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#EEF999LIVE: DEBDEN: Four people arrested over vehicle pursuit

3.09pm - 18th January 2019

FOUR people have been arrested after a vehicle failed to stop for police on the Debden Estate.

Officers from the Operation Raptor team - which targets drug and gang-related crime - were in an unmarked police car patrolling near The Broadway this afternoon when they saw a vehicle which "raised their interest". 

A spokesman said that when officer tried to stop the vehicle it was driven off. 

He added: "The vehicle was pursued and ended up going round and round in circles as other police vehicles and a helicopter came from all directions blocking off their escape routes. 

"The vehicle made off across fields in the middle of the estate but was quickly picked up again. 

"The vehicle eventually went into a dead end road where two of the four occupants ran off. 

"A dog unit also joined in the hunt and eventually the two persons that ran off were located." 

Four people remain in custody and the vehicle has been seized."


STANFORD RIVERS: Parish council to pay for Community Special Constable

2.42pm - 18th January 2019

STANFORD Rivers Parish Council has budgeted £1,000 for 2019-20 to pay for a Community Special Constable to work in the parish 16 hours a month. 

Councillors voted for the police presence, with the council to assist with recruitment of the officer locally, at Thursday's council meeting. 

The officer will be dedicated to the Parish and target issues such as dog fouling, speeding, parking issues - and be available to meet residents through parish council meetings. 

Councillor Robert Jackson, who proposed the budget item, said: "I'm absolutely happy to put that forward."

Councillor Sheila Jackman said: "It would be nice if we had a dedicated person who could come to a council meeting and hear what the concerns are."


LOUGHTON: Town council defers decision over all-night street lights

2.18pm - 18th January 2019

LOUGHTON Town Council has deferred a decision over whether to pay to have Essex County Council's street lights on all night until it has more information and has consulted with residents. 

The town council has been asked to pay £33,840.74 to have the county council's lights switched on between 1am and 5am. 

They are currently turned off as part of a cost-cutting measure by the county council but following negotiations between Epping Forest District Council, the police and county council cabinet member Kevin Bentley town and parish councils in Epping Forest can have their lights turned back on - provided they meet the electricity costs themselves. 

For 14 town and parish councils in the district this totals over £125,000 for a year. 

North Weald Bassett Parish Council has already voted against the move while Waltham Abbey and Epping town councils are seeking further information and plan to consult with residents before deciding. Loughton Town Council discussed the issue on Wednesday. 

Town clerk Enid Walsh told Everything Epping Forest: "Loughton Town Council has taken a similar view to that of the Epping and Waltham Abbey town councils in that insufficient detail had been provided to enable an informed decision to be made at this late stage of the budget process for 2019-20. 

"However once we have the answer to our queries the town council has committed to reconsider the matter and make arrangements for a full public consultation."


STANFORD RIVERS: Finger post removal "vandalism of the highest order"

1.37pm - 18th January 2019

THE actions of Essex County Council's highways contractor in removing an historic 81-year-old finger post in Stanford Rivers has been described as "vandalism of the highest order". 

Stanford Rivers Parish Council chairman John Glover, who personally arranged for the finger post at the end of Berwick Lane to be refurbished 13 years ago, noticed some weeks ago that it had been removed.

Mr Glover's investigations resulted in him learning that it had been cut down with an angle grinder "after Essex County Council had sent workers in to remove "anything old and replace with new signs", he told Thursday's parish council meeting. 

He said: "This is vandalism of the highest order." 

Mr Glover said the authorities had since acknowledged the black and white sign should be reinstated, and it is hoped it will be put back "over the next few months". 



TAWNEY COMMON: Parish council to seek views over closed-down pub

10.20am - 18th January 2019

THE views of local people are to be sought by Stanford Rivers Parish Council before the council decides whether to nominate the closed-down Moletrap pub at Tawney Common as an Asset of Community Value.

The future of the pub remains unclear after it closed on New Year's Day.

However having been alerted by Stapleford Tawney Parish Council about the closure, neighbouring Stanford Rivers Parish Council has held initial discussions over whether to nominate the "well used and much valued" pub - which featured in the BBC drama series 'Bugs' in the late 1990s - as an Asset of Community Value. 

The possibility of such a listing is available to a building which "has recently been or is presently used to further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community and could do in the future". 

The Localism Act states that 'social interests' include cultural, recreational and sporting interests. 

Should the building be listed an Asset of Community Value, the local community will be alerted should the premises be listed for sale with a five-year period, with the community then able to enact the Community Right to Bid which gives them a moratorium period of six months to determine if they can raise the money needed to purchase the asset. 

A message on the pub's website states: "We have closed our doors permanently. Thank you for all of your custom and support over many years. We wish you well." 

Stanford Rivers Parish Council chairman John Glover, speaking at Thursday's parish council meeting, said: "For me it's the only pub round here I like going to. 

"I attended Stapleford Tawney Parish Council two days ago and they are completing the community asset paperwork (to seek its listing) and standing by with that while we wait and see what happens." 

He added: "Its a unique place. No other place can fulfil the role of the Moletrap." 

Council clerk Adriana Jones said: "There are a lot of our residents who used it." 

The council will seek comments from local residents through its magazine.


VOTE 2019: Conservatives select youngest ever district candidate

8.41am - 18th January 2019

THE Conservatives have selected their youngest ever candidate to stand for a seat on Epping Forest District Council. 

Jaymey McIvor, 20, has been chosen to contest the North Weald ward at the May elections, in place of long-standing councillor, former district council chairman and current cabinet member Anne Grigg who is retiring. 

Councillor Gavin Chambers, deputy chairman (political) of Epping Forest Conservative Association, said: "I am genuinely delighted that Jaymey McIvor was selected. 

"We talk about giving young people a chance in local politics and this demonstrates that Conservatives do, in fact, encourage younger people. 

"North Weald falls within the Brentwood and Ongar Conservative Association but the council seat is within Epping Forest District Council. 

"It will be nice not to be one of the youngest people on the local council bearing in mind I am in my early 40s! 

"We are in need of more younger people to step forward and get involved."


EPPING: Choir holding New Year concert

8.23am - 17th January 2019

THE newly-named Epping Chorus will be giving a New Year Concert at St John's Church, Epping, on Saturday (January 19) at 7.30pm. 

The programme will feature Dvorak's Mass in D and John Rutter's Dancing Day. The organist is Jonathan Lilley with harpist Rachel Bartels. 

The conductor is the choir's musical director Simon Winters. 

The choir - formerly Epping Church Choirs Association - currently has about 35 members and rehearses on Friday evenings at the Catholic Church Hall, Church Hill, Epping. 

Entry to all concerts is free. Anyone interested in joining the choir should email info@eppingchorus.org for more information. 

The choir is non-auditioned but Director of Music Simon Winters may wish to carry out a brief voice test.

Future concert dates are Friday, April 19 (Good Friday Devotional Concert) and Saturday, July 6 (Summer Concert). Both concerts start at 7.30pm.


WALTHAM ABBEY: Training exercise 'kidnap' sparks armed police alert

8.20am - 17th January 2019

TEN armed officers were among police crews which descended on Waltham Abbey following reports of an armed kidnapping of a woman who was seen being pulled out of a vehicle - but turned out to be a training exercise. 

After extensive investigations it was confirmed the incident was a training exercise involving a private firm who had not told police the scenario was being staged in a public place. 

Officers were alerted at about 3pm on Tuesday. 

A police spokesman said all available local officers were allocated to the incident, along with five double-crewed armed response vehicles and the Essex Police helicopter. 

Officers carried out stop checks on a number of vehicles around the area that matched the make and model of the reportedly stolen vehicle and questioned the occupants. 

The spokesman said: "After some time the persons involved were located and it turned out to be a private training company carrying out a kidnapping training scenario in a public place. 

"Police had been given no notification that this would be occurring and the persons involved did not believe this may have been necessary. 

"This incident has been recorded as a public order offence due to the alarm and distress that this created to the members of the public that they were witnessing an incident of violence involving the use of a firearm."


WALTHAM ABBEY: Armed police called in over 'masked gunman' sighting 

8.18am - 17th January 2019

ARMED police were called to Waltham Abbey following reports that a masked man had been seen with a gun. 

The alarm was raised at about 11.15am yesterday (Wednesday) when officers were told a man wearing a white mask had been seen with a firearm in the street. 

A police spokesman said local unarmed officers and firearms officers from across the county along with a helicopter were deployed and a comprehensive search carried out "over an extended period of time".

Officers have now left the area having found no trace of a 'gunman'. 

The spokesman added that information has since been received that "a person had been seen with a toy gun".


LOUGHTON: School ranked tenth best primary school in Essex 

1.26pm - 16th January 2019

HEREWARD Primary School has been ranked as the tenth best primary school in Essex according to the Real Schools Guide 2019.

The Colebrook Lane school, which is ranked as 'outstanding' by Ofsted, is the top primary school in the district and the 375th best nationally, the guide states. 

Headteacher Matt Woolard said: "This is testament to the wonderful pupils and staff we have at Hereward who are deeply committed to working hard, continually striving to improve and enjoying the full range of curriculum opportunities we provide."

 The Real Schools Guide ranking system uses 44 different measures, with the four main factors making up a school's overall rating: 

Attainment (30 per cent) - This is based on pupils' Key Stage 2 performance, how many pupils are reaching the expected or even the higher standards in 2018 and how it compares to 2017. 

Attainment for All (30 per cent) - This is based on how well different types of pupil at all levels of attainment do, as well as how well the school does at closing the gender gap - measuring how teachers are helping pupils do the best they can. It also looks at how big the pupil/teacher ratio is in comparison to the national average as well as teachers' average salaries. 

Progress (30 per cent) - This is based on whether all pupils, including those at different levels of attainment and from disadvantaged backgrounds are making progress between the end of infants and the end of juniors across all subjects. 

Attendance (10 per cent) - This looks at levels of absence, unauthorised absence and persistent absence at the school. 

*The guide ranks St John's CoE Primary School, Buckhurst Hill, as the second best for attendance in Essex.


DISTRICT: MP reacts to historic Government Brexit defeat 

8.22am - 16th January 2019

EPPING Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing has described the 230-vote defeat for Theresa May's Brexit deal as "significant" but says she is "in no doubt" the UK should leave the EU - the decision taken in Epping Forest at the 2016 Referendum. 

Dame Eleanor - who as a Deputy Speaker did not vote last night because she is 'paired' with a Labour Deputy Speaker - told Everything Epping Forest: "These are extraordinary times in Parliament. The Prime Minister's massive defeat is significant." 

Following last night's vote - the biggest defeat for a Government in history - the Government faces a vote of no confidence at 7pm today after the motion was proposed by Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn moments after the historic vote result was declared. 

Dame Eleanor added: "It looks like the Government will win that vote so things will calm down for a few days. 

"At the beginning of next week I expect the Prime Minister to make a Statement to the House of Commons about her proposed course of action and, after that, we will be able to consider a way forward.

"I know from the many different points of view expressed to me by people who live in Epping Forest that the country is divided in its ideas about how we shape our future relationship with the EU. 

"I am in no doubt, however, that it is the duty of Parliament to implement the will of the people as expressed in the Referendum and here in Epping Forest 62 per cent of people voted 'Leave' so we must leave and no manipulation of votes in the House of Commons must be allowed to stop Brexit."


NORTH WEALD: Nominations sought for Citizen awards

3.33pm - 11th January 2019

NORTH Weald Bassett Parish Council is seeking nominations for individuals and groups for its Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year awards. 

The nomination may be for a single act of outstanding courage or bravery, or might encompass work carried out within the Parish, good-neighbourliness, commitment to a sporting or educational goal or to improve community facilities to name a few. 

The individual/group may be nominated by anyone who lives or works within the Parish of North Weald Bassett. 

Nominees must live or work within the Parish of North Weald Bassett - this includes the villages of North Weald, Thornwood Common and Hastingwood. 

Nomination forms are available from North Weald Library or via the parish council’s website www.northweald-pc.gov.uk 

Nominees for the Young Citizen award must be aged 18 and under. 

Completed forms must be returned to the Parish Office by no later than Monday, March 4. 

The awards cover service within 2018. North Weald Bassett Parish Council Officers and councillors are disqualified from being nominated while those involved with service in political organisations are also excluded. 

Service to religious bodies is applicable only if it involves substantial contribution to the wider community. 

For more details, contact the Parish Office on 01992 523825 or email clerk@northweald-pc.gov.uk

The awards will be presented at the Annual Parish Assembly on Monday, March 25.


WALTHAM ABBEY: Council 'no' to paying for all-night street lights

8.18am - 11th January 2019

WALTHAM Abbey Town Council has voted to not pay Essex County Council £27,236.75 so that the county council's street lights in Waltham Abbey can be switched on throughout the night for a year. 

Instead, the town council is to ask residents whether the council should include a sum in its precept for 2020-21 to pay for extra policing and / or for a return to all-night street lighting. 

Town and parish councils are being invited to pay the electricity costs so that the Essex County Council-owned street lights in their areas can be switched back on between 1am and 5am. 

Waltham Abbey town councillors, at the council meeting on Wednesday, voted to increase the council's 2019-20 precept to £851,000 - the equivalent of a 1.5 per cent increase on the council tax bill for a Band D property (3.2p per week). 

This year the Council received the final grant award of £23,708 from the Government via Epping Forest District Council for the change in the Local Council Tax Benefit Scheme.


EPPING: Residents to be consulted over street lights

7.32am - 11th January 2019

EPPING Town Council is to ask for more information from Essex County Council and consult with residents before deciding whether to spend £13,200 to have the county council-owned street lights left on all night for a year. 

Currently the Essex County Council lights are switched off between 1am and 5am however town and parish councils can now pay the electricity cost to have the lights on throughout the night. 

For Epping Town Council, in the next financial year, it would have meant an additional 2.9 per cent increase to its precept - the equivalent of £2.53 more for a Band D householder. 

Without the additional cost for street lighting the council has agreed a 2.5 per cent precept increase (£2.18 more for Band D properties). 

Councillor Tony Church told Tuesday's council meeting: "We don't have a great deal of details. We don't know which lights, dates, there's too little information here for us tonight to make a decision. We are being asked to pay for something we have already paid for. 

"I'm not mindful that we should be paying for something that should have been provided. 

"A lot of people have raised this as a safety issue and I think we should, at a later date, be able to put this out to the people of Epping to see if this something they would be willing to pay for, over and above what they have already paid." 

He added: "I've already paid for this and I'm concerned I'm being asked to pay for it again. As a resident I would want to have a say. I do think it needs to go out to residents if we are going to be spending their money." 

Councillor Holly Whitbread, who said residents had not already paid for the lights because Essex County Council had switched them off to make budget savings, said: "I think it's really important we ask the residents if they want this." 

Councillor Hugh Pegrum said: "As we all know consultation can give answers that aren't very definitive. If you turn the lights on in a few villages and towns and leave them off in others... The county council should either have all the lights on or all the lights off. 

"If you were of a mind to commit burglary you would go somewhere where it was dark." 

Councillor Jon Whitehouse said: "It's not ideal it has come thorough so late (in the budget setting process). 

"It seems the only people not involved in the discussions so far are the town and parish councils."


LOUGHTON: PICTURES: Blue heritage plaque unveiled for Lord Murray

2.30pm - 10th January 2019


A BLUE heritage plaque in honour of Lord Murray of Epping Forest has been unveiled by Loughton Town Council at his long-time home in The Crescent, Loughton. 

Some 50 people including members of Lord Murray's family - including his son Stephen, the town and district councillor and current Loughton Town Mayor - and representatives from Loughton Methodist Church, the Christian Drama Resource Centre, the local Labour Party and neighbours gathered for the short ceremony which ended with a blessing by Trinity Church leader Ian King. 

Also attending was former TUC General Secretary Sir Brendan Barber who held the position from 2003 until his retirement in 2012, and Judy Adams from the Epping Forest Heritage Trust. 

Stephen Murray said: "29 The Crescent is an address, but for myself and my brother and two sisters it was a loving family home where mum and dad surrounded us with an unconditional supportive love and therefore 29 The Crescent is and always will be full of lovely memories." 

Lionel ‘Len’ Murray was most widely known for his trade union work and in particular for his service as General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress from 1973 until his retirement in 1984. 

Lord Murray was born in Shropshire in 1922 and attended Wellington Grammar School. He read English at London University but left early owing to the emphasis on Anglo-Saxon language.

After a short period as a school teacher he served as a lieutenant in the Shropshire Regiment during the Second World War, taking part in the Normandy D-Day landings. 

After being invalided out of the army he gained a place at New College, Oxford, where he graduated with a first in philosophy, politics and economics after just two years’ study. 

In 1945 he married Heather Woolf, and they had two sons and two daughters. 

He began his career in the TUC in 1947 as an assistant in the Economics Department, becoming General Secretary in 1973. 

In 1966 he was appointed an OBE and made a member of the Privy Council in 1976. 

In 1985 he was elevated to the peerage of Lord Murray of Epping Forest. 

Locally, he was a member of Loughton Methodist Church and Loughton and District Historical Society, and a supporter of many charities. 

The town council’s Murray Hall in Borders Lane, which opened in 2006, was named in his honour. 

Lord Murray lived in Loughton from 1954 residing at 29 The Crescent from 1967 until his death in 2004.



ONGAR: PICTURES: Police investigate arson attack on pub

1.56pm - 10th January 2019


POLICE forensics officers are sifting through the blackened interior of the Two Brewers pub in Ongar after it was targeted in an arson attack. 

Detectives launched an arson investigation following the fire which broke out at about 4.15am today.

Fire crews from Ongar and Brentwood arrived to find the ground floor heavily smoke logged. 

One person was led to safety by firefighters from the rear of the property. 

The fire was extinguished within about half-an-hour and crews used a positive pressure ventilation fan to clear the build-up of smoke from the property which has suffered smoke damage. 

A police spokesman said: "Extensive damage has been caused to the ground floor of the pub but no-one was injured. 

"We are appealing for anyone who saw or heard anything at that time or in the moments before and after.

"In particular we want to speak to anyone who saw a silver vehicle leaving the area at that time." 

Anyone with any information, or who has CCTV or dashcam footage, is asked to ring police on 101 quoting crime reference number 42/4795/19, or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.



EPPING: No objection to car showroom restaurant plan

3.39pm - 9th January 2019

PLANS to turn the vacant former Gates car showroom in High Street, Epping, into an "upmarket a la carte steak and grill" restaurant have met with no objections from the town council. 

Tuesday's planning and general purposes committee heard that 20 parking spaces - 16 for customers and four for staff - were proposed, along with a front terrace. 

Committee chairman Nigel Avey said: "It's good news that a restaurant in Epping is going to have car parking." 

Councillor Barbara Scruton asked: "Do we need another restaurant in Epping." 

Mr Avey added: "I really don't think there are any planning grounds (to object)."


EPPING: Action plea over damaged verges

2.29pm - 9th January 2019

ANOTHER attempt is to be made by Epping Town Council to find a solution to the continued damage being caused by heavy lorries to the Town Green by Epping war memorial. 

Royal British Legion member and veteran Derek Berwin has called on the council to take action to ensure such damage cannot happen in the future. 

Speaking at Tuesday's town council meeting he suggested closing the road - an option which has not been supported by the City of London Corporation - a higher than normal kerb with deep-seated posts or a knee-high metal barrier on each corner. 

Mr Berwin described the damaged being caused to the verges near the war memorial by heavy lorries turning off Lindsey Street to get to the High Street as "unfortunate" and "unbelievable". 

He said: "When people go to visit the war memorial they are walking through mud. You have to step into it or over it. I think something has got to be done about it. 

"You have to consider the amount of elderly people who go there, and on Remembrance Sunday. One day there will be an accident." 

He added the town council could also repair the damage, as it currently does, and send the bill to the City of London Corporation. 

Mr Berwin called on the council to take steps to resolve the issue "in memory of all the heroes" and urged the council: "Please come up with a workable solution before an accident happens." 

Councillor Hugh Pegrum said: "Clearly the road isn't going to get closed. That's the situation and it's unlikely to change. 

"I think we've tried bollards there in the past. If enough money was spent perhaps something could be done to stop lorries going over it, but we need the Corporation to pay for it." 

Town clerk Beverley Rumsey said she would raise the matter again with the City of London Corporation, and suggest bollards as a potential solution, and also mention the possibility of the council passing the cost of restoring the grassed area on on to the Corporation.

(Photo: Derek Berwin)


NORTH WEALD: Library campaign launched

2.29pm - 9th January 2019


A 'SAVE Your Library' campaign has been launched by North Weald Bassett Parish Council. 

North Weald Library is one of four libraries in the district earmarked for closure under Essex County Council proposals which are out for public consultation until February 20.

The High Road library also accommodates the parish council office. 

Parish council chairman Alan Buckley told Monday's council meeting: "We aim to bring everyones' attention to the dilemma we could be facing. 

"We have produced an action plan and are trying to get everything out via the media, posters and banners." 

The parish council is also compiling a database of local residents who would be interested in volunteering should the library continue as a community-run facility. 

Notices highlighting the campaign are to go up on the parish council noticeboards and banners will be put up across the Parish with residents encouraged to complete the public consultation document which is available online at www.essex.gov.uk/libraries-consultation.

A link is also available via the parish council’s website www.northweald-pc.gov.uk

The council will also consider holding a meeting and could invite the three MPs which cover the Parish as well as county councillor Susan Barker, the county council cabinet member with responsibility for libraries and who is overseeing the shake-up proposals. 

Mr Buckley added: "It's imperative we get the message across to as many people as possible."

Councillors are also raising awareness of the council's campaign and the threat facing North Weald Library with St Andrew's Primary School, The Ongar Academy, the local scouts, and with representatives of local churches and public halls. 

* Large print and Easy Read information and surveys are available via www.essex.gov.uk/libraries-consultation or by ringing 0345 603 7639 to request. You can also complete the survey over the phone using this number. 

To register interest with the parish council in becoming a community library volunteer, ring the Parish Office on 01992 523825 or email clerk@northweald-pc.gov.uk



EPPING: Council opposes laundry site homes plan

10.06am - 9th January 2019

PLANS for a development of 62 homes on the former Epping Laundry site off Bower Hill are being opposed by the town council. 

Councillors are concerned over the height of the apartment blocks and have also voiced concerns over various highways issues, including the access road.

Town clerk Beverley Rumsey told Tuesday's planning and general purposes committee the site has been earmarked for 50 homes in the district council's Local Plan and development of the same size was being suggested in the town council's Neighbourhood Plan. 

Councillor Barbara Scruton said: "We have to have a development there. I just feel this development is over-development.

"The blocks are too high, they would overlook Bower Vale, it will create problems with parking, there are already problems in that area with parking." 

Planning and general purposes committee chairman Nigel Avey said: "I think it looks very cramped. It's been absolutely maximised." 

He added: "It's futuristic. It looks cheap build. Maximise the number, Quality poor. I think we could have expected more for this prime site."

Councillor Tony Church said: "I think it's out of keeping with the area." 

Bower Hill resident Gerry Marshall, who lives opposite the existing entrance which would remain for the new development, expressed concern over traffic issues on Bower Hill regarding vehicle speed and the need for traffic calming measures.

He said Bower Hill was a "fast route" into and out of the town and said the stretch of road between Bower Terrace and Hillcrest Way should have a 20mph limit. 

Six out of the seven committee members voted to object to the application - with includes six three-bedroom houses with total parking for 63 vehicles - with one abstention. 

The council's objection refers to the bulk design of the development which councillors concerned out of keeping with the area, its cramped appearance, the height of the apartment blocks and issues over access and traffic and infrastructure implications for Bower Hill.


NORTH WEALD: Council votes against paying for all-night street lights

9.59am - 9th January 2019

NORTH Weald Bassett Parish Council has voted unanimously not to pay Essex County Council £10,243.05 to keep the county council-managed street lights on all night for a year. 

The money would mean the county council's lights which are currently turned off between 1am and 5am would be turned back on throughout the night. 

The 110 street lights which are the responsibility of the parish council are not affected by the proposed funding arrangement. These have always remained lit throughout the night. 

Councillor Nigel Bedford told Monday's council meeting: "We shouldn't spend £10,000. I travel into the village late at night when the lights are off and I don't see what difference it will make to safety and security (if they are turned back on). 

"That £10,000 would be better spent on other projects." 

Councillor Anne Grigg said she was not aware of any "strong representation" that residents want the lights back on. 

Councillor Baden Clegg said: "Theydon Bois has no street lights and it's not statistically proven that there is any increase in the crime rate in Theydon Bois than living in Epping. 

"It (the council being asked to fund other services) will just go on and on and on. We are asked to fund a police person, the library - what will we do next? Will we be asked to repair the roads?

"I'm dead against this. We are absolutely strapped (and increasing the precept) and any further increase to the precept I'm dead against.".


NORTH WEALD: Parish council increases precept

9.52am - 9th January 2019

NORTH Weald Bassett Parish Council has voted to increase its share of council tax bills for 2019-20 - with the total rising by about £13 a year for a Band D property. 

Councillors set the precept figure for 2019-20 of £219,256. 

Additional items for the next financial year include:

£15,000 - for a contingency fund for the future provision of North Weald Library and the Parish Council offices for a period of one year

£5,000 - into a rolling programme fund (currently standing at £5,000) to replace older street lights when necessary 

£2,500 - for a parish council-run handyman scheme which would be match-funded by the Essex Association of Local Councils' Local Services Fund

£2,000 - to fund two Special Constables for the Parish (these are not expected to be in place for 12 months pending recruitment and training)

£1,500 - for a 'buffer' barrier around the ends of, and on, the low wall outside the parade of shops in High Road, North Weald 

£805 - for a speed gun for use throughout the parish council's area by Community Speedwatch volunteers, with the possibility of hiring the camera to other parish councils 

£170 - for two 'Play in the Park' events - one at Queens Hall, North Weald, and one at Thornwood Common 

£50 - a donation to Essex and Herts Air Ambulance towards the cost of running the service.


NORTH WEALD: No objection to car storage area

9.36am - 9th January 2019

A CHANGE of use planning application to allow the storage of 150 cars on North Weald Airfield has met with no objection from North Weald Bassett Parish Council. 

Monday's parish council planning committee meeting heard that Trans City Autos wants to store the vehicles on land near Merlin Way and Rayley Lane before they are moved to company premises to be sold. 

Councillor George Mulliner said: "They (the cars) are visible but they are not an eyesore."


EXCLUSIVE: DISTRICT: Town and parish councils face £125,000 bill to keep street lights on

4.23pm - 7th January 2019

FIGURES obtained by Everything Epping Forest reveal that 14 town and parish councils across the district would have to pay a combined total of over £125,000 a year to keep their county council-owned street lights on all night. 

Five of the councils would each have to pay a five-figure sum for all-night street lights. 

A figure of almost £34,000 has been quoted for Loughton Town Council while Waltham Abbey Town Council would have to find £27,236.75. 

Chigwell Parish Council's bill would be £16,136.96; Epping Town Council would have to pay £13,200.05, North Weald Bassett Parish Council £10,243.05 and Ongar Town Council £4,903.85, the breakdown of figures reveal. 

Town and parish councils in Epping Forest are being given the option of paying to have the lights on through the night following close working between Epping Forest District Council, Epping Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing, the police and Essex County Council. 

District council leader Chris Whitbread said the talks began following residents' concerns over the through-the-night switch off. 

Speaking at the last full district council meeting, he said: "I hope our town and parish councils will respond positively as community safety is a responsibility of all tiers of local government in our district."

North Weald Bassett Parish Council will discuss the costs at a meeting this evening while Epping town councillors are holding an extraordinary meeting tomorrow. 

The full figures are: 

Abridge 784.43; Buckhurst Hill £12,314.44; Chigwell £16,136.96; Epping £13,200.05; Fyfield £619.20; Loughton £33,840.74; Matching £30.70; Nazeing £1,395.38; North Weald £10,243.05; Ongar £4,903.85; Roydon £824.44; Sheering £3,364.68; Stapleford Abbotts £172.74; Waltham Abbey £27,236.75. 

Epping Forest District Council, which has written to all of the councils detailing the costs involved, has told Everything Epping Forest it understands the figures are in relation to electricity only, and no other maintenance charges will be made.


ONGAR: Investigation launched into crash

9.41am - 5th January 2019


A POLICE investigation is underway into the circumstances surrounding a crash in Ongar which left a trail of destruction with a fence, wall and two cars damaged. 

Police were called at 12.30am today following reports of a collision on Coopers Hill. 

A police spokesman told Everything Epping Forest: "An investigation is ongoing into the circumstances but it is believed a blue Mercedes was involved in a collision with the wall of a property and a red Nissan parked at a second property, which subsequently collided with a wall." 

Police officers attended the scene and one man, the driver of the Mercedes, was treated by paramedics at the scene before being taken to hospital. His injuries are not thought to be serious, police said. 

Anyone with any information about the incident can ring officers at the Chigwell Roads Policing Unit on 101.



EPPING: Club 195 licence suspended

3.45pm - 4th January 2019

THE Club 195 nightspot bar in Epping has had its licence suspended with immediate effect with police to request it is revoked. 

Police have expressed concern about "incidents of violence at, or in the vicinity of, the premises". 

Two incidents happened in the early hours of New Year's Day. 

A man was stabbed in the stomach after a "verbal exchange" with a group of men on the dance floor at about 1.20am, and then about two hours later a man was assaulted outside. 

He was knocked unconscious and lost several teeth. 

Later, at about 3.30am, police received reports of an assault in the street outside the club, which left a teenager unconscious and with several teeth missing. 

Essex Police today applied for a review of the licence following "a number of incidents across 2018".

Epping Forest District Council’s licensing sub-committee has suspended the licence with immediate effect. 

A full hearing to review Club 195’s licence will take place in due course - a full hearing has to be held within the next 28 days. 

At the hearing Essex Police will ask for the licence to be revoked. 

Club 195, on its website, describes itself as "the most credible and trendiest club in Essex, combining the decadence of the West End with some of the most prestigious clubbing brands in the world". 

It adds that since 2003 "we've offered the most elite Saturday night out in Essex, with an influential crowd and the chance to mix and mingle with more celebrities than any other club in the area. 

"Renowned for our impeccable service, style and taste we also have the most advanced Funktion-One sound system in the area to get your dancing groove on to. 

"Catering for an over-18'S crowd every Saturday night, we offer something for everyone, from our iconic LED dance floor, to more secluded areas in the VIP and cocktail bar." 

No date has yet been set for the full licensing hearing.


ONGAR: New councillors wanted on 'come and try' basis

8.02am - 4th January 2019

ONGAR Town Council - with three councillor vacancies - is inviting local residents to put themselves forward for co-option until the elections next May. 

Vacancies exist in the Chipping Ongar ward, following the death of Janet Bicknell, in the Marden Ash ward following the resignation of Patrick Bolden and in the Greensted ward after Nathan Fletcher resigned. 

Locum town clerk Michael Letch said: "As the council is within six months of an election there is no requirement to continue advertising for co-option. 

"Although any co-optee would have to stand down (and seek re-election) in May 2019, there is an opportunity for someone who is unsure about joining a council to do so at low risk. 

"If they don’t like it there is no reason to stand for election and if they do, it is always easier to get re-elected as a sitting candidate. 

"This 'try-before-you-buy' might appeal to some." 

Anyone interested in becoming a councillor, and would like to know more about what it involves, can attend a council meeting on the third Thursday of the month or for an informal discussion with the clerk or a councillor, ring the council office on 01277 365348 or email clerk@ongartowncouncil.gov.uk


EPPING: Steak and grill restaurant plan for car showroom

1.44pm - 3rd January 2019

PLANS to convert the former Gates car showroom in Epping High Street into an "upmarket a la carte steak and grill restaurant" will be considered by town councillors next week. 

A change of use planning application for the ground and first floor of the showroom building - with a new shopfront and balustrade to a roof terrace - has been submitted to Epping Forest District Council. 

It is proposed that the restaurant would be open from noon until 11pm with parking for 20 vehicles provided on-site - four for staff and 16 for customers. 

A document submitted as part of the planning application states: "The change of use ... would provide a new restaurant to Epping, where it would complement the primary shopping frontage designation, extend the town centre to a ‘edge’ destination and meet the needs not only of the immediate vicinity and town centre location but the needs of the surrounding areas." 

The application will be considered by the town council's planning and general purposes committee on Tuesday before a final decision is taken by the district council.


#EEF999LIVE: CHIGWELL: Medals stolen in burglary

12.50pm - 3rd January 2019

FIVE medals awarded by the Royal Ocean Racing Club were among the items stolen during a burglary in Chigwell. 

The break-in at a property in Mount Pleasant Road happened between Thursday, December 27, and Saturday, December 29.

 Also taken were two televisions, a laptop, jewellery and an engraved silver Zippo lighter. 

Anyone with any information is asked to ring Loughton CID on 101, quoting crime reference 42/190728/18, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


#EEF999LIVE: BUCKHURST HILL: Armed raid on post office

12.26pm - 3rd January 2019

TWO men, one armed with a hammer, robbed the post office in Queens Road, Buckhurst Hill. 

Police say the pair went into the shop shortly before 1pm yesterday (Wednesday) and shouted at two members of staff. 

The man with the hammer leapt over the counter before demanding cash. The other then began filling a bag with cash. 

They both ran off towards the railway underpass into Lower Queens Road. 

The men are described as white and wearing tracksuits with the hoods up. One had a scarf across his face. 

Anyone with information is asked to ring Loughton CID, quoting crime reference 42/793/19, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


EPPING: Appeal after stabbing and assault

8.44am - 2nd January 2019

POLICE are appealing for information following two incidents - a stabbing and an assault - in Epping.

Officers initially attended the town following reports that a teenager had been in a verbal exchange with a group of men on the dance floor of Club 195 shortly before 1.20am on New Year's Day morning. 

He was stabbed once in the stomach and the group of men left the dance floor. 

The victim was yesterday described as being in a stable condition in hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening or life-changing. 

A knife was recovered from a street nearby and will be sent away for forensic testing. 

Police say it is unknown if this was the weapon used in the attack. 

Later, at about 3.30am, police received reports of an assault in the street outside the club, which left a teenager unconscious and with several teeth missing. 

Enquiries are ongoing. 

Police do not believe the two incidents are linked but would encourage anyone who was celebrating New Year’s Eve at Club 195 to ring Loughton CID on 101 and quote crime reference number 42/156/19 for the stabbing or 42/161/19 for the assault. 

Information can also be given via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


DISTRICT: MP welcomes Essex Police £23m funding boost

8.42am - 2nd January 2019

EPPING Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing has welcomed the announcement that funding for Essex Police will increase by £23m next year - an 8.3 per cent rise - but says more officers are still needed. 

Dame Eleanor has also welcomed the Home Office’s commitment to fighting serious and organised crime, including economic crime and drug trafficking, with a £90m investment in national, regional and local capabilities. 

Additionally, the settlement will again see £175m going into the Police Transformation Fund, which includes investment for innovative new crime prevention techniques and a new national welfare service for front-line officers, and £495m for national police technology capabilities. 

Dame Eleanor said: "The Government have listened to our concerns. We need additional police officers in Essex - and now we will get them. 

"The Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst has done very well in using his budget carefully and increasing the number of officers by 150 this year - but we still need more." 

She added: "I am delighted that Essex Police's funding could increase by up to £23m next year."