Essex Youth Services consultation documentary

Written on . Posted in Consultation, Media, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community

Essex County Council Youth Services commissioned an up and coming filmmaker to go out and speak to as many youth activity providers in Epping Forest as possible to find out 3 main things.

  1. What they offer for young people in their area
  2. What their priorities are in providing services for young people
  3. What the Essex County Council Youth Services could do to help them

Watch the video

Video produced by Liam A Lucien. Visit www.liamalucien.com for details of his work.

North Weald decision

Written on . Posted in Commercial properties, Consultation, Councillors, Democracy, Housing, Leader, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Meetings, North Weald Airfield, Private housing, Supporting business, Your council

The challenge to Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet decision to proceed to preferred options with a mixed aviation, residential, community and commercial development option at North Weald Airfield has been rejected.

Residents made their feelings known before the meetingA packed public gallery looked on as members of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on 27 August 2013 upheld the original Cabinet decision.

More than 150 residents listened to the debate. With the public gallery full, other residents were invited to take spare seats in the council chamber itself. More residents watched via webcasting in an overspill area after a good natured demonstration outside the district council offices in Epping earlier in the evening.

Cabinet set a course for consultation as part of the Local Plan preferred options on a mix of continued aviation with some residential and commercial development on 22 July. Councillors challenging the Cabinet decision argued that further attention should have been given to issues around the rejection of full scale business aviation, and housing and commercial development options which would have led to the end of aviation.

Councillor Sylvia Watson introduced the case for the call in. She argued that the original Cabinet decision specifically gave

  • Insufficient weight given to the discount rate reflecting risk
  • No analysis of revenue implications versus capital
  • No district wide consultation on change to Issues and Options prior to the Preferred Options stage (of the Local Plan)
  • No options available without massive development with no aviation

Watch the debate


 

Councillor Anne Grigg, Asset Management Portfolio Holder defended the original decision rebuffing each of the grounds for challenge in turn. She also outlined that each option carried a degree of financial risk and drew attention to the estimates of financial returns to the Council in the original report. She argued that it was not possible to provide full development cost estimates until such time as detailed development proposals were produced.

Councillor Grigg also took issue with concerns expressed by Councillor Lesley Wagland that the decision would hamper the introduction of the Council’s new Local Plan. She believed the Cabinet decision would meet the requirements of the Local Plan process. Drawing attention to the consultant’s report, she emphasised the commitment to complete a high level master planning exercise focusing on feasibility and deliverability prior to incorporation into the Local Plan Preferred Options consultation process also approved by Cabinet on 22 July. 

Members of Overview and Scrutiny questioned Councillor Grigg and those councillors supporting the call in. Councillor Richard Bassett, Planning Portfolio Holder was also asked about potential delays to the Local Plan should additional options be considered. All councillors wish to have the Local Plan adopted as soon as possible. Councillor Bassett reminded councillors that the Council is not only the planning authority but also the owner of North Weald Airfield with all the responsibilities that entails such as protection of the heritage of the site.

Impassioned calls for and against the challenge were made by councillors across the chamber before Overview and Scrutiny upheld the Cabinet decision by 9 votes to 3. Councillor Richard Morgan, chairman of the committee concluded with thanks to residents for their attendance and interest.

Over 150 residents attended the debate

Over 150 residents attended the debate at the civic offices in Epping

 

Youth council generation games

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Consultation, Local business, Media, Museum, Older people, Out and about, Residents, Volunteering opportunities, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Epping Forest Youth Councillors held an afternoon tea party for the residents of Leonard Davis House in North Weald and the Voluntary Action Epping Forest (VAEF) Carers Group.

Guests enjoyed a great afternoon playing Bingo and card games, and decorating cakes. On loan from Epping Forest District Museum was a selection of vintage games including tiddlywinks and shove ha’penny.

Photos

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

The afternoon tea party was held as part of the Youth Council’s Intergenerational Project. The project aims to break down stereotypical misconceptions and build stronger bridges between generations.

The guests were asked to complete a questionnaire exploring this issue. When asked what young people can learn from the older generation, one guest felt that young people should “be positive in what they want to achieve” and that older people should “be more understanding of the needs and hopes of young people.” 

Youth Councillor Jaymey McIvor said: “We have laid a foundation which soon will bridge the gap between the generations. Today has been a fantastic day for all generations.”

Jina Symes from VAEF said: “The carers have told me they really enjoyed it and were really impressed with, in their words, the young people. I think the afternoon was a great success.”

The Youth Councillors persuaded local businesses such as The Co-operative, Bassett Service Station, North Weald Chemist and Tesco to donate prizes or to contribute towards the catering.

 

Tell us about crime in your area

Written on . Posted in Abandoned vehicles, Consultation, Crime and safety, Emergencies, Media, Our countryside, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Worried about crime and disorder in your area? Dealing with crime and disorder is everyone’s responsibility, not just the police. With your help we can improve the quality of life in our district for all our residents and businesses.

Tell us your concerns by completing this short survey and help us identify our next set of priorities – it should take no more than 5 to 10 minutes!

Crime and disorder survey

The Epping Forest District Community Safety Partnership includes the police, fire service, probation, county council, district council and health service, all working together to reduce crime and disorder in our district.

Please complete the survey online now and encourage as many of your family and friends to do so, it’s your area have a say in the way we deal with the problems that concern you most.

When answering we consider ‘your local area’ to be within 15 to 20 minutes walking distance from your home.

Crime and disorder survey 2012

Last year you helped us identify 4 main issues of concern

  1. Domestic abuse
  2. Anti-social behaviour
  3. Burglary of people’s homes
  4. Car crime

The plan we produced is helping us to reduce repeat victimisation and repeat offending, creating safer neighbourhoods and town centres and helping to divert young people away from crime.

Paul Gardener Safer Communities Officer said: “I would encourage everyone to fill in our survey. Please be assured that we do take everyone’s comments into account when formulating our Plan. We want to make sure we are working on the areas of most concern to residents of the district, so make sure you have your say. Please encourage your friends and family to complete it as well.”

If you prefer a hard copy survey to fill in you can collect one from

  • Epping Forest District Council Civic offices, High Street, Epping, CM16 4BZ
  • Leisure services offices (next to Epping Sports Centre), 25 Hemnall Street, Epping, CM16 4LZ
  • Loughton Broadway Housing office, 63 The Broadway, Loughton, IG10 3SP
  • Limes Centre housing office, Limes Avenue, Chigwell, IG7 5LP

 

 

Councillors support North Weald homes and aviation option

Written on . Posted in Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Consultation, Housing, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, North Weald Airfield, Private housing, Residents, Supporting business, Your community

The control tower built in the Cold War eraCouncillors are to consult residents on a mixture of development and continued general aviation at North Weald Airfield. The decision to continue with aviation and explore additional uses was taken at the cabinet meeting of Epping Forest District Council on Monday (22 July). Epping Forest District Council has owned North Weald Airfield since 1980. Residents will be able to have their say as part of ‘Preferred Options’, the next round of Local Plan consultation scheduled for next year. Councillor Anne Grigg, Asset Management and Economic Development portfolio holder introduced a report to cabinet prepared by Deloittes, which provided a detailed assessment of the Council’s three options:

1. An intensification of aviation
2. A non aviation solution based on residential or commercial development; and
3. A mixed aviation/development based option.

Each of the three options had been assessed in terms of:

• Technical feasibility – including planning and infrastructure
• Financial feasibility
• Market attractiveness
• Risk; and
• Community value

A panel of Deloitte representatives presented more detail to councillors. Consultation with residents and tenants recognised the council could not continue to manage the airfield indefinitely in the current way. Without non aviation activities, the cost of the airfield to the council and its residents could be as much as £900,000 a year. Viable long term sustainability means some form of change at North Weald is therefore essential.  

Deloitte presented an overview of the potential risks and rate of investment return required from aviation intensification to make it sustainable. There are significant barriers to intensification such as the proximity of Stansted Airport, the overall commercial outlook and considerable capital investment is required. Councillors also considered the community benefits of this option including protection of the heritage of the airfield which was founded in 1916 before coming to prominence in the Battle of Britain, and the local support for aviation.

Option two looked at residential development of up to 3,400 homes and associated facilities or alternatively a focus on commerce and employment, with less housing and community facilities. These approaches would see the end of aviation, the biggest investment costs in terms of the necessary infrastructure, but also the biggest return and lower levels of financial risk. Improvements to surrounding road networks would require significant investments. In particular, attention would need to be given to the A414 and M11 access.

Finally, Deloitte presented a mixed aviation and residential option with some employment, open space and community facilities. Mixed use offers many of the advantages of the earlier options but on a lower scale. Ensuring compatibility between residential development and retaining existing aviation is perhaps the biggest challenge. Careful management of the airfield would still be necessary to ensure aviation moved to a sound financial footing and did not continue to require ongoing levels of subsidy. More work will be needed to investigate the feasibility of this option.

Webcasting was suspended and members of the public were asked to leave the meeting while councillors listened to confidential commercial information including potential costs and income from each option.

North Weald from the air

North Weald from the air

Cabinet voted on each option in turn before agreeing to take forward option three for a mixed aviation and development approach for integration into the next round of public consultation on the Local Plan Preferred Options in May 2014. The decision should also be good news for the Saturday Market and many of the other non aviation businesses at North Weald which would continue to have a secure base of operations. A spokesperson for the Council said: “Employment and services for local people are two of the Council’s priorities. The option to retain aviation in combination with limited development of new homes at  the airfield should also allow plenty of capacity for other businesses including the Saturday market to remain and prosper at North Weald.”

Voting age debate at youth conference

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, Consultation, Councillors, Democracy, Elections, Residents, Young people, Your community, Your council

Young people from schools across Epping Forest district are set to debate lowering the voting age to 16. 80 young people packed the debating chamber at the district council for the Epping Forest Youth Council organised Youth Conference 2013 #efyconf13.

Proceedings were opened by Youth Councillor Natasha Miller and District Council Chairman Councillor Mary Sartin before the morning session got into full swing with Q&As to a panel of councillors and senior council managers.

Why don’t younger people vote? Senior Democratic Services Officer Simon Hill makes his point graphically. Older people are far more likely to vote than younger generations. He asks - how do you feel about older people making decisions for you?

Delegates took a break before splitting into smaller focus groups to discuss the priorities for the Youth Council next year.

Schools taking part include Davenant, Chigwell Public, West Hatch, Braeside, St John’s, Roding Valley and Woodford County.

Each focus group prepares a set of top-topics for debate back in the council chamber. The groups start with a question ‘What are the issues and experiences of living in the Epping Forest District?’ After a feedback session to the whole conference, delegates use electronic voting to establish the Youth Council’s top 3 priorities for the coming year, which are

  1. Stereotyping
  2. Substance misuse
  3. Bullying

Living in a beautiful area is a definite plus along with easy access to London but public transport and fear of crime are some of the other problems identified by delegates. Bus services come in for a lot of criticism. Delegates put forward potential solutions including better education, more trust in young people, combating negative media stereotypes and giving young people more constructive opportunities through activities and volunteering.

“Countries as diverse as Austria, Argentina and now Scotland have given the vote to 16 year olds” says Youth Councillor Evie Dolan at the start of chairing the debate on lowering the voting age. Youth Councillor Jaymey  McIvor proposes the motion. Youth Councillor Edward Gokmen opposes. The motion is carried. 55% vote in favour of lowering the voting age to 16.

Youth Councillors felt the conference was a great success with some unexpected outcomes. Youth Councillor Victoria Armitage felt the day had brought better connections between young people. Natasha Miller added that the issues of school group rivalries needed to be addressed. Youth Councillor Ella Foster said: “It was really good and some key issues came out such as speed limits, discrimination against young people and the way adults see us. It was a great insight for the Youth Councillors about the issues facing young people now.

Photos

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

 

Follow the day on Twitter using hashtag #efyconf13.

 

Planning documents offline for upgrade works

Written on . Posted in Business, Consultation, Licensing, Planning, Regulations, Residents, Your council, Your environment

On Monday 8 July you will not be able to view planning or licensing application documents online due to essential upgrade works. We will start at 8am and hope to have the upgrade completed by 2pm. No other part of the Epping Forest District Council website will be affected.

You will be not be able to search for documents such as floorplans and application forms but details of applications will still be available.

The upgrade will

  • improve the usability of the page
  • remove issues experienced by some users with pop up blockers

We apologise in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

 

The Police and Crime Commissioner wants to talk with you

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Consultation, Crime and safety, Media, Meetings, Older people, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Nick Alston, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Essex is holding a public meeting in Epping on Thursday 23 May 2013. This is an open meeting and all members of the public are welcome.

When

Thursday 23 May 2013 from 6pm to 8pm – you may join or leave the meeting at any time.

Where

In the council chamber at Epping Forest District Council, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4BZ.

Watch

Don’t worry if you can’t make it, the meeting will be webcast so you will be able to watch the meeting from the comfort of your own home, either live or at a more suitable time.

Watch the PCC meeting online here

Want to know more

For more information on the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex visit www.essex.pcc.police.uk or call 01245 291600.

Full Council 23 April 2013

Written on . Posted in Benefits, Business, Community, Consultation, Councillors, Democracy, Licensing, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Meetings, Our attractions, Out and about, Parking, Recycling and waste, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Welfare reforms, broadband access, recycling and the Local Plan were discussed at Full Council on 23 April, the last meeting before the local elections on 2 May.

Short stay parking to support high street

100 or more Epping car parking spaces are to be re-designated short stay. The 3 hour maximum stay in these spaces will free up parking for shoppers visiting local high street businesses.

The pay and display parking changes are being made after a council survey linked the increased London Underground Limited (LUL) parking charges to displacement of commuters to cheaper council car parks. Councillors heard that this caused an unacceptable reduction in parking availability for shoppers and a reduction in business for high street shops. Local councillors are to be consulted on the changes.

Councillors remembered

Councillors remembered 2 former members of Epping Forest District Council. Ian Beattie served the residents of Buckhurst Hill and Buckhurst Hill West for 21 years from 1974 until 1995. One of the longest serving and most senior councillors, he was also Chairman of Council in 1980/81. Councillors also paid tribute to former councillor Joan Ormston who served as a member for the Debden Green Ward from 1990 to 1994.

Other items

Key Objectives in the Corporate Plan were agreed by councillors. Among other issues debated at Full Council were welfare reforms, broadband access, town centre partnerships, recycling, pay policy, licensing and the Local Plan. There was very good news following a council bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for money to expand Epping Forest District Council’s museum in Waltham Abbey.

Watch the Full Council meeting

Council Tax Benefit change is coming

Written on . Posted in Benefits, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Consultation, Council tax, Epping, Housing, Loughton, Ongar, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

A new scheme called Local Council Tax Support (LCTS) will replace Council Tax Benefit from the 1 April 2013. This new support scheme will be different from the current Council Tax Benefit scheme and is not so generous.

Local Council Tax Support poster
Local Council Tax Support poster

This scheme applies only to people of working age. People of pension age will continue to have their LCTS calculated in the same way as they currently have their Council Tax Benefit calculated.

Although the Government has introduced the LCTS scheme, they have reduced the funding that we receive and therefore we have had to reduce the amount of help that we can give working age people towards their Council Tax.

Changes from 1 April 2013

If you currently do not pay any Council Tax you will now have to pay something.

If you already pay Council Tax after your benefit entitlement has been deducted you will have to pay more than you have previously towards your Council Tax.

Council Tax Support will fall by over £1 million in Epping Forest.

If you have questions about this new scheme, come along to one of our Local Council Tax Support surgeries where you can talk to our Benefit and Council Tax team about the scheme and the payment options available to you.

Local Council Tax Support surgeries

  • Monday 25 February 2013
    Debden, Little Oaks Children’s Centre, IG10 3TD - 1.30pm to 3.30pm
  • Tuesday 26 February 2013
    Waltham Abbey, Waltham Abbey Town Hall, EN9 1DE - 9.30am to 12.30pm
  • Wednesday 27 February 2013
    Chigwell, The Limes Centre, IG7 5LP - 9.30am to 4.30pm
  • Friday 1 March 2013
    Ongar, Ongar Adult Community Learning, CM5 0GA - 9.30am to 11.30am
  • Monday 4 March 2013
    Buckhurst Hill, Little Buddies Children’s Centre, IG9 5ES - 2pm to 4pm
  • Wednesday 6 March 2013
    Epping, Epping Forest District Council Offices, CM16 4BZ - 9.30am to 3.30pm
  • Thursday 14 March 2013
    Waltham Abbey, Hazelwood Children’s Centre, EN9 3EL - 12.30pm to 3pm