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 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.’’

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.


  • 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


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

More information

For more information please visit Essex Police website 

or National Volunteer Police Cadets 

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