Alcohol Awareness week

Written on . Posted in Business, Crime and safety, Health, Media, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your home

Alcohol Awareness week aims to raise public awareness of the long and short-term issues that can arise from alcohol misuse and how this can impact on the lives of families and friends, as well as the individuals themselves. Alcohol Concern has a set the theme for this year’s Alcohol Awareness week which runs from 21 to 25 November – ‘It’s time to talk about drinking’.

Epping Forest District Council Safer Communities Team is working in collaboration with Essex County Council to support Alcohol Awareness Week.

Around 200,000 people come to work with a hangover every day. Makes you think doesn't it?

Around 200,000 people come to work with a hangover every day. Makes you think doesn't it?

Alcohol is the 2nd biggest risk factor for cancer after smoking. How does that make you feel?

Alcohol is the 2nd biggest risk factor for cancer after smoking. How does that make you feel?


Over 45s are 3 times more likely to drink alcohol every day. Did you know that?

Over 45s are 3 times more likely to drink alcohol every day. Did you know that?

People who work are more likely to drink alcohol than unemployed people. Did you expect that?

People who work are more likely to drink alcohol than unemployed people. Did you expect that?

Safer Communities Manager Caroline Wiggins said: “At this time of year, in the run-up to Christmas, many people start to think about alcohol and the amount they consume. Alcohol Concern is challenging people to give up alcohol for a month in January. Those willing to take up the challenge will be able to sign up either as an individual or a team to give up drinking for a month. We’re going to ask people to pledge money or get sponsored to motivate them to stick at the challenge. We’ll also be providing people with tips and information on cutting down and how this will help their health, sleeping patterns and general wellbeing.”

It’s time to talk about drinking – 5 facts about alcohol

  1. Every hour more than 100 people go into hospital in England and Wales with an alcohol-related condition
  2. Every day more than 40 people die as a result of alcohol in England and Wales
  3. Every week more than 100 children call ChildLine upset about their parents’ drinking – some as young as 5 years old
  4. Alcohol consumption has nearly doubled since the 1950s
  5. It is estimated that 2.6 million children in the UK are living with parents who are drinking hazardously and 705,000 are living with dependent drinkers

For more information go to

Essex PCC election result

Written on . Posted in Crime and safety, Democracy, Elections, Media, Older people, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Nick Alston is the new Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex.

After the first preference votes were counted, no single candidate gained 50% of the vote. When the second preference votes were counted, the winner was Nick Alston (Conservative Party) with 62,350 votes, against Mick Thwaites (Independent) with 58,664.

Announcement of result of poll (pdf 8KB)

Full results can be found on the Chelmsford City Council website.


  1. Thursday 15 November 2012 – polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm
  2. Thursday 15 November 2012 – verification starts at 10:30pm – this will provide the turnout figure
  3. Friday 16 November 2012 – counting starts at 10:30am – when finished the first Police and Crime Commissioner for the Essex Police area will be announced



New planning application fees

Written on . Posted in Building control, Business, Business rates, Commercial properties, Conservation and listed buildings, Crime and safety, Doing business with the council, Housing, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Out and about, Planning, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Trees and landscapes, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

As from 22 November 2012, there will be a new level of planning application fees, which  will increase by 15 percent above the current level.  This is the first national increase since 2008 and therefore any planning applications received from this date will require the new fee. 

 Please follow this link to view the new charges


Cabinet reports to Council on 6 November

Written on . Posted in Arts, Business, Chairman, Council tax, Councillors, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Crime and safety, Democracy, Environmental health, Health, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Meetings, Museum, North Weald Airfield, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Parking, Planning, Prosecutions, Recycling and waste, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business

The runway at North Weald Airfield, Council Tax freeze, local plan, recycling, welfare reform were all discussed at the full meeting of Epping Forest District Council on 6 November 2012.

Councillor Anne Grigg, Asset Management Portfolio Holder informed members that Halcrow were in the process of being appointed to undertake some non-invasive testing of the structure of the main North Weald runway. This testing is intended to ensure that the runway is suitable for its current uses and will also inform the strategic review of the Airfield.

Councillor Grigg also reported that Cabinet at its meeting in September agreed to commission a strategic review of North Weald Airfield, to be undertaken as part of the development of the new Local Plan. The review should be completed and reported back to councillors in time for the recommended outcomes to become part of the Local Plan “Preferred Options” consultation scheduled to commence in the summer of 2013.

Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Will Breare-Hall was pleased to report improvement in recycling figures with the quarter 2 out-turn at 62%. In a similar vein, the results for dealing with litter and detritus are also ahead of target.

Councillor Breare-Hall also drew attention to the use of new CCTV cameras in The Broadway, Loughton which have provided a number of leads for fly-tipping investigations. He noted discussions between council officers and Epping Ongar Railway where very few new complaints have been received concerning the heritage railway.

Councillor Breare-Hall’s report concluded with news that following extensive remedial work, the former Bobbingworth Tip has achieved Queen Elizabeth II Field designation. It is now a tranquil and attractive open space. Councillor Breare-Hall said it was a great testament to the hard work of all those involved. A robust commemorative plaque will be placed on site.

Councillor David Stallan, Housing Portfolio Holder reported on the Welfare Reform Mitigation Plan consideration of a proposed new Tenancy Policy and Housing Allocations Scheme for the district.

Councillor Chris Whitbread recommended  as one of the new initiatives designed to support and stimulate the local economy through tourism and other avenues. Referring to feedback on the Local Plan, Councillor Whitbread confirmed he had been in discussion with Eleanor Laing MP for Epping Forest concerning many of the issues raised in the Community Choices consultation.

Councillor Mrs Syd Stavrou informed councillors that the Government’s announcement of the latest Financial Settlement would not be made until late December.

Councillor Stavrou had previously announced the Cabinet’s intention to freeze Council Tax for another year. The Government has subsequently announced a grant equivalent to a 1% increase in Council Tax for authorities freezing their charge. Councillor Stavrou was pleased to confirm that Cabinet agreed the parameters set for the 2013/14 budget include no increase in the Council Tax.

Councillor Richard Bassett, Planning Portfolio Holder responded to questions put by members of the public as well as councillors in respect of the Local Plan. He repeated previous assurances that no decisions had been taken on the policies to be included in the new Local Plan. Many public responses had been received in response to the recent Community Choices consultation. Population predictions formed a key element in the forecasts of future development need and Councillor Bassett confirmed he would be meeting regional planning experts in the near future to discuss the latest estimates.

Reports by Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder Councillor Liz Webster noted progress on the construction of the new ‘3rd Generation Astroturf’ pitch at Town Mead in Waltham Abbey an a number of successful funding bids including.

• £23,500 for adult training in subjects such as IT
• £39,000 for ‘Transitions’ a professional development programme for carers work with people with dementia
• £27,500 of initial Heritage Lottery Funding towards a bid for £1,165,000 for the expansion of Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey

Loughton Leisure Centre users can look forward to better facilities following a decision to spend £240,000 on improvements. Epping Forest District Council will obtain a reduction in its annual management fee to Sports Leisure Management (SLM) of £88,000 per year in exchange for one-off capital funding to improve changing facilities at Loughton Leisure Centre. The deal equates to a three per cent return on investment on the £240,000 capital sum with the added bonus of spending the money to improve the Council’s own property for the benefit of Leisure Centre users.

Councillor Gary Waller Safer, Greener and Highways Portfolio Holder answered questions ranging from parking reviews to the merits of the forthcoming elections for the Essex Police and Crime Commissioner. He also thanked Councillor Leon Girling for suggesting a presentation to Loughton Broadway businesses on the capabilities of the new CCTV systems.

Statement of persons nominated for PCC election

Written on . Posted in Crime and safety, Democracy, Elections, Your council


The following is a statement of the persons nominated for election as Police and Crime Commissioner for the Essex Police area.

  • Nick Alston – the Conservative Party candidate
  • Linda Belgrove – Independent
  • Val Morris-Cook – the Labour Party candidate
  • Andrew George Smith – United Kingdom Independence Party
  • Mick Thwaites – Independent
  • Robin Tilbrook – English Democrats


Download the official pdf – Statement of Persons Nominated (pdf 14KB)

Watch a video by the Electoral Commission

Essex Key Facts: Latest edition of district area data published

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Crime and safety, Democracy, Energy efficiency, Housing, Local business, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Private housing, Residents, Supporting business, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Image showing many datasets being compared

Data is everywhere!

With moves to a more open approach to publishing statistical information and data being encouraged across the public sector, more and more datasets, covering more and more subjects, are becoming widely accessible to all.

Unfortunately, amongst the biggest constraints on accessing the data you need can be knowing where to look, finding the time to visit the many varied websites that publish data and identifying the information you require from amongst what can appear to be an overwhelming amount of statistics that you don’t need.

To make this task a little easier and to help our residents, businesses, students and visitors find relevant data in a more straightforward and direct way, we publish a regular compilation of many of the datasets that are available. ‘Essex Councils Key Facts’ pulls together information on a wide range of subjects and allows readers to see how Epping Forest District compares with its Essex neighbours. The figures give a context to the environment in which we live, work, study and do business, and help paint a picture of some of the issues that face us all on a day to day basis.

Our latest issue, ‘Essex Key Facts Volume 4’, has recently been published and covers Business Data, Jobs and Skills Mismatch Analysis, Access to Key Services and Rural Accessibility to Services. You can find this issue, alongside copies of our previous editions, on our website by following the link below:

We hope you find these publications useful and easy to use. If you have any comments on the documents, please drop us a line by email on
The following previous editions are also available:
Volume 1: Political control, council tax, population, ethnicity, health, welfare, education, business & employment, carbon emissions, land use mix
Volume 2: Planning, housing, deprivation, mortality, older people care needs, crime
Volume 3: Audit Commission Value For Money profiles

Safer Essex Prospectus

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Crime and safety, Local business, Residents, Supporting business, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your home

Epping Forest District Safer Communities Partnership logoSafer Essex is the County partnership which addresses issues of crime, disorder and drugs and alcohol as identified by Essex residents. Safer Essex also fulfils the function of a County Group with a defined statutory membership deriving from key partner agencies. In addition, the membership includes Essex County Council’s elected member with strategic responsibility for crime and disorder and the Chairs of each Community Safety Partnership (CSP).

One of the key responsibilities for the county level group is to develop the Essex Crime and Disorder Reduction Strategy. The priorities of the Strategy are informed by a variety of key statistics and intelligence gathered from a range of different sources including individual CSPs Strategic Assessments and Partnership Plans.

Safer Essex Partnership retains overall strategic responsibility for ensuring that the priorities outlined in the strategy are delivered.

Safer Essex Prospectus

Mountain bike preparations

Written on . Posted in Crime and safety, Olympics, Out and about

Epping Forest District Safer Communities Partnership logoThe two-day Olympic Mountain Bike event takes place at Hadleigh Farm on 11 and 12 August. Around 19,000 spectators are expected to travel to the 550 acre site. Following the tremendous success of the Canoe Slalom at the Lee Valley White Water Centre, Essex Police is keen to ensure everyone with tickets for the Mountain Bikes is well prepared and has a great time.

Essex Police say:


There is no parking at the venue or in the surrounding areas so think about using the park and ride or travelling by train. The park and ride service will be running from New Holland tractor plant in Cranes Farm Road, Basildon and the recommended train station is Leigh on Sea. The park and ride is no longer running from Waterside Park on Canvey Island.

Clothing and footwear

There is a lot of walking to be done at Hadleigh Farm and there are lots of steep climbs, loose stones and gravel at the venue so sensible sturdy footwear is essential. Heeled shoes and flip-flops are not suitable. Be prepared for the possibility of wet or hot weather.


LOCOG has provided every ticket holder with advice around what items can and can’t be taken into the venue so take the time to read it in advance. There are restrictions around taking liquids in to Hadleigh Farm so think about taking an empty water bottle which you can fill up once you are inside and have passed through security. No alcohol is allowed inside the venue.


While we don’t anticipate theft, it can’t be ruled out so keep personal possessions like mobile phones and cameras safe. Keep an eye on your children too – don’t let them get lost in the crowd.

Assistant Chief Constable Sue Harrison said: “Hadleigh Farm is a great venue and we want everyone to enjoy their Olympic experience, but there is some advice we’d like people to follow.

“We’d like everyone to make sure they have plenty of time to reach the venue and to have planned their journey. Hadleigh Farm is quite a bumpy and hilly area. There are lots of steep climbs, loose stones and gravel so the important thing is to wear decent sturdy footwear.

“Make sure you are ready to deal with the weather too. It’s a very exposed location and there’s very little cover if it is a hot day.”

Top 5 tips for a great Olympic Games

Written on . Posted in Crime and safety, Emergencies, Olympics, Our activities, Out and about

Going to the Olympic Games? Our safer communities team have 5 tips to ensure you have a great time.
A canoist on the rapids

  1. Be prepared for security checks when you arrive: this will be like taking an international flight at an airport. It will be busy and you will have to queue, so get there early – check your venue information for your recommended arrival time.
  2. Bring as little as possible with you: the more you bring, the longer it will take to go through security. One small soft-sided rucksack or handbag is allowed per person – this must fit under your seat. If you have a ticket for Football, we strongly suggest you do not bring a bag – if you do, your entry will be delayed and you may miss your event.
  3. Read the lists of prohibited and restricted items before you leave: you cannot bring in liquids over 100ml, including water – but at most venues you can bring an empty plastic water bottle and fill it up at water points inside venues. There is a wide range of food available to buy, but if you need to bring your own food, it must fit inside your bag.
  4. Leave plenty of time to travel to your venue: London and the UK will be extremely busy and very different to what you’re used to. Use the spectator journey planner to find the best route and, where necessary, book your travel to make sure you get to your event on time. Ticket holders for events in and around London can use their Games Travelcard for travel in London zones 1 to 9.
  5. Remember the only way to pay is by Visa (debit, credit or prepaid card) or cash: read about the services and facilities available in your venue.

Out and about

While London is safe for most people travelling at night, there are concerns over the dangers of travelling in unbooked minicabs (also known as illegal cabs and touts) picked up off the street. All minicabs must be licensed by Transport for London and must be booked in advance. Any minicab that isn’t booked by phone, email or in a licensed minicab office is illegal and unsafe. Find out more on the Transport for London website.

  • Don’t leave your bags unattended anywhere in London. As well as attracting pickpockets, you could also create security alert.
  • In restaurants, bars or theatres, keep your bags where you can see them, not on the floor or over the back of your chair. In crowded areas such as a bus or underground train, try wearing them in front of you, not over your shoulder.
  • Don’t keep all your valuables in one place and don’t carry large amounts of cash around with you. Try to use travellers’ cheques, or take a small amount of cash along with credit or debit cards. When withdrawing cash, don’t let others see your PIN number.
  • Be aware that it is a criminal offence to carry weapons such as knives and guns in the UK.
  • Unlike some other European countries it is also illegal to carry CS spray.


The Metropolitan Police’s Operation Podium team have been working closely with London 2012 to help ensure that you don’t get scammed or conned when you try to buy an Olympic or Paralympic ticket.

There will be a very high demand for London 2012 tickets. This gives criminals greater opportunity to scam, con or steal your personal details. With the recent rise in internet ticket sales it is easy for criminals to set up fake sites. You need to know who you are buying from and think if the site or seller is legitimate. There is specific legislation relating to tickets for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, so make sure you don’t get caught out.

Follow our advice and always think before you buy. You should always check the London 2012 website for all official information about the Games, this includes where and how to buy your ticket. If you think you have been a victim of crime whilst trying to buy a ticket to the Games report it to Action Fraud, London 2012 or your local police force.

Avoid unauthorised Olympic ticketing websites

Be aware of unauthorised websites that claim to sell tickets to London 2012.

Fire at Copperfield

Written on . Posted in Crime and safety, Housing, Residents, Your home

Following a fire, council officers from the housing and building control sections were called to Copperfield on the Limes Farm Estate early on Tuesday morning. Essex Fire and Rescue extinguished the blaze in a first floor flat. No one was injured. One resident was led to safety by firefighters.

The first-floor flat was very badly damaged. Another flat underneath suffered from severe water damage. Others in the block had less serious smoke damage. Tenants of the two worst affected flats are discussing rehousing options with the council. However, thanks to hard work by council staff repairing and cleaning the communal entrance affected by smoke, all the other tenants were able to reoccupy their homes by the end of the day.

Although part of the roof has gone, an initial inspection of the damage suggests the structure is sound and the building can be repaired. Costs of repair will be met through the council’s building insurance.

The cause of the fire is not yet known. Council officers hope investigation by Essex Fire and Rescue may establish the reason.

Councillor David Stallan, Housing Portfolio Holder was relieved that no one was injured. He said: “All of the tenants involved have my sympathy, particularly those who have also lost personal possessions, some of which cannot be replaced. It sounds like the tenant in the flat where the blaze started acted quickly to raise the alarm and helped to warn the other residents of the block. Essex Fire and Rescue did a great job. The damage looks bad but bricks and mortar can be repaired and replaced. The most important thing is that everyone is safe.”