Carols by candlelight for civic Christmas service

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Community, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Residents, councillors and staff gathered at Waltham Abbey Church to celebrate Christmas by Candlelight on Thursday 13 December 2018.

 

The congregation enjoyed the Abbey at its most stunning as the lights dimmed and candles were lit for the annual Civic Carol Service hosted jointly by Epping Forest District Council and Waltham Abbey Town Council. The service was conducted by Rector Rev Peter Smith with Director of Music Jonathan Lilley leading Waltham Abbey Church Choir.

Readings from King James Bible

Councillor Richard Basset, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council opened the event and welcomed the congregation before the Rev Smith began the service.

Waltham Abbey Town Mayor Jeane Lea, Councillor Jodie Lucas, the Rev Helen Gheorghiu Gould, Daniel Mehr from Epping Forest Youth Council and Cllr Richard Bassett, gave readings taken from the King James Bible.

Traditional Christmas carols

The congregation joined in with traditional Christmas carols and prayers before Cllr Lea closed the service and invited everyone to join her for mulled wine and mince pies over the road at Waltham Abbey Town Hall.

The offertory collection will be shared between Waltham Abbey Church, Cllr Bassett’s charity – Community Transport and Cllr Lea’s charity – Essex Air Ambulance.

Christmas message from EFDC Chairman

Chairman Councillor Richard Bassett said: “It’s almost Christmas, a time when most of us can look forward to spending time with family and friends. But I believe it is also a time to reflect on others, particularly those who don’t have family and friends to enjoy the festive season with….and to make sure we help our friends and neighbours at times of need.”

“A few weeks ago I slept out at Chelmsford Cathedral to raise money for the homeless at Christmas. Not only did it give me a real insight into the challenges others face every day, but it also made me think about the difference that charities like Chess Homeless make to those who have no homes to go to. I found it a very humbling experience.

“As I have been visiting around the district this year I have met many people who, because of unfortunate circumstances, find themselves in difficult situations requiring our assistance and I see so many volunteers doing such an excellent job of helping them.

“Christmas should be a time of peace and goodwill to everyone, not just the materialistic giving of presents.

“Therefore at this joyous time of year can we also think of those less fortunate or lonely and, if an opportunity arises, help where we can.

“I would also like to say thank you to everyone I have had the pleasure to meet this year and wish you all a very Happy Christmas.”

Chairman sleeps under the stars and raises £300

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

Bedding down in the grounds of Chelmsford Cathedral on a cold, wet night is not something you would normally expect of a Council Chairman!

But last Friday night that’s exactly what Cllr Richard Bassett, Chairman of Epping Forest District did. He was taking part in a sponsored event, organised by Chess Homeless, a charity supporting homeless people in Essex, and was one of several civic leaders doing the same.

Humbling experience

“Sleeping outdoors on a cold, damp winter’s night really focusses your attention on what some people face EVERY night. Charities like Chess Homeless bring immediate relief and a sense of hope to those who have no homes to go to. I found this a very humbling experience.” Cllr Bassett raised £300 in sponsorship.

Night shelter

Chess provides a nine bedroom night shelter along with shared move on accommodation. During the winter months it runs a Winter project providing rough sleepers with food, drinks, sleeping bags and a bed for the night, normally in a local church hall.

Every year it hosts a Sleep Out in the grounds of Chelmsford Cathedral to raise funds and last year netted more than £20,000.

King Harold students’ takeover day at Museum

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chairman, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Loughton, Museum, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your environment, Your home

On Friday 23 November, Year 8 students, from King Harold Business & Enterprise Academy, transformed Epping Forest District Museum, as part of Takeover Day.

Visitors, including Epping Forest District Council Chairman, Councillor Richard Bassett, took part activities, and were taken on a tour of the museum, both devised and led by the pupils.

They worked with museum staff, in a series of workshops and preparation days, to learn more about the day to day running of the museum.

The students also put together a special exhibition, from items in our First World War collection, to add to the current ‘Walter Spradbery, Artist in War and Peace’ exhibition. Their addition will be on display until the exhibition closes on Saturday 22 December. The activities were linked to the exhibition too; there was a Spradbery themed quiz and medal making, based on the First World War medals on display.

Takeover Day

Takeover Day is a national celebration (created by Kids in Museums) of young people’s contributions to museums, galleries, arts organisations, archives and heritage sites. It’s a day on which they work alongside staff and volunteers to participate in the life of the organisation or venue.

To find more, visit https://kidsinmuseums.org.uk/takeoverday/

New paintings on display at EFD Museum

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chairman, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Loughton, Museum, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community

Epping Forest District Museum is host to two new paintings by local artist Martin Barrall, visit before March 2019 to enjoy them.

Pictured above: Martin Barrall and Bradley Melton with paintings

Exhibition details

Where: Epping Forest District Museum, 39 – 41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL

When: November 2018 – March 2019

Opening times: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 10am – 4pm, Saturday 10am – 5pm

Free entry

The paintings show the famous tea hut, near Fairmead Road in Epping Forest; a friendly stop-off point for bikers, horse riders, dog walkers and other forest visitors. One shows Bradley (who runs the hut), surrounded by the treats and snacks for sale; the other is of a typical afternoon, during a rain storm, with the car park full of bikers and walkers.

The paintings were revealed in an intimate private view on Friday 16 November, at the museum, with Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Richard Bassett, the artist, Bradley Melton and guests. The paintings will be on display until March 2019.

Pictured above: Martin Barrall, Bradley Melton and EFDC Chairman Councillor Richard Bassett

Martin Barrall

This is the first time that Martin has displayed his work in the district. The ‘Bradley’s Tea Hut’ artwork was recently on display at The Royal Academy as part of their 250th summer exhibition, curated by artist Grayson Perry.

Martin said, “I have entered the Royal Academy summer exhibition a few times before, getting paintings shortlisted but this was the first time I have had a picture hung.”

Martin worked in Art and Design education from 1974 to 1996 then slowly moved back to painting full time. He has painted many different subjects and themes, from country landscapes to Formula 1, and city scenes and over the last 5 years has mostly painted themes based on Epping Forest.

For more information, visit https://www.martinbarrall.com/home

Bradley’s Tea Hut

The tea hut, officially named ‘Original Tea Hut’, has been in Bradley’s family since the 1930s. It has become a big part of people’s visit to the forest; artist Grayson Perry is a fan of this hidden gem and was responsible for picking Martin’s paintings to be part of The Royal Academy’s exhibition. The private view was the first time Bradley had seen the paintings; he was delighted to see the painting as never got the chance to see it when it was in London.

Make someone’s Christmas special

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

Each year, big hearted employees at Epping Forest District Council collect Christmas gifts for mums and their children living in refuges across Essex over Christmas and for the first time, we’re inviting residents to take part too!

We’re asking you to bring your unwrapped gifts to the Council Offices in Epping before midday on 14 December.

This year’s collection kicked off on Monday 26 November and was championed by Epping Forest District Council Chairman Councillor Richard Bassett, he said: “Please get involved this year and make someone’s Christmas special. Gifts must be unwrapped and suitable for women, and children aged 0-16. Please leave gifts in main reception of the Council Offices in Epping and don’t worry – they will be beautifully wrapped ready for delivery to refuges in time for Christmas!

“Please make sure your gift is new and isn’t sharp, broken, faith-based or toy weapons such as guns or swords.”

The deadline for accepting gifts is midday on 14 December.

J9 at Christmas Tree Festival in Epping

Councillor Bassett continued: “This year to further promote our support of the J9 initiative – which raises awareness and increases knowledge and understanding of domestic abuse – we are decorating a Christmas tree in pink as part of the Christmas Tree Festival taking place at St John’s Church, Epping between 7 and 10 December.

“So pop along and see the trees and to find out more about J9 and how you can help to support victims of domestic abuse visit: https://setdab.org/j9-initiative or donate a gift and make a child’s Christmas special.”

Calling all Mums and Dads…

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chairman, Chigwell, Civic events, Community, Epping, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Are your sons, daughters, nieces, nephews or grandchildren involved in clubs, groups or activities in which they go the extra mile?

Nominations closing soon

We’re searching for Epping Forest District Council’s Young Citizen of the Year 2019. Nominations are closing shortly and we want to give everyone a chance to enter.

The award, presented annually, recognises young people’s exceptional contributions to the Epping Forest District. This can be in terms of outstanding courage, service to the community or showing extraordinary commitment, energy and effort in a particular cause or achieving a particular goal. 11-18 year-olds living in Epping Forest district are eligible for nomination.

Highlighting positive contributions

Chairman of the Council, Councillor Richard Bassett said: ‘The Young Citizen of the Year Award highlights the positive contributions that young people make throughout our district in so many different ways. Many of these young people are unsung heroes and we want to recognise the tremendous contributions they make to their communities. So if someone springs to mind, now is the time to nominate them for a Civic Award.’

This year’s winner was Mitchell Tassie from North Weald. His citation described him as “a young man working to improve the lives of many in his local community by helping to make it a safer place to live. He puts his community at the heart of everything he does and is a truly kind, caring and inspirational young man.”

Invitation to awards

The finalists will be invited to the District Council`s Civic Awards in March 2019 where the winner will be announced and will receive £300 and a certificate of achievement.

Make a nomination

To nominate a young person for the Young Citizen of the Year award either:

The closing date for nominations is Friday 30th November 2018.

Chairman starts Remembrance Sunday march

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chairman, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Epping, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Richard Bassett, took part in the Parish Great War Youth March event held in Moreton on Sunday 11 November, held in honour of the sacrifice made by parishioners who fell in the Great War.

The commemoration began at Bovinger Church, where the Chairman of Council began the procession of Moreton School pupils, their parents and parishioners.

The march continued cross country to Bobbingworth Nature Reserve. Great War curiosities including donkeys, pigeons, terriers and horses, lined the route to the last post, the memorial in Moreton churchyard.

Those that gathered observed a 2 minute silence and the Parish Roll of Honour was read by school children and parishioners laid wreaths.

Image: Chairman of Council, Councillor Richard Bassett

“As someone whose family suffered a personal loss at the Battle of the Somme in 1916, it was a great honour to have been asked to take part in this procession,” said Chairman Richard Bassett.

“It was heart-warming to see the young people of our district so actively involved, learning about the Great War and taking part in Remembrance which is so important. I’d like to thank the Moreton, Bobbingworth and the Lavers Parish Great War Commemoration Committee, Moreton School, Bovinger Church, Moreton Church and all of the participants such a beautifully balanced commemoration.

“I was sorry I could not stay for the whole of the Remembrance Parade and Service as I was impressed with the way the organisers combined the education of the young people on life in those troubled times with the Act of Remembrance.”

Image: Group gathering for the procession

Spreading the word about Gateway drugs

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chairman, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Crime and safety, Epping, Health, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your environment

A three month advertising campaign on the back of local buses has been helping to raise awareness of Epping Forest Youth Council’s anti-drugs messages.

‘Say no to Gateway Drugs’ was the theme of the advertisement – urging young people not to start down a road that could lead to a hard drug habit.

The decision to champion the anti-drugs message came after a clean up of car parks across the district revealed over 500 ‘laughing gas’ cannisters.

Cllr Helen Kane, Portfolio Holder for Leisure & Community Services said: “It is important young people understand the serious health risks the substance can pose. Nitrous oxide can be very dangerous when misused.”

The design of the bus poster was created by Youth Councillor Annabelle Yaman called ‘Don’t Open the Gate to Gateway Drugs’. The campaign ran from August to the end of October on Arriva buses across the Epping Forest district.

Youth Councillor ‘Stanimir Bakalov’ said: “The amount of canisters we found whilst out and about is worrying and it shows ‘laughing gas’ is a real issue for young people today. Through our drug awareness project we hope to highlight the risks and make young people aware of the damage they are doing.”

Council 1 November 2018

Written on . Posted in Benefits, Buckhurst Hill, Chairman, Chigwell, Civic events, Commercial properties, Community, Councillors, Countrycare, Crime and safety, Democracy, Epping, Health, Housing, Local business, Loughton, Meetings, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Parking, Prosecutions, Recycling and waste, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Reports to Council on 1 November 2018 included updates on the newly completed Leisure Centre in Waltham Abbey, an Essex-wide fly-tipping campaign, additional Council homes built and an announcement about free weekend parking in Council run car parks in December.

Leisure Centre open ahead of schedule

It’s good news for Waltham Abbey, with the new Leisure Centre set to open ahead of schedule on Saturday 17 November 2018.

The new health and wellbeing hub boasts a six lane 25m pool along with a 15m learner pool with floor that is adjustable between 0m and 1.2m, virtual cycling classes and state of the art equipment.

Leisure partners Places for People are offering memberships with no joining fee until 14 November 2018.

Crime not to Care

The Council has been promoting the Essex-wide fly-tipping campaign, ‘Crime not to Care’.

Designed to educate residents about their duty of care when disposing of their waste, the campaign informs residents that they can be fined and prosecuted if their waste is fly-tipped by rogue traders.

In his report, Councillor Nigel Avey, Environment Portfolio Holder, informed members of the Councils most recent prosecution. The case of Loughton resident, Mr Tjoluskins, was heard by Magistrates on 13 September. He handed his waste to a scammer who fly-tipped in a bin store in Oakley Court in Loughton. The resident was fined £600 and ordered to pay the Councils prosecution costs of £900.

The campaigns message is simple – before handing over your waste to somebody else, always check, consider and record to protect yourself and reduce fly-tipping by rogue traders.

Universal Credit

In his report to members, Councillor Mohindra, Finance Portfolio Holder, presented an update about Universal Credit.

From 5 December, the Job Centre Plus in Loughton will roll out Universal Credit. Meaning that anyone of working age that needs help with their rent and is not already receiving Housing Benefit, will need to apply for Universal Credit instead of Housing Benefit.

Visit www.gov.uk/universal-credit for further information.

Council house-building programme

Councillor Syd Stavrou’s report informed members of the handover of four new Council homes in Coopersale, Epping on Wednesday 10 October. The two new 2 bedroom houses and two 1 bedroom flats will be let to applicants on the Councils housing register. A further seven new Council homes will be ready to handover in early November.

The Council has committed around £58 million for new housing since it restarted its council house building programme in 2014. So far, new homes have been built in Waltham Abbey, North Weald and Epping, with more in the pipeline.

Free parking in December

Councillor Sam Kane announced the Councils plan to relax parking fees in Council owned car parks on weekends throughout December 2018 ‘to help local traders’ and support our high streets this Christmas.

Parking will be free on Saturdays and Sundays throughout December in all of the Council owned car parks.

Reaping the rewards of recycling

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chairman, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Epping, Leader, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Recycling and waste, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

A scheme that rewards local residents for recycling, and boosts local charities has been operating in Epping Forest for over a year.

This week money raised through the scheme was shared out between Epping Forest Community Transport, Chigwell Riding trust, Epping Forest Food Bank, Safer Places.

Epping Forest Recycling Rewards focuses on blocks of flats in the district where contamination in recycling has been high. The scheme helps to incentivise residents to sort their recycling and cut down on contamination.

Around 100 blocks have been taking part with almost a third of residents earning ‘Green Points’. Each month the six residents who’ve collected the most points receive a £25 voucher to spend at M&S, iTunes, Love2shop, and Local leisure centres or to donate to one of the charities supported by the scheme.

Between July 2017 and July 2018 contamination rates across the blocks taking part dropped dramatically over the life of the project.

‘’We knew recycling rates in flats were below where they should be so this scheme is a wonderful opportunity for residents involved, to improve their recycling rates and get rewarded for doing so,’’ said Cllr Nigel Avey, portfolio holder for the environment.

“We monitor the quality of recycling being produced by flats in Epping Forest and reward residents for recycling more of the right things. The blocks earn ‘Green Points’ depending on how they are performing and can also earn extra points for things like reporting fly-tipping and using recycling centres for household waste.”

Local businesses have signed up to the scheme to offer discounts to participating residents.