Future proof – Epping Forest District Council is investing in people, processes and policies to produce the most efficient council we can – a council fit for the future.
The Spring edition 2017 of the One Business Briefing is now available to download.
Download the Spring edition (pdf 5.92MB)
Included in this edition;
Proof that Epping Forest is a great place to start a business
Celebrate the Investors in Young People Awards
Find out how your business could reduce energy consumption & save money
Best growth Hub launches workshop
Next phase for ‘Visit Epping Forest’ website
Launch of Young Traders Initiative
Get the latest learning resource tips
Interesting and helpful articles
Councillor Anne Grigg, Economic Development Portfolio Holder said: “The Spring edition of the One Business Briefing is another issue packed with interesting and helpful articles. It’s wonderful to start with two success stories. Firstly, it is great to see the entrepreneurial nature of Epping Forest district recognised in official statistics that reflect the area’s appeal to start-up businesses. Secondly, the annual recognition of young workforce talent and the organisations that support them is particularly encouraging and something to be applauded.”
Funding and support
She continued: ” You will also find details of a variety of funding and support programmes, each with their own particular focus, that are available to businesses. There are also details of initiatives such as the new tourism website, the ongoing delivery of ultrafast rural broadband and a new young traders market project that will bring new opportunities for the local economy.”
From 1 April 2017 Epping Forest District Council will take over the management of their 18 car parks, saving at least £58,600 each year for local taxpayers.
The District Council will now be responsible for processing season tickets, penalty charge notices (PCNs) and other associated functions run until now by the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP).
New company to enforce
The Council has engaged a specialist company, NSL, to carry out day-to-day enforcement activities, as well as cash collection from the pay-and-display machines in the car parks.
Since 2011 Epping Forest District Council has partnered Essex County Council in NEPP, together with Harlow, Uttlesford, Braintree, Colchester and Tendring councils.
NEPP manage on-street parking
Until now NEPP has managed both on-street and off-street parking services in Epping Forest district for a number of years, and will continue to operate on-street parking enforcement and services in the district.
The transfer of off-street management follows an analysis by the District Council which found that a number of efficiency improvements could be made, benefiting local taxpayers.
Councillor Gary Waller, Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder, commented: ”I am delighted that these new arrangements for our car parks are now being put in place. By taking functions back in-house and engaging the services of NSL, we can make very worthwhile savings, and I believe we shall provide a better service to the public as well.”
”Not only will the parking charges remain at the current level but we shall continue to operate car parks that have received the prestigious ParkMark award, demonstrating that they continue to attain the very highest standards in terms of safety and security.”
Saying thank you to our local community and voluntary groups for their hard work was the focus of our first grant aid celebration event on Friday 3 March 2017 in Epping.
Click to enlarge photo and then click to see more photos
Grant aid celebration
The groups all received grant aid to spend on equipment for community projects that benefited residents. The money was used for a wide range of items ranging from tents to specialist beds and from uniforms to bee keeping equipment.
Presentations by the Chigwell Disabled Group, Ongar & Villages Voluntary Care and Lambourne End Centre showed how the money they received in grant aid helped their groups to operate or buy specialised equipment.
Keep up the great work
Chairman Jeane Lea said: “On behalf of the people of the Epping Forest district I’d like to say a big thank you to all the groups for their hard work and dedication. Without their wonderful contributions our district would be a much poorer place to live. keep up the great work!”
Help you to help your community
Councillor Helen Kane, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder said: “This year we have £83,450 grant aid to spend. You can apply for grant aid up to £5,000 if your group needs help to buy a new, or replace an old item of equipment. Get in touch and let us help you to help your community.”
“We want to support, enhance and develop the contribution that local community and voluntary groups make to improve the wellbeing of people in the Epping Forest district.”
Want to know more?
As part of a crackdown on crime and disorder in Loughton, Essex Police asked Epping Forest District Council for a summary licence review after a serious assault at Nu Bar in February 2017.
The review hearing took place on 7 March 2017. The police evidence referred to CCTV footage, which showed that Nu Bar had not only failed to manage the incident effectively, but that management had been operating outside the permitted hours of their licence.
Patrons were seen leaving more than 3 hours later than the licence allowed, via the back exit, in an attempt to conceal the illegal activity.
At the hearing the premises licence owners, Greene King, informed the licensing sub-committee that it had taken steps to change management.
Last orders 11pm
District councillors reduced the licencing hours, with last orders at 11pm Monday to Sunday and applied the stringent conditions agreed between Essex Police and Greene King.
Getting rid of an appliance like a washing machine or a piece of furniture can be daunting due to their size and weight, not to mention the effort involved in taking large items to a recycling centre.
A local charity is working to make donating items a lot easier and will be launching a new campaign to spread the word on how to donate and buy pre-loved furniture and white goods.
Epping Forest ReUSE
Epping Forest ReUSE are working in partnership with Epping Forest District Council and Recycle for Essex to help make life easier for local people looking to donate bulky items like furniture or electrical appliances.
Epping Forest ReUSE will be launching a campaign for donations at
- Waltham Abbey Market on Tuesday 14 March 2017
- Epping High Street on Thursday 23 March 2017
The organisation works with volunteers to collect and refurbish pre-loved household items to sell to the public and to support people on lower incomes. But the organisation is in need of more good quality items to help more people in the area.
Helped over 1,200 people
Through 2016 Epping Forest ReUSE helped over 1,200 people buy affordable furniture and appliances.
The 204 tonnes of furniture donated and sold on to local people is the equivalent to 4,121 2-seater sofas, or roughly 2 Boeing 757 aeroplanes!
Helping local people in need
Michael Kushin from Epping Forest ReUSE said: “As a charity and social enterprise, 100% of money raised through Epping Forest ReUSE goes to helping local people in need and we’re always on the lookout for more furniture, and electrical goods like fridges and washing machines.”
“We work with everyone from the general public to social workers and housing associations to make sure that people who need us are able to access the support that they need. We are always very grateful for any donations of items as it helps us help more people.”
Donate your unwanted items
To find out more about how to donate your unwanted items contact Epping Forest ReUSE
Domestic abuse victims do not need to suffer in silence as the J9 domestic abuse support network expands further into Essex.
Shops and businesses displaying a pink J9 heart sticker shows the public they are at a safe contact point should they need information, support and use of a telephone.
All the job centres in Essex, together with local councils including Tendring, Harlow, Uttlesford and Castle Point, and many local businesses and organisations have already joined the scheme. Colchester Borough Council and Basildon and Thurrock Hospitals NHS Trust are looking to join and train staff.
The Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow recently joined the list of J9 contact places. 40 staff members had J9 training and are now able to signpost and support victims of domestic abuse using the directory provided.
J9 is named after Janine Mundy. Janine was killed by her estranged husband while on police bail.
The J9 support network provides safe and discreet contact points for victims of domestic abuse to access support and advice. Staff at J9 contact points have been trained to signpost advice and spot the signs of domestic abuse. Each contact point has a safe place where victims can access information and use a phone.
Contact points display pink J9 heart stickers in their windows.
Supporting our local community
The Burnt Mill Academy Trust in Harlow reported 4 occasions when women have asked for further information on J9.
Tracy Taylor from the Burnt Mill Academy Trust said: “I’m in no doubt these women would not have come forward had it not been for the J9 project. No records or conversations took place and we merely signposted them using the directory provided.”
“Supporting our local community is reward enough in itself and we will continue supporting this invaluable project.”
Help hidden victims of domestic abuse
Councillor Gary Waller, Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder said: “We’ve built up a fantastic J9 support network locally and we want to expand this support into all of Essex. J9 is an ongoing project and we want to train as many people as possible to help those hidden victims of domestic abuse.”
Councillor Waller urged: “Any business and organisation who wants to sign up please call 01992 564608 or email firstname.lastname@example.org – let’s make sure the victims of domestic abuse get the help and support they need.”
Find out more
Despite a freeze at Epping Forest District Council, most residents will pay more Council Tax from April.
Some town and parish councils are also freezing or lowering their Council Tax but Essex County Council, Essex Police, Essex Fire and Rescue and many local town and parish councils are putting their share of Council Tax up.
Council Tax agreed
Councillors at the meeting of Epping Forest District Council on Tuesday 21 February agreed the new Council Tax for 2017/18.
Epping Forest District is the local collection authority. Council Leader, Councillor Chris Whitbread said: “I am delighted we have managed to freeze our own share of the Council Tax for the seventh year running. Looking forward it is our ambition to remain a low-tax council giving our residents best possible value for money. I am sorry that bills have gone up overall. I have sympathy for the Police and Crime Commissioner and those councils which have to increase their budgets. I congratulate those town and parish councils like us that have also been able to freeze or even lower their part of the bill.”
“Epping Forest District Council has set another remarkably good budget. Local government finance is incredibly confusing but I hope residents will understand the difference between the Council Tax we collect and the Council Tax we keep.”
Good news budget and 0% increase
Councillor Whitbread covered the main items of the budget including capital investment of up to £125 million over the next 5 years. He said: “We are investing in capital to generate revenue. There is good news everywhere in this budget, good judgement, protection for front line services and good news for our residents.”
The budget found favour with cross party support throughout the Council Chamber.
Rent paid by thousands of Epping Forest District Council tenants is also set to reduce by one percent in line with national guidelines. The average rent now stands at £96.17 per week.
Invest to Save
Details of the district council budget were set before Cabinet previously – Cabinet 2 February 2017.
Councillor Whitbread said: “We are working better and we are working smarter. Year on year we have become a tighter ship, investing in people, processes and policies to produce the most efficient council we can – a council fit for the future, delivering frontline services our residents need at prices we can afford.”
Our electricity network is built to be resilient but extreme weather such as Storm Doris can damage overhead power lines resulting in some customers losing their electricity supply.
UK Power Networks
Where this happens UK Power Networks work to restore power as quickly and safely as possible, and have organised for additional staff in their contact centre and more engineers on the ground to be available to help customers whose electricity supply might be affected by the predicted weather.
Anyone experiencing a power cut should
- Call 105 to report power cuts and damage to the electricity network
- Visit www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk for the latest update
- Visit www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/powercut and type in their postcode to view our live power cut map
- Tweet @ukpowernetworks to report a power cuts or to receive updates
Priority service register
UK Power Networks has a Priority Service Register for customers who may be more vulnerable and require extra assistance in a power cut. Find out more information at ukpowernetworks.co.uk/priority.
We advise people to stay clear of power lines and report damaged power lines immediately by calling 105 – free to call from a landline or a mobile phone. If they see electricity lines that are down or causing significant risk to the public they should call 999.
Preparing for a power cut
Below is some additional advice on how you can prepare for a power cut
- Keep our freephone number handy
- See the website for some useful videos offering you advice during a power cut
- Keep spare batteries for radios and torches – local radio stations often broadcast helpful information
- Keep an old-fashioned corded phone which you can plug in, as cordless phones won’t work in the event of a power cut
- Take care if using candles, tea-lights and other naked flames
- Keep fridges and freezers closed, with a blanket over as they will stay cold for many hours
- Switch off all your electrical equipment, except one light which will let you know when the power comes back on
- Remember the street lights may also be off so take care if you go out
- Look out for elderly neighbours and other vulnerable people; please consider taking them round a flask of hot water or hot food
The Nu Bar in Loughton has had its licence suspended pending a full hearing at Licensing Committee on 7 March 2017.
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.
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.”