North Weald Airfield Fun Day and the Resilience Roadshow

Written on . Posted in Business, Civic events, Community, Emergencies, Local business, Media, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Your area, Your community, Your council

Pictures will be published here as they happen today.

We will be sharing photos on Twitter and Facebook throughout the event. Also check out our new Pinterest picture boards and YouTube video channel.

Follow all the action on the day by following the Twitter #NWfun.

Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts with us.

More information at


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

Tell us about crime in your area

Written on . Posted in Abandoned vehicles, Consultation, Crime and safety, Emergencies, Media, Our countryside, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Worried about crime and disorder in your area? Dealing with crime and disorder is everyone’s responsibility, not just the police. With your help we can improve the quality of life in our district for all our residents and businesses.

Tell us your concerns by completing this short survey and help us identify our next set of priorities – it should take no more than 5 to 10 minutes!

Crime and disorder survey

The Epping Forest District Community Safety Partnership includes the police, fire service, probation, county council, district council and health service, all working together to reduce crime and disorder in our district.

Please complete the survey online now and encourage as many of your family and friends to do so, it’s your area have a say in the way we deal with the problems that concern you most.

When answering we consider ‘your local area’ to be within 15 to 20 minutes walking distance from your home.

Crime and disorder survey 2012

Last year you helped us identify 4 main issues of concern

  1. Domestic abuse
  2. Anti-social behaviour
  3. Burglary of people’s homes
  4. Car crime

The plan we produced is helping us to reduce repeat victimisation and repeat offending, creating safer neighbourhoods and town centres and helping to divert young people away from crime.

Paul Gardener Safer Communities Officer said: “I would encourage everyone to fill in our survey. Please be assured that we do take everyone’s comments into account when formulating our Plan. We want to make sure we are working on the areas of most concern to residents of the district, so make sure you have your say. Please encourage your friends and family to complete it as well.”

If you prefer a hard copy survey to fill in you can collect one from

  • Epping Forest District Council Civic offices, High Street, Epping, CM16 4BZ
  • Leisure services offices (next to Epping Sports Centre), 25 Hemnall Street, Epping, CM16 4LZ
  • Loughton Broadway Housing office, 63 The Broadway, Loughton, IG10 3SP
  • Limes Centre housing office, Limes Avenue, Chigwell, IG7 5LP



Emergency services tackle traffic incident scenario

Written on . Posted in Emergencies, Epping, Loughton, Media, North Weald Airfield, Ongar, Out and about, Travel, Your council

A collision involving cars and lorries required a multi-faceted response.

Harlow Fire Station organised a complex scenario at North Weald Airfield on Wednesday 17 July to simulate just such a multiple collision on our dummy motorway carriageway, which was blocked by overturned vehicles. As well as fighting fires, our Fire Brigades are heavily involved in rescue activities following major traffic incidents.


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

At the front of the multi-vehicle pile-up was a Mercedes A Class car on its side, it had been struck by a tanker, with a motorbike and rider sandwiched on the ground between the two vehicles. Further down the carriageway a car was on its side and another on its roof, both with people trapped inside. Behind them was an articulated lorry also on its side. Its trailer had crushed a Ford Ka underneath when it toppled over. Another truck had crashed into the back of the trailer.

7 fire appliances responded to the scene: 2 from Harlow and 1 each from Ongar, Loughton, Great Dunmow, Wickford and Stansted. There were also support vehicles and a control centre on site. The East of England Ambulance Service participated with paramedics, doctors and ambulances. The 2 local air ambulances also landed on the adjacent grass. The Herts Air Ambulance was later called away on a real emergency.

After assessing the scene, the firefighters stabilised the vehicles to stop them moving.  They then used cutting gear was to release the occupants. Heavy recovery vehicles righted the articulated lorry and trailer and winched up the front wheels of the tanker so that the medical crews could deal with the injured motorcyclist. It was a boiling hot day, and in full kit the firefighters and paramedics had a very challenging time.

Julian Williams from Harlow, who organised the scenario, was very pleased with the results. He felt that much useful experience had been gained, and everyone had put in a great team effort. The Northern Showground was an ideal area for such an exercise, with room for the emergency vehicles, as well as plenty of parking space for the supervising officers and PR crews who also attended.


Cabinet on 10 June 2013

Written on . Posted in Benefits, Business, Council tax, Councillors, Crime and safety, Democracy, Emergencies, Housing, Leader, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Media, North Weald Airfield, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council

Members of Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet met on Monday 10 June 2013. The agenda was dominated by Planning issues with the first debate considering the impact of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) on local planning applications.

Watch the webcast

Leader of Council, Councillor Chris Whitbread spoke of the burst water pipe over the weekend and council services disruption and said: “This kind of event could hit any business or organisation and we have good business continuity plans in place. I would like to thank personally all the officers involved on Sunday and throughout today. They have really set a first class example for this local authority. It was so pleasing to be able to come in here at 9am and survey the damage and most importantly to see us up and running and serving the public once again.”

Councillors received presentations from the Council’s legal adviser Mark Beard and the Director of Planning and Economic Development John Preston discussing where current council planning policies complimented the NPPF until the new Local Plan supersedes them and where current policies might carry less weight.

Cabinet then went on to review the minutes of the latest North Weald Airfield and Asset Management Committee including the on-going consultation with airfield users and the local Parish and County councils.

Cabinet then moved on to consider responses to the Community Choices Local Plan consultation and the next steps forward.

The Council continues to improve the quality of its council housing. Reports on the award of contracts for new kitchens in council-owned properties and external wall insulation were approved. A tender sum of £612,933 was accepted as being the lowest received for the installation of new kitchens to council housing across the district. Successful application for grants to offset the cost of external wall cladding to older council properties is set to save the council £280,000 on energy efficiency works to 35 properties with considerable benefits to tenants.

New policies and procedures for using the Investigatory Powers Act were approved.    

Council services disrupted

Written on . Posted in Benefits, Building control, Business, Business rates, Council tax, Crime and safety, Emergencies, Environmental health, Housing, Housing repairs, Leader, Local land charges, Media, Meetings, Planning, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your money

The council headquarters in Epping High Street are working with reduced electrical power and some offices are unavailable to staff after a water pipe burst over the weekend.

Finance including, council tax, and housing benefits are among services affected.

The subsequent power shutdown also took the council website offline on Sunday. Some staff are making temporary arrangements to work in different parts of the building or at alternative locations while others have been asked to stay at home.

The Council activated its business continuity plan on Sunday morning. The supply to a water cooler in the planning area on the top floor of the 1960s part of the civic offices had burst. A large amount of water caused damage in the planning department and offices directly beneath it occupied by support services and finance. Damage to electrical cables temporarily cut the power supply to the whole building but supplies to the more recently constructed areas of the office were re-established on Sunday afternoon.

Temporary power supplies were installed to the telephone switchboard and cash office ensuring these essential services would be available on Monday morning. IT systems were brought back online during the course of Sunday afternoon and evening. The website was also back online by 9am on Monday.

Visitors to the civic offices are being warned of potential delays or disruption while further emergency repairs are carried out. Other services affected include legal, estates and valuation, land charges, accountancy, all areas of planning, building control and economic development, and the council’s internal printshop. However, services located in the newer part of the offices including housing, environmental health, safer communities, and the contact centre for refuse and recycling are largely unaffected.

Some staff usually based in the affected areas will be offering services from temporary accommodation in other parts of the building.

The meeting of the cabinet scheduled to take place in the council chamber at 7pm on Monday evening is expected to go ahead and will be webcast as normal.

Councillor Chris Whitbread Leader of Epping Forest District Council said:

Councillor Chris Whitbread, Leader of Epping Forest District Council

Councillor Chris Whitbread, Leader of Epping Forest District Council

“This is the kind of event that can hit any organisation. We have good business continuity plans in place and actually practised for a similar scenario only a year or two ago. It meant we had anticipated many of the potential issues and were able to respond very quickly despite the significant disruption.

We will have the insurance assessors in and there will no doubt be quite a few repairs but I am confident we will be back to normal very soon.

In the meantime, I would like to thank all those members of staff who worked throughout Sunday to make sure we could open on Monday, apologise for any inconvenience to our residents and ask everyone to bear with us while we do everything necessary to get all our services back up to speed.”


Police and Crime Commissioner meets Epping Forest residents

Written on . Posted in Business, Crime and safety, Emergencies, Media, Meetings, Out and about, Parking, Residents, Travel, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Burglary, theft from vehicles and rural crime were all discussed by Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, at his first public meeting in the district on Thursday 23 May 2013.

Accompanied by Chief Inspector Tracey Harman, Chief Superintendent Andy Prophet and Neighbourhood Sergeant Simon Dear from Essex Police, and Chairman of The Community Safety Partnership Councillor Gary Waller, he explained the challenges facing the police, such as rural crime, and criminals coming into the district from outside the area.

Watch the public meeting online

Local residents, district councillors, and members of the council’s Community Safety Team listened to Commissioner Alston and his colleagues. At the end of the presentations, he took questions from the public. There was a great deal of input from residents, raising such issues as anti-social behaviour, neighbour disputes, malicious complaints, police response to burglaries and burglar alarms, neighbourhood watch schemes, parking and vehicle crime.

Police officers made a plea to the public to do all they could to prevent crime in the first place by not leaving valuables on display in their cars and locking their doors and sheds. Another important issue was the public passing on intelligence. The Police need to know what is going on in order to deal with it. If anyone is reluctant to do so, information can be passed on completely anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at

Inconsiderate parking, which leads to aggressive behaviour, was highlighted as a particular problem. The council assured residents that it is doing all it can to deal with this but emphasised that it is very difficult to achieve the right balance.

The Commissioner said he enjoys coming to Epping Forest very much. He praised the council’s Community Team who, he said, “Do wonderful, innovative work in this district.” He closed the meeting by thanking everyone for coming and for the issues raised.

Mobile website launched

Written on . Posted in Arts, Business, Consultation, Councillors, Emergencies, Environmental health, Health, Media, Meetings, Museum, North Weald Airfield, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

If you’re visiting our website from your smartphone you can now choose to use Mobile EFDC – our optimised, cross platform mobile friendly version for news, events, meetings and to report problems when out and about.

Mobile EFDCGo and try it 

Mobile EFDC is simpler, clearer, faster – designed to access information when you are out and about,  focusing on our most popular online services.

A third of our users access information using a mobile device, Mobile EFDC makes it easier to navigate on small screens.

By adding a browser bookmark, or adding a shortcut on your phone homepage you can easily interact or contact us with the press of a button.

Embracing the new Government’s digital by default strategy, Mobile EFDC is part of the ongoing project to improve digital services. The update of the council website in-house using Joomla and WordPress open source software saved the council at least £75,000 in development costs and reduced its annual costs by £20,000.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up-to-date with the latest news.

Get ready for winter

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Emergencies, Out and about, Residents, Travel, Your area, Your community

Now is a good time to think about what preparations you, your family and your community may need to make for winter weather.

The Met Office has published Get ready for winter information on behalf of HM Government and partners. They give suggestions for the very practical things that individuals and communities can do to prepare for a wide range of winter weather, including cold, ice and snow, high winds and flooding. As well as identifying possible ways of saving money.

Get ready for winter

Protect your home

Get ready for winter - Protect your home poster

Get ready for winter - Protect your home poster

There are certain practical steps that you can take to protect your home from winter weather

  • Insulate tanks and pipes
  • Insulation grants
  • Draft proofing
  • Ventilation
  • Stop tap
  • Boiler efficiency
  • Winter heating fuel
  • Winter fuel payments
  • Cold weather payments

Clearing snow

  • Urban myth
  • Start early
  • Salt or sand
  • Look after neighbours
  • Take care moving snow

Health and wellbeing

Get ready for winter - Health and wellbeing poster

Get ready for winter - Health and wellbeing poster

Help keeping well by 

  • Eat well
  • Stay active
  • Annual flu jab
  • Wear layers
  • Check electric blankets
  • Good hygiene
  • Recognise signs of hypothermia
  • Insulate your house
  • Start heating earlier
  • Check heating and cooking appliances

Room temperatures

  • Living room 18-21°C
  • Bedroom above 18°C
  • Rest of the house at least 16°C


Driving – check vehicle levels

  • Antifreeze
  • Screen wash
  • Brake fluid
  • Tyre pressure
  • Fuel
  • Water and oil

Check that theses are working correctly

  • Heater
  • Brakes
  • Exhaust systems


  • Wear non-slip shoes
  • Wear several layers
  • Allow plenty of time
  • Listen for travel updates
  • Only travel if necessary

Emergency car kit

Get ready for winter - Emergency car kit poster

Get ready for winter - Emergency car kit poster

An emergency car kit should have

  • Ice scraper and de-icer
  • Spade
  • Torch
  • Radio
  • Batteries
  • Water
  • Non-perishable food
  • Map
  • Blankets
  • First aid kit
  • Medication
  • Crocodile clips
  • Sunglasses

Warm clothes

  • Hi-vis tabard
  • Hat and gloves
  • Socks and boots

Top 5 tips for a great Olympic Games

Written on . Posted in Crime and safety, Emergencies, Olympics, Our activities, Out and about

Going to the Olympic Games? Our safer communities team have 5 tips to ensure you have a great time.
A canoist on the rapids

  1. Be prepared for security checks when you arrive: this will be like taking an international flight at an airport. It will be busy and you will have to queue, so get there early – check your venue information for your recommended arrival time.
  2. Bring as little as possible with you: the more you bring, the longer it will take to go through security. One small soft-sided rucksack or handbag is allowed per person – this must fit under your seat. If you have a ticket for Football, we strongly suggest you do not bring a bag – if you do, your entry will be delayed and you may miss your event.
  3. Read the lists of prohibited and restricted items before you leave: you cannot bring in liquids over 100ml, including water – but at most venues you can bring an empty plastic water bottle and fill it up at water points inside venues. There is a wide range of food available to buy, but if you need to bring your own food, it must fit inside your bag.
  4. Leave plenty of time to travel to your venue: London and the UK will be extremely busy and very different to what you’re used to. Use the spectator journey planner to find the best route and, where necessary, book your travel to make sure you get to your event on time. Ticket holders for events in and around London can use their Games Travelcard for travel in London zones 1 to 9.
  5. Remember the only way to pay is by Visa (debit, credit or prepaid card) or cash: read about the services and facilities available in your venue.

Out and about

While London is safe for most people travelling at night, there are concerns over the dangers of travelling in unbooked minicabs (also known as illegal cabs and touts) picked up off the street. All minicabs must be licensed by Transport for London and must be booked in advance. Any minicab that isn’t booked by phone, email or in a licensed minicab office is illegal and unsafe. Find out more on the Transport for London website.

  • Don’t leave your bags unattended anywhere in London. As well as attracting pickpockets, you could also create security alert.
  • In restaurants, bars or theatres, keep your bags where you can see them, not on the floor or over the back of your chair. In crowded areas such as a bus or underground train, try wearing them in front of you, not over your shoulder.
  • Don’t keep all your valuables in one place and don’t carry large amounts of cash around with you. Try to use travellers’ cheques, or take a small amount of cash along with credit or debit cards. When withdrawing cash, don’t let others see your PIN number.
  • Be aware that it is a criminal offence to carry weapons such as knives and guns in the UK.
  • Unlike some other European countries it is also illegal to carry CS spray.


The Metropolitan Police’s Operation Podium team have been working closely with London 2012 to help ensure that you don’t get scammed or conned when you try to buy an Olympic or Paralympic ticket.

There will be a very high demand for London 2012 tickets. This gives criminals greater opportunity to scam, con or steal your personal details. With the recent rise in internet ticket sales it is easy for criminals to set up fake sites. You need to know who you are buying from and think if the site or seller is legitimate. There is specific legislation relating to tickets for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, so make sure you don’t get caught out.

Follow our advice and always think before you buy. You should always check the London 2012 website for all official information about the Games, this includes where and how to buy your ticket. If you think you have been a victim of crime whilst trying to buy a ticket to the Games report it to Action Fraud, London 2012 or your local police force.

Avoid unauthorised Olympic ticketing websites

Be aware of unauthorised websites that claim to sell tickets to London 2012.

All safe after emergency landing

Written on . Posted in Emergencies, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Out and about

The pilot and passenger of a Cessna 210 walked away unscathed after a controlled emergency landing at North Weald Airfield.The Cessna 210 at North weald Airfield on 20 July

The aircraft, on route from Nottingham, contacted the Airfield at 11.38am on Friday 20 July to report a problem with the undercarriage. Emergency procedures clicked smoothly into place. North Weald Fire and Rescue, supported by 4 tenders from Essex County Fire and Rescue, Essex Police and ambulance were all in position before the aircraft came in to land.

At 12.30pm the aeroplane made a controlled landing with the nose wheel down but the main wheels retracted. The rescue services laid down foam as a precaution as the plane came to rest at the edge of the runway. The pilot and passenger emerged safely.

The airfield was closed temporarily and reopened at 4pm. The Aircraft Investigation Branch was contacted and the aircraft was removed from the runway.

John Gilbert, Director of Environment and Street Scene at Epping Forest District Council which owns North Weald Airfield thanked his own staff and the emergency services. He said: “I am delighted to say the pilot and passenger emerged safely from the plane. Thanks to the speed and professionalism of the airfield operations team rescue service and the Essex Fire and Rescue Service, the pilot had all to support and reassurance possible as he made his approach and safe landing. I would like to congratulate everyone involved in bringing the incident to such a safe and successful conclusion.”