Youth Council Energy Saving Initiatives

Written on . Posted in Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Energy efficiency, Epping, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Members of the Epping Forest Youth Council are encouraging schools across the district to save energy. All the secondary schools that completed a recent survey about their environmental practices, conducted by the Youth Council`s Environmental Group, will be awarded with an Owl Wireless Energy Monitor System.

St John`s School in Epping became the first in the district to be presented with one of these devices at the beginning of July. The systems monitor how much energy is used in a particular area and, in turn, how much money may be being wasted needlessly.

Youth Councillor Kaylee Orchard said: The survey we carried out revealed that most schools in the district carry out recycling, along with a number of other positive green practices. By providing these energy monitoring devices, pupils will become more aware of the amount of energy used in their schools and, I hope, to consider the effect this may be having on the environment.

The Youth Council secured the funding for a number of Owl Wireless Energy Monitor Systems from the West Essex Area Forum. They will be awarding them to the other secondary schools across the district over the next few months.

Nazeing Playground

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, Democracy, Our activities, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council

The sun came out to shine on Thursday 16 July 2009 as children from Nazeing celebrated the opening of their new £50,000 playground with Councillor Penny Smith, the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council. The new facilities at Hoe Lane are a collaborative venture between Epping Forest District Council and Nazeing Parish Council, using money from the Big Lottery Children`s Play Programme Fund.

After the official ribbon cutting with Madison Lang, Tyree Zengini, Josh and Freya Lock, Councillor Smith helped to test the new roundabout and climbing frames. She could then not resist joining the older children for some shots with the new basketball hoop.

Councillor Smith congratulated everyone involved in the project including local children and parents involved in the design consultation and Council staff from Community Development and Housing. Asking the children if they liked their new playground, she was rewarded with cheers of agreement.

Nazeing is one of three areas to benefit from improvement to playgrounds by Epping Forest District Council using £243,000 of Big Lottery funding. After spending more time with 12 year-old Keiran Poonwassie and his friends at the basketball hoop, Councillor Smith headed to St Giles` Church Hall where local people were meeting to discuss plans for another playground at Elizabeth Close in Nazeing.

Councillors Wowed on Copped Hall Visit

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Conservation and listed buildings, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Our countryside, Your area, Your council, Your environment

After more than 90 years, the gutted remains of Copped Hall are rising from the ashes thanks to a band of dedicated volunteers and trustees. Members of Epping Forest District Council including the Chairman, Councillor Penny Smith, were treated to an extensive tour of the restoration works as the Hall returns to its former glory. Where only a short while ago there were no floors or roof, councillors were able to walk from room to room, admiring the restoration work in warmth and comfort as thunderstorms lashed the building outside.

Copped Hall on a stormy day, it is hard to imagine the vast amount of restoration work going on

The current Copped Hall was built in 1753 near the site of an earlier Tudor palace. It was extended and embellished but disaster struck when fire ripped through the building in 1917. What remained was left to decay and the Hall could have been demolished entirely. However, unlike so many English stately homes, it was not knocked down. In 1993 the Copped Hall Trust was established to save the house and surrounding gardens.

Councillors see where new floors will be laid across fire resistant steel beamsArchitect Alan Cox by one of the restored fireplaces

With support of organisations including Epping Forest District Council and the dedicated hard work of many individuals, Copped Hall, the gardens and associated buildings are gradually being brought back to life. The Trustees hold events including the Copped Hall Run with Epping Rotary, music and open-air theatre productions. Tours around the inside of the building are being held for members of the public and local schools.

The cellars at Copped HallCouncillors visit the stables at Copped Hall

Councillor Penny Smith`s family has farmed land in nearby Epping Upland and she remembers some of the people who used to work on the Copped Hall Estate.

She said: Today, many people have no idea about the hall or estate. Most only catch a glimpse as they speed past on the M25. However, there was a time when the lives of people in Epping, Epping Upland and Upshire revolved around Copped Hall. It is steeped in history with records as far back as the Doomsday Book.

The restoration still has a very long way to go but walking through the rooms is incredibly atmospheric. From the great dining and bedrooms to the servants` quarters, kitchens and stables, you get a sense of the generations that lived, worked and died there. Small touches such as the restoration of a fireplace, paintings on a wall and the occasional piece of period furniture add to the impression that this was once a very special place and is becoming so again.

Chairman Penny Smith with Councillor Mary Sartin and Copped Hall Trustee John Padfield

Although there are public footpaths across the Copped Hall Estate, entry to the House is by appointment with the Trustees only who run regular tours, proceeds from which go towards the restoration work.

Councillor Penny Smith thanked Alan Cox and Denys Favre of the Copped Hall Trustees for showing the Councillors the Hall. She said: It is marvellous to see the fantastic work taking place. The Copped Hall Trust is a charitable organisation. It relies upon an army of dedicated volunteers led by Alan, Denys and the other trustees. They have done a tremendous job and I look forward to seeing the restoration progress over the next year or so.

Land Army Girls Honoured

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Community, Councillors, Older people, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council

Former Chairman Cllr John Knapman thanked the Land Girls on behalf of the District

Over thirty surviving `Land Girls` who toiled on the Home Front to provide food for Britain were officially honoured at a reception host by Epping Forest District Council at Theydon Bois Village Hall.

Official recognition of their role has been woefully late in coming. When the Women`s Land Army was disbanded in 1950 the members were shabbily treated, receiving neither medals nor gratuities, and being required to return most of their uniforms.

It was not until the new millennium that members of the Women`s Land Army and Women`s Timber Corps were allowed to join the annual Remembrance Day march in London to the Cenotaph, despite the fact that other national service organisations had for some time been part of the parade.

Chairman Cllr Penny Smith listens to stories of happy memories and comradeship

It took a further eight years of pressure before the British Government agreed to officially recognise the efforts of Land Girls in 2008 and award a specially designed badge to commemorate their service.

The badge has been specially designed by the Garter King at Arms and bears the Royal Crown. It shows a gold wheat sheaf on a white background surrounded by a circlet of pine branches and pine cones to indicate the work of both the Land Army and the Timber Corps.

Each `Land Girl` was represented with her official badge and a specially designed certificate by former Chairman of Council, Councillor John Knapman and the Deputy Lieutenant of Essex, Michael Chapman.

Former Chairman Cllr John Knapman enjoys a cup of tea with the Land Girls

The afternoon reception was a very happy occasion with many of the guests getting a chance to recall their wartime memories with fellow `Land Girls`, of whom many are now over 80 years of age. Stories told were of the incredibly hard work, long hours and even some of romance. But overwhelmingly it was a time of happy memories and comradeship.

Following the presentations Florence Harrison 86 from Theydon Bois said I`m very proud to be given this medal, although I didn`t think about what I was doing at the time. We just got on with it and had a thoroughly enjoyable time – just like this afternoon`.

A full list of the Epping Forest District Land Girls who received an official badge is listed below with links to photographs of those who attended the reception.

Susanna Andrewes Ivy Grant Christine Rumball
Frances Astrella Lillian Griffiths Muriel Rush
Marjorie Bird Joan Hammond Doris Sage
Evelyn Bolden Dorothy Harris Margaret Saggers
M P Butcher Florence Harrison Rosetta Saville
Edna Campion Queenie Harvey Doris Seaman
Doreen Childs Betty Holland Joan Sleet
Joan Cloughton Sheila Horsham W M Smith
Sylvia Cole Constance Jackson Myrtle Stallan
Frances Cray Gladys Kempton Margaret Starling
Elsie Dearson Phyllis Kennerley Sylvia Studwick
Irene Edwards Kathleen Knott Mary Trower
Amy Eldridge Rita Lea Lilian Twaites
Joan Everett Jenny Lowe Violet Webb
Lilian Fensom Joan Lynes Barbara Williams
Doreen Fitzpatrick Constance McPhail Rita Williams
Ivy Gaze Jean Ann Murray Joan Wood
Mollie Gingell Joyce Pollard Jessie Wood
Bessie Goss Gwendoline Rae Marcia Wood
Jane Gottschalk Flora Rideout

Election Results

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Democracy, Elections, Epping, Loughton, Ongar, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your council

Results for the Essex County Council elections, Epping Forest District Council by-election and Buckhurst Hill Parish Council by-election held on 4 June 2009 can be seen from the link ‘elections results’ below.

A quick summary of the successful candidates are:

Essex County Council election

  • Buckhurst Hill and Loughton South
    Valerie Metcalfe – Conservatives
  • Chigwell and Loughton Broadway
    John Knapman – Conservatives
  • Epping and Theydon Bois
    Janet Whitehouse – Liberal Democrat
  • Loughton Central
    Chris Pond – Loughton Residents Association
  • North Weald and Nazeing
    Anthony Jackson – Conservatives
  • Ongar and Rural
    Gerard McEwen – Conservatives
  • Waltham Abbey
    Liz Webster – Conservatives

Epping Forest District Council by-election

  • Waltham Abbey Honey Lane
    Adam Clark – Conservatives

Buckhurst Hill Parish Council by-election

  • Buckhurst Hill East
    Janice Curd – Liberal Democrat

Full details of all the above election results (including number of votes for each candidate, turnout and voting summary) can be found from the link below.

Elections Results

The results for the European Parliamentary election also held on 4 June 2009 will be announced on Sunday 7 June 2009 by the Regional Returning Officer for the Eastern Region David Monks.

Election Information

Pupils Catch Speeders Outside School

Written on . Posted in Health, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community

On Wednesday 6 May 2009 pupils dressed in fluorescent jackets from the Leverton Junior School were given speed guns to pinpoint speeding motorists outside their school in Honey Lane, Waltham Abbey. Members of the Essex Casualty Reduction Board were on hand to help the Year 5 pupils operate the equipment paid for by the Epping Forest District Safer Communities Partnership.

Leverton Junior School pupils with speed guns

Road Policing Officer PC Duncan Stapleford stopped the speeders who were sat down and quizzed by the children asking questions such as `how would you feel if you had killed me?` and `why were you going so fast?`. Local road safety officers were there to offer advice and education. Although the results are not legally enforceable, the initiative is seen as a good way to teach both children and speeding motorists about road safety, encouraging those driving too fast to think about their actions and get them to slow down. The team will be visiting more schools around the District in the future.

PC Duncan Stapleford, Year 5 pupils Rebecca Kirk, Hayley Square and Luke Crisci and Caroline Wiggins

John Gilbert, Chairman of the Epping Forest District Safer Communities Partnership said: “The aim of the initiative is to educate road users and children of the dangers of speeding and to see speeds reduced outside the school. The children detected speeds from between 36mph and 44mph in a 30mph zone, with two people that who lived in the road clocked at 39mph and 41mph! This initiative has been a fun but effective way of helping the children to understand some of the real dangers on the roads and hopefully make drivers think twice before putting their foot down breaking speed limits near to and outside schools.”

Feeling Good Keeping Safe

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Older people, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your home

Older people in the Epping Forest District will soon be entertained by a touring play informing them of how distraction burglaries are carried out, and to help them to recognise bogus callers and refuse them entry. A preview of the play ‘Feeling Good, Keeping Safe’ was performed at Theydon Bois Village Hall on Wednesday 29 April 2009. It was organised by the Epping Forest District Safer Communities Partnership and performed by volunteers from the Roding Valley U3A (University of the Third Age).

Volunteers from Roding Valley U3A performing the Feeling Good, Keeping Safe at Theydon Bois

The aim of the show is ‘to improve doorstep crime awareness and avoid becoming a victim’ through the powerful medium of drama. It shows how burglars work and provides audiences with the necessary techniques to keep themselves safe on their doorstep.

 There were 162 offences of distraction burglary reported in the Epping Forest District between 2006 and 2008. In most categories of crime, younger people are more likely to be the victims but with distraction burglaries the trend is reversed with the average age of victims being 81. According to national figures on doorstep crime there are 19,000 offences against older people reported every year, but the real figure may be much higher. A `Help the Aged` survey in 2002 suggested the number of people falling victim to bogus callers in the UK could be as high as 300,000 in the previous 12 months. Research has shown a large under-reporting of incidents as to victims can often feel foolish or embarrassed or even not being aware a crime has been carried out.

Audiences are shown techniques to keep themselves safe on their doorstep

John Gilbert, Chairman of the Epping Forest District Safer Communities Partnership attended the preview of the play and said: “I found the presentation ‘Feeling Good, Keeping Safe’ to be very informative and entertaining. It’s a great way of getting this vitally important message to those who are most at risk from doorstep crime. Whilst the Epping Forest District is a very safe place to live, this does not prevent criminals from targeting the most vulnerable within our communities, particularly the elderly and infirm who often live alone. It is our priority to inform and protect those who may be at risk from bogus callers both at the doorstep and on the telephone.”

Mr Gilbert continued: “We (the Safer Communities Partnership) will continue to support this initiative and look to see how we can provide the same information and support to those unable to attend the shows.”

U3A are committed to lots of shows in the District this year are looking for suggestions for future venues and audiences. If you have a suggestion please contact Caroline Wiggins by email to cwiggins@eppingforestdc.gov.uk or by telephone on 01992 564122.

    Future performances are listed below:

  • Wedsnesday 3 June 2009 at 9:45am
    Buckhurst Court, Albert Road, Buckhurst Hill, Essex IG9 6EH
  • Wedsnesday 10 June 2009 at 9:45am
    Leonard Davis House. Kiln Road, North Weald, Essex CM16 6BS
  • Tuesday 7 July 2009 at 1:45pm
    Frank Bretton House, Bansons Way, Ongar, Essex CM5 9EY
  • Thursday 23 July 2009 at 1:45pm
    Pelly Court, Hemnall Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4NA
  • Thursday 6 August 2009 at 2pm
    Chapel Road, Epping, Essex CM16 5EE
  • Tuesday 22 September 2009 at 2pm
    Epping Methodist Church Hall, 119 High St, Epping, Essex CM16 4BD
  • Monday 28 September 2009 at 2:15pm
    North Weald Village Hall High Rd, North Weald, Epping, Essex CM16 6BU

Leisure Bursary Winner

Written on . Posted in Community, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community

Bursary winner Lauren Smith

This year`s Epping Forest District Council Leisure Bursary winner in the Sports category is 15 year old Lauren Smith. Lauren lives in Waltham Abbey and is a pupil at King Harold School and trains and competes at an elite level within the British Disability Swimming training programme and also swims on behalf of Epping Forest Swimming Club. She recently secured a place on the British World Class Development Programme where she will attend a training camp in Eindhoven with many of the athletes from Bejiing. Lauren has been selected to represent Great Britian at the Danish Open.

Lauren Smith is pictured with her winner`s certificate and cheque for £1,500. She trains several times a week and competes at an elite level and is following the British Disability Swimming training and competition plan for the World Class Pathway Programme. Lauren will use the money to help pay for her training and competition costs and to achieve her ultimate goal of representing Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics.

The Council`s Leisure Bursary Scheme provides two £1,500 awards each year, one for sport and one for the arts, to enable talented young people to reach their potential. The bursary scheme is intended to help pay for additional opportunities to develop further your talent. For more information, please contact James Carstairs 01992 564567.

Veterans Return For Airfield Gate Guardian Dedication

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Community, North Weald Airfield, Older people, Our attractions, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council

RAF veterans returned to North Weald on Sunday 19 April 2009 for the dedication of the Hawker Hurricane replica aeroplane that now stands as a permanent guardian at the gates of the former Battle of Britain Airfield.

Serving officers and men of 56 Squadron from RAF Waddington, who were based at RAF North Weald for more than 13 years, joined Wing Commander Tom F `Ginger` Neil, DFC who flew the actual Hurricane depicted by the Gate Guardian.

 

North Weald Airfield Gate Guardian Dedication webcast (opens in a new window)

Veterans by North Weald Airfield gate guardian

Other veterans from World War II and the Cold War joined Rev Rayner Harries MBE in the dedication and unveiling of plaques, one of which lists the 50 squadrons that flew from North Weald and another which lists the supporters who made the community partnership project possible, supported by Epping Forest District Council Chairman Councillor John Knapman and airfield historian Arthur Moreton.

  • Arthur Moreton received a Special Award from Chairman John Knapman at the Civic Awards 2009.

A Vampire jet-fighter of the type flown by the RAF at North Weald in the 1950s performed a flypast. A flight of four ex-RAF Bulldog Trainers then flew a `missing man` formation as guests remembered those who did not return.

RAF Vampire jet-fighter

Guests were treated to further flypasts and an aerobatic display as North Weald proved that its flying heritage remains as strong as ever.

North Weald Airfield Gate Guardian

Rev Rayner Harries explained to guests that the Hurricane replica was not to commemorate war. They were gathered to celebrate the `Spirit of North Weald` which `continues to live on in friendship, fellowship and mutual support`. North Weald today enjoys a peaceful legacy, playing its part in the World Scout Jamboree and expecting to become involved in the London 2012 Olympics.

Dedication to the new North Weald Airfield gate guardian

The last RAF fighter squadron left North Weald Airfield in 1958 and it closed as an RAF base in 1964. Today it is owned by Epping Forest District Council. Aviation still plays a major role along with various business and leisure activities. North Weald Airfield also hosts the largest outdoor market in Europe on Saturday each week and Bank Holidays.

Council staffed filmed the dedication service, extracts of which can be viewed from the link at the top of the page.