Personal Speech by the Chairman

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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

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

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

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

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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

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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.

Community Service Medal – Ray Skinner

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The second Community Service Medal presentation goes to a member of the Essex County Fire and Rescue service. He has protected the lives and homes of the people of Essex and Hertfordshire for 27 years, 14 of which have been served in the Epping Forest area.

For the last five years our medal winner has been the Essex Community Commander for Harlow and Epping, ensuring both Fire Safety and the operational side of the service. Under his command, the division has become the best performing in the County.

Chairman Penny Smith with Ray Skinner

With a broader remit as Chairman of the Essex Resilience Forum Support Group, he has been pivotal in the co-ordination of emergency response planning among blue-light emergency services, health and local authorities across the county.

Chairman Quizzed for Charity

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In a brain teasing evening for all participants, the annual quiz night in aid of Epping Forest District Council Chairman`s Charity took place at Theydon Bois Village Hall on Friday 19 February 2010.

In a keenly-fought contest, The Grand Slammers won by nine points from their arch rivals Caterpillars, thus gaining revenge for their defeats in the past two years. Butterflies were third with 220 points, whilst the Chairman`s Team achieved a very respectable fourth position with 212 points. Fairies, one of two Epping Forest Youth Council teams, gained some consolation for finishing in the wooden spoon position by winning the fancy dress competition.

Chairman Penny Smith with the winning team

The proceedings were again smoothly conducted by Quizmasters Ian Willett and Ian White, with considerable assistance from their band of Lieutenants, marshalled by Kim Partridge. The Chairman, Councillor Penny Smith, thanked everyone for taking part and announced that the evening had raised in excess of £700 for her chosen charity, the Epping Forest branch of the Alzheimer`s Society.

    The results:

  1. The Grand Slammers 232 points
  2. Caterpillars 223 points
  3. Butterflies 220 points
  4. The Chairman`s Team 212 points
  5. The Composers 207 points
  6. Pretty Vacant 203 points
  7. Shh IT Happens 183 points
  8. Kay`s Kids 181 points
  9. The Muppets 180 points
  10. Tawney Owls 175 points
  11. Ordinary People 158 points
  12. Super Hero’s 156 points
  13. Hotter & Fuzzier 154 points
  14. Quizee Rascals 151 points
  15. Hot Fuzz 147 points
  16. Fairies 120 points

Nominate Your Citizen of the Year

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Do you know someone who has shown outstanding courage, or has done something of great benefit to you or your community? Perhaps someone who has shown extraordinary commitment, energy and effort in their particular field or towards achieving a particular goal?

If that person is a resident of the district, why not show your appreciation and nominate them for Epping Forest District Council`s accolade, a Citizen of the Year Award?

The closing date for nominations for the Epping Forest District Council Citizen of the Year 2010 is fast approaching. Forms should reach the Council no later than Friday 27 November 2009. The Citizen of the Year 2010 will receive their award at the Annual Civic Reception in March 2010.

The Council is asking people to nominate a person they feel fits the criteria and deserves recognition. There is no lower or upper age limit but employees of Epping Forest District Council and current serving Councillors are not eligible.

If you know someone who fits the bill and deserves to be recognised, fill in a nomination form. The forms can be obtained at Council Information Desks at Epping, Loughton or Waltham Abbey and Buckhurst Hill Parish Council Information Centre.

Chairman Welcomes Guests to Copped Hall

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Mayors and Chairman from Councils across Essex were able to see the latest renovation works to Copped Hall Mansion at a reception hosted by Epping Forest District Council Chairman, Councillor Penny Smith. The dignitaries were treated to a tour of the mansion which was gutted by fire in 1917, before viewing the gardens on a bright early autumn day in October.

Councillor Penny Smith and guests in front of Copped Hall

Picture caption – Councillor Penny Smith, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council and guests in front of Copped Hall.

Councillor Penny Smith with the Chairmans Escort Ian Hull in the Copped Hall gardenFrom being an empty shell open to the elements, members of the Copped Hall Trust have now made the mansion weather-proof. New floors and staircases are gradually being constructed as the Trustees open up the building for visitors. The gardens and many of the associated buildings have now been restored to something approaching their former glory. Historical artefacts and photographs form part of an exhibition in some of the newly-restored rooms.

Copped Hall is being opened up to cultural and community events ranging from music recitals to the now annual Rotary fun-run through the Estate.

Picture caption – Councillor Penny Smith, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council with the Chairmans Escort Ian Hull in the Copped Hall garden.

Councillor Penny Smith said: “Copped Hall is part of our district’s heritage. The current mansion was built in the grounds of a previous Tudor house where the first performance of ‘A Mid-summer Night’s Dream’ is reputed to have taken place. With the help of many volunteers, the Trustees have done a tremendous amount of work. Copped Hall is now open for advertised guided tours and the reception provided the perfect opportunity for us to spread the news about Copped Hall across Essex.”

Guests shown around the Copped Hall walled garden

Picture caption – guests shown around the Copped Hall walled garden.

“There is still much work to be done but the mansion retains a special atmosphere. As floors are laid, fireplaces are restored and the Trustees add furniture to some of the rooms, you begin to get a sense of how the house must have felt in its heyday. From the cellars and kitchens up to the main rooms and bedrooms, Copped Hall and its estate accommodated a rich and diverse community of people. It was a focal point for the people of Epping and Upshire. As the restoration continues, it is once again becoming a major asset to our district.”

Alan Cox of the Copped Hall Trust shows guests the renovation works

Picture caption – Alan Cox of the Copped Hall Trust shows guests the renovation works.

Councillor Smith’s guests enjoyed a light lunch in one of the newly-restored rooms, resplendent with a blazing logfire in a magnificently restored fireplace.

Nominations Sought for Citizen of the Year

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Citizen of the Year Awards 2010

The search is on to find the Epping Forest District Council Citizen of the Year 2010.

Do you know someone who has shown outstanding courage, or has done something of great benefit to you or your community? Perhaps someone who has shown extraordinary commitment, energy and effort in their particular field or towards achieving a particular goal?

If that person is a resident of the district, why not show your appreciation and nominate them for Epping Forest District Council`s accolade, a Citizen of the Year Award? The Citizen of the Year 2010 will receive their award at the Annual Civic Reception in March 2010.

If you know someone who fits the bill and deserves to be recognised, fill in a nomination form and make sure it reaches the Civic Offices by Friday 27 November 2009. The forms can be obtained at Council Information Desks at Epping, Loughton or Waltham Abbey and Buckhurst Hill Parish Council Information Centre, or by telephoning 01992 564427.