Ongar leisure centre refurbishment unveiled

Written on . Posted in Community, Councillors, Health, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Ongar Leisure Centre unveiled its newly refurbished fitness suite on Saturday 9 September 2017.

Cllr Kane cutting the ribbon

Click on an image below to begin slideshow

State of the art equipment

The new suite now includes a state of the art cardio and strength kit, rowers, multifunctional training equipment and Watt bikes. It also features a new training rig which is ideal for rehabilitating an injury and high intensity training, as well as a Technogym Skillmill, which is a powerless treadmill that allows users of all abilities to perform at their own pace.

Official launch

An official launch event was held on Saturday 9 September 2017, which offered visitors free swimming, badminton and virtual cycling sessions, special deals on membership and the chance to see improvements made following the £450,000 worth of investment.

Track your swim technology

Investment into Ongar leisure centre has also included new energy saving technology, IT systems to enhance the customer experience as well as the introduction of state of the art equipment such as SWIMTAG, which is the latest wearable technology that helps customers track their swim activity.

Commitment to leisure

Epping Forest District Council Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Community Services Councillor Helen Kane said: ”It is such a pleasure to see the first major investment of the new leisure contract come to fruition at Ongar Leisure Centre. I know there has been some local concern about the future of the centre but this refurbishment and Places for People Leisure’s investment of £450,000 is a clear commitment to leisure services in Ongar.”

Major refurbishment across district

”Across the District major refurbishment works start in Epping and Loughton this Autumn while preliminary work has already started for the brand-new leisure centre at Waltham Abbey. I’m pleased to say that the outlook for leisure services is positive throughout the District.”

Opportunities for everyone

Geraint Hole, General Manager at Ongar Leisure Centre comments: ”We are delighted to be able to offer the local community a newly refurbished and equipped leisure centre that will provide opportunities for everyone to take part in physical activity and enjoy the wide range of facilities on offer. As a social enterprise, we aim to open up even more opportunities for people to adopt a healthier and more active lifestyle and are looking forward to offering customers free sessions as part of this event.”

Nominate your Citizen of the Year

Written on . Posted in Arts, Chairman, Civic events, Community, Democracy, Equalities, Grants, Media, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Performance, Residents, Volunteering opportunities, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Epping Forest District Council’s Citizen of the Year Awards recognises people in the community who go above and beyond and make positive changes in our district.

Citizen of the year Civic Awards 2018 poster

If you know an individual or a team who make a real difference nominate them for

  • Citizen of the Year
  • Team of the Year

Highlighting positive work

Chairman David Stallan said: ‘The Citizen of the Year award is a great event, highlighting the positive work that goes on throughout the district. There are people among us who go above and beyond, making positive contributions to our society.’

‘If there’s and individual or group who springs to mind, now is your time to nominate them for a Civic Award.’

Make a nomination

Applications close Friday 24 November 2017.

Cabinet 7 September 2017

Written on . Posted in Community, Consultation, Councillors, Democracy, Doing business with the council, Housing, Housing repairs, Leader, Media, Meetings, North Weald Airfield, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our performance, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Uncategorized, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

A new Police helicopter base, anti- social behaviour in Waltham abbey and the Oakwood hill depot were among items discussed at Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet meeting Thursday 7 September 2017.

North Weald set to become new Police helicopter base

North Weald Airfield is set to become a new base for the National Police Air Service. Three helicopters and a fixed-wing aircraft will be based at the council-owned airfield.

Police Helicopter

Police Helicopter

Asset Management Portfolio Holder Anne Grigg put forward recommendations for a 25 year lease with the helicopter service. The proposals would include a new hanger and buildings to support a range of police helicopter activities.

The Police will be joining a range of other aviation tenants including the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance which has operated very successfully from North Weald for several years. Receiving reassurances about flight lines and noise levels from members of the National Police Air Service at the meeting, councillors welcomed the report and the aspiration for continued development of aviation at North Weald.

Hillhouse Statement

Councillor Sam Kane was welcomed to his first Cabinet meeting as Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder by Council Leader Chris Whitbread. Councillor Kane has stepped into the role previous held by Councillor Gary Waller who recently passed away.

Councillor Kane’s first act was to deliver a strong statement regarding anti-social behaviour in Waltham Abbey.

Councillor Sam Kane’s Statement:

“Fellow Councillors will know that Epping Forest District Council is working in partnership with local residents and other organisations to improve the quality of life for everyone in and around Hillhouse on the Ninefields housing estate in Waltham Abbey.

Work has started in just the last few weeks on a brand new leisure centre. Health, housing and social facilities are coming together in a major multi-million pound investment.

The vast majority of residents in this area are the most decent and law-abiding citizens you could ever wish to meet. We also know there is an element of anti-social behaviour, a group of people who seem intent on making the lives of everyone else miserable. We are working with all our partners including Essex Police to tackle this behaviour but events in the last day or so have taken a new and very ugly twist.

Fishing line has been tied at knee height between posts and fences with the deliberate intention of tripping and hurting people. This mindless and stupid act has resulted in injury to a small child. Pictures of the serious cuts to his face have been circulated on social media.

I know this will come as a shock to you and I know every councillor would wish to send our sympathy to this innocent young child and his family.

Local residents and all right-minded people will be incensed by this latest incident. Through this meeting I want to let our residents know that we stand with them. The anti-social behaviour of the last few weeks must now stop.

A temporary dispersal order has been put in place from tonight. You will appreciate that many other things are going on behind the scenes that I cannot discuss in public.

Council staff have been working incredibly hard. Plans of action drawn up with Essex Police even before this latest event are being put into effect now. We believe we know who the perpetrators are. It saddens me to say that they are very young. We have been working with our local schools and have passed the identities of the perpetrators to Essex Police.

Enough is enough. Anti-social behaviour is a blight on our communities which must end. As the action plan goes into effect, I expect to see the situation improve significantly. I also know that you can never eliminate all crime, but with the support of my council colleagues I want to send out a clear message. We stand with all the decent and law-abiding residents of Waltham Abbey.

We will not let the few ruin the lives of the many.”

Oakwood Hill

New council office and depot facilities accommodating Grounds Maintenance, Fleet Maintenance and the MoT centre opened recently at Oakwood Hill in Loughton. Latest proposals for the transfer of the Council’s Housing Repairs service to Oakwood Hill were scrutinised at Cabinet.

Proposals for additional staff car parking received particular attention. A petition opposing the use of green space opposite the new facility was delivered by Councillor Chris Roberts.

Councillors agreed the recommendations in the Cabinet report with the proviso that alternatives to the proposals of additional parking would also be investigated. Full public consultation would also take place as part of any planning application process if the proposals for parking set out in the report went forward.

Customer Services

Council Leader Chris Whitbread updated fellow councillors on a range of projects geared towards improving customer service including a new public customer service reception, plans for which are due to come before Cabinet by the end of the year.

Learn about local mammals with Countrycare

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Loughton, 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

Join Countrycare on Saturday 16 September 2017 at 7:30am for a close encounter with some of the small mammals found in Roding Valley!

Small mammal event 2017

Help us identify which animals live in and around Roding Valley, followed by breakfast!

Details

  • Saturday 16 September 2017
  • 7:30am – 9:30am
  • The Grange Farm Centre, Grange Farm Lane, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 6DP (click here for a map)
  • £6
  • Call 01992 564224 to book

Further information

Your rubbish, your responsibility

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Councillors, Environmental health, Epping, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Prosecutions, Recycling and waste, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Fly-tipping in Essex is draining more than £1 million of taxpayers’ money each year.

#CrimeNotToCare

Partnership working

This week, Love Essex, a partnership of councils, businesses and environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, is launching its #CrimeNotToCare campaign to inform residents they could unwittingly end up with a criminal record and face an unlimited fine, if a rogue trader dumps their waste illegally.

”Your rubbish is your responsibility”

Epping Forest District Council’s Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: “We need the public to understand their rubbish is their responsibility and they must do the right thing with it. Giving it to a man with a van who offers to get rid of it cheaply could prove costly for people and result in them getting a criminal record.”

Incidents on the rise

In the Epping Forest district there were 2,384  incidents in 2016 to 2017, a significant rise from the previous year’s figures of 1,944. The number of prosecutions of residents where fly-tipped waste has been traced back to them is also on the rise.

Successful prosecutions

A man was recently fined £461 and ordered to pay £758 prosecution costs after pleading guilty to failing his ‘duty of care’, at Chelmsford Magistrates Court. The Loughton resident had allowed a man who knocked at his door to take 40 black sacks away for £70 cash, without checking he was authorised to transport the waste – rules he was unaware of.

The rubbish was then fly-tipped in a garage area in Loughton and traced back to the resident.

”Important campaign for our country”

Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton added: “#CrimeNotToCare is an important campaign for our country and we are delighted that Epping Forest District Council as part of Love Essex, is partnering with us.

“There are almost a million fly-tipping incidents in England every year and cleaning it all up costs us £50million a year. It blights communities and our countryside and is a menace.”

Seek advice

Ensure you don’t fall foul of the law, visit www.recycleforessex.com/crimenottocare for advice.

Top tips to dispose of waste correctly

  1. If you use a trader to remove your waste ask to see their waste carrier registration number issued by the Environment Agency. It is illegal for them to take your waste if they don’t have a permit. Check their credentials and vehicle details here
  2. Make sure you get a receipt or transfer notice before your waste is taken away
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask where your waste is going and request paperwork that shows where it will be disposed. A legitimate waste carrier will not object to this questioning
  4. Protect yourself by being careful with your waste. Never leave rubbish, such as old washing machines or scrap metal on your drive or in the street as it could end up in the wrong hands. You can donate working items to reuse organisations or charity shops

Report fly-tipping

Register to vote before 12 September

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Democracy, Elections, Epping, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Every household that is yet to confirm their voting details has been sent a reminder to complete their Household Enquiry Form (HEF) by 12 September 2017.

Household Enquiry Form - Annual Canvass 2017

What is a Household Enquiry Form?

All properties in the district have been sent a household enquiry form and if you are yet to respond, you will receive a reminder. This process is known as the annual canvass. It tells us details of people who have moved out and adds details of new occupants.

You must respond, even if your details haven’t changed and even you voted in May and/or June this year.

Do it online now

“It’s the easiest and quickest option to confirm your details or make any changes online,” says Glen Chipp, Electoral Registration Officer, “it’s also the cheapest method for us as it helps keep our costs down.”

But nothing has changed?

Even if none of your details have changed, you will still need to confirm your details are correct.

You will need the 2 part security code on your household enquiry form and you can do 1 of the following options

  1. Confirm online at www.householdresponse.com/eppingforest
  2. Text NOCHANGE – with your security number to 80212
  3. Confirm by phone 0800 197 9871

If there are changes

You will need the 2 part security code on your household enquiry form and can do 1 of the following options

  1. Amend the information online easily and quickly at www.householdresponse.com/eppingforest
  2. Amend the form and return it to us in the prepaid envelope – please make sure you give a contact phone number or email address in case of queries

Two stage process

If you have made changes to your household enquiry form, it is important to remember there will be a second stage to the process. Merely completing the form does not mean you are registered.

  • Stage 1 is responding to the Household Enquiry Form
  • Stage 2 is completion of the registration process for new electors at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

To complete the registration process you will need your date of birth, national insurance number, nationality and any previous address. Please also make sure you include a contact phone number and/or email address in case of queries.

Make sure you can vote

“People think that they are automatically added to the register of electors because they are paying Council Tax, but that’s not the case.” Glen Chipp added: ”The annual canvass happens every year and even if nothing in your household has changed, you still need to confirm your details’’.

It can affect your credit rating

‘’It is important to remember that not being on the register can affect your ability to open a bank account, get a loan, credit, a mortgage or even a mobile phone, because it can affect your credit rating!”

Respond by 12 September

“Don’t ignore the form, by law you must confirm your details, or you may face a fine of up to £1,000. Please respond immediately if you have not already done so, please complete your form by 12 September 2017 at the very latest.”

Summer edition – One Business Briefing

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Councillors, Jobs, Local business, Media, Older people, Our activities, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Volunteering opportunities, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

The One Business Briefing Summer edition 2017 is now available to download.

One business briefing 14

Included in this edition

  • Epping Young Traders Market
  • Epping Forest successes at Essex Digital Awards
  • Digital Innovation Programme launched
  • Ace Upcycling – Turning rubbish into treasured products
  • Essex Growth Programme supporting growing businesses
  • LoCASE: Delivering energy savings to Epping Forest businesses
  • Launch of Epping Forest College business unit

Enthusiasm for business

Councillor Anne Grigg, Economic Development Portfolio Holder said: “It is wonderful to read about the success of 2 town centre events that involved the young people and children of our district and it is hugely encouraging to see such enthusiasm for business amongst them. Hopefully, some will go on to run award winning businesses just like the successful local businesses at the Essex Digital Awards.”

Encouraging business ideas

She continued: “I hope that the Social Enterprise pull-out encourages people with business ideas that could make a positive contribution to society to explore this as a potential business model for making their concept a reality. Social enterprises play an important role in the local economy.

And there is so much more advice, guidance and interesting content in this packed issue. I hope you find it all an interesting read.”

Join us for Mad About Moths

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

Interested in learning more about wildlife on nature reserves at night? Join us for our annual Mad About Moths event on Friday 1 September 2017, 8pm until late.

Mad about moths 2017We will also be using bat detectors and looking out for any other signs of nocturnal wildlife!

Details

  • When: Friday 1 September 2017
  • Time: 8pm until late
  • Where: Epping Green Millennium Garden, CM16 6PR
  • Cost: Free entry, donations for refreshments appreciated
  • Book: Call 01992 564224

Hot drinks will be available, don’t forget to bring a torch!

Further information

Stay well this winter

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Doing business with the council, Epping, Equalities, Health, Local business, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our performance, Out and about, Private housing, Residents, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

With the colder months closing in it’s time to prepare with our ‘stay well this winter’ events.

Stay Well This Winter 2017

Time to prepare is now

Our free stay well this winter events in partnership with West Essex Clinical Commissioning group provide the best health care information with talks from professionals and community groups highlighting the great services available to you this winter.

They day includes informative talks from

  • Pharmacists
  • Community Nurses
  • Specialist health advisors

Stands from health and community professionals including

  • Alzheimer’s society
  • EFDC Housing team
  • VAEF
  • Essex Road Safety
  • Essex Fire Service
  • And more

You will also receive a free lunch and goodie bag.

Where

  1. Tuesday 3 October
    10 am – 2pm
    Waltham Abbey Town Hall
    High bridge Street
    EN9 1DE
  2. Wednesday 25 October
    10am – 2pm
    Theydon Bois Village Hall
    Coppice Row
    CM16 7ER
  3. Friday 10 November
    10am – 2pm
    Roding Hall
    Buckhurst Hill
    26 Station Way
    IG9 6LN

Join us

Booking is required, call 01992 564226 to confirm your place.

51% of households responded, have you?

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Democracy, Doing business with the council, Elections, Epping, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

51% of Epping Forest district households have responded to the annual canvass so far, that’s 28,600 household Enquiry Forms (HEF) in total, 20,000 were received online, by text and by phone!

Household Enquiry Form - Annual Canvass 2017

Do it online, it’s easier & cheaper

”Responding online, by text or by phone is by far the quickest and simplest way for you to respond and it’s also the cheapest, which helps us keep our costs down” explained Glen Chipp, Electoral Registration Officer for Epping Forest District Council.

”We still have 27,600 households to go, so we will be doing really well if we can keep up this good rate of automated responses before our deadline of 23 August 2017.”

What is a HEF?

Every year we have to send out a household enquiry form (HEF) to update the register of electors and find out if there have been any changes. Don’t ignore it, please respond immediately.

This is known as the annual canvass. It tells us details of people who have moved out and adds details of new occupants. You must respond, even if your details haven’t changed and even you voted in May and/or June this year.

Complete your household enquiry form online

No changes, all details are the same

You will need the 2 part security code on your household enquiry form and can do 1 of 3 options

  1. Confirm online at www.householdresponse.com/eppingforest
  2. Text NOCHANGE – with your security number to 80212
  3. Call 0800 197 9871 to confirm

If there are changes

You will need the 2 part security code on your household enquiry form and can do 1 of 2 options.

  1. Amend the information online easily and quickly at www.householdresponse.com/eppingforest
  2. Amend the form and return it to us in the prepaid envelope – please make sure you give a contact phone number or email address in case of queries

And finally…

Remember – the HEF is only an enquiry form.

If you are adding new names in your response to the HEF, you need to complete the registration process at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote to add those people to the register.

For this, you will need your date of birth, national insurance number, nationality and any previous address.

Please also make sure you include a contact phone number and/or email address in case of queries.

Make sure you can vote

Glen Chipp added: “People think that they are automatically added to the register of electors because they are paying Council Tax or receiving Housing Benefit but that’s not the case. Not being on the register of electors can affect your credit rating and therefore you might have difficulty opening a bank account, getting credit, a loan, a mortgage or even a mobile phone!”

“Don’t ignore your HEF, by law you must confirm your details, or you may face a fine of up to £1,000. Please respond immediately, by 23 August 2017 at the very latest.”