Improving homes and lives with CARE

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Are you over 60, disabled or on a low income? Do you need help to improve, repair or adapt your home?

If you answer yes to both our C.A.R.E. scheme may be able to help you.

Improving homes and lives with CARE

C.A.R.E. stands for Caring and Repairing in Epping Forest. It is a Home Improvement Agency run by Epping Forest District Council to provide both practical and technical help to people to remain at home in greater comfort, warmth and security.

What C.A.R.E. does

C.A.R.E. services include

  • Schemes available to provide home adaptations, improvements and repairs
  • Local authority funding and ways to pay for works
  • Handyperson service
  • Home visits and inspections of agreed works
  • Advice on the scale and cost of any necessary works
  • Help with choosing a reputable and reliable builder
  • Project management of agreed work
  • Help to complete forms for local authority funding

We also offer financial assistance and grants to home owners, private tenants and landlords

  • Disabled Facilities Grants – up to £30,000
  • Decent Homes Repayable Assistance – up to £10,000
  • Small Works Repayable Assistance – up to £3,000
  • Empty Homes Repayable Assistance – up to £10,000

Improving homes and lives

Housing Portfolio Holder Councillor Syd Stavrou said: “We want people to stay in their own homes for as long as they can, but sometimes as people get older they may need help to adapt their homes or to carry out repairs and maintenance.”

Caring and Repairing in Epping Forest is here to support you to stay in your home and provides practical help that makes a difference – improving homes and improving lives.”

Find out more

More  information can be found on our website at www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/housing or you can contact us

 

Untaxed vehicles crackdown

Written on . Posted in Abandoned vehicles, Business, Community, Crime and safety, Doing business with the council, Local business, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Parking, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Working with the council, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

In a national drive to crack down on untaxed vehicles on public roads, Epping Forest District Council will be working in partnership with the DVLA from 1 August 2016.

Untaxed vehicles

Clamped or seized

With the assistance of the DVLA, Council officers will be able to check the road tax record of any vehicle. If the vehicle is not taxed, it will be either clamped or seized and taken to a DVLA contractors depot.

The owner could have to pay as much as £160 (plus storage costs) and will have to prove the vehicle has valid road tax before the vehicle can be reclaimed.

Delighted to be working in partnership

Epping Forest District Council’s Environment Portfolio holder, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: ‘’I am delighted that the council is working in partnership with the DVLA. Untaxed vehicles are often difficult to trace, but with our help, the DVLA will broaden their ability to find the offenders and reduce the number of untaxed vehicles within our district.”

He continued: ‘’Untaxed vehicles contribute to congestion, take up valuable parking spaces and use resources paid for by others. Their drivers are more likely to commit traffic offences such as speeding, illegally parking and driving without insurance, which presents risks for other drivers. Untaxed vehicles are often abandoned and eventually become vandalised. Working alongside the DVLA will help to improve road conditions for our residents and other road users.’’

Post your scam mail in our SCAMnesty bins

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Crime and safety, Media, Older people, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

SCAMnesty bins have been put in locations across Essex as part of the drop in and drop them in it campaign by Essex County Council Trading Standards and Essex Police.

We’re asking residents to post any mail into the SCAMnesty bins which they believe is a scam or trick to get their money.

Post a scam to Essex Trading Standards in one of their SCAMnesty bins

SCAMnesty bins

There are 6 SCAMnesty bins in the Epping Forest district

  1. Buckhurst Hill library
  2. Epping Forest District Council Civic offices in Epping
  3. Limes Centre in Chigwell
  4. Loughton library
  5. Chipping Ongar library
  6. Waltham Abbey library

We are working to help stop people falling prey to scams by following a 3-step rule – get advice, report it, and tell others about it.

Help tackle the issue of scam mail

Caroline Wiggins, Community Safety Manager said: “Trading Standards and Essex police are seeking your help to tackle the issue of junk or scam mail. Even though scam letters look convincing, they are made up of false promises. They request bank details and other information which can be used by fraudsters. We strongly advise people not to reply to any letters asking for money.”

“We want people to post their scam or junk mail in any of the 6 SCAMnesty bins located in the district. We want residents to fill these bins with any mail they think is a scam. They can also print off emails and screenshots of texts which they think are scams into the bins.”

“All material put in the bins will be treated confidentially. Trading Standards will collate it and use it to co-ordinate further work both nationally and internationally, and check out any scams which are found to be based in Essex.”

“Residents can keep a step ahead of the scamsters by signing up to Essex Community Messaging which can keep you informed about the latest known scams in Essex.”

ActionFraud

Report and get advice about fraud or internet crime to ActionFraud – the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre. Specialist advisers are available from Monday to Friday between 9am to 6pm.

 

Beware of bogus council workmen

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Crime and safety, Housing, Housing repairs, Media, Out and about, Private housing, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

We are reminding our residents that our tradesmen will

  • never ask for payment
  • always carry identification

This follows unconfirmed reports bogus callers may be in the area. Incidents earlier in the year when residents contacted the council after reports of bogus callers claiming to be from the council and trying to charge residents for work.

Be Sure at the Door

All our staff and subcontractors carry ID

A spokesperson for Epping Forest District Council said: “If you receive an unexpected visit from someone claiming to be working for the council, always check. We nearly always make an appointment first. All our staff and subcontractors carry ID.”

“You can call us 01992 564000 to check they are who they say they are and we will never ask you for money on the doorstep. If you think a bogus caller may be in your area call the police immediately.”

Further information

 

Keeping safe with Crucial Crew

Written on . Posted in Community, Councillors, Crime and safety, Emergencies, Health, Loughton, Media, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Over 1,600 Year 6 pupils from Epping Forest and Brentwood took part in Crucial Crew, an interactive safety initiative to educate our young people about staying healthy, safe and well. The 10 year olds were given the chance to role play potentially risky situations, allowing them to learn about the best way to stay safe and avoid harm.

Crucial Crew 2016

Crucial Crew experience

Over 2 weeks the children took part in scenarios that included

  • road safety
  • fire safety
  • personal safety
  • advice on cyberbullying
  • the dangers of alcohol and smoking
  • the benefits of healthy living

The Crucial Crew experience gives children the skills and knowledge to make sensible decisions about personal safety and lifestyle choices. This year the annual event was hosted at the Debden House Centre in Loughton during the first 2 weeks of June 2016.

A fun way to learn

Chairman Jeane Lea said: “Crucial Crew is a fun way to learn. This fantastic and well-supported event allows us to offer awareness and safety advice to our young people just as they’re ready to take a big step in their lives and go to secondary school. Crucial Crew prepares our children how to stay safe and be aware of dangers they may encounter as they live life. It leaves our children with the right skills and knowledge to keep themselves safe, both now and in the future.”

Awareness and safety advice

Councillor Helen Kane, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder said: “All the children will be taking away a personal safety workbook with advice on dealing with challenging or potentially harmful situations and how to make positive choices regarding their own behaviour. I hope the children remember and use the lessons from Crucial Crew, which one day might save their lives.”

“Crucial Crew is organised and facilitated by the council`s Community Services team but could not take place without the hard work and continued support of partner agencies – a big thank you to all involved.”

 

Nu Bar opening hours cut following review

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Crime and safety, Environmental health, Licensing, Local business, Loughton, Noise, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Councillors are cracking down on anti-social behaviour and criminal activity associated with Nu Bar in Loughton. Following a review of evidence from local residents and Essex Police, councillors have cut the opening hours by moving the closing time from 02:30am to 00:30am, with no alcohol to be served after midnight. The only exceptions to the new closing times are special occasions such as Christmas and New Year.

Chance to appeal

The Licence Holder, Greene King, has 21 days from the date of the decision to appeal. If Greene King accept the new conditions, Nu Bar remains closed until the time permitted for an appeal has ended or any appeal is completed.

Conditions re-emphasized and reinforced

In addition to the reduction in opening hours, Epping Forest District Council has re-emphasized and reinforced a raft of other conditions designed to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour. These include high quality CCTV and facial recognition technology, door staff, dress codes to prevent people hiding their identity, training for staff in matters as diverse as sales to underage children and drug abuse, maintenance of an incident register, the banning of glass drink ware, digital ID scanning and restrictions on the number of people that can be in the smoking area at any one time.

Protecting residents

A spokesperson for Epping Forest District Council said: “We would like to thank local residents and Essex Police for their hard work in pulling the evidence together. We have a legal duty as the licensing authority to take an impartial independent view based on law. Licensing Committee councillors listened very carefully to all sides of the argument but felt a clear need to impose these restrictions and protect our residents from the nuisance and harm caused by late-night rowdy behaviour at Nu Bar.”

He continued: “We expect Nu Bar’s owners to take heed of this tough stance and understand that the kind of behaviour associated with their premises over the last few months is intolerable and unacceptable. Essex Police catalogued eight separate incidents in the last few months, including one involving 40 people. Local residents have the right to a reasonable degree of peace, quiet and security.”

Loughton bar licence suspended

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Community, Crime and safety, Democracy, Licensing, Local business, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council

After an assault during the early hours on 10 April 2016, Nu Bar in Loughton High Road has had its licence temporarily suspended by councillors.

Temporary suspension of licence

A council spokesperson said: Following the incident, Essex Police submitted an application for a review of Nu Bar’s alcohol licence to the District Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee. Their application called for either the temporary suspension of the licence or the enforcement of stringent conditions in the interim period between now and a full hearing.

Councillors rejected the appeal by Greene King to lift the temporary suspension. They said that the suspension is appropriate and proportionate given the evidence submitted. The suspension will continue until the full hearing on 3 May 2016.

Robust steps taken 

Essex Police Superintendent Trevor Roe said: We are happy to support the night time economy in the Epping Forest district but when public safety, crime and disorder become an issue, robust steps will be taken to enforce the law around licensing by the licensing officers and the new community policing team based at Loughton.

 

Safe at home with Careline

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Crime and safety, Housing, Housing repairs, Local business, Media, Older people, Out and about, Private housing, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Epping Forest Careline is for anyone who wants to feel more secure in their home – knowing they can get help at the press of a button.

In addition to pendant alarms, we offer a wide range of telecare sensors, such as smoke detectors, bogus caller buttons and fall detectors.

Careline poster

Safe at home with Careline

For more information please contact us and we’ll be happy to explain the costs and arrange a demonstration.

Find out more

 

Unchosen – modern slavery in Epping Forest

Written on . Posted in Business, Councillors, Crime and safety, Media, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

The blight of modern slavery came under the spotlight at a conference held at Epping Forest District Council on 10 March 2016.

The conference were shown films by Unchosen – a hard-hitting website. Through films it tells the story of slaves and the people who exploit them.

Unchosen poster

To view photos in a slideshow, click on a picture and click to start slideshow.

Speakers

  • Councillor Gary Waller Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Community Safety
  • Tony Byrne of the Gangmaster Licensing Authority (GLA)
  • Diane Payner of the Salvation Army
  • Anna Di Mascio from Barnados

A modern blight

Gary Waller is also chairman of the Community Safety Partnership a group of local organisations including the Council, Essex Police and Social Services. He reminded delegates that slavery was officially banned in the UK hundreds of years ago and yet it still blights modern lives.

He passed over to Diane Payner of the Salvation Army. She presented the first of the morning’s videos, a heart-rending insight on people trafficking from Eastern Europe into the western sex trade.

Preying on women and children

Anna Di Mascio of  Barnardo’s moved the focus from the exploitation of women to the trafficking of children, brought to the UK and forced into a life of crime, forced marriage and forced labour. Control, intimidation and threats are used not just against the young children but also their families.

The criminals range across Eastern Europe, Africa and South-East Asia, preying on desperate families searching for a better life for their children. The criminals try to stay one step ahead of the authorities, changing routes and counties of origin as law enforcement agencies track them.

Anna Di Mascio says the most prevalent counties of origin are Vietnam, Albania, the UK itself, Nigeria, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Romania, Bangladesh, China and the Czech Republic.

Isolated and afraid

Many people caught up in slavery are too afraid to seek help. Others don’t understand that they are being exploited, having been brainwashed by their captors into thinking the abuse is normal. Others pretend to their families that all is well to protect them from worry. The emotional and psychological damage can be as bad as the physical harm they experience.

Men are victims too

Modern slavery is hidden within plain view but there are signs anyone can see. Tony Byrne of the Gangmaster Licensing Authority focuses of forced labour.

He reminded delegates of the Morcambe Bay tragedy in which 21 people died and presented a video depicting forced labour on a chicken farm with the intervention of an ordinary member of the public reporting concerns to the police. He said that within local agriculture and horticulture forced labour will be taking place somewhere.

The GLA also covers food processing and packaging and shellfish processing. Eastern European men are at particular risk of this, predominately exploited by criminals of the same nationalities. The Police cover other areas such as the catering and hospitality industries.

Find out more

 

Bogus caller warning to residents

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Housing, Housing repairs, Loughton, Media, Older people, Private housing, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Residents are being warned to check the credentials of unsolicited callers after Epping Forest District Council received reports of bogus officials presenting themselves as council representatives in Loughton.

Be Sure at the Door

Poster from the 2015 Be Sure at the Door campaign.

Not a council contractor or staff

We have received reports from members of the public that unsolicited callers are in the Willingale Road area of Loughton today purporting to be Epping Forest District Council officials. They are stating that they need to drill holes in residents cavity walls to allow moisture to escape and are asking for a financial deposit to do this.

Epping Forest District Council has not requested or contracted any such work and this would appear to be an attempt to defraud money from residents. Anyone who thinks they may have been a victim of fraud or has been approached by bogus callers should contact the police.

One resident received an unplanned visit from a contractor who said that they were doing insulation work and wanted to drill into the pointing and suck the moisture. The callers said they needed a deposit from the resident to go towards hiring the equipment. The resident, who has never reported any damp related issues was suspicious and contacted the council.

All council representatives and contractors carry ID

All council representatives and contractors carry ID and will never ask for money.

We have circulated information to Essex Watch, Essex Police Crime Prevention and the Neighbourhood Policing Team based at Loughton.

Find out more