Full Council Meet Tuesday 3rd November to continue discussion with all members and cabinet.
Chairman pays tribute to Chris Overend
Councillors observed a minute’s silence at the meeting of Epping Forest District Council on Tuesday 3 November. The Council was united in mourning the sudden and unexpected death of Chris Overend over the weekend.
Chris Overend worked for the Council for more than 25 years. He was one of the most popular and well-known members of staff. He was also well known within the local community for his role in the administration of grant aid. A very subdued Council Chamber heard tributes led by Chairman Councillor Liz Webster for the Council and Director of Communities Alan Hall for the staff. Councillors, Helen Kane, Stephen Murray, Janet Whitehouse, Chris Whitbread and Caroline Pond all spoke with great affection and sadness.
Waste and recycling
Council business continued with a brief response by Environment Portfolio Holder Councillor Will Breare-Hall on the improvements to the Waste and Recycling service. Prompted by the question from Councillor Brian Surtees, Council Leader Councillor Chris Whitbread echoed the positive feedback on the service while assuring fellow councillors and residents that the Council was not complacent about maintaining the improved service.
Councillor Whitbread gave further updates on meetings covering economic growth in the Cambridge Stansted London corridor, the Epping Forest Youth Council, Essex-wide discussion about the possible devolution of central government services and the ongoing workshops attended by District, Town and Parish councillors on the Local Plan. Planning Portfolio Holder Councillor Richard Bassett added a request for councillors to attend further workshops including the impact of an ageing population on the Local Plan.
Further questions to members of the Cabinet included the decision of Essex Police to withdraw support for the Remembrance Day parades this year, the possibility of charging points for electric cars, consultation on council-owned garage sites earmarked for council housing and the future of the Royal Gunpowder Mills.
Councillors expressed some concerns about the future direction of forest management by the Corporation of London. Responding to a question by Councillor Stephen Murray, Council Leader Chris Whitbread confirmed the importance of the forest to all residents. Councillor Syd Stavrou provided additional feedback on recent meetings to discuss proposed changes to public access by the Corporation.
Council Leader Chris Whitbread made a ‘call to arms’ to fellow councillors to attend the next meeting of the Local Councils Liaison Committee where Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston is due to speak. Councillors debated a motion tabled by Councillor Jon Whitehouse expressing concern at recent cuts to local Essex Police services. Closure of all but one local police station, the closure of all public counters within the district, the loss of PCSOs and many other associated concerns were voiced. With the adoption of amendments proposed by Councillor Gary Waller councillors agreed the motion.