Free activities at Healthy Living Festival launch

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Health, Loughton, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Thursday 30 June 2016 marks the launch of the Debden Festival of Healthy Living and we are offering you and your family free taster activity sessions from 3pm to 7pm at Debden Campsite and Conference Centre.

There will be a number of activities for children, adults, the over 50’s and the whole family to enjoy

  • a forest buggy walk
  • a lifewalk
  • Taoist Tai Chi session
  • Play in the forest
  • Family yoga
  • Orienteering
  • Mountain biking

With the longer days and warmer weather coming, there’s no better time to improve your health and wellbeing by getting active!

Try it for free

Yes! You read correctly – try all of the above for free! So why not come with your friends and family for the day, bring a picnic or enjoy our tasty BBQ? Whether your aim is to try something new or spend some quality time with your family, come along and enjoy the day with us!

Summer activities for all

Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder, Councillor Helen Kane said: “The event on 30 June is the perfect opportunity to showcase all of the exciting activities that will be available to all over the summer. The Council are offering activities for children, adults, the over 50’s and the whole family from 30 June – 24 July, there is something for everyone and for all abilities.”

Councillor Kane continued: “Don’t be shy, come and try something new and plan to get active this summer! Many activities are offering free first sessions too, so book now!”

Debden Festival of Healthy Living

Epping Forest present findings to Overview and Scrutiny

Written on . Posted in Animal welfare, Business, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Consultation, Councillors, Countryside and wildlife, Democracy, Media, Meetings, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Working with the council, Your area, Your council

Paul Thomson, Superintendent of Epping Forest and Judy Adams, Chairman of the Friends of Epping Forest, presented the outcome of the City of London’s recent consultation to the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday (7 June).

COL EppingForest

Ensuring the forests future

Forest Management costs £5 million and attracts 4.4 million visitors each year. The Friends of Epping Forest have been active for 45 years and encourage enjoyment of the Forest. They see this as the best method of ensuring its future.


Pressure to open up the Forest for cycling, access for all and creating a safe place for visitors were among the top issues to emerge.

Maintenance of the forest including mowing and grass cutting were a main issue. The consultation found the concept of commoners’ rights and cattle grazing were mostly supported. An Introduction of fees and charges to car parks as well as speeding was also a big concern. Mr Thompson also expressed unhappiness at the granting of some recent planning applications.

Litter is an ongoing problem. 150,000 bags of rubbish are removed each year. People want to see more bins. Fly-tipping costs thousands of pounds a year. People do not want to ban commercial dog-walking. There is support for encouraging filming as a means of income generation.

Copped Hall is one historic site prompting debate about conservation. Paul Thompson and Judy Adams agreed that the Forest is not a park.

Moving forward

Horses have been part of the Forest landscape for centuries. Paul Thomson acknowledged that current licensing arrangements could be improved. He also recognised the need to look at the deer sanctuary in Theydon Bois and also advised management of the deer population is linked closely to road safety.

Following a long and detailed question and answer session, Overview and Scrutiny Committee Chairman Councillor Mary Sartin thanked Paul Thomson and Judy Adams for a very informative presentation.

Nu Bar opening hours cut following review

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Crime and safety, Environmental health, Licensing, Local business, Loughton, Noise, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Councillors are cracking down on anti-social behaviour and criminal activity associated with Nu Bar in Loughton. Following a review of evidence from local residents and Essex Police, councillors have cut the opening hours by moving the closing time from 02:30am to 00:30am, with no alcohol to be served after midnight. The only exceptions to the new closing times are special occasions such as Christmas and New Year.

Chance to appeal

The Licence Holder, Greene King, has 21 days from the date of the decision to appeal. If Greene King accept the new conditions, Nu Bar remains closed until the time permitted for an appeal has ended or any appeal is completed.

Conditions re-emphasized and reinforced

In addition to the reduction in opening hours, Epping Forest District Council has re-emphasized and reinforced a raft of other conditions designed to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour. These include high quality CCTV and facial recognition technology, door staff, dress codes to prevent people hiding their identity, training for staff in matters as diverse as sales to underage children and drug abuse, maintenance of an incident register, the banning of glass drink ware, digital ID scanning and restrictions on the number of people that can be in the smoking area at any one time.

Protecting residents

A spokesperson for Epping Forest District Council said: “We would like to thank local residents and Essex Police for their hard work in pulling the evidence together. We have a legal duty as the licensing authority to take an impartial independent view based on law. Licensing Committee councillors listened very carefully to all sides of the argument but felt a clear need to impose these restrictions and protect our residents from the nuisance and harm caused by late-night rowdy behaviour at Nu Bar.”

He continued: “We expect Nu Bar’s owners to take heed of this tough stance and understand that the kind of behaviour associated with their premises over the last few months is intolerable and unacceptable. Essex Police catalogued eight separate incidents in the last few months, including one involving 40 people. Local residents have the right to a reasonable degree of peace, quiet and security.”

Important information regarding EU Referendum

Written on . Posted in Councillors, Democracy, Elections, Leader, Media, Residents, Working with the council, Your area, Your council, Your home

Following reports of incorrect information being shared through social media, Epping Forest District Council’s Electoral Services team have been inundated with enquiries from residents asking to register for the EU Referendum on 23 June 2016, when they are already registered.

EU Referendum

A Council spokesperson said: “You do not need to register for the EU Referendum if you have already received a poll card for the upcoming Police Crime Commissioner (PCC) and Local Elections on 5 May 2016. If you are on the Electoral Register you will be included in all Elections and Referendums.

“You only need to register for the EU Referendum if you have moved after 18 April 2016, in which case you need to do so by Tuesday 7 June 2016”

Youth councillors shine at O&S

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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.


Read the latest business briefing

Written on . Posted in Community, Local business, Media, Older people, Performance, Residents, Supporting business, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

The Winter 2016 One Business Briefing is out now and available to read.

The One Business Briefing magazine for businesses brings news, advice and information from around the Epping Forest District including:

  • Energy Efficiency for Business
  • Ultrafast Broadband for Business
  • Exporting is GREAT
  • Digital Workshops
  • Freelancing

Download and read

Winter 2016 One Business Briefing

Numerous opportunities for businesses

Councillor Anne Grigg, Economic Development Portfolio Holder said ‘In this issue there are numerous opportunities for businesses, new and old, to access the support and information they need to make their own next steps towards becoming one of the county’s leading businesses in the future. From digital workshops on social media to taxation webinars; and from toolkits on data protection and superfast broadband to global exporting opportunities we hope that there is something here for you and your business.’

Countrycare volunteers need you!

Written on . Posted in Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Older people, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Volunteering opportunities, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Interested in the environment, keeping fit and making a difference to your community? If the answer is yes, why not join our intrepid team of Epping Forest Counytrycare volunteers?

All ages and abilities

Epping Forest Countrycare has great volunteering opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. They meet every Thursday and transport can be arranged so anyone can join in.

The Countrycare team is able to tackle ambitious and challenging environmental management work in the 9 Local Nature Reserves and other Local Wildlife Sites in the district thanks to the support, experience, dedication and support of its volunteers.

Improve your levels of health and happiness

‘I wholeheartedly recommend anyone with spare time on a Thursday to come to our volunteer group’ said Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder Councillor Gary Waller. ‘Volunteering is a great way to learn more about our beautiful countryside and meet new people.’

‘If you want to get outdoors and improve the local environment, and at the same time improve your levels of health and happiness, please come and join our merry band of Countrycare volunteers.’

Get involved

Green volunteers maintain district’s beauty

Written on . Posted in Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Media, Older people, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Volunteering opportunities, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

The amount of time local people give to volunteering for Countrycare, the council’s Countryside Management Service, increased by 10% last year up to near record levels.

Countrycare volunteers at Bobbingworth

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

A total of 739 days of voluntary work were given in 2015 this equates to 4,434 hours donated. In financial terms at a rate of £7 per hour this has saved the council £31,038. 55 people volunteered during the year including 8 people who were new to volunteering. Work is carried out in all conditions whatever the weather throughout the year.

52 tasks have been completed at 20 different sites across the district. Chigwell Row Wood and Roughtalleys Wood in North Weald were visited the most often with 7 visits each. In 2015 the Countrycare team have worked with

  • 6 Parish and Town Councils
  • Essex Wildlife Trust
  • Woodland Trust
  • Harlow District Council

Making a difference in their local community

As well as routine maintenance of the Reserves they have replaced all of the benches and repaired fencing in Roughtalleys Wood, installed new steps to make access to the site easier at Weald Common, constructed a boardwalk at Linders Field, Buckhurst Hill and constructed and installed bat boxes at Bobbingworth and bird boxes at Norton Heath.

The new Community Orchard for Loughton was cleared and a variety of new trees planted by the volunteers. They also carried out wildflower surveys at all of the Countrycare reserves.

Countrycare is very appreciative of the work and effort put in by its band of volunteers in all weathers and has tried to make the work interesting and varied throughout the year. Indeed 5 volunteers attended over 40 of our tasks in the last calendar year.

A great volunteering opportunity

Councillor Gary Waller, Cabinet member with responsibility for Countrycare said: “We’re so grateful to our Countrycare volunteers who donate their time to ensure Epping Forest’s green spaces are maintained, as well as working hard to provide habitats for an abundance of wildlife.”

“Epping Forest Countrycare offers great volunteering opportunities, meeting every Thursday come rain or shine, with transport arranged so anyone can join in. If you’re interested in being outdoors, keeping fit and making a difference in your community, as well as socialising with likeminded people, get in touch.”

Get involved

Countrycare can tackle more ambitious and challenging management work on the 9 Local Nature Reserves and other Local Wildlife Sites because of the support, experience, dedication and support of its volunteers.

Interested in becoming a Countrycare volunteer?

Find out how you can get involved