everythingeppingforest.co.uk covers the Epping Forest district in Essex and features regularly updated news - in words and pictures - has a what's on listings section to highlight local events, a Local Business Directory and a section which allows clubs and organisations to publicise their activities free of charge




 News Archive     click here
 Sport Archive     click here

Tell us your news...
Publicise your event...
Promote your business...
Have your say...

Buy copies of photos that appear here...

email: everythingeppingforest@googlemail.com
tel: David Jackman on 07710 447868







BOBBINGWORTH: Woman 'critical' after A414 crash

10.14am - 30th May 2016

A 19-YEAR-OLD woman is in a critical condition after a single-vehicle collision on the A414 at Bobbingworth. 
Police were called by the ambulance service shortly before 7.50am yesterday (Sunday).
A silver Vauxhall Corsa had left the road before rolling over. 
The driver, the 19-year-old woman, and an 18-year-old man were initially treated at the scene by ambulance paramedics. 
The woman was taken to Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow, before being transferred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge for treatment to a serious head injury. 
The man did not need hospital treatment. 
The road was closed for one-and-a-half hours while emergency services dealt with the incident, police carried out investigations and the vehicle was recovered. 
Anyone who saw what happened or saw the Corsa before the crash is asked to ring the Chigwell Road Policing Unit on 101.


LOUGHTON: Man jailed for eight years for "life-changing" attack

10.08am - 30th May 2016

A MAN has been jailed for eight years for a planned attack on another man in High Road, Loughton. 
Paul Saunders, 30, of Biggin Lane, Grays, appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday when he was jailed for a section 18 GBH offence. 
A 24-year-old man, from Romford, suffered life-changing injuries when he was attacked at about 11.30pm on Friday, November 6 last year.


BUCKHURST HILL: Councillor to walk Mount Snowdon

9.02am - 30th May 2016

BUCKHURST Hill district councillor Gavin Chambers is walking Mount Snowdon on Saturday to raise money for Help for Heroes. 
To support his fundraising effort click here


CHIGWELL: Former West Hatch student wins Britain's Got Talent

8.23am - 30th May 2016

FORMER West Hatch High School student magician Richard Jones has won ITV's Britain's Got Talent show. 
Richard, who left the High Road school six years ago to pursue a career in the Army, performed a patriotic magic trick telling the story of Fergus Anckorn, whose love of magic helped him survive life in a prisoner of war camp during the Second World War. Fergus - who at 97 years old is the oldest member of the Magic Circle - was introduced on stage by Richard at the end of his performance. 
Richard left West Hatch at the age of 18 and joined the Army, a year later being posted to the Band of the Parachute Regiment. In 2014 he was promoted to Lance Corporal and posted to the Band of the Household Cavalry where he learned to ride a horse. Richard rode in the Trooping of the Colour last year and was at the recent Royal Windsor Horse Show working 16 hours a day. 
Because he was working during the London auditions for this year’s Britain’s Got Talent, Richard attended the auditions in Liverpool. 
While at West Hatch Richard was best known for his music playing the piano and trombone. 
He learned the latter at Redbridge Music School going from brass club to symphony orchestra with the music school playing at many venues including the Royal Albert Hall. Richard achieved A-level music while at West Hatch. 
He was deputy head boy and won the Sixth Form Service to the School community award in 2009. 
Music teacher Mauro Sheehan said: "Massive congratulations to Richard Jones, one of the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of teaching and playing piano for. A brilliant act, lovely guy. 
"We also share a birthday, and he's often the first person to message on the day." 
Richard is the fourth ex-West Hatch High School student to reach the final of ITV's Britain's Got Talent in the last five years after singers Charlotte Jaconelli and Jonathan Antoine were runners-up in 2012 while Sonny Jay - with the band Loveable Rogues - was also in the final in the same year. 

To watch Richard's act click here


LOUGHTON: School supports 'Wig Wednesday'

5.30pm - 27th May 2016

CHILDREN at Hereward Primary School, Loughton, participated in the national 'Wig Wednesday' event organised by the children with cancer charity, CLIC Sargent which encouraged the pupils and staff to wear a wig or bandana to school. 
The hope was that through participating in such an event and making a donation to the charity that the pupils could make a positive difference to the lives of others. 
Headteacher Matt Woolard said: "This is a charity very dear to our hearts. We are happy to support such a worthwhile cause at Hereward Primary School and to raise awareness of issues."



LOUGHTON: Planning committee chairman decision "unfair"

4.01pm - 27th May 2016

A DECISION not to elect a councillor from Loughton - the biggest town served by the district council's area planning sub-committee (south) - as committee chairman or vice-chairman has been described as "unfair". 
Loughton Independent councillor Stephen Murray said Loughton was the biggest of the three towns - the others being Chigwell and Buckhurst Hill - covered by the committee which decides on local planning applications at its meetings held at Roding Valley High School, Loughton. 
He told last night's annual district council meeting: "Are we really saying it is reasonable that both the chairman and vice-chairman come from Buckhurst Hill and neither of those posts could not be held by a Loughton councillor? 
"I always use the test what would the local person using my Londis shop on a Saturday morning think if I said to them there's a planning committee covering Loughton, Buckhurst Hill and Chigwell and in its wisdom the majority group at Epping Forest District Council thought it was perfectly reasonable to have the chairman and vice-chairman from one of those towns ignoring the largest, and I would say Mr Average would say that was unfair." 
Buckhurst Hill Conservative councillor Gavin Chambers was elected chairman with 28 votes with Loughton Residents' Association councillor Caroline Pond receiving 22 votes. 
Buckhurst Hill Conservative councillor Aniket Patel was elected vice-chairman in a 28-22 vote against Mrs Pond.


DISTRICT: Tories slammed over scrutiny role

3.59pm - 27th May 2016

THE controlling Conservative group on Epping Forest District Council has been criticised for pushing through one of its own members as the chairman of the committee which scrutinises council decisions.
Councillor Mary Sartin has been elected to the position which had been held by Independent councillor Richard Morgan for some eight or nine years.
Independent Loughton councillor Stephen Murray spoke out about the Tory group's actions at last night's annual council meeting when he said the way Mr Morgan had been treated was "absolutely appalling" and "extremely shabby". 
Mr Murray, who said the chairman should be a member of the largest non-majority group, Loughton Residents' Association, told the meeting: "Although it is not laid down in law it is good practice that the chairman of the main overview and scrutiny committee is not a member of the majority group that forms the cabinet. 
"That is good practice up and down the country, and it's a practice we have maintained for some time."
He added: "I have every faith in councillor Sartin to do the job but she is a member of the majority group; the majority group forms the cabinet." 
Mr Murray added: "I thought the way that councillor Morgan was treated over this was absolutely appalling. No-one has told me he hasn't done a good job for the last eight or nine years. 
"He was just casually told in a ten word sentence 'you're no longer going to be chairman of the O&S, we're taking that'." 
He added: "On reflection I think the majority group would have to accept that the way that councillor Morgan was dealt with on this issue and how he found out was extremely shabby. 
"I'm not saying it was deliberate because I just don't think it would happen deliberately but the end result was that he was treated very, very shabbily."
Liberal Democrat councillor Jon Whitehouse said both candidates for chairman - Mary Sartin and Loughton Residents' Association councillor Leon Girling - were both very committed to the scrutiny function. He said he would support Mr Girling. 
Mr Morgan also supported Mr Girling's nomination saying he had always held the view that the chairman should be a member of a minority group. 
Council leader Chris Whitbread apologised to Mr Morgan for not having spoken to him about the matter.
He added: "The Conservative group has an excellent record of scrutiny in fact over the last four years in particular it is the Conservative group that has done most of the scutinising when you look at the big issues of the day - whether you look at Park Homes, Issues and Options, the North Weald master planning exercise - it is the Conservatives that led the way on those big issues and scrutinised itself to a larger degree." 
Mrs Sartin was elected chairman by 28 votes to 22 with one abstention with Mr Girling elected vice-chairman.


DISTRICT: Council makes cabinet changes

3.52pm - 27th May 2016

THREE changes have been made to Epping Forest District Council's cabinet. 
Councillor Dave Stallan has stood down as housing portfolio holder to be replaced by Waltham Abbey councillor Syd Stavrou. 
Gagan Mohindra replaces Mrs Stavrou as finance portfolio holder while John Philip replaces councillor Richard Bassett as planning portfolio holder.


DISTRICT: Outgoing district council chairman "proud and honoured"

3.47pm - 27th May 2016

OUTGOING Epping Forest District Council chairman Liz Webster has handed over the chain of office saying she was "very proud and honoured" to have held the post for the last year. 
Mrs Webster, who passed the chain to fellow Waltham Abbey Conservative councillor Jeane Lea, told last night's annual council meeting: "The year has come and gone so quickly and I've felt very proud and honoured to represent Epping Forest District Council at so many functions.
"I've met some amazing people, all of them doing their bit to make life easier for others. I applaud them."
During her civic year Mrs Webster raised £4,600 for the Royal British Legion. 
Council leader Chris Whitbread congratulated Mrs Webster on a "superb year" adding: "We are all so proud of what you have achieved for our district. 
"It counts for so much for our district when you have a chairman like Liz and I would like to thank you for all your hard work."
Independent councillor Stephen Murray thanked Mrs Webster for a "brilliant year" while Loughton Residents Association councillor Caroline Pond said: "It's a lot of work and you have done it well, and in a down-to-earth fashion." 
Chief executive Glen Chipp, speaking on behalf of council officers, thanked Mrs Webster for her year.
North Weald Conservative councillor Dave Stallan was elected vice-chairman.


DISTRICT: Fourth ex-West Hatch student in BGT final

7.40am - 27th May 2016

MAGICIAN Richard Jones has become the fourth ex-West Hatch High School student to reach the final of ITV's Britain's Got Talent in the last five years. 
The 25-year-old, who left the High Road school six years ago, wowed the judges and television audience with another magical performance as he won Tuesday's semi-final and landed himself a place in tomorrow's final. 
West Hatch alumni are no strangers on the Britain's Got Talent stage. 
Four years ago singers Charlotte Jaconelli and Jonathan Antoine were runners-up while Sonny Jay - with the band Loveable Rogues - reached the final in the same year. 
Away from his magic, Richard Jones plays the piano and trombone and learned the latter at Redbridge Music School going from brass club to symphony orchestra with the music school playing at many venues including the Royal Albert Hall. 
During his time at West Hatch - he lived in Woodford Bridge during his school days - Richard volunteered at the Chigwell Riding Trust and completed his bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
Richard, who still keeps in touch with West Hatch music teacher Mauro Sheehan, left West Hatch at the age of 18 and joined the Army, a year later being posted to the Band of the Parachute Regiment. 
In 2014 he was promoted to Lance Corporal and posted to the Band of the Household Cavalry where he learned to ride a horse. 
Richard rode in the Trooping of the Colour last year and was at the recent Royal Windsor Horse Show working 16 hours a day. 
Because he was working during the London auditions for this year’s Britain’s Got Talent, 
Richard attended the auditions in Liverpool. 
Richard achieved A-level music while at West Hatch but it was at Redbridge Music School that he progressed through the trombone and had private piano lessons.
Richard, who was deputy head boy at West Hatch, won the Sixth Form Service to the School community award in 2009.


CHIGWELL: Court action over speeding offence

7.38am - 27th May 2016

A CHIGWELL man who pretended not to be the registered keeper of a vehicle to avoid prosecution has been dealt with at court. 
The 45-year-old man failed to provide information about who was driving a blue Audi A4 when it was captured on camera travelling 12mph over the 30mph speed limit on Lambourne Road, Chigwell, shortly after 7.40pm on August 5 last year. 
When a Notice of Intended Prosection was sent to his home address, the man responded stating he had never been the registered keeper of the car and was unable to provide information about who had been behind the wheel. 
However enquiries by the Casualty Reduction Section revealed the car had been sold at auction to a car sales company for which the man was a director. 
The Audi had been collected just over an hour before the speeding offence was committed. 
The man was summonsed to appear in court for failing to give information relating to the identity of the driver of a vehicle when required to do so. 
He appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on May 18 where he pleaded guilty to the offence. 
The man was fined £440, received six points on his driving licence and was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £44 and £85 costs.


DISTRICT: MP attends Speakers' Conference

6.14pm - 26th May 2016

EPPING Forest MP Eleanor Laing, in her capacity as Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, attended the Conference of Speakers of the European Union Parliaments in Luxembourg (May 22-24). 
The Speakers discussed a range of issues including the migration crisis and further European political integration. 
Mrs Laing reasserted the UK position following the conclusions of the European Council of Ministers in February that the UK is no longer committed to working towards “ever closer union” and further political integration. As Deputy Speaker, 
Mrs Laing is required to maintain an impartial position in public ahead of the Referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union on June 23.


THORNWOOD: Nursery recognised for its autism work

10.40am - 26th May 2016

LITTLE Flyers Day Nursery in Thornwood has been officially recognised as a specialist in caring for children with autism. 
The Woodside nursery is now one of only three Good Beginnings award holders in Essex. 
The Specialist Teaching and Pre-school service co-ordinates the Essex Early Years Autism-friendly setting award scheme as part of the Good Beginnings programme to support pre-school children with autism.


DISTRICT: Hettie calls it a day after 26 years

10.36am - 26th May 2016

THE organiser of Epping Forest District Council's 'Stepping Out Club' outings has retired after 26 years.
New Horizon’s Hettie Williamson, 88, has handed over the task of organising the trips to Karen Murray, the council’s older people’s engagement officer. 
Karen said: “Hettie has done a fantastic job and we are sad she won’t be organising the trips any more, but she will hopefully be coming along on a few trips as a guest, that’s if she’s not too busy with all her other activities!” 
Hettie joined the team as trip co-ordinator in November 1989. 
Since then she has dedicated her time and energy into making the club a success. 
Hettie will continue to manage the council’s bowls club at the David Lloyd Health and Fitness Club, Chigwell, and organise her monthly tea dances. 
Hettie said: “I never looked back and in its heyday I was arranging up to 22 day trips a year. We have been like one big family and we have shared many happy memories together”. 
Julie Chandler, the council's assistant director for community services and safety, said: “I’m delighted Hettie has been part of the council for so long. She has been an inspiration to many people and still is.
"On behalf of the council, I’d like to thank Hettie for the commitment and energy that she’s given to the Stepping Out Club over the years.”


NORTH WEALD: Garden area to be officially opened

4.22pm - 25th May 2016

THE new garden area outside the parade of shops in High Road, North Weald, will be officially opened on Tuesday, June 7, when North Weald Bassett Parish Council holds a ribbon-cutting at 1.15pm. 
Flowers have already been planted and the council is seeking sponsors to support the initiative with the sponsorship money to be used to maintain the area over the coming year. 
GreenAcres Woodland Burials, Davis Homes estate agents, Stuart Poulton, The Family Funeral Director and Cinnamon Indian Restaurant have already pledged their support. 
Any businesses interested in finding out more about sponsorship can ring parish clerk Sue DeLuca on 01992 523825 or email clerk@northweald-pc.gov.uk


CHIGWELL: Man seen running away after arson attack

2.31pm - 24th May 2016

POLICE are appealing for witnesses after a man was seen running away from a property in Chigwell after the front door was set alight. 
Police are investigating the incident which happened at a home in Lechmere Avenue at about 11pm on Wednesday, May 18.
Substantial damage was caused to the front door and porch area. No one was injured. 
A man in dark clothing and a baseball cap was seen running off towards Hainault Road. 
Anyone with any information is asked to ring DS Benjamin Gibson on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


CHIGWELL: Former West Hatch student prepares for Britain's Got Talent semi-final

9.14pm - 23rd May 2016

THE father of Britain's Got Talent semi-finalist Richard Jones has recalled his son's time at West Hatch High School as he hopes to conjure up a place in Saturday's final. 
Richard, who will be performing in the live semi-final tomorrow (Tuesday), was an accomplished musician while at West Hatch. He left the school six years ago. 
He plays the piano and trombone and learned the latter at Redbridge Music School going from brass club to symphony orchestra with the music school playing at many venues including the Royal Albert Hall.
During his time at West Hatch - he lived in Woodford Bridge during his school days - Richard volunteered at the Chigwell Riding Trust and completed his bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
Richard, who still keeps in touch with West Hatch music teacher Mauro Sheehan, left West Hatch at the age of 18 and joined the Army, a year later being posted to the Band of the Parachute Regiment. 
In 2014 he was promoted to Lance Corporal and posted to the Band of the Household Cavalry where he learned to ride a horse. 
Richard rode in the Trooping of the Colour last year and was at the recent Royal Windsor Horse Show working 16 hours a day. 
His father, Stephen, said: "This is a very busy period for the band, with the Queen's birthday, so rehearsing for Britain's Got Talent has been difficult." 
Because he was working during the London auditions for this year's Britain's Got Talent, Richard attended the auditions in Liverpool. 
Millions of television viewers saw him use his magical powers to create an origami cut-out of David Beckham - who had been secretly chosen by judge Amanda Holden from a flipbook of celebrities - and then having asked David Walliams to pick a drink, poured his chosen drink of hot tea from a sealed can of drink. 
However when he was at West Hatch it was Richard's trombone playing which was magic. 
Music teacher Mauro Sheehan said: "I've never forgiven him for presenting me with one the trickiest accompaniments I've ever tackled. I may have to now!" 
Richard's father said: "He applied for Britain's Got Talent last year but was unable to go before the judges as he had his pass-off parade with the horse training. 
"Since the auditions Richard has been working as normal but this last week has been hectic with rehearsing as he's been time limited. 
"We are extremely proud of him and all his achievements." 
Richard achieved A-level music while at West Hatch but it was at Redbridge Music School that he progressed through the trombone and had private piano lessons, his father recalls. 
Richard, who was deputy head boy at West Hatch, won the Sixth Form Service to the School community award in 2009. 
His father added: "He's self-motivated and committed and loyal." 
Richard has also raised money for charities through his music; by busking, raising £1,000. 
His efforts have helped send a young boy to America for an operation, and also for East Anglia's Childrens Hospices. 
Richard is the latest in an ever-growing list of West Hatch students who have starred on television talent shows in recent years. 
Jonathan Antoine and Charlotte Jaconelli were runners-up in Britain's Got Talent in 2012 while Sonny Jay, with the band Loveable Rogues, reached the final in the same year. 
Ryan Green has reached the knockout stage of BBC's The Voice while Michael McNeish, with dance group BoyBand, reached the final of Britain's Got Talent last year. 
John Wilding reached the judges' houses stage in ITV's X-Factor for two successive years in 2010 and 2011. 
In addition, a string of students and their families have starred in The Only Way is Essex.


ONGAR: Five council vacancies to be filled

4.20pm - 23rd May 2016

ONGAR Town Council currently has two vacancies for the Marden Ash Ward, one for Shelley Ward, one for Greensted Ward and one for the Chipping Ongar Ward. 
Candidates should have an interest in local matters and be willing to represent their community to the council’s partners (eg voluntary groups, other parish councils, principal authority and charities). 
Applicants should be able to attend council meetings and other events in the evenings and at weekends.
Experience of working with voluntary and or local community/ interest groups would be an advantage. 
Anyone interested in becoming a councillor or would like to know more can email town clerk Aimi Middlehurst atclerk@ongartowncouncil.gov.uk or ring 01277 365348.


EPPING: Bradley Walsh backs Heart of Epping plans

8.57pm - 21st May 2016

TELEVISION celebrity Bradley Walsh has said the Heart of Epping project will be a massive boost for the "sensational" St John's Church and for the Epping community as a whole. 
The plans, which have received full planning permission, are for a community centre adjoining St John's Church providing community space, meeting rooms and a cafe. 
Funding has already been raised to cover the cost of preparing the project and getting it to the planning approval stage. 
Now the fundraising effort is focusing on raising £1m to build the facilities and an additional £1m to equip the new building. 
Bradley Walsh, the television actor, entertainer and presenter of The Chase quiz show and Tonight at the London Palladium, hosted a special reception and presentation at the church tonight (Saturday). 
He introduced various members of the church and local community who explained to the 100-plus audience what the new Heart of Epping building will mean to them and the town. 
Bradley Walsh, who is one of the patrons of the Heart of Epping appeal, said: “It's something that this area has needed for a long, long time. 
“There are some of us here who won't be here forever; that gives us a chance to leave a legacy. This is the hub of our community.
“This place is sensational. When we get a community hall attached to the church, the church can only go one way, and that's up and up and up. 
“We will do some fundraising. £1m will be the first stage. It's a big ask but…” 
Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing, who attended the reception, said: “I was delighted to hear that the project has now received its full planning approval and that every effort is now being made to get the 'Heart of Epping' development to its next stage. 
“St John's Church is already quite literally at the heart of Epping and a community centre building adjoining the church will only further strengthen the church's role as a focal point for the community in the town. 
“I thank everyone who has been involved with the Heart of Epping appeal so far, and wish them all the very best as the massive fundraising effort continues."

PICTURES: For a slideshow pf pictures from the reception and presentation CLICK HERE

VIDEO: Mark Sowerby, leader of the St John's Church planning committee, and entertainer Bradley Walsh talk about the Heart of Epping CLICK HERE


ONGAR: Jubilee Park event to celebrate Queen's 90th birthday

9.52am - 21st May 2016

CREAM teas and Prosecco cocktails will be on offer when Ongar Town Council and its Jubilee Park facilities celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday. 
A special event is being held at the Love Lane venue from noon to 5pm on Saturday, June 11. 
There will also be a bouncy castle, Pimm's tent, face painting, children’s activities, DJ and ice cream van.
Council chairman councillor Jim Browning said “This is a very special occasion and the council is pleased that Ongar is able to be part of the celebrations. 
"This event is open to all and I’m sure everyone will find something of interest and fun to do in celebrating this occasion. 
"We very much look forward to welcoming visitors to Jubilee Park.” 
For more information about the day contact the town council office on 01277 365348 (email clerk@ongartowncouncil.gov.uk) or ring the Jubilee Pavilion on 01277 363838.


ONGAR: Council facing additional salaries for Jubilee Park staff

8.30am - 20th May 2016

THE additional workload on Ongar Town Council's Jubilee Park staff following the manager's redundancy will cost the council £2,000 to £3,000 a year in increased salaries, councillors have been told. 
Additionally the council could be facing paying between £1,500 to £2,000 on additional staff training and £500 and £700 on a laptop for use by Jubilee Park staff, locum town clerk Mike Letch said. 
Meanwhile the jubilee Park staff have suggested cutting the bar and cafe opening hours. 
New draft job descriptions have been issued to the three members of staff following the council's decision to make the manager's position redundant. 
Mr Letch told last night's finance and human resources committee that he had met with the staff who were satisfied with the new defined roles. 
The council is considering removing the quiz machine and coffee machine while costs are to be obtained for the staff training required following the departure of Jubilee Park manager Angus McKenzie. 
Mr Letch said: "The savings you have made are being eaten into at the moment but this is all for the way forward." 
Jubilee Park staff have suggested cutting the opening hours with the bar open from noon or 3pm until 11pm daily, closing the cafe from Monday to Friday in the winter months, and opening the cafe 11am-3pm Monday to Friday in school holidays between April and September.
* Councillors are proposing to increase bar prices and all pitch and court fees by five per cent.


ONGAR: No objection to farm barns development

8.27am - 20th May 2016

PLANS to replace three redundant farm barns off Stondon Road, Ongar, with three dwellings have met with no objections from the town council. 
Planning permission exists for the redevelopment of buildings at Bottles Barns, however councillors were told the latest proposals are a better option and have the support of neighbours. 
Jim Padfield told last night's planning and environment and public relations committee meeting the area has been farmed by his family since 1919 and the listed buildings, which have been there since the 1930s, have been redundant for about 15 years. 
He added a current "viable" planning consent is in place for the conversion of Dutch barns but it is felt the new application - to remove agricultural barns structures and hard standings and build three dwellimgs - is a better scheme. 
Mr Padfield told the meeting the new design would reflect a farmyard with two of the properties being barns and one designed to look like a farmhouse.
He said the proposals would make the site more acceptable and all trees would remain. 
"The new buildings are completely within the farm footprint," he said. 
Mr Padfield added: "This application has been submitted to the officers at Epping Forest District Council and within the planning guidance there are grounds to refuse thie application and also to acept the application. 
"It is a matter of balance and it's a careful balance between the strong rules of the green belt and the rules that say you can proceed provided you show an advantage by doing so. 
"We believe this is much more sympathetic in the green belt and we are asking the council to support that response. The neighbours are very much in favour of it." 
A letter from a neighbour, key points from which were read by committee chairman John Reynolds, said the new proposals would rid the site of "eyesore" buildings and would have less impact on the green belt.
Councillor Jane Devonald said all necessary wildlife surveys had been undertaken and added: "I think it's a really good development." 
A final decision will be taken by Epping Forest District Council.


ONGAR: New patio at Jubilee Pavilion

8.24am - 20th May 2016

A NEW patio has been installed at the Jubilee Pavilion, Love Lane, Ongar, with grant funding from Essex County Council's Community Initiatives Fund. 
The work, at the front of the Jubilee Pavilion, is the latest improvement work to be carried out at the Love Lane facilities by Ongar Town Council. 
Councillor Alison Wingfield, chairman of the Jubilee Park and Open Spaces Committee, said “This is a welcome addition to the Jubilee Park facilities. It provides a space for families to enjoy refreshments in the fresh air overlooking the playing fields. 
"The patio is the latest improvement at Jubilee Park which includes the refurbishment of the kitchen, improvements to the men’s toilets and better care of the cricket square. 
"Most of the improvements made to the pavilion and fields have been achieved with grant funding to minimise any expense to local ratepayers. 
"In the next few weeks the council hopes to be able to provide toddler play equipment, again with grant funding, and to refurbish the picnic benches.”



THEYDON BOIS: Parish council elects chairman and vice-chairman

8.41am - 19th May 2016

THEYDON Bois Parish Council has elected councillor John Philip as chairman for the coming council year with councillor Peter Gooch elected as vice-chairman.


CHIGWELL: Teacher completes skydive

8.39am - 19th May 2016

A TEACHER at West Hatch High School, Chigwell, has taken part in a charity tandem sky-dive to raise money for PAARS, a charity which supports families where the parent/carer is being abused by their adolescent child. 
Justine Williams offered to stand in for a fellow fundraiser who had to pull out at the last minute. 
Justine, the Head of Social Sciences and teaches Psychology and Sociology at the High Road school, said: "It was absolutely amazing - a complete adrenalin rush and so much fun. I would love to do it again tomorrow!" 
Justine jumped out of a plane at 12,000ft at an airfield in Oxfordshire on Sunday (May 15). 
PAARS was formed in February 2012 and currently works in the Enfield area. 
She said: "PAARS is such an amazing charity and completely unique in the UK so I want to raise as much money as possible to help them continue their work. 
"PAARS are using money raised to help continue supporting families. Most of the people at the charity are volunteers and they give up their own time to work with families where there is adolescent on parent abuse, helping and supporting the families to move forward together." 
The freefall, tandem jump saw Justine - and her jump partner from the London Parachute School - freefall for about 40 seconds and parachute for about five minutes. 
To sponsor Justine, visit https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/justinewilliams1


LOUGHTON: Council elects new town mayor

9.17pm - 18th May 2016

LOUGHTON Town Council has elected Loughton Residents' Association councillor Carol Davies the Town Mayor for 2016-17. 
Mrs Davies was nominated by councillor Chris Pond who described her as "Loughton through and through". 
He added: "She has been a very loyal member of the town council. I have every confidence that she will carry out the duties of her post very well indeed." 
Councillor Philip Abraham, a Loughton Residents' Association councillor who represents the Loughton Alderton ward, was elected Deputy Town Mayor. 
Membership of the council's various committees was also confirmed. 
Councillor Jill Angold-Stephens was elected chairman of the planning and licensing committee (with councillor Carol Davies vice-chairman. 
Councillor David Wixley will chair the recreation committee with councillor Adam Omer vice-chairman.
Councillor Chris Pond was elected chairman of the environment and heritage committee (with councillor Caroline Pond vice-chairman) and councillor Stephen Pewsey was elected chairman of the resources and general services committee (with councillor Jill Angold-Stephens vice-chairman). 

New Loughton Town Mayor Carol Davies and new Deputy Town Mayor Philip Abraham CLICK HERE


DISTRICT: Worshipful Company of Educators visit Epping Forest

4.47pm - 17th May 2016

A GROUP from The Worshipful Company of Educators visited Epping Forest and were given a talk with a difference on the history and management of the forest. 
The 18-strong group walked from Chingford Station to The View and Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge, in Rangers Road, where they were welcomed by Liveryman and Court Assistant Caroline Haines. 
She said: "It is always a pleasure to welcome the City of London's Livery Companies to Epping Forest.
“The Educators Livery exists to protect and progress all aspects of education in London and beyond. 
“The new direction of education projects emanating from Epping Forest and the City's other Open Spaces is hugely exciting." 
The group was given a talk entitled 'The Story of the Hats' by the Superintendent of Epping Forest, Paul Thomson, who wore various hats to highlight the history, management and facilities on offer in Epping Forest. 
Sophie Lillington, museum and heritage manager with the City of London Corporation, then highlighted how the forest's facilities are used for adult and school learning. 
John Leighfield, Master of the Worshipful Company of Educators, said he had chosen a visit to Epping Forest as one of the social events during his time as Master. 
He said: "I chose to come back to Epping Forest as I used to live in Buckhurst Hill 40-odd years ago and used to love walking across the forest. 
"For me particularly it has been a very special day blessed by having sunshine and some super guides to explain to us the background and the history of the forest and the very special role the Corporation of London has played in it."

VIDEO: The Master of the Worshipful Company of Educators, John Leighfield. speaks about the visit to Epping Forest CLICK HERE 

PICTURES: Pictures from the visit can be viewed HERE


WALTHAM ABBEY: School presents Junk Orchestra awards

8.39am - 17th May 2016

YEAR 7 music classes at King Harold Academy, Waltham Abbey, have competed for awards in the school's Junk Orchestra competition. 
A 'Best Orchestra' prize was among the awards presented on Monday. 
The competition saw each class compose their own piece of junk band music and perform the work in front of their peers. 
The judges deemed 7H1 to be the 'best orchestra' thanks to their "strong sense of pulse and a varied, interesting performance".
There were also prizes for the 'best conductor', 'best teamwork' and 'best instrument' for which the students used recycled materials such as old pieces of wood, butter tubs and paint pots. 
Head of Music Diana Russell said: "The best musicians are those who can create a great sound from anything they are given, be it their voice, pencils, tapping on the table or empty bottles. 
"If our students can make music to this standard with old junk, just think what they can do with real instruments!" 
The school congratulated all the students who took part and thanked the judges - Becca Hamilton (Year 9), Keely Harmer (Year 9), Marnie Cairns (Year 10) and Maizey Douglas (Year 10) - for their efforts in deciding the winners.



LOUGHTON: Students hold art exhibitions

8.16am - 17th May 2016

GCSE, AS and A-level students at Davenant Foundation School, Loughton, have displayed the work they produced for their recent examinations at three exhibitions.
The students embraced a range of starting points and explored a wide range of media. 
They had the opportunity of visiting London art galleries and working alongside a practising artist. 
The work on display showed the skill and hard work that all the students had put into their studies. 
Lee Bray, Head of Art and Design at the school, said: “We are incredibly impressed with the diversity, skill and quality of all our students' work. The exhibitions illustrated the culmination of their achievements.”


GCSE exhibition CLICK HERE
AS-Level exhibition CLICK HERE
A-Level exhibition CLICK HERE


CHIGWELL: Service for former headmaster

1.43pm - 16th May 2016

CHIGWELL School held a service of celebration and thanksgiving on Saturday for the life of former headmaster David Gibbs. 
During his headship, between 1996 to 2007, Mr Gibbs contributed a great deal to the life of the school and the service, held in St Mary’s Church, Chigwell, was packed with people who had known Mr Gibbs during that time. 
Other areas of his life beyond Chigwell were also represented. 
For example, eulogies were given by a former master of the Skinners’ Livery Company where Mr Gibbs served as Education Officer having left Chigwell, and the Chair of Governors of Ardingly College spoke of his dedicated service as a governor at the Sussex school which he had himself attended. 
Current Chigwell School headmaster Michael Punt, who succeeded Mr Gibbs, said: "Saturday was a wonderful celebration of all that David contributed to Chigwell over 11 years. 
"He certainly had a significant impact on Chigwell School and on the lives of pupils and their families here and elsewhere.
"No one could question David’s dedication and care and he will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Philippa and their two sons, Matthew and Thomas, both of whom are also Old Chigwellians.”


CHIGWELL: Three injured in Gravel Lane collision

8.47am - 14th May 2016

THREE people were injured in a three-vehicle collision which closed Gravel Lane, Chigwell. 
Two of the casualties - one aged in their 70s and one in their 50s - had to be cut out of their vehicle by Loughton fire crews following the crash which happened at about 1.20pm yesterday.


NAZEING: Permission sought for 60 homes

4.24pm - 13th May 2016

PLANS for a development of 60 homes and sports hall off St Leonards Road, Nazeing, have been submitted to Epping Forest District Council. 
The application includes 48 'starter' Homes (seven two-bedroom, 26 three-bedroom, nine four-bedroom and three five-bedroom) and 12 'open market' houses (six three-bedroom, four four-bedroom and two five-bedroom); a multi-purpose sports hall with car parking; new access onto St Leonards Road and a drop-off/pick up car parking for the primary school.


DISTRICT: Guide Dogs charity seeks fundraising volunteers

3.48pm - 13th May 2016

VOLUNTEERS are wanted by the Guide Dogs charity to join a new fundraising group in the Epping and Loughton area. 
The aim of the group is to organise events, activities and collections in the local community to raise money to enable the charity to continue to deliver its life-changing Guide Dog service in Essex. 
There are more than 80 guide dog owners in Essex and it costs £50,000 to support each guide dog partnership.
The charity receives no government funding. 
As well as volunteer fundraisers, the charity is seeking a motivational and outgoing person to lead the group and a well-organised and responsible person to be group treasurer and bank the money raised.
For more information, or to have an informal chat about the roles, contact Lisa Cooke by email lisa.cooke@guidedogs.org.uk or ring 0118 983 8713.


EPPING: Charity shows off new Citizens Advice Bureau offices

2.57pm - 13th May 2016

THE Theydon Trusts Limited invited guests to view its new building in Hemnall Street, Epping. 
The building will house the Citizens Advice Bureau on the ground floor with two one-bedroom above.
Joining civic dignitaries were representatives from Epping Fire Station and other community members as well as representatives from Barnardo's who have been enthused by the Theydon Trusts innovative housing concept and are implementing the ideas into the Barnardo's scheme for their young people.
Theydon Trusts Limited chairman John Batchelor and secretary Michael Chapman spoke about the background to the building project and thanked everyone for their contributions and support.

Guests outside the new Hemnall Street building provided by the Theydon Trusts Limited CLICK HERE 

THE Theydon Trusts Limited has presented a cheque for £500 to Epping firefighters for the Fire Service Benevolent Fund. 
Chairman John Batchelor presented the cheque to officer-in-charge Derek Whitbread as a thank you for the good work the fire service does in the community and for helping Theydon Trusts during the building of the Hemnall Street office and flats. 
Theydon Trusts was given a demonstration of the kind of situations firefighters have to contend with.

Theydon Trusts chairman John Batchelor presents the cheque to Derek Whitbread at Epping Fire Station CLICK HERE


EPPING: Council seeks views of young residents for Neighbourhood Plan

10.55am - 13th May 2016

THE views of Epping's young people are being sought by the town council as it continues its work on a Neighbourhood Plan. 
A informal round table discussion hosted by Epping Town Council's two youngest councillors - Holly Whitbread and Daniel Spillman - is at Epping Hall, St John's Road, Epping, between 7.30pm and 8.30pm on Tuesday, May 31. 
People aged between 18 and 30 who live in Epping are invited to attend and express their views about what they believe is good or bad about living in Epping, what pressures they believe affect the area today or may affect it in the future, and what needs to change in the town. 
Town clerk Beverley Rumsey said: "We have already had a great response to our house-to-house delivery of the Epping Together questionnaire but now we are looking to get views from the town's young people to include in our evidence-gathering work for the Neighbourhood Plan. 
"It is important that we listen to the voices of everyone in our community." 
She added: "This is the first in a number of specialist sessions; we will be holding similar sessions for parents, young families and other groups in our community, so our Neighbourhood Plan correctly reflects the views of as many of our residents as possible."


ONGAR: Council's handling of Jubilee Park manager's redundancy "no way to treat human beings"

7.54am - 13th May 2016

THE way Ongar Town Council handled the redundancy of Jubilee Park manager Angus McKenzie was "not the way to treat human beings", a councillor has said. 
Labour Shelley councillor Alison Wingfield, now the only non-Ongar Residents' Association councillor on the town council, spoke out about the way Mr McKenzie was treated when he was made redundant from the post of Jubilee Park manager without consultation. 
Councillors were discussing a 306-name petition which was presented to the council at the Annual Town Meeting by resident Barbara Szymanek.
A letter from a member of the public read by deputy clerk Judith Farr at Thursday's council meeting stated that the names had been gathered in seven days over a two-week period. 
Only 16 people approached had declined to sign it. 
The letter added that the purpose of the petition was to show support for Mr McKenzie and the desire for him to be reinstated, and for the council to adhere to its three-year business plan for Jubilee Park.
Councillor Alison Wingfield referred to figures which council vice-chairman John Reynolds has repeatedly mentioned at previous meetings that Jubilee Park would record a deficit of some £90,000 in its first year following the council's takeover of the management of the facility in February last year. 
She told the meeting: "The figures that John Reynolds have given us were ficticious. We weren't £90,000 in the red. 
"That poor gentleman (Mr McKenzie) was just made redundant. I think it's a sham on this council to treat people like that. That's not the way to treat human beings." 
She claimed it had been the aim of Ongar Residents' Association councillors to "take the club back". The Love Lane facility was previously run by Ongar Social and Sports Club. 
Councillor Bruce Freeman said: "Before I came on this council I'd never seen Derek Birch (another ORA councillor). To say we all came from the club is absolute rubbish. 
"Mr Birch was never a member of the (Ongar Social and Sports Club) club. I didn't know Pat Bolden (another ORA councillor). Nathan Fletcher (ORA councillor) had just joined the tennis club (when he became a councillor). 
"To say we all came together as a club; we didn't do that. I think you (councillor Wingfield) have got it totally wrong." 
Councillors voted to take "no course of action" over the petition and agreed a letter to be written to the lead petitioner explaining that the council has already commissioned a review of Jubilee Park. 
Referring to the council's Jubilee Park Business Plan, Mr Reynolds said it states Jubilee Park should provide value for money and operate at no cost to the taxpayer. 
He said: "If you bear in mind the financial situation and the internal auditor's report the staffing structure is unsustainable." 
Mr Reynolds quoted a total cost figure to the council, including the manager's salary and staff costs and trading losses, of "£70,000-£80,000" in the first year. 
He said there had been a cost to the council for staff running Jubilee Park not just at committee meetings but for compiling the accounts. 
Mr McKenzie, when he addressed the Annual Town Meeting, reported that Jubilee Park had made a profit in its first year. 
Speaking in the public session at the start of the meeting, former councillor Peter Gode, who resigned from the council this week, questioned the council's decision to appoint councillor Reynolds as the Designed Premises Supervisor at Jubilee Park. 
He said one of the main responsibilities of a DPS is being responsible for the day-to-day running of a facility - "a manager with a flash new name," 
Mr Gode said. Mr Gode described Mr Reynolds's £90,000 loss figure as "outlandish" and a figure which he had "never substantiated" and accused Mr Reynolds of "misleading the council and the public"

Councillor Derek Birch wrote: Mr McKenzie, when he addressed the Annual Town Meeting, reported that Jubilee Park had made a profit in its first year. You omitted to finish Mr McKenzie’s statement in full “Jubilee Park had made a profit in its first year if you don’t include my salary”. This statement was made when full accounts had not been made available to councillors. This has not been reflected in your report.
In the same article again, you have not reported the full facts. You failed to explain that the Designed Premises Supervisor is not "a manager with a flash new name" as mentioned by Peter Gode before the meeting but is the license holder on behalf of the Ongar Town Council as clarified on the night by Michael Letch the Locum Town Clerk.


ONGAR: Council cuts planning committee membership

7.52am - 13th May 2016

ALL Ongar town councillors will no longer have a vote on planning applications affecting the town.
It had been council policy for all town councillors to be members of the planning committee but at Thursday's meeting councillors voted to reduce the membership of the new Planning and Environment and Public Relations Committee to seven members plus the chairman and vice-chairman.
The 15-member council currently has five vacancies.
There are currently nine Ongar Residents' Association members and one Labour councillor.


ONGAR: Casting vote seals Jubilee Park chairmanship

7.50am - 13th May 2016

THE sole non-Ongar Residents' Association town councillor has been elected chairman of Ongar Town Council's newly-merged Jubilee Park and Open Spaces Committee. 
Councillor Alison Wingfield was nominated by council chairman Jim Browning and after a 4-4 vote against councillor Derek Birch was elected chairman on Mr Browning's casting vote. 
Mr Birch was elected vice-chairman. 

Council vice-chairman John Reynolds was elected chairman of the Planning and Environment and Public Relations Committee (with councillor Nathan Fletcher vice-chairman) with councillor Christine Feetham elected chairman of the Finance and Human Resources Committee with councillor Derek Birch vice-chairman. 

* The town council voted to discontinue the staffing sub-committee.


ONGAR: Council merges committees

7.49am - 13th May 2016

ONGAR town councillors have merged the council's six committees into three. 
The council has amalgamated planning and environment with public relations, finance with human resources and Jubilee Park with open spaces. 
Council chairman Jim Browning said the change would save staff time. 
He told Thursday's council meeting that sticking with the current structure of six committees would leave just five free Thursdays between now and next year. 
Mr Browning said: "The staff won't be preparing for a meeting every week. We (will) need to revisit it. We could change it and go back to where we were. That's the benefit of democracy." 
Councillor Alison Wingfield questioned the benefit of the mergers saying the same preparation work by staff would be required and meetings could last longer. 
She added: "People came on the council and should have known what they would be expected to do." 
The council voted to review the changes in three to six months.


ONGAR: Chairman and vice-chairman re-elected

7.47am - 13th May 2016

ONGAR Town Council has elected Ongar Residents' Association councillor Jim Browning chairman for a second year with ORA councillor John Reynolds re-elected vice-chairman.


EPPING: No objection to So Glam plans

7.29am - 13th May 2016

PLANS for a ground-floor rear extension at So Glam beauty salon in Epping High Street have met with no objection from the town council.


EPPING: Objections to restaurant

7.27am - 13th May 2016

PLANS for a restaurant in the former Sizor Sista hairdressers in Epping High Street are being opposed by the town council. 
Councillors have raised concern over the potential loss of a retail outlet - and highlighted the number of restaurants already in the High Street. 
Parking was also a concern. 
Councillor Barbara Scruton told Tuesday's planning and general purposes committee: "We need some retail outlets in the High Street." 
Committee chairman Nigel Avey said: "If we do object it's unlikely the district council will interfere (oppose the application). 
"I don't think there's any reason to object to it. The whole High Street is being battered (with restaurants). We would really want something selling things."


EPPING: No objection to church ramp plans

7.25am - 13th May 2016

PLANS for a new ramp access and steps at the front of Epping Methodist Church have met with no objection from Epping Town Council. 
Councillor Hugh Pegrum told Tuesday's planning and general purposes committee: "Aesthetically it's a shame they have to do it. I don't think it will improve the look of the front but I can see it's needed."


THORNWOOD: Council praise for Camfaud offices

8.30am - 12th May 2016

WORK carried out on new offices at Camfaud Concrete Pump's offices in High Road, Thornwood, have been praised by North Weald Bassett Parish Council. 
Councillor Dick Spearman highlighted the new-build work at Monday's planning committee meeting.
He said: "It has been very, very well managed. It looks very nice and I think it should be recognised.
"I think it's a credit to them. I think we should congratulate them on doing a really nice, neat job."


THORNWOOD: Homes plan for garden centre

8.30am - 12th May 2016

AN outline planning application is set to be made for 16 homes at Happy Grow Garden Centre, Thornwood, parish councillors have been told. 
Monday's planning committee was told a consultation leaflet has been delivered to some 350 homes in Thornwood and surrounding area.


NORTH WEALD: Additional gypsy site caravans opposed

8.28am - 12th May 2016

PLANS for additional caravans on the Woodside gypsy site are being opposed by North Weald Bassett Parish Council. 
Monday's parish council planning committee heard that a Government planning inspector, when an original application was approved, had stated no additional caravans could be based on the site. 
Council chairman Cyril Hawkins said: "We had to accept the verdict from Bristol (the planning inspector's decision). Now we expect the man from Bristol (the inspector) to back his words." 
A new planning application has been submitted for one additional static caravan and one additional touring caravan with two parking spaces, a security gate at the entrance - with brick pillars and walls - perimeter fence next to the boundary on the inside of existing hedges. 
Parish councillors stated that the fence was already in place. 
The parish council is objecting to the application highlighting the comments made by the inspector with regards to the original application.


NORTH WEALD: Objections to district council 'hub'

8.26am - 12th May 2016

OBJECTIONS have been voiced by North Weald Bassett Parish Council to plans for a three-storey 'repairs and maintenance hub' on the edge of North Weald airfield. 
The proposed building off Blenheim Way, with 32 parking spaces, would provide office space and training rooms, storage and a joinery workshop for district council staff. 
Parish councillors are concerned at the number of parking spaces - after initial discussions indicated some 80-plus staff will be based at the building. 
They also want to see just one access, off Merlin Way. 
Planning committee chairman Baden Clegg told Monday's planning committee meeting: "It would concern me if these vehicles were going backwards and forwards at unsocial hours." 
Councillor Sheila Jackman was concerned staff would park in residential roads. 
Councillor Terry Blanks said: "I think originally the sole entrance would be from Merlin Way. It now appears there are two entrances, Merlin Way at one end for 'heavier vehicles' but also quite a lot of traffic will be coming out into Blenheim Way." 
He added: "It also seems to me it is a bit of a stupid place to put it. Why didn't they think of putting it on the airfield?"


NORTH WEALD: Parish council to take up airfield hospital idea

7.40am - 12th May 2016

A COUNCILLOR'S idea that North Weald Airfield could be a suitable site for a district general hospital to replace the current Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, has received the initial support of the parish council. 
Councillor Nigel Bedford's suggestion is being supported, in principle, by North Weald Bassett Parish Council which will now recommend to Epping Forest District Council that this is an ideal opportunity to work with Harlow Council and look at developing an area of the airfield. 
Mr Bedford has highlighted the airfield's good road links - with the M11 south to Whipps Cross Hospital, the M11 north to Addenbrookes in Cambridge, and east on the A414 to Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford.
He stated that the air ambulance is already based at the airfield and adds that the fire and ambulance stations in Epping and Ongar could be relocated to the airfield create a "mixed use emergency service base". 
All the locations - including the current Harlow hospital site - could then be developed for housing, Mr Bedford states. 
Mr Bedford adds that he believes a hospital could be accommodated without interfering with aviation at the airfield. 
He told Monday's council meeting: This would be a good opportunity to make good use of the airfield. I can see this as a way of supporting flying at the airfield. We would be securing the airfield. We could lease the land on a 100-year lease, generating revenue income and that income could sustain flying by maintaining the runway." 
He added that the airfield location for a hospital would benefit local people with shorter travelling times than to potential new hospital sites north of Harlow.


NORTH WEALD: Council to go ahead with Neighbourhood Plan

7.37am - 12th May 2016

NORTH Weald Bassett Parish Council is to go ahead with a Neighbourhood Plan after 300 residents expressed an interest in the idea. 
The council has decided to proceed following two months' of publicity and public consultation. 
The council has already budgeted £36,000 for the Plan but expects the final cost to be more. Funding can also be sought through grant applications. 
At least 30 of the residents have the skills sought by the council to support the Neighbourhood Plan work, Monday's council meeting was told.


EXCLUSIVE: ONGAR: Another town councillor resigns

7.24pm - 11th May 2016

ANOTHER Ongar town councillor has resigned with Labour's Peter Gode the sixth member to quit within a year and the fourth in just over a month. 
In his resignation letter Mr Gode highlights the "little knowledge" that the new Ongar Residents' Association councillors had of how councils operated when they joined the council a year ago yet they "rode roughshod" over experienced councillors when they elected themselves chairman and vice-chairman of the council and chairmen of several committees. 
Mr Gode's letter states: "Over the years there have been many debates and many contentious decisions but all have taken place under the correct rules of debate. I am proud to have been a Labour councillor but have always looked to do the right thing for Shelley and Ongar and not follow party lines.
 "At the first meeting of the new council the committees and their chairs were elected and various roles and responsibilities were taken up. 
"The ORA councillors decided to take on the roles of Chair, Vice-Chair and chairs of committees all with little knowledge of how councils operated or what was expected of them so riding roughshod over experienced councillors so there was little wonder that there was a strained relationship." 
He adds that criticism has been voiced at the town council "not following the business plan for the Jubilee Park for the last 12 months". 
Mr Gode, who has been on the council for 17 years and has also served as Shelley's district councillor, adds: "The ORA have had the controlling majority so can't blame anyone else for their own failing. 
"It is with a heavy heart that I have decided to resign as a councillor forthwith and in doing so would like to apologise to the people of Shelley and Ongar as I was looking forward to working on the big issues that Ongar faces and the Local Plan, something that has far reaching consequences for the future of Ongar and of which I had gained a good amount of knowledge from my time as district councillor, but this year the agenda has been set by the ORA's ongoing obsession with the Jubilee Park. 
"Ongar needs a strong and knowledgeable council to debate the Local Plan but unfortunately those people are now outside of it. 
"This past year has probably been one of the hardest years for Ongar Town Council with the resignations of a number of experienced councillors all citing the same reasons but not wishing to go into a diatribe I do share the same feelings and have a genuine fear for the welfare and health of the staff.
"Finally I would like to thank the excellent staff for all of their help over the many years and wish them well for the future." 
In April, Andrew Kaye, Diana Roberts and Janice Rushton resigned from the town council at the same meeting citing the attitude of Ongar Residents' Association councillors and the actions of the council as the reasons behind their decision to leave. 
Councillor Sheila Jackman, who chaired the planning and environment and public relations committees, resigned in February while Lynn Hawkins left the council last July. 
The council has seen several other resignations since it was elected last May. 
Ongar Residents Association councillor Patrick Bolden stood down as chairman of the finance committee after a meeting had to be abandoned when the clerk, another member of staff and several councillors walked out when the chairman would not accept the clerk's explanation that financial information he was requesting was not immediately available. 
Mr Kaye resigned from the Jubilee Park Working Group and Mr Gode resigned as chairman and member of the Jubilee Park Committee. 
Mr Gode's resignation means there are now five vacancies to be filled. 
Mrs Jackman's seat will be filled by co-option while there is a deadline of tomorrow (May 12) for ten electors to request an election for the seats left by former councillors Kaye, Roberts and Rushton. 
If an election is not called then those three seats can also be filled by co-option. 
A later date will apply to decide whether there an election to replace Mr Gode. 
Labour Shelley councillor Alison Wingfield is now the only non-Ongar Residents' Association councillor on Ongar Town Council. 
The council's annual meeting, when the chairman and vice-chairman for 2016-17 are elected, is at the council offices, Bansons Way, Ongar, tomorrow (Thursday).


EPPING: New mayor elected

4.15pm - 11th May 2016

OUTGOING Epping mayor Michael Wright has handed over his chain of office to councillor Les Burrows saying it was "an honour and privilege" to have been mayor for the past year. 
Mr Wright thanked councillors and town council staff for their help and support over the past 12 months.
He added 2016-17 would be "a big year" for the council with the Neighbourhood Plan, St John's Road redevelopment, extension to the town cemetery, Town Show and Christmas market. 
Mr Burrows was proposed by councillor Hugh Pegrum who said Mr Burrows had been involved with Epping in Bloom and the horticultural society and "would make an excellent mayor for the coming year".
Councillor Tony Church was elected deputy mayor for the new civic year.



CHIGWELL: Readathon success

3.44pm - 11th May 2016

ENTHUSIASTIC readers at West Hatch High School read everything from graphic novels to the latest fiction raising £250 for seriously ill children. 
The Readathon sponsored read was launched on World Book Day and for three weeks students were encouraged to find sponsors and read as much as possible. 
Readathon, a nationwide charity, uses the sponsorship money to provide children books and storyteller visits to children in hospitals across the UK, as well as supporting charities which help seriously ill children. 
Each participating pupil was sponsored for each book they read with the money raised going to Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, Together for Short Lives and CLIC Sargent charity for children with cancer. 
School librarian Jayne Davidson thanked parents who supported the students not only to help raise money but more importantly by taking a real interest in their children's reading. 
The 2008 report 'Literacy Changes Lives', the National Literacy Trust concluded "reading for pleasure has been revealed as the most important indicator of the future success of a child”. 
To thank students for their efforts, Readathon teams up with Scholastic Book Clubs to give the school free books. 
Students taking part will be asked to select the books they would like to see in the library. 
Charlotte Stevens said: "Taking part in the Readathon helped me be motivated so I could read books and know I was helping people." 
Ryan Davis said: "It made me feel good to help other children." 
Ethan Fox, another Year 7 student, said: "I love reading books and it was all for a good cause."


EPPING: Bradley Walsh to host Heart of Epping reception

3.10pm - 9th May 2016

TELEVISION star Bradley Walsh will give an update on the Heart of Epping project - to build a community centre adjoining St John's Church in Epping - when he hosts a special reception at the church on Saturday, May 21. 
The presentation and reception (5.30pm to 7pm) is open to anyone interested in the project. 
Anyone wanting to attend is asked to contact the church Team Office on 01992 575570. 
Mr Walsh is one of the patrons for the Heart of Epping appeal. 
The church is holding an Open Day from 10am until 4pm on the same day. 
There will be an exhibition by Epping Art Society, quizzes, pottery, face painting and games for children, displays of flower arranging and vestments, various stalls and refreshments. 
Visitors can climb to the top of the church tower (from 10am) with a guided tour of the church at 2pm.
Cream teas will be available from 1.30pm. 
The day will be raising money for the Heart of Epping appeal.


WALTHAM ABBEY: School hosting Speak Out regional final

2.24pm - 9th May 2016

KING Harold Academy will host the West Essex Regional Final of the Jack Petchey 'Speak Out' Challenge 2015-16.
King Harold Academy students Lisa Nakimuli and Adam Freeman will represent the school tomorrow when they will be deliver their speeches in front of a specially invited audience and a team of judges.
During each academic year Speakers Trust Associate trainers, funded by the Jack Petchey Foundation, visit all the state schools throughout London and Essex delivering a day’s training in public speaking to Year 10 students. 
Each year they train 18,000 young people in how to ‘Speak Out’. 
Jack Petchey’s 'Speak Out' Challenge provides young people with the skills, confidence and ability to share their voices with the world, which is a life skill that will benefit these young people throughout their lives. 
Once the training in each school is completed, the school will choose a representative for the district regional final at which a champion is chosen and then a virtual semi-final is held in June to choose 15 contestants for the Grand Final. 
A panel of judges will watch all the speeches and choose the 15 young people who will represent their schools and district to deliver their heart-felt talks to an audience of more than 800 at the Grand Final at Piccadilly Theatre, London.


CHIGWELL: Teacher set for 12,000ft skydive

2.20pm - 9th May 2016

A TEACHER at West Hatch High School, Chigwell, is preparing to take part in a charity tandem sky-dive.
Justine Williams offered to stand in for a fellow fundraiser who had to pull out at the last minute. 
Justine, who is the Head of Social Sciences and teaches Psychology and Sociology at the High Road school, said: "I am feeling very nervous about the jump but as I am filling in for someone that was unable to do it I haven’t got too much time to worry about it which is good!" 
Justine will jump out of a plane at 12,000ft at an airfield in Oxfordshire on Sunday.
Her efforts will support PAARS, a charity which supports families where the parent/carer is being abused by their adolescent child. PAARS was formed in February 2012 and currently works in the Enfield area.
She said: "PAARS is such an amazing charity and completely unique in the UK so I want to raise as much money as possible to help them continue their work. 
"PAARS are using money raised to help continue supporting families. Most of the people at the charity are volunteers and they give up their own time to work with families where there is adolescent on parent abuse, helping and supporting the families to move forward together." 
The freefall, tandem jump will see Justine - and her jump partner from the London Parachute School - freefall for about 40 seconds and parachute for about five minutes.
To sponsor Justine, visit https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/justinewilliams1


WALTHAM ABBEY: Students stage Ayckbourn comedy

4.57pm - 7th May 2016

KING Harold Academy students put on a production of 'Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations'. 
The King Harold Theatre Company, made up of mainly Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9) King Harold Academy students, staged a production of Alan Ayckbourn’s short comedy play 'Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations'. 
The cast had been rehearsing since January and their hard work paid off when they performed to an audience of parents, friends and staff in the school hall. 
Helenelaine Blyth, the school's Head of Drama, said: “The students performed the play with high energy and enthusiasm and also took charge of lighting, sound and stage management. A huge well done to them all.”
Head of School Kim Thackray said: “The show was brilliant!”



ONGAR: Jubilee Park bar prices and pitch fees set to increase

4.16pm - 7th May 2016

BAR prices and pitch fees at Jubilee Park, Ongar, are set to increase by five per cent. 
The bar price rise will be from the end of May and will be reviewed in October, councillors have proposed.
Councillor Bruce Freeman told Thursday's Jubilee Park Committee that the increase in pitch fees was "reasonable". 
He added: "They didn't have an increase last year so it's not a bad increase." 
Council chairman Jim Browning described the increase as "realistic". 
Room hire fees have been set at £100 for the large room and £20 for the small room. 
All increases and hire rates, supported by the Jubilee Park Committee, will now be considered by the finance committee. 

* Ongar Town Council's Jubilee Park Committee has agreed to spend up to £1,400 on curtains for the Jubilee Pavilion. 

* A business which has asked Ongar Town Council if it can rent ten parking spaces at Jubilee Park Monday to Friday is to be told the cost would be £5 per space per day. 

* The Jubilee Park Committee has voted to appoint council vice-chairman John Reynolds as the new Designated Personal Supervisor for Jubilee Park.


LOUGHTON: Police welcome move to order Nu Bar to close earlier

4.13pm - 7th May 2016

POLICE have welcomed new licensing conditions imposed on Nu Bar, Loughton, to tackle issues with crime and disorder. 
Essex Police applied to Epping Forest District Council for an expedited review of Nu Bar’s licence following a disturbance involving about 40 people on Sunday, April 10, in which a man suffered a serious slash wound to his neck and another had his ear torn. 
Police say it was the latest in a number of incidents involving injury and public disorder that were linked to the premises over the last 12 months. 
Epping Forest District Council’s licensing sub-committee suspended Nu Bar’s licence on April 12 following the application for the expedited review. 
A full review hearing was held on Tuesday where councillors heard evidence from Essex Police, local residents and Nu Bar’s management team. 
The licensing sub-committee decided to cut the opening hours by changing the closing time from 2.30am to 12.30am and agreed that alcohol cannot be served after midnight. 
These are among a raft of conditions the venue must now adhere to. 
Nu Bar has 21 days in which to appeal against the decision. 
Superintendent Trevor Roe said: "The violent incident that led to us applying for the licensing review was one of eight serious disturbances linked to the premises over the last 12 months. 
"We do not apply for such action lightly but the public’s safety is paramount and in all these cases, people were injured, some very seriously. 
"Police had previously worked with the premises to address licensing issues but in light of this trigger incident and a review of the previous 12 months, it was clear that urgent steps needed to be taken.
"Licensees have a responsibility to make sure they meet the licensing objectives and these new conditions will allow the police, district council and the venue to have a better working relationship to promote these. 
"Everyone should be able to enjoy our district’s nightlife safely and without fear of crime and disorder. 
"We will continue to support and work with businesses and the council to do everything possible to ensure this, including taking robust action to enforce the law around licensing when necessary. 
"Part of the Police and Crime Plan is also to find local solutions to local problems and deal with the consequences of alcohol-related crime and disorder.”


EXCLUSIVE: Could North Weald airfield be a suitable site for a new district general hospital?

1.17pm - 6th May 2016

NORTH Weald Airfield would be a suitable site for a district general hospital to replace the current Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, a councillor has said. 
An idea drawn up by North Weald parish councillor Nigel Bedford also suggests the possible relocation of the fire and ambulance stations in Epping and Ongar to create a "mixed use emergency service base". 
All the locations - including the current Harlow hospital site - could then be developed for housing, Mr Bedford states. 
The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust has told Everything Epping Forest that part of its work to see how it will meet expected population growth in future years includes seeking potential alternative sites for a new hospital. 
Mr Bedford's ideas will be discussed by North Weald Bassett Parish Council on Monday when councillors are being asked to "consider the possibility of recommending to Epping Forest District Council that this is an ideal opportunity to work with Harlow Council and look at developing an area of the airfield." 
Mr Bedford says benefits of the airfield location for a hospital are easy access from Rayley Lane or the M11, direct road links from the M11 towards Whipps Cross Hospital and via the A414 to Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford. 
He also highlights that the air ambulance is based at the airfield. 
In an emailed explanation of his ideas, which have been circulated to the parish council, Mr Bedford states: "This site lends itself to better use, securing the future of the aviation and would be a better use serving the local community as a whole." 
He added: "The old (current) hospital site can then be developed for additional housing in Harlow, reducing the impact on North Harlow green belt." 
Views expressed during consultation over the future of the former Battle of Britain airfield concluded a wish for mixed use, with some housing and the retention of aviation. 
Mr Bedford told Everything Epping Forest: "I believe that with imagination and determination this project would allow both the retention of flying and a new hospital. 
"Regarding the Princess Alexandra Hospital site, I see this, in the future, as a brownfield site that could be developed to reduce any proposed impact on housing that may be considered north of Harlow. This would fit better with green campaigners and residents from both Harlow and surrounding areas." 
He added: "Anything is possible with commitment and determination." 
A spokesman for The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust told Everything Epping Forest: "The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust is currently working with its strategic partners, including local authorities and commissioning groups, to plan for the future population growth predicted in the area and ensure that there are sustainable high quality services in the long term. 
"As part of that work the Trust is exploring all options including development of the existing hospital site and potential alternative sites in the Harlow area." 
A spokesman for Epping Forest District Council, which owns the airfield, said: "We are aware that future expansion of the Princess Alexandra site is limited and the health authority is exploring possible options for another site. 
"We are working with neighbouring councils as part of the Local Plan process to include strategic factors such as health provision but we have not been given any indication that North Weald is being considered as a likely option. 
"Considering the catchment area for Princess Alexandra, we understand they are looking further north."


LOUGHTON: School holds London concert

9.14am - 5th May 2016

DAVENANT Foundation School's Performing Arts Department held a concert at the Emmanuel Centre in Westminster on Saturday. 
The evening was attended by more than 400 parents, governors, staff and friends of the school.
Headteacher Chris Seward said: "The concert showcased some wonderful talent and allowed 150 of our students to be part of a big event in a special venue. 
"The rehearsals had challenged many of the students who are not used to engaging with classical music – some of which was written 500 years ago. 
"The Music Department deserve great credit for the standards that are achieved in our concerts. 
"We now look forward to performing these pieces while on tour in Hungary and Austria this summer." 
In addition to the repertoire of classical and sacred music, the students performed some new ensembles just for the night. 
The music was accompanied by readings and poetry. 
Mr Seward added: "The beautiful playing of the instrumentalists, the powerful choir, the amazing voices of all the soloists and of course the wonderful teachers made it a great evening! We could not have asked for more." 
Year 11 student Bethan Lewis sang Ave Maria, Caccini, as well as a performing a duet with Olivia Brown.
The school's musical director, Asha Bishop, said: "Congratulations to all our students for performing such an ambitious programme of classical and sacred music with such professionalism."



WALTHAM ABBEY: Defibrillator training sessions

9.41am - 4th May 2016

AWARENESS and training sessions are to be held after three defibrillators were installed around Waltham Abbey. 
The sessions are at the Town Mead clubhouse (May 12) and Waltham Abbey Town Hall (May 16). 
The defibrillators are at Mac’s Bar, Farm Hill Road; the Sports and Social Club at Town Mead; and at the town hall, Highbridge Street. All have been funded by Awards For All lottery funding with Waltham Abbey Town Council working closely with the Community Heartbeat Trust which is providing the training.
Information about the training has been sent to organisations that use Town Mead and the town hall but the sessions are open to anyone. 
For more information - and if you intend to go along to one of the sessions - ring 01992 714949.


SOUTH WOODFORD: Award for travel agent

4.17pm - 3rd May 2016

ABBOTTS Travel has been named as London’s Top Travel Agency in a new power-list of the nation’s best agents. 
The South Woodford-based firm edged out competition from four other high street finalists to take the trophy. 
Travel Trade Gazette’s Top 50 Travel Agencies list was revealed in a ceremony in Birmingham after an extensive judging process which saw agents rated by tour operators and other suppliers, and assessed by travel trade journalists. 
TTG editor Pippa Jacks said: “Our search for the nation’s best travel agents has taken us the length and breadth of the country where we’ve uncovered countless stories of brilliant agents going the extra mile for their customers, giving great value, and serving their communities. 
“What our new Top 50 list shows is that travel retailing in 2016 is a vibrant and successful business sector, and that - particularly on the high street - agents continue to prove their worth by delivering phenomenal customer service.” 
Abbotts Travel opened on George Lane in 1957 making it South Woodford's oldest business. It is led by Julian Abbott, who followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and father as owner. 
He is backed by highly experienced manager Sharron Roat and a loyal and knowledgeable team. 
In 2013 the premises were significantly modernised and the company launched AbbottsTravel.com extending the personality and principles of the company beyond the physical store, to the world online.
Julian Abbott said: "It’s great to be acknowledged and great for our local community in South Woodford to know that they have an award-winning travel agent to come to rather than taking a chance by booking on the internet."


LOUGHTON: Man admits assault which left victim with 'life-changing' injuries

3.36pm - 3rd May 2016

A MAN has admitted causing life-changing injuries to another man in Loughton High Road. 
Paul Saunders, 30, of Biggin Lane, Grays, appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court today (Tuesday) to answer a charge of attempted murder. 
Saunders entered a guilty plea to a section 18 GBH charge which was accepted and sentencing was adjourned until the week commencing May 23. 
A 24-year-old man, from Romford, suffered life-changing injuries when he was attacked in Loughton High Road at about 11.30pm on Friday, November 6 last year.


CHIGWELL: School holds Young Musician competition

2.59pm - 3rd May 2016

TEN Chigwell School students took part in the final of the school's annual Young Musician of the Year competition. 
Musicians from across the school competed in the junior and senior categories. 
This year's adjudicator was Emmy and BAFTA award winning composer John Altman who had the task of selecting the finalists who performed in an evening concert. 
They were Myrtle Watts (piano), Rosie Singha (voice), Oliver Jackson (voice), Yasmin Antoniou (violin), Maddie Lovett (voice), Tamra Paul (piano), Rowan Jones (clarinet), Aaran Vijayakumaran (violin), Hana Edwards (piano) and Max Albert (voice).
In the junior category Rosie Singha received a ‘Highly Commended’ for her vocal performances while Rowan Jones was ‘Highly Commended’ in the senior category. 
The junior winner was Oliver Jackson with his vocal rendition of The Bird Catcher Song from Mozart’s Magic Flute, followed by his erformance of Ständchen by Schubert. 
The senior award and ultimate winner of the Young Musician of the Year title was Aaran Vijayakumaran for his violin presentation of Sicilienne & Rigaudon by Kreisler and interpretation of Ladies in Lavender by Nigel Hess. 
Aaran’s prize will be to present the Concerto at the next Spring Choral Concert at Christ Church, Spitalfields, London, on Saturday, March 25 next year.


EXCLUSIVE: District councillor expelled from Conservative group after 'bullying' investigation

UPDATED 8.30am - 4th May 2016

Councillor Sylvia Watson has told Everything Epping Forest: "The matter is under appeal and I have been advised that it should be regarded as sub judice until then. I will continue to speak up for Buckhurst Hill residents."

6.37pm - 2nd May 2016

A DISTRICT councillor has been expelled from the Conservative group on Epping Forest District Council and suspended from the local Conservative Association following an investigation into an allegation of bullying. 
The complaint against Buckhurst Hill councillor Sylvia Watson was lodged by another district councillor.
The complaint, referring to alleged incidents over a period of some 18 months, was made last November.
The matter was concluded when a vote of Conservative group members was held in March.
Everything Epping Forest understands the vote result was overwhelmingly in favour of Miss Watson being expelled from the Conservative group. 
The complainant, who Everything Epping Forest has agreed not to name, initially said they were willing to be quoted about the matter. However the individual later said that having spoken to "some senior people in the Party" they were now unable to comment. 
The councillor had earlier stated: "The situation as far as I am concerned is a closed matter." 
Following her explusion Miss Watson is standing as an Independent candidate in the Buckhurst Hill West election for Buckhurst Hill Parish Council where she is up against eight other candidates, including former Conservative colleagues, for the six available seats.
Miss Watson continues to represent Buckhurst Hill West on Epping Forest District Council but as an Independent - and cannot sit with Conservative group members in the council chamber. 
Her current term as a district councillor runs until May 2018. 
Everything Epping Forest understands that evidence considered as part of the investigation included written statements from several councillors. 
It is also understood that Epping Forest Conservative Association is seeking advice from Conservative Central Office. 
When asked for his response, Epping Forest District Council leader Chris Whitbread told Everything Epping Forest: "I've no comment to make with regards to this issue." 
Miss Watson has been contacted for a comment but has not yet responded.


CHIGWELL: PICTURES: Chigwell Village Fete

3.13pm - 2nd May 2016

CROWDS turned out for the annual Chigwell Village Fete organised by the Rotary Clubs of Roding and Loughton, Buckhurst Hill and Chigwell. 
As well as various stalls and sideshows there were arena displays of Tai Chi and dancing, and a dog show. 
Tansy, one of the ponies from the Chigwell Riding Trust for Special Needs, was also welcoming visitors who can enjoy a variety of refreshments. 
Students from West Hatch High School collected donations for the Ecuador-Japan Earthquake Appeal.