East Herts Council, Harlow Council and Epping Forest Council are pleased that their Harlow and Gilston Garden Town Housing and Infrastructure Fund (HIF) bid has been approved by the Government to proceed to the next stage.
The Councils have bid for funding to improve the existing River Stort crossing and provide a new river crossing in the Gilston area and also to deliver some of the sustainable transport corridor for the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town Project.
The next stage will be for us, along with Hertfordshire County Council and Essex County Council, to develop a detailed business case for this funding. This is a competitive process but we hope to be successful in bidding for HIF funding to accelerate infrastructure delivery for the Garden Town Project.
Essex Police is looking for members to join a new Epping Forest and Brentwood Independent Advisory Group (IAG). It is an opportunity for somebody to act as a ‘critical friend’ to play an important part in ensuring Essex Police consults with, and understand the views of, the Epping Forest community.
“If you know your community well and can think strategically, why not share your expertise and experience to help Essex Police make policing decisions in the Epping Forest district,” asks Councillor Sam Kane, Epping Forest District Council’s safer, greener and transport portfolio holder.
“The IAG will play an important part in ensuring Essex Police consults with our community, reviewing police work practices to help Essex Police better understand how its processes and policies affect our different communities.” said Councillor Sam Kane.
“The first meeting of the Epping Forest and Brentwood IAG is at Zinc Arts in Ongar on Tuesday 16 January 2018, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. If you’re motivated, enthusiastic, able to communicate in a calm, constructive manner, and want to ensure the views of your community are heard, come along and tell Essex Police how their services are being perceived by our communities.”
The final canvass of outstanding properties will take place between now and Wednesday 15 November 2017. The deadline for a response is Wednesday 22 November 2017.
The fourth and final household enquiry forms will be delivered before the electoral register is published on 1 December 2017. If you have not registered, you will need to as soon as possible. Electoral registration is now a 2 part process.
Returning Officer Glen Chipp said: ”Canvassers will be knocking on the doors of these properties between 6 November and 15 November 2017 to retrieve information. Electors will have until 22 November 2017 at the very latest to respond if they wish to be included in the new register.”
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.
If you receive an email about electoral registration or a paper registration form in the post, you need to respond online, by phoning Electoral services with the information requested. You can also fill in the form and send it back, but please do not ignore it.
Affected credit ratings
Glen Chipp continued: ”Any information received after 22 November 2017 will not be added to the register until January 2018. It is worth noting that not being on the electoral register can affect your credit rating in the run up to Christmas.”
Do you want to increase the levels of policing in Essex? Willing to pay more Council tax to do so? The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex (PFCC) want your views.
Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex is asking Essex residents to fill in an online survey to gauge whether or not residents would be happy to pay more, so more resources can be invested in policing across the county.
Essex Police’s Funding comes from two sources
Local Council Tax
Essex Police receives the lowest funding per resident of any police force in the country and has the sixth lowest council tax for policing.
The survey will be live from 01.00 am Monday 6 November to 00.00am on Sunday 19 November.
The PFCC want you to join in the conversation on social media by using the #yourviews.
Providing the best service possible
PFCC Mr Hirst said: “I want to provide the best service possible for the people of Essex and increasing investment will help me deliver this. I’m not expecting any increase in central Government funding for this year but I can raise the police precept. However, before I make that decision I want to know what the views of the public are so I can take them into account.”
He added: “At every public meeting I attend I hear that the residents want more police on the streets and whilst both Essex Police and I are doing everything we can to make that happen, we don’t have the money or resources to deliver it in the best way that we want to. The demand on the police service is rising. New crime types are emerging and existing crime is rising in its complexity, this is against a backdrop of an unprecedented shift in the national security environment. My question to the public is this – do they want to pay more for those extra resources?”
Have your say about the way Epping Forest District Council prioritises housing applications and allocates affordable housing. We want your views on the draft revised Housing Allocations Scheme before 2 January 2018.
The current scheme was last reviewed in 2015. It is a document which sets out clear policies on how the council prioritises applications and allocates affordable housing to people on the housing register. The housing register is a list of homeseekers who are waiting to be offered a council or housing association property.
We are required by law to have a Housing Allocations Scheme for:
deciding priorities and the procedure to be followed in selecting homeseekers for council accommodation
nominating homeseekers for housing association accommodation
Alongside members of the public, we are also consulting with
The council’s Tenant and Leaseholders Panel
Town and Parish Councils
Partner agencies with an interest in the scheme
Every private register provider of social housing with which it has nomination arrangements
Have your say
Housing Portfolio Holder, Councillor Syd Stavrou said: ”We are consulting with a variety of associated bodies and partner agencies, as well as our residents. We want to hear your views, so please make sure you complete the consultation.”
”If you would like to comment on the draft revised Housing Allocations Scheme 2018, please fill out the online form. Responses are needed by 2 January 2018. The Council’s Cabinet will consider the results of the consultation and when it has been approved, the new scheme and policy will come into force on 1 July 2018.”
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.
“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.”
“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).”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Are you on a private water supply? DEFRA have launched a 6 week consultation on updates to the public and private drinking water regulations. This consultation will be of interest to those concerned with public and/or private supplies of drinking water.
Drinking Water Directive
The changes will bring the regulations in line with the Drinking Water Directive. The Drinking Water Directive was updated to reflect World Health Organisation principles for the risk based sampling and analysis of drinking water supply.
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.