Councillors covered a wide range of issues in a heavy Cabinet agenda on Monday 7 November.
Grounds Maintenance and waste services
Discussion opened with concerns expressed at Overview and Scrutiny on the proposed transfer of the council’s Grounds Maintenance service to Qualis. Cabinet voted later in the evening to proceed. Consultation will now begin on the proposed transfer to Qualis in April 2023.
Cabinet Portfolio Holder, Councillor Nigel Avey received approval to set up a Waste Management Advisory Group. The cross-party group will provide advice in dealing with the challenges of the current contract and support the procurement of a new waste and recycling contract.
Planning consultations – Latton Priory
Councillors asked Place Portfolio Holder, Councillor Nigel Bedford to ensure residents receive clear guidance so as not to confuse 2 important planning consultation processes.
Latton Priory is a strategic development site allocated for a minimum of 1,050 new homes. It will form part of the Harlow and Gilston Town developments within Epping Forest district. It is also set to accommodate primary and secondary schools, employment land, gypsy and traveller pitches, community facilities and significant green space.
Cabinet approved proposals to consult on the Latton Priory Masterplan produced by site promoters CEG and Hallam Land for 6 weeks beginning in mid-November.
Councillor Bedford said Latton Priory Masterplan consultation has been extended into January. It will include workshops and the widest possible public contributions, taking into account Christmas and the New Year.
Outcomes of the consultation will be reported back to Cabinet.
Planning consultations – Local Plan
Meanwhile, the separate 6-week Local Plan Main Modifications consultation will run to 9 December.
The Local Plan consultation is being conducted under the control of the government-appointed inspector. Councillor Bedford stressed that representations are only invited on the further Main Modifications as any other matters previously agreed by the planning inspector will not be reconsidered.
Councillor Bedford said that once the inspector had considered the responses, including evidence presented throughout the examination, he will determine whether the Local Plan is ‘sound’. If it is determined to be ‘sound’, the Local Plan could then be formally adopted by the Council.
Both consultations will be clearly distinguished from each other on the Epping Forest District Council website.
Epping Forest District Museum
Epping Forest District Council’s museum in Sun Street, Waltham Abbey enjoys a high reputation as a local cultural, historical and educational resource. As other museums struggle to survive the cost-of-living crisis, councillors reviewed proposals to protect Epping Forest District Museum for the long term.
Councillors considered a report outlining various potential operating models to protect and preserve the museum, agreeing in principle to the establishment of a charitable trust. Further reports will come back to Cabinet as the process develops.
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