Conference targets growth in tourism

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chairman, Chigwell, Councillors, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Local business, Loughton, Media, Museum, North Weald Airfield, Ongar, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Tour de France, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council

Local business people who want to make more from tourism are invited to the One Epping Forest Tourism and Visitor Board Tourism Conference on 20 March at the Marriott Hotel, Waltham Abbey. The conference which starts at 2pm is free. Organisers aim to boost local tourism and visitor offer as well as increasing income and jobs in the district.

EOR

Chairman is leading the investment drive for local tourism

Worth almost £200m per annum and already supporting 7% of local employment, the tourism economy is significant to growth in the Epping Forest District and offers opportunities for both established and new business to capitalise upon.

Partners on the Tourism and Visitor Board believe that this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of local potential and offer the conference as an opportunity for attractions and those who would benefit from a growing number of visitors to come along, discover what’s already happening across the district, and contribute their views on how working together can maximise these opportunities.

A range of speakers will address different subjects including accessing grants to promote investment, new ideas for activities designed to boost visitor numbers and the wider picture and support from Visit Essex.

Help us plan a better future

Councillor Tony Boyce, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council and Chairman of the Tourism and Visitor Board said: “Our district is already performing well in terms of its visitor economy which has grown steadily in the last few years. With a range of top attractions such as the forest, Epping Ongar Railway, historic Waltham Abbey plus tranquil countryside and a host of great restaurants, pubs, high streets and independent shops, it can do even better. We want this conference to bring together all those already working in the sector or thinking about expanding into or starting out in the visitor economy to come along and help us plan a better future”.

Those who would find this conference particularly beneficial include

  • Anyone involved with or with an interest in the visitor and tourism economy
  • Anyone looking for business building opportunities Anyone who values networking with local tourism and visitor related businesses
  • Anyone interested in finding out how Visit Epping Forest and Visit Essex are supporting and promoting business growth in the district

Book your place now

The conference is free for local businesses. To secure a place register at www.eventbrite.co.uk (search Epping Tourism Conference).

For further information contact Quentin Buller at qbuller@eppingforestdc.gov.uk or 01992 564116 or visit www.visiteppingforest.org/members.

Top visitor destinations

Councillor Boyce recently took Essex County Councillor George Kieffer on a whistle-stop tour of just a few of the district’s tourist and visitor attractions

  • The market town of Epping
  • High Beach Forest Centre in Epping Forest
  • Marriott Hotel Waltham Abbey
  • Waltham Abbey church, grounds and market square
  • The Royal Gunpowder Mills via Lea Valley White Water Centre
  • Chigwell Village (via Loughton)
  • Mayhem (Paintball)
  • Stapleford Airfield
  • Greenstead Church and Ongar town centre
  • Smith’s Brasserie
  • Ongar station – Epping Ongar Heritage Railway Train to North Weald Station.
  • North Weald Battle of Britain Airfield
  • Ashylns Organic Farm
  • Phoenix Hotel

Reasons to visit the Epping Forest district

To view photos in a slideshow, click on a picture below and click start slideshow.

 

Council Leader talks to the Guardian

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Council tax, Councillors, Housing, Leader, Local business, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Recycling and waste, Supporting business, Your council, Your home, Your money

Councillor Chris Whitbread, Leader of Epping Forest District Council has responded to a request from the Epping Forest Guardian for his reflections on the past year and some thoughts on the future.


Councillor Whitbread is also a local businessman based in Epping.

Councillor Whitbread says that looking back, 2014 was a generally good year for Epping Forest District Council. The Tour de France stands out as a fantastic event and showed what can be achieved by the community. He is optimistic about the local economy, saying that it has definitely picked up with busier high streets.

The Council continued to cut costs and improve services such as the new waste and recycling contract. Councillor Whitbread says it was with great pride that councillors started building new council houses for local families for the first time in many years.   However, the year was tinged with a note of sadness as the Council lost three dear friends and colleagues, Councillors Penny Smith and Ken Avey and former Councillor Joan Davis.

Looking ahead, Councillor Whitbread says the Council faces further challenging savings targets but he is confident and committed to protecting services that matter to residents as well as keeping the Council Tax low. He explains that Epping Forest District Council has always used its assets to fund services. It has industrial estates, shopping parades and North Weald Airfield.

Following the award of the new refuse and recycling collection contract, the Council is looking to turn Langston Road depot in Loughton into a brand new retail park. As the income from the park comes on stream in years to come, Councillor Whitbread says there is good reason to be confident for council services going forward.

 

Winter business briefing published

Written on . Posted in Business, Business rates, Chairman, Commercial properties, Councillors, Environmental health, Food safety, Grants, Licensing, Local business, Media, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your council, Your home, Your money

The latest issue of One Business Briefing is now available. It includes articles on how to make marketing and social media work more successfully for you and funding to help train staff in digital skills and much more.

Cover of Winter 2014 One Business Briefing

Download the briefing

The winter issue focuses on opportunities for new and established businesses across Epping Forest – from free sessions and guidance to make marketing and social media work more successfully for you to funding to help train staff in digital skills and for strategic advice to grow your business.

Several successful events in recent weeks demonstrated the variety of business owners in our district, as well as the passion and drive that fuels our local economy.

As we move into the New Year, the importance of investing in the future is highlighted; specifically in supporting young people at the very start of their careers, as well as providing support for key sectors and geographic areas. This is reflected in our latest issue of the briefing, which reports on the recent Investors in Young People Awards Celebration and announces support for tourism and town and district centres across our patch.

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As always, we would welcome any feedback on how useful these updates are and suggestions for future editions.

Destination Epping Forest!

Written on . Posted in Business, Chairman, Civic events, Councillors, Media, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Out and about, Travel, Your area, Your council

Chairman of Council Councillor Tony Boyce celebrated the district’s tourist attractions at North Weald Airfield and on the Epping Ongar railway recently.

A host of distinguished guests from authorities across the district and beyond enjoyed a trip on a vintage bus to North Weald Station after completing a tour of the Airfield. From there, guests were taken to Coopersale on the railway, which is currently the limit of the service. A magnificent steam engine – 4141, a Prairie Tank – pulled the Chairman’s guests back to Ongar Station.

Councillor Tony and Jan Boyce

To view photos in a slideshow, click on a picture and click start slideshow.

Rodger Green a long-serving volunteer at the railway gave a fascinating tour and talk on the history of Ongar Station and the Epping Ongar Railway. Everyone then returned to North Weald Station and onwards again on the bus to North Weald Airfield.

Councillors Ashley Kissin the Mayor of Redbridge and Robert Villa Mayor of Chelmsford City Council won the Chairman’s Charity auction to ride on the footplate of the steam engine. Councillor Villa said: “It was a unique experience, not something you would usually do and it brought back a lot of memories. I was also amazed at how hot it is standing on the footplate. From the front of the train I was able to enjoy a glorious view of the surrounding countryside and the many colours of Epping Forest itself.”

Showcase all that the district has to offer

Councillor Boyce said: “This was a fantastic opportunity to showcase all that the district has to offer to residents and visitors alike. I am most grateful to the Epping Ongar Railway for hosting us on the day. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves but more importantly, many more people are now aware of this attraction and will spread the word about our marvellous district and all it has to offer.”

Very proud

Managing Director of the Epping Ongar Railway, who was also the bus driver for the day, Roger Wright said: “We are all very proud of the Epping Ongar Railway and hope that we will be welcoming many more visitors soon.”

£400 for charities

The Chairman raised a total of £400 for his charities and local causes, which are the Ongar and District Healthcare League of Friends and providing a tail-lift disability bus for Voluntary Action Epping Forest.

 

Community day money donated to charities

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, Media, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council

The Essex Royal British Legion and Essex & Herts Air Ambulance were presented with cheques for £3,500 for money raised at this years spectacular community day at North Weald Airfield.

Cheque presentation

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Absolutely delighted

Russell Smith, General Manager at Weald Aviation said: “I’m absolutely delighted we raised £7,000 for these 2 wonderful charities. It will help them to carry out the valuable work they do in the local community.”

This money will save a life

Tony Newsome, volunteer with the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance said: “It costs £2,700 to fly each mission and £7,000 for a new defibrillator, so this money will save a life. I would like to thank Weald Aviation and Epping Forest District Council for supporting us.”

Very generous donation

Derek Berwin, member of the Essex Royal British Legion said: “Today we received a very generous donation of £3,500 thanks to the fantastic community day held in September. This money will help us to continue providing financial, social and emotional support to our members and their families.”

Fantastic community spirit

Councillor Tony Boyce, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council said: “Over 4,000 people from different generations came together at the community day in September to enjoy a great day out and honour our local heroes.”

“With this year being the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of WW1, I was particularly honoured and humbled to be given the chance to meet and pay tribute to our districts proud veterans. The air display by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire and Hurricane completed a wonderful day.”

“All the money raised is vital to both charities to help them continue the necessary work they carry out in our local community.”

“I want to thank Weald Aviation, North Weald Airfield, Epping Forest District Council, Kings Transport Ltd and the thousands of people who came along to this marvellous event, showing that  fantastic community spirit is very much alive in the Epping Forest district.”

What’s on in 2015?

Planning for next years event is well under way. On Sunday 12 July 2015 we will be commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. RAF North Weald played a vital part in the defence of Britain in the Summer of 1940. We will be taking the opportunity to pay tribute to the ‘few’, their ground crews and the local communities who endured so much.

The event will be raising funds for the Royal Air Forces Associations Wings Appeal and a flying display from the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will be just one of the highlights. Keep up to date with what is being planned by following North Weald Airfield on Facebook.

You can see photos and video of the North Weald Airfield Community Day 2014 at www.northwealdairfieldfunday.com.

 

Energy switch, M11 and night lighting discussed at council

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Housing, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Media, Meetings, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

A new M11 junction, saving money on energy bills, Essex part-night lighting, council house building and more were discussed at council on Tuesday 4 November 2014.

Duty to cooperate

Councillors Chris Whitbread, Leader of Council, and Richard Bassett, Planning Portfolio Holder, met representatives from neighbouring council areas to discuss issues of mutual interest in the production local plans. Among the items debated was a consensus of support for the development of a new Junction 7a on the M11.

Councils are required to meet and work together as far as possible in the coordination of local plans setting out housing, economic and environmental policies for the next 20 years or so. Known as the Duty to Cooperate Board, other councils in the group include Harlow, Uttlesford, Broxbourne, East Herts, Essex County Council, Hertfordshire County Council and the London Boroughs of Redbridge, Enfield and Waltham Forest.

Chairman’s schedule

Council Chairman Tony Boyce, outlined a packed schedule of recent civic activities. This included a trip on the Epping Ongar Railway and the promotion of the district as a visitor attraction to other council chairmen and mayors. He also opened the CAB annual general meeting, went on a trip with older residents on a Community Transport bus between North Weald and Epping, visited refurbished halls in Roydon and North Weald, attended community events at Waltham Abbey, spent an evening with the air-cadets and visited Chelmsford to learn more about the Territorial Army.

Energy switch

Residents will be given the opportunity to cut their energy bills. Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder Gary Waller recommended that anyone wishing to save money look out for more information to appear in the Christmas edition of The Forester and on the council website.

The second Essex Energy Switch starts on 2 December 2014. It is run in conjunction with Essex County Council and offers residents who want to switch providers the chance to pay less for their gas and electricity bills. A previous scheme earned savings of several hundred pounds for Essex residents.

Train diplomacy lights up district

District councillors called upon Essex County Council to think again on the part-night lighting  scheme early in the morning when people are going to work. A motion was presented by councillor Stephen Murray. He briefly listed the number of trains taking local residents to work before 6am each day as well as early morning buses. Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder Gary Waller supported the motives of councillor Murray.

With tongue firmly in cheek, councillor Waller described how he and fellow district councillors had discussed the very same issue with County Council Portfolio Holder Rodney Bass in a first class carriage compartment on the Epping Ongar heritage railway visit hosted by council Chairman Tony Boyce. Surrounded by district councillors Gary Waller, John Philip, Anne Grigg, David Stallan and Will Breare-Hall in a scene reminiscent of an Agatha Christie novel, Councillor Bass was made aware of the feeling across the district council chamber in supporting of turning the lights on earlier. Councillors expected confirmation of good news from Essex County Council in the next few days.

Operations Partner – North Weald Airfield

Councillors agreed to set aside up to £60,000 to procure and appoint marketing agents to help the council seek an operational partner for aviation management at North Weald Airfield.

Children’s services

Overview and Scrutiny Chairman councillor Richard Morgan appealed to fellow councillors to get their questions ready for a presentation by Essex County Council on children’s services at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Monday 10 November. Members of the public can also submit a question to Essex County Council by emailing democraticservices@eppingforestdc.gov.uk by 4pm on the day of the meeting.

Council house building

As the new council house building programme gathers momentum, the collaborative approach and consultation with ward members was welcomed by councillors. Reflecting the importance of the house building programme, the revised terms of reference were approved for the Council House Building Cabinet Committee.

 

Cabinet

Written on . Posted in Housing, Local plan / planning our future, Media, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Your area, Your council

North Weald Bassett Masterplan Study, Epping Town Neighbourhood Area Consultation, Survey of the River Roding and more were discussed at cabinet on Monday 6 October.

Local Plan

Another significant step towards the production of the Local Plan took place at Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet on Monday 6 October when the North Weald Masterplanning Study was accepted into the evidence base. The Study includes options for housing, transport, employment, aviation and defensible green belt boundaries.

As one of the largest assets in the ownership of the Council, the report represents an important step as landlord as well as planning authority. However, councillors were anxious to make clear that the adoption of the Masterplan does not mean any final decisions have been taken. The Plan only outlines different options for the future of the airfield and surrounding area based on the expertise of technical consultants and consultation with local people.

Following the adoption of the Masterplan, Cabinet went on to agree proposals to find an operational partner to work up an aviation business plan for the airfield. The aim is to secure a sustainable future for aviation with the aid of an existing commercial airfield operator with the expertise to increase income, improve efficiency and help guide future plans. Cabinet agreed to seek the approval of up to £60,000 from Full Council to take its proposals forward.

Councillor Chris Whitbread, Leader of Council welcomed the reports and the drive to maximise income from the airfield including potential Park and Ride proposals supported by local residents.

New housebuilding schemes

Housing Portfolio Holder Councillor David Stallan presented reports on progress with the Council’s new housebuilding schemes. Among the decisions approved by Cabinet was the acceleration of the annual Housebuilding programme from 20 to 30 properties per year in phases 3 to 6. Phase 1 is already well under way and Phase 2 proposes a 56 home development at Burton Road.

9 new homes to be built in Waltham Abbey as part of Phase 1 are to be named after the Council’s former District Health and Housing Officer and joint Chief Executive. The flats in Harveyfields will be called John Scott Court.

Councillors supported proposals to accept delegated powers from Essex County Council, allowing Epping Forest District Council to optimise the control of works to ‘ordinary’ watercourses in order to minimise flood risk.

River Roding

Erosion and the condition of bridges across the River Roding will be investigated. Cabinet agreed a budget of £15,000 towards survey costs.

Neighbourhood Plan

Epping is the latest town or parish to seek approval for a designated area to cover a Neighbourhood Plan. It joins a growing list of local councils including, Moreton, Bobbingworth and the Lavers, Chigwell and Theydon Bois, seeking greater involvement in planning through the Neighbourhood Plan process. Applications have also been received from Buckhurst Hill and North Weald Parish Councils.

 

Airfield community day a soaraway success

Written on . Posted in Community, Media, North Weald Airfield, Older people, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community

Over 4,000 people raised £7,165 for 2 local charities by attending the North Weald Airfield Community Day on Sunday 7 September.

The event, organised by Weald Aviation and Epping Forest District Council, included the 1st air display at North Weald Airfield since 1999. A display by the world famous RAF BBMF Spitfire and Hurricane closed the event.

North Weald Airfield Community Day 2014

Russell Smith, General Manager at Weald Aviation said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have raised over £7,000 for our 2 chosen charities. The money raised will help the Royal British Legion and Herts Air Ambulance to carry out their valuable work in the community.”

“I am very proud to be part of the team that put on such a wonderful local event and would like to say a big thank you to everyone involved.”

Community Day people

Written on . Posted in Community, Local business, Media, North Weald Airfield, Older people, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

On Sunday 7 September thousands of people came to see the first air display held at North Weald Airfield for 15 years at the North Weald Airfield Community Day.

We have put together a selection of pictures  for you to enjoy. It includes people who came and enjoyed the day, people that worked to help make it such a memorable day and of veterans for whom the day was to honour.

North Weald Airfield Community Day 2014

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

 

Community Day re-enactors

Written on . Posted in Community, Local business, Media, North Weald Airfield, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

On Sunday 7 September thousands of people came to see the first air display held at North Weald Airfield for 15 years at the North Weald Airfield Community Day.

We have put together a selection of pictures of the re-enactors for you to enjoy.

North Weald Airfield Community Day 2014

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