Key reports to Cabinet – there is good news in the latest reports to Cabinet.
We are continuing to adapt to coronavirus. Starting from a strong financial base and coupled with projected future income from Qualis to provide significant income to the district. We are in a strong position to protect residents from cuts in services or large-scale Council Tax increases, even though income is down this year.
Strong financial management
Speaking before Cabinet, Council Leader Chris Whitbread said:
A great deal of work is going on behind the scenes. There are 2 major reports coming to Cabinet. The latest progress reports on Qualis shows we are where we should be in the set-up of the new council-owned group of companies.
The second report sets out the financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to next year’s budget and our medium-term strategy. The 2 reports need to be read together.
Our previously strong financial management has enabled EFDC to weather the storm over the past few months. We are now working on next year’s budget, bridging the gap until new income from Qualis starts to pick up the cost of services in later years.
Local residents can also learn more about the management structure of Qualis in a report setting out the move from interim to permanent Board arrangements.
Qualis is due to take over the management of the our housing repairs service at the end of September. Residents can also find out more about the council-owned company development proposals for Epping at:
Commitment to aviation – North Weald and new Highway Rangers
There is other good short-term news in the latest Cabinet reports. Additional income will soon be supporting council services after revisions to the landing fees at North Weald Airfield. We are about to launch a new Highway Ranger service in partnership with Essex County Council. New staff have been recruited along with a new flatbed truck to carry out responsive environmental repairs.
Chris Whitbread said:
These reports are really good news. The Ranger service shows we can still invest in new services as well as strengthening our partnerships with other organisations.
Aviation has never been stronger at North Weald. The arrival of the National Police Air Service, expansion of the Air Ambulance facilities and the growing demand for private aviation shows how the airfield can make sustained contributions to our broader service delivery.
Council housing and support for local families
Other items for cabinet include a new contract for the removal of asbestos from council properties during renovation. Cabinet is also being asked to confirm no change in the Council Tax Support scheme for another year.
Chris Whitbread added:
The Council Tax Support Scheme demonstrates our continuing commitment to less well-off families. It is especially important during the current Covid recovery period when some local people are worrying about their jobs and employment.
We continue to invest strongly in the upkeep and maintenance of our council housing. Asbestos is a legacy of the post-war housing boom but the letting of this contract should not be a cause of alarm. Small quantities of undisturbed asbestos are a feature of many homes. It’s ok so long as it’s not touched, but we also have a planned maintenance and refurbishment programme, continually updating and improving our council housing.
All kinds of jobs from re-wiring a house to installing new bathrooms can require asbestos removal. That’s when we need the services of the experts provided under this new contract.
College Wellness Centre plans
New fitness facilities are planned for Loughton. Councillors are being asked to lift restrictive covenants allowing Epping Forest (New City) College to proceed with plans to build a new Wellness Centre open to local residents and students.
Removal of other restrictive covenants will allow further cross subsidy between residential developments and the education of local young people.
Find out more
- Read the agenda and reports for Cabinet on 14 September
- Get reminders to watch the webcast for Cabinet on 14 September
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