Pupils learn life lessons at Crucial Crew 2017

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Over 1,338 Year 6 pupils from Epping Forest took part in Crucial Crew, a week of interactive days to educate young people about staying safe, fit and healthy.

Crucial crew 2017

Click a picture below to start slideshow

Crucial Crew experience

Crucial crew teaches children how to tackle the dangers they may encounter in everyday life and encourages them make sensible decisions about personal safety and lifestyle choices.

This year the annual event was hosted at Debden House Centre in Loughton for a week from 12 June 2017 to 16 June 2017.

Over the week the children took part in 10 scenarios including

  • Road safety (Essex County Council)
  • Vehicle blind spots (Sainsbury’s)
  • Building sites – dangers and hazards (Mears)
  • Healthy relationships (Safer Places and Epping Forest District Council)
  • Drugs and alcohol (Adas)
  • Bullying (Red Balloon Learner Centres)
  • Internet safety (Essex Police)
  • Healthy lifestyles (ACE – Anglian Community Enterprise)
  • Ambulance (East of England Ambulance Service)
  • Fire safety escape plans & smoke alarms (Essex County Fire & Rescue Service)

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(Left to right – council Community Health and Wellbeing Manager, Gill Wallis, Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder Councillor Gary Waller, council Chairman Councillor David Stallan, The High Sheriff of Essex, Simon Hall, Community Engagement Officer at Essex County Fire & Rescue Paul Fenwick, council Vice Chairman Councillor Richard Bassett, council Safer Communities Manager, Caroline Wiggins)

VIP visit

Epping Forest District Council’s Chairman, Councillor David Stallan was welcomed to the event by council organisers, alongside other VIP’s including the High Sheriff of Essex, Simon Hall, Vice-Chairman, Councillor Richard Bassett, Councillor Gary Waller and Councillor Helen Kane for an informative and enjoyable visit.

Fun way to learn

Councillor David Stallan, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council said: “Crucial Crew is a fun way to prepare children to remain safe in a variety of emergency situations and to be aware of dangers they are likely to encounter as they advance through life. This fantastic and well-supported event allows us to offer awareness and safety advice to our young people just as they’re ready to take a big step in their lives and go to secondary school.”

”It leaves our children with the right skills and knowledge to keep themselves safe, both now and in the future. I enjoyed my short visit and was pleased to see how the different agencies work together to provide this to the kids”

Life lessons

Councillor Helen Kane, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder said: “All children who attended Crucial Crew will take home a wristband with a link to the Crucial Crew pages which includes advice on dealing with challenging or potentially harmful situations. They can also find out more information about the scenarios they have seen and how to make positive choices regarding their own behaviour. I hope the children remember and use the lessons from Crucial Crew, which one day might save their lives.”

“Crucial Crew is organised and facilitated by the council’s Community Health and Wellbeing team but could not take place without the hard work and continued support of partner agencies – a big thank you to all involved.”

Further information

Cabinet 15 June 2017

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Cabinet meeting on 15 June 2017 discussed local plan, homelessness and shopping park.

View the webcast

Shopping Park 

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.

Infrastructure 

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.

Homelessness

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. 

Superfast Broadband 

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.

Overview and Scrutiny 6 June 2017

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Princess Alexandra Hospital is in special measures after its services were rated ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission. Senior staff from Princess Alexandra met with Epping Forest District councillors at the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday 6 June for an improvement plan update.

View the webcast here

  • Lance McCarthy – Chief Executive
  • Stephanie Lawton – Chief Operations Manager
  • Nancy Fontaine – Chief Nurse

Waiting times

A&E waiting times and delays in bed allocation were raised by Councillor Stephen Murray.  Stephanie Lawton apologised for the long waiting times but confirmed that patients remain safe. She said that some improvements had been made to flow and discharge of patients with support from community teams. Building works have been commissioned to extend admission facilities. Together with other plans these improvements should improve admission times. Nancy Fontaine added that where elderly patients are being admitted there is some discretion in allowing family members extra access to provide support.

Recruitment and retention

Responding to a question by councillor Aniket Patel, Nancy Fontaine outlined a number of new ward management and leadership training programmes. Councillor Yolanda Knight praised hospital staff following a ‘faultless’ recent visit. However, she also knew from experience that the quality of service varies greatly across different areas of the hospital. She raised the issue of staff morale, staff retention and the training provided to staff in dealing with difficult members of the public.

Nancy Fontaine was pleased to report that some members of staff have been with the Trust for many years. In some instances, three generations from a family are working in different areas of the hospital while many staff trained at Harlow coming back as more senior staff in later years. However, Lance McCarthy did acknowledge that recruitment was affected by the special measures issue.

Safeguarding for children

Councillor Steven Neville sought reassurance on safeguarding for children. Nancy Fontaine responded with a discussion around a culture of failing to follow policy and training. Safeguarding is now more embedded into hospital standards. She said that policies were now tough but it is probably never possible to ’do enough’.

Responding to a question by Councillor Holly Whitbread, Nancy Lawton described methods of recruitment including links with local colleges and interviews by Skype. Councillor Roger Baldwin asked about the financial deficit and plans to reduce reliance on agency workers.  Nancy Fontaine responded that there is a very clear direction to reduce reliance on temporary staff. Lance McCarthy was able to provide figures illustrating the drop in agency expenditure from more than £20m a few years ago to somewhere nearer £13m more recently.

Emergency Planning

Responding to Councillor Nigel Bedford, Lance McCarthy said that the hospital managed the recent cyber attack on the NHS thanks to internal IT protecting services and installing the relevant patches very quickly. Stephanie Lawton outlined the processes and partner agencies working together to coordinate patient discharge in a timely way. She said this was not ‘cracked yet’ but improvements were being made.

Nancy Fontaine and Lance McCarthy outlined in more depth the health and social care solutions used to address issues of patient isolation raised by Councillor Aniket Patel. Stephanie Lawton also confirmed the regular update, review and training for emergency planning situations such as the recent terrorist attacks in London and Manchester.

Lance McCarthy acknowledged the Trust has a long way to go in moving out of special measures but felt the hospital was in a much more positive position. He is also looking at the long term redevelopment or relocation of Princess Alexandra to a better site.

Caring Hospital

Committee Chairman Councillor Mary Sartin thanked Lance McCarthy, Stephanie Lawton and Nancy Fontaine for answering so many questions and offered best wishes for the future. She said that whatever the issues, the CQC report made clear that Princess Alexandra Hospital was a ‘caring’ hospital.

Corporate Plan

In other business Council Leader Chris Whitbread reminded committee members of some of the key achievements of previous years including the freeze on Council Tax for a seventh year and the development of new assets such as the Epping Forest Shopping Park. He said that the delivery of keys to residents for the first newly built council houses had taken place.  Focusing on community services he also applauded the work of the Council in attracting external funding. Local Plan development continues. The Council has listened and consulted with residents.

Councillor Whitbread continued with a description of the transformational changes being implemented across the Council leading to modern working, better use of technology and the facilitation of future service improvements. He also reminded fellow councillors of the benefits of the new leisure contract with a projected income of £20m over the next 20 years.

Other items covered by Overview and Scrutiny included:

  • Select Committees Terms of Reference
  • Select Committee membership
  • Task and Finish Panels
  • Annual Report of Overview and Scrutiny

District shows support for London

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“It is with a heavy heart that the flags have been lowered to half-mast once again as the Epping Forest district shows its support for the innocent victims and survivors of the latest attack to strike London.”

“Our hearts and best wishes go out to all those innocently caught up in the events of the weekend.”

Flags at half-mast in Epping

We stand together

Newly appointed District Council Chairman David Stallan continued: “So much has happened. This weekend we have seen the best and the worst of human nature. We witnessed another cowardly attack by a few deluded individuals but we also saw the best as people came to each other’s aid with immense bravery and compassion.”

“That was followed by the concert on Sunday where the whole nation came together for Manchester and London in the best possible way. We stand together and we reject the messages of hate.”

We will not be defeated

Council Leader Councillor Chris Whitbread has also been quick to add his voice to messages of support. He said: “Only a few short days ago, I spoke of our debt and gratitude to the emergency services in Manchester.”

“It has become clear that without the bravery and professionalism in particular of our police, the events of Saturday in London could have been so much worse. At times like this we put aside our small arguments and remember we are a great country. We will not be defeated.”

Minute silence

Epping Forest District Council will take part in the 1 minute silence at 11am on Tuesday 6 June 2017.

New ways to report hate crime

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Reporting hate crime as either a victim or as a witness can be very intimidating.

Working with Essex Police the civic offices in Epping High Street is an accredited Hate Incident Reporting Centre (HIRC) with 10 hate crime ambassadors trained to help residents to ‘Report It to Sort It’.

EFDC Group shot

What is a hate crime ambassador?

A hate crime can be a physical attack, threat of attack, verbal abuse or gestures based on race or nationality, religion, gender, disability or sexual orientation.

Our hate crime ambassadors have been trained to support victims of hate related incidents.

They provide support and information during the reporting process as an alternative to going to a Police station. They are able to take an effective report and provide advice and support to concerned residents.

We offer support

Caroline Wiggins, Safer Communities Manager said: “Everyone has the right to live their life free from abuse and violence. We now have trained hate crime ambassadors at our offices in Epping, which is an accredited HIRC.”

“We offer support to victims of hate related incidents at a secure and comfortable location in a professional and sensitive manner, but if you or anyone else is in immediate danger please still call 999 or 112.”

Report hate crime

Council welcomes new Chairman

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Annual Council began with a minute silence in honour of all those affected by the Manchester bombing, this was followed by a heartfelt final speech from outgoing Chairman of Council, Councillor Jeane Lea.

Councillor David Stallan has been appointed Chairman of Council and Councillor Richard Bassett was named the new Vice-Chairman.

Annual Council 2017

Click on an image below to start slideshow

Manchester Tribute at Council

The meeting of Epping Forest District Council began on a sombre note as outgoing Chairman, Councillor Jeane Lea asked fellow councillors to join in a minute silence for the victims of the Manchester bombing.

Best wishes to Councillor Lea

Councillors paid tribute to Councillor Lea as she stepped down from the role of Council Chairman.

£13,000 raised for charity

Councillor Lea raised £13,000 for the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance during her year and thanks fellow councillors for their support throughout.

”Genuine, caring and a first class ambassador”

Council Leader Chris Whitbread spoke of Councillor Lea’s dignity. A genuine, caring and first class ambassador for the district. Councillor Caroline Pond echoed the tributes, reminding Councillor Lea of some of the more difficult meetings over which she presided. Councillor Surtees spoke of her generosity.

Council Chief Executive Glen Chipp spoke of the outgoing Chairman’s sense of humour and her unexpected talent for bricklaying!

Councillor David Stallan, our new Chairman

The new Chairman of Epping Forest District Council is North Weald councillor, David Stallan.

In an affectionate nomination speech, fellow ward councillor Anne Grigg spoke of almost twenty years service to the District. Councillor Chris Whitbread seconded the nomination. Describing councillor Stallan as a great Housing portfolio holder and ward councillor, he also reminded fellow councillors of Dave Stallan’s formidable knowledge of the Council Constitution.

Councillor Stallan thanked councillors for placing their trust in him, councillors Grigg and Whitbread for his nomination, and especially Councillor Lea for all her support during the previous year.

Four local charities

Councillor Stallan will be supporting four charities, Diabetes UK, the Epping and North Weald Air Cadets, Safer Places Epping Forest and Norway House, the Council’s homeless persons hostel.

Councillor Richard Bassett, our new Vice-Chairman

Another of the Council’s most senior and well respected councillors, Richard Bassett is the new Vice-Chairman. Councillor Bassett steps down from his previous role on the Cabinet.

Cabinet and Committee Chairmen

The new Cabinet announced by Council Leader Chris Whitbread is

  • Leader Councillor Chris Whitbread
  • Asset Management & Economic Development Councillor Anne Grigg
  • Environment Councillor Will Breare-Hall
  • Finance Councillor Gagan Mohindra
  • Planning & Governance Councillor John Philip
  • Housing (and Deputy Leader) Councillor Syd Stavrou
  • Leisure & Community Services Councillor Helen Kane
  • Safer, Greener & Transport Councillor Gary Waller
  • Technology & Support Services –  Councillor Alan Lion

Councillor Brian Sandler has been reappointed Chairman of District Development Management Committee. Councillor Mary Sartin returns to the role of Overview and Scrutiny Committee Chairman.

Councillors also agreed the co-option of a non-voting member of Epping Forest District Youth Council to the Communities Select Committee.

Essex County Council election candidates

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Candidates for the election of 1 Essex county councillor for each of the 7 county divisions in the Epping Forest district to take place on Thursday 4 May 2017.

Local Elections #OnYourDoorstep

Candidates

  1. Buckhurst Hill & Loughton South (pdf 34KB)
  2. Chigwell & Loughton Broadway (pdf 34KB)
  3. Epping & Theydon Bois (pdf 34KB)
  4. Loughton Central (pdf 34KB)
  5. North Weald & Nazeing (pdf 34KB)
  6. Ongar & Rural (pdf 34KB)
  7. Waltham Abbey (pdf 34KB)

Election agents’ names and offices

Notice of election

 

Essex County Council Notice of Election

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Notice of Election of County Councillors for County Divisions within the Epping Forest District.

1 County Councillor to be elected per the following divisions:

  • Buckhurst Hill & Loughton South
  • Chigwell & Loughton Broadway
  • Epping & Theydon Bois
  • Loughton Central
  • North Weald & Nazeing
  • Ongar & Rural
  • Waltham Abbey

Notice of Election

  1. Forms of nomination for County Elections may be obtained at Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, CM16 4BZ from the Deputy County Returning Officer who will, at the request of an elector for any electoral area, can prepare a nomination paper for signature.
  2. Nomination papers must be personally delivered to the Deputy County Returning Officer, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, CM16 4BZ on any day after the date of this notice but no later than 4 pm on Tuesday, 4th April 2017.
  3. If any election is contested the poll will take place on Thursday, 4th May 2017.
  4. Applications, amendments or cancellations of postal votes must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, CM16 4BZ by 5 pm on Tuesday, 18th April 2017.
  5. Applications to vote by proxy at this election must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, CM16 4BZ by 5 pm on Tuesday, 25th April 2017.
  6. Applications to vote by proxy at this election applied for on grounds of physical incapacity, where that physical incapacity occurred after 5 pm on Tuesday, 25th April 2017, must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, CM16 4BZ by 5 pm on Thursday, 4th May 2017.

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Selfless citizens celebrated

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The district’s most remarkable people had their moment in the spotlight on Friday 17 March 2017 at the Epping Forest District Council Civic Awards ceremony 2017 at the Marriott Hotel, Waltham Abbey.

Watch the video

Evening in pictures

Civic Awards 2017

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Recognising the efforts of remarkable people

The special evening was hosted by the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Jeane Lea. The Chairman explained why the Council hold the Civic Awards in her opening speech, she said: ”We hold the Civic Awards to recognise the efforts of the remarkable people that live amongst us, who make a difference and inspire others to do the same. Selfless heroes that strive to make the world a better place, without looking for praise or tribute.”

Diverse, unique and exceptional

”We want to thank those that volunteer with care in our communities. Those who save lives in their everyday work. Those who enrich the lives of others with their artistic flair, who make us proud of their sporting talent and those that give their time and effort to worthy causes. We hold these awards for you. You make our district diverse, unique and exceptional.”

”What strikes me, as I am sure it does others, is that our communities are full of incredible people, far too many to recognise everybody.”

Citizen of the Year 2017

This year, Doreen and Sid Miller, were the joint winners of the prestigious Citizen of the Year award. The pair have been heavily involved in community action in the district for decades. Together, they have helped hundreds of families find a place to live by providing crucial rent guarantees, they also volunteer with Epping Forest Community Transport and the local furniture exchange.

Elizabeth Renny was highly commended for her 35 years service to the second Loughton Girl Guides pack, before her retirement this month.

Team of the Year 2017

The Epping Forest District Museum volunteers received the Team of the Year award, for their outstanding work throughout the successful renovation of the museum and more.

Young Citizen of the Year 2017

Arjun Kuhaendran, a student at West Hatch High School won the very special accolade of Young Citizen of the Year for his dedication to his role of charity ambassador. He has seen money raised for Crisis at Christmas, Macmillan, Water Aid and the International Day of Peace in this past year alone.

Runner-up, David Castleman, received a Special Commendation for his extraordinary bravery.

Community Service Medals

Community service medals were received by Garry Clark and Richard Holt of the East of England Ambulance Service, Sub Officer Dave Horton of the Essex Fire Service and Sergeant Simon Dear of Essex Police.

Youth Council Awards

Epping Forest District Council Youth Council award winners Marley Chick, Lisa Nakimuli, Finlay Jordan and Ashwin Gohil were all commended for their outstanding achievements and dedication to their roles.

Sports and Creativity Awards

Daniel Rowden, an 800m runner from Buckhurst Hill, was the winner of this year’s sports bursary of £1,000. Bethany Joiner won the Creativity award for her photographic talent and charitable work, she received a bursary of £500.

Business Apprentices

Praise was given to Epping Forest District Council’s Business Apprentices; Jay Binks, Emily Gowens, Becky Linford, Sian Pavitt, Becca Yellop and Amber Stewart, who have all achieved their level 2 diplomas and are all now employed by different departments across the council.

Over £10,000 raised for Essex Air Ambulance

A magnificent £1,160 was raised at the Civic Awards for the Chairman’s charity, the Essex Air Ambulance Service and local artist Martyn Royce donated an original work of art to the charity for auction. Chairman Jeane Lea raised an incredible £11,160 for her chosen charity.

Cabinet 9 March 2017

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The Local Plan, better use of council assets, housing for homeless people, pay and display car parks and the investment of additional fees in the planning service dominated debate at Cabinet on 9 March.

Draft Local Plan consultation

Preliminary findings from the draft Local Plan consultation were presented by Planning Portfolio Holder Councillor John Philip to the meeting of Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet on 9 March.

Councillor Philip outlined some clear themes coming through for more work on infrastructure and employment sites including the wider area of East Herts and Harlow. New potential sites and changes to previously identified sites are also being reviewed and will be fed into the revisions of the draft plan. A new transport assessment is also being done in conjunction with Essex County Council.

Councillor Philip emphasised that publication of the next draft depended on full analysis and assessment of the additional work programmed in over the next year or so. Councillors noted the initial findings of the consultation, agreed progression of the Local Plan to the next stage and approved the publication of the Council’s updated Local Development Scheme online.

Better use of council buildings

The interests of residents and customers must remain at the heart of council services. Council Leader Chris Whitbread received Cabinet support for proposals to reduce the need for office space at the Civic Offices in Epping.

Reports show flexible working by staff including home and remote working, and use of other council buildings could allow the Council to move out of the older part of the Civic Offices known as the Conder Building. Councillor Whitbread described the proposals as part of the wider transformation programme to improve services.

Pay and Display set to save £58,000

Final preparations have been agreed for the transfer of the council’s off-street parking management from the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) to NSL.

Portfolio Holder Gary Waller reminded fellow councillors of the improvements the change of contract will bring to residents and the Council. The Council will save £58,600 under the new arrangements even though Councillor Waller said that NSL did not submit the cheapest bid. They did submit the best quality bid. Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) rates remain the same.

Housing for Homeless People

Housing Portfolio Holder Councillor Syd Stavrou received approval to progress plans for a small pilot scheme of three ‘Pods’ to accommodate people at Norway House in North Weald. The pods containing individual living accommodation and shared kitchens are manufactured by a North Weald based company. Subject to planning approval, the Council plans to help homeless people who would otherwise find themselves in Bed and Breakfast.

Increased planning application fees

Cabinet accepted an offer by the Department of Communities and Local Government to increase planning fees. Governance Portfolio Holder Richard Bassett confirmed that any extra income would be reinvested in planning services.