Chairman Opens Nazeing Play Area

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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

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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.

New Youth Councillors Welcomed

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The newly-elected Epping Forest Youth Council has been formally welcomed. On Monday 19 October 2009, a special event was held at the Civic offices, Epping to introduce the elected Youth Councillors to each other and to the current District Councillors.

The new Councillors were asked to say why they wanted to join the Youth Council and here’s what they had to say …

23 new youth councillors with Council representatives

Chairman of Epping Forest District Council Councillor Penny Smith made a speech to welcome and congratulate the new Youth Councillors on their successful election campaigns. She said: I recommend joining in as much as you can. I hope very much you will take great interest learning about how local democracy actually happens.

Councillor Smith went on to say: Enjoy taking part – your experiences over the next two years will certainly improve the quality of your own personal development as you convene in this Chamber.

Councillor Penny Smith talks with Harrison Jardine and Haris DuherichCouncillor Penny Smith with new youth councillor Abigail Endean

Councillor Penny Smith shows Duncan Haslam and Connor Lattimer The Forester

In the last few months The Community Development Team and the Democratic Services Team from the District Council have supported five schools across the district to organise elections. The number of seats on the Youth Council has been increased from 17 to 23.

The 23 Epping Forest Youth Councillors

Many of the Council`s Portfolio Holders and Senior Officers were also in attendance at the welcome evening. Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Wellbeing Councillor Brian Rolfe said: The Youth Council has developed a number of successful projects over the last two years and has become a platform in which young people across the district can voice their opinions on issues important to them. I and the other Councillors look forward to working alongside the new Youth Council and seeing what can be achieved in the next two years.

Bakers Lane Car Park Improvements

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Bakers Lane Car Park in Epping is to be upgraded by Epping Forest District Council. The improvement works are due to start on Tuesday 9 November 2009 and will last for two weeks.

The upgrade works to be carried out consist of resurfacing the entire area of the car park, providing new improved surface drainage, improving the lighting and installing CCTV.

During the two weeks` work, 50 per cent of Bakers Lane Car Park will remain open. However, spaces will be limited to permit holders only. The work will begin on Tuesday so only one market day is affected, causing as little disruption to stallholders and their customers as possible.

A letter has been sent to all local residents and businesses close to this Car Park, providing details of the works due to be carried out and advising of the times they may be affected.

Cashback Success for Ninefields

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Ninefields Estate in Waltham Abbey has successfully been awarded funding from the Community Cashback Scheme. The Community Development Team at Epping Forest District Council submitted a bid back in August and asked local people to pledge their support.

Community Cashback is a new scheme launched by the National Criminal Justice Board to enable local people to have a say in how £4 million of recovered criminal assets, for example, confiscated cash or property, should be spent in their communities.

Members of the local community were encouraged to vote for the project online and various television and radio interviews were undertaken. Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Wellbeing Councillor Brian Rolfe said: It is a direct result of the fantastic amount of support registered by members of the local community that we were able to secure this funding. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who took the time to vote as the projects being planned will benefit the whole of the Ninefields community.

The funding secured will be used to improve the entrance to Ninefields Community Hall and facilitate a young people`s community art project, culminating in the production of a 3D sculpture for the front wall. Local young people will work with an artist to develop, design and consult publicly on the piece of artwork.

Grants for Talented Young People

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Epping Forest District Council is on the lookout for talented young people, encouraging applications for the Leisure Bursary Awards. There are two £1,500 awards available – one for the Arts and one for Sports. Applicants must be aged between 13 and 25 years old. They must live in the Epping Forest district and be able to demonstrate an outstanding talent for their activity.

The scheme is intended to help pay for additional opportunities to develop talent further and can be used for a variety of projects including purchasing specialist equipment or clothing, research projects, extra tuition / coaching, competition fees and travel. It covers both traditional and contemporary art-forms and all sports.

In recent years, Arts Bursary recipients have included a ballet dancer who received funding towards the cost of his training, a drama student taking her production to the National Student Drama Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe and a graphic artist purchasing equipment for her college course. Within the Sports category the Bursary funding helped towards training costs for a swimmer whose ambition is to qualify for the 2012 Paralympics and helped a cyclist purchase a bespoke bike.

You can get details and application forms from Lynne Hague by telephone on 01992 564551 or by email to lhague@eppingforestdc.gov.uk.

Closing date for applications is 29 January 2010, with interviews being held during the following fortnight.

Councillors Hit Streets with New Clean-up Teams

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Senior Councillors joined Epping Forest District Council`s Environment and Neighbourhood Officers (ENOs) on patrol in Ongar, Theydon Bois and Waltham Abbey last week. From small-scale littering to fly-tipping and graffiti, they saw some of the problems the new service has been set up to tackle.

Councillor Di Collins with ENOs at the Borough Car Park in Chipping Ongar

Picture caption – Councillor Di Collins, Leader of Epping Forest District Council with Richard Gardiner, Kevin Bagshaw and Richard Thomason (ENOs) at the Borough Car Park in Chipping Ongar

We have a beautiful district and the vast majority of our residents want us to keep it that way, said Councillor Di Collins, Leader of Epping Forest District Council. Unfortunately, there is a small minority that feels differently and it is a constant struggle to clean up after the fly-tippers, vandals and graffiti vandals. The introduction of our new Environment and Neighbourhood Officers along with the Environmental Response Unit will make a major contribution to tackling such problems.

Environment Portfolio Holder Councillor Mary Sartin accompanies ENOs on patrol in Waltham Abbey

Picture caption – Environment Portfolio Holder Councillor Mary Sartin accompanies Environment and Neighbourhood Officers John Heppell and Steve Anstiss on patrol in Waltham Abbey.

Plans for the new service were drawn up by Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Mary Sartin last year. With savings identified from efficiencies across other parts of the Council, £250,000 has been invested in the team and equipment. The new Environment and Neighbourhood Officers received their uniforms last month. With the highly-recognisable response vehicle and uniformed staff, Councillor Sartin hopes people will talk to the Officers on patrol to report problems.

She said: We want to be high profile and accessible so people will tell us where the problems are. The Environment and Neighbourhood Officers have a range of resources to call on and we aim to deal with them as quickly as possible.

Councillor Penny Smith with ENOs in Theydon Bois looking for evidence

Picture caption – Councillor Penny Smith in Theydon Bois with members of the Environment and Neighbourhood Team (Chris Smith, Richard Gardiner and Kevin Bagshaw) looking for evidence that could link dumped rubbish back to the fly-tippers.

Contractors such as Sita UK, the Council`s domestic waste collector can handle many jobs such as fly-tipping on highway land. The Environment and Neighbourhood Officers can also call upon contractors to remove graffiti. Many of the jobs are relatively small and can be completed quickly by the Council`s own Neighbourhood Response Officers, who can be seen around the District in their distinctive response vehicle. Councillor Penny Smith, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, met some members of the Team at the site of some fly-tipping near Theydon Bois. She said: Fly-tipping is a big problem for private landowners, too. They are often innocent victims who bear the cost of this anti-social behaviour. If the rubbish is dumped on their land, they have to pay for the cost of removal which seems unfair but is the law. I can`t understand the mentality of people who cause this kind of damage and cost to their fellow citizens. It is such a shame.

Councillor Smith said: Sometimes it is not immediately obvious who the landowner is and it can therefore take much longer to clear.

The Neighbourhood Response Officers and Environmental Response Vehicle are additional resources to help deal quickly with small, normally visible problems that are often difficult and time consuming to follow up, whilst the ENOs investigate, raise the issue with the landowner to try and prevent the problem recurring and pursue or educate offenders. ENOs have Community Safety Scheme Accreditation which means they can also require people to give them their names, issue fixed penalty notices and carry out investigations.

Councillor Smith added: Our Officers have a range of powers. Householders also need to make sure they employ reputable contractors. If our Environment and Neighbourhood Officers find evidence linking a fly-tip to you, expect them to ask you for evidence that you have acted reasonably. Remember, fly-tipping carries a fine of up to £50,000.

Councillor Smith concluded: We all want to keep our district clean and green. Please help us to succeed.

ENOs have Community Safety Scheme Accreditation

Picture caption – ENOs have Community Safety Scheme Accreditation which means they can also require people to give them their names, issue fixed penalty notices and carry out investigations.

    To contact the Environment and Neighbourhood Team:

  • call our dedicated reporting number on 01992 564500
  • email ess@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Outstanding Response In Youth Elections

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The Epping Forest Youth Council Elections has received an outstanding response from young people across the district. There are 37 candidates standing for just 25 available seats on the soon to be newly elected Youth Council.

All this week elections are being held in five separate secondary schools throughout the district. Pupils have the opportunity to select the candidates they feel would be the best to represent them and their school on The Youth Council and to provide a voice for them on current local issues affecting young people.

The schools holding elections include Chigwell School on 29 September, Braeside independent and Debden Park High on 30 September, Roding Valley School, Loughton and St John`s School, Epping on 2 October 2009.

Votes will be counted by Officers from Epping Forest District Council. Results of the successful elected 25 candidates are due to be announced at the meeting of the Council`s Cabinet on 12 October 2009 and will be made available on the Council website. This will be followed by a formal welcome reception at the Civic Offices, Epping, on 19 October 2009. Youth Councillors will have the opportunity to be introduced to each other as well as all the current District Councillors.

A two-day induction period has been organised for the new Youth Council on 28 and 29 October 2009 to support them whilst settling into their new role.

Limes Farm Multi Use Games Area Launched

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Young people celebrated the opening of the refurbished multi-use games area on Thursday 24 September 2009 at the Limes Farm Estate in Chigwell.

Chairman Penny Smith, Councillor Brian Rolfe with young people and staff at the new games area

Epping Forest District Council`s Community Development Team had secured funding of £40K from the BIG Lottery Children`s Play Programme to undertake the improvement project. State of the art rebound fencing, new basketball ends, football goals and tennis nets, along with a bright new playing surface have all been provided as part of the scheme.

The new games area provides the perfect location from which to deliver the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation Social Inclusion Project, which has been developed by the Council`s Sports Development Team, with multi-sport sessions running during the evenings for local young people. During the day the community games area is used by Limes Farm Junior School ensuring that the facility is well used at all times.

Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder, Brian Rolfe said: By securing Lottery funding the Council has been able to provide a first class facility for Limes Farm, in particular, local children and young people. Following the success of the new playground installed last year, we were delighted to support further investment as part of our commitment to the local community.

A visit by Penny Smith, Chairman of the Council, marked the launch event, which involved young people being treated to a football free-style display from the legendary Billy Wingrove from Tottenham Hotspur Foundation. Youngsters then tried their hand at a variety of sports on offer, including tennis tuition provided by Chigwell Tennis Club.

Waltham Abbey Sports Centre Future Discussed

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Officers from Epping Forest District Council held a meeting with the Acting Head of King Harold School in Waltham Abbey, the Chair of Governors and a member of the Kemnall Trust on 17 September 2009, to discuss the future of sports facilities. Epping Forest District Council is withdrawing from the management of the sports centre in January 2010 when the present joint use agreement finishes.

The meeting proved to be positive and productive with the Council`s exit strategy and future proposals of the school being discussed. King Harold School is hoping to make the facility available to clubs and groups to continue community use. The council will assist by supplying contact details of all past and present bookings so that the school can make contact as soon as possible and arrange continued usage after 18 January 2010.

Epping Forest District Council has offered the assistance of its Community and Cultural Services team, as sports development and arts activities may be able to take place in the school holidays.

The ownership of operational equipment and future requirements was also discussed and principles agreed. The aim of both the school and the council is to enable continued future use of the facility by the school and community. Details will now be completed and recommendations made for Councillors to consider.

Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder, Councillor Brian Rolfe said: Both parties agree that the sports facility and the school should be at the heart of the community and therefore I am pleased that there is a way forward and a positive position has now been found from the situation. A decision by Council Members on whether to add a sports hall extension to Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool is due shortly and if agreed, more sports opportunities will be available in the area than at present.