Chairman delivers Christmas cheer

Written on . Posted in Business, Chairman, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Local business, Media, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council

Postal workers in the districts delivery offices were delighted to see our Chairman and councillors turn up early in the morning to offer them Christmas cheer and encouragement.

Chairman Liz Webster met postal workers at the Epping delivery office on Thursday 3 December 2015, seeing first hand the hard work and dedication of those who sort and deliver our festive mail.

Postal staff with Chairman Liz Webster

Chairman Liz Webster visited Royal Mail’s Epping office, and Vice-chairman Jeane Lea went to the Debden office with Councillor Tony Boyce going to the Ongar office.

Overwhelmed by the volume

Chairman Liz Webster said: “I was overwhelmed by the volume of post that has to be sorted and delivered. Christmas is Royal Mail’s busiest time of the year, and today is one of the busiest days of the year so far.”

“I want to wish our postmen and women a merry Christmas and thank them for their hard work, dedication and commitment during the year. It was great to meet them and find out more about their work.”

Posting dates 

The last recommend posting dates for Christmas are

  • Second Class – Saturday 19 December 2015
  • First Class – Monday 21 December 2015
  • Special Delivery – Wednesday 23 December 2015


Local servicemen honoured

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, Councillors, Loughton, Media, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council

A bronze plaque was unveiled on Loughton War Memorial at a dedication ceremony to remember 4 local servicemen who died in World War 2.

New bronze plaque

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Local servicemen commemorated

  • Harold J Bassingthwaighte / Warrant Officer Class II Royal Fusiliers (LondonRegiment) / 1916 to 1945 / Age 29
  • G F Russell Cooke / Pilot Officer Squadron 156 Royal Air Force volunteer / 1922 to 1942 / Age 20
  • Charles G Howe / Able Seaman Royal Navy SS Peleus / 1909 to 1944 / Age 35
  • Harold J Martin / Second Lieutenant Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, seconded to the Reconnaissance / 1919 to 1942 / Age 22

Dedication ceremony

Loughton Town Mayor Councillor Judy Jennings led the dedication ceremony in front of family members, local people, school children and local dignitaries at the Loughton war memorial on Kings Green on Tuesday 24 November 2015.

Wreaths were laid by Loughton Town Mayor Councillor Judy Jennings, Lord Petre Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Epping Forest District Council Chairman Liz Webster, Loughton Royal British Legion Chairman Keith Pye, Year 6 pupils from the Staples Road Infant School among others.

The ceremony was led by Revd Hugh Taylor. Music was played by Piper Alex Wilson.

Remember and honour our local men

Epping Forest District Council Chairman Liz Webster said: ‘It’s very important to remember and honour all our local men that died. I’m so pleased their names have now been added to the war memorial by Loughton Town Council.’


Council observes 2 minutes silence

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Democracy, Media, Your council

Staff at Epping Forest District Council joined Chairman Liz Webster in Epping at 11am today to remember the fallen at a Remembrance Day service.

At 11am on 11 November 2015, both the Union and council flags were lowered and a 2 minutes silence was observed, paying tribute to the fallen from the 2 world wars and subsequent conflicts.

Flags lowered at 11am at start of 2 minutes silence

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Chairman Liz Webster read the poem Remembrance – A hymn for Remembrance Sunday by Charles Henrywood.

Grant peace, O Lord, across our strife-torn world,
Where war divides and greed and dogma drive.
Help us to learn the lessons from the past,
That all are human and all pay the price.
All life is dear and should be treated so;
Joined, not divided, is the way to go.

Protect, dear Lord, all who, on our behalf,
Now take the steps that place them in harm’s way.
May they find courage for each task they face
By knowing they are in our thoughts always.
Then, duty done and missions at an end,
Return them safe to family and friends.

Grant rest, O Lord, to those no longer with us;
Who died protecting us and this their land.
Bring healing, Lord, to those who, through their service,
Bear conflict’s scars on body or in mind.
With those who mourn support and comfort share.
Give strength to those who for hurt loved-ones care.

And some there be who no memorial have;
Who perished are as though they’d never been.
For our tomorrows their today they gave,
And simply asked that in our hearts they’d live.
We heed their call and pledge ourselves again,
At dusk and dawn – we will remember them!

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.


Remembrance Sunday 2015

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Councillors, Democracy, Media, Your council

Epping Forest district councillors will be attending remembrance services on Sunday 8 November 2015 to remember the fallen from the 2 world wars and subsequent conflicts.

Wreaths at the Epping war memorial


Councillor Brian Rolfe / 10am / Lambourne Church

Buckhurst Hill

Councillor Gavin Chambers / 10.30am / St John’s Church service & wreath laying


Councillor Brian Sandler / 10.40am / St Mary’s Church service & wreath laying


Chairman Liz Webster / 2pm / Epping War Memorial short service & wreath laying

Chairman Liz Webster / 3pm / St John’s Church service

High Ongar

Councillor Richard Morgan / 10.30am / High Ongar Primary School opposite St Mary’s Church

Councillor Richard Morgan / 11.15am / wreath laying


Councillor Caroline Pond / 11.45am / fall in Royal British Legion club

Councillor Caroline Pond / 12 noon / Kings Green wreath laying

Councillor Caroline Pond / 1pm / take the salute on Brooklyn Parade


Councillor Richard Bassett / 10.45am / All Saints Church

North Weald

Councillor Anne Grigg / 10.45am / St Andrew’s Church service & wreath laying

Chairman Liz Webster / 12.10pm / North Weald Airfield Memorial service and wreath laying


Vice-chairman Jeane Lea / 2.30pm / Ongar Act of Remembrance, Ongar War Memorial Health Centre, Fyfield Road


Councillor Mary Sartin / 10.30am / St Peter’s Church

Theydon Bois

Councillor John Philip / 10.30am / St Mary’s Church service & wreath laying


Chairman Liz Webster / 9am / St Thomas’s Church

Waltham Abbey

Chairman Liz Webster / 10am / Waltham Abbey War Memorial

Vice-chairman Jeane Lea / 10.45am / Waltham Abbey Church service


National Service of Remembrance


New community orchard opens

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Health, Loughton, Media, Older people, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Volunteering opportunities, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

A new community orchard in the heart of Loughton was opened thanks to months of hard work by Epping Forest Countrycare and their volunteers.

A special plaque for the Willingale Road Community Orchard was unveiled on 29 October by Loughton Town Council Mayor Judy Jennings, assisted by Epping Forest District Council’s Chairman Liz Webster.

Willingale Road Community Orchard

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Willingale Road Community Orchard

Volunteers planted a variety of trees including apple, plum and greengage, as well as gooseberry, raspberry and blackcurrant bushes after clearing the overgrown and neglected plot of land in Willingale Road.

The site, owned by Loughton Town Council, was originally covered in brambles and full of litter and fly-tipped cement. An ecological survey showed it to be a site worthy of protection with common lizards, slow-worms and grass snakes amongst its inhabitants.

Grown by local residents, for local residents

Mayor Judy Jennings said: “I am very proud to be opening a new community orchard in Loughton. All the fruit will be grown by local residents, for local residents.”

“I am very grateful to Epping Forest Countrycare, who have provided expert advice and practical assistance on improving the site, planning maintenance regimes, nature conservation, and wildlife law.”

“Once the site is more accessible we will work with local schools to arrange bug hunts and tree identification events.”

Volunteer with Epping Forest Countrycare

EFDC Chairman LIz Webster said: “Our Epping Forest Countrycare volunteers have worked extremely hard to clear this site. They have created a new local nature reserve and community orchard in the middle of Loughton.”

“All the volunteers should be very proud of themselves. This wonderful project has been nominated in the Greenest Community Project category in this years Green Essex Awards Scheme. I would urge anyone with a bit of spare time and loves the outdoors to volunteer with Epping Forest Countrycare.”


Chairman explores Scouting history

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Community, Councillors, Leader, Media, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Your council

Chairman Liz Webster celebrated the district’s unique link with scouting by hosting the annual civic lunch at Gilwell Park.

Joined by chairman and mayors from Essex and neighbouring London boroughs they were treated to a tour around the world famous Gilwell Park Scout Activity Centre, situated on the London-Essex border on the edge of Epping Forest.

Civic lunch 2015

The group were shown around the 108 acre site by Caroline Pantling, the Scout Association’s archive and heritage manager. Caroline explained the rich history of the site which was a farm until 1919 when Scout Commissioner William de Bois Maclaren bought it and gave it to the Scouts. The park now has facilities for up to 3,000 people to camp.

On show at Gilwell Park are the last remaining pieces of London Bridge in the UK and a caravan given to Lord Baden-Powell in 1929 as a thank you from the Boy Scouts Association. The group were also invited to make a wish in the Gilwell wishing well.

Following the tour Chairman Liz Webster invited her guests for lunch in the White House. Scout Association Chief Executive Matt Hyde spoke of the wonderful work the movement has accomplished and the it’s future aims to continue to help develop young people at a key time in their life.

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Raising money for life-saving air ambulance

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

Chairman Liz Webster donated £50 today to Ben Usher, an Operations Officer at North Weald Airfield, for his charity trek and climb of Mount Kilimanjaro later this month.

Ben hopes to raise £2,000 for the Herts Air Ambulance who are based at North Weald Airfield.

Chairman Liz Webster shakes hands with Ben Usher

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£2,000 target

Ben has raised over £1,500 towards his target of £2,000 and was delighted to be given a further donation of £50 by the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council Councillor Liz Webster.

Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa, is 5,895 meters high and around 40km wide and is the highest free standing mountain in the world.

Supporting the Herts Air Ambulance

Ben Usher said: “Supporting the Herts Air Ambulance was an easy choice for me. They are based at North Weald and I see daily how busy they are, carrying out life-saving work for the critically ill or injured people in the community. This important service relies solely on donations from the public.”

“I’d like to thank Chairman Liz Webster and everyone else who has kindly donated to my JustGiving page. Any donation big or small is greatly appreciated and it all goes a long way towards me reaching my goal, and ultimately saving lives.”


Help Ben raise his target of £2,000 for the Herts Air Ambulance by donating on his JustGiving fundraising page.


VJ Day – remembering the sacrifices

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Democracy, Media, Your area, Your council

A 2 minute silence was held today at the civic offices in Epping as staff and visitors commemorated the 70th anniversary of VJ Day, Victory over Japan Day #VJDay70.


Commemorations will be held to mark the 70th Anniversary of the Victory over Japan Day on Saturday 15 August 2015 in Central London.

Remembering the sacrifices of 70 years ago

Chairman Liz Webster said

Good morning, my name is Councillor Liz Webster. I am the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council and in a few moments I would like you to join with me in silent remembrance as we commemorate VJ Day – Victory over Japan, and the final end of World War Two.

Early in August 1945 the World witnessed the defining moments of the 20th Century. The atomic bombs exploded over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan surrendered and the Second World War officially came to an end.

Unlike the war in Europe, the war in the Far East was a very long way away. It would be years before all the soldiers, sailors and airmen returned home. Many were emaciated shadows of their former selves. Thousands of the ‘Forgotten Army’, especially those who found themselves prisoners-of-war, did not return at all. It was also a war of civilians on all sides. In Japan, men women and children experienced the full horror of nuclear war for the first and – so far – only time.

Saturday 15 August is the 70th anniversary of VJ Day. Commemorations are taking place across the world. It will be a time of sombre reflection as people of all nations pause to remember.

The Royal British Legion plays an invaluable role in honouring the memory of those days. Remembering the sacrifices of 70 years ago and learning from the mistakes of the past may help us build a better world for the future.

Please join with me now as we stand in silent tribute.

Thank you and God bless you.

Listen to the statement VJ Day commemoration


Councillors discuss Local Plan and elections

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Consultation, Councillors, Democracy, Elections, Housing, Local plan / planning our future, Media, Meetings, Our performance, Recycling and waste, Residents, Your area, Your council, Your home

Councillors received updates on a wide range of projects when Cabinet Portfolio Holders reported to the meeting of Epping Forest District Council on 28 July 2015.

Democracy live - watch our council meetings online

Local Plan

Items included a comprehensive report on the Local Plan, progress on major schemes at Langston Road (Epping Forest Retail Park) and St John’s Epping, significant improvements following the troubled introduction of the new 4-day domestic waste collection contract and a summary of the council’s latest financial position following the Chancellor’s first budget since the General Election in May.

Individual Electoral Registration (IER)

Councillor John Philip reported on successful introduction of Individual Electoral Registration before the last General Election. Epping Forest District Council produced the best electoral register in the country according to statistics released by the Electoral Commission. Councillor Philip made the announcement as the canvass for the first update to the register begins.

More than half of all households have already responded to the update, although that means some 25,000 households are still to reply. Councillor Philip was pleased to say that the vast majority of replies have been received electronically saving time and money. He appealed to fellow councillors to encourage residents to complete the canvass by returning all outstanding forms electronically as soon as possible.

Council housing rent reductions

Housing Portfolio Holder David Stallan responded to concerns raised about the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement on council housing rent reductions. One per cent per cuts per year over the next 4 years could impact on the council’s ability to build more new homes.

Further concerns were raised regarding plans to make councils sell high value houses. Councillor Stallan said that further evaluation would help to assess the impact on the Epping Forest district.

St John’s Road development

Assets Portfolio Holder Councillor Mrs Anne Grigg said that consultation would take place as the St John’s Road development reached planning application stage.

Overview and Scrutiny

Councillors welcomed the annual report of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee which highlighted the investigative role of the council in checking the work of its own cabinet and other organisations as diverse as the police, public transport, health, education and social services.

Mick Merrick

Council Chairman Councillor Liz Webster paid tribute to Mick Merrick, one of the council’s best known and popular members of staff who passed away earlier in the year. Flowers and condolences are to be sent to his family.


Big-hearted golfers chip-in for charity

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Chigwell, Media, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Your area, Your community, Your council

Big-hearted golfers raised a fantastic £740 for the Royal British Legion at our annual Chairman’s Charity Golf Day.

26 golfers comprising of councillors, officers, former employees, contractors and chairman’s guests watched Chairman Liz Webster hit the opening tee shot at Chigwell Golf Club on 21 July 2015.

David Clifton with Chairman Liz WebsterAnnette Stansfield with Chairman Liz Webster

Champion Golfer 2015

Housing Resources Manager David Clifton won the Don Spinks Shield for the 3rd time, and was named Champion Golfer 2015. The Robert O’Malley Cup for Lady Golfers was won by Annette Stansfield from SLM for the 4th time in 5 years.

A great day

Chairman Liz Webster said: “Thank you to everyone who took to the fairways in the glorious summer sunshine to raise money for the Royal British Legion, we had a great day! This money is very important as it helps to provide practical, emotional and financial support to all members of the British Armed Forces, both past and present.”