Young people team up with McDonalds for litter pick

Written on . Posted in Business, Chairman, Community, Democracy, Environmental health, Local business, Media, Out and about, Recycling and waste, Residents, Supporting business, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

St John’s School pupils put on plastic overalls and boots for a special litter pick at Lower Swaines recreation ground earlier in November. The event was supported and organised by volunteers from McDonalds based at Hastingwood and representatives from Epping Forest District Council.

The initiative was the idea of McDonalds franchisee Tony Fagg and included an art competition with the 3 winning pupils receiving awards and congratulations from the Vice-Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Tony Boyce.


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

Councillor Boyce said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in the event. Litter is one of the scourges of modern life. Whether we are a corporate giant like McDonalds, a council or individuals like the wonderful team of volunteers from St John’s school, we all need to do our bit for the environment.”

Councillor Boyce continued: “I particularly want to thank Tony Fagg and his staff at the McDonalds restaurant in Hastingwood. It is very good to see them taking such a keen interest in the environment and how they can work with the local community to tackle litter. Every day the restaurant staff conduct litter patrols in the areas around the restaurant. They pick up all litter they find, not just that of McDonalds. If we could instil some of that philosophy in our younger generations, just think what an amazing impact that would have on our whole district.”

Poster design competition

McDonalds organised the poster design competition with St John’s School’s Art Department and provided WH Smith voucher prizes for the top entries. The winning entry with the logo “Keep calm and bin it!” will be reproduced in the Hastingwood restaurant and car park.

Councillor Boyce and his wife Jan, McDonalds Franchisee Tony Fagg and Richard Gardiner, the council’s Environment & Neighbourhood Manager, judged the design competition.

Love where you live logoThe winning pupils were presented the awards on return to school.

The winners are

  1. Lauren Payne
  2. Marina Hewett
  3. Sophia Blackman

Councillor Boyce said: “There were an amazing 64 entries for this competition. The aim is for the winning entries to promote ‘Love Where You Live’ and encourage McDonalds customers and the local community to be ‘litter aware’.

The St John’s volunteers began their litter pick with a Health and Safety talk and information on Reduce, Reuse and Recycle by McDonalds.


Find out more about litter and the law.


Have your say on Essex bus service

Written on . Posted in Consultation, Out and about, Travel, Working with the council, Your area, Your council

Consultation has already began on the bus service Essex County Council (ECC) provides in your area, if you want to have your say please complete the survey before the 9 December. Copies of the consultation will also be available online at through libraries or by calling 0845 603 7631.

So far ECC  have received 1,500 responses but they would still like to receive your comments. On Monday 16 September, ECC began a twelve week formal public consultation which includes how it provides financial support to local bus services.

Bus service between Epping and Ongar

The local authority currently pays £7.9million for nearly 200 local bus services which generally run in the evenings, on Sundays or in rural locations. The authority is keen to ensure the bus services it provides meet, as far as possible, the essential travel needs of Essex residents and also offer the best value for taxpayers. However, maintaining expenditure at this level in the current financial climate is unsustainable and the county council is looking at where efficiency savings can be made.

The consultation is asking residents about their travel needs and what types of services are most important to them, but the consultation is not looking at individual bus services at this stage.

Essex County Councillor Rodney L Bass, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation said: “We need to review the Bus Strategy to make sure that the bus services we provide meet the essential travel needs of residents, offer the best value for taxpayers and can be sustained.

“Given the challenging economic climate, we must be realistic and accept that it is likely that not all needs across the county can be met and that the funding available in the coming years will be reduced.

“However, the views the consultees provide will be carefully considered and reviewed alongside information we already hold such as passenger numbers and the journeys passengers undertake. We are seeking to engage as many people as possible in this consultation so that decisions are made fairly and informed by public opinion.”

The consultation, plus all accompanying literature and documentation, including a comprehensive list of the bus services paid for by ECC, was available from 16 September.  Please note, there will be further consultation and opportunities to comment on the draft bus strategy when it is completed.  Once the new strategy has been finalised it there will be a series of area reviews across the County to allow services in each area to be looked at in the light of the new strategy.  Any changes are intended to be implemented between September 2014 and September 2015.

Wear jeans, change lives

Written on . Posted in Media, Working with the council, Your area, Your council

Happy Jeans for Genes Day!

Staff at Epping Forest District Council wore jeans to work today in return for a donation to the Jeans for Genes charity. £376.11 was raised.

Staff doing the Jeans for Genes conga!

‘Wear Jeans, Change Lives’ is the slogan for this years Jeans for Genes Day, raising money for Genetic Disorders UK which aims to change the world for children with genetic disorders.

Check out the Jeans for Genes website for more information.


Volunteers needed for Victim Support

Written on . Posted in Crime and safety, Local business, Media, Residents, Supporting business, Volunteering opportunities, Working with the council, Your area, Your community

Victim Support urgently needs volunteers to the Essex team to support people who have been victims of domestic violence. If you would like to help victims of crime, whilst developing your own skills, this could be the opportunity for you.

About Victim Support

Being a victim of physical and psychological abuse can be traumatic and leave long-lasting scars.

The charity is currently recruiting more volunteers to make sure that clients have the help they need when they need it – even if the crime has not been reported to the police.

During 2012 the charity’s staff and volunteer team managed almost 5,000 cases of domestic violence in Essex.

Being a volunteer

If you are interested in this opportunity, due to the nature of this role prospective volunteers will need to demonstrate proven experience of working with vulnerable people, either professionally or in previous volunteering roles.

The ability to devote 4 to 5 hours volunteering time per week is preferred and availability of personal transport is desirable. The charity reimburses all volunteer out of pocket expenses.

If you fit the bill, Victim Support will provide an excellent, accredited training package and continuous support, which can be used to build on your personal and professional development. The next training event is planned for October 2013.

Epping Forest District Council’s Safer Communities Team is supporting Victim Support’s current drive for more volunteers.

How to apply

If you’d like to volunteer for Victim Support in Essex, please register your interest.

Call 01277 357555 for more information or an application form.

Help for victims

If anyone in Essex is a victim of domestic violence, they can access the free and confidential, client-centred services by calling 0845 4565 995 or go to


Waltham Abbey street cleaner picks up £150 recycling prize

Written on . Posted in Councillors, Epping, Recycling and waste, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Your environment

Sean Watson scooped a £150 prize after he filled nearly 500 bags of recycling on his Waltham Abbey street cleaning round between January and April. He was congratulated by officials at Epping Forest District Council and his bosses from Sita Municipal on Monday 15 July. Councillor Will Breare-Hall, Environment portfolio holder for the council and Nick Browning, General Manager for Sita shared the honours of presenting a cheque and certificate to Sean for his sterling work.

Epping Forest District has one of the best recycling records in the country with more than 60% of domestic refuse recycled. Council bosses and contract managers at Sita decided to see how much they could achieve if they also tried to recycle as much waste as possible from the street sweeping and public waste bin service. Sita’s workforce was set the challenge with a promise to reward the best performing operative with a cheque equivalent to the savings on disposal costs. Sean managed to recycle 497 sacks of waste picked from the streets and waste bins of Waltham Abbey between January and April.

Almost 1,500 sacks were recycled across the district as a whole, diverting nearly five tonnes of plastic, tin cans, glass, paper and cardboard from landfill to recycling in just three months.

Sean was delighted with his award which he is putting towards a holiday later this year.

Picture Caption:

L-R Epping Forest District Council’s David Marsh (Waste Management Officer), Councillor Will Breare-Hall (Environment Portfolio Holder) and Assistant Director Kim Durrani, with Sita’s Sean Watson, Dave Swire (Assistant General Manager), Nick Browning (General Manager for Sita Municipal) and Melvin Dhorasoo (Senior Contracts Manager)


Trees planted at Roding Valley Meadows

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Environmental health, Loughton, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Volunteering opportunities, Working with the council, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

750 trees were planted by local volunteers and residents of the Oakwood Hill Estate in Debden. They joined Essex Wildlife Trust and Epping Forest Countrycare to plant trees along the boundary between Oakwood Hill and Roding Valley Meadows Local Nature Reserve.

The tree planting is part of a larger project aimed at improving this area of the nature reserve, creating a more inviting and picturesque place for local residents and visitors to enjoy.

Over 30 volunteers turned up to help with the planting. They included local families, councillors and even Police Community Support Officers.

Earlier in the year the large patch of bramble which had grown along the boundary line was cleared, litter removed and a new post and wire fence was erected by the Reserve Warden and his volunteers. The latest stage in the project was to plant a native mixed species hedgerow along the fence line.

Species planted included hazel, field maple, hawthorn, dogwood and dog rose.

One Business Briefing – brimming with news for local businesses

Written on . Posted in Abandoned vehicles, Animal welfare, Buckhurst Hill, Building control, Business, Business rates, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Doing business with the council, Drainage, Energy efficiency, Epping, Grants, Gypsy and traveller, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Media, Older people, Olympics, Ongar, Planning, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Trees and landscapes, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

The January 2013 edition of ‘One Business Briefing’ is now available.

In this edition Reed in Partnership gives local businesses advice on how they can use Government funding to get staff job relevant qualifications at no cost to the employer or employee. It also introduces MP Eleanor Laing’s new Business Forum, reports on current tourism development work, including a key event on 31 January 2013 to develop tourism within the area and much more.

Read the January 2013 edition – One Business Briefing

Produced by Epping Forest District Council, One Epping Forest and local partners the briefing provides information for businesses and those looking to start up in business in the Epping Forest district. The briefing is designed to report on business funding opportunities / access to finance, business support, workshops / events for business, town centre news and other local economic development initiatives.

If you would like to receive future editions of ‘One Business Briefing’ by email please email

Business Briefing hot off the press and brimming with news for local businesses

Written on . Posted in Abandoned vehicles, Animal welfare, Buckhurst Hill, Building control, Business, Business rates, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Doing business with the council, Drainage, Energy efficiency, Epping, Grants, Gypsy and traveller, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Media, Noise, Older people, Olympics, Ongar, Planning, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Trees and landscapes, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

The October 2012 edition of ‘one business briefing’ is available. Produced by EFDC, One Epping Forest and local partners the briefing provides information for businesses and those looking to start up in business in the Epping Forest District.  The briefing  is designed to report on  business funding opportunities/access to finance, business support, workshops/events for business and local economic development initiatives.

The October edition highlights a new training grant available from Essex County Council which is available to businesses but those eligible must be quick as the grant is only available from now until March 2013. The briefing also highlights specific support available to manufacturing and construction businesses in the Epping Forest district.  If you are looking to set-up in business the briefing directs individuals to support being offered by HMRC, including its free and informal workshop sessions held in Epping.

Read the October 2012 edition – One Business Briefing

If you would like to receive future editions of ‘one business briefing’ directly to your email inbox please email

Staff fundraising on Jeans for Genes day

Written on . Posted in Media, Out and about, Working with the council, Your council

Jeans for Genes DayCouncil staff raised hundreds of pounds by having a dress-down day supporting the Jeans for Genes campaign. Staff were allowed to wear their jeans to work in return for a £2 donation.

Jeans for Genes 2012
Jeans for Genes is organised by four national charities and raises funds for research into serious genetic disorders affecting thousands of children such as cystic fibrosis, haemophilia and sickle cell. Funds also provide laboratory equipment and facilities, as well as valuable advice and support for families.

Jeans for Genes provides funding for the care and support of children with genetic disorders. We also help to fund research into genetics and the development of effective treatments and cures.

Genetic disorders are caused by an alteration in DNA. This may mean that either a gene or several genes are missing, repeated or in the wrong order. Altered genes can affect a child’s senses, movement, ability to learn or appearance.

In the UK, one baby in every 33 is born with a genetic disorder or birth defect, that’s one born every 30 minutes whose life could be affected. There are over 4,000 recognised genetic disorders, some of which have no current treatment.

Jeans for Genes Day website

Improving Essex roads

Written on . Posted in Residents, Travel, Working with the council, Your environment

Essex County Council (ECC) is making good on its pledge to improve the condition of the county’s roads, with around 30,000 potholes repaired across the county since 1 April 2011.

With the effect of three harsh winters taking a severe toll on the county’s roads, ECC pledged £4m in 2011/12 to improve the network by fixing potholes and other damage. In addition the county received £5.3m from the extra funding made available for local authorities by the Department for Transport (DfT).

Latest figures show that ECC had completed or programmed over 31,000 defect repairs up to the end of September, which equates to repairing around 125,000 square metres of Essex highway.

ECC has varied its response to defects in different parts of the county in order to achieve the best value for money. For example, in the south of the county ‘seek and fix’ gangs were employed to tackle areas where there were a number of potholes in close proximity – this resulted in high productivity and a low cost per repair.

Following the effects of three severe winters, ECC has sought to strengthen the network by making it more resilient to weather damage in future. In certain areas carriageway resurfacing has been undertaken to address more widespread deterioration, with complete lengths of road treated during the same visit where possible.

The additional funding provided by the DfT has now all been allocated, however ECC will continue to carry out pothole repairs using its own budget.

County Councillor Tracey Chapman, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation said: “Maintaining and improving the condition of our road network is one of Essex County Council’s top priorities, and we have made excellent progress in repairing the damage caused by the severe winter weather.

“Our teams are continuing to carry out repairs on a daily basis across the county, and we are constantly inspecting the network to ensure that our roads are kept in the condition that our residents deserve.”

In order to ensure safety and minimise disruption to the road network while repairs are being carried out, ECC prioritises work on defects that present the most immediate safety risk.

In prioritising defects that have been reported it is likely that ECC will not be able to schedule the more minor matters for repairs. In these instances we will monitor any change in circumstances through our schedule of inspections that are undertaken on all public roads in Essex.

When inspecting a defect our engineers will assign it to one of the following priority levels for repair, depending on its severity:

  • Priority 1 – requiring a ‘make safe’ or repair within two hours of being identified by an inspector
  • Priority 2 – requiring a ‘make safe’ or repair by the end of the next working day from being identified by an inspector
  • Priority 3 – non urgent defect requiring planned and programmed repair to allow coordination with other works, generally within three months
  • Priority 4 – next available programme – low priority sites

Winter Weather Damage 2010/2011 (pdf 139 KB)