#OurDay the people behind your local services

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Tuesday 15 November 2016 is #OurDay. #OurDay is a yearly tweetathon for local government to show what it does in a typical day.

Here are just a few of the people behind your valued Epping Forest District Council services.

Karen & her lifewalkers set off from Clayton Hill on a mild autumn morning

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

Helping the distirct ‘stay well this winter’

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Crime and safety, Epping, Health, Housing, Housing repairs, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

‘Stay well this winter’ events have been taking place across the district preparing residents for the colder months.

Stay well this winter

Health and wellbeing event

These free events in partnership with the West Essex Clinical Commissioning group include:

  • Advice on managing prescription medicines
  • Advice on where to access to help i.e. pharmacies, NHS Choices, GP, NHS111 or A&E
  • Informative talks from pharmacist, nurses and specialist health care advisors
  • Free health care checks
  • Free Lunch

The event also includes useful help and advice from:

  • Age UK
  • Care line
  • NHS falls prevention
  • The Alzheimer’s society
  • Community Agents
  • Trading Standards
  • NHS Nurses
  • East of England Ambulance
  • East od England Fire Service

The events conclude with some light entertainment from ‘Elvis’ and a goody bag.

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

Know the steps you can take

So far ‘stay well this winter ‘has visited The Zinc Arts Centre in Ongar and The Limes Centre Chigwell.

One participant said ‘The talks were very informative and it was good to have a chance to speak to lots of professional in one place’

Karen Murray, EFDC Community Engagement said: ‘These events are a great opportunity for people to know the steps they can take to protect themselves, family and friends over the colder months and to have a bit of fun together whilst enjoying a performance from Elvis’.

Come and join us

The last ‘stay well this winter’ will take place:

  • Wednesday 16 November

  • 8 Station Road, Loughton IG10 4NX

Please note that the events run all day and include a free lunch.

Booking is required, please call to confirm a place.

  • 01992564226

Cuckooing drug den closed

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Loughton, Media, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council

Following a drugs raid by Essex Police at a council owned property in Prescott Green in Loughton, Epping Forest District Council’s Community Safety team get their first closure order granted.

Closure Order

The drugs raid uncovered a situation wherein a vulnerable council tenant was being exploited by a drugs gang. They were running their illegal business from his home, a crime referred to as cuckooing.

The gang members were arrested by Essex Police for anti-social behaviour and drug related offences. A closure order for the address was issued on 6 October 2016 at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court.

Protection of residents

Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder Councillor Gary Waller said: “We are extremely pleased with this result. A closure order gives the council the power to close a property and to prevent certain people having access, by listing authorised visitors. Anyone that enters the property without permission will now risk arrest for breaching this order.”

Designed to tackle serious anti-social behaviour

Councillor Gary Waller continued: “Closure orders are designed to tackle serious anti-social behaviour. The order was necessary in this case as a means to provide local residents with a break from the nuisance the gang caused them on a regular basis and most importantly, to give the vulnerable adult the help and support he needs.”

He continued: ‘’We take the safety of our residents very seriously and this is a great result for the local community and us. Thanks are due to our partners for working closely with us to achieve this outcome.’’

Report crime online

Report non-emergency crimes at council offices

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Crime and safety, Democracy, Doing business with the council, Epping, Local business, Loughton, Media, Noise, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Epping Forest District Council have provided an online reporting point where people can report non-emergency crimes and minor traffic collisions to Essex Police.

Working in partnership with Essex Police

A computer terminal has been installed in the reception area in the civic offices, High Street, Epping, for members of the public to access Essex Police’s website and online reporting services.

Access to other reporting services

The terminal will also provide residents with access to our reporting services for issues such as fly tipping, noise nuisance, missed bin collections, benefit fraud and links to Essex County Council where highways issues can be reported. The front counters of both Epping and Loughton police stations closed to the public in April this year. Loughton remains an operational base.

Reassuring presence

Chief Inspector, Denise Morrissey said: ”We know people have an emotional attachment with their local police stations. They provide a reassuring, visible presence in the community.”

”However the reality is that many, including Epping, were greatly under-used by the public and we cannot afford to keep buildings open which are expensive to maintain at a time when we are having to make huge financial savings.”

”We also need to modernise the way in which the public can contact us. Many people prefer to report non-emergency collisions and crimes online and our new website allows this.”

”Thanks to our partners at Epping Forest District Council people can now walk into the council offices and use this computer terminal to access information about Essex Police and our online reporting services whilst going about their other daily business.”

”However we would still encourage people who need us in an emergency or who are in immediate danger to dial 999.”

Computer access point – a real bonus

Councillor Gary Waller, portfolio holder for Safer, Greener and Transport at Epping Forest District Council said: “Anyone with a home computer or smart phone can access the Essex Police website anywhere, but for the significant number of local residents still offline, or for those visiting the town who are away from their computer or device, the computer access point at Epping Forest District Council will be a real bonus.”

”Residents will be able to report non-emergency crimes whenever the offices are open. We are not the police and our office is not a police station, but I hope people will appreciate the ability to drop in and use our facilities when the need arises.”

Working with Essex Police

Convenient way to contact Essex Police

Roger Hirst, Police & Crime Commissioner for Essex said: ”I welcome the provision of this access point in the heart of the Epping community, and thank the district council for their close working with Essex Police.”

”I encourage everyone to report crime and anti-social behaviour to police and partner agencies. You can also use the terminal to report minor traffic collisions. I hope you find this facility in Epping’s civic offices provides a valuable and convenient additional means of contacting your police force.”

Online reporting point

Reception staff are trained to assist people who may need help using the computer terminal. The online reporting point will be available to the public during the civic offices opening hours

  • 9am to 5.15pm Monday to Thursday
  • 9am to 5pm on Friday
  • Closed on Saturday and Sunday

 

Keeping our children safe

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

The district’s primary schools are being encouraged to sign up for the NSPCC Speak Out. Stay Safe. programme. This ground-breaking initiative aims to visit every primary school in the UK to bring about a long term reduction in child cruelty.

Buddy and friends

Speak Out. Stay Safe. Programme

The Speak Out. Stay Safe. programme is fully funded for all schools. It consists of an assembly presentation for all children followed by an hour long workshop for Years 5 and 6.

With the help of the NSPCC mascot Buddy, the programme provides child-friendly, interactive assemblies and workshops delivered by specially trained staff and volunteers.

It aims to help children

  • understand abuse in all its forms and recognise the signs of abuse
  • know how to protect themselves from all forms of abuse
  • know how to get help, and the sources of help available to them, including the Childline service

Appropriate and engaging

Councillor Helen Kane, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder said: “The NSPCC Speak Out. Stay Safe. programme works with schools to support children’s learning in an appropriate and engaging way. It’s important for children not to be afraid and to tell someone they trust.”

“This programme reinforces that message and that children have the right to be safe, to be listened to, and to be able to find help and support.”

Visit every school in the Epping Forest district

Helen Marriner from the NSPCC Schools Service said: “We’d love to visit every school in the Epping Forest district and empower children to speak out to a trusted adult or Childline about any worries they have. We’re committed to providing a comprehensive service to help schools keep children safe.”

“We also provide information and resources to parents as the programme links directly to the curriculum. If you want us to visit your school please contact your head teacher. Alternatively you can contact me direct by phone or email, or you can always find more information on our website.”

Stay safe from abuse and neglect

Helen ended with: “We aim to give a generation of children the knowledge and understanding they need to stay safe from abuse and neglect – every childhood is worth fighting for.”

Contact

Improving homes and lives with CARE

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Crime and safety, Epping, Housing, Housing repairs, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Out and about, Private housing, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

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.”