Are you on a private water supply? DEFRA have launched a 6 week consultation on updates to the public and private drinking water regulations. This consultation will be of interest to those concerned with public and/or private supplies of drinking water.
Drinking Water Directive
The changes will bring the regulations in line with the Drinking Water Directive. The Drinking Water Directive was updated to reflect World Health Organisation principles for the risk based sampling and analysis of drinking water supply.
Notice of election of 1 district councillor for the Lower Sheering Electoral Ward on Thursday 19 October 2017.
Notice of election
Forms of nomination for the District Election may be obtained at Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, CM16 4BZ from the Returning Officer who will, at the request of an elector for any electoral area prepare a nomination paper for signature.
Nomination papers must be delivered to the Returning Officer, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, CM16 4BZ on any day after the date of this notice but no later than 4pm on Friday 22 September 2017.
If any election is contested the poll will take place on Thursday 19 October 2017.
Applications, amendments or cancellations of postal votes and amendments or cancellations of proxy votes must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, CM16 4BZ by 5pm on Wednesday 4 October 2017.
New applications to vote by proxy at this election must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, CM16 4BZ by 5pm on Wednesday 11 October 2017.
Applications to vote by emergency proxy at this election on grounds of physical incapacity or for work/service reasons must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, CM16 4BZ by 5pm on Thursday 19 October 2017. The physical incapacity must have occurred after 5pm on Wednesday 11 October 2017. To apply on the grounds of work/service, the person must have become aware that they cannot go to the polling station in person after 5pm on Wednesday 11 October 2017.
Ongar Leisure Centre unveiled its newly refurbished fitness suite on Saturday 9 September 2017.
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State of the art equipment
The new suite now includes a state of the art cardio and strength kit, rowers, multifunctional training equipment and Watt bikes. It also features a new training rig which is ideal for rehabilitating an injury and high intensity training, as well as a Technogym Skillmill, which is a powerless treadmill that allows users of all abilities to perform at their own pace.
An official launch event was held on Saturday 9 September 2017, which offered visitors free swimming, badminton and virtual cycling sessions, special deals on membership and the chance to see improvements made following the £450,000 worth of investment.
Track your swim technology
Investment into Ongar leisure centre has also included new energy saving technology, IT systems to enhance the customer experience as well as the introduction of state of the art equipment such as SWIMTAG, which is the latest wearable technology that helps customers track their swim activity.
Commitment to leisure
Epping Forest District Council Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Community Services Councillor Helen Kane said: ”It is such a pleasure to see the first major investment of the new leisure contract come to fruition at Ongar Leisure Centre. I know there has been some local concern about the future of the centre but this refurbishment and Places for People Leisure’s investment of £450,000 is a clear commitment to leisure services in Ongar.”
Major refurbishment across district
”Across the District major refurbishment works start in Epping and Loughton this Autumn while preliminary work has already started for the brand-new leisure centre at Waltham Abbey. I’m pleased to say that the outlook for leisure services is positive throughout the District.”
Opportunities for everyone
Geraint Hole, General Manager at Ongar Leisure Centre comments: ”We are delighted to be able to offer the local community a newly refurbished and equipped leisure centre that will provide opportunities for everyone to take part in physical activity and enjoy the wide range of facilities on offer. As a social enterprise, we aim to open up even more opportunities for people to adopt a healthier and more active lifestyle and are looking forward to offering customers free sessions as part of this event.”
Epping Forest District Council’s Citizen of the Year Awards recognises people in the community who go above and beyond and make positive changes in our district.
If you know an individual or a team who make a real difference nominate them for
Citizen of the Year
Team of the Year
Highlighting positive work
Chairman David Stallan said: ‘The Citizen of the Year award is a great event, highlighting the positive work that goes on throughout the district. There are people among us who go above and beyond, making positive contributions to our society.’
‘If there’s and individual or group who springs to mind, now is your time to nominate them for a Civic Award.’
Tesco’s has teamed up with Groundwork to help fund community projects. The ‘bags of help’ initiative sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 being awarded, which is all raised through the sales of 5p bags.
3 groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.
Voluntary Action Epping Forest
VAEF is part of a nationwide network of independent agencies that act as “matchmakers” for people seeking volunteering opportunities for non-profit and charity groups needing volunteers.
They match the interests and skills of local people with the needs of groups operating in the Epping Forest district. They also encourage and support organisations to operate good practice in volunteer management.
VAEF aims to use the funding to reach more potential volunteers and increase recruitment of volunteers for community groups in the area.
Cast your vote
Voting is open throughout September and October
Cast your vote in Epping, Theydon Bois and Ongar Tesco stores
Alec Brown, Head of Community at Tesco said: “We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for September and October. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see these come to life in hundreds of communities.”
Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury said: “We’re looking forward to learning the results of the customer vote and then supporting each group to bring their project to life.”
Make a positive difference
Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder Councillor Helen Kane said: “We are thrilled to see VAEF shortlisted. The work they do for our community bringing people and services together through volunteering makes such a positive difference.”
“Along with Finance Portfolio Holder Gagan Mohindra, who through the grants service help fund the vital and much needed work, we urge you to cast your vote for VAEF. Allow them to continue to the vast and varied work throughout our district.”
Want to volunteer?
Interested in becoming a volunteer? VAEF has a variety of opportunities for you to get involved with, take a look.
A new Police helicopter base, anti- social behaviour in Waltham abbey and the Oakwood hill depot were among items discussed at Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet meeting Thursday 7 September 2017.
North Weald set to become new Police helicopter base
North Weald Airfield is set to become a new base for the National Police Air Service. Three helicopters and a fixed-wing aircraft will be based at the council-owned airfield.
Asset Management Portfolio Holder Anne Grigg put forward recommendations for a 25 year lease with the helicopter service. The proposals would include a new hanger and buildings to support a range of police helicopter activities.
The Police will be joining a range of other aviation tenants including the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance which has operated very successfully from North Weald for several years. Receiving reassurances about flight lines and noise levels from members of the National Police Air Service at the meeting, councillors welcomed the report and the aspiration for continued development of aviation at North Weald.
Councillor Sam Kane was welcomed to his first Cabinet meeting as Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder by Council Leader Chris Whitbread. Councillor Kane has stepped into the role previous held by Councillor Gary Waller who recently passed away.
Councillor Kane’s first act was to deliver a strong statement regarding anti-social behaviour in Waltham Abbey.
Councillor Sam Kane’s Statement:
“Fellow Councillors will know that Epping Forest District Council is working in partnership with local residents and other organisations to improve the quality of life for everyone in and around Hillhouse on the Ninefields housing estate in Waltham Abbey.
Work has started in just the last few weeks on a brand new leisure centre. Health, housing and social facilities are coming together in a major multi-million pound investment.
The vast majority of residents in this area are the most decent and law-abiding citizens you could ever wish to meet. We also know there is an element of anti-social behaviour, a group of people who seem intent on making the lives of everyone else miserable. We are working with all our partners including Essex Police to tackle this behaviour but events in the last day or so have taken a new and very ugly twist.
Fishing line has been tied at knee height between posts and fences with the deliberate intention of tripping and hurting people. This mindless and stupid act has resulted in injury to a small child. Pictures of the serious cuts to his face have been circulated on social media.
I know this will come as a shock to you and I know every councillor would wish to send our sympathy to this innocent young child and his family.
Local residents and all right-minded people will be incensed by this latest incident. Through this meeting I want to let our residents know that we stand with them. The anti-social behaviour of the last few weeks must now stop.
A temporary dispersal order has been put in place from tonight. You will appreciate that many other things are going on behind the scenes that I cannot discuss in public.
Council staff have been working incredibly hard. Plans of action drawn up with Essex Police even before this latest event are being put into effect now. We believe we know who the perpetrators are. It saddens me to say that they are very young. We have been working with our local schools and have passed the identities of the perpetrators to Essex Police.
Enough is enough. Anti-social behaviour is a blight on our communities which must end. As the action plan goes into effect, I expect to see the situation improve significantly. I also know that you can never eliminate all crime, but with the support of my council colleagues I want to send out a clear message. We stand with all the decent and law-abiding residents of Waltham Abbey.
We will not let the few ruin the lives of the many.”
New council office and depot facilities accommodating Grounds Maintenance, Fleet Maintenance and the MoT centre opened recently at Oakwood Hill in Loughton. Latest proposals for the transfer of the Council’s Housing Repairs service to Oakwood Hill were scrutinised at Cabinet.
Proposals for additional staff car parking received particular attention. A petition opposing the use of green space opposite the new facility was delivered by Councillor Chris Roberts.
Councillors agreed the recommendations in the Cabinet report with the proviso that alternatives to the proposals of additional parking would also be investigated. Full public consultation would also take place as part of any planning application process if the proposals for parking set out in the report went forward.
Council Leader Chris Whitbread updated fellow councillors on a range of projects geared towards improving customer service including a new public customer service reception, plans for which are due to come before Cabinet by the end of the year.
We’re asking for your views on the future of our Local Council Tax Support scheme (LCTS) to see whether any changes should be made. It’s important we get the views of our residents as it could affect the amount of Council Tax you pay, or the services you receive.
“The Government gives us a grant to pay Local Council Tax Support which is reducing each year” explains Finance Portfolio Holder Councillor Gagan Mohindra, “if we spend more than the grant, we have to decide how we pay for the excess.”
“This year, in addition to looking at how the scheme is funded, we are deciding whether changes should be made to reduce the number of different Council Tax bills that people get when they receive Universal Credit, and whether Bereavement Support Payments should be disregarded. There are also changes to the way that we treat decisions by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).”
Councillor Mohindra said: “We’ve looked carefully at the LCTS scheme and are aiming to providing a fair level of support to those residents on a low income as well as identifying potential changes which would generate savings for the council.
We will of course continue to fully fund support for those who suffer exceptional hardship, and none of the changes would make a drastic change to the amount of council tax individuals would pay.”
Let us know what you think
“Let us know what you think on this important issue” Councillor Mohindra asked residents. “ It takes just 10 minutes to complete the online questionnaire which runs until 12 October 2017.
Any recommendations from this consultation will be considered by Full Council later in the year, with a view to bringing in changes from April 2018.”
Make a detailed reply or comments
If you want to make a detailed reply or comments, email email@example.com and enter ‘consultation’ in the subject heading. If you don’t have access to a computer, you can get a paper copy from the Benefits Division at the Civic Offices.
Fly-tipping in Essex is draining more than £1 million of taxpayers’ money each year.
This week, Love Essex, a partnership of councils, businesses and environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, is launching its #CrimeNotToCare campaign to inform residents they could unwittingly end up with a criminal record and face an unlimited fine, if a rogue trader dumps their waste illegally.
”Your rubbish is your responsibility”
Epping Forest District Council’s Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: “We need the public to understand their rubbish is their responsibility and they must do the right thing with it. Giving it to a man with a van who offers to get rid of it cheaply could prove costly for people and result in them getting a criminal record.”
Incidents on the rise
In the Epping Forest district there were 2,384 incidents in 2016 to 2017, a significant rise from the previous year’s figures of 1,944. The number of prosecutions of residents where fly-tipped waste has been traced back to them is also on the rise.
A man was recently fined £461 and ordered to pay £758 prosecution costs after pleading guilty to failing his ‘duty of care’, at Chelmsford Magistrates Court. The Loughton resident had allowed a man who knocked at his door to take 40 black sacks away for £70 cash, without checking he was authorised to transport the waste – rules he was unaware of.
The rubbish was then fly-tipped in a garage area in Loughton and traced back to the resident.
”Important campaign for our country”
Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton added: “#CrimeNotToCare is an important campaign for our country and we are delighted that Epping Forest District Council as part of Love Essex, is partnering with us.
“There are almost a million fly-tipping incidents in England every year and cleaning it all up costs us £50million a year. It blights communities and our countryside and is a menace.”
If you use a trader to remove your waste ask to see their waste carrier registration number issued by the Environment Agency. It is illegal for them to take your waste if they don’t have a permit. Check their credentials and vehicle details here
Make sure you get a receipt or transfer notice before your waste is taken away
Don’t be afraid to ask where your waste is going and request paperwork that shows where it will be disposed. A legitimate waste carrier will not object to this questioning
Protect yourself by being careful with your waste. Never leave rubbish, such as old washing machines or scrap metal on your drive or in the street as it could end up in the wrong hands. You can donate working items to reuse organisations or charity shops