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CHIGWELL: School hands over harvest donations

10.18pm - 21st October 2016

TWELVE Sixth Form students at Chigwell School together with School Chaplain Father Simon Paul and Mrs Jane Paul delivered the school's harvest food gifts to Streets2Homes in Harlow. 
Streets2Homes centre manager Kerrie Eastman was delighted with the generosity of the Chigwell parents, pupils and staff. 
The Chigwell School community has now supported the charity for eight years. 
Kerrie spoke about the work of the centre in transforming many lives, including those who have moved from homelessness to jobs and housing. 
Father Simon said an "astounding" £3,000 worth of food was donated. He thanked everyone who contributed towards the harvest collection.


LOUGHTON: Harvest Festival donations given to London's homeless

6.02pm - 21st October 2016

THOMAS Willingale School pupils celebrated Harvest Festival by performing assemblies for their parents and donating a range of food and toiletries to homeless people in London. 
Deputy headteacher Lynda Collins and two members of the School Council visited St Saviour's Priory in Haggerston, London, to deliver the items. 
Mrs Collins said: "The sisters at St Saviour's were extremely grateful for the gifts and will make good use of them."


LOUGHTON: Children re-create Great Fire of London

5.59pm - 21st October 2016

YEAR 2 children at Thomas Willingale School recreated the Great Fire of London in the playground. 
The children used their design and technology skills and history knowledge to build realistic model houses. 
Headteacher Teresa Phillips said: "We then congregated together to re-create the events from 350 years ago. 
"The first house was lit and the children watched in awe as the fire quickly spread across our own 'Pudding Lane.' 
"Assisted by the adults, they then filled their fire buckets with water from our own 'River Thames' and passed them along the line to help extinguish the flames. 
"They all thoroughly enjoyed the event and have produced some fantastic writing following on from their experiences."


ONGAR: Three fire crews tackle house and garage blaze

7.42am - 21st October 2016

THREE fire crews have tackled a fire which spread through a house and garage in The Spinney, Ongar.
Firefighters from Brentwood and Ongar were called to the cul-de-sac shortly after 9.30pm. 
Crews were still at the property at about 1am. 
An Essex Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said that when crews arrived the roof and garage were "100 per cent" alight and half of the first floor was ablaze. 
The house was heavily smoked logged. 
No other details are currently available.


DRAFT LOCAL PLAN: Council confirms exhibition details

6.02pm - 20th October 2016

DETAILS of the public exhibitions to be held across the district as part of the Draft Local Plan consultation have been published. 
Epping Forest District Council is organising public exhibitions in Epping, Chigwell, Waltham Abbey, Loughton, Ongar and North Weald in early November with a number of static information points available throughout the consultation period. 

The exhibitions are at: 

North Weald - North Weald Village Hall - Saturday, November 5 (10am-2pm). 
Loughton - Lopping Hall - Monday, November 7 (3.30pm-8pm). 
Chigwell - Chigwell Hall, High Road - Tuesday, November 8 (3.30pm-8pm). 
Ongar - Budworth Hall, High Street - Wednesday, November 9 (3.30pm-8pm). 
Epping - Epping Hall, St Johns Road - Friday, November 11 (3.30pm-8pm). 
Waltham Abbey - Waltham Abbey Town Hall - Monday, November 14 (3.30pm-8pm). 

Consultation on the draft Local Plan runs for six weeks from October 31 until December 12.
A dedicated website - www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/planningourfuture - acts as a one stop shop for information. 
A questionnaire will be available on the website for people to feedback to the Planning Policy team. 
The draft Local Plan sets out the proposed strategy to meet the economic and housing growth in the district up until 2033, identifying potential sites for development and regeneration and sets out proposed draft development management policies. 
It also outlines the necessary infrastructure to support the development. 
Councillor John Philip, Epping Forest District Council's planning policy portfolio holder, said: ”A Local Plan is your best opportunity to guide how the district grows and to protect ourselves from inappropriate development. 
"Without a Local Plan we are vulnerable to developers taking the opportunity to submit applications for sites that we do not consider appropriate or sustainable. 
“This Plan has been progressed with over 130 pieces of evidence and technical work, and has been shaped through thousands of pieces of feedback we received from residents through consultations in 2010-2011 and 2012. 
“The draft Local Plan represents a balance between the requirement from Government to deliver the identified and evidenced need for economic and housing growth, and the need to protect the greenness of our district. 
"We are trying to do this by ensuring it is delivered in as sensitive, sustainable and fair a way as possible across the whole district. 
“With 92 per cent of the Epping Forest district designated as Metropolitan Green Belt, we have been clear all along we will do our best to follow what you told us and so it seeks to ensure that, as far as possible, the Green Belt is protected for future generations, whilst providing for our housing needs.” 
Epping Forest District Council is urging as many people to get involved as possible in the next stage of the consultation for the draft Local Plan. 
Mr Philip said: ”This will be your Local Plan and the consultation is our opportunity as a community to ensure development in Epping Forest district takes place how and where we want it to.” 
Information points are at Buckhurst Hill Library, North Weald Library, Bumbles Green Leisure Centre, Nazeing; Chipping Ongar Library, Chigwell Library, Roydon Village Hall, Epping Library and the Civic Offices, Epping; Sheering Village Hall, the Latton Bush Centre, Harlow; Theydon Bois Village Hall, Loughton Library and Waltham Abbey Library.


DISTRICT: MP reacts to inspection report into "inadequate" hospital

9.17pm - 19th October 2016

EPPING Forest MP Eleanor Laing says she is "pleased" problems at Princess Alexandra Hospital have been recognised after inspectors ranked the hospital as "inadequate". 
England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, has recommended The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust should be placed into special measures after a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection highlighted a number of problems. 
The hospital provides services for around 350,000 people. 
The inspections were carried out in June and July and Monitor NHS Improvement will now decide whether to place the hospital in special measures and what additional support will be provided. 
Professor Sir Mike Richards said: “We found a number of concerns when we inspected the services run by The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust and I have made a recommendation to NHS Improvement that the trust should be placed into special measures. 
“We made NHS Improvement aware of our concerns following the inspection and it has started to work with the trust to make sure these are appropriately addressed and that progress is monitored. 
“It is hoped that the trust will make significant improvements through receipt of support from the special measures regime prior to our next inspection.” 
The trust has four sites. The main site is The Princess Alexandra Hospital.
There are also smaller sites where services are provided including St Margaret’s Hospital, Herts and Essex Hospital and the Rectory Lane Clinic. 
CQC only inspected the main Princess Alexandra Hospital site. 
Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing said: “I can understand why local people may be concerned about the recommendation that The Princess Alexandra Hospital be put into special measures but I am pleased that the problems that this busy hospital have had are being recognised and that some improvements have already been made following the inspections. 
“I hope that NHS Improvement will take the necessary steps to help the local management team to make the improvements for which they are striving.” 
Mrs Laing added: "It is not all bad news. I have heard some very good stories lately about how efficient and effective the maternity unit is and I am pleased to see that the CQC has commended that part of the hospital as outstanding. 
"With help from NHS Improvement I hope that all departments at The Princess Alexandra will achieve the same standard of outstanding care. 
Full reports can be found on the CQC website at http://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/RQW


DRAFT LOCAL PLAN Go-ahead for Plan consultation

8.54pm - 18th October 2016

THE go-ahead has been given for Epping Forest District Council's Draft Local Plan to go out for public consultation.
An attempt to get open, green areas removed from the list of potential housing development sites did not receive sufficient support.
The full council tonight endorsed the document after councillor after councillor made passionate speeches questioning some of the sites considered suitable for housing. 
Planning portfolio holder John Philip urged everyone to take part in the consultation process which will now start on October 31 and run until December 12. 
He told the meeting that to remove the open, green spaces would "completely derail" the Local Plan process. 
He added it was vital that evidence both for and against potential development sites and information regarding possible alternative sites should be submitted. 
Particular attention was focused on the open spaces on the Debden estate which are included on the list of possible sites - among them Jessel Green. 
Loughton Residents Association councillor David Wixley said the area had been the venue for community fun days over the years.
"It would be a great loss (if it were to be developed) for that reason alone," he said. 
Loughton Residents Association councllor Leon Girling questioned the inclusion of the Debden green spaces after public consultation in 2012 saw widespread calls for such areas to be protected. 
Mr Girling said: "It's no wonder people in this gallery are frustrated with the process. You (residents) have to participate in this public consultation. This is about as serious as it gets." 
Chigwell Conservative councillor John Knapman questioned the sites earmarked for Chigwell, which include more than 200 homes for the Limes Farm estate. 
He said the document stated 'small-scale' development could be sustained in Chigwell yet such a large number of properties were being considered suitable for one site. 
He added the Chigwell Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan had suggested various sites, but none proposing developments of more than 45 homes. 
Mr Knapman said: "The vision (in the Draft Local Plan) is absolutely fine. Something went wrong when we went from the vision to the sites that were chosen." 
North Weald Conservative councillor Anne Grigg highlighted the potential doubling of the size of North Weald, should some 1,500-plus homes be built in the village.
"It will change the rural aspect," she said adding that she would be trying to find evidence to submit as part of the consultation to support the case that green belt land earmarked for development was "high quality grade" for farming and should be safeguarded. 
Council leader Chris Whitbread said: "We can all keep on saying we don't like sites in our ward but now it is our residents' chance to have their say. 
"It's important that we hear from our residents. We all know there are concerns. What we now need is those important responses and evidence and if there are (other) sites bring them forward." 
A bid to get the green, open spaces removed from the document was lost by 30 votes to 16 with four abstentions. 
The Draft document was approved by 30 votes to 18.


DISTRICT: Councils receive Essex Playing Fields Association awards

5.34pm - 18th October 2016

ONGAR and Loughton town councils have received awards from the Essex Playing Fields Association.
Ongar town clerk Aimi Middlehurst was presented with a Gold award in the Best Kept Play Area category for the Cerizay play area behind Chipping Ongar Library in the High Street. 
A Gold award was also received in the Best Kept Football Pitch category for Love Lane while the Shelley play area at St Peter’s Avenue received a silver award. 
Open Spaces committee chairman Derek Birch said: “The town council is thrilled to receive these awards. The open spaces staff work tirelessly to maintain the play areas and sports pitches for all to enjoy and these awards are testament for all their hard work. 
Loughton Town Council was recognised with the Traps Hill play area the outright winner in Classes 3 and 7, ‘children’s play areas’ and for ‘exceptional work carried out during the year’. 
The council also received three gold awards for the Roding Valley Recreation Ground, the Westall Road children’s play area and the Willingale Road Playing Fields. 
Recreation committee chairman David Wixley and services manager Paul Hoy received the awards. 
Mr Wixley said: "We are delighted with these awards but must pay credit to the work of all those involved in the Traps Hill play area refurbishment project and our contractors that look after the grass cutting of the outdoor green spaces - Epping Forest District Council Parks Department and Pinnacle Essex. 
"I should also make special mention of our park wardens who inspect and litter pick these areas daily throughout the year to ensure they are safe to use and looking their best all year round.”


ONGAR: Ten homes planned for near former station

9.37am - 15th October 2016

TEN homes could be built near the former Blake Hall Station if a planning application is approved. 
Proposals have been submitted to Epping Forest District Council for the demolition of warehouses at Stationbridge House in Blake Hall Road and the building of ten dwellings on the site. 
The application will be considered by Moreton, Bobbbingworth and The Lavers Parish Council before a decision is taken by the district council.


UPSHIRE: Men try to snatch woman's wedding ring

3.02pm - 14th October 2016

TWO men tried to pull a wedding ring off a woman's finger in an attempted robbery in Upshire.
Police are appealing for information following the incident which happened in Winters Way, at the junction with Upshire Road, at about 4am on Monday. October 3. 
Details about the incident have only just been released by police. 
A spokesman said the victim, who is local and aged in her late 50s, was approached by two young men who attempted to pull her wedding ring from her finger before running off empty-handed. 
The victim did not get a good look at the pair but said they were wearing grey and black hooded tops.
Anyone with any information is asked to ring DC Peter Cran at Loughton CID on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.


LOUGHTON / WALTHAM ABBEY: Joint school working 'key to success'

1.33pm - 14th October 2016

KING Harold Academy in Waltham Abbey and Debden Park High School in Loughton are overjoyed at having achieved Progress 8 scores well above the national average. 
The schools have attributed the success down to the collaborative working relationship. 
The data, which can be found on the DfE website, shows that students at both schools make fantastic progress compared to students nationally. 
Executive headteacher Christian Cavanagh said: “We are thrilled at the progress students in both schools have made. 
"This is testament to their hard work and to the dedication and commitment of all staff at both schools.
"What is clear is that the close collaboration, working together for success, and common structures between the two schools has benefited both of them. 
"These Progress 8 scores put both schools among the highest in Essex.”


CHIGWELL: West Hatch High School open evening

9.16pm - 13th October 2016

PROSPECTIVE West Hatch High School students were able to tour the school and see its facilities at its annual Year 7 open evening. 
The school opened its doors to current Year 6 pupils and their parents tonight and showcased what is on offer for children who start at the High Road school next September. 
Displays were put on across the various departments. 
Talks were given by headteacher Frances Howarth and Year 8 students Aaron Clements and Charlotte Kent. 
Mrs Howarth said: "It was a pleasure to welcome so many parents and prospective West Hatch students and to highlight just some of our successes. 
"We saw West Hatch at its best with hundreds of students acting as guides and helping with demonstrations and displays. 
"Our students feel very proud of their school and were very eager to talk about the opportunities that West Hatch offers." 
For more information about West Hatch High School visit the school website.



CHIGWELL / STAPLEFORD TAWNEY: Crash pilot 'had heart problem'

2.56pm - 13th October 2016

A PLANE crash near Chigwell in which two people were killed could have happened after the pilot suffered a heart problem, a report reveals.
An Air Accident Investigation Branch report into last October's crash concluded that "on the balance of probabilities... it was likely that the pilot lost control of the aircraft due to medical incapacitation and the additional crew member was unable to recover the aircraft in the height available." 
The eight-seater Beechcraft King Air 200 hit trees as it came down in a field off Gravel Lane on the morning of October 3 last year. 
Robert Bull, 40, from Hornchurch, and first officer Francis Simmonds, 46, from Luton, died. 
The 43-page crash report states that a post-mortem of Mr Bull "found evidence of an acute dissection of a coronary artery the presence of which indicated that he might have suffered symptoms ranging from impaired consciousness to sudden death". 
The report adds: "The coronary artery dissection might have occurred spontaneously or have been the result of forces transmitted through the body during the accident sequence, and pathology alone was unable to resolve these opposing possibilities."
The report adds, "if there is no other cause identified for the crash then it is both possible and plausible that this was the precipitating factor".
Acute dissection of a coronary artery is a rare event which can occur spontaneously and is difficult to predict through medical examinations or ECGs, the report states. 
The plane was owned and operated by London Executive Aviation. 
It had taken off from Stapleford Airfield and was flying to Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. 
An eyewitness told investigators she suddenly heard the aircraft, turned towards the sound and saw the aircraft in a nose-down attitude fly into the trees. 
Although she saw the aircraft only briefly, she saw clearly that the right wing was slightly low and that the aircraft appeared to be intact and was not on fire. 
She also stated that the aircraft was “not falling” but flew “full pelt” into the ground. 
In a statement issued at the time of the incident, London Executive Aviation said both crew members were highly experienced, professional pilots.


EPPING: Black Lion pub takes floral honours

1.51pm - 12th October 2016

THE Black Lion pub in Epping High Street has received the town council's rosebowl award for its summer floral displays. 
The award has been presented annually by the town council since 1990. The competition is open to all commercial premises in the town. 
Landlord Alan Willis, who has only been at the pub for two years, said he was delighted to have won.
Town Clerk Beverley Rumsey said: "It was a difficult decision as we had some lovely floral entries but The Black Lion’s efforts and displays really stood out and looked amazing in our pretty High Street." 
The rosebowl and a framed certificate was presented to Mr Willis by Epping Mayor Les Burrows at last night's council meeting.



EPPING: Council backs Apprentice-style competition

12.46pm - 12th October 2016

AN Apprentice-style business competition run by Epping Town Council in conjunction with Epping St John's School has received the backing of town councillors. 
The venture is the idea of town councillor Dan Spillman who has suggested involving business students at the town's secondary school in a mini-business venture. 
Potential business ideas mentioned at last night's town council meeting were a baking or card-making venture for the students with the winners given free use of a stall at Epping's Monday market for a few weeks.


EPPING: Work planned for play areas

12.44pm - 12th October 2016

REPAIR work is to be carried out on the Epping Town Council-managed play areas. 
Surface matting under the zip wire at the Ivy Chimneys play area is to be repaired, fencing at Lower Swaines will be replaced and a gate repaired while nuts and bolts on equipment at Parklands, Coopersale, will be replaced. 
A new bench will be installed at the Stonards Hill skate park with improvements to be considered as part of a total renovation project for the area.
Frampton Road playground is due to be refurbished in the coming months.


EPPING: Council confirms Christmas lights

12.42pm - 12th October 2016

ARRANGEMENTS are in hand for Epping's festive lights with the town council planning on again having illuminated trees over the High Street shops. 
Three trees outside Argus Lighting, one tree outside Geoffrey Drayton and another on the Town Green will also be lit. 
The town council has decided not to have a 'light curtain' on the tower of St John's Church this year because of installation and safety issues. 
A smaller 'hairband' display around the top of the tower has also been discounted. 
Instead the council is looking to have the tower windows illuminated from inside. 
The Christmas market, in the High Street on Friday, December 2, is already oversubscribed with a mix of stalls, refreshments and entertainment planned.


EPPING: Council set to increase fees by 1%

12.41pm - 12th October 2016

EPPING Town Council looks likely to freeze market stall fees for a sixth successive year with charges for the cemetery, the council's allotments, pitch hire at Stonards Hill recreation ground and hire fees for Epping Hall and the Jack Silley Pavilion set to increase by 1 per cent in the next financial year.
The final budget is decided in January.


EPPING: Town Show date confirmed

12.39pm - 12th October 2016

NEXT year's Epping Town Show will be on Sunday, July 2, after councillors voted between holding the event on July 2 or July 9.
Last year's event had to be cancelled because of the weather conditions at Stonards Hill recreation ground.


EPPING: Council award cash to be spent on bench

12.38pm - 12th October 2016

EPPING Town Council is to spend the £200 it received as the winner of the Essex Association of Local Councils' special achievement award on a bench for the new Market Garden. 
The council was presented with the award at the EALC Annual General Meeting and awards ceremony in recognition of its community involvement, supporting Epping in Bloom with the garden project, the Queen's 90th birthday beacon event and its Neighbourhood Planning work.
Town Clerk Beverley Rumsey said Epping Town Council is here for the community and wants the prize to benefit everyone.


CHIGWELL: School holds music festival

5.13pm - 11th October 2016

PUPILS from more than 40 local primary and preparatory schools attended the annual Chigwell Music Festival at Chigwell School. 
Following the successful beginnings of the Music Outreach Programme delivered by Chigwell School's Director of Music, Howard Ebden, and Adam Crockatt, more than 100 pupils attended the day. 
Pupils worked together in a 70-strong orchestra and in smaller sectional rehearsals led by the professional visiting instrumental teachers under the direction of Chigwell's Assistant Director of Music Felicity Leach. 
As well as playing in the orchestra, pupils experienced workshops in brass instrumental playing, producing contrapuntal layers of vibrant sound, a song writing course, melody and chord sequence and a ‘Stomp’ session working with alternative percussion instruments which allowed pupils to layer rhythms and sounds in unique ways. 
Mr Ebden said: "The power and importance of music in the curriculum was demonstrated through motivation, concentration, confidence and teamwork seen throughout the day. 
"This was further evidenced in the celebratory concert at the end of the afternoon where all pupils had a chance to exhibit some of their work produced during the day."


WALTHAM ABBEY: School holding remembrance evening

12.38pm - 11th October 2016

STAFF and pupils at King Harold Academy are holding a remembrance evening to commemorate those who have given their lives for our country and those that continue to serve their country today.
The evening - Wednesday, November 16 (5.30pm-7pm) - will feature a variety of performances including dance, poetry and song. 
During the week of remembrance students will also be involved with a variety of curricular activities including poetry competitions, creative writing and the completion of more than 300 clay handmade poppies that will be on display. 
Tickets will be available about two weeks before the event. 
Visit the school website for full details. 
Event organiser and English teacher Stuart Springthorpe said: "Remembrance is a very important time of the year and symbolises a message which can never be forgotten. 
"It is our duty as educators to inform, teach and help make aware to the younger generation the sacrifice that others have made in order for them to lead free lives today. 
"It will be their job in the future to carry this message forward to ensure that it is never forgotten. "Waltham Abbey was an area greatly affected by war. 
"One only has to view the names on the memorials in the area and in the Abbey itself to understand and recognise the level of sacrifice made." 
For further information email SSpringthopre@kha-tkat.org


NAZEING / WALTHAM ABBEY: Two arrested in police operation

12.03pm - 11th October 2016

A MAN has been arrested in connection with the murder of a man who was shot as he left the Marriott Hotel in Waltham Abbey ten months ago. 
Two people were arrested during a police operation at undisclosed premises in Nazeing this morning.
A 58-year-old woman from Romford has been arrested in connection with the shooting of a man in Stanford-le-Hope on May 10. 
A man driving a silver Ford Transit van was shot while he was sat in his vehicle at the junction of London Road and Stanford Road shortly before 7pm on Tuesday, May 10. 
He suffered life-changing injuries. 
A 24-year-old man from Romford was arrested in connection with the shooting of a man in Stanford-le-Hope on May 10 and the murder of Paul-Simmons Turner in Waltham Abbey on December 8.
Mr Simmons-Turner was shot as he left the Marriott Hotel in Old Shire Lane. 
He got into a vehicle and was driven a short distance away. 
Both remain in police custody being questioned by detectives. 
Sedge Green in Nazeing was closed between the junctions of Dobbs Weir Road and Pecks Hill earlier today because of the police operation in the area. 
A police spokesman said the closure was put in place "for public safety".


DISTRICT: Breast unit sets fundraising challenge

8.02am - 10th October 2016

THE breast cancer unit that treats women from east Herts and west Essex is hoping 100 people will each raise £100 to mark October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 
The breast unit at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow, and St Margaret’s, Epping, wants to use money raised to fund exercise sessions for women who are recovering from breast cancer treatment. 
Associate specialist breast surgeon Ashraf Patel said: “The latest evidence is that exercise brings lots of benefits to women who have been through treatment and we hope to expand our exercise programme to fund sessions for patients. 
“This month we hope 100 people will raise at least £100 to support us. If we get that many people raising just a small amount it all adds up to a memorable month that will make a real difference.” 
In addition to funding clinical trials, charity fundraising also supports programmes like Fabulous and Beautiful sessions. 
Mr Patel said: “These sessions are held at Epping and are invaluable. Patients meet other women going through breast cancer, get advice on wigs, hats and get help with things like how to draw on eyebrows or lashes and these little things make a huge difference. 
“October always sees so many people going the extra mile to support the charity for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we’re so thankful to everyone for their support, the time and effort they give to raise crucial funds for the charity, which will benefit so many women.” 
Over the years Mr Patel has joined fundraising hikes to Mount Kilimanjaro and the Great Wall of China.
Trips are always being planned, so if you would like to get involved, ring 01279 827857, email pahbreasttrials@outlook.com, or search for The Princess Alexandra Hospital Charitable Trust – Breast Unit on Facebook.


EPPING: Students organise harvest collection

4.34pm - 8th October 2016

HUNDREDS of cans and packets of food have been collected by Sixth Form students at Epping St John's School for this year's harvest collection. 
The foodstuffs - totaling some 850-plus items - will be donated to the Manna Society, a day centre for homeless people at London Bridge, which the students decided to support for a second successive year.
As well gathering in the donated food, the students were also given £74 in cash which they used to purchase some 220 cans of food. 
Their efforts far surpassed the total of over 300 cans donated last year. 
Student Georgina Peachey said: "Everyone has been a lot more supportive this year because we have made the appeal a lot more public and have put posters up around the school."



4.12pm - 8th October 2016

KING Harold Day was celebrated in Waltham Abbey with the laying of flowers on the King Harold memorial stone in the grounds of the Abbey Church. 
Flowers were laid by Waltham Abbey councillors Jeanne Lea, the chairman of Epping Forest District Council, and Waltham Abbey mayor councillor Helen Kane, as well as by Jean Church from the Waltham Abbey Historical Society. 
This followed a costumed procession along Sun Street and Church Street. 
This year is the 950th anniversary of the Year of King Harold II, of his Coronation, the three great battles of 1066, and Harold’s death on the battlefield. 
The event commemorated Harold Godwinsson, King Harold II, who was Lord of the Manor of Waltham when he was Earl of Essex and East Anglia, owned much land and property in the area, and whose family home with his handfast wife, Edith Swan-Neck, was at Nazeing. 
Harold founded the Minster Church which eventually became the Great Abbey, and legend has it that he came to pray at the Miraculous Cross of Waltham before the Battle of Hastings, and that his body was brought back to the town after his death. 
Waltham Abbey Mayor Helen Kane said: "It was an honour to again be part of the commemorations this year and to see what a marvellous event King Harold Day has become over the past 13 years. 
"Waltham Abbey has a great part to play in our country's history, and that of King Harold, and it is marvellous that King Harold Day which brings the community together and ensures we remember such an important chapter of history, has become such a great attraction in our town." 
Re-enactors set up camp in the Abbey Gardens where visitors could also listen to medieval musicians Trouvère. Birds of prey were on display while the Chingford Morris Men performed their Mummers’ Play.
Various local attractions manned exhibition stalls while Waltham Abbey Town Council had a stall to promote its Neighbourhood Plan.



WALTHAM ABBEY: Award for Youth 2000 counsellor

4.49pm - 7th October 2016

WALTHAM Abbey Youth 2000 counsellor Angie Pearson has been awarded the NHS West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group's 'Best of West' Award. 
Waltham Abbey Youth 2000 has been providing services for the young people of Waltham Abbey for over 21 years.
In addition to the drop-in clubs in Brooker Road, Yip Yop Youth for seven to 11-year-olds and New Images for school years 7 and above, Youth 2000 has also provided a confidential counselling service for young people. 
Angie has worked tirelessly for 17 years to help young people overcome any issue affecting their lives, helping them gain greater self-esteem, confidence and ambition for their future. No problem is too small or too great. 
Her approach is centred on the young person. 
There are no set timescales or numbers of meetings and she focuses on the need. 
Family members may be included, where appropriate, working together to overcome the issues. 
She has been credited with reducing unauthorised school absences and improving classroom behaviour.
The charity's trustees say that without her efforts many would have spiralled downwards into mental health issues, dropped out of school, got involved in petty crime or worse and/or drugs. 
Over the years Angie has helped hundreds of young people with a huge variety of problems. 
Her work had already been acknowledged with the award of Essex Fire & Rescue Service's Crime Beat Shield at the High Sheriff’s Awards in 2014.


LOUGHTON: Coffee morning raises over £570

4.45pm - 7th October 2016

SIXTH Form students at Debden Park High School, Loughton, raised over £570 when they hosted a coffee morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. 
Students from Year 7 through to Year 13 showed off their baking skills and impressed staff with the quantity and quality of the cakes and biscuits they took into school.


WALTHAM ABBEY: 1066 March arrives in town

3.42pm - 7th October 2016

HORSEMEN descended on Waltham Abbey as part of the 1066 March commemorating the 950th anniversary of the hurried march made by King Harold II and his close followers after the Battle of Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire on September 25, 1066. 
The horsemen were welcomed by Tricia Gurnett and the Rev'd Peter Smith, from the Abbey Church, and greeted by the town mayor Helen Kane and deputy town mayor Michael Fitch at the Abbey Gateway in the Abbey Gardens yesterday afternoon (Thursday).
All those years ago King Harold stopped at Waltham to pray for victory at the miraculous Holy Cross of Waltham in his Minster Church at Waltham Abbey, which he had founded and continued to endow. 
He entered the Church, knelt at the Holy Cross and prayed. 
As part of the commemorations, The 1066 March - which set off from Yorkshire last Sunday - reached Waltham Abbey slightly later than planned because of modern day traffic issues on local roads, following a fuel spillage on the M25 near Waltham Abbey. 
The horsemen were welcomed by onlookers, and greeted by Rector Rev’d Peter Smith and the town council before taking part in a re-enactment to the rear of the church, the east side, to a spot roughly where the high altar of Harold’s Church would have been. 
The horsemen stayed in the town overnight before setting off on their journey this morning, to walk to Hyde Park, London. 
Waltham Abbey mayor Helen Kane said: "It was a pleasure to welcome the horsemen to our town and to be part of this historic re-enactment of King Harold's journey. 
"Waltham Abbey is steeped in history through its links with King Harold and we look forward to further celebrating and commemorating King Harold at King Harold Day tomorrow (Saturday)."



LOUGHTON: School celebrates Poetry Week

2.48pm - 7th October 2016

POETRY Week at Hereward Primary School saw the children dress as their favourite poetry characters and take part in workshops with a visiting poet. 
Deputy headteacher Renette Fourie said: "The school was a sea of colour with a range of fantastic characters being represented such as Macavity from the T.S.Eliot poem and in Nursery Rhymes like 'Hickory, Dickory, Dock'."
 The children participated in a range of events during the week with some children arriving at school especially early to attend special 'Poetry Breakfasts'. 
The week of activities culminated with the visit today (Friday) of nationally renowned poet Paul Cookson. He performed his poems, complete with musical accompaniment at times, to the whole school before conducting some creative writing workshops with pupils in Years 3 to 6.



DRAFT LOCAL PLAN: Town council reviewing Draft Local Plan

10.38am - 7th October 2016

ONGAR Town Council has commenced a review of Epping Forest District Council's Draft Local Plan. 
The draft document shows that the Parish has been allocated approximately 600 new homes if all sites are considered suitable for development and remain in the final document.
The council is encouraging members of the public to register on the district council's website to receive regular updates and to attend the staffed exhibition being hosted by Epping Forest District Council at the Budworth Hall, Ongar, on Wednesday, November 9. 
Town council chairman James Browning said: "This is your Local Plan and therefore I would implore all parishioners to make comment to the district council. 
"The town council will be reviewing the Plan in detail and considering the impact and infrastructure that will be required before making a full response." 
The council will consider comments from members of the public via consultation@ongartowncouncil.gov.uk or in writing via the office. 
Some 135 homes have been earmarked for Bowes Field, 175 on land adjacent to Greensted Road and 154 homes on land adjacent to High Ongar Road. 
Other sites include ten homes on The Stag pub car park, 24 homes at Ongar Leisure Centre, at The Gables, 12 homes on land adjacent to Chelmsford Road (A414) near the Four Wantz roundabout, 73 homes on land to the west of Chipping Ongar and 16 homes on land behind 57A and 57B Fyfield Road.
Full details can be found at www.eppingforest.consultationonline.co.uk or you can contact the Epping Forest District Local Plan team on 01992 564517.


DRAFT LOCAL PLAN: Cabinet endorses Draft Local Plan

10.07am - 7th October 2016

THE councillor heading the Draft Local Plan has promised all public views will be listened to as it emerged that further potential development sites could be proposed before the final Draft Local Plan document is put out for public consultation. 
Epping Forest District Council's planning portfolio holder John Philip told last night's cabinet meeting that he "fully expected" land owners to suggest additional sites, all of which would be fully assessed before the pre-submission part of the Local Plan process, but not before the consultation period starts on October 31. 
The document currently details almost 100 sites considered suitable for housing, as the council has to identify locations for some 8,450 homes across the Epping Forest district. 
The proposals would result in the loss of less than one per cent of the district's green belt, said Mr Philip who added: "I realise not every site will be welcomed by everyone in the district." 
More details are to be released on the infrastructure required as part of any housing needs for the district, the meeting was told. 
North Weald councillor Anne Grigg raised the concerns of North Weald Bassett Parish Council which considered the number of homes proposed for the parish - North Weald, Thornwood Common and Hastingwood - as "alarmingly high". 
She also sought amendments to the document so that it refers to North Weald Bassett, the whole parish, rather than North Weald as the 'village' with separate sections covering Thornwood and Hastingwood. 
Mr Philip said he believed the wording should remain as it is as it mirrored how the parish was described in supporting documents and evidence. 
A spokesman for developer Crest Nicholson voiced "huge disappointment" that the Pick Hill Nursery site in Waltham Abbey is not included as a potential housing site in the current document. 
Ben Thomas, speaking for the company, claimed the site had been inaccurately assessed and called for it to be "fairly assessed" in the next stage of the Local Plan process. 
He said the site was more sustainable than other sites and added that it had been previously assessed as "suitable and available". 
Chigwell councillor John Knapman said the document contradicts itself between the Plan's visions and the potential sites for housing. 
He said Chigwell is considered suitable for small scale development yet the open green space at Limes Farm is earmarked for some 210 homes, with Manor Road already a major traffic problem. 
He said: "We just seem to have lost our way between the visions and some of the sites chosen."
Epping councillor Jon Whitehouse singled out the Coopersale playing fields (considered suitable for 19 homes) as one of the "peculiar" sites included in the document. 
He said: "There are some really peculiar sites allocated in this Plan. The only playing field in Coopersale is stated for potential development." 
He added: "As it stands it is not the balanced Plan we were expecting. It will have to change out of all recognition if it is to be acceptable." 
Mr Whitehouse said the development sites were concentrated along a corridor down the M11 focusing on North Weald, Epping, Theydon Bois and Loughton. 
Mr Philip responded by saying the sites were spread over the whole district. 
Referring to the forthcoming public consultation, Mr Philip stressed: "If there are good reasons other than 'I don't like it' then we will listen." 
The draft document , endorsed by the cabinet last night, will be discussed by the full council on October 18 with the consultation to run from October 31 to December 12. 
Mr Philip added: "This is a consultation and we will listen to what is said, and if there are good reasons then changes will be made."


WALTHAM ABBEY: Mayor visits care scheme

8.47am - 6th October 2016

WALTHAM Abbey mayor Helen Kane travelled around the world when she visited the Enable Care scheme off Sewardstone Road in Waltham Abbey. 
Mrs Kane, accompanied by her consort and district councillor husband Sam, was invited to join residents and staff for their Ultimate Dining Experience on the theme of 'Food Around the World'. 
Staff, with the help of residents, had come up with dishes - as well as flags and traditional costumes - from around the world. 
A lavish buffet was accompanied by music from singers while the entertainment also included a belly dancer.
The Acquired Brain Rehabilitation Unit provides care for people with brain injuries on a short and long-term basis. 
Mrs Kane said: "I was delighted to be invited to visit the unit's special day and was really impressed by all the work that had gone into making the occasion such a success, from the food and special dishes from around the world, to the costumes worn by the staff and the t-shirts worn by staff and residents and the decorations throughout the building. 
"My congratulations go to everyone involved." 



EPPING: Coffee morning raises £1,085

8.46am - 6th October 2016

TWO Epping girls raised £1,085 for the Macmillan Cancer Support charity when they held a coffee morning at their school. 
Grace Saggers and Evie Radford, both aged 14, attend St Nicholas School in Old Harlow. 
They hosted a Macmillan Coffee Morning for a second year with parents, staff and pupils from pre-school up to senior school attending. 
The girls made and sold cakes, tea and coffee, and also ran a cake competition encouraging pupils to take in cakes they had made in the hope of winning a prize. 
There was also a raffle and 'guess how many dots on the cake' competition. 



WALTHAM ABBEY: Saturday is King Harold Day

8.43am - 6th October 2016

KING Harold Day will again be celebrated in Waltham Abbey with a costumed procession along Sun Street to King Harold's memorial stone in the Abbey churchyard. 
Attractions will be taking place in the Abbey Gardens from 10.30am on Saturday with the procession setting off from the Epping Forest District Museum at noon.
This year is the 950th anniversary of the Year of King Harold II, of his Coronation, the three great battles of 1066, and Harold’s death on the battlefield. 
The event will commemorate Harold Godwinsson, King Harold II, who was Lord of the Manor of Waltham when he was Earl of Essex and East Anglia, owned much land and property in the area, and whose family home with his handfast wife, Edith Swan-Neck, was at Nazeing. 
Harold founded the Minster Church which eventually became the Great Abbey, and legend has it that he came to pray at the Miraculous Cross of Waltham before the Battle of Hastings, and that his body was brought back to the town after his death. 
This year's re-enactors are The Feudals who will set up their medieval camp ti display cooking, weaving and arrow making in the medieval way. 
Medieval musicians Trouvère and their singer will provide early Saxon and Norman music. 
Coda Falconry will have their birds of prey on show all day, and flying from the arena once in the morning and once in the afternoon. 
Chingford Morris Men will be performing their Mummers’ Play and morris dancing. 
New this year is Hartbeeps who will be encouraging children to take part in a magical musical adventure. And there will be Have-a-Go Archery with Epping Archers. 
There will be animals to get close to, and bees in an observation hive. A more modern visitor will be the Copped Hall vintage Rolls Royce. 
There will be craft stalls around the gardens and in the Abbey Church Centre, and exhibitions and hands-on attractions. 
There will also be a Hog Roast, and the local Dominion Brewery will have 11th century-type ales. 
The English Companions will be speaking Anglo Saxon (or Old English) at their tent and there will be a chance to put a stitch or two in The Waltham Abbey Tapestry at the Tourist Information Centre tent. 
A music recital will take place in the Abbey Church at 12.30pm. 
Waltham Abbey’s primary schools have been invited to submit work on a King Harold theme for the schools’ art exhibition which will be on display at the Epping Forest District Museum in Sun Street.


HASTINGWOOD: No objection to highways depot office plans

8.01am - 5th October 2016

NO objection has been made by North Weald Bassett Parish Council to plans for new office accommodation at the highways depot by the M11-A414 roundabout at Hastingwood. 
A planning application has been submitted for a single-storey building to accommodate 20 office staff, instead as the current three staff, as well as the existing 19 other workers. 
The site is one of four Essex County Council highways depots in Essex. 
Thirty-three parking spaces are also proposed.


ONGAR: Nominations wanted for Citizen awards

4.57pm - 4th October 2016

ONGAR Town Council is seeking nominations for its annual Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year awards.
The Citizen of the Year nominations must be for a person who lives or works in Ongar or who benefits the community of Ongar. 
Nominations for the Young Citizen award must be aged between 11 and 18 and live in Ongar. 
Council chairman James Browning: “I am sure most people will know someone who will be worthy of these awards so I would urge you to nominate that person and give them the recognition that they deserve.” 
The closing date for nominations is February 28. 
The winners will receive their awards at the Annual Town Meeting in April.


WALTHAM ABBEY: Hundreds attend school open morning

1.41pm - 4th October 2016

KING Harold Academy opened its doors to hundreds of parents and members of the local community.
Visitors were able to walk around the Academy and watch demonstrations by students and also get actively involved in many subjects including Physical Education, Cookery, Art, Science, History and Information Technology. 
The new Subject Ambassadors were at each department to meet and greet visitors. There were also performances by bands busking around the Academy. 
On hand to guide visitors were the current Year 11 prefects and Year 10 students. 
Speeches were given by Head of School Kim Thackray, Executive Head Christian Cavanagh and three senior prefects - Head Girl Lisa Nakimuli, Senior Prefect Regan Hughes-Franklin and Deputy Head Girl Morgan Healy. 
There was a clear message about the transformation of the Academy that culminated in excellent end-of-year results and the Good Ofsted judgement in May 2016. 
Mrs Thackray was also able to report to the audience that King Harold Academy was one of the most improved schools in Essex. 
Mrs Thackray said: "This academy has, at its centre, a culture of success and excellence for all. 
"Parents have been quick to say how impressed they were with the refurbishment of the school, that students wore the new uniform with pride and spoke of being very proud of their school.” 
Visitors were asked for their opinion of their experiences during the morning. 
A prospective Year 6 pupil said: "I really enjoyed the competitions in maths and want to come year next year.” 
One parent said: “The bands playing around the school are fantastic and we have read a lot about the great music events the school takes part in.” 
Another parent said: "The Head speaks with real passion and I believe my child will enjoy coming to this school, be looked after and do really well.”



WALTHAM ABBEY: Crossing switch-on is "great day" for town

1.26pm - 4th October 2016


THE official switch-on of a long-awaited crossing in Waltham Abbey has been hailed as a "great day" for the town. 
A 12-year campaign for the light-controlled crossing on Crooked Mile resulted in the official switching on of the traffic lights this morning. 
The £180,000 scheme, off the Abbey View roundabout heading towards Sewardstone Road, has been funded through the Epping Forest Local Highways Panel. 
Epping Forest District Council chairman Jeane Lea, a Waltham Abbey councillor who has headed the campaign for over a decade, was joined by other local councillors - including Epping Forest Local highways Panel chairman councillor John Knapman - and children from Waltham Holy Cross School for the launch. 
Mrs Lea said: "We have an old peoples' home here, a community centre which has numerous childrens' and old folks' activities and it is also near the back entrance to the school. 
"There have been numerous accidents here - thank God no fatal ones.
"The children try to cross here, the traffic comes off the roundabout at such a fast pace I'm actually amazed no child has been killed." 
She added: "I'm very pleased with the result of this crossing." 
Waltham Abbey county councillor Ricki Gadsby said: "What a great day this is. Councillor Jeane Lea has worked very hard on this over the last few years. 
"When I came onto the council we fought together on this. To have this open today is a great achievement and we're very proud if it. 
"We stuck to our guns so it's a great day for the Abbey."



WALTHAM ABBEY: Student chosen for Achievers scheme

7.55am - 4th October 2016

A STUDENT at King Harold Academy has been selected for the Jack Petchey Achievers Network.
Adam Freeman was invited to apply after representing King Harold at the Speak Out Challenge West Essex Regional Final and through his work as an Epping Forest Youth Council member. 
After writing his application, Adam was invited to attend a selection day when he took part in group activities and completed an interview. 
The Jack Petchey Achiever’s Network was established last year and develops young people by providing training on topics including self esteem, communication, leadership, listening and negotiating Skills.
Participants also receive a skilled mentor to guide them through the programme. 
They also help to guide the Jack Petchey Foundation’s future programmes and volunteer in the community.


WALTHAM ABBEY: Students undertake team-building exercises

7.53am - 4th October 2016

STUDENTS from an Aspirations project at King Harold Academy visited Lambourne End Outdoor Centre to undertake team building exercises. 
They had to carry ladders and a canoe through an assault course and also took part in rock climbing and raft building and tried their hand at high ropes and caving. 
Jaci Hammond, the school's Head of Careers, said: "The challenges set were hard and when first attempts failed the students never gave up, ensuring that they achieved their goals.
"Our students returned tired but proud to have completed the course and improved their communication, leadership and team building skills."


CHIGWELL: Drug dealer jailed

4.33pm - 3rd October 2016

A DRUG dealer who took over the home of a vulnerable man and used it as a base from which to deal has been jailed for two years. 
Karl Wickham- Downes, of Holt Close, Chigwell, was arrested after officers from Operation Raptor, a team set up to detect and deter drug dealing gangs, spotted him leaving the property in Harlow on August 9.
The 26-year-old attempted to run from officers but was stopped and searched in a nearby alleyway.
Officers discovered a plastic bag containing 112 wraps of class A drugs - 84 containing crack cocaine and 28 containing heroin. 
Wickham-Downes was charged with possession with intent to supply heroin and possession with intent to supply crack cocaine. 
He pleaded guilty to both offences at Chelmsford Crown Court and was sentenced at the same court on September 29. 
Wickham-Downes was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for each offence to run concurrently.
Operation Raptor teams have been set up in the North, West and South Local Policing Areas to detect and dismantle gangs who travel to Essex to deal drugs and cause violence. 
PC Jack Etheridge, from the Operation Raptor West team, said: "Drugs wreck and ruin lives and we will use a variety of tactics to bring to justice those who carry them. 
"Many people don’t realise that drug dealing gangs exploit and prey on the vulnerable in our communities – taking over their homes as a base from which to deal. 
"As well as enforcement activity, Operation Raptor is about working with our partner agencies who can offer support for those affected by gang criminality.”


EPPING: M&S staff help raise over £1,500 for charity

4.01pm - 3rd October 2016

STAFF at Epping's M&S Simply Food branch have cycled to Paris without leaving the store as they raised over £1,500 for the Macmillan Cancer Support charity. 
The London to Paris Static Bike Ride - 286 miles, the distance from the M&S store at Marble Arch to the store in the Champs Elysees - was completed over three days by the store's Plan A Champion Dan Spillman, store manager Niki Shaw and customer assistants Joe Marah and Harrison Nagle. 
Dan said: "Our customers really responded well to our efforts and knowing how much was being raised for Macmillan made it all worthwhile." 
Sttaff also took part in a 'wear green' awareness day when they wore green, with various members of staff involved with a bucket collection at the store entrances. 
On Friday staff held a bake sale as part of the Macmillan World's Biggest Coffee Morning event when selected cakes and biscuit products in the store were on sale. 
A ten per cent donation was made to Macmillan throughout September. 
The store raised £1,514 - £848 from fundraising, £286 from food product donations, £361 from pin badge sales and £19 from other sales. 

Dan Spillman taking part in the static bike ride from London to Paris at the Epping M&S Simply Food store PICTURE


CHIGWELL: Chigwell School holds open day

2.54pm - 3rd October 2016

THE full Chigwell Open Day took place on Saturday with families wanting to find out more about all sections of the school able to tour the facilities and meet staff and students. 
Departments across the school put on displays, current pupils acted as guides and staff were on hand to answer questions. 
Headmaster Michael Punt said: "We were delighted to see so many interested families and it was great to have the opportunities to talk to so many of them.” 
Further open days are taking place on the morning of Saturday, October 8 (for entry at 4+ and 7+), on the evening of Thursday, October 20 (for 16+ entry) and on the morning of Saturday, November 12 (for 11+).
For more details, ring admissions registrar Janet Long on 020 8501 5700.


DRAFT LOCAL PLAN: EXCLUSIVE: Landowner behind last major housing plan for Ongar tells council “think again”

2.03pm - 3rd October 2016

THE Ongar landowner behind the last major housing proposals for Ongar, back in the 1990s, is calling on the district council to “think again” over its Draft Local Plan. 
Jim Padfield came up with the ‘A Fresh Face for Ongar’ scheme which he put out for public consultation in 1991-92. 
While the idea progressed no further than a public consultation exercise which saw more than 5,000 questionnaires circulated around Ongar, Shelley and High Ongar, the majority of respondents were in favour of the scheme. 
Mr Padfield said: “Whilst the overall vision of ‘A Fresh Face for Ongar’ was not realised the plan did bring forward Ongar’s much-needed major supermarket (Sainsbury’s) and the proposal received an ‘honourable mention’ in the Local Plan that followed.
"Even 25 years ago the people of Ongar, in responding to the ‘A Fresh Face for Ongar’ questionnaire, repeatedly stated that most of Ongar’s young people could not afford to live in the town where they have been brought up, have family links and where they work.
"It is disappointing therefore to find that our proposal this year for an Ongar Community Land Trust specifically aimed at Ongar’s young people has not been picked up by the Draft Plan." 
Epping Forest District Council’s new Draft Local Plan contains proposals for the largest housing growth for Ongar since the ‘A Fresh Face for Ongar’ proposals 25 years ago. 
A total of 600 houses are proposed for Ongar with some 135 homes considered suitable for Bowes Field by the Four Wantz roundabout, and some 175 homes on land off Greensted Road. 
Homes are also earmarked for the site of Ongar Leisure Centre. 
Mr Padfield told Everything Epping Forest: “It is difficult not to be profoundly depressed by the Draft Local Plan. 
“If Ongar is to share, as it surely must, in the provision of housing for a growing national population then that development must as far as possible be compatible with Ongar’s special character and needs.
"'Keep Ongar Green' is not just a slogan for those who believe we can ignore the challenges of our children’s future but it should be an inspiration for those who are prepared to embrace that challenge.” 
He added: “The Draft Plan proposes the worst of all worlds. For example, the 175 houses off Greensted Road on just ten acres means no gardens, no public green space, no play areas, not enough parking and houses little bigger than a caravan, all completely contrary to Essex County Council’s Design Guide. 
“If we are to build let us build what will enhance lives not what depresses them. “It is not just Ongar that suffers. 
"Throughout the district scarcely believable proposals have somehow found their way into this Draft Plan. Our council needs to think again.”


LOUGHTON: Almost 1,000 people at school's open morning

1.59pm - 3rd October 2016

ALMOST 1,000 people visited Debden Park High School for its recent open morning. 
The prospective Year 7 students and their parents were treated to a vast array of inspiring and interactive activities including the Big Draw in Art, a travelling drama group, a number of literary figures - including Sherlock Holmes (played by associate assistant headteacher Andrew Hogan) - and a competition to collect as many subject stickers as they could from every area they visited.
In the headteacher’s address, Head of School Helen Gascoyne, spoke about how she challenged the parents to find a school with a body of staff as dedicated and committed as the staff at Debden Park High School. 
Executive headteacher Christian Cavanagh highlighted the outstanding results which the school had again achieved this year and also spoke about the opening of the Hive, the new Sixth Form building, which opened this September. 
Executive Head Girl Eleanor Davis told the audiences: "When I arrived in Year 7 I knew Debden Park High School was the best place to start. And I stand here now as a Year 12 student knowing this is the best place to finish." 
She added: "Debden Park is a very special school. Students are challenged and driven to be successful. There is an atmosphere throughout the school of success and support, where the teachers give us the tools and guidance to grow, blossom and succeed.” 
Visitors could wander around the school to see what the world of Debden Park involves. Many commented on how impressed they were, particularly with the Debden Park students who had attended school to help. 
Helen Gascoyne said: "They were the real stars of the day and true ambassadors for the school, displaying a real pride in their school."


LOUGHTON: PHD work for Brilliant Club students

1.55pm - 3rd October 2016

STUDENTS at Debden Park High School have been working on PHD grade work taught by tutors from Oxford University as part of the Brilliant Club. 
The scheme aims to widen participation in Russell Group Universities amongst state school students.
Students from Year 8 to Year 13 visited King's College London as part of the launch of the scheme. 
They were then taught in small groups on PHD level material by tutors from various universities including Oxford. 
Over the summer holidays students submitted a 2,500-word essay on their tutors specialism. 
The scheme has been a huge success with all 32 students passing the course and 25 students achieving a first class certificate. 
The final part of the scheme involved a graduation ceremony at Warwick University. 
Year 9 student Ashwin Gohill said: "The Brilliant Club gave me the opportunity to research a topic I had no knowledge on and present it in a university-style paper. 
"The skills I have acquired by completing the programme are debating skills, essay planning skills and communication skills. I am proud to have achieved a First Class Certificate whilst working on such difficult material." 
Year 11 student Manpreet Tak said: "It was an amazing experience that has allowed me to work at a higher level and has given me confidence to always do my best." 
Year 13 student Shiyue Yang said: "I hope to go on and study Computer Science at City University. The Brilliant Club has developed my research skills, helped me structure academic writing and will make my application to University even stronger."
John Shepley, Director of the Most Able at Debden Park High School, said: "At Debden Park we aim to challenge our brightest students to think at the highest level. 
"The work these students have achieved at the Brilliant Club just shows what amazing things our students are capable of. 
"To have students as young as 12 working on PHD material and achieving a First Class certificate is fantastic.
"As our sixth form students prepare to submit their UCAS applications to the top Universities, schemes like this give them concrete evidence to show off their ability beyond exam results and are a huge benefit when admissions tutors select appropriate candidates for their courses."


EPPING: Market Garden officially opened

1.57pm - 1st October 2016

WEEKS of work to transform the overgrown Market Garden area off Epping High Street were celebrated yesterday with the release of balloons at the official opening. 
Members of the Epping in Bloom group were joined by town councillors - including town mayor Les Burrows and deputy town mayor Tony Church - and many of the sponsors of the project. 
Epping in Bloom chairman Victoria Robertson, who designed the new-look, took just 28 days to carry out the painstaking work and was on-site every day.
To reduce the costs, help to lay the shingle and wood chip came from the Epping in Bloom volunteers, youngsters and staff from The Box, town councillors and town council staff and Victoria's family and friends. 
She said: "It has been quite challenging because the whole site is on a concrete base." 
Local businesses, groups and individuals have paid for the materials used to turn the neglected area into a community space. 
Donations have provided the benches and plants which now fill the area next to the M&S Simply Food store. 
The area, which includes a herb garden and seating, is the latest project to be achieved by the Epping in Bloom group which manages the floral displays at Tower Road and outside Epping Fire Station. 
The group has also donated £300 worth of plants to Epping Station for its displays.
Its displays were recently recognised in the Anglia in Bloom competition with Epping in Bloom awarded a silver award for the town displays and a best floral display award for Epping Station. 
Epping in Bloom chairman Victoria Robertson joined Epping in Bloom to inspire the younger generation to get involved with horticulture. 
She has visited six local schools inspiring more than 1,205 children. 
The Market Garden area now boasts a 'bug hotel' while the garden's 'rules' are displayed on a Dalek made from an old compost bin. 
A 'Retro Zone' features an area to play marbles. 
Next year an L-shaped vegetable and fruit bed is to be installed along with an area featuring plants which thrive in dry conditions will be introduced so visitors can see which plants grow well without water. 
Epping in Bloom volunteer Gemma Denia has painted a dinosaur by the entrance. 
To boost its funds, Epping in Bloom is inviting people to pay £20 to have their name engraved into pieces of wood which will be placed in the garden. 
Donations have already been received from Epping Town Council, M&S, Marston, Crofts Dental Practice, Epping WI, Northfields Garden Centre, Epping Horticultural Society, the Rotary Club of Epping, Travis Perkins, Stone Market and members of the public. 
The area has been adapted to suit every level of ability. 
One of the features is a block path installed by Pure Pave providing access to wheelchair users, mobility scooters and push chairs. 
Every second and fourth Friday of the month, from 10am, Mrs Robertson is hosting Epping in Bloom gardening days when volunteers can join in with light garden duties and share ideas. 
Mrs Robertson said: "There are so many people who have come together - as a true community - to make my ideas and plans for the area come to fruition. We now have a lovely area which all the community can enjoy." 
She added: "The work has been carried out by the community for the community and I thank everyone whose contributions, whether financial or through their hard work digging and planting - have enabled us to achieve so much and make the area look the way it does today."



CHIGWELL: School's cake sale for Macmillan Cancer Support

1.28pm - 1st October 2016

PUPILS and staff at West Hatch High School, Chigwell, raised £274 for Macmillan Cancer Support when they joined in the Macmillan World's Biggest Coffee Morning event. 
The event was co-organised by Pastoral Support Co-Ordinator Melanie Hall and Year 9 student Arjun Kuhaendran. 
Arjun said: "We sold cupcakes, brownies and cookies. This was my first coffee morning and it went really well. We didn’t expect to raise so much." 
Arjun was helped by a team of fellow students (Jacques, Nathan, Remi, Sonya, Charlie, Seyon, Bobby and Ajay). 
He added: "The support from Mrs Howarth and Mrs Hall helped make the day happen and the extra baking of the brownies and the marble cake from Mrs Sharma helped us a lot in raising money because they were sold in seconds. 
"I hope that the money we raised will benefit people with cancer who are supported by Macmillan."
Headteacher Frances Howarth said: "At West Hatch we constantly encourage students to think of others less fortunate than themselves. 
"Each House has their Charity Ambassadors and Arjun is a wonderful example to follow: he is to be commended for his efforts. 
"My thanks also to Mrs Hall and Mrs Sharma for raising awareness of the amazing work of Macmillan Cancer Support. Very well done to all involved." 
More donations are expected to be received next week.



DRAFT LOCAL PLAN: Station car parks could be developed with 'multi-storey' parking and homes

1.28pm - 1st October 2016

PARKING and homes could both be accommodated on the four station car parks identified for housing in the Draft Local Plan, Epping Forest Council has said. 
One option could be a multi-storey type development with parking at ground level and homes above, the council has confirmed.
The car parks at Epping Station - the largest car park on the London Underground network - Loughton Station, Debden Station and Theydon Bois Station have all been earmarked for housing in the Draft Local Plan document published this week. 
Much of the initial reaction received by Everything Epping Forest has criticised the inclusion of the station sites as being suitable for housing. 
The district council has now issued a statement to clarify the situation stressing that any development of the car parks could still see parking mantained. 
The council's planning portfolio holder councillor John Phillip. “Including London Underground and council-owned car parks in the list of potential Local Plan development sites does not mean getting rid of the current parking provision. 
“References in the draft Local Plan to developing local car parks have caught people’s attention. 
"There is an assumption that you can’t have public car parks and residential development together. 
“In fact some of the district’s London Underground and council-owned car parks could be redeveloped with public parking beneath or beside residential housing. 
“None of our proposals suggest any net loss of car parking spaces. 
"As sustainable brownfield sites in town centre locations, car parks could be one of the most suitable locations for new housing.”