your name is not on the register, you will not be able to vote.

Mr Willett continued: You need to register to vote every year so please fill in and return the form as soon as possible in the envelope provided. It is compulsory to register but whether you vote on polling day is up to you. Completed forms must be returned to the Electoral Services Office at the Council by 16 October 2008.

The Register is published on 1 December 2008 and those eligible to vote should check that the entry for their property is correct. The Electoral Register may be viewed at the Civic Offices, Epping; Waltham Abbey Town Hall; or at the Council`s Information desk inside Loughton Library.

Mr Willett concluded: If you have not received a form or you think you have mislaid it, please contact 01992 564411 for more information.

Why complete the form?

Completion of these forms is a legal requirement and failure to do so may result in prosecution with a maximum fine of £1,000.

It is extremely important that forms are returned. Not only is it essential for the right to vote but also because credit-referencing agencies use the register as proof of residency, so anyone who is not listed may be affected if applying for credit. In this country, the law states that everyone who is eligible to vote must be registered. Anyone who has not registered will automatically forfeit the opportunity to vote on election day.

Even if you are registered for Council Tax, this does not automatically mean your name is on the register.

North Weald 90 Year Commemorative Window

Written on . Posted in Community, Older people, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community

North Weald 90 Year Commemorative Window

On Sunday 14 September 2008, the beginning of Battle of Britain Week, stained glass window was unveiled at North Weald Airfield Museum, commissioned to commemorate the airfield’s 90 year Anniversary, which occurred in 2006.

The project has been supported by voluntary contributions from the RAF, RAFA, several RAF Squadron associations, the Spitfire Association, Essex County Council, Epping Forest District Council, North Weald Saturday Market and many museum association members and private individuals. All those who contributed have a deep feeling for the airfield and an appreciation of what the men and women who served there throughout two world wars did for the safety of this country.

The total raised was in excess of £12,000 and the unveiling was done by the Museum Association’s President, Lord Norman Tebbit, who himself flew from North Weald with the RAF in the 1950’s.

Military flying commenced at North Weald in August 1916 when the Royal Flying Corps began operations during World War 1. From then until 1958 when the airfield was stood down as an RAF station, it was in the forefront of the defence of London and it`s community. Since then commercial flying, the restoration of historic aircraft, leisure flying and gliding, plus a host of other recreational uses have kept this historic site an active and vibrant airfield.

North Weald Commemorative Window detail of airmenNorth Weald Commemorative Window detail of aircraft

In 2006 an appeal was launched to raise funds to pay for the design and construction of a stained glass window to be mounted in the museum to commemorate the 90 Year anniversary of the airfield. Sufficient money has been donated for the work to be commissioned and the completed window is shortly to be installed in the museum entrance lobby.

The sum raised is still slightly short of the £12,000 required to complete the project so any further donations would be gratefully received.

    Cheques should be made payable to the 90 Year Commemorative Fund and sent to:

  • The 90 Year Commemorative Fund
    c/o Ad Astra House
    Hurricane Way
    North Weald
    Essex CM16 6AA

 

Tell Us A Story

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, Museum, Older people, Our attractions, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Storytelling in the Epping Forest District Museum garden

Epping Forest District Museum is hosting `Tell Us A Story` on Saturday 27 September 2008 and Sunday 28 September 2008. Councillor John Knapman Chairman of the Council will be attending this free event on Saturday 27 September at 11am.

You will have the chance to interact with objects, dress up and role-play your own stories from history. Artist and storyteller Julian Walker will be at the Museum to assist people in creating their own stories from objects. He explained: There will be different activities on offer for families and older independent visitors. Families will be able to use historical costume and objects from the period to role-play a scene from history. For example in the Victorian gallery, as well as attempting to get into a corset and crinoline, they will be given a Victorian budget and have to choose whether to spend it on household items from the hardware shop, or fun items from the toy shop.

For older independent visitors there will be a choice of activities such as trying to copy medieval handwriting from a page of the Waltham Abbey Bible. Those less confident about role play will be able to curate their own case to tell a story, choosing from a wide selection of objects.

`Tell Us A Story` coincides with the launch of the Cultural Olympiad and has been funded by the Museums Libraries and Archives Council`s `Setting the Pace: Festival of Storytelling ` Grant Scheme. Isobel Siddons MLA Programme Manager for 2012 said: “We are thrilled to be among the first organisations to have projects awarded the Inspired by 2012 mark. We hope this will reward museums, libraries and archives for the commitment they have shown to the vision of the Cultural Olympiad and enable them to contribute to a lasting legacy for the people of our country.”

Visitors use historical costumes and objects from the period to role-play a scene

Epping Forest District Council Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Young People Councillor Heather Harding said: Tell Us A Story gives local residents the opportunity to learn about and reinterpret their culture, heritage and history.

    The event is free of charge and there is no need to book.

  • Saturday 27 September 2008 between 11am and 4pm
  • Sunday 28 September 2008 between 2pm and 4pm
  • Telephone the Museum on 01992 716882
  • Epping Forest District Museum website

National Fraud Initiative

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Crime and safety, Doing business with the council, Older people, Supporting business, Your community, Your council

Epping Forest District Council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. It may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

The Audit Commission appoints the auditor to audit the accounts of this authority. It is also responsible for carrying out data matching exercises. Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body. This is usually personal information. Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is found it indicates that there is an inconsistency which requires further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.

The Audit Commission currently requires us to participate in data matching exercises to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. This is part of what is known as the ‘National Fraud Initiative’. We are required to provide particular sets of data to the Audit Commission for matching for each exercise, and these are set out in the Audit Commission’s handbooks.

The use of data by the Audit Commission in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under its powers in Part 2A of the Audit Commission Act 1998. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998. For further information and contact details on the Audit Commission’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information, see the Audit Commission’s website.

Audit Commission national fraud initiative website
(opens in a new window)

Data matching by the Audit Commission is subject to a Code of Practice.

Audit Commission code of data matching practice website
(opens in a new window)
    If you would like to contact Epping Forest District Council directly with any enquiries about the data sharing and matching exercises, here are our contact details:

  • Joe Akerman, Chief Internal Auditor, Civic Offices, Epping, Essex, CM16 4BZ
  • By telephone on 01992 564446
  • By email to nfi@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Free Electric Blanket and Smoke Alarm Testing

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Older people, Residents, Your community, Your council, Your home

An electric blanket being tested by a Council officer

Epping Forest District Council’s Safer Communities Team and Essex County Council Trading Standards have teamed up once again to carry out free electric blanket testing throughout the District.

This service is available to all Epping Forest District residents who are urged to come along to have their blankets tested whilst they wait. A faulty electric blanket can be the cause of house fires and this is a quick easy way to keep safe. This year, Essex County Fire & Rescue will also attend to promote their Home Safety Fire Scheme.

The Home Safety Fire Scheme also includes fire-fighters from your local Fire Station visiting your home in the Epping Forest District to give advice on fire safety and where necessary fit ten year smoke alarms.

This service is completely free and all you have to do is call 01279 420841 or turn up on the day to book your visit.

    Testing takes place between 10am and 1pm at:

  • Loughton Library, Traps Hill, Loughton on 13 October 2008
  • Community Hall, Pelly Court, Hemnall Street, Epping on 14 October 2008

For further information please contact the Epping Forest District Council`s Safer Communities Team by telephone on 01992 564272.