Report non-emergency crimes at council offices

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Crime and safety, Democracy, Doing business with the council, Epping, Local business, Loughton, Media, Noise, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Epping Forest District Council have provided an online reporting point where people can report non-emergency crimes and minor traffic collisions to Essex Police.

Working in partnership with Essex Police

A computer terminal has been installed in the reception area in the civic offices, High Street, Epping, for members of the public to access Essex Police’s website and online reporting services.

Access to other reporting services

The terminal will also provide residents with access to our reporting services for issues such as fly tipping, noise nuisance, missed bin collections, benefit fraud and links to Essex County Council where highways issues can be reported. The front counters of both Epping and Loughton police stations closed to the public in April this year. Loughton remains an operational base.

Reassuring presence

Chief Inspector, Denise Morrissey said: ”We know people have an emotional attachment with their local police stations. They provide a reassuring, visible presence in the community.”

”However the reality is that many, including Epping, were greatly under-used by the public and we cannot afford to keep buildings open which are expensive to maintain at a time when we are having to make huge financial savings.”

”We also need to modernise the way in which the public can contact us. Many people prefer to report non-emergency collisions and crimes online and our new website allows this.”

”Thanks to our partners at Epping Forest District Council people can now walk into the council offices and use this computer terminal to access information about Essex Police and our online reporting services whilst going about their other daily business.”

”However we would still encourage people who need us in an emergency or who are in immediate danger to dial 999.”

Computer access point – a real bonus

Councillor Gary Waller, portfolio holder for Safer, Greener and Transport at Epping Forest District Council said: “Anyone with a home computer or smart phone can access the Essex Police website anywhere, but for the significant number of local residents still offline, or for those visiting the town who are away from their computer or device, the computer access point at Epping Forest District Council will be a real bonus.”

”Residents will be able to report non-emergency crimes whenever the offices are open. We are not the police and our office is not a police station, but I hope people will appreciate the ability to drop in and use our facilities when the need arises.”

Working with Essex Police

Convenient way to contact Essex Police

Roger Hirst, Police & Crime Commissioner for Essex said: ”I welcome the provision of this access point in the heart of the Epping community, and thank the district council for their close working with Essex Police.”

”I encourage everyone to report crime and anti-social behaviour to police and partner agencies. You can also use the terminal to report minor traffic collisions. I hope you find this facility in Epping’s civic offices provides a valuable and convenient additional means of contacting your police force.”

Online reporting point

Reception staff are trained to assist people who may need help using the computer terminal. The online reporting point will be available to the public during the civic offices opening hours

  • 9am to 5.15pm Monday to Thursday
  • 9am to 5pm on Friday
  • Closed on Saturday and Sunday


Business newsletter packed with great advice

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Councillors, Grants, Local business, Media, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Supporting business, Working with the council, Your area, Your community, Your council

Read the 12th edition of our One Business Briefing newsletter with all the latest business news for the Epping Forest district.

One Business Briefing - Summer 2016

15 great articles

  1. Epping Forest Broadband Business Breakfast
  2. BEST Pop-up Business Café
  3. Innovative business premises come to Loughton
  4. LSCC Growth Commission sets out 20 year vision
  5. Corporate Fraud: Protect your business
  6. Cyber Threat Awareness Conference
  7. Upcoming tourism conference – new Autumn date
  8. Town & Village Centres Opportunities Fund launched
  9. INVEST Essex Innovative Engineering Seminar
  10. New tourism website launch
  11. Funding for low carbon business initiatives
  12. Markets Matter: Village Hall sets up local produce market
  13. Focus On: Online learning for business
  14. HMRC webinars for the self-employed
  15. One Business Briefing: Let us know what you think!

Opportunities for businesses

Councillor Anne Grigg, Economic Development Portfolio Holder said: “We have another packed edition for you with articles covering topics as varied as corporate and cyber fraud, an artisan craft market, funding available for low carbon initiatives and an exciting new business premises initiative.”

“It is fantastic to be able to look back on a very successful business support event in July at the BEST Pop-Up Café whilst also looking forward to an exciting business breakfast in September that will explore the world of ultrafast broadband and the opportunities it brings for businesses.”

“Continuing the internet theme we also have an in depth article on online learning for businesses, details of a range of HMRC online webinars and the launch of a new tourism website for Epping Forest district’s visitor economy.”


Hillhouse planning application submitted

Written on . Posted in Community, Consultation, Democracy, Local plan / planning our future, Meetings, Older people, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

An outline planning application for a new development in the heart of Waltham Abbey has been submitted. The plans for a new leisure centre, health centre and sixty independent living properties for older people would see the development at Hillhouse, on the Ninefields Estate.

Plans developed in partnership

Drawn up in partnership by Epping Forest District Council, Essex County Council and NHS England, the plans come following a community engagement weekend held earlier in the year involving local residents, businesses and other interested parties.

Milestone reached

Councillor Helen Kane, Epping Forest District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Community Services said: “This is another milestone reached in bringing forward fantastic new facilities for Hillhouse and Waltham Abbey, as well as the Epping Forest District as a whole.”

She continued: ”We have listened carefully to what residents have been telling us and, at a recent meeting that local councillors and senior officers held with local residents, we heard loud and clear that there was only limited support for a new play area and outdoor gym trail, and that residents would prefer to keep at least one playing pitch in the area.  So we have changed some of our plans for the planning application as a result, and now intend to provide a mini soccer grass pitch for use by under 7/8 year olds instead.”

A plan that will truly benefit the community

Cllr John Spence CBE, Essex County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for Housing added: “Land owned by the public sector – whichever part of the public sector – is owned by the taxpayers, so it is critical that all public agencies work together, either to dispose of such land or to ensure it is used to best effect, and this is a great example of partners working collaboratively towards a development that will truly benefit the community.”

“Within the Epping Forest area, as in other parts of the county, there is a real need for independent living properties designed to support older people, and with an ageing population in Essex we will see an emphasis by the County Council on this type of development in the future.”


Alison Cowie, Head of Commissioning, NHS England (Essex) said, “There is a long established need to find long term sustainable premises for the relocation of the Maynard Court Surgery. The current premises do not meet current standards and no longer provide the space required for the current list size of the practice, which has seen substantial growth over the last few years and is set to continue to grow with future development plans in the area.”

West Essex CCG said: “West Essex CCG supports the regeneration of the Ninefields site as an ideal opportunity for a new health centre without the need to move services from the current area. It will enable an increased number and type of services, while at the same time providing opportunities to improve the health and wellbeing  of local residents.”

Have your say

The plan will now go through the planning process with the opportunity for residents to comment, with a decision likely in November.  If approved, the three public sector partners will then seek detailed planning permission for their element of the overall development next year.

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.’’

Ultrafast broadband for Stapleford Tawney

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, 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, Your money

The next phase of Gigaclear’s Rural Challenge Project plans to deliver ultrafast broadband to Stapleford Tawney and the surrounding area.

Gigaclear broadband community event

Gigaclear will be holding a Q&A event at Abridge Village Hall, 39 Ongar Road on Wednesday 13 July 2016 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm, at which residents and local businesses are invited to ask any questions they have.

The Rural Challenge Project, funded by Epping Forest District Council, Essex County Council, UK Government and Gigaclear, forms part of the Superfast Essex broadband rollout programme which aims to give 116,000 premises across Essex access to superfast broadband by 2020.

Benefits of fibre technology

  • Speed – the minimum speed provided is 50Mbps and with 1000Mbps available, you could download a 3GB high definition film in 53 seconds
  • Capacity – all of your family can use online services on multiple devices at the same time
  • Fibre cables are laid underground – so they are not subject to disruption due to weather changes
  • The same level of service for all – regardless of the distance from the connection
  • Uninterrupted streaming – with no buffering from the network

Technology and Support Services Portfolio Holder, Councillor Alan Lion said: “I’m delighted that many rural customers in the Gigaclear service area will be able to take advantage of the fibre delivered ultrafast service”.

Register your interest in the event on 13 July 2016

Use the postcode checker to see whether your area will be covered

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.


Stars shine bright at civic awards

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Community, Councillors, Media, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Performance, Residents, Volunteering opportunities, Working with the council, Young people, Your community, Your council

It was a bittersweet Epping Forest District civic awards ceremony at Gilwell Park on Friday 18 March as councillors and guests came together to honour the district’s finest.

Watch our video

In pictures

Civic Awards 2016

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

Citizen of the Year

The evening hosted by the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Elizabeth Webster, culminated with the announcement of the prestigious Citizen of the Year Award to Thornwood resident and Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator Mick Sheen. Mick passed away suddenly on 30 January. He knew he had been nominated for the award but did not know that he was the winner. Colin Green of Toot Hill was highly commended for his long years of service to Essex Police and volunteer work in and around Ongar.

Chairman Liz Webster paid tributes to all the award winners but particularly Mick Sheen whose family were understandably unable to attend. Mick’s friends Caroline Wiggins and Colin Freeman accepted the award on his family’s behalf.

Chairman Webster said: ‘I hope this recognition will give Mick’s family some small comfort at such a difficult time. Our hearts and wishes are with his wife June, daughters Samantha and Sue and the rest of their family.’

Volunteer Team of the Year

Epping Forest Countrycare received a special Volunteer Team of the Year award. Ray Ellis, Cherry McCredie, Polly Nichols, Jack Welchman, Mary Dodd, Pam Mayes, Abigail Oldham and Kevin Mason received the award on behalf of all the district’s Countrycare volunteers.

Young Citizen of the Year

Molly Gayler from Lambourne End is the Epping Forest District Young Citizen of the Year. Introducing the award, Vice-Chairman of Epping Forest Council, Councillor Jeane Lea described Molly’s wonderful work supporting children with disabilities and her passion for sport. Samantha Burton and Jordan Michaelson, both from Waltham Abbey received commendations in the Young Citizen category. Ellouise Lemon who also received a commendation was unable to attend the ceremony.

Community Service Medals

Councillor Mary Sartin introduced the Community Service Medals awarded to Sub Officer Jonathan Ford of Red Watch, Loughton (Essex Fire and Rescue Service), Collette Howell represented by Stuart Miller (East of England Ambulance Service), and PC Paul Richards (Essex Police).

Youth Council Cup

Epping Forest District Youth Council Cup winners Joseph Pasco, Malachi Fontenelle, Chloe McKendrick and Doncho Atanassov were introduced by Councillor Richard Morgan.

Sports and Creativity Awards

Councillor Richard Morgan also invited Naomi Harryman of Thornwood to receive the Sports Award of £1,000 from the Chairman. Taylor Danson, Allie Munro and Lynne Jefferies of The Shambles Theatre Company received the Creativity Award for £1,500 to support their ground-breaking work holding violence against women up to the spotlight and tackling the issues around mental health for men.

Chairman’s Charity

Master of Ceremonies Ted Prior announced that almost £1,000 had been raised for the Chairman’s Charity, the Royal British Legion, in a raffle during the evening.


Could you be a councillor?

Written on . Posted in Community, Councillors, Democracy, Elections, Media, Out and about, Residents, Working with the council, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Potential candidates planning to stand in the local elections on 5 May 2016 need to start thinking about their nomination.

Epping Forest District Council has published updated guidance for candidates and agents on its website and we are also holding an information evening for candidates and agents at 6pm on 18 April at the civic offices in Epping.

Ballot boxes ready

District, Town and Parish elections

21 of Epping Forest District Council’s 58 seats are likely to be contested along with several town and parish councils.

Candidates have until the Close of Nominations at 4pm on Thursday 7 April to submit nomination forms to us. Candidate details will then be posted on our website by the weekend of 9 & 10 April 2016.

Get the guide

Download the information guide for prospective councillors

A busy year

Epping Forest District Council’s Chief Executive Glen Chipp is the Returning Officer for local elections said: “It’s going to be a busy year. With the elections for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex (PCC) being held on the same day as the local district, town and parish elections, it’s going to be complicated and hectic.”

“As polls close for the PCC and council elections, many of those people involved will be straight back on the campaign trail for the EU Referendum.”

“Elections involve a lot of rules and procedures. I can’t recommend strongly enough that anyone thinking of standing as a candidate or helping as an agent avoids the pitfalls by reading the guidance and attending the information evening.”

Timing of the election counts

Friday 6 May 2016

  • Count – PCC, District and Parish Council first verification stage
  • Time – Starts 8.30am, finish by noon
  • Location – Theydon Bois Village Hall
  • Count – PCC count stage 1
  • Time – Starts 1pm
  • Location – Theydon Bois Village Hall
  • Count – PCC count stage 2 (if required)
  • Time – Once notified by the Police Area Returning Officer (PARO) that second count required
  • Location – Theydon Bois Village Hall

Saturday 7 May 2016

  • Count – District and Parish Council second stage count/results
  • Time – Starting at 9am
  • Location – Debden Park High School, Loughton

Counting for the EU Referendum will take place overnight following the close of polls at 10pm on 23 June 2016. Results from the Epping Forest district will go to the regional returning officer for amalgamation with results from every other part of the UK. The overall results are not expected to be announced until the following morning 24 June 2016.

Count over 2 days

Following the close of polling stations at 10pm on 5 May, the counting of votes will start the following morning on Friday 6 May at Theydon Bois Village Hall.

Priority will be given to completing the count for the Police and Crime Commissioner. We will be forwarding the result to a central count centre in Colchester for amalgamation with the results from all the other districts and boroughs across Essex.

The PCC election uses the single transferable vote system which may require a second count to be undertaken.

Count staff will then return for a second day on Saturday 7 May at Debden Park School to count the votes for the District, Town and Parish Councils.