New and extended stray dog service

Written on . Posted in Animal welfare, Community, Crime and safety, Media, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your environment, Your home

Stray dogs found in the Epping Forest district will be collected by the London Borough of Waltham Forest’s dog wardens from 23 November 2015.

Dog wardens

This new and extended service is available every day (except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day) between 7am and 9pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 7pm on weekends and Bank Holidays.

Dogs will be taken to Waltham Forest’s holding kennels.

To report a lost or found stray dog call 07815 512833

Report a stray dog on 07815 512833

New weekend and evening service

Environment Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: “I am delighted to announce our new and extended stray dog collection service with Waltham Forest Council. Stray dogs tend not to adhere to 9 to 5 office hours so this new weekend and evening service represents a great improvement for our residents. It also allows us to provide better care for the dogs too.”

Your dog is your responsibility

“Your dog is your responsibility” said Councillor Breare-Hall “The law says owners must ensure their dogs wear an identity tag with their contact details when out and about. Microchipping becomes a legal requirement for all dogs over 8 weeks old from April 2016, so it is important that owners remember to update their details if they change address or if their dog goes to a new home.”

Councillor Will Breare-Hall continued: “Losing your dog can be an expensive and distressing experience. The fee for reclaiming a dog is £78, plus a daily kennelling charge. Making microchipping a legal requirement should make it much easier to reunite stray dogs with their owners, but it is still up to owners to take care of their pets and not let them stray in the first place.”

Councillor Breare-Hall added: “If you find a stray dog with a tag please phone the owner. If it has been chipped, your local vet will be able to tell who it belongs to. In all other circumstances contact Waltham Forest on 07815 512833. If your call is not answered, leave a message and you will be contacted within 30 minutes. Dogs can be collected by their owners from Waltham Forest’s Council Offices or delivered to your home for an additional £40 charge.”

Pleased to be providing this service

Waltham Forest Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Clyde Loakes said: “We’re pleased to be providing this service to our neighbouring borough and can assure the dog-owners of Epping Forest that we not only do we have a top team of officers, but state-of-the-art facilities in the shape of our new kennels.”

 

Crimestoppers pocket card, helping fight crime

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Crime and safety, Epping, Loughton, Media, Older people, Olympics, Ongar, Residents, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

A new pocket card informing people how to help keep communities safe, has been developed by the crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers and has just been launched in Essex.

The ‘Tell us what you know about crime, not who you are’, card has been produced with support from Epping Forest District Council and outlines the unique services offered by Crimestoppers through its 0800 555 111 phone number and online.

CrimeStoppers 0800 555 111

Crimestoppers 0800 555 111

The independent charity operates a 24/7 service for people to give information anonymously about crime or criminals. No names are taken, no one can be identified and calls or online information cannot be traced. It’s all anonymous when the information is passed to police.

The 8 page folded card is designed to be carried in a pocket or handbag as a reminder or to give to those who may need Crimestoppers’ services.

Police can’t solve crime on their own. They need to be pointed in the right direction by people who want to keep their communities safe.

Provide information without the fear of being identified

Councillor Gary Waller, Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council said: “These cards are really compact and full of useful Crimestoppers information. People will be able to access contact details quickly, easily and feel safe in the knowledge that they can provide information without the fear of being identified. This is an excellent resource that will benefit our community and Epping Forest District Council is proud to be involved in its production.”

You will remain anonymous

Crimestoppers Regional Manager Antonia Litten said: “Some people won’t go to the police, as they fear what will happen to them if the criminal finds out. Crimestoppers removes that concern and gives people peace of mind. No one has anything to fear by contacting Crimestoppers as you will remain anonymous. We never ask for your name and no personal details are taken, we just want to know about the crime.”

 More information

  • For more information on Crimestoppers visit their website
  • Call Crimestoppers anytime on 0800 555 111

 

Cabinet 5 November

Written on . Posted in Benefits, Community, Council tax, Councillors, Crime and safety, Doing business with the council, Housing, Leader, Local business, Media, Meetings, Planning, Prosecutions, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

Councillors discussed many issues at the cabinet meeting of Epping Forest District Council on 5 November 2015.

Watch our council meetings online

Breaches of standing orders

Councillor Chris Whitbread set out details of breaches to standing orders in response to a public question by Mr Blanks. Responding to a supplementary question by Mr Blanks, Councillor Whitbread confirmed that the breaches of standing orders relating to cumulative orders placed with contract suppliers had been identified by council officers.

Councillor Whitbread undertook to provide further details in due course. Returning to the item later on the agenda, cabinet actions now require assistant directors to avoid similar occurrences in the future. Standing Orders are also to be reviewed.

Gracelands

Gracelands, a local company has been awarded a new 5-year contract to provide gas and heating services to council housing tenants. Gracelands came in the with the lowest bid of just under £400,000 per year. Previous work by Gracelands has provided some of the highest levels of tenant satisfaction for Epping Forest District Council.

Civil penalties

Councillors supported the introduction of civil penalties for people giving false information when making Council Tax and Housing Benefit claims. The penalties of £70 for Council Tax and £50 for Housing Benefit cheats can also be applied to people who deliberately withhold information when their circumstances change. Anyone providing false information would also have to pay back any overpayment of Benefits.

Bus shelters

The cleaning and refurbishment of 60 local bus shelters has been awarded to Clear Channel for a further 4 years. The contract was awarded at no cost to the council. Maintenance costs to Clear Channel will be met from revenue raised through advertising.

Payment kiosks

Payment kiosks are to replace the staffed Epping cashier office. Residents increasingly make payments to the council by direct debit, phone and online with a consequent decline in cash payments. The council successfully implemented a payment kiosk alternative in Waltham Abbey several years ago with significant ongoing savings. Implementation of a similar plan in Epping is expected to save more than £20,000 a year.

Epping Forest College redevelopment

Councillors agreed to release restrictive covenants on land owned by Epping Forest College. Redevelopment of the land for housing will provide a proportion of new affordable housing within Loughton. Profits from the development will be used by the College to develop new educational facilities.

Epping Forest Shopping Park

The Epping Forest Shopping Park project remains on schedule. Asset Management Portfolio Holder Councillor Ann Grigg updated cabinet with latest progress on retail tenants, highway works and relocation of council services to Oakwood Hill.

 

Keep warm and safe this winter

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Loughton, Media, Older people, Our attractions, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Get your electric blanket tested for free at Loughton Library and get advice from Trading Standards and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service while you wait!

Keep warm and safe this winter

  • When: Tuesday 17 November 2015 between 10am and 3pm
  • Where: In the Gallery, Loughton Library, Trapps Hill, Loughton, IG10 1HD

While your blanket is being tested you can get advice from Trading Standards and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.

Keep warm and well

Link to GOV.UK leaflets that give advice on staying well in cold weather, covering issues such as financial help, healthy lifestyle, flu jabs and heating.

 

North Weald Airfield hosts Exercise Kingsway

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

Paramedics, Firefighters, Police and other emergency services came to North Weald Airfield on Tuesday 27 October to take part in ‘Exercise Kingsway‘.

Exercise Kingsway

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

Exercise Kingsway recreated a large scale multi car pileup involving a number of cars, heavy goods vehicles, a mini bus and even a horse trailer. Exercises like these are vital to see how our emergency services operate and work together in disaster situations. To add realism over 60 students were used as casualties, acting highly distressed to distract the services and make it hard for those at the scene to priorities the injured.

The exercise was overseen by experts, there to see how the services combined and dealt with the disaster, ensuring the best possible outcome for the patient in a real life situation.

With the M25 and M11 running through the heart of the Epping Forest district we know incidents do occur. Allowing the services to train together and work as one, we hope to ensure they have all the skills and tools necessary to tackle these large scale incidents.

We would like to thank the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust for organising the exercise and all the participants including

We would also like to thank all the students from Anglia Ruskin University, University College London, St Bartholomew’s Hospital and the London Medical School and of course North Weald Airfield for use of the airfield.

These training exercises are vital in the continual training of our emergency services allowing them to carry on saving lives.

 

Become a Volunteer Police Cadet

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

Essex Police are inviting young people aged 13-18 across Essex to join Essex’s first ever Volunteer Police Cadet programme.

The Volunteer Police Cadets (VPC) is a national uniformed voluntary youth organisation, supported by the Police, and open to young people aged 13 -18 from across the UK’s diverse communities, irrespective of their background or financial circumstances, and including those vulnerable to crime or social exclusion.

VPC Recruitment Brochure

View recruitment brochure below click image to start slide show

Download Recruitment Brochure here (pdf 674KB)

The Volunteer Police Cadet programme offers a fantastic variety of opportunities, including access to the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and  helps to prepare young people the future by providing a range of activities and opportunities to develop qualifications, enhance inter-personal skills and confidence, and achieve a sense of pride through supporting community policing.

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 

No trick or treat please

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

It’s Halloween, time to dress up, go trick or treating and eat sweets!

If you are out and about and see a No Trick or Treat poster, please be mindful and do not knock.

Halloween

Be respectful and considerate

Halloween can be an intimidating time of year for some members of our community, especially for the elderly and for those that live alone. To be faced with a barrage of masked, costumed, strangers, can be a very frightening experience. So please consider this whilst trick or treating and only visit properties that are openly welcoming.

Every year Epping Forest District Council receives reports of trick or treaters causing a nuisance on Halloween. It may seem like harmless fun to throw eggs, toilet paper and flour but it is important to remember that you could cause criminal damage to someone else’s property. It also costs precious time and money to clear up afterwards. So we would encourage all of our trick or treaters to be respectful and considerate this Halloween.

Epping Forest District Council’s Safer Communities Team has produced a poster to help deter any unwanted callers.

Download the poster from Flickr here. Copies are also available from the civic offices in Epping.

Useful advice

Are you a 2 Smart trick or treater? – Young people are encouraged to visit the Essex Police 2smart website for advice on how to stay safe this Halloween.

Halloween safety – Essex Fire and Rescue offer advice about safety during Halloween.

 

Essex County Council flooding grants

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Crime and safety, Drainage, Grants, Local business, Media, Our countryside, Planning, Private housing, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Essex County Council (ECC) have recently launched funding for residents, landowners, and organisations such as parish councils etc, who are looking to address issues relating to flooding.

Property level protection (PLP)

This is for residents who have been affected by flooding to apply for up to £5k to purchase and install physical measures to protect their homes. Typically these measures can include

  • flood barriers across external doors
  • air vent covers
  • non-return valves

The scheme is being administered by a private company on behalf of ECC and is on a first come, first served basis. The overall budget available is £100k hence residents are being encouraged to register their interest promptly.

Flood programme grant

This totals £400k and is intended to contribute towards the delivery of bespoke flood prevention schemes that have protection to residential properties as their primary aim. Sources of flooding can include

  • ordinary watercourses
  • ground water flooding
  • surface water flooding

Flooding from rivers is excluded as this rests principally with the Environment Agency to address.

Want advice

You can find out more on the flood and water management section on Essex County Council’s website.

The Engineering Drainage & Water Team at Epping Forest District Council are happy to discuss and advise potential applicants and look for synergies with Epping Forest’s own flood risk reduction proposals and aspirations.

Contact them

 

Watch out for deer – the rutting season has begun

Written on . Posted in Community, Councillors, Countryside and wildlife, Crime and safety, Media, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Travel, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Motorists, dog walkers and visitors are advised to be aware that the deer mating season, also known as the rutting season, has begun.

Deer

Male deer, or bucks, become less aware of the dangers around them, such as cars and bikes on the roads. They can be highly aggressive as they are full of testosterone as they attempt to fight off rivals to attract as many females as possible.

Motorists

  • Accidents on the roads involving deer increase at this time of year and drivers should be extra vigilant where there are deer warning signs and slow down when driving through the forest.

Dog walkers

  • Dogs should be kept on a lead. It is important to keep disturbance of the deer to a minimum and dog owners should be aware that deer can feel threatened by dogs and may also disrupt the deer breeding pattern.

Walkers

  • Walkers are advised to keep at least 50m away from deer, never get in between 2 deer and avoid feeding or photographing them at close range.

Deer don’t follow the green cross code

Councillor Gary Waller, Portfolio Holder for Safer, Greener and Transport said: “The Epping Forest district has a large deer population and I urge everyone travelling on roads through the forest to take extra care over the next few months.”

“Deer are wild animals. They can appear on the road without warning and don’t follow the green cross code! If you see Deer Warning signs take extra care and reduce your speed and remember that further deer may well appear as deer often move around in groups.”

 

Cabinet announcement on the future of policing

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

Councillor Gary Waller, Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder at Epping Forest District Council made an announcement on the future of policing in the Epping Forest district at cabinet on 8 October 2015.

The future of policing

Councillor Gary Waller

I am sure that that members are already aware of the announcements which the Chief Constable and the Police and Crime Commissioner made on Tuesday about the future of policing in Essex.

In short, there are 2 reasons why the shape of policing in our county is changing. First, crime is evolving, with more emphasis on the need to prevent and deal with crimes like sexual exploitation and domestic abuse, as well as telephone and online fraud, the extent of which is in my view greatly underestimated.

Second, there are unprecedented financial pressures on the police. The Essex force has already saved £40 million, but is still expected to save a further £60 million over the next 5 years.

We can not argue with these facts and those figures. We just have to ensure that adaptations are made to ensure that together the police and their community safety partners can work as effectively as possible to combat crime and disorder.

As far as this district is concerned, the most visible changes will be the closure of Epping police station and the loss of the public counter at Loughton police station. In reality, the impacts will not be as great as some people fear. For instance, Epping is no longer an operational hub, and the operational base will continue at Loughton. Community policing is not coming to an end. On the contrary, new community policing teams are being established to protect people from harm and to prevent crime.

Few people these days use police stations. Over 2 separate months, the records show that 744 people visited Loughton’s front counter, and only 381 at Epping – and only a handful were to report crime. Those numbers compare with 6,389 at Harlow.

Going forward, it’s essential that alternatives must be provided, so that those things that could only be done by visiting a police station – reporting a crime, for instance – can be done in other ways.

On Friday next week, I and officers concerned with community safety matters will be meeting with the divisional police commander. We want to explore, for instance, whether it might be possible to develop the idea of co-location – making a contact point available via the district council. We are fortunate to have one of the most effective community safety teams in the county, and that will undoubtedly be of benefit.

I want to place emphasis on innovative and low-tech means of communicating with the public, bearing in mind that those who do not have access to broadband are often the most vulnerable in our society.

The Police and Crime Commissioner has urged everyone to find solutions to the undoubted problems that change will bring. Everyone should be aware that the district council and the Community Safety Partnership are ready to participate in the engagement process in the most positive way possible.

Your police service, your voice

Your police service, your voice

The Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston is holding a public meeting on Wednesday 28 October at 6:30pm in Epping.