Step up your Spring Clean

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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!’

Anti-litter campaign cleans up for third year

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An anti-litter campaign across Essex, Kent and Suffolk #BinIt has resulted in a reduction of litter for the third year in a row, an amazing drop in litter of 43%.

Don't toss it - #BINIT

Littering is a criminal offence

The Love Essex campaign, run by the Cleaner Essex Group, is made up of local authorities and local business partners throughout Essex.

This year’s Don’t toss it – #BinIt campaign aims to remind people that:

  • Littering is a criminal offence
  • It comes with a fixed penalty notice from £75
  • And a maximum fine on conviction in court of £2,500

Spreading the message

The ‘Don’t toss it – #BinIt’ message has appeared throughout Essex on

  • Refuse vehicles
  • Bus shelters
  • Petrol pumps
  • 86 McDonald’s restaurants
  • 15 KFC restaurants
  • Spread to 2.4 million social media accounts

This has so far seen an average drop in litter of 43% and helped to reduce branded fast food litter by 63 per cent, in the areas monitored, and independently verified by Keep Britain Tidy.

Tackling litter

Councillor Will Breare-Hall, Environment Portfolio Holder said: “Litter is an issue that costs around £17 million across Essex. Not only does this take resources away from other much needed council services it also damages our environment.”

“It is important for people to remember that littering is a criminal offence that comes with a maximum fine of up to £2,500.”

“As a community we need to come together and tackle this important issue by behaving responsibly and reporting incidents so we can investigate further and take action.”

Working together

Cherry Lewis-Taylor, McDonald’s franchisee added: “I believe that working together and campaigning against littering at our restaurant locations helps remind people to dispose of their litter responsibly.”

“Between McDonald’s and KFC’s participating restaurants and drive-thru’s, we have reached millions of customers. Adding this to the number of people who saw the other campaign material, including social media, it is likely that the Don’t toss it … #Binit message will have been seen at least 6 million times.”

Do the right thing

Huw James, Director of Kefco, the KFC Franchisee in Essex commented: “I am proud that we at KFC can work with councils and other business partners to actively promote that people should do the right thing and bin their litter. As a business, we are committed to looking at ways we can help reduce the amount of litter that ends up on our streets.”

Report it

If there are large amounts of litter in your street or fly-tipped rubbish near where you live, let us know

Please give as much detail as possible so we can investigate what further action can be taken.

Staying well this winter

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Stay well this winter events took place across the district, advising residents on how to prepare for colder months.

Preparing for cold weather

Epping Forest District Council and NHS West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group bought together professionals from across West Essex aiming to advise the elderly on how to prepare for winter, promoting available services and how to practising good self-care.

Helpful advice

The roadshows speakers gave information on selecting the correct services. Including how to prepare you in case of an emergency, tips on keeping in good health and how to manage health conditions.

Speakers included:

Great range of services

Councillor Helen Kane Leisure and Community Portfolio Holder said: “Events like this showcase emphasise the range of services we have available in West Essex, and prove that there is help available if needed.”

“The stay well this winter events also highlight the importance of good self-care and how vital is to be prepared in staying well and making sure you’re ready for any kind of emergency you may face, not only in winter but all year round.”

“It’s great to see services across West Essex coming together and working in partnership, looking out for our community’s safety and wellbeing.”

More information

For more information on how to stay well please visit

Overview and Scrutiny December 2016

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The spotlight was on Transport for London (TFL) and the NHS at the latest meeting of Overview and Scrutiny.

Central Line staffing levels, the possibility of extending tube services from Epping to Ongar and an ‘inadequate’ care rating for Princess Alexandra Hospital, were all subjects for discussion on Monday 19 December 2016.

Following the closure of many of Epping Forest District’s underground station ticket offices earlier this year, Epping Forest District Councillors expressed their concerns about the lack of visible staff presence at off peak times at stations within the Epping Forest district.

Improvements to be made

In response, Chris Taggart (General Manager of the Central Line) and Mark Hart (Stakeholder Engagement Manager for the Bakerloo, Victoria and Central lines) explained that TFL intend to improve staff visibility at stations by ensuring staff work in well lit, focal points, to make it easier for customers to find them later in the evening. The changes are already underway, since a recent Travel Watch survey raised similar concerns.

Late night trains

TFL have no current plans to extend the late night train service to Epping, at the very end of the Central Line. The late night trains terminate at Loughton, this being the most appropriate location as the night fleet is small and at Loughton, they are able to turn quickly and easily.

TFL plan to review the late night service in 2017 but say that it has been successful so far and they have had very few issues since starting the new timetable.

Any possibility for an end-to-end service would be subject to further assessments.

Quashed rumours

Rumours that the Central Line may be extended from Epping to North Weald and Ongar were set straight on Monday evening. TFL do not own the North Weald to Ongar part of the railway and so have no jurisdiction over any decision to extend the line. Epping Ongar Railway (EoR) owns this part of the track and any decisions made would be subject to a feasibility study.

Councillors also discussed various issues surrounding high temperatures, quality of ride, frequency of maintenance works, frequency of trains round the ‘loop’ since a recent timetable change and Wi-Fi access.

Princess Alexandra Hospital ‘inadequate’ rating

A line of questioning was agreed by Epping Forest District Councillors before the meeting of Overview and Scrutiny on 30 January 2017.

At which, Councillors will meet the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust and will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the recent report of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which left the Princess Alexandra Hospital with a quality care rating of ‘inadequate’.

Christmas contact information

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We are closed from 5pm on 23 December 2016 until 9am on 3 January 2017. There are still ways you can get in touch with us when you need to over the Christmas holiday period.

Christmas message from Chairman Jeane Lea

Report it

Report it online (non-emergency) – report missed bin, noise, flytipping, fraud, abandoned vehicle, etc.

Report by email (non-emergency) – emails sent here will not be looked at until 3 January 2017.

Phone (emergency) 01992 564000

Housing repairs (emergency) 01992 564199

Social media

We monitor our main Twitter and Facebook accounts every day.

Pay it

Pay online 24/7 – pay Council Tax, rent, business rates, leasehold charges, etc.

Pay by phone 24/7 01992 564600

Our Debden cash office & Epping kiosk will close at 4:30pm on 23 December 2016 and reopen 9am on 3 January 2017.

Our Waltham Abbey library kiosk is subject to Waltham Abbey library opening hours.

Waste and recycling

Christmas 2016 revised collection dates

  • Collection date Tuesday 27 December 2016 revised to Wednesday 28 December 2016
  • Collection date Wednesday 28 December 2016 revised to Thursday 29 December 2016
  • Collection date Thursday 29 December 2016 revised to Friday 30 December 2016
  • Collection date Friday 30 December 2016 revised to Saturday 31 December 2016

Recycling real Christmas trees

Leave your real Christmas trees with your food and garden waste in January 2017. Remove the pot, all decorations and if over 6ft, cut in half to ensure safe collection.

Special collections

Our special collections service closes at 5pm on 23 December 2016 and resume at 9am on 3 January 2017.

Lost or found dogs

Call 07815 512833 weekdays from 7am to 9pm, weekends and bank holidays from 10am to 7pm.

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 22 December 2016 and reopens 10am on 3 January 2017.

Housing benefit payments revised dates

  • Payments due 26 December 2016 will be now be available in bank accounts around 23 December 2016
  • Payments due 02 January 2017 will now be available in bank accounts around 29 December 2016

Normal payment cycle will resume from 9 January 2017.

 

Refuge grateful for generous donations

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A local refuge supporting women, men and children affected by domestic violence thanked council staff and members of a Chigwell church for their Christmas gift donations.

Safer Communities manager Caroline Wiggins and Safer Places Joanne Majauskis

Safer Places

The congregation of St Winifred’s Church in Chigwell together with staff at Epping Forest District Council collected hundreds of Christmas gifts for children at the Safer Places refuge in Harlow.

Safer Places is an independent charity which provides a comprehensive range of services to adults and children affected by all forms of domestic abuse.

Thank you

Joanne Majauskis, Head of Programmes and Practice at Safer Places said: “Living in a refuge is never easy, and Christmas can be particularly difficult. It’s a sad fact that levels of domestic violence tend to rise around the festive period, often leading to more families seeking refuge.”

“I’m very grateful that the congregation of both St Winifred’s Church and staff at Epping Forest District Council have again shown us their support by donating presents for our children.”

Joanne ended with: “Thank you all for your generosity. Hopefully your kindness will make this difficult time easier for those women and children in Essex who are fleeing domestic violence.”

Need support?

If you need support

 

Christmas by candlelight carol service

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Residents, councillors and council staff gathered at Waltham Abbey Church to celebrate Christmas by Candlelight on Thursday 15 December 2016.

Waltham Abbey Church by night

View photos in a slideshow by clicking on a poster below and then click start slideshow

The congregation was treated to the Abbey at its most stunning as the lights dimmed and the candles were lit for the annual Civic Carol Service hosted jointly by Epping Forest District Council and Waltham Abbey Town Council. The service was led by Rev Peter Smith with wonderful musical arrangement from Jonathan Lilley and the church choir.

Readings from King James Bible

Town Mayor Helen Kane welcomed members of the congregation. Councillor Liz Webster and Clerk Kathryn Richmond gave readings taken from the King James Bible on behalf of the Town Council. Rev Canon Dr Joyce Smith also gave a reading as did District Council Vice-Chairman David Stallan and Deputy Chief Executive Derek Macnab on behalf of the district before the final words by Epping Forest District Council Chairman Councillor Jeane Lea.

Traditional Christmas carols

On a magically crisp clear December evening the congregation sang traditional Christmas carols. Mulled wine and mince pies were served later at Waltham Abbey Town Hall. The offertory collection will be shared between the Salvation Army, Waltham Abbey Church and Councillor Lea’s Chairman’s Charity, the Herts and Essex Air Ambulance.

Christmas message from Chairman Jeane Lea

 

St John’s sale opens way to redevelopment

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The £6.75 million sale of Essex County Council’s (ECC) land holdings in St John’s Road to Epping Forest District Council has signalled the start of a process that will see a major redevelopment in the town of Epping.

The sale means Epping Forest District Council and Frontier Estates can now deliver the development brief of new retail and leisure facilities Epping residents said they wanted.

Councillor Chris Whitbread with Councillor Anne Grigg at St John's Road

Sale stalled

The sale stalled after ECC received higher bids for part of its site, but an agreement to sell to Epping Forest District Council at a lower level means the scheme can now move forward.

Combination of retail and leisure

The amended development brief produced in 2012 incorporated many suggestions supported by local residents. The proposed combination of retail and leisure including a small cinema is a triumph of collaborative working and benefits for residents.

The scheme aims to benefit all residents of Epping and brings the derelict school site back into use. The brief allows for commercial development to boost the economy of Epping High Street, improve the town’s infrastructure, create a better mix of leisure and retail to meet local need and provide facilities of particular value to the town’s young people.

The plans include the retention of the Centre Point building as the new home of Epping Town Council. Epping Forest District Council’s Housing Depot will move potentially to North Weald.

Commercial development of the project is being undertaken by Frontier Estates in partnership with Epping Forest District Council and Epping Town Council.

Great news for Epping

Councillor Anne Grigg, Asset Management Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council is delighted that work can now progress.

Following the signing of the agreement to buy the land from Essex County Council, she said: “This is great news for Epping. An incredible amount of hard work has gone in from all sides to balance the interests of local residents and businesses with the financial reality.”

“We are incredibly fortunate that unlike most councils, Epping Forest District Council has the resources to balance the need for profit with the wider interests of the local community. Essex County Council has gone a long way to helping deliver the project and I am now looking forward to working in partnership with Epping Town Council and Frontier Estates to give Epping residents this exciting scheme.”

Work will now begin on preparing planning applications for outline planning permission and detailed planning permission. Meanwhile, Frontier Estates is seeking commercial partners.

Good value for money

Councillor David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council also welcomed the deal. He added: “As with any land development it is absolutely vital to balance the needs of the various parties, while ensuring council taxpayers get good value for money.”

“I am delighted we have been able to work closely with the district council to progress this deal which is really the first stage in kick starting what will be a fantastic redevelopment of this part of Epping.”

Better facilities for our town

Councillor Les Burrows, Chairman of Epping Town Council said: “Epping Town Council will be happy to join in the negotiations over the St John’s development proposals if it will mean better facilities for our town.”

 

New shopping park ahead of schedule

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A forest of steel frames is appearing as Epping Forest Shopping Park takes shape. Senior councillors were delighted when they inspected progress on Thursday 1 December 2016.

Deputy Chief Executive Derek Macnab, Assets Portfolio Holder Anne Grigg, Site Manager Alex McCalley and Council Chairman Jeane Lea

View photos in a slideshow by clicking on a poster below and then click start slideshow

New structures

Where the old council depot stood beside derelict land, foundation piles are being driven up to 9 metres into the ground while metal structures stretch skywards. Remains of the old buildings are now compacted to form the base of new shoppers car parks.

McLaughlin and Harvey Project Manager Alex McCalley greeted the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Jeane Lea and the Assets Portfolio Holder Councillor Anne Grigg for the second time to review progress. They were accompanied by Council Deputy Chief Executive Derek Macnab who is overseeing the project in his capacity as Director of Neighbourhoods.

Original buildings demolished and recycled

Since the last review at the end of September, all the original buildings have been demolished and recycled as hardcore for the new car parks. Attenuation tanks have been installed to manage surface water drainage. Foundation piles now dot the landscape.

Massive steel beams and columns are being bolted together in a delicate and carefully choreographed process supported by huge cranes and guided by skilled workmen. Drainage pipes are being laid. Retaining walls are being built where the landscape falls away towards the back of the site.

Ahead of schedule

Alex McCalley has built many retail parks. Loughton is ahead of schedule and he is enjoying it. He said: “This is one of the best sites we have worked on. It is nice and open. The ground is good and the weather has been really kind to us. The groundworks are well advanced with the surface water storage tanks installed.”

“The demolition of the old buildings and the piling went really well. It has allowed us to bring forward other parts of the project and get the steel work off to an excellent start. Kerb stones are going in and car parks should be tarmacked within the next 3 to 4 weeks.”

Construction going really well

Assets Portfolio Holder Anne Grigg updated council colleagues at the Cabinet meeting later that day. Afterwards she said: “Construction is going really well. We are obviously entering the worst of the winter months. We had some extremely cold temperatures at the end of November but so far McLaughlin and Harvey seem to have managed very well.”

“The site is clean and well organised. Installation of the steel frames is very fast. There is still a long way to go but at this rate we should have our first shops moving in by the end of the summer with a potential official opening in time for next Christmas.”

Councillor Grigg added: “We have a great line up of businesses preparing to move in and I know many local residents can’t wait for the park to open. However, this is more than just a flagship retail development. Epping Forest Shopping Park will bring much needed jobs and investment to the district. It will encourage residents to spend more money locally, boosting the local economy. Rental income to Epping Forest District Council will help to pay for local services and keep Council Tax down.”

Congratulate everyone involved

Council Chairman Jeane Lea was also very happy with the visit. She said: “It is a great privilege to be involved. I was very pleased to hear all the steel is British-made. I can only say how well the works are going and congratulate everyone involved. I can’t wait to see the first units open.”

 

Free weekend parking in December 16

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There will be no pay and display car park charges in Epping Forest District Council car parks in the run-up to Christmas this year!

car parks

It will be free to park in Council car parks on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays throughout December 2016.

Making shopping locally easier

Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder, Councillor Gary Waller said: ”We have relaxed the car park charges throughout the month of December again this year, to make shopping as easy as possible for our residents in the run up to Christmas.”

Supporting local retailers

He continued: ”We hope that this will help to support our local retailers and town centres too, encouraging our residents to shop locally rather than taking their custom outside the district.”

Our civil enforcement officers will be patrolling as usual and all other conditions of the council car parks will still be in force.