Local heroes celebrated at awards evening

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chairman, Chigwell, Civic events, Community, Councillors, Epping, Health, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

The district’s most celebrated residents were recognised at the annual Epping Forest District Council Civic Awards Ceremony held at the Marriott Hotel in Waltham Abbey on Friday 16 March 2018.

Winners at the Civic Awards 2018

You make the world a better place

The glittering awards evening was hosted by the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor David Stallan.

Chairman David Stallan said: “Every year we dedicate an evening to celebrate Epping Forest’s residents achievements, successes and their unwavering dedication to the area and their communities. This year was no different.”

“To the winners and runners up, congratulations. It is people like you that make the world a better place. Thank you for your selflessness, generosity and compassion.”

In honour and celebration of the Youth Council’s 10th anniversary this year, serving and former Youth Councillors were asked to present each award to the winners.

Click on the award below for details

 

Landlord fined £21,575 for illegal HMO

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Councillors, Crime and safety, Environmental health, Epping, Licensing, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Private housing, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Epping Forest District Council successfully prosecuted and fined Mr Veli Bunul £21,575, when found operating an unlicensed house in multiple occupation (HMO) and breaching legislation designed to protect tenants.

HMO Licence

The Council was called to inspect a three storey family town house in Tillingham Court Waltham Abbey, found to be occupied by three separate families, each with young children, all sharing one kitchen and two bathrooms.

Potential tragedy

Housing 11 occupants, the property was overcrowded, had inadequate fire precautions or a safe means of escape in event of an emergency.

Basildon Magistrates court was particularly concerned about these failings which could have potentially led to lives being at risk and tragic circumstances.

The Court heard that Mr Bunul of Chase Side, London E14 had ignored all of Epping Forest District Council’s warnings about his responsibilities to licence the property and his obligation to make it safe.

He alleged he was unaware that the property was being occupied by several families, claiming someone else collected the rent on his behalf. The court did not find this a reasonable excuse and so carried his conviction alongside a hefty fine.

Zero tolerance

Housing Portfolio Holder, Councillor Syd Stavrou said, “We will not tolerate landlords who rent properties which fail to meet standards.  The Council has a commitment to ensure that private landlords in the Epping Forest district do not take financial advantage of vulnerable tenants and put their lives at risk.  We will not hesitate to prosecute landlords who show a disregard for the law and their responsibilities towards occupants”.

New licensing rules

The Government are bringing in an extension to the  current licensing regime. From 1 April 2018, any property with five or more people from two or more households will require a licence regardless of how many floors there are in the property.

Landlords must comply with licence conditions to ensure properties are safe for the amount of people occupying them. In addition, minimum space requirements are to be imposed to prevent exploitation by overcrowding.

Advice to Landlords

Landlords that currently operate a licensable HMO in Epping Forest District (3 or more storeys, occupied by 5 or more people living as 2 or more households) but do not currently hold a licence should contact the Council’s Private Sector Housing Team immediately to avoid prosecution.

Anyone operating such an HMO without the appropriate licence is committing an offence, risks a criminal record and an unlimited fine on summary conviction.

Other landlords operating or thinking of operating an HMO that will fall under the new licensing regime from 1 April 2018 are encouraged to contact the Private Sector Housing Team for further information and advice.

Advice to tenants

If you think you may be living in a property that requires a licence and one is not displayed in the property, or you are concerned about the property conditions, please contact the Private Sector Housing team on the details below.

Contact

Help save the Willingale Treasure

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Loughton, Media, Museum, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community

Epping Forest District Museum is launching an appeal to save the Willingale Treasure and help us keep it in the district.

The Willingale Treasure

Sapphire Gold Medieval Ring

A medieval gold ring has been found in the parish of Willingale and we need you to help us keep it in the district, before the item goes on sale on the open market.

It is the first medieval gem set ring to be found in the district, and the first known finger-ring to be discovered in Willingale. The decoration is of an extremely high standard and, to the best of our knowledge, unique.

Please donate

Donate online at www.spacehive.com/willingaletreasure

or make a donation at Epping Forest District Museum, 39–41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL

Save the Willingale treasure

In total £11,500 is needed to save the ring ensuring it is on free public display for generations to come. The campaign has already received support from the ACE/V&A Purchase Grant Fund and SHARE Museums East and Epping Forest District Museum has committed funding from its reserves leaving £3,000 to be raised.

If the target is reached, the ring will go on public display in the museum’s newly renovated core gallery. If the funding is not raised, the ring may be sold and possibly leave the UK permanently.

Other treasures at the museum

Currently on display is a selection of items acquired by the museum through the national Portable Antiquities Scheme, which recently celebrated 20 years of recording treasure finds. On display are items found from all across the Epping Forest district.

The oldest are a bronze axe and small gold bead, which are some 3,500 years old, also displayed are medieval Noble coins of Edward III found near Abridge and a fine silver gilt medieval crucifix discovered near North Weald.

Update on council services

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Crime and safety, Epping, Housing, Local business, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Recycling and waste, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Updated plans for refuse and recycling collections

As the severe weather continues into Friday 2 March 2018, we are adapting operations to maintain waste collection services, making allowances for reduced resources and challenging conditions for our waste collection crews.

We are continuing to focus on fortnightly black wheelie bin, recycling sacks and blue box collections. Access to residential roads can vary in these conditions with properties located in rural areas or down narrow lanes are likely to experience more disruption than others.

Black wheelie bins, recycling sacks and blue boxes

  • Please leave your waste out on the boundary of your property until 5pm on Friday 2 March
  • If your waste is not collected by 5pm, please bring it in over the weekend
  • On Monday 5 March extra crews have been laid on to try and catch up any missed areas, so please make sure your bins are out again by 7am
  • If your bins have not been collected by 5pm on Monday, please take them back in and out in time for your next scheduled collection

Please accept our apologies for this disruption. We will endeavour to collect any waste that has been missed.

Food and garden waste

We will continue to focus our resources on the fortnightly collections throughout Friday 2 March as above. Therefore

  • We are not collecting any green lidded bins for food and garden waste
  • If you were expecting a collection this week, please take it back and put it out again on your next normal collection day.

Our customer service team is continuing to operate with fewer staff  due to the adverse weather so you may experience longer hold times on the phone than usual, so please only call if it is urgent.

Minimising disruption to residents

Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: “I want to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to Biffa’s tremendously dedicated and hardworking staff. Despite the terrible weather we’ve experienced over the past few days they’ve been out on our streets, battling the elements, doing their best to ensure our waste and recycling is still collected.”

“I want them to know that their commitment to delivering the service and minimising disruption to our residents is greatly appreciated. I’d also like to thank our residents for the understanding and patience they have shown as we contend with these very difficult conditions.”

Contacting the Council

Not urgent?

If your enquiry is not urgent, please contact us by email or use our online reporting tool to contact us to help us reduce waiting times. Someone will be in touch with you as soon as they can.

If your enquiry is urgent and you need to speak to someone, please call us on the telephone numbers below.

If it’s urgent

  • General and refuse – 01992 564000
  • Benefits – 01992 562059
  • Council Tax – 01992 564188
  • Council housing – 01992 564716
  • Housing repairs – 01992 564199

Please keep checking the website and our social media channels for updates and further information.

Check for updates

Pair found guilty of damaging protected oak trees

Written on . Posted in Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Crime and safety, Democracy, Environmental health, Media, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Private housing, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Uncategorized, Your area, Your council, Your environment, Your money

Mr Mark William Wright of Abridge and Mr Danny James Swift of Romford Essex were each found guilty of causing, or permitting works to 2 oak trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).

Damaged Oak trees Abridge

Unauthorized works

In June 2017 tree and landscape officers were notified of work that had been carried out to the branches of 2 oak trees on land adjacent to Tudor Oak 9a London Road Abridge Essex.

Officers were aware in March 2017 permission had been granted for limited work to be carried out to the trees, but upon inspection in June they found branches on both oaks had been far more excessively cut than authorized.

This ultimately caused serious damage to both trees and increases the risk of decay. No consent would have been given for the extent of the work carried out.

Further investigation  

Further investigation revealed that permitted work had been carried out to the trees in May 2017 by council contractors, who had spoken to Mr Wright at that time and informed him that the trees were the subject of a Tree Preservation Order.

When interviewed under caution both confirmed Mr Wright had employed Mr Swift to carry out the unauthorized work and that neither had checked with the council as to whether the trees were protected.

Damaged Oak trees Abridge

Over £3000 worth of fines

8 February 2018 at Chelmsford Magistrates both Mr Mark William Wright of Tudor Oak 9a London Road Abridge Essex and Mr Danny James Swift of Highfield Road Collier Row Romford Essex were each found guilty of causing or permitting works to 2 oak trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order without the authorisation of Epping Forest District Council.

Having attended court although leaving before the hearing, the Magistrates accepted that Mr Wright had intended to plead guilty and he was fined £440 for each tree and ordered that he pay a contribution towards the Council’s prosecution costs of £600.

Mr Swift was fined £660 for each tree and ordered to pay a contribution towards the Council’s prosecution costs of £600.

More information

For any inquiries regarding tree protection orders (TPOs) and conservation areas please contact

Decisions from Plans East 7 February 2018

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Consultation, Councillors, Democracy, Epping, Local business, Meetings, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Supporting business, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee East meeting Wednesday 7 February 2018.

Decisions

  • 1. EPF/2363/17 – Rozel, Loughton Lane, Theydon Bois, Essex, CM16 7JY
    Granted
  • 2. EPF/2666/17 – Land to rear of 40 -62 Hoe Lane, Abridge, RM4 1AU
    Deferred – site visit
  • 3. EPF/2771/17 – 21 Princes Close, North Weald, Epping, CM16 6EN
    Refused
  • 4. EPF/3007/17 – Oxford Lodge, Tysea Hill, Stapleford Abbotts, Romford, RM4 1JP
     Granted
  • 5. EPF/3025/17 – 43 Woodland Way, Theydon Bois, CM16 7DY
    Granted
  • 6. EPF/3135/17 – 7 Centre Avenue, Epping, CM16 4JU
    Granted
  • 7. EPF/3216/17 – Esperanza Nurseries, Stapleford Road, Stapleford Abbotts, RM4 1EJ
    Refused
  • 8. EPF/3124/17 – 2 Theydon Place, Epping, CM16 4NH
    Granted
  • 9. EPF/3219/17 – 1 Theydon Place, Epping, CM16 4NH
    Granted
  • 10. EPF/3259/17 – 121 Theydon Grove, Epping, CM16 4QB
    Refused
  • 11. EPF/3284/17 – 9 Church Hill, Epping, CM16 4RA
    Deferred – site visit

Planning application search

Essex wide Livewell campaign launched

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Democracy, Environmental health, Epping, Equalities, Food safety, Health, Loughton, Media, Museum, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Livewell, a countywide website to get Essex healthy has been launched.

Livewell campaign image

Working collaboratively to promote health

The Livewell campaign sees all local authorities, including Epping Forest District Council and health partners, work collaboratively to promote positive health and wellbeing by providing public health advice, activities and events tailored to the needs of local residents.

The Council’s local museum, arts, sports, social and Forest Countrycare events will be available on the site.

Check out how to Livewell

The website aims is to encourage Essex residents to be more active and to make healthier lifestyle choices for themselves and their families. It focuses on more effectively tackling county-wide issues affecting the 12 local authority areas together.

Take the #21 Challenge

To celebrate the website launch, residents are being encouraged to take part in a number of #21 challenges – a nod to the fact that it takes 21 days to break or create a new habit.

The first part of the campaign is #21situps21days, Residents can find out more information on:

Post-Christmas is a good time to think about improving lifestyle choices, lose weight and live a happier, healthier and longer life. The 21 day theme of the project, the number of days it is thought we need to break a bad habit or establish a new one also has the support of Public Health England. Anyone can try and it is fine to start with an easy goal. An occasional day off is also fine but the message is ‘don’t stop, just let that go and do as best you can towards the 21 days’.

Decisions from Plans West 17 January 2018

Written on . Posted in Building control, Business, Community, Democracy, Media, Meetings, Our countryside, Out and about, Planning, Private housing, Regulations, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee West meeting Wednesday 17 January 2018.

Decisions

  • EPF/2413/17 – 1 Bentons Cottages, Middle Street, Nazeing, Essex, EN9 2LN
    Decision deferred to DDMC
  • EPF/2878/17 – Land at Epping Long Green, Epping Green, Epping, Essex, CM16 6QN
    Permission granted
  • EPF/2902/17 – 2 High Street, Roydon, Essex, CM19 5HJ
    Permission granted
  • EPF/2906/17 – 2 High Street, Roydon, Essex, CM19 5HJ
    Permission granted

Planning application search

Claypit Hill fly tip led to arrest and prosecution

Written on . Posted in Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Crime and safety, Environmental health, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Prosecutions, Recycling and waste, Regulations, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Mr Loredan Ilias of Gascoyne House, London, was ordered to pay a fine and costs amounting to £1686.81 after pleading guilty to flytipping on forest land in Claypit Hill, Waltham Abbey.

Waltham Abbey Fly tipping

Evidence gathered by the Council’s Environment & Neighbourhood team led to a prosecution in Chelmsford Magistrates Court on 14 December 2017.

Found guilty

Mr IIias pleaded guilty to the offence of fly tipping paving stones, rubble and roofing material. He had failed to attend a number of hearings in 2016, leading to a warrant being issued for his arrest. Mr Ilias admitted to fly tipping from a Mercedes Sprinter van on 10 January 2016.

The Magistrates stated that it was a serious offence and a reckless act in a place of Special Scientific Interest.

Fined and prosecuted

He was ordered to pay a fine of £739 together with the Council’s prosecution costs of £724.81 and a Victim Surcharge of £73. The Magistrates also ordered Mr Ilias to pay compensation for clearance of the waste of £150 to the Corporation of London.

‘Blight on environment’

Environment Portfolio holder, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: “Fly tipping is a selfish and criminal act and a blight on the environment. We recognise it is a growing problem across Essex but it will never be tolerated in Epping Forest and we will continue to pursue the offenders. Those convicted of breaking the law in this way can expect to receive heavy fines.”

Further information

Pair fined for damaging tree

Written on . Posted in Community, Countryside and wildlife, Environmental health, Media, Our countryside, Out and about, Planning, Private housing, Prosecutions, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

Mrs Helen Kelly–Howe of Chingford was fined £1,850 after pleading guilty to causing or permitting unauthorised work to a tree in a conservation area.

Sycamore 10 High St

Tree within a conservation area

In June, officers were notified that branches of a sycamore tree situated within the grounds of 10 High Street Roydon had been cut back, where they overhung on to the neighbouring property at number 2 High Street.

Standing within the Roydon conservation area a 6 week notice of any intended work to the tree should have been provided. Such a notice would have revealed that consent for the extent of the works would have not been granted in any event.

No checks for consent

Further investigation revealed Mrs Helen Kelly–Howe, a director of the company owning 10 High Street instructed tree surgeon Mr John McAllister to cut the branches back to the boundary.

No checks had been made to find out if the tree was protected and neither sought consent to carry out the works undertaken.

£2,430 worth of fines

Tree surgeon Mr McAllister was fined £300 and ordered to pay a contribution of £250 towards the Council’s prosecution costs plus a victim surcharge of £30.

The Magistrates stated that Mrs Kelly-Howe had a greater role in the matter and was fined £1,000 ordered to pay a contribution of £750 towards the Council’s prosecution costs plus a victim surcharge of £100.

More information

For any inquiries regarding tree protection orders (TPOs) and conservation areas please contact