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

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.

 

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

Apprenticeship opportunities promoted

Written on . Posted in Community, Jobs, Loughton, Media, Out and about, Residents, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Young people working with the council’s apprenticeship scheme spoke with potential future apprentices at Epping Forest College’s Careers Fest on 28 January 2016.

Epping Forest College Careers Fest 2016

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

The 10 apprentices were at the careers fest to promote the apprenticeship opportunities Epping Forest District Council has to offer. Business admin apprentices Becky, Tyler, Sian, Jay, Amber, Becca, Emily and construction apprentice Zach, were joined by 2 previous construction apprentices Jake and Jake.

They professionally and confidently answered questions on what the apprenticeship entails, how long it lasts, what support is offered and what it’s really like to work for the council. The apprentices presented the apprenticeship scheme as a viable future opportunity for people no matter what their passion is. After speaking with young people and their parents, many signed up to be contacted for the next scheme.

Very rewarding

Becky Linford, business admin apprentice said: “The nicest thing for me about the carers fest was being able to let the younger members of the public know about what we have to offer. I don’t think many people knew what we had to offer so speaking to them and answering any questions they had felt very rewarding.”

“It was really nice to have a mix of both new and old apprentices present. This enabled us to speak to the public about the process of the apprenticeship as well as what happens after the apprenticeship.”

Positive and complimentary comments

Epping Forest College said: “A very big thank you to you and all your colleagues for participating in our Careers Fest. We have had extremely positive and complimentary comments about the evening from parents, students and staff. Students and their parents appreciated the opportunity to talk to potential employers and practising professionals about their plans for the future.”

Find out more

Whether it’s ICT, PR, accountancy, construction, or planning, legal, arts and sports … there’s something for everyone! The future opportunities are endless.

 

Council powered by the sun

Written on . Posted in Councillors, Energy efficiency, Epping, Media, Residents, Working with the council, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Solar panels have been installed on 2 roofs at the civic offices in Epping, saving the council money on it’s energy bills and reducing it’s carbon emissions.

  • 2 photovoltaic solar panel arrays
  • covering 302 square metres
  • a total of 184 solar panels (92 on each roof)
  • life expectancy 25 years
  • cost £72k – pay back just over 6 years
  • annual saving £10k
  • annual carbon footprint reduction 23,000kgs

An excited Cllr Lion shows off roof A

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

Annual savings of £10k

We’ve estimated the 2 photovoltaic solar panel arrays will pay back the original investment of £72k in just over 6 years. The annual savings are estimated to be worth over £10k over the expected 25 years of the solar panels life.

Generating an estimated 43,914 kWh of energy per annum, the solar panels should cut the council’s carbon footprint by around 23,000kgs per year.

Harnessing the power of the sun 

Councillor Alan Lion, Technology & Support Services Portfolio Holder said: “It’s very exciting, harnessing the power of the sun is a great way to reduce our running costs. I’m really pleased we’ve been able to reduce the council’s carbon footprint and at the same time save taxpayers money. It’s a win win situation for us.”

 

Volunteer to preserve your local history

Written on . Posted in Community, Media, Museum, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Volunteering opportunities, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Your area, Your community, Your council

“Volunteering is fun, rewarding and enriches lives, come and give it a go!” says Katie Weston, volunteer coordinator at Epping Forest District Museum.

Epping Forest District Museum Volunteers

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

“Our museum collection volunteers come from all over the district and meet twice a week to catalogue and document new objects. In 2016 volunteers will be based at the newly refurbished Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey.

We’re always looking for new volunteers

“Volunteers are a mix of ages and interests. Some are here simply because they love history, others to learn new skills. One of our volunteers is using the sessions to gain experience to get future work in a museum” said Katie.

“We’re currently looking for new Visitor Assistant Volunteers. These volunteers will help engage visitors and interpret our collections, it’s a really exciting role and we’re thrilled to be expanding our volunteer team. I can offer them a fun, friendly and interesting environment to work in. If you’re interested in volunteering call me on 01992 716882 or email me at kweston@eppingforestdc.gov.uk.”

I find the work fascinating

Husband and wife volunteers Andrew and Sarah recently moved to the district and joined the group.

Andrew said: “Today we’re cataloguing medals from a man who served in North Africa and Italy in the Second World War. The medals were donated by his family after his death along with other personal items.”

“I’m particularly interested in these items as my father served in the same area at roughly the same time. We know the man lived in Ongar, and went to Theydon Bois Council mixed school where he was known as ‘the boy from the country’. I find the work fascinating – it’s like piecing together a jigsaw of someone’s life.”

I love old objects

Elisabetta recently moved from Italy where she was a student in anthropology. She said: “The artefacts in the UK are completely different from those in Italy. I volunteered because I love old objects. The best object I’ve seen here so far is an instruction manual for the first ever fire extinguisher dating back to the early 1900s. It includes a page which describes how a prototype was demonstrated in front of the pope.”

It’s really good fun

Retired teacher Carolyn was cataloguing photos and a programme from 1963 for the play ‘Murder in the Cathedral’ performed by the Loughton based Becket Theatre Drama Company. She said: “I really love history. You get to see some wonderful objects and it’s really good fun!”

Want to volunteer?

Contact Katie Weston, volunteer coordinator at Epping Forest District Museum