Along with members of the Waste Management Team and City of London Volunteer Wardens, Youth Councillors dressed in protective clothing cleaned up over 550 laughing gas canisters in Epping Forest, Traps Hill, Loughton and Cornmill Lane, Waltham Abbey.
So what is laughing gas?
The Home Office has found Nitrous Oxide (N2O) more commonly known as laughing gas, to be the second most popular recreational drug among 16 to 24 year olds in England and Wales.
Nitrous oxide is not a controlled drug, and has legitimate uses in medicine and dentistry.
Under the Intoxicating Substances (Supply) Act 1985, it is illegal to sell to under 18s when the seller believes the substance may be inhaled for the purposes of intoxication.
While it is not illegal for an adult to inhale the gas, many authority’s across Britain are concerned about its use.
Youth Councillors are currently conducting an on line survey in schools, aiming to identify
Young people’s understanding of drugs
What drugs they have tried
What made they try them
Curiosity or boredom
The findings will be published as part of the Youth Council’s drug awareness project.
Youth Councillors are currently designing a poster campaign to take into their schools and raise awareness of the dangers of the laughing gas craze.
Youth Councillor Nina Honey said: “It is important young people understand the serious health risks the substance can pose.”
“Nitrous oxide can be very dangerous when misused. When inhaled the gas restricts oxygen getting to the brain and can cause someone to become faint or unconscious and can even cause heart attacks.”
“The amount of canisters we found whilst out and about is worrying and it shows laughing gas is a real issue for young people today. Through our drug awareness project we hope to highlight the risks and make young people aware of the damage they are doing.”
Are you on a private water supply? DEFRA have launched a 6 week consultation on updates to the public and private drinking water regulations. This consultation will be of interest to those concerned with public and/or private supplies of drinking water.
Drinking Water Directive
The changes will bring the regulations in line with the Drinking Water Directive. The Drinking Water Directive was updated to reflect World Health Organisation principles for the risk based sampling and analysis of drinking water supply.
Tesco’s has teamed up with Groundwork to help fund community projects. The ‘bags of help’ initiative sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 being awarded, which is all raised through the sales of 5p bags.
3 groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.
Voluntary Action Epping Forest
VAEF is part of a nationwide network of independent agencies that act as “matchmakers” for people seeking volunteering opportunities for non-profit and charity groups needing volunteers.
They match the interests and skills of local people with the needs of groups operating in the Epping Forest district. They also encourage and support organisations to operate good practice in volunteer management.
VAEF aims to use the funding to reach more potential volunteers and increase recruitment of volunteers for community groups in the area.
Cast your vote
Voting is open throughout September and October
Cast your vote in Epping, Theydon Bois and Ongar Tesco stores
Alec Brown, Head of Community at Tesco said: “We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for September and October. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see these come to life in hundreds of communities.”
Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury said: “We’re looking forward to learning the results of the customer vote and then supporting each group to bring their project to life.”
Make a positive difference
Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder Councillor Helen Kane said: “We are thrilled to see VAEF shortlisted. The work they do for our community bringing people and services together through volunteering makes such a positive difference.”
“Along with Finance Portfolio Holder Gagan Mohindra, who through the grants service help fund the vital and much needed work, we urge you to cast your vote for VAEF. Allow them to continue to the vast and varied work throughout our district.”
Want to volunteer?
Interested in becoming a volunteer? VAEF has a variety of opportunities for you to get involved with, take a look.
A new Police helicopter base, anti- social behaviour in Waltham abbey and the Oakwood hill depot were among items discussed at Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet meeting Thursday 7 September 2017.
North Weald set to become new Police helicopter base
North Weald Airfield is set to become a new base for the National Police Air Service. Three helicopters and a fixed-wing aircraft will be based at the council-owned airfield.
Asset Management Portfolio Holder Anne Grigg put forward recommendations for a 25 year lease with the helicopter service. The proposals would include a new hanger and buildings to support a range of police helicopter activities.
The Police will be joining a range of other aviation tenants including the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance which has operated very successfully from North Weald for several years. Receiving reassurances about flight lines and noise levels from members of the National Police Air Service at the meeting, councillors welcomed the report and the aspiration for continued development of aviation at North Weald.
Councillor Sam Kane was welcomed to his first Cabinet meeting as Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder by Council Leader Chris Whitbread. Councillor Kane has stepped into the role previous held by Councillor Gary Waller who recently passed away.
Councillor Kane’s first act was to deliver a strong statement regarding anti-social behaviour in Waltham Abbey.
Councillor Sam Kane’s Statement:
“Fellow Councillors will know that Epping Forest District Council is working in partnership with local residents and other organisations to improve the quality of life for everyone in and around Hillhouse on the Ninefields housing estate in Waltham Abbey.
Work has started in just the last few weeks on a brand new leisure centre. Health, housing and social facilities are coming together in a major multi-million pound investment.
The vast majority of residents in this area are the most decent and law-abiding citizens you could ever wish to meet. We also know there is an element of anti-social behaviour, a group of people who seem intent on making the lives of everyone else miserable. We are working with all our partners including Essex Police to tackle this behaviour but events in the last day or so have taken a new and very ugly twist.
Fishing line has been tied at knee height between posts and fences with the deliberate intention of tripping and hurting people. This mindless and stupid act has resulted in injury to a small child. Pictures of the serious cuts to his face have been circulated on social media.
I know this will come as a shock to you and I know every councillor would wish to send our sympathy to this innocent young child and his family.
Local residents and all right-minded people will be incensed by this latest incident. Through this meeting I want to let our residents know that we stand with them. The anti-social behaviour of the last few weeks must now stop.
A temporary dispersal order has been put in place from tonight. You will appreciate that many other things are going on behind the scenes that I cannot discuss in public.
Council staff have been working incredibly hard. Plans of action drawn up with Essex Police even before this latest event are being put into effect now. We believe we know who the perpetrators are. It saddens me to say that they are very young. We have been working with our local schools and have passed the identities of the perpetrators to Essex Police.
Enough is enough. Anti-social behaviour is a blight on our communities which must end. As the action plan goes into effect, I expect to see the situation improve significantly. I also know that you can never eliminate all crime, but with the support of my council colleagues I want to send out a clear message. We stand with all the decent and law-abiding residents of Waltham Abbey.
We will not let the few ruin the lives of the many.”
New council office and depot facilities accommodating Grounds Maintenance, Fleet Maintenance and the MoT centre opened recently at Oakwood Hill in Loughton. Latest proposals for the transfer of the Council’s Housing Repairs service to Oakwood Hill were scrutinised at Cabinet.
Proposals for additional staff car parking received particular attention. A petition opposing the use of green space opposite the new facility was delivered by Councillor Chris Roberts.
Councillors agreed the recommendations in the Cabinet report with the proviso that alternatives to the proposals of additional parking would also be investigated. Full public consultation would also take place as part of any planning application process if the proposals for parking set out in the report went forward.
Council Leader Chris Whitbread updated fellow councillors on a range of projects geared towards improving customer service including a new public customer service reception, plans for which are due to come before Cabinet by the end of the year.
LoCASE: Delivering energy savings to Epping Forest businesses
Launch of Epping Forest College business unit
Enthusiasm for business
Councillor Anne Grigg, Economic Development Portfolio Holder said: “It is wonderful to read about the success of 2 town centre events that involved the young people and children of our district and it is hugely encouraging to see such enthusiasm for business amongst them. Hopefully, some will go on to run award winning businesses just like the successful local businesses at the Essex Digital Awards.”
Encouraging business ideas
She continued: “I hope that the Social Enterprise pull-out encourages people with business ideas that could make a positive contribution to society to explore this as a potential business model for making their concept a reality. Social enterprises play an important role in the local economy.
And there is so much more advice, guidance and interesting content in this packed issue. I hope you find it all an interesting read.”
With the colder months closing in it’s time to prepare with our ‘stay well this winter’ events.
Time to prepare is now
Our free stay well this winter events in partnership with West Essex Clinical Commissioning group provide the best health care information with talks from professionals and community groups highlighting the great services available to you this winter.
They day includes informative talks from
Specialist health advisors
Stands from health and community professionals including
EFDC Housing team
Essex Road Safety
Essex Fire Service
You will also receive a free lunch and goodie bag.
Tuesday 3 October
10 am – 2pm
Waltham Abbey Town Hall
High bridge Street
Wednesday 25 October
10am – 2pm
Theydon Bois Village Hall
Friday 10 November
10am – 2pm
26 Station Way
Booking is required, call 01992 564226 to confirm your place.
Flags outside the civic offices in Epping are flying at half-mast today in solidarity with Spain in the wake of last night’s tragic events.
We stand with Spain
Leader of Council Councillor Chris Whitbread said: “I am saddened to hear the news of the terrible events in Catalonia, we stand with Spain at this terrible time and send our thoughts to all affected.”