Epping Forest Community Champions initiative launched

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Community Champions, a volunteer programme across the towns and villages of Epping Forest district is up and running.

The initiative aims to build on the skills and knowledge of local people to create, happy, friendly and healthy communities. To do this Epping Forest District Council is bringing together like-minded people from local towns and villages to share ideas and experiences from their communities to improve the health and wellbeing of local people.

The initiative was launched in October with nine Champions taking part in an induction morning where they learned about the support and development offered by the Council throughout the programme. They also all became Dementia Friends after taking part in an Information Session.

Community Champions have been recruited in the following towns and parishes:

  • Buckhurst Hill
  • Chigwell
  • Nazeing
  • Ongar
  • Theydon Bois
  • Willingale

What is the role of a Community Champion?

Community Champions can help you to:

  • Get to know what’s going on in the local area
  • Learn more about how to stay healthy and active
  • Access local services you might need
  • Organise community events

There is an ongoing recruitment campaign for volunteers from each of the towns and parishes within the Epping Forest district.

Do you know of a local resident who would be interested in joining us and making a real difference in the community?

We are looking for people who are:

  • Living in the Epping Forest district
  • Aged 18 years or above
  • Passionate about where they live
  • Able to build strong community connections
  • Happy to support and promote fun days and community events
  • Willing to share information about local services in the area
  • Able to promote useful health improvement information within the community

Get involved and make a difference

Councillor Helen Kane, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder said: “I am extremely proud of our Community Champions for putting themselves forward to volunteer, and I am excited to hear their ideas. The Community Champions programme is a great way to meet new people and develop your skills and knowledge. We would love for you to get involved and make a real difference in your community!’’

More information and how to join

For further information on the Epping Forest Community Champions programme and details on how to join please contact Patrick Arnold, Senior Community Engagement Officer.

Local museums represented at National Service of Thanksgiving

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Staff from Epping Forest District Museum, Waltham Abbey and Lowewood Museum, Hoddesdon attended The National Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey on 11 November 2018, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, having been invited by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Image from left to right: Rachel Arnold, Project Officer Broxbourne: We Will Remember Them; Tony O’Connor, Museums, Heritage and Culture Manager; Andy Hall, Exhibitions Officer and Catherine Hammond, Education and Outreach Officer.

The Department for Digital, Media and Sport asked HLF to nominate people to attend the service, after recognising the huge contribution HLF and its First World War projects have made to the centenary. As a result over 300 people involved with these project across the UK, attended the service on Sunday.

Westminster Abbey

£124k in grants

Our centenary projects were made possible by grants totalling £124,000 from HLF, which distributes the heritage share of National Lottery funding, supporting a wide variety of projects across the UK. HLF has invested £97million in 2,200 First World War centenary projects.

Exhibition at Epping Forest District Museum

The Walter Spradbery, Artist in War and Peace exhibition is on display at Epping Forest District Museum until Saturday 22 December 2018. It focuses on the artist’s time in the Royal Army Medical Corps during the First World War, and the paintings he made for the first Imperial War Museum displays.

Loweood Museum display

Stephen Warner, One Man’s Journey through War was on display at Lowewood Museum from May until September 2018. It explored the First War World through the diaries of Warner, who served with the Royal Army Medical Corps and the Essex Regiment in France and went on to win a Military Cross for bravery.

Broxbourne: We Will Remember Them, focuses on First World War soldiers from the Borough of Broxbourne. People are invited to share their stories, memories, photographs and other artefacts. Pupils from local schools will create embroidered postcards to commemorate the sacrifices given by soldiers. There will be a number of sharing days in the Borough of Broxbourne, through December to February, for people to come and tell their stories. The Broxbourne: We Will Remember Them display will start touring from the end of February 2019.

Applications open for Creativity Award 2019

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Applications are open for the Creativity Award 2019. The award is open to every young person in the district, aged between 13 and 25 years.

Creativity Award 2019

Support developing your skills

If you or your group have a real talent or interest in the arts, culture and heritage, we would like to support you in developing your skills.

A single award, of up to £1000, is available to individuals and groups (with a minimum of 3 people) who are looking for support for their creative activity. A group can already be established (i.e. art clubs, theatre groups, choirs or orchestras) or be newly formed. The award is also open to heritage projects and all young people’s programmes through our museum service.

Apply 

Applicants are required to show their commitment to their area of interest and explain how the award will help them develop their talent. They must be able to demonstrate that they are actively pursuing their interest through volunteering, education, exhibition or performance.

The deadline for applications is midnight on Sunday 16 December 2018.

Statement – Fire at Burton Road, Loughton

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Updated Information – 13.15pm on 17 August 2018

Essex Fire and Rescue Service have announced that the fire is now out.

We cannot speculate on the cause of the fire at the moment, that will come out following an official investigation.

The photo below shows the building now that the fire is out and demonstrates how remarkably well the structure has stood up to the fire.

Council Leader, Chris Whitbread said: “You can always rebuild bricks and mortar, the important thing is that everyone appears to be safe and the fire is now out.”

Original statement made – 12:00pm 17 August 2018

A development of new flats in Burton Road, Loughton has caught fire and the fire service are in attendance.

This is a development of new council housing being built for Epping Forest District Council. A £10 million design and build mixed tenure residential development of 51 affordable rent units, comprising of 17 homes and 34 apartments.

Councillor Chris Whitbread Leader of Epping Forest District Council is at Burton Road.

He said: “Our first concern is for the safety and welfare of all concerned. It looks like everyone is safe. Essex Fire and Rescue is on the scene and it is under control. These flats are still being built. This is a construction site and there are no tenants living here. However we are obviously concerned about everyone working on the site at the time the fire started.

“The development is being built for us by Mulalley – a large construction company with a long and successful track record of building major projects. It is too early to say what caused the fire but it is clearly large. Essex Fire and Rescue has cordoned the site off.

“Our first priority is to ensure people are safe. Neighbouring residents are being asked to stay in their homes. This is bound to cause some travel disruption and people are being asked to avoid the area if they can.

“The council has several roles: we are the client and this is a serious setback for us and all those people we are building these new homes for. More importantly in the short term we have a supporting role to the emergency services and would be in a position to set up rest centres nearby if required for neighbouring residents. At this stage our staff are on standby if rest centres are needed. We also employ specialist building control officers who will be at the disposal of Essex Fire and Rescue to assess the damage and ensure the buildings are made safe once the fire is out.

“In the longer term we will recover. Bricks and mortar can always be replaced and we will rebuild these much needed homes for local people. For now, our thoughts are focused on the safety of everyone living and working in the area.

Please visit the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service website for reliable advice and up to date information about the incident http://www.essex-fire.gov.uk/incidents/i7458/

 

Epping Forest Community Safety Hub opening

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A new joint District Community Safety Hub bringing Epping Forest District Council and Essex Police closer together in the fight against local crime was officially launched on 20 July 2018.

Community Hub opening

(L-R) Council Leader Chris Whitbread, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Community Safety Sam Kane, Epping Forest District Council Chairman Richard Bassett, Assistant Chief Constable Andy Prophet, Essex Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst, and Dame Eleanor Laing MP, at the official launch of the new Epping Forest Community Safety Hub.

The Council and Essex Police joined forces, together with other agencies, to create the Hub, at the Civic Offices in Epping.

Guests, including Rt. Hon. Dame Eleanor Laing MP, Roger Hirst (Essex Police Fire and Crime Commissioner), Assistant Chief Constable Andy Prophet, Council Chairman Richard Bassett, and local councillors, joined Council and Police officers to open the Hub which has been in operation since the end of June 2018.

Stronger partnerships

The launch marks an even stronger partnership between Epping Forest District Council and Essex Police. The Hub comprises the Council’s Community Safety Team, a Police Sergeant and two experienced Police Constables all funded and tasked by the Council. The team is already working together with other partners involved with crime prevention and community safety.

Coordinated approach

The Council’s Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, Councillor Sam Kane, hosted the Launch and said: “Over recent years there has been a sustained demand for councils to increase the use of their powers to deal with anti-social behaviour, disorder and environmental crime. At the same time, the Government has introduced significant new legislation giving police and councils effective new powers to deal with these issues. Epping Forest District Council is already making use of the new powers but enforcement is often the main responsibility of the Police, which can lead to a disjointed approach. Better coordination through the creation of this unique Community Safety Hub will prove to be revolutionary for the District.”

Brilliant initiative

Rt. Hon. Dame Eleanor Laing unveiled the plaque for the Launch and said: “This is a brilliant initiative. I am genuinely delighted to unveil the plaque to mark the launch of the Epping Forest Community Safety Hub. There is in our area increasing fear of a rise in crime and I am pleased to be able to tell people that Epping Forest District Council in conjunction with Essex Police and our local community are doing something about it.

“I would like thank the district council, Essex Police and everyone who has been involved in making this ground-breaking initiative come together.”

First initiative of its kind

Councillor Sam Kane said: “I believe this is the first initiative of a district council both funding and tasking police officers anywhere in the country. I am confident it will become a flagship for others to follow. The Council and Essex Police are proud of the close links that we already have. The new Community Safety Hub is a powerful demonstration of our continuing and innovative partnership working.”

Chief Inspector Lewis Basford, District Commander for Epping Forest and Brentwood added: “This commitment is a fantastic demonstration of what local partnerships can do. It means more police, more problems solved, better engagement and ultimately safer communities.”

Epping Forest District Council will review its commitment to fund the three police officers after three years.

Further information

Picnic, music and Parade to celebrate Freedom of the District

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Residents are invited to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the RAF with a community picnic, parade, and music laid on by Epping Forest District Council at North Weald Airfield on Sunday 10 June 2018.

RAF 100 Parade and Picnic

March from North Weald

Members of 56 Squadron, which flew Hurricanes from North Weald, will commence proceedings as they march from North Weald Village Hall to the Airfield Gate Guardian with their newly acquired ‘Freedom of the District’ awarded by the Council last month.

Officers and members of 56 Squadron will be accompanied to the Airfield Memorial in Hurricane Way by the Epping Forest Pipe Band and the band of 56 Squadron ATC for the laying of wreaths, before proceeding to the Gate Guardian for a ceremonial inspection and afternoon of picnics and music with the Epping Forest (Brass) Band, Our Voices Choir and 1940’s style singer Diane Moore.

Free entry

Families are invited to join the celebrations at North Weald Airfield. Car parking and entry to the event is free. There will be food and drink concessions for anyone who doesn’t fancy bringing their own picnic.

The Gate Guardian is a replica of a Hurricane flown by 56 Squadron at North Weald. A Hurricane of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will perform flypasts during the parade inspection.

56 Squadron is one of the oldest and most distinguished units of the RAF. Formed during the Great War, it saw service in France as part of the Royal Flying Corps before the formation of the RAF on 1 April 1918.

Long history with RAF

Although North Weald is no longer an RAF base, having been bought by Epping Forest District Council in 1980, the airfield remains the spiritual home of 56 Squadron. The Squadron moved to North Weald in 1927 and remained until 1941. While based at North Weald, it suffered the first RAF loss of World War II,  covered the retreat from Dunkirk and found itself in the thick of the fighting during the Battle of Britain.

The Freedom of the District was bestowed on 56 Squadron at a special meeting of Epping Forest District Council on 24 April.

Outgoing Council Chairman David Stallan stood down at the local elections in May. As a North Weald Ward Councillor, he was especially proud of the part he played in bringing the Freedom of the District to Full Council. However, the Freedom awarded to 56 Squadron is District-wide, reflecting the much wider local involvement of the RAF.

“A true family event”

New Council Chairman, Councillor Richard Bassett, will welcome 56 Squadron back to North Weald.

He said: “RAF 100 and the Freedom of the District is very much in recognition of the wider role played by the RAF in our area.”

“Councillors from all sides of the chamber were so united in wishing to bestow this honour. Apart from North Weald, the RAF had airfields at Stapleford Abbotts and Willingale. Blake Hall was a centre of operations and the Balloon Site at RAF Chigwell was an intelligence centre as well as providing the barrage balloons that helped to protect London. A decoy or dummy airfield was also set up in my home area of Nazeing to lure enemy bombers away from their real targets.

“Other parts of the District were real targets too, including the munitions factories of Royal Ordnance in Waltham Abbey.”

“This is therefore a district-wide celebration of the RAF and everyone is invited to join us on 10 June. It will be a true family event.”

Event details

The parade sets off from North Weald Village Hall at 12.30pm. Residents can park their cars at North Weald Airfield before the parade arrives at 1.30pm with Diane Moore bringing the music to a close at around 4.45pm.

Line the parade route

Councillor Bassett added: “It would be great to see people lining the parade route from North Weald Village Hall to the Airfield Memorial, as well as enjoying their picnics and music on the Airfield. I hope the British Summer Sun shines on us. Bring sensible shoes, sunscreen and clothing for all weathers!

Celebration of grant aid success

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Recognising the valuable contribution the local community and voluntary sector does for the district was celebrated Friday 23 March at our grant aid celebration event.

Ongar In Bloom

Click to enlarge photo and then click to see more photos

Diverse mix of groups

A diverse mix of groups helping a wide spectrum of people across the District has received grants in the last year enabling them to continue their much needed and valuable work.

Vital and much needed services

Epping Forest District Council Chairman Councillor David Stallan said: “It’s so encouraging to see such a wide variety of groups receive these vital grants. This year we have given over £83,000 in grants and it’s great to see the improvements they are making within our communities.”

“The voluntary and community sectors do so much so for our District and its important their much needed hard work is recognised.”

“If you know of any local or community groups that could use our grant aid schemes help, get in contact today.”

Want to know more?

District Council Chief Executive moving to Sussex

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Media, Our activities, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Working with the council, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Glen Chipp has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of Horsham District Council. The West Sussex authority is due to confirm the decision at its Full Council meeting on Tuesday 19 December. He has commuted to Epping Forest District Council via the M25 since joining as Chief Executive in October 2012. He lives only 19 miles from Horsham.

Glen Chipp

What we have worked to achieve

Speaking following his appointment Mr Chipp said: “I want to thank everyone for all the support and friendship I have been offered in my five years with Epping Forest District Council including staff, councillors and an excellent Board of Directors. I think the Council has made great progress during my time. I look back with pride on the work we have achieved together, including the first new council housing built in the district for almost 30 years, Epping Forest Shopping Park, new leisure centre and domestic waste and recycling contracts, the extension of Epping Forest Museum and a host of other major projects. At the same time we have managed to freeze the Council Tax throughout with prospects for another zero percent increase likely next year.”

“Behind the scenes, Epping Forest District Council is also transforming the way we work, modernising and streamlining to protect and continue the delivery of those vital services our residents rely on so much.”

Preparing the way for the future

The Council is already progressing with a transformation process. Council Leader Chris Whitbread said: “We have already started planning for a new era. I hope to have an appointment in place by the time Glen leaves in March.”

Chris Whitbread continued: I would like to thank Glen for all his hard work over the last five years. He came to a solid and well run organisation. He has taken us forward and prepared the way for the future. As government funding falls we are aspiring to become financially independent, guaranteeing services through our own means. Glen has played a massive part in our progress. I know the long commute took its toll on him and his family. Horsham DC is to be congratulated on acquiring an excellent new Chief Executive. On behalf of the whole Council I want to wish Glen every success in his new role.”

Need help with your housing repairs?

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Need a housing repair, energy efficiency works or disabled adaptations? Got an empty home? Financial assistance for home-owners and private tenants is available.

Landscape

Am I eligible?

Under the Housing Assistance Policy there are several types of financial assistance available to home owner and private sector tenants.

What type of assistance is available?

  • Mandatory Disabled Facilities Grants are available to provide adaptations for disabled home owners and private tenants. Subject to qualifying criteria the mandatory grant will be for the full cost of the work up to a maximum of £30,000.

The Council also gives 3 main types of discretionary assistance; Decent Homes Repayable Assistance, Empty Homes Repayable Assistance and Small Works Repayable Assistance.

  • Decent Homes Repayable Assistance is financial assistance available to owner occupiers and long leaseholders to bring private homes up to the ‘Decent Homes Standard’. Subject to qualifying criteria the Assistance will be for the full cost of the work up to a maximum of £10,000.
  • Small Works Repayable Assistance is financial assistance available to owner occupiers and long leaseholders to remove hazards or repair defects that are likely to damage the fabric of a property. Subject to qualifying criteria the Assistance will be for the full cost of the work up to a maximum of £3,000.
  • Empty Homes Repayable Assistance is financial assistance available to persons intending to bring empty properties back into use and live in them as their home. Assistance is to a maximum of £10,000.

More financial options now available

Leader of the Council Councillor Chris Whitbread said: “Needing adaptations or repairs to your home can really put a strain on your finances, we want to give people a fair opportunity to carry out the works they need.”

“Under our new Housing Assistance Policy there are now more financial options available to home owners and private sector tenants.

So don’t put it off, get in touch today to see if you are eligible.”

More information

For more details on eligibility criteria and how to apply please contact

Residents give their views to the PFCC

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The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex (PFCC) Roger Hirst hosted a public meeting at the civic offices on Monday 20 December hearing resident’s views on crime in the district.

Watch the webcast

Roger Hirst PFCC and Caroline Wiggins of Epping Forest District Council

Working with you to keep our community safe

The public meeting gave residents a chance to hear from the police first-hand about budgets, current successes and where improvement is needed.

Safer, Greener and Transport portfolio holder Councillor Sam Kane said “It was so encouraging to see residents engaging with the Commissioner. The Epping Forest District has a strong sense of community which is demonstrated by the way we tackle these issues together, working with the police not against them.

“Our safer community’s team work closely with the Police and other agencies helping find actions to address your concerns. I look forward to seeing our working relationship grow, working with the Police, the Commissioner and our residents to keep our community safe”

Find out more about the PFCC