#OurDay a day in the life of your council

Written on . Posted in Business, Chairman, Community, Environmental health, Food safety, Grants, Housing repairs, Media, Meetings, Older people, Out and about, Recycling and waste, Regulations, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Wednesday 26 November 2014 was #OurDay, a Local Government Association (LGA) initiative using Twitter to give the public an insight into the hundreds of jobs councils do every day.

#OurDay is an opportunity for people who work in local government to share about their working day and the services they are providing. From binmen to housing officers, Chief Executive to countryside team, and everyone in between there are lots of local government stories to share.

#OurDay poster

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

Want to know more?

Find out what was tweeted

 

One Shops Local champions local business

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Building control, Business, Business rates, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Doing business with the council, Epping, Grants, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Planning, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Trees and landscapes, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Support local business in Epping Forest – add your business to or join the One Shops Local mailing list.

As the world around us changes, so must we and the world of business is no exception. One Shops Local was created to support local independent businesses within Epping Forest, and help them to survive and thrive in today’s tough market.

The campaign was created nearly 3 years ago by the One Epping Forest Local Strategic Partnership, in the belief that independently owned businesses play a vital role in ensuring we have a vibrant, resilient economy.

One Shops Local logo

How can shopping locally benefit me?

Many people may be concerned that shopping locally is more expensive and less convenient, however this is not necessarily the case. In fact shopping locally can benefit the community, not just the business owner.

When you spend money in locally run, independent businesses, more of your money is returned to the local economy than if you were to spend the same amount in a national chain. Putting money into the local economy, rather than displacing it elsewhere creates jobs for local people, and helps fund many things from the maintenance of the local infrastructure to the emergency services.

Despite all this, you may still be asking how can shopping locally directly benefit me? The answer is that local shops can tailor their business to suit the specific needs of local people, create  unique, bespoke items to suit you, and often give you a great deal to boot. After all, they want you to come back again, and what better incentive than VIP treatment?

Get involved

So how can you get involved? Whether you are a business owner or a resident or visitor, you can help your local economy to thrive by being part of the One Shops Local campaign.

If you own your own independent business within Epping Forest you can sign up for free and have free advertising to over 1,250 subscribers and 2,000 monthly website visitors. If you’re a resident or visitor, your support is still greatly needed. You can do this by

You will get access to many great deals and offers as well as unique shops and businesses that you may not yet have discovered.

Visit www.oneshopslocal.com, add your business or join our mailing list, support local business in Epping Forest.

 

Latest business briefing published

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Business rates, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Environmental health, Epping, Food safety, Health, Licensing, Local business, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Regulations, Sports, Supporting business, Tour de France, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

To celebrate the Tour de France passing through our district this month, our latest Business Briefing is a special edition, available now to download for free.

The sporting event will provide a unique opportunity for business owners and shopkeepers alike. Thousands of spectators and tourists are expected to line the streets to catch a glimpse of the excitement as the eyes will focus on Epping Forest for a brief but invaluable time. An illustrated, pull-out route map can be found in this edition of the Briefing, as well as tips on how to make the most of this momentous occasion.

As well as highlights on what’s to come from Le Tour, July’s issue looks at the achievements of the Council’s apprenticeship scheme, which provides crucial opportunities for young people to gain the skills and experience they need to give them a helping hand in kick-starting their careers. In addition, are updates from the Chamber of Commerce, Town Centre Initiative Funding, the launch of the Investors in Youth Awards 2014 and more.

Le Tour edition of One Business Briefing (pdf 4.8MB)

 

Food Safety Week fights campylobacter

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Councillors, Environmental health, Food safety, Local business, Media, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

You can’t see it, smell it or even taste it on food, but if it affects you, you won’t forget it. At its worst, it can kill you.

Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK, up to a quarter of a million people are affected each year. Food Safety Week runs from 16 to 22 June and this year is focusing on tackling Campylobacter.
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The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is spearheading a campaign to bring together the whole food chain to tackle the problem. Farmers and producers will be asked to work harder to reduce the amount of bacteria on their raw poultry. Consumers will be able to see the latest data and be the judges of any progress, or lack of progress, that they make.

Local authorities, all the major supermarkets and key partners will be working together to make sure people know how to stay safe.

Advice is available at www.food.gov.uk/chicken.

Serious problem

Bob Martin, Head of Foodborne Disease Strategy at the Food Standards Agency said: “This is a serious problem and we are calling on the whole industry to act together to tackle Campylobacter. People in Epping Forest can do their part by handling and preparing chicken with extra cares – don’t wash raw chicken, cook it properly and enjoy it safely.”

Spread the word, not the germs

Councillor Will Breare-Hall, Environment Portfolio Holder at Epping Forest District Council said: “It’s important that we do our part to make sure that people know to handle and cook food safely for themselves and for their families. We’re proud to be keeping people in Epping Forest safe and well by being part of this campaign to spread the word – and not the germs.”

 

New NEPP ‘Park Safe’ enforcement vehicle deployed for safer streets

Written on . Posted in Councillors, Crime and safety, Media, Out and about, Parking, Regulations, Residents, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

North Essex Parking Partnership’s (NEPP) logoThe North Essex Parking Partnership’s (NEPP) is working to help make streets safer for all by deploying a new ‘Park Safe’ camera car.

Launching during January and February 2014, the NEPP’s introduction of the camera car follows numerous requests for increased enforcement from parents, schools, residents and local councils. 

The Park Safe vehicle will be phased in across all the NEPP member districts, except Tendring following a request from the district council.

With the Park Safe camera car

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

Coinciding with the time it is launched in each of the 5 participating districts, the Park Safe vehicle’s work will be promoted to local residents, parents and schools, including through school newsletters and visits. The patrol car will be clearly branded, making it highly visible to motorists. 

The vehicle will focus on tackling dangerous, careless, inconsiderate and negligent parking on ‘no stopping’ restrictions, including on pedestrian crossings and zig-zag markings around schools. Several schools will be patrolled every day, recognising the need for parking enforcement particularly at school start and finish times. Its use also supports existing Police and Essex County Council road safety campaigns.  

Major through-routes with fast moving traffic and other clearways, bus stops, taxis ranks and loading restrictions will also be enforced by the vehicle.

Park Safe camera car

Information on where Park Safe plans to carry out enforcement across the Partnership area will be available, in advance, online at www.parkingpartnership.org.

Introducing the Park Safe’ patrol will support the work of the NEPP’s Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) who patrol on foot.  CEOs will be able to give greater focus to car parks, parking permits and ‘no waiting’ restrictions where they are most effectively deployed.

Maintaining the high quality of Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) it currently issues, the NEPP will review all photos taken by Park Safe’s on-board CCTV camera to determine if a PCN should subsequently be issued to a motorist.

The Park Safe patrol car will be trialled for 1 year, with its work regularly reviewed by the NEPP’s Joint Committee.

Help make our streets safer

Chairman of the North Essex Parking Partnership’s Joint Committee, Councillor Robert Mitchell, said: “The NEPP repeatedly receives requests from schools, parents, residents and councillors to boost parking enforcement, particularly around school sites where parking restrictions are specifically designed to assist pedestrian access, but are routinely ignored.”

“I am very pleased we are rolling out the Park Safe patrol car across most of north Essex to help make our streets safer for children and adults alike. The vehicle will enable us to more effectively tackle dangerous and negligent parking which will assist buses, taxis and the flow of general traffic, supporting our town centres and local economies.”

“Our CEOs will also have more time to focus on patrolling car parks and permit parking areas, improving parking space availability for those who need it.”

Act as a deterrent

Following the Epping Forest launch the Park Safe vehicle will then begin patrolling suitable streets across the district.

Epping Forest District Council’s Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder, Councillor Waller, said: “I am very pleased that we have been able to bring the Park Safe camera car to Epping Forest. There have been a number of problems with dangerous stopping for some time, particularly around schools at drop off and pick up times and it is getting worse!”

“The camera car is to act as a deterrent and not a way to just catch out motorists. I hope that along with other safety campaigns this will encourage all drivers to be considerate and stop in a safe place to let pupils alight or to pick them up. We want to ensure that the district is as safe a place as possible for all pedestrians, including children, and motorists.”

 

Broadway ‘gateway’ building approved

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Housing, Leader, Local business, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Out and about, Planning, Private housing, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Planning permission has been granted for the redevelopment of the Sir Winston Churchill public house site in Debden Broadway.

Foul language and interruptions from the public gallery forced a temporary suspension of the District Development Control Committee at Epping Forest District Council on Wednesday 11 December 2013. Committee Chairman, Councillor Brian Sandler repeatedly appealed for members of the public to respect the process of the debate before other councillors voted to suspend the meeting and clear the public gallery. The meeting continued after a short delay with members of the press present. The debate was also webcast for live and subsequent viewing. Those members of the public choosing to stay were able to watch the debate from the council’s ground floor reception area.
Artists impression of the new development

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

The controversy surrounded a planning application at the Broadway in Debden. It comprised redevelopment of the site of the Sir Winston Churchill pub, and a number of lock-up garages owned by the council. The applicant planned to build a new 7 storey building with parking. 64 new flats were proposed for the upper floors with retail, food and drink units on the ground floor. 62 parking spaces, a service yard, access and car parking completed the plan of development.

Watch the webcast

Read the agenda

A section 106 legal agreement would require a contribution of £192,000 towards local primary and secondary school facilities as well as £14,400 towards health services.

Former councillor Joan Davis spoke on behalf of objectors to the proposal. She argued that it was an overdevelopment and out of keeping with other parts of the Broadway. She felt that parking and traffic congestion would be detrimental to existing residents and objected to the lack of an affordable housing element to the proposed scheme.

Local resident Christopher Holt argued that the height of the development was out of proportion and the shadow cast by the building could be dangerous to road safety. He called for further traffic assessments.

Town Councillor Jill Angold-Stephens spoke for Loughton Town Council. She referred back to earlier proposals for housing at a lower density and the inclusion of affordable housing. She described the current public house as an iconic gateway to the Broadway and asked the developer to think again.

Mr Simmons for the applicant referred to the council’s own development brief calling for more retail and business. He asserted that it would not mean the loss of a pub. He argued that the development would bring jobs and regeneration as well as new housing. He asserted that ‘affordable’ housing would make the scheme unviable but that the section 106 contribution of over £200,000 would bring much needed community investment. He felt that the development was in line with council policy and would stimulate future ‘affordable’ housing opportunities.

Mr Simmons said that the changes in traffic would be small and the development would bring many benefits to the area.

Councillor Jennie Hart, a local ward member spoke of the concerns around the loss of the Sir Winston Churchill. She also expressed concerns about the size and scale of the proposed development which she felt was out of keeping with the wider area. She was concerned about the potential disturbance to existing local residents and felt the lack of affordable housing in a deprived area was unacceptable. She asked the committee to consider a redesign on a much smaller scale with screening and landscaping.

Councillor James Hart felt that the Broadway would benefit from some redevelopment but he had concerns about the height and scale of this particular proposal. He noted that while it might be ‘much-loved’ the pub was not profitable. He proposed refusal based on the height and bulk of the proposed building.

Councillor Gary Waller felt that the proposal had merit. He said that it would make a very interesting addition to the Broadway scene and would also bring a considerable number of new residents with ‘purchasing power’ to the benefit of the wider area. Over time he felt it would benefit the area.

Councillor David Stallan supported the proposal and the comments of Councillor Waller while acknowledging some of the points made by Councillor Jennie Hart. Councillors debated the scope for landscape planting.

Councillor John Markham felt that the proposed building was a ‘decent piece of work’ but felt the architects should think again about where it should go. He also expressed concern about the omission of affordable housing from the proposal.

Councillor John Knapman described the decision as a ‘much closer call’ than people might think. He asked if the pub could be nominated as an asset of community value. It was reported that Loughton Town Council had discussed the idea but had not as yet reached a decision.

Councillor Knapman discussed the potential income from the redevelopment of the site towards future provision of affordable housing. However, he was more concerned about the commercial viability of the current pub. He balanced the merits of housing development on a brown-field site with the potential demand for future development sites elsewhere. He felt the economic advantages of redevelopment were clear. He asked if this was the ‘right’ building design.

Councillor Yolanda Knight felt that such a development could be a catalyst for regeneration. She drew comparisons with examples in Harlow and Chelmsford which she felt lifted the businesses around them.

Councillor John Philip explored some of the Highways issues. He felt that the shadow would not cause problems. He liked the design but raised issues about the size and particularly the height. Like Councillor Knapman, he felt the arguments were finely balanced.

Councillor Jon Whitehouse recalled the Broadway Development Brief which had supported the replacement of the existing pub but he was not certain that a development on the scale of the proposal had been foreseen.

Councillor Caroline Pond said that she felt the building was too big for the site. The college on the opposite side of Rectory Lane was set back from the road and landscaped whereas the proposed building would be more prominent.

Councillor John Markham also felt the section 106 contribution of £14,000 towards health services was insufficient.  

Councillor Leon Girling was not a member of the committee but spoke as a ward councillor. He argued that the residents of Debden wished to keep the essential character of the area. He agreed that some form of development on the site was necessary but not a building of this bulk and height.

Other non-committee members also spoke. Councillor David Wixley and Councillor Ken Angold-Stephens both felt the building was too large. Councillor Lance Leonard appealed to members of the committee to consider the principles of ‘localism’ in reaching their decision.

A motion to refuse the application on the basis of excessive height, bulk and lack of soft landscaping was lost by 5 votes to 8 with 2 abstentions. Committee Chairman, Councillor Brian Sandler then called a second vote in which councillors were reminded to set aside personal feelings and vote purely according to planning considerations. The committee voted 9 to 6 in favour of the planning application.

 

Businesses must make alarm call on strike day

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Crime and safety, Emergencies, Local business, Media, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your home

Essex firefighters will be taking part in the national strike on Wednesday 25 September 2013 from 12 noon to 4pm. Essex County Fire and Rescue Service have produced advice for businesses and workplaces.

Advice for businesses and workplaces

ECFRS fire engine

Businesses are being urged to be vigilant during the national firefighter strike next Wednesday afternoon.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) says if resources are stretched, it may not be able to respond to any calls generated by automatic fire alarms (AFA), unless these are backed up by a 999 call. This will affect schools, hospitals and residential homes which ordinarily would receive a response immediately an alarm is triggered.

Since February 2011, ECFRS has significantly reduced fire calls by no longer responding to automatic fire alarms originating from offices or factories, or to calls from telephone kiosks where the caller dials 999 and abandons the call by hanging up unless there is a follow up call.

However, the Service has maintained its response to AFAs in premises where there is risk to life such as schools, and also where people sleep, such as hospitals and residential homes.

But next week, between midday and 4pm on September 25, all premises are being advised to make the call in the event of an emergency and fire appliances will attend.

ECFRS has resilient arrangements in place to provide fire cover to the County during the 4 hour industrial action by Fire Brigades Union (FBU) members. Essex firefighters on Essex fire appliances will be responding to 999 calls in the normal way but resources could be stretched with reduced personnel and fire appliances on the run during the strike.

The dispute is between the FBU and the Government over proposed pension reforms.

Fire safety checklist

10 top tips from ECFRS are

  1. Make sure that your alarm contracts are completely up-to-date
  2. Familiarise yourself with your risk assessment
  3. Make sure that fire escapes are clear
  4. Make sure that staff know what to do in the event of a fire
  5. Try to avoid putting flammable waste out on Wednesday
  6. Don’t store flammable goods under stairs or in enclosed spaces
  7. Make sure that electrical appliances are switched off at the plug when not in use
  8. Keep smoking areas free of waste and empty ash trays
  9. Urge your staff to be safer, be slower be vigilant, particularly delivery drivers
  10. Be vigilant and keep safety in mind with all that you do

 

Planning application validation requirements checklist consultation

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Building control, Chigwell, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Consultation, Epping, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Planning, Regulations, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

The Department for Communities and Local Government recommend that Local Planning Authorities regularly review their own validation requirements. Our current validation checklist now needs to be updated to make sure our requirements remain relevant and appropriate to current policies and legislation. Therefore, we are reviewing our checklists and would appreciate your feedback.

A draft validation requirements list has been produced for consultation. The draft validation requirements have been simplified from our previous requirements so that it provides more explanation as to the instances when we should require information from you to support your planning applications. The format has also been converted into an easy to read table to make it user friendly. Some changes have also been made to bring the list up to date where changes have been made to planning legislation, policy and guidance upon which the requirements are based.

Epping Forest District Council is undertaking a 21 day consultation period commencing on 18 September 2013 so that the deadline for comments is 5pm on 9 October 2013.

View the consultation and comment upon it here

Or email us at contactdc@eppingforestdc.gov.uk for more details.

 

Planning documents offline for upgrade works

Written on . Posted in Business, Consultation, Licensing, Planning, Regulations, Residents, Your council, Your environment

On Monday 8 July you will not be able to view planning or licensing application documents online due to essential upgrade works. We will start at 8am and hope to have the upgrade completed by 2pm. No other part of the Epping Forest District Council website will be affected.

You will be not be able to search for documents such as floorplans and application forms but details of applications will still be available.

The upgrade will

  • improve the usability of the page
  • remove issues experienced by some users with pop up blockers

We apologise in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

 

Infringement Prevention Award for North Weald Airfield

Written on . Posted in Business, Chairman, Local business, Media, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Out and about, Regulations, Supporting business, Travel, Your area

North Weald Airfield received an Infringement Prevention Award from the National Air Traffic Service (NATS) for raising awareness in the flying community to keep in the correct flight zone.

The infringement prevention award was introduced in recognition of flying clubs, groups and airfields that have made special efforts to prevent and mitigate against airspace infringements. North Weald is only the second airfield to receive this award.

Jonathan Smith and Jonathan Bolton from NATS presented the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council Councillor Mary Sartin and Airfield Operations Officer Trevor Jago with the award. As part of the campaign, a special TMZ leaflet has been produced in order to increase awareness amongst home-based and visiting pilots to the airfield, which is owned by Epping Forest District Council.

TMZ stands for Transponder Mandatory Zone and is the controlled airspace around Stansted Airport. Aerial photographs of local landmarks to help improve situational awareness have been included. In particular, the Church Langley Water Tower adjacent to the M11 is right on the edge of the Stansted control zone, so if an aircraft goes past it they have infringed. In addition, a briefing note for pilots advising them of local procedures has been produced and signs have been erected at the main runway to remind them of the TMZ.

Read the leaflet Be TMZ aware! (pdf 744MB)

Chairman of Council Councillor Mary Sartin said: “I am delighted to receive this award on behalf of North Weald Airfield. Air traffic safety is very important and I know our operational staff at the Airfield have put a lot of effort in to producing as much detailed information as possible for the pilots who use it.”

Photos

Many thanks to Weald Aviation for providing a hangar and the stunning Hunter T7 Fox 1 as the backdrop to the presentation. View photos in a slideshow by clicking on a picture and then click start slideshow.

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