Leader calls on residents to Shop Local

Written on . Posted in Arts, Business, Council tax, Countrycare, Democracy, Health, Housing, Leader, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Olympics, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Parking, Private housing, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business, Travel, Trees and landscapes, Your money

Hello,

When I became the new leader of Epping Forest District Council back in the summer, the country was poised for the Olympic Games.

The Olympics proved to be the most fantastic success. As a Country, we staged probably the best Olympic and Paralympic games ever. At a time when the economy is flat and families are struggling to make ends meet, we all showed the rest of the world what Great Britain can achieve.

I am very proud to say that Epping Forest District played its part in our national success. The Lee Valley White Water Centre outside Waltham Abbey was completed on time and budget, giving thousands of people their first taste of the Olympic rapids before any of the other new venues had opened.

But this was just the platform – we helped to provide a stage but it was the people, the volunteers, the spectators, and most of all, the athletes that made the Games such a success. And as we look ahead to 2013 that is how I see the job of Epping Forest District Council – to provide the stage and the conditions in which the residents of Epping Forest can perform to their maximum potential.

So how do we do that?

To begin with we must leave as much of your money in your own pocket as possible. We are a low tax council. It is three years since the last increase in the Epping Forest District element of the Council Tax. We have one of the lowest Council Taxes in Essex.

We are pro-business. A healthy business sector means jobs and services for local people. Pay and Display parking charges in our towns are among the lowest you can find. Many car parks are free at weekends in the run up to Christmas. Working with local businesses, we promote our town centres, visitor attractions and tourism for local residents and visitors alike.

We are pro the environment. There is terrific demand on local housing because people want to live here. We do all we can to defend the Green Belt and we are trying to provide homes to meet the needs not only of people today, but our children and grandchildren in the future.

Healthy living and an active social life go hand in hand with a good life at home and work. We provide leisure centres, support a Youth Council and keep our older residents fit and active. Much of our work is supported by volunteers. Whether you are clearing country paths and coppicing trees with Countrycare or leading a walk for older people through Epping Forest or the Lee Valley Regional Park, the work of the council is magnified and enhanced by the generosity and spirit of volunteers.

Everyone has a part to play and there is never a better time than Christmas to show your support for the district. I want everyone who lives and works in Epping Forest to join with me in making 2013 the year our district takes off.

Use your local high street

One Shops Local and Visit Epping Forest are two websites designed to support local business. Created by Epping Forest Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, the council and other members of our Local Strategic Partnership, these sites are the place to find all the information, deals and recommendations you need to support your local high street.

If you have a few hours to spare and want to make another kind of difference, why not contact Voluntary Action Epping Forest to find out what you could do.

So next time you are thinking about a day out, looking for a good tradesperson or writing your shopping list remember the answers are all online and available on your doorstep.

On behalf of all the councillors and staff at Epping Forest District Council may I wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Chris Whitbread
Leader – Epping Forest District Council

Spectrum – street dance for teens

Written on . Posted in Health, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Spectrum flyer

Learn some of the hottest dance moves as seen in music videos, award shows and concerts. Street Dance is a great way to learn how to dance, keep fit and enjoy yourselves at the same time.

It’s on Tuesdays from 7pm to 8pm and costs £3 per session (term time only) at Waltham Abbey Sports Centre, King Harold School, EN9 1LF.

For 11 to 19 year olds Guys and Girls – just turn up!

Please wear suitable clothing and bring a drink.

For more information call HealthWorks on 01992 564712 or 01992 564713 or email healthworks@eppingforestdc.gov.uk.

See what we do on our HealthWorks page.

HealthWorks gym sessions for teens

Written on . Posted in Health, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Healthworks gym sessions flyer

Learn how to use the cardio-vascular and weight machines with a qualified HealthWorks instructor and receive personal training and fitness advice!

Every Wednesday from 4.30pm to 5.30pm at Waltham Abbey Pool & Gym, Roundhills, Waltham Abbey EN9 1UP for 11 to 19 year olds.

£2 per session. Use your local gym at a reduced rate.

Please wear suitable gym clothing and trainers.

Check out our website for other HealthWorks sessions.

Call us on 01992 564712 or 01992 564713 for more information.

Epping Youth Netball

Written on . Posted in Community, Epping, Health, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Young people, Your community

England Netball player Lindsay Keable will be at Epping Youths Training session on Tuesday 4th December!

Lindsay will be coaching our netball session on the 4th December at:

Epping Sports Centre
Hemnall Street
Epping
CM16 4LU

5pm – 6pm

The first session is free and then it’s £2.50 a session thereafter.

For ages 12 to 18!

Please call Katie on 01992 564713 for more information

Lindsay’s Competitive Record:

Current National long Squad member 2010-present Barbados test series 2012 Australia and New Zealand Test series 2011 Europeans (FENA) Championships 2011 – Winners Super League Winners 2011 with Hertfordshire Mavericks

Biography:

Lindsay started playing netball when she was 7 years old, when she was only in year 4! Lindsay was first selected for England at U19 level at the age of 17. From then she went on to play for England under 21’s and represented her country at the World Youth Championships in 2009 where they came 4th in the world. In 2010 she was honoured to be selected for the National squad, and since then has competed in a number of test series.

Celebrate all that is good in our disabled community

Written on . Posted in Arts, Business, Equalities, Health, Local business, Media, Older people, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Supporting business, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your home

Paralympians Danny Crates and Anne Wafula Strike, marathon runner Chris Moon MBE, and 7/7 survivor Daniel Biddle will be helping to celebrate all that is good in our disabled community at a free event to mark the 20th anniversary of the International Day for People with Disabilities (IDPwD).

The theme for the event in Chelmsford on Saturday 1 December 2012 is removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all.

The events opening ceremony is hosted by Dave Monk of BBC Essex, with demonstrations of disabled sport, singers, musicians and dramatists, as well as exhibitions by photographers and artists taking place all day to provide something for everyone.

Epping Forest District Council are helping to sponsor the event, and will be taking part in the business showcase to provide information about our services for people with disabilities, and the opportunity for people with disabilities to work with us to improve our services through the Epping Forest Disability Forum.

This event is at Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford Rivermead Campus, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1SQ from 10am to 4.30pm on Saturday 1 December. Free Park and Ride.

The Colchester community interest company Dancing Giraffe, in association with Chelmsford City Council and Anglia Ruskin University are hosting the event to raise awareness of the benefits of the integration of people with disability in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life, and to continue the positive experience that is the Paralympics’ legacy.

International Day for People with Disabilities is a United Nations sanctioned day that aims to promote understanding of people with disability and encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being.

Deadline approaching for arts and sports awards

Written on . Posted in Arts, Health, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Young people, Your area, Your community

Arts and Sports Awards 2013
Arts and Sports Awards 2013

Time is running out if you would like to apply for an arts or sports award, the closing date for applications is 1 December.

If you are 13 to 25 years of age and have a real talent in sports or the arts, Epping Forest District Council would like to invite you to apply for a financial award to support you in further developing your skills.

Awards range from £500 to £1,500 for the overall winners in each category and are presented on an annual basis.

To be considered for an award, you will need to demonstrate a very high level of talent by providing us with detailed and supporting information in your application.

If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to an interview in January at which this information will need to be evidenced.

Apply now

To be eligible for an award you must

  • Be aged 13 to 25 on the closing date for applications of 1 December 2012
  • Live in the Epping Forest district, or if at College or University return ‘home’ to Epping Forest district during the holidays
  • Demonstrate a high level of skill and have the potential to improve even further
  • Sports – you must be competing at county, regional or national level in a nationally-governed sport
  • Music – you must be at grade VIII if you are a jazz or classical musician, or receiving public or professional recognition for your work, if working in other genres
  • Visual and Performing Arts – you must be pursuing a course of study at a higher educational level and/or receiving public or professional recognition for your work

Download the Arts and Sports Awards application form

For more information call 01992 564561 or email csreception@eppingforestdc.gov.uk.

Domestic Abuse Awareness week

Written on . Posted in Crime and safety, Health, Media, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your home

Domestic abuse represents a quarter of all violent crime, it is actual or threatened physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual abuse.

Domestic abuse can happen anywhere, in all kinds of families and all kinds of homes, it happens across all age groups and across all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Domestic abuse is a crime and is unacceptable in our community, often taking place behind closed doors and leaving victims feeling extremely isolated.

"When she gets home will he believe where she's been?" The signs of domestic abuse aren't always this obvious

“When she gets home will he believe where she’s been?” The signs of domestic abuse aren’t always this obvious

However, support is available

  • Police – in an emergency, always call 999
  • National Domestic Violence Helpline – for women experiencing domestic abuse call 0808 2000 247 – 24 hour
  • Men’s Advice Line – for men experiencing domestic abuse call 0808 801 0327 – Monday to Friday, 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm
  • Broken Rainbow – for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community call 0300 999 5428 – Monday and Thursday 2pm to 8pm, Wednesday 10am to 1pm
  • Safer Places – email info@womensroom.org or call the helpline 0845 0177668 – 24 hours
  • Outreach, floating support, drop-in and refuge – call 0845 0177668 or fax 01279 836610
  • Citizens’ Advice Bureau – call 0844 257 1909
  • Housing Options at Epping Forest District Council –  call 01992 564027

Epping Forest District Council Safer Communities Team is working in collaboration with Essex County Council to support Essex Domestic Abuse Awareness week from 21 to 25 November, along with Alcohol Awareness week.

Safer, Greener and Highways Portfolio Holder Councillor Gary Waller said: “There is no excuse to justify domestic abuse in any shape or form and those who have had to suffer it should not have to put up with it. Nobody should be made to feel trapped, victimised, bullied or ashamed for what they have had to go through but sadly this is the way abusers often make their victims feel.”

Domestic abuse can occur between family members, in same sex relationships and by a woman towards a man. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will be victims of domestic abuse in their lifetime – and on average 2 women a week are killed by a male partner or former partner. In Essex alone there are approximately 60 to 80 incidents of domestic abuse reported to the police each day and around 10 to 15% of those are high risk. Evidence suggests abuse reported is rarely a one-off incident; more often it is a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour where the abuser seeks power over intimate partners or family members.

You can give information anonymously about a crime, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit the Crimestoppers website.

Alcohol Awareness week

Written on . Posted in Business, Crime and safety, Health, Media, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your home

Alcohol Awareness week aims to raise public awareness of the long and short-term issues that can arise from alcohol misuse and how this can impact on the lives of families and friends, as well as the individuals themselves. Alcohol Concern has a set the theme for this year’s Alcohol Awareness week which runs from 21 to 25 November – ‘It’s time to talk about drinking’.

Epping Forest District Council Safer Communities Team is working in collaboration with Essex County Council to support Alcohol Awareness Week.

Around 200,000 people come to work with a hangover every day. Makes you think doesn't it?

Around 200,000 people come to work with a hangover every day. Makes you think doesn't it?

Alcohol is the 2nd biggest risk factor for cancer after smoking. How does that make you feel?

Alcohol is the 2nd biggest risk factor for cancer after smoking. How does that make you feel?

 

Over 45s are 3 times more likely to drink alcohol every day. Did you know that?

Over 45s are 3 times more likely to drink alcohol every day. Did you know that?

People who work are more likely to drink alcohol than unemployed people. Did you expect that?

People who work are more likely to drink alcohol than unemployed people. Did you expect that?

Safer Communities Manager Caroline Wiggins said: “At this time of year, in the run-up to Christmas, many people start to think about alcohol and the amount they consume. Alcohol Concern is challenging people to give up alcohol for a month in January. Those willing to take up the challenge will be able to sign up either as an individual or a team to give up drinking for a month. We’re going to ask people to pledge money or get sponsored to motivate them to stick at the challenge. We’ll also be providing people with tips and information on cutting down and how this will help their health, sleeping patterns and general wellbeing.”

It’s time to talk about drinking – 5 facts about alcohol

  1. Every hour more than 100 people go into hospital in England and Wales with an alcohol-related condition
  2. Every day more than 40 people die as a result of alcohol in England and Wales
  3. Every week more than 100 children call ChildLine upset about their parents’ drinking – some as young as 5 years old
  4. Alcohol consumption has nearly doubled since the 1950s
  5. It is estimated that 2.6 million children in the UK are living with parents who are drinking hazardously and 705,000 are living with dependent drinkers

For more information go to www.alcoholconcern.org.uk

Cabinet reports to Council on 6 November

Written on . Posted in Arts, Business, Chairman, Council tax, Councillors, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Crime and safety, Democracy, Environmental health, Health, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Meetings, Museum, North Weald Airfield, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Parking, Planning, Prosecutions, Recycling and waste, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business

The runway at North Weald Airfield, Council Tax freeze, local plan, recycling, welfare reform were all discussed at the full meeting of Epping Forest District Council on 6 November 2012.

Councillor Anne Grigg, Asset Management Portfolio Holder informed members that Halcrow were in the process of being appointed to undertake some non-invasive testing of the structure of the main North Weald runway. This testing is intended to ensure that the runway is suitable for its current uses and will also inform the strategic review of the Airfield.

Councillor Grigg also reported that Cabinet at its meeting in September agreed to commission a strategic review of North Weald Airfield, to be undertaken as part of the development of the new Local Plan. The review should be completed and reported back to councillors in time for the recommended outcomes to become part of the Local Plan “Preferred Options” consultation scheduled to commence in the summer of 2013.

Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Will Breare-Hall was pleased to report improvement in recycling figures with the quarter 2 out-turn at 62%. In a similar vein, the results for dealing with litter and detritus are also ahead of target.

Councillor Breare-Hall also drew attention to the use of new CCTV cameras in The Broadway, Loughton which have provided a number of leads for fly-tipping investigations. He noted discussions between council officers and Epping Ongar Railway where very few new complaints have been received concerning the heritage railway.

Councillor Breare-Hall’s report concluded with news that following extensive remedial work, the former Bobbingworth Tip has achieved Queen Elizabeth II Field designation. It is now a tranquil and attractive open space. Councillor Breare-Hall said it was a great testament to the hard work of all those involved. A robust commemorative plaque will be placed on site.

Councillor David Stallan, Housing Portfolio Holder reported on the Welfare Reform Mitigation Plan consideration of a proposed new Tenancy Policy and Housing Allocations Scheme for the district.

Councillor Chris Whitbread recommended www.visiteppingforest.org  as one of the new initiatives designed to support and stimulate the local economy through tourism and other avenues. Referring to feedback on the Local Plan, Councillor Whitbread confirmed he had been in discussion with Eleanor Laing MP for Epping Forest concerning many of the issues raised in the Community Choices consultation.

Councillor Mrs Syd Stavrou informed councillors that the Government’s announcement of the latest Financial Settlement would not be made until late December.

Councillor Stavrou had previously announced the Cabinet’s intention to freeze Council Tax for another year. The Government has subsequently announced a grant equivalent to a 1% increase in Council Tax for authorities freezing their charge. Councillor Stavrou was pleased to confirm that Cabinet agreed the parameters set for the 2013/14 budget include no increase in the Council Tax.

Councillor Richard Bassett, Planning Portfolio Holder responded to questions put by members of the public as well as councillors in respect of the Local Plan. He repeated previous assurances that no decisions had been taken on the policies to be included in the new Local Plan. Many public responses had been received in response to the recent Community Choices consultation. Population predictions formed a key element in the forecasts of future development need and Councillor Bassett confirmed he would be meeting regional planning experts in the near future to discuss the latest estimates.

Reports by Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder Councillor Liz Webster noted progress on the construction of the new ‘3rd Generation Astroturf’ pitch at Town Mead in Waltham Abbey an a number of successful funding bids including.

• £23,500 for adult training in subjects such as IT
• £39,000 for ‘Transitions’ a professional development programme for carers work with people with dementia
• £27,500 of initial Heritage Lottery Funding towards a bid for £1,165,000 for the expansion of Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey

Loughton Leisure Centre users can look forward to better facilities following a decision to spend £240,000 on improvements. Epping Forest District Council will obtain a reduction in its annual management fee to Sports Leisure Management (SLM) of £88,000 per year in exchange for one-off capital funding to improve changing facilities at Loughton Leisure Centre. The deal equates to a three per cent return on investment on the £240,000 capital sum with the added bonus of spending the money to improve the Council’s own property for the benefit of Leisure Centre users.

Councillor Gary Waller Safer, Greener and Highways Portfolio Holder answered questions ranging from parking reviews to the merits of the forthcoming elections for the Essex Police and Crime Commissioner. He also thanked Councillor Leon Girling for suggesting a presentation to Loughton Broadway businesses on the capabilities of the new CCTV systems.

Epping Forest Sports and Physical Activity Club Forum

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

On 19 November Epping Forest District Council and Upper Clapton Football Club will be hosting the Epping Forest Club Forum.

The forum is an informal opportunity for you to hear about local projects, meet partners and gain vital information to help develop your club.

This meeting of the forum will see guest speakers from Active Essex discussing local funding opportunities and coaching bursary schemes. As well as representatives from the District Council’s Sports and Health Development Team talking about partnership working in order to grow sporting opportunities for people with disabilities. There will also be the opportunity to have your say in the future of the forum and a chance for you to network with other clubs and partners from across the district.

Attendance is free and a buffet and refreshments will be provided. To book a place, or for more information, please contact Fabrizio Ferrari on 01992 564567 or  Email fferrari@eppingforestdc.gov.uk