Know a cheat in your street?

Written on . Posted in Benefits, Business, Business rates, Community, Council tax, Crime and safety, Media, Older people, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

Year after year, thousands of pounds of your money is stolen by cheaters, money that should be used to improve your local community.

Spot the cheater – don’t let them get away.

Know a cheat?

Fraudsters are cheating us all

Housing tenancy fraud – misusing council properties

Council tax fraud – Falsely claiming Council Tax discounts (including Council Tax Support)

Business rates fraud – Falsely claiming reliefs or exemptions

Do you suspect someone of fraud?

Then tell us about:

Someone who has committed social housing fraud by:

  • illegally sub-letting,
  • not living in the property and leaving it empty,
  • making a fraudulent Right to Buy application, •
  • taking (or making) a payment for a mutual exchange,
  • living in a property after the tenant has died, where they had no right to succeed, or
  • giving false or misleading information to get the tenancy

Someone who has committed Council Tax fraud clamming discount by falsely:

  • stating the property is empty,
  • claiming they live alone,
  • claiming they are a student, or
  • claiming Council Tax Support falsely by doing undeclared work or having capital / property in excess of the limit

A person or business liable for Business Rates who falsely claims an exemption or relief they are not entitled to.

Spotted a cheater?

 

 

Epping’s first ever group of Volunteer Police Cadets pass out

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Media, Residents, Volunteering opportunities, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

The first ever group of Volunteer Police Cadets ‘passed out’ on 9 February 2016 at an official ceremony celebrating their dedication to the service.

Volunteer Police Cadets passing out parade

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

The 11 cadets proudly passed out in front of their friends and family, along with Chief Inspector Denise Morrissey and Chief Superintendent Sean O’Callaghan and other members of the Essex Police force. All were there to congratulate the young volunteers on passing their 12 week training programme, allowing them to go forward in the community and help make a difference.

Chief Inspector Denise Morrissey highlighted the hard work and time both the cadets and their leaders had dedicated to making the youth organisation a success.

Chief Superintendent Sean O’Callaghan presented the cadets with certificates thanking both cadets and family for time spent helping their communities.

Caroline Wiggins Safer community’s manger said: ‘The VPC are a great asset to our community, setting a good example from an early age to all around them. The cadets is a wonderful opportunity for our young people to develop valuable skills and gain life experiences that will go on and serve them. I look forward to our cadets going into the community and working together to help make a difference.’

Want to become a police cadet?

Download Recruitment Brochure here (pdf 674KB)

If you want to help improve your local community, have an interest in finding out more about how the Police work, or the law, the VPC is for you.

How to apply

For further information please contact  VPC Inspector Emma Matthews

volunteer.police.cadets@essex.pnn.police.uk

More information

For more information please visit Essex Police website 

or National Volunteer Police Cadets 

Parking enforcement scam

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

Fake parking notices are being distributed in Loughton High Road. Epping Forest District Council and the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) say that motorists parking between 261 and 309 High Road should check the validity of any notice they find on their car headed ‘PARKING RESTRICTION’.

Fake parking enforcment notice

Although the notice has a rough copy of the District Council brand logo, Epping Forest District Council has nothing to do with on-street parking enforcement. On-street parking is the responsibility of Essex County Council, which is run through the NEPP.

Misrepresenting the council

A spokesperson, on behalf of Epping Forest District Council said: “We don’t know who has produced these notices, but they should be aware that by misrepresenting the council they are putting themselves at risk of civil action, which is something that the district council takes very seriously.”

No waiting restrictions

A spokesperson for the North Essex Parking Partnership said: “There are currently no waiting restrictions as described by the fake notice in this part of the High Road. A scheme to introduce Pay and Display parking in this area has recently been agreed and this will shortly be advertised through on-street notices and in a local paper.”

“Genuine parking notices must be described as a Penalty Charge Notices and those issued by the NEPP will always include its logo, details of legislation, and of the penalty it has been issued for, and the reverse will include contact, payment and process details.”

“Anyone issued with a genuine enforcement notice can always check with the NEPP to ensure its authenticity. Records taken by NEPP Civil Enforcement Officers and the fact that NEPP Penalty Charge Notices include unique references mean it is possible to ascertain the authenticity of these notices.”

Any information?

The council spokesperson added: “Anyone who has information about the source of these bogus notices should contact Epping Forest District Council on 01992 564082.”

 

Prosecution for fly-tipping in Waltham Abbey

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Media, Our countryside, Out and about, Recycling and waste, Regulations, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your council, Your environment

Mr Terence Sullivan of Morris Court Waltham Abbey was fined £120 and ordered to pay a contribution towards the prosecution costs of £200 after pleading guilty to an offence of depositing fly-tipped waste on 16 March 2015 in a bin store at Springfields, Waltham Abbey.

The fly tipping of waste in the bin store serving properties in Springfields Waltham Abbey was witnessed by a member of the public on 16th March 2015 and reported to the Council the following day.

Environment and Neighbourhood officers were able to trace the vehicle used in the fly tipping back to Terence Sullivan of Morris Court Waltham Abbey, who when subsequently interviewed under caution admitted being responsible for its deposit which included some waste from his business as a roofing company.

Evidence gathered by the Council’s Environment & Neighbourhood team led to a prosecution in Chelmsford Magistrates Court on 10th December 2015.

We aim to maintain a safe and clean environment

Councillor Will Breare-Hall, the Environment Portfolio Holder, said:

‘We aim to maintain a safe and clean environment for our residents and take all instances of fly tipping extremely seriously. We will pursue a prosecution when we have the necessary evidence, so I encourage members of the public who witness fly tipping to make a note of the details, including the date and time and the registration number of any vehicle involved, and to report it to us as soon as possible, either online or by calling 01992 564608 during office hours or 01992 564000 at all other times.”

Report fly tipping

 

Unsung hero gets award

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Housing repairs, Media, Older people, Out and about, Residents, Volunteering opportunities, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Congratulations to Christopher Bullock from Epping Green on receiving a highly commended award in the unsung hero category in the Pride of Essex Awards 2015.

Pride of Essex 2015 "Unsung Hero" Highly Commended and award winners - Chris Bullock centre

Chris is the Handyman Project Coordinator for Voluntary Action Epping Forest (VAEF), a service funded by Epping Forest District Council (EFDC).

He is a handyman who does jobs for tenants of EFDC properties who are over 60 and or disabled who often have no one else who can help them. Chris does basic jobs like replacing tap washers, flat pack assembly, fitting curtain rails and putting up shelving, plus a lot more!

Extremely courteous and invaluable

Chris was nominated for the award by Mr and Mrs Burton. They moved to the Epping Forest district in 2013 and asked EFDC if anyone could help with basic jobs as both are registered disabled. They were referred to the Handyman Service and introduced to Chris.

The couple now regard Chris as a personal friend  and describe Chris as “Extremely courteous and invaluable.” Mrs Burton added: “We cannot thank him enough for all he does, we wanted him and his work recognised, which is why we’re nominating him for an award.”

Humbled by the nomination

At the Pride of Essex Awards Chris said: “I am genuinely humbled by the nomination. I was really taken back by the incredible efforts nominees had gone to in order to help others, many in the face of their own adversities.”

“The Burtons are just one example of many whose situation compels me to go even further, often working into the evenings in my own time, just to improve their lives. I was the only person nominated who provided a hands on practical support service which highlights how rare the work we do really is.”

“This Award should be shared by all who support the Handyman Service at EFDC and VAEF, as really I’m just the front man. Without this team I wouldn’t have known of their struggles and been able to help them, so thank you from me.”

Volunteer with VAEF

If you would like to find out more about volunteering please contact Voluntary Action Epping Forest

 

Crash exercise for airfield fire crews

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Emergencies, Media, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council

North Weald Airfield’s Fire and Rescue Crew were put through their paces in a simulated crash, known as incident response training, involving a car and a plane.

Incident response training

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

In the exercise on 17 December 2015, a vehicle strayed onto the runway and collided with a light aircraft. This resulted in the plane catching fire and the driver of the vehicle being killed and the passenger seriously injured.

Incident response training is vital

Once the crew had extinguished the fire, they turned their attentions to the casualties. One person was trapped in the vehicle with a serious head laceration and possible blunt trauma injury. The casualty was extracted using a speed board and placed on a scoop stretcher. He was taken to the designated casualty clearing area where he was stabilised until handover to the paramedics.

Our Emergency Planning Officer played the role of the main casualty. Screaming and covered in fake blood his realistic approach added to the authenticity of the exercise.

Incident response training is vital for the Airfield’s Fire and Rescue crew. It helps to hone the crews skills in team working, dealing with fires, extracting casualties and performing life-saving trauma treatment.

Realistic training

Darren Goodey, North Weald Airfield manager said: “Nothing can prepare you for the real thing. This is realistic training that reflects the type of emergency our crews could be called to.”

“It was a great success from which a lot was learnt by all involved.”

 

Helping refuge families at Christmas

Written on . Posted in Business, Chairman, Chigwell, Community, Crime and safety, Democracy, Media, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Council staff, Chigwell parishioners and a local resident were all praised by Chairman Liz Webster for their fantastic help in donating gifts for families spending their Christmas in local refuges.

Staff refuge gifts

Pictured from the left are Safer Places Kimberley Bull, Claire Baccarini, Nicola Leach, Chairman Liz Webster, Caroline Wiggins and Lorraine Cordell.

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

Local resident Janet Abbott, parishioners at St Winifred’s Church in Chigwell and staff from Epping Forest District Council gave hundreds of presents to Safer Places in Harlow. Safer Places manager Kimberley Bull picked up the presents on 17 December 2015 from the civic offices in Epping.

Organised by Safer Communities Manager Caroline Wiggins the gifts will hopefully make Christmas happier for the families sheltering from domestic abuse in refuges over the festive period.

Help is out there

Chairman Liz Webster said: “Christmas is the time when we think of others and I hope this provides families with encouragement knowing help is out there. Having to spend time away from home can be particularly difficult for families at this time of the year.”

“I would like to thank our local people for their generosity, and my sincere gratitude goes to all our staff who have worked wonders to bring some real festive cheer to those in difficulty.”

 

Christmas gifts for refuge families

Written on . Posted in Business, Chairman, Community, Crime and safety, Democracy, Local business, Media, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Families staying in refuges this Christmas will have a happier festive season thanks to the amazing generosity of customers and staff at the Waltham Abbey branch of Tesco.

Vice-chairman Jeane Lea and Safer Communities Manager Caroline Wiggins collected trollies full of presents for women and children of all ages on Tuesday 15 December 2015 from Michele Moore, Tescos Community Champion.

Vice-chairman Jeane Lea

All the gifts were given to a refuge in Harlow.

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

Overwhelmed by generosity 

Vice-chairman Jeane Lea said: “I’m completely overwhelmed by peoples generosity and kindness. My sincere thanks go to Tesco Community Champion Michele Moore who organised the collection, and to all the people who visit Tesco at Waltham Abbey for their support.”

“Christmas and New Year can be an extremely hard time for families in refuges. I hope these gifts will make them smile and feel hopeful for the future.”

 

Job centres help domestic abuse victims

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Crime and safety, Local business, Media, Older people, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

All 14 Job Centres across Essex became contact centres for victims by receiving Domestic Abuse and J9 awareness sessions, as part of a range of international events for Domestic Abuse Awareness Week.

J9 Domestic Abuse Multiagency trainning

Allowing victims to get help discreetly 

J9 named in memory of Janine Mundy by her family and the Police, aims to help victims by providing a wide variety of places to report domestic abuse and receive help in a safe efficient way.

Victims can get discrete help in any local shop or business where the J9 sticker is on display. They simply need to make themselves known to someone in the shop or business who can then put them in touch with professional help at Epping Forest District Council and the Safer Places charity.

Raising awareness 

Loughton Job Centre staff were joined by Caroline Wiggins Community Safety Manager at Epping Forest District Council and Joanne Majauskis from Safer Places Essex for training sessions led by Social Justice Coaches. The sessions included advice on how to identify potential Domestic Abuse, and what everyone can all do to support people.

Let victims know they are not alone

Caroline Wiggins Community Safety Manager at Epping Forest District Council said: “14 new outlets through Essex job centres is absolutely fabulous but we still need more support from local businesses. It is vital that we work together with as many organisations as possible to help as many victims as we can. We need to let victims know they are not alone and we are here to help. J9 is a great initiative and awareness will continue to grow.”

We are here to help

Want your business to become part of J9?

More information here

 

Limes Centre office soon open all day

Written on . Posted in Abandoned vehicles, Animal welfare, Benefits, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Council tax, Crime and safety, Epping, Housing, Housing repairs, Media, Parking, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council

The council’s office at The Limes Centre in Chigwell will soon be open all day.

Tenants and other residents living on the Limes Farm Estate and in surrounding areas can visit the office for advice on a whole range of issues including

  • rent
  • council tax payments
  • repairs
  • refuse
  • pets
  • parking
  • tenancy conditions
  • anti-social behaviour
  • estate
  • environmental issues

Limes Farm EFDC local office

Longer opening hours and new services

Until now the office has been open during the mornings only, but from 4 January 2016 the hours will be

  • Monday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm.
  • Benefits and council tax advice service everyday
  • Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)  advice services on Wednesday and Thursday mornings

We are also extending the range of services available to include

  • A new facility to pay your rent and council tax by debit or credit card
  • An Epping Forest District Council and Essex County Council information kiosk
  • Community services, tenant participation and advice on repairs, estates and environmental issues

The longer opening hours will be trialled for 18 months with a review after 12 months and the extended service may continue if it is popular with residents.

Further details

Please contact us for more information on the new hours and services, or for any of your housing enquiries