Council house-building makes a comeback

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Councillors, Housing, Leader, Local business, Media, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

A ground breaking ceremony in Waltham Abbey marked the start of Epping Forest District Council’s house-building programme.

The new developments in the first phase of the programme will provide a mixture of accommodation on ‘brownfield’ garage sites and a former Red Cross Hall site in Waltham Abbey. This phase is expected to cost around £4 million, mainly raised by the council.
Ground breaking ceremony

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The ceremony was held on Friday 13 November at Harveyfields in Waltham Abbey, 1 of 4 sites. The other 3 are in nearby Roundhills and Fairways.

In total the sites will provide

  • 4 1-bedroom flats
  • 5 2-bedroom flats
  • 6 2-bedroom houses
  • 6 3-bedroom houses
  • 2 1-bedroom duplex houses

Local MP Eleanor Laing attended, and the Chairman and Leader of the Council, along with ward councillors and the council’s partner organisations working on the project.

Affordable rents

East Thames – a registered housing provider and social regeneration charity – is development agent for the council’s house-building programme. They are working with Pellings LLP, a firm of construction consultants, and our newly appointed contractor Broadway Construction Ltd.

The council has not built any new housing of its own for around 30 years. So expertise was needed from organisations with recent experience of new affordable housing development. East Thames was chosen because they have a track record in developing homes in the small areas available on housing estates, such as difficult-to-let garage sites.

All the new properties will be let to families on the council’s housing register at ‘affordable rents’. These are different to the social rents that existing council tenants pay, and compare to about half of the rent that a similar property would cost at the full market rate. Residents who rented the garages previously have all been offered alternative arrangements.

Second phase of house-building programme

Plans are already in place for the second phase of the council’s house-building programme. A grant of £0.5 million from the Homes and Communities Agency’s ‘Affordable Homes Programme’ will subsidise the development costs of 40 new affordable homes, based on £12,500 per home. The council will provide the remaining funding for this phase.

This grant is conditional on the council being able to achieve ‘Investment Partner Status’, and being able to deliver the new affordable homes within the timescale of the bid programme.

The second phase of the programme will be concentrated on council-owned land at Burton Road in Loughton. It is expected to provide a total of 52 new affordable rented homes and a detailed planning application has been made. In all, the council has 65 sites across the district on which it hopes to be able to deliver around 30 new affordable homes, per annum, over the next 10 years.

 

Last chance to nominate your Citizen of the Year

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chairman, Chigwell, Civic events, Community, Epping, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

The closing dates for entries for the 2015 Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year are nearly here – get your nominations in quick!

  • Closing date for Citizen of the Year is Friday 21 November 2014
  • Closing date for Young Citizen of the Year is Friday 28 November 2014

Youth Councillors Julie Turrell and Joseph Pascoe with James Lingfield (centre)

Nominate now

Complete you nomination online – Nominate a Citizen or Young Citizen of the year or

Nomination forms can also be obtained from the council’s reception desks.

Who can I nominate?

Anyone who lives in the Epping Forest district can be nominated to be Citizen of the Year or, if between 11 and 18 years of age, Young Citizen of the Year.

It can be for any reason

  • if they have shown outstanding courage
  • if they have done something of service to you or the community
  • perhaps it’s someone who has shown extraordinary commitment, energy and effort in their particular field or towards achieving a particular goal

The winners will be invited to attend the civic awards ceremony in February 2015 to receive their award and certificate. The Young Citizen of the Year will also receive a cheque for £100.

Unsung heroes

Chairman of Council, Councillor Tony Boyce said: “The annual civic awards ceremony enables the council to thank publicly those special residents of our district who always ‘go the extra mile’ and often think of others before themselves.”

“Without them our district would be a much poorer place. If you know someone who you think has made an exceptional contribution to the Epping Forest district community, do please take the time to fill in a nomination form now, so we can all celebrate the efforts of these unsung heroes in our community.”

Amazed

James Lingfield from Davenant School is the current Young Citizen of the Year. He was delighted to be chosen and said on winning his award: “I’m so amazed, so grateful and shocked and still can’t believe I was awarded Young Citizen of the Year. I still really don’t believe I deserve it, thank you all so much. I can’t begin to tell you how much it means to me and my family – thank you, thank you.”

“You have made me feel special, honoured and as though the challenges in my life have been acknowledged and have made a difference.”

Nominations

Closing date for nominations

  • Citizen of the Year – Friday 21 November 2014
  • Young Citizen of the Year – Friday 28 November 2014

 

District prepares to remember

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chairman, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Epping, Loughton, Media, Ongar, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council

Councillors will be joining local residents and veterans attending remembrance services across the Epping Forest district on Sunday 9 November to remember the fallen from the 2 world wars and subsequent conflicts.

Poppies 5

  • Abridge

Councillor Brian Rolfe / 10am / St Mary & All Saints Church, Lambourne

  • Buckhurst Hill

Chairman Councillor Tony Boyce / 10:30am / St John’s Church, Buckhurst Hill / church service and wreath laying

  • Chigwell

Councillor John Knapman / 10:40am / St Mary’s Church, Chigwell / church service and wreath laying

  • Epping

Chairman Councillor Tony Boyce / 2pm / Epping War Memorial march from civic offices / short service and wreath laying

Chairman Councillor Tony Boyce / 3pm / St John’s Church, Epping

  • High Ongar

Councillor Richard Morgan / 10am / St Mary’s Church, High Ongar / 11:15am wreath laying

  • Loughton

Councillor Caroline Pond / 11:45am / Kings Green, Loughton / wreath laying from Loughton Royal British Legion club

Councillor Caroline Pond / 1pm / salute on Brooklyn Parade, Loughton

  • Nazeing

Councillor Richard Bassett / 10:45am / All Saints Church, Nazeing

  • North Weald

Councillor Anne Grigg / 10:45am / St Andrew’s Church, North Weald / service and wreath laying

Chairman Councillor Tony Boyce / 12 noon / North Weald Airfield memorial service and wreath laying

  • Ongar

Vice-chairman Councillor Liz Webster / 2:30pm / Ongar War Memorial Health Centre, Ongar Road

  • Roydon

Councillor Mary Sartin represented by Nicola Wilkinson / 10:30am / St Peter’s Church, Roydon

  • Theydon Bois

Councillor Sue Jones / 10:30am / St Mary’s Church, Theydon Bois / service and wreath laying

  • Waltham Abbey

Vice-chairman Councillor Liz Webster / 9am / St Thomas’s Church, Upshire

Vice-chairman Councillor Liz Webster / 10am / Waltham Abbey War Memorial

Vice-chairman Councillor Liz Webster / 10:45am / Waltham Abbey Church / service

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day is held on the second Sunday in November, usually the Sunday nearest to 11th. The First World War officially ended on the 11th hour, on the 11th day, on the 11th month in 1918.

Each year millions of people stop what they are doing and observe a 2 Minute Silence at 11am on 11 November in the memory of those who have been affected in all conflicts.

Tower Poppies

Spectacular! Chairman Tony Boyce on the #TowerPoppies installation remembering the 888,246 fallen soldiers in WW1.

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

 

Boys dance taking the district by storm

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Health, Loughton, Media, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Boys dance is taking the district by storm! Fusion, a day of dance for boys, was held on Saturday 25 October at West Hatch High School in Chigwell.

Performing to family and friends (10)

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Boys aged 6 to 11 took part in 2 different dance style workshops. Break dance, commercial and the other workshop dedicated to learning how to move like Michael Jackson.

Participants worked hard on 2 full-on routines. Helped by students from DNA studios, they learnt break dance moves including the coffee grinder, 6-step and top rock. These moves were shown to family and friends at the end of the day.

Fusion was organised by professional dancer and choreographer Micheal Downing, in partnership with Epping Forest District Council.

Read more

Boys Day of Dance a great success

 

Waltham Abbey Community Craft Event

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Local business, Media, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Want to try out a new craft activity? Come along to the Waltham Abbey Community Craft Event and enjoy a taster session of different crafts including knitting, crochet, spoon making and printing or watch demonstrations.

The Waltham Abbey Community Craft Event is held at Waltham Abbey Town Hall on Tuesday 11 November 2014 from 6pm to 8pm. Entry is free.

Waltham Abbey Community Craft Event

You can browse the handmade art and craft stalls by local crafts people, you might find the unique unusual gift you have been looking for or something to treat yourself or inspire you!

If you enjoy your new found artistic skill and are inspired to learn more there will be the opportunity to register to take a variety of different courses.

Calling all artists and crafts people

Calling all artists and crafts people – are you interested in a free stand at this craft event?

If you are interested in demonstrating, displaying or selling hand made arts and crafts items contact Lucy Eales (Community Development worker)

 

 

Boys Day of Dance a great success

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Health, Local business, Loughton, Media, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Over 100 Year 7 boys from Roding Valley High School in Loughton took to the dance floor to try a variety of dance styles in a Day of Dance on Friday 26 September 2014.

The Day of Dance saw more than 100 boys try out capoiera (a Brazilian martial art), contemporary, street and break dancing before putting on a performance to their classmates in the afternoon.

Day of Dance

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Many thanks the Everything Epping Forest for the photos.

The day was supported by Vanessa Gayton from Epping Forest Arts and instructors from DNA Studios based at the Royal Gunpowder Mills in Waltham Abbey.

The day was a great success

Roding Valley High School PE teacher Keith Bailey said: “It (dance) is now in the national curriculum so all the boys in the lower school have to experience dance.”

Headteacher James Luck said: “The day was a great success and the feedback from the boys has been incredibly positive. They threw themselves into the dances and thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. The instructors commented on how well the students had done and were impressed with the behaviour and politeness of the students throughout.”

 

Question Time at the Youth Conference

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Consultation, Councillors, Democracy, Epping, Leader, Loughton, Media, Ongar, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Stress, bullying and drugs were top of the agenda when young people met in Epping for the Epping Forest District Youth Council Conference.

The 11 to 17 year olds quizzed some of the most influential people in the district in a Question Time style debate.

Watch the Question Time debate

On the panel

  • Jacqui Foile – Chief Officer Voluntary Action Epping Forest
  • Gareth Clement – Chief Executive Alcohol and Drugs Advisory Service
  • Helen Roberts – Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
  • Michael O’Brien – Head of Commissioning Education and Lifelong Learning Essex County Council
  • Councillor Helen Kane – Cabinet Member for Leisure and Community Services Epping Forest District Council
  • Councillor Chris Whitbread – Leader of Epping Forest District Council
  • Council Chris Seward – Chair of the Secondary Schools Group and Head Teacher Davenant Foundation School
  • Lindsay Whitehouse – Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex
  • Donna Martin – Drugs and Alcohol Partnership Trainer EYPDAS The Children’s Society
  • Inspector Andy Fusher – Essex Police

Watch short videos of the youth conference panel

Find out more

Read Stress, bullying and drugs at Youth Conference

 

King Harold Day

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Media, Museum, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council

Attractions including a living history re-enactment camp, archery, falconry display and the Queen’s entourage were some of the attractions at the Annual King Harold Day Festival in Waltham Abbey.

A Knight and a Chairman

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More than 4,000 visitors were entertained by an array of colourful attractions. A traditional procession of medieval dressed performers walked along Sun Street through the Market Square to the King Harold Memorial Stone where Councillor Tony Boyce , Chairman of Council of Epping Forest District Council and Councillor Ann Mitchell MBE, Town Mayor laid floral wreaths.

 

Council welcomes £62,000 fraud judgement

Written on . Posted in Housing, Leader, Prosecutions, Regulations, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your home

The decision to sentence a woman and her solicitor to imprisonment (suspended in one case) has been welcomed by Epping Forest District Council.

Sarah Jane Foster was sentenced to 21 months suspended for two years and ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work. She pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud and deception earlier this year after a council investigation showed she was actually living and working in New Zealand while exercising the Right to Buy on a council flat at Tillingham Court, Waltham Abbey.

Foster received a discount of £62,500 on the purchase price. Her solicitor, Katherine Gadsby was sentenced on three counts of fraud, forgery and concealing evidence and will go to prison for 12 months after also pleading guilty to deliberate deception, forging Ms Foster’s signature on legal documents and failing to provide the whole conveyancing file to the council in accordance with an order of the Crown Court.

Acting on an anonymous tip-off, fraud investigation officers at Epping Forest District Council working with colleagues at Chelmsford Borough Council and the New Zealand High Commission established that by the time of the sale, Ms Foster had permanent residency abroad through marriage to a New Zealander. She was living and working in New Zealand at the time of the offences.

Councillor Chris Whitbread, Leader of Epping Forest District Council said: “I would like to thank the Judge as well as congratulate everyone working for and on behalf of the Council in bringing this case. The Right to Buy is designed to help law-abiding Council tenants fulfil the dream of owning their own home. I completely support that principle and would encourage any tenant who meets the qualification criteria and thinks it may be for them to contact us. However, those who seek to deceive the Council for financial gain will be investigated and prosecuted. Today’s sentence sends out a clear warning to any would-be fraudsters. If you think you can make money through deception, we will find you and we will bring the full weight of the law against you. It will cost you a considerable amount of money and you even run the risk of going to prison”.

In addition to the sentences passed down in Court, Foster faces repaying the full value of the £62,500 discount plus the increase in value of the flat between the time of the sale and the prosecution of the case together with hefty legal costs. She will be called back to court in December for the Proceeds of Crime Act hearing dealing with confiscation and compensation details.

Councillor Whitbread added: “This is not a victimless crime. It has deprived a genuine applicant in much need of Council Housing. The Council is determined to recover the full amount defrauded from the public purse. We will pursue Ms Foster for the money she has been ordered to repay.”

Review of polling districts, places and stations reaches conclusion

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Democracy, Elections, Epping, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Ongar, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your council

The results of a review of the polling districts, polling places and polling stations were considered by councillors at the meeting of Epping Forest District Council on 30 September.

Electors consulted

The review by the Council’s Returning Officer took place within the Epping Forest District between 24 March and 30 May 2014. Electors within the Epping Forest District were invited to make representations about the existing polling districts and polling places and suggest alternatives.

Changes for Epping and Waltham Abbey

As a result of this process councillors agreed two changes to current arrangements. Firstly an alteration of the polling station for residents within Homefield Close in Epping whose polling stations were split between two sites. Residents will now all vote at the United Reformed Church in Lindsey Street. Secondly, councillors asked that residents at Breach Barns in Waltham Abbey vote at an existing polling station at Saxon Way, Waltham Abbey rather than at the main Town Hall.

Full details of the proposals that will be included in the publication of a revised Electoral Register to take effect from 1 December 2014 are to be found on the link below.

Residents can also inspect copies of the review at

  1. Main Reception Desk, Epping Forest District Council, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, CM16 4BZ
  2. Electoral Registration Office, Town Hall, Ingrave Road, Brentwood, Essex CM15 8AY
  3. Harlow Elections office at Latton Bush Centre, Southern Way, Harlow, Essex CM18 7BL (01279 446043 to arrange an appointment)

Documents available for inspection

  1. Correspondence sent to Returning Officers and others in relation to the Review
  2. Responses to the Consultation Exercise
  3. Minutes of meetings of the Council at which consideration was given to the review of Polling Districts and Places
  4. Details of the designation of Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations as a result of the review

 

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