Water quality consultation

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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.

The consultation closes 24 October 2017.

Consultation

Cabinet 7 September 2017

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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.

Police Helicopter

Police Helicopter

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.

Hillhouse Statement

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.”

Oakwood Hill

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.

Customer Services

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.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme consultation

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We’re asking for your views on the future of our Local Council Tax Support 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.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme consultation

Government grant

“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.”

Making changes

“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).”

Generate savings

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 12 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 benefits@eppingforestdc.gov.uk 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.

We cannot respond individually to each response.

Influence change in housing policy

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Become a member of the Epping Forest District Council Tenants and Leaseholders Panel and influence change in your local area!

Tenant & leaseholders panel p1

Click on an image below to begin slideshow

Influence housing decisions

If you would like to have a say in how your housing service is run, or would like an opportunity to influence housing related decisions before policies are made, then why not join the Tenants and Leaseholders Panel.

Resident led group

Members of the panel are Epping Forest District Council tenants or leaseholders. The group meets several times a year, has an elected chair, the Housing Portfolio Holder (the lead councillor for housing) and council officers attend each meeting.

Fair representation

Epping Forest District Council Housing Portfolio Holder, Councillor Syd Stavrou said: ”We would like to increase our panel’s membership, in the hope that we give our tenants and leaseholders fair representation and a chance to have their say, before changes or new policies are introduced.”

Comment on services

”The panel are able to comment on our housing services and on our performance too. We are looking for people who would be willing to attend evening meetings dedicated to improving decisions that affect tenants and leaseholders across the district. Please contact us if you’re interested in getting involved!”

Contact

Consultation on airport expansion plans

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Stansted Airport is consulting residents on plans that could see passenger numbers grow from around 25 million to as many as 44 million a year. The airport is carrying out consultation before applying to Uttlesford District Council for permission to increase the number of flights by up to 11,000 per year.

 

Consultation

The airport has added an additional consultation day for residents of Harlow and Epping Forest District on:

  • Monday 24th July
  • 3pm to 7.30pm
  • Harlow Leisurezone, Second Avenue, Harlow, Essex, CM20 3DT

Stansted says it wants to gather the views of local residents and stakeholders to help shape final plans before submitting a planning application and is hosting a number of exhibition events.

Other consultation venues

  • Thursday 6th July 3pm until 8pm at Hatfield Heath Institute, 2A Broomfields, Hatfield Heath, CM22 7EH
  • Saturday 8th July 10am until 3pm at Foakes Hall, 47 Stortford Road, Great Dunmow, CM6 1DG
  • Monday 10th July 3pm until 7pm at St John’s Church Hall, Stansted Mountfitchet, CM24 8JP
  • Wednesday 12th July 3pm until 8pm at Braintree Town Hall, Fairfield Road, Braintree, CM7 3YG
  • Friday 14th July, 4pm until 8pm at the Silver Jubilee Hall, Dunmow Road, Takeley CM22 6QJ
  • Saturday 15th July 12pm until 4pm at Bolford Street Hall, Bolford Street, Thaxted, CM6 2PY
  • Monday 17th July 3pm until 8pm at the Town Hall, Market Square, Saffron Walden, CB10 1HR
  • Wednesday 19th July 3pm until 8pm at the Methodist Church, 34B South Street, Bishop’s Stortford, CM23 3AZ

Find out more and respond

Residents can find out more and submit their views

Planning application validation list consultation

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Tell us what you think about our revised planning application local validation list.

We are consulting on revisions to the validation list of local information requirements. This now includes the addition of a guidance note on the submission of viability and financial appraisals for affordable housing.

Planning application local validation list consultation

What is the local validation list?

The local validation list identifies information required to register, assess and validate a planning application. We are asking any person or organization with an interest in or involvement with planning applications submitted to Epping Forest District Council to respond.

The previous validation list was produced in 2015 and we are required to review it every 2 years.

Consultation documents

How to respond

The consultation is open for 6 weeks from 21 April until 30 June 2017 – send us your comments by

Harlow and Gilston Garden Town

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The economic and social future of West Essex and East Hertfordshire has received a major boost with the award of a government grant towards a garden town proposal.

EFDC, East Herts and Harolow logos

Epping Forest, East Herts and Harlow District Councils have received a joint £0.5million award in the form of a Government grant to support transformational strategic proposals for Harlow and the surrounding area.

Garden Town Grant

The ”Garden Town grant” has been awarded through the government’s Locally led Garden Towns funding to help to build a joint Strategic Team as well as funding research, and specialist support for Harlow and Gilston Garden Town.   Using garden city principles this will enable support to be provided to local communities to ensure that they are involved in the development of masterplans for the sites.   

The three neighbouring partners and Uttlesford District Council have identified a potential need for around 15,000 new homes in and around Harlow over the next 20 years or so. The bid by the three neighbouring councils was supported by a range of other organisations and individuals based in the London Stansted Cambridge Corridor (LSCC) including:

  • Uttlesford District Council
  • Essex County Council
  • Hertfordshire County Council
  • South East Local Enterprise Partnership
  • Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership
  • London Stansted Cambridge Consortium

Garden towns were pioneered in Letchworth and Welwyn with Harlow as a New Town designed along Garden Town principles by Sir Frederick Gibberd. The draft local plans being developed by Harlow, East Herts and Epping Forest District councils reflect the importance of Harlow as an economic and social hub of the area. New housing and employment emulating the best aspects of the original garden cities lie at the heart of the proposals.

Local Plans

Epping Forest District and East Herts Council have just completed public consultations on Local Plans identifying strategic housing allocations. The Local Plans will look ahead as far as 2033, while the Garden Town development could look as far forward as 2050. Work is continuing on developing Harlow’s local plan ready for public consultation this year.

As well as housing and employment, the funding will help to address key issues and challenges such as access to the M11, the A414 corridor, River Stort crossing improvements, water use and treatment, and healthcare.  It will also help to secure high design quality and ensure strategic development contributes effectively to the provision of infrastructure.  

Supporting local communities

Councillor John Philip, Planning Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council said: ”The regeneration of Harlow is key to the success of our region. The whole area will benefit from the coordinated strategic provision of new homes, employment and social infrastructure in and around Harlow.   It makes sense and I am therefore delighted to see the DCLG putting its weight and money behind the proposals. This funding will enable us to support local communities, parish and town councils to be involved in shaping the future of this area.

East Herts Council leader Linda Haysey said: ”This funding will enable us to take the first steps in scoping out how the garden town could look – exploring sustainable transport, homes for a range of sizes, needs and affordability, health provision and all the other elements that go towards a successful community. It will also allow us make sure we’re fully engaged with residents who might be directly affected by the proposals.

”The garden town is an ambitious project that will benefit the wider region and so I’m delighted there will be access to the new Housing Infrastructure Fund and that we’re now in a position to take the next steps.”

Huge opportunity

Councillor Jon Clempner, Leader of Harlow Council, said: “Harlow Council has clear ambitions to regenerate Harlow and believes growth, particularly to the north of Harlow, would contribute to the development of the town in its role as the sub-regional centre.  This initiative is a huge opportunity for Harlow and the surrounding areas to provide much needed housing and infrastructure improvements which will all contribute to the regeneration of Harlow.

”This welcomed announcement comes at the same time Harlow begins to celebrate its 70th birthday and this is about looking to the future and the next 70 years to help secure Harlow’s future.  If we are going to provide the full range of housing that local people need, in particular affordable housing, as well as create jobs and skills opportunities to meet the inward investment we are achieving, then we all need to work together on proposals to achieve sustainable growth. The Government funding enables all three Councils to move proposals forward to carry out detailed work and I look forward to continuing working with East Herts and Epping Forest Councils on this ambitious project.”

Christmas contact information

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We are closed from 5pm on 23 December 2016 until 9am on 3 January 2017. There are still ways you can get in touch with us when you need to over the Christmas holiday period.

Christmas message from Chairman Jeane Lea

Report it

Report it online (non-emergency) – report missed bin, noise, flytipping, fraud, abandoned vehicle, etc.

Report by email (non-emergency) – emails sent here will not be looked at until 3 January 2017.

Phone (emergency) 01992 564000

Housing repairs (emergency) 01992 564199

Social media

We monitor our main Twitter and Facebook accounts every day.

Pay it

Pay online 24/7 – pay Council Tax, rent, business rates, leasehold charges, etc.

Pay by phone 24/7 01992 564600

Our Debden cash office & Epping kiosk will close at 4:30pm on 23 December 2016 and reopen 9am on 3 January 2017.

Our Waltham Abbey library kiosk is subject to Waltham Abbey library opening hours.

Waste and recycling

Christmas 2016 revised collection dates

  • Collection date Tuesday 27 December 2016 revised to Wednesday 28 December 2016
  • Collection date Wednesday 28 December 2016 revised to Thursday 29 December 2016
  • Collection date Thursday 29 December 2016 revised to Friday 30 December 2016
  • Collection date Friday 30 December 2016 revised to Saturday 31 December 2016

Recycling real Christmas trees

Leave your real Christmas trees with your food and garden waste in January 2017. Remove the pot, all decorations and if over 6ft, cut in half to ensure safe collection.

Special collections

Our special collections service closes at 5pm on 23 December 2016 and resume at 9am on 3 January 2017.

Lost or found dogs

Call 07815 512833 weekdays from 7am to 9pm, weekends and bank holidays from 10am to 7pm.

Car parks

Free weekend parking in December – all of our car parks are free on weekends throughout December and bank holidays.

Epping Forest District Museum

Epping Forest District Museum is closed from 4pm on 22 December 2016 and reopens 10am on 3 January 2017.

Housing benefit payments revised dates

  • Payments due 26 December 2016 will be now be available in bank accounts around 23 December 2016
  • Payments due 02 January 2017 will now be available in bank accounts around 29 December 2016

Normal payment cycle will resume from 9 January 2017.

 

12 December deadline for Local Plan

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You have only a few days left to get your draft Local Plan comments back to us. The 6-week consultation deadline ends at 5pm on Monday 12 December 2016.

Next stop for the Epping Forest1

It’s great to see so many people engaged in the process 

Planning portfolio holder Councillor John Philip has been delighted with the response. He said: “We already have over a thousand replies and more come in each day. Most people are responding online via the website. We have also received many replies by email but no one is excluded.”

“We are receiving paper questionnaires and letters through the post. People are responding individually and as part of groups. Our local town and parish councils have also played a big role in getting people involved as well as submitting their own replies.”

“I would like to thank everyone who has taken time and trouble to respond. It is great to see so many people engaged in the process.”

Online has proved most popular

As of 9am on Monday 5 December 2016 we had received 999 replies

  • 601 online website replies (60%)
  • 261 emails (26%)
  • 41 paper questionnaires (4%)
  • 96 letters (10%)

More replies have been received hourly as people make sure their views are taken into account before the deadline.

The online option at www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/planningourfuture has proved most popular but people can also send their replies

Help us produce the best Local Plan we can

Councillor Philip added: “This is a genuine consultation. I really want to hear your views. I can’t promise I can give everyone exactly what they want but your information can change the Plan.”

“Give me good sound planning reasons why you like or dislike things in the Plan. With your help, we will have the evidence we need to defend the Plan when it is submitted for examination by a government-appointed inspector next year.”

“Please don’t miss out. Send you comments by 12 December and help us produce the best Local Plan we can.”

 

Keep them coming, says planning councillor

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Residents are being encouraged to keep the responses coming in as the Local Plan consultation period reaches the half way stage.

Viewing the document

We have already received more than 450 replies. 3 weeks into the formal 6 week consultation period we had received 238 online replies, 150 emails and 65 paper questionnaires and letters.

Approximately 1,233 people visited the staffed exhibitions held in early November and the special website has been visited 7,634 times, including 3,854 visits since the consultation started on 31 October 2016.

We sent out approximately 500 tweets and posts on social media.

Local Plan website

Exhibition attendance

Approximate attendance figures at the exhibitions.

  • North Weald – 259
  • Loughton – 207
  • Chigwell – 107
  • Chipping Ongar – 258
  • Epping – 277
  • Waltham Abbey – 125

Local stations leafleted

Thousands of leaflets have also been handed to commuters at local London Underground and mainline railway stations.

  • 31 October – Loughton am / Epping pm
  • 1 November – Chigwell am / Buckhurst Hill pm
  • 2 November – Roydon am / Grange Hill pm
  • 3 November – Roding Valley am / Debden pm
  • 4 November – Theydon Bois am
  • 7 November – Sawbridgeworth am
  • 8 November – Waltham Cross am

Delighted with the response

Councillor John Philip, Cabinet portfolio holder responsible for the Local Plan is delighted with the response so far. He said: “I want to say thank you to everyone who is engaging with us. The draft Local Plan is a big and complicated document. We have tried to break it down into manageable bite-size chunks but getting into the detail still takes a lot of time and effort.”

“People have busy lives but there is still plenty of time. We don’t expect most people to respond until the last week or 2 of the consultation so having 450 already is fantastic.”

Pleased with the number of online responses

Councillor Philip is also pleased with the number of online responses. He said: “Last time we tried to do this we only got a handful of online responses. It took months and months wading through the tonnes of paper replies, analysing and summarising the responses manually. This time, the online responses are much more efficient. The analysis will be so much quicker and cost-effective.”

In addition to the formal consultation events and materials organised by the Council, a number of community meetings have been organised by local residents. Councillor Philip and Councillor Chris Whitbread, Leader of Epping Forest District Council have been among those attending events, listening first hand to local people.

It’s good to talk

Councillor Philip added: “I would like to thank everyone for getting involved. This really is one of those times when it is good to talk. I know the draft Local Plan is a very sensitive document. We all have concerns and we all want to get it right.”

“I appreciate how almost everyone I have met has been so constructive. We said from the start that we are listening. The draft Local Plan is not set in stone. This is everyone’s best chance to make it the Plan we all want.”

“Tell me what you like and what you don’t like. Most importantly, back up your views with good solid reasons. The website is the most simple and convenient way to respond but if you don’t like the online option, paper questionnaires are available.”

We need more homes

Councillor Philip concluded: “Almost everyone agrees we need more homes for the future. We also need places to work and all kinds of infrastructure. The Local Plan will be a shield against inappropriate development. It will help us protect all the things we love most about our district while also giving us the policies we need for sensible and measured development for years to come.”

All replies must reach the Council by the deadline of 5pm on Monday 12 December 2016.

Static exhibitions

There are 13 Local Plan static exhibitions in the district.

  1. Buckhurst Hill Library, 165 Queens Rd, Buckhurst Hill IG9 5AZ
  2. Bumbles Green Leisure Centre, Bumbles Green, Nazeing EN9 2SF
  3. Chigwell Library, Hainault Rd, Chigwell, IG7 6QX
  4. Epping Civic Offices, High Street, Epping CM16 4BZ
  5. Epping Library, St John’s Rd, Epping CM16 5DN
  6. Harlow Latton Bush Centre, Southern Way, Harlow CM18 7BL
  7. Loughton Library, Traps Hill, Loughton IG10 1HD
  8. North Weald Library, 138 High Road, North Weald CM16 6BZ
  9. Ongar Library, The Pleasance, High Street, Chipping Ongar CM5 9AB
  10. Roydon Village Hall, Harlow Rd, Roydon CM19 5HH
  11. Sheering Village Hall, The Street, Sheering CM22 7LX
  12. Theydon Bois Village Hall, Coppice Row, Theydon Bois CM16 7ER
  13. Waltham Abbey Library, 37 Sun St, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL