First workshop FREE with BEST Growth Hub

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

Calling all start ups and established businesses in Epping Forest!

You can access one of BEST Growth Hub’s training events for FREE in the month of January, with a cost of £10 for each course thereafter. Their programme of training events could help you start or expand and grow your own business.

BEST Growth Hub

What is BEST Growth Hub?

BEST Growth Hub is a free business support service for Essex businesses looking to start up or expand and grow and has a programme of business skills workshops and training events for local businesses.

Training events in Epping Forest

Alternative sources of Finance

  • 11 January 2018, 9:30 – 12:30
  • Epping Forest College, Borders Lane, Loughton, IG10 3SA
  • £10/first workshop FREE

Securing business finance and investment

  • 11 January 2018, 13:30 – 16:30
  • Epping Forest College, Borders Lane, Loughton, IG10 3SA
  • £10/first workshop FREE

Getting results from your meetings

  • 16 January 2018, 9:30 – 12:30
  • Ongar Innovation Centre, Fyfield Rd, Ongar, CM5 0AW
  • £10/first workshop FREE

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – Are you compliant?

  • 25 January 2018, 9:30 – 12:30
  • Epping Forest College, Borders Lane, Loughton, IG10 3SA
  • £10/first workshop FREE

Access your FREE workshop

If you would like to attend, please email and use the code “Jan18FREE” to book your first workshop for FREE.

Other courses

Six steps to E-Commerce Success

The Department for International Trade (DIT) are hosting a FREE intensive and interactive one day masterclass which introduces you to the essential six steps in preparing your company for e-commerce success.

  • 18 January 2018, 9:30 – 15:00
  • Manor of Groves, High Wych, Sawbridgeworth, CM21 0JT
  • FREE

Is ‘exporting’ your goal in 2018?

The DIT are also hosting workshops in early 2018 covering the Essentials of Exporting.

Experts in Market Research and Export Strategy, E-Commerce Digital Marketing and Finance for Export will give short, snapshot presentations that will be followed by round table sessions giving you the opportunity to share knowledge with like-minded delegates and to discover the many export opportunities that await you.

  • Friday 16 March 2010, 9:00 – 12:30
  • The Stansted Centre, Parsonage Road, Takeley, CM22 6PU
  • Cost £18

Further information

New proposals for housing in Epping Forest

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Democracy, Epping, Housing, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your money

Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet has agreed a range of exciting new proposals for housing in the Epping Forest District, setting out the council’s vision for rented, social and affordable housing in the area for the next five years.

Housing Strategy


The proposals include:

  • Continuing with the Council’s Housebuilding Programme, providing more than 300 new homes over the next ten years
  • Setting out how the Council will try to reduce homelessness and deal with homeless people
  • The approach to be taken to the provision of affordable housing – including both rented housing and shared ownership (“part rent – part buy”)
  • A review and provision of supported housing for older and vulnerable people, such as sheltered housing
  • Explaining how the Council will help people living in the private sector, including those with empty homes, and try to help improve the conditions of such homes

These and many other important proposals are included in the Council’s new Housing Strategy 2017 – 2022.

Strategy plays crucial role

Councillor Syd Stavrou, Portfolio Holder for Housing said: “The new Housing Strategy has a crucial role in ensuring that the varying housing needs of our residents are met. We want to work with our partners and residents to improve the quantity, quality and access to housing in Epping Forest, ensuring the district is a great place to live, work and do business.”

Action to overcome challenges

The Housing Strategy sets out the housing-related challenges the district faces and identifies the actions the Council will take to overcome these challenges. This takes the form of an annual key action plan which will be updated every year, with progress continually monitored over the five year period.

Further information

Have a say in how your community is policed?

Written on . Posted in Community, Consultation, Councillors, Crime and safety, Emergencies, Media, Meetings, Older people, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community

Essex Police is looking for members to join a new Epping Forest and Brentwood Independent Advisory Group (IAG). It is an opportunity for somebody to act as a ‘critical friend’ to play an important part in ensuring Essex Police consults with, and understand the views of, the Epping Forest community.

Essex Police IAG leaflet

Share your expertise and experience

“If you know your community well and can think strategically, why not share your expertise and experience to help Essex Police make policing decisions in the Epping Forest district,” asks Councillor Sam Kane, Epping Forest District Council’s safer, greener and transport portfolio holder.

“The IAG will play an important part in ensuring Essex Police consults with our community, reviewing police work practices to help Essex Police better understand how its processes and policies affect our different communities.” said Councillor Sam Kane.

“The first meeting of the Epping Forest and Brentwood IAG is at Zinc Arts in Ongar on Tuesday 16 January 2018, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. If you’re motivated, enthusiastic, able to communicate in a calm, constructive manner, and want to ensure the views of your community are heard, come along and tell Essex Police how their services are being perceived by our communities.”

Are you interested?

If you’re interested in shaping the way policing is delivered in Essex and ensuring your community has a voice, download an application form from or email for more information.

Full details can be found on the Essex Police website.

Access a range of services over Christmas

Written on . Posted in Abandoned vehicles, Animal welfare, Arts, Benefits, Buckhurst Hill, Business, Business rates, Chigwell, Community, Council tax, Crime and safety, Environmental health, Epping, Food safety, Health, Housing, Housing repairs, Local business, Loughton, Museum, Noise, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Parking, Playschemes, Recycling and waste, Residents, Sports, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Our building may be closed from 5pm on Friday 22 December 2017 until 9am Tuesday 2 January 2018, but we are still providing a wide range of services by phone and online throughout the Christmas break.

Self serve online

Contact us

Non emergency

You can report missed bin collections, noise complaints, fly tipping, fraud, abandoned vehicles online


If you need to report an emergency, please contact us on the below details.

  • Call 01992 564199 for housing related emergencies (loss of power, blockages, uncontainable leaks, if you are locked out of your home)
  • Call 01992 564000 for all other emergency enquiries

Your call will connect to the Mears support desk which will be manned 24/7 until the offices reopen on Tuesday 2 January 2018.

Social media

We will be able to assist you through the council’s social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook from 9am until 9pm every day throughout the Christmas period.

Pay for it

You are able to pay your council tax, rent, business rates and leasehold charges via the online payment portal and by phone 24/7.

  • Pay online
  • Pay by phone 01992 564600
  • The Debden Broadway cash office will close at 4:30pm on Friday 22 December 2017 and reopen 9am on Tuesday 2 January 2018
  • The payment kiosks in the civic offices, Epping will close at 4:40pm on Friday 22 December 2017 and reopen at 9am on Tuesday 2 January 2018
  • The payment kiosk in Waltham Abbey library is subject to Waltham Abbey library opening hours

Benefit payments revised dates

2 scheduled Benefit payments will be made earlier than usual over the Christmas period.

  • Payments due on 25 December 2017 will be made on Friday 22 December 2017
  • Payments due on 1 January 2018 will be made on Wednesday 27 December 2017

Please remember that the period until the next payment will be slightly longer because it will revert to the original schedule.

Apply for it

Apply for planning permission, building regulations, council housing, licensing, jobs applications and more online. Applications made throughout this time will be processed when the offices reopen on Tuesday 2 January 2018.

Waste and recycling

Revised collections

  • Collections due Tuesday 26 December 2017 will be collected on Wednesday 27 December 2017
  • Collections due Wednesday 27 December 2017 will be collected on Thursday 28 December 2017
  • Collections due Thursday 28 December 2017 will be collected on Friday 29 December 2017
  • Collections due Friday 29 December 2017 will be collected on Saturday 30 December 2017

Your usual collection dates will resume on Tuesday 2 January 2018.

Recycling REAL Christmas trees

Leave your real Christmas trees with your food and garden waste throughout January 2018.

Remove the pot, all decorations and if over 6ft, cut in half to ensure safe collection. We are unable to recycle your fake Christmas trees, so please leave us real trees only!

Special collections

Our special collections service will close at 5pm on Friday 22 December 2017 and will resume at 9am on 2 January 2018.

Lost or found dogs

If you have lost or found a dog within the area, please contact us on the below number. Calls are monitored and handled by the Waltham Forest dog team.

  • Call 07815 512833

Car parks

Free weekend parking in December! All of our car parks are free on weekends throughout December and bank holidays.

Epping Forest District Museum

Epping Forest District Museum is closed from 4pm on Friday 22 December 2017 and reopens 10am on Tuesday 2 January 2018.

5K in grants given to voluntary and community groups

Written on . Posted in Arts, Business, Community, Grants, Health, Local business, Media, Older people, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Supporting business, Uncategorized, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

5 local community and voluntary groups have been awarded £4,860 in grants to improve the social and physical wellbeing of the districts residents and are a great opportunity to help others in our community

Grant aid banner

Grants awarded to

  • Loughton Broadway Town Partnership
    £1500 for defibrillator to be installed on Loughton Broadway for community use
  • Loughton High Road Town Centre Partnership
    £1000 for defibrillator to be installed on Loughton High Road for community use.
  • Ongar Town Football Club
    £235 for football equipment to support the members of the club and visitors.
  • Larsens Bowling Club
    £625 for bowling equipment to encourage young people to participate in the sport.
  • Roydon Playing Fields Management Association
    £1,540 to support their transporting service which supports older people.

Grants up to £5,000 available

Could your community group use funding to help the social and physical wellbeing of the districts residents?

If yes, apply now for a grant towards projects to improve facilities, equipment purchases, capital projects and new initiatives.

Grants up to £5,000 are available to

  • Local voluntary and community groups
  • Sports clubs
  • Arts and culture groups
  • Trusts
  • Friendly societies
  • Social enterprises
  • Community interest groups

Who can apply?

Groups that apply must

  • Operate on a charitable or non-profit making basis
  • Be based, or are active, in the Epping Forest district
  • Demonstrate true local independence
  • Offer services and facilities to all eligible local residents
  • Have no unfair restrictions on membership or participation
  • Be able to show a clear need for financial support
  • Have a bank or building account under the name of the applicant organisation

Make your application today

Councillor Helen Kane, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder said: ”We really appreciate the hard work the voluntary and community sector does within the district.”

“In tough economic times the need for groups to receive funding and support is vital and it’s great to see how our grants can make a real difference to the residents of our community. If your group is eligible, don’t delay and make your application today.”

Make an application

  • Download an application form
  • Fill in an application
  • Attach your most recent bank statement, set of accounts, safeguarding policy and constitution
  • Submit the application to
  • Or by hard copy to Grant Aid Scheme, Epping Forest District Council, 25 Hemnall Street, Epping, CM16 4LU

More information

For further information on Grant Aid

Epping Forest Shopping Park open for Christmas

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Local business, Loughton, Media, Older people, Out and about, Supporting business, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

The new Epping Forest Shopping Park in Loughton is up and running and open for Christmas.

Epping Forest Shopping Park

Stores open

Stores open in time for Christmas are

The new shopping park at Langston Road in Loughton is owned by Epping Forest District Council. It’s a short walk from Debden tube station with over 300 parking bays including 10 charging points for electric vehicles. There’s cycle racks for 34 bikes as well.

A fantastic range of well-known and popular retailers

“I’m delighted to see our new shopping park open,” said Councillor Anne Grigg, Economic Development portfolio holder at Epping Forest District Council. “We’ve got a fantastic range of well-known and popular retailers, and for many it’s their first store to open in the Epping Forest district.”

“Analysis showed us 75% of local residents travelled out of the district to shop. Now the Epping Forest Shopping Park can plug that gap and residents can now shop locally at the stores they want.”

Epping Forest Shopping Park logo

New jobs for the local area

Councillor Grigg ended with: “The retail park not only provides new jobs for the local area, it’s rental income will be put back into local services, contributing to keeping Epping Forest District Council a low Council Tax council.”

Local Plan Council 14 December 2017

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chairman, Chigwell, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Councillors, Democracy, Energy efficiency, Epping, Gypsy and traveller, Leader, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Parking, Planning, Private housing, Residents, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

District councillors approved publication of the submission version of the Local Plan at a special meeting of Epping Forest District Council on 14 December. The decision paves the way for the start of Regulation 19, a six week period during which residents and other interested parties can comment on the legal soundness of the plan before submission to the government at the end of March.

Development within Epping Forest District up to 2033

The Local Plan contains policies for development within Epping Forest District up to 2033. It includes the designation of areas for housing, employment and the Metropolitan Green Belt.

Publication of the submission version of the Local Plan was accelerated after the Secretary of State Sajid Javid warned councils to expect government intervention and significant additional housing allocations where Local Plans are not in place. Epping Forest District could see the number of new homes almost doubled if it did not submit its plan for inspection by a government-appointed inspector by the end of March 2018.

Invitation of submissions

Councillors agreed the Plan and the invitation of submissions on legality, soundness and the duty to co-operate with neighbouring councils for a six week period commencing 18 December.

The Plan and a special form designed to assist residents make submissions will be available to complete from 12pm Monday on the Epping Forest District Council website. A printable pdf version of the form will also be available to download. Reference copies of the Local Plan and associated documents will also be available to view at the following locations:

  • Epping Forest District Council, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping
  • Epping Forest District Council, 25 Hemnall Street, Epping
  • Epping Forest District Council Loughton Broadway Housing Office
  • Epping Forest District Council Limes Centre Chigwell
  • Epping Sports Centre
  • Loughton Leisure Centre
  • Ongar Leisure Centre
  • Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool
  • Buckhurst Hill Library
  • Chigwell Library
  • Chipping Ongar Library
  • Epping Library
  • Loughton Library
  • North Weald Library
  • Waltham Abbey Library

Final representations must be received no later than 5pm on Monday 29 January 2018.

One month left to apply for the 2018 Creativity Award

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Loughton, Museum, Ongar, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your community

Applications are open for a single award of up to £1,000, to every young person in the district, aged between 13 and 25 years.

Creativity Award 2017

We want to support you

If you have a talent or interest in the arts, culture and heritage, we want to support you and develop your skills.

The award is open to individuals and groups with a minimum of 3 people who are looking for support for their creative activity. A group can already be established (i.e. art clubs, theatre groups, choirs or orchestras) or have formed especially to apply for this funding.

The award is open to heritage projects and other young people’s programmes through our museum service.

Leisure and Community service portfolio holder Councillor Helen Kane said: “The Creativity Award is a great opportunity for young creatives to develop their craft”.

“Developing talent at a young age can be costly, so we are looking to help lighten the load. If this sounds like something a group or individual you know would benefit from, or even you, don’t delay make an application”.

Make an application

Applicants are required to show their commitment to their area of interest and explain how the award will help develop their talent. They must be able to demonstrate they are actively pursuing their interest through volunteering, education, exhibition or performance.

To apply, or for more information, visit

The deadline for applications is 12am on Friday 5 January 2018.

December fun thanks to the Lottery

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Loughton, Media, Museum, Older people, Ongar, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community

Epping Forest District Museum and Lowewood Museum will be offering a 10% discount in gift shops and Lowewood Museum’s refreshment area to National Lottery players.

EFD Museum

Come visit

Our museums are joining 350 National Lottery funded visitor attractions across the UK in saying ‘thanks’ to people who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket.

  • Where: Epping Forest District Museum, 39 – 41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL
  • When: Monday 11 – Saturday 16 December 2017
  • Opening times:
    Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday – 10am to 4pm
    Saturday – 10am to 5pm

Heritage Lottery Fund

Epping Forest District Museum has received £1,782,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The money paid for the recent redevelopment as well as a range of projects, enabling community engagement and collections acquisition.

Lowewood Museum has received £156,000 for exhibition and engagement projects including the restoration of the Pulham kiln site in Broxbourne.

Providing opportunities for communities

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “December is a wonderful time to experience the UK’s rich, diverse and exciting heritage, which has been transformed by more than £7bn National Lottery funding since 1994. This is a small gesture of thanks and a way of giving something back to the people who buy tickets.”

Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder, Councillor Helen Kane said: “Thanks to National Lottery players we’ve been able to provide a fantastic new museum offer in the Epping Forest District and the opportunities for our community to explore the heritage has been massively enriched.”

Terms and Conditions

  • One National Lottery ticket provides 10% off in the museum gift shop and refreshment area at Lowewood Museum.
  • All National Lottery games qualify for the offer, including tickets from any National Lottery draw based game or National Lottery Scratch card. Proof of ticket can be paper or digital.
  • The offer is valid on the days the museum is open between Monday 11 and Saturday 16 December. Epping Forest District Museum is open 10am to 4pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and from 10am to 5pm on Saturdays.
  • Only one ticket can be used per transaction.

For more information, visit:

Take part in No Borders

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Loughton, Museum, Older people, Ongar, Our attractions, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community

The Epping Forest District Museum is looking for individuals from ethnic backgrounds to tell their stories and share experiences.

EFD Museum

No borders

If you live or work in the Epping Forest District or Borough of Broxbourne and are of ethnic minority; we want you to share stories from your childhood, home or work-life and become part of our oral history collection.

Funded by Arts Council England, No Borders is in partnership with Epping Forest District, Lowewood and Chelmsford Museums and is part of the Arts Council’s England Resilient Museums Project.

How will it work?

The project will take place from January to March 2018.

A suitable time will be arranged to interview you. There will be the opportunity to take part in film and audio interviews, all interviews will become a part of either museum’s collection and be used in future exhibitions and events, promoting diversity and the changing demographics of the district.

Exciting opportunity

Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder Councillor Helen Kane said: “This Project ‘No Borders’ is an exciting opportunity for our community, to learn from one another and be more inclusive.

If you would be interested in sharing your experiences past or present I encourage you to get in contact with the museum, and be part of the ‘No Borders’ project.”

Take part

If you are interested please get in touch before 15 December 2017.

Please contact Sabrina Ishfaq, if are you interested in being part of the ‘No Borders’ project