Stroke survivor wins InstructAbility award

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Health, Older people, Our activities, Our performance, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your council

Everyone Active along with Level 3 qualified Exercise and Disability Trainer Lee Cartwright have been presented with an InstructAbility award for their work, setting up a Stroke Survivors fitness group.

The InstructAbility awards is a programme created in 2010 by Aspire, the spinal injury charity and YMCAfit training provider. The award recognises successful partnerships between disabled fitness professionals and their employers.

They engage with disabled people within fitness activities, led by qualified instructors who are experts due to their own experiences. The programme has supported over 200 disabled people to qualify as fitness professionals  and their instructors have contributed 20,000 hours of voluntary service to the leisure industry to encourage more disabled people to feel welcome and supported in the gym environment.

InstructAbility Award

(Photo above Lee Cartwright being presented with his award by Centre Manager Chris McCarthy)

Three and a half years ago Lee Cartwright had a major stroke which left him with left side paralysis. Whilst training to try and regain movement he was disappointed with the lack of support for stroke rehab. This led him to qualify as a gym and disability instructor through the InstructAbility programme and set up his own Stroke Survivors fitness group with Louise Bonfield, a friend who had also had a stroke and suffers from epilepsy.

The group meets every Friday in a fitness studio at Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool from 12:00-14:00 and offers accessible fitness sessions, as well as support and a friendly social atmosphere. On Monday and Wednesday, a functional training class also offers exercise sessions for all those with disabilities.

“We are delighted and very proud to have been given the InstructAbility award alongside Lee,” says Everyone Active Centre Manager Chris McCarthy. “He is a fantastic instructor and role model for many people with disabilities, and we hope that the classes will give people with similar conditions the support they need to help them recover.”

Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder Helen Kane said:

‘’I am absolutely delighted to hear that Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool and Lee Cartwright have been presented with this award. Their commendable work means that stroke survivors in the District are supported by an instructor that understands their condition first hand, encouraging successful rehabilitation. I would like to extend my congratulations to both and thank them for making fitness accessible within the Epping Forest District.’’

More information

Find out more about Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool

More information on InstructAbilty


Nominate your Young Citizen of the Year

Written on . Posted in Community, Democracy, Media, Our attractions, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Volunteering opportunities, Working with the council, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

The search for Epping Forest’s Young Citizen of the Year is on!

Do you know a young person who lives in Epping Forest District aged between 11 and 18 who has shown extraordinary commitment in a particular field? Shown great energy and effort towards achieving a particular goal? Or has been of great benefit towards the community?

If so you can nominate them for the Young Citizen of the Year.

Young Citizen on the Year 2016

If you know a young person living in the district who you feel deserves recognition for their contribution to Epping nominate them, the winner will be invited be invited to attend the District Councils’ Civic Awards ceremony to receive their reward, £100 and a certificate.

How to nominate 

Please ensure

  • Your nominee is aged between 11-18
  • Lives in Epping Forest district

Closing date for all applications is Friday 27 November 2015 and the awards ceremony to be held 18 March 2016.

More information 

If you need any more information or if you would like a nomination form sent in the post please contact Louis Walton at or Diane Butler at or alternatively call 01992 564365.


Councillors discuss Local Plan and elections

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Consultation, Councillors, Democracy, Elections, Housing, Local plan / planning our future, Media, Meetings, Our performance, Recycling and waste, Residents, Your area, Your council, Your home

Councillors received updates on a wide range of projects when Cabinet Portfolio Holders reported to the meeting of Epping Forest District Council on 28 July 2015.

Democracy live - watch our council meetings online

Local Plan

Items included a comprehensive report on the Local Plan, progress on major schemes at Langston Road (Epping Forest Retail Park) and St John’s Epping, significant improvements following the troubled introduction of the new 4-day domestic waste collection contract and a summary of the council’s latest financial position following the Chancellor’s first budget since the General Election in May.

Individual Electoral Registration (IER)

Councillor John Philip reported on successful introduction of Individual Electoral Registration before the last General Election. Epping Forest District Council produced the best electoral register in the country according to statistics released by the Electoral Commission. Councillor Philip made the announcement as the canvass for the first update to the register begins.

More than half of all households have already responded to the update, although that means some 25,000 households are still to reply. Councillor Philip was pleased to say that the vast majority of replies have been received electronically saving time and money. He appealed to fellow councillors to encourage residents to complete the canvass by returning all outstanding forms electronically as soon as possible.

Council housing rent reductions

Housing Portfolio Holder David Stallan responded to concerns raised about the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement on council housing rent reductions. One per cent per cuts per year over the next 4 years could impact on the council’s ability to build more new homes.

Further concerns were raised regarding plans to make councils sell high value houses. Councillor Stallan said that further evaluation would help to assess the impact on the Epping Forest district.

St John’s Road development

Assets Portfolio Holder Councillor Mrs Anne Grigg said that consultation would take place as the St John’s Road development reached planning application stage.

Overview and Scrutiny

Councillors welcomed the annual report of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee which highlighted the investigative role of the council in checking the work of its own cabinet and other organisations as diverse as the police, public transport, health, education and social services.

Mick Merrick

Council Chairman Councillor Liz Webster paid tribute to Mick Merrick, one of the council’s best known and popular members of staff who passed away earlier in the year. Flowers and condolences are to be sent to his family.


Epping Forest Youth Council receive awards

Written on . Posted in Community, Media, Our performance, Out and about, Volunteering opportunities, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Youth Councillors receive awards from the Jack Petchey Foundation for their community and volunteering work at Lowewood Museum and Swaines Green.

Jack Petchey Awards

Joseph Pascoe, Matthew Tinker, Leonora Troshupa, Julie Turrell, along with King Harold Academy pupil Aaron Rogan and Charlie Luxford from Epping St John’s School, each received a Jack Petchey Outstanding Achievement Medallion and £200 to spend on their chosen project.

Staff from Epping Forest District Council’s Communities Services Team’,  Gill Wallis, Alexia Doherty and Louis Walton, were awarded Outstanding Leader certificates and each received a Jack Petchey Medallion at the presentation evening held at Sir James Hawkey Hall in Woodford Green on 7 July.

Youth councillors, pupils and staff accomplishments recognised

Youth Councillors and pupils were all delighted with the recognition for their Social Action and Volunteering work.

Louis Walton said: “It was an honour to have received the Jack Petchey Achievement award last night. The evening was an amazing opportunity to see so many inspiring young people be recognised, valued and rewarded for their achievements.”

Youth Councillor Matthew Tinker added: “Receiving a Jack Petchey Award is a real honour and it does give you a confidence boost.”

Jack Petchey Foundation

Established in 1999, the Jack Petchey Foundation makes grants to programmes and projects that benefit young people aged 11 to 25. The Foundation exists to raise the aspirations of young people, to help them take advantage of opportunities and to play a full part in society.

Since being established the Foundation has awarded grants totalling more than  £100 million.

Find out more at the Jack Petchey Foundation website.


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?



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!