Meet the buyer comes to Epping Forest

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Do you own a small business in the district and want to learn more from the big companies? Then join us at our free ‘meet the buyer’ event on Thursday 23 November.

Meet the Buyer logoSharing knowledge

Sponsored by the Marriot Hotel and organised in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, ‘meet they buyer’ aims to put local small and medium sized companies together with some of the biggest buyers in and around the district.

Local businesses will have the opportunity to hear first-hand how these big organisations buy goods and services, and meet key people with roles in procurement in these organisations.

The day will involve a series of short presentations from key buying organisations and the opportunities for questions and answer followed by time for networking.

Organisations attending

  • Stansted Airport
  • Public Health England
  • Waltham Abbey Marriott Hotel
  • Vibrant Partnerships
  • Essex County Council
  • Epping Forest District Council

Bringing buyers and sellers together

Economic Development Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Anne Grigg said: “This is a really important event. All the organisations we work with are keen to buy more locally, and all our local companies are keen to sell. The event is all about bringing the buyers and sellers together, explaining how procurement systems work, and hopefully enabling local companies to get more business from major organisations.”

Buying locally

Chairman of the Epping Forest Chamber of Commerce John Price said:  “Many of our small to medium size businesses struggle to manage with the growing trend of people buying products and services outside our district. Buying locally has always been supported by the Chamber whenever possible. Attending businesses will have the chance to meet and discuss opportunities available to them. This could be anything from IT, cleaning services, design, products or others. It will be a good chance to meet fellow businesses in our district as there will be ample opportunities to network.”

Register today

  • When: Thursday 23 November
  • Where: Waltham Abbey Marriott Hotel, Old Shire Lane, Waltham Abbey EN9 3LX
  • Time: 9am to 12pm

The event is free for local businesses but places limited so register for a place today

For more information contact

Overview and Scrutiny 31 October 2017

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There are signs of improvement in services provided by Whipps Cross Hospital. Part of the Barts Health NHS Trust, the hospital has been in special measures following poor Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections. A presentation to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee of Epping Forest District Council following the latest CQC inspections in May suggest the hospital has improved from ‘inadequate’ to ‘overall requires improvement’. However, as one first-hand account of patient care at the end of the presentation demonstrated, there is still some way to go.

View the webcast

  • Dr Heather Noble – Medical Director, Whipps Cross Hospital
  • Alan Gurney – Managing Director, Whipps Cross Hospital

Signs of improvement at hospital trust

Alan Gurney, Managing Director said that any further CQC inspections today would see more improvements. However, he added that the condition of operating theatres was still a cause for concern. Investment in theatre refurbishments is scheduled for next year.

The CQC has seen an increase in the quality of the working environment and culture of the hospital. Bullying was previously identified as a major issue with high turnover of staff and heavy reliance on agency support. Significant improvements have been made in these areas. The hospital is also old. Many of its buildings pre-date the creation of the NHS. Investment is needed in new buildings.

Dr Heather Noble assured Councillor Steven Neville that issues around radiation exposure to staff had been resolved. Councillor David Stallan received assurances that Alan Gurney had no plans to relocate Whipps Cross, although the hospital is on a large site and could potentially operate from a smaller footprint.

Councillor Roger Baldwin asked about bed-blocking and capacity. Alan Gurney used the phrase ‘delayed discharge’ for which he had 11 cases at that moment. He assured councillors that he was working with partners to reduce discharge delays. No bed spaces had been closed this year and Mr Gurney considered it to be a lesser challenge than some other issues facing the hospital.

Councillors Mitchell and Sartin received further information in response to questions about bullying. Councillor Chambers explored the depth of hospital planning for the winter. Alan Gurney confirmed additional investment in building work and weekend cover arrangements to enhance winter cover. There is also additional ‘step-down’ coverage and coordination with partners in the ambulance service and care homes. The staff flu vaccination campaign is part of steps to prepare staff for the winter season.

Councillor David Wixley followed up on the issues of bullying and culture. Councillor Nigel Bedford focused on staff retention and reusing the defunct nursing home for other purposes. Alan Gurney provided assurance that recruitment and retention improvements are ongoing. He also felt that the site had plenty of capacity for development including accommodation for staff.

Responding to Councillor Gagan Mohindra, Dr Noble said that the Council could provide support by communicating the message about the need for redevelopment of outdated buildings.

Developing staffs careers

Dr Noble emphasised that managers as such ‘were not bad’ after Alan Gurney described how Whipps Cross was focusing on continual recruitment of nurses and a requirement for more doctors.

Dr Noble said that further work was needed in developing career and employment links with local schools and colleges. Responding to Councillor Holly Whitbread, she described good examples of work in Newham which could be adopted for Whipps Cross.

Mortuary facilities are old and in need of replacement but Dr Noble assured Councillor Bedford that the dignity of the deceased and care for the bereaved was a high priority.

Responding to Councillor Baldwin, Alan Gurney said that it would be wrong to say the use of Private Finance Initiative funding (PFI) was not an option but he added that there was no appetite for it.

Dementia care is also a priority. Responding to Councillor Aniket Patel, Dr Noble outlined some of the programmes including Dementia Friends and creating clinical areas more dementia ‘friendly’. Alan Gurney added that with the focus on older patients, dementia care was critical.

Councillor Mary Sartin, chairman of Overview and Scrutiny thanked Mr Gurney and Dr Noble, concluding questions with reference to the caring and compassionate approach of staff recognised in the latest CQC report.

Learning from the past

Mr Gurney and Dr Noble were invited to stay at the end of their presentation questions for a statement by a local resident. Janis Crowder gave an emotional account of her mother’s poor experience as a patient of Whipps Cross last year. Accepting improvements have since been made, Ms Crowder felt it was important to explain to hospital managers the difficulties and inadequacies of her mother’s care.

A copy of the CQC report summary is available within the Overview and Scrutiny agenda.

Transport for London 9 January 2018

Transport for London managers have agreed to attend the meeting of Overview and Scrutiny Committee to discuss various public transport issues in January. Essex County Council is also to be invited to attend the Neighbourhoods Select Committee to discuss County bus services.

Epping Forest College 27 February 2018

Committee councillors also noted the scheduled attendance of the Principal of Epping Forest College at the meeting of Overview and Scrutiny on 27 February 2018.

12k in grants given to community groups

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6 local community and voluntary groups have been awarded £12,840 in grants helping the district’s social and physical wellbeing.

Grant aid banner

Grants awarded

  • Hertfordshire Boat Rescue
    £830 for radio equipment for use by volunteers on rescue missions and events
  • Playground at Theydon Association (PAT)
    £5,000 contribution towards the refurbishment of the Theydon Bois playground
  • Fyfield Bridge Club
    £1,200 contribution towards the cost of new scoring equipment for the club
  • Ongar & Villages Voluntary Care
    £1,770 to support their transporting service which supports older people
  • Loughton Voluntary Care
    £1,540 to support their transporting service which supports older people
  • Fyfield Village Hall
    £5,000 contribution towards the refurbishment of the gentleman’s toilets and cloakroom

Keeping our communities thriving

Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder Councillor Helen Kane said: “Our grants go on to help such a wide variety of people throughout our community, giving our parents and children a social place to be active in new playgrounds, to giving our older resident’s opportunities to get out of the house and gain more independence with Loughton’s voluntary care community transport service.”

“I am proud that these grants are actively helping people in our district, giving much needed and valued services the boost they need to go on and keep our communities thriving. Can you think of a community group or voluntary service that could use a cash boost? Don’t delay, apply now.”

Apply for a £5k grant

If your community group could use up to £5,000 to help with your one-off project, initiative or even the further development of an existing scheme, apply now.

Find out if your group is eligible

Woman guilty of subletting council property

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Ms Paula Callaway of Dunmow Essex has been given a 12 month suspend sentence and 150 hours community service after being found guilty of 2 counts of Social Housing fraud.

Subletting council property

Paula Callaway became a tenant of Moat Housing housing association in 1999. The tenancy agreement required Ms Callaway to live at the property 49 Ravenoak Way Chigwell as her main home and not to sublet it without prior written permission.

In November 2011 Paula Callaway sought permission to carry out a mutual exchange with the tenant of a one bedroom flat Council property at 9 Felstead Road Loughton.

Reasons given for requesting the exchange was that Ms Callaway wished to downsize following her children leaving home. The mutual exchange was approved and took place in January 2012.

Confidential fraud hotline

Following a report to the Council’s confidential fraud hotline officers launched an investigation which revealed that Paula Callaway had purchased a three bedroom new build property and had been living in Dunmow since October 2009, whilst still claiming to be a tenant at Ravenoak Way, Chigwell.

Ms Callaway had not informed Moat Housing that she had moved out and had left her son at that property and also rented out to property to at least another five people.

The mutual exchange was therefore fraudulent and the reasons given false.

Further fraudulent activity

At trial it transpired that the tenant Ms Callaway carried out the mutual exchange with was her sister in law and the real reason for wanting to exchange was that her sister in law wanted to move to a three bedroom property.

Having then gained the tenancy of the one bedroom flat 9 Felstead Road, Callaway then illegally sublet it again. She moved in two individuals from Ravenoak Way into 9 Felstead Road, whilst still living in her own property in Great Dunmow, acting as the landlord for the 2 council owned properties.

Depriving families of a home

After a five day trial at Chelmsford Crown Court Ms. Callaway was found guilty of 2 offences relating to Social Housing fraud. Having previously pleaded guilty to the criminal offence of dishonestly subletting a property, she was sentenced with a 12 month suspended sentence on both counts of fraud, 150 hours community service and a victim surcharge.

The Judge stated: “You were given social housing once you had bought a home of your own. There is chronic shortage of social homes and you deprived a family from living in a home for six years. This went on far too long. It went on but you must know what you did was wrong.”

Fraudsters cheat us all

Finance Portfolio Holder Councillor Gagan Mohindra said: “Fraud affects everyone. Money stolen by housing tenancy fraud, council tax fraud or business rates fraud is depriving our public services of the vital resources they need.”

“Please tell us if you suspect someone is committing fraud by filling in our online form or by calling our fraud investigation team”

You can report anonymously and don’t have to give your name or contact details unless you want to.

Nominate your Citizen of the Year

Written on . Posted in Arts, Chairman, Civic events, Community, Democracy, Equalities, Grants, Media, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Performance, Residents, Volunteering opportunities, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Epping Forest District Council’s Citizen of the Year Awards recognises people in the community who go above and beyond and make positive changes in our district.

Citizen of the year Civic Awards 2018 poster

If you know an individual or a team who make a real difference nominate them for

  • Citizen of the Year
  • Team of the Year

Highlighting positive work

Chairman David Stallan said: ‘The Citizen of the Year award is a great event, highlighting the positive work that goes on throughout the district. There are people among us who go above and beyond, making positive contributions to our society.’

‘If there’s an individual or group who springs to mind, now is your time to nominate them for a Civic Award.’

Make a nomination

Applications close Friday 24 November 2017.

Stay well this winter

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With the colder months closing in it’s time to prepare with our ‘stay well this winter’ events.

Stay Well This Winter 2017

Time to prepare is now

Our free stay well this winter events in partnership with West Essex Clinical Commissioning group provide the best health care information with talks from professionals and community groups highlighting the great services available to you this winter.

They day includes informative talks from

  • Pharmacists
  • Community Nurses
  • Specialist health advisors

Stands from health and community professionals including

  • Alzheimer’s society
  • EFDC Housing team
  • VAEF
  • Essex Road Safety
  • Essex Fire Service
  • And more

You will also receive a free lunch and goodie bag.

Where

  1. Tuesday 3 October
    10 am – 2pm
    Waltham Abbey Town Hall
    High bridge Street
    EN9 1DE
  2. Wednesday 25 October
    10am – 2pm
    Theydon Bois Village Hall
    Coppice Row
    CM16 7ER
  3. Friday 10 November
    10am – 2pm
    Roding Hall
    Buckhurst Hill
    26 Station Way
    IG9 6LN

Join us

Booking is required, call 01992 564226 to confirm your place.

Help shape our museums future work

Written on . Posted in Community, Equalities, Media, Museum, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council

If you passionate about making your local museum for everyone and would you like to help make the museum’s programme and collection more representative of all local residents, why not join our focus groups.

‘No Borders’ project

As part of the ground-breaking ‘No Borders’ project we are looking for local residents to take part in 2 new focus groups this summer. We want to involve the local community in ensuring the work of the museum is accessible and relevant to all local people.

Epping Forest District Museum is working with Lowewood Museum in Hertfordshire and Chelmsford Museum in Essex  for this project. It is supported by funding from Arts Council England.

This project aims to support the 3 museums to develop sustainable, inspiring services for the future. Attracting new and more diverse audiences and increasing accessibility for all is an important part of this work.

Museum access focus group

This focus group will look at issues surrounding access to the museum’s services, including physical, sensory and intellectual access. If you live in the Epping Forest district and have a disability or represent / work with residents with additional needs, and would like to help us improve access for all, please get in touch.

Museum access focus group

Museum focus group

The second focus group will look at bringing together Epping Forest district residents who define themselves as being of black, Asian or minority ethnic background. This focus group will help the museum ensure future exhibitions, events and the objects collected reflect the diversity of local residents.

Museum focus group

About the focus groups

There will be 2 focus groups. Each will last approximately 2 hours. Before meeting you will be sent the current museum events programme and pre-visit information to look through. All participants will receive a £15 ‘Love2Shop’ voucher to say thank you for your time.

  • Please register your interest by Friday 26 May 2017. The dates for the focus group to be confirmed
  • The groups will meet at Epping Forest District Museum, 39–41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL

Register your interest

When you contact the museum, please let us know which focus group you would like to attend, your preferred contact method and availability.

Are you dementia friendly?

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

To help raise awareness for Dementia Awareness Week (14 – 20 May 2017), we are launching the first of our 8 dementia friends sessions on Tuesday 16 May at Waltham Abbey Library and we would like you to join us!

United against Dementia

Click on an image to begin the slideshow

Become a dementia friend

We are calling on local businesses, community groups and individuals to attend one of our events and become a dementia friend.

Small ways to help

Each session is focuses on learning more about what it is like to live with dementia, helping you understand the small ways you can help and make life easier for those living with dementia in your community.

Upcoming sessions

Each session lasts for an hour and will be provided at the following Essex County Council Libraries

  • 16 May 2017 Waltham Abbey library, 37 Sun St, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL 1:30pm – 2:30pm
  • 29 June 2017 Loughton library, Traps Hill, Loughton, IG10 1HD 10am – 11am
  • 4 July 2017 Epping library, St John’s Road, Epping, CM16 5DN 10am – 11am
  • 12 September 2017 Chigwell library, Hainault Rd, Chigwell, IG7 6QX 2pm – 3pm
  • 21 September 2017 Debden library, Epping Forest College, Borders Lane, Loughton, IG10 3SA 1:30pm – 2:30pm
  • 10 October 2017 Ongar library, The Pleasance, High St, Ongar, CM5 9AB 10am – 11am
  • 2 November 2017 Buckhurst Hill library, 165 Queen’s Rd, Buckhurst Hill, IG9 5AZ 12:30pm – 1:30pm
  • 7 December 2017 North Weald library, 138 High Rd, North Weald Bassett, Epping, CM16 6BZ 11am – 12pm

Get involved

Places are limited so please book to avoid disappointment.

Further information

Staying well this winter

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Stay well this winter events took place across the district, advising residents on how to prepare for colder months.

Preparing for cold weather

Epping Forest District Council and NHS West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group bought together professionals from across West Essex aiming to advise the elderly on how to prepare for winter, promoting available services and how to practising good self-care.

Helpful advice

The roadshows speakers gave information on selecting the correct services. Including how to prepare you in case of an emergency, tips on keeping in good health and how to manage health conditions.

Speakers included:

Great range of services

Councillor Helen Kane Leisure and Community Portfolio Holder said: “Events like this showcase emphasise the range of services we have available in West Essex, and prove that there is help available if needed.”

“The stay well this winter events also highlight the importance of good self-care and how vital is to be prepared in staying well and making sure you’re ready for any kind of emergency you may face, not only in winter but all year round.”

“It’s great to see services across West Essex coming together and working in partnership, looking out for our community’s safety and wellbeing.”

More information

For more information on how to stay well please visit

Christmas contact information

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We are closed from 5pm on 23 December 2016 until 9am on 3 January 2017. There are still ways you can get in touch with us when you need to over the Christmas holiday period.

Christmas message from Chairman Jeane Lea

Report it

Report it online (non-emergency) – report missed bin, noise, flytipping, fraud, abandoned vehicle, etc.

Report by email (non-emergency) – emails sent here will not be looked at until 3 January 2017.

Phone (emergency) 01992 564000

Housing repairs (emergency) 01992 564199

Social media

We monitor our main Twitter and Facebook accounts every day.

Pay it

Pay online 24/7 – pay Council Tax, rent, business rates, leasehold charges, etc.

Pay by phone 24/7 01992 564600

Our Debden cash office & Epping kiosk will close at 4:30pm on 23 December 2016 and reopen 9am on 3 January 2017.

Our Waltham Abbey library kiosk is subject to Waltham Abbey library opening hours.

Waste and recycling

Christmas 2016 revised collection dates

  • Collection date Tuesday 27 December 2016 revised to Wednesday 28 December 2016
  • Collection date Wednesday 28 December 2016 revised to Thursday 29 December 2016
  • Collection date Thursday 29 December 2016 revised to Friday 30 December 2016
  • Collection date Friday 30 December 2016 revised to Saturday 31 December 2016

Recycling real Christmas trees

Leave your real Christmas trees with your food and garden waste in January 2017. Remove the pot, all decorations and if over 6ft, cut in half to ensure safe collection.

Special collections

Our special collections service closes at 5pm on 23 December 2016 and resume at 9am on 3 January 2017.

Lost or found dogs

Call 07815 512833 weekdays from 7am to 9pm, weekends and bank holidays from 10am to 7pm.

Car parks

Free weekend parking in December – all of our car parks are free on weekends throughout December and bank holidays.

Epping Forest District Museum

Epping Forest District Museum is closed from 4pm on 22 December 2016 and reopens 10am on 3 January 2017.

Housing benefit payments revised dates

  • Payments due 26 December 2016 will be now be available in bank accounts around 23 December 2016
  • Payments due 02 January 2017 will now be available in bank accounts around 29 December 2016

Normal payment cycle will resume from 9 January 2017.