New leisure centre contract goes live

Written on . Posted in Business, Epping, Health, Local business, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Your area

A new, 20 year leisure contract between Epping Forest District Council and Places for People Leisure Management Ltd was signed and agreed on Wednesday 29 March 2017.

The new contract will see exciting improvements to the delivery of leisure services within the district, with plans to invest £9.5m in a state of the art leisure centre in Waltham Abbey and extensive refurbishment of other council owned leisure centres.

Leisure contract sealing day 29-03-17

Click on a photo below to start the slideshow

Existing contracts switched

Responsibility for existing staff and memberships were transferred to the new provider on Saturday 1 April 2017, when the contract officially began.

Award winning service

Chief Executive of Epping Forest District Council, Glen Chipp said: ”Places for People are an award winning management service with an impressive leisure portfolio and plenty of experience. They are currently working with 36 other councils across England and manage a total of 121 leisure centres. We are confident that this partnership will be of great benefit to our local residents, allowing them to enjoy an exciting, enhanced and improved leisure service in local areas, for many years to come.”

Centre plans

Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool

Plans to relocate a brand new, purpose built leisure centre to Hill House Road, Waltham Abbey.

The new facility will offer;

  • A 25m, 6 lane swimming pool and 15m learner pool
  • An 80 station fitness suite
  • Multifunctional training equipment, octane trainers and watt bikes
  • Dance, fitness and group cycling studios
  • Les Mills virtual cycling
  • A community space
  • A café
  • A green roof to compliment the surrounding area

Epping Sports Centre

Plans to internally remodel the centre, including;

  • Improvements and an extension to the gym area
  • Bar/kitchen re-configuration, to incorporate a crèche and spin studio

Ongar Leisure Centre

Plans to refurbish the facilities, including;

  • Gym equipment upgrade
  • Swimming pool plant upgrade

Loughton Leisure Centre

Plans to renovate the leisure centre and build a two storey extension, which will include;

  • New gym
  • Extra fitness studio space

Completion in 2018

Works at Epping, Ongar and Loughton Leisure Centres will begin in Summer 2017, with plans for completion by Summer 2018.

The existing Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool will remain open until the new project’s planned finish in November 2018. Further details about refurbishments will be displayed online and in our leisure centre reception areas, to keep customers informed as work progresses.

Working in Partnership

Sandra Dodd, Chief Executive at Places for People Leisure said: ”We are excited to work in partnership with Epping Forest District Council to enhance the leisure provision across the district and ensure that we offer an inclusive and innovative leisure provision that encourages participation by all members of the community in line with our mission to create active places and healthy people.”

”We hope that local residents will be as excited as we are in the improvements that are planned to their existing centres as well as the plans for a brand-new state of the art leisure facility.”

New contact details

Fire engine visits school in Waltham Abbey

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Emergencies, Health, North Weald Airfield, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Three classes of excited children and Sid, the school dog from Waltham Holy Cross Infant School, spent the morning of Thursday 23 March 2017 learning about fire safety and exploring North Weald Airfield’s new fire engine and ambulance, with some of the airfield’s operations team.

Watch the video

Day in pictures

Fire safety is important

Darren Goodey, North Weald Airfield Operations Manager said: ”We had a great time at Waltham Holy Cross School and felt really welcomed by the staff and children. It was a really great to engage with so many young people about fire safety, which is so important. The children really relished the opportunity to hear about what the fire engine and the ambulance are used for. The children gave us two lovely paintings, which are now pride of place in our office at North Weald Airfield.”

Former pupils

He continued: ”Myself and a colleague were students at this school many years ago and it was amazing to have the chance to go back and see how much it has changed.”

Start cycling for health this year

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

As the nicer weather is already upon us, there has never been a better time to get on your bike and get active in the fresh air! The cycling for health 2017 diary of weekly led rides around the district is now available to view and book online.

Cycling for Health Diary 2017 P1

Suitable for all

There are different routes which have been graded into 3 different intensity levels, which means there is something for everyone.

Why cycle?

  • Burn approx 650 calories
  • Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%
  • Increase cardiovascular fitness
  • Improve overall wellbeing
  • Increase muscle strength and tone

Contact

Cycling for Health Diary 2017 P2

Further information

Pay on day (ride fee)

If you have your own bike and helmet, just turn up at the meeting point!

Cost £4.00 (£8.00 for all day rides)

No booking required

Pre-paid (bike hire and ride fee)

Cost £8.00 (£16.00 for all day rides)

Booking is required at least 48hrs in advance

A day in pictures

Click on an image below for slideshow

Reviews

Hilary Fullilove

”For me the cycling has been fantastic and has contributed greatly to my rehabilitation, following my two knee replacement surgeries”

Dave Raley

”Good companionship, good fun, good routes and it’s doing me good! Come and join us having fun with new friends and at the same time keeping healthy.”

Jennie Lawley

”I would like to say that every ride I do is therapeutic to my mind. The people are lovely and the exercise and the routes we take definitely lift my spirits.”

Working better and working smarter

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Community, Democracy, Doing business with the council, Licensing, Local business, Media, Older people, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Future proof – Epping Forest District Council is investing in people, processes and policies to produce the most efficient council we can – a council fit for the future.

Spring into activities this Easter

Written on . Posted in Arts, Business, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Health, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

If you are looking for fun activities to keep the children busy this Easter holiday, then look no further, we have it covered! We have a range of activities available for all ages and abilities.

Easter Activities page 1

Multi Sports Days 

Come and join our experienced coaches for a day of exciting activities such as

  • Football
  • Dodgeball
  • Tennis
  • Mini Olympics
  • Dance
  • Games and Competitions

Suitable for ages 5 – 14

Dates: Tuesday 4, 11 April 2017 and Thursday 6, 13 April 2017

Time: 09:15am – 15:30pm

Where: Epping Upper Clapton RFC, Upper road, Thornwood, Epping, CM16 6NL

Cost: £16.00

Book online (select the correct heading in brackets for Activity Type on booking form)

Funky Bird Feeder Workshop

Make a bird feeder with a unique difference, using recyclable materials.

Suitable for ages 6 – 11

Date: Tuesday 4 April 2017

Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm

Where: Communities training room, Epping Forest District Council, 25 Hemnall Street, Epping, CM16 4LU

Cost: £4.50

Book online (select the correct heading in brackets for Activity Type on booking form)

Peg Insect and Garden Display

Make amazing peg insect along with an indoor garden scene for your window using fresh flowers!

Suitable for ages 6 – 11

Date: Tuesday 11 April 2017

Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm

Where: Communities training room, Epping Forest District Council, 25 Hemnall Street, Epping, CM16 4LU

Cost: £4.50

Book online (select the correct heading in brackets for Activity Type on booking form)

Forest Adventures

Join us on a forest adventure; orienteering, forest art, scavenger hunts, games and much more!

Suitable for ages 6 – 11

Date: Wednesday 5 April 2017

Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm

Where: Meet outside Kings Oak Public House, High Beech, Loughton, IG10 4AE

Cost: £4.50

Book online (select the correct heading in brackets for Activity Type on booking form)

Play in the Forest

Play games and have fun in the forest; bug hunting, shelter building, woodland arts and crafts!

Suitable for all ages

Friday 7 April 2017

Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm

Where: Meet in the Kings Oak Public House car park, High Beech, Loughton, IG10 4AE

Cost: £3.50

Monday 10 April 2017

Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm

Where: Ditches Rise, Coppice Row, Theydon Bois, CM16 7DR

Cost: £3.50

Book online (select the correct heading in brackets for Activity Type on booking form)

Play in the Park

Play with a range of sports equipment and arts & crafts resources. Suitable for ages 5 – 14. The play in the park team organise fun activities and games! It’s FREE and there is no need to book either! Perfect.

Tuesday 4 April 2017

Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm

Where: Town Mead Leisure Park, Brooker Road, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1JH


Time: 13:30pm – 15:30pm

Where: Roding Valley Recreation Ground (near tennis courts), Roding Road, Loughton, IG10 3BS

Wednesday 5 April 2017

Time: 13:30pm – 15:30pm

Where: Stonards Hill Recreation Ground, Stonards Hill, Epping, CM16 4QF

Thursday 6 April 2017

Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm

Where: Abridge Village Hall Playing Fields, Ongar Road, Abridge, RM4 1BS


Time: 13:30pm – 15:30pm

Where: Shelley Park, St Peters Avenue, Shelley, Ongar, CM5 0BT

Tuesday 11 April 2017

Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm

Where: Ninefields (large green field), Hillhouse, Waltham Abbey, EN9 3EL


Time: 13:30pm – 15:30pm

Where: Roding Valley Recreation Ground (near tennis courts), Roding Road, Loughton, IG10 3BS

Wednesday 12 April 2017

Time: 13:30pm – 15:30pm

Where: Roydon Playing Fields, Occupation Lane, Roydon, CM19 5HL

Thursday 13 April 2017

Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm

Where: Abridge Village Hall Playing Fields, Ongar Road, Abridge, RM4 1BS


Time: 13:30pm – 15:30pm

Where: Jubilee Park, Love lane, Ongar, CM5 9BL

Further information

For more information please contact Community Services on 01992 564226 or email csreception@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Book activities online

Nature Reserve wins Bags of Help

Written on . Posted in Community, Councillors, Countrycare, Media, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Thanks to the Tesco Bags of Help scheme we’ve improved the landscaping for both visitors and wildlife at Nazeing Triangle Local Nature Reserve (LNR).

Construction of the new dipping platform

Click to enlarge photo and click on photo to see more photos

Nazeing Triangle LNR received £8,000 from Tesco and Groundworks for a community project. It was to improve the habitat for local wildlife and provide better access for visitors. The money was raised by the 5p carrier bag charge which is to be used for grants to improve local parks, hold community events, support sports groups and more.

The first stage is complete

The community project is run by our Countrycare team who were thrilled to receive the grant. Assistant Countryside Manager Nicola Ceconi said: “This exciting project has just begun. We’ve installed a new dipping platform, similar to a jetty, giving wildlife lovers safe access to the waterside.”

“Next, we will plant native aquatic pond plants around the pond edges using preplanted coir matting. This will improve the habitat for amphibians and invertebrates, providing an important refuge and food source. The plants should then grow and spread around the pond.”

Pond experience

“We want visitors to get the most out of their pond experience. A panel showing the different species living in the nature reserve will boost their knowledge and appreciation of pond life. The final stage is to let nature take its course. I’m hoping the natural colonisation by plants and wildlife will occur surprisingly quickly.”

Thanks to the funding from Tesco

“The old dipping platform had become rotten and unsafe” said Councillor Gary Waller, Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder. “This new platform will be wheelchair accessible, allowing people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the pond.”

“The habitat for invertebrates and amphibians will improve with time, and this will encourage a greater biodiversity in the pond, all thanks to the funding from Tesco Bags of Help and Groundworks.”

Poet wants district’s favourite stories

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Media, Museum, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Do you have a favourite story about the district that you’d like to share? It can be about something personal, historical or just something that makes you smile.

Come and meet our poet in residence Keely Mills and tell her your story of the district. She will be at Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey on Friday 24 February 2017 from 10am to 1pm.

Poet in residence 24-2-17

Poet in residence

Join our poet in residence Keely Mills, share your stories and have them turned into poetry.

Where

Epping Forest District Museum, 39 – 41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL.

When

Friday 24 February 2017 from 10am to 1pm.

Cost

Free.

Paths Unseen

Poet Keely Mills is joining us as part of the Paths Unseen project, funded by Arts Council England.

Paths Unseen supports Keely Mills to develop her poetry, centred around residencies. She will be engaging local communities with poems, particularly those who do not consider themselves writers or  artists, enabling them to tell their stories and encourage them to record or perform the work in their own voices.

This is the first time Keely’s work will appear as the key focus of an exhibition. It is her first publication and major commission outside of Peterborough in Cambridgeshire, spreading her art form further across the East of England.

The Paths Unseen exhibition opens at Epping Forest District Museum on Saturday 24 June 2017.

Community Transport saves Nazeing bus service

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chairman, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Epping, Health, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Volunteering opportunities, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

A vital bus route for Nazeing has been saved. Councillor Jeane Lea, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council went to see the C392 for herself after Epping Forest Community Transport stepped in to save the Nazeing-Hoddesdon service.

The 392 Little White Bus is connecting communities across Essex and Hertfordshire

Community Transport

Since January the C392 Little White Bus runs daily between Tylers Cross, Nazeing and Hoddesdon Rye Park via Broxbourne between about 7am and 7pm replacing an axed earlier commercial service.      

Community Transport trustee and District Councillor for Nazeing Richard Bassett was instrumental in organising the new service. He joined Councillor Lea and other commuters at Nazeing Crossroads to meet the 10.10 bus driven by volunteer Amy Carter.

Providing an essential service

Councillor Bassett said: ”We are seeing more and more the value of community transport in our district and in this case we would have seen no bus services in a village and surrounding area of 5000 people until Community Transport saved the day by putting together this service in record time.”

Councillor Bassett worked with Essex Passenger Transport and Nazeing and Roydon Parish Councils after both the 392 and 505 bus services were withdrawn. In addition to the C392, he helped to get the 86 service run by EOS diverted via Bumbles Green and St Leonards before resuming its route from Harlow down the Crooked Mile towards Waltham Abbey.

Cllr Bassett added that ”Thanks to some very speedy actions the C392 is running under the section 22 license which means all concessions are valid on the service.

Reducing fairs

We have reduced the single fare to £3 and the return to £5 with children getting a reduced fare of £2. I have received some early comments that people are very pleased with the service and the friendly drivers and the little white community bus.”

He also added ”I am very concerned that many rural services are finding they are having bus services reduced or cancelled. Community Transport is stepping up to provide services to dependant villages to prevent social exclusion and help with hospital and other appointments which otherwise people would struggle to attend.”

Local people working together

Councillor Lea was delighted to meet Councillor Bassett, the driver Amy Carter and fellow travellers. She said: ”I want to congratulate everyone involved in the project. Rural bus services are under pressure everywhere but the C392 shows just what can be done when local people organise and act together.”

More information

For Community Transport Timetables please visit:

For more information about Community Transport or to volunteer in the office or as a driver please call:

  • Community transport office on 01992 579556

Anti-litter campaign cleans up for third year

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Doing business with the council, Energy efficiency, Environmental health, Epping, Food safety, Health, Local business, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Recycling and waste, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

An anti-litter campaign across Essex, Kent and Suffolk #BinIt has resulted in a reduction of litter for the third year in a row, an amazing drop in litter of 43%.

Don't toss it - #BINIT

Littering is a criminal offence

The Love Essex campaign, run by the Cleaner Essex Group, is made up of local authorities and local business partners throughout Essex.

This year’s Don’t toss it – #BinIt campaign aims to remind people that:

  • Littering is a criminal offence
  • It comes with a fixed penalty notice from £75
  • And a maximum fine on conviction in court of £2,500

Spreading the message

The ‘Don’t toss it – #BinIt’ message has appeared throughout Essex on

  • Refuse vehicles
  • Bus shelters
  • Petrol pumps
  • 86 McDonald’s restaurants
  • 15 KFC restaurants
  • Spread to 2.4 million social media accounts

This has so far seen an average drop in litter of 43% and helped to reduce branded fast food litter by 63 per cent, in the areas monitored, and independently verified by Keep Britain Tidy.

Tackling litter

Councillor Will Breare-Hall, Environment Portfolio Holder said: “Litter is an issue that costs around £17 million across Essex. Not only does this take resources away from other much needed council services it also damages our environment.”

“It is important for people to remember that littering is a criminal offence that comes with a maximum fine of up to £2,500.”

“As a community we need to come together and tackle this important issue by behaving responsibly and reporting incidents so we can investigate further and take action.”

Working together

Cherry Lewis-Taylor, McDonald’s franchisee added: “I believe that working together and campaigning against littering at our restaurant locations helps remind people to dispose of their litter responsibly.”

“Between McDonald’s and KFC’s participating restaurants and drive-thru’s, we have reached millions of customers. Adding this to the number of people who saw the other campaign material, including social media, it is likely that the Don’t toss it … #Binit message will have been seen at least 6 million times.”

Do the right thing

Huw James, Director of Kefco, the KFC Franchisee in Essex commented: “I am proud that we at KFC can work with councils and other business partners to actively promote that people should do the right thing and bin their litter. As a business, we are committed to looking at ways we can help reduce the amount of litter that ends up on our streets.”

Report it

If there are large amounts of litter in your street or fly-tipped rubbish near where you live, let us know

Please give as much detail as possible so we can investigate what further action can be taken.

Recycle your real Christmas tree

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Environmental health, Epping, Health, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Recycling and waste, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Recycling your real Christmas tree in January this year really couldn’t be easier!

  • Remove the tree from the pot or stand

  • Remove all decorations and remove any artificial snow

  • If the tree is bigger than 6ft tall, saw in half

  • Place the tree by your green wheelie bin on your food and garden waste collection day

Collected throughout January

Councillor Will Breare-Hall, Environment Portfolio Holder said: ”We have made recycling your Christmas tree as easy as we possibly can. It’s simple, just leave your tree to be collected with your food and garden waste bins, following the four step instructions. If you are unsure of the date of your food and garden waste collection, check using our online tool, all you need is your postcode. Trees will be collected throughout January 2017.

Great for the environment

He added: ”Our food and garden waste is composted to produce a high quality soil improver which is used on farms to enhance the soil, helping farmers produce high quality veggies. It’s great for the environment and benefits us too!”