Council progress report to Scrutiny

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Council Leader Chris Whitbread set out progress on a number of key Council initiatives for Overview and Scrutiny on Monday 29 October. Major steps forward include internal reorganisation of the Council’s top management structure, new homes for local people through the council house building programme and the culmination of a year of major investment in leisure facilities with the imminent opening of the brand new Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre.

Thanks to prudent financial planning, effective management and maximisation of assets, Epping Forest District Council is in a stronger financial position than many councils. Councillors of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee received the latest progress report on services from Council Leader Chris Whitbread.

£2.5m savings

The Council has a savings target of £2.5m over the next three years as government grants are phased out while protecting frontline services and keeping Council Tax low.

The first new council houses have been completed with many more now in the pipeline.

Restructure

Senior management has been restructured with two Strategic Directors and eight Service leads tasked with focusing on the customer and driving efficiency through bringing business support functions together.

Councillor Whitbread said that the Council is committed to promoting ‘flexible smarter working’ for staff and redeveloping the rear of the Civic Office site. While listing has delayed changes to the Civic Offices, options are to be discussed by December Cabinet.

Good progress on ICT is supporting customer access to Council services and allowing staff to work in flexible more efficient ways.

Epping Forest District Local Plan

The Local Plan is back on track.   Judicial Review caused frustrating delay and uncertainty but the plan is now submitted for examination next year.

Leisure in the district

The Council’s partnership with Places for People has delivered £12 million of improvements including the opening of the new Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre in a few weeks’ time. Council assets are helping to deliver community and economic benefits.  Epping Forest Shopping Park is trading well and the Council is now in position to take forward St John’s Road, Epping potentially including another new leisure centre.

Finance

Whilst Council Tax was frozen for many years, an increase of 2.5% this year to fund extra police officers dedicated to the district is proving very successful.

Preparation of the 2019/20 budget starts in earnest shortly with positive bids for extra services such as investment in public car parks being looked at by Cabinet and Overview and Scrutiny in January.

Decisions from Plans South – 24 October 2018

Written on . Posted in Community, Loughton, Older people, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your environment, Your home

Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee South meeting Wednesday 24 October 2018.

Decisions 

  • EPF/1722/18 – 139 High Road, Loughton, Essex, IG10 4LT
    Deferred back to Officers
  • EPF/2030/18 – 19 Hainault Road, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 6QU
    Deferred back to Officers

Planning application search

Nazeing nursery fined for contaminated water

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Councillors, Environmental health, Epping, Health, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your environment

The owner of a Nazeing nursery has been fined £583 plus £500 costs and a £58 victim surcharge, after Epping Forest District Council found  E. coli and Enterococci in his water supply.

Mr. Derek Fawcett, one of the owners of Eastside Nursery, Nazeing, Essex pleaded guilty on 11th October 2018 at Chelmsford Magistrates Court, to not having complied with a Notice served on him on the 8th November 2017 by Epping Forest District Council for improvement work to be carried out to the private water supply serving the nursery.

Potential dangers

Inspection of the supply confirmed it to be high risk and samples of the water showed that it contained E. coli and Enterococci which posed a potential danger to human health. These bacteria are commonly associated with human or animal bodily waste and the concentrations found were the highest the council has encountered. Residents of the site would be using this water to wash, cook and clean with.

The Notice required the improvements to be completed by 5 March 2018. After the failure of one contractor to complete the work during the initial timescale, an application was made to the Council in February 2018 by Mr Fawcett to allow him extra time to complete the work.

The Council agreed to extend the time for completion of the project until 5 May 2018, however on the 4 May, Mr Fawcett informed the Council that the work had still not been started. On 7 May the owners were informed that prosecution proceedings would be commenced. Subsequently, a different contractor was instructed by Mr Fawcett on 14 May to undertake the tasks. The improvement work continued until the 9 October 2018 when an inspection confirmed it was substantially complete subject to final sampling and analysis of the supply by the Council.

Fined

The Magistrates stated that on consideration there had been some negligence on the part of Mr Fawcett notwithstanding his illness in 2018. He was fined £583 and ordered to pay £500 towards the Council’s prosecution costs and a Victim Surcharge of £58. It is important to note that this offence can be given higher fines and even custodial sentences.

Statutory duty to assess risk

Council Officers will continue to inspect all private water supplies that are judged to be a risk, and take the necessary enforcement action to safeguard human health. These bacteria can cause significant illness and in some cases even death, especially at such high concentrations. It is the Council’s statutory duty to risk assess and restore water quality to these supplies.

Councillor Nigel Avey, Cabinet member responsible for the environment said:  “The Council has a duty to protect the health and wellbeing of our residents.  It is disappointing that we had to take this case to prosecution rather than the work being undertaken during the notice period. There are a large number of private water supplies in the district. I would like to thank the Magistrates Court for supporting the Council. No one wants anyone to become ill through poor water and I hope this case sends out a clear message to all owners of private water supplies on the importance of ensuring they keep those supplies clean, fit and healthy for human consumption.”

Countrycare say ‘Trees’ event for kids

Written on . Posted in Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your environment

UPDATE – 23/10/2018 – 17:00pm

Due to unforeseen circumstances this event has been cancelled.

Apologies for any inconvenience this has caused.


Original release

Join Epping Forest District Council’s Counctrycare team for Say ‘Trees’ on Wednesday 24 October 2018 from 11am – 1pm at Roughtalley’s Wood in North Weald for tree inspired games, craft activities and best of all learn how to tell an Oak tree from a Hornbeam tree!

Event details

Date: Wednesday 24 October 2018

Time: 11am – 1pm

Location: Roughtalley’s Wood, Pike Way, North Weald, CM16 6BL

Cost: £3 per child

Suitable for children aged between 4 – 8 years old.

Booking is essential.

Book now

Call Countrycare on 01992 564224

Christmas Floral Art inspired workshops

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Community, Older people, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your home

Epping Forest District Council are running two Christmas Floral Art workshops in December 2018 in Buckhurst Hill. Book now to make a wreath and floral arrangements in time for Christmas!

Event details

Date: Thursday 13 December 2018

Time: 10am – 12pm

Location: The Roding Valley Hall, 165 Queens Road, Buckhurst Hill, Essex, IG9 5AZ

Cost: £15 per person

Date: Thursday 20 December 2018

Time: 11:30am – 1:30pm

Location: The Roding Valley Hall, 165 Queens Road, Buckhurst Hill, Essex, IG9 5AZ

Cost: £15 per person

Booking is essential and all materials will be provided.


Further information

Please contact Community Engagement Officer Victoria Robertson for further information.

#CrimeNotToCare campaign – it’s your responsibility!

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Crime and safety, Environmental health, Epping, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Prosecutions, Recycling and waste, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

We spend £190,000 on clearing up fly tipping across our district…money that could be spent on other services. But did you realise that it’s not just the fly tippers that are liable to prosecution? We are all personally responsible for our waste and how it is disposed of.

Black sacks left outside the designated areas for refuse collection can constitute fly tipping as much as sofas, fridges, builders’ rubble etc, which we trust to a third party to dispose of.

Duty of care

As residents we have a duty of care to ensure our waste is disposed of responsibly and doesn’t find its way into the hands of rogue traders.

Just last month a Loughton man had to pay £1,500 in fines and costs because the person he asked to dispose of some cardboard fly tipped it. Our enforcement team traced it back to the man and he was prosecuted.

Check list

Here are a few simple checks to make before you enter into an agreement with someone to dispose of your waste:

  • Ask for their waste carrier number and vehicle details and contact the Environment Agency for a free instant waste carrier check
  • Ask for a transfer notice or receipt before your waste is taken away
  • Check where your waste is going. A legitimate waste carrier should not object to you asking these questions.
  • Make a note of who you have given your waste to, their waste carrier details and vehicle details.

You should never leave any waste such as an old washing machine or scrap metal on your drive or in the street for someone to remove. They may not be a registered waste carrier, and could take the bits they need and dump the rest.

You can donate good quality items to your local reuse organisation or charity shop , or give items to someone who could make use of them.

Further information

To find out more watch our Crime Not to Care film and please share the message to ensure your friends and family know how to protect themselves, and help us reduce fly-tipping.

The Clothmaker’s Wings – a female empowerment textiles project

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

Working in partnership with Epping Forest District Museum and Lowewood Museum, local charity The Gifted will be delivering a female empowerment textiles project, called The Clothmaker’s Wings, exploring the textile industry from 1790 – 1890.



Workshops

A series of textiles and craft workshops will explore identity, adversity and up-skilling the female voice, by celebrating who they are and what they can do.

Many of the workers and contributors to the textiles industry were women (and children); this project aims to give a voice to those forgotten women and bring their stories alive, whilst connecting their skills and narration to young women of today.

It will end with an exhibition at Lowewood Museum in summer 2019.

For further information about The Gifted and The Clothmaker’s Wings contact Tori Jacovides at Tori@thegifted.org.uk

This project has been made possible by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Gifted

The Gifted is a Hertfordshire wide charity, based in Broxbourne, that aims to give children and young people who are experiencing disadvantage or seeking additional support and creative access, to work with them on bespoke programmes.

They can receive training, volunteering opportunities, skills based learning (both creative and life) to help overcome struggles.

The Gifted use interactive workshops and bespoke educational training programmes and run two core programmes; ‘The Butterfly’ for vulnerable young women seeking personal and learning support, and ‘Reality Check’ aimed at enabling boys at risk of exclusion or hardship, to gain new skills and mentorship.

500 turn out for Singing in the Wilderness

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

Epping Forest District Council and St John’s C of E Primary School, Buckhurst Hill hosted a special event, ‘Singing in the Wilderness’ to celebrate the life and work of local artist Walter Spradbery.

The event, on Saturday 29 September, was a recreation of the ‘Open Air Social’ event that Spradbery and his wife Dorothy held at their home in 1938, marking its 80th anniversary.

500 people

An estimated 500 people came along to see the stalls, sideshows, donkey rides, traditional dances and art displays and raised over £600 for St John’s C of E Primary School. The event brought together the local community with Buckhurst Hill Residents Society working in partnership with the council, school and St John’s Church, Buckhurst Hill.

Flux Dance Collective

There was a specially choreographed dance performance by Flux Dance Collective who worked with pupils from the school to create a piece inspired by Spradbery. A historical interpreter played the role of Walter Spradbery, leading tours into the Wilderness to visit the site where the house once stood, next to the school. Buckhurst Hill Community Association and Bedford House both had art exhibitions on display, and there was a small exhibition about Walter Spradbery. The day ended with a fun performance by Impropera, the world’s only improvised Opera Company.

Exhibition at Epping Forest District Museum

This event is part of a programme of activities for the ‘Walter Spradbery, Artist in War and Peace’ exhibition, at Epping Forest District Museum, Waltham Abbey; on display until Saturday 22 December 2018.

For more information visit www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/museum

Walter Spradbery

Spradbery is best known for his poster designs for London Transport, one of which was recently used on the new signboards marking the boundaries of Epping Forest. He and his wife, opera singer Dorothy D’Orsay, also held many musical and opera performances in the gardens of ‘The Wilderness’ for the local community.

Spradbery was also a committed pacifist. He served in the Royal Army Medical Corps during the First World War, receiving the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his bravery in rescuing injured comrades under intense enemy fire.

Weekly Street Tennis sessions for kids

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, 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

Come and join us on Saturday mornings at Roding Valley Recreation Ground for Street Tennis!

From skills and tricks to matches and competitions, you will cover all areas of the sport in a more engaged and exciting version of the game.

What’s more, your first session is FREE!

Join us every Saturday morning

Date: Every Saturday

Time: 8.45am – 10am

Location: Roding Valley Recreation Ground, Tennis Courts, Roding Road, Loughton, IG10 3BS

Cost: £3 per session, your first session FREE

Suitable for ages 5 – 11

Further information

Contact Ezra Folan on 01992 564363 or email efolan@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Follow @efdcsports on Twitter

October half term holiday activities for kids

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countrycare, Epping, 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 home

Come and join Epping Forest District Council for a range of fun activities this October half term, including our popular Multi-Sports Days, Street Tennis and Athletics sessions. Get ready for Halloween with our seasonal Spooky Painted Pumpkin and Spooky Gingerbread House workshops.

Multi-Sports Days

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

Dates: Tuesday 23 October & Thursday 25 October

Time: 9.15am – 3.30pm

(Registration 8.45am – 9.15am, Collect 3.30pm – 4.00pm)

Location: Epping Upper Clapton RFC, Upland Road, Thornwood, Epping CM16 6NL

Cost: £16.50

Suitable for ages 5 – 14


Street Athletics

Improve your athletics ability and have fun at the same time! You will get to play fun games with our coaches and take part in races and competitions.

Date: Monday 22 October

Time: 10am – 11am

Location: Roding Valley Recreation Ground, Roding Road, Loughton, IG10 3BS (Short Athletics Track)

Cost: £3

Suitable for ages 5 – 12


Street Tennis

From skills and tricks to matches and competitions, you will get to cover all areas of tennis.

Date: Friday 26 October

Time: 10am – 12pm

Location: Roding Valley Recreation Ground, Roding Road, Loughton, IG10 3BS, Tennis Courts

Cost: £4

Suitable for ages 5 – 10


Painted Pumpkin Workshop

Come along and enjoy a fun packed afternoon of pumpkin painting. You can be as creative as you like with your spooky designs taking it home with you at the end.

Date: Tuesday 23 October

Time: 2pm – 4pm

Location: Communities Training Room, Epping Forest District Council, 25 Hemnall Street, Epping, CM16 4LU

Cost: £6

Suitable for ages 5 – 15

All materials provided


Play In The Forest

Come and enjoy some spooky fun in the forest! Navigate your way around the spooky trail to win a prize, build a spooky den out of twigs, or enjoy arts and crafts activities. The morning will be finished off with spooky story telling.

Date: Thursday 25 October

Time: 10am – 12pm

Location: Forest Land at the Stubbles, Nursery Road, Loughton, IG10 4DZ

Cost: £3

Suitable for all ages

Parental supervision required.

Please note: ‘Play in the Forest’ sessions are provided as play opportunities for children and not as child care. All children may come and go as they please. Staff are not obligated to prevent any children from leaving the sessions. Parents/Carers are free to stay and join in.

No need to book, just turn up!


Spooky Gingerbread House Workshop

Come and join us to make some fun, mysterious and spooky gingerbread houses. Decorate gingerbread using sweets, icing and the best part – you get to take them home!

Date: Thursday 25 October

Time: 2pm – 4pm

Location: Communities Training Room, Epping Forest District Council, 25 Hemnall Street, Epping, CM16 4LU

Cost: £6

Suitable for ages 5 – 15

All ingredients supplied.