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

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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.


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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.”


Keeping safe with Crucial Crew

Written on . Posted in Community, Councillors, Crime and safety, Emergencies, Health, Loughton, Media, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Over 1,600 Year 6 pupils from Epping Forest and Brentwood took part in Crucial Crew, an interactive safety initiative to educate our young people about staying healthy, safe and well. The 10 year olds were given the chance to role play potentially risky situations, allowing them to learn about the best way to stay safe and avoid harm.

Crucial Crew 2016

Crucial Crew experience

Over 2 weeks the children took part in scenarios that included

  • road safety
  • fire safety
  • personal safety
  • advice on cyberbullying
  • the dangers of alcohol and smoking
  • the benefits of healthy living

The Crucial Crew experience gives children the skills and knowledge to make sensible decisions about personal safety and lifestyle choices. This year the annual event was hosted at the Debden House Centre in Loughton during the first 2 weeks of June 2016.

A fun way to learn

Chairman Jeane Lea said: “Crucial Crew is a fun way to learn. This fantastic and well-supported event allows us to offer awareness and safety advice to our young people just as they’re ready to take a big step in their lives and go to secondary school. Crucial Crew prepares our children how to stay safe and be aware of dangers they may encounter as they live life. It leaves our children with the right skills and knowledge to keep themselves safe, both now and in the future.”

Awareness and safety advice

Councillor Helen Kane, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder said: “All the children will be taking away a personal safety workbook with advice on dealing with challenging or potentially harmful situations and how to make positive choices regarding their own behaviour. I hope the children remember and use the lessons from Crucial Crew, which one day might save their lives.”

“Crucial Crew is organised and facilitated by the council`s Community Services team but could not take place without the hard work and continued support of partner agencies – a big thank you to all involved.”


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.”


Crash exercise for airfield fire crews

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Emergencies, Media, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council

North Weald Airfield’s Fire and Rescue Crew were put through their paces in a simulated crash, known as incident response training, involving a car and a plane.

Incident response training

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In the exercise on 17 December 2015, a vehicle strayed onto the runway and collided with a light aircraft. This resulted in the plane catching fire and the driver of the vehicle being killed and the passenger seriously injured.

Incident response training is vital

Once the crew had extinguished the fire, they turned their attentions to the casualties. One person was trapped in the vehicle with a serious head laceration and possible blunt trauma injury. The casualty was extracted using a speed board and placed on a scoop stretcher. He was taken to the designated casualty clearing area where he was stabilised until handover to the paramedics.

Our Emergency Planning Officer played the role of the main casualty. Screaming and covered in fake blood his realistic approach added to the authenticity of the exercise.

Incident response training is vital for the Airfield’s Fire and Rescue crew. It helps to hone the crews skills in team working, dealing with fires, extracting casualties and performing life-saving trauma treatment.

Realistic training

Darren Goodey, North Weald Airfield manager said: “Nothing can prepare you for the real thing. This is realistic training that reflects the type of emergency our crews could be called to.”

“It was a great success from which a lot was learnt by all involved.”


Need to contact the Council over Christmas?

Written on . Posted in Abandoned vehicles, Animal welfare, Community, Emergencies, Media, Older people, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Even though our offices are closed from noon on Christmas Eve, there are many ways to contact us over the Christmas period.
Christmas Service 2015

Download the information here

From everyone at Epping Forest District Council we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!

Wintry weather update

Written on . Posted in Emergencies, Media, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Travel, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

The Met Office have issued a cold weather alert for the Epping Forest area.

Ice iconMet Office advice

“Overall, the Epping area is in the same boat as the rest of Essex today – with the chance of a few sleety showers today but icy tonight.”

“It currently looks like any snow showers are likely to arrive later in the day tomorrow, especially after dark and in particular from midnight into Thursday morning for the Epping area. These ease away during the day.

Once they do clear away, snow showers are less likely for West Essex late on Thursday and on Friday – when it becomes mainly dry. Your Eastern neighbours look more likely to catch snow showers late Thursday and into Friday.”

“The weekend is shaping up to be mainly dry (perhaps some light and patchy rain/sleet) and cold for the Epping area. Temperatures stay fairly cold into next week – still with the risk of overnight frosts.”


Support website for victims of crime launched

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Emergencies, Media, Older people, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your home

Have you been a victim of crime? Essex Victim Gateway is a website where you can find information and advice on what to do and how to get help if you have been a victim of crime in Essex.

You can get practical and emotional support to help you deal with the impact of a crime, even if you don’t want to report the crime to the Police or the crime happened in the past.

Essex Victim Gateway website

Essex Victims Gateway poster

You can get practical and emotional support on

  • anti-social behaviour
  • domestic abuse
  • fraud
  • general crime
  • hate crime
  • sexual abuse
  • young victims

The site is independent of the Police and no information about you or your visit will be recorded. The Essex Victim Gateway has been developed and funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex.


Gale warnings and power cut advice

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Community, Crime and safety, Emergencies, Housing, Local business, Media, Our countryside, Out and about, Private housing, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

The Met Office has issued severe gale warnings for Essex for Wednesday 14 February and Thursday 15 February. Gusts may exceed 60mph.

Find out more on the Met Office website.

Advice from UK Power Networks

Our electricity network is built to be resilient but extreme weather can affect overhead power lines. Our emergency plans have been put in to place, with hundreds of extra engineers and other staff on duty to deal with situations as and when they arise. In communication with customers, we urge the public to stay well clear from power lines and anyone spotting a damaged power line needs to report it to UK Power Networks.

For any power cut enquiries please contact us 24 hours a day by

UK Power Networks has a Priority Service Register for those who may be more vulnerable and require extra assistance in a power cut. You can find out more information at We currently work with the British Red Cross who can activate their volunteers to support vulnerable customers if power is affected.

Preparing for a power cut

Advice on how our customers can prepare for a power cut

  1. Keep our freephone number handy
  2. See the website for some useful videos offering you advice during a power cut
  3. Keep spare batteries for radios and torches – local radio stations often broadcast helpful information
  4. Keep an old-fashioned corded phone which you can plug in, as cordless phones won’t work in the event of a power cut
  5. Dress warmly in several layers of clothing, stay in one room or even get into bed
  6. Take care if using candles, tea-lights and other naked flames
  7. Keep fridges and freezers closed, with a blanket over as they will stay cold for many hours
  8. Switch off all your electrical equipment, except one light which will let you know when the power comes back on
  9. Remember the street lights may also be off so take care if you go out
  10. Look out for elderly neighbours – please consider taking them round a flask of hot water or hot food


Be prepared for when winter bites

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Emergencies, Epping, Health, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Out and about, Residents, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Winter can easily be the most challenging time for driving on our roads: it gets dark early and winter weather can bring all sorts of hazards – not just snow and ice, but hail, heavy rain, high winds, fog and even flooding.

The Highways Agency and local authorities up and down the country have made their plans and have fleets on standby ready to keep roads open. You too can take steps ahead of winter so you will be able to drive safe, avoid breaking down and help reduce the risk of disruption.

Get ready for winter - Travelling poster

Is your vehicle ready for winter?

In winter weather it’s more important than ever to see and be seen, have tyres that grip the road and to start your car in the cold and damp.

Many garages offer a quick, pre-winter check-up for your car.

See and be seen: check windscreen wipers and washers, window demisters, and all lights are working correctly.

Grip the road: check tyre condition and tread depth.

Starting in the cold and damp: check battery condition and anti-freeze.

Get your winter kit ready: ice scraper, de-icer, jump leads, shovel, blanket, sunglasses (for winter glare from the low sun), torch. Get all these things ready at the start of winter and then keep them in the car – you never know when you might need them.

Reduce the risk of breaking down in nasty weather

Breaking down is never a pleasant experience – especially on the motorway. It’s even worse if you have to wait for recovery, outside your vehicle, in cold and wintry weather. You’ll also want your vehicle to be in the best condition to handle difficult driving conditions in severe weather. So it’s a good idea to get your vehicle serviced before the winter to reduce the chance of problems.

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