West Essex Employer and Business Survey 2011

Written on . Posted in Business, Consultation, Local business, Supporting business, Your area, Your council

Epping Forest District Council is encouraging businesses to respond to the West Essex Employer and Business Survey, which Harlow Council is conducting on behalf of the West Essex District Councils – Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford.

An Epping Forest District Council spokesperson said:  The survey is really important, as it helps us target effort at the problems that are most important to business and gives us the evidence we need to lobby for investment from Government, Europe and others. We need at least 1,000 businesses to respond, so please complete the survey. It shouldn`t take you more than ten minutes and will make a real difference to businesses in West Essex.

  • Complete the survey online

For more information or if you would prefer a hardcopy of the survey, please contact James Spencer by emailing james.spencer@harlow.gov.uk or by phone on 01279 446450.

Moreton, Bobbingworth and The Lavers Consultation

Written on . Posted in Consultation, Residents, Your community, Your council

The Council is carrying out a review of the boundary between Matching Parish and the neighbouring Moreton, Bobbingworth and The Lavers Parish.

The boundary bisects the village of Matching Green and the Council is carrying out a postal consultation to find out if those residents would like the boundary changed so the whole village is in Matching Parish.

Residents can find additional information on the background to this consultation and some of the issues that need to be taken into account before completing their consultation responses below:

  • Second stage consultation – Background Information (pdf 33KB)

  • Proposed Wards Map (pdf 576KB)

  • Matching Green Boundaries (pdf 323KB)

Only local residents who have received the postal survey can take part in this consultation which closes on 15 April 2011.

Countrycare Completes Hedgerow Survey

Written on . Posted in Consultation, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Our countryside, Residents, Your council

After 9 months of hard work from staff and volunteers, the council`s Countrycare team has finished its hedgerow survey of Moreton, Fyfield and the Lavers. The data will be used to help raise awareness of the importance of hedgerows as a source of biodiversity.

In 2010 DEFRA launched a nationwide survey through which the Countrycare team obtained a grant to survey the parishes that lie within the arable, agricultural landscapes of West Essex. The density of the hedges in these areas has decreased in recent decades due to agricultural practices and urban development pressures.

Conducting the hedgerow survey will help in determining the distribution and condition of the hedges and identifying the presence of species rich hedgerows, isolated trees and any veteran trees.

The results showed that three in ten of the hedgerows surveyed fulfilled all the criteria listed by DEFRA for a hedgerow to be considered in favourable condition. Seven in ten hedgerows fulfilled ten out of the eleven criteria, with most hedgerows failing because they were found to be nutrient enriched.

In addition to raising awareness with local landowners, farmers and community groups of the importance of hedgerows as a source of biodiversity, the data will also be used as evidence for the Local Development Framework, which is looking to include green infrastructure. The surveys also contribute to achieving the aims of the Epping Forest Local Biodiversity Action Plan and the Essex Biodiversity Action Plan.

A full report on the hedgerow survey conducted and more information on biodiversity can be found on the Countrycare area of the Epping Forest District Council website.

Draft Corporate Plan 2011 – 2015 Consultation

Written on . Posted in Consultation, Countryside and wildlife, Local business, Our countryside, Our performance, Planning, Supporting business, Your council, Your environment

The Corporate Plan (formerly known as the Council Plan) is the Council`s key strategic planning document. The Corporate Plan sets out service priorities over a four-year period, and translates the vision for the district set out by the Community Strategy recently published by the Local Strategic Partnership, One Epping Forest, into the Council’s strategic direction, priorities and the most important outcomes that it wants to achieve.

The Corporate Plan helps prioritise resources to provide quality services and value for money, but does not cover everything that the authority does, focusing instead on those issues that matter most to local people, national priorities set by the government and local challenges arising from the social, economic and environmental context of the district.

The Corporate Plan complements the Community Strategy and reflects those issues and priorities where the Council can have maximum impact. The Corporate Plan includes specific actions to address priorities that are financed, resourced and have a timescale for completion. The Corporate Plan is closely linked to the Council`s medium-term financial strategy, and sets out how the Council will deliver its vision and priorities over the next four years, to ensure improved outcomes for local people. The Corporate Plan includes a section reflecting the Council`s key objectives for 2011/12, which will be updated each year.

The Council is interested to know what you think of the Corporate Plan. Comments on the content and the aims and objectives for 2011/12 and the four-year period, can be made using either the online feedback form, or by submitting written comments to performance@eppingforestdc.gov.uk or Performance Improvement Unit, Epping Forest District Council, Civic Offices, Epping, Essex, CM16 4BZ.

Responses received will be used to inform the content of the final version of the Corporate Plan, which will be published in April 2011.

Copies of the Draft Corporate Plan can be obtained from the Performance Improvement Unit by emailing performance@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Council Launches Residents ePetition System

Written on . Posted in Consultation, Residents, Your council


Epping Forest District Council has followed in the footsteps of 10 Downing Street in creating a new ePetitions facility on its website.

This will enable residents to create their own ePetition requesting the Council to take action on a matter affecting them locally. Residents can also sign current ePetitions, adding their voice to the concerns of their community.

To set up a petition or submit a paper petition to the Council,
log on to the petitions page at www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/petitions

Councillor Diana Collins, Leader of the District Council, said: Our new ePetitions facility gives another way for our residents to communicate their concerns about their local area to the District Council. All petitions will be responded to, although we can`t guarantee we will take the action all petitioners want. If your petition gets the support of 2% of the community (2,400 people), our Full Council will debate the issue.

Petitions with over 20 supporters will be referred to the appropriate Portfolio Holder, one of nine nominated Councillors making up the Cabinet with specific powers and duties, while petitions with fewer than 20 signatures will be managed by officers. Petitions receiving over 1,200 sponsors can request a senior officer to speak about the Council`s actions to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, and petitions which generate over 2,400 supporters (2% of the District population) will trigger a debate by Full Council.

Anyone that lives, works, or studies in the District (of whatever age) can sign a petition or an ePetition.

If you have any queries, email democraticservices@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Residents Voice Safety Concerns at Debate

Written on . Posted in Consultation, Crime and safety, Media, Residents, Young people, Your community, Your home

Community Safety tree image

Gangs and knives, cutbacks, cross border crime, domestic violence, alcohol related anti-social behaviour, young drivers accident rates and community payback.

An audience of local people came along to the Community Safety Question Time Debate to pose challenging questions on these topics to a panel of local experts in an evening of lively debate.

The debate, filmed at Epping Forest college in Loughton, was presented by BBC Radio Essex’s Dave Monk and saw representatives from the Police, NHS, Fire, District and County Councils, and the probation service quizzed by members of the local community on issues that mattered to them.


Introduction by Dave Monk
Introduction by Dave Monk
  0:00:00 / 0:00:00


Watch the debate with direct links to all the questions below:

Watch the Community Safety Question Time Debate

    The expert panellists were:
  • Stuart McMillan, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service Assistant Divisional Officer for Harlow and Epping Forest;
  • Neeve Bishop, Essex Probation Trust Offender Management Team;
  • Alan Ray, Essex Police District Commander for Epping Forest District;
  • Councillor Penny Smith, Epping Forest District Council Safer and Greener Portfolio Holder;
  • Caroline Skinner, NHS West Essex Senior Health Improvement Specialist;
  • Yvette Wetton, Essex County Council West Area Co-ordinator;
  • John Gilbert, Epping Forest District Council Director of Environment and Street Scene.

Displays showcasing the work of the Epping Forest Safer Communities Partnership were on display outside the auditorium. Audience members and college students were asked what the top 3 priorities for the partnership should be.

    The results were:

  1. Anti-social behaviour;
  2. Domestic violence;
  3. Drugs.

The debate was the finale to a two week programme of events called “Safe ‘n’ Sound in Epping Forest” providing help and advice on keeping you safe.

Deadline Extended For Residents’ Planning Consultation

Written on . Posted in Community, Consultation, Planning, Residents, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Residents, business people and community groups have an extra three weeks to respond to the latest phase of Epping Forest District Council`s consultation on future planning policies. Anyone wishing to comment now has until 9 July 2010 to get their replies back to the council online, by e-mail or post to the Civic Offices in Epping.

The Core Strategy is the key new planning policy document which will look ahead to 2031. It eventually replaces the Local Plan and will set the local planning policies of the district. The Core Strategy is important because it will guide the council`s decisions on planning applications for development including housing, businesses and high streets. With other documents it will form the Local Development Framework, helping to balance development with the protection of the green belt, conservation areas, listed buildings and other features that make the district unique.

Part of the preparation involves the assessment of economic, environmental and social issues facing the district. This is called a Sustainability Appraisal. However, before the Sustainability Appraisal can be carried out, the council needs local residents to consider what issues they think should be included in the assessment. This is set out in the `Scoping Report` that residents are being asked to comment on at the moment.

We hit some teething problems when the consultation was launched last month so we have decided to give residents more time to respond, said Councillor Di Collins, Leader of Epping Forest District Council. This is a very complicated process. We produced a Plain English guide but our accompanying letters were confusing to residents. I hope we have now learned from our mistake and the information is being presented in a much more understandable way.

The Council is writing to and e-mailing several thousand residents who participated in earlier consultation exercises and indicated they would like to be kept involved. However, anyone can take part.

Councillor Collins said: I would encourage everyone to look at the information on the website or ask for a copy from the Council. Recent remarks by Eric Pickles MP, the new Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government seem to suggest that councils will have much more control over local development than previously. It is therefore all the more important that local people have their say.

Residents can complete a survey form by contacting the Forward Planning team by telephone on 01992 564517 or by email.

Election 2010 in Photos

Written on . Posted in Consultation, Democracy, Elections, Your council

The election writ is received

Acting Returning Officer Ian Willett received a Writ from the Queen instructing him to carry out an election.

Voters arrive at the polling stations

On election day voters arrived at the polling stations, filled in their ballot papers…

Votes are placed in ballot boxes at polling stations

…and posted them into the ballot boxes.

Ballot boxes are taken to the count location

The ballot boxes from each polling station were then taken to the “count location”…

Votes are counted

…where they were first verified and then counted.

A different colour box for each candidate

Votes were counted in batches of fifty which were then placed inside coloured boxes – one colour for each candidate.

Politicians look on as votes are counted

Politicians looked on as the votes were counted.

Candidates were interviewed throughout the night

Candidates were interviewed throughout the night by local press and the BBC.

Eleanor Laing make her victory speech

Having been duly elected MP for Epping Forest, Eleanor Laing made her victory speech.

The Writ is filled in and returned via a government courier

Finally, the Writ was filled in with the result of the election and sent back via a government courier.

Consultation on Licensing Act

Written on . Posted in Business, Consultation, Licensing, Local business, Supporting business, Your council

We want  to know your thoughts and comments on our licensing policies.

As a requirement of the Licensing Act 2003, licensing authorities such as Epping Forest District Council are required to consult on their licensing policies every three years.

The deadline for comments is 31 July 2010, this will allow Council Members time to consider your comments.

    Please read the policy and let us know your thoughts and comments:

  • Epping Forest District Council Statement of Licensing Policy (pdf 93 KB)

Find out more about the Licensing Act and how it may affect you at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport website.

    You can send your comments:

  • by post to The Licensing Section, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4BZ
  • or by email to licensing@eppingforestdc.gov.uk