Energy consumption at the Council offices in Epping has been cut dramatically. That and other items including Council Tax discounts, on-street car parking, and the creation of three new small pay and display car parks were among the items discussed at the meeting of Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet on 3 November.
The installation of new windows and solar panels has led to significant reductions in energy consumption at the Council’s headquarters in Epping. The report by Technology and Support Services Portfolio Holder Councillor Alan Lion noted the generation of 35,760 KWh in the first seven months of panel operation. Electricity consumption was reduced by 13.4% in 2015 compared to 2014.
Incentive to reduce empty housing
Councillors agreed reductions in the Council Tax discount available for empty homes. Finance Portfolio Holder Gagan Mohindra presented the report. He said that the changes would make a relatively small difference to the amount of tax collected. However, the Council hopes that the reductions will incentivise local landlords to speed up the re-letting or sale of empty houses for occupation.
County Council Parking Enforcement
Councillor Gary Waller, Portfolio Holder responsible for working with Essex County Council and the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) assured fellow councillors that he would pass on their dissatisfaction with on-street parking enforcement across the district.
Essex County Council is set to extend the current NEPP contract for a further four years. Supported by fellow Councillors Chris Whitbread and Chris Pond, Councillor Waller said that his criticisms were aimed at the operation of NEPP rather individual members of staff working within the district.
New Pay and Display
Later on the agenda, Councillor Waller received Cabinet approval for three small new pay and display car parks in Debden. Two short stay car parks accommodating a total of 40 spaces are to be created at the northern and southern ends of Oakwood Hill Industrial Estate. Fifteen new long stay spaces are to be created behind Loughton Broadway in Burton Road.