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WOODFORD GREEN: Children hold Mad Hatters tea party

3.56pm - 28th March 2015


YEAR 2 children at Avon House School, Woodford Green, dressed as characters from Alice in Wonderland when they held a Mad Hatters tea party. 
The children have been studying the book this half-term, looking at the characters and the parts they played. 
This week they held a mock trial based around the Queen of Hearts and the stolen tarts. Children had to decide who the thief was before they read the end of the story. 
Headteacher Amanda Campbell said: "At the Mad Hatters tea party the children ate heart-shaped biscuits and cakes and also tucked into a variety of party food. 
"The tea party was interrupted by the dormouse who was sleeping in the large tea pot. 
"After tea we played croquet with flamingos and hedgehogs and built houses out of playing cards." 
The best costume was won by Kavish who was dressed as The Mad Hatter.



NAZEING: Homes planned for garden centre

3.35pm - 28th March 2015

A DEVELOPMENT of 27 homes is proposed for the Chime Garden Centre site in Old Nazeing Road, Nazeing. 
Plans submitted to Epping Forest District Council seek approval to demolish the garden centre and commercial buildings and build 27 dwellings with parking and landscaping.


DEBDEN: Library could move

3.33pm - 28th March 2015

A LONG-TERM plan could be to move Debden Library back to premises in The Broadway, a senior Essex county councillor has said. 
County councillor Kay Twitchen told Thursday's local councils' liaison committee that the library was not currently in a prominent position within Epping Forest College however the college had suggested alternative accommodation in a more visible location in the building closer to Rectory Lane. 
Mrs Twitchen said a move back to The Broadway "may be a better long-term solution.
"We have to think carefully about it. There is an awful lot about visibility. If people see it, they see the door, they will go in it. If it's buried away at the back of something they don't."


MATCHING: Plea made to repair potholes

3.31pm - 28th March 2015

ACTION is being demanded to repair potholes which were first reported a year ago. 
Councillor Richard Morgan, speaking at Thursday's local councils' liaison committee, highlighted Faggotters Lane, near Matching, which is part of the national cycle route. 
Mr Morgan said seven potholes had been reported, and a cyclist had come off his bike last week. 
He said: "I first reported the potholes a year ago. Nothing seems to get done. They did one a fortnight ago but I was told the others were not on a list to be done."


ONGAR: Calls to repaint crossing markings

3.29pm - 28th March 2015

CALLS have been made for white lines at pedestrian crossings in Ongar to be repainted. 
Ongar town councillor Sheila Jackman told Thursday's local councils' liaison committee that it was a matter of "great concern". She added: "People are really at risk." 
Ongar district and town councillor Brian Surtees said the markings at crossings in Ongar High Street, Marden Ash and Fyfield Road, Shelley, were in "such a poor state". 
"If there are any visibility issues with rain or darkness then pedestrians are at risk", he said. 
Councillor John Knapman, chairman of the Local Highways Panel, said there was a policy that markings were not repainted until 75 per cent of the markings were missing.


HIGH ONGAR: Church roof repairs to go ahead

4.53pm - 27th March 2015

ROOF repairs at St Mary's Church, High Ongar, can now begin after the parish was awarded £53,100 from the East of England area's Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund. 
With other grants and money raised, the church can now start planning the repair work which will take place September.
 A church spokesman said: "We give thanks to the Lord for His immense love and faithfulness to the work of this parish and His boundless generosity. 
"We would also like to thank all those who have donated monies for the roof repairs and to the Friends of Essex Churches for their grant. 
"Finally, we would like to thank our Church Wardens and in particular Peter Lewin for their very hard work in the preparation and submission of the bid."


EPPING: BUS CRASH: Police say students are credit to the school

4.23pm - 27th March 2015

POLICE have praised the students and staff of Epping St John's School for their "calm and mature behaviour" following this morning's bus crash. 
Headteacher George Yerosimou said: "I have written to all the families of children on the trip to offer my thoughts to them following this distressing accident. 
"I would just like to add the comments made by Chief Superintendent Chris Moon from the Surrey Constabulary who telephoned me to congratulate all our students and their staff for their calm and mature behaviour in the face of these difficult circumstances. 
"Chief Superintendent Moon said that they were a credit to Epping St. John's School." 
Mr Yerosimou added: "My thoughts and the thoughts of the Epping St John's community are with all our students and staff who were involved in the incident today and particularly those who may be physically injured or emotionally distressed as a result."

The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell, who officially opened the school in September 2013, has said he is "praying for all involved" in the crash.


ONGAR: Flats planned for Smith's restaurant; new car park for restaurant

4.04pm - 27th March 2015

A DEVELOPMENT of 14 flats could be built at the Smith's Restaurant site in Fyfield Road, Ongar. 
A planning application submitted to Epping Forest District Council by Bluesky Investments Limited is for the car park and former bowls green area behind. 
The application is for a three-storey block of 14 flats facing Fyfield Road on the site of the existing restaurant car park, 18 car parking spaces for the flats at the rear and a new 34-space car park at the rear for the restaurant. 
The application will be considered by the town council before a final decision is taken by Epping Forest District Council.


EPPING: BUS CRASH: Students injured as bus hits bridge

2.56pm - 27th March 2015

IT is being reported that 11 people have been taken to hospital after the  roof of a double-decker bus taking students from Epping St John's School to Thorpe Park was sliced off when it hit a railway bridge in Surrey.
The school says no students have been seriously injured although some "may have suffered some cuts and bruises". 
The trip was a Gold Trip organised by the school. 
The local news website 'Get Surrey' has reported that the bus was carrying 76 children. 
It adds that 11 people have been taken to hospital. 
Ten are at St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey while one has been taken to St George's Hospital in Tooting with suspected back injuries. 
The incident happened in Chertsey Lane in Staines at about 10am.
Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing has tweeted: "My thoughts are with everyone involved in the terrible bus accident involving Epping St John's School."


ONGAR: Police seize 100 cannabis plants

8.24am - 27th March 2015

POLICE have seized about 100 cannabis plants after a search was carried out at an address off High Street, Ongar. 
Officers were called by the electricity company when engineers executed a warrant on Wednesday and found that power supplies to the property had been tampered with. 
A large quantity of hydroponic equipment was also seized. 
No one was at the address at the time of the search and enquiries are continuing to establish who was responsible for the cannabis crop. 
Anyone with information should ring investigating officer PC Rachael Tappenden on 101. 

Some of the cannabis plants and hydroponic equipment PICTURE


DISTRICT: Schools target local teachers for local schools

7.37am - 27th March 2015

THREE schools in Epping Forest and Harlow are co-ordinating the training of teachers in both the secondary and primary phases. 
Davenant Foundation School (Loughton), St. John's Church of England Primary School (Buckhurst Hill) and Burnt Mill Academy (Harlow) are the lead schools in the West Essex Teaching School Alliance and are recruiting locally for the government's School Direct Programme. 
This is in response to a critical shortage of teachers who need to be trained in subjects such as Maths, Science, MFL, Computing, Technology and Geography as well as in the primary sector. 
The government has identified a number of "shortage subjects" and these now attract either bursaries or a salary grant depending on subject and class of degree. 
Locally trained teachers for local schools is the message and the partnership of eight west Essex secondary schools (also including West Hatch High School, Roding Valley High School and Epping St. John's - and, in Harlow, St. Mark's West Essex Catholic School, Stewards Academy and Passmores Academy) has been extremely successful at attracting applicants, who train and are then employed by the school. 
They work with Hibernia College UK using a blended model of training with on-line subject knowledge provision, access to subject knowledge enhancement, in school training and mentoring supported by a Pathway (external) tutor who has subject expertise. 
The National College of Teaching and Leadership has recognised the strength of the partnership and numbers have doubled in the last two years from 12 to 25 and there are already 20 teachers allocated to the eight schools for 2015-2016 with Maths and Science to the fore. 
The primary training, led by St. John's and Burnt Mill is organised differently. 
Currently there are 17 trainees in primary schools across the area and there is an expectation of increasing this number to 28 in 2015-2016. 
All of the 2013-2014 trainees found local employment and so far 21 of the current 25 have found employment locally for September 2015. 
Trainees need to gain experience in schools before commencing their training, working as T.A.'s or Cover Supervisors or in some other classroom capacity, to prepare them for what they will experience. 
Davenant headteacher Chris Seward believes in the crucial importance of teacher training to the future of our local schools. 
He said: "All headteachers in west Essex are concerned about recruitment of teaching staff into the area and, consequently, we want to attract good people into starting their careers in our schools and, therefore, give us more supply in the years ahead. 
"Our local schools collaborate very successfully to provide high quality training programmes that can lead to employment." 
Those interested in finding out more about training prospects can contact either Davenant, St. John's Church of England Primary or Burnt Mill schools.


ONGAR: New pavilion kitchen opened

3.05pm - 26th March 2015

ESSEX County Council chairman Norman Hume has officially opened the new kitchen at the Jubilee Park Pavilion, Love Lane, Ongar. 
Mr Hume cut the ribbon to open the new kitchen at the Ongar Town Council Annual Town Meeting. 
The new kitchen has been made possible thanks to a grant of £13,200 from Essex County Council's Community Initiatives Fund. 
Mr Hume congratulated the town council on its work at the Love Lane site since it took over the management of the pavilion and sports fields last month. 
A new kitchen is the latest boost to the pavilion which has undergone a transformation since the council took control on February 10. 
Council chairman Diana Roberts said: "We were delighted that the chairman of Essex County Council was able to officially open our new kitchen. 
"The improvements were much needed and were much appreciated by local people who attended the annual town meeting. 
"The facilities will certainly be put to good use when we start offering hot and cold food throughout the day as part of our intentions to open up the facilities to the wider community."
It will be several weeks before food is on sale as final work on the kitchen still needs to be completed.

Essex County Council chairman Norman Hume and Ongar Town Council chairman Diana Roberts officially open the new kitchen at the Jubilee Park Pavilion, Love Lane PICTURE


WOODFORD GREEN: Children perform musical based on The Pied Piper

2.30pm - 26th March 2015

CHILDREN in Years 1 and 2 at Avon House School, Woodford Green, performed a musical based on the traditional tale The Pied Piper. 
Headteacher Amanda Campbell said: "It is unusual for a school to employ a Piper to get rid of the pupils but children in Year 1 and 2 were in that position as they prepared to perform their musical.
"Daisy was the piper and played her magic pipe to get rid of all the rats and then the children as the mayor, played by Uzair, broke his promise to pay the 100 silver pieces he asked for. 
"This was an ambitious project as there were lots of songs and words to learn and moves to master but the large cast rose to the occasion and performed well." 
Mrs Campbell added: "The children sang well and gave a memorable rendition and thank goodness during the final song the children all reappeared!"



ONGAR: Council receives cricket grant

9.23am - 26th March 2015

ONGAR Town Council has received a £2,000 grant from the Essex Cricket Community Trust to go towards the cost of improving the cricket square at the Jubilee Park. 
Council chairman Diana Roberts said: "We are delighted to receive this grant funding which will enable us to start work on improving the playing surfaces at Love Lane."


CHIGWELL: Public speaking success

8.37am - 26th March 2015

WEST Hatch High School is celebrating success in the annual Worshipful Company of Educators public speaking competition. 
The competition was held at Gresham College in the City of London in front of Professors from Higher Education, Ofsted inspectors, Livery Masters and Head Teachers.
Year 10 student Nilofer Sait, 15, with her presentation entitled: Can politicians solve our immigration crisis? was awarded second place to a Year 11 student at the City of London School. 
Nilofer, who receives a trophy and WH Smith voucher, said: "I am absolutely delighted. I have worked so hard to memorise the whole thing - but it was scary to be asked such difficult questions from the floor."
Judges praised Nilofer for having the bravery to speak without notes and from beyond the security of the lectern. 
Ropa Gutu, 15, was also highly praised for her speech on Happiness with the judges explaining that she was in the top six with only three marks separating the top performing students. 
She said: "It was an amazing experience to take part in something with such confident students from other schools." 
Caroline Haines, marketing manager at the Chigwell school, said: "West Hatch has built an excellent record in this prestigious competition. 
"Along with activities like the Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge such opportunities offer students a chance to meet like-minded students from other schools and to grow in self-confidence." 
Both Nilofer and Ropa hope to take up further opportunities to develop their public speaking and debating skills.


ONGAR: Town council presents Citizen of the Year awards

9.57pm - 25th March 2015

A WOMAN who regularly cooks meals for dozens of elderly people and through her cooking helps raise thousands of pounds for charity has received Ongar Town Council's Citizen of the Year award. 
Meanwhile 16-year-old Emma Mason, whose is described as "a credit to the young people in Ongar" has received the council's first Young Citizen of the Year award. 
The awards were presented by town council chairman Diana Roberts at the annual town meeting held at the Jubilee Pavilion, Love Lane, tonight. 
The presentation of the Citizen of the Year award to June Giles comes just weeks after she was highly commended in Epping Forest District Council's Citizen of the Year awards. 
Mrs Giles received two nominations for the town council award in recognition of her culinary skills which see her cook regularly for the residents of the Frank Bretton House sheltered housing scheme. 
She recently organised a dinner for the Ongar and District Healthcare League of Friends. 
Her cooking ranges from three course dinners and buffets to making cakes to be sold at fundraising events. 
Her nominations described her as "an amazing lady". 
One added: "Nothing is too much trouble for June. For years she has always put others first with her kindness, generosity and support even cooking regular meals for friends and neighbours who are elderly, ill or just alone." 

Young Citizen of the Year Emma Mason, 16, received two nominations - from 1st Ongar Brownies Brown Owl Amanda Laws and Shenfield High School headteacher Carole Herman. 
Amanda nominated Emma for her efforts with the 1st Ongar Brownies every week. Amanda said: "She is very reliable, takes the initiative on arrival and plays games with the girls, evening looking up new ones in her spare time. She is very good with the girls and is approachable - the girls go to her if needed." 
Emma is also still part of Guiding and attends the Senior Section and last year was chosen to represent Ongar for Scouts and Guiding in Japan this July. She has had to raise £3,000 for the trip. 
Amanda added: "Emma is a credit to the young people in Ongar." Shenfield High School headteacher Carole Herman described Emma as "exceptional" and "an amazing young lady who leads by example and puts everybody else before herself". 
Emma is her year's representative on the School Council and runs individual form representative meetings with volunteers for each form. She is also a Peer Mentor, Maths Mentor and Geography Mentor.

Highly commended in the Young Citizen of the Year award was Tom Ryan, who lives in Ongar and attends Brentwood County High School. Tom, an Explorer scout, was nominated by Ongar cub leader Lisa Portman for his involvement in various community projects. 
He is also working on his Duke of Edinburgh award and helps every week with the beaver and cub scouts where he "sets an excellent example and is a fantastic role model". 
Lisa added: "He helps by running activities and encouraging the children to do their best, and he has high expectations of them all." She added: "He is a credit to his town." 
Tom has also helped Ongar Round Table with his collections. 

Ongar Town Council chairman Diana Roberts said: "We are delighted to be able to recognise the efforts of three individuals who do so much to help others in our town. 
"Because of all the work they do for the young and not so young in Ongar, June, Emma and Tom are certainly worthy of special recognition."



WOODFORD GREEN: Children perform 'Joseph'

3.27pm - 25th March 2015

CHILDREN in Years 3 and 4 at Avon House School, Woodford Green, performed Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat to a packed hall. 
Headteacher Amanda Campbell said: "They have worked tirelessly for the past three months learning songs and dance routines which were performed with great enthusiasm to a delighted audience. 
"The standard of the production was very high. 
"Lakshmi gave an outstanding performance as 'Joseph' with the narrators keeping the storyline flowing. "The brothers worked together to create a convincing group of jealous young men and Nayan treated us to a humorous 'Elvis' style Pharaoh. 
"Teachers from across the music department formed an orchestra which added a real depth to the music.
"Special thanks go to all staff and parents who supported the production."



NORTH WEALD: Youth shelter launched

2.53pm - 25th March 2015

GRANTS totalling nearly £7,000 have enabled a youth shelter to be provided for the playing fields at the Queens Hall in North Weald. 
The Queens Hall Charity hosted the formal opening of the youth shelter which has been provided by Essex County Council's Big Society Fund and the Stansted Airport Community Trust. 
The funding has provided the first covered seating near the childrens' play area facing the playing field.
Elaine Godwin-Brown, one of the Queens Hall Charity trustees, said: "In the short time that the shelter has been in place it has been well received and used by visitors of all ages." 
Today's occasion also saw the dedication of the Memorial Playing Fields safeguarded as a Queen Elizabeth II Field site as part of the Fields in Trust Diamond Jubilee programme. 
Mrs Godwin-Brown added: "The dedication of the memorial playing field will help to ensure that it is available to future generations as a recreational area." 

Queens Hall Charity trustees, parish councillors, hall users and members of the local community at the ribbon cutting, by North Weald Bassett Parish Council chairman Cyril Hawkins to officially launch the youth shelter PICTURE 

North Weald Bassett Parish Council chairman Cyril Hawkins cuts the ribbon at the plaque at Queens Hall with Queens Hall Charity trustee Elaine Godwin-Brown and Queens Hall Charity chairman Brian Bartram PICTURE


LAMBOURNE END: Pub evacuated

8.41am - 24th March 2015

THE Two Brewers pub in Lambourne End was evacuated after a fire broke out in a first-floor utility room.
Firefighters were called to the Lambourne Road pub at about 9.30pm last night. 
The pub was evacuated for a short time while crews dealt with the incident. 
Crews wearing breathing apparatus used one hose reel to tackle the fire. They reported all the first floor was heavily smoke-logged. 
Firefighters took about half-an-hour to deal with the fire and then used a high pressure fan to clear the building of smoke. 
There are no reports of any casualties.


NORTH WEALD: Parish council presents awards

8.35pm - 23rd March 2015


NORTH Weald Parish Council has presented its Citizen of the Year awards.
Award categories this year were ‘Going That Extra Mile’ with individual awards presented to people and local groups for their contributions to the local community. 

* ‘Going That Extra Mile’ Award - joint winners Stephon Brown and Chester Stuart 

Stephon Brown is the local road sweeping operative, who received glowing testimonials from a number of residents who said that not only does he keep the streets of North Weald clean but that he is very helpful to local residents. 

Local postman Chester Stuart was recognised not just for being an efficient postman but for being very helpful to the elderly and disabled in the village, helping people across the road and undertaking other such community actions. 

* Individual award for voluntary services to the community - joint winners Margaret Mulliner and Elaine Davis 

Margaret Mulliner lives in North Weald and regularly helps at the monthly ploughman’s lunches, the North Weald branch of the Royal British Legion, North Weald Village Hall, North Weald Bassett Preservation Society and other village functions which include helping with litter picks in the village and around the village hall. 

Elaine Davis, who lives at Thornwood Common, is a member of the Parish Hall Management Committee she has been a very active fundraiser for the car park fund raising effort, as a helper at the village hall, North Weald Airfield Museum and at the allotments. She also contributes to the newsletter and is the newly-elected allotment warden for Thornwood Common. 

* Group Award for Protecting the Environment - North Weald Bassett Preservation Society 

The society meets monthly and appoints tree wardens, organises litter picks and takes an interest in local issues. 
The aims of the society are to preserve the concept of the Green Belt, preserve buildings of historic or architectural interest, preserve and encourage the planting of trees and hedgerows, preserve and encourage the use of rights-of-ways, and stimulate public interest in and care for the beauty and character of the area. 

* Group Award for Providing a Service Within The Community - North Weald Library Knit Lit Group 

The group meets weekly at North Weald Library providing a social environment for local people to get together. 
Members meet to discuss books and take along their knitting offering knitting advice and a discussion on a book. 

North Weald Bassett Parish Council chairman councillor Cyril Hawkins, who presented the awards at the Annual Parish Assembly at Thornwood Village Hall on Monday, said: “The calibre of the nominations was very strong and the quality of the winners shows just what a community-minded place North Weald parish is. 
“The awards allow the parish council to applaud the contributions that both individuals and local groups make to ensuring that North Weald, Hastingwood and Thornwood are truly great places to live.”



LOUGHTON: Two injured as car overturns

1.06pm - 23rd March 2015

POLICE are appealing for witnesses after two people were injured when a car overturned in Loughton. 
A blue Peugeot 206 overturned in Borders Lane, near the junction with Newmans Lane, shortly after 11.40pm on Wednesday, March 18. 
The occupants, a man and a woman, both aged 44, and from Loughton, were taken to the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel. 
The woman suffered broken ankles and the man suffered a dislocated hip. 
Witnesses or anyone with information about the collision should ring PC Dan Corr at Loughton Police Station on 101.


CHIGWELL: Students experience Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre

8.58am - 23rd March 2015

A GROUP of students at West Hatch High School, Chigwell, watched a performance of Shakespeare's Othello at the Globe Theatre, London. 
The production was specially created for a student audience. 
Year 8 student Folusho Bello said: "Othello is a play based on romance and tragedy but in my opinion Othello is a complicated play to understand however the performance was excellent, the actors and actresses were very loud, clear and powerful. 
"I felt Shakespeare wanted to deliver tension, drama, excitement, tragedy and romance to hold the audience's attention, so they would remain attentive scene after scene. 
"Compared to other Shakespeare plays such as Romeo and Juliet, which we are currently studying, I like Othello a lot better because in Othello I feel there are more exciting and dramatic scenes." 
Year 12 student Josie Creatini said: "Having heard 'Othello' to be quite a complex play in my opinion, after having seen this performance, I believe the actors interpretation was entertaining and easy for all to understand. 
"Our seats were great as we could see the front stage as well as the whole inside globe from top to bottom." 
Year 7 student Lacey Mansfield said: "I really enjoyed the play because some of it was funny and some of it was emotional, the part when Othello and his wife died was really sad but at the end they all performed a nice dance and it was really fun to watch." 
Year 7 student Louise Bruce said: "The trip was an amazing experience. The performance was really good. My favourite part was when the people were fighting because it was really realistic. Also the band in the show were really good at playing their instruments." 
Teacher Lauren Menzies said: "It was a good opportunity for the students to see a Shakespeare play at the Globe Theatre."


NORTH WEALD: Council opposes golf club apartments

8.38am - 23rd March 2015

NORTH Weald Bassett Parish Council has objected to plans to build 20 apartments at North Weald Golf Club in Rayley Lane. 
A planning application has been submitted to Epping Forest District Council for a three-storey building to accommodate 20 apartments which would replace the existing clubhouse and Essex barn. 
Plans to demolish both are the subject of a separate planning application. 
The parish council is opposing the apartments saying the proposal is unsustainable in the area and out of character with the area and the surroundings. 
The council also has concerns about the amount of traffic which would be generated throughout the day, the lack of amenity space for each dwelling and the height of the proposed building. 
Councillors are also concerned that with three golf courses in the area that such new development may set a precedent. 
A final decision on the application will be taken by the district council. 

Other applications considered by the parish council's planning committee last week were: 

* First-floor side extension and pitched roof to front above garage and entrance, 5 George Avey Croft, North Weald - no objection 

* Use of barn as single dwelling, Glovers Barn, Glovers Farm, Glovers Lane, Hastingwood - no objection 

* Grade II listed building application for the use of barn as single dwelling, Glovers Barn, Glovers Farm, Glovers Lane, Hastingwood - no objection

* Change of use for part of land (outlined in red on accompanying site plan) from agricultural uses to residential/garden land (revised application to EPF/2230/14) - Chestnut Cottages, Magdalen Laver - objection. 
The parish council's objection - the land is classified as Grade 2 Agricultural Land. The National Planning Policy framework defines the Best and most versatile agricultural land as 'Land in grades 1, 2 and 3a of the Agricultural Land Classification'. Policy CP2 of Epping Forest District Council's current Local Plan states under 'Protecting the Quality of the Rural and Built Environment' that the quality of the rural and built environment will be maintained, conserved and improved by (iii) retaining the best and most versatile land for agriculture. 

* Grade II listed building application for demolition and reconstruction of lean-to laundry room; undertake internal and external crack repairs and internal redecoration to main dwelling, Rundells, London Road, North Weald - no objection 

* Prior approval for a 3.85m deep single-storey rear extension, height to eaves 2.45m and maximum height 3.6m, 19 Lancaster Way - the parish council noted this application.


HIGH LAVER: Man charged after police pursuit

7.49am - 23rd March 2015

A MAN is due in court following an incident in High Laver where a vehicle failed to stop for police.
A silver Mercedes ML270 failed to stop for officers on patrol in High Laver at about 2.35am on Sunday. Officers pursued the vehicle and it was in collision with a police car as it tried to go into a field off Fenners Lane. 
A police officer suffered a hand injury and required hospital treatment. Unemployed Mark Smithson, 31, of Ditchfield Road, Hoddesdon, has been charged with drink driving, driving whilst disqualified and dangerous driving. 
He will appear at Chelmsford Magistrates Court today (Monday).


LOUGHTON: School seeks approval for sixth form building

9.30am - 22nd March 2015

DEBDEN Park High School has submitted plans to Epping Forest District Council for its new Sixth Form building - the first new sixth form accommodation in the district for more than a decade. 
The school has hailed its sixth form plans as "an incredibly exciting time in the life of the school which has gone from strength to strength in recent years." 
Under the leadership of Christian Cavanagh and Helen Gascoyne, the Willingale Road school has grown in popularity and is now expanding to include A-Level students. The school will open its doors to the first cohort of Sixth Form students in September. 
The plans, drawn up by Kirby Cove Architects, feature a two-storey building boasting eight modern, specialist A-Level teaching rooms, a Sixth Form Learning Resource Centre and common room and study areas.
The building, earmarked for land close to the west side of the existing school building, is designed to accommodate up to 200 students. 
The long-awaited decision from the Department for Education that gave the go-ahead for the new Sixth Form Consortium was celebrated with staff, students and parents last September and the school was overjoyed to receive over 100 applications from students for sixth form places. 
Debden Park High School - with Roding Valley High School, King Harold Academy and Epping St John's - is one of four schools in the Epping Forest District Sixth Form Consortium which will offer a fantastic opportunity for local students to study a range of A-Levels and supplementary qualifications and experiences that will prepare them for their future careers. 
The school will be following statutory planning guidance as part of the consultation period to ensure the local community has the opportunity to have their opinions heard and the plans have been shared with local residents. 
Christian Cavanagh, executive headteacher of Debden Park High and King Harold schools, said: "This new A-level capacity for the local area will offer unprecedented and unrivalled options to young people in the local area. 
"We're determined to create the best opportunities so students can realise their dreams and build challenging and aspirational goals for their careers and adult lives ahead. "A quality education is the bedrock for many people's lives. 
"This new provision for the Epping Forest area will deliver the latest educational resources as well as excellent and experienced teaching staff - all based in a new state-of-the-art building." 
Helen Gascoyne, Head of School at Debden Park, said: "We're thrilled to be building our Sixth Form and building futures with our students. 
"Being part of the local community is paramount to us and we are grateful for the fantastic support we have received. 
"Many high quality universities have already highlighted how impressed they are with our plans. We will deliver a new sixth form that we and the local area will be proud of."


LOUGHTON: Thomas Willingale School launches email media service

3.26pm - 20th March 2015

THOMAS Willingale School in The Broadway, Loughton, has launched an email media service to keep people informed about its news and events. 
Anyone can register to receive the school’s media releases and pictures to keep up-to-date with its achievements in the classroom, on the sports field and in the community. 
Headteacher Teresa Phillips: “There is so much ‘good news’ being created by the pupils and staff that we are keen to ensure that this is made available to as wide an audience as possible. 
“We hope many people will register to receive our press releases and other information which will be sent to them at the same time as it is circulated to the local media.” 
To register for the free service - which is provided by the Everything Local News media service, part of Everything Epping Forest - simply send an email, with ‘subscribe’ in the subject line, to thomaswillingalenews@gmail.com 
Subscribers can ask to be removed from the circulation list at any time. 
Please note that no email addresses are forwarded to a third party.


ABRIDGE: Extractor fan blamed for flats blaze

12.04pm - 20th March 2015

A FIRE in a block of flats in Abridge has been blamed on an electrical faulty in a bathroom extractor fan.
Fire crews from Ongar, Epping, Hainault and Loughton were called to the flats in Ongar Road in the early hours of yesterday morning. 
A fire service spokesman said the fire was in the ceiling between two flats on the first and second floors. 
A man and woman in their 20s suffered from smoke inhalation and were given oxygen by firefighters. 
A thermal image camera was used to check for any remaining hotspots and a high pressured fan was used to clear the properties of smoke. 
Assistant divisional officer Phil Pidgeon said: "The property contained five flats in total and the fire broke out in a bathroom of one of the flats and spread to a second flat through the ceiling. Firefighters cut through the floor and ceiling to extinguish the fire. 
"Crews from Essex and London Fire Brigade worked exceptionally hard to stop the fire from spreading throughout the building. 
"Crews managed to salvage some of the property from the flats."


CHIGWELL: Students visits Childcare Expo

12.02pm - 20th March 2015

THE Year 10 Child Development class at West Hatch High School attended the 'Childcare Expo' exhibition at London's Olympia. 
The exhibition gave the students an opportunity to visit a range of stalls and demonstrations promoting Early Years education. 
The pupils got a first-hand opportunity to use resources and pick up ideas. 
They spent time using the interactive smart board, which showed how technology can be incorporated in the curriculum and develop numeracy and literacy skills. 
Such exhibitions promote the practical elements of the course and gave them a clear insight into how knowledge links with practice.
There were presentations on phonics and healthy eating - all key areas in early years which pupils need to understand. 
A huge 'doodle board' encouraged pupils to find their creative side and use new products on the market. 
There were free samples of nutritious meals for children while an outdoor learning space included a snake, scorpion and insects. 
The learning location space focused on Narrowing the Gap for disadvantaged children and how 'every child can engage in every element of learning and play'. 
There was information and advice on training, apprentices and employment opportunities within the sector. 
Anjala Sharma, Head of CACHE Department at West Hatch High School, said: "These exhibitions provide opportunities for the pupils studying child development to pick up ideas and explore new products. 
"If they develop their understanding of the early years sector, they will be more proficient in linking this to underpinning knowledge."


ONGAR: Council urged to press for road repairs

9.17am - 20th March 2015

ONGAR Town Council has been urged to put "as much pressure as possible" on Essex County Council to carry out repairs to the road surface in Ongar High Street. 
A letter from the county council, sent to resident Grainger Davies who had contacted Ongar county councillor Maggie McEwen, reveals that the long-awaited work may not be carried out for another 12 months. 
The letter states that it is planned to undertake the work "in the next financial year" once it has sourced suitable material to replace the bricked areas of surfacing. 
The county council added that because of the narrowness of the road, the work would have to be carried out af night with a full road closure in place. 
Mr Davies, of Great Stony Park, told last night's town council meeting: "The road is in a shocking state. The state of this artery running right through the centre of Ongar sets the tone for the appearance and attraction of what should be an attractive market town. 
"It's high time that Essex County Council highways gave it priority attention." 
Mr Davies called on the town council to put "as much pressure as possible" on the county council to get the work done. 
Council chairman Diana Roberts said: "It's diabolical that they (the county council) have just left it and left it." 
Councillor Daniel Gambardella said residential roads, and he singled out Mayflower Way as needing attention, were also in need of repairs adding that some streets in Ongar are "looking like Beirut"


DISTRICT: MP welcomes "good news" Budget

9.08am - 20th March 2015

EPPING Forest MP Eleanor Laing has given her reaction to Wednesday's Budget.
She said: "The Chancellor's Budget is good news for people who live in Epping Forest. 
"The last five years have not been easy. It has taken tough economic decisions, which have affected many people, in order to put our economy and our country back on the right road. But we have stuck courageously to the long-term plan - even when it was unpopular - and it has been proven right. 
"We have made important steps towards a Britain that lives within its means by halving the deficit as a share of our economy. As a result we can keep investing in our greatly valued public services like the NHS and our excellent local schools. 
"We now live in a Britain that rewards work. In Epping Forest income tax has been cut for most people and unemployment has fallen by over 50%. Quite rightly, people are keeping more of the money they earn.
"The Chancellor's brave budgets have made a difference - but I never forget that it is thanks to the hard work of people in Epping Forest that we have a thriving local economy with more than 400 new businesses since the last election. 
"But we live in a dangerous world. With the Eurozone teetering on the edge of crisis, now is not the time to be complacent. We have the fastest growing advanced economy in the world - but there are warning lights on the dashboard. 
"Having gone through the pain, we now have the gain - I sincerely hope that people decide not to throw it all away."


DISTRICT: MP and Prime Minister support Community Security Trust

9.05am - 20th March 2015

EPPING Forest MP Eleanor Laing attended the Community Security Trust annual dinner in London along with Mr and Mrs Philip Leigh, other leading members of the Epping Forest Jewish community and Prime Minister David Cameron. 
The CST is a charity that protects British Jews from anti-Semitism and related threats. CST received charitable status in 1994 and is recognised by the Police and Government as a unique model of best practice. 
CST provides security advice and training for Jewish communal organisations, schools and synagogues. It secures over 600 Jewish communal buildings and approximately 1,000 communal events every year.
The dinner was attended by 1300 supporters of the CST demonstrating their backing for the CST's work against anti-Semitism, racism, political extremism and the threat of terrorism. 
David Cameron made a moving and sincere speech which was greatly appreciated by his audience. 
He commended the CST as a model example of cross-communal partnership and responsibility. 
Mr Cameron said "At a time when once again the Jewish communities of Europe feel vulnerable and when anti-Semitism is at record levels here in Britain - I will not stand by. I will not turn a blind eye to the threats that the community faces." 
He added: "You don't just say leave it to the government. Or leave it to the police. You say "I want to do my bit. I want to take responsibility." You epitomise not just the best of our Jewish community - but the best of Britain." 
Mrs Laing said: "The shocking and horrifying events in Paris in January exemplify why the CST does its vital work. It was inspirational to stand with our Jewish community at this time of urgent need. 
"I am proud of the cultural diversity in our communities and the freedom on which our country is built. We must remain vigilant and be proud of our Judeo-Christian heritage."


NORTH WEALD: Concern over Neighbourhood Plan 'excluded area'

9.29am - 19th March 2015

NORTH Weald Bassett Parish Council is contacting more than 150 Hastingwood villagers amid concerns that two significant parts of the parish could be open for development after being omitted from the parish's Neighbourhood Plan area.
The parish council has decided to create a Neighbourhood Plan, which allows 'communities to decide the future of the places where they live and work' and 'choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built'. 
However Epping Forest District Council has told the parish council that, against the wishes of the parish council, part of the North Weald parish should not be included in the area covered by the Neighbourhood Plan as it remains "a strategic site for possible development". 
The district council has said it would be premature to include such sites - Latton Priory and the Harlow gateway site off the A414 London Road - in a Neighbourhood Plan while it (the district council) is under a duty to co-operate with its neighbouring authority (Harlow District Council). 
Parish council chairman Cyril Hawkins said: "In practice, what this means is that as Harlow Council has expressed an interest in expanding (however they are unsure yet in what direction), Epping Forest District Council want to ensure the sites at Latton Priory and Harlow Gateway remain an option for potential development." 
The parish council is writing to some 60 households which, it says, would be affected (with their properties excluded from the North Weald Bassett Neighbourhood Plan). 
They are asking whether they believe the Neighbourhood Plan Area should consist of the whole parish of North Weald Bassett and whether it is wrong that the district council has excluded the two areas from the parish council's Neighbourhood Plan. 
Comments can be made in writing and the council is also willing to meet villagers at the parish council offices, at North Weald Library, High Road, between 9.15am and 1.15pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 
Mr Hawkins added: "We feel it is important that residents are made aware of the situation and are given the opportunity to have their say as to whether they want to be part of the Neighbourhood Plan as North Weald Bassett Parish Council wish or excluded from it by Epping Forest District Council." 
The matter will be discussed by Epping Forest District Council's cabinet at its next meeting on April 13. 
The deadline for comments to the parish council is Tuesday, March 31.


WOODFORD GREEN: Double success in writing competition

4.58pm - 18th March 2015

TWO Bancroft's School students have been shortlisted in a prestigious writing competition. 
Year 7 students Sophia Weedon and Jordan Gordon-Harris entered the Young Human Rights reporter category of the Amnesty International Youth Awards, choosing to write on subjects close to their hearts. Their entries were judged to be among the top ten for their chosen category - Reporter Lower Secondary (ages 11-14). 
Jordan was inspired by his aunt, who works in the prison service, and wrote about why he feels prison might not be the answer to changing lives for young people who get into trouble. 
Sophia's very personal piece was a call for inclusion for those with physical disabilities, inspired by her own older sister. 
Each year the competition attracts more than 2,500 entries from more than 200 schools across the UK. 
The competition aims to inspire young people, to investigate what's going on in the world and bring human rights abuses to light.


EPPING: Breast cancer charity reaches £2m milestone

4.55pm - 18th March 2015

A CUBAN-themed party for the breast cancer clinical trials charity turned into a massive celebration when fundraisers realised they had passed the £2m mark for the total raised for the charity.
Some 200 people enjoyed a Cuban Fiesta night at the Manor of Groves, High Wych, raising £20,000 for breast cancer clinical trials at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow, and St Margaret's Hospital, Epping.
The event was organised by Tim and Amanda Barr, Victoria Gerlis, Jo Bischoff, Polly Dully, Kim Jarvis and Victoria Rex. 
Amanda, 51, said: "We were so thrilled to pass the £2m mark. It was already a fantastic party with Cuban food, a live band, salsa dancers and a disco, and when we realised we'd done it, the place went wild!"
Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 and given the all-clear in 2009, Sawbridgeworth hairdresser Amanda has conquered Kilimanjaro - the tallest mountain in Africa - and trekked in Cuba, Peru and the Great Wall of China for the cause raising well over £100,000. 
Ashraf Patel , associate specialist at Princess Alexandra Hospital, thanked everyone who had helped the charity raise £2m since April 2003. 
He said: "I'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us over the last 12 years, joining a trek, run, bike ride, abseil, sky dive or sponsoring a friend, coming to a party like this to help us reach this unbelievable amount, especially David Lewis and the Sunseeker London team, without whose support reaching the £2m mark would have taken many more years, and Amanda, who has inspired an awful lot of people to start fundraising for the charity which benefits so many women in east Herts and west Essex. 
"Amanda is a great friend to the clinical trials charity and has been a big part of raising this incredible amount, so it was fantastic to cross the £2m milestone at one of her events. 
"As well as fundraising, she volunteers at our Fabulous and Beautiful programme to support women living with cancer, and we are so very grateful for her energy, enthusiasm and dedication to the cause." 
He added: "We rely on charitable donation to continue our important work to improve our understanding and find out how to prevent, diagnose and treat different kinds of breast cancer. 
"We always have lots of events coming up, so please help us." 
Anyone who would like to join a 2016 Cuba trek or Borneo trek to help the charity can contact the fundraising office on 01279 827857, email pahbreasttrials@outlook.com or search for The Princess Alexandra Hospital Charitable Trust - Breast Trials Unit on Facebook for more information.


ROYDON: Week of books at primary school

3.50pm - 18th March 2015

A WEEK was dedicated to books as Roydon Primary School marked World Book Day. 
Pupils in all year groups were encouraged to return to school one evening to enjoy a bedtime story reading session of Shakespeare stories to inspire them to read for pleasure at home. 
David Baker, of West End in Schools, also spent a day with the school to create a play in a day - teaching each class one of seven sections of A Midsummer Night's Dream. 
He said: "Each group was told the story so they knew where their part fitted in. It is much easier for children of this age to learn these stories by physically acting them out. 
"They can delve deeper into the characters and the language when they are a bit older, but to have an awareness and understanding of Shakespeare as early as this is wonderful. 
"Rather than waiting until they are studying Shakespeare at GCSE, they are being introduced to it and learning to love it before they explore its depths." 
Year 3 teacher Laura Spring, who organised the week's events, said: "We like to encourage reading for pleasure, so do lots of fun things around reading to get them passionate about it. 
"Our Year 4, 5 and 6 pupils all study Shakespeare so they develop a love of it, rather than the potential of seeing it as a chore when they hit secondary school." 
The week culminated in a dress-up day, with pupils and teachers dressing as a Shakespeare character.


HASTINGWOOD: Hospice welcomes new chaplain

3.50pm - 18th March 2015

THE Bishop of Barking, the Rt Rev Peter Hill, gave a blessing at St Clare Hospice to celebrate the arrival of the charity's new chaplain. 
Rev'd Marion Williams was officially licensed for her new ministry by the Bishop during a ceremony in the hospice's Sanctuary. 
Rev'd Williams, who was ordained an Anglican Deacon in June 2014, said: "I have been called quite late to the Priesthood but always knew my calling lay in helping people and that this is what God had planned for me. 
"My role at the hospice is very varied, from sitting with patients and their loved ones at the end of life, or giving prayer and advice when needed. It is responding to that spiritual need, and to those questions in all of us. 
"And although I am a Christian and I represent the Church of England, I am available to all, to those of any faith or none."


WALTHAM ABBEY: Three men assaulted in Sun Street

2.05pm - 18th March 2015

THREE men were punched and kicked with one suffering a broken jaw when they were assaulted in Sun Street, Waltham Abbey. 
The incident happened at about 12.40am on Sunday (March 15). 
A 35-year-old man, from Waltham Abbey, suffered a broken jaw, which required surgery, and a cut to his lip that required stitches. 
A 27-year-old man, from Hertfordshire, was punched and kicked in the head and a 36-year-old man, also from Waltham Abbey, was struck in the face. 
Police are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to contact PC Shaun Bryan at Loughton Police Station on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


EPPING: Mothering Sunday tea supports appeal 

8.51am - 17th March 2015

A MOTHERING Sunday tea at St John's Church, Epping, raised £274 for the Heart of Epping appeal. 
The event was organised by Diana Lowry with guests served an array of delicacies - neatly cut sandwiches, cheese scones, fruit scones with jam and clotted cream, and an array of homemade cakes.
The money raised will go towards the £2m needed for the planned community centre building to adjoin the church. 
The new building, which has received outline planning approval from Epping Forest District Council, will include a cafe and meeting rooms. 
Mrs Lowry said: "I would like to thank everyone who supported the event. It was a fun afternoon and I would particularly like to thank our 'waiters' - our curate Rev'd Jonathan MacNeaney and churchwarden Steve Carter - who certainly entered into the spirit of the event with their serving and customer relations skills!"



ONGAR: French market coming to town 

7.49pm - 16th March 2015

A FLAVOUR of France comes to Ongar on Good Friday (April 3) when the town council hosts a French market to coincide with a visit from Ongar's twin town of Cerizay. 
The market - at Jubilee Park, Love Lane, from 10am until 5pm - will feature stalls selling a variety of breads, cakes, meats, cheeses and giftware. 
The newly-refurbished Jubilee Pavilion will be open. 
The town council will be welcoming the Cerizay visitors with a reception for the guests and their hosts.
Town council chairman Diana Roberts said: "We hope many local people will come along to the French market which will be selling a wide variety of French food. 
"There will also be plenty of other attractions so it promises to be a great event for all the family."


ONGAR: Town council's Annual Town Meeting 

7.47pm - 16th March 2015

ONGAR Town Council is holding its annual town meeting at the Jubilee Pavilion, Love Lane, Ongar, at 7pm on Wednesday, March 25. 
The meeting will begin with the official opening of the new kitchen, part of the improvements carried out at the building since the town council took over the management of the facilities from Ongar Social and Sports Club on February 10. 
There will also be the presentation of the town council's Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year awards, reports on the council's committees and short reports from local organisations.


WOODFORD GREEN: Children host Mothers Day tea on Comic Relief day 

7.14pm - 16th March 2015

AVON House School children donned red noses as part of the fundraising efforts for Comic Relief. 
Year 4 children organised an assembly with some clever cameo films where teachers entertained the pupils to a little bit of humour. 
Year 4 had previously made cakes with red cherries on top which were sold after school. A grand total of £300 was raised from the sale of cakes and red noses. 
Comic Relief day coincided with the school's traditional Mother's Day tea, an annual event in the Avon House Pre-Prep calendar. 
The Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 children treated some 85 mums to a couple of songs which expressed how much they appreciate all the things mums do for them. 
After the singing the children enjoyed a cream tea with their mums while David Cook entertained everyone on the piano. 



LOUGHTON: Student receives Young Ambassador award 

10.07am - 15th March 2015

A DAVENANT Foundation School student has been named runner-up in the Lions Club International's Young Ambassador of the 21st Century awards. 
James Lingfield was recognised for his contributions to the school's Boccia team and his charity work which has seen him raise money for various local causes. 
James. 15, gave the £100 he received as the winner of the 2014 Epping Forest District Council Young Citizen of the Year award to Loughton Foodbank. 
He has also raised money for the Chigwell Riding Trust where he has ridden every week since he was four years old. 
A couple of years ago James raised £400 for the charity when he walked a mile. 
Commenting on receiving the award, James said: "I was a bit shocked. People I was up against included a young St John's Ambulance member of the year and someone who had gone to South Africa to help build a village. 
"I never expected to be put forward for the regional final let alone the national final. I was stunned." 
As part of his prize James - who was one of the youngest nominations for the award - will be helping to crew a tall ship around Great Britain in summer 2016.
"I'm really looking forward to it," he said. 
Davenant headteacher Chris Seward said: "The qualities that were recognised in James last year when he was awarded the Young Citizen of the Year award have now rightly been recognised by The Lions club.
"He is an exemplary young person, liked by everybody and someone who shows a real commitment to other people."


CHIGWELL: Former student out of The Voice 

9.19am - 15th March 2015

FORMER West Hatch High School student Ryan Green's time on the BBC talent show The Voice came to an end last night when he bowed out at the knockout stage. 
Viewers saw him fail to be chosen by rapper Will i Am as one of his three contestants for the live shows.
Ryan had become one of Team Will's eight hopefuls after he was 'stolen' from coach Rita Ora for the knockout round. 
After his exit was broadcast, Ryan tweeted: "I've had an amazing time on @BBCTheVoiceUK this year, thanks to everyone for the support, this is just the beginning for me!" 
Ryan, who lives in Hainault, left West Hatch High School in 2013 having studied GCSE music. 
He is now studying full-time at the Brit School.
It was the second time that the 18-year-old had appeared on the show having failed to get through the 'blind audition' stage last year. 
The singer/pianist was a regular performer at school concerts sometimes performing his own work. 
West Hatch High School music teacher Mauro Sheehan said: "Congratulations to Ryan Green on his attempt to get through the knockout stage. 
"After being 'stolen' by Will, Ryan gave a sterling performance but lost out to three others of his team. I wish him well. "As Mozart said of the young Beethoven: 'Mark that young man. He will make himself a name in the world'." 
Ryan also plays percussion and attended Redbridge Music School.


LOUGHTON: Student receives two awards 

3.29pm - 14th March 2015

A DAVENANT Foundation School student has spoken of the honour of receiving two awards at Epping Forest District Council civic awards evening. 
Daniel Rowden, 17, from Buckhurst Hill. was a runner-up in the Young Citizen of the Year award where he was recognised for his involvement with his church where he uses his ability as a mentor to encourage younger people to reach their own potential. 
He believes in the right of every individual to express themselves and go for whatever they want to achieve. As a role model at Davenant, in church or on the track, Daniel was described as a shining example of why being positive is so important. 
Daniel was also presented with a £1,000 Sports Bursary award. 
A 400m and 800m runner, Daniel is second in the UK 800m rankings after a host of successes which include the English Schools Championships and the Schools Internationals. 
Daniel said: "I was incredibly grateful to receive the bursary and realise there are some incredible sports people in Epping Forest, and just honoured to receive the money which will help me take my athletics further." 
Davenant headteacher Chris Seward said: "Everybody at Davenant was very proud of Daniel's achievements when he was successful at county, national and international level. 
"The fact that he was made captain of the England boys athletics team represents not only his qualities as an athlete but also as a young person."


LOUGHTON: MP presents debating trophy 

10.20am - 14th March 2015

EPPING Forest MP Eleanor Laing visited Davenant Foundation School, Loughton, to present two students with the Epping Forest Schools Parliamentary Debating Competition cup. 
The trophy, now engraved with the school's name as 2014 winners, was presented to Aidan Holmes and Mirna Shiekha.
It is the second time in two years that Mirna has won the competition having been a member of the winning Roding Valley High School team in 2013. 
Five schools - Debden Park, Chigwell, Davenant, Epping St John's and Roding Valley - took part in the annual competition last November when they debated either for or against the Motion: "This House believes that the age at which people can vote should be reduced from 18 to 16". 
During her visit Mrs Laing also joined a Government and Politics lesson with headteacher Chris Seward.
Mrs Laing said: "I was delighted to visit Davenant to again meet Mirna and Aidan and to present them with the engraved trophy which they did so well to win. 
"The debating competition saw an extremely high standard of debate and I look forward to seeing whether Davenant will be able to retain the trophy later this year."


BUCKHURST HILL: Council welcomes new clerk 

10.03am - 14th March 2015

BUCKHURST Hill Parish Council has welcomed its new clerk. 
Kevin O'Brien previously worked as a Senior Project Manager on Redbridge Council's School Expansion Programme. 
Mr O'Brien, who is also the council's Responsible Finance Officer, said: "After a number of years in the same role I felt that I needed a fresh new challenge.
"When I spotted the advertisement for the vacancy and read the job description I honestly believed the role was exactly what I was looking for and what is more I felt my skillset would enable me to be an effective clerk." 
He added: "One of the main reasons for wanting to become clerk was the enthusiasm and positivity shown at my interview and subsequently by the council chairman and fellow councillors for promoting the parish and serving the community in its broadest sense. 
"Having only been here a matter of a few weeks I recognise I have a lot still to pick-up and learn."
Speaking at Thursday's council meeting, parish council chairman Aniket Patel thanked deputy clerk Val Evans for her work over the last eight months when she was acting parish clerk. 
Mr O'Brien added: "Working with her (Val Evans) these recent weeks I appreciate how much she has held things together and she has been a big help to me during the handover. 
"I'm very much looking forward to working with you all (councillors) and excited about what we might be able to achieve over the next 12 months and beyond."


EPPING: Mayor highlights civic year 

9.44am - 14th March 2015

HIGHLIGHTS of the civic year were recalled by Epping mayor Barbara Scruton at the annual town meeting.
They included the introduction of continental markets with an Italian and French market having been held in the High Street in the last year. 
Mrs Scruton said: "We introduced them to attract people to the town and promote the fact that we are a market town." 
The town council hosted an exhibition to mark the 70th anniversary of the loss of HMS submarine Sickle, the warship adopted by the towns of Epping and Harlow during warship week in 1942. 
A memorial service was held at St John's Church to commemorate the loss of the 50 men and women who were on board. 
A plaque was commissioned at the church. 
The Tour de France coming through Epping High Street was another highlight with thousands of people visiting the town on July 7.
In the run-up to the day, the town council liaised with Epping Art Society which put on a display in the window of the former West End Furniture shop.
Mrs Scruton also singled out another July event - the Epping Town Show - a success for Epping, and the Epping in Bloom competition which saw the Theydon Oak pub receive the rose bowl trophy for its display of hanging baskets. 
The town council is now extending Epping in Bloom to bring floral colour to the High Street. 
"We want to bring more colour to the town centre," Mrs Scruton said, "We need volunteers and there will be some financial support from the town council. Hopefully in 2015 you will see the town centre decked out with flowers and hanging baskets." 
The new Christmas lights which saw special illuminations in trees on the greens and new small illuminated Christmas trees over the High Street shops were also highlighted, with Mrs Scruton adding that the festive displays this year will be boosted by a 'light curtain' down the tower of St John's Church.


EPPING: Property developer receives civic award 

8.55am - 14th March 2015

A PROPERTY developer has received Epping Town Council's civic award for a "labour of love" restoration project. 
DJ Hunt Property took some 15 months to carry out restoration work on 5 Kendal Avenue, Epping. 
The award, presented by Epping mayor Barbara Scruton and planning and general purposes committee chairman Nigel Avey at the annual town meeting on Friday, was "in recognition of careful refurbishment and attention to detail by extending and renovating 5 Kendal Avenue in keeping with the street scene." 
Mr Avey said: "A beautiful house has emerged from an old building that was covered in shrubbery." 
Mr Hunt said: "This was a real labour of love and I'm very pleased to receive the award and delighted that local people are pleased with what we have achieved with the building." 
He said the work involved major restoration to the house while retaining all the original features and matching new materials with old. 

* The town council also presented an allotment award to Phillip Hockley for his Lower Bury Lane plot, recognising his "very high standard of cultivation". 
Mr Bacon, who was unable to attend the meeting, will receive a certificate for his plot on the Meadow Road allotments. 

Darren Hunt receives the civic award from mayor Barbara Scruton and planning and general purposes committee chairman Nigel Avey PICTURE

Phillip Hockley receives his allotment award from Epping mayor Barbara Scruton PICTURE


ONGAR: MP visits Jubilee Pavilion 

4.54pm - 13th March 2015


ONGAR MP Eric Pickles has visited Ongar Social and Sports Club to see the work carried out by Ongar Town Council since it took over the management of the club last month. 
Mr Pickles met councillors and council staff, including new club manager Angus McKenzie. 
Mr McKenzie showed Mr Pickles around the now named Jubilee Pavilion, Love Lane, which has undergone a refurbishment since the town council took over the day-to-day management on February 10.
Improvements have been made to the seating areas and dance floor while the building has been redecorated and a thorough clean carried out. 
Work is continuing to install a new kitchen which will be officially opened at the annual town meeting on Wednesday, March 25. 
Mr Pickles said: "This is a great hope for the future. Ongar has got a good tradition of lots of voluntary groups, the Ongar Mums is a prime example. They really want to put something back into the community and to give them a kind of hub here would make a great difference. 
"The building is now open longer hours than previously was the case with the club open to everyone." 
Mr Pickles added: "The idea that (at the club) you can go in from first thing in the morning until last thing at night is beautiful. it's a good place to be and I'm sure it will thrive now." 
Council chairman Diana Roberts said: "It was a pleasure to welcome Eric Pickles so that we could show him just how much improvement work has been carried out in just over a month. 
"The new-look has been welcomed by customers and we continue to look at ways that we can improve the surroundings so that the whole local community can benefit from the excellent facilities that are available." 
A new pool table was delivered today and the pavilion is screening Sky Sports. 
The council has said that it is looking to increase the range of sports provided at the club and is looking to introduce more events, such as the summer Ongar Ball. 
A French market will be held at the Jubilee Park, Love Lane, on Good Friday when the council will also be hosting a reception for visitors from Ongar's twin town of Cerizay.



DISTRICT: Warning over 'data-theft scam' 

2.52pm - 12th March 2015

THREE men claiming to represent Epping Forest District Council are thought to be operating a data-theft scam in the district. 
The council was contacted after a shopkeeper in Grange Hill was visited by the men. 
The shopkeeper became suspicious after the men asked for information about VAT and personal details such as addresses and National Insurance numbers. 
They presented official-looking letters with a mixture of district council and HMRC (Revenue and Customs) information. 
A council spokesman said: "We don't recognise the description of these men or what they were doing. Epping Forest District Council does not handle VAT and we would not be visiting businesses asking for this information. 
"Anyone with information about the men should contact Essex Police." 
He added: "All council employees carry identity cards. We would not normally make an unannounced visit. If you are in any doubt, call the council on our main switchboard number 01992 564000 to check.
"Genuine council staff will not mind while you make sure we are who we say we are."


WALTHAM ABBEY: Grant boost for museum 

2.52pm - 12th March 2015

THE Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey and Lowewood Museum in Hoddesdon have been awarded £55,000 from Arts Council England as part of the Museum Resilience Fund. 
Epping Forest District Museum, which is undergoing a major capital redevelopment supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is one of only two museums in Essex to have been awarded funding. 
The Arts Council Museum Resilience Fund, part of its strategic funding programme, supports museums to become more sustainable and resilient. The grant will support two strands of work. 
The first is to explore the possibility of setting up a body to secure funding for the delivery of museum, heritage and culture activity in the Epping Forest district and Borough of Broxbourne. 
The second strand of work would be to explore other opportunities created by the expanded museum offer and the services provided. 
A further application will be made to support the implementation of any recommendations later this year.
Museum, heritage and culture manager Tony O'Connor said: "We are delighted to have secured this funding for this work at this exciting time in the museum services development and are grateful for the support of Arts Council England in providing the opportunity to undertake this piece of work which will improve the opportunities for residents and visitor to Epping Forest and Broxbourne to engage in the rich heritage and cultural offer we share." 
Epping Forest District Council leisure and community services portfolio holder Helen Kane said: "Achieving this funding will allow us to explore how the museum, heritage and culture service can continue to contribute to the health, wellbeing and economic development of the district in a sustainable way. 
"Ensuring the museum is sustainable in the long term will ensure the newly developed building continues to contribute to Waltham Abbey town, business and communities."


DISTRICT: Golfers to continue backing charity 

2.01pm - 12th March 2015

THE PGA in Essex has raised £1,000 for The Dream Factory charity over the past year. 
The proceeds of its fundraising efforts were presented to the charity's founder, Avril Mills, at a Pro-Am tournament at Toot Hill Golf Club yesterday. 
The PGA in Essex, which holds about 25 tournaments each season, has announced that it will continue to support the dream-making charity for another year.
The Dream Factory makes dreams come true for children and young adults with life-limiting conditions.
Miss Mills said: "I am really happy that the PGA in Essex has chosen to support us for another year. 
"It is great to be working with such a fantastic organisation and their fundraising will help us to grant many more dreams."


LOUGHTON: Students perform 'My Fair Lady' 

1.01pm - 12th March 2015

STUDENTS in Year 8 to 10 at Roding Valley High School, Loughton, performed the well-known musical 'My Fair Lady'. 
The cast members developed the characters, songs and dances, incorporating their own ideas and fleshing out some of the lesser known characters for the performance. 
The pupils who took part were Doncho Atanassov, Thisbe Barnett, Ben Botterman, Isabella Bramley, Lillie Butler, Grace Cain, Georgie Curran, Sena Demiryaban, Harry Gipson, Amber Goodman, Aliya Silverstone and Matthew Tinker. 
The lighting and sound were also the responsibility of pupils Jake Carter and Harley George while the costumes were provided by the Christian Drama Resource Centre, Loughton. 
The school's head of drama, Andrew Stansfield, said: "It was a pleasure to see such commitment and passion from our young people. 
"The performance was well supported by family and loved ones who really brought the best out of the pupils. 
"Their passion for Theatre really shone through and it has been a wonderful experience to direct them."
Matthew Tinker, who played the part of Henry Higgins, said: "This is one of the best characters that I performed. 
"The production was a wonderful showcase for the school to provide a musical to the local community and show off the talent that lies within the school."



ONGAR: Police warning over anti-social driving 

4.24pm - 11th March 2015

POLICE are reminding bikers and drivers they could face action for anti-social driving on private land following a number of complaints about nuisance vehicles in Ongar. 
Officers have been alerted to incidents on bridleways, farmers' fields and local parks. 
Anyone riding or driving on private land must have the landowner's permission or they could be issued with a warning under Section 59 of the Police Reform Act.
If caught a second time within 12 months of a warning being issued, the vehicle could be seized. Members of the public can report incidents to police on 101.


LOUGHTON: Music teacher "immensely proud" to represent UK in Eurovision Song Contest 

4.01pm - 11th March 2015

LOUGHTON primary school music teacher Alex Larke returned to the classroom today for the first time since being revealed as the UK's Eurovision Song Contest entry. 
Alex, 35, and Bianca Nicholas, 26 - the duo 'Electro Velvet' - will represent the United Kingdom at the 60th Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, Austria, on Saturday, May 23. 
Today instead of their Eurovision song 'Still In Love With You', it was 'The Wheels on the Bus' and 'Old Macdonald Had A Farm' which Alex played with his guitar as he taught Year 1 children at Hereward Primary School in Colebrook Lane.
The children were told the news about Mr Larke in assembly and have already been making 'good luck' posters. 
The song has received mixed reviews but it has been well received by some of the other participating countries. 
Alex said: "I really like the fact that the song has really divided opinion, I think that's only a good thing. I think it's better than people just thinking 'it's ok'. 
"It's really got people talking about it, I think it's a great song and I'm incredibly proud to be representing the country. It's a huge honour." 
Hereward Primary School headteacher Matt Woolard said: "We're absolutely thrilled for Alex. 
"Alex has been working with us for a number of months and he's brought a lot of passion and enthusiasm for music to the school. 
"To actually see him transfer that to such a global stage is truly remarkable and we are absolutely thrilled that both he and Bianca had this achievement. We're right behind him all the way."

For pictures click here

To listen to an interview with Alex, headteacher Matt Woolard and pupils click here


EPPING: Call for "serious sanctions" for nightclub

8.54am - 11th March 2015

EPPING Town Council is to make representations to the district council's licensing committee over the licence for The Villa nightclub. 
A letter will be sent to the district council following the recent disturbance in the High Street involving about 20 people, when three men were injured, which led to the nightclub's licence being suspended. 
Last night's town council meeting heard that the club had appealed against the suspension and that the appeal had been dismissed. 
A full review hearing will take place later this month. 
The issue was raised by mayor Barbara Scruton who told the meeting: "I feel that as a town council we should do something with (the) nightclubs." 
Various potential measures were discussed by councillors including having an earlier closing time, and a closing time - currently 4.30am - which was before the last Central Line train from Epping as it was felt many customers were from outside the area. 
There was also a call for a greater police presence. 
Councillor Nigel Avey said: "My view is that Epping is such a small town should it have one or two nightclubs, or should it have any nightclubs at all?" 
Councillor Hugh Pegrum said the opening hours should be restricted "if indeed we need them (the clubs) at all." 
Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: "We absolutely have to press for very serious sanctions to be placed on them."
Mrs Scruton said the Epping Society had already written to Epping Forest District Council.


EPPING: Council objects to "brash" and "ghastly" signs

8.51am - 11th March 2015

PROPOSED new signage over the front of the NatWest bank in Epping High Street is "brash" and out of keeping with the conservation area, town councillors have said. 
The bank wants to replace the 'NatWest' wording with a purple fascia with individually illuminated 'NatWest' lettering as well as an illuminated 'tablet' over the cash machine and an illuminated projecting sign. 
Deputy mayor Michael Wright described the signage as "brash" while councillor Janet Hedges told last night's planning and general purposes committee the illuminated signage "will not go down well" in the conservation area. 
Mayor Barbara Scruton said: "They are doing it everywhere so they will try and do it in Epping but we have to try and protect our conservation area."

Meanwhile, new signage at Smiths fish and chip shop in the High Street has been described as "scaling new heights of ghastly". 
The comments were made by town clerk Alan Shaw as he explained a retrospective application for the premises. 
Epping Town Council objected to the application for the retention of the illuminated front and side fascia signs.

The sign at Smiths fish and chip shop PICTURE

What do you think of the Smiths sign? Email everythingeppingforest@googlemail.com, post your comments on the Everything Epping Forest Facebook page or group, or send them to @eefnews on Twitter.

Nick@Easy PeasyPCs (@eppcs on Twitter) - One person's 'ghastly' is another one's 'good'. Would the town council prefer Smith's kept the old one, from like 50 years ago?

Sandie Forshaw (writing on Everything Epping Forest's Facebook page)
- The sign isn't that bad in itself, although it may not blend in well with the surrounding shops etc. That light is awful, should be uplit by a few spaced out lamps, not down. Have to agree that I don't like it. 

Joanna Taverner (@JDT007 on Twitter) - Not the best sign I've seen tbh.


WOODFORD GREEN: Sixth former third in public speaking competition

4.46pm - 10th March 2015

BANCROFT' S School sixth former Thomas Leung has come third in a national public speaking competition. 
Thomas, 18, was one of the five heat finalists in the national final of the prestigious ARTiculate Prize Competition having previously won the West Midlands heat. 
The competition is part of The Roche Court Educational Trust's ARTiculation initiative and invites sixth form students to engage with art by giving a short presentation on a work of art, artefact or architecture of their choice. 
Thomas delivered a very personal speech in which he explained how he had been inspired since the age of four by the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern. 
The final was held at Clare College, Cambridge, and was adjudicated by Tate Britain director Dr Penelope Curtis. 
Thomas has a passion for architecture and plans to read Architecture at Cambridge next year having been awarded a (conditional) place at Magdalene College.


LOUGHTON: Open Orchard launched

2.19pm - 10th March 2015

A BAND of 30 volunteer gardeners of varying ages, backgrounds and levels of gardening expertise came together to plant up Loughton's first Open Orchard. 
Situated in the public space outside Loughton Library, the five fruit trees, two soft fruit bushes and range of other donated plants and flowers form the beginnings of Open Orchard which will spread across the town to provide seasonal interest, colour and fruit. 
The new initiative is made possible by a wide variety of local interests; library staff, Loughton Town Council, local businesses and shops, the Chamber of Commerce and local people. 
Tools and mulch were donated by Homebase Loughton and the gardeners were treated to a variety of fruit pies thanks to Loughton's Morrisons store. 
Compost was donated by Essex County Council's waste and recycling team. 
John Price, a supporter of community orchard projects, said: "It's all about people with common interests coming together. The success of projects like these is down to individuals who share a passion for making trees a focal point of their communities." 
The Open Orchard scheme is one of many ideas to come out of the Open Book Project, an ongoing conversation among the people of Loughton about how they want their library space best used in the future. 
If you have an idea about how your library could be even better used, visit the Open Book space at Loughton Library, Traps Hill. 
Volunteers will be there every Tuesday and Thursday until the end of March. 
For more information visit www.openbookproject.cc and follow @loughtonlibrary on Twitter.


DISTRICT: Conference targets tourism

2.16pm - 10th March 2015

A TOURISM conference is being held at the Marriott Hotel, Waltham Abbey, on Friday, March 20 (2pm).
The event is being hosted by the One Epping Forest Tourism and Visitor Board with the aim of boosting local tourism attractions as well as increasing income and jobs in the district. 
Worth an estimated almost £200m per annum and already supporting seven per cent of local employment, the tourism economy is significant to growth in the Epping Forest district and offers opportunities for both established and new business to capitalise upon. 
Partners on the Tourism and Visitor Board believe this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of local potential and offer the conference as an opportunity for attractions and those who would benefit from a growing number of visitors to come along, discover what is already happening across the district and contribute their views on how together opportunities can be maximised. 
A range of speakers will address various subjects including accessing grants to promote investment, new ideas for activities designed to boost visitor numbers and the wider picture and support from Visit Essex. 
District council chairman Tony Boyce, chairman of the Tourism and Visitor Board, said: "Our district is already performing well in terms of its visitor economy which has grown steadily in the last few years.
"With a range of top attractions such as the forest, Epping Ongar Railway, historic Waltham Abbey plus tranquil countryside and a host of great restaurants, pubs, high streets and independent shops, it can do even better. 
"We want this conference to bring together all those already working in the sector or thinking about expanding into or starting out in the visitor economy to come along and help us plan a better future." 
The conference will be of particular interest to anyone involved with or with an interest in the visitor and tourism economy, anyone looking for business building opportunities, anyone who values networking with local tourism and visitor-related businesses and anyone interested in finding out how Visit Epping Forest and Visit Essex are supporting and promoting business growth in the district. 
The conference is free for local businesses. 
To secure a place register at www.eventbrite.co.uk (search Epping Tourism Conference). For more information, email Quentin Buller at qbuller@eppingforestdc.gov.uk, ring 01992 564116 or visit www.visiteppingforest.org/members


CHIGWELL: Dance show supports charities

1.51pm - 10th March 2015

SIXTY-ONE Chigwell School pupils took part in the 2015 Dance Show which raised money for the Smiles with Grace and Chigwell Riding Trust charities. 
Pupils from Year 1 to Year 8 performed a variety of dance pieces from ballet, tap and Indian to Rumba and Tango, Cha Cha Cha and contemporary. 
There were solo performances from eight students which all engaged the audience throughout. 
Joshua Copsey held the audience in silence with his tap routine without music while Rosie Beckley finished the show with her ballet on pointe. 
Further solos came from Alexandra Scott, with a beautifully choreographed ballet piece, and Sunderani Sharma with an exquisite traditional Indian dance. 
A fun and energetic large group performance from the Junior School Dance Club featured 20 pupils from Year 3 to Year 6. 
PE teacher Sheila Bint said: "It was a pleasure to have pupils from the Pre-Prep involved this year. Their performances were outstanding and each one drew breaths from the crowd and rapturous clapping and cheering on completion."

For pictures click here


ONGAR: Academy appoints senior leadership team members

2.54pm - 9th March 2015

THE Ongar Academy has appointed staff to its senior leadership team as it continues to prepare to open in September. 
Headteacher David Grant said: "We have sought the very best teachers with strong management experience and a clear sense of vision and purpose and I am pleased to say we have made some excellent appointments. 
"During the interview process I observed each of the candidates teach, including lessons in their own schools and in unfamiliar settings and each gave outstanding lessons. 
"I have every confidence these teachers will provide exceptional service to the community of Ongar, both in the subjects they teach and in their educational leadership." 
Mr Grant is now interviewing class teachers and appointments will be made by the end of March. 
After Easter experienced support staff will be recruited.
he latest appointments are: 
Jen Chapman - Faculty Leader, PE & Arts - Jen is currently a Subject Leader and Head of House at a west Essex school. Jen is an expert at netball and competes in the netball Premier League weekly. She will run the PE & Arts Faculty. 
Rebecca Hingston - Assistant Headteacher - Rebecca currently leads a Key Stage within English at Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School. She has also been a Head of Year and held responsibility for English A-level coursework. 
Jenny Box - Assistant Headteacher - Jenny has most recently been Head of Science at Anglo European School in Ingatestone. A physicist by training, she has had experience as an acting assistant headteacher while a colleague was on maternity leave. 
Helen Hedges - Faculty Leader, Humanities - Helen is Head of History at Westcliff High School for Boys. She holds an MA.


DISTRICT: Flags fly for Commonwealth Day

2.51pm - 9th March 2015

THE Commonwealth flag is being flown at local authority offices across the district today to mark Commonwealth Day.
Epping Forest District Council chairman Tony Boyce raised the flag at the Civic Offices, Epping, while Epping town councillors gathered at Epping Hall for the official raising of the flag at 10am. 
The flag is also flying at Loughton Town Council's offices in Rectory Lane. 
More than 730 Commonwealth Flags have today (Monday) been raised throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, UK Overseas Territories and Commonwealth countries. 
Commonwealth Day is a shared celebration of the Commonwealth family of nations that encompasses the globe. 
A specially written Commonwealth Affirmation was read at each ceremony.


WALTHAM ABBEY: Certificate marks council's award

2.32pm - 9th March 2015

WALTHAM Abbey Town Council has been presented with a framed certificate as part of the Local Council Award Scheme.
The achievement of the Quality Gold Standard recognises that the council achieves good practice in governance, community engagement and council improvement. 
Moreover the town council goes above and beyond its legal obligations, leading its communities and continuously seeking opportunities to improve and develop even further. 
The certificate was presented to the council by National Association of Local Councils chairman Ken Browse at a civic reception at Town Mead Sports and Social Club hosted by mayor Ann Mitchell.
Also present were Justin Griggs (policy and development manager at the National Association of Local Councils), Essex Association of Local Councils chairman John Gili-Ross, Essex Association Accreditation Panel chairman Peter Davey and Essex Association of Local Councils chief executive Joy Darby as well as Waltham Abbey town councillors and staff. 
Mrs Mitchell said: "We are delighted to receive this award, and that is thanks to all the hard work that councillors and staff have put in to achieve this accolade."


DISTRICT: Ambulance service to take over patient transport

2.18pm - 9th March 2015

THE East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust will run the patient transport services in west Essex from May 1. 
This follows a competitive tender process carried out by West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group.  
Liz McEwan, head of non-emergency services, said: "We know our patients really appreciate the work of our staff and the services we run which is shown time after time in our excellent patient satisfaction survey results and we look forward to taking on this opportunity in west Essex."  
Toni Coles, from West Essex CCG, said: "Our aim is to make sure people who need help getting from home to their place of care get the best possible patient transport service.  
"It's not just about getting from A to B though, it's also about making sure they can book their journey easily, the transport turns up in a timely fashion and provides patients with a positive experience from door to door.  
"We are confident the East of England Ambulance Service shares our patient-centred values and will provide a good quality, safe patient transport service for the people of west Essex."  
The ambulance trust will be undertaking about 42,000 patient journeys every year in west Essex and plans are now being put in place to ensure a smooth transition on May 1.  
The fleet is almost ready and the ambulance service is actively recruiting staff to work alongside those who want to transfer into the service from the current provider.  
In addition, the trust will be recruiting volunteers to help provide the best possible service to patients.  
Specialist vehicles are used to convey patients who are elderly, disabled and frail or with mobility or medical needs but those who are mobile and able to sit comfortably in a standard saloon car may also be taken to hospital by a volunteer drivers, known as the Ambulance Car Service.


LOUGHTON: Well-known authors visit school

1.57pm - 9th March 2015

STUDENTS at Debden Park High School, Loughton, were visited by popular authors as they celebrated Book Week. 
The week began with the launch of competitions and a special lunch for Year 10 reading mentors.
Award-winning author Andy Mulligan visited the school last Tuesday and worked with Year 9 students. Andy's most famous and acclaimed novel is 'Trash', a thriller that tells the story of three dumpsite boys and an astonishing discovery they make amongst the city's refuse. 
Andy gave a presentation to the whole year group and held some workshops. 
After school there was a screening of 'Divergent' for Year 7 and 8 film competition winners. 
Wednesday saw a visit from multi award-winning author Beverley Naidoo who introduced Year 8 students to her books which include the world famous 'Journey to Jo'burg'. 
Author Dan Freedman visited on Thursday - World Book Day - for a book signing event and an hour-long assembly for Year 7 students. 
The week ended with a special film screening when Year 7 Golden Ticket winners - students who achieved particularly well the reading scheme - were invited to a lunchtime screening of the World Book Day film. 
Friday was also the school's 'Drop Everything and Read' day when students, on hearing the school bells ringing during each lesson, had to stop what they were doing and read for 15 minutes. 
Sharon Palmer, the school's Director of Literacy, said: "We have had an outstanding week of events and visits from famous authors. 
"Staff and students loved the week and it has been a privilege to work with such acclaimed authors and see them inspire our students."


EPPING: Council suspends nightclub's licence

3.12pm - 6th March 2015

EPPING Forest District Council has suspended the licence of The Villa nightclub in Epping following a request from police. 
District councillors met within 48 hours of receiving a request for an Expedited Summary Review of the licence conditions applied to the Cottis Lane club. 
The review followed serious public order incidents at the weekend which left three people in hospital.
Members of the council's licensing committee suspended the licence pending a further full review of the premises licence which must take place by March 31. 
Committee chairman councillor Ken Angold-Stephens said: "The police have gathered clear and compelling evidence of a serious breakdown of law and order on Saturday night. 
"No one wants to close down local businesses but the safety and security of our residents outweighs every other priority. 
"Further evidence and statutory consultations will be gathered over the next few weeks after which we will review the position again." 
Epping Forest District Council's Safer Communities Team are also co-operating with Essex Police on the investigation. 
High-quality pictures from the council's CCTV cameras have been provided to police as they work to identify those involved. 
District council leader Chris Whitbread said: "There is no place for the kind of behaviour we witnessed last Saturday on the streets of our district. I am very grateful to the police and the members of the licensing committee for their very swift response." 
Chief Inspector Denise Morrissey said: "The disorder in Epping High Street last Sunday was totally unacceptable and we have taken immediate action to address that in partnership with the council. 
"Three people needed hospital treatment for injuries and our investigation into those assaults is continuing. 
"We will continue to work with the council and others to make the streets of Epping as safe as possible for people who just want to enjoy a good night out." 
A council spokesman said the licensee of The Villa nightclub has been informed of the council decision and will have an opportunity to make representations as part of the further review process.


EPPING: Dream Factory official charity partner for Duke of Essex Polo

11.40am - 6th March 2015

THE Dream Factory charity has been chosen as the official charity partner for this year's Duke of Essex Polo event on Saturday, July 11.
This year's event is at The Willows, Hainault. It is the tenth year that the star-studded occasion has been held. 
As well as polo, fashion, entertainment and more, The Dream Factory will be hosting various fundraising activities and a charity auction in the VIP enclosure throughout the day. 
The Dream Factory founder Avril Mills said: "We are delighted to have been chosen as the official charity partner and look forward to a great day with brilliant weather and bumper crowds turning out for what has become one of the highlights of the Essex social calendar." 
The Dream Factory makes dreams come true for children and young adults with life-limiting conditions. Since its formation some seven years ago, the charity has fulfilled 320 dreams and is currently working on more than 60 requests. 
Miss Mills, who set up the charity following the death of her son, Oliver, from leukaemia, added: "We rely on fundraising to enable us to make so many dreams come true and with more than 60 requests being worked on we really need funds. 
"We look forward to being able to further our work thanks to this wonderful opportunity for us to raise money and highlight our work." 
For more about the Duke of Essex Polo visit http://www.dukespolo.com/


THEYDON BOIS: Police seek owners of suspected stolen property

11.25am - 6th March 2015

POLICE want to find the owners of recovered property believed to have been stolen from cars in the Theydon Bois area. 
A black iPod 60gb and Tom-Tom sat nav were found after a man was arrested in Theydon Park Road on Saturday, February 7, on suspicion of attempted burglary. 
The 36-year-old man, from Loughton, was taken to Harlow Police Station for questioning and later released on police bail until Thursday, March 26, pending further enquiries. 
Anyone who believes they may be the owners of the property is asked to ring PC Paul Alcock at Loughton Police Station on 101.


LOUGHTON: All set for charity fun run

11.13am - 6th March 2015

LOUGHTON Town Council's sixth annual charity fun run will be supporting Oak View School. 
The run sets off from the tennis courts at the Roding Valley Recreation Ground (at the end of Roding Road) at 10.30am on Sunday, April 19, after a ten-minute warm-up. 
The course is under three miles and on mostly level ground so is suitable for all ages and abilities including those with pushchairs or buggies. 
Well behaved dogs on leads are welcome. 
All entrants completing the route will receive a medal presented at the finishing line by town mayor Sharon Weston. 
Participants are encouraged to go at their own speed as the event is not a race. 
To register, download the form from the council's website www.loughton-tc.gov.uk
Participants can also just turn up on the day. 
There is no sponsorship. Entry costs £5 for children and students (£10 for adults - with a £20 family entry for one adult and more than two children). 
All profits will support Oak View School's Life Skills Project to provide a specially equipped room designed to help prepare the children, many with a range of learning or physical disabilities, for independent living after school.


CHIGWELL: Students attend Oxbridge day

9.37am - 6th March 2015

A GROUP of Year 12 students at West Hatch High School, Chigwell, travelled to Cambridge for an academic 'stretch day' hosted at Emmanuel College. 
The event offered students the opportunity to get a taste of university life and find out more about the University of Cambridge. 
The students choose from a selection of lectures to attend offered them a taste of different subjects. 
There were also lectures about choosing a subject and applying to Oxbridge. 
Although the day was based at Emmanuel College, there were also academics from the University of Oxford and University College London.


LOUGHTON: Chance to vote for special trees

8.58am - 6th March 2015

LOUGHTON Town Council has launched the 'Loughton Special Trees' project to find which trees matter most to local people. 
Residents can nominate their favourite local trees - those which have a personal connection and give the council the reasons why they matter so much. 
These can be special trees in public spaces or those in private gardens. 
The project follows the Loughton Community Tree Strategy and the Favourite Trees project to find the 50 most special trees for the Epping Forest district. For more details visit www.favouritetrees.org
Chris Neilan, Epping Forest District Council's tree expert, said: "We all want a good place to live. We need our environment to be one where we, and the people we care about, can be safe, happy and healthy. 
"An attractive environment helps us to live richer lives in a whole variety of ways. And a big part of that is having trees and not just anywhere and anyhow, but the right trees in the right places. 
"Sometimes these trees are just functional - say helping screen off an unattractive view or providing shelter, including for birds, or other wildlife. 
"But trees can also be special in their own right. This may be because of their great age - Loughton has many trees dating from 1760 or even earlier, which could reasonably be described as living monuments.
"Other trees are special to us in more personal ways because of their size, how they mark a particular location or frame a view, because of their links to special people or events or, not least, purely for their great beauty." 
Visit www.loughton-tc.gov.uk to submit nominations.


EPPING: Cheque presented to air cadets

8.58am - 6th March 2015

A CHEQUE for £300 has been donated by the Epping & Theydon Garnon Joint Charities to the 414 Air Cadet Squadron. 
The money will go towards the cost of the squadron's new flight simulator which has helped the cadets learn the basics of gliding and flying powered aircraft.


NORTH WEALD: Parish council to present awards

9.51am - 5th March 2015

NORTH Weald Bassett Parish Council will present its annual Citizen of the Year award at the Annual Parish Assembly at the Parish Hall, Weald Hall Lane, Thornwood Common, at 7pm on Monday, March 23. 
Five nominations have been received for the Citizen of the Year award while two nominations have been put forward for the Group award. 
The meeting will also hear reports about the council's activities over the past year, as well as updates from the parish's district councillors.


EPPING: Annual Town Meeting

9.31am - 5th March 2015

THE annual Civic Awards and Allotment Awards will be presented by mayor Barbara Scruton at Epping Town Council's Annual Town Meeting at Epping Hall on Friday, March 13 (8pm). 
The civic award is presented for the best new development in the town over the last 12 months selected from nominations made by residents. 
There will also be a presentation from Epping Cricket Club highlighting how it used its council grant funding. 
The meeting is held by the town council to report on its work over the last 12 months and to highlight its plans. 
District and county councillors will also be present to give reports, among them councillor Chris Whitbread, an Epping councillor and leader of Epping Forest District Council. 
Town clerk Alan Shaw said: "We would encourage all residents to attend and tell their elected representatives about the kind of services they would like to see provided and improvements they would like to be made."


DISTRICT: Council seeks committee member

5.12pm - 4th March 2015

EPPING Forest District Council is seeking to appoint a new co-opted member to its Audit and Governance Committee. 
The committee provides independent assurance of the adequacy of the authority’s risk management framework and independent scrutiny of its financial and non-financial performance. 
The committee comprises five members - three are elected members and two are co-opted individuals who are not councillors. 
A vacancy for one of the co-opted members has occurred and the council is seeking a replacement with the right personal qualities and experience. 
The work of a co-opted member is voluntary and involves attendance at five or six committee meetings each year, plus additional time to consider issues and liaise with councillors and council officers. 
The successful candidate will be given appropriate training and receive a modest annual allowance to cover expenses.


LOUGHTON: Police talk at annual town meeting

1.00pm - 4th March 2015

A TALK on local policing issues will be given by Chief Inspector Denise Morrissey at Loughton Town Council's annual town meeting. 
The meeting - at The Murray Hall, Borders Lane, Loughton, at 7.30pm on Wednesday, March 18 - follows the usual format with reports from the mayor and committee chairmen about the council’s activities and achievements during the past year and its future plans. 
This will be followed by a question and answer session which allows residents to express their views and ask questions about issues in the town. 
Mayor Sharon Weston will present certificates to representatives from local groups, organisations and charities that were successful in their grant applications to mark the achievement. 
The hall opens at 7.30pm to allow residents time to view the displays mounted by a number of local voluntary organisations before the formal meeting starts at 8pm.
Light refreshments will be served after the meeting.


NORTH WEALD: Council objects to Harlow Gateway plans

9.14am - 4th March 2015

NORTH Weald Bassett Parish Council has renewed its objections to proposals to develop land at the Harlow Gateway South site, off the A414 London Road at Hastingwood. 
The land involved in the proposals is the former Ringway Jacobs site near the BP garage. 
A planning application (EPF/2517/14) submitted by Anderson Design & Build & C.J. Pryor Ltd seeks part full planning permission for the development of 'Plot A' for B1 (business) and B8 (storage and distribution) purposes by C.J. Pryor Ltd and part outline planning permission for use of 'Plot B-E' for B1 (business) and B8 (storage and distribution) purposes.
The council's planning committee on Monday decided to continue with its objection to the application however as Plots B-E had been removed from the application the council will, for the current time, remove its objection to Plots B-E. 
Councillors have voiced concern that the parish council had been advised by the developers that the development of Plots B-E (in relation to planning applications EPF/2516/14, EPF/2517/14 & EPF 2518 /14) were all fundamental to Enabling Development. 
The parish council is suggesting that the district council studies the Financial Viability Report in relation to all three applications.
* No objections have been made by North Weald Bassett Parish Council to plans for a single-storey rear extension at 15 George Avey Croft, North Weald. 
Meanwhile the council has also made no comment over proposals to enlarge Chestnut Cottage, Woodside, Thornwood. 
An application includes front and rear dormer windows and the part raising of the ridge, a balcony to the flank elevation and rear ground-floor additions. 
Final decisions on all the applications will be taken by Epping Forest District Council.


EPPING: Police renew appeal over fight

2.56pm - 3rd March 2015

THREE men hurt during a fight in Epping High Street are recovering from their injuries. 
Police have made a renewed appeal for witnesses following a large disturbance which happened in the High Street at around 2.50am on Sunday (March 1). 
Police reported that up to 20 men were involved. One man, in his 20s from London, was taken to hospital with a head injury and two other men, one in his 20s and one in his 30s, also from London, are receiving treatment in hospital to facial and minor puncture wounds to the lower body. 
All injured men are now recovering. 
Police are making enquiries in the area and have been speaking to the owners of local bars and clubs who have been assisting officers with their investigation. 
A police spokesman said the men involved are not believed to have attended Club 195 and the club owner has been proactively helping officers. 
Detective Sergeant Katherine Clarke said: "We're really grateful for the response of the public so far but would still urge anyone with information to get in touch. 
"We're currently reviewing CCTV and liaising with local bar owners who continue to be really helpful with our enquiries." 
Anyone with information is asked to contact officers at Loughton CID on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.


DISTRICT: Conservative association elects new chairman

8.58am - 3rd March 2015

GRANGE Hill district councillor Gagan Mohindra has been elected chairman of Epping Forest Conservative Association. 
He takes over from Simon Jones who had served a three-year term. 
Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing said: "I'm enormously grateful to Simon Jones for all the excellent work he has done during his term as chairman. 
"He is a great campaigner, totally dedicated and also a loyal friend. 
"I am delighted that Gagan Mohindra has taken over as chairman. I know that he has the energy, the ideas and the experience to take the association forward." 
Mrs Laing added: "We are very pleased that Randolph Churchill (Sir Winston Churchill's great grandson) continues as our president. The association is very proud of our connection with the Churchill family."


LOUGHTON: Creative Arts evening

8.57am - 3rd March 2015

STUDENTS at Roding Valley High School, Loughton, put on a show of art, music, dance and drama for their Creative Arts Evening.
Artwork was on show in the school hall as the audience enjoyed a variety of performances from Key Stage 3 students. 
Headteacher James Luck said: "It was a wonderful event that really showcased the talents of our students. 
"There was drama, comedy, singing and dancing all of the highest quality. A great evening enjoyed by all." 
He added: "Well done to all the students who took part and a big thank you to the staff who gave up so much of their time to help the students prepare."



NORTH WEALD: Parish council launches media service

8.17am - 3rd March 2015

NORTH Weald Bassett Parish Council has launched an email media service to keep people informed about its news and work in the local community. 
Anyone can register to receive the council’s media releases and pictures which will be emailed to them at the same time as they are sent to the media - including local newspapers, websites and magazines.
Anyone subscribing to the service - which is provided by Everything Local News, part of Everything Epping Forest - can ask to have their email address removed at any time. 
No email addresses are passed to a third party. 
To register for the free service simply email nwbpcnews@gmail.com


NAZEING: Cyclist injured in hit-and-run

5.14am - 2nd March 2015

A CYCLIST suffered a broken collarbone when he was involved in a hit-and-run collision in Nazeing. 
The 52-year-old man cycling along Epping Road when he was in collision with a black five-door car, possible a VW Polo, at the junction with Common Road at about 6.20am today. 
Police say the car driver failed to stop and left the scene before the ambulance service and police officers arrived. 
The cyclist was taken to Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow, by ambulance. 
Anyone with information is asked to ring the Chigwell road policing unit on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. 


ONGAR: First images of The Ongar Academy

8.49am - 2nd March 2015

IMAGES have been unveiled showing how The Ongar Academy could look when its purpose-built facilities are up and running. 
The agreement with the Secretary of State for Education confirms The Ongar Academy will have the resources available to build what headteacher David Grant describes as a “world-class educational facility”. 
The Department for Education will take ownership of the Ongar Campus, a publicly owned site of over 20 acres off Fyfield Road, on which will be built a new secondary school, with buildings extending to over 6,500 square metres. 
Working with the Department for Education, the Education Funding Agency and industry experts, the Academy is designing high-quality teaching spaces serving all subject areas, with specialist facilities where they are needed. 
Mr Grant said: “Coupled with large assembly spaces, meeting areas and dining facilities, the school will rival the very best institutions in the country. The wonderful facilities available at the Ongar Leisure Centre including the sports hall, swimming pool, football and rugby pitches will be fully available to the school from the day we open and our founder cohort of students will watch as this multi-million pound facility rises from the ground.
"They will be actively involved, alongside parents and teaching staff, in designing this superb new school.” The images are initial artist’s impressions of how the new school building might look, subject to design development and planning approval. 
The Academy Trust is fully committed to consulting with the local community at all stages of the design development and as a result of initial feedback received, it is likely the school will be two-storey as opposed to three. 
Whilst the new school is being built, students will be accommodated in interim facilities which will be a short walk from the new school, on the same site, but entirely separate from the construction area. 
Mr Grant said “The interim facilities will be based around the superb existing Adult Community Learning Centre which many parents will have visited during our open days. 
In addition to utilising the excellent existing facilities, including the Ongar Leisure Centre, we will add one and two storey purpose-built temporary classrooms within an enclosed area just 20 metres from the existing building. 
“These additional classrooms will support our curriculum aims by providing facilities for specialist subjects and allow us to offer the full after-school enrichment programme alongside a rigorous and academically challenging curriculum. 
“We are fortunate that the vast majority of the facilities we need are already there, but work will start on setting up the remaining spaces very soon.” 
The interim facilities will be fully equipped from the outset, totally secure, and will be used exclusively by staff and students of The Ongar Academy throughout the teaching day.

Initial artist’s impression of how The Ongar Academy building might look, subject to design development and planning approval PICTURE

An example of purpose-built temporary classrooms which may be used by The Ongar Academy PICTURE


LOUGHTON: Charity shop volunteer receives council award

6.18pm - 1st March 2015

For pictures click here

A VOLUNTEER at a charity shop in The Broadway, Debden, has received this year's Loughton Town Council Citizenship award. 
Violet Short has been recognised for her dedication, inspiration and commitment as a volunteer at the Save the Children shop.
 Violet was nominated by her co-workers who said she has worked extremely hard and managed the exceptionally well-run charity shop for six days a week, for over 20 years. 
Violet has also been a role model and given tremendous support to the people she takes on through the Probation Service. 
She helps with their rehabilitation and re-integration into the community after their prison sentences. 
Many of these people have successfully gone on to obtain full-time jobs and often write to let her know how well they are getting on.
She also takes great pride in the shop's appearance and has created many attractive and eye-catching window displays over the years. 
Violet was unable to attend this afternoon's Loughton Town Council civic service at Loughton Methodist Church to receive her award from the Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Lord Petre, which instead was presented to Violet's colleague Joyce Shelley. 
Joyce was presented with the Community Rose Bowl and scroll. 
A £250 cheque for the Save the Children charity shop will be presented to Violet later this month. 
Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing said: "It's lovely to see Violet being honoured in this way. She has done so much for our local community and for the Save the Children charity and she deserves our grateful thanks. 
"We all hope that she will be better soon and able to go on with all her good work." 
The service was organised by town mayor Sharon Weston who chose Community - Working in Harmony as her theme. 
Alongside the dignitaries, many of the guests represented local charities, clubs and organisations. 
Mrs Weston paid tribute to the work of volunteers who help create the successful community of Loughton. Readings were given by deputy mayor Judy Jennings, Epping Forest youth councillor Matthew Tinker and MP Eleanor Laing. 
Music during the service included the popular song Halleluiah performed by the St John Fisher Catholic Primary School choir led by deputy headteacher Simon Conrad. 
The council is particularly grateful to Rev'd Oseias Da Silva from Loughton Methodist Church and Rev'd Malcolm Macdonald, from St Mary's Church, for leading the service and to Loughton Methodist Church organist Malcolm Bell. 
A collection was taken for the mayor's charity, Oak View School, and in particular for its Life Skills Project to provide a specially-equipped room designed to help prepare the children, many with a range of learning or physical disabilities, for independent living after school.

For pictures click here


EPPING: Man critical after fight involving up to 20 men

1.27pm - 1st March 2015

A MAN is in a critical condition following a disturbance involving up to 20 men in Epping High Street.
Police are appealing for witnesses after officers were called to the High Street, near Club 195, at about 2.50am today.
One man in his 20s from London was taken to hospital with a head injury where he remains in a critical condition. 
Two other men, one in his 20s and one in his 30s, also from London, are receiving treatment in hospital to facial and minor puncture wounds to the lower body. 
Anyone with any information is asked to contact officers at Loughton CID on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.


EPPING: Caffe Nero fun day raises £415

10.27am - 1st March 2015

STAFF at the Epping branch of Caffe Nero launched their year of fundraising for the MIND mental health charity with a family fun day which raised over £415. 
Various events will be held throughout the year with the first fundraiser seeing staff in fancy dress and various fun activities for customers. 
Epping mayor Barbara Scruton was among those who supported the day which included a raffle, with prizes donated by local businesses - The George and Dragon pub, Amy Louise, Campion Court Hair Design and The Card Factory - a lucky dip for children as well as various giveaways.
The day (Saturday, February 28) raised £415.77. 
Epping branch manager Carina Howard said: "We would like to thank the local community which turned out to support of fundraising and the local businesses for their very kind donations which all combined to make the day a great success." 
Staff are now planning other fundraising events and are considering taking part in the annual Church Langley water tower abseil, run by the Rotary Club of Harlow Tye, in May. 
The Caffe Nero branches in Chelmsford, Brentwood, Enfield, Chingford, Southend, Bishop's Stortford, Lakeside, Upminster, Wembley and Brent Cross are also raising money for MIND throughout the year.
Together the branches hope to raise some £20,000.


CHIGWELL: Former student through on The Voice

10.06am - 1st March 2015

FORMER West Hatch High School student Ryan Green has reached the next stage of the BBC ONE talent show The Voice. 
Last night viewers saw him fail to be chosen by his coach Rita Ora for the next part of the show - but he was offered a lifeline when Tom Jones and Will i Am attempted to 'steal' him to join their teams. 
Ryan decided to go with rapper Will i Am.
Ryan, who lives in Hainault, left the Chigwell school in 2013 having studied GCSE music. He is now studying full-time at the Brit School. 
Ryan, 18, is appearing in The Voice for a second successive year having failed to get through the 'blind audition' stage last year.
Ryan said he wanted to make another appearance to show the panel how he has progressed over the past year. 
Ryan is a singer/pianist who during his time at West Hatch was a regular performer at school concerts sometimes performing his own work. 
West Hatch High School music teacher Mauro Sheehan said: "Congratulations to Ryan Green, and I wish him well. 
"He left us with many talents and it's great to see how these are developing and coming to fruition." 
Ryan also plays percussion and attended Redbridge Music School. 
He is the latest West Hatch High School student to appear on a national television talent show. Jonathan Antoine and Charlotte Jaconelli, the singing duo Jonathan and Charlotte, were runners-up in ITV's Britain's Got Talent three years ago while Sonny Jay, part of the Loveable Rogues, reached the final in the same year. 
Meanwhile John Wilding reached the judges' houses stage on ITV's X-Factor for two successive years in 2010 and 2011.