Youth Council win prestigious award

Written on . Posted in Community, Grants, Media, Older people, Our activities, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Volunteering opportunities, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Epping Forest Youth Council were awarded the High Sheriff’s Shield and received a cheque for £1,000 for their #URNotALone Bullying Awareness project.

Epping Forest Youth Council awarded the High Sheriff's Shield

To view photos in a slideshow, click on a picture below and click start slideshow.

They were presented with the High Sheriff’s Shield at the High Sheriffs’ Awards ceremony by Mr Nicholas Charrington, the 834th recorded High Sherriff, at Hylands House in Chelmsford on 18 March 2015. The High Sheriffs’ Awards ceremony gives well-deserved tributes and thanks to people who have made a major contribution to community safety and crime prevention in Essex.

The #URNotALone Bullying Awareness project produced and distributed 1,200 wristband memory sticks promoting Bullying Awareness websites. These websites promote support numbers and guidance for young people and parents who need help with bullying. The wristbands were given to all year 9 pupils in the Epping Forest district.

Youth Councillors Matthew Tinker, Joseph Pascoe and Jaymey McIvor along with Di Butler and Louis Walton from the Epping Forest District Community Health and Wellbeing Team, were present to receive the award.

More than 43 voluntary and community organisations were presented with trophies, certificates and grants totalling £23,471.

Award winners from the Epping Forest district

Epping Forest Youth Council

Winner of High Sheriffs’ Shield 2014/15 plus £1,000 to help raise awareness of the impact of bullying amongst young people – Epping Forest Youth Council website.

Crucial Crew Epping Forest

£1,000 to help pay for an educational workbook for use in the 2015 Crucial Crew Crime Prevention and Personal Safety Education programme for 10-11 year old children in Epping Forest and Brentwood districts – video of 2013 Crucial Crew.

Voluntary Action Epping Forest (VAEF)

Garden maintenance – £600 to buy equipment for a garden maintenance project helping vulnerable, elderly and disabled people across Epping Forest district – VAEF gardening service.

Home safety for older people – £500 to assist with the installation of enhanced key safes in the homes of vulnerable people in Epping Forest district – VAEF home safety.

Waltham Abbey Youth 2000

£1,000 towards the cost of a confidential counselling facility for young people.

 

Audit and Governance Committee member wanted

Written on . Posted in Councillors, Democracy, Jobs, Media, Meetings, Our performance, Performance, Procurement, Working with the council, Your council

Do you want to have a say on holding us to account? If yes, you could join our Audit and Governance Committee, as we currently have a vacancy for a co-opted member.

Audit and governance

We are after a new co-opted member to provide an independent perspective, working to help the committee monitor and review the governance of Epping Forest District Council. This is an opportunity to become involved in many interesting challenges, and a real chance to become more engaged with your local community.

If you answer yes to the following 4 questions, this vacancy may be for you.

  1. Do you live or work in the Epping Forest district?
  2. Are you looking for a new challenge and to help the local community?
  3. Do you have skills relating to finance or auditing?
  4. Do you have free time to help the council?

Read

Apply

Complete the application form now.

An appointment will be made following interviews to be conducted by a panel of councillors. The selected candidate will be given appropriate training and will receive an annual allowance of £500.

Find out more

Contact Stephen Tautz, Democratic Services Manager, for general enquiries about the position.

Contact Brian Bassington, Chief Internal Auditor, for specific information about the committee.

 

 

Council commitment to low-tax at O&S

Written on . Posted in Community, Consultation, Council tax, Councillors, Elections, Leader, Local plan / planning our future, Meetings, Our performance, Parking, Performance, Planning, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

Epping Forest District Youth councillors looked on as members of Epping Forest District Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee quizzed Cabinet portfolio holders on Tuesday (16 September).

Members of the Youth Council who were welcomed to the meeting by committee chairman Councillor Richard Morgan, represent young people across the district. They range in age from 13 to 17 and are drawn from local schools, colleges and the local community.

Items on the agenda included progress on Epping Forest District Council’s corporate plan objectives, the forward plan of the Cabinet, and reviews of the recent local election procedures and polling stations. Councillors were reminded of the Council’s responsibility for running the local General Election counts next May and the need to identify a count centre large enough. Councillors highlighted the extremely smooth conduct of recent elections and paid tribute to staff including the recently retired Returning Officer Ian Willett.

The electoral registration process has changed. Councillor Brian Surtees asked if the introduction of Individual Elector Registration might cause difficulties. Assistant Director Simon Hill noted that a great deal of advanced preparation by the elections team had eased the process. However, Mr Hill acknowledged that a significant level of ongoing work would be necessary to maintain the highest voter registration levels. An amendment to the polling station review to combine voting for all Waltham Abbey North East residents at the Community Centre in Saxon Way will go with the report for final determination by Full Council.

Councillors also responded to an invitation by the Mayor of London to comment on infrastructure growth. They supported the prioritisation of transport schemes on the West Anglia and Central Line as a means of encouraging job growth, delivering commuters and in support of the London-Cambridge-Stansted Corridor. Emphasis was placed on the need for greater infrastructure in the form of railway station car parks.

District Councillors raised issues around Central Line capacity, and bus services. They supported Mayor Boris Johnson’s approach to keeping London growth within current boundaries and hoped that Essex County Council might also support this objective.

Planning Portfolio Holder Councillor Richard Bassett assured members of Overview and Scrutiny following a request by Councillor Brian Surtees for continuing information to the public on Local Plan progress. Council Leader Chris Whitbread followed up by encouraging all Councillors to attend forthcoming Local Plan events and to share information with their residents.

Responding to comments by Councillor John Knapman, Councillor Chris Whitbread agreed that the Council’s drive to keep Council Tax down could be more prominently identified within the Council’s Key Objectives. Epping Forest District Council has not increased its Council Tax precept to residents for 4 years and strives to be one of the lowest in Essex.

Telephone problems resolved

Written on . Posted in Business, Democracy, Emergencies, Media, Our attractions, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

5 Feb – 11:30am

Problems with our telephone system have now been resolved. Engineers fixed a fault with the hardware. We would like to apologise to all those who have had problems contacting us and thank them for their patience.

4 Feb – 13:30pm

The telephone system will be taken offline from 13:45pm for approximately 15 minutes for urgent maintenance. This page will be updated when work has finished.

4 Feb – 12 noon

We are currently experiencing intermittent problems with the sound quality on our telephone system.

Symptoms for staff include sound being choppy, distorted or even sounding like they are underwater! If you are experiencing these problems please hang up and try again.

We are working with our suppliers to resolve this problem as soon as possible.

We would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused.

 

Council joins Essex Pride celebrations in Chelmsford

Written on . Posted in Community, Equalities, Older people, Our activities, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community

Essex Pride 2013We are taking part in Essex Pride this weekend to support the annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) life in Essex and beyond.

This family friendly event, now in its tenth year,  showcases diversity and encourages acceptance of LGBT people. Essex Pride is more than just a party – organisers want to inspire our communities to embrace equality and demonstrate that local organisations and businesses and communities can join together to celebrate diversity.

As a large employer, the Council is committed to sexual orientation equality and hopes to demonstrate leadership in the importance of LGBT equality in the workplace and in the community.

Essex Pride is taking place in Central Park in Chelmsford on Saturday 22 June and Sunday 23 June, from midday until midnight.  You will find us in the Community Marquee. For further information, please visit the official Essex Pride website.

Chief Executive endorses Youth Council work

Written on . Posted in Community, Consultation, Democracy, Media, Meetings, Our performance, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

The new Chief Executive endorses the work of Epping Forest Youth Council and says Be the voice of young people. Hold the main council to account.

It was back down to business for the Epping Forest Youth Council last night, as they held their first full meeting since the Christmas break. On the agenda for the first time was a presentation from Epping Forest District Council`s new Chief Executive, Glen Chipp, followed by a question and answer session.

Youth councillors with new Chief Executive Glen Chipp

Mr Chipp shared his views with the Youth Councillors on what he perceived the council’s strengths and weaknesses are, and set out the changes that would need to be made in the future.

Youth councillors Edward Gokmen and Olivier TinkerMr Chipp went on to tell the Youth Council how impressed he was with the work they have been doing, and offered some encouraging advice. When asked by Natasha Miller Do you think the Council consults enough with the Youth Council?, Mr Chipp responded Don’t wait for us to come to you … bang on our door, about what you think is important. Equally, when asked by Carina Sander What advice would you give us, so we are not used as a tick box exercise? he said I’m not interested in ticking boxes. I want young people to challenge, as you are doing now.

Other issues raised by the Youth Council included making information that Council department’s produce, such as the Local Plan consultation, easier for young people to understand. Mr Chipp agreed whole heartedly, telling the Youth Council that it isn’t just young people that struggle to understand it!

Finally, the good news continued when Edward Gokmen, Chair for the meeting, asked Glen Chipp if he would support the Youth Council’s plan to hold a youth conference at the civic offices this summer. Mr Chipp gave his consent, so all that remains to say is – watch this space!

 

Full Council 27 September

Written on . Posted in Business, Chairman, Commercial properties, Consultation, Councillors, Epping, Housing, Leader, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Our performance, Performance, Planning, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business, Your council, Your money

Members of the Epping Forest Youth Council attended the Full Council meeting on 27 September 2012. On the agenda to be  discussed were Council Tax, the Local Plan consultation, annual accounts, the St Johns Road development and North Weald Airfield.

Watch the webcast in full

Chairman’s announcements

Councillor Brian Rolfe, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council began his announcements with a special welcome to Glen Chipp. Mr Chipp is due to take up his new duties as Chief Executive of Epping Forest District Council on 1 October 2012. North Weald Airfield featured prominently in the Chairman’s report of his activities during September.

The close ties of friendship between the district and the people of Norway was reinforced by a recent visit of Norwegian RAF veterans and serving members of the Royal Norwegian Air Force. The Chairman also formed part of the welcome to serving and veteran members of No 56 Squadron RAF on Battle of Britain Sunday. 56 Squadron served with distinction, flying from North Weald during the Battle of Britain. Battle honours of 56 Squadron are displayed on its old Standard which was dedicated to St Andrew’s Church in North Weald.

Epping Forest District Council lost the Annual Petanque match with Epping Town Council. Councillor Rolfe and Councillor David Stallan represented the District Council. ‘Dubious tactics’ were alleged before congratulations were offered to the Town Council represented by dual-hatted councillors Jon Whitehouse and Will Breare-Hall.

No increase for Council Tax

Councillor Syd Stavrou, Finance Portfolio Holder, briefed councillors on future financial settlements. She left councillors in no doubt of her belief in the desirability of a zero per cent council tax increase next year.

Local Plan consultation

Councillor Richard Bassett, Planning Portfolio Holder updated councillors on Community Choices. 224 formal responses have been received in response to the Local Plan consultation so far. Council staff have been meeting residents. Almost 1,000 people have attended the Community Choices meetings held across the district over the last six weeks or so.

Annual statement of accounts

The annual statement of accounts for 2011/12 was presented by the Chairman of the Audit and Governance Committee, Councillor Antony Watts. Councillor Watts recommended interested councillors watch the webcast of Audit and Governance committee on 24 September where Finance Director Bob Palmer gave a comprehensive presentation.

Councillor Watts drew attention to a number of changes in production of the latest statement including assessments of depreciation on council assets and the pension fund. He also highlighted the major financial commitment of £185 million stemming from changes to the Housing Subsidy system. He concluded by thanking the Auditors and the Council’s own finance officers before recommending the report. Councillor Syd Stavrou responded to Councillor Watts. She assured councillors of the long term benefits to the Council by making a single one-off payment of £185 million instead of on-going annual payments to central government of £11 million.

The Council’s financial position is better than anticipated despite cuts in central government funding. Councillor Stavrou also recommended acceptance of the annual statement of accounts which met with the approval of the Council. 

St John’s Road design and development brief

Asset Management Portfolio Holder Anne Grigg recommended approval of the St John’s Road Design and Development brief to Full Council. Fellow cabinet member and Epping Councillor, Will Breare-Hall welcomed the brief as amended following consultation earlier in the summer. In particular he drew attention to the shift in emphasis from retail to leisure provision in line with the views expressed by local residents.

Councillor Chris Whitbread, Leader of Council looked forward to discussion based on the brief with other landowners. Ward Councillor Tony Church sought reassurance on the issue of a supermarket. Councillor Grigg responded by drawing a distinction between a supermarket which drew wide-spread public opposition and other forms of retail such as a department store which found favour with some local residents. Councillor Janet Whitehouse asserted that she would have preferred a stronger plan and abstained when councillors voted in favour of the adoption of the Brief.

North Weald Airfield

A budget of £150,000 was agreed to enable Epping Forest District Council to commission further work on the future of North Weald Airfield. Referring to recommendations by Ernst and Young, Asset Management Portfolio Holder Anne Grigg encouraged councillors to approve the two-stage process looking at aviation and non-aviation options.

Equality objectives, what should we focus on?

Written on . Posted in Community, Consultation, Equalities, Our performance, Residents, Your community, Your council

Help us bring about positive change by telling us your views on our proposed equality objectives.

Reducing inequality is an integral part of the councils business. We aim to treat everyone equally and fairly according to their needs.

We actively seek to narrow the gap between people who are disadvantaged in comparison to their peers, and aim to provide a high standard of service that is accessible to all.

To focus our equality related work, we have developed a range of objectives for the next 4 years.

We want to make sure you agree that we have identified the areas that will make the most difference to equality for our communities, and which will help to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between different groups of people.

In developing the equality objectives, we have considered information that we already have on how important relevant issues are, how the objectives would help us to meet our equality duties, and what we can deliver over the next 4 years.

Complete the online proposed equality objectives consultation
The closing date for this consultation is 17 February 2012, and the results will be published in April 2012.

To find out more about equality at the council:
visit the equality and diversity page
or email equality@eppingforestdc.gov.uk
Background to our Equality Objectives in our Equality Scheme

Disability Awareness Day

Written on . Posted in Equalities, Our performance, Your council

An event to promote services and raise awareness of the opportunities available for people with disabilities in the Epping Forest district received a good turnout at St Mary`s Church, Loughton on 18 May 2011.

`Disability Aware` was co-ordinated by Epping Forest District Council`s Disability Equality Involvement Group, in conjunction with other local groups and organisations for people with disabilities. The event also aimed to highlight the work of the Council and other organisations in securing equality for disabled people and opportunities for them to become involved in the community.

Vice-chairman of Epping Forest District Council, councillor Ken Angold-Stephens attended the event and took part in showcasing some of the services provided by the council and other agencies. He said: I think this is a really important event and has provided an opportunity for local disabled groups to come together and raise awareness of their different services in the one place. There are many disabled people throughout the district who may not be aware of the services and opportunities available, or how to access them.

Contributors on the day included:

Oak View School, Essex Coalition of Disabled People, Woodredon House, Anglia Ruskin Transcription Centre, Essex Blind Charity, Epping Forest Centenary Trust, Disability Essex, Lambourne End Outdoor Learning Centre, Accuro; Be Safer Group (Guide Posts; Field Rumens; Essex Adult Safeguarding Board; Razed Roof; Swan Floating Support; Be Safer), The Elbow Grease Co-operative Ltd, Essex County Fire and Rescue and Guide Dogs.

From Epping Forest District Council:

Careline, Care and Repair, Disabled Facilities Grants, Tenant Participation, Arts Development, Sports Development, Community Development, Epping Forest District Museum, Benefits, Waste Management, Safer Communities, Performance Improvement Unit and Human Resources.

Draft Corporate Plan 2011 – 2015 Consultation

Written on . Posted in Consultation, Countryside and wildlife, Local business, Our countryside, Our performance, Planning, Supporting business, Your council, Your environment

The Corporate Plan (formerly known as the Council Plan) is the Council`s key strategic planning document. The Corporate Plan sets out service priorities over a four-year period, and translates the vision for the district set out by the Community Strategy recently published by the Local Strategic Partnership, One Epping Forest, into the Council’s strategic direction, priorities and the most important outcomes that it wants to achieve.

The Corporate Plan helps prioritise resources to provide quality services and value for money, but does not cover everything that the authority does, focusing instead on those issues that matter most to local people, national priorities set by the government and local challenges arising from the social, economic and environmental context of the district.

The Corporate Plan complements the Community Strategy and reflects those issues and priorities where the Council can have maximum impact. The Corporate Plan includes specific actions to address priorities that are financed, resourced and have a timescale for completion. The Corporate Plan is closely linked to the Council`s medium-term financial strategy, and sets out how the Council will deliver its vision and priorities over the next four years, to ensure improved outcomes for local people. The Corporate Plan includes a section reflecting the Council`s key objectives for 2011/12, which will be updated each year.

The Council is interested to know what you think of the Corporate Plan. Comments on the content and the aims and objectives for 2011/12 and the four-year period, can be made using either the online feedback form, or by submitting written comments to performance@eppingforestdc.gov.uk or Performance Improvement Unit, Epping Forest District Council, Civic Offices, Epping, Essex, CM16 4BZ.

Responses received will be used to inform the content of the final version of the Corporate Plan, which will be published in April 2011.

Copies of the Draft Corporate Plan can be obtained from the Performance Improvement Unit by emailing performance@eppingforestdc.gov.uk