Want to move to a smaller council home?

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Grants, Housing, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

If you want to move to a smaller council home, our downsizing scheme is designed to help tenants move to a home with fewer bedrooms.

Do you want to move to a smaller council home?

Downsizing scheme

If you are an under-occupier living in a council home that has more bedrooms than you need, or you want help moving to a home that’s easier to maintain, our downsizing scheme can help.

This scheme has all sorts of incentives to help you

  • Removal costs and practical help to move
  • Cash incentives for each bedroom you give up
  • Help with decoration costs

Who is eligible

  • Council tenants
  • Housing association tenants (downsizing incentive payment does not apply)
  • You must be living in a property with 1 or more bedrooms and want to move into either general needs or sheltered accommodation
  • Tenants with rent arrears will be considered but the arrears will be deducted from your incentive payment

What are the benefits

  • Downsizers will be prioritised for a move to an area of your choice
  • You will get £1,000 for each bedroom you give up (up to £4,000)
  • You will get help with removal costs (£500)
  • Your heating and gas charges may be greatly reduced if you move into a smaller home
  • Your rent could be lower
  • Practical help with changing your doctor, contacting utility companies, and more

How to apply

Contact our Rehousing Support Officer. Terms and conditions will apply.

Find out more

Selfless citizens celebrated

Written on . Posted in Arts, Chairman, Civic events, Community, Councillors, Grants, Media, Museum, Older people, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

The district’s most remarkable people had their moment in the spotlight on Friday 17 March 2017 at the Epping Forest District Council Civic Awards ceremony 2017 at the Marriott Hotel, Waltham Abbey.

Watch the video

Evening in pictures

Civic Awards 2017

Click on the thumbnails below for larger photos

Recognising the efforts of remarkable people

The special evening was hosted by the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Jeane Lea. The Chairman explained why the Council hold the Civic Awards in her opening speech, she said: ”We hold the Civic Awards to recognise the efforts of the remarkable people that live amongst us, who make a difference and inspire others to do the same. Selfless heroes that strive to make the world a better place, without looking for praise or tribute.”

Diverse, unique and exceptional

”We want to thank those that volunteer with care in our communities. Those who save lives in their everyday work. Those who enrich the lives of others with their artistic flair, who make us proud of their sporting talent and those that give their time and effort to worthy causes. We hold these awards for you. You make our district diverse, unique and exceptional.”

”What strikes me, as I am sure it does others, is that our communities are full of incredible people, far too many to recognise everybody.”

Citizen of the Year 2017

This year, Doreen and Sid Miller, were the joint winners of the prestigious Citizen of the Year award. The pair have been heavily involved in community action in the district for decades. Together, they have helped hundreds of families find a place to live by providing crucial rent guarantees, they also volunteer with Epping Forest Community Transport and the local furniture exchange.

Elizabeth Renny was highly commended for her 35 years service to the second Loughton Girl Guides pack, before her retirement this month.

Team of the Year 2017

The Epping Forest District Museum volunteers received the Team of the Year award, for their outstanding work throughout the successful renovation of the museum and more.

Young Citizen of the Year 2017

Arjun Kuhaendran, a student at West Hatch High School won the very special accolade of Young Citizen of the Year for his dedication to his role of charity ambassador. He has seen money raised for Crisis at Christmas, Macmillan, Water Aid and the International Day of Peace in this past year alone.

Runner-up, David Castleman, received a Special Commendation for his extraordinary bravery.

Community Service Medals

Community service medals were received by Garry Clark and Richard Holt of the East of England Ambulance Service, Sub Officer Dave Horton of the Essex Fire Service and Sergeant Simon Dear of Essex Police.

Youth Council Awards

Epping Forest District Council Youth Council award winners Marley Chick, Lisa Nakimuli, Finlay Jordan and Ashwin Gohil were all commended for their outstanding achievements and dedication to their roles.

Sports and Creativity Awards

Daniel Rowden, an 800m runner from Buckhurst Hill, was the winner of this year’s sports bursary of £1,000. Bethany Joiner won the Creativity award for her photographic talent and charitable work, she received a bursary of £500.

Business Apprentices

Praise was given to Epping Forest District Council’s Business Apprentices; Jay Binks, Emily Gowens, Becky Linford, Sian Pavitt, Becca Yellop and Amber Stewart, who have all achieved their level 2 diplomas and are all now employed by different departments across the council.

Over £10,000 raised for Essex Air Ambulance

A magnificent £1,160 was raised at the Civic Awards for the Chairman’s charity, the Essex Air Ambulance Service and local artist Martyn Royce donated an original work of art to the charity for auction. Chairman Jeane Lea raised an incredible £11,160 for her chosen charity.

Celebration of grant aid success

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, Councillors, Grants, Local business, Older people, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your money

Saying thank you to our local community and voluntary groups for their hard work was the focus of our first grant aid celebration event on Friday 3 March 2017 in Epping.

Grant aid celebration

Click to enlarge photo and then click to see more photos

Grant aid celebration

The groups all received grant aid to spend on equipment for community projects that benefited residents. The money was used for a wide range of items ranging from tents to specialist beds and from uniforms to bee keeping equipment.

Presentations by the Chigwell Disabled Group, Ongar & Villages Voluntary Care and Lambourne End Centre showed how the money they received in grant aid helped their groups to operate or buy specialised equipment.

Keep up the great work

Chairman Jeane Lea said: “On behalf of the people of the Epping Forest district I’d like to say a big thank you to all the groups for their hard work and dedication. Without their wonderful contributions our district would be a much poorer place to live. keep up the great work!”

Help you to help your community

Councillor Helen Kane, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder said: “This year we have £83,450 grant aid to spend. You can apply for grant aid up to £5,000 if your group needs help to buy a new, or replace an old item of equipment. Get in touch and let us help you to help your community.”

“We want to support, enhance and develop the contribution that local community and voluntary groups make to improve the wellbeing of people in the Epping Forest district.”

Want to know more?

Harlow and Gilston Garden Town

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Consultation, Councillors, Democracy, Grants, Media, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Performance, Planning, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

The economic and social future of West Essex and East Hertfordshire has received a major boost with the award of a government grant towards a garden town proposal.

EFDC, East Herts and Harolow logos

Epping Forest, East Herts and Harlow District Councils have received a joint £0.5million award in the form of a Government grant to support transformational strategic proposals for Harlow and the surrounding area.

Garden Town Grant

The ”Garden Town grant” has been awarded through the government’s Locally led Garden Towns funding to help to build a joint Strategic Team as well as funding research, and specialist support for Harlow and Gilston Garden Town.   Using garden city principles this will enable support to be provided to local communities to ensure that they are involved in the development of masterplans for the sites.   

The three neighbouring partners and Uttlesford District Council have identified a potential need for around 15,000 new homes in and around Harlow over the next 20 years or so. The bid by the three neighbouring councils was supported by a range of other organisations and individuals based in the London Stansted Cambridge Corridor (LSCC) including:

  • Uttlesford District Council
  • Essex County Council
  • Hertfordshire County Council
  • South East Local Enterprise Partnership
  • Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership
  • London Stansted Cambridge Consortium

Garden towns were pioneered in Letchworth and Welwyn with Harlow as a New Town designed along Garden Town principles by Sir Frederick Gibberd. The draft local plans being developed by Harlow, East Herts and Epping Forest District councils reflect the importance of Harlow as an economic and social hub of the area. New housing and employment emulating the best aspects of the original garden cities lie at the heart of the proposals.

Local Plans

Epping Forest District and East Herts Council have just completed public consultations on Local Plans identifying strategic housing allocations. The Local Plans will look ahead as far as 2033, while the Garden Town development could look as far forward as 2050. Work is continuing on developing Harlow’s local plan ready for public consultation this year.

As well as housing and employment, the funding will help to address key issues and challenges such as access to the M11, the A414 corridor, River Stort crossing improvements, water use and treatment, and healthcare.  It will also help to secure high design quality and ensure strategic development contributes effectively to the provision of infrastructure.  

Supporting local communities

Councillor John Philip, Planning Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council said: ”The regeneration of Harlow is key to the success of our region. The whole area will benefit from the coordinated strategic provision of new homes, employment and social infrastructure in and around Harlow.   It makes sense and I am therefore delighted to see the DCLG putting its weight and money behind the proposals. This funding will enable us to support local communities, parish and town councils to be involved in shaping the future of this area.

East Herts Council leader Linda Haysey said: ”This funding will enable us to take the first steps in scoping out how the garden town could look – exploring sustainable transport, homes for a range of sizes, needs and affordability, health provision and all the other elements that go towards a successful community. It will also allow us make sure we’re fully engaged with residents who might be directly affected by the proposals.

”The garden town is an ambitious project that will benefit the wider region and so I’m delighted there will be access to the new Housing Infrastructure Fund and that we’re now in a position to take the next steps.”

Huge opportunity

Councillor Jon Clempner, Leader of Harlow Council, said: “Harlow Council has clear ambitions to regenerate Harlow and believes growth, particularly to the north of Harlow, would contribute to the development of the town in its role as the sub-regional centre.  This initiative is a huge opportunity for Harlow and the surrounding areas to provide much needed housing and infrastructure improvements which will all contribute to the regeneration of Harlow.

”This welcomed announcement comes at the same time Harlow begins to celebrate its 70th birthday and this is about looking to the future and the next 70 years to help secure Harlow’s future.  If we are going to provide the full range of housing that local people need, in particular affordable housing, as well as create jobs and skills opportunities to meet the inward investment we are achieving, then we all need to work together on proposals to achieve sustainable growth. The Government funding enables all three Councils to move proposals forward to carry out detailed work and I look forward to continuing working with East Herts and Epping Forest Councils on this ambitious project.”

Grants for community groups

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Doing business with the council, Epping, Grants, Local business, Loughton, Media, Older people, Olympics, Ongar, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Volunteering opportunities, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Could your community group use £5,000 to help the social and physical wellbeing of the districts residents?

If yes, apply now for a grant for your one-off project, initiative or even the further development of an existing scheme.

Money

Grants up to £5,000

These are available to

  • Local voluntary and community groups
  • Sports clubs
  • Arts and culture groups
  • Trusts
  • Friendly societies
  • Social enterprises
  • Community interest groups

Who can apply?

Groups that apply must

  • Operate on a charitable or non-profit making basis
  • Be based, or are active, in the Epping Forest district
  • Demonstrate true local independence
  • Offer services and facilities to all eligible local residents
  • Have no unfair restrictions on membership or participation
  • Be able to show a clear need for financial support
  • Have a bank or building account under the name of the applicant organisation

Making a difference

Our grants have helped groups like the Haven House Children’s Hospice, Waltham Abbey Church and Coopersale Social Institute, among many others.

  • Haven House Children’s Hospice received £500 for their Toy Home Loan service in May 2016, helping families access specialist toys for children with complex medical needs and life-limiting conditions
  • Waltham Abbey Church received £1,480 in February 2016 for the purchase of a defibrillator
  • Coopersale Social Institute received £5,000 in August 2015 for the purchase of new windows and doors for the community hall

Make your application now

Councillor Helen Kane, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder said: ”We really appreciate the work the voluntary and community sector does in the district. In tough economic times the need for groups to receive funding and support from the council goes up and I look forward to seeing how our grants are spent to help the lives of those in our community.”

“We want to support voluntary groups who carry out great work in our district, as they know first-hand some of the problems and unmet need of our community.”

“If your group is eligible and the grant will help the social and physical wellbeing of our residents, don’t delay, apply now.”

Make an application

  • Download an application form
  • Fill in an application
  • Attach your most recent balance sheet and set of accounts
  • Submit the application to grantaid@eppingforestdc.gov.uk
  • Or by hard copy to Community, Policy and Grants Manager, Epping Forest District Council, 25 Hemnall Street, Epping, CM16 4LU.

More information

For further information on Grant Aid

Arts Council fund district inspired exhibition

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Grants, Loughton, Media, Museum, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Epping Forest District Council’s culture team have successfully been granted £15,000 from Arts Council England to support a new project ‘Paths Unseen’.

Arts Council England logo

Inspired by the district ‘paths unseen’will focus on the local areas history.

The Arts Council funding will commission performance poet Keely Mills and artist illustrator Jef Winter to collaborate with The Ongar Academy and Epping Forest College students to create a diverse contemporary exhibition on the district.

Over the upcoming months Keely Mills will write new poems inspired by local stories and history, while Jef Winter will produce illustrations for Mill’s poems bringing the stories to life. Between them they will lead workshops in writing and performing poetic work and illustration, helping educate and produce exhibition work.

Developing new skills

In a new partnership with The Ongar Academy, 100 year 8 pupils will be given the chance to work alongside the artists over the year to create work for the exhibition.

100 Epping Forest College students studying fine art, photography and performing arts will undertake workshops on:

  • Writing
  • Performing poetic work
  • Illustration
  • Photographing and filming live performances

Public involvement

Epping Forest District Museum will also offer a new public programme open to all ages, giving people a chance to work with professional artists, developing their own personal stories inspired by the Epping Forest district and its history. Their stories and experience will also be translated into a film created by Epping Forest College.

The project will conclude with an exhibition at the newly refurbished Epping Forest District museum in summer 2017.

Bringing the community together

Councillor Helen Kane, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder said’ This is an exciting project, allowing pupils and the public  to work with such respected artists and have their work portrayed in a new and thought provoking way.

This will be one of the first contemporary arts projects to be showcased in the new temporary exhibitions space at the museum.

I look forward to the coming year to see what work is produced for the exhibition.’

Be first to find out about cultural events in the Epping Forest district by following us:

More information

For more information please contact EFDC Museum

Applications open for Creativity Awards

Written on . Posted in Arts, Civic events, Grants, Media, Museum, Our activities, Our attractions, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Applications are open for Epping Forest District Council’s Creativity Awards 2017. The award aims to help further young people aged 13 – 25 with grants ranging from £50 to £1000.

Creativity Awards 2017

If you are an individual or part of a group with an interest in the arts, culture and heritage, we would like to support you in further developing your skills with The Creativity Award 2017.

To be eligible you must be aged 13 – 25 and either live, volunteer or are part of a group in the district. The award is open to:

  • Individuals
  • Groups (a minimum of 3 people)
  • Heritage projects
  • Young people who are involved in ‘EFDC’s museums Young people’s programmes’

Groups can already be established such as art clubs, theatre groups, choirs or orchestras or have formed especially to apply for this funding.

Make an application

To be considered for an award applicants are required to:

  • Show their commitment to their area of interest and explain how the award will help them develop their talent
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they are actively pursuing their area of interest, e.g.  Through volunteering, education, exhibition, performance

Apply for the Creativity award 2017:

  • Make an application online

Helping to achieve goals

Councillor Helen Kane, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder said ‘The creativity award is a great opportunity for talented people in the district to further develop their craft.

The award through grants can range from £50 – £1000 and aims to help people with a range of issues they may face, whether it is fees for courses or buying specialist equipment.

If you think this award could help you or your group, make an application today, don’t delay’

For more information:

Applications close midnight Wednesday 30 November 2016. Awards will be presented to the winner at the civic awards ceremony Friday 17 March 2017.

Rugby club tries for cash boost

Written on . Posted in Community, Councillors, Epping, Grants, Local business, Media, Older people, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Supporting business, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

A local community club is after your vote in a bid to bag cash from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative, an initiative offering grants for environmental and greenspace projects.

Epping Upper Clapton Rugby Club is hoping to get a grant of either £12,000, £10,000 or £8,000 from money raised from the 5p bag charge.

Epping Upper Clapton Rugby Club

Cast your vote

Voting is open in 2 local stores from 31 October to 13 November 2016

  1. Epping Tesco’s express
  2. Theydon Bois Tesco’s Express

Customers can cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.

Community asset

Epping Upper Clapton Rugby Club (EUCRFC) is a community ruby club run entirely by volunteers. It would use the funding to improve the pitches and help develop sports in the community.

The club includes 11 Mini and Youth Teams with over 250 boys and girls aged 5 to 18 plus 3 adult teams. It visits local schools including Epping St John’s to provide coaching and it hosts interschool tournaments around the district.

The club hosts other sports clubs including

  • Epping Youth Football Club
  • Epping Amateur Boxing Club
  • Epping Blazers Netball Club
  • Ongar Netball Club
  • Newly formed cycling club Epping Velo

Helping the community

Lindsey Crompton, Head of Community at Tesco said: ”The first round of the Bags of Help initiative was a fantastic success. We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for round 2. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see them come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Councillor Helen Kane, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder said: ”The Tesco’s bags of help initiative is a great opportunity to give back to community groups. EUCRFC do so much for sports and leisure in our community – it would be great to show our support and vote for them.”

More information

Grant aid scheme for community groups

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

You can apply for a grant of up to £5000 from Epping Forest District Council, if your organisation is providing community work, cultural or sporting activities.

Grant Aid Scheme

Applications welcome

Epping Forest District Council Community Services team are welcoming grant applications of up to £5000 to support organisations involved in providing community work, cultural or sport activities.

An amount of money is set aside each year and priority is given to those groups delivering Council objectives and targets.

Valuable contributions

Councillor Helen Kane, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder said:  ”Epping Forest District Council makes grants to voluntary and community organisations. They range from sports and social clubs to charities and support organisations. At its core, each is making a valuable contribution to the social and physical wellbeing of our residents.”

”Some are major national charities making a very significant contribution across the district whilst others contribute in smaller ways to enrich the tapestry of community activities that make our district such an enjoyable place to live. In tough economic times, the Council’s contribution can make all the difference.”

Business newsletter packed with great advice

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Councillors, Grants, Local business, Media, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Supporting business, Working with the council, Your area, Your community, Your council

Read the 12th edition of our One Business Briefing newsletter with all the latest business news for the Epping Forest district.

One Business Briefing - Summer 2016

15 great articles

  1. Epping Forest Broadband Business Breakfast
  2. BEST Pop-up Business Café
  3. Innovative business premises come to Loughton
  4. LSCC Growth Commission sets out 20 year vision
  5. Corporate Fraud: Protect your business
  6. Cyber Threat Awareness Conference
  7. Upcoming tourism conference – new Autumn date
  8. Town & Village Centres Opportunities Fund launched
  9. INVEST Essex Innovative Engineering Seminar
  10. New tourism website launch
  11. Funding for low carbon business initiatives
  12. Markets Matter: Village Hall sets up local produce market
  13. Focus On: Online learning for business
  14. HMRC webinars for the self-employed
  15. One Business Briefing: Let us know what you think!

Opportunities for businesses

Councillor Anne Grigg, Economic Development Portfolio Holder said: “We have another packed edition for you with articles covering topics as varied as corporate and cyber fraud, an artisan craft market, funding available for low carbon initiatives and an exciting new business premises initiative.”

“It is fantastic to be able to look back on a very successful business support event in July at the BEST Pop-Up Café whilst also looking forward to an exciting business breakfast in September that will explore the world of ultrafast broadband and the opportunities it brings for businesses.”

“Continuing the internet theme we also have an in depth article on online learning for businesses, details of a range of HMRC online webinars and the launch of a new tourism website for Epping Forest district’s visitor economy.”