New Police airbase at North Weald Airfield

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Building work has started on a £4 million police airbase at North Weald Airfield.

From left, Philip Stuart, Senior Quantity Surveyor, from Kier Group; Councillor Richard Bassett, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council; Mark Burns-Williamson, Police and Crime Commissioner of West Yorkshire and Ollie Dismore, Temporary Accountable Manager of the National Police Air Service at the site of the new NPAS North Weald base

Construction of the National Police Air Service (NPAS) airbase at North Weald Airfield is expected to run until autumn, with the first flights taking off before the end of 2019.

Police helicopters and police planes will be able to fly from the base which will operate 24/7, 365 days a year, and primarily serve London and the South East.

Crews in these aircraft will be regularly supporting police colleagues on the ground to find missing people and search for suspects. They’ll also provide an aerial view to help local police ensure crowd safety at major events and support police forces bring many other crimes in action to an end.

North Weald will be among a network of 14 NPAS bases offering support to the 43 police forces of England and Wales. NPAS collectively responds to more than 20,000 incidents every year.

Epping Forest District Councilor Anne Grigg, Portfolio Holder for Commercial and Regulatory Services, said: “North Weald Airfield has a long standing history of protecting our community since opening as an airfield in the 1st World War, and becoming a Battle of Britain airfield in the 2nd World War, providing a home to spitfires and hurricanes. It is good to see North Weald continuing to play a crucial part in the local and wider community in the 21st Century.”

Temporary Chief Constable John Robins, said: “This purpose-built base will be a superb addition to NPAS and we’re looking forward to the service going live.

“Police air support is a vital tool available to police forces to help keep communities safe. Flying at average speeds of 138mph, combatting crime and disorder, searching for missing people or providing support to officers on the ground by air is 20 times faster than other options and saves local police valuable time when it matters.”

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) of West Yorkshire, Mark Burns-Williamson, Chair of the NPAS Strategic Board, said: “The construction of the new base represents the continued progress of the National Police Air Service and is recognition of its crucial role in keeping people safe.

“This addition will further bolster our nationwide network, offering an increased level of support in preventing and detecting crime, whilst protecting some of the most vulnerable in society.

“The round the clock nature of the base also means it will be a key hub of activity, which will make a significant contribution to policing and police aviation services.”

Planning permission was granted for the scheme by Epping Forest District Council last year.

Building work is being carried out by Kier Group.

Phil Oades, Regional Director for Kier Capital Projects, said: “Working collaboratively with the National Police Air Service, we are delighted to be starting work on the new airbase at North Weald Airfield. Over the last three years, we have worked with NPAS to deliver vital new buildings and infrastructure to bases across the country. We look forward to carrying out this work which will directly benefit residents in London and the South East.”

Decisions from Plans East on 9 January

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Planning application decisions from the Area Planning Sub-Committee East meeting Wednesday 9 January 2019.

Decisions 

  • EPF/2578/18 34 Theydon Park Road, Theydon Bois, Epping, CM16 7LP
    Permission GRANTED
  • EPF/2917/18 Ivy House, Coopersale Lane, Theydon Bois, Epping, CM16 7NT
    Permission REFUSED

Planning application search

New exhibition celebrates Essex women

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A new exhibition, ‘Snapping the Stiletto’ opens at Epping Forest District Museum on Saturday 12 January, featuring a pair of heels owned by Essex actor Dame Helen Mirren.

It reveals the hidden stories of women who lived in the county and explores how women’s roles and opportunities have changed since gaining the right to vote in 1918. It also aims to dispel the negative stereotype of ‘Essex girls’ and their white stilettoes, by highlighting the lives and achievements of Essex women.

Where: Epping Forest District Museum, 39 – 41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL

When: Saturday 12 January – Saturday 16 March

Time: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 10am – 4pm. Saturday 10am – 5pm

Free entry, donations are gratefully received

First of five museums

Epping Forest District Museum is the first of five museums to host this touring exhibition that features a signed letter from Gandhi to social reformer and twice Nobel Peace Prize Nominee from Loughton, Muriel Lester (on loan from the Bishopsgate Institute). Shoes on display – worn and owned by Essex women with fascinating stories – also include sportswomen Emma Hollis and Sally Gunnell.

Crucial roles for women

Volunteers worked with 11 museums and discovered stories of women campaigning for the vote, improved health and welfare services, and animal welfare. They learnt about the crucial roles women played in wartime, women who ran successful businesses and the many women working at engineering firms in the county.

Essex wide project

‘Snapping the Stiletto’ is a county-wide project, by Essex County Council. They received a grant from the Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund to deliver the project in partnership with museums across the county, Essex Record Office, and the University of Essex.

Further information

For more information about the project, please visit www.snappingthestiletto.com and follow @snapthestiletto on Twitter.

Want help getting active?

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A programme of help and support to get active is on offer from Epping Forest District Council to residents across the district.

Active Living is delivering day and evening sessions with 1-2-1 advice, group exercise and long term support in Loughton, Buckhurst Hill, Epping, Waltham Abbey and Ongar.

Positive results

Not only are participants feeling more energised and doing more activity but they have achieved lower blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels and say:

“Feeling younger and more alert”

“Learning about myself – not just my limits but my capabilities”

“Active Living helps to build structure into my day”

“I don’t feel on my own”

All the support you need

Getting active can be difficult, so the Active Living programme provides support every step of the way. Our professional and friendly staff work with participants to set a personal plan of action that will make it simple to find ways to fit physical activity into daily life. Free advice and support is on hand to help people stay on plan and realise their goals.

If you are interested in becoming more active and:

  • currently do less than 30 minutes of physical activity per week
  • are over 16
  • live in the district of Epping Forest
  • Contact our friendly team to book your first appointment on 01992 564561 or email: csreception@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

     

Epping Club 195 licence suspended pending review

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Club 195 in Epping had its licence suspended on Friday 4 January 2019 following concerns by police about incidents of violence at or in the vicinity of the premises.

Essex Police applied for a review of the licence for Club 195 following a number of incidents across 2018.

Club 195 suspension notice

Same day suspension

Epping Forest District Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee suspended the licence on the same day the application was received.

Licensing activity not permitted

A council spokesperson said: “The decision was taken by Licensing Sub-Committee Councillors to temporarily suspend the licence with immediate effect. Licensable activities are not permitted to take place in the interim period between 4 January and the full hearing – unless an interim hearing is applied for by the licence holder.”

Full hearing

The spokesperson continued: “A final decision will be reached at the full hearing. Councillors will assess the evidence brought by Essex Police and make the decision to either amend the licence or its conditions, allow it to remain in place or revoke the licence completely.”

The applicant, Essex Police Chief Inspector Lewis Basford said: “A full hearing to review Club 195’s licence will take place in due course at which Essex Police will ask for the licence to be revoked.”

Builder fined for unauthorised work to Epping café

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Mr, Halil Kanteper of Stoke Newington Road London has been  fined £1,200 for carrying out unauthorised building works to the listed building at 309 High Street Epping known as Poppy’s Café and the first floor of that building.

He pleaded guilty at Chelmsford Magistrates court on 15 November 2018 when a prosecution was brought by Epping Forest District Council. He was also ordered to pay the prosecution costs of £500 and a Victim Surcharge of £120.

Consent for an extension and conversion of the first floor into 2 flats and for a replacement shop front at the property was granted in 2016 and 2017.

On 15 August 2017 the Council received reports that work being carried out to the listed building may be more extensive than agreed. Council officers visited the property the same day and it was immediately clear that substantial unauthorised work had been carried out, including walls being stripped of their historic lath and plaster, ceilings floors and joists removed in their entirety and stud walls being removed.

Mr Kanteper, the builder for the property admitted carrying out the work without the knowledge of the owners. He told the Council he believed the work was required due to a leak in the roof causing substantial damage to the building. No evidence of this was supplied to the Council and the Council’s Senior Conservation officer had not seen any evidence of this when visiting the property on several occasions prior to the work being carried out. In her opinion any leak would not have resulted in so much harm being caused to justify the amount of unauthorised work being needed.

Councillor John Phillip responsible for Planning at Epping Forest District Council said: “Listed building status is meant to protect the historical interest of a building. It is a criminal offence to carry out any building works without the correct authorisations from the local authority. Here at Epping Forest District Council we take such an offence very seriously and will seek prosecution if necessary.

“People who take it upon themselves to carry out unauthorised works without consulting the local conservation officer as in this case, can result in significant damage to the character and historical interest of the building.”

Works are being carried out now in line with new planning approvals and it is hoped the café will be able to reopen in the near future.

HO HO HO… Christmas fun for charities

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We’d like to say a huge ‘Thank You’ to all our big-hearted residents who dropped Christmas gifts into the Civic Offices for mums and children in refuges across Essex.

Collecting gifts for families in refuges has been a tradition amongst Epping Forest District Council staff for many years, but this year we decided to open it up to residents to help bring a little Christmas cheer to those who find themselves in refuges over the festive season….and you didn’t disappoint.

We managed to collect many gifts including books, toys and toiletries, which will be delivered in time for Christmas.

On Friday – Christmas Jumper Day – staff got into the festive spirit with music and mince pies while wrapping all the donated gifts, ready for distribution. They’d all paid £2 to wear their Christmas Jumpers to work, with the cash going to Save the Children.

“We’re so grateful to the local people who have supported our collection this year,” said Cllr Sam Kane, Portfolio Holder for Community and Partnerships.

“Christmas is a tough time for families in refuges and we’re glad to be able to spread a little Christmas joy on the big day.”

Carols by candlelight for civic Christmas service

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Residents, councillors and staff gathered at Waltham Abbey Church to celebrate Christmas by Candlelight on Thursday 13 December 2018.

 

The congregation enjoyed the Abbey at its most stunning as the lights dimmed and candles were lit for the annual Civic Carol Service hosted jointly by Epping Forest District Council and Waltham Abbey Town Council. The service was conducted by Rector Rev Peter Smith with Director of Music Jonathan Lilley leading Waltham Abbey Church Choir.

Readings from King James Bible

Councillor Richard Basset, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council opened the event and welcomed the congregation before the Rev Smith began the service.

Waltham Abbey Town Mayor Jeane Lea, Councillor Jodie Lucas, the Rev Helen Gheorghiu Gould, Daniel Mehr from Epping Forest Youth Council and Cllr Richard Bassett, gave readings taken from the King James Bible.

Traditional Christmas carols

The congregation joined in with traditional Christmas carols and prayers before Cllr Lea closed the service and invited everyone to join her for mulled wine and mince pies over the road at Waltham Abbey Town Hall.

The offertory collection will be shared between Waltham Abbey Church, Cllr Bassett’s charity – Community Transport and Cllr Lea’s charity – Essex Air Ambulance.

Christmas message from EFDC Chairman

Chairman Councillor Richard Bassett said: “It’s almost Christmas, a time when most of us can look forward to spending time with family and friends. But I believe it is also a time to reflect on others, particularly those who don’t have family and friends to enjoy the festive season with….and to make sure we help our friends and neighbours at times of need.”

“A few weeks ago I slept out at Chelmsford Cathedral to raise money for the homeless at Christmas. Not only did it give me a real insight into the challenges others face every day, but it also made me think about the difference that charities like Chess Homeless make to those who have no homes to go to. I found it a very humbling experience.

“As I have been visiting around the district this year I have met many people who, because of unfortunate circumstances, find themselves in difficult situations requiring our assistance and I see so many volunteers doing such an excellent job of helping them.

“Christmas should be a time of peace and goodwill to everyone, not just the materialistic giving of presents.

“Therefore at this joyous time of year can we also think of those less fortunate or lonely and, if an opportunity arises, help where we can.

“I would also like to say thank you to everyone I have had the pleasure to meet this year and wish you all a very Happy Christmas.”

Domestic Homicide Review report published

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The Domestic Homicide Review Panel report into the murder of a 35-year-old mother of two, by her husband of eight years, has concluded that her death ‘could not reasonably have been foreseen or prevented by any agency, organisation or individual.’

The Epping Forest Community Safety Partnership has published the Domestic Homicide Review Panel Report into the tragic murder of Susan, a 35 year old mother of two from Theydon Bois. Her husband Peter assaulted her in February 2016 and set fire to her body in an attempt to conceal the murder.

What is a DHR?

The Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) process considers the circumstances that led to death from violence, abuse or neglect by a relation, partner or ex-partner of a member of the same household.

DHR’s establish whether public bodies and agencies could improve responses to situations, whether the correct safeguards are in place, identify lessons learned and highlight best practice – in order to prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future.

Absolute tragedy

Epping Forest District Council participated in the review. The Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, Councillor Sam Kane said: “Susan’s death was an absolute tragedy. On behalf of myself and everyone on the panel, I would like to extend our condolences to everyone affected by her death, especially her children and loved ones.”

“The exact reasons for the murder were not uncovered but the report discloses an order of events and Peter’s subtle coercive and controlling behaviours that may have contributed to the unexpected attack.”

Subtle abuse

“The panel’s view was that irrespective of whether outreach services were available to Susan, it was unlikely that she, her family and friends would have recognised her need for access to them, because the domestic abuse she received was so subtle. This is indicative of the widening definition of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is far more than physical. It can take many forms that are not as obvious as broken bones or bruising.

“The report highlights the importance of health professionals in recognising potential domestic abuse through interactions with patients with non-physical symptoms such as low self-esteem or depression”.

Report concerns before it’s too late

Councillor Kane concluded: “If you or someone you know could be a victim, you can report your concerns anonymously to the police or to social services. Do not turn a blind eye. Your call could make the difference between life and death.”

J9 initiative

A team of agencies; Essex Police, Essex County Council Social Services, Safer Places and Epping Forest District Council, work together to form the Epping Forest Community Safety Partnership. Together they combat and raise awareness of Domestic Abuse under the initiative ‘J9’, set up in memory of domestic abuse victim Janine Mundy.

Visit the Southend, Essex and Thurrock Domestic Abuse Board (SETDAB) website for comprehensive advice and guidance on how to get help https://setdab.org/victims/

Further contact infomation

  • Police – 999 (if danger is immediate)
  • Police – 101 (non-emergencies)
  • Safer Places 24 hour helpline – 03301 025811
  • National domestic violence 24 hour helpline 0808 2000 247

Confident and bold decisions taken at Cabinet

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A series of far-reaching decisions were taken at the meeting of Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet, meeting at the Civic Offices on 10 December.

New home for Council

Councillors have agreed in principle to relocate staff to North Weald. While customer services, civic and democratic functions will remain at the Civic Offices in Epping, new purpose-built offices will provide space for up to 380 staff at Blenheim Way, North Weald within three years.

New partners will join remaining council staff in Epping, ensuring the northern end of the town retains a strong employment focus and economic footfall for High Street shops and businesses.

Demolition of the 1960s Conder Building attached to the Civic Offices will clear the way for a mix of new homes behind the Civic Offices.

St John’s Road Cinema, Homes and Leisure Centre

As the Civic Offices evolve, the Council will also be transforming the southern end of Epping with a new leisure centre, cinema, homes, businesses and parking. Subject to detailed negotiation and agreement, Epping Forest District Council proposes to work in partnership with Epping Town Council and leisure provider Places Leisure (also known as Places for People) to deliver the development.

The existing sports centre in Epping will be redeveloped for housing following completion of the new St John’s facility, allowing the Council Offices, St John’s Road and Hemnall Street to make a substantial contribution to housing demand identified in the emerging Local Plan.

Council staff working from the current housing depot off Epping High Street will move to new facilities already built at Oakwood Hill, Loughton.

Harlow and Gilston Vision and Design

Three strategic housing locations at Water Lane, Latton Priory and East of Harlow have been identified in the Local Plan for large housing developments on the boundaries of Harlow but within Epping Forest District. Councillors approved the vision and design guide – working documents developed by Epping Forest District Council in partnership with Harlow and East Herts District Councils for Harlow and Gilston Garden Town.

£97 million Capital Programme

Ongoing development of new council houses form the major part of the five-year capital programme put before councillors at the start of the New Year budget setting process. Aside from approximately £8 million for the new Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre, completed in November 2018, around £80 million is identified for a combination of new council housing and improvements to the Council’s existing stock over five years.

Landmark Building

Councillors approved £140,000 to complete work necessary to let commercial units at the new Landmark Building in the Broadway, Loughton. Once let, rental income of around £250,000 a year will be used to support the Council’s public services.

A forward-thinking council fit for the future

After the meeting, Council Leader Councillor Chris Whitbread said: “This is probably one of the most significant Cabinet meetings in years. The strategic development of council services based in Epping, North Weald and our new depot at Oakwood Hill, Loughton dovetail with our determination to build much need new homes sympathetically and boost economic activity across the district.”

“These are bold decisions. They demonstrate vision, confidence in our council, commitment to our residents and belief in the future of our district.”