Anti-litter campaign cleans up for third year

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Doing business with the council, Energy efficiency, Environmental health, Epping, Food safety, Health, Local business, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Recycling and waste, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

An anti-litter campaign across Essex, Kent and Suffolk #BinIt has resulted in a reduction of litter for the third year in a row, an amazing drop in litter of 43%.

Don't toss it - #BINIT

Littering is a criminal offence

The Love Essex campaign, run by the Cleaner Essex Group, is made up of local authorities and local business partners throughout Essex.

This year’s Don’t toss it – #BinIt campaign aims to remind people that:

  • Littering is a criminal offence
  • It comes with a fixed penalty notice from £75
  • And a maximum fine on conviction in court of £2,500

Spreading the message

The ‘Don’t toss it – #BinIt’ message has appeared throughout Essex on

  • Refuse vehicles
  • Bus shelters
  • Petrol pumps
  • 86 McDonald’s restaurants
  • 15 KFC restaurants
  • Spread to 2.4 million social media accounts

This has so far seen an average drop in litter of 43% and helped to reduce branded fast food litter by 63 per cent, in the areas monitored, and independently verified by Keep Britain Tidy.

Tackling litter

Councillor Will Breare-Hall, Environment Portfolio Holder said: “Litter is an issue that costs around £17 million across Essex. Not only does this take resources away from other much needed council services it also damages our environment.”

“It is important for people to remember that littering is a criminal offence that comes with a maximum fine of up to £2,500.”

“As a community we need to come together and tackle this important issue by behaving responsibly and reporting incidents so we can investigate further and take action.”

Working together

Cherry Lewis-Taylor, McDonald’s franchisee added: “I believe that working together and campaigning against littering at our restaurant locations helps remind people to dispose of their litter responsibly.”

“Between McDonald’s and KFC’s participating restaurants and drive-thru’s, we have reached millions of customers. Adding this to the number of people who saw the other campaign material, including social media, it is likely that the Don’t toss it … #Binit message will have been seen at least 6 million times.”

Do the right thing

Huw James, Director of Kefco, the KFC Franchisee in Essex commented: “I am proud that we at KFC can work with councils and other business partners to actively promote that people should do the right thing and bin their litter. As a business, we are committed to looking at ways we can help reduce the amount of litter that ends up on our streets.”

Report it

If there are large amounts of litter in your street or fly-tipped rubbish near where you live, let us know

Please give as much detail as possible so we can investigate what further action can be taken.

Staying well this winter

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Equalities, Health, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Olympics, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Performance, Residents, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Stay well this winter events took place across the district, advising residents on how to prepare for colder months.

Preparing for cold weather

Epping Forest District Council and NHS West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group bought together professionals from across West Essex aiming to advise the elderly on how to prepare for winter, promoting available services and how to practising good self-care.

Helpful advice

The roadshows speakers gave information on selecting the correct services. Including how to prepare you in case of an emergency, tips on keeping in good health and how to manage health conditions.

Speakers included:

  • NHS Pharmacy Team
  • NHS Falls Prevention Team
  • NHS Community Nurses
  • Specsavers optometrist
  • Trading Standards
  • Self-Management UK
  • East of England Ambulance Service
  • Essex County Fire and Rescue
  • West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group

Great range of services

Councillor Helen Kane Leisure and Community Portfolio Holder said: “Events like this showcase emphasise the range of services we have available in West Essex, and prove that there is help available if needed.”

“The stay well this winter events also highlight the importance of good self-care and how vital is to be prepared in staying well and making sure you’re ready for any kind of emergency you may face, not only in winter but all year round.”

“It’s great to see services across West Essex coming together and working in partnership, looking out for our community’s safety and wellbeing.”

More information

For more information on how to stay well please visit

Arts Council fund district inspired exhibition

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

Epping Forest District Council’s culture team have successfully been granted £15,000 from Arts Council England to support a new project ‘Paths Unseen’.

Arts Council England logo

Inspired by the district ‘paths unseen’will focus on the local areas history.

The Arts Council funding will commission performance poet Keely Mills and artist illustrator Jef Winter to collaborate with The Ongar Academy and Epping Forest College students to create a diverse contemporary exhibition on the district.

Over the upcoming months Keely Mills will write new poems inspired by local stories and history, while Jef Winter will produce illustrations for Mill’s poems bringing the stories to life. Between them they will lead workshops in writing and performing poetic work and illustration, helping educate and produce exhibition work.

Developing new skills

In a new partnership with The Ongar Academy, 100 year 8 pupils will be given the chance to work alongside the artists over the year to create work for the exhibition.

100 Epping Forest College students studying fine art, photography and performing arts will undertake workshops on:

  • Writing
  • Performing poetic work
  • Illustration
  • Photographing and filming live performances

Public involvement

Epping Forest District Museum will also offer a new public programme open to all ages, giving people a chance to work with professional artists, developing their own personal stories inspired by the Epping Forest district and its history. Their stories and experience will also be translated into a film created by Epping Forest College.

The project will conclude with an exhibition at the newly refurbished Epping Forest District museum in summer 2017.

Bringing the community together

Councillor Helen Kane, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder said’ This is an exciting project, allowing pupils and the public  to work with such respected artists and have their work portrayed in a new and thought provoking way.

This will be one of the first contemporary arts projects to be showcased in the new temporary exhibitions space at the museum.

I look forward to the coming year to see what work is produced for the exhibition.’

Be first to find out about cultural events in the Epping Forest district by following us:

More information

For more information please contact EFDC Museum

Take to your bikes this winter

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Health, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Tour de France, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community

As the leaves turn brown and the dark days and nights creep in, Lee Valley Regional Park – in cooperation with Epping Forest District Council – will be running a series of enjoyable, weekly Cycling For Health bike rides this wintertime, encouraging visitors to get outdoors, get fit and stay healthy on just two wheels whilst enjoying the park.

The first two-hour, guided bike ride of the series begins this week on Wednesday 2 November, departing from Fishers Green Car Park in Waltham Abbey at 10.00. Meeting points for subsequent rides include Chingford Plain, Nazeing’s Clayton Hill Country Park and the London in Bloom 2016 award winning site Gunpowder Park, recently honoured with gold level scores and named ‘Country Park of the Year’.

Cycling Back of group

Cyclists lucky enough to own a bike will need to pay just £3.50 to join one of the 20 group rides scheduled until the end of March. Riders eager to join but without wheels are welcome to hire a helmet and bike for just £7.00 per person which includes the ride fee.

Matt Ewings, Cycling Development Officer at Lee Valley Regional Park Authority said:

“The Cycling for Health programme provides lots of opportunities to not only get outdoors and get fit, but to meet new people and discover new cycle routes throughout the park. Even if the weather is a little grey and wet, cyclists will enjoy the park’s varied landscape and ever active wildlife. We hope the programme encourages our new and regular visitors to cycle in the beautiful park.”

The park will also host a special Bike Maintenance Workshop at Gunpowder Park from 9.30 until 15.00 on Wednesday 23 November, offering cyclists expert advice and tuition on how to look after themselves and their bikes. The two-hour indoor workshop will include bike safety checks, guidance on how to change a wheel’s inner tube, demonstrations on brake and gear adjustment and tutoring on the upkeep of a bike’s drive chain.

Participants at the workshop will then set off for a rewarding two-hour ride to explore the surrounding area and stop off for lunch at a local café on the route. Places for this special event are limited and booking is essential – cyclists are advised to secure their place in advance for

the price of £13.50 per person. Riders attending the workshop will also receive a complimentary bike puncture repair kit.

Covering distances between 10-15km, every group ride has been categorised into either an easy, medium or hard difficulty level taking into account the route’s gradient and will also venture across a variety of ground terrains such as tarmac, solid earth and redgrow. In addition to discovering new cycle routes, participants can also take advantage of the session’s rest break to refuel and meet their fellow riders.

Cycling offers numerous health benefits for riders, young and old, regardless of experience or difficulty. Hopping onto a bike for just one hour a day can burn up to approximately 650 calories – the equivalent of two large slices of pizzas or a bowl of luxury ice cream.

In addition to keeping riders fit, cycling can also reduce the risk of coronary heart disease – one of the UK’s biggest killers taking over 160,000 lives a year – by up to 50%, whilst improving mental health and wellbeing.

To book your place, visit www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/cyclingforhealth or call 01992 564226 for more information.

Local Plan consultation opens

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Consultation, Councillors, Countryside and wildlife, Democracy, Epping, Housing, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Planning, Private housing, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

The public consultation for Epping Forest’s draft Local Plan is live.

We will be taking your views on the draft Local Plan from 31 October through to 12 December 2016.

Planning Our Future

The Local Plan will guide the future growth of the Epping Forest district to 2033.

The Planning Our Future website is a one stop shop for you to find all the information about the draft Local Plan and what it means for Epping Forest district, as well as a quick and easy way for you to provide us with your feedback.

I want your views

Councillor John Philip Planning Policy Portfolio Holder said: “The draft Local Plan will be the blueprint for the development and conservation within this area. It will guide the location of new housing, employment and infrastructure all the way up to 2033.”

“I need to hear from you. Public consultation on this draft runs from 31 October through to 12 December. You can find all the information you need online.”

A great place to live

Councillor Philip ended: “Tell me what you think and more importantly tell me why you think it. I need good solid reasons that we can use when we go before the planning inspector for our approval.”

“Epping Forest is a great place to live. With your help we can keep it that way.”

Read more

 

We will listen and there will be changes

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Consultation, Councillors, Democracy, Epping, Leader, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Older people, Olympics, Ongar, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Councillors had their first chance to debate future development policy following the publication of the draft Local Plan at Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet on 6 October.

EFDC Local Plan logos

Cabinet supported recommendations asking Full Council on 18 October to endorse the plan for public consultation.

Councillor John Philip, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Planning assured fellow councillors that the document before them was for full consultation. The Council would listen and he was sure that there would be changes. However, to be persuasive, Councillor Philip said that arguments for change to the Plan had to be backed up with clear evidence. For example, evidence could include information about issues such as;

  • Flooding
  • Access arrangements
  • Contamination
  • Utilities
  • Other infrastructure
  • Availability of the site

The Leader of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Chris Whitbread thanked Councillor Philip, his predecessor Councillor Richard Bassett and council staff for all the hard work that had gone into the draft.

Subject to the approval of Full Council, public consultation on the draft Local Plan will take place between 31 October and 12 December.

Planning our future

To view all the latest Local Plan information go to the consultation website.

Get involved

Join in the conversation

Rutting season has begun

Written on . Posted in Animal welfare, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Loughton, Media, Ongar, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Travel, Trees and landscapes, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Motorists, dog walkers and visitors are advised to be aware that the deer mating season, also known as the rutting season, has begun.

Wild animals (deer) road sign

Rutting season

The rutting season starts late September and peaks mid-October, during the season male deer, or bucks become less aware of their surroundings.

They can be highly aggressive as they are full of testosterone as they attempt to fight off rivals to attract as many females as possible. This makes them less aware of dangers around them, such as cars and bikes on the roads.

Be aware

Councillor Gary Waller, Portfolio Holder for Safer, Greener and Transport said: “Throughout the rutting season, drivers should take great care because there are large numbers of deer about, and sadly people have lost their lives not long ago in our area when cars collided with them at this time of year.”

“Remember that deer may be close at hand even if there aren’t trees on both sides of the road. Deer often move in groups, so if you see one, there are likely to be others following and they may leap out without warning.”

Motorists

Accidents on the roads involving deer increase at this time of year and drivers should be extra vigilant where there are deer warning signs and slow down when driving through the forest.

Dog walkers

Dogs should be kept on a lead. It is important to keep disturbance of the deer to a minimum and dog owners should be aware that deer can feel threatened by dogs and may also disrupt the deer breeding pattern.

Walkers

Walkers are advised to keep at least 50m away from deer, never get in between 2 deer and avoid feeding or photographing them at close range.

 

Car parks essential says councillor

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Consultation, Councillors, Epping, Housing, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Out and about, Planning, Private housing, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

We need car parks” says Planning Portfolio Holder Councillor John Phillip. “Including London Underground and council-owned car parks in the list of potential Local Plan development sites does not mean getting rid of the current parking provision” he added.

Epping Forest district Local Plan

Developing local car parks

Councillor Philip said: “References in the draft Local Plan to developing local car parks have caught people’s attention. There is an assumption that you can’t have public car parks and residential development together.”

“In fact some of the district’s London Underground and council-owned car parks could be redeveloped with public parking beneath or beside residential housing.”

“None of our proposals suggest any net loss of car parking spaces. As sustainable brownfield sites in town centre locations, car parks could be one of the most suitable locations for new housing.”

Planning Our Future video

Blueprint for development

The Local Plan is the blueprint for the development of future housing and employment in Epping Forest district. It will protect the district from unsuitable development. However, before the new Local Plan can be adopted, the draft is set to go through a major public consultation from 31 October to 12 December 2016.

Councillor Philip is encouraging people to respond from 31 October 2016. Comments by local residents will be gathered by the council as a vital part of the process of persuading a Government inspector it has met requirements for additional population growth, housing and employment up to 2033.

Based on careful analysis

  • 11,400 additional homes are necessary between 2011 and 2033
  • 1,173 homes are already built
  • 1,194 have been granted planning permission up to March 2016
  • 595 windfall developments allowance

Almost 3,000 new homes are already accounted for

  • 3,900 new homes are proposed at strategic sites on the edge of Harlow

Leaving a balance of approximately 4,550 homes to be developed across the rest of the district

Residents have as much opportunity to have their say as possible.

The Local Plan is our plan

Councillor Philip said: “The Local Plan is our plan. It belongs to everyone who lives and works in our district. I want as many comments and contributions as possible.”

“Online consultation is at the core of our strategy. Our website makes it easy to find all the information and respond to us. We are raising awareness through email and social media too, but we also recognise not everyone is online.”

The conversation has already started

“We are mailing a leaflet district-wide, holding public information events and exhibitions, handing postcards to commuters at local tube stations, giving interviews and briefings to reporters and putting adverts in the local press. The conversation has already started. We are well underway.”

 

Epping Forest Young Citizen of the Year award

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chairman, Chigwell, Civic events, Community, Councillors, Epping, Loughton, Media, Ongar, Our activities, Our performance, Residents, Travel, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

The search is now on for the Epping Forest Young Citizen of the Year 2017.

Now is your chance to help recognise young people’s exceptional contributions to the Epping Forest district and nominate them for the Young Citizen of the Year award.

Young Citizen of the Year 2017 poster

The award is presented annually to a young person who has shown outstanding courage, been of service to their community or shown extraordinary commitment, energy and effort in a particular field or towards achieving a goal.

The winner will be invited to attend our civic awards ceremony on 17 March 2017 to receive a certificate of achievement and award of £300.

Our community is full of incredible young people

Molly Gayler from Davenant Foundation School won the Epping Forest Young Citizen of the Year 2016 for her wonderful work supporting children with disabilities and her passion for sport. Molly referenced the American athlete Gail Devers who once said that ‘every accomplishment starts with the decision to try’.

Molly said: “If my form tutor had not made the decision to ‘Try’ with me, then I would not have been given the opportunity to participate in such a wonderful and humbling experience.”

“Our community is full of incredible young people who deserve to be recognised. Please nominate them for the Epping Forest Young Citizen of the Year award and open doors for a young person who really deserves it.”

Nominations

Do you know a young person who lives in the district aged between 11 and 18 and deserve to be recognized?

Nominate them for the Young Citizen of the Year – applications close on Friday 25 November 2016.

More information

Contact Louis Walton, Youth Engagement Assistant

 

 

First look of our draft Local Plan

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Business rates, Chigwell, Community, Consultation, Councillors, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Housing, Licensing, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Older people, Ongar, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Private housing, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Trees and landscapes, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Residents and councillors have their first chance to view an advance version of the draft Local Plan before Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet meeting on 6 October 2016.

Website launch infographic

The plan, available to view on the Cabinet agenda from 27 September, is subject to change at Cabinet and the meeting of Full Council on 18 October 2016. Only once agreed with any further amendments at Full Council will the draft be ready for public consultation from Monday 31 October 2016.

First chance to see

Planning Portfolio Holder John Philip said: “This is everyone’s first chance to see what the Plan for consultation will look like but it is important to remember that things could still change between now and the end of October. It won’t be finalised until all councillors have had their final say at Full Council.”

“However, by getting this early draft out a month before the official consultation starts, we are ensuring everyone has as much time as possible to consider the issues before the deadline for responses on 12 December 2016. We don’t want your views yet – not until the draft plan is finalised, but we are looking for as much feedback as we can possibly get once the consultation starts on 31 October 2016.”

Consultation website

A special consultation website has been created to support the Local Plan consultation process. It has been designed to make consultation feedback as simple and straightforward as possible.

Epping Forest District Council is also preparing a leaflet for district-wide delivery to households and businesses in the next few weeks to encourage feedback, as well as holding exhibitions, placing adverts in the local press, handing information cards out at railway stations and sending frequent reminders out on social media.

Local town and parish councils are helping the district council with articles in local magazines, posters on noticeboards and more social media.

Everyone’s Local Plan

John Philip said: “This is everyone’s Local Plan. It is the plan for our future, the future of our children and the future of our grandchildren. It will guide development across the district including where to build new homes and employment for a growing population right up to 2033.”

“It will also seek to protect all the most important things we love and cherish about our district including natural spaces and the Green Belt. Please get involved. Follow the process and give us your feedback.”

Local Plan infographics

View the infographics in a slideshow by clicking on a picture below and then click start slideshow