Pupil’s art spreads recycling message

Written on . Posted in Community, Epping, Loughton, Media, Older people, Recycling and waste, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

The whole of Epping Primary School celebrated the success of Year 1 pupil Belle Liggitt. Belle submitted a winning entry in Epping Forest District Council’s competition to design a poster for the side of it’s refuse freighters. 400 class mates lined up for the special celebration photo.

Belle’s recycling picture appears 10 feet tall on the side of the district’s refuse and recycling vehicles, spreading the message of recycling far and wide.

Belle Liggitt aged 6 years

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

Pleased and proud

Tracy O’Donnell, Epping Primary School Head Teacher said: “Today has been a very proud and exciting day for all the children. We are ever so pleased and proud of her. It was great to have all the children in the photo so we could all celebrate together.”

“Recycling is very much part of the curriculum and ethos of our school. We are very fortunate to have a new building, just 4 years old and  are completely eco-friendly. We harvest rain water to flush our toilets and the windows automatically open and close based on Co2 levels set.”

“Reducing, re-using and recycling is very important to us. We have a ‘school eco council’ made up of a team of very enthusiastic pupils who make sure that we are being eco-friendly at all times. We  re entered for a special ‘school eco council award’ and eagerly await the outcome.”

“It’s important to set the foundations of recycling at a young age. We start the children thinking about it when they come to the school aged 4 and keep it part of the curriculum and part of our school assemblies and school routines. For us it’s a real hot topic and we think it’s really important to look after our school, our community and ultimately our planet.”

“Belle was very nervous on the day at having the whole school around her and a recycling lorry in the playground. Last term we had a special assembly and presented her with a huge photograph given to us by the council. We gave Belle an award and bought her a present to say ‘well done’. We explained to the other pupils that Belle had won our school a wonderful gift of money to be used towards arts supplies in the school, ensuring that art linked to recycling continues to be high profile in the school.”

Creative schools competition

Sita UK and Epping Forest District Council invited all primary, infant and junior schools in the district to take part in the “creative schools competition”. Belle Liggitt and Patsy Stow were the 2 winners.

The girls were presented with vouchers to Chessington World of Adventures and their schools received cheques for £500. They were selected from over 1,000 entries.

Improved services with new refuse contract

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Councillors, Epping, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Ongar, Recycling and waste, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Your area, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Improved services and large savings are expected after the decision by the council to award a new ten year contract to Biffa Municipal Limited for the collection of domestic refuse and recycling and street cleaning. In addition to annual savings of over £400,000 a year, the introduction of new technology, new vehicles and new working practices, including a 4-day collection week to avoid Bank Holiday Monday disruption, is anticipated to result in environmental and service improvements.

The decision was taken by the Cabinet of Epping Forest District Council at a special meeting on Monday 19 May 2014.

Alderton Junior winning artwork

Competitors for the contract

Biffa beat an initial list of 8 competitors to the contract, including current contractor Sita UK, most of whose local staff will transfer to Biffa under the terms of the contract. The final decision was based on an equal assessment of price and quality, with all the short-listed companies submitting competitive bids.

When will Biffa start?

Biffa will start emptying the District’s wheelie bins on 3 November 2014. The new Tuesday to Friday collection service will start in March 2015.

What to recycle and when will it be collected?

Epping Forest residents are amongst the ‘greenest’ in the country, recycling over 250kg per household each year. Bidders were invited to investigate different ways of collecting local refuse and recycling but the current system of two wheelie-bins, sacks and a blue box has proved to be one of the best and there are no plans to change this.

  • Food and Garden Waste Wheelie Bin – collected weekly
  • Residual Waste Wheelie Bin – collected fortnightly
  • Blue Box – for glass, collected fortnightly
  • Sacks – All other dry recycling collected fortnightly

Residents will also be able to recycle tetrapaks, batteries and small electrical items for the first time.

Langston Road, Loughton redevelopment

In March 2015, Biffa will transfer from the current council-owned depot in Langston Road to its own depots in Edmonton and Waltham Cross. This will move forward the redevelopment of the Langston Road site as a new retail park, providing employment for local people and generating more long-term income and savings for Epping Forest District Council.

Great news for Epping Forest residents

Contract negotiations were led by Councillor Will Breare-Hall, Environment Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council, and Council officers.

Councillor Breare-Hall said: “This deal is great news for Epping Forest residents and our District. Our new contract with Biffa promises residents an innovative, improved, more responsive service that respects what they like best about our current provision, and helps us keep their Council Tax low. I want to put on record my thanks to Sita UK for the great job they have done, but it is essential we keep striving to improve. This new partnership with Biffa offers even better services to residents, reductions in environmental impact, and helps us to maintain our record as one of the UK’s top recycling authorities.”


Recycling art competition winners

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, Councillors, Media, Recycling and waste, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Sita UK logo2 talented youngsters will soon see their winning artwork hit the roads of the district.

Belle Liggitt, 6, from Epping Primary School and Patsy Stow, 10, from Alderton Junior School were special guests at Epping Forest District Council to hear that theirs were the winning entries in the council’s recycling art competition supported by SITA UK.

The 2 girls were presented with vouchers to Chessington World of Adventures while their schools received cheques for £500 after they were selected from over 1,000 entries to be the images of the council’s next recycling campaign.

Each will see their pictures appear 10 feet tall on the side of the district’s refuse and recycling vehicles next month. SITA UK and Epping Forest District Council invited all the primary, infant and junior schools in the district to take part in the “creative schools competition”. 

Belle Liggitt – Epping Primary School

Epping Primary winning artwork

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

Patsy Stow – Alderton Junior School

Alderton Junior winning artwork

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

Spread the message of recycling far and wide

Councillor Will Breare-Hall, Environment Portfolio Holder for the Council, said: “We asked schools and their pupils to design a poster addressing ‘Why is recycling important and relevant today? What materials can you recycle at home and at school? What is the relationship between recycling and the environment?”

He continued: “Local schools embraced the project and we had a tremendous number of really excellent entries.  The winning designs by Belle and Patsy will be enlarged, put on to vinyl and mounted on the sides of our refuse and recycling vehicles to spread the message of recycling far and wide. I hope the obvious enthusiasm for recycling of all those pupils who took part will be an inspiration to everyone in the district to recycle as much as we can.”

Councillor Breare-Hall also thanked SITA UK with whom the Council has achieved record levels of domestic recycling.

He said: “This is an excellent example of partnership working and I would like to thank the SITA team for their hard work with us on this project.”

Proud to display artwork

SITA and Epping Forest District Council contributed equally to the £500 cheques awarded to the winning schools.

Dave Swire, SITA UK’s Regional Manager said: “We have been delighted to work in partnership with Epping Forest District Council in holding this competition that helps instil the importance of recycling in the next generation and, at the same time, celebrates the creativity and talent of the district’s young people. Thank you to all the schools who took part and congratulations to the winning students, Belle Liggitt at Epping Primary School and Patsy Stow at Alderton Junior School. We are proud to display your artwork on our trucks around the district.”

Belle Liggitt received her prize from Council Vice-Chairman Tony Boyce. Patsy Stow received her prize from the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Mary Sartin, who as a former Portfolio Holder for the Environment was especially pleased to make the presentation.

Refuse vehicles bearing the designs will be visiting Epping Primary School and Alderton Junior School in the next few weeks.


Minister sets out support for town centres

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The future form and function of high streets will be debated when the Leader of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Chris Whitbread shares a platform with Government Minister Brandon Lewis MP and other key opinion formers. The debate is set to focus on the strategic thinking that will be needed to help high streets and town centres thrive.

The conference on December 2, at Sadlers Wells in London, gives the opportunity to hear from veteran retailer Bill Grimsey, author of the controversial Grimsey Report; Matthew Hopkinson, of the Local Data Company; and Dr Julie Grail of British BIDs.

Councillor Chris Whitbread outside Argus Lighting, a mainstay of Epping High Street for decades

Councillor Chris Whitbread outside Argus Lighting which has illuminated Epping High Street for decades

Along with case studies from successful town centres, and a selection of political representatives, delegates will have an opportunity to hear cutting edge thinking on managing town centres, and to hear the very latest in the debate around their future – how restoring community uses and reducing retail footprint could help, what trends can be seen in the data, and how businesses of all types can be encouraged to take the lead in managing the future.

Councillor Chris Whitbread knows all about local high streets, having run his own business in Epping for many years. He said: “The way we use our high streets is changing and businesses need to change with us. Out-of-town retail and online shopping have revolutionised the way we use our high streets. For some businesses, that means our online presence is now just as important as our shop fronts. For others we may have to look even more fundamentally at what we are doing and why.”

He continued: “High streets and town centres need to reinvent themselves. Today’s customer is looking as much for a social and leisure experience as for bargains and deals. Many people believe bars, restaurants and coffee shops are becoming some of the new ‘High Street Kings’. They draw people in and encourage them to spend their money. It is then up to the rest of us to make the best offer we can to deliver the full modern High Street experience.”

The conference is being organised by The London Stansted Cambridge Corridor Consortium, a partnership of public and private organisations covering the area north of Tech City, the City Fringe, Kings Cross, and the Olympic Park, up through the Lee Valley and M11/A10, and West Anglia Rail corridors to Harlow and Stansted, and through to Cambridge. The partnership was formed to organise and promote what is the economic area, with strong inter-connections; commuting to work and learn patterns, clusters of industries and supply chains. 

Councillor Whitbread believes councils have a very important part to play. He said: “Thriving town centres are an essential element in the lives of our local communities. They provide investment and employment that can lift whole communities out of deprivation into prosperity. At Epping Forest we always try to be on the side of our High Streets.  We can do practical things such as keeping our parking charges low and offering incentives such as free parking on Saturdays in the run up to Christmas. We can use our powers as the Planning Authority to encourage a mix of uses that compliment each other and stimulate trade. We can draw people in from outside our area by promoting ourselves as a visitor and tourist destination. We can contribute to the infrastructure and care of our town centres whether that means decent pavements, good lighting or frequent street cleansing.”

He concluded: “It is a full partnership between the public and private sector. We understand the changing face of our High Streets and will do our best to encourage residents to shop local wherever possible.”

Young people team up with McDonalds for litter pick

Written on . Posted in Business, Chairman, Community, Democracy, Environmental health, Local business, Media, Out and about, Recycling and waste, Residents, Supporting business, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

St John’s School pupils put on plastic overalls and boots for a special litter pick at Lower Swaines recreation ground earlier in November. The event was supported and organised by volunteers from McDonalds based at Hastingwood and representatives from Epping Forest District Council.

The initiative was the idea of McDonalds franchisee Tony Fagg and included an art competition with the 3 winning pupils receiving awards and congratulations from the Vice-Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Tony Boyce.


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

Councillor Boyce said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in the event. Litter is one of the scourges of modern life. Whether we are a corporate giant like McDonalds, a council or individuals like the wonderful team of volunteers from St John’s school, we all need to do our bit for the environment.”

Councillor Boyce continued: “I particularly want to thank Tony Fagg and his staff at the McDonalds restaurant in Hastingwood. It is very good to see them taking such a keen interest in the environment and how they can work with the local community to tackle litter. Every day the restaurant staff conduct litter patrols in the areas around the restaurant. They pick up all litter they find, not just that of McDonalds. If we could instil some of that philosophy in our younger generations, just think what an amazing impact that would have on our whole district.”

Poster design competition

McDonalds organised the poster design competition with St John’s School’s Art Department and provided WH Smith voucher prizes for the top entries. The winning entry with the logo “Keep calm and bin it!” will be reproduced in the Hastingwood restaurant and car park.

Councillor Boyce and his wife Jan, McDonalds Franchisee Tony Fagg and Richard Gardiner, the council’s Environment & Neighbourhood Manager, judged the design competition.

Love where you live logoThe winning pupils were presented the awards on return to school.

The winners are

  1. Lauren Payne
  2. Marina Hewett
  3. Sophia Blackman

Councillor Boyce said: “There were an amazing 64 entries for this competition. The aim is for the winning entries to promote ‘Love Where You Live’ and encourage McDonalds customers and the local community to be ‘litter aware’.

The St John’s volunteers began their litter pick with a Health and Safety talk and information on Reduce, Reuse and Recycle by McDonalds.


Find out more about litter and the law.


Cabinet approves housing development

Written on . Posted in Community, Councillors, Housing, Local plan / planning our future, Meetings, Older people, Out and about, Recycling and waste, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Council house buildings, Stonards Hill recreation improvements and more discussed at Cabinet meeting on Monday 9 September 2013.

Council house building strategy

Another major step was taken towards construction of 120 new council houses when councillors approved a development strategy. The homes will be delivered over a six-year period. East Thames Housing has already been appointed as the Council’s development agent. The development strategy sets out key processes including standards, consultation methods, procurement methods for the construction works and performance targets to measure the eventual success of the project.

Councillor David Stallan, Housing Portfolio Holder said: ‘I am very proud to be involved in the start of new council house building in the district after many years’. The 120 homes are a part of a wider mix of developments including social housing provided under section 106 agreements by private developers agreed with the Council as part of planning permission for commercial developments.

High satisfaction levels for existing council tenants were also noted by Cabinet as councillors approved the renewal of the innovative repairs contract with Mears Ltd. The contract is one of the first of its type for any council and involves the employment of a private company to manage the Council’s own in-house housing repairs service.

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Epping sports and leisure feasibility

The consultant’s feasibility study into different options for a new sports facility as part of the St John’s Road development in Epping was received by Cabinet. Councillors agreed to keep various options opened while the ‘expressions of interest’ exercise designed to identify potential developers continues.

Hall comes in under budget

Councillors received news that the final costs of Limes Farm Hall had come in ‘under budget’. Councillor John Knapman led the congratulations to Cabinet and Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder Liz Webster for the delivery of the new community facilities at the Limes Farm Centre in Chigwell for £1,101,000 against a capital provision of £1,102,000. Councillor Knapman felt that the new hall was an excellent facility and encouraged local people to use it.

Assessing housing need

An objective assessment of the district’s housing need is essential to the production of the new Local Plan. Planning portfolio holder Councillor Richard Bassett, updated Cabinet on best practice, potential implications and the broad methodology for determining Objectively Assessed Housing Need (OAHN). Councillor Bassett reminded councillors of the importance of this process in satisfying the government appointed inspector at the examination in public of the Local Plan.

Stonards Hill leisure improvements

We received £225,000 from Essex County Council as part of the planning agreement for the new St John’s School, will be used to resurface public tennis courts, to provide outdoor gym equipment, increase and improve the skate park facilities and upgrade changing rooms and toilets.

The new secondary school at St John’s for Epping officially opens on Tuesday 10 September. Councillor Jon Whitehouse welcomed the money for improvements at Stonards Hill, especially as the skate park improvements had been adopted following recommendations by the Epping Forest District Youth Council.

New wheelie bins

Eight years after they were introduced to the district, the Council has approved an annual budget of £30,000 to replace damaged wheelie bins. Councillor Will Breare-Hall, Environment portfolio holder reported that in keeping with the philosophy of recycling, the only bins to be replaced would be those broken beyond repair.

Councillors also emphasised the need to encourage residents to recycle more of their kitchen waste, too much of which is still going to landfill.

Don’t bin it, bring it!

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Don’t throw away your unwanted small electrical items, if they still work and are in good condition, why not give them a new lease of life?


How can I recycle small electricals?

You could donate them to Epping Forest Reuse or a charity shop that accepts electrical items (please check with the charity shop first). Alternatively, give them away on websites such as Freegle or Freecycle, or sell them at a car boot sale or online auction sites like eBay.

More information on recycling electricals items can be found on the Recycle for Essex website.

Recycling of electrical items has never been easier. There are lots of recycling points in the Epping Forest district. Most have textile banks, which also accept small electrical items. Please place your electrical item in a carrier bag before putting into these banks. Look out for the pink ‘Electrical recycling’ signs on the textile recycling banks.

What are small electricals?

Small electricals items are roughly the size of a toaster with a plug or a battery, such as

  • portable radios
  • food processors
  • electric shavers
  • laptops
  • battery and phone chargers
  • electronic toys and gadgets
  • and of course, toasters

Why recycle small electricals?

It is estimated that over a million tonnes of Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (known as WEEE) is discarded in the UK each year. Most of us have some broken or unwanted small electrical items around the home. Throwing away WEEE wastes valuable, and increasingly limited, natural resources. It also wastes energy, producing steel from recycled metal saves 75% of the energy needed to make steel from virgin material.

These items will be stripped down and separated into their component materials (glass, plastic, metal for example). Over 97% of the material will then be recycled and turned into new items.

As well as small electrical goods, larger items, including lawn mowers, washing machines and cookers can also be recycled at your local recycling centre.

Portfolio Holder for Environment Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: “It’s important that we all try to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as we can. The commitment of our residents to recycling has made Epping Forest District Council the 2nd highest recycling authority in Essex. I’d like to thank our residents for this and encourage them to continue their excellent efforts by recycling their electrical items as well.”


Waltham Abbey street cleaner picks up £150 recycling prize

Written on . Posted in Councillors, Epping, Recycling and waste, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Your environment

Sean Watson scooped a £150 prize after he filled nearly 500 bags of recycling on his Waltham Abbey street cleaning round between January and April. He was congratulated by officials at Epping Forest District Council and his bosses from Sita Municipal on Monday 15 July. Councillor Will Breare-Hall, Environment portfolio holder for the council and Nick Browning, General Manager for Sita shared the honours of presenting a cheque and certificate to Sean for his sterling work.

Epping Forest District has one of the best recycling records in the country with more than 60% of domestic refuse recycled. Council bosses and contract managers at Sita decided to see how much they could achieve if they also tried to recycle as much waste as possible from the street sweeping and public waste bin service. Sita’s workforce was set the challenge with a promise to reward the best performing operative with a cheque equivalent to the savings on disposal costs. Sean managed to recycle 497 sacks of waste picked from the streets and waste bins of Waltham Abbey between January and April.

Almost 1,500 sacks were recycled across the district as a whole, diverting nearly five tonnes of plastic, tin cans, glass, paper and cardboard from landfill to recycling in just three months.

Sean was delighted with his award which he is putting towards a holiday later this year.

Picture Caption:

L-R Epping Forest District Council’s David Marsh (Waste Management Officer), Councillor Will Breare-Hall (Environment Portfolio Holder) and Assistant Director Kim Durrani, with Sita’s Sean Watson, Dave Swire (Assistant General Manager), Nick Browning (General Manager for Sita Municipal) and Melvin Dhorasoo (Senior Contracts Manager)


Putting goods to good use

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Epping Forest ReUse is a great way to recycle your unwanted furniture and white goods by giving them a new home instead of throwing them away.

Opened in May 2013 in partnership with the Lighthouse Furniture Project Ltd., a registered charity, it is a not-for-profit social enterprise that aims to serve the local community.

More information about Epping Forest ReUse can be found by visiting their website www.eppingreuse.org.uk.

Councillor Will Breare-Hall, Environment Portfolio Holder, said “Epping Forest ReUse is a fantastic scheme that is great not only for the environment but also the local community. It demonstrates the benefits of residents, organisations and the Council working together to reduce waste and recycle more.”


Full Council 23 April 2013

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Welfare reforms, broadband access, recycling and the Local Plan were discussed at Full Council on 23 April, the last meeting before the local elections on 2 May.

Short stay parking to support high street

100 or more Epping car parking spaces are to be re-designated short stay. The 3 hour maximum stay in these spaces will free up parking for shoppers visiting local high street businesses.

The pay and display parking changes are being made after a council survey linked the increased London Underground Limited (LUL) parking charges to displacement of commuters to cheaper council car parks. Councillors heard that this caused an unacceptable reduction in parking availability for shoppers and a reduction in business for high street shops. Local councillors are to be consulted on the changes.

Councillors remembered

Councillors remembered 2 former members of Epping Forest District Council. Ian Beattie served the residents of Buckhurst Hill and Buckhurst Hill West for 21 years from 1974 until 1995. One of the longest serving and most senior councillors, he was also Chairman of Council in 1980/81. Councillors also paid tribute to former councillor Joan Ormston who served as a member for the Debden Green Ward from 1990 to 1994.

Other items

Key Objectives in the Corporate Plan were agreed by councillors. Among other issues debated at Full Council were welfare reforms, broadband access, town centre partnerships, recycling, pay policy, licensing and the Local Plan. There was very good news following a council bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for money to expand Epping Forest District Council’s museum in Waltham Abbey.

Watch the Full Council meeting