Cabinet Discuss Possibility of Retail Park in Loughton

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The possibility of a new retail park at Loughton, cessation of the Gypsy and Traveller Development Plan, Parking Reviews, O2 Mast in Honey Lane, the Olympic White Water Canoe Centre and heating charges at Ninefields were among the many topics discussed at Cabinet on Monday 19 July 2010.

Watch the meeting:

Subsidised Heating costs for Ninefields Tenants

Tenants of Epping Forest District Council will have the increased costs of heating paid temporarily until new boilers are fitted in their homes. The Cabinet has agreed a budget of £57,000 for tenants living on the Ninefields estate in Waltham Abbey which will see their heating bills fall back from £22.19 per week to the 2009/10 level of £16.69.

The tenants involved are due to have replacement boilers fitted over the next two years. The new efficient boilers will allow individual energy usage costs to be apportioned to each tenant and should also cut the total amount of energy used by tenants. Long term costs to tenants and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions will also mean significant financial and environmental benefits.

Lifting of Gypsy and Traveller Direction

Councillors took the opportunity to thank local residents who played their part in the lifting the Gypsy and Traveller Direction. Councillor Di Collins, Leader of the Council welcomed the news from Government that the Direction was removed. Subject to final Council approval on 27 July, the Cabinet agreed to notify residents and travellers immediately of the decision, to cease all further work on the Gypsy and Traveller Development Plan Document, to update the council website and to reassure all affected residents that land identified within the consultation now returned to their pre-direction status (unless changed by normal planning applications in the meantime).

Parking Reviews

Councillor Syd Stavrou reported that Essex County Council was exploring cheaper ways of advertising the three parking reviews for Epping, Loughton and Buckhurst Hill. She asked for authorisation (with the Leader of Council and Finance Portfolio Holder) to recommence the schemes if affordable and acceptable advertising costs could be established by ECC. Councillor Stavrou also asked for flexibility to adapt or scale back the schemes should other savings still be necessary. Councillors heard that ECC hoped to be able to provide details in the next week to ten days.

Investment in Sports Equipment and Leisure Centre but new Sports Facility Postponed

In the current financial climate, councillors agreed to postpone proposals to develop additional sports facilities at Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool. Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder Brian Rolfe put forward the proposal to delay with great reluctance but noted that sports facilities continued to be provided at the sports centre in Broomstick Hall Road. Cabinet also agreed a range of measures to fund capital investment in other council-owned sports facilities in exchange for reduced management costs from centre manager SLM Ltd.

Extending the management contract with SLM, the Council will invest almost £800,000 in improved health and fitness facilities for Loughton Leisure Centre with annual management cost savings of £100,000. £192,000 will be invested in new fitness equipment at Epping and Ongar in exchange for reduced managements costs of £53,000 per year. Finance Portfolio Holder Chris Whitbread noted the annual return for the council of 12 per cent on the deal, far better than any conventional investment the council could make at the current time.

White Water Canoe Centre Olympic Partnership

Epping Forest District Council hopes to join Broxbourne Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council in partnership to maximise the benefits of the Olympic White Water Canoe Centre under construction between Waltham Abbey and Waltham Cross. Each Council would help to fund a new shared post. Epping Forest District Council would provide £10,000 per year while Broxbourne and Hertfordshire County Council will provide £20,000 each per annum to market and promote environmental improvements and the opportunities offered to local residents and businesses. The position would last for two years but is still subject to further detailed negotiation. Up to 70,000 people are expected to visit the centre each year, potentially providing major economic benefits to the adjoining towns. Lea Valley Regional Park owns the Centre and will reassume management from LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) after the 2012 Games.

Retail Park Negotiations for Loughton

A retail development to complement existing shop keepers in Loughton Broadway could come to Langston Road. Epping Forest District Council and Polofind Ltd, owners of neighbouring sites are exploring the possibility.

Councillor Lesley Wagland, Legal and Estates Portfolio Holder said that only 14 per cent of retail spend in this type of development is retained in the district. Most people go outside the district for their out of town retail park spending. This could be a real opportunity to encourage residents to spend more money locally, creating new jobs as well as supporting existing businesses.

In any such development, councillors were keen to see easy pedestrian access between the Broadway and a retail park as well as good links with the local underground station. Councillors also wished to ensure full consultation with residents and local businesses. The current layout of Chigwell Lane could prove a stumbling block. Progress on proposals is partly dependent on satisfactory highway improvements.

Councillor Wagland also assured Cabinet that controls are usually placed on out of town retail parks to ensure that they complement rather than compete with local town centres for trade. In response to a question, Councillor Wagland did not completely rule out the possibility of some form of cinema.

Annual Council 2010

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Councillors, Democracy, Meetings, Your council

Epping Forest District Council has elected Councillor Anne Grigg as its new Chairman. The Council also welcomed twenty new and returning councillors to its first full meeting on 25 May following the local District Council Elections.

Outgoing Chairman, Councillor Penny Smith reflected on her year. Among the highlights  was the North Weald Community Weekend at which veterans from Norway joined local residents for three days of memories and celebrations. She expressed her appreciation for the support of the Council Chief Executive, Peter Haywood and his staff before thanking councillors for their support over the previous 12 months.

Councillor Di Collins, Leader of Council congratulated Councillor Smith and thanked her for all her efforts as Chairman over the previous year. Councillor Caroline Pond, Leader of Loughton Residents Association spoke of the calm, efficient and carefully planned manner in which Mrs Smith conducted the role. Councillor Jon Whitehouse, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group spoke of the enthusiasm and smile with which Mrs Smith fulfilled her role.

Mrs Smith reported that £4,000 from her charity fundraising would be donated to the Alzheimers Society.  

Councillor Anne Grigg receives the Chain of Office from Councillor Penny Smith as she is sworn in as the new Chairman of Epping Forest District Council

Councillor David Stallan nominated Councillor Anne Grigg as the new Chairman of Epping Forest District Council. Councillor Grigg was first elected to the Council in 1998. She has held many senior positions including portfolio holder for Planning and Economic Development. She has also served with distinction on North Weald Bassett Parish Council in positions ranging from clerk to chairman.

Councillor Di Collins seconded the nomination and Councillor Grigg was appointed to the unanimous approval of councillors. Councillor Grigg then paid warm tribute to Mrs Smith for her work on behalf of the Council.

To the approval of all members, Councillor Mrs Grigg invited Councillor Caroline Pond to nominate Councillor Ken Angold-Stephens for Vice-Chairman.

Councillor Ken Angold-Stephens accepts the nomination of fellow Councillors to become the new Vice-Chairman of Epping Forest District Council

Cancer Research UK will benefit as one of Councillor Griggs Chairman`s Charities. She will also support St Clare Hospice at Hastingwood, Chigwell Riding Trust for Special Needs at Chigwell and the Essex Air Ambulance as her good causes for the year.

Mrs Grigg will take part in the Race for Life at North Weald later in the year. She also asked councillors to sponsor the Council`s Director of Environment and Street Scene, John Gilbert who will be raising money on behalf of the Chairman`s Charity as he sails cross the Bay of Biscay to Spain next month.

Councillor Di Collins was re-elected as Council Leader and Chairman of a new Cabinet increased from eight to nine portfolios. Councillors Lesley Wagland and Penny Smith join the Cabinet for the first time as colleagues of Councillors Chris Whitbread, Brian Rolfe, Syd Stavrou, Richard Bassett, Mary Sartin, and David Stallan.

Councillor Richard Morgan was re-elected Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Councillor Brian Sandler will continue to Chair meetings of the District Development Control Committee.

Former Councillor Mrs Ann Haigh is applauded by councillors as the Chairman presents a medal in recognition of 14 years service to the Community as a member for Buckhurst Hill

Tributes were also made to former councillors who did not return to the Council Chamber after the elections. Particular warmth was reserved for Ann Haigh a former chairman of the Council who lost her seat after 14 years representing the residents of Buckhurst Hill. Mrs Haigh was applauded by all side of the Chamber as the Chairman presented a medal in recognition of her service.

Full details of the all the Cabinet and Committee appointments will be made available on the Council`s website at

Theydon Bois Election of Parish Councillors

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Election of Parish Councillors for Theydon Bois.

  1. An election is to be held of two Parish Councillors for Theydon Bois.
  2. Forms of nomination for the Parish Election may be obtained from Clerk to Parish Council or Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4BZ from the Returning Officer who will, at the request of an elector for the electoral area prepare a nomination paper for signature.
  3. Nomination papers must be delivered to the Returning Officer, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4BZ on any day after the date of this notice but no later than noon on Thursday 20 May 2010.
  4. If any election in contested the poll will take place on Thursday 17 June 2010.
  5. Applications, amendments or cancellations of postal votes must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4BZ by 5pm on Wednesday 2 June 2010.
  6. Applications to vote by proxy at this election must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4BZ by 5pm on Wednesday 9 June 2010.
  7. Applications to vote by proxy at this election applied for on grounds of physical incapacity, where that physical incapacity occurred after 5pm on Wednesday 9 June 2010 must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4BZ by 5pm on Thursday 17 June 2010.

Ian Willett
Returning Officer

District Council Election Results

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The results for the local District Council election. All the votes have been counted and the results can be seen below, the highest turnout is 74.1% in the Theydon Bois Ward.

    Results by Ward showing elected candidate, party and turnout:

  1. Buckhurst Hill East
    Councillor Peter Spencer, Liberal Democrat, turnout 65.8%
  2. Buckhurst Hill West
    Sylvia Watson, Conservative, turnout 72.4%
  3. Chigwell Village
    Councillor Lesley Wagland, Conservative, turnout 68.4%
  4. Chipping Ongar, Greensted and Marden Ash
    Councillor Derek Jacobs, Liberal Democrat and Blane Judd, Conservative, turnout 73% (two Councillors elected due to the resignation of Councillor Glyn Pritchard, Conservative).
  5. Epping Hemnall
    Councillor Janet Whitehouse, Liberal Democrat, turnout 71.6%
  6. Epping Lindsey and Thornwood Common
    William Breare-Hall, Conservative, turnout 71.4%
  7. Grange Hill
    Councillor Gagan Mohindra, Conservative, turnout 63.3%
  8. Loughton Alderton
    Lancelot Leonard, Loughton Residents Association, turnout 62.7%
  9. Loughton Broadway
    Jennifer Hart, Loughton Residents Association, turnout 57%
  10. Loughton Fairmead
    Tessa Cochrane, Loughton Residents Association, turnout 59.1%
  11. Loughton Forest
    Colin Finn, Loughton Residents Association, turnout 73%
  12. Loughton Roding
    Councillor Stephen Murray, Independent, turnout 68.8%
  13. Loughton St Johns
    Councillor John Markham, Loughton Residents Association, turnout 72.1%
  14. Loughton St Marys
    Richard Cohen, Loughton Residents Association, turnout 67.9%
  15. Lower Nazeing
    Yolanda Knight, Conservative, turnout 69%
  16. North Weald Bassett
    Councillor David Stallan, Conservative, turnout 67%
  17. Theydon Bois
    Susan Jones, Conservative, turnout 74.1%
  18. Waltham Abbey Honey Lane
    David Johnson, Conservative, turnout 59%
  19. Waltham Abbey Paternoster
    Councillor John Wyatt, Conservative, turnout 53.6%

UK Parliamentary Election Result

Written on . Posted in Councillors, Democracy, Elections, Leader, Your council

Eleanor Laing has been duly elected Member of Parliament for the Epping Forest constituency. Turnout was 66.95% which was up from 62.88% in 2005.

The full results are:

Katie Elizabeth CURTIS – The Labour Party – 6,641votes

Ann Mary HAIGH – Liberal Democrat – 10,017 votes

Eleanor Fulton LAING – The Conservative Party Candidate – 25,148 votes

Simon Benjamin PEPPER – The Green Party – 659 votes

Pat RICHARDSON – British National Party – 1,982 votes

Kim SAWYER – English Democrats Putting England First! – 285 votes

Andrew George SMITH – UK Independence Party (UK I P) – 1,852 votes

Election of Parish Councillor for Matching

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Notice of Poll

Notice is hereby given that:

1. A poll for the election of a Councillor for Matching will be held on Thursday 18 March 2010, between the hours of 7am and 10pm.
2. The number of Councillors to be elected is one.
3. The names, descriptions and home address of the Candidates remaining validly nominated for election and the names of all the persons signing the Candidates nomination paper are as follows:

Name of Candidate EDWARDS Wendy Margaret
Home Address Greenside, Matching Green, CM17 0PR
Description (if any)
Names of Signatories Graham Bryan / Martin Cedric S

Name of Candidate TAYLOR Michael William Gordon
Home Address 5 Parkside, Matching Tye, CM17 0QW
Description (if any) Independent
Names of Signatories Gibson Linda / Green Alan J

4. The Situation of the Polling Stations and the description of persons entitled to vote thereat are as follows:

Polling Station Address Matching Village Hall, Matching Tye
Station No. 1
Register Numbers Entitled to Vote CX-1 To CX-532

Jim Axon Plain Old Country Boy Remembered

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Councillors, Democracy, Leader, Your council

Jim Axon

District Councillors and staff paid tribute and shared fond memories of former Epping Forest District Council Chairman, Jim Axon who passed away in December. Councillors and staff observed a minute`s silence at the meeting of Epping Forest District Council on Tuesday 19 January 2010 before swapping anecdotes in affectionate recollection.

Councillor Antony Watts led the tributes. Jim Axon was an experienced Councillor when Councillor Watts was first elected in 1987. He was one of a group of Councillors, known collectively as `The Farmers`. Councillor Axon was indeed a farmer at that time and represented the Village of Theydon Bois. Councillor Watts said that he was a man of common sense and few words but forthright when he spoke and a man to turn to for advice. Although very much his own man, Jim Axon was strongly supported by his wife June.

As a Committee Officer, Ian Willett also remembered Jim Axon. He recalled to general mirth in the Council Chamber how Councillor Axon would appear at his office door with the words Ian, I`m just a plain old country boy but ¦ Everyone knew that he was anything but.

Councillors Stephen Murray, Richard Morgan and Roland Frankel made their own tributes. Councillor Murray described Jim Axon as an `independent thinker`, `fair-minded` and `someone who treated everyone with respect`. Councillor Morgan remembered how he spoke his mind. Councillor Frankel knew Jim Axon after he left the Council. He described how Jim Axon missed the Council and how the Council would miss him.

One of life`s characters, Ian Willett would joke with Jim Axon about the one pullover he allegedly wore for 20 years. Councillor Axon would reply that he had another at home `which he kept for best.`

Councillor Penny Smith the current Chairman of Epping Forest District Council thanked everyone for their tributes to a `genial and lovely man`.

Former Chairman Remembered

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Jim Axon

Jim Axon, former councillor and Chairman of Epping Forest District Council from 1991 to 1992 passed away in December.

Christened Walter but known to all as Jim, he represented the residents of Theydon Bois on the District Council from 1979 until 1996. He also chaired Plans Sub-committee B.

Jim Axon was well known within Theydon Bois. In addition to representing the area on the Council he was a local farmer who spent many active years in the community.

The Memorial Service is to be held from 2pm at Theydon Garnon Church on Wednesday 6 January 2010. Jim leaves his wife June and their children.

Councillors will observe a minute`s silence in honour of his memory at the next meeting of Epping Forest District Council on 19 January 2010.

Capital Strategy Approved by Council

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The capital strategy for 2009 to 2014, recycling enhancement, Epping Town Council quality status were on the agenda at the meeting of full Council on Tuesday 22 December 2009.


Watch webcast of Council meeting on 22 December 2009

Capital Strategy Approved

Meeting housing need has been made top priority of Epping Forest District Council. Councillors endorsed the new priority as part of the adoption of the new Capital Strategy for 2009 to 2014 at the meeting of the Council on 22 December 2009.

Former Chief Executive – Tony Hackman

Councillors held a minute`s silence at the meeting of Epping Forest District Council in memory of former Chief Executive, Tony Hackman. Councillor Richard Morgan, represented the Council at the service.

Enhancement to Recycling Service

In response to a question from Councillor Spencer, Councillor Mary Sartin, Environment Portfolio Holder announced that discussion were ongoing to make Kerb-side recycling caddies available on request in additional to green lid wheelie bins for any residents who wished to use a combination of both. Councillor Sartin also confirmed that the clear recycling sacks currently available will be superseded by a stronger version. Councillors were reminded that residents could also use their own plastic bags for recycling, paper, cans and plastic bottles.

Epping Town Council Quality Status

Councillor John Buchanan of the Association of Essex Councils and Councillor Penny Smith, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council made a presentation to Epping Town Council for re-accreditation of its Quality Parish Council status. Councillor Buchannan congratulated Councillor Janet Hedges, Mayor of Epping Town Council, on receiving the award, listing the tough criteria a town council must meet to receive Quality Status.

Councillor Janet Hedges receives the award from Councillor John Buchanan and Councillor Penny Smith

Picture caption – Councillor Janet Hedges (centre) receives the re-accreditation of Quality Council Status on behalf of Epping Town Council from Councillor John Buchanan of the Association of Essex Councils and Councillor Penny Smith, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council at the meeting of the District on 22 December 2009.

Chairman`s Announcements

Councillor Mrs Penny Smith, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council expressed her deep pride in the District. Following recent invitations to a range of community events she was very proud to see the huge amount of voluntary work carried out by many people within the community, including those sharing Christmas with people who would otherwise be alone.

The Chairman`s Charity for 2009/10 is the Alzheimer`s Society. Councillor Smith announces that her next fund-raising event would be a charity quiz to be held at Theydon Bois Village Hall on Friday 19 February 2010.

Council Olympic Champion

A local teacher and marathon runner has been selected by councillors as Epping Forest District Council`s Olympic Champion. Councillor Stephen Murray will lead the Council`s efforts to maximise the benefits of the London Olympic Games 2012 for residents and local business. His responsibilities will including the White Water Canoe Centre in the Lee Valley Park bordering Waltham Abbey.

No Gypsy and Traveller Discussion at Council Tonight

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The Council is unable to consider the agenda item concerning the Gypsy and Traveller Development Plan Document at the Council meeting tonight. This is following the postponement of last night’s Cabinet meeting, on Monday 21 December 2009, due to severe weather conditions.

Agreement has been given by the Leader of the Council to hold the rescheduled Cabinet meeting on Monday 4 January 2010. An extraordinary meeting of the Council will probably take place on Tuesday 19 January 2010, subject to the agreement of the Chairman of the Council.