Flooding, be aware and be prepared

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Crime and safety, Drainage, Emergencies, Environmental health, Epping, Housing, Local business, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Our countryside, Out and about, Private housing, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

If flooding has been forecast where you live, listen to local radio or check the Environment Agency’s website for updates and news.

Driving through flood water

Environment Agency

Latest flood warning updates for the Epping Forest district (in alphabetical order)

Know what the levels of flood warning mean

  • Flood Alert: Flooding is possible. Be prepared
  • Flood Warning: Flooding is expected. Immediate action required
  • Severe Flood Warning: Severe flooding. Danger to life


Update 14 February 2014 – severe weather closes North Weald Market


Stay in touch

Listen for flood updates on BBC Radio Essex and Heart Essex Radio.

Get up-to-date weather warnings from the Met Office.

Plan your journey with Essex County Council’s live travel information section. Get live travel data with details of traffic problems and disruptions across the County.

Advice to motorists to take care in bad weather from Essex Police.

Latest incidents from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.


Emergency planning advice from Essex County Council.

Information on emergencies from Epping Forest District Council.

The National Flood Forum is a national charity dedicated to supporting and representing communities and individuals at risk of flooding.

Practical tips and health advice in new flooding leaflet on gov.uk - Flooding: advice to the public.

Flooding presents a number of risks to health – advice from Public Health England.

Do you know what to do with your animals if it floods? Advice from RSPCA.


Photos from around the district

View photos in a slideshow by clicking on a picture below and then click start slideshow.


Half term event at Lowewood Museum

Written on . Posted in Arts, Museum, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Family Fun: Make a 1950s Fashion Cut Out Doll

Come to Lowewood Museum, High Street, Hoddesdon EN9 1EL and join us for a fun art and craft activity this half term. On Thursday 20 February from 12 noon until 3pm we’ll be taking inspiration from the fabulous 1950s Fashion exhibition on display at the museum to make our own cut out dolls and their clothes. From the New Look to everyday wear for boys and girls, you’ll find plenty of ideas to design your own outfits for your doll. There are lots of fun things to try in the exhibition too, including lots of vintage clothes to try on and a 1950s juke box.

This activity, without the exhibition, is also taking place in Waltham Abbey Library, Sun Street, Waltham Abbey on Tuesday 18 February 2014 from 12 noon to 3pm as part of Epping Forest District Museum’s ‘Museum on the Move’ programme.

At both venues the activity is free of charge. There’s no need to book, just turn up during the times given and allow about 20 minutes for the activity. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

For more information call 01992 445596 or email museum.leisure@broxbourne.gov.uk.


New NEPP ‘Park Safe’ enforcement vehicle deployed for safer streets

Written on . Posted in Councillors, Crime and safety, Media, Out and about, Parking, Regulations, Residents, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

North Essex Parking Partnership’s (NEPP) logoThe North Essex Parking Partnership’s (NEPP) is working to help make streets safer for all by deploying a new ‘Park Safe’ camera car.

Launching during January and February 2014, the NEPP’s introduction of the camera car follows numerous requests for increased enforcement from parents, schools, residents and local councils. 

The Park Safe vehicle will be phased in across all the NEPP member districts, except Tendring following a request from the district council.

With the Park Safe camera car

View photos in a slideshow by clicking on a picture below and then click start slideshow.

Coinciding with the time it is launched in each of the 5 participating districts, the Park Safe vehicle’s work will be promoted to local residents, parents and schools, including through school newsletters and visits. The patrol car will be clearly branded, making it highly visible to motorists. 

The vehicle will focus on tackling dangerous, careless, inconsiderate and negligent parking on ‘no stopping’ restrictions, including on pedestrian crossings and zig-zag markings around schools. Several schools will be patrolled every day, recognising the need for parking enforcement particularly at school start and finish times. Its use also supports existing Police and Essex County Council road safety campaigns.  

Major through-routes with fast moving traffic and other clearways, bus stops, taxis ranks and loading restrictions will also be enforced by the vehicle.

Park Safe camera car

Information on where Park Safe plans to carry out enforcement across the Partnership area will be available, in advance, online at www.parkingpartnership.org.

Introducing the Park Safe’ patrol will support the work of the NEPP’s Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) who patrol on foot.  CEOs will be able to give greater focus to car parks, parking permits and ‘no waiting’ restrictions where they are most effectively deployed.

Maintaining the high quality of Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) it currently issues, the NEPP will review all photos taken by Park Safe’s on-board CCTV camera to determine if a PCN should subsequently be issued to a motorist.

The Park Safe patrol car will be trialled for 1 year, with its work regularly reviewed by the NEPP’s Joint Committee.

Help make our streets safer

Chairman of the North Essex Parking Partnership’s Joint Committee, Councillor Robert Mitchell, said: “The NEPP repeatedly receives requests from schools, parents, residents and councillors to boost parking enforcement, particularly around school sites where parking restrictions are specifically designed to assist pedestrian access, but are routinely ignored.”

“I am very pleased we are rolling out the Park Safe patrol car across most of north Essex to help make our streets safer for children and adults alike. The vehicle will enable us to more effectively tackle dangerous and negligent parking which will assist buses, taxis and the flow of general traffic, supporting our town centres and local economies.”

“Our CEOs will also have more time to focus on patrolling car parks and permit parking areas, improving parking space availability for those who need it.”

Act as a deterrent

Following the Epping Forest launch the Park Safe vehicle will then begin patrolling suitable streets across the district.

Epping Forest District Council’s Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder, Councillor Waller, said: “I am very pleased that we have been able to bring the Park Safe camera car to Epping Forest. There have been a number of problems with dangerous stopping for some time, particularly around schools at drop off and pick up times and it is getting worse!”

“The camera car is to act as a deterrent and not a way to just catch out motorists. I hope that along with other safety campaigns this will encourage all drivers to be considerate and stop in a safe place to let pupils alight or to pick them up. We want to ensure that the district is as safe a place as possible for all pedestrians, including children, and motorists.”


Creative writing workshop

Written on . Posted in Arts, Epping, Museum, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your council

Lowewood Museum exhibitions and eventsJoin us at Lowewood Museum in Hoddesdon this Saturday 25 January from 11am to 1pm for the second workshop in our Young People in the Arts programme.

Led by author of the White Witch of Spiton series, Tracey Rolfe, this workshop will use the museum as inspiration for your imagination.

Pick up some top tips for your own storytelling and develop your writing skills.

The workshop is suitable for 11 to 15 year olds. Places are limited and cost £3 per person, so please book now to avoid disappointment. To book your place, call the museum on 01992 445596.

For more information, go to www.broxbourne.gov.uk/lowewoodmuseum or call 01992 445596.


Be a ceramicist workshop at Lowewood Museum

Written on . Posted in Community, Museum, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Volunteering opportunities, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community

Lowewood Museum exhibitions and eventsBe a ceramicist, is the first workshop in Lowewood Museum’s programme for young people, taking place on Saturday 18 January 2014.

Come along between 11am and 1pm and make an object out of clay, which will be fired. The workshop is suitable for 11 to 15 year olds.

Places are limited and cost £3 per person, so please book early to avoid disappointment. To book your place, call the museum on 01992 445596. The second part of this workshop takes place on Saturday 15 February 2014. The workshop is repeated on Saturday 20 September and on Saturday 18 October 2014.

For more information, go to www.broxbourne.gov.uk/lowewoodmuseum or call 01992 445596.


1950s Fashion: A Decade of Glamour

Written on . Posted in Community, Media, Museum, Older people, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Come and see our great new exhibition 1950s Fashion: A Decade of Glamour, on display at Lowewood Museum from 11 January to 15 March 2014.

1950s Fashion exhibition poster, Lowewood Museum

From the dazzling dresses of the Paris couture houses, to the ready-to-wear styles of Marks & Spencer, 1950s Fashion: A Decade of Glamour explores both the everyday and the extraordinary fashions of the 1950s.

Showcasing stunning collections from museums across the East of England, this exhibition examines how the fashions of the stars were first created and then adapted to be worn by the everyday family.

On display you will see a tailor-made Teddy Boy suit, huge swirling skirts and an exquisite evening ball gown. Get creative and design your own dream outfit or style yourself in the fashions themselves with our vintage wardrobe.

Whether you remember the original fifties styles or you are trying to channel your inner ‘Mad Men’, this exhibition is fun for everyone.

Opening times

  • Wednesday to Friday - 10am to 4pm
  • Saturday - 10am to 5pm

Admission is free.


Lowewood Museum, High Street, Hoddesdon, EN11 8BH.

Want to know more?

For more information please email museum.leisure@broxbourne.gov.uk or call 01992 445596.

1950s Fashion: A Decade of Glamour is the first in a series of regional touring exhibitions produced by Epping Forest District Museum and funded by Arts Council England. First launched in Harlow in October 2013, 1950s Fashion is starting its tour of the East of England with Lowewood Museum.


Free parking for Christmas to boost trade and attract shoppers

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Councillors, Democracy, Environmental health, Epping, Leader, Local business, Loughton, Media, Ongar, Out and about, Parking, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your council

Shoppers will be able to park for free on Saturdays in the district’s council-owned car parks in the run-up to Christmas.

Leader of the Council Councillor Chris Whitbread said: “We understand that the Christmas trading period is one of the most important and busiest times for retailers and therefore we want to show them our support. For the past few years the council has provided free car parking in all the council’s car parks on Saturdays in December. We will be repeating this again this year. I am sure that this will have a very positive impact both on trade and footfall and will help to re-inforce our mission to keep our town centres alive and prosperous.”

Councillor Gary Waller, whose portfolio includes responsibility for car parks said: ”This is something the council does every year in order to help boost Christmas trade and increase shopping footfall in the shopping centres across the district. We hope that it will have a beneficial impact on the vibrancy of the town centres.”

Car parking will be free on every Saturday in December, (7, 14, 21 and 28) and on the 3 Bank Holidays (25 and 26 December and 1 January).

Although parking will be free, it should be noted that the normal conditions in respect of the car parks will remain in force and Civil Enforcement Officers will be patrolling as usual.

Councillor Whitbread continued: ”This Council already provides all the year round free parking on Saturdays in the council’s long stay car parks and this extension to cover all car parks in the run up to Christmas is another way to support our local economy. I would encourage residents to shop local this Christmas to back our local businesses.”

In addition to the free parking above, the car parks in Cottis Lane and Bakers Lane in Epping will be free from 12 noon in support of Epping Town Council’s Christmas Market on Friday 6 December.

Councillor Whitbread said: “We want to show our support for Small Business Saturday this year, which is a national campaign to encourage more people to shop locally on Saturday 7 December. An important way to do this is by introducing free car parking.”

“I would also like to say that our local shops are for life, not just for Christmas and so please remember to shop locally for the rest of the year, too!”


Overwhelming generosity for refuge children

Written on . Posted in Business, Chairman, Community, Crime and safety, Local business, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your community, Your home

Children sheltering in refuges from domestic abuse will have a happier Christmas this year thanks to the amazing generosity of customers and staff at Tesco in Waltham Abbey.

Councillor Mary Sartin, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council and Caroline Wiggins of the Council’s Community Safety Team were overwhelmed when they collected five full trolley loads  of donated toys and gifts from the Waltham Abbey Store on 12 December. The collection organised by Tesco Community Champion Michele Moore, will provide hundreds of Christmas presents to children in Women’s Refuges across Essex this Christmas.

Tesco Community Champion Michele Moore presenting five trolley loads of gifts to Councillor Mary Sartin and Caroline Wiggins of Epping Forest District Council for children in refuges over Christmas
“Christmas is the hardest time of the year for many of these young families.” says Councillor Sartin. “Forced out of their homes, they sometimes have little or nothing with which to celebrate Christmas but the kindness and support of local people has been simply overwhelming. We can’t say ‘thank you’ enough to Tesco and its customers for their incredible generosity.”

Domestic abuse

More than 28,000 incidents of Domestic Violence were reported to Essex Police in 2012. Over Christmas there could be more than 440 children in refuges in Harlow, Broxbourne, Chelmsford, Braintree and Southend, including young families from Epping Forest District.
Caroline Wiggins is also organising collections with staff at Epping Forest District Council, The Theydon Oak Public House near Epping and St Winifred’s Church in Chigwell.
Information on domestic abuse


First new council houses for 30 years

Written on . Posted in Housing, Planning, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your community, Your council, Your home

There is good news for local residents in need of council housing. Planning approval has been given to start building new council homes in Epping Forest for the first time in nearly 30 years. The first site to receive approval is at Harveyfields, Waltham Abbey, where nine flats will be built. Demand for affordable housing in this district continues to increase, and the new properties will be let to families on the Council’s Housing Register.

The new development at Harveyfields will comprise four 1 bedroom flats and five 2 bedroom flats, and the Council is hoping to start work on site in the spring of 2014. There will be 18 parking spaces and a cycle store included as part of the development. Currently there are difficult to let garages on the site, but residents who do use the garages will be offered alternative arrangements. Separately, an off-street parking scheme has recently been approved for the Harveyfields estate and work should commence on this very shortly as well.

Over the next six years, the Council is planning to develop around 120 new homes across the district, to be let at ‘affordable rents’.

Councillor Dave Stallan, Housing Portfolio Holder said: “This is a hugely significant moment for Epping Forest District Council and something I am immensley proud to be part of. After 30 years when government policy focused our affordable housing plans towards facilitating new homes built by housing associations, we are starting to provide new housing directly again. It is a modest start but we have 120 potential new homes in the pipeline and as these come on stream we will be looking for opportunities to do more. We will also continue to work with our housing association partners and encourage affordable housing as part of any private sector planning applications we receive as we strive to provide more homes for local people who need them most.

Councillor Stallan continued: “All our planning applications for new council houses are on our own land and they are all on brown-field sites. We are not touching the green belt. As the Council has no recent experience of building new homes, East Thames Housing Group has been appointed as Development Agent to take on this task. East Thames is working with Pellings, a firm of architects chosen because they are experienced at developing housing in small areas, such as garage sites. They worked with us to identify five potential sites for Phase 1 of the house building programme, all in Waltham Abbey. The other four sites are on the Roundhills estate. Garages on all these sites are difficult to let, with over 50 garages currently vacant. This first phase should see the Council deliver 25 new Council homes for an estimated cost of around £4 million.”

East Thames has been looking at 65 garage sites right across the district, to consider the potential for developing new council homes. In addition to the house building programme, there are plans to convert 20 existing bedsits into 10 ‘general needs’ flats at Marden Close, Chigwell. These properties were previously rented as sheltered housing but they had become very difficult to let. The scheme has planning permission and the Council hopes to be on site by the summer 2014.