At a meeting of Council on 22 February 2018, Epping Forest District Councillors made the decision to increase Council Tax for the first time since 2010, following the inclusion of law and order initiatives to improve anti-social issues in the district.
Tax levels may be set higher still as Essex County Council, Essex Police, Essex Fire and Rescue and some Town and Parish Council’s have confirmed increases their Council Tax share too.
An average Band D property will pay an extra £3.69 a year for their District Council Tax contribution.
Epping Forest District Councillors agreed the 2.48% increase in the District Council’s portion of Council Tax to absorb the cost of 3 extra police officers employed to work closely with the Community Safety Team. The decision was taken as residents call for more visible policing to deter and deal with cases of anti-social behaviour in local towns and villages.
Finance Portfolio Holder, Councillor Gagan Mohindra said: “This budget is a significant departure from our policy in recent years as it proposes the first increase in Council Tax since 2010/11. This change is necessary to provide additional funds to combat the scourge of anti-social behaviour. Earlier we discussed the problems being faced by our residents on a daily basis and it is vital that we act to address these. We hope that over the 3 year trial period we are providing funding for, the police will be in a better place than they are now and that it will be possible to withdraw our support.”
“This is the first time for eight years that we are increasing the Council Tax but it is for a specific reason and for a limited time period, to provide the public with additional services they have said they want.”
Derek Macnab – Chief Executive
Following the announcement that Epping Forest District Council’s Chief Executive Glen Chipp, is leaving to become Chief Executive of Horsham District Council, Council agreed the recommendation to appointment Derek Macnab as acting Chief Executive and Head of Paid Services with immediate effect.
Council Leader, Councillor Chris Whitbread, thanked Glen Chipp for his service to Epping Forest District Council and its residents before welcoming the appointment of Derek Macnab.
He said: “Derek Macnab’s brief is to maintain the momentum of our modernisation and organisational development of the Council. No doubt he will bring his own personal style and approach to the process, but the drivers for change remain. We are a strong, well-managed Council moving towards a position of financial independence as central government funding ends.”
A minute for reflection
A minute’s silence was observed by Council in memory of Councillor Brian Surtees and former Council Leader Di Collins, who both passed away earlier this month.
A heartfelt speech was first given by Council Leader Chris Whitbread, offering sincere condolences to the friends and family of both former Councillors. An abundance of tributes from Councillors from all parties followed, praising and sharing kind words in memory of both Councillor Brian Surtees and Di Collins.
Simon Hill has been appointed as Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer for Epping Forest District Council in advance of this year’s elections, on 3 May 2018.
Mr Hill was also appointed Monitoring Officer for the Council, a role which is responsible for the governance of Council officers and elected Councillors.