Annual Council 24 May 2018

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chairman, Chigwell, Civic events, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Elections, Epping, Leader, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

Councillor Richard Bassett is the new Chairman of Epping Forest District Council.

His appointment follows the retirement of David Stallan. Councillor Ricki Gadsby is the Council’s new Vice-Chairman. Following the retirement of Will Breare-Hall at the local elections, Council Leader Chris Whitbread has added Councillor Nigel Avey to his Cabinet.

Chairman Cllr Richard Bassett

Click on an image below to start the slideshow

Cabinet appointments

  • Leader – Councillor Chris Whitbread
  • Assets & Economic Development – Councillor Anne Grigg
  • Environment – Councillor Nigel Avey
  • Finance – Councillor Gagan Mohindra
  • Planning & Governance – Councillor John Philip
  • Housing and Deputy Leader of Council – Councillor Syd Stavrou
  • Leisure & Community Services – Councillor Helen Kane
  • Safer, Greener & Transport – Councillor Sam Kane
  • Technology & Support Services – Councillor Alan Lion

‘What a year and what an experience’

In his closing speech to councillors, David Stallan said that he would not have missed his year as chairman for the world! Among the ‘standout’ moments of his year, Dave listed teeing off at Chairman’s Charity Golf Day, his ‘visit’ to the gym, a steam train footplate, aircraft simulator, sports events the Petanque trophy wrestled back – all in fun – two Chinese delegations, the Ongar Festival, many arts events and working with the Youth Council. As Chairman, Dave learned that a few hundred pounds can make a massive difference. Through generosity of others he raised £5,500 for local charities and Diabetes UK.

It was Dave’s sad duty to announce the passing of 11 current and former councillors during his year. Concluding with thanks to his family he noted not only ‘two great women behind me – daughter Amy and wife Sue, but also a third Pat Seager, the Chairman’s Secretary.

Praise for David Stallan

Chris Whitbread led thanks to David Stallan. During a tough year including meetings on the Local Plan, Councillor Whitbread described Dave Stallan as first class, handling himself so well as he travelled across the district by being himself and being such a ‘nice guy’.

Councillor Whitbread said: “A good chairman brings the whole council together – you had a brilliant year – thank you”.

Councillors Stephen Murray, Caroline Pond, Anne Grigg, Jon Whitehouse and Stephen Neville echoed Chris Whitbread’s words – thanking David Stallan for a brilliant year.

Communities Director Alan Hall thanked Dave Stallan on behalf of the staff recalling their years working closely together on council housing and Dave’s support for council staff.

In one of his first presentations as Chairman, Councillor Richard Bassett also had great please in presenting Dave Stallan with a long service medal for 19 years representing the residents of North Weald.

New Chairman

Richard Bassett’s nomination for Chairman was proposed by Councillor Mary Sartin. Councillor Bassett took on his first cabinet role in 2010 before accepting the role of vice-chairman last year. As a former Chairman, councillor Sartin assured Councillor Bassett that he would meet many wonderful people over the coming year.

Thanking fellow councillors for bestowing the honour of Chairman on him, Councillor Bassett particularly singled out Dave Stallan for his support over the year. Councillor Bassett is making small business his theme for the year. He will undertake to get out and meet as many businesses as possible.

As a trustee of Epping Forest Community Transport, Councillor Bassett also wants to raise its profile along with young people’s sports groups during his year as Chairman.

Key appointments

Other key appointments at Annual Council included:

  • Chairman Plans Sub Committee East– Councillor Paul Keska
  • Chairman Plans Sub Committee West– Councillor Liz Webster
  • Chairman Plans Sub Committee South – Councillor Darshan Sunger
  • Chairman District Development Management Committee – Councillor Brian Sandler
  • Chairman Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Councillor Mary Sartin

Council remembers Elizabeth Downes

Tributes were paid to former Nazeing ward councillor Elizabeth Downes who passed away on 7 May. As a fellow councillor from Nazeing, Richard Bassett shared some thoughts on his predecessor, remembered by local residents as a lovely lady.

Find out all about hedgehogs with Countrycare

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Come and learn about all things hedgehog at Epping Forest Countrycare’s annual Hedgehog Day on 30 May 2018, 11.00am – 13.00pm, at Green Acres Epping Forest, Kiln Road, North Weald.

Hedgehog day

Lots to enjoy

Learn about our spikey friends – where they live, what they eat and whether they like to party or stay in!

Make some hedgehog food for our hungry friends and create some arts and crafts inspired by the hedgehogs’ prickly looks.

Event details

  • Date: Wednesday 30 May 2018
  • Time: 11:00am – 13:00pm
  • Location: Green Acres Epping Forest, Kiln Road, North Weald, Essex, CM16 6AD
  • Cost: £3

Contact Epping Forest Countrycare for more details, on 01992 564224.

Shared accommodation standards survey

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Community, Consultation, Licensing, Local business, Media, Out and about, Private housing, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council

If you live in, manage or own shared accommodation, let us know what you think of our proposed Essex-wide amenity standards. This covers bedroom sizes and living space, kitchen and bathroom facilities, number of toilets and other amenities like heating and washing and drying facilities.

Essex HMO consultation

Take the survey

The survey should only take 10 minutes and will close on 19 June 2018.

Landlords and tenants – tell us your views

“It’s really important that both landlords and tenants tell us their views” said Councillor Syd Stavrou, Deputy Leader and Housing Portfolio Holder. “If landlords don’t respond they risk having standards imposed on them that they don’t like and which may be costly. Equally for tenants this is their opportunity to let us know what they would reasonably expect when living in shared accommodation.”

Councillor Syd Stavrou ended by asking landlords and tenants to complete the survey: “It only takes 10 minutes to complete and closes on 19 June 2018, this is your chance to help us better understand your views.”

Clear space and amenity standards

Essex Councils want to ensure that clear space and amenity standards for HMOs are in place across Essex so that landlords and tenants know what is expected.

Please have your say as we seek to ensure that HMOs are safe, suitable and well-managed.

Come to the Seaside

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Health, Media, Museum, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council

For 1 week Epping Forest District Museum will have its own beach, as part of the latest exhibition, Beauty and the Beach.

Drop in and build sandcastles, explore the rock pools and colour your own deckchair.

Come to the Seaside

  • Where: Epping Forest District Museum, 39-41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL
  • When: Saturday 26 May to Saturday 2 June 2018 (please note this activity will be closed on Friday 1 June)
  • Open times: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 10am – 4pm, Saturday 10am – 5pm
  • Price: Free

Suitable for all ages. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Beauty and the Beach

Exhibition – Beauty and the Beach

From itsy, bitsy bikinis to one-piece bathing suits, this exhibition highlights the changing shape and coverage of women’s swimwear; exploring the style, design and inspirations of the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s.

The exhibition is closed Saturday 30 June.

Council 24 April 18 – Freedom of the District – RAF 100 anniversary celebrations

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chairman, Chigwell, Civic events, Community, Consultation, Councillors, Democracy, Epping, Loughton, Meetings, North Weald Airfield, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

The ‘red carpet’ was rolled out for the Royal Air Force when the ‘Freedom of Epping Forest District’ was conferred on 56 Squadron. Wing Commander Matt Fleckney, Officer Commanding 56 Squadron, witnessed the sealing of the ‘Freedom’ with Council Chairman, Councillor David Stallan at a special meeting of Epping Forest District Council to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the RAF on 1 April 1918.

RAF, ATC, North Weald Operations and Airfield Historian Arthur Moreton

(Click on an image to start the slideshow)

The meeting unanimously passed the motion proposed by Councillor Brian Rolfe and seconded by Councillor Anne Grigg.

“That, in the year of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918, this Council reaffirms its commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant and the bonds of friendship between our Armed Forces and the people of Epping Forest District through the conferral of the Freedom of the District on 56 Squadron – the Royal Air Force”.

The District and the RAF

Epping Forest District has a long and profound relationship with the RAF. The associations stretch back as early as 1916, when the fledgling Royal Flying Corps first arrived at North Weald.

By the end of World War II, the district had three airfields at North Weald, Stapleford Abbotts and Willingale. Blake Hall had become a centre of RAF operations while RAF Chigwell – known as the ‘Balloon Site’ for its barrage balloons also became an intelligence centre. In Nazeing a dummy airfield was created in to draw enemy bombers away from their real targets.

Norwegian connections

North Weald also became an important focus of Norwegian national resistance. Escaping the invasion of their homeland, Norwegian pilots flying Spitfires under the colours of the RAF became some of the most successful squadrons of WWII.

Squadron 56

However, 56 Squadron has by far the longest relationship with the District. Based at North Weald from 1927 until 1941, 56 Squadron’s honors include Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain. The 56 Squadron Standard is displayed in St Andrew’s Church, North Weald.

Personal accounts and tributes

Before opening the debate to Councillors, Councillor Stallan broke with convention by asking the Council’s Director of Communities, Alan Hall to read a personal statement. Alan Hall, spoke with pride of his father, Sergeant Bill Hall, an instrument maker who worked on the Hurricanes of 56 Squadron at North Weald. In later years, Bill Hall left no doubt of his affection for the ‘Fighting 56’ frequently reminding his family how it was his job to turn on the light at the top of St Andrew’s Church tower to guide the pilots safely back the base after dark.

Councillors spoke with emotion. An RAF veteran in his own right, Councillor Rolfe led the calls for the ‘Freedom’ to be conferred. Councillor Stephen Murray spoke of the military traditions of his own family and the insight he had received through his brother’s RAF service.

Councillor Chris Pond described the history of a previous owner of his house in Loughton – a young RAF officer shot down and killed in defence of his country. Councillor Anne Grigg joined Councillor Murray is speaking of the proud record of 56 Squadron and it’s sad distinction of being the first RAF squadron to lose a pilot – killed in action – in World War II.

Councillor Jon Whitehouse spoke of joining the Chairman only a few days previously to rededicate a war memorial, counting the cost of war and what we ask members of the armed services to do.

Perhaps the most moving contribution from Councillor Syd Stavrou described the loss of the father she never knew – part of a Lancaster crew, shot down and killed in Germany months before she was born.

Freedom accepted

Wing Commander Matt Fleckney was joined in the Council Chamber by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Essex Michael Chapman and officers of 56 Squadron. He took great pleasure in accepting the Freedom of the District. Describing North Weald as the ‘Spiritual Home’ of 56 Squadron, the Wing Commander also reflecting on the RAF’s wider connections across the district, the ‘finest hour’ in the sky above, the jet age and some of the brave people who did not return.

56 Squadron will exercise the Freedom of the District with a parade from North Weald Village Hall to the Airfield Gate Guardian on Sunday 10 June.

Other business

In keeping with protocol, the agreement to confer the Freedom of the District concluded the business of the extraordinary meeting of Full Council. Following a short break, the second meeting of the evening convened at 8pm with a minutes silence to remember former councillors Ron Braybrook and Peter Riley, plus Peter Adams, an independent member of the Standards Committee since December 2012.

Portfolio Holders answered questions on a range of subjects including:

  • Lorry parking in Waltham Abbey
  • Food banks
  • Progress towards the redevelopment of the St John’s Road area of Epping
  • The Local Plan
  • Pollution caused by stationary cars with idling engines
  • Recycling (Epping Forest District Council’s domestic recycling is the 22 highest of all 350 English councils)
  • Additional council funded police officers due to begin work in June
  • The completion of a £1.1million refurbishment of Epping Sports Centre and plans to provide even better sports facilities for residents in the future
  • Epping Forest Shopping Park, the Broadway and its new Landmark Building
  • Sport and Leisure Centre water quality at Loughton and Ongar
  • Council House building programme
  • Electoral Review
  • The Restore charity
  • Waltham Abbey’s new leisure centre due for completion in November
  • Reduced price home composting bins
  • Voluntary Action Epping Forest

Comments wanted for Chigwell Neighbourhood Plan

Written on . Posted in Business, Chigwell, Community, Consultation, Local plan / planning our future, Media, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

The Council is publicising the submission version of the Chigwell Neighbourhood Plan and are are seeking comments from residents, business and other interest stakeholders on the Plan and supporting documents.

The publication period is from 12 noon on Tuesday 15 May to 4pm on Tuesday 26 June 2018.

Representations

All representations received regarding the plan proposal will be forwarded to an appointed examiner, who will assess the plan proposal and supporting documents against the basic conditions set out in national policy.

The 7 basic conditions that a neighbourhood plan / neighbourhood development order must meet are

  1. having regard to national policies and advice contained in guidance issued by the Secretary of State it is appropriate to make the order (or neighbourhood plan)
  2. having special regard to the desirability of preserving any listed building or its setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest that it possesses, it is appropriate to make the order. This applies only to Orders
  3. having special regard to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of any conservation area, it is appropriate to make the order. This applies only to Orders
  4. the making of the order (or neighbourhood plan) contributes to the achievement of sustainable development.
  5. the making of the order (or neighbourhood plan) is in general conformity with the strategic policies contained in the development plan for the area of the authority (or any part of that area)
  6. the making of the order (or neighbourhood plan) does not breach, and is otherwise compatible with EU obligations
  7. prescribed conditions are met in relation to the Order (or plan) and prescribed matters have been complied with in connection with the proposal for the order (or neighbourhood plan)

How to make a representation

For more details and how to make a representation please visit the Chigwell Neighbourhood Plan Regulation 16 publication and examination page on the Council’s website at

Youth Council win national awards for mental health work

Written on . Posted in Community, Health, Media, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Congratulations to Epping Forest Youth Council (EFYC) on coming first in the 2018 National Crimebeat Awards for their work on the MiLife mental health project.

A mix of past and present youth councillors collected the £1,000 prize from HRH Duchess of Gloucester on 18 April 2018. Current Youth Councillor Adam Freeman was joined by former Youth Councillors Matthew Tinker, Joseph Pascoe and Leonora Troshupa to give a short presentation and receive the award at the Royal National Hotel in London.

MiLife group with HRH Duchess of Gloucester

MiLife

MiLife is for 11–16 year olds to better understand and manage their own emotional wellbeing and mental health. It advises where they could go for more help and support when problems arise.

Luke Lowrie of project partners the Red Balloon Foundation also attended with Epping Forest District Council officers Gill Wallis, Gaby Gold and Di Gilson-Butler.

Find out more at the MiLife website.

Thrilled to win first prize

“We’re thrilled to win first prize!” said former Youth Councillor Matthew Tinker. “This award goes to all the youth councillors, past and present, who helped create the wonderful MiLife project. MiLife shows that you are not alone and there are people waiting to help you if you get in touch with them.”

Former Youth Councillor Joseph Pascoe explained more about the MiLife project: “MiLife was born following the 2015 Epping Forest Youth Conference where the young people who attended listed mental health as one of the top issues concerning them.”

“MiLife aims to give young people a greater understanding of what to do if they feel mentally ill but also how to help themselves keep a healthy and happy mind. I recommend all young people should have a look at our website at www.milife.org.uk.”

“The MiLife Roadshow visited secondary schools in the Epping Forest district and pupils watch a theatre piece acted out by the Red Balloon Foundation group. It shows pupils about positive mental health and helps them build resilience to give them the tools to support themselves in life.”

National Crimebeat awards

“The National Crimebeat awards are held on behalf of High Sheriffs to recognise innovative and successful crime prevention projects carried out by young people” said former Youth Councillor Leonora Troshupa. “MiLife was initially endorsed by previous Essex High Sheriff Simon Hall and it was the current Essex High Sheriff Brian Burrough who came with us to the ceremony.”

Youth Councillor Adam Freeman ended with: “We each received a Crimebeat Medal and Epping Forest Youth Council was given a certificate and £1,000 cheque. After the ceremony we were given a tour of London on an open top bus and a trip on the London Eye which proved to be a great end to a fantastic day.”

Claim £30 refund on cloth nappies

Written on . Posted in Community, Energy efficiency, Grants, Media, Out and about, Recycling and waste, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Did you know from just £80 you can buy your baby all the nappies they need! Cloth nappies make a great alternative to disposable nappies and can offer great cost, health and environmental benefits.

Essex County Council is offering a £30 refund per child on the purchase of any cloth nappies or laundering service. Even when you take into account laundering costs, you can save up to £1,000 compared to disposable nappies.

Washing line full of cloth nappies

Save money

You will need to keep hold of your receipts and provide either a photo of your maternity exemption or child’s birth certificate, Essex County Council will then process your refund – it’s that easy!

Better for the environment

Each child will use an average of 5,000 disposable nappies … or 24 cloth nappies! Disposable nappies cannot be recycled and can take hundreds of years to break down.

Even when you consider laundering, cloth nappies can be up to 40% better for the environment than disposables. You can reduce your water and electricity usage by not soaking or pre-washing nappies and by washing in a full load at 40 or 60 degrees.

Easy to use

Modern cloth nappies do not require complicated folding and fiddly safety pins. There are many varieties to choose from, many are shaped and fasten with poppers, grips or use Velcro. Modern washing machines can make quick work of cleaning them.

Get in touch

Please email waste.management@essex.gov.uk if you have any questions regarding the £30 cloth nappy incentive. If you have any questions about using cloth nappies, find out who you can contact for support with cloth nappies.

Weekly activities for adults with SEND

Written on . Posted in Community, Health, Media, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Your area, Your community, Your council

Boccia, trampolining and multisports are everyone included! weekly sessions for adults with a disability.

All the activities for adults with special educational needs and disability (SEND) are run by qualified coaches. Each session costs £2.20 and must be paid for at the sports centres. The activities are

  • Boccia – Monday 1:30pm to 2:30pm
  • Trampolining – Tuesday 1pm to 2pm
  • Multisport – Wednesday 1:15pm to 2:15pm

everyone included! activities flyer

Boccia

Every Monday from 1:30pm to 2:30pm at Ongar Leisure Centre.

This session is a great way for you to take part in a Paralympic recognised sport that you may not normally get involved with. Get involved in this session and enjoy yourself and meet some new people in the process.

Trampolining

Every Tuesday from 1pm to 2pm at Epping Sports Centre.

This session is a great way to have fun and keep fit at the same time. The session is run by qualified rebound therapy coaches who will assist in reaching your Winstrada grades. This means you’ll get a certificate and badge for each grade you complete.

Once you have completed one grade you simply move up to the next one. We guarantee you’ll enjoy yourself as Trampolining is a very fun, enjoyable way to keep fit.

Multisport

Every Wednesday from 1:15pm to 2:15pm at Epping Sports Centre.

Each week we will play a different sport and we allow participants to help our qualified coaches choose which sport they would like to play the following week. Previously we have played sports such as football, basketball, Olympic sports such as javelin, sitting volleyball and many more.

Find out more

For more information email

or call 01992 562563 or 01992 564220.

Late opening at the museum

Written on . Posted in Community, Media, Museum, Older people, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council

Epping Forest District Museum will be opening late for a special event on Thursday 17 May, celebrating the current exhibition ‘Beauty and the Beach’, a fabulous collection of swimwear from the 1940s to the 1960s, as part of Museums at Night.

Museums at Night 18
We are inviting you to explore the museum in a new light. Take a look at the touring exhibition and our permanent displays.

  • Where – Epping Forest District Museum, 39-41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL
  • When – Thursday 17 May 2018
  • Time – 6pm to 9pm
  • Free entry – donations are gratefully received

There will be a DJ at the museum, so people can tap their feet to the music of the ‘40s and ‘50s or even try jive dancing. Refreshments will be available.

You are encouraged to come dressed in clothes from that era or in something that’s comfortable to jive in, but it is not essential.

For further details, contact the museum by email museum@eppingforestdc.gov.uk or telephone 01992 716882.

Museums at Night

As part of Museums at Night, museums, galleries, libraries and heritage sites across the UK are encouraged to open their doors after hours and to showcase their treasures in unexpected ways.

Find out more at Museums at Night website.