The Epping Forest District Local Plan is moving closer to completion as the Council acts to finalise the Plan before new changes are introduced by the Government.
Last month the Government published proposals to change the way in which housing requirements are calculated for Local Plans. Such proposals would result in major changes being required to the Epping Forest District Local Plan to significantly increase the amount of new housing for the District from 11,400 homes identified in the Draft Local Plan to 20,306 if the Plan has not been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for Examination before the end of March 2018.
As a result the Council is aiming to publish the Plan towards the end of December for a period of six weeks, at which stage it will be possible to make representations in relation to the soundness and legal compliance of the Plan before the Council submits it for Examination. Any representations received will then be made available to the Planning Inspector appointed to undertake the Examination.
By submitting the Plan for Examination before the end of March 2018, the Council is seeking to ensure that the District will be covered by an up to date Plan to meet future development and infrastructure needs at the earliest possible opportunity. The Plan will require high quality development to be accompanied by required infrastructure in the most sustainable locations, enabling the Council to resist development proposals which are deemed to be inappropriate.
Latest update sent to stakeholders
Cabinet Planning Portfolio Holder John Philip is writing to update relevant partner organisations and stakeholders.
Councillor Philip said: “We received more than 3,000 representations to last year’s consultation as well as suggestions for new sites. The sites we identify need to be practical and sustainable. Protecting the character of the district remains one of our top priorities while recognising we must have new housing if we are to meet local need. With housing we also need infrastructure, everything from, roads, public transport and electricity supply to schools, health facilities and leisure centres.”
Councillor Philip continued: “There is a severe housing shortage in the South East and a great deal of external pressure on our district. If we don’t finalise and submit our Local Plan before the end of March, new government proposals could require us to go back to the drawing board and that would leave us without an up to date Plan to guide and manage future growth. Therefore, it is now more important than ever that we get the Plan to the Inspectorate without delay.”
Town and Parish councils, residents associations, environmental groups and individuals are among those receiving the latest update on Local Plan progress.
Do you own a small business in the district and want to learn more from the big companies? Then join us at our free ‘meet the buyer’ event on Thursday 23 November.
Sponsored by the Marriot Hotel and organised in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, ‘meet they buyer’ aims to put local small and medium sized companies together with some of the biggest buyers in and around the district.
Local businesses will have the opportunity to hear first-hand how these big organisations buy goods and services, and meet key people with roles in procurement in these organisations.
The day will involve a series of short presentations from key buying organisations and the opportunities for questions and answer followed by time for networking.
Public Health England
Waltham Abbey Marriott Hotel
Essex County Council
Epping Forest District Council
Bringing buyers and sellers together
Economic Development Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Anne Grigg said: “This is a really important event. All the organisations we work with are keen to buy more locally, and all our local companies are keen to sell. The event is all about bringing the buyers and sellers together, explaining how procurement systems work, and hopefully enabling local companies to get more business from major organisations.”
Chairman of the Epping Forest Chamber of Commerce John Price said: “Many of our small to medium size businesses struggle to manage with the growing trend of people buying products and services outside our district. Buying locally has always been supported by the Chamber whenever possible. Attending businesses will have the chance to meet and discuss opportunities available to them. This could be anything from IT, cleaning services, design, products or others. It will be a good chance to meet fellow businesses in our district as there will be ample opportunities to network.”
Do you have a have a passion for culture, history and learning? Do you live or work in the Epping Forest District or the Borough of Broxbourne? Think you have the right skill set and expertise to support an exciting new trust? Then apply to become a trustee for our new ‘culture without borders development trust’.
Culture without Borders Development Trust
Epping Forest District & Lowewood Museums along with Spotlight Theatre, Hoddesdon are establishing a charitable trust. Aiming to assist with ambitious development plans, promotion, knowledge sharing, history and culture. Not only locally but on a regional and national level.
The trust will play a key role in:
Developing funding strategies and fundraising campaigns, including individual giving and legacies
Assist with the future development
Help to attract or create new exhibitions and events
Build upon the strong body of work already undertaken
Applications for trustee positions are welcome from those who are not only committed to ensuring that the museums’, culture and theatres futures are secured, and go from strength to strength, but also have specialist skills in the following areas:
Leisure and Culture
Retail, hospitality and tourism
Charity & Social Enterprise
Exciting new venture
Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder Councillor Helen Kane said: “The new ‘Culture without borders development trust’ is an exciting new venture, created to support Epping Forest District & Lowewood Museums and the Spotlight Theatre, Hoddesdon.”
“These platforms do so much for history, culture and the arts throughout the district and beyond. Encouraging learning and enabling our community to come together through creativity and common interests. Our area has such a rich history and I look forward to seeing the team grow and continue to reach more people throughout the region.”
“If you feel you can contribute to our new venture we would love to hear from you, don’t delay get in touch today.”
Apply to be a trustee
The deadline for an expression of interest is 12pm Friday 24th November 2017.
Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be during week commencing 4 December 2017.
For an informal discussion or for an information pack, please contact:
Join us at the museum for an evening of festive fun and a late night opening, celebrating Waltham Abbey Town Council’s cavalcade of light.
Welcome in the festivities with an evening of music, refreshment and crafts before the towns parade and light switch on.
Enjoy music from:
St Andrew’s Primary School choir
King Harold Academy Samba band
An acoustic set from Epping Forest College
Get creative and decorate your own Chinese lantern to join in with cavalcade.
Where: Epping Forest District Museum, 39 – 41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL
When: Friday 24 November 2017
Time: 5pm to 7pm
Donations gratefully received
£2.50 per person for craft activity
Bring in the festive season
Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder Councillor Helen Kane said: “The Cavalcade of light and light switch on really brings the festive spirit to Waltham abbey. It’s a great event open to the entire district.
Join in the fun early with our museum on Sun Street, take in festive performances by local bands and choirs whilst enjoying some festive refreshments. And why not come in from the cold and take a look around the museum’s galleries and exhibitions.
There’s fun for all the family and we would love to welcome you to get in the festive mood.”
For more information on the Epping Forest District museum visit
Chairman of Council Councillor Dave Stallan celebrated the district’s tourist attractions at North Weald Airfield and on the Epping Ongar railway recently.
A host of distinguished guests from authorities across Essex and the newly appoint Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst enjoyed a trip on a vintage bus to North Weald Station.
From there, guests were taken on a Diesel Multi Unit (DMU) train to Coopersale. On return to North Weald they changed trains and enjoyed a trip on a magnificent steam engine the Metropolitan E Class No. 1, which was built around 1901.
Rodger Green a long-serving volunteer at the railway gave a fascinating tour and talk on the history of Ongar Station and the Epping Ongar Railway. Everyone then returned to North Weald Station and onwards again on the bus to North Weald Airfield.
Showcasing what the district has to offer
The Chairman of Council, Councillor Stallan who was given the opportunity to ride the steam engine said: “As a North Weald resident, I often hear the trains pass along the track, whilst on the train I was amazed at the heat and the amount of work it takes to keep the coal fire fed to keep the steam at the correct pressure.”
“From the train I was able to enjoy a glorious view of the surrounding countryside and the beautiful Autumnal colours of the forest along the line.”
Councillor Stallan also added “This was a fantastic opportunity to showcase all that the district has to offer to residents and visitors alike.”
I am most grateful to the Epping Ongar Railway for hosting us on the day. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves but more importantly, many more people are now aware of this attraction and will spread the word about our marvellous district and all it has to offer.”
Managing Director of the Epping Ongar Railway, who was also the bus driver for the day, Roger Wright said: “We are all very proud of the Epping Ongar Railway and hope that we will be welcoming many more visitors soon.”
£500 raised for Chairman’s charities
On the day the Chairman raised a total of £500 for his charities and local causes
The Norway House Garden Project
Epping & Ongar Air Cadets
Epping Ongar Railway
Enjoy the Epping Ongar railway for yourself. More information can be found at:
Crime and the relationship between young people and the police focused the attention of youth councillors and delegates at the Epping Forest Youth Council Conference on Friday 3 November 2017.
Hosted by Epping Forest District Council, the conference listened to presentations from Alex Burghart MP, Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Jane Gardner, Darren Horsman and Tom Mitchell, deputising for District Police Commander Lewis Basford.
The conference then debated the question:
“This house believes Essex Police should have a dedicated Police Liaison Officer serving the Epping Forest District.”
Watch the live debate
Police Liaison Officer not the answer
Knife crime, gangs and how to tackle these issues featured heavily. Does a single dedicated liaison officer have the scope and resources to make a meaningful impact? Could they develop better understanding and give young people a clearer voice in offering solutions?
Following a full and wide-ranging debate conference rejected the motion by 62 percent to 38 percent. A dedicated Police School Liaison Officer does not seem to be the answer for the young people of Epping Forest.
Click on an image below to begin slideshow of the youth conference.
Say No to N2O
Conference also discussed the growing problem of Nitros Oxide use among young people. Earlier this year, members of the youth council collected hundreds of discarded N2O canisters across the district. Legally available for uses ranging from medicine to party balloons, in the wrong hands N2O is being seen increasingly as a dangerous recreational gateway drug.
Council Leader – Importance of young people
Winding up the youth conference, the Leader of Epping Forest District Council Councillor Chris Whitbread thanked and congratulated each of the delegates and their schools for supporting the event. He emphasised the importance of giving young people a voice. In a world dominated by older generations he approved the fresh ideas and knowledge brought to bear by involving young people in the decisions that affect the community.
Skills for work and mental health were voted top topics for future work.
Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder Councillor Sam Kane said: “If you have a concern or wish to know more about the way our district is policed these meetings are a great opportunity to ask your questions.”
“The district has such a strong sense of community, and events like these are vital in ensuring we all feel safe and protected.”
“So come along and help the police understand the issues you’re facing, let’s work together to make our district a safer place to live.”
There are signs of improvement in services provided by Whipps Cross Hospital. Part of the Barts Health NHS Trust, the hospital has been in special measures following poor Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections. A presentation to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee of Epping Forest District Council following the latest CQC inspections in May suggest the hospital has improved from ‘inadequate’ to ‘overall requires improvement’. However, as one first-hand account of patient care at the end of the presentation demonstrated, there is still some way to go.
Dr Heather Noble – Medical Director, Whipps Cross Hospital
Alan Gurney – Managing Director, Whipps Cross Hospital
Signs of improvement at hospital trust
Alan Gurney, Managing Director said that any further CQC inspections today would see more improvements. However, he added that the condition of operating theatres was still a cause for concern. Investment in theatre refurbishments is scheduled for next year.
The CQC has seen an increase in the quality of the working environment and culture of the hospital. Bullying was previously identified as a major issue with high turnover of staff and heavy reliance on agency support. Significant improvements have been made in these areas. The hospital is also old. Many of its buildings pre-date the creation of the NHS. Investment is needed in new buildings.
Dr Heather Noble assured Councillor Steven Neville that issues around radiation exposure to staff had been resolved. Councillor David Stallan received assurances that Alan Gurney had no plans to relocate Whipps Cross, although the hospital is on a large site and could potentially operate from a smaller footprint.
Councillor Roger Baldwin asked about bed-blocking and capacity. Alan Gurney used the phrase ‘delayed discharge’ for which he had 11 cases at that moment. He assured councillors that he was working with partners to reduce discharge delays. No bed spaces had been closed this year and Mr Gurney considered it to be a lesser challenge than some other issues facing the hospital.
Councillors Mitchell and Sartin received further information in response to questions about bullying. Councillor Chambers explored the depth of hospital planning for the winter. Alan Gurney confirmed additional investment in building work and weekend cover arrangements to enhance winter cover. There is also additional ‘step-down’ coverage and coordination with partners in the ambulance service and care homes. The staff flu vaccination campaign is part of steps to prepare staff for the winter season.
Councillor David Wixley followed up on the issues of bullying and culture. Councillor Nigel Bedford focused on staff retention and reusing the defunct nursing home for other purposes. Alan Gurney provided assurance that recruitment and retention improvements are ongoing. He also felt that the site had plenty of capacity for development including accommodation for staff.
Responding to Councillor Gagan Mohindra, Dr Noble said that the Council could provide support by communicating the message about the need for redevelopment of outdated buildings.
Developing staffs careers
Dr Noble emphasised that managers as such ‘were not bad’ after Alan Gurney described how Whipps Cross was focusing on continual recruitment of nurses and a requirement for more doctors.
Dr Noble said that further work was needed in developing career and employment links with local schools and colleges. Responding to Councillor Holly Whitbread, she described good examples of work in Newham which could be adopted for Whipps Cross.
Mortuary facilities are old and in need of replacement but Dr Noble assured Councillor Bedford that the dignity of the deceased and care for the bereaved was a high priority.
Responding to Councillor Baldwin, Alan Gurney said that it would be wrong to say the use of Private Finance Initiative funding (PFI) was not an option but he added that there was no appetite for it.
Dementia care is also a priority. Responding to Councillor Aniket Patel, Dr Noble outlined some of the programmes including Dementia Friends and creating clinical areas more dementia ‘friendly’. Alan Gurney added that with the focus on older patients, dementia care was critical.
Councillor Mary Sartin, chairman of Overview and Scrutiny thanked Mr Gurney and Dr Noble, concluding questions with reference to the caring and compassionate approach of staff recognised in the latest CQC report.
Learning from the past
Mr Gurney and Dr Noble were invited to stay at the end of their presentation questions for a statement by a local resident. Janis Crowder gave an emotional account of her mother’s poor experience as a patient of Whipps Cross last year. Accepting improvements have since been made, Ms Crowder felt it was important to explain to hospital managers the difficulties and inadequacies of her mother’s care.
Transport for London managers have agreed to attend the meeting of Overview and Scrutiny Committee to discuss various public transport issues in January. Essex County Council is also to be invited to attend the Neighbourhoods Select Committee to discuss County bus services.
Epping Forest College 27 February 2018
Committee councillors also noted the scheduled attendance of the Principal of Epping Forest College at the meeting of Overview and Scrutiny on 27 February 2018.
Only buy fireworks marked with the British Standard Kitemark BS7114
Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks
Keep fireworks in a closed box and always follow the instructions carefully when using them
Light them at arm’s length using a taper and stand well back
Never go back to them once they are lit. Even if a firework hasn’t gone off, it could still explode
Never throw fireworks and never put them in your pocket
Respect your neighbours, don’t let off fireworks late at night and remember there are laws to follow
Take care with sparklers ,never give them to children under five. Even when they have gone out they are still hot so put sparklers in a bucket of water after use
Keep your pets indoors throughout the evening
Know the laws on fireworks and don’t set any off after 11pm. On 5 November, displays can continue until 12am and on certain occasions, such as New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, fireworks can be set off until 1am.
If you are planning to have a bonfire make sure to:
Build your bonfire clear of buildings, garden sheds, fences and hedges
Never use flammable liquids to start a bonfire
Never burn dangerous items such as aerosol cans, paint tins, foam furniture or batteries
Don’t leave bonfires unattended
An adult should supervise it until it has burnt out
If it has to be left, damp it down with plenty of water
Always keep a bucket of water or a hosepipe nearby in case of fire
Stay safe and look out for other
“Bonfire night is always a busy time for our emergency services so wherever you are, remember to stay safe and look out for others” said Safer, greener and transport portfolio holder Councillor Sam Kane.
“Organised events are always the safest way to enjoy fireworks and North Weald Airfield is holding another fantastic event on Friday 3 November. There are many other organised events across the district, but if you do choose to have your celebrations at home, please follow the safety tips so that you and your family remember the night for all the right reasons.”