Make your own Christmas floral arrangements

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Epping, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your home

Looking to get into the Christmas spirit and get creative?

Book now for Epping Forest District Council’s Make Your Own Floral Arrangements workshop Monday 4 December 2017, 7pm – 9pm in Epping.

Christmas floral workshop

During this fabulous evening workshop you will learn how to make a creative selection of Christmas floral arrangements and garlands for your home!

Event details

  • Where: Community services training room, 25 Hemnall Street, Epping, Essex, CM16 4LU
  • When: Monday 4 December 2017
  • Time: 7pm – 9pm
  • Cost: £10.00 (including materials)
  • Booking: Booking is essential
  • This workshop is suitable for participants over 18 years old

Booking information

Further information

Contact Victoria Robertson vrobertson@eppingforestdc.gov.uk 01992 564732

Make your own bubble-licious bath bombs

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Epping, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Book now for Epping Forest District Council’s Make your own Bubble-licious Bath Bombs workshop for adults on Monday 21 November 2017, from 7pm to 9pm in Epping.

Make your own bath bombs!

Event details

  • When: Monday 21 November 2017
  • Where: Community Services Training Room, 25 Hemnall Street, Epping, Essex, CM16 4LU (next to the sports centre)
  • Time: 7pm – 9pm
  • Cost: £6.00 (including materials)
  • Booking: Booking is required
  • This workshop is suitable for participants over 18yrs old

Booking information

Further information

Contact Victoria Robertson on vrobertson@eppingforestdc.gov.uk or call 01992 564732

Three Acres and a Cow comes to Loughton

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

As part of the Paths Unseen season of events we’re pleased to be bringing Three Acres and a Cow to Lopping Hall, Loughton, on Saturday 21 October 2017, for one night only.

3 acres and a cow

  • Where: Lopping Hall, 189 High Road, Loughton, IG10 4LN
  • When: Saturday 21 October 2017
  • Time: 6pm (meal)
  • 7pm (performance starts)
  • Price: £5 (£9 with a meal)
  • Booking required

Book tickets

About

Three Acres and a Cow connect the Norman Conquest and Peasants’ Revolt with current issues like fracking and the food sovereignty movement via the Enclosures, English Civil War, Irish Land League and Industrial Revolution.

It draws a compelling narrative through the history of England in folk song, stories and poems.

History, sing a-long & storytelling

The performance will include a history talk, folk club sing-a-long, poetry slam and storytelling session. Come and share in these tales as they have been shared for generations.

Paths Unseen project

Paths Unseen shows how poetry can be a shared sociable activity. Over the past 18 months performance poet Keely Mills and illustrator Jef Winter have engaged with many individuals and groups from across the local community enabling them to write, tell their own stories and share their work in their own voices.

Inspiration has also come from local folklore, encouraging museum audiences to consider art as a medium for rediscovering local history. Paths Unseen project has been funded by Arts Council England.

Further information

Fireworks party at North Weald Airfield

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chairman, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Local business, Loughton, North Weald Airfield, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Come and join us at North Weald Airfield on 3 November 2017, for a spectacular evening of fireworks and fun! Tickets are on sale, so book now to avoid disappointment!

North Weals Airfield fireworks and bonfire party

Click on an image below to begin slideshow of last year’s fireworks event.

Schedule of events

  • 5.00 pm – Gates & Ferris wheel open
  • 5.30 pm – Kids disco starts, with prizes for the best dancers
  • 7.00 pm – Bonfire is lit
  • 7.15 pm – Little Mix tribute band (2 lucky children get to meet the band, keep your ticket number handy)
  • 8.15 pm – Hot air balloons glow to music
  • 8.30 pm – Fireworks display begins
  • 9.15 pm – 80’s tribute band begins
  • 10.30 pm – Licensed bar closes
  • 10.45pm – Last bus leaves
  • 11.00pm – Airfield closes

Every ride on the Ferris wheel you take will see 50% of the price donated to The Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust, helping to fund their life saving missions!

Tickets available now!

Tickets are available to buy now, so don’t delay and avoid disappointment!

  • Buy tickets online
  • Tickets are also available from The Squadron Café at North Weald Airfield, The News Shop in North Weald and are being sold at Saturday market at North Weald Airfield

Ticket prices

  • £5 per adult
  • £3 per child (2 – 11 years old)

A limited number of tickets will be available on the night and will cost

  • £7 per adult
  • £5 per child (2-11 years old)

Getting to and from the event

By bus

  • Special bus services to the airfield from Waltham Abbey, Harlow and Ongar will be available
  • Return busses to Waltham Abbey, Harlow and Ongar will leave from the control tower from 9:45pm
  • A free bus will pick up passengers from Kings Head bus stop, North Weald

On foot

  • North Weald Airfield (map)
  • A free bus will pick up passengers from Kings Head bus stop, North Weald

By car

Further information

Help us bring empty homes back into use

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Housing, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Private housing, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community

Did you know that in the Epping Forest District there are approximately 447 properties which have been empty for more than 6 months?

We are asking for your help this National Empty Homes Week (16 to 23 October 2017) – report empty homes to us, so that we can help the owners bring them back into use.

Empty homes week

Why are properties left empty?

Properties are left empty for a variety of reasons but they can be the source of much misery to neighbours who have to live nearby. It is estimated that the home next door to an empty property can be devalued by 10%.

There is also the worry of nuisance, vermin, arson, vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

For the owner, an empty property is a wasted resource and can be costly in terms of increased insurance, increased council tax premiums, property fraud, emergency repairs and break-ins.

Financial assistance

We are committed to reducing the number of empty properties in the district and can offer financial help in certain circumstances. It is recognised that a stumbling block can be that the empty property is in disrepair and cannot be lived in, let or easily sold in its condition.

We can offer the following schemes:

  • The Empty Homes Repayable Assistance offers up to £10,000 if there is an empty property that you intend to live in yourself, but is in poor condition. The money is repaid when you eventually sell the property.
  • The PLACE Loan offers up to £25,000 if you have a property that you would like to have renovated in order that you can sell or rent it out. This is an interest free loan and is paid back within two years in the case of a loan to sell, or five years in the case of the loan to let.

We always prefer to work with owners in a constructive way. We have certain enforcement powers that we may use to ensure an empty property is brought back to use, particularly if it has been empty a long time and is problematic to the local community.

Help for empty home owners

Councillor Syd Stavrou, Housing Portfolio Holder, said: “As a council we are fully committed to bringing empty properties back into use and are looking to help owners in every way we can. However where all other measures have failed, we are prepared to take enforcement action as a last resort.”

She added: ”If you are aware of an empty property or own one yourselves, please let us know. We will need the address and any other information you think might be helpful. We will do our best to contact the owner and work with them to bring the property back to use, and all calls are treated in confidence.”

Report an empty property

Further information

State of the art centre for Waltham Abbey

Written on . Posted in Business, Chairman, Commercial properties, Community, Councillors, Doing business with the council, Health, Local business, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

On Thursday 12 October 2017 local school children, councillors and business members gathered to mark the start of construction for Waltham Abbey’s brand new state of the art leisure centre, which is due to open in Winter 2018.

Preparing to place the Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre time capsule

Click on an image below to begin slideshow

Exciting times for Waltham Abbey

Councillor Helen Kane, Portfolio Holder for Leisure said: “These are exciting times for Waltham Abbey. The first new council housing in 30 years has just been completed in Harveyfields, Roundhills and surrounding roads as we start the construction of this fantastic new leisure centre. Sixty independent living accommodation units providing a positive alternative to residential care and new health facilities replacing the old surgery accommodation in Maynard Court are set to follow in partnership with Essex County Council and NHS England.”

”The leisure centre will be for everyone. Working with Places for People and their construction partners Pellikaan, we are set to deliver a top class leisure facility that will promote health and wellbeing, and provide a place for people to enjoy physical activity and socialise within the community.”

Investing in our community

Councillor Kane continued: “We are investing in our community and our future. Coming hard on the heels of the recently refurbished and extended museum in Sun Street and the development of the brand new Epping Forest Shopping Park in Loughton, Epping Forest District Council is signalling its intent in the best possible way.”

Councillor Sue Lissimore, Cabinet member for housing at Essex County Council added: “These plans breathe new life into taxpayer-owned land. We’ve pledged £42m over the next five years to bring sites like this forward for much needed homes with multi-use developments that also help to drive economic growth. The leisure centre ground-breaking is a fantastic milestone and a great example of public and private sector partners working together across Essex.”

Design, build, operate and maintain

Places for People Leisure were awarded the 20-year Design, Build, Operate and Maintain contract for the new Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre by Epping Forest District Council, along with their construction partners Pellikaan Construction and architects Pozzoni.

£9.5m investment in centre

The new £9.5m leisure centre has been designed with a green roof to complement the surrounding recreational ground and will feature an 80-station fitness suite, 25m six lane pool with 15m learner pool, exercise and group cycling studio, a community room, and café.

Virtual cycling & Les Mills

The Centre will also feature a dedicated Virtual Cycling studio with classes led by Les Mills virtual master trainers, enabling customers to participate at their own convenience when it suits them.

Fantastic community leisure facility

John Bates, Business Development Director at Places for People Leisure said: “We are extremely excited to begin work on what will be a fantastic community leisure facility. Through our partnership with Epping Forest District Council we are looking forward to providing a leisure operation that will capture the local community’s imagination and encourage even more people to adopt a love of physical activity.”

Time capsule

Those in attendance yesterday included pupils from Hillhouse Church of England Primary School as well as representatives from the Epping Forest District Swimming Club who buried a time capsule as part of the ceremony which included the old set of keys to the previous community centre.

The current Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool recently received investment to improve the customer experience and will remain open and fully operational until the new centre opens.

Have your say on how homes are allocated

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Consultation, Epping, Housing, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community

Have your say about the way Epping Forest District Council prioritises housing applications and allocates affordable housing. We want your views on the draft revised Housing Allocations Scheme before 2 January 2018.

What is a Housing Allocations Scheme?

The current scheme was last reviewed in 2015. It is a document which sets out clear policies on how the council prioritises applications and allocates affordable housing to people on the housing register. The housing register is a list of homeseekers who are waiting to be offered a council or housing association property.

We are required by law to have a Housing Allocations Scheme for:

  • deciding priorities and the procedure to be followed in selecting homeseekers for council accommodation
  • nominating homeseekers for housing association accommodation

Alongside members of the public, we are also consulting with

  • The council’s Tenant and Leaseholders Panel
  • Town and Parish Councils
  • Partner agencies with an interest in the scheme
  • Every private register provider of social housing with which it has nomination arrangements

Have your say

Housing Portfolio Holder, Councillor Syd Stavrou said: ”We are consulting with a variety of associated bodies and partner agencies, as well as our residents. We want to hear your views, so please make sure you complete the consultation.”

”If you would like to comment on the draft revised Housing Allocations Scheme 2018, please fill out the online form. Responses are needed by 2 January 2018. The Council’s Cabinet will consider the results of the consultation and when it has been approved, the new scheme and policy will come into force on 1 July 2018.”

Further information

Council Tax Support Scheme consultation extended

Written on . Posted in Benefits, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Consultation, Council tax, Democracy, Epping, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

The Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme consultation has been extended, due to a problem with a link that was published on social media. You are now able to make comments until midnight on Wednesday 25 October 2017.

We’re asking for your views on the future of our Local Council Tax Reduction scheme (LCTS) to see whether any changes should be made. It’s important we get the views of our residents as it could affect the amount of Council Tax you pay, or the services you receive.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme consultation

Government grant

“The Government gives us a grant to pay Local Council Tax Support which is reducing each year” explains Finance Portfolio Holder Councillor Gagan Mohindra, “if we spend more than the grant, we have to decide how we pay for the excess.”

Making changes

“This year, in addition to looking at how the scheme is funded, we are deciding whether changes should be made to reduce the number of different Council Tax bills that people get when they receive Universal Credit, and whether Bereavement Support Payments should be disregarded. There are also changes to the way that we treat decisions by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).”

Generate savings

Councillor Mohindra said: “We’ve looked carefully at the LCTS scheme and are aiming to providing a fair level of support to those residents on a low income as well as identifying potential changes which would generate savings for the council.

We will of course continue to fully fund support for those who suffer exceptional hardship, and none of the changes would make a drastic change to the amount of council tax individuals would pay.”

Let us know what you think

“Let us know what you think on this important issue” Councillor Mohindra asked residents. “ It takes just 10 minutes to complete the online questionnaire which runs until midnight on Wednesday 25 October 2017.

Any recommendations from this consultation will be considered by Full Council later in the year, with a view to bringing in changes from April 2018.”

Make a detailed reply or comments

If you want to make a detailed reply or comments, email benefits@eppingforestdc.gov.uk and enter ‘consultation’ in the subject heading. If you don’t have access to a computer, you can get a paper copy from the Benefits Division at the Civic Offices.

We cannot respond individually to each response.

First new council homes for Waltham Abbey

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, Councillors, Doing business with the council, Housing, Housing repairs, Leader, Local business, Media, Older people, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Epping Forest District Council welcomed the first tenants into John Scott Court, Waltham Abbey this week.

50 guests gathered for the official opening ceremony, an event which marked the completion of Phase One of the Council’s House-building Programme to provide 23 new affordable rented homes in Waltham Abbey.

John Scott Court

Click on an image below to start slideshow

John Scott

The development is named after former District Health and Housing Officer and Joint Chief Executive John Scott as a tribute to decades of service to the Council and the local community.

Guests, including John Scott, MP Eleanor Laing and local councillors joined council officers, contractors and tenants to open the nine newly built homes at John Scott Court, all of which are being let to local residents in need of housing.

Energy efficient homes

The brand new energy-efficient homes, which are built to Lifetime Homes Standards, are built on a formerly under-used garage site.

Resident delighted with her new home

One new tenant, who was delighted to move into her new home said: “I moved in last week and am so happy in my new home. I am very impressed with the size of the rooms, my son has lots of space for his toys. I’ve shown lots of friends and neighbours around my flat and they all want to live here!”

Programme of over 300 homes

The new homes at John Scott Court are the latest completions in the district-wide programme of over 300 new affordable homes to be built during the next 10 years. They will shortly be followed by the completion of Phase 2 of the Programme in Burton Road, Loughton, which is on schedule to complete by March 2018.

Proud to work with residents

Councillor Syd Stavrou, Portfolio Holder for Housing attended the official opening and said: “We are committed to making the best use of our housing stock and are continuing to build new homes for people in housing need within our community. We are proud to be working with residents and partners, building more well-designed homes for affordable rent in our district”.

After the ceremony there was an opportunity to visit another new development of six houses and flats at Hockley court, Waltham Abbey.

Further information

Register to vote by 19 October 2017

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Elections, Epping, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Properties in the district that have not yet confirmed their voting details will shortly receive a third Household Enquiry Form (HEF).  Please do not ignore this form as by law you are required to respond, even if there are no changes to the details printed on the form.  Please respond online, by phone or by text before 19 October 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. This is known as the annual canvass, it happens every year and there are two stages to complete your registration. It tells us details of people who have moved out and adds details of new occupants.

Respond online

“It’s the easiest and quickest way for you to confirm your details or make any changes,” says Glen Chipp, Electoral Registration Officer, “it helps keep our costs down, which keeps the cost down for you too. You must respond, even if your details haven’t changed since the last election.”

Registering someone not already on the electoral register is a two stage process – adding a new name to the Household Enquiry Form is only stage one.

Stage 2 is providing more information about the new person so we can verify their identity.” Glen explained ”We will make contact either by email, phone or by sending out a registration form. Please do not ignore this – until the new person has been verified we cannot add them to the register.  To respond please either register online (www.gov.uk/registertovote) or call the elections helpline (01992 564411) before 19 October 2017 with the information required.”

First stage

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

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

Need to make a change?

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

  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

Second stage

Merely completing the Household Enquiry Form does not mean you are registered. Don’t forget to

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

Register to vote

Glen added: ”Please do not ignore the next round of reminders and have your responses back to us before 19 October 2017. If you ignore this reminder to register, you won’t be eligible to vote in the next election, you could face up to a £1,ooo fine and it could affect your credit rating too.”