Special Conservation Award – Alan Cox

Written on . Posted in Civic events, Conservation and listed buildings, Democracy, Media, Your council, Your environment

The Epping Forest district is rich in history and culture. Waltham Abbey, the Royal Gunpowder Mills, Blake Hall and North Weald enjoy high public profiles. Historic and literary figures as diverse as Winston Churchill, Charles Dickens and the infamous Dick Turpin have added colour and some notoriety. But nestling on the boundary between Upshire and Epping Upland, one of our oldest and most important historic buildings is once again becoming a centre for culture and the community.

The history of the Copped Hall Estate stretches back many hundreds of years. The first performance of A Mid-Summer Night`s Dream is said to have been performed in the grounds of the old Tudor mansion. For centuries, the lives of people for miles around were centred on the Estate.

Then, disaster struck. In 1917, the Hall was gutted by fire. It became a shell in danger of collapse and total loss.

Alan Cox with Chairman Penny Smith

But Copped Hall holds a special place in our imaginations. Battered and scarred, it still inspires. And none more so than in the mind of the winner of our next award, made this evening in recognition of his flair, passion and sheer determination to see Copped Hall restored to its former glory, though not this time as a seat of privilege but as a centre of history and culture for our whole community.

Since 1986 he has worked tirelessly, first to secure, then to stabilise, before beginning the long process of restoration. He has not been alone. There are now some 1,000 Friends of Copped Hall, many of whom are actively involved in the restoration work and community activities, a Board of Trustees and a range of other partners driving forward or supporting the process.

Copped Hall is coming back to life thanks in large part to the leadership of our award winner. Special Conservation Award goes to the Alan Cox, architect leading the restoration of Copped Hall.

Young Citizen of the Year 2010 – Tom Peters

Written on . Posted in Civic events, Democracy, Media, Young people, Your council

The Young Citizen of the Year comes from Chigwell. He is 17 years of age, a keen sportsman, a member of Upper Clapton Rugby Club and working toward the Level 1 Football Association Coaching Certificate.

Our winner is a volunteer, working with the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and Epping Forest District Council at the Limes Farm Social Inclusion Project in Chigwell. Young people need positive role models and our Young Citizen of the Year is among the finest examples.

Tom Peters with Chairman Penny Smith

He is an inspiration to the young people he works with, respected and admired. Through voluntary community work he has found a fulfilling vocation he intends to develop and sustain, having recently applied to work with the Children`s Charity, Barnardos and pursue a career as a youth worker supporting some of the most vulnerable young people in our society.

When asked how he would spend the £100 prize money attached to his award, he said the football club needs some extra equipment or it could be put towards a youth day out.

There were 8 nominations received for the Epping Forest Young Citizen of the Year. The judges awarded three high commendations to 17 year olds Samantha Saville, a student at Epping Forest College and member of Loughton Centre for Young People, O`Shea Marguerite, a former Waltham Forest College student and member of Limes Farm Youth Centre and eleven year old Billy Millham from West Hatch School in Chigwell.

High Commendation – Dave Stannard

Written on . Posted in Civic events, Democracy, Housing, Media, Your council

Few people are better known in Debden than Dave Stannard. The driving force behind Debden Day, a key member of Debden Town Centre Partnership and one of the most influential voices guiding Epping Forest District Council through the highly successful and recently completed Broadway Enhancement Scheme, Dave is one of the most recognisable figures within the community.

Never has Dave’s work for the Broadway been more important. As High Streets the length and breadth of the Country have struggled to survive the recession, Dave’s tireless work to build and maintain the spirit that makes the Broadway the focal point of the local community is invaluable.

Dave Stannard with Chairman Penny Smith

While his contribution to the community is enormous, the friends who nominated Dave focused most of all upon Debden Day, the annual celebration that brings the whole community together. Debden Day is a huge undertaking. Each year it has grown, becoming bigger and better. And Dave is at the heart of it, beginning to plan and prepare for the next event almost before the last one has finished.

Dave’s nomination says We know we are very lucky to have this selfless, hardworking and generous man amongst our community who definitely deserves the award of Citizen of the Year!

Citizen of the Year 2010 – John Carr

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The Nomination for John Carr as Citizen of the Year describes him as Mr Nazeing. John has lived in the village since 1966.

Now retired from local politics, John was a District and Parish Councillor for many years. Always independent, he has always worked with people to try to get the best for his community. However, his influence for good has gone well beyond the boundaries of Nazeing.

Chairman Penny Smith with John Carr

John has always taken a lead in local health issues, championing the cause of patients and health service users. He played a key role in the establishment of the village health centre. He served on the former Community Health Council, Public and Patient Involvement Committee and remains an active member of Essex and Southend Link which provides advice on allowances and health provision.

Today, much of his voluntary work still involves support for elderly and physically disabled residents, arranging outings and events such as Christmas dinners.

However, it is possibly for his many years of devoted support to St Clare Hospice that John is most well-known. One of the founding Trustees, John worked on behalf of the Hastingwood based Hospice near Thornwood for some twenty years, campaigning and raising money needed to develop this much-needed facility. Even today at the age of 71 he is an active volunteer and supporter of St Clare.

John received two separate nominations for Citizen of the Year 2010. One of his nominators says John Carr is a real gentleman, always approachable with a warm personality. Anyone in need of assistance can always be sure he will do his best to support them.

High Commendation – Tony Moore

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Tony Moore is a catalyst and an inspiration to any who know him. So says his nomination for Epping Forest Citizen of the Year.

Tony Moore and Chairman Penny Smith

For more than 40 years, Tony has been contributing to and enriching the lives of the people around him. In 1968 he became the warden of the newly- formed Ongar Community Association, a paid position from which he entered voluntary work with Ongar Rotary Club.

Having a daughter with a disability, Tony was acutely aware of her special needs. He turned his skills and energy towards enriching not only her life but also that of many other people with disabilities. He organised sponsored walks which raised thousands of pounds for mobility chairs. He took over an old canal boat and raised the funds to fit it out for children and adults with special needs.

Music is a passion. With the Three Valleys Choir he has arranged free performances for people with special needs and his singing competitions have breathed new life into Budworth Hall in Ongar.

Personal Speech by the Chairman

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Democracy, Your council

Chairman Penny Smith giving a personal speechA personal speech by Chairman Penny Smith closing the Epping Forest District Council Civic Awards held at Gilwell Park Conference Centre on 18 March 2010.

Let me begin by congratulating you John as our new Citizen of the Year. Yours is richly-deserved recognition. Tony and Dave also deserve great praise, as do all of this evening’s award winners. What a splendid district we have with so many wonderful people.

As councillors, we take pride in knowing our communities. We work with people, take on their problems and try to make things better – all of which is good. But as Chairman I think you see another perspective.

I thought about this after meeting some old friends at Christmas, past chairmen of Epping Forest District Council who agreed to give readings at the Carol service in All Saints` Church. I think we have a bond of common experience because of the people the chairman gets to meet.

Tom Peters recieves the Young Citizen of the Year award from Chairman Penny SmithIt is very refreshing. Our residents are simply getting on with normal daily life. They are the volunteers at Macmillan Coffee mornings. They are our own council staff or mums and dads with their children at a new playground. They are police, fire and ambulance officers, and the countless other people going about their normal business but adding immeasurably to the benefit of our district.

So for us as councillors, I think the Civic Awards is a chance to stop, draw breath and take a fresh look. To see that behind the newspaper headlines, the political battles and debates, the marvellous award winners we have met this evening represent the tip of an ice-berg. A district full of people achieving great things. A district of kind, generous and gentle people, protecting, helping and caring for each other. But there is one group in our community I particularly want to mention before closing.

John Carr recieves the Citizen of the Year award from Chairman Penny SmithI want to tell you briefly about another event I attended. Last week, students and youth councillors converged on the Council from all corners of the district to participate in our latest Epping Forest District Youth Council conference and debate.

Young people are labelled with negative stereotypes and this was highlighted as an issue during the conference.

But the Conference was another remarkable illustration to me of the fine qualities to be found among the younger generations. I would recommend you take a look at the webcast of their debate on reducing the voting age. As personified by our new Young Citizen of the Year, Tom Peters, our youth councillors and in all the young people who came to the Council last week, we have the finest young citizens.

We should be proud and not disparaging of our young people.

The Councillors of Epping Forest District Council represent a community of which we can be truly proud. Tonight we say thank you to some of our brightest and the best, old and young. But we are also saying thank you to every good citizen of our district – formally recognised or not.

It just remains for me to wish you good night. Thank you to you all. I hope you have had a lovely evening and I wish you a safe journey home. Good night and God bless.

Civic Awards 2010

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Chairman Penny Smith congratulates the winners

Local community heroes were honoured at the annual Civic Awards and Dinner held at Gilwell Park conference centre on 18 March 2010.

The awards are a chance for the Council to recognise the people who give their time and energy on behalf of others and their local community.

The evening was hosted by the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Penny Smith and was presided over by Toastmaster Robert Pursell.

The evening raised almost £900 for the Chairman’s charity, the Epping Forest Branch of the Alzheimer’s Society.


Watch the webcast of the Civic Awards 2010

Chairman with the Civic Awards 2010 winners

Civic Awards

Citizen of the Year 2010 – John Carr

Young Citizen of the Year 2010 – Tom Peters

High Commendation – Dave Stannard

High Commendation – Tony Moore

Special Conservation Award – Alan Cox

Community Awards

Sports Bursary winner – Emma Hollis

Arts Bursary winner – Christoper Crichlow

Community Service medal – Sally Pattie

Community Service medal – Ray Skinner

Community Service medal – Mark Sheridan-Brown

Epping Forest District Council Employee Awards

People are the most important asset of any organisation. This year, Councillor Collins was assisted in her search for the Council`s best employees by Councillor Syd Stavrou. They met and interviewed staff over several days in February. Councillor Di Collins joined the Chairman on stage for the presentations.

Epping Forest District Council Employee of the Year – Dawn Jolley

Epping Forest District Council Team of the Year – the Academy Project Team

Epping Forest District Council Dealing with the Public Award – Sheltered Housing Scheme Managers

Epping Forest District Council Outstanding Contribution Award – Pat Seager

Group shot of Chairman Penny Smith with employee award winners

Personal Speech by the Chairman

Chairman Penny Smith talks with Alan Cox at dinnerChairman Penny Smith with guests

Sports Bursary Winner – Emma Hollis

Written on . Posted in Civic events, Community, Democracy, Media, Our activities, Residents, Sports, Young people, Your council

Emma Hollis, a young lady from Theydon Bois, is no stranger to the Council or to our local newspapers. She is making the headlines as one of our top hopes for a swimming medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Three years ago she was a recipient of a small sports bursary, receiving £500 towards her training and competition costs.

Now aged 18 and studying for her A-levels at Chigwell School, our Sports Bursary winner trains six evenings and two mornings each week. A member of Epping Forest District Swimming Club at Loughton Leisure Centre, she is a British record holder in the S8 400 metre Individual Medley, the S8 50 metre and S8 100 metre Breaststroke.

Chairman Penny Smith with Emma Hollis

Small bursaries can be a wise investment in our young people. This year, three smaller sports awards will also be made. One of £500 to Emma`s younger brother James who is also a swimmer. Another to Charlie Collins to develop his martial arts skills in Karate and the third to cyclist Edward Bird, each of whom will receive £250.

Arts Bursary Winner – Christoper Crichlow

Written on . Posted in Civic events, Community, Democracy, Media, Our activities, Residents, Sports, Your council

The Arts Bursary winner is a young man from Ongar who attends Debden Park High School. His interest is in music. As a member of the Loughton Youth Project he is one of the presenters of the Urban Show broadcast every Thursday. He featured on the Loughton Youth Project recording `Wot Defines U`.

At just 16 years of age, he is already a talented composer, writer and producer. During the judging process, our panel was especially impressed by his drive to make inspirational, positive and enriching contemporary music. The Bursary will help to meet the costs of equipment and recording time in a professional studio.

Christoper Crichlow with Chairman Penny Smith

Four further Arts awards of £500 to £1,500 are to be made to Laura Sibbick from Loughton for her redevelopment of the Deptford Mice theatre production, Georgina Perriam from Loughton who has created a new piece of children`s theatre, Aaron Griffiths from Loughton for a Mac Book to develop his skills as a Graphic Artist and Toby Riches from Ongar to support two international tours with Essex Music Services and Chichester University.

Community Service Medal – Sally Pattie

Written on . Posted in Civic events, Community, Democracy, Media, Residents, Volunteering opportunities, Your community, Your council

Community Service medals are awarded to members of the Emergency Services who have made a special contribution or shown care and dedication well above and beyond the call of duty.

Few people have seen or adapted better to the changes in the emergency services over the years than the first of our Community Service Medal winners. When she joined the ambulance service in 1980, women were rare in the service. She was soon to become the first female paramedic in Essex, a distinction that led to her appointment as attending paramedic to the Queen at the opening of the Q E Two bridge in 1991.

Chairman Penny Smith with Sally Pattie

The first few minutes after an accident, stroke or heart attack can be crucial to the survival of a patient. As well as helping people directly, over the years our Medal winner has helped by training many hundreds, or possibly thousands, of ordinary people in life-saving skills such as CPR. She also played a pivotal role in the Anne Diamond `Back to Bed` campaign, visiting families who have lost babies and providing training in neonatal resuscitation.

Few developments more starkly demonstrate the advance of the life-saving equipment over the last 30 years than the introduction of Air Ambulances. Working with the Essex Police helicopter team, our winner evaluated the potential for air transportation in pre-hospital care now part of the everyday life-saving role of the Essex Air Ambulance.