Be on your guard against Council Tax scams

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Residents are warned to be on their guard against a recent Council Tax scam.

Council tax scam warning

Cold caller scam

We have been made aware of a cold call scam in which a resident received a call from a person that falsely presented themselves as an employee of a company called GFM, claiming they can the resident a Council Tax refund of £5,000 for an upfront cost of £150.

This is a scam.

GFM are a legitimate Marketing company based in Colchester and are not responsible for any of these calls. GFM are now aware that they are being impersonated.

Be alert

Be mindful of cold callers that contact you, especially if they ask for money up front to get a refund or cash back and be especially vigilant if you have vulnerable relatives, friends or acquaintances.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Report it

If you are unsure whether a call is genuine, please report them to Action Fraud

  • Call the Action Fraud team on 0300 123 2040

Nominate a young person for a Sports Award

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Civic events, Community, Epping, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Do you know a young person, aged between 13 and 25, that lives in the district that is a County or National standard athlete in their sport?

If so, why not nominate them for the Epping Forest District Council Young Sports award 2018!

Sports award poster

The winner of this award could get up to £1,000 towards

  • Help to buy specialist equipment or materials
  • Help towards competition/event entry fees or associated travel and accommodation costs
  • Help to fund extra or specialist coaching

Nomination details

To be eligible for the award your nominee must:

  • Be aged 13-25 on or before the closing date for applications on 24 November 17
  • Compete at county, regional or national level in a nationally governed sport
  • Live in the Epping Forest District
  • If at College or University, return ‘home’ to Epping Forest District during the holidays

Make a nomination

The deadline for applications is Friday 24 November 2017

Further information

Contact Fabrizio Ferrari

Meet the buyer comes to Epping Forest

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

Do you own a small business in the district and want to learn more from the big companies? Then join us at our free ‘meet the buyer’ event on Thursday 23 November.

Meet the Buyer logoSharing knowledge

Sponsored by the Marriot Hotel and organised in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, ‘meet they buyer’ aims to put local small and medium sized companies together with some of the biggest buyers in and around the district.

Local businesses will have the opportunity to hear first-hand how these big organisations buy goods and services, and meet key people with roles in procurement in these organisations.

The day will involve a series of short presentations from key buying organisations and the opportunities for questions and answer followed by time for networking.

Organisations attending

  • Stansted Airport
  • Public Health England
  • Waltham Abbey Marriott Hotel
  • Vibrant Partnerships
  • Essex County Council
  • Epping Forest District Council

Bringing buyers and sellers together

Economic Development Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Anne Grigg said: “This is a really important event. All the organisations we work with are keen to buy more locally, and all our local companies are keen to sell. The event is all about bringing the buyers and sellers together, explaining how procurement systems work, and hopefully enabling local companies to get more business from major organisations.”

Buying locally

Chairman of the Epping Forest Chamber of Commerce John Price said:  “Many of our small to medium size businesses struggle to manage with the growing trend of people buying products and services outside our district. Buying locally has always been supported by the Chamber whenever possible. Attending businesses will have the chance to meet and discuss opportunities available to them. This could be anything from IT, cleaning services, design, products or others. It will be a good chance to meet fellow businesses in our district as there will be ample opportunities to network.”

Register today

  • When: Thursday 23 November
  • Where: Waltham Abbey Marriott Hotel, Old Shire Lane, Waltham Abbey EN9 3LX
  • Time: 9am to 12pm

The event is free for local businesses but places limited so register for a place today

For more information contact

Support local history, culture and art and become a trustee

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

Do you have a have a passion for culture, history and learning? Do you live or work in the Epping Forest District or the Borough of Broxbourne? Think you have the right skill set and expertise to support an exciting new trust? Then apply to become a trustee for our new ‘culture without borders development trust’.

Epping Forest District Museum

Culture without Borders Development Trust

Epping Forest District & Lowewood Museums along with Spotlight Theatre, Hoddesdon are establishing a charitable trust. Aiming to assist with ambitious development plans, promotion, knowledge sharing, history and culture. Not only locally but on a regional and national level.

The trust will play a key role in:

  • Developing funding strategies and fundraising campaigns, including individual giving and legacies
  • Assist with the future development
  • Help to attract or create new exhibitions and events
  • Build upon the strong body of work already undertaken

Trustee skills

Applications for trustee positions are welcome from those who are not only committed to ensuring that the museums’, culture and theatres futures are secured, and go from strength to strength, but also have specialist skills in the following areas:

  • Finance
  • Fundraising
  • Philanthropy
  • Marketing
  • Communications
  • Public relations
  • Arts
  • Heritage
  • Leisure and Culture
  • Retail, hospitality and tourism
  • Charity & Social Enterprise

Exciting new venture

Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder Councillor Helen Kane said: “The new ‘Culture without borders development trust’ is an exciting new venture, created to support Epping Forest District & Lowewood Museums and the Spotlight Theatre, Hoddesdon.”

“These platforms do so much for history, culture and the arts throughout the district and beyond. Encouraging learning and enabling our community to come together through creativity and common interests. Our area has such a rich history and I look forward to seeing the team grow and continue to reach more people throughout the region.”

“If you feel you can contribute to our new venture we would love to hear from you, don’t delay get in touch today.”

Apply to be a trustee

The deadline for an expression of interest is 12pm Friday 24th November 2017.

Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be during week commencing 4 December 2017.

For an informal discussion or for an information pack, please contact:

  • Tony O’Connor
  • 01992 564986
  • aoconnor@eppingforestdc.gov.uk
  • Epping Forest District Museum
  • 39 – 41 Sun Street
  • Waltham Abbey.EN9 1EL

Museum opening late for Cavalcade of Light

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Local business, Media, Museum, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Join us at the museum for an evening of festive fun and a late night opening, celebrating Waltham Abbey Town Council’s cavalcade of light.

Cavalcade of Light

Welcome in the festivities with an evening of music, refreshment and crafts before the towns parade and light switch on.

Enjoy music from:

  • St Andrew’s Primary School choir
  • King Harold Academy Samba band
  • An acoustic set from Epping Forest College

Get creative and decorate your own Chinese lantern to join in with cavalcade.

  • Where: Epping Forest District Museum, 39 – 41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL
  • When: Friday 24 November 2017
  • Time: 5pm to 7pm
  • Free entry
  • Donations gratefully received
  • £2.50 per person for craft activity

Bring in the festive season

Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder Councillor Helen Kane said: “The Cavalcade of light and light switch on really brings the festive spirit to Waltham abbey. It’s a great event open to the entire district.

Join in the fun early with our museum on Sun Street, take in festive performances by local bands and choirs whilst enjoying some festive refreshments. And why not come in from the cold and take a look around the museum’s galleries and exhibitions.

There’s fun for all the family and we would love to welcome you to get in the festive mood.”

More information

For more information on the Epping Forest District museum visit

Respond to final reminders for annual canvass

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

The final canvass of outstanding properties will take place between now and Wednesday 15 November 2017. The deadline for a response is Wednesday 22 November 2017.

Household Enquiry Form - Annual Canvass 2017

Final canvass

The fourth and final household enquiry forms will be delivered before the electoral register is published on 1 December 2017. If you have not registered, you will need to as soon as possible. Electoral registration is now a 2 part process.

Door knocking

Returning Officer Glen Chipp said: ”Canvassers will be knocking on the doors of these properties between 6 November and 15 November 2017 to retrieve information. Electors will have until 22 November 2017 at the very latest to respond if they wish to be included in the new register.”

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.

Electoral registration

If you receive an email about electoral registration or a paper registration form in the post, you need to respond online, by phoning Electoral services with the information requested. You can also fill in the form and send it back, but please do not ignore it.

Affected credit ratings

Glen Chipp continued: ”Any information received after 22 November 2017 will not be added to the register until January 2018. It is worth noting that not being on the electoral register can affect your credit rating in the run up to Christmas.”

Paying for policing, the PFCC needs #yourviews

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Consultation, Council tax, Crime and safety, Democracy, Emergencies, Epping, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Do you want to increase the levels of policing in Essex? Willing to pay more Council tax to do so? The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex (PFCC) want your views.

Police car

Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex is asking Essex residents to fill in an online survey to gauge whether or not residents would be happy to pay more, so more resources can be invested in policing across the county.

Essex Police’s Funding comes from two sources

  • Central Government
  • Local Council Tax

Essex Police receives the lowest funding per resident of any police force in the country and has the sixth lowest council tax for policing.

Have your say

The survey will be live from 01.00 am Monday 6 November to 00.00am on Sunday 19 November.

The PFCC want you to join in the conversation on social media by using the #yourviews.

Providing the best service possible

PFCC Mr Hirst said: “I want to provide the best service possible for the people of Essex and increasing investment will help me deliver this. I’m not expecting any increase in central Government funding for this year but I can raise the police precept. However, before I make that decision I want to know what the views of the public are so I can take them into account.”

He added: “At every public meeting I attend I hear that the residents want more police on the streets and whilst both Essex Police and I are doing everything we can to make that happen, we don’t have the money or resources to deliver it in the best way that we want to. The demand on the police service is rising. New crime types are emerging and existing crime is rising in its complexity, this is against a backdrop of an unprecedented shift in the national security environment. My question to the public is this – do they want to pay more for those extra resources?”

Dedicated Schools Police Liaison Officer not the answer

Written on . Posted in Community, Democracy, Leader, Media, Meetings, Our activities, Our performance, Out and about, Performance, Residents, Uncategorized, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Crime and the relationship between young people and the police focused the attention of youth councillors and delegates at the Epping Forest Youth Council Conference on Friday 3 November 2017.

Youth conference 2017

Hosted by Epping Forest District Council, the conference listened to presentations from Alex Burghart MP, Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Jane Gardner, Darren Horsman and Tom Mitchell, deputising for District Police Commander Lewis Basford.

The conference then debated the question:

“This house believes Essex Police should have a dedicated Police Liaison Officer serving the Epping Forest District.”

Watch the live debate

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Police Liaison Officer not the answer

Knife crime, gangs and how to tackle these issues featured heavily. Does a single dedicated liaison officer have the scope and resources to make a meaningful impact? Could they develop better understanding and give young people a clearer voice in offering solutions?

Following a full and wide-ranging debate conference rejected the motion by 62 percent to 38 percent. A dedicated Police School Liaison Officer does not seem to be the answer for the young people of Epping Forest.

Click on an image below to begin slideshow of the youth conference.

Say No to N2O

Conference also discussed the growing problem of Nitros Oxide use among young people. Earlier this year, members of the youth council collected hundreds of discarded N2O canisters across the district. Legally available for uses ranging from medicine to party balloons, in the wrong hands N2O is being seen increasingly as a dangerous recreational gateway drug.

Council Leader – Importance of young people

Winding up the youth conference, the Leader of Epping Forest District Council Councillor Chris Whitbread thanked and congratulated each of the delegates and their schools for supporting the event. He emphasised the importance of giving young people a voice. In a world dominated by older generations he approved the fresh ideas and knowledge brought to bear by involving young people in the decisions that affect the community.

Skills for work and mental health were voted top topics for future work.

The PFCC wants your views

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Crime and safety, Democracy, Emergencies, Epping, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our performance, Out and about, Performance, Residents, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Concerned about crime in our community? Want to know more facts about the way the district is policed? Come and talk to Roger Hirst the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex (PFCC).

PCC meeting 20 November 2017

Talk to your PFCC

This is an open meeting and all members of the public are welcome.

  • Do you care about the way your community is policed?
  • Do you want to know the facts about crime in your area?

Come along to Roger Hirst’s public meeting and have your say

When

  • 20 November 2017

Time

  • 6.30pm to 8.00pm

Where

  • Council Chamber
    Civic Offices
    High Street
    Epping
    CM16 4BZ

Ask a question

You can ask PFCC Roger Hirst a question at the meeting.

Can’t come to the meeting?

Email your question to pfcc@essex.pnn.police.uk

Watch

Working together for a safer future

Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder Councillor Sam Kane said: “If you have a concern or wish to know more about the way our district is policed these meetings are a great opportunity to ask your questions.”

“The district has such a strong sense of community, and events like these are vital in ensuring we all feel safe and protected.”

“So come along and help the police understand the issues you’re facing, let’s work together to make our district a safer place to live.”

Overview and Scrutiny 31 October 2017

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Environmental health, Epping, Equalities, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Older people, Ongar, Our performance, Out and about, Performance, Regulations, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

There are signs of improvement in services provided by Whipps Cross Hospital. Part of the Barts Health NHS Trust, the hospital has been in special measures following poor Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections. A presentation to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee of Epping Forest District Council following the latest CQC inspections in May suggest the hospital has improved from ‘inadequate’ to ‘overall requires improvement’. However, as one first-hand account of patient care at the end of the presentation demonstrated, there is still some way to go.

View the webcast

  • Dr Heather Noble – Medical Director, Whipps Cross Hospital
  • Alan Gurney – Managing Director, Whipps Cross Hospital

Signs of improvement at hospital trust

Alan Gurney, Managing Director said that any further CQC inspections today would see more improvements. However, he added that the condition of operating theatres was still a cause for concern. Investment in theatre refurbishments is scheduled for next year.

The CQC has seen an increase in the quality of the working environment and culture of the hospital. Bullying was previously identified as a major issue with high turnover of staff and heavy reliance on agency support. Significant improvements have been made in these areas. The hospital is also old. Many of its buildings pre-date the creation of the NHS. Investment is needed in new buildings.

Dr Heather Noble assured Councillor Steven Neville that issues around radiation exposure to staff had been resolved. Councillor David Stallan received assurances that Alan Gurney had no plans to relocate Whipps Cross, although the hospital is on a large site and could potentially operate from a smaller footprint.

Councillor Roger Baldwin asked about bed-blocking and capacity. Alan Gurney used the phrase ‘delayed discharge’ for which he had 11 cases at that moment. He assured councillors that he was working with partners to reduce discharge delays. No bed spaces had been closed this year and Mr Gurney considered it to be a lesser challenge than some other issues facing the hospital.

Councillors Mitchell and Sartin received further information in response to questions about bullying. Councillor Chambers explored the depth of hospital planning for the winter. Alan Gurney confirmed additional investment in building work and weekend cover arrangements to enhance winter cover. There is also additional ‘step-down’ coverage and coordination with partners in the ambulance service and care homes. The staff flu vaccination campaign is part of steps to prepare staff for the winter season.

Councillor David Wixley followed up on the issues of bullying and culture. Councillor Nigel Bedford focused on staff retention and reusing the defunct nursing home for other purposes. Alan Gurney provided assurance that recruitment and retention improvements are ongoing. He also felt that the site had plenty of capacity for development including accommodation for staff.

Responding to Councillor Gagan Mohindra, Dr Noble said that the Council could provide support by communicating the message about the need for redevelopment of outdated buildings.

Developing staffs careers

Dr Noble emphasised that managers as such ‘were not bad’ after Alan Gurney described how Whipps Cross was focusing on continual recruitment of nurses and a requirement for more doctors.

Dr Noble said that further work was needed in developing career and employment links with local schools and colleges. Responding to Councillor Holly Whitbread, she described good examples of work in Newham which could be adopted for Whipps Cross.

Mortuary facilities are old and in need of replacement but Dr Noble assured Councillor Bedford that the dignity of the deceased and care for the bereaved was a high priority.

Responding to Councillor Baldwin, Alan Gurney said that it would be wrong to say the use of Private Finance Initiative funding (PFI) was not an option but he added that there was no appetite for it.

Dementia care is also a priority. Responding to Councillor Aniket Patel, Dr Noble outlined some of the programmes including Dementia Friends and creating clinical areas more dementia ‘friendly’. Alan Gurney added that with the focus on older patients, dementia care was critical.

Councillor Mary Sartin, chairman of Overview and Scrutiny thanked Mr Gurney and Dr Noble, concluding questions with reference to the caring and compassionate approach of staff recognised in the latest CQC report.

Learning from the past

Mr Gurney and Dr Noble were invited to stay at the end of their presentation questions for a statement by a local resident. Janis Crowder gave an emotional account of her mother’s poor experience as a patient of Whipps Cross last year. Accepting improvements have since been made, Ms Crowder felt it was important to explain to hospital managers the difficulties and inadequacies of her mother’s care.

A copy of the CQC report summary is available within the Overview and Scrutiny agenda.

Transport for London 9 January 2018

Transport for London managers have agreed to attend the meeting of Overview and Scrutiny Committee to discuss various public transport issues in January. Essex County Council is also to be invited to attend the Neighbourhoods Select Committee to discuss County bus services.

Epping Forest College 27 February 2018

Committee councillors also noted the scheduled attendance of the Principal of Epping Forest College at the meeting of Overview and Scrutiny on 27 February 2018.