Chairman’s golfers raise money for local charity

Written on . Posted in Business, Chairman, Chigwell, Civic events, Councillors, Democracy, Local business, Media, Out and about, Supporting business, Your area, Your council

Generous golfers raised an amazing £704 at our Chairman’s charity golf day to help Safer Places, a local refuge that supports people through abusive relationships.

Chairman Dave Stallan with the charity golfers

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Epping Forest District Council Chairman Dave Stallan opened the golf day at Chigwell Golf Club on 11 July 2017. He teed off and decided to retire gracefully (watch Chairman Dave Stallan tee off below) to let 24 keen golfers battle it out on the fairways.

All the golfers were local councillors, former and current council employees, and guests of the Chairman.

Winners of the golf day were

  • Theydon Bois Parish Councillor Mike Hannibal won the Don Spinks Shield scoring 39 stableford points
  • Elections Officer Wendy MacLeod won the Robert O’Malley Cup for Lady Golfers (for the 5th time!) scoring 29 points
  • Waste Support Officer Paul Coletti got a prize for being nearest the pin on the 10th hole
  • Housing Repairs Officer Daniel Wimpress won a prize for the longest drive on the 18th hole

I won’t win The Open

Chairman Dave Stallan said: “I had a wonderful day and I would like to thank everyone that took part. Unfortunately my golfing abilities leave a lot to be desired and I think it’s fair to say I have no chance of ever winning The Open! My golfing skills can be seen by everyone as my opening tee off was caught on camera!”

Raising money for charity

The Chairman continued: “We raised £704 for local charity Safer places. Safer Places helps adults and children affected by domestic and sexual abuse. The money will go to helping survivors of domestic abuse to recover and rebuild their lives, building a brighter and safe future which they might once have thought of as impossible. I’m delighted to support this great local charity.”

Councillor Gary Waller dies

Written on . Posted in Community, Councillors, Democracy, Media, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council

Councillor Gary Waller, a former MP, current cabinet member and district councillor for the Lower Sheering ward, has died aged 72.

We offer our sincere condolences to Councillor Waller’s family, friends and colleagues. The district council flag in Epping has been lowered as a mark of respect.

Gary Waller 1945-2017

We have lost a great councillor

Councillor David Stallan Chairman of Epping Forest District Council said: “It is with deep sorrow that I announce the death of my friend and colleague Gary Waller. We are all stunned by his sudden death.”

“I worked with Gary on the cabinet for many years. He was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio he represented. He had a wicked sense of humour and always stood up for what he believed in, even if it was unpopular. We have lost a great councillor who will be sorely missed.”

Shocked and saddened

Epping Forest District Council Leader Councillor Chris Whitbread said: “I was shocked and saddened to hear of Gary’s death. On behalf of the conservative group, I offer sincere condolences to his family and to all who knew him. Today, we mourn together the loss of a dear friend and hard-working local councillor.”

Political history

Gary had been the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Brighouse and Spenborough constituency in Yorkshire from 1979 until 1983, until the seat was abolished after boundary changes. He was then elected MP to the nearby Keighley constituency in 1983 until he lost he seat in the 1997 General Election.

Gary was elected a district councillor on 5 May 2011 to represent the Lower Sheering Ward on Epping Forest District Council. He was the cabinet member for the Safer, Greener and Transport portfolio and a member of many committees and panels, including the Essex Police and Crime Panel.

Decisions from Plans West 19 July 2017

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Planning application decisions from Area Planning Sub-Committee West meeting on Wednesday 19 July 2017.

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  1. EPF/1232/16 – Chimes Garden Centre, Old Nazeing Road, Nazeing, Waltham Abbey, Essex EN10 6RJ
    Application withdrawn
  2. EPF/1492/16 – The Chimes Nursery, Old Nazeing Road, Nazeing, Waltham Abbey EN10 6RJ
    Application withdrawn
  3. EPF/2881/16 – Pine Tree Nursery, Avey Lane, Waltham Abbey, Essex EN9 3QH
    Permission granted
  4. EPF/0517/17 – Land to north of 8 Old House Lane, Roydon, Harlow, Essex CM19 5DH
    Permission granted
  5. EPF/0792/17 – Red Roofs, Low Hill Road, Roydon, Essex CM19 5JN
    Permission granted
  6. EPF/1153/17 – Units 20-21, Former Mushroom Farm, Laundry Lane, Nazeing, Essex EN9 2DY
    Permission granted
  7. EPF/1221/17 – 1 Hansells Mead, Roydon, Essex CM19 5HY
    Decision granted

Planning application search

Influence change in housing policy

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Consultation, Democracy, Epping, Housing, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

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

Tenant & leaseholders panel p1

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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!”


Decisions from Plans East 12 July 2017

Written on . Posted in Community, Democracy, Media, Meetings, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Planning application decisions from Area Planning Sub-Committee East meeting on Wednesday 12 July 2017.


  1. EPF/0082/17 – 5 Bluemans, North Weald Bassett, Epping, Essex CM16 6EU
    Permission granted
  2. EPF/0561/17 – Envilles Farm, Abbess Road, Little Laver, Ongar, Essex CM5 0JH
    Permission granted
  3. EPF/0072/17 – 47 High Street, Ongar, Essex CM5 9DT
    Permission granted
  4. EPF/0811/17 – The Old School House, Coppice Row, Theydon Bois, Essex CM16 7DN
    Permission granted
  5. EPF/0939/17 – Hardings Farm, Toot Hill Road, Stanford Rivers, Ongar, Essex CM5 9LQ
    Permission granted
  6. EPF/0781/17 – The Drive, Stapleford Road, Stapleford Abbotts, Essex RM4 1EJ
    Permission granted
  7. EPF/0567/17 – 9 Orchard Drive, Theydon Bois, Epping, Essex CM16 7DH
    Decision deferred
  8. EPF/1974/16 – Weald Hall Nursing Home, Weald Hall Lane, North Weald Bassett, Epping, Essex CM16 6ND
    Permission granted
  9. EPF/1068/17 – The Hawthorns, 253 Nine Ashes Road, High Ongar, Essex CM4 0LA
    Permission granted
  10. EPF/1090/17 – The Old Brewery, Market Place, Lambourne, Essex RM4 1UA
    Permission granted
  11. EPF/1308/17 – Priory Farm, Norwood End, Fyfield, Essex CM5 0RJ
    Permission granted
  12. EPF/1570/17 – White Chicks Farm, Willingale Road, Fyfield, Ongar, Essex CM5 0SD
    Permission granted

Cabinet 15 June 2017

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Cabinet meeting on 15 June 2017 discussed local plan, homelessness and shopping park.

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Shopping Park 

Next (including a Costa Coffee), TK Max, Aldi, Hobbycraft, Pets at Home and Smyths Toys have been confirmed among the tenants of the new Epping Forest Shopping Park. Councillor Anne Grigg made the announcement at the meeting of Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet on 15 June. Construction of the retail units is nearing completion with the supporting highway improvements due to finish in August. The Council expects handover on 19 June with the start of shop fitting starting a week later. The park will also set high green transport standards in Essex with 10 electric charging points.

Local Plan Implementation

Proposed masterplans covering areas in Epping, Waltham Abbey, Loughton, North Weald, Ongar, Chigwell and sites around Harlow will be produced as Epping Forest District Council works towards the implementation of the new Local Plan. The need for strategic masterplans to ensure development and infrastructure requirements across groups of sites in the same area was outlined in a report presented by Planning Portfolio Holder John Philip.


Councillor Philip explained that it was necessary to show the government-appointed inspector that the Council is taking steps to ensure that growth can be delivered in a coordinated way with necessary infrastructure provided. He emphasised that this does not mean any sites will definitely be in or out of the final Local Plan or that planning approvals have been decided or approved. No definitive decisions have as yet been taken on which sites will be included in the final draft of the Local Plan.

Councillors should be involved early without being predisposed to deciding planning applications. None of the work proposed in the report committed councillors to approving individual sites or applications.


Cabinet approved proposals to allocate the Homelessness Support Grant. Councillors supported the recommendations by Housing Portfolio Holder Syd Stavrou to allocate £60,000 to Genesis Housing Association to provide private sector accommodation, and £29,000 to the young parents scheme at Railway Meadow in Ongar. Further allocations will be made as additional reports come to Cabinet. 

Superfast Broadband 

Reports on the extension of superfast broadband and free wifi in town centres put forward by Technology Portfolio Holder Alan Lion were supported by Cabinet colleagues.

Overview and Scrutiny 6 June 2017

Written on . Posted in Councillors, Democracy, Meetings, Our performance, Out and about, Performance, Residents, Supporting business, Working with the council, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Princess Alexandra Hospital is in special measures after its services were rated ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission. Senior staff from Princess Alexandra met with Epping Forest District councillors at the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday 6 June for an improvement plan update.

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  • Lance McCarthy – Chief Executive
  • Stephanie Lawton – Chief Operations Manager
  • Nancy Fontaine – Chief Nurse

Waiting times

A&E waiting times and delays in bed allocation were raised by Councillor Stephen Murray.  Stephanie Lawton apologised for the long waiting times but confirmed that patients remain safe. She said that some improvements had been made to flow and discharge of patients with support from community teams. Building works have been commissioned to extend admission facilities. Together with other plans these improvements should improve admission times. Nancy Fontaine added that where elderly patients are being admitted there is some discretion in allowing family members extra access to provide support.

Recruitment and retention

Responding to a question by councillor Aniket Patel, Nancy Fontaine outlined a number of new ward management and leadership training programmes. Councillor Yolanda Knight praised hospital staff following a ‘faultless’ recent visit. However, she also knew from experience that the quality of service varies greatly across different areas of the hospital. She raised the issue of staff morale, staff retention and the training provided to staff in dealing with difficult members of the public.

Nancy Fontaine was pleased to report that some members of staff have been with the Trust for many years. In some instances, three generations from a family are working in different areas of the hospital while many staff trained at Harlow coming back as more senior staff in later years. However, Lance McCarthy did acknowledge that recruitment was affected by the special measures issue.

Safeguarding for children

Councillor Steven Neville sought reassurance on safeguarding for children. Nancy Fontaine responded with a discussion around a culture of failing to follow policy and training. Safeguarding is now more embedded into hospital standards. She said that policies were now tough but it is probably never possible to ’do enough’.

Responding to a question by Councillor Holly Whitbread, Nancy Lawton described methods of recruitment including links with local colleges and interviews by Skype. Councillor Roger Baldwin asked about the financial deficit and plans to reduce reliance on agency workers.  Nancy Fontaine responded that there is a very clear direction to reduce reliance on temporary staff. Lance McCarthy was able to provide figures illustrating the drop in agency expenditure from more than £20m a few years ago to somewhere nearer £13m more recently.

Emergency Planning

Responding to Councillor Nigel Bedford, Lance McCarthy said that the hospital managed the recent cyber attack on the NHS thanks to internal IT protecting services and installing the relevant patches very quickly. Stephanie Lawton outlined the processes and partner agencies working together to coordinate patient discharge in a timely way. She said this was not ‘cracked yet’ but improvements were being made.

Nancy Fontaine and Lance McCarthy outlined in more depth the health and social care solutions used to address issues of patient isolation raised by Councillor Aniket Patel. Stephanie Lawton also confirmed the regular update, review and training for emergency planning situations such as the recent terrorist attacks in London and Manchester.

Lance McCarthy acknowledged the Trust has a long way to go in moving out of special measures but felt the hospital was in a much more positive position. He is also looking at the long term redevelopment or relocation of Princess Alexandra to a better site.

Caring Hospital

Committee Chairman Councillor Mary Sartin thanked Lance McCarthy, Stephanie Lawton and Nancy Fontaine for answering so many questions and offered best wishes for the future. She said that whatever the issues, the CQC report made clear that Princess Alexandra Hospital was a ‘caring’ hospital.

Corporate Plan

In other business Council Leader Chris Whitbread reminded committee members of some of the key achievements of previous years including the freeze on Council Tax for a seventh year and the development of new assets such as the Epping Forest Shopping Park. He said that the delivery of keys to residents for the first newly built council houses had taken place.  Focusing on community services he also applauded the work of the Council in attracting external funding. Local Plan development continues. The Council has listened and consulted with residents.

Councillor Whitbread continued with a description of the transformational changes being implemented across the Council leading to modern working, better use of technology and the facilitation of future service improvements. He also reminded fellow councillors of the benefits of the new leisure contract with a projected income of £20m over the next 20 years.

Other items covered by Overview and Scrutiny included:

  • Select Committees Terms of Reference
  • Select Committee membership
  • Task and Finish Panels
  • Annual Report of Overview and Scrutiny

Eleanor Laing holds Epping Forest

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

Conservative Eleanor Laing held the Epping Forest seat in the UK General Election on 8 June 2017.

Alex Burghart held the Brentwood & Ongar seat for the conservatives and Robert Halfon held the Harlow seat for the conservatives as the election ends in a Hung Parliament.

Elenor Laing MP

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Results on the BBC

Election news