Weekly Street Tennis sessions for kids

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Health, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Come and join us on Saturday mornings at Roding Valley Recreation Ground for Street Tennis!

From skills and tricks to matches and competitions, you will cover all areas of the sport in a more engaged and exciting version of the game.

What’s more, your first session is FREE!

Join us every Saturday morning

Date: Every Saturday

Time: 8.45am – 10am

Location: Roding Valley Recreation Ground, Tennis Courts, Roding Road, Loughton, IG10 3BS

Cost: £3 per session, your first session FREE

Suitable for ages 5 – 11

Further information

Contact Ezra Folan on 01992 564363 or email efolan@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Follow @efdcsports on Twitter

Small changes help make a dementia friendly community

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Health, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Epping Forest Youth Councillors have signed up as Dementia Friends after attending an awareness session with Engagement Officer, Karen Murray.

Dementia Friends learn about what it’s like to live with dementia and then turn that understanding into action, helping people in all kinds of everyday situations.

“Anyone of any age can be a Dementia Friend by attending a face-to-face Dementia Friends Information Session or watching an online video,” said Cllr Helen Kane, portfolio holder for Leisure and Community Services. “It’s all about learning more about dementia and spreading the word, such as telling friends about Dementia Friends or visiting someone who is living with dementia”.

Awareness sessions

Epping Forest District Council has been holding dementia awareness sessions in libraries throughout the summer. The next one is Thursday 18 October, 2pm at Epping Library.

Each session lasts around one hour and attendees will learn about dementia and how they can help to create dementia friendly communities.

For more information visit: https://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/

Stay well this winter events in November

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Health, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

As the colder months close in, Epping Forest District Council is working with West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group and Livewell Essex, to help residents prepare for winter by providing a series of free health and wellbeing events across the district in November 2018.

Healthy throughout winter

Come and speak to local pharmacists, community nurses and specialist healthcare advisors and learn more about how to keep yourself healthy throughout the winter months.

FREE goodie bags and more

There is so much more on offer too, including FREE goodie bags, entertainment and lunch – you are guaranteed to have an informative and enjoyable day!

Booking is essential, so please call 01992 564225 to confirm your place.

Join us in…

Nazeing

  • St Giles C of E, St Giles Church Hall, Nazeing, Essex, EN9 2JL
  • Thursday 8 November 2018
  • 10am – 2.30pm

Ongar

  • Jubilee Park Pavillion, Love Lane, Ongar, Essex, CM5 9BL
  • Thursday 15 November 2018
  • 10am – 2.30pm

Epping

  • Epping Hall, St Johns Road, Epping, Essex, CM16 5JU
  • Thursday 22 November 2018
  • 10am – 2.30pm

Fyfield

  • Fyfield Village Hall, Houchin Drive, Fyfield, Essex, CM5 0RG
  • Wednesday 28 November 2018
  • 10am – 2.30pm

Further information

New leisure centre for Epping being explored

Written on . Posted in Business, Business rates, Civic events, Commercial properties, Community, Councillors, Elections, Epping, Health, Leader, Local business, Meetings, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

The feasibility of providing a new community leisure centre and swimming pool to be built in Epping is being actively explored. Proposals are being discussed with Places Leisure (the leisure arm of Places for People), the District Council’s current leisure provider and Epping Town Council.

The new centre could form part of the larger St Johns development to potentially include the first cinema in the town for decades, new shops, public open space and housing. The councils have withdrawn from previous plans to sell the area to a private developer, Frontier Estates. Frontier had intended to build a mixed use scheme to include a supermarket, but changes to the retail environment have made the approach less favourable and the Councils are now actively pursuing the new leisure option with Places Leisure.

The proposals include the transfer of the District Council depot to its new headquarters at Oakwood Hill in Loughton, and freeing up the site of the current Epping Sports Centre for housing as set out in the draft Local Plan. New Town Council offices would also be built into the new plans.

Epping Forest District Council remains one of the few councils able to invest in new leisure services. Its property portfolio includes the new shopping park in Loughton, now adding to the Council’s income from other shops, industrial units and commercial properties across the district. Income from these properties allows Epping Forest District Council to set one of the lowest Council Tax rates in Essex while continuing to invest in major new schemes.

In partnership with Places Leisure, it has just completed improvements at Ongar and the current Epping centre, built a major extension to Loughton Leisure Centre opened last week, and is due to complete the brand new Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre in November.

Councillor Chris Whitbread, Leader of Epping Forest District Council was delighted to make the latest Epping announcement with the Epping Town Mayor, Councillor Nigel Avey.

Councillor Whitbread said: “Today marks a milestone in the history of Epping. These plans can transform the heart of Epping, building on the current success story with an even better town centre. We are creating a wonderful new space to draw in visitors, providing jobs, leisure and housing. It would be a major boost to the local economy and a fantastic enhancement to our town.

Councillor Nigel Avey added: “Our two councils have a joint vision for Epping, our town and our community. It has been a long road, with setbacks, but both the Town and District have stuck to our guns in putting Epping first. With Places for People, we think we could find a private partner that has already demonstrated its local commitment through the provision of fantastic new community facilities across the district. St Johns would be on a larger scale with benefits to match.”

Public consultation on the new plans will take place in the New Year with outline planning permission being sought thereafter.

Background

Epping Forest District Council and Epping Town Council originally went into partnership with Essex County Council and a private developer, Frontier Estates, to redevelop the St Johns area of Epping.

The site comprises the former primary school, town council offices, and district council depot. From the outset the advantages of redeveloping the separate sites as a single holistic project made more sense than piecemeal redevelopment. The District Council took a major step forward when it bought the freehold of St Johns Primary School from Essex County Council as a means of ensuring that vision was followed.

Consultation with residents had previously altered the original design brief. Residents welcomed additional housing, shops and public open space but there was also a strong call for Epping to have its own cinema again, particularly for the benefit of the town’s young people.

Separately, an ongoing debate has been conducted over the future of Epping Sports Centre. Although the District Council has continued to invest in the Centre, its long term future has always been in doubt due to its location and construction. The site was identified for housing in the draft Local Plan, although the Council promised no plans would be made to close it until new facilities had been provided.

The new relationship forged between Places Leisure and Epping Forest District Council at its other leisure facilities around the district, combined with the opportunities at St Johns Road are crystalising into the new plans in partnership with Epping Town Council.

Other potential sites were also considered to replace Epping Sports Centre. Among other sites, a group of sports centre users had suggested an area currently owned by St Margaret’s Hospital and the District Council had also looked at reprovision at North Weald Airfield. Early investigations into the possibility of a joint-use centre with St Johns Secondary School had not passed feasibility discussions.

Apart from concerns over access and location, the cost of the St Margaret’s proposal involving the purchase of the land would have been prohibitive. North Weald Airfield and the largest part of St Johns are already owned by Epping Forest District Council, making each of these options much more affordable.

The previous aspiration to build an additional supermarket in Epping has been dropped.

With public calls for the new centre to be located as close as possible to the heart of Epping and customers not wishing to see a new North Weald facility lead to the closure of Ongar, the proposal to build at St Johns will come as welcome news.

Technical Background

  1. The St John’s Road redevelopment scheme is an important strategic project for the District, because of its ability to deliver both significant community and economic benefits.
  2. The site totals 3.68 acres and is in a prime town centre location. The original land ownership comprises of Essex County Council (former junior school) 2.59 Acres, Epping Forest District Council (Housing Repairs Depot) 0.59 Acres and Epping Town Council (Epping Hall) 0.54 Acres.
  3. The three public bodies have been working in partnership since the Junior School relocated to bring forward an appropriate redevelopment scheme.
  4. In recognition of the profile of the site and the high level of public interest a consultative approach with the local community has always been adopted, including a range of interested parties and stakeholders.
  5. As a result of public consultation the Council adopted a design and development planning brief for the site.
  6. The planning brief was for a mixed use scheme to include a food store (12,000sq ft) cinema, restaurants, ancillary retail use, car parking and up to 34 units of housing.
  7. In order to deliver the redevelopment the three Councils sought a specialist development company with the required expertise. After expressions of interest were received, Frontier Estates were appointed.
  8. After an extensive period of negotiation, which in order to ensure that the desired outcomes of the design and development brief were achieved, involved the purchase of the County Council’s land by Epping Forest District Council, it was anticipated that the final contracts could be entered into in the summer.
  9. However, it has not been possible to reach a final mutually agreeable position between the District Council, Town Council and Frontier Estates. The time taken to conclude negotiations has seen change in the retail market and Frontier Estates development risk increase.
  10. Therefore both the Town Council and District Council are now actively exploring an alternative which still delivers the community and economic briefs they both are keen to achieve for local residents.
  11. It is still the intention to pursue a mixed use scheme in accordance with the sites allocation in the submission version at the District Council’s Local Plan.
  12. However, the District Council is currently accessing the most suitable location for the reprovision at Epping Sports Centre which is ageing and constrained in terms of access. The St John’s site can now form part of this option appraisal.
  13. In the intervening period the District Council will continue to ensure the security of the site and keep residents updated.

Search on for Young Citizen of the Year 2019

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chairman, Chigwell, Civic events, Community, Epping, Health, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Nominations are now open for the Epping Forest Young Citizen of the Year Award 2019. If you know of a young person that deserves recognition, nominate them before Friday 30 November 2018.

Make a nomination now

The award, presented annually, recognises young people’s exceptional contributions to the Epping Forest District. This can be in terms of outstanding courage, service to the community or showing extraordinary commitment, energy and effort in a particular cause or achieving a particular goal.

11-18 year-olds living in Epping Forest district are eligible for nomination.

Awards evening

The finalists will be invited to the District Council`s Civic Awards in March 2019 where the winner will be announced and will receive £300 and a certificate of achievement.

Making positive contributions

Chairman of the Council, Councillor Richard Bassett said: “The Young Citizen of the Year Award highlights the positive contributions that young people make throughout our district in so many different ways. Many of these young people are unsung heroes and we want to recognise the tremendous contributions they make to their communities. So if someone springs to mind, now is the time to nominate them for this prestigious award.”

Make a nomination

To nominate a young person for the Young Citizen of the Year award either:

The closing date for nominations is Friday 30th November 2018.

Further information

Contact Paula Dunley, Youth Engagement Assistant

£14.5m leisure investment for EFDC residents

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chairman, Chigwell, Civic events, Commercial properties, Community, Epping, Health, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Loughton Leisure Centre’s £3m refurbishment was formally unveiled on Saturday 8 September 2018 by Cllr Richard Bassett, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council. The centre is one of three in Epping Forest that is undergoing refurbishment, alongside a complete new build at Waltham Abbey.

Over £14m investment

Investment in the district’s leisure centres tops £14m and has been completed in partnership with Places Leisure, Epping Forest District Council’s leisure activity and wellness partner.

Before cutting the ribbon and leading a tour of Loughton’s new facilities, Cllr Bassett paid tribute to the centre management and staff for keeping as much of the centre operational during the building works, and thanked users for their patience during the disruption.

New state-of-the-art facilities

The refurb brings new split-level gym facilities and multi-function movement studio spaces, a virtual spinning room, upgraded changing villages with new lockers, flooring and vanity units as well as better air conditioning.

The bulk of the project has been completed in 20 weeks with further work planned to the reception areas and heating and power units.

Councillor Helen Kane, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Community Services, EFDC Acting Chief Executive Derek McNab and Mayor of Loughton, Stephen Murray also attended the opening.

Health and wellbeing hub

“All of our leisure centres needed a makeover to keep them up to date and offering a welcoming environment for users. But in Waltham Abbey we had a wonderful opportunity to create a health and wellbeing hub in a new setting and I am really looking forward to seeing the finished project,” said Councillor Helen Kane.

Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre is being completely rebuilt on the old community centre site in Ninefields, as part of a major health and wellbeing initiative between Epping Forest District Council and Places Leisure, It is scheduled for completion in November.

Mathew Nicholson, Contract Manager for Places Leisure said “It’s an exciting time for leisure within our community, following the recent investment at Loughton and across our facilities. With the brand-new Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre due to be completed in November we are excited to be able to offer an enhanced leisure provision within the area and more opportunities for our community to get active.”

Special opening offers

Check out the website for special opening offers at Loughton Leisure Centre www.placesleisure.org/centres/loughton-leisure-centre/centre-activities/gym/

Weekly athletics sessions for beginners

Written on . Posted in Community, Health, Loughton, Older people, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Young people, Your community

Get started in Athletics with Epping Forest District Councils new weekly sessions, perfect with beginners and improvers, from Saturday 15 September 2018 at Roding Valley Recreational Ground.

This brand new Athletics session is the perfect way to start improving your Athletics skills and ability on a weekly basis.

Perfect for beginners

The session is perfect for beginners or for people who want to improve their knowledge and skill of athletics.

Our trained coaches will help you to improve various skills such as agility, speed and many more.

The details

  • Sessions run for 10 weeks, starting on 15 September 2018
  • Saturdays – 8:45am to 10am
  • The first session is FREE and each session thereafter is £3 per child
  • The session will take place at Roding Valley Recreation Ground, Roding Road, short running track , Loughton, IG10 3BS

Further information

For more information please call Will Fordham on 01992 562 563 or email wfordham@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Fun and activity at ‘Women Like Us’ Festival

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Health, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Active Essex and Epping Forest District Council are getting together to support Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can ’campaign with a festival next month.

Aimed at encouraging women of all ages and abilities to have fun, be active and improve their wellbeing the ‘Women Like Us’ Essex Festival takes place on Sunday 7 October at Zinc Arts, Ongar between 10am and 2pm.

Throw it back at 90’s Music Aero Classes, let your feet fly at Kickboxing, or take great strides at Walking Netball – whatever gets you up and moving there’s an activity for you at the Epping Women Like Us Festival!

Register now

If you can’t wait to work up a sweat and want to bag your place in the session of your choice, make sure you register your  interest in advance to seal your spot. It’s first come first served and spaces will disappear fast, so don’t be­ disappointed!

There are lots of sporting activities to choose from, including kick boxing, yoga, pilates and dance.

Flower arranging and tapestry

There are also flower arranging and tapestry workshops, life skills and wellbeing sessions along with tea, coffee and refreshments available all day from the onsite café.

Sport England

“The ‘This Girl Can’ programme was started by Sport England to encourage more women into sport. Our festival widens that programme by encompassing wellbeing and craft activities too,” said Cllr Helen Kane, portfolio holder for Leisure and Community Services.

“It promises to be a fun packed day for the women of Epping Forest, so please come along.”

Registration and workshops

Some workshops need to be booked in advance, when you register, while others can be signed up for on the day.

Sign-up starts at 9:30am and activities begin at 10am. Everyone will be encouraged to stay to join a stretch and cool session at the end of the day.

Parking is not available on site but there is plenty available close by in the town.

Local Councils Liaison 10 September 2018

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Health, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your environment, Your home

Local matters including an update on the Local Plan and the Council’s search Community Champions were topics for discussion at the meeting of the Local Councils Liaison Committee on Monday 10 September 2018.


Community Champions

District Council officers appealed to local representatives to help their search for Epping Forest Community Champion recruits. Champions are volunteers that help promote Health and Wellbeing events and information within their local communities.

The Council is looking for individuals that are:

  • over 18
  • passionate about where they live
  • connected with their local community
  • able to support events and fun days
  • able to promote community health and wellbeing team information

Contact Patrick Arnold for further information.

Planning delegations

Councillors discussed changes to planning delegations. The changes now require local Councils to send a representative to Planning Committee meetings if an objection to a planning application has been made by the local Council. These new rules will be reviewed after one year.

Appointment of Vice Chairman

Loughton Residents Association Councillor Chris Pond was appointed as Vice Chairman for the Local Councils Liaison Committee for 2018 – 2019.

Local Plan progress

Councillors received a verbal report on the current position of the new Local Plan for the Epping Forest District.

Despite the Council’s success at Judicial Review in June 2018, an injunction remains in place that prohibits Epping Forest District Council from submitting the Submission Version of the Local Plan.

The claimants (CK Properties Ltd) made an application for permission to appeal to the High Court which was refused in July, they have now submitted an application to the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal. The Council are now waiting for the application to be determined.

Further information

Working together in suicide prevention

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Crime and safety, Equalities, Health, Media, Older people, Our performance, Residents, Uncategorized, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Suicides are more prevalent among men than women in Essex and the most vulnerable age group is men between the ages of 35 and 64.

10 September is World Suicide Prevention Day – an annual event to raise awareness of the 800,000 suicides worldwide every year.

Epping Forest District Council is part of the West Essex Stay Safe team which is today launching a ‘call to action’ of partner organisations in the area to not only raise awareness of suicides, but also to encourage people to talk about suicide and feel confident in doing so.

  • Suicide is among the top 20 causes of death globally
  • 135 relatives, friends, colleagues, are profoundly affected by each suicide
  • Everyone can make a contribution to preventing suicide

Everyone can help

“Don’t be afraid to approach someone you think isn’t coping. Just showing that you care will be a positive step towards supporting them,” said Cllr Sam Kane, Portfolio Holder for Safer, Greener and Transport.

“You don’t have to be able to solve their problems but if you feel you can, offer support and encourage them to talk about how they’re feeling. Ask direct questions and don’t be afraid of frank discussions. Many people do want a chance to talk but don’t want to burden anyone around them.”

Organisations providing support

Further links