Local Businesses Invited to Olympic Business Breakfast

Written on . Posted in Our activities, Out and about, Your area

Epping Forest District Council, in conjunction with Business Link Essex, is inviting locally-based small and medium-sized businesses to a business breakfast, designed to assist them in winning contracts directly associated with the Games, as well as increasing the amount of business they carry out within the public sector.

The event will be held on Thursday 6 December 2007 from 7.30am to 9.30am at the Woolston Manor Golf Club in Chigwell. There will be no charge to participants but as places are limited to the first 100 applicants, businesses are encouraged to register as soon as possible.

Planning and Economic Development Portfolio Holder Councillor Anne Grigg said: The Olympic Games is a huge event which will engage not only London and its immediate surroundings but indeed the whole country. There will be hundreds of thousands of visitors to the area which will mean an enormous boost to the local economy. We want to provide the knowledge to our local businesses to enable them to tap into this resource.

Leader of Council Councillor Diana Collins said: Although the Games may seem a long way off, planning for them is well under way. We don`t want our local businesses to be left behind and so this is a fantastic opportunity for them to find out how they can benefit from all the Games has to offer.

There will be three speakers at the event: Danny Crates, Champion Paralympic giving an athlete`s perspective; Stephen Castle, Chairman of Nations and Regions East giving the regional perspective; and Terry Burgess, Senior Partnership Manager Business Link East speaking about 2012 opportunities for Local Business.

Waltham Abbey Honey Lane Notice of Election

Written on . Posted in Democracy, Elections, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your council

Epping Forest District

Election of a Town Councillor for the Waltham Abbey Honey Lane

Notice is hereby given that:

  • An election is to be held for one Town Councillor for Waltham Abbey Honey Lane.
  • Forms of nomination may be obtained at Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4BZ from the Returning Officer who will, at the request of an elector for the electoral area, prepare a nomination paper for signature.
  • Nomination papers must be delivered to the Returning Officer, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4BZ on any day after the date of this notice but no later than NOON on Friday, 28 September 2007.
  • If the election is contested, the poll will take place on Thursday, 25 October 2007.
  • Applications, amendments or cancellations of postal votes must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4BZ by 5 pm on Wednesday, 10 October 2007.
  • Applications to vote by proxy at this election must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4BZ by 5 pm on Wednesday, 17 October 2007.
  • Applications to vote by proxy at this election applied for on grounds of physical incapacity, where that physical incapacity occurred after 5 pm on Wednesday, 17 October 2007 must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4BZ by 5 pm on Thursday, 25 October 2007.

Dated Thursday 20 September 2007

Ian Willett
Returning Officer


Roding Valley Lake Oxygen Levels Near Normal

Written on . Posted in Countryside and wildlife, Loughton, Out and about, Your area

Oxygen Levels approaching 50 percent have signalled a major improvement in the condition of Roding Valley Lake.

Councillor Mitch Cohen, Leisure and Young People Portfolio Holder said: The good news is that oxygen levels are now approaching near normal thanks to a combination of natural recovery and aeration equipment. Therefore thanks to the improvement in conditions over the weekend there is no need to continue artificial aeration and the equipment will be removed. However, this does not suggest that we are becoming complacent and will continue to monitor oxygen levels.

He continued: Some more dead fish have appeared but have probably been dead for some time. A few more are likely to appear as decomposition gasses bring them to the surface and we will have a further clear up later this week.

The experts from the Environment Agency are still struggling to understand exactly what happened at Roding Valley Lake. It now seems very unlikely that a sewage leak was to blame. It is much more likely to be what they would call a natural event, possibly associated with a sudden growth of blanket weed or algae although this remains speculation.

Our staff will continue to work with the Environment Agency to find the cause. A meeting will be scheduled in the next couple of weeks once the tests have been completed. We will then be in a position to see if there was anything we could reasonably have done to foresee such an event and whether it could be possible to prevent a similar occurrence in the future.


Roding Valley Lake – Update

Written on . Posted in Countrycare, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Your area

Doubts have emerged about the cause of death of substantial numbers of fish at Roding Valley Lake on Friday. Initially it was believed that a sewage pipe running under the lake was the probable cause. After extensive investigations over the weekend, Thames Water and the Environment Agency have been unable to confirm a leak. A new theory that the death of the fish may have been caused by a natural event is now being explored.

Tests of the water showed very low levels of oxygen in parts of the lake while other areas were almost normal. Initially, organic dye tests to find the exact location of any leaks have proved inconclusive. Further dye and water tests are being carried out.

Thames Water and Environment Agency officials have not ruled out the possibility of a sewage leak but are now suggesting that there may be a natural cause for the sharp and sudden drop in oxygen levels in parts of the lake. Among the theories being explored is the possibility that large amounts of algae may have been affected by recent weather conditions, leading to the oxygen imbalance.

Aeration of the lake has continued as the organisations battle to save as many fish as possible.

Councillor Mitch Cohen, Epping Forest District Council`s new Leisure and Young People Portfolio Holder said: The events of the last 72 hours have been very distressing. The area is a beautiful setting regularly enjoyed by residents of all ages as well as being a haven for wildlife. Everyone who loves Roding Valley will be upset by the scenes.

Councillor Cohen continued: Sadly, the experts at the Environment Agency are telling us that this kind of thing can happen anywhere and suddenly but on a more optimistic note there is no reason to believe the lake will not completely recover. We will continue to post information updates on the Council website as and when we hear anything new.

Weather Update: Flash Flooding Hits District

Written on . Posted in Business, Emergencies, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Your area

Severe weather warnings are still in force and more rain is expected. Over the last few days (the 14 June 2007 in particular) the District has been vulnerable to flash flooding like many other parts of the Country.

The rain has been so heavy for short periods that it has overwhelmed some drainage systems. Flash flooding tends to be very localised and rapidly dissipates in most cases. Within the District, Ongar has been worst hit over the last few days.

All of Epping Forest District Council`s Flood Alleviation Schemes have worked well and areas such as North Weald that are normally prone to flooding have been largely unaffected.

However, despite the efforts of all the various agencies including Epping Forest District Council, Essex County Council Highways, Thames Water and the Emergency Services, a small number of homes have been flooded. Water came up so rapidly in these instances that there was little anyone could do to help.

More flooding is possible over the next few days. In partnership with other organisations, Epping Forest District Council will continue to do all we can. People who think they may be at risk of flooding should protect themselves.

Link to Environment Agency Flood Advice
    Sandbags are available from a number of different suppliers including:

  • SG Baker
    Grantham, Lincs – Telephone 01476 565501
  • Jewson Ltd
    Greensted Road, Ongar – Telephone 01277 362231
    Bridge House Wharfe, Lea Road, Waltham Abbey – Telephone 01992 714000
  • Travis Perkins Ltd
    140 High Street, Epping – Telephone 01992 572231
  • Rolathene Ltd (Bags only)
    Unit 41, Hillgrove Business Park, Nazeing – Telephone 01992 892525

A spokesperson for Epping Forest District Council said: “We are part of the emergency response and do have limited supplies of sandbags but flash flooding is one of the most difficult challenges. Water can rise so quickly that by the time a Council lorry arrives it can be too late. Anyone living in an area vulnerable to flash flooding would be well advised to make sure they have their own supplies or have taken other precautions to protect their property.”

London Underground Comes Under Spotlight at Scrutiny

Written on . Posted in Meetings, Out and about, Residents, Travel, Your area, Your council

Simon Williams of London Underground Limited proved to be a master of his brief when he gave a detailed account of the latest developments on the Central Line to Members of Epping Forest District Council`s Scrutiny Committee on Thursday 7 June 2007.

In a very detailed and wide ranging presentation available to view online via the Council webcast facility, Mr Williams covered the upgrade and refurbishment of local Central Line stations and services including the extension of station opening times and staffing hours. He reported that since January, many of the local stations had become part of the travel zone 4 meaning lower prices for many travellers.

As more travellers switch to alternatives such as Oyster Cards, the provision of traditional ticket offices was being reduced but Mr Williams emphasised that all stations would be staffed while open. He outlined many of the improvements to stations such as Epping, Chigwell, Loughton, Theydon Bois, Roding Valley and Epping. Work was continuing at Loughton and Debden.

Refurbishment at Grange Hill is scheduled to take place in 2008.

Mr Williams described many enhancements and investments to the track and infrastructure of the Central Line in the period leading up to the London Olympics of 2012. He acknowledged that some of the network investment works would also cause periods of short-term disruption to some rail users.

However, while many improvements had been made or were planned, Mr Williams also had to answer a number of concerns. Delays and uncertainties about the upgrade of Buckhurst Hill Station which is not likely to receive significant attention before 2011 prompted Councillor Mrs Ann Haigh to enquire what might be done in terms of staff visibility, ticket facilities and access arrangements. Councillor Stallan appealed on behalf of rail user at Epping for the retention of the station kiosk in any future changes to the station, while several councillors asked questions about parking provision for commuters.

Original plans for the extension of the existing car park capacity had been shelved but a feasibility study was underway intot he scope for use of the builders yard at Epping Station.

Councillor Lesley Wagland emphasised the need not only to staff stations such as Chigwell where service hours were recently extended, but to ensure a higher level of staff visibility to reassure late night travellers.

Crime prevention in the form of CCTV cameras for stations and car parks featured in the improvements outlined by Mr Williams along with staffing of stations during open hours.

Councillor David Bateman and Councillor Doug Kelly put a number of strategic questions to Mr Williams. They asked what consideration was being given to the potential for extension of the Central Line, either out to Ongar on the existing privately owned track bed or for more ambitious projects such as extending the line to Stansted.

Mr Williams said that on the current population increase projections for the East of England Plan, LUL did not believe a business case could be made for repurchase of the Epping Ongar Line. Extension to Stansted would be prohibitive for a number of reasons including journey time.

Generating significant additional passenger numbers from within the district or further a field would also have implications on the Central Line capacity in central London. Mr Williams said that at peak times Central Line trains were running at approximate two minute intervals and while there might be some further scope to increase capacity this was limited. Councillor Mrs Wagland came back on these points as a commuter who frequently struggled in overcrowded trains.

Many of the decisions relating to congestion lay within the strategic remit of the Mayor of London. Mr Williams said that beyond improvements to the Central Line itself, Cross Rail and other solutions such as enhancements to the bus network were part of the Mayor`s thinking.

Allowing for a degree of investment to the rail network essential to the success of the Olympics in 2012, Councillor Heather Harding sought information on the impact of the recently publicised Metronet funding problems. Mr Williams was unable to provide a full response but speculated on the balance between the public purse and private enterprise in meeting some of the funding gap.

Councillor Ken Angold-Stephens, chairing Overview and Scrutiny in the absence of Councillor Richard Morgan drew the questions session to a close with thanks to Mr Williams for his very detailed presentation and responses.

Councillor Angold-Stephens said: Simon Williams certainly did his homework. Even though he had advanced notice there were many supplementary questions. While there are a number of welcome improvements to London Underground, there are also still issues of real concern to us. However, Mr Williams had a very good grasp of the subject and I think Members appreciated the manner in which he was able to reply.


Epping Parking Review

Written on . Posted in Out and about, Parking, Residents, Travel, Your area, Your environment

Epping Forest District Council has, in partnership with Essex County Council been working on the Epping Parking Review. The works are programmed to commence in mid May and should be completed, (weather and access permitting) by the end of June 2007.

Copies of the proposals are also on display at the Civic Offices in Epping and at Epping Town Council in St Johns Road in Epping between 9.00am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday.
Note: The Town Council offices are closed for lunch between 12.30pm and 1.30pm.

Essex County Council and Epping Forest District Council are committed to undertaking a review of the parking scheme six months after implementation with a view to addressing any concerns raised by residents and businesses regarding the scheme.

Comments can be forwarded to either Essex County Council or Epping Forest District Council:

  • Essex County Council Highways and Transportation
    West Area Highways Office
    Warwick House
    Roydon Road
    Harlow
    Essex CM19 5DX
  • Telephone: 01279 642500
  • Email: highways.westarea@essexcc.gov.uk


Car Parking Tickets Promoting a Message

Written on . Posted in Business, Health, Licensing, Parking, Regulations, Supporting business, Your area

Over the next 3 months 400,000 car park tickets will be purchased in the Epping Forest District. Environmental Services have used the advertising on the reverse of the ticket to promote the change in smoking legislation for enclosed or substantially enclosed public places and workplaces, which includes work vehicles.

The change takes place on 1July 2007. The new law is intended to substantially reduce the exposure to second hand smoke. It is estimated that the new law will save thousands of lives over the next decade. A smoke free England will ensure a healthier environment, so everyone can socialise, relax, travel, shop and work free from secondhand smoke.

Over the next month businesses across the district will be receiving direct from Smoke Free England their free guidance and free notices that must be displayed.

    Leaflets are available, however, businesses and members of the public are encouraged to access information on line at:

  • Click here to go to the www.smokefreeengland.co.uk website
  • Copies of leaflets can be picked at Council offices

For individuals wishing to make this their opportunity to quit smoking, help is on hand. The local NHS runs a variety of smoking cessation services including support groups and individual support. Smokers who have support when quitting are four times more likely to stay quitters and advice is available through the NHS Stop Smoking Team on 01279 827866.


Bobbingworth Tip – the Problem and the Solution

Written on . Posted in Business, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Our countryside, Out and about, Recycling and waste, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Your area, Your community, Your environment, Your home

Work begins on Monday 19 March 2007 on the long awaited improvements to Bobbingworth Tip.

For more than ten years in the 1960`s and 70`s the former gravel pit near Ongar was being used as a landfill for domestic rubbish. Although landfill seemed like a cheap and easy solution to rubbish disposal at that time, tips like Bobbingworth have left a legacy of pollution. Now the Council is investing £1.35 million into turning the site into a public asset.

The works now getting under way to clean up the site will create huge underground barriers and drains to help control the flow of water leeching through the refuse. By the end of the project only clean, healthy treated water will flow from the site. The aims of the project is to control the volume of leachate leaving the tip and going into the Thames Water Utilities Ltd sewage works as Epping Forest District Council can be in breach of licence and incur penalties. Native trees and hedgerows will be preserved and enhanced with new planting and landscaping to provide a park for people to walk in and enjoy.

Tips like Bobbingworth pollute the local environment by giving off gases and contributing significantly to global warming. After so many years the gas emissions at Bobbingworth are now falling, but problems remain of pollution escaping as water seeps through the tip and affects land and watercourses around it. The smell of  gas may have faded but the water pollution is clear to see.

Over the course of the building works, a large number of lorries will bring materials to the site for the construction of the various structures and topsoil to cap the site properly. Care is being taken to keep the disturbance to residents caused by these lorries to a minimum.

    To reduce disturbance:

  • Opening times will be restricted:          Monday to Friday 8:00 – 18:00
              Saturday 8:00 – 13:00Note: there will be no operations on Sundays and Public Holidays
  • Low noise plant and equipment with effective silencers that are properly maintained
  • Work on Saturdays (when possible will be conducted away from the site boundaries)
  • On Friday afternoons soil deliveries will stop at 16:00 rather than 16:30
  • A maximum of 90 lorries on any one-day
  • No soil deliveries on Saturdays

The lorries entering and leaving the site will be restricted to a 30mph speed limit. Random checks will be carried out by Veolia (an environmental service) to make sure that the lorries delivering materials to the site are driving properly, and are driving at the right delivery times. Local residents are encouraged to report to Veolia any problems caused by the lorries. On site wheel-cleaning facilities will prevent lorries transferring mud onto clean roads.

    Contact details for Veolia are:

  • Telephone number for Veolia 01277 723 552
  • Or email the Veolia environmental manager darren.cole@veolia.co.uk


Neighbourhood First Responders

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Older people, Residents, Supporting business, Uncategorized, Young people, Your area, Your community

At the beginning of the Full Council meeting of Epping Forest District Council on 25 July the Chairman, Mrs Ann Haigh presented certificates to members of the Epping Forest Neighbourhood First Responders. This volunteer group is one of the charities Mrs Haigh is supporting during her chairmanship of the Council.

The emergency medical unit provides care `for the people by the people` of the local district. The emergency calls dealt with include such things as diabetic emergencies, unconsciousness, chest pains and heart attacks. Volunteers who are trained in this area by St John Ambulance deal with Category A emergency calls and should be able to be with the patient within 8 minutes of being called.

Each set of equipment required costs in the region of £3,000 although the ambulance service replaces the oxygen cylinders and the defibrillator pads without charge as they are used. The more equipment they have in a unit the more volunteers can be on shift at any one time.

First responders with Councillor Mrs Ann Haigh after presentation of their service certificates. Left to Right:  David Read, Peter Marchant, Chairman of Council Mrs Ann Haigh, John Newman, Roger Salmon, Sandra Newman.

Councillor Mrs Haigh said: First Responders is a little known but marvellous charity made up of unpaid volunteers working for the good of the district whose life saving actions support the Ambulance Service. I hope that making First Responders one of my charities for the year will raise their profile and bring more resources to this excellent group of volunteers.