There was a sad start to Monday’s Cabinet meeting with Council Leader Chris Whitbread paying tribute to Cllr Syd Stavrou who passed away recently.
Leader of Council Councillor Chris Whitbread opened the meeting with:
Syd was a person I worked with over many years and she did a great deal of good for her constituents. Only a couple of weeks ago she was sending me emails about issues in her area. She will be sadly missed.
Further, formal tributes to Cllr Stavrou will be made at the next Full Council meeting.
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Recovery from COVID-19
Top of the agenda was recovery from Covid-19 with a range of initiatives aimed at maintaining services, focused on things that will bring the most benefits to residents and maintain a low Council Tax.
Proposals to help the local economy bounce back included buy local, work local, travel local initiatives as well as using local suppliers as much as possible – something the Council is keen to lead by example on. The reduction in car parking charges to just 20p for 2.5 hours has seen a significant increase in people returning to the High Street and boosting local business.
Legislation currently going through parliament for a licensing process to allow pubs, cafes and restaurants to put tables and chairs on pavements outside their premises was welcomed. A licensing process is being fast-tracked by council officers to allow this to go ahead as soon as possible.
Careful financial planning
Councillor John Philip Cabinet Member for Finance and Economic Development
Past prudent financial planning means the Council is not in the position of many in having to bring in an emergency budget.
Qualis – the Council’s newly created property development company – is key to a strong financial future for the Council and to this end it is proposed to second a strategic director to Qualis as MD. This option would not only save on recruitment costs but also provide a person with a wide knowledge of the company, able to start work immediately and hit the ground running.
Effects of Air Pollution
Managing the Effects of Air Pollution on the Epping Forest Special Area of Conservation stimulated cross-party debate and recommendations were agreed:
- To consult Natural England and the Conservators of Epping Forest on managing air pollution and to listen to responses and incorporate them into the final approach
- Following consultation, formulate a statement to the Local Plan inspector
- To use the knowledge on managing effects of air pollution when considering future planning applications
Mis-print of agenda item
Cabinet corrected a mis-print in a recent agenda item. There are no plans to build a new leisure centre in Loughton. In fact, the current Loughton Leisure Centre is relatively new and having received several £million in investment is considered to be one of the most successful in the portfolio of leisure centres managed by Places Leisure on behalf of councils across the country.
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