Local museums represented at National Service of Thanksgiving

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Staff from Epping Forest District Museum, Waltham Abbey and Lowewood Museum, Hoddesdon attended The National Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey on 11 November 2018, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, having been invited by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Image from left to right: Rachel Arnold, Project Officer Broxbourne: We Will Remember Them; Tony O’Connor, Museums, Heritage and Culture Manager; Andy Hall, Exhibitions Officer and Catherine Hammond, Education and Outreach Officer.

The Department for Digital, Media and Sport asked HLF to nominate people to attend the service, after recognising the huge contribution HLF and its First World War projects have made to the centenary. As a result over 300 people involved with these project across the UK, attended the service on Sunday.

Westminster Abbey

£124k in grants

Our centenary projects were made possible by grants totalling £124,000 from HLF, which distributes the heritage share of National Lottery funding, supporting a wide variety of projects across the UK. HLF has invested £97million in 2,200 First World War centenary projects.

Exhibition at Epping Forest District Museum

The Walter Spradbery, Artist in War and Peace exhibition is on display at Epping Forest District Museum until Saturday 22 December 2018. It focuses on the artist’s time in the Royal Army Medical Corps during the First World War, and the paintings he made for the first Imperial War Museum displays.

Loweood Museum display

Stephen Warner, One Man’s Journey through War was on display at Lowewood Museum from May until September 2018. It explored the First War World through the diaries of Warner, who served with the Royal Army Medical Corps and the Essex Regiment in France and went on to win a Military Cross for bravery.

Broxbourne: We Will Remember Them, focuses on First World War soldiers from the Borough of Broxbourne. People are invited to share their stories, memories, photographs and other artefacts. Pupils from local schools will create embroidered postcards to commemorate the sacrifices given by soldiers. There will be a number of sharing days in the Borough of Broxbourne, through December to February, for people to come and tell their stories. The Broxbourne: We Will Remember Them display will start touring from the end of February 2019.

Nominations open for Sports Award 2019

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Epping Forest Young Sports Awards 2019 is open for nominations until 23 November 2018.

The awards support young athletes between the ages of 13 – 25 to develop in their chosen sports.

£100 – £1,000 awards

Awards can range from between £100 to £1000 and nominations are open until 23 November.

To be eligible nominees must:

  • Be aged 13-25 (inclusive) on the closing date for applications
  • Live in the Epping Forest District (or if at Collage/University return ‘home’ to Epping Forest District during the holidays)
  • Competing at county, regional or national level in a nationally governed sport

Last year’s winner Christianna Vitanova has used her award to help her pay for specialist coaching in her discipline Rhythmic Gymnastics, and attend training camps. This coaching and extra support has allowed further improve in her chosen discipline and continue on the Olympic Pathway I her sport.

Previous winners

Previous award winners have included Athlete Daniel Rowden, heptathlete and now GB American football star Naomi Harryman, GB Ice Hockey player Glenn Billing.

Further information

To apply please visit the Epping Forest District Council Website or call Fabrizio on 01992 564567.

24 arrested after drug raid action across district

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Five suspected drug dealing gangs have been shut down by Essex Police with the arrest of 24 people during a day of action in Epping Forest District.

Acting on information from the community, Essex Police launched an investigation in May this year targeting so-called ‘county line’ drug dealing gangs in the Debden, Loughton, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Limes Farm and Hainault areas of the district.

Class A drugs

The gangs are believed to be involved in the supply of Class A drugs and thought to make roughly in the region of £3,000 per day from the sale of illegal substances.

Council support

Supported by Epping Forest District Council, who also provided £5,000 towards the cost of the policing operation, Essex Police began investigating the gangs and building a picture on key members.

19 Warrants, 24 arrests

The six-month probe culminated today, Tuesday November 13, with the execution of 19 warrants across the district.

In total 24 people have been arrested on suspicion of offences ranging from possession of drugs, to possession with intent to supply and being concerned in the supply of drugs.

The operation was jointly led by Essex Police’s West local policing teams and Operation Raptor.

Excellent results

Chief Insp Lewis Basford, District Commander for Brentwood and Epping Forest District, said: “Essex Police has continued to take the fight to the gangs and individuals attempting to sell drugs on our streets.

“As long as people continue to attempt to sell drugs in our county we will continue to hunt them down and bring them to justice and, if that takes days or, as in this case, an operation that runs for months, we will leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of them.

“We have seen some excellent results today with the arrest of 24 people, who are all suspected of being involved in drug supply, as well as the seizure of a significant amount of drugs and cash.”

Dealers and criminals not welcome in district

He continued: “I would like to reassure the residents of Epping Forest District that where we receive information that criminals, gangs or drug dealers are active in their area we will, as today shows, act on that.

“I would also like to send a clear message to drug dealers and criminals that they are not welcome on the streets of Epping Forest District or Essex.”

Working with Essex Police

Epping Forest District Council supported Essex Police during the six month operation. Councillor Sam Kane, Cabinet member for community safety congratulated Chief Inspector Basford and his team. He said: “This operation has been long in the preparation and swift in the execution. It involved months of painstaking work by brave and dedicated men and women. It shows the real results we can achieve working together and I am very proud of the support we have been able to give Essex Police leading up to today’s action.

“Police and councillors really care about our district. This operation had to be carried out away from public view to enable officers to do their job and I am especially sympathetic to Inspector Basford. Local residents frequently ask what the Police and the Council are doing to fight crime and he has held his tongue many times in local meetings. We all can now appreciate why it’s not always possible to tell people everything happening behind the scenes. Hopefully our residents will sleep easier in their beds tonight knowing a little more of the hidden work by brave men and women to keep them safe.”

Essex Police set up Operation Raptor teams in the North, South and West of the county to tackle drug and gang-related crime.

Contact the Police

If you have information about drug or gang-related crime in your community contact Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Chairman starts Remembrance Sunday march

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Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Richard Bassett, took part in the Parish Great War Youth March event held in Moreton on Sunday 11 November, held in honour of the sacrifice made by parishioners who fell in the Great War.

The commemoration began at Bovinger Church, where the Chairman of Council began the procession of Moreton School pupils, their parents and parishioners.

The march continued cross country to Bobbingworth Nature Reserve. Great War curiosities including donkeys, pigeons, terriers and horses, lined the route to the last post, the memorial in Moreton churchyard.

Those that gathered observed a 2 minute silence and the Parish Roll of Honour was read by school children and parishioners laid wreaths.

Image: Chairman of Council, Councillor Richard Bassett

“As someone whose family suffered a personal loss at the Battle of the Somme in 1916, it was a great honour to have been asked to take part in this procession,” said Chairman Richard Bassett.

“It was heart-warming to see the young people of our district so actively involved, learning about the Great War and taking part in Remembrance which is so important. I’d like to thank the Moreton, Bobbingworth and the Lavers Parish Great War Commemoration Committee, Moreton School, Bovinger Church, Moreton Church and all of the participants such a beautifully balanced commemoration.

“I was sorry I could not stay for the whole of the Remembrance Parade and Service as I was impressed with the way the organisers combined the education of the young people on life in those troubled times with the Act of Remembrance.”

Image: Group gathering for the procession

Spreading the word about Gateway drugs

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A three month advertising campaign on the back of local buses has been helping to raise awareness of Epping Forest Youth Council’s anti-drugs messages.

‘Say no to Gateway Drugs’ was the theme of the advertisement – urging young people not to start down a road that could lead to a hard drug habit.

The decision to champion the anti-drugs message came after a clean up of car parks across the district revealed over 500 ‘laughing gas’ cannisters.

Cllr Helen Kane, Portfolio Holder for Leisure & Community Services said: “It is important young people understand the serious health risks the substance can pose. Nitrous oxide can be very dangerous when misused.”

The design of the bus poster was created by Youth Councillor Annabelle Yaman called ‘Don’t Open the Gate to Gateway Drugs’. The campaign ran from August to the end of October on Arriva buses across the Epping Forest district.

Youth Councillor ‘Stanimir Bakalov’ said: “The amount of canisters we found whilst out and about is worrying and it shows ‘laughing gas’ is a real issue for young people today. Through our drug awareness project we hope to highlight the risks and make young people aware of the damage they are doing.”

Cabinet 8 November 2018

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Extra investment to support improvements to 20 Council owned car parks, a council owned gymnastic centre in North Weald and to fund two Epping Forest Citizens Advice Bureau Debt Advisors, was agreed at Cabinet on 8 November 2018.

Improvements to Council car parks

Following the decision to change parking tariffs in September, Councillors have now agreed to reinvest some of the extra income into the improvement of 20 car parks across the district.

The plans to improve CCTV systems and upgrade to LED lighting were supported by Cabinet members. A study will also be commissioned to look into the viability of installing electricity charging points in council car parks.

Revamp for Gymnastic Centre

The Council owned Gymnastic Centre in North Weald is in need of investment and refurbishment. When it was built in 1986, it was seen as a centre of excellence, and for many years generated international level gymnasts and operated an intensive beginners programme.

Gymnastics continues to have a high profile within the district with a demand for good quality training facilities and the Council is committed to investing in leisure for residents.

£240,000 will be spent to bring the centre back to its former glory. Plans boast brand new equipment and apparatus, as well as essential building works and repairs.

The current lease for the facility is up for renewal at the end of December.

Council funds Debt Advisors

For three years, the Council has funded two Epping Forest Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) Debt Advisors to assist residents in the district with their personal budgeting. Last night, Councillors decided to keep funding these advisors for a further year.

Councillor Syd Stavrou, Housing Portfolio Holder spoke passionately about how important the Epping Forest CAB is to residents of the district and to the Council itself – in keeping rent arrears low and preventing homelessness.

Decisions from Plans East on 7 November

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Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee East meeting Wednesday 7 November 2018.

Decisions 

  • EPF/1718/18 Land at corner of Mill Lane and Millfield, High Ongar, Essex
    Deferred – waiting for further information
  • EPF/2060/18 61 Pancroft, Lambourne, Essex, RM4 1BX
    Deferred – for site visit
  • EPF/2146/18 7 Harrison Drive, North Weald, Epping, Essex, CM16 6JD
    Permission granted
  • EPF/2228/18 15 Forest Drive, Theydon Bois, Epping, Essex, CM16 7EX
    Permission refused

Planning application search

New planning proposal for old golf course

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More than 80 people turned up at Queens Hall Community Centre, North Weald to hear about a planning application to develop North Weald Park – the former golf club in Rayley Lane. The purpose of the meeting was to allow participants to raise issues and obtain answers about the proposal following a presentation by Epping Forest District Council officers and the developer, Quinn Developments.

 

Forum discussions

Such a forum allows early discussion on planning issues related to the proposal and opportunities to explore amendments and agreements between parties in a positive and constructive way before the application going to District Development Management Committee.

The forum was chaired by EFDC’s Director of Planning Services, Nigel Richardson, accompanied by the case officer Sukhi Dhadwar (Senior Planning Officer) and Planning Officer Corey Isolda.

The hybrid planning application is for a total of 690 homes including affordable housing, retirement and nursing homes, school, medical centre, a shopping and community centre, country park and sporting facilities.

Issues

The main issues relating the proposed development are:

  • Site lies within the Green Belt and is in an unsustainable location.
  • The site has not been proposed for allocation for development within the adopted or emerging Local Plan.
  • The location of the site fails to integrate effectively with the existing settlement of North Weald.
  • The location of the airfield conflicts with the proposed residential use of the site.
  • Parts of the site are within Flood Zones 2 and 3.
  • Infrastructure provision will be made on land within the Masterplan area for North Weald.
  • The character and appearance of the area will significantly change.

Mark Quinn, CEO of the development company outlined the scheme in a presentation before the meeting was thrown open to questions from the floor. These included information about the number of letters of objection and support, the new school and health centre and impacts on the airfield.

Further information

Council grant funds Loughton Junior Parkrun

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65 young people turned out for the Junior Parkrun at Roding Valley Recreation Ground on Sunday 28 October, funded by the Epping Forest Public Health Grant.

Junior Parkrun launched on Sunday 14 October at Roding Valley Recreational ground.

“Parkrun is free to take part, participants must register before their first run but it’s only necessary to register once. The aim of Junior Parkrun is to have fun, it’s not about competing,” said Cllr Helen Kane, Portfolio Holder for Leisure. “So please come along and join in whatever your pace!”

Councillor Kane was there to send the runners on their way and support them through the 2km course, alongside Ronnie ‘The Rocket’ O’Sullivan five time snooker World Champion, and seven times snooker Masters champion there as a volunteer.

£4,000 grant

Epping Forest District Council awarded Parkrun UK £4,000 from its Public health Grant to set up the junior version of the popular adult event.

The Junior Park run follows on from the amazing success of the Adult park run which runs every Saturday morning at 9am and receives over 50 participants a week. The success of both Park Runs is down to the great work done by Loughton Town Council in managing the Roding Valley Recreation Ground and in developing partnerships and funding bits with external partners to bring an array of community focused activities to the site.

Event details

Further information

For more information or to register for the junior park run please visit http://www.parkrun.org.uk/rodingvalley-juniors/

Council 1 November 2018

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Reports to Council on 1 November 2018 included updates on the newly completed Leisure Centre in Waltham Abbey, an Essex-wide fly-tipping campaign, additional Council homes built and an announcement about free weekend parking in Council run car parks in December.

Leisure Centre open ahead of schedule

It’s good news for Waltham Abbey, with the new Leisure Centre set to open ahead of schedule on Saturday 17 November 2018.

The new health and wellbeing hub boasts a six lane 25m pool along with a 15m learner pool with floor that is adjustable between 0m and 1.2m, virtual cycling classes and state of the art equipment.

Leisure partners Places for People are offering memberships with no joining fee until 14 November 2018.

Crime not to Care

The Council has been promoting the Essex-wide fly-tipping campaign, ‘Crime not to Care’.

Designed to educate residents about their duty of care when disposing of their waste, the campaign informs residents that they can be fined and prosecuted if their waste is fly-tipped by rogue traders.

In his report, Councillor Nigel Avey, Environment Portfolio Holder, informed members of the Councils most recent prosecution. The case of Loughton resident, Mr Tjoluskins, was heard by Magistrates on 13 September. He handed his waste to a scammer who fly-tipped in a bin store in Oakley Court in Loughton. The resident was fined £600 and ordered to pay the Councils prosecution costs of £900.

The campaigns message is simple – before handing over your waste to somebody else, always check, consider and record to protect yourself and reduce fly-tipping by rogue traders.

Universal Credit

In his report to members, Councillor Mohindra, Finance Portfolio Holder, presented an update about Universal Credit.

From 5 December, the Job Centre Plus in Loughton will roll out Universal Credit. Meaning that anyone of working age that needs help with their rent and is not already receiving Housing Benefit, will need to apply for Universal Credit instead of Housing Benefit.

Visit www.gov.uk/universal-credit for further information.

Council house-building programme

Councillor Syd Stavrou’s report informed members of the handover of four new Council homes in Coopersale, Epping on Wednesday 10 October. The two new 2 bedroom houses and two 1 bedroom flats will be let to applicants on the Councils housing register. A further seven new Council homes will be ready to handover in early November.

The Council has committed around £58 million for new housing since it restarted its council house building programme in 2014. So far, new homes have been built in Waltham Abbey, North Weald and Epping, with more in the pipeline.

Free parking in December

Councillor Sam Kane announced the Councils plan to relax parking fees in Council owned car parks on weekends throughout December 2018 ‘to help local traders’ and support our high streets this Christmas.

Parking will be free on Saturdays and Sundays throughout December in all of the Council owned car parks.