Free weekend parking in December 16

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Business rates, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Epping, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Parking, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

There will be no pay and display car park charges in Epping Forest District Council car parks in the run-up to Christmas this year!

car parks

It will be free to park in Council car parks on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays throughout December 2016.

Making shopping locally easier

Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder, Councillor Gary Waller said: ”We have relaxed the car park charges throughout the month of December again this year, to make shopping as easy as possible for our residents in the run up to Christmas.”

Supporting local retailers

He continued: ”We hope that this will help to support our local retailers and town centres too, encouraging our residents to shop locally rather than taking their custom outside the district.”

Our civil enforcement officers will be patrolling as usual and all other conditions of the council car parks will still be in force.

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

 

Join Active Epping Forest

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Consultation, Democracy, Epping, Health, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Older people, Olympics, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Residents are being invited to join Active Epping Forest on 19 October 2016 to help shape the future of the districts sports and leisure facilities.

Former British 100m record holder, Commonwealth gold medal winner and Olympian Montell Douglas will be there for you meet.

Active Epping Forest

Active Epping Forest aims to be a group that represents local people, meeting to discuss the development of local sport, physical activity and leisure provision in the district.

The Active Epping Forests group’s main aims will be to help make ideas a reality by:

  • Delivering new projects locally
  • Applying for funding
  • Deciding how funding will be spent

Get involved

  • 19th October 2016
  • 6.30pm
  • Loughton Cricket Club, High Road, The Uplands, Loughton IG10 1NQ

The launch event will be a chance for people to sign up and have their say on the work the group should be doing.

The event will also be an opportunity for people to enquire about sports and leisure in the district, and what’s currently available.

Be inspired by an Olympian

Leisure and Community services portfolio holder Councillor Helen Kane said: ‘Active Epping Forests is a great opportunity for people to get involved in their community and have their say about leisure and sports in their area.

Montel Douglas is proof of what can be achieved through hard work and dedication, and we hope she will inspire residents to have their say on leisure in the district.’

More information

For more information please contact:

  • Fabrizio Ferrari 01992 564567
  • James Warwick 01992 564530

Nominations open for Young Sports Award

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Civic events, Epping, Grants, Health, Loughton, Media, Ongar, Our activities, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Nominate a young person for the Epping Forest Young Sports Award. The award recognises our district’s young athletes and aims to help them develop further in their chosen sports.

Epping Forest Sports Awards poster

Do you know a young person in the district who is dedicated to a sport and deserves a helping hand to further their achievements? Why not nominate them.

To be eligible for the award your nominee must:

  • Be aged 13-25 on or before the closing date for applications 30 November 16
  • Competing at county, regional or national level in a nationally governed sport
  • Live in the Epping Forest District
  • If at College or University, return ‘home’ to Epping Forest District during the holidays

Helping push through

Last year’s winner Naomi Harryman used her bursary to help pay for specialist coaching in her discipline, the Heptathlon, and physiotherapy, to help her overcome injuries.

The coaching and extra support has allowed her to train regularly, despite injuries preventing her from competing.

Naomi’s mother said: ”The award has definitely helped Naomi this year. It has inspired her to keep pushing through!”

Great opportunity

Leisure and Community services portfolio holder Councillor Helen Kane said: ”The Epping Forest Sports Awards are a great opportunity for young athletes to further themselves in their chosen discipline.”

She continued: ”Awards can range from between £100 to £1000, which can help young people pay for any costs associated with their sporting activity. So if you know anyone that could benefit, make sure to nominate them.”

Make a nomination

Applications close Wednesday 30 November 2016. Your nominee must be able to attend the Civic Awards reception on Friday 17 March 2017.

If you would like more information please contact;

Fabrizio Ferrari

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.

 

Nominate your Citizen of the Year

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chairman, Chigwell, Civic events, Community, Doing business with the council, Epping, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Performance, Residents, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Epping Forest District Council’s Citizen of the Year Awards recognises people in the community who go above and beyond and make positive changes in our district.

If you know an individual or a team who make a real difference why not nominate them for

  • Citizen of the Year
  • Young Citizen of the Year
  • Team of the Year

Citizen of the Year and Team of the Year 2017 poster

Selflessly help others

Chairman Jeane Lea said: ‘The Citizen of the Year Award is a wonderful event that recognises people in our district that make a real difference and inspire others. There are people in our community that go above and beyond to selflessly help others and their environment.”

“I feel it is important that their work is recognised. If this sounds like someone you know, or even a team, show you appreciation and nominate them for either a Citizen of the Year or Team of the Year award.”

How you can nominate

Applications close Friday 25 November 2016, your nominee must be able to attend the Civic Awards reception on Friday 17 March 2017 .

 

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.”