As the weather is getting nicer, there has never been a better time to get on your bike and get active in the fresh air! To make things even easier, cycling for health have added new Friday dates to their 2017 diary!
Suitable for all
There are different routes which have been graded into 3 different intensity levels, which means there is something for everyone.
Next (including a Costa Coffee), TK Max, Aldi, Hobbycraft, Pets at Home and Smyths Toys have been confirmed among the tenants of the new Epping Forest Shopping Park. Councillor Anne Grigg made the announcement at the meeting of Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet on 15 June. Construction of the retail units is nearing completion with the supporting highway improvements due to finish in August. The Council expects handover on 19 June with the start of shop fitting starting a week later. The park will also set high green transport standards in Essex with 10 electric charging points.
Local Plan Implementation
Proposed masterplans covering areas in Epping, Waltham Abbey, Loughton, North Weald, Ongar, Chigwell and sites around Harlow will be produced as Epping Forest District Council works towards the implementation of the new Local Plan. The need for strategic masterplans to ensure development and infrastructure requirements across groups of sites in the same area was outlined in a report presented by Planning Portfolio Holder John Philip.
Councillor Philip explained that it was necessary to show the government-appointed inspector that the Council is taking steps to ensure that growth can be delivered in a coordinated way with necessary infrastructure provided. He emphasised that this does not mean any sites will definitely be in or out of the final Local Plan or that planning approvals have been decided or approved. No definitive decisions have as yet been taken on which sites will be included in the final draft of the Local Plan.
Councillors should be involved early without being predisposed to deciding planning applications. None of the work proposed in the report committed councillors to approving individual sites or applications.
Cabinet approved proposals to allocate the Homelessness Support Grant. Councillors supported the recommendations by Housing Portfolio Holder Syd Stavrou to allocate £60,000 to Genesis Housing Association to provide private sector accommodation, and £29,000 to the young parents scheme at Railway Meadow in Ongar. Further allocations will be made as additional reports come to Cabinet.
Reports on the extension of superfast broadband and free wifi in town centres put forward by Technology Portfolio Holder Alan Lion were supported by Cabinet colleagues.
If you are interested and want further information contact Essex Employment & Skills Team on 03330 138962.
Young people are the future
Leader of Epping Forest District Council Councillor Chris Whitbread said: “Apprenticeships can help develop the skills and knowledge needed in someone’s career. They can be especially beneficial for young people who have little or no experience of the workplace“
“I am very pleased that Epping Forest District Council is able to offer these apprenticeship posts. Young people are the future and I am delighted that this council is able to invest in them. We are a small council but provide a wide range of services, so there are a number of varied and interesting opportunities here. I would urge anyone who has finished school or college this summer and not sure of their next step to find out more about joining our apprenticeship scheme.”
Residents and visitors to the county are advised they may see armed officers patrolling in places they may not usually.
Bank Holiday weekend
This Bank Holiday weekend is set to be hot and sunny and thousands of people will be out enjoying our countryside and coast.
Armed and specialist police
The move to have armed and specialist police officers patrolling ports, airports, railway stations as well as in places where people gather in crowds like seaside towns is as a response to the national threat level being raised to critical.
”Enjoy yourself, don’t change plans”
Chief Superintendent Ewen Wilson said: “My message to people this Bank Holiday is please enjoy yourselves this weekend and don’t change your plans.
Don’t be alarmed
“You may well see armed police officers and other specialist units this weekend. Please don’t be alarmed if you see them. It doesn’t mean they’re responding to a specific threat and there is no intelligence on any threat with an Essex link.
“Police officers with guns can look unusual, but please come and talk to us. Say hello, introduce yourself. We are asking officers to work long hours keeping Essex safe and a hello and a smile will top up our energy levels.”
Extra security checks
Anyone travelling or attending an event this weekend may need to allow some more time if there are extra security checks at those events.
The Nazeing Triangle Nature Reserve has a brand new and accessible jetty, thanks to the hard work of Countrycare, their loyal volunteers and the Tesco, Bags of Help project.
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Habitat and access improvements
Countrycare received £8,000 in funding to help improve Nazeing triangle nature reserve’s habitat for local wildlife and provide better access for visitors.
The money was raised by the Tesco 5p carrier bag charge, which is to be used for grants to improve local parks, hold community events, support sports groups and more, in association with Groundwork – the community charity with a green heart.
Water boatmen, beetles and dragonflies
The project’s second stage was finished on Thursday 4 May 2017, following the installation of 23 pre-planted coir mats.
The mats were planted with purple loosestrife, yellow flag iris and lesser pond sedge, these will help improve the habitat around the pond edge, making it a more desirable habitat for invertebrates such as water boatmen, diving beetles and dragonflies.
A short path leading to the jetty and a handrail alongside the boardwalk have both been installed to make the Nazeing Triangle nature reserve more accessible for everyone to enjoy.
New information panel
The final stage of the project will be the installation of a new information panel, it is hoped this will happen in the summer months.
Countrycare have also given the meadow it’s yearly cut, this will help encourage wildflowers to grow and prevent coarser grasses taking over.
A spokesperson for Epping Forest District Council apologised for the inconvenience. He said: “The problems started yesterday but seem to have become worse overnight. Many organisations right across North London and Essex are affected.”
“We apologise for the inconvenience but hope our customers will understand and bear with us while these issues for Virgin Media and Talk Talk outside our control are resolved.”
The spokesperson added: “Emergency calls are being redirected to our partner Mears and still being answered.”
To help raise awareness for Dementia Awareness Week (14 – 20 May 2017), we are launching the first of our 8 dementia friends sessions on Tuesday 16 May at Waltham Abbey Library and we would like you to join us!
Click on an image to begin the slideshow
Become a dementia friend
We are calling on local businesses, community groups and individuals to attend one of our events and become a dementia friend.
Small ways to help
Each session is focuses on learning more about what it is like to live with dementia, helping you understand the small ways you can help and make life easier for those living with dementia in your community.
Each session lasts for an hour and will be provided at the following Essex County Council Libraries
Tell us what you think about our revised planning application local validation list.
We are consulting on revisions to the validation list of local information requirements. This now includes the addition of a guidance note on the submission of viability and financial appraisals for affordable housing.
What is the local validation list?
The local validation list identifies information required to register, assess and validate a planning application. We are asking any person or organization with an interest in or involvement with planning applications submitted to Epping Forest District Council to respond.
The previous validation list was produced in 2015 and we are required to review it every 2 years.
Councillors reaffirmed their commitment to build more new council houses at the meeting of Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet on 6 April. Approving the recommendations of the Finance and Performance Management Cabinet Committee, Councillors agreed to proceed with Phases 3 to 6 of the house building programme.
Epping Forest District Council will match-fund local Essex County Council highway schemes. Cabinet approved capital funding of £50,000 to secure additional funding for highways schemes approved through the Epping Forest Local Highway Panel.
Investing in tourism
Cabinet also approved a number of recommendations of the Asset Management and Economic Development Cabinet Committee. These included the provision of way-markers from Waltham Abbey town centre for the Royal Gunpowder Mills and the Lea Valley White Water Centre as the Council encourages tourism within the local economy.
Shopping park and retail units
Councillors received updates on the construction before discussing commercial contracts for the new Epping Forest Shopping Park in private. The new park is due to open next summer. Commercial details remain confidential as the Council finalises the anchor tenants. However, negotiations are proceeding well. Income from the shopping park of between £2.2m and £2.7m is expected to make a considerable contribution to the funding of Epping Forest District Council services in coming years.
Councillors also noted progress on new ground-floor shop units at the former Winston Churchill site in Loughton and the purchase of the former school site in St John’s Road Epping from Essex County Council.
Sun Street police station
In private session Councillors also discussed the former Sun Street police station in Waltham Abbey. Essex Police Estates has indicated bids for the vacant building situated next to the District Council-owned museum should be lodged with their agent by 12 April.