We will listen and there will be changes

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Consultation, Councillors, Democracy, Epping, Leader, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Older people, Olympics, Ongar, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Councillors had their first chance to debate future development policy following the publication of the draft Local Plan at Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet on 6 October.

EFDC Local Plan logos

Cabinet supported recommendations asking Full Council on 18 October to endorse the plan for public consultation.

Councillor John Philip, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Planning assured fellow councillors that the document before them was for full consultation. The Council would listen and he was sure that there would be changes. However, to be persuasive, Councillor Philip said that arguments for change to the Plan had to be backed up with clear evidence. For example, evidence could include information about issues such as;

  • Flooding
  • Access arrangements
  • Contamination
  • Utilities
  • Other infrastructure
  • Availability of the site

The Leader of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Chris Whitbread thanked Councillor Philip, his predecessor Councillor Richard Bassett and council staff for all the hard work that had gone into the draft.

Subject to the approval of Full Council, public consultation on the draft Local Plan will take place between 31 October and 12 December.

Planning our future

To view all the latest Local Plan information go to the consultation website.

Get involved

Join in the conversation

Epping Forest Young Citizen of the Year award

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chairman, Chigwell, Civic events, Community, Councillors, Epping, Loughton, Media, Ongar, Our activities, Our performance, Residents, Travel, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

The search is now on for the Epping Forest Young Citizen of the Year 2017.

Now is your chance to help recognise young people’s exceptional contributions to the Epping Forest district and nominate them for the Young Citizen of the Year award.

Young Citizen of the Year 2017 poster

The award is presented annually to a young person who has shown outstanding courage, been of service to their community or shown extraordinary commitment, energy and effort in a particular field or towards achieving a goal.

The winner will be invited to attend our civic awards ceremony on 17 March 2017 to receive a certificate of achievement and award of £300.

Our community is full of incredible young people

Molly Gayler from Davenant Foundation School won the Epping Forest Young Citizen of the Year 2016 for her wonderful work supporting children with disabilities and her passion for sport. Molly referenced the American athlete Gail Devers who once said that ‘every accomplishment starts with the decision to try’.

Molly said: “If my form tutor had not made the decision to ‘Try’ with me, then I would not have been given the opportunity to participate in such a wonderful and humbling experience.”

“Our community is full of incredible young people who deserve to be recognised. Please nominate them for the Epping Forest Young Citizen of the Year award and open doors for a young person who really deserves it.”


Do you know a young person who lives in the district aged between 11 and 18 and deserve to be recognized?

Nominate them for the Young Citizen of the Year – applications close on Friday 25 November 2016.

More information

Contact Louis Walton, Youth Engagement Assistant



Dementia awareness session success

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Doing business with the council, Epping, Equalities, Health, Local business, Loughton, Meetings, Museum, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our performance, Out and about, Performance, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Do you want to increase your awareness and get to know more about dementia? We are hosting Dementia Friends Awareness Sessions for local groups, in partnership with Epping Forest District Museum, in their new community area called ‘the space’.

The sessions are being lead by the Community and Wellbeing Team in conjunction with  Epping Forest District Dementia Action Alliance. The alliance are part of an initiative to make the district of Epping Forest a ‘Dementia Friendly Community’.

Successful sessions

The first Dementia Friends awareness sessions have already been held for the council’s apprentices, housing team, the Limes Farm Community Group and for many of those involved with the council’s walking for health scheme, Lifewalks.

Lifewalks leader, Erika Needham said: “The session helped me see how challenging it can be for those living with dementia and how we can help to alleviate this. Bringing dementia to the attention of the public can help us all to make small changes in our behaviour towards those living with dementia, which in turn will make life easier for them and their carers”.

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

Focus on increasing awareness

Epping Forest District Council’s Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder, Councillor Helen Kane said: ”The information sessions focus on increasing people’s knowledge and awareness of dementia. We hope that this new knowledge and understanding will have a positive effect on the local area – for local people living with dementia and their carers”.

Get involved

She continued: ”Anyone of any age can come to a Dementia Friends Information Session. Help us to ensure local people with dementia are appreciated and feel valued members of their community. If you or your local group would benefit from attending a session or would like some further information,  please contact Karen Murray the council’s Engagement Officer on the details below, alternatively you can find your nearest session on the Alzheimer’s society website.”

Museum partnership receives grant

Written on . Posted in Arts, Business, Community, Councillors, Grants, Local business, Museum, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Performance, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Museum partnership secures major grant award from Arts Council England Resilience Fund

A heritage sustainability project entitled ‘No Borders’, which is being  led by Epping Forest District Council’s Museum, Heritage and Culture Service has been awarded £279,000 by Arts Council England, following a competitive bid to Arts Council England’s Museum Resilience Fund.

EFD Museum reopening

 Epping Forest District Museum re-opening following it’s refurbishment in March 2016

National award

The award, which is part of Arts Council England’s strategic funding programme, has been designed to support museums to become more sustainable and resilient to the pressures many are currently facing. Nationally some 94 museums and organisations were awarded funding totalling £12.2 million.

Ground-breaking Partnership

The ‘No Borders’  project is a ground breaking local authority museums partnership, which includes Epping Forest Museum, Heritage and Culture Service, the Lowewood Museum in Broxbourne and Chelmsford City’s Museum Service, which are all popular museum services  with free entry for the public.

Developing sustainable services

The aim of the project is to support all three local authority areas to  develop sustainable, inspiring services for the future, drawing upon recommendations and ideas produced for Epping Forest District Museum, as part of an earlier piece of resilience work funded by Arts Council England.

Good news for residents

The funding is good news for local residents of all ages  as family activities are a key area of work and this project will enable the museums to develop new approaches to support funding for exhibitions, development projects and day to day activities, by bringing in professionals with expertise in fundraising and commercial operations including retail, catering, event services and venue hire, to undertake a number of transformational improvements across all these areas of work.

New charitable foundations

It is also planned for the museums to establish new, charitable Development Foundations to undertake fundraising in support of their work the museums, with the aim of bringing in funding not normally available to local authority museums and this will be established and guided by an experienced fundraiser.

A third strand of the project will be to undertake projects with groups and individuals who don’t currently access the museums’ services , to build audiences and encourage  people of all ages and abilities to get involved with the museum, as visitors, supporters, volunteers  and future curators.

In the Epping Forest District, the ‘No Borders’ project will build on the recent expansion and refurbishment of Epping Forest District Museum, which has recently reopened following a major Heritage Lottery Fund Award of £1.65m, which has enabled the museum to be fully accessible.


Museum, Heritage and Culture Manager, Tony O’Connor said: ‘’We are delighted to have secured this funding for this work at this exciting time in the museum services development. We are grateful for the support of Arts Council England in providing the opportunity to undertake this transformational project, which will improve the opportunities for residents and visitors to Epping Forest, Broxbourne and Chelmsford museums to engage in the rich heritage and cultural offer we all share.”

Exciting developments

Councillor Helen Kane, Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council’s Leisure and Community Services said: ”Achieving this funding will allow us to build on the exciting developments which have taken place at the Epping Forest District Museum and will ensure that our museum, heritage and culture service can continue to contribute to the health, wellbeing and economic development of the district in a sustainable way.”

She added: ”Ensuring the museum is sustainable and resilient in the long term will ensure the newly developed building continues to contribute to Waltham Abbey town, business and communities.’’

The ‘No Borders’ project will take place between October 2016 and March 2018

Untaxed vehicles crackdown

Written on . Posted in Abandoned vehicles, Business, Community, Crime and safety, Doing business with the council, Local business, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Parking, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Working with the council, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

In a national drive to crack down on untaxed vehicles on public roads, Epping Forest District Council will be working in partnership with the DVLA from 1 August 2016.

Untaxed vehicles

Clamped or seized

With the assistance of the DVLA, Council officers will be able to check the road tax record of any vehicle. If the vehicle is not taxed, it will be either clamped or seized and taken to a DVLA contractors depot.

The owner could have to pay as much as £160 (plus storage costs) and will have to prove the vehicle has valid road tax before the vehicle can be reclaimed.

Delighted to be working in partnership

Epping Forest District Council’s Environment Portfolio holder, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: ‘’I am delighted that the council is working in partnership with the DVLA. Untaxed vehicles are often difficult to trace, but with our help, the DVLA will broaden their ability to find the offenders and reduce the number of untaxed vehicles within our district.”

He continued: ‘’Untaxed vehicles contribute to congestion, take up valuable parking spaces and use resources paid for by others. Their drivers are more likely to commit traffic offences such as speeding, illegally parking and driving without insurance, which presents risks for other drivers. Untaxed vehicles are often abandoned and eventually become vandalised. Working alongside the DVLA will help to improve road conditions for our residents and other road users.’’

Youth councillors shine at O&S

Written on . Posted in Community, Consultation, Councillors, Democracy, Equalities, Media, Meetings, Our performance, Residents, Volunteering opportunities, Working with the council, Young people, Your community, Your council, Your home

Presentations from Epping Forest Youth Councillors and Essex County Council were given to the Overview and Scrutiny panel on 19 April 2016.

Democracy live

Successful year for Epping Forest Youth Council

Epping Forest youth councillors confidently and eloquently updated the panel on their achievements over the past year.

Youth conference

The youth council’s highest profile event this year was their youth conference. This involved 90 young people from local secondary schools and was attended by guest speaker Eleanor Laing MP. Their aim was to promote Local Democracy Week, raise the profile of the youth council and involve other young people in the debate about the current issues.

Promoting mental health awareness

The young councillors explained their plans to develop mental health workshops for young people at schools within the district, promoting mental health awareness amongst young people and addressing the lack of support services for young people across the country.

The Epping Forest Youth Council have been involved in many other projects this year, including promoting youth volunteering and assisting with 14 consultations including a national consultation on the living wage for young people, racism and emotional wellbeing and mental health.

They have been representatives on various strategy groups and have organised Youth Volunteering days in partnership with the City of London. The Youth Council informed councillors that they got external funding of £6,750, enabling them to deliver high quality projects.

Highly Commended

Councillors were deeply impressed by the quality of their presentation and highly commended their many excellent achievements throughout the year.

Redesign of Children’s Centre Services

Essex County Council plans to redevelop and improve Children’s Centre services across the County, following their public consultation which ended on 10 April 2016.

Coordinated approach to support services

Chris Martin, (Integrated Commissioning Director) and Gill Holland (Lead on Children’s Centre Performance in West Essex) explained to Councillors that the changes made will improve the accessibility of children’s services across the County. They will do this by making services flexible, increasing the age range, targeting the most vulnerable and disadvantaged and by providing a more coordinated approach to support services.

Accessible ‘Family Hubs’ for each district

One ‘Family Hub’ will be introduced into each authority area across Essex. The hubs will provide children’s support services and will be open for 50 hours per week. Their opening hours will be staggered, to enhance accessibility for families that are unable to visit during normal working hours.


Council tax frozen for sixth year running

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Council tax, Councillors, Democracy, Leader, Local business, Media, Meetings, Our activities, Our attractions, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your money

Epping Forest District Council bucks national and local trends by freezing its portion of council tax for the sixth year running.

The Council achieved this despite most other government services increasing Council Tax costs for Epping Forest district residents. The freeze was confirmed at the meeting of full council on 18 February 2016.

Frontline services protected

Leader of the Council Chris Whitbread said: ‘This is the sixth District Council Tax freeze that we have had and it doesn’t come easily. At a time when other Councils are making drastic savings and putting their Council Tax up, we have maintained a nil-increase for our residents whilst protecting our frontline services. We have successfully budgeted and made prudent investments and continue to make Epping Forest a better place to live and work – a place to be proud of.’

Supporting the economy and residents

Councillor Whitbread discussed the Council’s continued investments to the Town Centre Fund; which supports special events for our town centres. He explained that resources have been put into CCTV monitoring, tourism and into the renovation and reopening of Waltham Abbey District Museum, all of which support the District’s economy and benefit residents.

Lowest District Council Tax in Essex

Councillor Whitbread updated others on the plans for transformation, he said that he has ‘ambitious visions for this Council’s future’ and stated that the Council are going to maintain themselves as a ‘low Council tax authority’ and his ‘aspiration is to have the lowest District Council Tax in Essex one day.’