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EPPING: Council judges St George's window displays

10.28am - 29th April 2016

THE Ecco charity shop in Epping High Street has won the town council's St George's window competition for the second successive year. 
Town Mayor Michael Wright and Deputy Town Mayor Les Burrows visited the shop to present a framed certificate to shop manager Debbie Morrall. 
The judges were particularly impressed with the shop's display which featured a board detailing the history of St George. 
Certificates of Merit have been awarded to Abbotts estate agents, Douglas Allen estate agents and Lanes Dress Agency.



EPPING: Special celebrations as 'Cissie' reaches 100

6.06pm - 28th April 2016


EPPING Town Council added its special greetings to the many received by Edith 'Cissie' Emery as she celebrated her 100th birthday at Treetops Care Home in Epping. 
Mayor Michael Wright was accompanied by Deputy Town Mayor Les Burrows, immediate past mayor Barbara Scruton and town clerk Beverley Rumsey when he visited the Station Road home to present Cissie with flowers and a special framed birthday message. 
He described her as "absolutely amazing" adding: "On behalf of the town council please accept these small gifts on this fantastic occasion." 
Cissie moved to Treetops just three weeks ago having spent the rest of her life in Burnt Mill, Harlow.
Joining her for her birthday celebrations were her sons Peter, Brian and Peter and daughter-in-laws Sylvia and Joyce. 
Cissie also has six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. 
Staff laid on a red carpet for Cissie to walk along as she arrived in the lounge for her celebrations which included 'Happy Birthday' and a special cake made by the home's chefs. 
Treetops Care Home manager Steve Wax said: "Cissie is a proud, dignified, warm and friendly lady who is delighted to be 100. She always has a kind word for people." 
He added: The staff find her absolutely delightful. She never wants to make a fuss. We call her 'your Majesty!" 
The home's activities co-ordinator, Rita Green, said: "She's very pleasant and on the ball. She's absolutely amazing." 
Cissie, who was overcome with emotion and shed a tear or two as she was congratulated on her special birthday by family and staff, said: "I don't feel any different to what I felt yesterday! 
"I've had a good life."



LOUGHTON: Homes plan thrown out amid parking concerns

7.48am - 28th April 2016

COUNCILLORS have rejected plans for a terrace of three two-storey 'affordable' homes on the site of 28 garages amid concerns that the site is in an area plaqued with parking problems. 
Permission for the development behind 100-108 Pyrles Lane, Loughton, was refused for various reasons including the inadequacy of the access road and the high ridge line of the properties which would detract from the amenities of neighbours. 
Councillors at last night's area plans committee heard that seven of the 28 garages were vacant. 
Ten households as well as Loughton Town Council and Loughton Residents Association objected to the application, which included six parking spaces, with issues including the loss of garages and the displacement of parking onto neighbouring roads, and the access road which the town council considered was "inadequate". 
Council planning officer Stefan Solan said a "good amount" of the garages were let however the impact on on-street parking would not excessively increase parking stress in the area and the degree of impact was considered acceptable. 
Objector Lourens De Jager told the meeting the garden of his Grosvenor Close home borders the proposed development site. 
He said a two-storey development was overbearing, intrusive and excessive and would block sunlight from his garden. 
Councillor David Wixley said: "The site wasn't originally designed for houses; bungalows would be much more suitable. 
"We don't know how many of the garages are used for parking. Parking is really a big issue in that area.
"I really do feel we have to tackle this parking issue. 
"The whole road there is a problem, it would be very hard for me to support this unless there is some guarantee on parking to make up for what is lost." 
He estimated some 50 to 60 new houses could be built in that area in the future which would only add to parking problems in the area. 
The application, which had been recommended for approval by council planning officers, was refused 8-2 with five abstentions.


ONGAR: Council seeks community grant applications

7.46am - 28th April 2016

ONGAR Town Council is to continue its Community Grants programme for the 2016-17 financial year.
While funds are limited the council hopes to be able to assist as many community groups as possible.
The deadline for submissions is August 31. 
Application forms and funding criteria are available on the Ongar Town Council website and from the council office in Bansons Way.


LOUGHTON: Children grow seeds from space

6.11pm - 27th April 2016

YEAR 5 children at Thomas Willingale School and Nursery, Loughton, have planted special rocket seeds that have travelled into space. 
Aspen Class received two packets of seeds - a red pack and a blue pack - with 100 seeds in each last week. 
One of the packets has been aboard the International Space Station with astronaut Tim Peake, but the children do not know which one. 
That fact will not be revealed until the project ends.
The seeds were carefully sown in line with the detailed instructions, and germination happened on day 3!
Class teacher Aileen Holland said: "So far, seeds from both the blue packet and red packet have germinated so the children will watch carefully as the plants grow in the coming weeks." 
The project is now among the biggest mass science experiments conducted in UK schools. 
The aim of the experiment is to enthuse young people about science and horticulture and provide the European Space Agency with key insights into some of the challenges of growing food in space.
Thomas Willingale is one of up to 10,000 schools which have received seeds. 
Tim Peake wished good luck to all the participating schools. 
He said: "It’s possible that among those pupils taking part in the project are the young people who will help mankind reach the next big milestones in space exploration for the benefit of people on Earth. 
"I hope the RHS Campaign for School Gardening’s Rocket Science experiment will spark curiosity and wonder amongst young people who may become the next generation of horticultural scientists.” 
Thomas Willingale headteacher Teresa Phillips said: “We are very excited to be taking part in Rocket Science. 
"This experiment is a fantastic way of teaching our children to think more scientifically and share their findings with the whole school." 
Rocket Science is just one educational project from a programme developed by the UK Space Agency to celebrate British ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s Principia mission to the ISS and inspire young people to look into careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects, including horticulture.



CHIGWELL: School holds its own 'Oscar' night

8.49am - 27th April 2016

WEST Hatch High School hosted its own 'Oscar' evening to celebrate the success, creativity and dedication of Year 12 and 13 Film and Media Studies students. 
Students arrived along a red carpet before being transported into the Oscar-themed drama studio. 
The evening - dedicated to students who had produced music videos, thriller opening sequences, storyboards and screenplays - was an opportunity for students to see their work and was also an opportunity for their work to be acknowledged within several different categories. 
They ranged from best cinematography, most original music video and most improved student. 
Students took their seats, with popcorn in hand, and waited for the presenters - the school's Head of Media Studies, Andriani Georgiou, and Media teacher Mariana Miller - who handed out the Oscar trophies.
Each award consisted of different nominees before the winner was announced. 
The audience also witnessed an array of montage images to demonstrate why each production was nominated, before the winner was revealed. 
The winners were:
* Best cinematography within a music video - Molly Emmerson, Claire Golightly and Sara Sheriff for 'Salvation'.
* Best editing within a music video - Mikaeel Khaliq and Harry Osborn for 'I Know'. 
* Best original music video - Jemimah Ali, Bettie Cooper, Jessica McCullagh and Rishika Sohal for 'Wings'. 
* Most conventional artist representation in a music video - Amy Sowerby for 'Salvation'. 
* Best cinematography within a thriller - Luca Khan, John Mavideniz, Ciara Ratican and Sasha Walledge for 'Imprisoned'. 
* Best editing within a thriller - Layla Boudaboussa, Leo Ly and Samara Stevenson for 'The Clown'. 
* Most conventional thriller- Nojus Cinkus for 'Blacklist'. 
* Most conventional screenplay - Stephen Noorshargh for 'Diary of a soldier'. 
* Most conventional storyboard - Luca Khan for 'Ports in the Storm' 
* Outstanding contribution to Media Studies - Kerry Boyne. 
* Outstanding contribution to Film studies- Charlie Stewart. 
* Most improved Media studies student- Claire Golightly.
* Most improved Film studies student - Tyler Osman. 
Head of Media Studies Andriani Georgiou said: "The evening was an overall success and students appreciated the hard work and commitment that had gone into organising and arranging the occasion.
"Year 12 students are already looking forward to next year."


WOODFORD: Woodford Festival dates set

3.02pm - 26th April 2016

THE Woodford Festival will this year be held between Saturday, October 1, and Sunday, October 9. 
New festival co-ordinator Major Paul Holifield, the Salvation Army Community Chaplain in South Woodford, will take on the co-ordination of the biennial celebration of local talent. 
He will be assisted by Paul Spencer who has also volunteered his services.


NORTH WEALD: Airfield day raises £4,000

3.00pm - 26th April 2016

A CHEQUE for £4,000 raised at North Weald Airfield's 2015 Community Day - A Salute to the Few - has been presented to the North Weald and Ongar branch of The Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA). 
This year the airfield celebrates the 100th anniversary of its opening in the summer of 1916. 
A series of district-wide commemorative events are planned throughout the year with the airfield holding a ‘100th Anniversary Air Fete’ Community Day on Sunday, July 17.


LOUGHTON: School holds autism awareness days

1.57pm - 26th April 2016

TWO autism awareness days have been held at Debden Park High School. 
The event was organised by the Learning Support team with the assistance of Psychology teacher Penny Ventura. 
There was an assembly and presentation for all students educating them on the definition of the ‘Hidden Disability’, how it presents itself to others and how it can affect students who attend a busy school. 
An ‘idioms’ competition, entitled 'Say what?' was aimed at helping students understand how confusing everyday life can be for those with the condition. 
Students could also visit a stand featuring books and resources about autism with the displays hosted by students diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum. 
And there was a cake sale with students and staff providing the cakes which were sold for donations of between 20p and 50p. 
The sale raised £323.45 which will be spent on resources for students with autism at the school.
Students were also invited to wear an accessory coloured pink, purple or blue and make a donation towards the cause.


ONGAR: Town council holding Annual Town Meeting

8.04am - 26th April 2016

REPORTS on the work of Ongar Town Council over the past year will be given at the council's Annual Town Meeting at the Jubilee Park Pavilion, Love Lane, Ongar, on Thursday, April 28 (7pm). 
There will also be a report from town council chairman James Browning. 
The meeting is also an opportunity for local residents and representatives of town-based organisations to ask questions about the council's activities and facilities over the past 12 months. 
During the meeting the council will present its Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year awards.


ONGAR: Academy gets planning permission

2.51pm - 22nd April 2016

THE Ongar Academy has received planning permission for its state-of-the-art school facilities next to Ongar Leisure Centre. 
Epping Forest District Council’s district development management committee approved the proposals unanimously. The plans now require Secretary of State approval before work can start. 
Headteacher David Grant said: “This is another huge milestone for the school and we are very grateful to Epping Forest District Council for their support. 
"We are continuing to deliver the vision of a world class education for the children of Ongar and our new buildings will assist us in that aim." 
Pete Marchant, chairman of The Ongar Academy Trust, said: “Our team have worked incredibly hard to arrive at this point and we are delighted that we will be building such a wonderful new educational facility here in Ongar”. 
Preparation work including further soil tests and archaeological investigations will now start with the full building programme scheduled to begin in the summer with the new school set to open in September next year.


NORTH WEALD: Mums group raises CCTV cash

2.49pm - 22nd April 2016

THE North Weald Mums group raised over £1,300 with a special evening at the Cinnamon restaurant, High Road, North Weald. 
The evening included a meal and entertainment from Robbie Williams tribute act Lee Pashley. 
A total of £10 from each ticket sold went towards the group's fundraising efforts for CCTV on the Weald Common play area. 
The amount raised includes proceeds from a raffle and a donation from the restaurant. 
North Weald Mums are still short of their target and are seeking grant funding.


VOTE 2016: Council clarifies EU Referendum voting

2.15pm - 22nd April 2016

FOLLOWING reports of incorrect information being shared on social media, Epping Forest District Council’s Electoral Services team has been inundated with enquiries about registering for the EU Referendum on June 23. 
A council spokesman said: “You do not need to register for the EU Referendum if you have already received a poll card for the upcoming Police Crime Commissioner (PCC) and Local Elections on May 5. 
"If you are on the Electoral Register you will be included in all Elections and Referendums. 
“You only need to register for the EU Referendum if you have moved after April 18, 2016, in which case you need to do so by Tuesday, June 7.”


DISTRICT: Beacons lit to celebrate Queen's 90th birthday

1.20pm - 22nd April 2016

MORE than 100 people turned out to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday with the lighting of a beacon in Epping. 
The Epping Town Council-organised event saw the beacon lit by the council's very experienced Town Supervisor Bill Towers who had also hand-made the beacon for a previous celebration. 
Town Mayor Michael Wright read a special message from Prince Charles before the lighting took place at the Frampton Road recreation ground. 
After the lighting, music was provided by Celebration Duo. Refreshments were also available. 
Mayor Michael Wright said: "It was a lovely evening and a special way for the town to help celebrate the Queen's 90 glorious years."

For Everything Epping Forest's pictures of the Epping event CLICK HERE

WALTHAM Abbey Mayor Helen Kane led the countdown to the lighting of a beacon at Town Mead at an event organised by Waltham Abbey Town Council. 
Mrs Kane welcomed onlookers and read the message from Prince Charles congratulating the Queen on her birthday, after which the national anthem and Happy Birthday was sung before Her Majesty was given 'three cheers' and the beacon was lit by town council groundsman John Duhy. 
The cake was cut by Beverly Hodges and distributed by Mrs Kane and town clerk Kathryn Richmond. 
A barbecue at the clubhouse included sausages donated by the town's new sausage shop, the East London Sausage Company. 
A donation will be given to the Mayor’s charity, St Clare’s Hospice. 


An event was also held at the Hillyfields open space, Loughton. 


THEYDON BOIS: Police appeal after two burglaries in six days

9.10am - 20th April 2016

POLICE are appealing for information following two burglaries in six days in Theydon Bois. 
Jewellery was stolen from a property in Poplar Row after the front door was forced between 11.50am and 3.50pm on Tuesday, April 5. 
The second incident happened in Theydon Park Road between 1pm and 1.45pm on Monday, April 11, when rear French doors were smashed. 
The suspects left when they were disturbed by a neighbour. Two men were seen driving off in a silver or grey vehicle.
Anyone with any information should ring Dc Amy Kavanagh at Loughton CID on 101.


M25: Family pay tribute to crash victim

9.08am - 20th April 2016

THE family of a woman who died following a road traffic collision on the M25 near Epping have paid tribute to her. 
A Nissan Note and a HGV collided on the clockwise carriageway between junctions 26 and 27 at 1.55am on Tuesday, March 29. 
Laura Cooper, 34, from Leicestershire - who was a passenger in the Nissan - died in hospital on Saturday, April 2.
Laura’s sister, Jo-Anne Adamson, said: "Laura leaves behind a devastated 18-year-old son, her parents, siblings and a wealth of friends. 
"Laura was a very popular and generous young woman with roots in both London and Leicester. She will leave a huge hole in the lives of her many loved ones. 
"Laura and I were like chalk and cheese, but we shared fun family times and we turned to each other in times of family need. 
"Tributes have poured in from her wide friendship group. This, and the fact that Laura chose to save others through organ donation, make me proud to have called her my sister. 
"It is a sad time for us all and we as a family would like to take this opportunity to thank the emergency services and the staff at The Royal London Hospital who tried their hardest to save Laura. 
"There is a Justgiving page to raise money for the London Air Ambulance, which helped Laura, and we would like to honour her memory with donations to them."


CHIGWELL: PE teacher set for London Marathon

8.35am - 20th April 2016

WEST Hatch High School PE teacher Lizzie Edwards is "nervous and excited" four days before her first marathon. 
She will be pounding the capital's streets as she joins tens of thousands of other runners on Sunday for this year's London Marathon. 
Having set herself an intiial target of £1,800, she has already been pledged £2,000 for Barnardo's. 
She said: "I am feeling both nervous and excited for the race on Sunday especially as it is a first for me and I have never pushed my body this far before.
"I would like to thank anyone who has donated to my Just Giving page so far and to ask those who haven’t to please do so as it is for a great cause." 
To add your support visit https://www.justgiving.com/Elizabeth-Edwards9/


DISTRICT: Borneo trek raises £30,000

1.30pm - 19th April 2016

A TEAM of eight fundraisers have returned from the intense heat of the jungles of Borneo having raised £30,000 for local breast cancer clinical trials. 
They hiked through the humid heat of the dense jungle and climbed to the summit of Mount Kinabalu spotting orangutans in aid of the trials unit at St Margaret’s Hospital, Epping and Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow. 
Former Savoy Hotel head chef Anton Edelmann, 63, thought the heat of the kitchen would prepare him for the humidity, but was surprised. 
He said: “The rainforest was amazingly hot and sweaty and very different from anything I had done before. Kinabalu is a fantastic and beautiful mountain but the last 500m were so steep it nearly killed me! But the views made up for the agony.” 
He said the group was great fun and very supportive. Father-of-two Anton has been fundraising for the charity since 2012 when he planned on climbing Kilimanjaro but had to drop out with an injury. “I can’t wait for the next challenge,” he added. 
Also taking part were Epping optometrist Polly Dulley, 51; Simon Gibb, 53; and Sarah Kershaw, 45, the wife of 1980s pop star Nik, who has performed sell-out concerts for the charity. 
She joined friends Viv Edwards, 45, and Lisa Pearce, 43, who have taken on all kinds of feats for the charity including organising a golf day at Hertfordshire Golf and Country Club in Broxbourne for four years, raising £53,000 for the charity. 
Mum-of-two Viv said: “This was an underestimated jungle trek and extreme mountain climb but in one of the most interesting countries - experiencing the dense jungle, beautiful nature, the views from the highest mountain in South East Asia and finally but not the least the funny orangutans. You need to be fit for this one!” 
Yvonne Martin, 63, who works in the trials unit, has taken on lots of challenges in recent years. 
She said: “I could never have achieved this without the determination of the team who were the best. Never again.” 
Paul Snadden, 64, who also took on the charity’s Cuba trek last year, said: “Sweat by sweat…step by step. 
"Together we beat the rainforest and reached the summit - totally sublime.” 
To join a trekking challenge to boost funds, ring the fundraising office on 01279 827857 or email pahbreasttrials@outlook.com


HASTINGWOOD: No objection to homes plan

8.42am - 19th April 2016

NO objections have been voiced by North Weald Bassett parish councillors to outline plans for between 45 and 80 homes on a redundant garden centre site in Hastingwood. 
The properties are earmarked for the former Debbies Garden Centre in Riddings Lane, between Hastingwood and Harlow. 
Last night's parish council planning committee was told the site was considered brownfield land. 
Parish council clerk Sue DeLuca said the applicant wanted to establish the idea of development before a full application was submitted. 
Planning committee chairman councillor Baden Clegg said: "Knowing the area as I do it was absolutely horrendous (the state of the site) and this (proposal) can only improve it." 
Councillors did not object, in principal, but concern was voiced over infrastructure and access. 
Councillor Sheila Jackman said: "Access needs to be considered early on." 
She also raised the issue of whether there would be sufficient local facilities, such as doctors, to accommodate the number of residents. 
Council chairman councillor Cyril Hawkins said: "If somebody wants to build 80 houses surely it is up to them to make the road secure beforehand." 

* No objections have been voiced by North Weald Bassett Parish Council to plans to renew outline planning approval for two homes on the site of Pretlove's removal firm in Epping Road, North Weald.
Planning permission was first granted by Epping Forest District Council in 2013.


CHIGWELL: It's magic! Former student on BGT

2.22pm - 18th April 2016

WEST Hatch High School's list of alumni who have starred on television talent shows has a new addition after magician Richard Jones wowed the judges on ITV's Britain's Got Talent on Saturday. 
The former Chigwell student left the High Road school six years ago and is now serving with the Household Cavalry. 
The one-time volunteer with the Pony Riding for the Disabled charity in Chigwell used his magical powers to create an origami cut-out of David Beckham - who had been secretly chosen by judge Amanda Holden from a flipbook of celebrities - and then having asked David Walliams to pick a drink, poured his chosen drink of hot tea from a sealed can of drink. 
However when he was a student at West Hatch it was Richard's trombone playing which was magic.
Music teacher Mauro Sheehan said: "Some people may remember him from around six years ago when he was at West Hatch. 
"I've never forgiven him for presenting me with one the trickiest accompaniments I've ever tackled. I may have to now!" 
Richard is the latest in a ever-growing list of West Hatch students who have starred on television talent shows in recent years. 
Jonathan Antoine and Charlotte Jaconelli were runners-up in Britain's Got Talent in 2012 while Sonny Jay, with the band Loveable Rogues, reached the final in the same year. 
Ryan Green has reached the knockout stage of BBC's The Voice while Michael McNeish, with dance group BoyBand, reached the final of Britain's Got Talent last year. 
John Wilding reached the judges' houses stage in ITV's X-Factor for two successive years in 2010 and 2011. 
In addition, a string of students and their families have starred in The Only Way is Essex.


WALTHAM ABBEY: Author visits school

2.18pm - 18th April 2016

AUTHOR and former football journalist Dan Freedman visited King Harold Academy to work with students from Years 7, 8 and 9. 
School librarian Giselle Morris said: "We were able to offer many of our students a literary treat that brought their reading to life." 
The event - organised by Mrs Morris and the school's literacy co-ordinator, Nicola Reece - included gifting 40 students with a copy of Freedman’s first book, ‘The Kick Off’, a special parent/carers evening and watching football matches whilst listening to ’The Kick-off’ being read in the Learning Resource Centre. 
All of Year 8 along with some specially selected Year 7 and 9 boys were given a ‘Big Talk’ by Mr Freedman who discussed his exciting and varied career journey, his experiences as a journalist, his work with the England football team, his latest venture of the Jamie Johnson series being made into a CBBC TV series, and his inspirations. 
Students were given the opportunity to ask many questions where they impressed staff with their thought and maturity. 
Later in the day, Mr Freedman spent time with a selected group of 40 Key Stage 3 boys where he led a writing workshop. 
The boys enthusiastically played detectives and psychologists by analysing the main characters from the Jamie Johnson series and created their own story with Mr Freedman’s support. 
The best four pieces of students' work will be published on Mr Freedman’s website. 
Mrs Reece said: "The students were really enthused about the whole event with many inspired to become authors themselves as Dan had reinvigorated their love of reading." 
Year 8 student Kai Ibrahim said: "Dan’s workshop made me realise how crucial reading is for my English and literacy skills, and has motivated me to never give up on whatever you do. "I feel really confident with my writing after working with Dan." 
Fellow Year 8 student Thomas Darling said ‘The ‘Big Talk’ had "inspired" him because Dan spoke about the struggles he went through at school. 
Year 8 student Santyna Marchesi said: "‘The ‘Big Talk’ showed me to try everything because I may regret it in the future. Dan Freedman didn’t like books and writing when he was younger but became an author which tells us we can be anything."


LOUGHTON: Council fun run attracts 126 runners

12.20pm - 17th April 2016

A TOTAL of 126 runners took part in Loughton Town Council's annual fun run. 
This year's event was supporting St Clare Hospice and Oak View School, Loughton. 
Runners were set on their way by Town Mayor Judy Jennings who presented medals to all participants at the finishing line on the Roding Valley recreation ground. 
While this morning's event was not a competitive run, the first runner to complete the 4km course was Peter Fairlamb with Mark Fox second and Mark Boglione third. 
The first junior home was ten-year-old Joseph Prasher, a pupil at St John Fisher Primary School, Loughton. 
The fun run was the first public event attended by Epping Forest District Volunteer Police Cadets who were marshalls for the morning. 

For pictures click here

For details about how to order 8x6ins prints, in presentation folders/mounts of any of the pictures featured email everythiingeppingforest@googlemail.com or ring David Jackman on 07710 447868.


LOUGHTON: Foodbank helps more than 500 people in a year

9.51am - 16th April 2016

MORE than 500 people were helped by Loughton Foodbank in the last financial year. 
A total of 503 three-day emergency food supplies were provided to local people in 2015-16 compared to 593 in 2014-15. 
Of the total number 222 of the indivuduals helped were children. 
At Loughton Foodbank the top two reasons for referral were benefit change (23 per cent) and low income (21 per cent). 
Over the last year, local people have donated 8.2 tonnes of food and more than 40 people volunteered.
Schools, businesses and faith groups have provided vital support enabling the Foodbank to give three days’ nutritionally balanced food and support to people in crisis as well as providing essentials like washing powder, nappies and hygiene products to struggling families and signposting them to other services in the area. 
Loughton Foodbank manager Heather Scholer said: “Whilst we are seeing a slight decrease in the numbers of people referred to us, we are concerned that some agencies and charities who would normally refer people to us have been unable to do so because funding reductions have caused their services to be squeezed or closed. 
"We are looking into this further, and are dedicated to ensuring that anyone in the community who hits a crisis is able to access our support. 
"It is all too easy when you look at figures to forget the real people behind the statistics."


LOUGHTON: NuBar licence appeal fails

9.29am - 16th April 2016

THE NuBar in Loughton has had its licence suspended until May 3 after a failed attempt to get a temporary suspension lifted. 
Essex Police submitted an application for a review of Nu Bar’s alcohol licence to the district council’s licensing sub-committee following an assault incident on Sunday, April 10. 
The application called for either the temporary suspension of the licence or the enforcement of stringent conditions in the interim period until a full hearing took place. 
Councillors on Thursday rejected an appeal by Greene King to lift the temporary suspension saying the suspension was "appropriate and proportionate" given the evidence submitted. 
The suspension will continue until the full hearing on May 3. 
Essex Police Superintendent Trevor Roe said: "We are happy to support the night-time economy in the Epping Forest district but when public safety, crime and disorder become an issue, robust steps will be taken to enforce the law around licensing by the licensing officers and the new community policing team based at Loughton."


EPPING: PICTURES: Town council presents awards

8.49am - 16th April 2016


A FORMER Epping mayor who dedicated decades of his time preserving the town’s heritage has been presented with Epping Town Council’s Freeman of the Town award. 
Mr Favre, 98, who recently moved to Leeds had lived in Epping since the 1960s. 
His efforts safeguarded Hill Hall, Theydon Mount, from development before he turned his attention to Copped Hall. 
With architect Alan Cox, Mr Favre established the Copped Hall Trust and after a nine-year campaign saw the grounds purchased by the Trust. 
A founder member of the Epping Society, he campaigned against the M25 cutting through part of Epping Forest and his concerns about the Green Belt still hold true today. 
He joined Epping Town Council in 1976 and was Town Mayor in 1980. Mr Favre and his late wife, Nancy, gave great support to the local British Red Cross branch. 
Town Mayor Michael Wright said: “Now that he has moved to Leeds to be near his daughter, their gain is our loss and I am certain we all wish him well. 
“I am delighted to honour Denys Favre as a Freeman of Epping and for him to join a very select group who have been honoured in this way.” 
Mr Favre said: “I’m delighted to be recognised by the people of Epping after 52 years living in the town. It’s marvellous to have the award and I must thank the Town Mayor and his council for remembering me after all this time.” 

Tricia Gurnett (writing on Everything Epping Forest's Facebook page) - Delighted to read this. Denys has worked so hard for the town of Epping over a great number of years, and was a driving force in the purchase and restoration of Copped Hall. A true gentleman.

Canon Rev'd Geoffrey Connor receives Townsperson of the Year award

Canon Rev’d Geoffrey Connor received Epping Town Council’s Townsperson of the Year award. 
Rev’d Connor, who retires later this year, first came to St John’s Church in July 2000. 
Town Mayor Michael Wright said: “Geoffrey has helped to create a community spirit and a focal point for the people of Epping. 
“He has helped to make the Church not just a place of worship but a place for brass band concerts, Christmas tree festivals, art exhibitions, horticultural shows and much more. 
“He is one of the driving forces behind the Heart of Epping project to create a community hall for Epping to enjoy. 
“He gave permission for the Light Curtain round the church at Christmas which could be seen for miles.
“When he retires this year from his very demanding job, he will be missed by so many people. 
“Geoffrey’s warmth and enthusiasm is reflected in his sermons, services and everything he does in the community. 
“Canon Geoffrey Connor epitomises the type of person that was envisaged by this award.” 
Rev’d Connor said: “It’s a great privilege to have been awarded Townsperson of the Year by such a wonderful group of people representing an amazing community.” 

Special award for former Town Supervisor

A special award was made to Bill Towers to mark his 30 years working for Epping Town Council. 
Bill is Epping’s Town Supervisor (or Recreation & Amenities Manager) and has worked with seven Town Clerks and 29 different Town Mayors. 
Until last year, he also ran the weekly Monday market. 
Town Mayor Michael Wright, who presented Mr Towers with a certificate and a framed montage of pictures of colleagues he has worked with over the years, said: “There is nothing Bill cannot turn his hand to. He knows pretty much everyone in the town and they know him. 
"There are 13 members of staff at Epping Town Council and every one of them turns to Bill for advice." 
He thanked Bill for everything he does and continues to do for Epping.



ONGAR: Council makes Jubilee Park manager redundant with no consultation

UPDATED 8.45am - 16th April 2016

Ongar Town Council chairman James Browning told Everything Epping Forest: "Ongar Town Council has been reviewing the finances and usage of Jubilee Park. Jubilee Park is a financial drain on the council's reserves and is not providing value for money to the rate payers of Ongar and cannot be sustained. 
"The review identified areas where savings and improvements can be made. 
"To reduce costs and provide more innovation, to move Jubilee Park forward, a new management structure is being implemented. 
"Unfortunately jobs and some facilities will be lost or reduced as a result of the necessary re-structuring to ensure the survival of Jubilee Park and the facilities for all the organisations that use it and the rate payers of Ongar."

3.02pm - 15th April 2016

THE manager of Ongar Town Council's Jubilee Park has been made redundant without any consultation or explanation why the position is no longer necessary. 
Angus McKenzie, who took on his role at the Love Lane facility in November 2014 - three months before the town council took over the day-to-day management of the site - left the council's employment today (Friday) having declined an option to work a month's notice. 
The town council took the decision in private session at last night's full council meeting. 
Mr McKenzie said: "As an employee of a local authority I would have expected to have been consulted from the beginning and given opportunities to either take a cut in pay or reduce my hours in order to meet their (the council's) expectations of costs which they have never been clear about.
"They (the councillors) have never said how much they want to save and have not involved me in any discussions about how I could help them achieve their aims." 
Mr McKenzie added: "We have had massive financial figures banded around by councillors - one such figure was £70,000 - as to what the actual deficit for the last financial year was. These are untrue. 
"The latest un-audited figures show a loss of £9,981 for the last financial year. When taking some £11,000 off for one-off costs, which include new urinals, finger guards on doors and water main work, there is a near £1,000 profit, excluding National Insurance costs and my salary. 
"There have been rumours that the cafe and bar are always empty yet in the last financial year the cafe took some £27,500 and the bar some £125,200." 
Last week alone a total of £4,000 was banked, Mr McKenzie said. 
Everything Epping Forest understands that the council is also proposing to reduce opening hours at the Jubilee Pavilion. 
Mr McKenzie said: "As a service for Ongar residents I cannot see how the changes are of benefit to the residents. 
"There are regular users who will be unhappy with the proposed changes which include the bar opening only from 7pm until 11pm Monday to Friday instead of all day."
Opening hours for weekends are expected to remain the same.
Mr McKenzie added: "We have many regular customers who come in for breakfast, lunches and drinks.
"The council hasn't looked at any other options regarding increasing income. 
"The council agreed to freeze bar prices and pitch hire fees for a year - keeping them the same as when Ongar Social and Sports Club managed the facilities." 
Mr McKenzie added: "A council is something that should be fair and open with all staff." 
Mr McKenzie said he was "not surprised" at the council's decision to make him redundant adding: "When I came on board (November 2014), - six months before the current council was elected - the then Ongar Town Council had clear views as to what they wanted from Jubilee Park and that was for it to be open more hours and for it to become more of a community facility, albeit run by the town council. 
"I believe that in the first year we have shown that there is a need for this facility." 
Ongar Town Council chairman James Browning has been asked to give a full response to the council's decision to make Mr McKenzie redundant and to explain the future management of Jubilee Park.

Angus McKenzie PICTURE

Letter from former Ongar town councillor Andrew Kaye: I was appalled at the decision of Ongar Town Council, on Thursday, April 14, to instantly dismiss the manager of the Jubilee Park project on the grounds of redundancy without any warning and without the required staff consultations one would expect from a considerate and responsible employer. 
The Jubilee Park facilities are also to be drastically reduced which will be a sad loss to the community. The café will close and the bar will be open for less hours. 
This, at a time when the summer is on its way and an outdoor patio has been agreed to be built, incorporating play facilities for children. 
At a recent finance committee, decisions were taken and approved by full council, securing funding for all council services, including Jubilee Park, for the next year. 
Suddenly in a u-turn, the council is so concerned about the financial situation that it has reversed its decision abruptly and destructively, and sacked the facility manager. 
Since the former council’s takeover of Jubilee Park in February 2015, and for the last 14 months, there have been vast improvements made; the kitchen refurbishment, the flooring and furniture brought up to standard, safety features introduced, a range of entertainment facilities and equipment brought in, improved outside lighting and even proposals to repair the car park surface. 
However this is the time that the council decides to sack the manager.
In my opinion the Ongar Residents Association majority group is made up of a disaffected and aggrieved group of former members of the Ongar Social and Sports Club; a member’s club which was taken over by the former town council following disputes over rent payments, the unacceptable condition of the premises and the council’s insurers questioning the insurable state of the building. 
The former council envisaged it to become a community centre for the benefit of all; although it seems to me that the Ongar Residents Association profess to know the cost of Jubilee Park but not the value of it. 
It would not surprise me to find that a majority group committee will now be convened to actually supervise and run Jubilee Park: then, it would be fair to say, things have gone full circle.


LOUGHTON: School fundraising for a defibrillator

2.59pm - 15th April 2016

FUNDRAISING is underway at a Loughton school to help provide a piece of equipment that the school never wants to use. 
Emergency First Aid Ltd is working with Thomas Willingale School and Nursery in The Broadway to raise £1,000 for a defibrillator. 
Danny Hyde, Emergency First Aid Ltd director and lead instructor, hopes to eventually raise sufficient money to provide the equipment for other schools that it works with in the area. 
The company will provide free training once the defibrillator has been purchased. 
Danny said: "Our staff, shareholders and family will be taking on various challenges in the next few years to achieve this."
A 100km run and a gruelling hike up Pen Y Fan are already planned along with a triathlon in September.
Danny said: "Sadly 270 children die in the UK every year after suffering a Sudden Cardiac Arrest at school.
"If a defibrillator is used and effective CPR is performed within three to five minutes of cardiac arrest, survival chances increase from six per cent to 74 per cent which is incredible. 
"A full defibrillator package costs roughly £1,000 so we have a massive challenge." 
Staff at Thomas Willingale have already received training.
Danny added: "They are an amazing school who really believe in First Aid for all." 
Head Teacher Teresa Phillips said: "We are delighted to be given the opportunity to have a defibrillator based at our school, most of us are already trained on the use of one as we are highly trained in First Aid thanks to Emergency First Aid Limited. 
"This potentially life-saving equipment will be available not only for our school community to use, but also the local community too."


DISTRICT: MP attends International Churchill Society meeting

2.57pm - 15th April 2016

EPPING Forest MP Eleanor Laing attended a meeting of the International Churchill Society held at Chigwell Golf Club.
The meeting - organised by chairman Tony Woodhead and secretary Raymond Warner - saw Celia Sandys, granddaughter of Sir Winston, gave a "brilliant" lectureillustrated by pictures and videos of the Great Man, entitled "The Power of Words". 
She took her enraptured audience through the history of Sir Winston's most famous speeches explaining their importance and effect. 
For the audience it was a very special experience - hearing about Sir Winston directly from his beloved granddaughter, Mrs Laing said.
She added: "Hearing about Sir Winston directly from his granddaughter, Celia, was a very special experience. 
"Celia is an accomplished historian and chronicler of her grandfather's works. Her presentation was brilliant - most informative and utterly enthralling. 
"The members of the local branch of the International Churchill Society enjoyed it immensely."


EPPING: University student set for Avon Gorge abseil

10.50am - 15th April 2016

A UNIVERSITY student from Epping will be taking part in a 200m abseil from the top of Avon Gorge in Somerset to raise money for a charity which has supported her family for 21 years. 
Sophie Turrell, 19, of James Street, hopes to raise £200 when she takes the plunge to support the charity bibic, which supports children and young adults, on Saturday, May 7. 
Sophie said: “Bibic has this wonderful ability to welcome beautiful children, desperate parents and everyone in-between in the family, provide them with the support and comfort they need, for them to leave smiling and hopeful. 
“There is a rising population of children with disabilities nationally and I hope that through events like this, not only will they help fundraising for the charity, but also promote and expand the reach of the charity, so they are able to help even more children such as my brother.” 
Sophie’s family have been involved with bibic since her older brother, Charles, was eight months old.
Charles will be 21 in August. 
Sophie, who is in her first year studying law at the University of Winchester, said: “Before we found bibic, we were in a hopeless situation with the hospitals not offering any new information or help about Charles' condition. 
“Bibic not only offered us help and answers, they offered us support as a family, not just for Charles. I can guarantee that without bibic, none of us would be where we are today.” 
Sophie’s only previous abseil experience saw her drop 20m on a climbing wall while on a school trip nine years ago. Now she is preparing for something far more daunting. 
She said: “This is going to be a massive challenge and I hope I remember the right techniques! When I agreed to take part I thought it would only be about 50m, or a little climbing wall. 
"When I found out it was closer to 200m I almost fell off my chair! 
“I can't imagine how I'm going to feel when I'm at the top but I guarantee I'll feel much better once I get to the bottom on solid ground again!” 
Anyone who wants to support Sophie’s fundraising effort can do so via her JustGiving page


ONGAR: Council takes first step towards Neighbourhood Plan but has no budget

7.25am - 15th April 2016

ONGAR Town Council is to take initial steps towards developing a Neighbourhood Plan, despite having set no budget for the initiative. 
Nine out of the 24 town or parish councils in the district are working on their own Plan.
Town council chairman James Browning told last night's planning and environment committee the fact Ongar was not among the nine had "hit me between the eyes" when the figure was given at the last Epping Forest District Council Local Councils' Liaison Committee.
When asked by Everything Epping Forest after last night's meeting about the financial implications of a Neighbourhood Plan, Mr Browning said there would be no immediate cost as the council would look to undertake the work with interested residents on a voluntary basis. 
However a figure of between £35,000 and £40,000 was mentioned by former Ongar town councillor and current North Weald Bassett Parish Council Sheila Jackman as the possible cost of a Neighbourhood Plan when she spoke during the meeting's open forum. 
She said: "There is no budget for doing a Neighbourhood Plan." 
Giving an example of the amount of work involved, Mrs Jackman highlighted Epping Town Council which delivered a questionnaire to every household in the town. 
Epping Town Council has also held various public exhibitions and information sessions and taken on an additional member of staff to input the information gathered. 
Mrs Jackman stressed that Neighbourhood Plans must be "community led". 
Everything Epping Forest has reported on the process being undertaken by North Weald Bassett Parish Council which is looking to start work on a Neighbourhood Plan. 
The council has received expressions of interest from more than 200 local residents keen to get involved.
North Weald Bassett Parish Council has budgeted an initial sum of £39,000 for its Plan work while Moreton, Bobbingworth and The Lavers Parish Council, which is the first council in Epping Forest to submit a Neighbourhood Plan for approval, precepted £1,000 and sought grant funding - about £17,000 - for the remainder of its costs. 
Clerk Adriana Jones told Everything Epping Forest: "This low cost was only possible due to the fantastic community assistance (with roughly one person per 25 residents acting as a Community Champion)."
Any approved Neighbourhood Plan has to go before the local electorate at a referendum - and receive at least 50 per cent support from those who vote - before it is officially adopted. 
A Neighbourhood Plan can help a community shape its future through the planning process. 
Mr Browning said Ongar Town Council should try and identify some local people interested in getting involved. 
Former councillor Andrew Kaye - who resigned from the council last week - has told the council he is willing to be on a "working group" which Mr Browning said would be "pro-active".
He added: "The invitation is open to the public and members of the council. Hopefully we can have a say in how our future is shaped and make sure our residents are kept informed." 
Last night's planning and environment committee meeting was told the council had some contact information of residents who attended a recent meeting when the Green Belt review was discussed.


DISTRICT: Driver, 86, has licence revoked during police check

7.22am - 15th April 2016

AN elderly driver had his licence revoked after failing an eyesight test during a road safety operation covering Loughton and Epping. 
Police officers requested an urgent licence revocation from the DVLA after the 86-year-old man, from Ilford, failed an eyesight test during Surround a Town, a long-running campaign with Essex County Council to increase road safety and detect offenders using the roads. 
Motorcycles and cars were used to intercept vehicles which were taken to stop-check sites in High Road, Loughton, Lindsey Street, Epping and junction 7 of the M11. 
The man was stopped after officers became concerned about the manner of his driving. 
After he failed the roadside eyesight test, officers used the DVLA’s fast track procedure to apply for his licence to be revoked immediately. 
The man was given a lift home and will have to have his eyesight tested and corrected before he can apply for his licence back.
During the operation two men wanted on warrant for non-payment of fines were arrested. 
A 39-year-old London man was arrested at junction 7 of the M11 and taken into custody. 
A 34-year-old man, from Hornchurch, was arrested in Lindsey Street and taken to custody where full payment was made before being released. 
Fifty-two drivers were dealt with for using a mobile phone behind the wheel and 75 for failing to wear a seatbelt. 
Two drivers were spotted committing both offences. Nineteen drivers were dealt with for speeding offences and three vehicles were found not to have a valid MoT certificate. 
Three vehicles were seized because their drivers did not have appropriate insurance and one driver was found to be driving otherwise than in accordance with the terms of their licence. 
Five vehicles were over the legal weight limit and two had registration plates which did not comply with legal requirements.
Sgt Dave Rudd, from the Casualty Reduction Unit, said: "Having their licence revoked can be devastating for many people as it comes with a loss of independence. However we have a duty to protect these drivers as well as the thousands of other people who use the roads of Essex. 
"Where a driver fails an eyesight test and our officers believe them to present a severe risk to the public we will request an urgent revocation from the DVLA. This is only temporary however and once the driver has ensured their eyesight has been corrected they can make an application to have their licence returned to them. 
"When we do revoke a licence at the roadside our officers do all they can to safeguard the driver’s welfare. This often involves giving them a lift home and speaking to their family and friends to ensure they are aware of the situation and are able to support the driver particularly if a decision needs to be made as to whether they should apply for their licence to be returned.”


ONGAR: Staff not consulted over Jubilee Park future

8.47am - 14th April 2016

STAFF at Ongar Town Council’s Jubilee Park are yet to be consulted over planned staffing changes which include making the manager redundant. 
Despite councillors continuing to press ahead with plans to make manager Angus McKenzie redundant council chairman James Browning has told Everything Epping Forest "no decision" has been taken over the future management of the Love Lane site. 
The facilities have been managed by the town council since February last year. 
Councillors took the decision to make Mr McKenzie redundant during private discussions at last Thursday’s human resources committee. 
Tonight’s full council is being asked - again in private session - to “consider and agree to restructure the management at Jubilee Park” and carry out a staff consultation “as soon as possible”. 
Everything Epping Forest asked Mr Browning how the council saw the future management of Jubilee Park without a manager. 
In an emailed reply, he stated: “Ongar Council is aware it (Jubilee Park) is a major asset to the community and continues to be a work in progress. No decision has been made at this time.”


DISTRICT: Council defends purchase of drones

4.28pm - 13th April 2016

EPPING Forest District Council has defended its decision to buy two drones to undertake aerial photography for various purposes, including planning and enforcement work. 
The cabinet agreed in January to buy the drones at a cost of £5,000 which includes Civil Aviation Authority-approved training for staff. 
A council spokesman said the purchase could generate income for the council which has been buying commercial photographs and videos for site surveys for more than 50 years.
Purchasing the equipment means many benefits that will save the council money and time, the spokesman said. 
These include real-time surveys for planning purposes meaning the council does not have to purchase aerial photography for new planning developments and landscaping enforcement; surveying roofs and guttering on council-owned estates saving money and time on scaffolding and surveys, and identifying illegal waste transfer sites and previously unidentified unauthorised caravan encampments.
The spokesman added: "We are hoping the drones could generate the council income. 
"We will be exploring the opportunities of shared use with other local authorities and public bodies. This will help to ensure we remain a low council tax authority (we have frozen our portion of council tax for the last six years). 
"We would like to reassure residents that the drones will not be used for snooping on our residents but used as a valuable tool in the fight against environmental and planning abuses. We will not be looking into peoples back gardens. 
"This innovative use of new technology helps to save the taxpayer money and helps us to look after the environment in the Epping Forest district, in which we are proud to live, work and enjoy."


EPPING: Church building project gets planning approval

1.09pm - 13th April 2016

AMBITIOUS plans for a community centre building adjoining St John’s Church in Epping have received full planning approval from Epping Forest District Council. 
The ‘Heart of Epping’ project will see the demolition of St John's House which will be replaced by an attractive and well-equipped two-storey building with meeting rooms, community hall, cafe, toilets and kitchen. 
The Bishop of Barking, the Right Reverend Peter Hill, said: “Epping is a great place to live. I am delighted that the council recently gave final approval to the plans for a new 'Heart of Epping' centre alongside St John’s Parish Church. 
“This will greatly enhance the church’s capacity to offer comfortable and modern facilities for the benefit of the community in which it is already a hub of life and activity as well as a place of Christian worship.” 
He added: “We are thrilled that this important step is complete and we are motivated to see the building work begin as soon as we reach our £1m target for Phase One - the construction of the Building. Phase 2 will be the fitting out and equipping of the centre. 
“Industrious work continues with local people, charitable trusts and our fundraiser to achieve this goal.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported us this far, and we ask for your on-going support and prayers that this vision for our community becomes a reality.” 
Rector of St John’s, the Rev’d Canon Geoffrey Connor, said: “The wonderful news that we have been granted planning permission by Epping Forest District Council represents a lot of hard work by our architects, Molyneux Kerr, consultants Stace, Epping, and our Project Director, Mark Sowerby, working with a team which includes a dedicated group from the Church. 
“We have a vision of working together with other groups in our community and our local authorities to provide a Community Hub centred on the St John’s Road area which will truly become the ‘Heart of Epping’ offering first class facilities for the communal and spiritual life of our town.”
To make a donation click here
For more information about the project and to speak to someone about donations, email geoffrey_connor@priest.com 

Plans for the building can be viewed here.


HIGH ONGAR: Two men injured in A414 collision

9.13am - 13th April 2016

TWO men were injured in a two-car collision which closed the A414 at High Ongar for several hours.
Three fire crews - from Epping, Loughton and Brentwood - were called out at about 7pm last night to deal with the collision which happened between the two junctions with The Street. 
Firefighters used specialist cutting equipment to release the victims. It took crews about an hour-and-a-half to release the casualties.
It is understood that one of the men was airlifted to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge and the other was taken to Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow.
The road was still closed some three hours after the collison as road policing officers carried out an investigation.



LOUGHTON: NuBar licence temporarily suspended

8.01am - 13th April 2016

THE licence of NuBar in Loughton High Road has been temporarily suspended by Epping Forest's licensing committee following an expedited review. 
The review follows a series of incidents, the latest involving a man who was slashed on the neck outside the premises in the early hours of Sunday (April 10). 
The application made by Essex Police to the Epping Forest Licensing committee was heard yesterday morning (Tuesday). 
The review will take place within 28 days. 
Superintendent Trevor Roe said: "We are happy to support the night-time economy in the Epping Forest district but when public safety, crime and disorder become an issue, robust steps will be taken to enforce the law around licensing by the licensing officers and the new community policing team based at Loughton.”


ONGAR: Beatrix Potter talk to ladies group

8.51am - 12th April 2016

A TALK on Beatrix Potter and the Lake District was given by Dudley Chignall to the April meeting of Ongar and Shelley Ladies Thursday Group. 
Over the years he had taken many slides and decided that he could present a slide show whilst giving a brief history of Beatrix Potter’s books. 
Beatrix spent many years visiting the Lake District with her parents and became fond of the area. The first of her 23 published books was The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Some have been translated into 36 other languages. 
Her drawings nearly all came from her pets or animals from the farm or ones she had seen in the surrounding countryside. 
Beatrix eventually lived at Hill Top Farm. 
She married William Heelis when she was aged 46 and over the following years she managed to purchase other farms in the area covering thousands of acres of land. 
She was also a top breeder of sheep and pigs and had won many prizes at shows. 
Beatrix died from pneumonia in 1943 and left her properties and land in the hands of the National Trust.


DISTRICT: Beacons to mark Queen's 90th birthday

9.19pm - 11th April 2016

THREE beacons will be lit across the district to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday. 
The beacons will be among hundreds lit across the country after the Queen lights the main beacon. Celebrations will take place in Epping, Loughton and Waltham Abbey on Thursday, April 21. 
Epping Town Council is holding an event at the Frampton Road recreation ground from 7pm with the beacon to be lit at 7.30pm. 
Town Clerk Beverley Rumsey said: "Epping Town Council are delighted to be taking part in this important event and invite everyone to come and join us for what we hope will be a memorable occasion. 
"It’s the kind of thing that children will remember for years to come. Refreshments will be available. Please come and join in.”
 Waltham Abbey Town Council is organising an event at Town Mead, the highlight of which will be the lighting of a beacon at 7.30pm. 
There will be a barbecue and Mayor Helen Kane will cut a birthday cake. 
Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Essex Michael Chapman will light Loughton's beacon at an event being held by Loughton Town Council at the top of the Hillyfields Open Space, off Rectory Lane/Pyrles Lane, from 7pm.
Town Crier Peter Frost will be welcoming visitors. 
There will be music provided which will include the choir of St John Fisher Catholic Primary School performing their favourite songs. 
Residents are welcome to take their own refreshments. They are recommended to wear comfortable shoes and warm clothing.


LOUGHTON: Tributes paid to former mayor and council chairman

2.01pm - 11th April 2016

FORMER Epping Forest District Council chairman and Loughton mayor Ken Angold-Stephens has died after a long illness. 
Mr Angold-Stephens joined Loughton Town Council at the May 2004 elections representing Roding Ward.
He served as Loughton Town Mayor in 2009-10 and was chairman of the district council in 2011-12.
Loughton Town Council clerk Enid Walsh said: "The dignity, courage and positivity with which he faced his terminal illness were the qualities associated with Ken in his working life." 
Mr Angold-Stephens was instrumental in creating the Memorial Rose Garden in Roding Road, next to St Michael’s Church. 
The garden had been open to the public since the 1960s but had become overgrown during the 1990s.
Mrs Walsh added: "Thanks to Ken’s dogged persistence during the many years of negotiation, planning and fundraising, it was restored to its former glory in 2014 and now serves as a fitting memorial to his devotion and hard work for the local community. 
"All our thoughts are with his wife, Jill and his family at this very sad time."
Epping Forest District Council has described the Loughton Residents' Association councillor as "one of the district’s most distinguished councillors".
District council chairman Liz Webster, speaking on behalf of councillors and staff, said: “This is incredibly sad news and our thoughts are with Ken’s family. 
“Ken had been unwell for quite a while but he continued to attend meetings until just a few weeks ago. He was a kind, gentle and extremely caring man, unfailing polite and courteous with a fine brain and a good heart. He will be missed by us all.”
Mr Angold-Stephens held some of the most important and prestigious roles on Epping Forest District Council. At various times he was the leader of Loughton Residents’ Association, chairman of the licensing committee and vice-chairman of the overview and scrutiny committee. 
He was also council vice-chairman before on the chairmanship the following year. 
He also had a long and distinguished career with the BBC. 
Councillor Stephen Murray said: 'Ken was a very special person and it has been an absolute pleasure and very great privilege to share the representation of the Loughton Roding ward with him for the last 12 years. 
"Ken was always generous with his help, support and wise advice. He was an outstanding community representative for the Roding and wider Loughton community 
"I feel certain that the memorial garden in Roding Road will be a permanent reminder of Ken's hard work. The project simply would not have happened without his drive and project management. 
"His wife, Jill, and all his family are in our thoughts and prayers at this sad time."


LOUGHTON: Man's neck slashed in High Road disturbance

2.13pm - 10th April 2016

A MAN suffered a serious slash wound to his neck during a disturbance involving about 40 people outside the NuBar in Loughton High Road. 
Police believe the victim, a man aged in his 20s, was struck with a glass. 
Officers were called at 2.20am.
Early witness accounts claim the victim was assaulted by two men, one believed to be wearing a polo-style top and another who was using crutches. 
A BMW car may have also been involved in the incident. 
The victim was taken to a London hospital where he remains in a serious but not life-threatening condition. 
A 31-year-old man, from Birmingham, has been arrested. 
Anyone with any information should ring Loughton CID on Essex Police 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


EPPING: Councillor stars on BBC game show

1.54pm - 10th April 2016

AN Epping town councillor has appeared on the BBC obstacle course game show Can't Touch This. 
Dan Spillman - the youngest councillor in Essex - reached the final three on last night's show. 
Dan, who was elected to the town council last May, said: "I applied for a few shows last summer after university finished for the fun of it and got a few auditions but was only successful with 'Can't Touch This'."
The show - which saw Dan compete against 15 other contestants in a bid to win a host of prizes, including a car - was filmed in Belfast. 
Dan, 20, of Chapel Road, Epping, said: "Filming took place in a day and was so much fun. I didn't go expecting to win anything and was thrilled to have got to the top three! 
"I kept it a secret with my some of my family and had a meal for the big reveal this weekend." 
He added: "Unfortunately only the winner gets any prizes so apart from a trip to Belfast, and being on national TV, I didn't win anything.
"It was definitely an experience I'll never forget! I think I'll apply for other shows this summer." 
Dan, who works part-time at the Epping M&S store, is currently in his second year at the LSE studying Government.


BUCKHURST HILL: Horticultural society holds spring show

3.33pm - 9th April 2016

A WIDE variety of daffodils were among the exhibits at Buckhurst Hill Horticultural Society's spring show.
Visitors could also cast their eyes over a range of other entries ranging from tubs of flowers to cakes, floral art creations and children's classes. 
There was also the usual selection of homemade cakes and a chance to buy plants. 

For pictures click here


ONGAR: Councillors' actions 'reduce staff to tears'

4.32pm - 8th April 2016

CLAIMS that the actions of Ongar Residents Association councillors have left town council staff in tears are included in the resignation letter of one of the three councillors who quit the council last night. 
Councillor Andrew Kaye's letter of resignation - a copy of which was given to Everything Epping Forest - was handed to council chairman Jim Browning after last night's open spaces committee meeting when councillors Diana Roberts and Janice Rushton also announced their resignations. 
Mr Kaye's letter stated he has been "extremely disheartened" by the way council business has been "so badly affected by the impact of the Ongar Residents Association's attitude to, and criticism of, the work of the Town Clerk and the office and also the decisions of the former council". 
He adds that he has been "appalled" at the conduct of certain councillors at some public council meetings and the language used by councillors which has "fallen far short of the standards expected at a council meeting". 
Mr Kaye also refers to "dozens" of Freedom of Information requests which have been made over the last two years which have caused the clerk and other staff "immense pressure of work". 
His letter adds: "Such circumstances and many others during the last few months have directly contributed to the stress amongst office staff. 
"There have been many occasions when staff have been reduced to tears and stress-related sick leave and now the Town Clerk is currently on protracted stress-related sick leave which may be long-term. 
"Only last week I witnessed the Deputy Clerk in a distressed state because of the language and harassment at a meeting which I attended." 
It also states: "The Ongar Residents Association, who have their own narrow view on the future direction of the town council, are a campaign group with little local government experience, occupying many senior positions on this council. 
"Over the past ten months they caused distress to the office staff, sometimes uproar in meetings, dismay to the public, and numerous resignations from a working group, committee and even the town council.
"This ORA takeover moves us away from the traditional systems of individual councillors making independent decisions based on argument rather than than the residents' association's leadership agenda. 
"An agenda which is focused on the Jubilee Park project whilst leaving other meetings less supported, such as the recent planning committee meeting with eight members missing, which was commented on by a member of the public." 
Mr Kaye also highlights the decision to cease to publish the town council's newsletter - "an important and direct news and information link to the residents of Ongar" - while his letter also raises the issue of ORA councillors' decision to not effectively promote the Jubilee Pavilion as they stated it would "unfairly attract business away from the High Street". 
Mr Kaye's letter concludes: "I cannot see matters improving and it is now evident from last night's human resources committee that not only a dramatic course of action has been proposed to take place regarding the personnel and facilities at Jubilee Park, which I feel is totally unacceptable and may lead to the complete disruption of sporting and community services at the pavilion, let alone affecting the livelihoods of some staff, but that the agenda was changed at the last minute before the actual meeting, contrary to required standard practice." 
In her resignation letter - which has also been passed to Everything Epping Forest - councillor Janice Rushton said she could not support a committee decision to make Jubilee Park manager Angus McKenzie redundant, or to make alterations to the hours of other Jubilee Pavilion staff. 
Her letter adds: "It has been a very difficult year with differences of opinion and constant questioning of the clerk's authority, especially in financial matters (as she is the Responsible Financial Officer)." 
Mrs Rushton added: "I have enjoyed my position as a town councillor for Marden Ash and regret that this situation has arisen with the importance of the Local Plan on the horizon." 

* Ongar Town Council chairman Jim Browning has been invited by Everything Epping Forest to respond in full to the contents of the resignation letters made public by the three resigning councillors.


HASTINGWOOD: Register for Midnight Walk

9.53am - 8th April 2016

FUNDRAISERS can register for St Clare Hospice’s Midnight Walk. 
Hundreds of supporters will be taking part in the event on Saturday July 2.
An estimated 600 people are set to walk in memory of loved ones to raise vital funds for the charity which hopes to hit its £60,000 fundraising target which would fund the hospice's Inpatient Unit for two weeks.
The walk starts at 11pm with participants walking through to about 1am. 
Registration is now open with an introductory offer of two places for £30 for the first 200 places. 
Standard ticket prices are £20 per adult (16 years and above) and £10 for children (aged 11-15). 
You can register online at http://stclarehospice.org.uk/event/midnight-walk-2016/ or by ringing Jade Clarke on 01279 773756 or emailing jade.clarke@stclarehospice.org.uk
Registration forms are also available from the hospice reception and St Clare Hospice shops.


ONGAR: Three more town councillors resign

9.59pm - 7th April 2016

THREE more Ongar town councillors have resigned citing the attitude of other councillors and actions of the council as the reasons behind their decisions to quit.
Former chairman Diana Roberts has resigned saying she has "grave concerns" over the way the council is "acting and behaving". 
Her announcement was followed by the resignations of councillor Andrew Kaye and councillor Janice Rushton. 
Councillor Diana Roberts, in her resignation letter - a copy of which was given to Everything Epping Forest after tonight's open spaces committee meeting - states: "The people of Ongar deserve better." 
The Labour councillor was council chairman for four successive years until last May.
Her letter states: "I have tried very hard over the last year to help new councillors settle in and give them support. It does appear to me now that the advice I have given especially about following rules and procedures, although agreed with at the time, has mostly been ignored by certain Ongar Residents' Association (ORA) counciillors who just want to push their own pre-conceived ideas forward no matter what the consequences are and their bad behaviour at meetings has mostly gone unchecked." 
Her letter adds: "I can no longer stand by and watch certain ORA councillors - whose only concern seems to be Jubilee Park - flout the rules, treat the staff shamelessly by refusing to believe what they are being told by the office and the Jubilee Park manager..." 
Mrs Roberts alleged the "constant bullying" of office staff and said that grievances made by staff are yet to be addressed. 
Mrs Roberts added that she herself is awaiting an apology, from an unnamed councillor, "which I do not expect to get". 
Her letter concluded: "This situation has been ongoing for some considerable time and has stressed the clerk (Aimi Middlehurst) so much that her doctor has placed her on sick leave with stress and anxiety.
"This is not the kind of behaviour I want my name put to as I am sure that sometime in the future there will be repercussions from this. 
"There are more important and pressing matters that need addressing such as the Local Plan, Neighbourhood Plan and the Chapel that have been sidelined. 
"The people of Ongar deserve better." 
Mr Kaye said he was "in the process of handing in his resignation" adding: "Very sadly there are so many issues that it seems I can't bring myself to have my name associated to. 
"I don't think I can gain any more by staying." 
Mrs Rushton said: "Mine (resignation letter) will follow too." 
She added: "Jubilee Park has just dominated and dominated and there are so many other things." 
Council chairman Jim Browning, addressing all three resigning councillors, said: "I personally don't' get why you are walking away. 
"Ongar will be worse off for you leaving. I wish you the best of luck." 
Labour councillor Peter Gode said: "It's a very sad night for Ongar when we loose councillors of such service. I think Ongar will be worse off as a result. I'd like to thanks them for all they have done." 
He added: "I am concerned about the future of Ongar Town Council, the staff are under enormous pressure. We were a Quality Council through the help and expertise of our staff. 
"To come down to this is a very sad day for Ongar. I think we need to hang our heads in shame." 
Mrs Roberts added: "It's the amount of stress that it's causing, Enough is enough." 
Deputy clerk Judith Farr thanked the three councillors for their contributions over the years adding: "They are a big loss to the staff."

Five Ongar town councillors have now resigned since the new council, with Ongar Residents' Association councillors holding control, was elected last May. 
Chipping Ongar ward councillor Lynn Hawkins resigned last July while planning and environment committee and public relations committee chairman Sheila Jackman resigned in February. 
No replacement chairman has been appointed to either committee with no councillor having expressed an interest in taking on the roles. 
Ongar Residents Association councillor Patrick Bolden stood down as chairman of the finance committee after a meeting had to be abandoned when the clerk, another member of staff and several councillors walked out when the chairman would not accept the clerk's explanation that financial information he was requesting was not immediately available.
Councillor Andrew Kaye resigned from the Jubilee Park Working Group and Labour councillor Peter Gode resigned as chairman and member of the Jubilee Park Committee.


ONGAR: Council deputy clerk denies agenda "error"

9.56pm - 7th April 2016

ONGAR Town Council's deputy clerk has dismissed a claim an "error" had been made on a council agenda despite having issued an amended version on the day of the meeting. 
The original agenda for tonight's human resources committee listed a private session item "to agree to make the Jubilee Park manager's position redundant". 
However this morning the council issued a second version of the agenda with the item changed to read "to review the management structure at Jubilee Park". 
Human resources committee chairman Christine Feetham opened the meeting stating that an "error was found" in the original agenda and apologised "if it is misleading or provided incorrect information to the public". 
Deputy clerk Judith Farr said she had been asked to change the agenda on the morning of the meeting but added: "I do not believe there was an error. 
"It (the original wording) is the proposal from the Jubilee Park Committee."


ONGAR: Council to take on 'locum' clerk

9.54pm - 7th April 2016

ONGAR Town Council is to take on a 'locum clerk' to stand in part-time while clerk Aimi Middlehurst is on sick leave with a "stress-related illness". 
An individual already known to the council has been approached to work at Ongar Town Council two days a week. 
Councillor Diana Roberts told tonight's human resources committee: "With the length of time that our clerk has been off sick we are asking our deputy clerk (Judith Farr) to do two jobs and nobody can do two jobs properly. Something has to give."
Council chairman Jim Browning praised the three remaining office staff for their "fantastic" work during Mrs Middlehurst's absence and said "she's in our thoughts". 
Mr Browning said he had sent Mrs Middlehurst flowers and a card.


LOUGHTON: Register for fun run

9.18am - 6th April 2016

FUN runners, and walkers, can register for Loughton Town Council's seventh annual charity fun run. 
This year's event - which starts at the Roding Valley Recreation Ground at 10.30am on Sunday, April 17 - is suitable for all ages and abilities including those with pushchairs or buggies. 
Well behaved dogs, on leads, are also welcome. 
All finishers will receive a medal from mayor Judy Jennings. 
This year's event is supporting St Clare Hospice and Oak View School. 
To register in advance, ring the council on 020 8508 4200 or download the form from the council website www.loughton-tc.gov.uk
Participants can also turn up on the day to register from 9.30am. 
Entry costs £5 for children and students and £10 for adults (£20 family entry - one adult and more than two children).


ONGAR: Family Fun Days at Jubilee Park

12.53pm - 6th April 2016

ONGAR Town Council's Jubilee Park is to host Family Fun Days every Friday during the school summer holidays. 
The first event of the season was held on Good Friday when youngsters enjoyed a selection of bouncy castles and refreshments. 
Jubilee Park manager Angus McKenzie said: "It was great to see the facility so busy. I’d like to thank everyone who came out to support the event and I am looking forward to seeing them all again for more Family Fun Days every Friday during the school holidays when we will have more weekly offerings such as a barbecue, face painters, ice cream van and charity stalls.”


NORTH WEALD: Parish council bans bouncy castles

7.54am - 5th April 2016

NORTH Weald Bassett Parish Council is banning bouncy castles at The Parish Hall, Thornwood Common, until the inquiry into the death of a seven-year-old girl on an inflatable in Harlow has been finalised.
Councillors agreed last night to suspend its policy which had seen the council allow bouncy castles at events at The Parish Hall with the council having to approve the operator having seen their Public Liability Insurance cover.
Bouncy castles have been used at events at the hall about five times a year, the meeting was told. 
The decision means there will be no bouncy castle at this year's Thornwood Village Day. 
North Weald district and parish councillor Dave Stallan proposed that the parish council suspend approval of bouncy castles until a report has been published into the Harlow Town Park incident in which seven year-old Summer Grant died. 
He said: "I would like to put on hold our procedure until the results of the inquiry into what happened in Harlow, in case any recommendations come out." 
He added: "I don't want us to agree to continue and then we have to bring the matter back because something comes out of the very thorough investigation into what happened." 
Parish council clerk Sue DeLuca said: "I'm really uncomfortable with the use of bouncy castles at the moment."


THORNWOOD: Hall hire charges to increase

7.52am - 5th April 2016

HIRE charges for the Parish Hall, Thornwood Common, are to increase by £1 per hour, North Weald Bassett Parish Council has agreed. 
The rise means hourly charges for the hall (April 2016 to March 2017) will range from £16 to £26 per hour with the rates differing between Monday-Thursday, Friday and weekend and bank holiday hirings for parishioners, and from £24 to £44 for non-parishioners.


NORTH WEALD: Councillor to stand down from cabinet

7.50am - 5th April 2016

NORTH Weald councillor Dave Stallan is to stand down as Epping Forest District Council's housing portfolio holder and leave the cabinet in May. 
Mr Stallan told last night's North Weald Bassett Parish Council meeting: "After nine years I've decided to go and sit on the backbenches." 
Mr Stallan is up for re-election to the district council in two years' time.


NORTH WEALD: Garden work to start

7.48am - 5th April 2016

WORK to turn the grassed area in front of the parade of shops in High Road, North Weald, into a garden is set to start on Friday or next week. 
North Weald Bassett Parish Council is still open to ideas for sponsors for the garden. 
Any sponsors supporting the scheme will have their name featured on plaques which will be installed around the area with the sponsorship money used to meet the maintenance cost throughout the year.


ONGAR: Council could make Jubilee Park manager post redundant

UPDATED 1.49pm - 5th April 2016
5.04pm - 4th April 2016

ONGAR Town Council is proposing to make the Jubilee Park manager's position redundant and could introduce changes to opening hours and staffing without any staff consultation, it has emerged. 
No details have been published as to how the council intends to manage the Love Lane facility should the manager's post disappear.
The Jubilee Park Committee is recommending to Thursday's Human Resources Committee "to agree to make the Jubilee Park manager's position redundant". 
Angus McKenzie has been in charge of the Jubilee Park and Pavilion since November 2014, three months before the town council took over the management of the facilities in February last year. 
The Human Resources Committee will also discuss whether to consult with staff over proposals for opening hours and "changes to staff", or to "impose the proposal for opening hours and changes to staff"  without staff consultation. 
The discussions will take place in private session as part of the Human Resources Committee meeting at the town council offices in Bansons Way starting at 7pm. 
Ongar Town Council chairman Jim Browning and Jubilee Park Committee chairman Jane Devonald were asked for their comments about the issues to be considered on Thursday.
Mr Browning, in a statement emailed to Everything Epping Forest, said: "Due to on-going issues at Jubilee Park which are under review by Ongar Council, no action to address these have (been) reached and the review is still underway."


COOPERSALE: Anti-tank rockets left by bus stop

8.02am - 2nd April 2016

POLICE want to find whoever left six anti-tank rockets behind a bus stop on the B181 Epping Road at Coopersale. 
The discovery was made at 4.55pm on Tuesday.
 An Army Explosives Ordnance Disposal Unit moved the Second World War rockets to a nearby field where a controlled explosion took place. 
A police spokesman said: "We are appealing to find the person who left these items at the bus stop and to find out whether they have any more." 
Anyone with information is asked to ring police on 101.


LOUGHTON: Appeal to find Good Samaritan

7.53am - 1st April 2016

POLICE are trying to find a woman who helped a woman in distress in Pyrles Lane, Loughton. 
Police say the Good Samaritan came out of a nearby property at about 4.30am on Saturday, March 12, to help another woman aged in her 20s.
So far police efforts to trace her have been unsuccessful. 
Officers would like this woman to ring Loughton Police Station on 101.


DISTRICT: Register now for water tower abseil

7.50am - 1st April 2016

CHARITY-minded fundraisers can still register for this year's Rotary Club of Harlow Tye abseil from the top of the Church Langley water tower. 
Participants can raise money for a charity or voluntary organisation of their choice. 
In the 18 years that the event has been held, some £800,000 has been raised for hundreds of causes.
This year's event is on Saturday and Sunday, April 30 and May 1 (the May bank holiday weekend). 
There is a £35 entry fee with all the sponsorship money raised going to the chosen organisation.
Abseilers must be aged 16 or over. 
For more details, visit www.harlowtyerotary.org.uk or click on the Abseil box on the Everything Epping Forest events page.
Alternatively, e-mail abseil@harlowtyerotary.org.uk or ring text Bill on 07711 982671.