Annual Canvass of Electors – Don’t ignore forms you have received

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Around 5,000 households in Epping Forest District have failed to respond to this year’s annual canvass of electors – a process that checks who is on the Electoral Register. A second reminder form has now been sent to these properties – the deadline to respond is 31 October. Remember you still need to respond even if there are no changes to your details.

More than half of those who HAVE responded did so by using an automated service – online/phone/text. To keep costs down we need most of the remaining households to use a similar method because last year we spent £20,000 on sending out reminders.

Failure to respond could ultimately result in deletion from the Electoral Register, which could seriously affect the person’s credit rating and ability to get a mortgage, bank loan or even a mobile phone contract!

Here’s what to do…

No changes?

Using the 2 part security code on your household enquiry form:

Changes to make?

  • Amend the information online easily and quickly or
  • Call the Electoral Services helpline on 01992 564411 or
  • Amend the form and return it in the prepaid envelope – making sure to give a contact phone number or email address in case of queries.

Has your name been added to the Household Enquiry Form?

If so, you are not registered to vote just yet. There is a second stage to the registration process. The Council has been sending out registration forms by post and emails/phone messages giving information about how to register to vote to all new people added to the Household Enquiry Forms. Please don’t ignore them. Registration is not complete until this second part has been done.

It’s a simple process and can be done online at www.gov.uk/registertovote or by calling the elections helpline (01992 564411). The deadline to complete the registration process is 17 October (otherwise more reminders will need to be sent out).

New leisure centre for Epping being explored

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The feasibility of providing a new community leisure centre and swimming pool to be built in Epping is being actively explored. Proposals are being discussed with Places Leisure (the leisure arm of Places for People), the District Council’s current leisure provider and Epping Town Council.

The new centre could form part of the larger St Johns development to potentially include the first cinema in the town for decades, new shops, public open space and housing. The councils have withdrawn from previous plans to sell the area to a private developer, Frontier Estates. Frontier had intended to build a mixed use scheme to include a supermarket, but changes to the retail environment have made the approach less favourable and the Councils are now actively pursuing the new leisure option with Places Leisure.

The proposals include the transfer of the District Council depot to its new headquarters at Oakwood Hill in Loughton, and freeing up the site of the current Epping Sports Centre for housing as set out in the draft Local Plan. New Town Council offices would also be built into the new plans.

Epping Forest District Council remains one of the few councils able to invest in new leisure services. Its property portfolio includes the new shopping park in Loughton, now adding to the Council’s income from other shops, industrial units and commercial properties across the district. Income from these properties allows Epping Forest District Council to set one of the lowest Council Tax rates in Essex while continuing to invest in major new schemes.

In partnership with Places Leisure, it has just completed improvements at Ongar and the current Epping centre, built a major extension to Loughton Leisure Centre opened last week, and is due to complete the brand new Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre in November.

Councillor Chris Whitbread, Leader of Epping Forest District Council was delighted to make the latest Epping announcement with the Epping Town Mayor, Councillor Nigel Avey.

Councillor Whitbread said: “Today marks a milestone in the history of Epping. These plans can transform the heart of Epping, building on the current success story with an even better town centre. We are creating a wonderful new space to draw in visitors, providing jobs, leisure and housing. It would be a major boost to the local economy and a fantastic enhancement to our town.

Councillor Nigel Avey added: “Our two councils have a joint vision for Epping, our town and our community. It has been a long road, with setbacks, but both the Town and District have stuck to our guns in putting Epping first. With Places for People, we think we could find a private partner that has already demonstrated its local commitment through the provision of fantastic new community facilities across the district. St Johns would be on a larger scale with benefits to match.”

Public consultation on the new plans will take place in the New Year with outline planning permission being sought thereafter.

Background

Epping Forest District Council and Epping Town Council originally went into partnership with Essex County Council and a private developer, Frontier Estates, to redevelop the St Johns area of Epping.

The site comprises the former primary school, town council offices, and district council depot. From the outset the advantages of redeveloping the separate sites as a single holistic project made more sense than piecemeal redevelopment. The District Council took a major step forward when it bought the freehold of St Johns Primary School from Essex County Council as a means of ensuring that vision was followed.

Consultation with residents had previously altered the original design brief. Residents welcomed additional housing, shops and public open space but there was also a strong call for Epping to have its own cinema again, particularly for the benefit of the town’s young people.

Separately, an ongoing debate has been conducted over the future of Epping Sports Centre. Although the District Council has continued to invest in the Centre, its long term future has always been in doubt due to its location and construction. The site was identified for housing in the draft Local Plan, although the Council promised no plans would be made to close it until new facilities had been provided.

The new relationship forged between Places Leisure and Epping Forest District Council at its other leisure facilities around the district, combined with the opportunities at St Johns Road are crystalising into the new plans in partnership with Epping Town Council.

Other potential sites were also considered to replace Epping Sports Centre. Among other sites, a group of sports centre users had suggested an area currently owned by St Margaret’s Hospital and the District Council had also looked at reprovision at North Weald Airfield. Early investigations into the possibility of a joint-use centre with St Johns Secondary School had not passed feasibility discussions.

Apart from concerns over access and location, the cost of the St Margaret’s proposal involving the purchase of the land would have been prohibitive. North Weald Airfield and the largest part of St Johns are already owned by Epping Forest District Council, making each of these options much more affordable.

The previous aspiration to build an additional supermarket in Epping has been dropped.

With public calls for the new centre to be located as close as possible to the heart of Epping and customers not wishing to see a new North Weald facility lead to the closure of Ongar, the proposal to build at St Johns will come as welcome news.

Technical Background

  1. The St John’s Road redevelopment scheme is an important strategic project for the District, because of its ability to deliver both significant community and economic benefits.
  2. The site totals 3.68 acres and is in a prime town centre location. The original land ownership comprises of Essex County Council (former junior school) 2.59 Acres, Epping Forest District Council (Housing Repairs Depot) 0.59 Acres and Epping Town Council (Epping Hall) 0.54 Acres.
  3. The three public bodies have been working in partnership since the Junior School relocated to bring forward an appropriate redevelopment scheme.
  4. In recognition of the profile of the site and the high level of public interest a consultative approach with the local community has always been adopted, including a range of interested parties and stakeholders.
  5. As a result of public consultation the Council adopted a design and development planning brief for the site.
  6. The planning brief was for a mixed use scheme to include a food store (12,000sq ft) cinema, restaurants, ancillary retail use, car parking and up to 34 units of housing.
  7. In order to deliver the redevelopment the three Councils sought a specialist development company with the required expertise. After expressions of interest were received, Frontier Estates were appointed.
  8. After an extensive period of negotiation, which in order to ensure that the desired outcomes of the design and development brief were achieved, involved the purchase of the County Council’s land by Epping Forest District Council, it was anticipated that the final contracts could be entered into in the summer.
  9. However, it has not been possible to reach a final mutually agreeable position between the District Council, Town Council and Frontier Estates. The time taken to conclude negotiations has seen change in the retail market and Frontier Estates development risk increase.
  10. Therefore both the Town Council and District Council are now actively exploring an alternative which still delivers the community and economic briefs they both are keen to achieve for local residents.
  11. It is still the intention to pursue a mixed use scheme in accordance with the sites allocation in the submission version at the District Council’s Local Plan.
  12. However, the District Council is currently accessing the most suitable location for the reprovision at Epping Sports Centre which is ageing and constrained in terms of access. The St John’s site can now form part of this option appraisal.
  13. In the intervening period the District Council will continue to ensure the security of the site and keep residents updated.

Annual Canvass of Electors – have you filled in your form?

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Updated information

If you have received a phone call, email or message from Epping forest District Council Elections Team asking for some further information, please respond before Friday 21 September 2018.


Around 38.000 households in Epping Forest District responded to their Household Enquiry Forms almost as soon as they received them in August– but there are still 18,500 outstanding.

Annual Canvass 2018

Use an automated service

More than half of those who responded did so by using an automated service – online/phone/text

And to keep costs down we need most of the remaining households to use a similar method because last year we spent £20,000 on sending out reminders.

Get your responses back to us

The HEF forms are a crucial part of our annual canvass of electors which begins in August every year. The first deadline has passed so we would urge everyone who hasn’t already done so, to get their responses back to us immediately.

There is a second stage to the registration process for new people added to the Household Enquiry Form. Unless this is done they won’t be able to vote in any elections or referendums.

It’s a simple process and can be done

Before 29 August.

Here’s what to do…

No changes?

Using the 2 part security code on your household enquiry form:

Changes to make?

  • Amend the information online easily and quickly online or
  • Amend the form and return it in the prepaid envelope – making sure to give a contact phone number or email address in case of queries.

Statement – Fire at Burton Road, Loughton

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Updated Information – 13.15pm on 17 August 2018

Essex Fire and Rescue Service have announced that the fire is now out.

We cannot speculate on the cause of the fire at the moment, that will come out following an official investigation.

The photo below shows the building now that the fire is out and demonstrates how remarkably well the structure has stood up to the fire.

Council Leader, Chris Whitbread said: “You can always rebuild bricks and mortar, the important thing is that everyone appears to be safe and the fire is now out.”

Original statement made – 12:00pm 17 August 2018

A development of new flats in Burton Road, Loughton has caught fire and the fire service are in attendance.

This is a development of new council housing being built for Epping Forest District Council. A £10 million design and build mixed tenure residential development of 51 affordable rent units, comprising of 17 homes and 34 apartments.

Councillor Chris Whitbread Leader of Epping Forest District Council is at Burton Road.

He said: “Our first concern is for the safety and welfare of all concerned. It looks like everyone is safe. Essex Fire and Rescue is on the scene and it is under control. These flats are still being built. This is a construction site and there are no tenants living here. However we are obviously concerned about everyone working on the site at the time the fire started.

“The development is being built for us by Mulalley – a large construction company with a long and successful track record of building major projects. It is too early to say what caused the fire but it is clearly large. Essex Fire and Rescue has cordoned the site off.

“Our first priority is to ensure people are safe. Neighbouring residents are being asked to stay in their homes. This is bound to cause some travel disruption and people are being asked to avoid the area if they can.

“The council has several roles: we are the client and this is a serious setback for us and all those people we are building these new homes for. More importantly in the short term we have a supporting role to the emergency services and would be in a position to set up rest centres nearby if required for neighbouring residents. At this stage our staff are on standby if rest centres are needed. We also employ specialist building control officers who will be at the disposal of Essex Fire and Rescue to assess the damage and ensure the buildings are made safe once the fire is out.

“In the longer term we will recover. Bricks and mortar can always be replaced and we will rebuild these much needed homes for local people. For now, our thoughts are focused on the safety of everyone living and working in the area.

Please visit the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service website for reliable advice and up to date information about the incident http://www.essex-fire.gov.uk/incidents/i7458/

 

Respond to the Annual Canvass by 21 August

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There are still 27,000 properties in the Epping Forest District yet to respond to the annual canvass. If you are one of those properties, respond online, by text or by phone before 21 August 2018.

Annual Canvass 2018

A couple of weeks ago, all homes in the Epping Forest District were sent a Household Enquiry Form through the post. Households are legally required to respond even if none of the details have changed.

You could be fined

Don’t ignore the form – if you do you may face a fine of up to £1,000. Please respond immediately if you have not already done so.

Complete your form by 21 August 2018 at the very latest.

Reminders are costly

Simon Hill, Electoral Registration Officer said: “Last year 60% of households used one of the automated response options but many more could have done, particularly if there are no changes to the details. Using them saves time and money.

“There are still 27,000 properties yet to respond. Please respond now to save us having to send out a reminder form which is costly.”

How to respond

Using the 2 part security code on your household enquiry form you can choose one of the following options:

If there are changes

  • Amend the information online easily and quickly online
  • Amend the form and return it in the prepaid envelope – please make sure you give a contact phone number or email address in case of queries.

Additions to your household?

  • Stage 1 is responding to the Household Enquiry Form
  • Stage 2 is completing the registration process for new electors at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Annual elections canvass forms arriving soon

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Household Enquiry Forms will be dropping through letterboxes over the next few weeks and it is essential that every home within the Epping Forest District responds by 21 August 2018.

Annual canvass

Legal requirement

If you live at an address in the district, you are legally required to respond and we are urging local residents to do it as soon as the form arrives, to help cut down the £20,000 cost of reminders last year.

The form also ensures that Epping Forest can keep the electoral register up to date and that you are able to vote should there be an unexpected election.

Online – saves time and money

Simon Hill, Electoral Registration Officer said: “It’s important that residents respond immediately to the form online, by phone or by text, so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in Epping Forest.”

“Last year 60% of households used one of the automated response options but many more could have done, particularly if there are no changes to the details. Using them saves time and money.”

Register and respond to canvass form

If you’re not currently registered, your name will not appear on the form. If you want to register, the easiest way is online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or call the Electoral Services office on 01992 564411.

At the same time as registering you must also respond to the canvass form.

People who have moved address recently are particularly encouraged to keep an eye out for the form and check the details. Research by the independent Electoral Commission indicates that recent home movers are far less likely to be registered than those that have lived at the same address for a long time.

Do it online, by phone or by text now

It’s easiest and quickest to confirm your details online, by phone or by text. You can also let us know of any changes online. By using one of the automated response options you are helping to keep our costs down.

Make sure you can vote

“People think that they are automatically added to the register of electors because they are paying Council Tax, but that’s not the case,” said Simon Hill. “The annual canvass happens every year and even if nothing in your household has changed, you still need to confirm your details.”

It can affect your credit rating

It is important to remember that not being on the register can affect your ability to open a bank account, get a loan, credit, a mortgage or even a mobile phone, because it can affect your credit rating.

Respond by 21 August

Don’t ignore the form. By law you must confirm your details, or you may face a fine of up to £1,000. Please respond immediately if you have not already done so, please complete your form by 21 August 2018 at the very latest.

Annual Council 24 May 2018

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Councillor Richard Bassett is the new Chairman of Epping Forest District Council.

His appointment follows the retirement of David Stallan. Councillor Ricki Gadsby is the Council’s new Vice-Chairman. Following the retirement of Will Breare-Hall at the local elections, Council Leader Chris Whitbread has added Councillor Nigel Avey to his Cabinet.

Chairman Cllr Richard Bassett

Click on an image below to start the slideshow

Cabinet appointments

  • Leader – Councillor Chris Whitbread
  • Assets & Economic Development – Councillor Anne Grigg
  • Environment – Councillor Nigel Avey
  • Finance – Councillor Gagan Mohindra
  • Planning & Governance – Councillor John Philip
  • Housing and Deputy Leader of Council – Councillor Syd Stavrou
  • Leisure & Community Services – Councillor Helen Kane
  • Safer, Greener & Transport – Councillor Sam Kane
  • Technology & Support Services – Councillor Alan Lion

‘What a year and what an experience’

In his closing speech to councillors, David Stallan said that he would not have missed his year as chairman for the world! Among the ‘standout’ moments of his year, Dave listed teeing off at Chairman’s Charity Golf Day, his ‘visit’ to the gym, a steam train footplate, aircraft simulator, sports events the Petanque trophy wrestled back – all in fun – two Chinese delegations, the Ongar Festival, many arts events and working with the Youth Council. As Chairman, Dave learned that a few hundred pounds can make a massive difference. Through generosity of others he raised £5,500 for local charities and Diabetes UK.

It was Dave’s sad duty to announce the passing of 11 current and former councillors during his year. Concluding with thanks to his family he noted not only ‘two great women behind me – daughter Amy and wife Sue, but also a third Pat Seager, the Chairman’s Secretary.

Praise for David Stallan

Chris Whitbread led thanks to David Stallan. During a tough year including meetings on the Local Plan, Councillor Whitbread described Dave Stallan as first class, handling himself so well as he travelled across the district by being himself and being such a ‘nice guy’.

Councillor Whitbread said: “A good chairman brings the whole council together – you had a brilliant year – thank you”.

Councillors Stephen Murray, Caroline Pond, Anne Grigg, Jon Whitehouse and Stephen Neville echoed Chris Whitbread’s words – thanking David Stallan for a brilliant year.

Communities Director Alan Hall thanked Dave Stallan on behalf of the staff recalling their years working closely together on council housing and Dave’s support for council staff.

In one of his first presentations as Chairman, Councillor Richard Bassett also had great please in presenting Dave Stallan with a long service medal for 19 years representing the residents of North Weald.

New Chairman

Richard Bassett’s nomination for Chairman was proposed by Councillor Mary Sartin. Councillor Bassett took on his first cabinet role in 2010 before accepting the role of vice-chairman last year. As a former Chairman, councillor Sartin assured Councillor Bassett that he would meet many wonderful people over the coming year.

Thanking fellow councillors for bestowing the honour of Chairman on him, Councillor Bassett particularly singled out Dave Stallan for his support over the year. Councillor Bassett is making small business his theme for the year. He will undertake to get out and meet as many businesses as possible.

As a trustee of Epping Forest Community Transport, Councillor Bassett also wants to raise its profile along with young people’s sports groups during his year as Chairman.

Key appointments

Other key appointments at Annual Council included:

  • Chairman Plans Sub Committee East– Councillor Paul Keska
  • Chairman Plans Sub Committee West– Councillor Liz Webster
  • Chairman Plans Sub Committee South – Councillor Darshan Sunger
  • Chairman District Development Management Committee – Councillor Brian Sandler
  • Chairman Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Councillor Mary Sartin

Council remembers Elizabeth Downes

Tributes were paid to former Nazeing ward councillor Elizabeth Downes who passed away on 7 May. As a fellow councillor from Nazeing, Richard Bassett shared some thoughts on his predecessor, remembered by local residents as a lovely lady.

Results in 3 May local elections

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The full results for the Thursday 3 May #LocalElections2018 can be found below.

All results were declared by 1.31am Friday morning.

Results of the local elections on 3 May 2018

Buckhurst Hill East

Buckhurst Hill West

Chigwell Village

Chipping Ongar, Greensted and Marden Ash

Epping Hemnall

Epping Lindsey and Thornwood Common

Grange Hill

Loughton Alderton

Loughton Broadway

Loughton Fairmead

Loughton Forest

Loughton Roding

Loughton St John’s

Loughton St Mary’s

Lower Nazeing

North Weald Bassett

Moreton and Fyfield

Theydon Bois

Waltham Abbey Honey Lane

Waltham Abbey Paternoster

Eleanor Laing holds Epping Forest

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Conservative Eleanor Laing held the Epping Forest seat in the UK General Election on 8 June 2017.

Alex Burghart held the Brentwood & Ongar seat for the conservatives and Robert Halfon held the Harlow seat for the conservatives as the election ends in a Hung Parliament.

Elenor Laing MP

Click on an image below to start slideshow


Results on the BBC


Election news

General Election results

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Results of the UK Parliamentary election on Thursday 8 June 2017 for the Epping Forest district.

General Election Thursday 8 June 2017

Epping Forest constituency results

Thomas Hall (Young People’s Party YPP) – 110
Simon Heap (Green Party) – 1,233
Eleanor Laing (Conservatives) – 31,462 elected
Patrick O’Flynn (UKIP) – 1,871
Liam Preston (Labour) – 13,219
Jon Whitehouse (Liberal Democrats) – 2,884

Rejected ballot papers – 130

Turnout 68.12%

Epping Forest constituency full results

Declaration of result of poll


Brentwood & Ongar constituency results

Gareth Barrett (Labour) – 10,809
Alex Burghart (Conservatives) – 34,811 elected
Karen Chilvers (Liberal Democrats) – 4,426
Paul Jeater (Green Party) – 915
Louca Kousoulou (Independent) – 104
Michael McGough ((UKIP) – 1,842

Rejected ballot papers

Turnout 70.6%

Brentwood & Ongar constituency full results


Harlow constituency results

Hannah Clare (Green Party) – 660
Mark Gough (UKIP) – 1,787
Robert Halfon (Conservatives) – 24,230 elected
Geoffrey Seeff (Liberal Democrats) – 970
Phil Waite (Labour) – 17,199

Rejected ballot papers – 75

Turnout 66.37%

Harlow constituency full results


Election news