At a meeting of Council on Tuesday 31 July 2018, Councillors paid tribute to former Councillor Frank Love, supported a motion to secure a Holocaust Memorial in the district, agreed extra investment in the recycling contract and were pleased to hear the district is the ‘best connected’ to superfast broadband in Essex.
Tribute to former Councillor – Frank Love
The Chairman of Council, Councillor Richard Bassett, invited Councillors to stand for a minute’s silence in tribute to the memory of Former Councillor Frank Love, who recently passed away.
The former Councillor represented the Chipping Ongar Ward from 1978 until 1991 and served on many of the Council’s member bodies throughout this time.
Councillor Paul Keska and Councillor Richard Morgan shared their fond memories of Mr Love with fellow Councillors, sending their condolences to his family and loved ones.
Motion for Holocaust Memorial
Unanimous cross party support for the motion, brought by Councillor Gavin Chambers and seconded by Councillor Kauffman, to secure an official Holocaust Memorial within the district was echoed throughout the Council chamber.
Councillors shared personal stories and the same zero tolerance approach to anti-Semitism – wholeheartedly supporting the creation of a place for commemoration and remembrance. The full proposal for the memorial will be considered at a subsequent Cabinet meeting.
Need for high quality recycling
Councillors agreed to contribute towards increased costs faced by the Council’s waste and recycling contractor Biffa Municipal, since the Chinese government imposed a ban on the import of paper produced by recycling facilities in the UK.
The ban has resulted in excess amounts of paper in the reprocessing market, reducing its value and creating a buyers’ market focussed on quality – increasing Biffa’s costs.
The Council currently sends no recycling waste to landfill. In order to continue with this policy, Biffa requested a further investment of £841,080 to offset the cost associated with delivering higher quality recycling materials.
Having taken specialist advice, Councillors agreed the recommendation to pay Biffa £500,000 – comprising a £200,000 one off capital contribution and £50,000 annually over six years, in order to prevent any of the district’s recycling waste ending up in landfill.
Some of the increased costs relate to the amount of contamination found within the recycling collected. Residual food waste and non-recyclable materials can find their way into recycling, which significantly reduces the quality of the material produced.
Best connected district – Superfast Broadband
It is good news for internet users as the Epping Forest District is well on its way to becoming the ‘best connected’ area within Essex. 96% of residents can currently connect to Superfast Broadband services – reportedly the fastest high speed internet connection in Essex.
The Rural Challenge Project, that finished in early July, has seen in excess of 4,300 additional properties connected to the fibre broadband network. The next phase of the rollout is expected to provide broadband to a further 2,188 properties, bringing coverage up to an impressive 99.67% by December 2019 – leaving just 207 homes in the district where superfast broadband cannot be obtained.