Free Seminar to Help Beat the Recession

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Local business, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community

Epping Forest District Council is joining forces with Essex FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) and the District`s Town Centre Partnerships to run a free seminar to help local firms beat the recession.

South West Essex FSB Chairman, David Miles, said: As the latest initiative from Epping Forest District Council to help businesses in the District during the recession this special seminar is being held on Thursday 22 October 2009 at Theydon Bois Village Hall.”

He continued: “Essex FSB is pleased to be working with Epping Forest District Council to organise one of our very popular Beat the Recession and Boost Your Sales seminars with marketing expert Steve Clarke of Eureka Sales Solutions. These events regularly attract between 80 and 120 guests for a fast moving, hard hitting seminar which gives practical steps that firms of any size and any sector can take to improve their sales despite the recession.”


Booking is essential for catering purposes.

Epping Forest District Business Champion and Deputy Leader of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Chris Whitbread, said: Businesses are facing tough times at the moment and Epping Forest District Council is keen to work with partners to provide as much help and support as possible. We are pleased to be working with Essex FSB, as the largest business membership organisation in the country, and other partners and local business networks to run this seminar which will also include speakers from Business Link explaining the free advice and support services they are offering businesses as well as the latest news from Epping Forest District Council, Epping Forest Local Strategic Partnership and our local Town Centre Partnerships.”

Councillor Whitbread continued: “This promises to be an exciting event and we hope as many Epping Forest businesses as possible will book in and come along and then take advantage of the tips they will hear to help them boost their sales!

Steve Clarke of Eureka Sales Solutions said: Having built and then sold my previous Harlow based company allowing me to retire at the age of 45 I suddenly found that I needed a challenge that used my expertise which is why I am working with Essex FSB to help small businesses in the county beat the recession even if their customers are spending less. Teaming up with Epping Forest District Council and its business partners is an exciting opportunity for me to reach a new audience with this practical marketing message.”

    In 90 minutes flat, people coming on the seminar will learn:

  • How to attract new enquiries like a magnet
  • How simple changes to your website could triple your sales
  • Six ways to grow your business whatever market you’re in
  • How to benefit from automated systems
  • The seven major marketing blunders business owners make … and how to avoid them!
    Previous attendees at these events have said:

  • “The presentation was informative, interesting and easy to understand 9/10
    Lee Martin, Lee Martin Print and Promotion
  • Your experience shone through, very professional 10/10
    Paul Brown, Margaret`s Frozen Luxuries Ltd
  • “Interesting and exciting, opened my mind to many direct marketing possibilities 10/10
    J Ripsher, Harpers

This is a partnership event involving Business Link East, Epping Forest District Council, Epping Forest Local Strategic Partnership, Epping Town Centre Partnership, Essex FSB (Federation of Small Businesses), Eureka Sales Solutions Limited and Waltham Abbey Town Partnership.

The FSB represents more than 215,000 business people across the United Kingdom and is the largest single organisation representing business interests in the country.

The South West Essex Branch of the FSB represents the interest of small businesses in the following postcode areas – CM13 to CM16, SS17, RM1 to RM20, and IG1 to IG11 – which includes Brentwood, Epping Forest, Havering, Redbridge and Thurrock Councils.

Land Banking Scheme

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Local business, Our countryside, Planning, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your environment

These commonly advertise small plots of agricultural land for sale, on the internet, by phone or through the use of leaflets and brochures or newspaper articles. These parcels of land are advertised as potential investment opportunities. The premise is that planning permission for a new housing development can be sought and if approved, the value of the land should increase at which point it could be sold on to a developer for a substantial profit, or the purchasers could build their own homes. The sales information often gives the impression that planning permission is shortly to be granted, or the use of the land is to be changed via the Development Plan process.

There are examples all over the UK of such schemes, where unsuspecting buyers have purchased plots of land believing that the value will increase significantly. There is no example to date where planning permission has been granted for all or part of an area of land that has been divided into plots in this way. Purchasers are left with a piece of land with agricultural land value, and very little prospect of being able to sell it on or develop it.

Investigations into these types of schemes have been carried out by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), Trading Standards and several national newspapers. Some that have claimed to be able to seek planning permission for a collective of plot owners have been closed down. Such collective investment schemes need to be authorised by the FSA to be legal.

Emerging Property Partnership (EPP) is currently advertising plots of land for sale on land within the Blunts Farm area in Theydon Bois.

    However, the planning policy position has not changed:

  • The land is entirely within the Green Belt, and therefore the normal restrictions on development apply
  • The areas of land are isolated from the existing built area of Theydon Bois, and the services it provides
  • No means of access has been shown to the parcels of land. Policy CP3 would require this is addressed before any planning application could be made
  • The land has been submitted to the District Council under the Call for Sites exercise, but this does not mean that there is any certainty that this land will be allocated for development purposes
  • The allocation of 3,500 new homes claimed by the vendors refers to the requirement in the East of England Plan for the whole District over the period 2001 to 2021

EPP does not offer to seek planning permission for plot owners, nor does it give any guarantee that planning permission will be forthcoming. However, Planning Officers have received a number of calls about the land available, and feel it is important that people should be advised of the true planning policy situation.

Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Meeting

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Democracy, Epping, Local business, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council

Councillor Chris Whitbread, Deputy Leader of Epping Forest District Council and newly appointed ` Business Champion ` addressed a packed business breakfast meeting hosted by Epping Forest Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday 21 July 2009 at the Bell Hotel in Epping.

The portfolio holder for Economic Development said I want to build a strong relationship with the Chamber of Commerce. We want to hear what you have to say and how we can help. Partnership may be a buzzword but we are keen to encourage you to partner us and work together.

Mr Whitbread knows all about being a local businessman, particularly in this poor economic climate, as he heads up Millers estate agents in Epping based in the High Road since 1974. Reference was made to the Council`s ambitious vision for the future of Debden Broadway and the consultation underway in partnership with Essex County Council in Epping.

He also set out some of what the Council is already doing to help in these difficult times. We have taken on board concerns about parking from local traders and we believe our decision to provide free Saturday parking in some of our car parks has been beneficial. This year we froze parking charges. We want to encourage residents to support their local shops. The Council has also acted by reducing payment terms on invoices and wants to use local suppliers wherever possible.`

We see the Epping Forest Chamber as an important partner and we look forward to working positively together in the future. On my part I will do all I can to make it easier to contact us and get information.

Sam Gooday, of chartered accountants Blitz Gooday, also gave a talk packed with topical tax tips providing details about recent tax developments and planning opportunities particularly relevant for small businesses.

Iggy Quazi, Chair of the Epping Forest Chamber said It was good to see the interest in this meeting. Contrary to the present economic climate, there is a positive vibrancy in small businesses in the district and this Chamber aims to play a key role in helping to facilitate vital communication and engage with SMEs to achieve joint goals.

The next event is a 60th Anniversary dinner being held at the Piano Lounge on Wednesday 23 September 2009.

Olympic Airfield Plans

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Local business, North Weald Airfield, Olympics, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Supporting business, Your community, Your council

Local business could benefit from thousands of visitors to London 2012 travelling to the Olympic Games via North Weald Airfield according to its owner, Epping Forest District Council. The 380-acre site close to the M11 and public transport could provide camping facilities and a transport hub for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Among the options are Park and Ride to local rail services, temporary upgrade of the Airfield status to allow passenger flights and an approach from the Caravan Club of Great Britain for its members to stay at North Weald during the Games.

Councillor Chris Whitbread Deputy Council Leader, Chairman of North Weald Airfield Strategy Cabinet Committee and the Council`s new Business Champion is very excited by the possibilities. He said: London 2012 is a great business and cultural opportunity for Epping Forest district. The Airfield is a well-located site with a good track record of hosting and holding events.

One of the major selling points to the International Olympic Committee was to make London 2012 the Public Transport Games. Epping Forest district has eight Central Line Underground Stations. However, people will need to get to the stations and the Council is concerned about parking congestion if no extra local parking facilities are available. A well-planned Park and Ride scheme would benefit everyone by smoothing the journey for visitors and reducing parking at the stations.

Councillor Whitbread continued: North Weald also offers a potentially fast air route to the Games. Aviation tenants are asking the Council to look at temporarily licensing the Airfield for passenger flights to take some of the pressure off other Airfields.

Businesses in London have not been slow to see the opportunities. Epping Forest district is also ideally placed for the main events in Stratford and the White Water Canoeing on the River Lee at Waltham Abbey. Most London hotels are already fully booked for the duration of the Games. The Caravan Club of Great Britain holds a national rally each year and would like to hold their 2012 event close to the Olympic venues and North Weald Airfield could be the perfect place.

Councillor David Stallan voiced some concerns about the temporary nature of any Park and Ride. Councillor Whitbread assured him should a Park and Ride scheme go ahead, it would be temporary and not permanent. Councillor Di Collins Leader of the Council said she could see the benefit of Park and Ride with camping and caravanning. Councillor Jon Whitehouse was concerned to ensure very careful traffic planning would be necessary but supported the ideas in principle.

Councillor Anne Grigg Vice-Chairman of the Council felt that temporary licensing of the Airfield for passenger flights would give residents and the Council a good idea of the impact of more sustained aviation expansion. Like Councillor Stallan, her fellow North Weald Member, she had some concerns about the local impact of Park and Ride.

Councillor Chris Whitbread emphasised that agreement in principle was subject to much further investigation and consultation with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA). He added: There is much detail to be discussed. Any plans would have to dovetail with the wider Olympic transport plans. We would need the go-ahead of the ODA. However, this is a potentially fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of North Weald and the district. It would earn income for Council services and create great opportunities for local business.

Council Apology to Epping Piano Lounge

Written on . Posted in Business, Environmental health, Food safety, Local business

Epping Forest District Council has apologised to a local business after mistakenly including the Piano Lounge in a list of premises that received Food Improvement Notices. John Gilbert, Director of Environment and Street Scene for the Council said: It was an administrative mistake on our part and we are very sorry for any inconvenience and embarrassment caused.

The Council received a Freedom of Information Act request from the Epping Forest Guardian earlier this year asking for a list of restaurants and take-aways visited by Environmental Health Officers between 2006 and 2008 where improvement notices has been issued.

Mr Gilbert said: The standards of quality and hygiene among our local pubs, restaurants and take-aways are generally very high. None of the problems found by our inspectors constituted an imminent risk to public health and wherever we asked for improvements, these were carried out without any need for legal proceedings.

However, we made a mistake on the list. All of the records are computerised. Four notices had been issued to the previous occupier of one premises, an Indian restaurant, which is now occupied by the Piano Lounge. When the Piano Lounge took over the site, our system transferred the previous occupier`s history to the new business.

None of the notices issued between 2006 and 2008 related to the Piano Lounge. We are very sorry for the mistake and we have acted as quickly as we can to change the way our computer system holds this information to ensure it cannot happen again.

Real help now

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Local business, Residents, Supporting business, Your community


Where to find help with homes, jobs and finances when you need it.

The international financial crisis and the recession it has caused around the world, and now in the UK, is having a real impact on individuals, families and businesses.

The Government is acting because extra support is needed to get us through the downturn. So a range of new help is being made available for those who need it, from homeowners with difficulties paying their mortgages, or people seeking employment or training, to small businesses with cashflow problems and larger businesses needing working capital.

A booklet tells you what help is available now and where to find it. It also includes details of extra support that is being introduced this spring, and we will update it as more help becomes available. It can be downloaded from either of the below links.

The Government`s priorities to get Britain through the recession are:
  • to prevent the collapse of the banking system, so that people`s savings are secure and the banks can do their job
  • to get the financial system lending responsibly again so as to support businesses, jobs and growth
  • to support the economy and jobs through direct government action, including tax cuts and important investment projects
  • to help people through more difficult times with the support described in this booklet

Action has also been taken to boost our economy by putting money in people`s pockets and bringing investment plans forward.

    This includes:

  • income tax cuts of £145 for every basic rate taxpayer
  • £60 extra for pensioners this winter
  • a VAT cut worth on average over £200 to every family this year
  • an extra £3 billion investment in projects that will protect and create jobs
  • a £75 above inflation increase in the child element of the Child Tax Credit from April 2009, worth up to £2,235 a year for families

Real help now, when you need it.

Councillors Visit The Broadway

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Leader, Local business, Loughton, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council

Councillors Diana Collins and Anne Grigg lend a hand

The Leader of Epping Forest District Council Councillor Diana Collins and the Planning and Economic Development Portfolio Holder Councillor Anne Grigg visited The Broadway in Loughton on Wednesday 28 January 2009. They met with representatives of local traders and reassured them that every effort is being made to reduce the impact on local businesses whilst work to regenerate the area is being carried out.

This is following concerns expressed earlier by local traders and residents at a Town Centre Partnership meeting that steps should be taken to minimise disruption to businesses and residents. A number of steps have been taken to keep the Broadway accessible for traders and shoppers.

Access is being maintained to all the shops on The Broadway, only the eastbound carriageway has been shut for now. Crossing over points have been provided so shoppers can get from one side of The Broadway to the other, Vere Road Car Park has been re-designated for short-stay and permit holders only and free parking has been retained for The Broadway.

Councillors and local traders view work at the Broadway

Councillor Diana Collins said: I understand the concerns of local traders but every effort is being made to minimise the impact of this scheme to local traders and shoppers. Unfortunately large engineering projects can cause disruption but at the end we will have a much improved and enhanced town centre.

Develop Your Business Ideas in Essex

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Local business, Out and about, Supporting business, Your area

`Develop your Business Ideas in Essex` is a free event being held on Monday 29 October 2007 from 6pm to 9pm at Harlow Playhouse. The event is hosted by the Essex Innovation Network (EIN) and is for Epping Forests entrepreneurs and businesses who are looking to develop their innovative ideas and grow their business.

If you have thought about starting up your own business, or have your own business and wish to learn about the support available to you, this event is for you.

The evening will include presentations from Essex entrepreneurs and companies who have started from small beginnings, persevered against the odds and successfully developed their business. There will also be the opportunity to find out what support is available to businesses in Essex to support growth and development.

Guests will also be able to find out how the Essex Innovation Network can help them to develop their innovative ideas and turn them into a profitable business. There will be a light buffet and refreshments and the opportunity to network following the main event.


Waltham Abbey Heritage Economic Regeneration Scheme

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Conservation and listed buildings, Local business, Planning, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your environment

Click to enlarge image

The Conservation Section of Epping Forest District Council`s Planning Services has produced a final summary booklet of the Waltham Abbey Heritage Economic Regeneration Scheme (HERS). Heritage Economic Regeneration Schemes are conservation-led initiatives launched by English Heritage in 1998 to provide financial assistance with building repairs and enhancement within Conservation Areas.

The Waltham Abbey HERS, which was jointly funded by English Heritage, Epping Forest District Council, Tesco and Sainsbury`s was initiated in 2001 and successfully completed earlier this year having provided grant aid totalling £375,000 to 18 properties within the Waltham Abbey Conservation Area. This scheme allowed for considerable progress towards enhancing the character and appearance of Waltham Abbey Town Centre.

The final summary booklet, which has been produced by the Conservation Section of the District Council’s Planning Services, provides details on each of the grant aided projects, with before and after photographs, as well as background information on the aims of the HERS and related initiatives of the scheme.

The booklet is available by calling the Conservation Section on 01992 564119, via email to or by writing to the Conservation Section, Planning Services, Civic Offices, Epping Forest District Council, High Street, Epping, CM16 4BZ.