Tree Officer Featured in the Observer

Written on . Posted in Countryside and wildlife, Media, Our countryside, Trees and landscapes, Your environment

Photographer Phil Fisk and assistant at work

Epping Forest District Council`s Tree and Landscape Officer Chris Neilan was featured in a major article in The Observer magazine on Sunday 12 October 2008. The subject was his work on Capital Asset Value for Amenity Trees (CAVAT), a tree value system intended to help Councils manage their tree stock better and to be able to demonstrate that they are doing so.

CAVAT came to the attention of Lucy Siegle, a journalist from the BBC and The Observer, who interviewed Chris in Berkeley Square in Central London where the (so far) most valuable tree in Britain stands. Earlier in the summer this tree also featured in a number of stories in the national press, including on the front page of The Times. It has been calculated to have a CAVAT value of £750,000. A picture of Chris measuring the tree accompanies the interview.

Tree Officer Chris Neilan being photographed in Berkeley Square

For comparison, an average street tree in Epping would be worth around £5,500 and the most valuable tree in the District so far surveyed would be worth £250,000. This stands by the green, south of St John`s Church in Epping. Chris has been working on CAVAT for the last ten years, largely in his own time but with the support of John Preston, Director of Planning and Economic Development.

Allo Allo, Who’s at Lunch then?

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Media, Your council

Guests at the civic luncheon at Gaynes Park Barns

The Chairman of Council, Councillor John Knapman hosted a Civic Lunch on 2 October 2008 at Gaynes Park Barns in Coopersale with a special guest speaker, local actress Vikki Michelle from Loughton.

Mayors and Chairmen from Essex and Boroughs surrounding the Epping Forest District attended the lunch which was a chance for `the chain gang` to get together and discuss areas of mutual interest in a relaxed an informal manner.

Chairman John Knapman and guests at the civic luncheon

Pictured above from left to right are Chairman John Knapman, Suzie Michelle, Lord Petre Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Vikki Michelle, Ann Michelle, Chairman of Essex County Council Elizabeth Hart and Debra Knapman.

Following lunch Ms Michelle gave a wonderful insight to her life as an actress and recounted stories of working with the great comic icons such as Ken Dodd, Les Dawson and Dick Emery. She also recalled how fate plays a large part in her been given her most famous part of Yvette Carte-Blanche in the long running comedy series `Allo Allo` after she had stared in `The Kenny Everett Show` as a robotic French maid which made a big impression on one of the writers of `Allo Allo`.

Debra Knapman, Chairman John Knapman and Vikki MichelleCouncillor Knapman said: “I would like to thank Vikki for coming along today and giving us a fantastic insight into her life and to pay tribute to her personally for giving so much of her time to working with local charities. Without her support many charities would not be able to supply the much needed support and care they offer to our community.”

Pictured left from left to right are Debra Knapman, Chairman John Knapman and Vikki Michelle.

Council Staff GENErate Funds for Charity

Written on . Posted in Media, Your council

Jeans for Genes - changing the world for children with genetic disorders

Staff at Epping Forest District Council swapped their everyday work clothes for jeans on Jeans for Genes Day 2008 today.

Staff donated £1 for the privilege to wear their jeans to work, with a lucky few being pictured outside the civic offices in Epping with cowboy hats. Council staff GENErated £211.32 for the charity.

Council staff in jeans for jeans for genes day 2008Jeans for genes day 2008 at the civic offices in Epping

Jeans for Genes aims to change the world for children living with genetic disorders. The money they raise each year funds care and support for children and their families, as well as research into the causes and cures of these conditions.

Genetic disorders affect 1 in 33 children born in the UK – the equivalent of around one in every class of schoolchildren. Many of these have no current treatment and more than half of all childhood deaths in the UK are linked to a genetic condition.

The theme for Jeans for Genes Day this year is `GENErations` and the charity is celebrating the way genes can filter down through families, influencing a child`s appearance, personality, career choices and even sense of humour.

Local Hero to Carry Flag in Beijing

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

Local athletics hero Danny Crates has been given ‘the greatest honour an athlete can have’ after being chosen to carry the Paralympics Team GB flag at the Paralympic Games opening ceremony in Beijing tomorrow (Saturday 6 September 2008).

Danny Crates pictured with his Gold Medal at the Olympic  business breakfast in December 2007Danny, aged 35, from Maldon in Essex, is part of a 36-strong athletics team competing in Beijing. He will be defending his T46 (arm amputee) 800m title won in Athens four years ago.

Danny was recently welcomed as guest of honour at a Business Breakfast hosted by Epping Forest District Council. In an speech to local business people he encouraged them to reap the benefits of London 2012 with an inspirational account of his journey from crash survivor to Olympic champion. After the tragedy in which he lost his arm, he described how he rebuilt his life and was inspired to strive for Olympic glory. He returned to playing rugby and trained to become a scuba diving instructor. He had a surreal job swimming as a one-armed diver with sharks in a sea-life centre.

He described his disappointment in not winning the 400 meter Gold in Sydney where he came third. Where most people saw Bronze as a fantastic result, he used it as the driving force to achieve his real ambition and switched to 800 meters. He achieved not only the Gold Medal in Athens but then went on to become World Champion two years later.

Danny has been training hard for Beijing and hopes that London 2012 will not be too late for him but he understands the profound impact the Olympic and Paralympic Games has had on his life.

Councillor Mrs Heather Harding, Leisure and Young People Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council said: Anyone who has listened to Danny or seen him in action on the track will know what a great example he sets. It was marvellous to listen to him tell his story at the Business Breakfast. For an athlete, few honours can compare to being asked to carry the flag at the Paralympic Games. He is a fantastic choice and I know the whole country will be willing him on to further glory.”

Quiz Night for Chairman`s Charities

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Media, Your council

Members of the best dressed team - Cops n Robbers

Hoodies, Cops `n` Robbers, Bin men and Thespians all helped raise cash for Epping Forest District Council Chairman`s three charities of the year at a quiz night at Theydon Bois Village Hall on Friday 9 February 2007.

Nearly 200 people made up the 23 teams taking part. The teams were invited to give their table a theme for the event with a prize for the best dressed team going to Cops `n` Robbers – a group of Council cashiers dressed as cops and robbers!

Epping Forest District Council Chairman Councillor Ann Haigh also presented prizes to both the first and second places and to winners of the raffle. The quiz winners were The Grand Slammers from Planning Services (for the ninth time and sixth consecutive year!) with the Chairman`s team coming a close second and the Loughton Caterpillars coming a very close third (keeping up their consistent form at this event).

Quiz winners 'The Grand Slammers' with Chairman Cllr Ann Haighthe Chairmans team came a close second

Quizmasters Ian Willett, Head of Research and Democratic Services and Ian White, Senior Planning Officer, presided over the event including questions on football, famous faces and England. There were two special rounds this year, one on dogs, compiled Jane Boreham from Public Relations and a round on confectionery compiled by Housing Services.

The evening raised almost £1,000 for the Chairman`s three charities – AIM (Action in Mental Health), Home-Start Epping Forest and Essex Ambulance First Responders. Councillor Ann Haigh said: I had an absolutely fabulous evening, with lots of fun as well as learning many new trivial facts. I would like to thank everyone who took part for the fantastic amount of money raised for my three chosen charities.

Long Service and Examination Certificates

Written on . Posted in Media, Your council

Six members of staff from Epping Forest District Council who have completed 25 years` service received their certificates from Chairman of the Council, Councillor Brian Sandler at a special reception at the Civic Offices last week.Staff who have passed various examinations also received their certificates of success.

Councillor Sandler said: It is said that an organisation is only as good as the people who work for it, we must be a good Council as we have six people who have been with us for 25 years or more, as well as two members of staff who have completed 23 and 24 years respectively.

Councillor Sandler went on to say: As adults we spend most of our time at work, so it`s important that we are treated well and we have challenging and rewarding work.As a Council we have invested heavily in staff training and development and in February of this year we retained our Investor in People badge. It`s good to see so many staff taking advantage of the Training and Development opportunities available and I am impressed with the range of qualifications and the dedication everyone put into passing their exams.

Council adopts ICE emergency measures for staff

Written on . Posted in Business, Emergencies, Media, Residents

In response to the latest reports on child obesity Shapes Gym at Waltham Abbey has launched a new exercise class for youngsters.

TEENSPIN is the latest exercise craze sweeping the UK so Shapes has started 30-minute instructor led static cycling classes to classic, modern and upfront beats for Teens aged 13 – 15 years, of all abilities

It`s a brilliant way to get fit and have fun, said Health and Fitness Manager, Sarah Linger. We launched the sessions five weeks ago and they`ve been sold out every week since.

Sessions cost £1-50 for Teen gym members and £2-00 for non-members and take place every Tuesday evening at 5pm “ and Mondays and Fridays during school holidays at 2.30pm.

TEENZONE sessions are also held in the gym on Sunday evenings and daytimes throughout the school holidays.

For more information on the sessions or to book (as spaces are limited) please call 01992 716733.