New phone system rings in changes

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Council tax, Councillors, Emergencies, Energy efficiency, Epping, Housing, Housing repairs, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Our performance, Performance, Residents, Supporting business, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

New phone connections saving Epping Forest District Council and its tax payers £12,000 a year are set to go live this weekend (17 February to 20 February).

Cllr Lion promoting EFDC's new phone connections

Out of hour’s services

Subject to go ahead, temporary emergency numbers will be used during the switch.

The council has planned the switch at the quietest time of the week to minimise service disruption.

During the switch the two emergency out of hours contact numbers (01992 564000 and 01992 564199 for housing) will temporarily change while the council works with BT.

To contact EFDC out of hours from 5pm on Friday 17 February to 9am on Monday 20 February please call:

  • Housing Repairs Emergency 0203 589 3012

  • Any other Emergency   0203 589 3013

Protecting services

Moving phone connections from an analogue to a digitally based internet system will:

  • Make an annual saving of £12,000
  • Makes it easier to move phone answering to other locations
  • Improve phone resilience
  • Protect vital services

There will be no difference in how residents contact the council via phone as all phone numbers will remain the same and there will be no increase any call charges.

Small changes making a big difference

Technology and Support Services Portfolio Holder Councillor Alan Lion said: “We are planning another 0% increase in Council Tax this year. This is the latest in a series of investments. From double glazing to LED lighting and solar panels it all adds up. Relatively small savings like our new connections to our phone system can play a large part in keeping Council Tax down at the end of the year.”

Keep your home safe from flooding

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Community, Councillors, Drainage, Emergencies, Local business, Media, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

It’s impossible to completely flood-proof your home but there are lots of things you can do to reduce flood damage and protect your property. If you’re concerned about the risk of flooding visit us for advice at one of our flood roadshows which is touring the district next week.

Flooding roadshows

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

Free advice

Members of our Emergency Planning and Land Drainage teams will offer free advice to residents and businesses at our flooding roadshows so they can be better prepared should the worst happen.

The team will be visiting areas of the district which are a known flood risk. They will be selling empty sandbags and demonstrating various products and techniques for coping with flood water.

These events are a run up to the national Get Ready for Winter week in November.

Flooding roadshows

Visit our display between 10am and 2pm at the following locations

  • Monday 24 October 2016 – Nazeing – St Giles Church car park
  • Tuesday 25 October 2016 – Waltham Abbey – Waltham Abbey Market
  • Wednesday 26 October 2016 – Ongar – Ongar Market
  • Thursday 27 October 2016 – Loughton – Traps Hill car park
  • Friday 28 October 2016 – Abridge – Abridge Village Hall

Protect yourself against flooding

Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder Councillor Helen Kane said: “I would encourage anyone affected by flooding to come along and talk to us. Check to see if your home or business is in an area that could flood in the future. If it is, get signed up to Floodline for free flood warnings direct from the Environment Agency.”

“Our team can advise you on how to protect yourself from flooding using flood barriers, sandbags, air brick protectors, or even a simple pillow case. Make sure you take the necessary steps to protect yourself against flooding.”

Advice and information

Bin lorry gets out of a hole

Written on . Posted in Community, Emergencies, Loughton, Media, Out and about, Recycling and waste, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

A freak accident in Loughton left a 26 tonne Biffa dustcart stranded after it fell into a hole in the road.

The accident in Barfields Loughton on Thursday 21 July 2016, left the Biffa lorry resting on its axle. However, great teamwork by Biffa, the council, Essex Police and BJG Rescue Service soon had the 26 tonne lorry back on its wheels.

26 tonne lorry stranded

The crew was nearing the end of a routine day collecting green recycling from homes in Loughton when the driver felt his cab start to lean. He thought he had a puncture but it soon became clear the road underneath the off-side rear wheels had collapsed into a deep hole and left the 26 tonne lorry stranded on its axle and chassis. Another crew were diverted to complete the rest of their round.

A heavy recovery vehicle was called and just a few hours after becoming stranded, the bin lorry was back on its wheels, having apparently suffered little or no damage.


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

The road just collapsed

Staff from Epping Forest District Council’s drainage team were among the first to get close to the hole. A spokesman for Epping Forest District Council said: “We had a look. There are pipes serving local houses and taking surface water away under that stretch of road.”

“We think there may be a bit of an obstruction and some damage to the pipes. Combined with the recent heavy rain it could have eroded the subsoil away. The bin lorry was laden with recycling. When it stopped over the void, the road just collapsed and the lorry went in. Our first priority was to get the lorry out.”

The rescue was a real team effort

“We called Essex County Council Highways to make the road safe, and Thames Water to carry out an investigation before making repairs. The rescue was a real team effort, with lots of people involved. We also made some friends among the residents of Barfields who kept the recovery team supplied with cups of tea throughout. With other Biffa crews completing the round, we hope hardly anyone noticed the delay.”

“It was a very hot day and we would like to thank the residents of Barfields for their hospitality and patience.”


Winter weather is on the way

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Emergencies, Media, Older people, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Following the record breaking warm weather in December, wintry conditions are set to arrive with temperatures forecast to fall below zero, leading to the possibility of snow and icy conditions.

Get ready for winter

Get ready for winter

The Met Office get ready for winter campaign has lots of useful advice to make sure you’re prepared and don’t get caught out.

  • Communities
  • Keep warm, keep well
  • Protecting your home
  • Trains, planes and automobiles
  • Campaign partners


“Residents should take extra care with their health in cold weather” said Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Will Breare-Hall.

“Stay warm, eat well, tread carefully and if you need winter health advice go online to NHS Choices Winter health.”


Councillor Breare-Hall added: “When driving in wintry conditions reduce your speed, allow extra time and make sure your windows are free from dirt and ice.”

“Residents can obtain great advice on winter driving on the AA website, and can find out more on salting routes and salt bins on Essex County Councils winter travel page.”