Lambourne Pupils Impress at Civic Offices

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

If the recent visit to the Civic Offices by a class of year 6 children from Lambourne Primary School is anything to go by then the future of the Epping Forest district is a bright one. The pupils aged 10 and 11 came to the Civic Offices to learn about local government and to make a presentation to the Chairman of Council, Councillor Anne Grigg and other Councillors.

Showing no fear when it came to speaking to an audience, all of the children were confident in delivering their lines. They presented work that they have been doing on the subject of democracy and told the Chairman of the mock-elections that they have recently held at their school.

Pupils from Lambourne Primary School with Chairman of Council, Cllr Anne Grigg and other Councillors

Following the presentation the pupils had the chance to grill the councillors on topics of their choosing. Questions ranged from those about the Councillors individual achievements to more general matters relating to unemployment and housing in the district. One pupil even had the courage to ask whether there were too many councillors in the Epping Forest District!

The day finished with a viewing of the district from the top of the Civic Offices Tower and the presentation of a goody bag to each pupil from the Chairman of Council, Councillor Anne Grigg.

Addressing the pupils Councillor Grigg said: “On behalf of Epping Forest District Council, I’d like to thank you all for coming. I’ve really enjoyed listening to your excellent presentation which you’ve made today with real enthusiasm. You’ve shown that Epping Forest can be optimistic about its future.”

Councillor Brian Rolfe Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder added: “As a councillor for the Lambourne Ward I’d like to add how proud I am personally for what you’ve done today. A very well done to you all.”

Chairman Opens Lottery Funded Playground

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, Democracy, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Children from Lambourne Primary School celebrated the opening of a new playground in Abridge on Tuesday 6 July 2010.

The new facilities at the Pancroft Ring in Abridge benefited from a complete refurbishment using money secured from the Big Lottery Children`s Play Programme Fund. It is the result of a collaborative venture between Epping Forest District Council and Lambourne Parish Council.

Chairman Anne Grigg opens the new playground with pupils from Lambourne Primary School

The Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Mrs Anne Grigg cut the ribbon marking the official opening of the new playground. The Chairman congratulated everyone involved in the project, particularly the local children and young people who helped design the area.

She praised the partnership working between the Council`s Community Development Team, Housing staff and Parish Council representatives, all of which ensured that an excellent facility was installed. Asking the children if they liked their new playground, she was rewarded with cheers of agreement.

Abridge is one of three areas to benefit from improvement to playgrounds by Epping Forest District Council using £243,000 of Big Lottery funding.

Ninefields Community Centre Receives a Facelift

Written on . Posted in Community, Older people, Our activities, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community

The new-look Ninefields Community Centre, on Ninefields Estate, Waltham Abbey, incorporating a new art sculpture and entrance refurbishment, was officially unveiled on Wednesday 16 June 2010 by Epping Forest District Council`s Chairman, Councillor Anne Grigg.

Just over a year ago, Epping Forest District Council`s Community Services Department set up an activity club following a consultation exercise that identified there was a clear need for youth provision on the estate. As a result, the `We Don`t Do Bored Club was established for young people. One of their first projects was to work with local artist Phillip Melling, who captured their ideas within the 2D art sculpture design.

Chairman Cllr Anne Grigg and children at the Ninefields Community Centre

Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder, Councillor Brian Rolfe said: “The project is a result of partnership working between Epping Forest District Council, Waltham Abbey Town Council, Essex Criminal Justice Board and Abbey Youth FC and without the support and enthusiasm from the local community this project would never have been possible.”

“It is great to see the improved appearance of the Ninefields Community Centre and to be able to witness the wide range of activities that take place there for both young and old,” commented Valerie Goodchild, Communications Manager for Essex Criminal Justice Board.

“We were very pleased to be able to support this refurbishment project with funds from the Community Cashback scheme, which uses the cash and assets seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act to benefit local communities. It was one of four projects in Essex to benefit from £130,000 of cash from crime.” she added.

The sculpture and entrance refurbishment projects were first commissioned in December 2009, after the Criminal Justice Board`s Community Cashback scheme awarded the project £16,500 to improve the look of the community centre. Phase 1 of the project saw a new entrance, shutter and sign installed and phase 2 saw the installation of the 2D art sculpture that has proved a hit with the local community.

Core Strategy Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report

Written on . Posted in Community, Local plan / planning our future, Older people, Residents, Young people, Your community, Your environment

Epping Forest District Council`s Forward Planning Team is in the initial stages of preparing a Core Strategy for the district. This is the key new planning policy document which will look ahead to 2031 and eventually replace the Local Plan.

All new planning policy documents need to be subject to ` Sustainability Appraisal `. This is an assessment of the likely economic, environmental and social effects of the new policies. The Sustainability Appraisal provides information to help judge whether the new policies are the most appropriate for the district and whether changes should be made.

In preparing the Sustainability Appraisal (SA), its scope and level of detail need to be agreed before it is used to assess issues, options and policies. This stage produces the `Scoping Report`, which should include:

  • An initial list of the economic, environmental and social issues
  • Other plans, programmes and objectives relevant to the Core Strategy (eg, East of England Plan, Local Transport Plan, Biodiversity Action Plan and the plans and programmes of the Primary Care Trust and the Education Authority)
  • Up to date sources of information on all the issues, either already collected or still needed, with notes on potential problems of collection
  • Proposals for the structure and level of detail of the SA report

It is a statutory requirement to hold a period of consultation on the scope of the Sustainability Appraisal, the purpose of which is to ensure that all the relevant issues and concerns have been included.

The consultation period is from 17 May to 18 June 2010. Queries should be directed to the Forward Planning Team on 01992 564517, or to

Iolanthe by Gilbert and Sullivan

Written on . Posted in Business, Local business, Older people, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Young people

Chapel End Savoy Players will be presenting Iolanthe, one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s best-loved operas from Wednesday 19 May to Saturday 22 May 2010.

The full costumed performances with orchestra, are being presented at the Deaton Theatre in Forest School, Oakhurst Gardens, Snaresbrook, London E17 3PY. The show will start each evening at 7:45pm, and the Saturday matinee at 2:30pm.

All tickets for Wednesday night, which is a Preview Performance, are £5. Tickets for all other nights are £10 and for the Saturday matinee are £8. 10% discount for 10 tickets or more. Tickets are also available at the door on the night. The venue has disabled facilities.

    To buy tickets you can:

  1. Telephone the Box Office on 020 8527 0215 or 020 8529 3143
  2. Email
  3. Or buy them at the door on the night

For further information visit the Chapel End Savoy Players (CESP) website.

Loughton School Wins Pantathlon

Written on . Posted in Community, Local business, Loughton, Residents, Supporting business, Young people, Your area, Your community

Oak View school in Loughton represented West Essex School Sports Partnership (SSP) at the South Essex Panathlon Challenge for the first time and won.

Thanks to a partnership between Epping Forest District Council`s Sport and Health Development Team, The West Essex School Sports Partnership and The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, the young people at Oak View School were able to enter the competition for the first time and also received a term of coaching in preparation for the event from a qualified Tottenham Hotspur Foundation coach.

Members of Oak View School Pantathlon Team

The aim was to enter a team to represent West Essex for the first time to give participants the experience of performing in a large-scale event. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the school`s staff, the coaches and the children themselves, the team surpassed all expectations winning the semi-final and qualifying for the final which will take place on 1 July.

Panathlon Challenge is a day of competition with various sports specifically designed to be more appropriate for young disabled people. Panathlon runs nationally and will have around 2,500 young disabled people in different sports with a range of abilities competing in various locations around the country in 2010. Approximately 200 young disabled Essex sportsmen and women took part with much enthusiasm and great skill.

Oakview School in Loughton, part of the West Essex SSP won their first ever Panathlon event on 26 April at the Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre in Chelmsford. Lakeside Thurrock team (Beacon Hill) qualified for the final also and will meet Harlow Fields and Southview School (NW Essex) in the final on 1 July.

British Youth Council Rally

Written on . Posted in Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community

Through a General Election Manifesto created by the British Youth Council (BYC), Epping Forest Youth Councillors are showing society they care by letting MPs and Prospective Parliamentary Candidates know exactly what they want.

Seven members of the Epping Forest Youth Council joined 200 young people at a rally in London in February to launch the Manifesto `Our Parliament, and Our Vision`. They told leaders, journalists and supporters what the five most important actions that the next Parliament must take on their behalf are as follows:

  • Support a National Youth Transport Card that offers 16 to 25 year olds a third off public transport fares. Young people should be empowered to access education, training, employment and positive leisure activities through low-carbon public transport.
  • Reduce the voting age for parliamentary and other public elections to 16 years. 16 and 17 year olds should be able to elect MPs whose decisions affect their lives and responsibilities, since they can pay Income Tax, get married and have consenting sex and join the armed forces.
  • Create an equal National Minimum Wage for everyone aged over 16. Workers paid the adult rate of the Minimum Wage earn over £300 more for a month`s work than colleagues aged 16 to 17 doing the same job.
  • Keep the promise to end child poverty by 2020. Young people want Parliament to ensure the Government stays on course to meet its legal targets to tackle the causes and consequences of child poverty in the UK over the coming decade.
  • Invest in comprehensive mental health services for young people. Young people are asking for more accessible, age-appropriate and youth-friendly care and support for 16 to 25 year olds with mental health problems.

Youth Councillor Connor LattimerTwo hundred and fifty young representatives from around the UK debated and voted for the five proposals to be shortlisted, from over 600 online submissions. These are featured in `Our Parliament, Our Vision`. After the launch, Epping Forest Youth Councillor for Moreton Connor Lattimer pledged his support at He invites other Epping Forest District young people to sign up, organise local debates and get the message across at their local school, college or youth group.

The three Honorary Presidents of the British Youth Council “ Jo Swinson MP, Nigel Evans MP and Natascha Engel MP “ are backing the Manifesto and have called on other Parliamentarians to follow their lead and sign up. They have written in its support:

We believe this initiative will inspire young people across the UK to campaign locally, engage with the politics of the General Election and work together for positive change in their communities. We call on all those looking to represent their constituencies as a Member of Parliament to use this Manifesto to inspire debate with young people in their local areas. We cannot afford to miss this chance to breathe fresh air into our democracy.

BYC Chair Alex Delaney, who is leading the `Our Parliament, Our Vision` campaign, hopes the launch will make quite an impression. She says: Our vision is for young people to have a say and be heard. This manifesto has proved that young people are not hard to engage in active discussion about important political issues, they are just easy to ignore.

Teenagers are struggling to meet travel costs for education, training or work; young workers are being paid unequal wages just because of their age; four million children are living in poverty; the needs of young people with mental health problems are not being met; young people are not heard in our democracy.

Young Citizen of the Year 2010 – Tom Peters

Written on . Posted in Civic events, Democracy, Media, Young people, Your council

The Young Citizen of the Year comes from Chigwell. He is 17 years of age, a keen sportsman, a member of Upper Clapton Rugby Club and working toward the Level 1 Football Association Coaching Certificate.

Our winner is a volunteer, working with the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and Epping Forest District Council at the Limes Farm Social Inclusion Project in Chigwell. Young people need positive role models and our Young Citizen of the Year is among the finest examples.

Tom Peters with Chairman Penny Smith

He is an inspiration to the young people he works with, respected and admired. Through voluntary community work he has found a fulfilling vocation he intends to develop and sustain, having recently applied to work with the Children`s Charity, Barnardos and pursue a career as a youth worker supporting some of the most vulnerable young people in our society.

When asked how he would spend the £100 prize money attached to his award, he said the football club needs some extra equipment or it could be put towards a youth day out.

There were 8 nominations received for the Epping Forest Young Citizen of the Year. The judges awarded three high commendations to 17 year olds Samantha Saville, a student at Epping Forest College and member of Loughton Centre for Young People, O`Shea Marguerite, a former Waltham Forest College student and member of Limes Farm Youth Centre and eleven year old Billy Millham from West Hatch School in Chigwell.

Cabinet Spotlight on Child Protection

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Leader, Meetings, Residents, Young people, Your community, Your council

The Cabinet meeting that took place on 8 March 2010 saw child protection proposals come under the spotlight as well as discussion on recycling and health.

Watch the webcastView the webcast of the Cabinet Meeting 8 March 2010

District Council seeks reassurance on Child Protection

Councillor Brian Rolfe, Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder introduced Mr Roger Bullen of Essex County Council to present a report on the Essex Children`s Trust Memorandum of Agreement.

Councillor Mitch Cohen questioned Mr Bullen closely on the purposes of the Memorandum. He explored the levels of independence Epping Forest District Council would retain to control its own policies and procedures in relation to children`s services.
Mr Bullen sought to reassure Councillors that the Memorandum would underpin the statutory obligations of the Essex Children`s Trust, rather than form an overarching influence.

Councillor Lesley Wagland, the Council`s elected representative on the West Essex Children`s Trust Board also expressed concerns. She drew comparison with Epping Forest District Council`s own policies and procedures particularly in relation to Safeguarding, which have been independently identified as `Best Practice`. Councillor Wagland felt that from a legal perspective, the Memorandum of Agreement as written was not specific enough in terms of expectations or requirements, leaving room for different interpretations by the various partners.

Councillor Ann Haigh, Chairman of the previous Children and Young People`s Strategic Partnership (CYPSP) echoed many of Councillor Wagland`s concerns and emphasised the need to place the safeguarding of children first. Councillor Haigh also drew attention to the needs of smaller areas within the context of the overall requirements of West Essex. Councillor Haigh felt the Memorandum was premature and supported Councillor Wagland`s call not to support the document as currently worded.

Councillor Chris Whitbread suggested the document should not be signed at this time. Rather he felt that the good practice identified by independent audit at Epping Forest District Council should be examined more closely by Overview and Scrutiny to see how it might be taken forward. In the meantime, the District Council would assure Essex County Council that it would meet its legislative requirements and continue to work in partnership, while seeking assurances from Essex County Council towards enhancements of children`s services across the County.

Free recycling for schools, halls and places of worship

Free recycling services are to be extended to schools, village halls and religious services at places of worship. Epping Forest District Council`s Cabinet agreed to support the extension of free recycling across the district, mirroring similar services already available on household recycling collections from residents. Councillor Mary Sartin, Environment Portfolio Holder recommended the report to Cabinet.

Commercial businesses continue to be liable for charges for the collection of `trade waste`.

Health Service Consultation

Councillor Ken Angold-Stephens reported to members on the latest North East London health service consultation. He outlined a number of concerns expressed at Overview and Scrutiny Committee including funding and mental health services. Members were also unhappy at the uneven spread of consultation across the southern area of the district.

Watch the webcast

View the Overview and Scrutiny presentation and debate

Sports Bursary Winner – Emma Hollis

Written on . Posted in Civic events, Community, Democracy, Media, Our activities, Residents, Sports, Young people, Your council

Emma Hollis, a young lady from Theydon Bois, is no stranger to the Council or to our local newspapers. She is making the headlines as one of our top hopes for a swimming medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Three years ago she was a recipient of a small sports bursary, receiving £500 towards her training and competition costs.

Now aged 18 and studying for her A-levels at Chigwell School, our Sports Bursary winner trains six evenings and two mornings each week. A member of Epping Forest District Swimming Club at Loughton Leisure Centre, she is a British record holder in the S8 400 metre Individual Medley, the S8 50 metre and S8 100 metre Breaststroke.

Chairman Penny Smith with Emma Hollis

Small bursaries can be a wise investment in our young people. This year, three smaller sports awards will also be made. One of £500 to Emma`s younger brother James who is also a swimmer. Another to Charlie Collins to develop his martial arts skills in Karate and the third to cyclist Edward Bird, each of whom will receive £250.