Search on for Young Citizen of the Year 2019

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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

Council homes to be proud of

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An extra £2 billion for council housing announced by the Government, has been welcomed by Epping Forest District Council. The Council is already building new homes to supplement its stock of around 6,500 properties. There are currently more than 1,500 people waiting for a home on the District’s Housing Register.

Image – John Scott Court, opened in October 2017. Phase One of the Council’s House-building Programme, providing 23 new affordable rented homes in Waltham Abbey

£58m commitment

The Council has committed around £58 million for new housing since it restarted its council house building programme in 2014. 28 new homes have been completed so far in Waltham Abbey, North Weald and Epping, with more in the pipeline. It has also bought eight brand new homes off-plan from a developer in Roydon and a further six open market properties for renovation.

Burton Road development, Loughton

Fifty one new houses and flats are nearing completion in Burton Road, Loughton. The site was the scene of a construction related fire a few weeks ago. However, despite flames and a spectacular plume of smoke that could be seen for miles, damage to the block involved was relatively light and largely confined to the roof. The building stood up to the fire extremely well which put back the completion schedule by only a few weeks. The first new tenants should be moving into Burton Road before Christmas.

Next phase

Thirty four new homes are planned in the next phase of construction. Utilising eight small parcels of land already owned by the Council, it is building these homes in Epping, North Weald and Coopersale. Under future phases, more new properties will be built in Loughton, Buckhurst Hill, Ongar and Waltham Abbey, with planning permission already granted for an additional 74 homes.

All the Council’s new homes are energy-efficient and safe, built to the Government’s Decent Homes Standard and Lifetime Homes Standards.

“More than bricks and mortar”

Councillor Chris Whitbread, Leader of Epping Forest District Council is proud of the work done so far and very keen to draw some of the extra money announced by the Government into the District. He said: “We provide very high quality council housing but it is more than just bricks and mortar. We take pride when our tenants tell us how much they appreciate the good level of service we provide throughout from lettings to management and maintenance.”

He continued: “The biggest problem with our stock is that we don’t have enough of it. We are committed to building more local council houses for local families, and we will be sure to do all we can to get hold of some of the £2 billion announced by the Government to build more.”

“Council housing second to none”

Delivering Epping Forest District Council’s house building programme is Councillor Syd Stavrou, Portfolio Holder for Housing. She added her support, saying: “Council housing in Epping Forest is second to none. I also welcome the Government comments around removing the ‘stigma’ of social housing.

“We are four years into our ten year council house-building programme. The quality of our homes is as good as any private sector equivalent and we are determined to continue in that way. It’s not enough to just build the homes though, our focus is very much on continuing to manage and maintain all our homes in partnership with our tenants to the highest possible standard”.

Epping Forest Civic Awards nominations open

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The search is on for Citizen of the Year 2019!

If you know someone that deserves recognition for the positive impact they’ve had within their community or a team that work hard to make a difference – nominate them before Friday 23 November 2018.

Prestigious award

Epping Forest District Council’s Chairman, Councillor Richard Bassett is hoping for a number of excellent candidates to choose from this year, he said: “The Citizen of the Year Award is such a prestigious award and I’m looking forward to seeing all of the nominations flood in!

“The Citizen of the Year awards highlights all of the positive work that happens throughout the district. There are people amongst us that go above and beyond to make others’ lives better and this is our opportunity to recognise their important contribution to our local communities.

“If you know an individual or a group of people that are worthy of either the Citizen of the Year or Team of the Year Award 2019, we want to hear from you! Please make your nominations before Friday 23 November 2018, stating your case for your nominee!”

Candidates need to be over 18 years old.

Further information

Contact Pat Seager for further information

A Summer of fun and more at the Museum

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Museum, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community

Epping Forest District Museum was buzzing with visitors over the summer 2018 for all sorts of fantastic creative activities. Why not take a look at what is on offer for October half-term holidays?

Summer round up

Budding artists took inspiration for their own works of art in How to Paint…Like an Artist, from artists in the museum’s collection. They used colour like Walter Spradbery, texture like Lucien Pissaro and painted beautiful watercolours like Jacob Epstein.

In our new ‘How to Draw…a Portrait’ workshop, participants got tips and tricks for drawing faces and experienced what it is like to be a model – not as easy as they thought!

At the ‘Little Storytellers’ workshop in Ongar, Michael Rosen’s classic tale ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ was used as inspiration for our little explorers to go on a journey through long wavy grass, sticky mud, a deep dark forest and even a snow storm, before creating their own maps and bears.

There was another wacky show from Booster Cushion Theatre Company; Old MacDonald and the Three Pigs Plus. The ‘Musical in 2 Days’ workshop cast worked incredibly hard to learn songs, scenes and choreography from Bugsy Malone and were ready to perform in just two days.

Garden and forest

Young artists and keen gardeners designed their own flowers, complete with Latin style names; did botanical drawings from plants in the museum garden and planted their own seeds to watch grow, in ‘Art and the Garden’. Participants designed beautiful prints, inspired by work from the current exhibition ‘Walter Spradbery: Artist in War and Peace’ and the forest in ‘Be a Printmaker’.

Family Fun

Over 400 children and their families enjoyed the ‘Family Fun Day’ drop in sessions at both Epping Forest District Museum and Lowewood Museum on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

October half term holiday sessions

Epping Forest District Museum have some great drop in arts and crafts sessions planned for October half term holidays.

Clay days

Come and play with clay! Our clay days are set up to give everyone a chance to create something, whatever your age or experience.

  • Monday 22 October 2018 and Wednesday 24 October 2018
  • 11.00am – 15.00pm
  • Epping Forest District Museum, 39-41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL
  • £1.50 per child
  • All ages welcome

First World War Postcards

Fun family art and craft activities for you to make together and take home.

  • Tuesday 23 October 2018
  • 12.00pm – 15.00pm
  • Epping Forest District Museum, 39-41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL
  • All ages welcome

Comments from participants

Alistair said: “Phil was highly engaging and really entertained both my 8 year old and 3 year old throughout the entire performance. We will be back!” – ‘Old MacDonald and the 3 Pigs Plus’ by Booster Cushion Theatre

“It was fun; I liked rolling through the wavy grass.” – Participant from Little Storytellers

£14.5m leisure investment for EFDC residents

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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

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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

Roding Valley mammal morning

Written on . Posted in Chigwell, Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Loughton, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Join Epping Forest Countrycare for a close encounter with some of the small mammals found in Roding Valley on Saturday 29 September 2018 at 7:30am – 9:30am.


Join Countrycare for an exciting morning learning about the mammals that live around us and their natural habitat.

Event details

  • Date: Saturday 29 September 2018

  • Location: The Grange Farm Centre, Grange Farm Lane, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 6DP

  • Time: 7.30am – 9:30am

  • Donation: £6 per person

Further information

Booking is essential. Please contact Countrycare to book your place

Fun and activity at ‘Women Like Us’ Festival

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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