Youth Councillors say no to N2O

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Environmental health, Epping, Health, Loughton, Media, Olympics, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Uncategorized, Volunteering opportunities, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Epping Forest Youth Councillors took to districts car parks to clean up laughing gas canisters, empty bottles of alcohol and general waste.

Along with members of the Waste Management Team and City of London Volunteer Wardens, Youth Councillors dressed in protective clothing cleaned up over 550 laughing gas canisters in Epping Forest, Traps Hill, Loughton and Cornmill Lane, Waltham Abbey.

So what is laughing gas?

The Home Office has found Nitrous Oxide (N2O) more commonly known as laughing gas, to be the second most popular recreational drug among 16 to 24 year olds in England and Wales.

Nitrous oxide is not a controlled drug, and has legitimate uses in medicine and dentistry.

Under the Intoxicating Substances (Supply) Act 1985, it is illegal to sell to under 18s when the seller believes the substance may be inhaled for the purposes of intoxication.

While it is not illegal for an adult to inhale the gas, many authority’s across Britain are concerned about its use.

Raising awareness

Youth Councillors are currently conducting an on line survey in schools, aiming to identify

  • Young people’s understanding of drugs
  • What drugs they have tried
  • What made they try them
  • Peer pressure
  • Curiosity or boredom

The findings will be published as part of the Youth Council’s drug awareness project.

Youth Councillors are currently designing a poster campaign to take into their schools and raise awareness of the dangers of the laughing gas craze.

Are you aged between 16 and 24?

Understanding the risks

Youth Councillor Nina Honey said: “It is important young people understand the serious health risks the substance can pose.”

“Nitrous oxide can be very dangerous when misused. When inhaled the gas restricts oxygen getting to the brain and can cause someone to become faint or unconscious and can even cause heart attacks.”

“The amount of canisters we found whilst out and about is worrying and it shows laughing gas is a real issue for young people today. Through our drug awareness project we hope to highlight the risks and make young people aware of the damage they are doing.”

More information

For further information contact

  • Di Gilson-Butler
  • Youth Engagement Officer
  • 01992 564 365

Water quality consultation

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Community, Consultation, Environmental health, Local business, Media, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Your area

Are you on a private water supply? DEFRA have launched a 6 week consultation on updates to the public and private drinking water regulations. This consultation will be of interest to those concerned with public and/or private supplies of drinking water.

Drinking Water Directive

The changes will bring the regulations in line with the Drinking Water Directive. The Drinking Water Directive was updated to reflect World Health Organisation principles for the risk based sampling and analysis of drinking water supply.

The consultation closes 24 October 2017.

Consultation

Your rubbish, your responsibility

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Councillors, Environmental health, Epping, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Prosecutions, Recycling and waste, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Fly-tipping in Essex is draining more than £1 million of taxpayers’ money each year.

#CrimeNotToCare

Partnership working

This week, Love Essex, a partnership of councils, businesses and environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, is launching its #CrimeNotToCare campaign to inform residents they could unwittingly end up with a criminal record and face an unlimited fine, if a rogue trader dumps their waste illegally.

”Your rubbish is your responsibility”

Epping Forest District Council’s Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: “We need the public to understand their rubbish is their responsibility and they must do the right thing with it. Giving it to a man with a van who offers to get rid of it cheaply could prove costly for people and result in them getting a criminal record.”

Incidents on the rise

In the Epping Forest district there were 2,384  incidents in 2016 to 2017, a significant rise from the previous year’s figures of 1,944. The number of prosecutions of residents where fly-tipped waste has been traced back to them is also on the rise.

Successful prosecutions

A man was recently fined £461 and ordered to pay £758 prosecution costs after pleading guilty to failing his ‘duty of care’, at Chelmsford Magistrates Court. The Loughton resident had allowed a man who knocked at his door to take 40 black sacks away for £70 cash, without checking he was authorised to transport the waste – rules he was unaware of.

The rubbish was then fly-tipped in a garage area in Loughton and traced back to the resident.

”Important campaign for our country”

Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton added: “#CrimeNotToCare is an important campaign for our country and we are delighted that Epping Forest District Council as part of Love Essex, is partnering with us.

“There are almost a million fly-tipping incidents in England every year and cleaning it all up costs us £50million a year. It blights communities and our countryside and is a menace.”

Seek advice

Ensure you don’t fall foul of the law, visit www.recycleforessex.com/crimenottocare for advice.

Top tips to dispose of waste correctly

  1. If you use a trader to remove your waste ask to see their waste carrier registration number issued by the Environment Agency. It is illegal for them to take your waste if they don’t have a permit. Check their credentials and vehicle details here
  2. Make sure you get a receipt or transfer notice before your waste is taken away
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask where your waste is going and request paperwork that shows where it will be disposed. A legitimate waste carrier will not object to this questioning
  4. Protect yourself by being careful with your waste. Never leave rubbish, such as old washing machines or scrap metal on your drive or in the street as it could end up in the wrong hands. You can donate working items to reuse organisations or charity shops

Report fly-tipping

Roydon man fined for illegal tree felling

Written on . Posted in Community, Countryside and wildlife, Environmental health, Licensing, Media, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Prosecutions, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Uncategorized, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your money

Mr Paul Hayden of Old house land, Roydon was fined a total of £3,199 after illegally cutting down trees protected by tree preservation orders (TPO’s).

Reckless actions

On 6 July at Chelmsford Magistrates Court Mr Hayden pleaded guilty to cutting down 2 oak trees, 2 Hawthorn trees and willfully damaging another Hawthorn, all were protected by Woodland Tree Preservation Orders in a conservation area.

Mr Hayden told the magistrates he had occupied the property for 26 years before buying in it 2016 but did not instruct his solicitor to carry out usual conveyancing searches.

He cut down the trees to clear a riding path for his daughter to avoid the horses eating acorns, which he said are found to be poisonous to them.

£3,199 worth of fines

The Magistrates considered his actions to have been reckless but not for monetary gain and implemented fines of £400 for each tree cut down and £250 for the damaged Hawthorn. He will have to plant replacement trees.

Mr Hayden has also been ordered to pay the council’s prosecution costs of £1,309 and a victim surcharge of £40 making a total of £3,199.

More information

For any inquiries regarding tree protection orders (TPOs) please contact

Loughton men prosecuted for fly tipping

Written on . Posted in Community, Environmental health, Loughton, Media, Our countryside, Prosecutions, Recycling and waste, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

2 Loughton men were fined a combined sum of £2,788.38 after pleading guilty to fly-tipping in 2 separate cases in Loughton.

Case 1 – Dominic Bennett

Dominic Bennett of Colson Road, Loughton was caught on CCTV dumping a fridge freezer on a patch of grass in Bushfields, Loughton. Our Environment & Neighbourhoods team were made aware of the fly tipping on 25 October 2016.

Mr Bennett could have paid a fixed penalty of £200 and avoid prosecution proceedings, but he decided not to pay the penalty. Mr Bennett pleaded guilty to fly tipping at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on 6 July 2017. He was ordered to pay a fine of £320, as well as the council’s prosecution costs of £1,170.52 together with a victim surcharge of £32. Total fine of £1,522.52.

Fly tipping Prosecution Mr Bennett

Case 2 – James Leach

We were made aware of fly tipped materials in a garage area in Chequers Road, Loughton on 10 November 2016. The materials were traced back to James Leach of Harvey Gardens, Loughton.

Mr Leach admitted he had asked a person who knocked on his door to remove 40 black sacks for £70 cash in hand.

Mr Leach was fined £461 and ordered to pay £758.86 for the councils prosecution costs together with a victim surcharge of £46. Total fine of £1,265.86.

Fly tipping Prosecution Mr Leach

Paid the price

Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: “It’s vital when you’re disposing of waste that you do it responsibly. Mr Leach failed to check the man he used was licensed to carry out the job and he ultimately paid the price. To avoid ending up in the same situation always remember to Check Challenge and Record.”

Check, challenge, record

Getting rid of some rubbish? If you’re using a private contractor always ensure you check, challenge & record.

Find out more on GOV.UK waste duty of care.

Check

  • Always check that the company or person you are intending to give your waste to is authorised to take it
  • Ask for their waste carriers registration details
  • Telephone the Environment Agency to check the public register on 03708 506 506

Challenge

  • Always ask for their details and what will happen to your waste
  • Ask yourself – Is it a good idea to employ somebody who has cold called offering to remove waste before you have checked their details
  • Trust your instincts. If in doubt, don’t give them your waste

Record

  • Always record the details of who you give your waste to and any vehicles involved. Legal waste operators will be happy to cooperate
  • Householders must make reasonable checks and businesses who produce commercial waste must keep waste transfer notes to comply with their waste duty of care

Consultation on airport expansion plans

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Consultation, Environmental health, Local business, Noise, Planning, Residents, Supporting business, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Stansted Airport is consulting residents on plans that could see passenger numbers grow from around 25 million to as many as 44 million a year. The airport is carrying out consultation before applying to Uttlesford District Council for permission to increase the number of flights by up to 11,000 per year.

 

Consultation

The airport has added an additional consultation day for residents of Harlow and Epping Forest District on:

  • Monday 24th July
  • 3pm to 7.30pm
  • Harlow Leisurezone, Second Avenue, Harlow, Essex, CM20 3DT

Stansted says it wants to gather the views of local residents and stakeholders to help shape final plans before submitting a planning application and is hosting a number of exhibition events.

Other consultation venues

  • Thursday 6th July 3pm until 8pm at Hatfield Heath Institute, 2A Broomfields, Hatfield Heath, CM22 7EH
  • Saturday 8th July 10am until 3pm at Foakes Hall, 47 Stortford Road, Great Dunmow, CM6 1DG
  • Monday 10th July 3pm until 7pm at St John’s Church Hall, Stansted Mountfitchet, CM24 8JP
  • Wednesday 12th July 3pm until 8pm at Braintree Town Hall, Fairfield Road, Braintree, CM7 3YG
  • Friday 14th July, 4pm until 8pm at the Silver Jubilee Hall, Dunmow Road, Takeley CM22 6QJ
  • Saturday 15th July 12pm until 4pm at Bolford Street Hall, Bolford Street, Thaxted, CM6 2PY
  • Monday 17th July 3pm until 8pm at the Town Hall, Market Square, Saffron Walden, CB10 1HR
  • Wednesday 19th July 3pm until 8pm at the Methodist Church, 34B South Street, Bishop’s Stortford, CM23 3AZ

Find out more and respond

Residents can find out more and submit their views

Switch engines off for National Clean Air Day

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Environmental health, Epping, Health, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Epping Forest District Council’s Environmental Health officers will visit selected schools in the district to promote the first National Clean Air Day on 15 June 2017, hoping to encourage parents to switch off car engines whilst they wait for their children.

One million people tackling air pollution together

Click on an image below to begin slideshow

Potential health impact

Recently much attention has been given to the quality of the UKs air, especially within urban areas and the potential health impacts that may result from breathing in polluted air.

Small changes

National Clean Air Day provides a excellent platform to raise awareness of the impacts of poor air quality and to promote small changes to lifestyle that will reduce exposure to pollution.

Focus on idle vehicles

The focus of this years campaign is around idling vehicles, especially in and around schools.  Parents are being asked to turn their engines off when delivering and picking up their children from school.

Children are vulnerable

Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of pollution, and it is hoped that parents will also consider the impacts of idling engines on the residents that live close to their child’s school.

Sustainable travel

Schools are being provided with information to increase the numbers of children that travel to school by sustainable methods, such as on foot, cycling, electric vehicles, or public transport.

40,000 deaths per year

Polluted air is thought to contribute to 40,000 deaths every year in the UK, and is responsible for the worsening of respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma.

Air pollution increases the risk of getting lung cancer, contributing to 1 in 13 cases, and exposure over a long period of time is linked to cardiovascular disease. Premature births, and low birth weights are linked to air pollution which also affects a baby’s lung development early in life too.

What can you do?

We are asking you to pledge to do one or all of the following on 15 June 2017

  • Leave your car at home – walk or cycle instead
  • Switch your engine off instead of idling
  • Walk your children to school
  • Share tips to cut air pollution with others

Further information

Charter to inspire climate change action

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Doing business with the council, Energy efficiency, Environmental health, Epping, Health, Leader, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our performance, Out and about, Recycling and waste, Regulations, Residents, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Reducing emissions and tackling climate change are the key aims of a new Environmental Charter signed by Leader of Council Councillor Chris Whitbread and Chief Executive Glen Chipp.

Leader of Council Councillor Chris & Chief Executive signing the Environmental Charter

 

Climate Local

The Environmental Charter is part of Climate Local. Climate Local is a Local Government Association (LGA) initiative which asks councils for a commitment to help drive and inspire climate change action in the UK.

We have

  • Installed solar panel’s at the civic offices
  • Increased the recycling of our waste – through providing more bins and training staff
  • Insulated all council-owned properties to a high standard

We will

  • Help local people and businesses to be smarter about their energy use
  • As service providers aim to deliver services that are resource efficient and less carbon intensive
  • Ensure council owned buildings and operations are resource efficient and prepared for the impacts of a changing climate

Responsibility to our environment

Leader of Council Councillor Chris Whitbread said: “As a council we have a responsibility to our environment, by endorsing this Charter we are taking steps in the right direct towards making change.”

“Not only do we hope to reduce our carbon footprint but hope to inspire residents to make small changes resulting in a big difference.”

More info

Nu Bar license temporarily suspended

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Crime and safety, Environmental health, Epping, Licensing, Local business, Loughton, Media, Ongar, Out and about, Residents, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your environment

The Nu Bar in Loughton has had its licence suspended pending a full hearing at Licensing Committee on 7 March 2017.

Licensing notice

Alleged breach of licence

An expedited review was brought by Essex Police after an incident took place in the bar in the early hours of the morning on 5 February 2017, alongside an alleged breach of licence conditions.

Temporarily suspended

A council spokesperson said: ”The decision was taken by Licensing Sub-Committee Councillors to temporarily suspend the licence, which means any licensable activities are not permitted to take place in the interim period between now and the full Licensing Committee hearing unless an interim hearing is applied for by the licence holder.”

Final decision on 7 March

They continued: “A final decision will be reached at this meeting, which is scheduled for 7 March 2017. At the hearing Councillors will assess the evidence brought by Essex Police and make the decision to either amend the licence or it’s conditions, allow it to remain in place or revoke the licence completely.”

The applicant, Essex Police Chief Inspector Lewis Basford said: ”Essex Police is continuing to work around the issue of public safety and crime and disorder in the night-time economy.”

Step up your Spring Clean

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Energy efficiency, Environmental health, Epping, Local business, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Out and about, Recycling and waste, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

With Spring on its way many of us will be thinking about spring cleaning our house and getting rid of unwanted items.

Step Up your Spring Clean

You don’t have to throw it away

‘You don’t have to throw it away’ says Environment Portfolio Holder Councillor Will Breare-Hall, ‘one person’s junk may be another person’s treasure. Why not try these ideas to avoid your unwanted belongings going to waste.’

Give it away

Ask your family and friends if they can make use of it.

Swap it

Freegle and Freecycle are great for swapping items with people who will want to collect your unwanted stuff.

Donate it

Most charity shops accept clothing and bric-a-brac type items. Reuse organisations such as Epping Forest ReUse will reuse good quality furniture and appliances.

Sell it

Websites like ebay and gumtree make it easy for you to sell your unwanted items.

Save a trip to a recycling centre

Councillor Will Breare-Hall ended with: ‘Whether you are decluttering or simply making room for this year’s Christmas presents, there are lots of things you can do with your old stuff to save you a trip to a recycling centre. Seize the opportunity to step up your Spring Clean!’