Waltham Abbey business fined over £4k

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Owners of R&A Waste Removal Limited of Pick Hill, Waltham Abbey were prosecuted by Epping Forest District Council on 14 September 2017 for storing an estimated 100 – 150 tonnes of waste, when only licensed by the Environment Agency to store 10 tonnes.

Pick Hill - R&A Prosecution

Click on an image below to begin slideshow

Directors prosecuted

Alfie Smith and Richard McGuire, directors of a waste removal company in Waltham Abbey were prosecuted for depositing waste without a permit or an exemption and falling in their duty of care.

Over 10 times the limit

Portfolio Holder for Environment, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: ”R&A Waste Removal Limited was registered with an exemption administered by the Environment Agency, allowing the company to sort up to 10 tonnes of mixed recyclable waste at any one time.”

”However, following an investigation by the Council’s Neighbourhoods team, it was found that the company was storing an estimated 100 to 150 tonnes of waste, ten times the amount they were licenced to store. They were also sorting significant quantities of non-recyclable waste that was not covered by the exemption either.”

”Storing large piles of unregulated waste is not only illegal, it also poses a fire hazard, presents pollution risks, and looks unsightly. The Council will not tolerate the growth of unregulated waste disposal site”.

Guilty

The defendants each pleaded guilty to depositing waste on the site without a permit or in accordance with an exemption administered by the Environment Agency. R & A Waste Removal Limited also pleaded guilty to failing their waste duty of care.

Fines in excess of £4,000

Alfie Smith and Richard McGuire were each fined £1,000 and ordered to pay a contribution towards the Council’s prosecution costs of £500 and a Victim Surcharge of £120. Their company R & A Waste Removal Limited were fined £2,000 and ordered to pay a contribution towards the Council’s prosecution costs of £1,000 and a Victim Surcharge of £170.

Further information

Woman fined £1,451 for failing duty of care

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Rachel Cooper of Lushes Road in Loughton, was found guilty of a waste duty of care offence for giving 10 bags of household waste to someone who fly-tipped her waste at the junction of Bushfields and Parkmead in Loughton.

Fly-tipping Loughton

Failed to attend hearings

Rachel Cooper failed to attend two court hearings and was arrested on 29 September 2017. At court Ms Cooper pleaded guilty to handing over 10 bags of household waste to someone, who then fly-tipped them at the junction of Bushfields and Parkmead, Loughton on 30 November 2016.

Fined and prosecuted

She was fined £170 for the offence and failing to attend an interview with the council’s Environment and Neighbourhoods team. She was also ordered to pay the Council’s prosecution costs of £1281.33.

So easily avoided

Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: ”This is a situation that could easily have been avoided. Ms Cooper admitted that she had asked for the waste to be removed for cash, without first checking to see whether the person was licensed.”

”Ms Cooper’s decision was particularly foolish as over 80% of the waste could have been recycled using Epping Forest District Council’s normal doorstep collection. If she had used this, or simply checked the licence of the person removing the waste, she would not have been arrested or fined.”

He continued: ”Householders and business must make reasonable checks to ensure that they comply with their waste duty of care. You must only give your waste to a person authorised by the Environment Agency. Businesses who produce commercial waste must also keep waste transfer notes”.

#CrimeNotToCare

Love Essex, a partnership of councils, businesses and environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, has launched its #CrimeNotToCare campaign to inform residents they could unwittingly end up with a criminal record and face an unlimited fine, if a rogue trader dumps their waste illegally.

Protect yourself and help us catch fly-tippers

To protect yourself from legal action, we advise you check, consider and record

  • Check the person you are asking is licensed with the Environment Agency
  • Consider whether you think the person is legitimate. Be mindful of cold callers, if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is
  • Record as much information as possible, including licence/vehicle and contact details and what you are asking to be disposed of

If you suspect someone is disposing of waste illegally, tell us. Contact us on 01992 564608 or enofficers@eppingforestdc.gov.uk for help and advice.

Help us catch fly-tippers.

Further Information

Two prosecuted for cutting down protected tree

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Doing business with the council, Epping, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our countryside, Out and about, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Francesca Schillaci a resident in Nazeing and Tom Casey of Casey Tree Services, Nazeing have collectively been fined over £3000 after cutting down a protected willow tree.

Willow tree - Honeysuckle Nazing

Preservation Order

The was tree situated in Mrs Schillaci’s garden in Back Lane, Nazeing and became subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) in December 2016, following a proposal by Mrs Schillaci to cut it down.

In March 2017 tree and landscape officers noticed the willow tree had been cut down, although no consent had been given.

False claims

Mrs Schillaci admitted that she has known the tree was protected but claimed it had been damaged during “Storm Doris” in February 2017 and the willow required urgent removal as there was an imminent danger if this did not happen.

Mrs Schillaci stated that she had contacted the council and having explained the situation was given authority to have the tree felled.

Further investigations

Tom Casey of Casey Tree Services confirmed that he had cut down of the willow tree after Mrs Schillaci incorrectly informed him she had permission from the Council to do so.

Officers confirmed that a telephone call had been traced from Mrs Schillaci, the officer she spoke to did not give her permission to cut down the tree, but advised her in line with the Council’s standard procedure Mrs Schillaci should arrange for the tree to be inspected by a tree surgeon and send in a photograph of the tree in its alleged dangerous state.

Found guilty

At Basildon Magistrates Court in October 2017 Francesca Schillaci and Tom Casey Nazeing were each found guilty of cutting down the willow tree without authorisation.

The Magistrates stated that they found the evidence presented by council officers to be credible and the evidence given by Mrs Schillaci inconsistent.

They also advised as a professional tree surgeon, Mr Casey should have known not to accept what Mrs Schillaci told him without written proof.

The Magistrates were not satisfied that the tree was an immediate risk which required it to be cut down immediately.

Mrs Schillaci was fined £1500 and ordered to pay a contribution towards the council’s prosecution costs of £1,000.

Mr Casey was given a 6 month conditional discharge, ordered to pay a contribution towards the council’s prosecution costs of £1000 and has been removed from the Council’s approved list of contractors.

Further information

Woman guilty of subletting council property

Written on . Posted in Benefits, Chigwell, Council tax, Equalities, Housing, Loughton, Our performance, Performance, Private housing, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Uncategorized, Working with the council, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

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.

Your rubbish, your responsibility

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Councillors, Environmental health, Epping, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Prosecutions, Recycling and waste, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Fly-tipping in Essex is draining more than £1 million of taxpayers’ money each year.

#CrimeNotToCare

Partnership working

This week, Love Essex, a partnership of councils, businesses and environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, is launching its #CrimeNotToCare campaign to inform residents they could unwittingly end up with a criminal record and face an unlimited fine, if a rogue trader dumps their waste illegally.

”Your rubbish is your responsibility”

Epping Forest District Council’s Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: “We need the public to understand their rubbish is their responsibility and they must do the right thing with it. Giving it to a man with a van who offers to get rid of it cheaply could prove costly for people and result in them getting a criminal record.”

Incidents on the rise

In the Epping Forest district there were 2,384  incidents in 2016 to 2017, a significant rise from the previous year’s figures of 1,944. The number of prosecutions of residents where fly-tipped waste has been traced back to them is also on the rise.

Successful prosecutions

A man was recently fined £461 and ordered to pay £758 prosecution costs after pleading guilty to failing his ‘duty of care’, at Chelmsford Magistrates Court. The Loughton resident had allowed a man who knocked at his door to take 40 black sacks away for £70 cash, without checking he was authorised to transport the waste – rules he was unaware of.

The rubbish was then fly-tipped in a garage area in Loughton and traced back to the resident.

”Important campaign for our country”

Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton added: “#CrimeNotToCare is an important campaign for our country and we are delighted that Epping Forest District Council as part of Love Essex, is partnering with us.

“There are almost a million fly-tipping incidents in England every year and cleaning it all up costs us £50million a year. It blights communities and our countryside and is a menace.”

Seek advice

Ensure you don’t fall foul of the law, visit www.recycleforessex.com/crimenottocare for advice.

Top tips to dispose of waste correctly

  1. If you use a trader to remove your waste ask to see their waste carrier registration number issued by the Environment Agency. It is illegal for them to take your waste if they don’t have a permit. Check their credentials and vehicle details here
  2. Make sure you get a receipt or transfer notice before your waste is taken away
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask where your waste is going and request paperwork that shows where it will be disposed. A legitimate waste carrier will not object to this questioning
  4. Protect yourself by being careful with your waste. Never leave rubbish, such as old washing machines or scrap metal on your drive or in the street as it could end up in the wrong hands. You can donate working items to reuse organisations or charity shops

Report fly-tipping

Roydon man fined for illegal tree felling

Written on . Posted in Community, Countryside and wildlife, Environmental health, Licensing, Media, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Prosecutions, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Uncategorized, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your money

Mr Paul Hayden of Old house land, Roydon was fined a total of £3,199 after illegally cutting down trees protected by tree preservation orders (TPO’s).

Reckless actions

On 6 July at Chelmsford Magistrates Court Mr Hayden pleaded guilty to cutting down 2 oak trees, 2 Hawthorn trees and willfully damaging another Hawthorn, all were protected by Woodland Tree Preservation Orders in a conservation area.

Mr Hayden told the magistrates he had occupied the property for 26 years before buying in it 2016 but did not instruct his solicitor to carry out usual conveyancing searches.

He cut down the trees to clear a riding path for his daughter to avoid the horses eating acorns, which he said are found to be poisonous to them.

£3,199 worth of fines

The Magistrates considered his actions to have been reckless but not for monetary gain and implemented fines of £400 for each tree cut down and £250 for the damaged Hawthorn. He will have to plant replacement trees.

Mr Hayden has also been ordered to pay the council’s prosecution costs of £1,309 and a victim surcharge of £40 making a total of £3,199.

More information

For any inquiries regarding tree protection orders (TPOs) please contact

Do you know a cheat in your street?

Written on . Posted in Business, Business rates, Community, Council tax, Housing, Media, Out and about, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

“If you know or suspect someone is committing fraud you should report them straight away” urges Finance Portfolio Holder Councillor Gagan Mohindra.

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.”

Know a cheat in your street?

Report someone you think is committing fraud

Don’t let them get away with it. You can report it anonymously. You don’t have to give your name or contact details unless you want to.

Fraudsters are cheating us all

Housing tenancy fraud – someone who has committed a social housing fraud by

  • illegally sub-letting
  • not living in the property and leaving it empty
  • making a fraudulent Right to Buy application
  • taking (or making) a payment for a mutual exchange
  • living in a property after the tenant has died, where they had no right to succeed
  • giving false or misleading information to get the tenancy

Council Tax fraud – someone who gets a Council Tax discount by falsely

  • stating the property is empty
  • claiming they live alone
  • claiming they are a student
  • claiming Council Tax Support falsely by doing undeclared work or having capital/property in excess of the limit

Business rates fraud – a person or business liable for Business Rates who falsely

  • claims an exemption or relief they are not entitled to

Not a victimless crime

Cllr Mohindra said: “Fraud is not a victimless crime. Don’t think that reporting benefit fraud is wrong or underhand. If a fraudster commits fraud in the Epping Forest district we will use the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to seize and confiscate their assets.”

We need your help

“We constantly look for fraud but no matter how hard we try, we cannot do it alone – we need your help” said Councillor Mohindra.

“Please tell us if you suspect someone is committing fraud by filling in our online form or by calling our fraud investigation team on 01992 564444.”

Loughton men prosecuted for fly tipping

Written on . Posted in Community, Environmental health, Loughton, Media, Our countryside, Prosecutions, Recycling and waste, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

2 Loughton men were fined a combined sum of £2,788.38 after pleading guilty to fly-tipping in 2 separate cases in Loughton.

Case 1 – Dominic Bennett

Dominic Bennett of Colson Road, Loughton was caught on CCTV dumping a fridge freezer on a patch of grass in Bushfields, Loughton. Our Environment & Neighbourhoods team were made aware of the fly tipping on 25 October 2016.

Mr Bennett could have paid a fixed penalty of £200 and avoid prosecution proceedings, but he decided not to pay the penalty. Mr Bennett pleaded guilty to fly tipping at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on 6 July 2017. He was ordered to pay a fine of £320, as well as the council’s prosecution costs of £1,170.52 together with a victim surcharge of £32. Total fine of £1,522.52.

Fly tipping Prosecution Mr Bennett

Case 2 – James Leach

We were made aware of fly tipped materials in a garage area in Chequers Road, Loughton on 10 November 2016. The materials were traced back to James Leach of Harvey Gardens, Loughton.

Mr Leach admitted he had asked a person who knocked on his door to remove 40 black sacks for £70 cash in hand.

Mr Leach was fined £461 and ordered to pay £758.86 for the councils prosecution costs together with a victim surcharge of £46. Total fine of £1,265.86.

Fly tipping Prosecution Mr Leach

Paid the price

Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: “It’s vital when you’re disposing of waste that you do it responsibly. Mr Leach failed to check the man he used was licensed to carry out the job and he ultimately paid the price. To avoid ending up in the same situation always remember to Check Challenge and Record.”

Check, challenge, record

Getting rid of some rubbish? If you’re using a private contractor always ensure you check, challenge & record.

Find out more on GOV.UK waste duty of care.

Check

  • Always check that the company or person you are intending to give your waste to is authorised to take it
  • Ask for their waste carriers registration details
  • Telephone the Environment Agency to check the public register on 03708 506 506

Challenge

  • Always ask for their details and what will happen to your waste
  • Ask yourself – Is it a good idea to employ somebody who has cold called offering to remove waste before you have checked their details
  • Trust your instincts. If in doubt, don’t give them your waste

Record

  • Always record the details of who you give your waste to and any vehicles involved. Legal waste operators will be happy to cooperate
  • Householders must make reasonable checks and businesses who produce commercial waste must keep waste transfer notes to comply with their waste duty of care

Council 27 July 2017

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In a sombre council meeting on 27 July 2017 tributes were paid to current Councillor Gary Waller and 3 former councillors who passed away recently.

Gary Waller 1945-2017

Council remembers Gary Waller

Council Chairman David Stallan and Council Leader Chris Whitbread led emotional tributes to Councillor Gary Waller who passed away just a few days earlier.

Gary Waller was one of the most active and senior members of Epping Forest District Council, holding one of the most responsible cabinet roles as Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder. So sudden was his passing that his reports still featured on the council agenda.

A former MP with a wealth of experience, good humour, and friends across the council, councillors offered their heartfelt condolences to all he knew and loved.

Ian Abbey, Stan Goodwin and Keith Wright

In a sombre council meeting, councillors also fondly remembered former councillors Ian Abbey, Stan Goodwin and Keith Wright who all passed away in recent weeks. Councillor Stallan thanked all those who spoke so movingly in memory of ‘4 great councillors’.

Good progress reported to councillors

Council Leader Chris Whitbread and fellow members of the cabinet reported on a range of recent successes.

Reports included

  • Epping Forest Shopping Park
  • Tourism website and conference
  • Fly tipping prosecutions
  • Progress on a new leisure centre for Waltham Abbey following the letting of a new leisure centre management contract with Places for People
  • MiLife mental health and awareness programme for school children
  • Grant aid to 11 local organisations totalling £29,667
  • Updating information on the draft Local Plan
  • Council CCTV cameras helping the police

Council housing safety

Following the Grenfell Tower fire, Housing Portfolio Holder, Councillor Syd Stavrou also provided councillors with extensive information and reassurance on the safety of local council housing.

There are no high-rise council properties in Epping Forest and very few with any form of cladding (checks suggest this cladding is safe). All council properties are low enough to be reached by Essex Fire and Rescue vehicle platforms. Councillors were invited to attend future meetings to satisfy themselves of the fire safety measures and procedures in place.

Annual reports

Annual reports of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Audit and Governance Committee were also noted along with the council’s anti-fraud and corruption policy.

Know a cheat in your street?

Written on . Posted in Benefits, Business, Business rates, Community, Council tax, Councillors, Crime and safety, Housing, Media, Out and about, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

Every year thousands of pounds of your money is stolen by cheaters, money that should be used to improve your local community.

Don’t let them get away with it.

Report fraud

Know a cheat in your street?

Right now, fraudsters are cheating us all. Here’s how they do it …

Housing tenancy fraud

Someone who has committed a social housing fraud by

  • illegally sub-letting
  • not living in the property and leaving it empty
  • making a fraudulent Right to Buy application
  • taking (or making) a payment for a mutual exchange
  • living in a property after the tenant has died, where they had no right to succeed
  • giving false or misleading information to get the tenancy

Council Tax fraud

Someone who gets a Council Tax discount by falsely

  • stating the property is empty
  • claiming they live alone
  • claiming they are a student
  • claiming Council Tax Support falsely by doing undeclared work or having capital/property in excess of the limit

Business rates fraud

  • A person or business liable for Business Rates who falsely claims an exemption or relief they are not entitled to

Have you spotted a cheater?

Finance Portfolio Holder Councillor Gagan Mohindra said: “Have you spotted a cheater? Tell us immediately. Your report will be treated in the strictest confidence and can be given anonymously.”

“Fraud is not a victimless crime. It is taking money from honest taxpayers. Every penny lost to fraud means we have less money to spend on providing the services you want.”

“Spot the cheater and don’t let them get away with fraud!”