Is the Council up to Standard?

Written on . Posted in Community, Democracy, Older people, Our performance, Residents, Young people, Your council

Do you want to have a say on the actions of our councillors? Two vacancies on the Epping Forest Standards Committee have arisen that will allow you to do just this.

The two positions must be completely independent of the District, Town and Parish Councils for which the Standards Committee has responsibilities. Along with a third independent member they will share responsibilities with six councillors drawn from the District and local Town or Parish Councils.

Although the most visible role of the Standards Committee members is to hear complaints and adjudicate on the conduct of councillors, there is much more to the position. Standards committee duties also include monitoring and advising on the code of conduct to which local councillors are bound. It promotes the code and offers training to councillors as well as advice on ethical issues.

There are four meetings of the full Standards Committee each year which are held in the evenings and are up to two hours in length. In addition, various sub committees meet for the purpose of dealing with complaints. These are usually held in the daytime and can vary in length.

Independent members of the Standards Committee may receive a small allowance in the sum of £500 to cover the personal costs of their role. A larger allowance is payable to the Chairman of the Committee, a position which must be held by one of the independent members.

Potential applicants should contact Ian Willett, Deputy Monitoring Officer at Epping Forest District Council by telephone on 01992 564243 or by email via iwillett@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Cafe Pays Price for Out of Date Food

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Food safety, Older people, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community

Food products including ham, cheese and shrimps have been seized from an Epping Cafe by Environmental Health Officers from Epping Forest District Council following a routine inspection on 2 February 2010. The Officers seized the products from Belgique after discovering them to be past their use by date – in one case by more than a month.

The issue was referred to a Justice of the Peace at Harlow Magistrates` Court who agreed the food should be condemned and destroyed. Belgique were not represented in court but will have to pay for the cost of disposal of the out of date food products.

Two Hygiene and Improvement Notices have been issued to Belgique on `food management safety` and `staff training`. They have 14 days to comply with the notices and failure to do so could lead to prosecution.

Bell Common Conservation Area Character Appraisal

Written on . Posted in Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Older people, Residents, Volunteering opportunities, Young people, Your community, Your environment

The final version of the Bell Common Conservation Area Character Appraisal & Management Plan has been published by Epping Forest District Council. This follows public consultation last year when local residents were invited to comment on the draft document.

Bell Common Conservation Area was first designated in 1985 and encompasses the open green space of Bell Common as well as all the buildings which surround it. The appraisal was compiled between August 2007 and December 2008 when the area was surveyed and photographed in detail.  A range of historic maps was consulted and documentary research carried out.

Bell Common Conservation Area

The purpose of a character appraisal is to define the character of the conservation area, review its boundaries and highlight any parts of it that may be in need of improvement. The character appraisal for the Bell Common Conservation Area covers topics such as public spaces, historical roots of the area and key views and characteristics as well as sites with potential for improvement or development.

  • A limited number of hard copies will also be available. These can be obtained by telephoning 01992 564582 (or 01992 564068) or by emailing contactLB@eppingforestdc.gov.uk. Alternatively, the appraisal will be available to view at the District Council`s Planning Reception from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, Civic Offices, Epping.

    The Council is currently working on Character Appraisal and Management Plans for the conservation areas within Loughton which are due to be available for public consultation in the near future.

Waltham Abbey Bible in Top 10

Written on . Posted in Community, Museum, Older people, Our attractions, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community

The Waltham Abbey Bible, on display at Epping Forest District Museum, has been selected as one of the top ten most important museum objects to reflect Essex`s history.

BBC Essex has joined up with museums across the county to choose a number of objects the people involved feel best reflect its unique place and past in the world. This is part of the BBC`s Nationwide history of the world project. A series of television and radio programmes will be broadcast on the BBC throughout 2010 with a vision to tell the history of the world through man-made objects.

Epping Forest District Museum Officer Tony O`Connor was interviewed about the significance of the Waltham Abbey bible by BBC Essex radio on Thursday 28 January. He said: The bible is one of our star items on display at the Museum. It dates back to about 1200 AD and is all that survived from the library in the Abbey Church, the last in the country to be dissolved by King Henry VIII in 1540.

A BBC reporter interviews District Museum Officer Tony O'Connor about the Waltham Abbey Bible

Inscriptions inside the Bible tell us it was the property of the Prior (the second most important official in the Abbey). The lack of rich decoration suggests this book was used for private study and not for display within the church. Both the Old and New Testaments are written in tightly-packed Latin script on 238 pages of Vellum (Parchment), the standard writing material in medieval England, made from treated animal skins.

Tony O`Connor added: It is a real privilege for the Bible to be chosen as one of the most important objects in Essex`s history. The Bible does not just belong to the Museum but to all the residents of the Epping Forest district and represents an important part of local and national history.

The Waltham Abbey Bible, which was acquired with support form the Victoria & Albert Museum Purchase Fund can be viewed at Epping Forest District Museum. For opening times, please call 01992 716882 or visit the Epping Forest Museum Website. More information about A history of the world can be found at the BBC Essex Website.

Nominations Wanted for Young Citizen

Written on . Posted in Community, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Do you know someone who is kind, caring and helps others? If you do, nominate them for Epping Forest District Council’s Young Citizen of the Year.

Young Citizen of the Year 2010

Friends, relatives, neighbours or colleagues all have the chance to nominate a special young person for this award. It is presented annually to a young person, aged between 11 and 18 years, in recognition of their exceptional contribution to the Epping Forest community.

The winner will be invited to the civic awards ceremony on Thursday 18 March 2010 at Gilwell Park to receive their certificate and cheque for £100 from the Chairman of Council.

EFYC Councillors Daisy Morecroft, Tilly-Jo Morris, Haris Duherich and James Harrington with posters

Picture caption – Epping Forest Youth Councillors Daisy Morecroft, Tilly-Jo Morris, Haris Duherich and James Harrington showing the Young Citizen of the Year 2010 poster.

Nominees must be aged 11 to 18 years old and live in the Epping Forest District. Closing date for nominations is Friday 22 January 2010. For further information about the award please ring Diane Butler on 01992 564365.

Keeping High Streets Clear as Freeze Deepens

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Older people, Residents, Travel, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

As temperatures remain below freezing, Essex County Council continues the battle to keep the district`s main roads free of ice and snow. Although not strictly part of its role, Epping Forest District Council is also helping by diverting staff and contractors from normal duties to grit heavily-used pedestrian areas.

The District Council is set to take delivery of another three tonnes of grit on Friday 8 January 2010, supplementing supplies already being used in town and shopping centres, car parks and sheltered housing schemes for older people.

District Council staff gritted the most heavily-used pedestrian areas in Epping High Street 7 January 2010

Picture caption – Epping Forest District Council staff gritted the most heavily-used pedestrian areas in Epping High Street 7 January 2010.

Councillor Mary Sartin, Environment Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council said: Although Essex County Council Highways is responsible for gritting, we are working well in partnership. District Council grounds maintenance staff and street cleaners employed by our contractor Sita are supporting the County efforts on the roads by targeting the most heavily-used pedestrian areas of the district.

It is hard work but our teams are doing all they can, shovelling snow to the sides of pavements and laying down salt. They can`t do every path and pavement, we don`t have enough people. It is very low-tech but is of great benefit to high street businesses and local residents in need of shopping supplies during the freeze.

Staff are also gritting local pay and display car parks. Earlier this week Councillors agreed in principle to hold Pay and Display car park charges at current levels for another year and maintain free parking in the Council`s Long Stay Car Parks on Saturdays. Councillor Sartin said: It is another example of our commitment to supporting residents and local businesses.

Snow Disruption to Refuse and Recycling

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Older people, Recycling and waste, Residents, Travel, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Severe weather continues to cause disruption to the Council`s waste and recycling collection services. Today should have seen waste and recycling collections for Abridge, Chigwell and Waltham Abbey. However, despite the best efforts of our refuse and recycling contractors, it has not been possible to collect from a large number of roads.

For some residents this means storing large volumes of waste including the extra waste generated in the Christmas holiday period. Residents are requested to place all waste at the normal collection point. Due to the exceptional circumstances the Council will collect any side waste (this is waste placed next to your normal wheelie bin).

For as long as access is difficult and until the weather improves we will use all available resources to collect as much waste as we can. Once the weather improves and normal operations commence we will prioritise collections and collect from those properties that have been waiting the longest for a collection.

The Council apologises for this continued disruption to normal waste and recycling services. Residents have been very understanding and co-operative during this difficult period and this is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Staff Donate Presents for Children in Refuge

Written on . Posted in Community, Young people, Your community, Your council

Staff at Epping Forest District Council are hoping to make this Christmas a happier occasion for children living in local refuges, by donating presents to them.

Council staff have generously spent their own money and time to buy and wrap gifts for children of all ages. The charity Women`s Aid will provide refuge for around 80 women and 130 children in Harlow and Broxbourne this Christmas after fleeing domestic violence.

Staff donate presents to Claire Cochran

Picture caption – Julie Barnard, Shirley Milton, Pauline Carter and Helen Pradun from the Environment and Street Scene Directorate handing gifts donated by Council staff to Claire Cochran from Women`s Aid.

Claire Cochran from Women`s Aid said: Living in a refuge is never easy and Christmas can be particularly difficult. Rates of domestic violence rise around the festive period, often leading to more families seeking refuge. We want to ensure children have the best time possible at Christmas but have to rely on the generosity of others.

Julie Barnard, from the Environment and Street Scene Directorate organised the collection of gifts at the Council. She said: Women`s Aid provides a vital service for many families, especially at this time of year. I`m very pleased so many members of staff have shown their support by providing presents for these children and would like to thank all those who have been so generous.

Chairman Opens Nazeing Play Area

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, Democracy, Media, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Local children celebrated the launch of a second refurbished playground in Nazeing on Tuesday 3 November 2009.

Councillor Penny Smith opens the play area

Picture caption – Chairman of Council, Councillor Penny Smith cuts the ribbon and opens the play area in Nazeing with local councillors, local children and Council staff.

The new play facilities at Elizabeth Close were funded via the BIG Lottery Children`s Play Programme to the value of £49,000. Funding was secured by Epping Forest District Council`s Community Development Team, who subsequently worked closely with the landowners Nazeing Parish Council, to bring about the much- needed playground improvement scheme.

Councillors and local children on the new play equipment

Picture caption – Councillors, local children, parents and Council staff on the new play equipment.

The new facility was opened by the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Penny Smith, who congratulated everyone involved in the project including local children, parents and Council staff from Community Development.

Councillors and local children by the new play equipment

Picture caption – Councillors, local children, parents and Council staff by the entrance to the new play area.

Presentation of Football Kit

Written on . Posted in Community, Our activities, Residents, Sports, Young people, Your community

Ivy Chimneys School in Epping has been presented with the football kit and football supplies won for them by one of their pupils. At a special assembly on 6 November 2009 the new kit was presented to the winner of the football badge competition, Arabella Moore.

Arabella Moore presented with the new kit in front of the school assembly

Picture caption – Chairman of Council Councillor Penny Smith and Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder Councillor Brian Rolfe present competition winner Arabella Moore with her football kit at a special assembly at Ivy Chimneys School.

Chairman of Epping Forest District Council Councillor Penny Smith attended the assembly to present the brand new kit. Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder Councillor Brian Rolfe and the women and girl`s Football Development Officer from the Essex County Football Association Emma Burden were also in attendance.

School children across Epping Forest district were invited to design a badge for the new women`s football club – the Davenant Diamonds – that Epping Forest District Council and the Essex FA set up last year.

Over 500 entries for the competition were submitted. The standard of the badge designs were extremely high but Arabella`s simple design of a diamond placed on a pink background, featuring the team`s name, was chosen as the winner.