Community Transport saves Nazeing bus service

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A vital bus route for Nazeing has been saved. Councillor Jeane Lea, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council went to see the C392 for herself after Epping Forest Community Transport stepped in to save the Nazeing-Hoddesdon service.

The 392 Little White Bus is connecting communities across Essex and Hertfordshire

Community Transport

Since January the C392 Little White Bus runs daily between Tylers Cross, Nazeing and Hoddesdon Rye Park via Broxbourne between about 7am and 7pm replacing an axed earlier commercial service.      

Community Transport trustee and District Councillor for Nazeing Richard Bassett was instrumental in organising the new service. He joined Councillor Lea and other commuters at Nazeing Crossroads to meet the 10.10 bus driven by volunteer Amy Carter.

Providing an essential service

Councillor Bassett said: ”We are seeing more and more the value of community transport in our district and in this case we would have seen no bus services in a village and surrounding area of 5000 people until Community Transport saved the day by putting together this service in record time.”

Councillor Bassett worked with Essex Passenger Transport and Nazeing and Roydon Parish Councils after both the 392 and 505 bus services were withdrawn. In addition to the C392, he helped to get the 86 service run by EOS diverted via Bumbles Green and St Leonards before resuming its route from Harlow down the Crooked Mile towards Waltham Abbey.

Cllr Bassett added that ”Thanks to some very speedy actions the C392 is running under the section 22 license which means all concessions are valid on the service.

Reducing fairs

We have reduced the single fare to £3 and the return to £5 with children getting a reduced fare of £2. I have received some early comments that people are very pleased with the service and the friendly drivers and the little white community bus.”

He also added ”I am very concerned that many rural services are finding they are having bus services reduced or cancelled. Community Transport is stepping up to provide services to dependant villages to prevent social exclusion and help with hospital and other appointments which otherwise people would struggle to attend.”

Local people working together

Councillor Lea was delighted to meet Councillor Bassett, the driver Amy Carter and fellow travellers. She said: ”I want to congratulate everyone involved in the project. Rural bus services are under pressure everywhere but the C392 shows just what can be done when local people organise and act together.”

More information

For Community Transport Timetables please visit:

For more information about Community Transport or to volunteer in the office or as a driver please call:

  • Community transport office on 01992 579556

Students become Dementia Friends

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Epping, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

In the run up to #Essexdementiaday, over 40 students from Braeside Independent School in Buckhurst Hill learnt more about dementia at a Dementia Friends session, delivered by Epping Forest District Council Community Services on 17 January 2017.

Dementia Friends Session

Epping Forest District Council teamed up with Braeside secondary school to deliver an interactive session for students aged 10 to 14 years old, to educate them on what it is like to live with dementia and that the small changes they can make help make a dementia friendly community.

First session for young people

Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder, Councillor Helen Kane said: ”The information sessions are great for increasing people’s knowledge and awareness of dementia. We have already delivered the information session to local community groups and to staff within Epping Forest District Council. This was the first session we have delivered for young people.”

Roll out to other local schools

She continued: ”The feedback we received from students and teachers was that the session was very informative and we aim to roll this out to other local schools in Epping Forest.”

Get involved

If you think you, your local school or group would benefit from attending a Dementia Friends Information session or would like any further information on the Dementia Friends programme please contact either Louis Walton lwalton@eppingforestdc.gov.uk or Karen Murray kmuray@eppingforestdc.gov.uk.

Chigwell Village Notice of By-election

Written on . Posted in Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Elections, Media, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council

Notice of By-election for election of 1 district councillor for the Chigwell Village Ward.

Notice of by-election

  1. Nomination papers must be delivered to the Returning Officer, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, CM16 4BZ on any day after the date of this notice, (excluding weekends and bank holidays) but no later than 4 pm on Friday 27 January 2017.
  2. Nomination papers may be obtained from the offices of the Returning Officer, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, CM16 4BZ, during the times stated above.
  3. If any election is contested the poll will take place on Thursday 23 February 2017.
  4. Applications, amendments or cancellations of postal votes and amendments or cancellations of proxy votes must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, CM16 4BZ by 5 pm on Wednesday 8 February 2017.
  5. New 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 Wednesday 15 February 2017.
  6. Applications to vote by proxy at this election applied for on grounds of either physical incapacity or absence in relation to occupation, employment or service occurring after 5 pm on Wednesday 15 February 2017 must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, CM16 4BZ by 5 pm on Thursday 23 February 2017.

Notice of By-election – 23 February 2017 – Chigwell Village (pdf 9KB)

 

Harlow and Gilston Garden Town

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The economic and social future of West Essex and East Hertfordshire has received a major boost with the award of a government grant towards a garden town proposal.

EFDC, East Herts and Harolow logos

Epping Forest, East Herts and Harlow District Councils have received a joint £0.5million award in the form of a Government grant to support transformational strategic proposals for Harlow and the surrounding area.

Garden Town Grant

The ”Garden Town grant” has been awarded through the government’s Locally led Garden Towns funding to help to build a joint Strategic Team as well as funding research, and specialist support for Harlow and Gilston Garden Town.   Using garden city principles this will enable support to be provided to local communities to ensure that they are involved in the development of masterplans for the sites.   

The three neighbouring partners and Uttlesford District Council have identified a potential need for around 15,000 new homes in and around Harlow over the next 20 years or so. The bid by the three neighbouring councils was supported by a range of other organisations and individuals based in the London Stansted Cambridge Corridor (LSCC) including:

  • Uttlesford District Council
  • Essex County Council
  • Hertfordshire County Council
  • South East Local Enterprise Partnership
  • Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership
  • London Stansted Cambridge Consortium

Garden towns were pioneered in Letchworth and Welwyn with Harlow as a New Town designed along Garden Town principles by Sir Frederick Gibberd. The draft local plans being developed by Harlow, East Herts and Epping Forest District councils reflect the importance of Harlow as an economic and social hub of the area. New housing and employment emulating the best aspects of the original garden cities lie at the heart of the proposals.

Local Plans

Epping Forest District and East Herts Council have just completed public consultations on Local Plans identifying strategic housing allocations. The Local Plans will look ahead as far as 2033, while the Garden Town development could look as far forward as 2050. Work is continuing on developing Harlow’s local plan ready for public consultation this year.

As well as housing and employment, the funding will help to address key issues and challenges such as access to the M11, the A414 corridor, River Stort crossing improvements, water use and treatment, and healthcare.  It will also help to secure high design quality and ensure strategic development contributes effectively to the provision of infrastructure.  

Supporting local communities

Councillor John Philip, Planning Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council said: ”The regeneration of Harlow is key to the success of our region. The whole area will benefit from the coordinated strategic provision of new homes, employment and social infrastructure in and around Harlow.   It makes sense and I am therefore delighted to see the DCLG putting its weight and money behind the proposals. This funding will enable us to support local communities, parish and town councils to be involved in shaping the future of this area.

East Herts Council leader Linda Haysey said: ”This funding will enable us to take the first steps in scoping out how the garden town could look – exploring sustainable transport, homes for a range of sizes, needs and affordability, health provision and all the other elements that go towards a successful community. It will also allow us make sure we’re fully engaged with residents who might be directly affected by the proposals.

”The garden town is an ambitious project that will benefit the wider region and so I’m delighted there will be access to the new Housing Infrastructure Fund and that we’re now in a position to take the next steps.”

Huge opportunity

Councillor Jon Clempner, Leader of Harlow Council, said: “Harlow Council has clear ambitions to regenerate Harlow and believes growth, particularly to the north of Harlow, would contribute to the development of the town in its role as the sub-regional centre.  This initiative is a huge opportunity for Harlow and the surrounding areas to provide much needed housing and infrastructure improvements which will all contribute to the regeneration of Harlow.

”This welcomed announcement comes at the same time Harlow begins to celebrate its 70th birthday and this is about looking to the future and the next 70 years to help secure Harlow’s future.  If we are going to provide the full range of housing that local people need, in particular affordable housing, as well as create jobs and skills opportunities to meet the inward investment we are achieving, then we all need to work together on proposals to achieve sustainable growth. The Government funding enables all three Councils to move proposals forward to carry out detailed work and I look forward to continuing working with East Herts and Epping Forest Councils on this ambitious project.”

Overview and Scrutiny December 2016

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The spotlight was on Transport for London (TFL) and the NHS at the latest meeting of Overview and Scrutiny.

Central Line staffing levels, the possibility of extending tube services from Epping to Ongar and an ‘inadequate’ care rating for Princess Alexandra Hospital, were all subjects for discussion on Monday 19 December 2016.

Following the closure of many of Epping Forest District’s underground station ticket offices earlier this year, Epping Forest District Councillors expressed their concerns about the lack of visible staff presence at off peak times at stations within the Epping Forest district.

Improvements to be made

In response, Chris Taggart (General Manager of the Central Line) and Mark Hart (Stakeholder Engagement Manager for the Bakerloo, Victoria and Central lines) explained that TFL intend to improve staff visibility at stations by ensuring staff work in well lit, focal points, to make it easier for customers to find them later in the evening. The changes are already underway, since a recent Travel Watch survey raised similar concerns.

Late night trains

TFL have no current plans to extend the late night train service to Epping, at the very end of the Central Line. The late night trains terminate at Loughton, this being the most appropriate location as the night fleet is small and at Loughton, they are able to turn quickly and easily.

TFL plan to review the late night service in 2017 but say that it has been successful so far and they have had very few issues since starting the new timetable.

Any possibility for an end-to-end service would be subject to further assessments.

Quashed rumours

Rumours that the Central Line may be extended from Epping to North Weald and Ongar were set straight on Monday evening. TFL do not own the North Weald to Ongar part of the railway and so have no jurisdiction over any decision to extend the line. Epping Ongar Railway (EoR) owns this part of the track and any decisions made would be subject to a feasibility study.

Councillors also discussed various issues surrounding high temperatures, quality of ride, frequency of maintenance works, frequency of trains round the ‘loop’ since a recent timetable change and Wi-Fi access.

Princess Alexandra Hospital ‘inadequate’ rating

A line of questioning was agreed by Epping Forest District Councillors before the meeting of Overview and Scrutiny on 30 January 2017.

At which, Councillors will meet the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust and will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the recent report of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which left the Princess Alexandra Hospital with a quality care rating of ‘inadequate’.

Lucky resident ‘Gets Connected’ for Christmas

Written on . Posted in Community, Councillors, Epping, Media, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council

Christmas came early for a lucky resident who won an iPad in our Get Connected competition.

Georgia Hampshire won the tablet in a competition to promote our new Digital Inclusion project Get Connected.

Councillor Helen Kane with winner Gearogia Hampshire and Community Development Worker Patrick Arnold

Get Connected

Get Connected offers residents an 8 weekly free computer training sessions at either Ongar and Chigwell starting mid January 2017. Call 01992 350206 if you would like to take part.

The project has been funded by Epping Forest District Council, East Thames, B3 Living and Hastoe and Moat.

Over the moon

Prize winner Georgia Hampshire said: “I’m over the moon winning this prize. It’s an unexpected Christmas present and will be really useful to me. Thank you.”

You can win

Councillor Helen Kane, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder said: “I’m delighted to present this iPad to Georgia. It shows if you participate in our competitions you can win fantastic prizes. It’s also a great opportunity to promote our latest Get Connected project.”

 

Christmas by candlelight carol service

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, Councillors, Local business, Media, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council

Residents, councillors and council staff gathered at Waltham Abbey Church to celebrate Christmas by Candlelight on Thursday 15 December 2016.

Waltham Abbey Church by night

View photos in a slideshow by clicking on a poster below and then click start slideshow

The congregation was treated to the Abbey at its most stunning as the lights dimmed and the candles were lit for the annual Civic Carol Service hosted jointly by Epping Forest District Council and Waltham Abbey Town Council. The service was led by Rev Peter Smith with wonderful musical arrangement from Jonathan Lilley and the church choir.

Readings from King James Bible

Town Mayor Helen Kane welcomed members of the congregation. Councillor Liz Webster and Clerk Kathryn Richmond gave readings taken from the King James Bible on behalf of the Town Council. Rev Canon Dr Joyce Smith also gave a reading as did District Council Vice-Chairman David Stallan and Deputy Chief Executive Derek Macnab on behalf of the district before the final words by Epping Forest District Council Chairman Councillor Jeane Lea.

Traditional Christmas carols

On a magically crisp clear December evening the congregation sang traditional Christmas carols. Mulled wine and mince pies were served later at Waltham Abbey Town Hall. The offertory collection will be shared between the Salvation Army, Waltham Abbey Church and Councillor Lea’s Chairman’s Charity, the Herts and Essex Air Ambulance.

Christmas message from Chairman Jeane Lea

 

Rise in attempted burglaries

Written on . Posted in Community, Councillors, Crime and safety, Housing, Media, Older people, Out and about, Private housing, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Residents are being warned of a rise in attempted burglaries at properties in the Epping Forest district where burglar alarms are fitted.

Fortunately these incidents have been recorded as attempted burglaries as no entry was gained due to the alarm activating. Burglars nearly always target houses where no alarm is fitted so we are concerned why this is happening.

Secure, protect, prevent image by Essex Police

Why?

It could be for one of these reasons

  • if a house is fitted with an outside alarm box which is metal (all new ones are plastic) that is rusted, damaged or dirty, a burglar may think the alarm has not been maintained and not in use
  • most alarms have a deactivation period to allow you to get into the house and disable the alarm. Many residents allow themselves 60 seconds but this also gives a burglar 60 seconds in your home before the alarm sounds. In most cases this only needs to be around 20 seconds
  • Is your outside alarm box clearly visible from the approach to your property and does it have a flashing light fitted to warn a potential burglar off? It may be that the burglar was not aware there was an alarm fitted. As the saying goes “it pays to advertise”. Most alarm boxes have a flashing light fitted to them to attract any potential burglar to its presence and to warn them off

Free and impartial advice

For free and impartial advice contact

  • Tony Ellis – Essex Police Crime Prevention Assistant for the Epping Forest district
    Call 101 ext 319383
  • Ross Brazier – Essex Police Crime Prevention Tactical Advisor at Loughton Police Station
    Call 101 ext 313416
  • Paul Gardener – Epping Forest District Council Community Safety Officer
    Call 01992 564608

Don’t give burglars a chance

Councillor Gary Waller Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder said: “Windows, doors, patios, garages are all ways into a home for a burglar – make sure yours are locked and secure.”

“Always report any suspicious activity to Essex Police straight away. Either report it online or call the 101 non-emergency crime number. Don’t give burglars a chance – let’s work together to keep the Epping Forest district safe.”

 

St John’s sale opens way to redevelopment

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Community, Councillors, Doing business with the council, Epping, Leader, Local business, Media, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

The £6.75 million sale of Essex County Council’s (ECC) land holdings in St John’s Road to Epping Forest District Council has signalled the start of a process that will see a major redevelopment in the town of Epping.

The sale means Epping Forest District Council and Frontier Estates can now deliver the development brief of new retail and leisure facilities Epping residents said they wanted.

Councillor Chris Whitbread with Councillor Anne Grigg at St John's Road

Sale stalled

The sale stalled after ECC received higher bids for part of its site, but an agreement to sell to Epping Forest District Council at a lower level means the scheme can now move forward.

Combination of retail and leisure

The amended development brief produced in 2012 incorporated many suggestions supported by local residents. The proposed combination of retail and leisure including a small cinema is a triumph of collaborative working and benefits for residents.

The scheme aims to benefit all residents of Epping and brings the derelict school site back into use. The brief allows for commercial development to boost the economy of Epping High Street, improve the town’s infrastructure, create a better mix of leisure and retail to meet local need and provide facilities of particular value to the town’s young people.

The plans include the retention of the Centre Point building as the new home of Epping Town Council. Epping Forest District Council’s Housing Depot will move potentially to North Weald.

Commercial development of the project is being undertaken by Frontier Estates in partnership with Epping Forest District Council and Epping Town Council.

Great news for Epping

Councillor Anne Grigg, Asset Management Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council is delighted that work can now progress.

Following the signing of the agreement to buy the land from Essex County Council, she said: “This is great news for Epping. An incredible amount of hard work has gone in from all sides to balance the interests of local residents and businesses with the financial reality.”

“We are incredibly fortunate that unlike most councils, Epping Forest District Council has the resources to balance the need for profit with the wider interests of the local community. Essex County Council has gone a long way to helping deliver the project and I am now looking forward to working in partnership with Epping Town Council and Frontier Estates to give Epping residents this exciting scheme.”

Work will now begin on preparing planning applications for outline planning permission and detailed planning permission. Meanwhile, Frontier Estates is seeking commercial partners.

Good value for money

Councillor David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council also welcomed the deal. He added: “As with any land development it is absolutely vital to balance the needs of the various parties, while ensuring council taxpayers get good value for money.”

“I am delighted we have been able to work closely with the district council to progress this deal which is really the first stage in kick starting what will be a fantastic redevelopment of this part of Epping.”

Better facilities for our town

Councillor Les Burrows, Chairman of Epping Town Council said: “Epping Town Council will be happy to join in the negotiations over the St John’s development proposals if it will mean better facilities for our town.”

 

New shopping park ahead of schedule

Written on . Posted in Business, Chairman, Commercial properties, Community, Councillors, Doing business with the council, Local business, Loughton, Media, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

A forest of steel frames is appearing as Epping Forest Shopping Park takes shape. Senior councillors were delighted when they inspected progress on Thursday 1 December 2016.

Deputy Chief Executive Derek Macnab, Assets Portfolio Holder Anne Grigg, Site Manager Alex McCalley and Council Chairman Jeane Lea

View photos in a slideshow by clicking on a poster below and then click start slideshow

New structures

Where the old council depot stood beside derelict land, foundation piles are being driven up to 9 metres into the ground while metal structures stretch skywards. Remains of the old buildings are now compacted to form the base of new shoppers car parks.

McLaughlin and Harvey Project Manager Alex McCalley greeted the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Jeane Lea and the Assets Portfolio Holder Councillor Anne Grigg for the second time to review progress. They were accompanied by Council Deputy Chief Executive Derek Macnab who is overseeing the project in his capacity as Director of Neighbourhoods.

Original buildings demolished and recycled

Since the last review at the end of September, all the original buildings have been demolished and recycled as hardcore for the new car parks. Attenuation tanks have been installed to manage surface water drainage. Foundation piles now dot the landscape.

Massive steel beams and columns are being bolted together in a delicate and carefully choreographed process supported by huge cranes and guided by skilled workmen. Drainage pipes are being laid. Retaining walls are being built where the landscape falls away towards the back of the site.

Ahead of schedule

Alex McCalley has built many retail parks. Loughton is ahead of schedule and he is enjoying it. He said: “This is one of the best sites we have worked on. It is nice and open. The ground is good and the weather has been really kind to us. The groundworks are well advanced with the surface water storage tanks installed.”

“The demolition of the old buildings and the piling went really well. It has allowed us to bring forward other parts of the project and get the steel work off to an excellent start. Kerb stones are going in and car parks should be tarmacked within the next 3 to 4 weeks.”

Construction going really well

Assets Portfolio Holder Anne Grigg updated council colleagues at the Cabinet meeting later that day. Afterwards she said: “Construction is going really well. We are obviously entering the worst of the winter months. We had some extremely cold temperatures at the end of November but so far McLaughlin and Harvey seem to have managed very well.”

“The site is clean and well organised. Installation of the steel frames is very fast. There is still a long way to go but at this rate we should have our first shops moving in by the end of the summer with a potential official opening in time for next Christmas.”

Councillor Grigg added: “We have a great line up of businesses preparing to move in and I know many local residents can’t wait for the park to open. However, this is more than just a flagship retail development. Epping Forest Shopping Park will bring much needed jobs and investment to the district. It will encourage residents to spend more money locally, boosting the local economy. Rental income to Epping Forest District Council will help to pay for local services and keep Council Tax down.”

Congratulate everyone involved

Council Chairman Jeane Lea was also very happy with the visit. She said: “It is a great privilege to be involved. I was very pleased to hear all the steel is British-made. I can only say how well the works are going and congratulate everyone involved. I can’t wait to see the first units open.”