Owners of R&A Waste Removal Limited of Pick Hill, Waltham Abbey were prosecuted by Epping Forest District Council on 14 September 2017 for storing an estimated 100 – 150 tonnes of waste, when only licensed by the Environment Agency to store 10 tonnes.
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Alfie Smith and Richard McGuire, directors of a waste removal company in Waltham Abbey were prosecuted for depositing waste without a permit or an exemption and falling in their duty of care.
Over 10 times the limit
Portfolio Holder for Environment, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: ”R&A Waste Removal Limited was registered with an exemption administered by the Environment Agency, allowing the company to sort up to 10 tonnes of mixed recyclable waste at any one time.”
”However, following an investigation by the Council’s Neighbourhoods team, it was found that the company was storing an estimated 100 to 150 tonnes of waste, ten times the amount they were licenced to store. They were also sorting significant quantities of non-recyclable waste that was not covered by the exemption either.”
”Storing large piles of unregulated waste is not only illegal, it also poses a fire hazard, presents pollution risks, and looks unsightly. The Council will not tolerate the growth of unregulated waste disposal site”.
The defendants each pleaded guilty to depositing waste on the site without a permit or in accordance with an exemption administered by the Environment Agency. R & A Waste Removal Limited also pleaded guilty to failing their waste duty of care.
Fines in excess of £4,000
Alfie Smith and Richard McGuire were each fined £1,000 and ordered to pay a contribution towards the Council’s prosecution costs of £500 and a Victim Surcharge of £120. Their company R & A Waste Removal Limited were fined £2,000 and ordered to pay a contribution towards the Council’s prosecution costs of £1,000 and a Victim Surcharge of £170.
There are signs of improvement in services provided by Whipps Cross Hospital. Part of the Barts Health NHS Trust, the hospital has been in special measures following poor Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections. A presentation to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee of Epping Forest District Council following the latest CQC inspections in May suggest the hospital has improved from ‘inadequate’ to ‘overall requires improvement’. However, as one first-hand account of patient care at the end of the presentation demonstrated, there is still some way to go.
Dr Heather Noble – Medical Director, Whipps Cross Hospital
Alan Gurney – Managing Director, Whipps Cross Hospital
Signs of improvement at hospital trust
Alan Gurney, Managing Director said that any further CQC inspections today would see more improvements. However, he added that the condition of operating theatres was still a cause for concern. Investment in theatre refurbishments is scheduled for next year.
The CQC has seen an increase in the quality of the working environment and culture of the hospital. Bullying was previously identified as a major issue with high turnover of staff and heavy reliance on agency support. Significant improvements have been made in these areas. The hospital is also old. Many of its buildings pre-date the creation of the NHS. Investment is needed in new buildings.
Dr Heather Noble assured Councillor Steven Neville that issues around radiation exposure to staff had been resolved. Councillor David Stallan received assurances that Alan Gurney had no plans to relocate Whipps Cross, although the hospital is on a large site and could potentially operate from a smaller footprint.
Councillor Roger Baldwin asked about bed-blocking and capacity. Alan Gurney used the phrase ‘delayed discharge’ for which he had 11 cases at that moment. He assured councillors that he was working with partners to reduce discharge delays. No bed spaces had been closed this year and Mr Gurney considered it to be a lesser challenge than some other issues facing the hospital.
Councillors Mitchell and Sartin received further information in response to questions about bullying. Councillor Chambers explored the depth of hospital planning for the winter. Alan Gurney confirmed additional investment in building work and weekend cover arrangements to enhance winter cover. There is also additional ‘step-down’ coverage and coordination with partners in the ambulance service and care homes. The staff flu vaccination campaign is part of steps to prepare staff for the winter season.
Councillor David Wixley followed up on the issues of bullying and culture. Councillor Nigel Bedford focused on staff retention and reusing the defunct nursing home for other purposes. Alan Gurney provided assurance that recruitment and retention improvements are ongoing. He also felt that the site had plenty of capacity for development including accommodation for staff.
Responding to Councillor Gagan Mohindra, Dr Noble said that the Council could provide support by communicating the message about the need for redevelopment of outdated buildings.
Developing staffs careers
Dr Noble emphasised that managers as such ‘were not bad’ after Alan Gurney described how Whipps Cross was focusing on continual recruitment of nurses and a requirement for more doctors.
Dr Noble said that further work was needed in developing career and employment links with local schools and colleges. Responding to Councillor Holly Whitbread, she described good examples of work in Newham which could be adopted for Whipps Cross.
Mortuary facilities are old and in need of replacement but Dr Noble assured Councillor Bedford that the dignity of the deceased and care for the bereaved was a high priority.
Responding to Councillor Baldwin, Alan Gurney said that it would be wrong to say the use of Private Finance Initiative funding (PFI) was not an option but he added that there was no appetite for it.
Dementia care is also a priority. Responding to Councillor Aniket Patel, Dr Noble outlined some of the programmes including Dementia Friends and creating clinical areas more dementia ‘friendly’. Alan Gurney added that with the focus on older patients, dementia care was critical.
Councillor Mary Sartin, chairman of Overview and Scrutiny thanked Mr Gurney and Dr Noble, concluding questions with reference to the caring and compassionate approach of staff recognised in the latest CQC report.
Learning from the past
Mr Gurney and Dr Noble were invited to stay at the end of their presentation questions for a statement by a local resident. Janis Crowder gave an emotional account of her mother’s poor experience as a patient of Whipps Cross last year. Accepting improvements have since been made, Ms Crowder felt it was important to explain to hospital managers the difficulties and inadequacies of her mother’s care.
Transport for London managers have agreed to attend the meeting of Overview and Scrutiny Committee to discuss various public transport issues in January. Essex County Council is also to be invited to attend the Neighbourhoods Select Committee to discuss County bus services.
Epping Forest College 27 February 2018
Committee councillors also noted the scheduled attendance of the Principal of Epping Forest College at the meeting of Overview and Scrutiny on 27 February 2018.
Only buy fireworks marked with the British Standard Kitemark BS7114
Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks
Keep fireworks in a closed box and always follow the instructions carefully when using them
Light them at arm’s length using a taper and stand well back
Never go back to them once they are lit. Even if a firework hasn’t gone off, it could still explode
Never throw fireworks and never put them in your pocket
Respect your neighbours, don’t let off fireworks late at night and remember there are laws to follow
Take care with sparklers ,never give them to children under five. Even when they have gone out they are still hot so put sparklers in a bucket of water after use
Keep your pets indoors throughout the evening
Know the laws on fireworks and don’t set any off after 11pm. On 5 November, displays can continue until 12am and on certain occasions, such as New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, fireworks can be set off until 1am.
If you are planning to have a bonfire make sure to:
Build your bonfire clear of buildings, garden sheds, fences and hedges
Never use flammable liquids to start a bonfire
Never burn dangerous items such as aerosol cans, paint tins, foam furniture or batteries
Don’t leave bonfires unattended
An adult should supervise it until it has burnt out
If it has to be left, damp it down with plenty of water
Always keep a bucket of water or a hosepipe nearby in case of fire
Stay safe and look out for other
“Bonfire night is always a busy time for our emergency services so wherever you are, remember to stay safe and look out for others” said Safer, greener and transport portfolio holder Councillor Sam Kane.
“Organised events are always the safest way to enjoy fireworks and North Weald Airfield is holding another fantastic event on Friday 3 November. There are many other organised events across the district, but if you do choose to have your celebrations at home, please follow the safety tips so that you and your family remember the night for all the right reasons.”
Rachel Cooper of Lushes Road in Loughton, was found guilty of a waste duty of care offence for giving 10 bags of household waste to someone who fly-tipped her waste at the junction of Bushfields and Parkmead in Loughton.
Failed to attend hearings
Rachel Cooper failed to attend two court hearings and was arrested on 29 September 2017. At court Ms Cooper pleaded guilty to handing over 10 bags of household waste to someone, who then fly-tipped them at the junction of Bushfields and Parkmead, Loughton on 30 November 2016.
Fined and prosecuted
She was fined £170 for the offence and failing to attend an interview with the council’s Environment and Neighbourhoods team. She was also ordered to pay the Council’s prosecution costs of £1281.33.
So easily avoided
Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: ”This is a situation that could easily have been avoided. Ms Cooper admitted that she had asked for the waste to be removed for cash, without first checking to see whether the person was licensed.”
”Ms Cooper’s decision was particularly foolish as over 80% of the waste could have been recycled using Epping Forest District Council’s normal doorstep collection. If she had used this, or simply checked the licence of the person removing the waste, she would not have been arrested or fined.”
He continued: ”Householders and business must make reasonable checks to ensure that they comply with their waste duty of care. You must only give your waste to a person authorised by the Environment Agency. Businesses who produce commercial waste must also keep waste transfer notes”.
Love Essex, a partnership of councils, businesses and environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, has launched 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.
Protect yourself and help us catch fly-tippers
To protect yourself from legal action, we advise you check, consider and record
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.
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
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.
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.”
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.
Fly-tipping in Essex is draining more than £1 million of taxpayers’ money each year.
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.
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.”
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
Make sure you get a receipt or transfer notice before your waste is taken away
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
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
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).
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.
For any inquiries regarding tree protection orders (TPOs) please contact
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.
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.
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.
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.
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