Bursary Scheme for Sports and the Arts

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Grants, Our activities, Out and about, Young people, Your area, Your council

Sports and Arts Activities

Epping Forest District Council is encouraging applications from talented young people in the district to apply for Leisure Bursary Awards. The Scheme provides two £1,500 awards each year – one for the Arts and one for Sport. Applicants must be aged 13 to 25 and be able to demonstrate an outstanding talent for their activity. The Awards are intended to help pay for additional opportunities to further develop this talent.

Last year the Bursary for Arts was awarded jointly to Somalia Seaton and Nichola Miles. Somalia received funding to support her theatre production at the National Student Drama Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Her work received great reviews and Somalia gained a wealth of experience. Nichola was a winner of a competition to design marketing material for St Clare Hospice and the Bursary Award helped to fund much-needed equipment for her to enable her to complete her course at Harlow College. She has since gained a place at Hertford University where she is studying Graphic Design and Illustration.

Jim Lewis was the 2008 Sports Bursary Winner. Jim is part of the British Cycling Talent Team and races at international level. The award enabled Jim to purchase a bespoke bike which will help him towards his ultimate goal of representing GB at the 2012 Olympics.

Full details and application forms are available from Lynne Hague, on 01992 564551. Closing date for applications is 30 January 2009 and interviews will be held mid-February.

Clarification of Compulsory Purchase

Written on . Posted in Community, Consultation, Epping, Gypsy and traveller, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

 

Our record shows that although we have compulsory purchase powers, they are used as a last resort, whether connected to traveller and gypsy sites or any other matter, says Councillor Anne Grigg, Planning and Economic Development Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council. Councillor Grigg made her comment in response to concerns raised in a national newspaper and added: Against that background I cannot see Epping Forest District Council wanting to use compulsory purchase powers in this instance.

Residents have voiced concerns through the traveller and gypsy consultation process and the matter has been debated in the House of Commons. The Council has clarified that although it is among a number of agencies with the power to make a compulsory purchase of land, Councillors regard this as very much a last resort.

Information on the consultation can be found at:

  • Development Plan Provision for Gypsies and Travellers in Epping Forest District

Consultation on options for potentially new or extended traveller sites began on 4 November 2008 and has been extended by three days to Friday 23 January 2009. It is being driven by the need to respond to the Government directive. The Council has been told to find 49 more pitches within the district by 2011 and a further 57 pitches by 2023. The consultation document is a starting point. No decisions have been taken. The Council stresses these are potential sites. Nothing is set in stone.

Council staff are holding a series of public exhibitions around the district where people can ask questions and discuss the options. Councillor Mrs Grigg said: The exhibitions are being generally well received. We are asked why the Council is doing this. Our answer is that we are responding to a Government directive. We have to plan for 49 new pitches. It is vital that local residents know what is happening and respond directly to the District Council. Some people may send their views to their Parish, Town or even the County Council. That is OK but we need your views direct to help the District Council frame its response to the Government later.

Councillors do not think the allocation process for Epping Forest District is fair. They are concerned by the methodology used to calculate need and think the number should be reduced. The consultation document is helping the Council inform local residents about potential sites although other options may be suggested through the process. The most important element from the Council’s perspective is to gather as much evidence and opinion from local people as possible to place before the Government-appointed panel of inspectors next year.

The Council is anxious to make sure everyone knows what is happening. As well as placing information online, every household can read more in the Forester magazine currently being delivered across the district. The Council is also working with the media, particularly local newspapers, to inform residents. People living closest to the potential sites have been contacted directly. Residents can also see the debates at Cabinet and Council meetings via webcasts on the Council website.

The Council cannot dictate the recommendations of the inspectors through the Examination in Public, or the final decision of the Secretary of State but by raising as much public awareness as possible, it is doing all it can to gather the evidence it needs to influence the outcome for the benefit of the entire local community.

Councillors are urging local residents to support the Council and get the facts. Councillor Anne Grigg said: “This is a very sensitive matter and people are extremely worried. The Epping Forest District Council website contains a very significant amount of information designed to assist people in responding to this consultation and this will be updated.

We need people to keep a close eye on the website, read the consultation document and supporting information and return completed questionnaires. That is the best way to give the Council the evidence we need to back our arguments when the Government takes its decisions in 2010.”

View the consultation document and supporting information click on link above or call Forward Planning on 01992 564517.

Cabinet 10 November 2008

Written on . Posted in Chigwell, Community, Democracy, Local land charges, Meetings, Older people, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Limes Farm Community Hall, Epping Forest Youth Council, Travellers and Domestic Violence were all featured at the meeting of Cabinet on Monday 10 November 2008.

Watch the webcastCabinet meeting 10 November 2008 webcast
(opens in a new window)

 

Limes Farm Community Hall

Epping Forest District Council has ensured the short-term continuation of community services from Limes Farm Hall. Members of the Cabinet agreed to take over management and funding up to the end of March 2010 after Chigwell Parish Council signalled its intention to relinquish the hall next March.

Leisure and Young People Portfolio Holder, Councillor Heather Harding, urged members to support the hall. In so doing, opportunities could be developed by the District Council with Essex County Council, West Essex Primary Care Trust and other partners to provide long-term facilities.

Epping Forest Youth Council

Councillor Harding asked members to note the success of the Youth Council since its formation less than a year ago. The Youth Council requested funding to ensure the continuation of its development and operation.

Members of the Cabinet were very supportive of the Youth Council and noted funding already provided by Epping Forest District Council and other agencies. Before agreeing to provide regular long-term funding, the cabinet asked for a report by the Youth Council to be presented to Overview and Scrutiny, setting out achievements and plans in greater detail.

Main River Management

Members of the Cabinet noted that the Council would no longer provide contracted services for the management of main river watercourses and flood alleviation schemes on behalf of the Environment Agency.

Despite a high quality bid, the Council had not matched the lower cost of the successful builder for the Environment Agency contract.

Local Land Charges

Councillor Mitch Cohen, Portfolio Holder for Corporate Support and ICT Services reported on the reduction in income from Local Land Charge searches, a service carried out on behalf of people preparing to buy a new home. The reduction reflected the general downturn in the housing market.

Car Park Investment

Bakers Lane Car Park in Epping will benefit from investment of £120,000. Among the proposed improvements supported by Cabinet were new lighting, CCTV, drainage, resurfacing and lining.

Travellers

In response to a question by a member of the public, Councillor Anne Grigg confirmed that alternative suggestions for potential traveller and gipsy sites to those in the consultation document would be considered.

Building Maintenance

Cabinet asked staff to do more work on prioritising planned maintenance work to council buildings and facilities.

Reduced Energy Cost and Carbon Footprint

Investment in new computer technology should lead to savings on fuel bills and reduction of the Council`s carbon footprint. With energy prices at high levels, the payback period for `virtualisation` of the Council`s computer storage solutions should be complete in four to five years.

Domestic Violence

Councillors supported the adoption of a policy to help members of staff suffering from or dealing with the effects of domestic violence.

Tree Maintenance and Sports Hall

Cabinet supported a bid for £64,000 which if successful will allow the Council to catch up on a backlog of tree maintenance. Members also agreed to £6,000 to fund a feasibility study on the provision of a new sports hall at Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool.

Capital Strategy

Cabinet agreed to recommend the draft Capital Strategy 2008 to 2013 to Full Council.

Report of Overview and Scrutiny

To see a transcript of report to Cabinet of Councillor Richard Morgan, Chairman of Overview and Scrutiny click on the link below.

Spurs Star Gets Tenants Active

Written on . Posted in Community, Older people, Our activities, Out and about, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community

Match of the Day came to Waltham Abbey on Monday 27 October 2008. Spurs and England defender Jonathan Woodgate was the star attraction at the launch of a new project designed to get older residents fit and active. Mr Woodgate launched the HOPE (Helping Older People Exercise) project at Jubilee Court, Epping Forest District Council`s sheltered housing scheme in Waltham Abbey, 24 hours after the announcement of Harry Redknapp`s appointment as the new Spurs manager and the team`s first Premier League win of the season.

Spurs and England defender Jonathan Woodgate with Jubilee Court residents

Match of the Day presenter Mark Bright who scored over 200 goals during a glittering football career with teams including Charlton, Leicester, Millwall, Sheffield Wednesday and Crystal Palace put the questions to Jonathan Woodgate. HOPE is being delivered by the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation in partnership with Epping Forest District Council via funding from the Football Foundation and Comic Relief. Football stars and Jubilee Court tenants were invited to take part in seated exercises led by the District Council`s Active Health Development Officer, David Hogg, as well as golf, bowling and baseball on the Nintendo Wii.

Match of the Day presenter Mark Bright playing the Nintendo Wii (image © Guardian Newspapers)

After the workout with tenants Jonathan Woodgate and Mark Bright also tried out a special back massage therapy.

Chairman John Knapman at the launch of the HOPE project (image © Guardian Newspapers)Councillor John Knapman, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council demonstrated his golfing skills on the Wii and took part in the seated exercise. He thanked Spurs and congratulated the club on the expansion of its work within the local community.

He said: I am very proud of the close links forged in recent years between Spurs and Epping Forest District Council. We already have a very strong track record working with young people on housing estates such as Limes Farm in Chigwell. This latest initiative with our older people is very welcome. Spurs is much more than `big business`. It is showing it takes its community role seriously too.

HOPE is a 30 week programme being delivered at Jubilee Court by Spurs in partnership with Epping Forest District Council and other organisations. Tenants will also get the chance to try out yoga and visit the home of Tottenham at White Hart Lane. If the scheme proves successful, it is hoped to expand it into the London Boroughs of Haringey and Enfield.

Celebrating 300 Years of Guruship

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, Democracy, Your area, Your council

On Sunday 2 November 2008 Councillor John Knapman, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council attended the Council of Gurdwaras South East celebrations of the 300th year of Guru Gaddi Divas (Gruship) of Guru Granth Sahib. The event which was held at the Guru Gobins Sing Khalsa College, Chigwell started on 31 October 2008 with the commencement of continuous reading of Guru Granth Sahib for 48 hours until Sunday 2 November 2008.

Chairman John Knapman joins visitors to the 300th Year of Guruship of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji

The Ceremony was attended by the Members of Parliament Mr Lee Scott and Mr Mike Gapes, Mayors, Deputy Mayors and Councillors from neighbouring boroughs, the Sikh Scholars including Inderjit Singh, OBE and many other dignitaries.

Speeches were delivered by many personalities to mark the occasion. Judge Mota Singh could not attend and his message was read by Epping Forest District Councillor Kewal Singh Chana. Awards were presented to various personalities in appreciation of their services to the local communities over many years. Mr Amarjit Singh Toor, the Principal of the College, also presented certificates of achievement to students of the college. On this occasion a Punjabi Poetry session was held and attended by many poets from London, Middlesex and the Midlands including radio and TV presenters Mr Chamanlal Chaman and Sathi Ludhianvi.

Safer Communities Team Provide Halloween Treat

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

Epping Forest District Council`s Safer Communities Team joined forces with the Police for Hallowe`en to tackle complaints of nuisance. Safer Communities Officers Paul Gardener, Katie Sparks and Paul Southgate together with Tony Ellis the Police Crime Reduction Officer for the district responded to calls from the public to provide help, advice and re-assurance.

Safer Communities Officer Paul Southgate (top right) with Trick or Treaters and their parentsYoungsters with their blinky lights

The evening started with Officers speaking to groups of young people Trick or Treating to remind them not to call at addresses displaying `No Trick or Treat` posters and to encourage them to act responsibly. As an added road safety measure, officers handed out red flashing lights to make them more visible in the dark. During the course of the evening a number of addresses were attended across the whole district and Officers were able to give advice and re-assurance to residents who had reported youth nuisance.

Tony Ellis Epping Forest District Police Crime Reduction Officer said: Traditionally, Hallowe`en produces a high demand for the increased number of Police Officers on patrol. However, many of the calls we receive relate to instances of nuisance rather than an actual crime. The reason I and Safer Communities staff from Epping Forest District Council patrolled together was to relieve the pressure on Police units by attending minor incidents leaving them to deal with the more serious ones.”

Paul Gardener said: We provided support to the Police allowing Officers to deal with the more urgent calls. The co-ordination between organisations worked very well and this is a service we hope to provide each Hallowe`en.

Go Sport Volunteer Evening

Written on . Posted in Community, Loughton, Our activities, Sports, Young people, Your area, Your community

Epping Forest District Council, in conjunction with Sport Essex and Davenant Foundation School are hosting an event to link local sports organisations with potential volunteers. The Go Sport Volunteer Evening is being held between 7pm and 9pm on 19 November 2008 at Davenant Foundation School in Loughton.

Anyone aged 14 or over who is interested in sport and would like to offer their time to help others is welcome to attend this free event. This is an excellent opportunity for meeting people and possibly signing up to volunteer for a local sports club where new skills can be learned.

Following on from a club development convention earlier this year, the event will include stalls and demonstrations throughout the evening by local sports clubs and organisations trying to recruit local volunteers.

All sports across Essex rely on support and time given by volunteers. Through the Go Sports Volunteer Project, the Council and its partners have dedicated resources to increase the numbers of people volunteering in sport.

Stakeholders Rise to the Challenge

Written on . Posted in Community, Councillors, Democracy, Leader, Meetings, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

 

Local MPs, the Leader of Epping Forest District Council, the Chief Executive of the West Essex Primary Care Trust and the Western Division Chief Superintendent of Essex Police are just some of the high-profile people who have accepted the invitation of the Epping Forest Youth Council to attend an evening of debate with young people from across the Epping Forest District.

Local MPs Eleanor Laing, Eric Pickles and Bill Rammell have all agreed to take a place on the panel that will face questioning by their young local constituents from various school councils, youth groups and other backgrounds.

On the panel will also be the Leader of Epping Forest District Council Councillor Diana Collins and Deputy Chief Executive Derek Macnab, as well as Essex County Council Cabinet member Councillor Ray Gooding, Children, Young People and Families Officer Lonica Vanclay and Transport Officer, Nick Roberts. In addition, the panel will include West Essex Primary Care Trust Chief Executive Aidan Thomas, Police Chief Superintendent Timothy Stokes and renowned Musician/Actor and Youth Charity Worker Shovell, of `M-People` fame.

The panel consists of individuals who are qualified to answer questions on all of the themed topics of a recent young people`s survey, conducted by Epping Forest Youth Council.

Youth Councillor Reece Williams said: We are really encouraged by how forthcoming the panel members have been in attending the Big Youth Debate. This really sends out a positive message that authorities such as the Police, the Health Service and our local Councils want to work with young people, which is really good. We, as young people, have to make sure that we make the most of this opportunity.

Councillor Diana Collins, who has been a big supporter of the Epping Forest Youth Council said: The Youth Council have done very well to consult with over 850 of their peers. I am looking forward with interest to hearing their conclusions regarding local crime and safety, environmental and transport issues.

There are still a few places available for young people aged 11 to 19 to attend the Big Youth Debate event, which takes place at Woolston Manor Golf Club, Chigwell on Wednesday 19 November 2008 from 6:30pm. Anyone interested should contact the Council`s Young Persons` Officer Nick Robinson on 01992 564365.

Black History Month

Written on . Posted in Community, Museum, Older people, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community

James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw an African Prince

As part of Black History Month, the Epping Forest District Museum website is showing a film it commissoned for last year`s commemoration of the the Abolition of Slavery. The film is a narrative of the most remarkable particulars in the life of James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw an African prince, written by himself.

James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw was captured into slavery when he was a child. Many years later, when he was living in England, he recorded his life story. His memories of Africa, New York, London, Colchester and Norwich were published in 1774. The book is believed to be the first slave narrative to be published in Britain.

Watch the webcastWebcast of James Akawsaw Gronniosaw – an African Prince (opens in a new window)

This film shows extracts from the book and is part of the touring exhibition `The Longest Journey: from Slavery to Abolition`, by Epping Forest District Museum, which looks at Essex links with the slave trade and its abolition.

Epping Town Link

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Epping, Out and about, Your area, Your community, Your home

Epping Forest District Council`s Safer Communities team, in partnership with the local Police and stores in Epping have joined together to provide a Town Link / Shop Watch Service.

A total of ten shops along Epping High Street will be provided with a hand-held two-way radio to communicate with and alert each other to incidences of crime such as shoplifting.

The radios enable shopkeepers to warn others of any suspicious activity or people quickly and easily. The Council has funded the initial ten radios for the first year at a cost of £3,000, after which the shops will pay for the service. The local Police and Safer Communities Team at the Council will also have radios so that they can react to any incident very quickly and provide assistance if necessary.

Group shot of members of the Epping Forest Safer Communities Partnership

Pictured above are members of the Epping Forest District Safer Communities Partnership. On the top row from left to right are Ryan Scott (Manager of Scott Sports), Colin Freeman (Essex Watch Co-ordinator), Paul Southgate (Epping Forest District Council ASB Investigator), Jonathan Baldwin (Essex Police Chief Inspector) and Craig Carrington (Essex Police Inspector). On the bottom row from left to right are Councillor Syd Stavrou (Epping Forest District Council), Norma Harrison (PCSO – Police Community Support Officer, Caroline Wiggins (Epping Forest District Council Safer Communities Manager) and Gary Harrington (NSO – Neighbourhood Specialist Officer).

Councillor Syd Stavrou Community Wellbeing Portfolio Holder said: The introduction of the Epping Town Link will allow shop workers to communicate more frequently about problems they are currently experiencing and hopefully prevent would-be shoplifters from succeeding. This will provide a safer and better environment for local shoppers.

Chief Inspector Jonathan Baldwin Epping Forest District Commander said: This is an excellent Partnership initiative which provides support to local town businesses. The use of the radios will assist my Officers in preventing and detecting crime directed at the retail trade.”