Improved services with new refuse contract

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Councillors, Epping, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Ongar, Recycling and waste, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Your area, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Improved services and large savings are expected after the decision by the council to award a new ten year contract to Biffa Municipal Limited for the collection of domestic refuse and recycling and street cleaning. In addition to annual savings of over £400,000 a year, the introduction of new technology, new vehicles and new working practices, including a 4-day collection week to avoid Bank Holiday Monday disruption, is anticipated to result in environmental and service improvements.

The decision was taken by the Cabinet of Epping Forest District Council at a special meeting on Monday 19 May 2014.

Alderton Junior winning artwork

Competitors for the contract

Biffa beat an initial list of 8 competitors to the contract, including current contractor Sita UK, most of whose local staff will transfer to Biffa under the terms of the contract. The final decision was based on an equal assessment of price and quality, with all the short-listed companies submitting competitive bids.

When will Biffa start?

Biffa will start emptying the District’s wheelie bins on 3 November 2014. The new Tuesday to Friday collection service will start in March 2015.

What to recycle and when will it be collected?

Epping Forest residents are amongst the ‘greenest’ in the country, recycling over 250kg per household each year. Bidders were invited to investigate different ways of collecting local refuse and recycling but the current system of two wheelie-bins, sacks and a blue box has proved to be one of the best and there are no plans to change this.

  • Food and Garden Waste Wheelie Bin – collected weekly
  • Residual Waste Wheelie Bin – collected fortnightly
  • Blue Box – for glass, collected fortnightly
  • Sacks – All other dry recycling collected fortnightly

Residents will also be able to recycle tetrapaks, batteries and small electrical items for the first time.

Langston Road, Loughton redevelopment

In March 2015, Biffa will transfer from the current council-owned depot in Langston Road to its own depots in Edmonton and Waltham Cross. This will move forward the redevelopment of the Langston Road site as a new retail park, providing employment for local people and generating more long-term income and savings for Epping Forest District Council.

Great news for Epping Forest residents

Contract negotiations were led by Councillor Will Breare-Hall, Environment Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council, and Council officers.

Councillor Breare-Hall said: “This deal is great news for Epping Forest residents and our District. Our new contract with Biffa promises residents an innovative, improved, more responsive service that respects what they like best about our current provision, and helps us keep their Council Tax low. I want to put on record my thanks to Sita UK for the great job they have done, but it is essential we keep striving to improve. This new partnership with Biffa offers even better services to residents, reductions in environmental impact, and helps us to maintain our record as one of the UK’s top recycling authorities.”


Get ready for Le Tour

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Community, Epping, Leader, Local business, Loughton, North Weald Airfield, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Tour de France, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Your community

The Tour de France comes to Epping Forest on Monday 7 July. Residents and business people can find out more about Stage 3 of the Tour de France at Epping Forest District Council. A team of officers at the Civic Offices in Epping High Street will be available between 6.30pm and 8.30pm on Thursday 12 June to answer questions about the route and the management of the race.

Tour de France Essex Logo

The Tour de France is the world’s third largest sporting event. It is customary to start the race outside France and the Grand Depart returns to the UK this year for the first time since 2007. Stage 1 and 2 will cover large areas of Yorkshire before the Tour heads south for the start of Stage 3 in Cambridge.

The race will be preceded by a Caravane Publicitaire, a carnival of media and sponsors vehicles full of colour and noise. Travelling through Saffron Walden and Finchingfield before skirting Chelmsford and Roxwell, the Caravane is expected to enter Epping Forest District near Willingale at about 12.25pm. The race itself is expected about 2 hours later.

Cycling is now one of the biggest sports in the UK. Many thousands of enthusiasts are expected to join residents and visitors lining the roads of the District to cheer the riders on. The Tour is completely free to view.

Villages and towns on the route are planning different ways to welcome the Tour. In France, the Tour is turned into a festival over several days. Epping Town Show takes place on Sunday 6 July and the Fun Fair is staying overnight to extend the celebrations into Monday. North Weald is expecting day-trippers from Ongar to arrive via steam train on the heritage Epping and Ongar Railway while visitors by car will be able to park at North Weald Airfield. Special celebrations are being planned in smaller villages on the route including Moreton (including extra temporary parking) and Fyfield. At Willingale Cricket Club, the organisers of temporary parking are also laying on hot food and drink at the Village Hall .

People are expected to make their way on foot from as far as Theydon Bois, Waltham Abbey, Loughton and Buckhurst Hill to watch the race which travels through the Forest from the Wake Arms roundabout down the A104 Epping New Road to Woodford.

Epping High Street is expected to draw the biggest crowds, many arriving by train via the Central Line to Epping Underground Station. Forklift trucks and delivery vehicles will be working from early in the morning as the race organisers and world’s media prepare for the excitement of the sprint section down the length of the High Street.

Road closures will make travel across the District difficult. The route following country lanes north of Ongar and the A414 to the Talbot roundabout at North Weald will be closed from 8am. The route south of the Talbot closes at 9am and is not scheduled to reopen until 5pm.

Essex County Council and Epping Forest District Council are working together with many partners including the Tour organisers and Government to raise public awareness. Detailed information is available on a range of websites. Leaflets and letters have been sent out while posters have been distributed to local shops and businesses.

Councillor Chris Whitbread, Leader of Epping Forest District Council said: “7 July is going to be truly amazing. The District has never seen anything like it and might well never do so again. Thousands of residents and visitors are preparing to enjoy the day with family and friends but if you run a business or are a resident with special concerns, the staff at the Council will do their best to help you organise yourself around the day. Just pop in to see us between 6.30pm and 8.30pm on 12 June for an informal chat.”

Find ot more Tour de France Epping Forest or go to the Essex County Council website.


Car parks survey

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Consultation, Councillors, Epping, Local business, Loughton, Media, Ongar, Out and about, Parking, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Tell us how and why you use our car parks – for shopping or for working?

Are there enough spaces when you need them? Are the charges fair?

We recognise car parks are important to support the economic vitality of our town centres and their businesses but we also recognise the need to encourage alternative modes of transport to the car, and that a balance needs to be struck.

We are consulting on our car parking strategy and want as many people as possible to complete this short survey.

Complete the survey

You could win £100 just for filling it in!

Councillor Gary Waller by the car park

Satisfy the needs of residents, local businesses and visitors

Councillor Gary Waller, Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder said: “We are looking at a number of ideas, including short stay parking for up to 5 hours, different tariffs for different locations, and the continuation of free parking on Saturdays in our town centres among others.”

“We would very much appreciate feedback to ensure we get the right balance to satisfy the needs of residents, local businesses and visitors who want to park in our district.”

Cabinet 3 March 2014

Want to know more

If you would like further information, email, or call 01992 564608.

If you require a hard copy of the survey or in a different format such as large print or braille please contact 01992 564608.


High Beach Youth Cycling Club

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Health, Loughton, Olympics, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council

High Beach Youth Cycling Club is a competitive mountain biking club for young people aged 8 and over.
High Beach Youth Cycling Club flyer


The club meets for training at every Saturday and all abilities are welcome. The club helps young people develop the skills needed to be able to enter local and regional competitions. 


Meet in the car park, Kings Oak Hotel Pub, Paul’s Nursery Road, Loughton, IG10 4AE.


10am to 12 noon.


£6 for non club members. Bikes can be supplied at no extra cost with prior notice.

Want to know more? 

If you would like more information, or would like a programme of rides, please contact Fabrizio on 01992 564567 or email


Get into sailing

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

Broxbourne Sailing Club in Meadgate Road, Nazeing EN9 2PB is running ‘Get into Sailing’ courses for both adults and children.

Broxbourne Sailing Club


Each course runs from 9am to 4.30pm on 2 days and costs £30 per participant.

  • 24 and 31 May
  • 7 and 14 June
  • 28 June and 5 July
  • 12 and 19 July
  • 6 and 13 September

Book now

To book a place, contact Community Services on 01992 564226 between 10am and 4pm.

If you would like more information, contact Fabrizio Ferrari on 01992 564567 or email


Join Lifewalks for an evening Nightingale stroll

Written on . Posted in Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Loughton, Media, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Join us on our evening walk to hear the pleasingly smooth and musical sound of the Nightingale.

According to the lyrics of a popular love song a nightingale once sang in Berkley Square. This is extremely unlikely however, as the nightingale prefers to sing from dense scrub rather than neat suburban squares. We are fortunate to have ideal habitat locally at Fishers Green, and for a number of years several nightingales have graced the area with their presence.

So why not join Robin and Laurence Sinden on a guided walk as they lead you to the best locations for hearing these mellifluous songsters.

Find out more

When - Friday 23 May 2014 7pm to 9pm

Where - Meet at Fishers Green car park, Stubbins Hall Lane, Waltham Abbey, Essex EN9 2EF (please see page 32 of the diary for instructions to get to the car park)

Cost - We are asking for a donation of £2 per person which will be going to the Essex Wildlife Trust

DetailsThe walk will be at a leisurely pace, pausing from time to time to listen for nightingales and identify the songs of other summer migrants, the walk will be finished by 9 o’clock

Download the Lifewalks Diary

If you would like to join Robin & Laurence please book your places in advance by 17 May by filling in the form in the Lifewalks Diary page 7 link below.


Tube map of youth projects

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

Newly-elected Youth Councillors have launched the latest map of Youth Projects in Epping Forest district.

The map includes youth clubs, groups, theatre groups, scouts and guides. Epping Forest District Council’s Young Person’s Officer Di Butler said: “The Youth Council takes on the task of updating the map as part of the work handed over to them from the retiring Youth Council.”

Youth projects in Epping Forest 2014

Great project

Youth Councillors Imogen Padwick and Jaymey McIvor were both re-elected this year and are serving their third year. Imogen said: “It is a great project as the last cohort of Youth Councillors carried the work over from the 2010 Youth Councillors and now the 2012 Youth Councillors have handed the Youth Projects Map over to the 2014 Youth Councillors. Each year the map grows as more youth groups want to be included and it is free publicity for everyone on the map.”

Youth Councillor Fred Skipper said: “One of the main issues we hear is there isn’t anything to do for our age group, so our first project is to make sure everyone has access to the 2014 Youth Projects Map.”

“This year 27 youth projects contacted us to be included on the map and we know there are many more, so we hope to keep updating the map over the next year as we know this map isn’t conclusive. There are some great youth projects doing great work to engage young people in their local communities.”

Tube Map launch

Promote Epping Forest Youth Council

Youth councillors will personally visit their local youth projects over the forthcoming year to introduce themselves and promote the role of the Epping Forest Youth Council. They have already visited Waltham Abbey Youth 2000 and will be attending the re-launch of the Community Radio Project at The Space in Loughton on 12 May.

Youth Councillor Evie Foster said: “Many of the youth projects rely on volunteers, so they are always looking for people to help run activities.”

Youth Councillor Joe Pascoe explained: “Our map promoting all youth projects in the Epping Forest district has been updated and this is available from schools, libraries, clubs and Epping Forest District Council Information Points. You can also download a copy of the map by following the link www/“.


Museum on the move

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Epping, Loughton, Media, Museum, Ongar, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your council

Staff and volunteers have been busy packing the contents of Epping Forest District Museum as it looks to the future and embarks on an exciting new phase in its history.

Taking the Tudor Panelling down

The museum in Waltham Abbey has secured a £1.65 million Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant for a major development project, ‘The Museum at the Core’. The scheme, which will total £2.5 million, will extend and develop the museum on its existing site, making both the building and the collections more accessible to all.

Closed since November

The museum has been closed since November last year but its outreach work has continued from Lowewood Museum in Hoddesdon and also the library in Waltham Abbey. During this time staff and the museum’s many volunteers have been working on the painstaking task of cataloguing, sorting and packing the Museum’s vast collection.

Items have included artefacts as diverse as a mummified cat, an abbot’s skeleton and artworks by artists connected with the district. One of the most important items in the museum, the Tudor panelling, on a long-term loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum has been carefully moved to a suitable storage area and will be re-displayed in the new museum when it opens.

Everything has had to be packed before being stored securely and in a suitable atmosphere in order to preserve the collection’s precious and often irreplaceable items.

Building specialists are now investigating and recording the historic listed building the museum is located in ahead of building works, which will begin later this year.

Grateful for all the support

Museum Officer Tony O’Connor said:  “This has been a huge task and I am grateful for all the support we have had from our dedicated volunteers.  Without them and the hard work from our staff, we would probably still be packing now!”


Show your dog at Waltham Abbey dog show

Written on . Posted in Animal welfare, Media, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Fancy a great day out for the whole family, including your dog?

Why not bring your dog to Waltham Abbey on Sunday 1 June to take part in our Companion Dog Show.

Companion Dog Show

Companion Dog Show

  • When - Sunday 1 June 2014 at 10am
  • Where - Town Mead Park, Brooker Road, Waltham Abbey, Essex EN9 1HU
  • What - Companion Dog Show with Obedience plus GSD Rally
  • Details – Classes and entry conditions (pdf 283KB)

With over 30 classes, the Companion Dog Show with Obedience opens at 10am, judging starts at 11am. Each entry costs £1.50 per class.

There is a special GSD Rally for German Shepherds only at 1pm.

This is a Kennel Club Licensed Show. Rosettes will be awarded for 1st to 6th places in all classes plus trophies for Best In Show (BIS), Reserve Best In Show (RBIS), Best Puppy and Best Veteran. Dogs do not have to be Kennel Club registered.

The show is in aid of German Shepherd Rescue (West Essex). This is a fun ‘doggy’ day out for people to show their dogs. Refreshments include a barbecue and a licensed bar plus side attractions.

Want to know more

Contact Lyn Cook, Animal Warden at Epping Forest District Council


Structures in Nature exhibition

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Epping, Loughton, Museum, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community

An exhibition entitled ‘Structures in Nature’ is on display at Lowewood Museum. Not to be missed, it showcases the work of local ceramic artist, Androulla Theochari.

Structures in Nature poster

Primarily working with porcelain, the inspiration for Androulla’s work is nature’s beauty, capturing the textured qualities and geometric patterns found in trees and other plants.

Specialising in ceramics, Androulla currently works from her studio in Cheshunt. Educated in applied and fine arts, Androulla has previously exhibited at a variety of venues including The Rhodes Arts Centre in Bishop’s Stortford and the University of Hertfordshire. Lowewood Museum is delighted to have Structures in Nature on display until 31 May.

All of the works showcased are available for purchase and some of the proceeds will help support the running of the Museum. To accompany the exhibition, Androulla will be hosting a free workshop for families to take part in ceramic art, which will take place at the Museum on Thursday 29 May, 12 noon to 3pm.

For further information on the exhibition and associated events, call Lowewood Museum on 01992 445596 or visit