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EVERYTHING EPPING FOREST MAGAZINE

Click on the link for the latest e-edition

April 2014

 

Mayor opens new changing rooms

1.54pm - 15th April 2014

EPPING mayor Will Breare-Hall has officially opened the new ladies changing rooms at Epping Bowls Club. 
A plaque marks the completion of the work which was made possible thanks to grant funding from Epping Town Council and the Grange Farm Trust. 
Club members dismantled the old building and insulated and finished the new facilities while recycling reusable wood to build an additional storage shed for club equipment.

   

Railway launches new bus service

1.14pm - 15th April 2014

A NEW bus service between Shenfield and Epping via Ongar and North Weald will be launched by the Epping Ongar Railway on Friday (April 18). 
The service will then run every weekend from April 19 until October with additional days on Bank Holidays and during the summer holidays. 
Epping Ongar Railway managing director Roger Wright said: "As a fledging railway we're constantly looking at ways of enhancing the services we provide and think that this service will be attractive to people wishing to visit the railway without travelling into London. 
"We are also keen to develop the service for local people, which is why we're running these buses all the way into Epping. 
"The services on Sunday will be a welcome addition to the present two-hourly service along the route from between Epping and Ongar and also onwards towards Shenfield and Brentwood where no route presently exists. 
"We'll be using our fleet of heritage buses so travelling on this route will be convenient as well as fun!"
There will be four heritage buses a day from Shenfield to Epping at 10.30am, 12.10pm, 2.37pm and 3.32pm with a final service leaving at 5.20pm that terminates at Ongar. 
A single fare to Epping will be £3, and to Ongar for £2 and Freedom Pass Holders can travel for free. 
The railway's development manager, Marco Carrara, said: "The new service will help bring extra visitors to Essex's longest heritage railway and secure a new public service for the area. 
"Last year we carried 35,000 passengers on the railway and this year we aim to increase that number. Making it easier for people to come to the Epping Ongar Railway by public transport helps us and also provides a new service for local people. 
"It really is a win-win situation."

   

Superheroes set for Debden Day

12.55pm - 15th April 2014

THIS year's Debden Day is on Saturday, June 14, with organisers promising non-stop entertainment for all the family on The Broadway (9.45am-4pm). 
The day, now in its fourteenth year, features activities, stalls and entertainment from local traders and voluntary groups with a street party atmosphere. 
The theme will be The Return of the Superheroes with members of the Avengers, Superman and Wonderwoman all featuring. 
There will be a costume competition for all ages. Highlights will include free fairground rides and face painting, bouncy castles, free soft play for the under-fives, horse and carriage rides (provided by T. Cribb and Sons) and the unveiling of a new community mural for Debden designed by hundreds of local children and young people. 
The over-60s who live in Loughton/Debden can look forward to a free afternoon cream tea with sandwiches and cakes at Thomas Willingale Primary School with Old Time Musical Hall entertainment from East 15 Acting School (advance booking essential by registering at the Restore Community Centre on The Broadway or ring 020 3086 8186 - option 3).
Among those providing entertainment on the main stage will be the Thomas Willingale School choir, Epping Forest Community Theatre, the rock band 'Avalanche' and champion power-lifters from the organisation Tough Talk. 
There will also be an under-18s Debden's Got Talent competition on the main stage at 11.30am with the fun continuing on into the evening at the Winston Churchill pub with the lively folk duo Fiddlefit performing from 7.30pm and with the over-18s Debden's Got Talent at 9.30pm. 
Raffle tickets are on sale in various Broadway shops. 
For more information visit www.debdenday.com or 'like' Debden Day on Facebook at www.facebook.com/debdenbroadway 
Debden Day is made possible thanks to the support of Loughton Town Council and Epping Forest District Council along with other local and corporate sponsors and donations from charitable trusts. 
The event is co-ordinated by the Loughton Broadway Town Centre Partnership on behalf of Debden Traders Association, supported by The Red Balloon Family Ltd and Restore Community Church.

   

PICTURES: Parish council presents Citizen of the Year awards

8.21am - 15th April 2014

THE North Weald Mums group has received this year's North Weald Parish Council Citizen of the Year award and group category prize. 
Nominated by George Mulliner and Cyril Hawkins, the group was originally formed to organise, support and raise money for the refurbishing of the Weald Common play area behind North Weald Village Hall. 
The group has set a target of raising £30,000. 
In addition to canvassing local businesses for support, the group has organised several fundraising events which have been well supported by villagers. 
The group's intention after the playground project is to continue as a fundraising group to enhance facilities in the parish which can be enjoyed by all residents. 

Individual category: joint winners - Chris Collins Mick Sheen 

Chris, who was nominated by Cyril Hawkins and Brian Bartram, has planted the bulbs and looked after the flower bed on the Green by the flagpole at no cost to the parish council for eight years 

Mick, nominated by George Mulliner and Brian Bartram, "tirelessly" fronts the Neighbourhood Action Panels and "works endlessly towards Neighbourhood Watch schemes in the parish. 

Joint runners-up - Paul Elby and Vera and Terry Prowse 

Vera and Terry Prowse were nominated by Diane Archer and Joan Simpson for the time and energy they have given to many organisations and committees in the village over many years. 
Vera is secretary to North Weald Wireless Station Bowls Club and ladies vice-captain. She is on the village hall committee and a member of the WI. Until recently she was a member of the Bassett Singers. 
Terry is vice-chairman of the North Weald Wireless Station Bowls Club and runs the Ed Wiley Competition through the summer season. 
Together they run a crib night once a month at the village hall to raise money for the bowls club. They also help as bar staff at the village hall. 
They were also booking clerks for North Weald Village Hall.

Paul has been a child welfare officer for North Weald Cricket Club and is now secretary. He also carries out ground maintenance work around the Queens Hall playing fields and pavilion. 
He was nominated for "all his extra work, time and money of his own that he provides to benefit the cricket club and the wider community. Paul prepares the cricket pitches throughout the season (in his own time, unpaid) and carries out extra jobs that are not necessarily required of him. 
He has recently cut back all the hedgerows on both sides of the field to benefit local walkers and their dogs and he is also largely responsible for the new cricket net facility on the field. 
His nomination added that he spent weeks applying for grant funding from numerous sources to enable the club to go ahead with projects and has even provided a substantial amount of the money in advance before funding had been received so the nets, which can be used by the public, could go ahead. 
He also asked the builders to leave some hardcore so he could fill potholes in the Queens Hall car park. 
In the last 18 months he started a coaching class for youngsters on a Sunday to learn the basics in cricket to encourage more children to join the club. 

Karen Fox receives her award PICTURE 1 

Paul Elby with North Weald Parish Council chairman Cyril Hawkins PICTURE 2 

Vera and Terry Prowse PICTURE 3 

Chris Collins receives her certificate from council chairman Cyril Hawkins PICTURE 4

North Weald Mums, who received the group and overall Citizen of the Year award, with North Weald Parish Council chairman Cyril Hawkins PICTURE 5

   

Friends' group re-opens visitor centre

5.33pm - 14th April 2014

THE Friends of Epping Forest, in partnership with the City of London Corporation, have re-opened the High Beach visitor centre. 
The centre is now run by the group after it was temporarily closed at the end of last year to prepare the building for the re-opening and allow time to recruit and train the new volunteers. 
More than 85 visitors attended the event including City Corporation Epping Forest chairman Alderman Gordon Haines, Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing and dignitaries from Epping Forest District Council, Waltham Abbey Town Council, Loughton Town Council and Epping Forest Verderers. 
The new-look centre has information, maps and walks about the forest, a bird observation window and gift shop - and volunteers are on hand to help visitors find out more about the wildlife in the forest, where to go and what is on offer. 
It will initially be open on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank holidays between 11am and 4pm in the summer and 10am until 3pm in the winter. 
Alderman Gordon Haines, Chairman of the City of London Corporation's Epping Forest Committee, said: "I was delighted to attend the Friends of Epping Forest's re-opening of the High Beach centre, it just shows what can be achieved by working together in partnership with our volunteer groups. 
"I'm sure the centre will provide a high quality service for visitors to this popular area of Epping Forest."
Friends of Epping Forest chairman Judy Adams said: "We welcome this opportunity to work with the City of London Corporation in a new partnership to develop the services for visitors at High Beach. 
"We're very pleased with the support received from our members, the City Corporation, local forest groups and councillors and are working hard to meet all their expectations. 
"We are really grateful for the over 20 new volunteer information assistants who have come forward to share their love of the forest with visitors and to help them make the most of their visits. 
"Support for this project has come from many, including the Green Team of Epping Forest Centenary Trust who managed the entrance to the visitor centre making it more visible to visitors, the volunteer who feeds the birds and many others." 
Volunteers are still welcome, especially for weekends. Visit the Friends of Epping Forest website for more information.

   

Motorcyclist seriously injured

5.05pm - 14th April 2014

A MOTORCYCLIST has been taken to the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, with suspected serious injuries after his bike was in collision with a Suzuki Grand Vitara in Manor Road, Chigwell.
The collision, which resulted in the road being closed, happened shortly before 11.30am today. Police, ambulance and the fire service have been at the scene. 
A police spokesman said the road is likely to remain closed for some time while police carry out investigations. 
Any witnesses who have not yet spoken to police are asked to ring Essex Police on 101.

   

Community cinema set to become regular event

5.03pm - 14th April 2014

BUCKHURST Hill Parish Council is hoping to make its community cinema screenings a regular event.
Some 80 people attended the screening of the Disney classic Snow White, with a pre-film screening of a Tom and Jerry cartoon, at Roding Valley Hall, Buckhurst Hill. 
Children were invited to go along in fancy dress, on the theme of Snow White and other Disney cartoons.
Councillor Hale Wheeler said: "This was the council's second Saturday cinema and it was a fantastic family afternoon. 
"Lots of children came in fancy dress, which really added to the atmosphere, and we awarded a prize for the best costume." 
Council clerk Nigel Moore said: "We are now hoping that the cinema will become a regular event and will be publishing information about the next screenings in the near future."

   

PICTURES: MP visits BHF shop

9.06am - 14th April 2014

EPPING Forest MP Eleanor Laing has praised the work of the British Heart Foundation after visiting its shop in Loughton High Road. 
Mrs Laing met staff and volunteers and was given a tour of the shop and behind the scenes where she saw where stock is sorted before being put out for sale. 
The shop, which opened last November and is one of 700 BHF shops across the country, has 38 volunteers. 
Mrs Laing said: "It was a great pleasure to meet the managers and volunteers. They are doing a great job not only raising money for a vitally important cause but also recycling goods and providing job opportunities. 
"Here in Loughton High Road they are an asset to our local community." 

Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing with manager Emily Elliott and with staff and volunteers PICTURE 1  PICTURE 2  PICTURE 3

   

PICTURES: Horticultural society holds spring show

5.01pm - 12th April 2014

DAFFODILS and Easter-themed cakes were among the entries at Buckhurst Hill Horticultural Society's spring show. 
A variety of daffodils and tulips lined up alongside cacti, homemade produce and floral art arrangements at the Centenary Hall at St John's Church. 
There was also a number of children's entries. 

Winners were: 

Jessie Rule Trophy (most points in the narcissi classes) - Mr and Mrs P and J. Wilkins.
The President's Trophy (most points in the general section) - Mr and Mrs P and J. Wilkins. 
The Essex Alpine Group Trophy (most points in classes 41-44) - Marcia Levan-Harris. 
The Holden Trophy (most points in the novices section) - Mr and Mrs J and P. Thompson. 
The Spring Floral Cup (winner of class 60 - floral arrangements) - Mrs J. Piggott.
The Buckhurst Hill Challenge Cup (winner of class 64 - floral arrangements) - Mrs Rita Claydon. 
The Bedwell Trophy (most points in classes 65-68 - floral arrangements) - Mr A. Ingle. 
Junior classes - Fiona Lynn Trophy - Lucy Compton. 
Queen's Jubilee Trophy (most points in cookery section) - Mrs R. Nursaw. 

For a slideshow of pictures click here 

For details on how to order mounted prints of any of the pictures featured email everythingeppingforest@googlemail.com or ring David Jackman on 07710 447868.

   

Overwhelming support for new school

2.44pm - 11th April 2014

THE team behind The Ongar Academy campaign, set up in 2012 to get a new secondary school in Ongar, says its proposals have received overwhelming public support. 
During a six-week public consultation nearly 1,000 local people support the idea of a secondary school in Ongar with only 1.26 per cent (12 people) opposing a secondary school. 
Parents have registered interest for 808 children to attend the Academy, including 226 children for the first two years the school opens from September 2015. 
As the target intake for the school is 120 pupils for each year, the group are looking for parents of just 14 extra children, currently in Year 5, to express an interest in the school to reach the target numbers. 
Project chairman Pete Marchant said: "We are absolutely delighted with the response we have received to date. 
"With nearly 1,000 local people saying they support the Academy and 680 parents signing up to say they would consider the Academy as first choice for their children we are clearly meeting a need here. 
"We are so grateful to all of the parents and grandparents who have taken the time to engage with us and register their interest in our proposals, but we really do need to hear from remaining parents who are interested in seeing the Academy open in 2015." 
Figures released by Essex County Council show there are currently 798 children attending secondary schools in The Ongar Academy's priority catchment area and within seven years this number will increase by 41.85 per cent and see 1,132 children looking for secondary schools places. 
This is the number of children currently in local primaries waiting to come up to secondary. 
Across the broader area, including neighbouring wards, the secondary aged population will increase by 37 per cent from 2,210 to 3,031 children. 
Project lead Jeff Banks said: "Essex County Council have very helpfully provided information on the school population over the coming years and have accepted there will be significant pressure on places from 2017 onwards. Not only do parents from Ongar want an excellent local Academy, there is clearly the need for one." 
The group's application to the Department for Education to open the school has to be submitted at the beginning of May. 
Parents can still register their interest in The Ongar Academy by completing the paper survey or by visiting www.theongaracademy.org/interest

   

PICTURES: Poppies to mark First World War

2.30pm - 11th April 2014

MEMBERS of Ongar Millennium History Society, the Ongar Forces Friends group and town councillors have planted Flanders poppy seeds to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. 
Seeds have been sown on the grass bank outside Ongar Cemetery on the High Street and at other locations around Ongar, including the Cerizay Garden and the town council offices. 
The town council has decided that poppies were unsuitable for the High Street planters but it has said it will continue the colour theme by having red flowers in the planters until 2018. 
The council has also arranged for poppies to be planted in the Jubilee Nature Reserve.

PICTURE 1  PICTURE 2

Sue Taylor (posting on Everything Epping Forest's Facebook page) - That is such a lovely idea, and such a simple one too. Well done Ongar!

   

Winning hospice lottery numbers

11.25am - 11th April 2014

THE winner of this week's £1,000 prize in the St Clare Hospice lottery lives in Epping. The winning number is 589117. 
The £100 prize goes to number 216931. The holder lives in Great Chesterford. 
For information about how to join the lottery visit www.stclarehospice.org.uk or ring 01279 773730 (Monday-Friday 9.30am-1.30pm).

   

Man charged over fatal road crash

10.44am - 11th April 2014

A MAN is due to appear in court later this month charged with killing a pedestrian in Loughton through careless driving. 
A white Ford Transit struck a pedestrian on Oakwood Hill shortly after 7.30am on Thursday, October 10 last year. 
Emelie Buckner, who lived in the town, was certified dead at the scene. 
Josh Benjamin has been charged with one count of causing death by careless driving. 
The 22-year-old site foreman, of Southern Drive, Loughton, is on police bail until he appears at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on Wednesday, April 30.

   

Council space for children's centre

9.34am - 11th April 2014

BUCKHURST Hill Parish Council is providing accommodation for the Little Buddies Children's Centre which has had to close its premises in Queens Road. 
Parish councillors supported the idea that the centre, which provides play sessions for young children, could instead use the council's Roding Valley Hall and Woollard Centre at no cost. 
Councillors are keen to see the centre continue to provide a valued service in the local community. 
The sessions are run by Spurgeons under contract with Essex County Council. 
The county council has said the centre, and others in Essex, is having to close because of cost-cutting measures. 
The parish council will be provided meeting space and storage for the centre's equipment.

   

Town council to complain about pavement

7.59am - 11th April 2014

ESSEX County Council is to be asked to improve the pavement between Weighbridge Court and Tesco Express in Ongar High Street. 
The town council will highlight the adverse camber on the pavement which is now being used by an additional number of elderly people who now live in Weighbridge Court. 
Planning and environment committee chairman Brian Surtees said: "We have seen the development of Weighbridge Court with a massive (financial) Section 106 (planning condition) to the council and I think they should spend something because of the increase in elderly people (living in Weighbridge Court, and Frank Bretton House who use the footpath)."

   

New school team considered four sites

7.56am - 11th April 2014

THE team behind plans for a new secondary school in Ongar considered four potential sites for The Ongar Academy, town councillors have been told. 
Project lead Jeff Banks told last night's Ongar Town Council planning and environment committee that the favoured option was using a combination of new and existing buildings "in the vicinity" of Ongar Leisure Centre in Fyfield Road. 
The other areas considered are two undisclosed plots of land, highlighted by their owners to the group, but which had been deemed unsuitable, and a building at Fyfield Business Park. 
Mr Banks said the business park option was not favoured because of the lack of a footpath into Ongar - with the group wanting students to be able to walk to the school. 
Mr Banks said it was intended that the new school would have an initial intake of 120 pupils with 120 added each year to a maximum 750-pupil roll with a sixth form. 
Responding to a question regarding the timescale - and the group's wish to open the school in September 2015 - Mr Banks said: "The May 9 deadline (for an application to the Department for Education) is the application date for schools (intending) to open in September 2015. 
"Their Education Funding Agency have advised us that schools are able to open with one-year intake in a year."

   

Arctic challenge - "hardest thing I have done"

7.53am - 11th April 2014

CHARITY fundraiser Avril Mills says the first day of her Arctic Husky Sled Challenge was "the hardest thing I have done". 
Avril, founder of The Dream Factory charity, and the charity's dream co-ordinator Martin Bye set off on their 156-mile trek with a team of huskies and a tent last weekend. 
Avril said: "It (the first day) was the hardest thing I have done. I fell off (the sled) twice. 
"No broken bones though, just a few bruises and pulled muscles." 
Avril, who founded the charity six years ago following the death of her son, Oliver, aged nine, from leukaemia, hope their adventures will raise £11,000 for the charity which makes dreams come true for children and young adults with life-limiting conditions. 
The pair flew from Heathrow Airport to Tromso in Norway for the start of the seven-day trek. 
They are sleeping on reindeer skins in a tent with 13 other intrepid fundraisers. 
To support their challenge, visit their JustGiving page at http://www.justgiving.com/huskyartic.

   

Rock climbing wall comes step closer

3.04pm - 10th April 2014

MEMBERS of 3rd Ongar Cub Scouts have been given an insight into the latest addition to the play area on the QEII play area at Love Lane, Ongar. 
Ongar Town Council has secured grant funding to provide Rock Stakz, a rock climbing facility, and is working with Park Leisure on the scheme which is set to be installed this summer. 
Cub scouts joined with Ongar Town Council deputy clerk Judith Cook and Steve Elliott, from Park Leisure, when they were shown where the 9m x 9m area, with safety surfacing will go, next to the current play area.
Lisa Portman, Akela with the 3rd Ongar Cub Scouts, said: "The cubs have helped fundraise (with the money going towards the cost of the rock area) by selling popcorn at various events and they are really excited to be asked by the town council to be involved in the design of the area. 
"It is something that will be attractive for their age group and it is part of their community service - it's important that they put something back into the community." 
Lisa added: "It's nice for them to see that when they have been involved in something that they can see the results." 
Deputy clerk Judith Cook said: "A climbing facility was identified on youngsters' wish list at one of last year's Play in the Park sessions. 
"The cubs have really supported this idea by doing their own fundraising and have come up with some very imaginative ideas for the final design. 
"We hope the addition of the Rock Stakz will enhance the existing facilities at the park and make it a fun, family friendly area to visit."

   

TOUR DE FRANCE: Final part of stage route confirmed

11.48am - 10th April 2014

ORGANISERS of the Tour de France have confirmed the route the cyclists will take when they head out of Epping and towards east London. 
Thousands of people will line the streets throughout the route for Stage 3 which starts in Cambridge before passing through part of the Epping Forest district - through Willingale, Fyfield, Moreton, Magdalen Laver, North Weald and Epping. 
The first part of the stage route has been known for some time but now the rest of the stage on Monday, July 7, has been published.
From Epping New Road and the Robin Hood roundabout the cyclists will pedal on into Woodford via Woodford New Road and then to the Waterworks Roundabout.
From there they will follow a route along Lea Bridge Road before turning left onto Orient Way in Leyton, turning right onto Ruckholt Road (A106), heading over the A12 by Homerton Road, onto Waterden Road and passed Westfield Shopping Centre and the Olympic Park. 
From there the route takes in Montfichet Road, Warton Road, Stratford High Street (A118), Broadway, Tranway Avenue, West Ham Lane, New Plaistow Road, Plaistow High Street, Greengate Street, Prince Regent Lane, Tollgate Road, Stansfield Road, the A1020 roundabout (Royal Albert Way), Connaught Bridge (A1020), North Woolwich Road, Silvertown Way, Lower Lea Crossing. Aspen Way, Limehouse Link, The Highway (A1203), Tower Hill, Upper Thames Street, Blackfriars Underpass, Victoria Embankment, Westminster - by the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, (Great George Street) - and Birdcage Walk before the finish in The Mall.

   

Three lorries in M25 crash

11.16am - 10th April 2014

FIRE crews have released a casualty who was trapped following a crash involving three lorries on the M25 near Stapleford Tawney. 
Firefighters from Loughton, Brentwood and Grays were called to the anti-clockwise carriageway between junctions 28 (Brentwood) and 27 (M11 interchange) at about 10.10am.

   

Loughton's CCTV to be improved

2.17pm - 9th April 2014

CCTV in Loughton High Road is to be refurbished and expanded with the number of cameras to be increased from six to 30. 
A contractor for the work has been appointed by Epping Forest District Council with the work set to start on April 24. 
The council says CCTV coverage will be extended to include Traps Hill.

   

Straw bale homes up for two awards

2.15pm - 9th April 2014

THE 'straw bale' housing development in High Ongar has been shortlisted for two awards. 
The affordable housing scheme in Millfield, built by Hastoe Housing Association in partnership with Epping Forest District Council, is shortlisted for the Small Development of the Year award at the National Housing Awards and in the Best Social or Affordable New Housing category of the East Anglia LABC Building Excellence Awards.

   

Volunteers wanted for litter picking

10.02am - 9th April 2014

ONGAR Town Council is holding two litter picking events as part of its continuing commitment to improving the local environment. 
The first session is on the morning of Saturday, May 10, and will concentrate on the Shelley area. Litter pickers, gloves and high viz jackets will be provided. 
Anyone wanting to help should meet at the Ongar Leisure Centre car park at 9.30am for a 10am start. 
Open Spaces Committee chairman Alison Wingfield said: "The town council would like to encourage residents to be more responsible for their own rubbish and not to rely on other people to pick up their litter.
"We would welcome as many people as possible to join us to clean up our streets." 
A further event will be held on Saturday, September 27, and will concentrate on the Green Line housing estate at the southern end of the town.

   

Council agrees to professional Christmas lights

11.30pm - 8th April 2014

EPPING Town Council is to go-ahead with a move to get a professional company to provide the High Street Christmas lights.
Various companies were asked to provide quotes for artificial trees instead of the current trees which are placed above shopfronts along the High Street. 
Lights are also set to go in Station Road, in trees on the green by St John's Church with a possible 'curtain' of lights on the St Johns Church tower. 
Councillor Michael Wright said: "For what the outlay is I think the shopkeepers should go down on their knees and say thank you very much. It will cost them about 30p a day in electricity. 
"It's professional and I think it will make Epping look really terrific over Christmas."

A computer generated image of how St John's Church could look PICTURE

What do you think? Email your comments to everythingeppingforest@googlemail.com or send them via Twitter to @eefnews.

Gavin Chambers (posting on Everything Epping Forest's Facebook page)
- Looks good.

Steve Carter (@stevecarter82 on Twitter)
- Sounds good in principle but need more details of designs/costs.

Julia Jacobie (posting on Everything Epping Forest's Facebook page)
- Finally, some decent Christmas lights again. I loved it when they used to put the big bulb coloured lights on the big trees by the roundabouts. The miserable little trees above the shops with their boring white lights are pathetic I'm afraid. We could also do with a tall Xmas tree on the piazza by the fountain.
Also we need a switch-on event like the ones they have in Ongar, Loughton etc. It's ridiculous that we don't have one. And while we're at it, I wish they'd bring back the firework display/carnival.

   

Council launches blue plaque scheme

11.27pm - 8th April 2014

EPPING Town Council is launching a blue plaque scheme to commemorate famous people who have links with the town. 
The first plaques are set to mark the property, in Ravensmere, where Sir William Addison lived,  with another earmarked for the Marks and Spencer building frontage from where Sir Winston Churchill addressed the crowds during his time as Epping MP. 
Each plaque will cost £220.50 plus VAT.

   

First sight of new pavilion plans

11.25pm - 8th April 2014

INITIAL plans for a new Jack Silley Pavilion have been unveiled by Epping Town Council. 
The council is working with architects on a design for a replacement building which will accommodate FA-standard changing facilities, community use space and room for the Epping Forest Band which is currently housed in a separate building. 
Town clerk Alan Shaw said the initial proposals would see additional parking and space for a turning circle for coaches. 
Councillor Hugh Pegrum said: "One of the reasons we need to look at doing something is we've had so much vandalism of the roof we've had damp into the building that's led to the inside needing constant redecoration.
"If we are to rebuild we need to design out the problems we've had over the years." 
Councillor Jon Whitehouse told tonight's town council meeting: "We need to make sure it's a building genuinely driven by its users. 
"The key users are the football teams and team games and that includes midweek training and the informal users." 
The town council has set up a project board committee, chaired by councillor Hugh Pegrum, to progress the proposals.

   

Council dismisses Cottis Lane campaign

11.22pm - 8th April 2014

EPPING town councillors have voted to not support a campaign calling for Cottis Lane, off Epping High Street to be closed to traffic. 
Councillors were discussing an online campaign on social networking site Twitter. 
Councillor Tony Church said: "This is a road and pedestrians do have to be careful on roads." 
Mr Church said he was not aware of any injuries which had occurred on the cut through which is used as a rat-run between the High Street and the Cottis Lane car park behind Marks and Spencer. 
Councillor Lyn Hughes said: "You do have to watch the traffic some time."

   

Toilets to feature in national competition

11.21pm - 8th April 2014

EPPING town councillors have voted to enter the refurbished Cottis Lane public toilets into the national Loo of the Year competition. 
Supporting the entry, which costs £120, deputy mayor Barbara Scruton said: "It (if they win) give the loos some credibility. I think we should praise them and celebrate them." 
Mayor Will Breare-Hall said: "They are impressive - we have received positive feedback and if we win an award for them it will be good for the town."

   

Swaines Green May Fayre approved

11.20pm - 8th April 2014

EPPING Town Council has approved the use of Swaines Green recreation ground for the Swaines Green May Fayre on Saturday, May 3. 
The annual event is held by the Friends of Swaines Green.

   

Flats set for magistrates' court

11.19pm - 8th April 2014

THE former magistrates court building in Epping has been sold to a developer for flats, town clerk Alan Shaw told tonight's town council meeting. 
It has been reported that offers in excess of £500,000 were being sought for the building which is linked to Epping Police Station.

   

Go-ahead given for 23 new council homes

5.56pm - 8th April 2014

PLANNING approval has been granted for all four of the sites - all in Waltham Abbey - that make up the first phase of Epping Forest District Council's house-building programme. 
Nine flats will be built at Harveyfields and 14 houses on three sites at Roundhills. 
The demand for affordable housing in the district continues to increase and the properties will be let to families on the council's housing register. 
The £4m project is the first time that the district council has built homes for over 30 years. 
The developments will see a mix of one and two-bedroom flats and one, two and three- bedroom houses.
The council hopes to start work by June. 
All the sites are brownfield predominantly difficult to let garages. 
Residents who use the garages are being offered alternative arrangements. 
Over the next six years the council plans to build about 120 new homes across the district to be let at 'affordable rents'. 
East Thames Housing Group has been appointed as the council's 'development agent' and is working with Pellings, a firm of architects experienced at developing housing in small areas such as garage sites.

   

Author visits prep school

5.54pm - 8th April 2014

AUTHOR and former Children's Laureate Anne Fine visited pupils at Bancroft's Prep School, Woodford Green. 
The author of more than 40 books for children and adults, Anne is the winner of multiple prizes - the Nestle Smarties Prize, the Guardian Children's Fiction Award, the Whitbread Award and has twice won the CILIP Carnegie Medal the UK's oldest and most prestigious children's book award for literature. 
Her novel Blood Family has been nominated for the Carnegie Medal 2014 and if it wins she will be the first author to have received the award three times. 
Ms Fine kept the children and their teachers in fits of giggles as she described how she gets inspiration for her books, and the actual writing process. 
She likened writing to making a casserole as you put lots of ideas together and then have to "let it stew!"
Her talks were fun of hilarious anecdotes from her family life. 
Karen Yelverton, English Co-ordinator at Bancroft's Prep, said: "Anne Fine is an inspirational author with a wealth of fascinating tales to share. The children loved her." 
Year 5 pupil Clementine Jamieson said: "She is a really interesting writer with funny stories." 
Classmate Matusha Sivakumar said: "Anne Fine is an inspiration to me, as she writes excellent books."

   

Club holding June fundraising fayre

12.44pm - 8th April 2014

THE Ongar Club for the Handicapped is holding its annual fundraising fayre at the Budworth Hall, High Street, Ongar, on Saturday, June 14, from 9am until noon. 
There will be various stalls including plants, a raffle, tombola and nearly new stall. All welcome.
Club members enjoyed a quiz at the March meeting and at their most recent meeting welcomed Martyn Lockwood who gave a light-hearted talk on 'The History of Policing'. 
Anyone interested in joining the club, or becoming a volunteer to help with transporting members to and from meetings, can ring club chairman Colin Green on 01992 522500.

   

Council supports poppy planting plan

8.29am - 8th April 2014

THE Ongar Millennium History Society has invited Ongar town councillors to join society members when they plant Flanders poppy seeds at various locations around Ongar, including the Cerizay Garden and the town council offices, on Friday, April 11. 
The town council has decided that poppies were unsuitable for the High Street planters but that it would continue the colour theme with red flowers planted between 2014 and 2018. 
The council has also arranged for poppies to be planted in the Jubilee Nature Reserve. 
Open Spaces Committee chairman Alison Wingfield said: "The council is delighted to work with the Ongar Millennium History Society on this project as it is important for the town to commemorate this centenary."

   

Motoring tips for students

4.13pm - 7th April 2014

SOME 200 West Hatch High School students took part in a Roadster Day. 
The Year 12 pupils took part in six sessions which ranged from a practical driving session with trained instructors to information and advice on what is important to look for when buying a car. 
Presentations were given by the police, fire service and former addicts on the possible dangers associated with driving. 
Laura Hiscott, Head of PSHEe and Citizenship, said: "As a school we believe this event is so important. It gives pupils the opportunity to get vital information about everything they need to know when getting started with driving as well as reinforcing the very serious dangers that driving can bring."

   

Stallholders say 'no' to car park market

6.52pm - 6th April 2014

MARKET traders in Epping have voted against having a market in the Cottis Lane car park on Tour de France day after the town council cancelled the usual High Street market. 
Stallholders were asked for their views after Epping Forest District Council offered the public car park behind Marks and Spencer to the town council as an alternative location for the market on Monday, July 7.
The town council consulted with the market traders and more than 75 per cent of them (representing 82 per cent of the number of stalls) voted against holding the market in the car park. 
Mayor Will Breare-Hall said: "The town council sought permission to move the market to Cottis Lane because we considered it important to support the traders on what will be one of the busiest days in Epping for many years. 
"However our consultation with them revealed that they don't wish us to pursue this option further and we respect their decision."

   

Gary Lucy wins £15,000 for hospice

6.50pm - 6th April 2014

HAVEN House Hospice patron Gary Lucy won £15,000 for the charity when he appeared on ITV1's Big Star's Little Star programme. 
The fun game show, which sees celebrities answer questions alongside their little ones, featured Gary with his daughter, India, eight. 
Gary said: 'The hospice is very important to all my family. I'm a patron and my fiancée is a paediatric nurse there so we try to do all we can to offer our support." 
He added: "Being able to get our daughter involved and helping to raise funds and awareness was extra special and I'm delighted to have won so much for this vital local service." 
Hospice chief executive Mike Palfreman said: "This really was a super win for Haven House and as ever we are extremely grateful to Gary for his support of the charity. 
"Our local celebrity network is vital in helping us to raise funds and awareness, both locally and nationally, and we are very lucky to have such great support."

   

Auctioneer's talk to ladies group

6.48pm - 6th April 2014

A TALK on his work as a provincial auctioneer was given Steven Lester to the last meeting of Ongar and Shelley Ladies Thursday Group. 
Steve highlighted some items that had been found in houses where the owner was selling the contents - including a shabby-looking small, glass-domed cabinet which was in very poor condition when it was put up for sale for £100 and did not sell, but then, at another auction, fetched £5,500. 
He also spoke about a pot which he was shown by a woman at her home. 
On researching the item he discovered it was a 1900s Faberge writing desk gum pot which was sold to an American for £7,500. 
And then there was an old 18th century writing desk - one of six made in 1815 by Thomas Chippendale from an old elm tree. This sold for £21,500. 
The next meeting is the AGM at the St Martin's Church Rooms, Castle Street, Ongar, on Thursday, May 1.

   

Winning hospice lottery numbers

6.47pm - 6th April 2014

THE winner of this week's £1,000 jackpot in the St Clare Hospice lottery lives in Harlow. The winning number is 512434. 
The £100 prize goes to number 452569. The winner lives in Epping. 
For information about how to join the lottery visit www.stclarehospice.org.uk or ring 01279 773730 (Monday-Friday 9.30am-1.30pm).

   

Charity duo start Arctic challenge

4.58pm - 6th April 2014

THE founder of the Dream Factory charity and the charity's dream co-ordinator are setting off on a challenge which will see them trek 156 miles across the Arctic with little more than a team of huskies and a tent. 
Avril Mills, the Epping mother who founded the charity six years ago following the death of her son, Oliver, aged nine, from leukaemia, is being accompanied by Martin Bye for the Husky Sled Challenge which is set to raise £11,000 for the charity which makes dreams come true for children and young adults with life-limiting conditions. 
The pair set off from Epping on Saturday (April 5) and travelled to Heathrow Airport from where they flew to Tromso in Norway for the start of the seven-day trek. 
When they arrive in Norway they will receive instructions on how to guide the huskies and use the sled.
They will be sleeping on reindeer skins in a tent with 13 other intrepid fundraisers.
To prepare for the adventure Avril has been training at the Concept Fitness gym in Epping High Street where she has been supported and encouraged by staff and former boxing champion and Dream Factory patron Colin McMillan.
Avril said: "I'm partly apprehensive but also quite excited. It will certainly be an extreme adventure. I watched Prince Harry's adventure to give me some sort of idea how it might be! 
"I think I'm the oldest one going. We've raised so much money and I'm doing this for the children and in memory of Oliver." 
Martin, who lives in Woodford, has been training at Physicals Fitness Club in Woodford Green. He said: "I'm ready for the challenge - it's now or never!" 
Comedian Terry Alderton, another Dream Factory patron, met Avril at the Epping gym to offer words of encouragement. 
Terry said: "Once she says she's going to do something she's going to do it. It's going to be a trip of a lifetime. It will be an amazing adventure but what outweighs anything is what she does for all these kids.
"I've met loads of them (the children who have received dreams) and it's wonderful. It breaks your heart but it's amazing and everyone's in awe of her." 
The pair will have to put up their own tents, cook their own food and look after their team of huskies. The challenge finishes in Sweden. 
Avril said: "This will certainly test our physical and mental strength in some of the most extreme conditions known to man. 
"We will be travelling the distance from London to Torquay in temperatures averaging -20 degrees. This is no ordinary charity challenge." 
To support their challenge, visit their JustGiving page at http://www.justgiving.com/huskyartic

   

Case against stabbing suspect discontinued

5.01pm - 3rd April 2014

A MAN accused of stabbing a teenaged boy on the Limes Farm Estate, Chigwell, has had the case against him discontinued. 
An Essex Police spokesman said police and the Crown Prosecution Service were no longer able to proceed with the prosecution. 
Ayodele Osifuwa was found with a leg wound on a grass verge at the Limes Avenue -Westmede roundabout shortly before 9pm on Monday, December 9. 
The then 16-year-old boy, from Plaistow, was taken to the Royal London Hospital where he died in February 7. 
Marcus Audain was arrested in January and later charged with one count of causing grievous bodily harm with intent. 
A post-mortem examination was conducted in February but the cause of death has not yet been released pending the results of further examinations. 
Marcus Audain had been on court remand but the CPS has now been forced to discontinue the case.
Senior investigating officer DCI Lucy Morris said: "The CPS and ourselves have taken the decision to discontinue the case against Marcus Audain at this stage. 
"The enquiry team have been left frustrated with the response from people living on the Limes Farm Estate and equally the family are disappointed and saddened by the lack of community assistance. 
"We definitely know there a number of witnesses to the attack in December who have chosen not to speak to us or have been unco-operative. 
"Again we urge those people to come forward and talk to us in confidence.” 
Two other people, a 20-year-old man from Ilford and a 17-year-old boy from Walthamstow are cn police bail until Tuesday, May 13, pending further enquiries. 
Both had been arrested on suspicion of assault in late December. 
Anyone with information in connection with the incident is urged to contact detectives at Harlow’s Major Investigation Team on 01279 621802, email scdappeals@essex.pnn.police.uk or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

   

Youth councillors prepare to take seats

4.58pm - 3rd April 2014

THE newly-elected members of Epping Forest Youth Council will take their seats for the first time later this month. 
The election results were declared by Epping Forest District Council chairman Mary Sartin during a live webcast. 
Elections were held in six secondary schools and voting was open to anyone aged between 11 and 19. Twenty-one youth councillors were elected after 2,488 votes were cast. 
Mrs Sartin said: "The elections have been phenomenally successful. The number of nominations received and candidates standing was the highest ever. 
"I wish all the new youth ouncillors the very best for their two years in office and many congratulations on their successful campaigns.” 
The 45 candidates aged between 13 and 17 campaigned for the right to represent their school on Epping Forest Youth Council. 
Elections and hustings days were held in March. 
The full list of new youth councillors is: 
Independent Youth Councillors - Fatemeh Ekhteyary, Evangeline Foster, Jaymey McIvor, Imogen Padwick, Hazel Towns. 
Braeside School - Rose Compton, Olivia Storey. Chigwell School - Thomas Bromwich, Nathan Watkis-Popat. 
Davenant Foundation School - Joseph Pascoe, Julie Turrell. 
Debden Park High School - Lucy Berry, George Miller. 
King Harold Academy - Drew Bridger, Chloe McKendrick. 
Roding Valley High School - Doncho Atanassov, Matthew Tinker. 
Epping St John's School - Rory Kerr, Leonora Troshupa. 
West Hatch High School - Malachi Fontenelle, Fred Skipper. 
For more on the Epping Forest Youth Council go to www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/efyc

   

Man suffers burns in chemical spill

7.31am - 3rd April 2014

A MAN suffered burns and a leg injury when a 1,000 litre container of sodium hypochlorite - more commonly known as bleach - fell on him at Norton Heath. 
Essex Fire and Rescue Service said the man injured his leg with the container spilling its contents onto his skin. 
The man was left in the care of ambulance crews which were on the scene, at an undisclosed location, for about an hour.

   

Former chairman resigns from parish council

7.29am - 3rd April 2014

FORMER Buckhurst Hill Parish Council chairman Gavin Chambers is to stand down in May having served on the council since 2009. 
Mr Chambers, who is continuing as a district councillor, said: "I was elected to the district council in May 2012 and work full-time for the health service. I am a local school governor and on the board of a local charity.
 "It would have been irresponsible to not have stood for the parish council elections in 2012 because previous councillors had walked out and the council needed councillors with experience. 
"Standing down at election time is the right way to do it. Two years on and we now have experienced councillors who are really making a difference to Buckhurst Hill. 
"Things have simply moved on in my life. I have had a challenging time on the parish council but my main achievement is being instrumental in moving the parish council office to the library. 
"I have also recently been elected to the board of Conservative Councillors Association and elected chairman of the Buckhurst Hill branch of the Epping Forest Conservative Association so I have a feeling I will be kept busy."

   

Woman cut free after M25 crash

5.37pm - 1st April 2014

A WOMAN has been cut free after a two-vehicle collision on the M25 near Loughton. 
Fire crews from Loughton and Ongar were called to the scene, between junctions 27 and 26 shortly after 8am today. 
Firefighters took about an hour to release the woman. Her condition is not known.

   

Rotary club offers blood pressure checks

5.35pm - 1st April 2014

THE Rotary Club of Ongar is holding a Stroke Awareness Day at the Budworth Hall, Ongar, on Saturday, April 12 (9.30am-3.30pm). 
Visitors can have their blood pressure checked by nurses from the Nuffield Hospital, Brentwood and staff from St John Ambulance. 
Participants will be given a print-out of their scores and told if any further action needs to be taken. 
Club president Tony Moore said: “We have been trying to carry out this valuable facility for some years but to no avail until now. 
"We are very grateful to be able to run it this year through the co-operation of the matron of the Nuffield Hospital, Brentwood, and the Chelmsford branch of St John Ambulance."
For more information ring Tony Moore on 01279 902452.

   

Comedian to draw hospice raffle

5.32pm - 1st April 2014

COMEDIAN Ed Byrne will draw St Clare Hospice’s Spring Raffle at the Hastingwood hospice on Thursday, April 17. 
This year the hospice has teamed up with Gates of Harlow to offer the lucky winner a new Ford KA Studio. Second prize is £1,500 cash and third prize is £1,000 of holiday vouchers. 
All the money raised will help St Clare Hospice continue caring for local people with a terminal or life-limiting illness and their families.