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EPPING: Pick Your Own area launched

12.31pm - 18th April 2018

A 'PICK Your Own' area has been planted outside Epping Sports Centre thanks to the efforts of Epping in Bloom, Epping Forest youth councillors and Epping Forest Volunteer Police Cadets. 

The youngsters gave up their last day of half term to help Epping in Bloom chairman Victoria Robertson and member Sonny Bazzoni plant out the new herb planters which were purchased with some of the funding received through the Tesco Bags of Help initiative. 

Victoria said: "We encourage residents to pop along and help themselves. 

"The planters are filled with lots of fresh herbs including rosemary, thyme and coriander, as well as beetroot and lettuce. 

"They will be looked after and maintained by the Epping Forest District Council community health and well-being team." 

For details about how to become a member of Epping in Bloom email Eppinginbloom@gmail.com


EPPING: Bowls club launches new season

9.02am - 18th April 2018

EPPING Bowls Club celebrated the launch of the new season with Epping Forest District Council chairman Dave Stallan and Peter Minoletti, from the Grange Farm Trust. 

Club captains Ron Perryman and Lorraine Mead thanked both organisations for recent grant aid funding that has enabled the club to replace twos mowers. 

Ribbons were cut for the official opening and both men fired bowls across the green to before members enjoyed their first roll up of the season. 

Mr Stallan said: "Being able to come along and see the fruits of our grant funding on the first day of the new season was a great pleasure. 

"We are happy to contribute to the new equipment and wish the club all the very best for the future." 

Mr Minoletti, a trustee of Grange Farm Trust and responsible for grants, said: "We are very pleased to provide funding towards the new mowers which we know will make a big difference to the future of the club.

"A focus for the Trust is to support local community groups and this is an excellent example." 

Men’s Captain Ron Perryman said: "We are absolutely delighted to receive this funding which marks a new beginning for the club. 

"We are off the beaten track so it’s good to be able to celebrate in style and promote the joy of playing bowls to a wider audience." 

Epping Bowls Club was established in 1911 and is based at Lower Bury Lane, opposite Epping St John’s School’s back entrance. 

The club is keen to recruit new members. Free 'Come & Try' days will be held on Sunday, April 29, and Sunday, May 27 (10.30am-3.30pm). Participants need to take flat-soled, trainer-type shoes. 

For more details, visit www.eppingbowlsclub.co.uk

PICTURE (Photo by Stephen Pover)


LOUGHTON: Pioneering online music exams launched

3.27pm - 17th April 2018

A COMPANY launched by the director of Loughton Music Academy is enabling guitarists to take their exams online - whenever and wherever they want. 

Cliff Cooper who founded Online Music exams has recently partnered with Orange Amplification to bring about what it describes as "the world's first fully accredited rock guitar exam system" which offers practical, accessible, affordable exams delivering significant benefits for student and tutors alike.

Designed and delivered by the specialist music teaching team at Online Music Exams, the online rock guitar exam platform features a range of benefits in comparison to traditional exam systems. 

Guitarists save money with all nine grades worth of course material downloadable for free, backing tracks and aural tests are included for free and there are fewer exams with a new tier system reducing the number of exams from nine (debut to grade 8) to three. 

There is also less pressure as the exams can be taken wherever and whenever the musicians want, so no more examination windows to feel pressured by. 

There is no need to travel to exam centres as the exams can be taken anywhere, even in the comfort of your home. 

Musicians also have more choice. 

They can choose any pieces they like to play within grade parameters and results will be available in days rather than weeks. 

Prompt retakes are available along with comprehensive marking sheets with advice for improvement. 

The online exams have been approved and registered on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) and the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) with OFQUAL. 

This has been enabled through Orange Amplifications partnership with Online Music Exams and The Learning Machine. 

Cliff Cooper, who founded Loughton Music Academy 13 years ago, said: "This easy to use online exam system enables students to progress their guitar playing in a secure, comfortable, reduced stress environment at their own pace. 

"When the students are ready they can take the exam completely online which is captured via video recordings. 

"Once completed, these recordings are automatically uploaded to the examiner who will mark and grade the exam.

 "This revolutionary new exam scheme, combined with Orange’s passion for both music and education offers more people than ever a pragmatic, comprehensive, inexpensive and user friendly way to learn and develop their guitar playing. I believe education should not come at a price and should not increase with inflation. 

"Education is what the world needs and if we start pricing students out of education we will start going backwards and the divide between people who can afford it and who can’t, will widen. 

"We need to develop a sustainable future for our next generation so that everyone can have access to quality education."

The new online music exams, when combined with the online syllabus means all learning materials are available online, free, significantly reducing costs to students and teachers and making it much more environmentally sustainable. 

The system provides immense flexibility, enabling exams to be taken when and where they feel most comfortable. 

Mr Cooper said: "We are using technology to help the student and the teacher to reach their goals quicker and with less financial burdens. 

"I hope and believe what we are achieving and have achieved so far will help return control to the teacher, making music learning more sustainable and more viable not just for the UK, but for the world." 

The new initiative has been welcomed by Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing. 

She said: "I would like to congratulate Cliff on this great step forward which opens up new and important opportunities for guitarists. 

"It is brilliant to be able to use new technology so effectively. "I have always been very impressed by the work done at Loughton Music Academy and am proud that we have such a high-achieving organisation in Loughton." 

To find out more about the Orange Guitar Syllabus and to download it for free, visit https://orangeamps.com/learn/

To find out more about Online Music Exams visit https://onlinemusicexams.org/


DISTRICT: Citizens Advice seeks new trustees

8.48am - 17th April 2018

CITIZENS Advice Epping Forest District is seeking new trustees - people who have a clear understanding of the needs of the local area. 

The successful applicants will join the Trustee Board to help oversee and develop the local service. 

The board meets usually four times a year. 

For more information and to apply ring trustee Alison McBrayne on 020 8504 2491 or email alison@mcbrayne.idps.co.uk


DISTRICT: Airbus makes emergency return to Heathrow

3.54pm - 16th April 2018

A BRITISH Airways Airbus has been forced to make an emergency return to Heathrow after experiencing an "emergency" over the Epping Forest district. 

It is the second time in five days that the flight has been forced to make an unexpected return to Heathrow, according to social media reports. 

Flight maps on social media show that today's flight - flight number BA766 - turned back close to the Epping area. 

Posts on social media also report that a flight with the same number - but a different aircraft - also had to return to Heathrow after encountering an "emergency" on April 11. 

It remains unknown why today's flight declared an emergency.


#EEF999LIVE: SHEERING: Three injured in crash

8.19am - 16th April 2018

A VAN driver suffered serious injuries and two ambulance staff suffered minor injuries when their ambulance collided with a Vauxhall Combo van in Sheering.

The collision happened outside Sheering Newsagents and Post Office in The Street shortly after 10.10am on Saturday. 

Police say that as a result of the collision, the van then struck a parked Citroen C4 Cactus which was pushed into a parked Mazda 3. 

The van driver, a 61-year-old man from Harlow, was airlifted to the Royal London Hospital with serious injuries. 

The two ambulance staff - who were responding to an emergency call at the time - suffered minor injuries. Enquiries are continuing into the circumstances of the collision. 

Anyone who saw the collision or was driving in the area at the time and has dash cam footage is asked to ring Pc Mark Turner at the Chigwell Roads Policing Unit on 101.


EPPING: Council presents awards

2.43pm - 14th April 2018

THE "superb" work carried out to refurbish a property in High Street, Epping, has been recognised with Epping Town Council's Civic Award. 

A Certificate of Merit was presented to Linda Wolfinger in appreciation of the work carried out at Dylan House, near Epping Methodist Church. 

The award, presented by Town Mayor councillor Tony Church at Friday's annual town meeting, is "in recognition of a well designed building created using sympathetic materials which complements and enhances the street scene". 

Mr Church said It has been superbly changed. It's modern inside but has kept its exterior." Owner Linda Wolfinger said: "It's nice to know our efforts have been appreciated." 

The meeting also saw the presentation of the town council's best kept allotment award, for its Meadow Road plots, to Bill Towers. 

Mr Towers received a framed certificate, and a £20 prize which he has donated to the Mayor's chosen charity for the year, the Epping and District branch of the Royal British Legion. 

Mr. P. Hockley will be presented with his award, given to the best kept Lower Bury Lane plot, at a later date.

The meeting included a report on the civic year from Town Mayor councillor Tony Church and a report on local planning matters and the town council's Neighbourhood Plan from planning and general purposes committee chairman and Deputy Mayor councillor Nigel Avey. 

Town and district councillor Holly Whitbread gave a presentation on the work being undertaken by the town and district councils to target anti-social behaviour.

 Liz Jones spoke about the history of St Margaret's Hospital and the fundraising work of the League of Friends since its formation in 1949 while Janet Whitehouse reported on the efforts being made to highlight dementia in the district through the establishment of a Dementia Friendly Alliance..


Bill Towers receives his best kept allotment award from Epping Mayor councillor Tony Church CLICK HERE

 Linda Wolfinger and her partner Effi Jonjinski receive the Civic Award Certificate of Merit for the work carried out at Dylan House in Epping High Street from Town Mayor councillor Tony Church CLICK HERE


DISTRICT: Pipe Band leads RAF celebrations

9.29am - 14th April 2018

THE Epping Forest Pipe Band has lead the parade for the RAF Association in Chingford to mark the RAF's 100-year anniversary. 

Anyone interested in learning the bagpipes or drums, from age 11 upwards, can ring Pipe Major Simon Bredin on 07974 666956 for more information.

For pictures click here and here


EPPING: Blue plaque unveiled

2.14pm - 13th April 2018

A BLUE plaque commemorating Sir William Addison, the local historian, author and magistrate, has been unveiled on the block of apartments which have been built on the site of Epping Magistrates Court. 

The plaque, at The Old Court House development, was unveiled by Epping Town Mayor councillor Tony Church at a ceremony attended by guests including councillors and members of Epping Society. 

Sir William Addison was a historian for both the Epping Forest district and Epping Forest. 

He was also a prolific author who wrote more than 20 books relating to the history of the area, of Epping Forest, place and family names as well as local buildings. 

Sir William also had a keen interest in the preservation of the forest and was made a Verderer of Epping Forest. 

He was also fascinated with archaeology and historic buildings and chaired many historical and archaeological societies. 

Sir William became president of the Friends of Essex Churches, was vice-president of the Association of Genealogists and Record Agents as well as being on the Council for the Protection of Rural England. 

He also wrote on the Victoria County History of Essex. 

He was also a Magistrate for more than 25 years and served as Chairman of the Council of the Magistrates' Association. In 1973 he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Essex by the Queen and was knighted for all his services in 1974. 

Mr Church said: "I had the great privilege of meeting him through my father, before Sir William passed away in 1992 aged 86.

"It is therefore a great honour to be able to unveil this plaque to celebrate and recognise the great achievements Sir William carried out for Epping and the forest." 

Mr Church thanked Marden Homes for allowing the plaque to be placed on the building and for partly funding the plaque, and David Lodge who had campaigned for Sir William's links with the town and the area to be recognised. 

Mr Church also thanked town and district councillor Holly Whitbread for the efforts she had put in to help get the plaque agreed and put up, and thanked Town Clerk Beverley Rumsey and other town council staff for arranging the unveiling which took place on Thursday afternoon.



NORTH WEALD: Battle of Britain squadron to be given Freedom of the District

2.37pm - 12th April 2018

A SQUADRON which was based at North Weald Airfield during the Battle of Britain is to be given the Freedom of the District as part of celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of the RAF. 

By the outbreak of war in 1939, 56 Squadron was equipped with the new Hawker Hurricane fighters with which North Weald was to become most closely associated.

The Hurricanes of 56 Squadron covered the retreat from Dunkirk and were among the first committed to what became known as the 'Battle of Britain'. 

By the time 56 Squadron finally transferred to RAF Duxford via Martlesham Heath, Suffolk, in June 1941 it had been based at North Weald Airfield for 14 years, the longest association of any squadron with North Weald. 

The Freedom of the District will be conferred on 56 Squadron at a district council meeting in the council chamber at the Civic Offices, Epping, on Tuesday, April 24 (7pm) while the honour will be publicly recognised at a community event with a parade and flypast in North Weald on Sunday, June 10. 

The event is set to begin with serving and former members of 56 Squadron, escorted by Epping Forest Pipe Band, exercise the right to parade through North Weald Bassett from North Weald Village Hall to the Airfield Gate Guardian via the Airfield Memorial and Debt of Honour. 

Rolling road closures will minimise disruption to traffic during the march. 

Members of 56 Squadron will be greeted at the airfield by the chairman of Epping Forest District Council and other civic dignitaries. 

After a parade inspection with a senior representative of the RAF, residents will be invited to take picnics and enjoy an afternoon of musical entertainment provided by various bands. 

Food and drink will also be on sale. 

The Lord Lieutenant, High Sheriff, MPs and county, district and parish councillors as well as members of the Royal British Legion, veteran associations will be invited. 

Attendance at the parade, entry to the event and music will be free. 

The RAF is submitting a bid to get the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight's Spitfire and Hurricane will perform a fly pass over the airfield during the event.


ONGAR: Plenty planned for Ongar Town Festival  

1.57pm - 12th April 2018

A PETANQUE tournament and a host of stalls are just some of the attractions which will form part of the Ongar Town Festival on Sunday, May 6. 

The event, organised by the Ongar Twinning Association, will be officially opened at the Pleasance car park, next to the library, at 9.45am. 

There will be refreshments available throughout the day. 

Attractions will also include a treasure hunt, a 'kids zone' with trampolines and a ball pit, and an art workshop hosted by Zinc Arts. 

The petanque tournament is set to feature more than 100 players. 

Craft stalls will be manned in the Budworth Hall while entertainment will be provided by local music and dance groups and schools.

Ongar Town Council's Jubilee Park, at Love Lane, will be hosting activities while the Epping Ongar Railway will also be opened during the day. 

The event, sponsored by Montagues lettings and sales, runs until 5pm. 

The town council is providing childrens donkey rides in the nature reserve at the bottom of Ongar High Street from noon until 4pm with rides costing £3 each (or two for £5).


DISTRICT: Council seeks grant applications 

9.43am - 11th April 2018

EPPING Forest District Council has set aside £83,450 to award in grants to community and voluntary organisations. 

Grants of up to £5,000 are available for community groups to help improve the health and wellbeing of the district's residents. 

The funding can be spent on projects to improve facilities, such as equipment purchase, capital projects and new initiatives. 

The grants are available for voluntary and community groups, sports clubs, arts and culture groups, trusts, social enterprises and community interest groups 

Groups must be charitable and/or non-profit making, based, or be active, in the Epping Forest district, provide services to meet key needs within the district, be non-political and can show clear aims and objectives and effective strategies for achieving these. 

They must also have considered alternative funding sources or put forward schemes as part of ‘match’ funding proposals, be able to show a clear need for financial support, and have a bank or building account in the name of the applicant organisation. 

Council chairman David Stallan said: "We really appreciate the work the voluntary and community sector does in the district. 

"In tough economic times the need for groups to receive funding and support from the council goes up and I look forward to seeing how our grants are spent to help the lives of those in our community."

For more details click here, email grantaid@eppingforestdc.gov.uk, or write for a hard copy of the application form to Community and Grants Officer, Epping Forest District Council, 25 Hemnall Street, Epping, CM16 4LU.


LOUGHTON: Loughton Art Trail gets National Lottery boost 

8.48am - 11th April 2018

LOUGHTON Art Trail has received a £10,000 grant from the National Lottery’s Big Lottery Fund.

Organisers say the donation will enable the Trail, which takes place from May 12 until June 2 to be "bigger and better than ever".

Loughton Art Trail, part of Loughton Festival, is a feast of visual arts around the town, with a programme of pop-up displays, events, and hands-on activities. 

The grant will be used to create a young people’s art camp and develop a social media presence for the Trail. 

Further information is available at the Trail website www.loughtonarttrail.co.uk or on the Trail’s Facebook page.


THORNWOOD: Call for action over traffic speed 

2.30pm - 10th April 2018

CALLS are being made for action to be taken over traffic speed through Thornwood, between the M11 and Epping.

Residents and North Weald Bassett Parish Council want something done after it was highlighted that there are five different speed limits on the stretch of road between the M11 roundabout at Hastingwood and Epping. 

One resident told Monday's parish council meeting residents are "taking their life into their own hands" when they cross the road. 

He said: "Cars aren't doing 60mph they are doing 70mph and God knows what." 

Another said the current situation is "an accident waiting to happen." 

Councillor Terry Blanks said: "We are aware of the problems but we are not the ones who make the decisions. Enforcement comes down basically to cameras or police, and you won't get police. 

"There should be one speed limit (from Woodford to the M11)." 

Councillor Baden Clegg said: "On each occasion this parish council has objected to things like Screwfix (at Popplewells on High Road, Thornwood) and the intensification of the Camp at the bottom of Woodside, Essex County Council highways have said they have no concern. 

"We don't believe it but we get it all the time."

Residents were told they need to write individual letters and send it to their district and county councillors to highlight the issue which the parish council is to raise with the Local Highways Panel.


NORTH WEALD: Council to purchase salt bin for school 

2.24pm - 10th April 2018

NORTH Weald Bassett Parish Council is to purchase a salt bin and the first delivery of salt to try and ensure that St Andrew's Primary School in the village can open in wintry weather. 

Councillors have received a guarantee that the bin will be housed within the school grounds. 

Monday's parish council meeting heard the school would look to raise funds for future supplies of salt.


NORTH WEALD: Council presents 'Lifetime Contribution' award 

2.13pm - 10th April 2018

A 'LIFETIME Contribution' Award has been presented by North Weald Bassett Parish Council to Derek Tringham in recognition of his years of service to the Parish. 

Mr Tringham is president of the North Weald branch of the Royal British Legion and has been involved with, and supported, numerous groups within the community over many years. 

Mr Tringham was elected a parish councillor in 1992 and during his time as a councillor served on various committees including planning and the Queens Hall and Memorial Playing Fields Committees.

He is also a past chairman of North Weald Village Hall and is president of the North Weald Radio Station Bowls Club.

Mr Tringham was also instrumental, as chairman of 3rd North Weald Scouts, in getting the scout headquarters hut built. 

Every year he makes a special appearance as ‘Father Christmas’ at the Norway House Christmas Party. 

The presentation was made by parish council chairman Alan Buckley at Monday's parish council meeting. 

Mr Buckley said: "On behalf of North Weald and the parish council we owe you a great debt of gratitude.".



DISTRICT: Cathedral performance for Epping Forest Pipe Band

1.38pm - 10th April 2018

THE Epping Forest Pipe Band has performed at St Paul's Cathedral in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal. 

The performance was part of the commemoration of 175 years of HM Prison Pentonville. 

The Band is always looking to recruit new members, aged 11 upwards. The Band teaches beginners so no experience is necessary. 

For more details ring Pipe Major Simon Bredin on 07974 666956.



LOUGHTON: Thanksgiving service for Lady Murray of Epping Forest

12.42pm - 9th April 2018

A THANKSGIVING service to celebrate the life of Lady Heather Murray of Epping Forest will be held at Loughton Methodist Church, High Road, Loughton, on Thursday, April 26, at 2pm. 

The service will be led by Rev'd Leslie Griffiths (Lord Griffiths of Burry Port), a former minister of the church.

Lady Murray's son Stephen said: "The family extends a warm welcome to all who knew mum. The service will be a thanksgiving of her life and her contribution to our local community."


LOUGHTON: Development of 105 flats on site of three houses recommended for approval

12.12pm - 9th April 2018

A DEVELOPMENT of 105 elderly persons flats with 64 parking spaces on the site of three houses in Alderton Hill, Loughton, is being recommended for approval by district council planning officers. 

The recommendation for approval comes despite some 204 letters of objection - and 28 in support - having been sent to Epping Forest District Council. 

Among the objectors are Loughton Town Council which says the development is "too large" for the plot which is an "unsuitable location in Loughton for such a development". 

The application is to demolish the houses at 13, 15 and 15A Alderton Hill and build linked blocks of 105 elderly persons apartments with integrated care facilities with supporting amenity facilities, 64 car spaces in 'undercroft parking' at the rear and south side of the block. 

Essex County Council highways says the proposal will not be detrimental to highway safety, capacity or efficiency adding: "From a highway and transportation perspective the impact of the proposal is acceptable..."

A district council planning officer's report states: "It is acknowledged that the design and mass of the proposed buildings is different from the remainder of Alderton Hill. 

"However this site has different physical characteristics and surroundings to the remainder of Alderton Hill and the proposal would therefore not set an undesirable precedent for similar development elsewhere in the in this road. 

"The proposed scheme, with amendments, does not significantly detract from the amenities of neighbours." 

A decision will be made by councillors at the area planning committee on Wednesday, April 18.


#EEF999LIVE: NORTH WEALD: Two boys, 14, arrested over car theft

8.52am - 9th April 2018

TWO 14-year-old boys have been arrested after a car was stolen from North Weald and followed by police to Loughton. 

Police say they received a call from the owner of the car at about 3.35am yesterday (Sunday) after the Vauxhall Mokka, with the licence plate BP14 UTO, was stolen from School Green Lane. 

Officers saw the car in convoy with another vehicle travelling through Epping and into Loughton. 

Officers followed the cars into Firs Drive, Loughton, where the other vehicle blocked officers’ way before the people inside decamped. 

Two 14 year-old boys, from Ilford, were arrested a short time later on suspicion of burglary and theft. 

They remained in custody yesterday afternoon. 

Police are still searching for the Vauxhall Mokka which was driven off. 
Anyone who sees the car or has any other information about the incident is asked to ring police on 101 quoting crime reference number 42/47420/18, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


COOPERSALE: Play area opened

9.31am - 8th April 2018

EPPING Town Council has officially opened a new play area on the Parklands estate in Coopersale.

The occasion was marked with a ribbon cutting performed by Town Mayor Tony Church. 

Town councillors and council staff were joined at Friday's event by dozens of children who now regularly use the play equipment. 

The £28,000 playground has been funded by Epping Town Council which has included a wide variety of equipment to cater for a mix of age groups.



ONGAR: Poster campaign for donkey rides

7.42am - 6th April 2018

ONGAR Town Council is to undertake a poster campaign to promote its children's donkey rides at the nature reserve at the bottom of Ongar High Street at the Ongar Town Festival. 

Councillors are to get town council office staff to produce 20 A3 posters to publicise the rides on Sunday, May 6, and distribute them to schools, Sainsbury's, Tesco Express, the medical centre, leisure centre and display them on the council's noticeboards, as well as further afield including High Ongar. 

Councillors will sell tickets at the nature reserve on the day. 

The planning and environment, public relations and open spaces committee last night decided against selling tickets at other festival venues, which will include Jubilee Park and the Pleasance car park. 

The donkeys will be available between noon and 4pm with rides costing £3 each (£5 for two rides). 

The venture is the idea of committee chairman Lawrence Mendoza who told the meeting he was keen to attract more people to the nature reserve. 

Councillor Bruce Freeman told the meeting: "It will be well manured anyway." 

The council has arranged to repeat the donkey rides on Sunday, June 3.

The council's insurance company has declined to insure the donkey rides against cancellation do to inclement weather. 

Mr Mendoza is to ask local scouts if they will be available to help steward the rides on May 6.


NORTH WEALD: Approval for homeless accommodation 'pods'

8.39am - 5th April 2018

A PROPOSAL to house 'vulnerable' homeless people in steel container-type 'pods' has been given the go-ahead by Epping Forest District Council. 

The council wants to site three of the 'pods' in the grounds of Norway House, its accommodation for homeless people in North Weald. 

Six people will be housed in the containers which will each have bedsit facilities and bathrooms, and a shared kitchen. 

Councillors raised concerns over the proposal to locate the 'pods' next to Norway House, which was given listed building status several years ago after it was the officers' mess for RAF North Weald during the Second World War. 

District council planning officer Jill Shingler, addressing last night's planning committee, described the units as "pretty basic" adding that it was considered they would have no adverse impact on the adjoining nature reserve. 

She said the "main issue" is the design and impact on listed Norway House. 

She added: "Perhaps not an ideal solution but the impact from outside the site will be minimal." 

North Weald parish councillor Terry Blanks, speaking as a long-time resident of North Weald questioned the location, the impact of the 'pods' on a site which already accommodates chalets for homeless people, the £345,000 cost of the scheme and the shared kitchen facilities. 

Referring to a district council cabinet report from March last year, he stated that the district council was proposing £5,000 to provide heightened security. 

Parish council planning committee chairman Baden Clegg told the meeting the parish council recognised the need for additional homeless accommodation in the district but raised concerns over the proposed location and the cost. 

Dan Jenkins, speaking as planning agent for the district council, said the 'pods' would be locally sourced from a company based on nearby North Weald Airfield and would have smooth metal panels powder coated blue-grey - however the colour was questioned by councillor Dave Stallan who said the suggested colour would make the 'pods' stand out even more. 

Mr Jenkins added the 'pods' were considered better homeless accommodation than bed and breakfast and the cheaper cost would mean a 'pay back' period of about 5.3 years. 

Councillor Jon Whitehouse suggested a temporary permission, which was agreed to be ten years. Councillor Dave Stallan opposed the idea saying his views were solely on the impact the 'pods' would have on the listed building. 

Councillor Heather Brady said: "It (Norway House) in its own right is an atttactive building. The (existing) storage shed isn't great but two storage containers piled on top of one another will look far less attractive.

"If this was anyone other than the district council asking to put a storage container next to a listed building I'm sure it wouldn't have been put forward for approval." 

She added she understood there is a need for homeless accommodation but said the 'pods' would be "a blot on the landscape". 

Councillor John Philip said he had seen similar buildings outside the district and said they "fit in quite well". 

He added: "I think this is a good solution and probably the best place on this site to put them." 

The application, with the ten-year 'temporary' permission, was agreed by eight votes to three with one abstention.


LOUGHTON: Death announced of Lady Murray of Epping Forest

12.35pm - 4th April 2018

THE death has been announced of Lady Heather Murray of Epping Forest who died at her family home in Loughton on Tuesday morning aged 94 surrounded by her family. 

Lady Murray had lived in Loughton since the early 1950s. She leaves four children - Nicola, Sarah, Stephen and David -six grandchildren and two great grandchildren. 

Her son, long-serving Loughton town and district councillor Stephen Murray, speaking on behalf of her family, said: "Mum was everything we could want from a mother, extremely loving and very supportive of her large extended family but she was still able to find time for her very extensive and considerable public involvement." 

Lady Murray was married for nearly 60 years to the late Lord Murray of Epping Forest, the former TUC General Secretary, who died in 2004. 

She had a wide circle of friends and was very supportive of carers working with the Alzheimers support group. 

She was currently president of Loughton and District Historical Society and president of the Friends of Epping Forest as well as Patron of the Christian Drama Resource Centre. 

A founder member and current vice-chairman of the New Vistas group, she was patron of St Clare Hospice and an active supporter of the hospice in its early years. 

Lady Murray was also a volunteer and co-ordinator of a lunch club for the elderly for some 20years at Mannock Drive Methodist Church, Loughton (now Trinity Church) and was an active member and worshipper at Loughton Methodist Church since the mid -1950s. 

She was also a committed and active supporter of the Action for Children charity (formerly NCH) and the Methodist Whitechapel mission for the homeless for many years. 

Lady Murray was also a member of the local Labour Party.

Stephen said: "As one of the many cards we have received said, mum was kind and very caring, but also held firm to her principles." 

Her life will be celebrated at a thanksgiving service to be held in due course at Loughton Methodist Church.


DISTRICT: College elects new governors' chairman

5.35pm - 3rd April 2018

A NEW chairman of the Corporation Board of Governors at Epping Forest College has been elected to replace outgoing chairman Gagan Mohindra. 

Martin Rosner has been elected as the new chairman and joined with fellow governors in thanking Mr Mohindra for his guiding hand through a challenging period. 

Mr Mohindra said: "I have really enjoyed my time as chairman, and the close working relationship I developed with our excellent principal, Saboohi Famili, my colleagues on the Board and the Management Team. 

"It has also been a privilege to see, at first hand, the positive experiences enjoyed by our students at our local college.

"I became a governor at a very challenging time for the college and quickly accepted the role of chairman with a mission to cement stability and kick start the journey to improvement. 

"The Ofsted report, just published, demonstrates how successful this has been and reflects the solid work that will continue to support improvement going forward. 

"It is now the right time to hand over the reins for the next stage of our journey. 

"I will keep a keen eye on progress and wish my colleagues continued success as they take our college to the place where the students, staff and the district deserve it to be." 

Mr Rosner has worked in further education for just over 25 years. 

Until 2009 he was a senior manager at Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College where his responsibilities included HR, Student Services and Safeguarding. 

He left to join a not-for-profit organisation working in FE to head up its HR and merger service. Since then he has continued to work across the UK (including Scotland) supporting colleges with HR issues and helping them through mergers. 

Mr Rosner joined the Epping Forest College Board last September. 

Mr Rosner said: "Gagan has been enormously supportive and devoted much of his time and energy to directing the college’s improvement journey and the investments made to underpin progress. 

"We are very sorry to lose him but are aware that, given his district council and county council roles amongst others, this degree of support could only be a temporary measure to govern us through this key period. 

"With the goal achieved, the college is now firmly set on its improvement journey and is in a much better place than it was when he stepped into the role. 

"His support, enthusiasm and governance have been invaluable."

Principal Saboohi Famili said: "It has been a pleasure to work alongside Gagan supporting the hard work of everyone involved in moving the college forward and achieving so much in the short but productive time he has been with us. 

"I know he will continue to take an interest in our continued improvement as progress unlocks our potential for the future. 

"We are also very pleased to be able to welcome Martin Rosner as the new chairman. 

"As a governor of the college, Martin has been close to the changes that are having such a positive impact. "Stepping up to the role of chairman, he brings with him a wealth of experience gained from over 20 years in further education leadership roles. 

"We are all confident in his ability and excited by the future he will be leading us through."


DISTRICT: College report highlights improvements

5.33pm - 3rd April 2018

STUDENTS and staff of Epping Forest College are celebrating its latest Ofsted report which acknowledges significant improvements over recent months. 

The inspection was completed on February 23 by a team of ten inspectors. 

The college says the report's findings are a tribute to the hard work of all staff. 

The report states: "As a result of improvements to the quality of teaching and learning, more learners achieve their qualifications than previously." 

Last year the college was rated as 'Inadequate' but now it has been found to have improved on all of its main grades. 

CEO and Principal Saboohi Famili said: "I am extremely proud of all the hard work put in by all staff who support our students to pass their courses successfully and go on to university or employment." 

Ms Famili is particularly proud of the way the inspectors highlighted, as a key strength of the college, that "leaders now communicate effectively their vision and high expectations". 

The report adds: "As a consequence more learners are making good progress." 

The inspectors also echoed a key priority for the college, commenting: "The majority of learners acquire technical skills and knowledge that prepares them well for their chosen career path or further study."

Deputy Principal Philip Hall said: "I am delighted that the inspectors highlighted how our students understand the importance of learning the vocational skills that they will need for Higher Education and in the workplace." 

A key finding in the report states: "Most learners improve their industry-specific knowledge and skills through work placements and work-related opportunities." 

The report also emphasises: "Teachers develop well learners’ skills for employment by using real-life activities that link coherently learning in the classroom to the world of work."

 Outgoing Chair of Governors Gagan Mohindra said: "This is wonderful news for the community which needs a strong local college to support local people and employers. 

"I am very impressed with the commitment shown by governors, managers, staff and students." 

Mr Mohindra noted that the inspectors appreciated how the college’s students benefited from the extensive college resources. 

The report states: "In practical lessons, learners enjoy their learning; they attend lessons equipped and ready to learn. Learners benefit from high-quality, well-maintained learning facilities and resources." 

Mr Mohindra also commented that employers also benefit from the work of the college with the report stating that "most apprentices develop good practical skills as a result of working alongside industry professionals in their workplaces".

It added: "Most employers value the contribution apprentices make to their businesses." 

Jake Forecast, Students’ Union President and a student of Level 3 Early Years Education & Care at the college, said: "The inspectors were very thorough and spoke to many students and staff. 

"I am pleased they understood what a great college this is and how the teachers are doing the best for us to be successful.” 

The inspection report noted “learners feel and are safe” and further comments included “teachers promote effectively respectful relationships between learners and learners value the diversity of the college community”. 

Ms Famili said: "This is a great step on our journey to become a truly outstanding college. 

"We fully understand what we need to improve further and all staff are committed to achieving the very best for our students, the local community and employers." 

The full report is available on the Ofsted website www.ofsted.gov.uk