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Parents offered safe driving advice







 

28th February 2011

PARENTS are invited to attend a free safe driving seminar from one of the leading Driver Training Companies in the UK. 
The session is being organised by the Barley Barn Day Nursery in North Weald. Parents, grandparents and anyone who drives children from one place to another will know how much of a distraction children can be. 
There are many factors that can affect concentration when driving and there are many potential dangers that most drivers may not be aware of. 
Distractions like satellite navigation, mobile phones, toys with lights and sounds and even the odd sibling "tiff" can cause drivers to divert their attention away from the road.
To inform drivers of the many hazards that can arise and to assist in minimising the risk when driving with children in the car Barley Barn has arranged ATC Driver Training to offer an evening of information and education on safe, responsible driving.
ATC offer advanced driver training solutions to drivers in all industries and also private individuals. They are committed to providing the highest standard of training and currently hold accreditations from the Driving Standards Agency and the ISO 9001. 
The programme will be comprehensive and tailored specifically for driving with families and children. 
The evening is free of charge and is at Barley Barn Day Nursery, Rayley Lane, North Weald, CM16 6AR on Thursday, March 17 (from 7.30pm). 
Places are limited and must be booked by ringing 01992 522400.

     

Day nursery freezes fees







 

28th February 2011

THE Barley Barn Day Nursery in North Weald is freezing its fees from the day a child starts nursery until the day they go to school. 
According to the annual survey by the Daycare Trust the average cost of a nursery place for a child under two has risen by 4.8 per cent in the past year. 
Parents returning to work are seeing these costs increasing far faster than their wages thus raising the question of whether returning to work is worth it. 
Barley Barn Day Nursery is taking the revolutionary step to freeze nursery fees from the day a child starts nursery until the day they go to school. 
The management team at Barley Barn Day Nursery has devised a strategy to offer peace of mind to parents along with the ability to plan ahead without the uncertainty of price increases for childcare. 
When a child starts at Barley Barn they will be charged for the price structure available for that year until the child leaves and attends school. 
As most nurseries implement a three to six per cent annual fee increase this will mean large savings for all parents. 
Director Stacey Smith said: "In order to commit to such an important proposal, we will ensure that we research innovative ways of absorbing any costs associated with the price freeze within the business structure, whilst allowing us to maintain the high standards that form part of the nursery’s philosophy." 
This strategy will be implemented immediately so parents can start taking advantage of the scheme before the reduction of the childcare element of working tax credits takes effect in April. 
For more information, ring 01992 522400 or email info@barleybarn.co.uk

     

Police renew appeal over double fatal crash







 

27th February 2011

POLICE are appealing for witnesses following a two-vehicle double fatal road crash on Crooked Mile near Waltham Abbey. 
Police were called to the scene at 2.40pm yesterday (Saturday) following a collision involving a black Honda Jazz and a blue VW Transporter. 
The occupants of the black Honda, a 27-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman, from Hinckley, Leicestershire, were pronounced dead at the scene. 
The Honda was travelling from the direction of Nazeing towards Waltham Abbey. 
The VW was travelling in the opposite direction. Four people were in the VW - a man, a woman and two young children. 
They were taken to the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel. 
The woman, in her 30s, remains in hospital with serious injuries. The man and two children were treated for minor injuries. 
Anyone with information should contact Chigwell Road Policing Unit on 0300 333 4444.

     

Winning hospice lottery numbers







 

27th February 2011

THE winner of this week's £1,000 jackpot in the St Clare Hospice lottery lives in Sawbridgeworth. The winning number is 624283. 
The £100 second prize goes to ticket number 582350. The winner lives in Bishop's Stortford.

     

Police carry out A414 stop checks







 

27th February 2011

POLICE investigating a road collision near North Weald in which a pedestrian received serious injuries have undertaken a vehicle stop-check four weeks on from the incident.
Police stopped 22 vehicles and spoke to a number of people in the early hours of yesterday (Saturday) - gaining more information about what had happened. 
A 26-year-old man was walking eastbound along the A414 near the Travelodge when he was struck from behind by a passing vehicle that did not stop. 
The man is not sure exactly when the collision occurred but a passing motorist found him lying on the roadside at about 2.50am on Saturday, January 29. 
The man had been out for the night with friends and was trying to get back to his home in the Brentwood area. 
He was hit by what he thinks was a light-coloured vehicle that did not stop. 
Police say it is possible that the driver was not aware that he had hit someone. 
The injured man suffered extremely serious fractures of his left leg which will have a life altering impact. 
Anyone who can help should contact officers at Chigwell road policing unit on 0300 333 4444.

     

Sponsorship sought for trek challenge







 

27th February 2011

ADVENTUROUS Alexander Crossley will be giving something back to a cancer charity after his uncle beat the disease when he treks in Peru later this year. 
Alexander will be taking part in a ten-day trek to the ancient village of Machu Picchu to support the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF-UK). 
Alexander, 37, from Loughton, is planning a series of fundraising events in a bid to reach his £3,500 sponsorship target and hopes to boost his total with a family and friends 'Walking Together' sponsored walk through the trails of Epping Forest. 
The 'Walking Together' event - the 'Epping Forest Summer Trek' - is being held on May 15, meeting at the Foresters Arms pub in Baldwin's Hill, Loughton, at noon for a start at 12.30pm. 
The walk will follow a loop route of 5kms (3.1 miles) and will last three hours with participants encouraged to complete as many laps as they can or want. 
The walk will finish at the pub at 3.30pm. 
Alexander, who recently completed a course with Diploma in Counselling & Psychotherapy, currently volunteers part-time at the WCRF-UK office in London. He said: "I first took an interest in WCRF-UK when my uncle was diagnosed with bowel cancer a couple of years ago. 
"Fortunately he made a full recovery but not without the assistance of long and intensive treatment. 
"At that most troublesome time my uncle became very interested in the work and research that goes on at WCRF-UK, lifestyle changes and strategies devoted to the 'prevention' rather than cure of many forms of cancer, the motto simply being 'Stopping Cancer Before It Starts'." 
Alexander, a former Bancrofts' School pupil who has lived in Loughton for more than 30 years, is looking forward to his trek to Machu Picchu. 
He will be among a 30-strong group taking part in the ambitious challenge between October 14 and 23 this year. 
Alexander said: "It is going to be quite an intense challenge dealing with mountains and valleys and camping at high altitudes." 
He added: "This will be the 'Grand Finale' to all my fundraising events throughout the year so I have my work cut out for me for the trek and organising everything that is involved with fundraising for such a special cause." 
Alexander needs and hopes to raise £3,500. To find out more about Alexander's fundraising efforts, email alex4cancerprevention@gmail.com or ring him on 07979 15 15 15. 
To make a donation visit his sponsorship webpage http://www.wcrf-uk.org/sponsor, then click on 'Challenge Events' and then click on 'Alexander Crossley'. 
Alexander said: "Many thanks to everybody so far for all their help and support."

     

Man and woman die in Crooked Mile crash







 

26th February 2011

A MAN and a woman have died in a two-vehicle collision on the Crooked Mile, Waltham Abbey. 
They were the occupants of a black Honda car which was involved in a collision with a blue VW people carrier at 2.40pm today (Saturday). 
The man and the woman were pronounced dead at the scene. 
The Honda was travelling from the direction of Nazeing towards Waltham Abbey. 
The people carrier was travelling in the opposite direction. Four people who were in the Volkswagen - a man, a woman and two young children - were taken to the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel. 
A police spokesman said the woman is currently in a comfortable and stable condition with serious injuries. 
The man and two children are being treated for minor injuries. 
The road is expected to be closed for some considerable time while the investigation into the collision continues. 
Fire crews from Waltham Abbey and Loughton were called to the scene. 
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Chigwell Road Policing Unit on 0300 333 4444.

     

Road crash victim named







 

26th February 2011

A MAN who died in a road crash in Earls Path, Loughton, on Thursday has been named by police. 
Myles Binns, 18, from Chingford, died at the scene. 
A 19-year-old man and a 20-year-old man, both from east London, have been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and released on bail while inquiries continue. Officers continue to appeal for witnesses. 
Anyone with any information should ring Chigwell road policing unit on 0300 333 4444..

     

Fatal crash: Two men bailed







 

26th February 2011

TWO men arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving following a fatal crash in Loughton have been released on bail while inquiries continue.
A 20-year-old man has been released on bail until May 7 and a 19-year-old man until May 9. Both men are from east London. 
Police are appealing for witnesses to the crash which happened in Earls Path at about 10.15pm on Thursday when the driver of a red Vauxhall Astra lost control as the car was travelling towards Loughton. 
The car left the road and went into the forest and overturned. 
Four men were in the car. 
An 18-year-old man, from east London, died at the scene. 
A 19-year-old man, from Chingford, was taken to Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonstone, by ambulance with serious internal injuries. He is currently described as stable. 
Two other men received minor injuries. 
Police want to hear from anyone who was in the area, who remembers seeing the red Astra either before the crash or witnessed the incident. 
Anyone with any information should ring the Chigwell road policing unit on 0300 333 4444.

     

Banking on Essex initiative to close







 

25th February 2011

ESSEX County Council is to close the Banking on Essex initiative. 
Set up at a time when financial institutions had restricted the level of support available to small businesses, the scheme run by Essex County Council and its partner Santander Corporate Banking has lent over £500,000 to local businesses. 
In doing so, enterprises across the county have been able to survive the recession, continuing to trade and see their businesses grow. 
County council leader Peter Martin said: "Essex County Council is proud of its innovative Banking on Essex scheme, having provided financial stability and personal relief for some of the county’s small enterprises over the past year. 
However due to the financial challenges facing the public sector, some difficult budgetary decisions have had to be made. 
"As a result, I have announced the council’s intention to close the initiative, a mutual decision reached by both the council and its partner Santander Corporate Banking. 
"We are working with Santander to ensure all Banking on Essex customers are kept fully informed of the decision process – and for them, its business as usual. 
"Essex County Council recognises how important small businesses are to the local economy and will continue to provide help and guidance to the county’s enterprises through its established business support network." 
Subject to the council’s decision-making processes, the scheme will draw to a close on March 21. 
All existing Banking on Essex loans and overdrafts will then be transferred from under the Banking on Essex name across to Santander Corporate Banking. 
The loans and overdrafts will be solely provided and administered by Santander.
Lindsey Rix, regional managing director for London and the south east, Santander Corporate Banking, said: "We would like to reassure all Banking on Essex customers that Santander Corporate Banking remains committed to them and their businesses.
"We will continue to support Banking on Essex customers along with other small and medium sized companies as part of our ongoing commitment to businesses throughout the region. 
"Should customers have any queries regarding their accounts, they should contact their local relationship director."
Banking on Essex customers can contact their relationship manager at Santander or visit www.bankingonessex.com for further details.

     

One dead and three hurt in road crash







 

25th February 2011

A MAN has died after the car he was in left the road and overturned in Epping Forest.
Three other men were injured in the crash which happened in Earls Path, Loughton, at about 10.15pm last night (Thursday). 
Police say the driver of a red Vauxhall Astra lost control as the car was travelling towards Loughton. 
The car left the road and went into the forest and overturned. 
An 18-year-old man, from east London, died at the scene. 
A 19-year-old man, from Chingford, was taken to Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonstone, by ambulance with serious internal injuries and is currently described as stable. 
Two other men received minor injuries. 
Two men have been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. They are aged 19 and 20, both from east London. 
Police want to hear from anyone who was in the area, who remembers seeing the red Astra either before the crash or witnessed the incident. 
Anyone with any information should ring Chigwell road policing unit on 0300 333 4444.

     

Forest Festival axed as part of cost-cutting







 

24th February 2011

THE Epping Forest Festival is being axed as part of £457,000 worth of savings identified by the City of London’s Epping Forest and Commons Committee which manages Epping Forest. 
A package of savings, still to be ratified by the City's Court of Common Council, have been outlined by the committee. 
A review of the latest forecast financial positions of the City’s private funds, which are used to finance maintenance and services at Epping Forest, has confirmed the need to achieve overall budget reductions of 12.5 per cent, which affects all parts of the City of London including Epping Forest. 
The City of London’s Epping Forest and Commons Committee has identified savings - wide-ranging cuts totalling £457,000 - which will result in staff redundancies and reductions in funding for tree work, ride maintenance, equipment and machinery, together with less improvement work on the forest's farmed estate. 
Safety will remain paramount, the City of London has stressed. 
As a result, the budget for annual events has been reduced, meaning long-standing events including the Epping Forest Festival will cease "until further notice". 
Currently it costs the City of London £4.4m per year to run Epping Forest including income generated at site. 
Until now the running of the ‘free to enter’ Epping Forest Festival has been heavily subsidised and cost the City of London £22,000 to run (excluding staff hours). Despite recently introduced car parking and stall pitch charges the event still does not generate enough income to cover its basic costs. 
Epping Forest, London’s largest public open space, has been owned and managed by the City of London since 1878, at no cost to the local taxpayer. 
Superintendent of Epping Forest Paul Thomson said: "We are in a very difficult position and unfortunately tough decisions have to be made in order to ensure that we maintain a high standard of service provision here at Epping Forest.
"I understand local people will, in particular, be disappointed by the cancellation of this year’s Festival but we will be working closely with any local community groups looking to raise funds and to organise a Forest Festival of their own. 
"We will bring back the Forest Festival should the City’s finances improve." 
As a charitable trust, Epping Forest is seeking to offset the impact of proposed cuts by seeking additional grant support from local charities for the City's invaluable work on environmental education and biodiversity research.

     

Council facing £1m-plus savings







 

24th February 2011

EPPING Forest District Council has said residents will be consulted as the authority may have to make savings totaling more than £1m from April next year. 
On Tuesday the council set its budget for 2011-12 with a freeze on its share of council tax bills. Essex County Council, Essex Fire Authority and Essex Police Authority also all set the same council tax as last year. 
Some residents will see minor changes to their bills depending on the precepts set by their town or parish council. 
Now work is underway to prepare the district council for the "hard choices" which lie ahead as the authority starts to plan the following year's finances, finance portfolio holder Chris Whitbread has said. 
Epping Forest District Council, which has a history of prudent financial management, has not had to make major savings in next year’s services but is preparing for potentially significant reductions in 2012-13. 
Mr Whitbread said: "Essex County Council is taking most of the headlines as it seeks to save millions of pounds from its budgets from April. "Epping Forest District Council operates on a much smaller scale and we are in a stronger position. We are not planning significant reductions in district council services next year. 
"The following year may be a different matter. We won’t make any decisions until we have consulted local residents." 
He added: "We are a debt-free, low-tax, streamlined council. Some budgets have already gone down this year. We have taken steps to reduce gradually our costs and maximised our potential income from other sources, such as commercial property.
"Core services and support for the voluntary sector are being protected. 
"The CAB for example will continue to receive over £113,000 next year. However a 27 per cent decrease in our revenue support grant over the next two years means hard choices lie ahead.
 "Unfortunately we have had to make some difficult decisions already, for example we would have liked to have a lower rent increase for our tenants. 
"However, this has been largely outside of our control and we have invested heavily in recent years to ensure all our property has met the Decent Homes Standard. 
"On current estimates, over £1 million needs to be saved from Epping Forest District Council’s budgets from April 2012. That’s a lot on a £16 million budget but less than most comparable councils."
Plans are now being drawn up to consult local residents.
 "Over the summer everyone will have a chance to participate. There are many misunderstandings about who provides what. 
"We will therefore issue information explaining the differences between us, Essex County Council and other public sector organisations so residents understand how reductions in district council budgets would affect them directly. 
"Once we have the views of people who live and work in the district the hard work really begins as councillors start the budget setting process for 2012/13." 
Broken down into its constituent parts, the total bill for an average band D council taxpayer in Epping Forest district will be £1,086.75 to Essex County Council, £132.12 to Essex Police, £66.42 to Essex Fire Authority and £148.77 to Epping Forest District Council. 
Parish and town council precepts for 2011-12 vary from £12.95 for residents of Stapleford Abbotts to £94.46 in Waltham Abbey.

     

Crews tackle garage fire







 

24th February 2011

FIRE crews have dealt with a blaze in garage in Waltham Abbey. 
Firefighters from Waltham Abbey and Loughton were called to the garage in a cul-de-sac in Wrangley Court, off Winters Way, at 6am today. 
Crews wore breathing apparatus and had to use specialist cutting equipment to get into the garage to reach the fire.

     

Loughton firefighter joins quake rescue







 

24th February 2011

A LOUGHTON-based firefighter is among the six-man team from Essex Fire and Rescue Service who are joining the emergency services in Christchurch, New Zealand. 
The Essex International Search and Rescue Team along with their UK ISAR colleagues flew out from Heathrow yesterday to help with the rescue operation following the earthquake. 
Among the Essex team is Loughton Station Officer Len Cleary, and sub-officer Gary Wootton from Harlow Fire Station Station Officer Terry Jewell, 
Essex team co-ordinator, said: "The team have trained for this and have experience with incidents of this nature. We carry out many exercises in scenarios exactly like that which we will find in New Zealand. 
"This will be very different from the work we did in Indonesia, we know how many people we are searching for and we have our sectors assigned to us so we will hit the ground running. 
"The entire team have the training and equipment to deal with urban catastrophes like this and we are pleased that we can put our skills and training to use in helping people in Christchurch."

     

Renewed appeal over road collision







 

23rd February 2011

POLICE are renewing their appeal for information about a road collision near North Weald which left a pedestrian with serious injuries. 
The 26-year-old man was walking eastbound along the A414 near the Travelodge when he was struck from behind by a passing vehicle that did not stop. 
The man is not sure exactly when the collision occurred but a passing motorist found him lying on the roadside at about 2.50am on Saturday, January 29. 
The man had been out for the night with friends and was trying to get back to his home in the Brentwood area. He was near the Travelodge entrance when he was struck by what he thinks was a light-coloured vehicle. That vehicle did not stop but police say it is possible that the driver was not aware that he had hit someone. 
The injured man suffered extremely serious fractures of his left leg which will have a life altering impact. 
Police want to hear from anyone who may have seen what happened or from anyone who may have seen the man walking along the A414. 
Anyone who can help should ring officers at the Chigwell road policing unit on 0300 333 4444.

     

Man fined over Wake Arms flytipping







 

23rd February 2011

A MAN has been ordered to pay more than £700 after admitting dumping about 17 bags of hardcore on Epping Forest land. 
Olusegun Akinnusi, of Sewell Close, Chafford Hundred, Grays, was prosecuted by Epping Forest District Council for flytipping. He pleaded guilty at Harlow Magistrates Court and was fined £67. 
He was also ordered to pay £638.38 towards prosecution costs. This included £100 in clean-up costs awarded to the Corporation of London, whose land had been used to flytip. 
The flytipping opposite the Shell petrol station at the Wake Arms roundabout, Epping, was reported to the council on May19 last year. 
Environment and neighbourhood officers employed by the council investigated and with the assistance of staff at the petrol station who provided them with CCTV footage of the incident and a member of the public who witnessed the flytipping taking place, they were able to identify the source of the rubbish. 
The construction waste originated from Mr Akinnusi who, when interviewed under caution by council officers, admitted to dumping about 17 bags of hardcore on the land which formed part of the Site of Special Scientific Interest Epping Forest, managed by the Corporation of London. 
Mr Akinnusi was prosecuted under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 for the offence of depositing controlled waste. 
The council’s environment and neighbourhood officers, accompanied by Essex Police are carrying out vehicle stop checks on waste carriers to try to catch and deter potential fly-tippers before they have deposited the waste. 
Stop checks are being carried out across the district, targeting hot-spots for flytipping.
Flytipping can be reported directly to the council’s environment and neighbourhood officers on 01992 564608.

     

Countrycare completes hedgerow survey







 

23rd February 2011

A NINE-month hedgerow survey of Moreton, Fyfield and The Lavers has been completed. 
Staff and volunteers with Epping Forest District Council's Countrycare countryside management team undertook the work, the data from which will be used to help raise awareness of the importance of hedgerows as a source of biodiversity. 
Last year DEFRA launched a nationwide survey through which the Countrycare team obtained a grant to survey the parishes that lie within the arable, agricultural landscapes of west Essex. 
The density of the hedges in these areas has decreased in recent decades due to agricultural practices and urban development pressures. 
Conducting the hedgerow survey will help determine the distribution and condition of the hedges and identify the presence of species rich hedgerows, isolated trees and any veteran trees. 
The results showed that three in ten of the hedgerows surveyed fulfilled all the criteria listed by DEFRA for a hedgerow to be considered in favorable condition. 
Seven in ten hedgerows fulfilled ten out of the 11 criteria, with most hedgerows failing because they were found to be nutrient enriched. In addition to raising awareness with local landowners, farmers and community groups of the importance of hedgerows as a source of biodiversity, the data will also be used as evidence for the Local Development Framework, which is looking to include green infrastructure. 
The surveys also contribute to achieving the aims of the Epping Forest Local Biodiversity Action Plan and the Essex Biodiversity Action Plan. 
A full report on the hedgerow survey conducted and more information on biodiversity can be found on the Countrycare area of the Epping Forest District Council website.

     

Thirty-two laptops stolen from school







 

23rd February 2011

THIRTY-two laptops have been stolen from Thomas Willingale School, Loughton. 
The 16 Tulip and 16 NEC computers were stolen from the school in The Broadway between 7pm and 8pm on Friday after a rear door was forced. 
Investigating officer PC Martin Carroll said: "Two men were seen hanging around the school earlier in the day. I ask anyone who may have seen them or were in the area at the time of the theft to contact me." 
Anyone with any information should ring PC Martin Carroll at Loughton Police Station on 0300 333 4444 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

     

EFDC LIVE: Budget "opens door to change"







 

22nd February 2011

THE district council has approved a freeze on its share of council tax in 2011-12 with "no drastic change" in services. 
Finance and economic development portolio holder Chris Whitbread said: "This year's budget is probably the start of a very difficult process over a number of years.
"The good news is that council tax will be frozen and I was pleased to hear that Essex County Council decided the same thing this afternoon." 
He added: "There are no drastic changes in services - the real change is in the years ahead."
In a word of warning, Mr Whitbread told the meeting: "In four years time this council won't look like it is today. It's not just about the services we have to provide, it's the size of the establishment (the number of members).
"This council is too big. There is a substantial saving to be made among our own numbers." 
Loughton Residents Association councillor Caroline Pond said the group commended the budget and a freeze in council tax but she said they had "grave concerns" which included the external recruitment freeze. 
BNP councillor Pat Richardson said: "I know it's a good budget keeping it to the same but with the VAT increase and the fuel business has this been factored in or is this extra savings that need to be factored?" 
Mr Whitbread said these had been factored into the budget adding: "The people out there are feeling the pinch." 
He added: "This council is showing its determination to maintain frontline services at a very difficult time. 
"Everybody has to share in the need to change. This budget this evening opens the door to change. 
"We have to be prepared to make that difference. If we don't and think there is a quick fix then all that means is the pain comes later."

     

EFDC LIVE: Rent increase "hitting poorest"







 

22nd February 2011

A 7.2 per cent increase in district council rents is "hitting the poorest people in the district". 
Loughton Residents Association councillor Jennie Hart told tonight's council meeting it was having an impact on "the people with the lowest means". 
She added: "I know 60 per cent of tenants are on housing benefit but there are 40 per cent that are not receiving housing benefit - they fall in the middle. I just feel we are hitting the poorest." 
Finance and economic development portfolio holder Chris Whitbread said: "It's about choice, If you do one thing you can't do another." 
Housing portfolio holder Dave Stallan said: "It was not an easy decision to make."
Loughton councillor Stephen Murray said he would not be supporting the budget because of the rent increase which meant a £5.50 a week rise for tenants. 
He said: "One of the hallmarks of a budget is does it treat all the community fairly. Tenants are some of the poorest members of our community."
Liberal Democrat group leader Jon Whitehouse said the rent increase was "particularly high and regrettable".
In a verbal outburst from the public gallery, a man shouted: "My pension went up 3.3 per cent and it's year on year on year. I'm a poor man and I can't do it."

     

EFDC LIVE: Coverage of district council meeting







 

22nd February 2011

Everything Epping Forest is reporting live from tonight's Epping Forest District Council budget-setting meeting. 
Regular updates featuring quotes from the debate and the decisions taken will appear here. You may need to refresh your browser to see the latest content. 
You can have your say and give your views on the issues being discussed, which including the setting of the council tax for 2011-12, by emailing everythingeppingforest@googlemail.com during the meeting. 
Regular updates are also being provided via Everything Epping Forest's Twitter news feed. To receive the updates, follow @eefnews

* LICENSED PREMISES - Councillor Penny Smith, Safer and Greener portfolio holder has reported that public concerns about problems associated with licensed premises in the district can be aired at a meeting next month. 
Members of the public are invited to attend the Safer Communities Scrutiny Panel meeting which will be held at St Mary's Church, High Road, Loughton, at 7.30pm on Tuesday, March 8. 
Epping Forest District Council officers and police officers will be on hand to answer questions.

* DOORSTEP RECYCLING - A new doorstep textile collection service wlll be launched in the district on April 1. There is no charge for the collection service and all income from the sale of items collected will be donated to the chairman of council’s chosen charities.

* PCSOs - Buckhurst Hill councillor Jill Sutcliffe has raised concerns over the possible loss of a police community support officer in Buckhurst Hill.
In reply, Safer and Greener portfolio holder Penny Smith said she could not comment on specific officers but said the cabinet had recently agreed to reduce the funding of PCSOs from six officers to four. 
She added she was "very grateful" to the cabinet to continue its funding support. 

* NEW ZEALAND EARTHQUAKE - BNP councillor Pat Richardson has asked whether the council would be setting up a disaster fund following the New Zealand earthquake.
The meeting has been told that a national number had been launched and people were encouraged to contribute through that fund.

     

MP supports work of Home-Start charity







 

21st February 2011

EPPING Forest MP Eleanor Laing has praised the work of Epping Forest Home-Start, the family support charity. 
Mrs Laing met staff and volunteers when she visited the Epping Forest branch at its base on the Oakwood Hill Industrial Estate, Loughton. 
The charity provides help and support for families in their own homes, reassuring parents over childcare problems with the volunteers - who have parenting experience themselves - offering precious time for listening and talking as well as practical help and reassurance.
Mrs Laing said: "I have always valued Home-Start's work very highly. Early intervention to help a family when a baby is very young is a far more effective way of helping them than waiting until bigger problems develop later in a child's life. 
"One of the great things about Home-Start is that almost all the visitors are volunteers. They have gained their experience from many years of real life - looking after babies, bringing up children, helping their friends and family through difficult times. 
"Looking after a new baby is a terrifying experience for someone who has never done it before. 
"I don't know why it is assumed that when you give birth you automatically know what to do with a three-week-old baby who won't sleep - and how much more difficult it is if you already have two other small children who need your full-time attention but you have no mother, no sister and your husband works long hours. 
"Such a situation can lead to real problems but if Home-Start steps in and nips the problem in the bud, the family can then grow stronger and provide the right support for their children." 
Mrs Laing added: "I met some great people who just have the right way of gently helping where help is needed - and when it is needed. 
"I also met a very enthusiastic young mother who is now fit and healthy and going back to work once her daughter goes to school. 
"A few years ago, for very understandable reasons, she could not cope but Home-Start stepped in and all is now well.
"The great thing is that many people who have themselves relied on Home-Start become volunteers once they are back on their feet. It's a good story - an organisation that really works - the Big Society in action!"

     

Man charged over gunshots







 

21st February 2011

A MAN has been charged in connection with a incident during which gunshots were allegedly fired in a Waltham Abbey street. 
Unemployed Jordan Epee-Homb, 26, of Brockley, south east London, is charged with possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life. 
The charge follows an incident in Hayden Road - on the Meridian Park estate - on February 2. 
He was due to appear before Harlow magistrates today (Monday).

     

Planners oppose driving range







 

21st February 2011

PLANS for a golf driving range at Town Mead Sports and Social Club, Waltham Abbey, are being recommended for refusal. 
Council planning officers are telling councillors the scheme should be rejected because it would mean the loss of a preserved woodland. 
The plans include the building of an office/lounge/shop structure, 26 driving range bays, a plant store, 27-bay car park, and a 187m long driving range enclosed by a fence. Access would be via the existing access road to the club in Brooker Road. Planning permission was granted for a golf driving range six years ago on the southern side of Town Mead. 
A planning officer's report states: "Whilst this differed in that it proposed 20 bays, a smaller amount of built form and a smaller car park, the key difference is that the previously approved scheme was located further west than this proposal and proposed to retain the existing woodland area. 
"This previous scheme has now lapsed and due to supposed constraints resulting from subsequent improvement to the baseball field this latest application has relocated the development further east and proposes the removal of the established wooded area."

     

Council recognises community stalwart







 

19th February 2011

EPPING Town Council has presented its Townsperson of the Year award to June O'Brien. 
Mrs O'Brien is a former district councillor who became involved in running what was then as the Darby and Joan Club, now called Evergreens. 
Subsequently June has specialised in assisting the town's elderly residents by organising both the Evergreen Club and also the Epping Town Old Peoples’ Welfare Association. 
Epping mayor Olive Dunseath, who presented Mrs O'Brien with a certificate, said she "well deserved" the award. 
Miss Dunseath also paid tribute to the 75-plus organisations based in the town. She said: "We are so lucky in Epping that we have such a large body of people who spend their energy and time in organising events and arrangements which cater for so many different interests and needs. 
"At the last count we had at least 75 local organisations and charities active in Epping. The activities range from athletic and sports through to organisations focussed on developing our young people and on to artistic and academic pursuits. 
"The majority of these organisations have charitable aims and together they open many windows for exploration by local people." 
Miss Dunseath added: "It is my privilege as mayor this year on behalf of my council and the town at large to formally say thank you to all of our local organisations. 
"This event celebrates the great good works that are done by local people and organisations. 
"Coming from an Epping family, which over several generations has enjoyed living in this town, I personally have witnessed the way in which our local organisations enrich our town." 
* Deputy Lieutenant of Essex Michael Chapman announced that Miss Dunseath had been chosen as the recipient of the Rotary Club of Epping's Service Above Self award. 
The award will be presented at the club's meeting on Tuesday, March 22.

     

BREAKING NEWS - Five men arrested

 

18th February 2011

POLICE have arrested five men on suspicion of burglary after a car was stopped near Stapleford Airfield. 
The arrests follow an incident in Ongar.
A member of the public alerted police after three men wearing hats and gloves were reported to have been seen climbing over a garden wall at the corner of Longfields and Coopers Hill, Marden Ash. 
Officers on foot and the Essex Police helicopter were called in to search for the men.

     

Helicopter joins hunt for three men

 

18th February 2011

THE Essex Police helicopter has been drafted in to join officers in the hunt for three men in Ongar. 
Police received a report shortly after 2pm today of three men wearing hats and gloves having been seen jumping over a garden wall in Longfields. 
Local officers are also involved in the search. 
A police spokesman said there was no sign of entry at the premises where the men were spotted.

     

Winning hospice lottery numbers

 

18th February 2011

THE winner of the £1,000 first prize in this week's St Clare Hospice lottery lives in Harlow. The winning number is 396086. 
The £100 second prize goes to ticket number 569550. The winner lives in Bishop's Stortford. 
Anyone wishing to check this week's winning numbers should visit www.stclarehospice.org.uk
For more details, ring 01279 773730 (Monday-Friday 9.30am-1.30pm).

     

Churches launch debt advice service

 

18th February 2011

A MONEY advice service with debt advisers on hand to help has been set up in Buckhurst Hill. 
Buckhurst Hill Money Advice Service (BHMAS) has been formed by members of Buckhurst Hill Baptist Church, St James’ United Reformed Church and St John’s Anglican Church. 
The free service is based at St Stephen’s Church, Albert Road, Buckhurst Hill, with the team of trained debt advisers offering, to any resident of Buckhurst Hill, free and confidential advice, negotiation with creditors and help with court forms. 
The advisers have been trained by the organisation Community Money Advice. 
The service is the idea of Rev Leesa Barton and Dr Andrew Barnardo who, two years ago, saw the need for a debt advice service. 
To contact Buckhurst Hill Money Advice Service ring 020 8505 0022 or email enquiries@bhmas.org
The advisers will endeavour to reply within 24 hours of an initial enquiry.

     

Information desk hours changed

 

18th February 2011

OPENING hours at Epping Forest District Council’s information desk in Loughton Library change from today (Friday). 
A morning-only service will continue while the council reviews arrangements following the resignation of the afternoon information assistant. 
The desk will be staffed from 9am until 1pm and will be closed in the afternoons, although it may be possible to continue to obtain recycling sacks and some other services. 
Essex County Council has started public consultation on potential reduction in hours of service at libraries. 
For Loughton two options have been outlined - Monday-Wednesday 9am-7pm, Friday 9am-7pm, Saturday 9am-5pm (Thursday and Sunday closed); or Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm (Sunday closed). 
The consultation runs until March 27. Forms are also available in libraries. 
A district council spokesman said: "In view of the current economic uncertainty and potential changes to library opening hours, the information assistant post will be held vacant until the council has been able to review the service and the outcome of the library consultation is known. 
"We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but we assure residents that we are looking at how we can mitigate the effects of this in the short-term while a review of the service is carried out. 
"In particular, colleagues from the district council will be investigating with Essex County Council how some of the gap might be covered with the aid of library staff."

     

Man charged over bank burglary

 

18th February 2011

A MAN has been charged in connection with an incident at a bank in Waltham Abbey when two attackers used sledgehammers to break in through windows. 
Alan D’Arcy, 36, of Ivy Road, Southgate, north London, has been charged with burglary with intent to steal and was remanded in custody to appear at Harlow Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Thursday). 
The charge relates to an incident at the HSBC branch in Highbridge Street on New Year’s Eve last year.

     

Have your say over High Beach

 

18th February 2011

A MASTERPLAN for the future of High Beach is being drawn up. 
The City of London has asked landscape architects Chris Blandford Associates to devise a long-term vision, for the area. 
A design has been drafted as the result of two stakeholder workshops involving Essex County Council, local residents and local businesses. 
The City is now seeking public opinion on the draft design. 
Comments received will help shape the future of High Beach over the next five to ten years. 
The masterplan is an outline sketch of what High Beach could look like. 
The aim is to address the circulation of pedestrian and vehicular traffic, enhance the physical and visual accessibility of the Epping Forest Visitor Centre, improve the interpretation of the historic landscape and continue to conserve the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and natural aspect of the forest. 
Issues being addressed include parking, access, visual appearance and local nuisance. 
The proposal is to subtly redefine High Beach, prioritising areas for improvement.
Phase 1 is the Heritage Lottery-funded work on the Manor Road car park beside the Pillow Mounds. 
The proposed Phase 2 will improve the setting of the Pillow Mounds and open up views while Phases 3 and 4 will include new parking arrangements next to King’s Oak and better pedestrian access. 
The masterplan process is flexible with initial ideas leading to more detailed plans for each of the phases. County council officers and members have been involved in the design process. 
Councillor Liz Webster believes the plans for the future will provide "a warm, welcoming focal point in the middle of the forest" and is pleased the City is consulting residents on this important issue. 
Councillor Syd Stavrou welcomes the draft masterplan saying: "It tackles the continuing growth of High Beach as a visitor and tourist destination by defining parking areas for vehicles whilst attending to greater pedestrian safety. 
"The management of the landscape has been done with a sympathetic and light touch and can only improve the general appearance of the area for visitors and residents alike." 
Superintendent of Epping Forest Paul Thomson said: "This is a great opportunity to develop a more joined up approach to the many attractions on offer at High Beach which can be enjoyed as part of a great day out." 
High Beach continues to be one of the most popular areas of Epping Forest. 
The Epping Forest Visitor Centre is a great place to begin explorations of the forest with information, displays and free leaflets on offer. 
A varied programme of events takes place throughout the year. 
The Field Studies Centre next door offers many interesting courses. Information about the proposals will be posted through doors of local residents next week (week commencing February 21). 
Email epping.forest@cityoflondon.gov.uk to ensure you are consulted or visit www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/eppingforest
The deadline for responses is Friday, March 11.

     

Wartime talk to Probus club

 

16th February 2011

EPPING Forest District Museum officer Tony O'Connor was the guest at Epping Probus Club. 
He was introduced by the club president Trevor Roberts who said Mr Connor had told his audience about the times the district came under fire during the Second World War because of its close proximity to London and its importance as part of the capital's defences. 
There was also the armament industries in the Lea Valley especially the Gunpowder Mills and Royal Enfield factories, the Battle of Britain airfield at RAF North Weald, the important rail and road links in the area and the influx of many service personnel including Americans located at Lippitts Hill. 
The local population increased with the arrival of evacuees from the bombed areas of London and German prisoners of war who all suffered from the limitations of wartime food and clothes rationing and the scarcity of many everyday necessities. 
The district suffered from the onslaught of aerial attacks by conventional and flying bombs and long-range supersonic rockets, one of which narrowly missed the Abbey Church, Waltham Abbey, when it struck the centre of Highbridge Street. 
Many lost their lives in air raids including patients at an Epping maternity home and soldiers of the Kings Own Southern Borderers billeted at Theydon Bois. 
Mr O'Connor answered questions; one concerning the supposed incarceration of Rudolph Hess in Epping when he fled from Nazi Germany early in the Second World War. 
Probus member John Vernon, who worked at the Gunpowder Mills post war, gave a vote of thanks. 
The next meeting is on Wednesday, March 9, when John Spencer will talk about High Rise Buildings. 
The club, with more than 60 members, has vacancies for retired or semi-retired men. For more details, ring secretary Peter Francis on 01992 573188.

     

Wanted: Jumpers for chilly hens

 

16th February 2011

STAFF at Lee Valley Park Farms, Waltham Abbey, are calling on keen knitters to get their needles out and knit jumpers for a brood of ex-battery hens. 
The hens have arrived from the British Hen Welfare Trust, a Hertfordshire rescue centre. 
Kate Chaplin, general assistant at Lee Valley Park Farms, said: "Many have lost feathers as a result of standing still in cages for prolonged periods. They will gradually re-feather over the next few weeks but in the meantime are feeling the chill. 
"That’s why we are appealing for jumpers to keep them warm and cosy in their new home. We look forward to seeing them develop and hopefully thrive with their new found freedom." 
Anyone willing to knit a jumper can use the pattern available at http://littlehenrescue.co.uk/jumpers.aspx
The jumpers should be sent to Lee Valley Park Farms, Stubbins Hall Lane, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 2EF. 
For more details, ring 01992 892781 or email hayeshill@leevalleypark.org.uk

     

Festival features writing competition

 

16th February 2011

A CHILDREN'S writing competition is being held as part of the Loughton Festival.
Children who live or go to school in Loughton are invite to write a poem, short story or newspaper article about anything connected to Loughton and Epping Forest. 
There are four age categories - under-7s, 7-11, 11-14 and over 14. 
The winner of the under-7s and 7-11 categories will receive a £15 book token while the other two category winners will each receive a £20 book token. 
Entries should be sent to 18 Wellfields, Loughton, Essex, IG10 1NX, to arrive by May 1.
Each entry must include the child's name, school and age. 
Entries cannot be returned. For more about the Loughton Festival, visit www.loughtonfestival.org

     

Business group backs parking freeze

 

16th February 2011

PLANS by Epping Forest District Council to freeze pay-and-display parking charges for another year have been welcomed by the Essex FSB (Federation of Small Businesses). 
South West Essex FSB branch chairman, David Miles said: "The reports being presented to Epping Forest Council’s budget setting meeting (Tuesday, February 22) includes a recommendation that there will be no increase in car parking charges across the whole district for the forthcoming financial year. 
"If that recommendation is approved that will be great news for shoppers and retailers in Epping, Loughton, Ongar, Debden and Theydon Bois as it means Epping Forest District Council is not even passing on the increase in VAT that came into effect on January 4." 
He added: "Essex FSB congratulates Epping Forest District Council on its commitment to supporting the business community and in particular the town centres which form the focal points of our economy in this part of the county. 
"The recommendation to maintain the level of support for economic development services is also welcome news and one which we hope councillors will support as with Business Link finishing from November 26, 2011, it will be even more important to have the right level of business support available to local businesses."

     

Armed raiders force open front door

 

15th February 2011

TWO men believed to have been armed with handguns targeted a property in Buckhurst Hill. 
They forced open the front door of the property in Knighton Lane at about 8.55pm last night (Monday) and threatened the occupants demanding money and valuables. 
The two men later fled empty-handed. 
Detective Sergeant Nick Rhodes said: "This was an extremely frightening incident and the occupants were luckily unharmed but badly shaken. We believe that the men were both carrying small black pistols. 
"We are now appealing for help from the public for any information about these men. They were wearing plastic carrier bags over their heads with holes cut for their eyes and mouths when they broke in but they would have taken them off as they escaped.
"We want to hear from anyone who might have seen the men running or driving away or from anyone who saw them hanging around the area before 8.55pm." 
Both men were black, slim and about 6ft tall. One was wearing a black leather jacket and black or dark navy jeans. 
The other man was dressed in a white top and black or dark navy jeans. 
Anyone with information should contact DS Rhodes at Harlow serious crime team on 0300 333 4444.

     

Blaze 'caused by DIY work'

 

15th February 2011

A FIRE in a Loughton maisonette broke out when a DIY tool set light ton the cavity wall insulation, a fire service spokesman said. 
Two Loughton fire crews were called to the first-floor property in Longcroft Rise, Oakwood Hill, shortly before 3pm today and found the cavity wall insulation "smouldering". 
Firefighters cut away at the cavity stud wall to reach the seat of the fire and any hotspots. 
A spokesman said: "The fire was caused whilst the resident was carrying out some work using a DIY tool which caused a fire in the insulation in the cavity wall."

     

Disability campaigners target Westminster

 

15th February 2011

A CHIGWELL man was among a group of disability campaigners who descended on the Houses of Parliament to show how the removal of the Disability Living Allowance mobility component will leave disabled people trapped in their homes. 
Anthony Haley, 28, is one of the thousands of people who will be affected by the proposed changes. 
Like other disabled people living in state-funded residential homes, Anthony has to use most of his income to pay for his own care, leaving him with a personal allowance of just £22 a week. 
Once he has paid for essential items, such as clothing and toiletries, there is very little left. The Government has proposed to stop paying the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) mobility component to disabled people living in residential care. 
The change, which starts in October 2012, will mean that thousands of disabled people in residential care will no longer have the funds to meet extra transport costs, such as an electric wheelchair or adapted car. 
This will have a devastating impact on 80,000 disabled people who rely on the allowance to maintain their independence by covering the costs of getting around.
Anthony who lives at Alder House, a Leonard Cheshire Disability residential service in Chigwell, relies on the DLA mobility to get out and about and to have some independence. 
He said: "Without the mobility component of the DLA I would, in effect, become more disabled because I wouldn’t have the money to get out and about. I would lose my independence. 
"There is no accessible public transport for me to use where I live and I use the money for accessible taxis. They are very expensive. I think the Government is discriminating against disabled people in residential care and I would urge them to have a rethink! 
"If this Government proposal goes through, I will become a prisoner in my own home."
Anthony showed what the Government’s proposal will mean to him by sitting behind bars in a living room set holding banners saying 'don’t limit my mobility' and 'right to mobility'. 
The scene represented how the proposed cut will impact on his life and reduce his independence.
The demonstration in front of the Houses of Parliament was set up by a coalition of leading disability charities, including Leonard Cheshire Disability, Mencap and Sense.
It is part of a national campaign that was launched last October to fight the removal of this crucial benefit. 
Guy Parckar, acting director of policy and campaigns at Leonard Cheshire Disability, said: "This change will have a massive impact on many people.
" It will leave many people unable to get out into their community to take part in activities the rest of us take for granted, such as spending time with family and friends or getting a further education. 
"It will reduce people’s quality of life and stop them from enjoying the same opportunities as non-disabled people. "We are strongly opposed to this change and encourage people around the UK to get involved in our week of action and help fight this cut."
The demonstration was part of a week of action before the announcement of the Welfare Reform Bill, which will contain the reforms of DLA.

     

New ambulance station set for approval

 

15th February 2011

PLANNING officers are recommending that the go-ahead be given for a new ambulance station in Epping. 
The East of England Ambulance NHS Trust has submitted plans to demolish the existing ambulance station and garage at The Plain and replace it with a new two-storey ambulance station and ambulance shelter. 
The proposals include an improved kitchen, office, and toilet facilities with a designated area for lockers and improved storage. 
The proposals would also allow for a shower room and designated quiet room. 
The plans retain a double garage bay for ambulance parking.
Two residents of the neighbouring Kings Wood Park development have objected to the application fearing a loss of light and potential overlooking from the new building. Epping Town Council has raised no objections. 
A planning officer's report states: "There is clearly an established need for ambulance facilities in this locality to allow a central base for rapid response serving residents in the district irrespective of the location of the relevant accident and emergency facilities.
"Were ambulances to be based elsewhere or at the nearest hospital in Harlow, then response times would clearly extend, therefore in principle the retention and improvement of the facilities is both acceptable in planning terms and desirable for the needs of the residents in the wider district." 
The report adds: "The proposals are set well back from the highway and therefore result in minimal impacts to the street scene when viewed from The Plain, however due to the proximity to the recent new development at Kings Wood Park, the proposals would also, like the existing facility, be visible from the new streets albeit in the context of the new development.
"As this facility has been in situ and functioning for some time and prior to the new dwellings being built and indeed occupied, it would be unreasonable to consider the proposals unacceptable due to noise and disturbance during operation as there would be no intensification of activities beyond those which presently exist." 
Obscure glass is proposed to overcome overlooking and privacy issues.
"Officers are of the view that the proposals would not result in significant adverse impacts by way of loss of privacy, overlooking, overshadowing or due to prominence of the building. 
"Whilst officers recognise that the new building would be visible from neighbouring plots, this alone is not sufficient to justify refusal."

     

Ladies given Chigwell Riding Trust talk

 

15th February 2011

A TALK on the Chigwell Riding Trust for Special Needs was given to the February meeting of Ongar and Shelley Ladies Thursday Group. 
Centre manager Deborah Hall detailed the history of the charity and showed a film taken at the riding school last year. 
The Trust was opened in 1964 and caters for people with varying disabilities and ages ranging from two to 79. 
Some pupils cannot see, hear or have much movement but riding a horse or pony can make a great difference to their wellbeing. 
The temperament of a horse or pony is extremely important. Each horse has to be exercised regularly by a qualified rider to maintain its ability with the disabled. 
The Trust has seven paid staff but relies on the many volunteers who help each day.
Most of the pupils will need at least one person to lead a horse plus one or two side helpers. 
The Trust has 150 riders a week and is open every day. 
There are 14 horses and ponies and each one has a ‘day off’ each week. The Trust charges pupils between £10 and £18 per hour for lessons and needs an income of £20,000 per month to run. 
The Trust does not receive any state funding but relies purely on donations and legacies. 
Hay can cost between £3,000 and £9,000 per year and the farrier has to visit every six weeks to shoe the horses, costing about £800. Events are held regularly to raise the money needed to keep it running. 
The group gave Deborah a donation while a further sum was collected by members. 
The group's next meeting is at the Church Rooms, Castle Street, Ongar, at 8pm on Thursday, March 3.

     

New base for specialist care nurses

 

14th February 2011

A TEAM of specialist palliative care nurses who provide advice and support to patients, carers and healthcare colleagues are now based at St Clare Hospice. 
The move follows their transfer from West Essex Community Health Services. 
The St Clare Hospice Macmillan Nurses will provide the much-needed community element to St Clare’s already highly-regarded service, delivering excellent care in people’s own homes. 
The hospice's director of patient care, Tanya Curry, said: ""We are delighted to have adopted the community palliative care team including their administrative support. 
"We know that having them as part of the St Clare Hospice team will mean local people receive coordinated and outstanding care at a difficult time in their lives. 
"The move is the first part of our vision to provide high quality hospice care in patients’ own homes. 
"Now, after more than two decades of providing hospice services in west Essex and the east Herts border, we have developed a full multi-professional team across care settings; in-patient, day therapy and community." 
She added: "We hope this will not only provide patients with complete care, but also reach more people who could benefit from our support and reduce unnecessary admissions to hospital." 
The hospice, which is largely funded through voluntary donations, is clear that this development will stretch their already tight budgets; however it is vital in their mission.
Trustees chairman Michael Chapman said: "We are experiencing struggles in our fundraising efforts and we are only too aware that much of our local community are struggling themselves. 
"It has always been a core part of our mission to provide a community element to our service, which is wanted and needed by those we care for. 
"We are hopeful that those who are able to support our work will do so, especially having seen the benefits to their neighbours, colleagues and family this team will bring." 
Irene O’Dell, St Clare Hospice Macmillan Nurse for the Epping area, said: "I am extremely looking forward to working in a supportive environment, and helping to enhance palliative care in the local community." 
Colleague Christine White said: "I am pleased to be joining St Clare Hospice and hope this will further improve patient care at home."

     

Hospice seeks 10k runners

 

14th February 2011

ST Clare Hospice is hoping this year's 10k fun will be the biggest ever. 
The Hastingwood-based charity is aiming to raise £20,000 from this year's race, which starts at the hospice at 10.30am on Sunday, April 3. 
It costs the hospice £2.6m every year to provide the highest standards of care free of charge to patients and their families. Organisers hope to attract about 600 runners. 
Events fundraiser Tracy Stratford said: ""Whether you sprint round in 30 minutes or jog round in over an hour taking in the countryside views, the run is set to be a fantastic event with prizes for everyone." 
All entrants will receive a t-shirt, goody bag and medal. 
There will also be a barbecue.
Tracy added: "Events are a major source of income for St Clare Hospice.
"By taking part in the run and seeking sponsorship you will help raise vital funds for the hospice as well as gaining a huge personal achievement and having a great day out." 
For more details, ring 01279 773750 or email fund@stclarehospice.org.uk. To register online, visit www.stclarehospice.org.uk

     

Man admits death crash charge

 

14th February 2011

A MAN has pleaded guilty to a charge of causing death by dangerous driving following a road collision in Loughton. 
Michael French, 25, was arrested following a crash in the High Road on Thursday, July 23, 2009. 
Paul Capetanakis, 28, of High Road, Loughton, died after his motorcycle was struck by French’s black Mercedes C180 which was overtaking another car at the time. 
French, of Prospect Road, Woodford Green, pleaded guilty when he appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday (February 11). 
He was bailed for reports and will be sentenced on March 11.

     

Council recognises community efforts

 

13th February 2011

LOUGHTON Town Council has paid special recognition to two community-minded people. 
Mayor David Wixley presented a Citizenship Award to Joyce Barcley at today's Loughton Town Council civic service in recognition of her 35-plus years service to the brownies and guiding movement. 
Her work has involved the brownies and guides at St Edmunds Church and Loughton Union Church (Baptist Church), Loughton, and as one of two district assistants to the district commissioner. Joyce has been involved with guide camps, which have included pony trekking in Wales, and as a first aider and the person responsible for the camp food. 
Having had to retire from guiding at the age of 65, Joyce is now treasurer of the Trefoil Guild. 
Also recognised by the town council is Taylor Baldwin for his volunteering work at Loughton Youth Project where he is involved with the radio podcast, IT support and media activities with the group which is based at Traps Hill, Loughton. 
Taylor was unable to attend the presentation as he is away on a young leader training course in the Lake District. 
Among those at the service, held at Loughton Methodist Church, were the mayors of Epping and Redbridge, Epping Forest District Council chairman Anne Grigg, Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing, the Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Lord Petre, and Deputy Lieutenant Michael Chapman.

     

Drama room planned for church hall

   

11th February 2011

A DRAMA room is being proposed as part of an extension to the Loughton Methodist Church Hall. 
A planning application has been submitted to Epping Forest District Council for a single-storey extension at the High Road church hall to accommodate a drama room and office space together with a toilet and kitchen and stand alone single-storey building to store costumes.

     

Winning hospice lottery numbers

   

11th February 2011

THE winner of this week's St Clare Hospice lottery £1,000 jackpot prize lives in Harlow. The winning number is 627015. 
The £100 second prize goes to number 499088. The winner lives in Harlow. 
Anyone wanting to check this week's winning numbers or wants more details about how to join the lottery should visit www.stclarehospice.org.uk or ring 01279 773730 (Monday-Friday 9.30am-1.30pm).

     

Church office plan wins support

   

11th February 2011

PLANS for an office in the grounds of an Ongar church are being supported by Ongar Town Council. 
High Ongar Parochial Church Council wants to site a log cabin-type building at St James Church, St James Avenue to be used as an office for the parish administrator and youth worker. 
A final decision will be taken by Epping Forest District Council.

     

Shotguns seized in police raid

   

10th February 2011

TWO shotguns and a Range Rover have been seized by police from an address in Waltham Abbey. 
Officers with a search warrant attended the address in Upshire Road yesterday (Wednesday) as police believed illegal activity was taking place. 
Two shotguns suspected of being stolen from a burglary in Halstead late last year and a modified Range Rover believed to have been stolen from Buckhurst Hill earlier this year were seized. 
Detective Sergeant Rob Huddleston said: "The Epping Forest tactical team will continue to target anyone suspected of being involved in illegal activity." 
A 39-year-old man, from Somerset, arrested on suspicion of burglary, receiving stolen goods, possessing a firearm without a certificate and theft has been bailed until April 27.

     

Youngsters can Lift Off over Easter

   

10th February 2011

YOUNGSTERS can enjoy a three-day event using myth, magic and mystery over the Easter holidays. 
Epping Forest Arts is holding the Lift Off! event at St Michael and All Angels Church Hall, Roding Road, Loughton, from Monday, April 11 until Wednesday, April 13 (10am to 3.30pm). 
Working with professional artists, the youngsters - aged eight to 11 - will create their own short production and stage a last-day performance for family and friends. 
With drama, dance, video, music, costume and set design, there will be plenty of activities to try. 
Youngsters should take a packed lunch and wear comfortable clothes. 
The three-day event costs £45 (concessions £25). 
To book places, or for more information, ring 01992 564226.

     

MONEY MATTERS: Monthly column

   

10th February 2011

In their latest Everything Epping Forest article Loughton-based accountants Haslers report on tax returns, PAYE payment dates tax codes and an email tax scam 

AS the final tax returns are submitted for 2009-10 it is important to remember that the end of the current tax year will soon be upon us. 
So what should you be considering? 
Now is the time to review various issues related to your personal taxation affairs. 
You may wish to consider whether or not you have used your capital gains tax annual exemption for 2010-11, annual inheritance tax exemption for gifts and your annual Individual Savings Account investment limit. 
You may also wish to make additional pension contributions for the year. Contributions need to have been paid by April 5, 2011. 

Electronic PAYE payment dates - HMRC are reminding employers to be careful that PAYE payments made electronically have been cleared into HMRC’s bank account by the due date. 
Many employers have taken advantage of the electronic payment option which generally gives a later payment date of the 22nd of the month. 
However HMRC are stressing that where the 22nd falls on a non-banking day (weekend or Bank Holiday) that the payment may need to be made earlier to ensure HMRC has cleared funds by the due date. 
HMRC need to have received cleared funds by the last bank working day before the 22nd. 
HMRC use the following example: ‘For example: 2010-2011 PAYE month 9 for period ended January 5, 2011. The due date of January 22, 2011, falls on a Saturday (non-banking day), so if you are paying electronically your PAYE payment must clear HMRC’s bank account by Friday, January 21, 2011. 
You may therefore need to change your payment date to ensure you pay on time. If you do not do so, you will be noted as paying late, and late payments for this tax year may result in a penalty being charged.’ 
This HMRC example may be too late for those making electronic payments for January 2011 however the next time the 22nd falls on a non-banking day is May 2011. 
Cleared funds must reach HMRC’s bank account by Friday, May 20. 
HMRC may, for the first time, issue penalties to any employer who makes late payments of PAYE more than once for 2010/-11. 
These penalty notices will not be issued until after the end of the tax year. 

PAYE tax codes - HMRC are issuing PAYE tax codes for 2011-12. 
These new coding notices, due to be issued between January and March 2011, will be used against employees pay from April 2011 onwards. It is important that these coding notices are checked carefully. 
The majority of taxpayers will see an increase in their tax code as the personal allowance for those under 65 increases from £6,475 to £7,475. 
Those individuals with simple tax affairs (just one employer with no reliefs or benefits or tax underpayments brought forward) will generally not receive a coding notice. 
Their current coding of 647L will be automatically uplifted to 747L following general instructions to employers. 
Although the personal allowance is increasing the point at which taxpayers start to pay the higher rate of 40 per cent tax on their taxable income is decreasing (from £37,400 to £35,000). 
This will remove the benefit of the personal allowance increase for some taxpayers. 
A new concept of withdrawing the personal allowance for those with adjusted net income over £100,000 was introduced in 2010-11 and will continue for 2011-12. 
The reduction in the allowance is by £1 for every £2 of adjusted net income above the income limit. 
Adjusted net income for these purposes is broadly all income after adjustment for pension payments, charitable giving and relief for losses. 
Individuals with adjusted net income of at least £114,950 will not be entitled to a personal allowance for 2011-12. 

HMRC new scam emails - HMRC are aware that bogus emails are being sent informing taxpayers that they are due a tax rebate. In other cases people have received emails from news@hmrc.gov.uk asking them to validate their online bank accounts by entering bank details onto a linked website, and other emails requesting personal information. 
These emails are not from HMRC and they have confirmed that they would never inform a taxpayer of a rebate, or request any personal information, by email. No personal information should be given in reply to these types of email, or entered on any linked websites. 
HMRC are also warning about a SMS text message scam. 
They advise that if you receive an SMS text message claiming to be from HMRC asking you to contact any number other than 0845 300 3900 then this is bogus. 
Their advice is not to respond to the number but instead report the matter to your HMRC Contact Centre. 
This guidance does not apply to any messages left in person by HMRC officers asking you to ring them back at your local office. 
Where you have received a suspicious email please forward it to HMRC at phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk..

     

Cancer support and information available

   

9th February 2011

SUPPORT and information will be available at the Boots store in Harlow as part of Cancertalk Week.
West Essex Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service is teaming up with the Boots store in Broad Walk to get people to talk about cancer, ask questions and share their concerns. 
Cancertalk Week runs from Tuesday (February 15) until February 22. Macmillan Cancer Support and Boots UK are encouraging people to get the support and information they need by hosting drop-in cancer information sessions in more than 100 Boots UK stores across the country. 
The Harlow store has been chosen to host Macmillan cancer information specialists who will provide support and information to people affected by cancer. 
Representatives of West Essex Macmillan Information and Cancer Support Services will be at the store during lunchtimes on weekdays to provide general information to people affected by cancer. 
All 2,500 Boots stores will also promote a leaflet outlining Macmillan’s services with staff directing customers to the Macmillan Support Line and website.
For more information visit www.westessexcancerinformation.nhs.uk or ring 01279 698673.

     

Chairman's quiz raises charity cash

   

9th February 2011

THE annual Epping Forest District Council chairman's charity quiz raised almost £1,000. 
Teams consisting of councillors, council staff and youth councillors fought for the winners' trophy on subjects from Harry Potter to sport in 2010 and from Shakespearean Quotes to Doctor Who.
In a closely-fought contest at Theydon Bois Village Hall for the second successive year the 'Grand Slammers' came top, fo the second successive year. 
Many of the teams wore fancy dress with the 'Hawaii Beach' team winning the best dressed table competition. 
Comperes Ian White and Ian Willett were assisted by volunteers who all gave their time for free. 
Council chairman Anne Grigg has chosen four charities - Cancer Research UK, St Clare Hospice at Hastingwood, Chigwell Riding Trust and the Air Ambulance based at North Weald Airfield. 
Mrs Grigg said: "Thank you to all who took part and special thanks to the staff who made tonight possible, the atmosphere was absolutely fantastic. 
"Not only was the evening great fun but raising nearly £1,000 for my four chosen charities made me feel that I was doing something really worthwhile."

     

Police warn Ford owners following thefts

   

9th February 2011

POLICE are warning Ford vehicle owners to pay extra attention to security following recent thefts in the Loughton and Buckhurst Hill areas. 
Since the start of the year there have been six thefts and two attempted thefts of vehicles. 
Crime reduction officer Tony Ellis said: "Over the past month car thieves have stolen or attempted to steal a number of motor cars in the Epping Forest district. Their attention has been particularly attracted to relatively new Ford motor vehicles parked in Loughton, Buckhurst Hill, Debden and Chigwell. 
On January 4 a white Ford Ka car was stolen from Queens Road, Buckhurst Hill and an attempt was made to steal a blue Ford Fiesta from Roding View, Buckhurst Hill, when the front offside door was forced. 
On January 20 a black Ford Fiesta was stolen from Poundfield Road Loughton. 
The following day a blue Ford Transit van was taken from Albert Road, Buckhurst Hill, after someone shouted to the driver that he had hit a cat. 
The van driver got out to look, leaving the vehicle unlocked with the keys in the ignition. The van was then driven away. 
On January 24 the driver of a white Ford Transit van got out at traffic lights in Lambourne Road, Chigwell, to adjust a wing mirror. While doing so the van was driven off with the victim clinging to the front of the vehicle. It was later abandoned further along the road. 
A silver Ford Fiesta was stolen from Longcroft Rise, Loughton, on January 25 and four days later an offside window of a blue Ford Fiesta parked in The Broadway, Loughton, was smashed and damage caused to the steering column. 
The most recent incident happened on February 1 when a silver Ford Fiesta Zetec was stolen from Southern Drive, Loughton. 
Mr Ellis said: "Car theft is a national problem but recently thieves seemed to have turned some of their attention to Ford cars parked in the Loughton area. 
"When your car is parked and unattended the doors should be locked and the windows closed no matter how long or where you are leaving it. 
"When parking at home always use your garage if you have one and don't forget to lock both your car and your garage.
"If you don't have a garage try to park in a well lit open space. Don't leave anything valuable on display inside your car that is likely to attract a thief and remove the stereo if you can. Keep your car keys in a safe place and not on view, even in your house." Anyone with any information about the incidents should ring Loughton Police Station on 0300 333 444 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

     

Health trust steps up membership drive

   

9th February 2011

THE organisation which is set to take over the running of community health services in the area has stepped up its membership drive. 
South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (SEPT) had a display in Costa Coffee shop in Epping High Street and visited Epping Library. 
SEPT was announced as the preferred acquirer of West Essex Community Health Services (WECHS) last October.
The transition process now taking place is due for completion by April 1. 
Subject to the successful acquisition of WECHS by SEPT there will be elections for public governors in this area. Demonstrating a strong local membership is essential for all FTs, so it is important to proceed with recruitment of local members.
Membership co-ordinator Zarina Geoghegan said: "We want to encourage people to explore ideas about how they can help shape their own local community health services as a member of SEPT.
“I believe all local businesses should unite with us whether they are coffee houses, supermarkets, sports centres or retail shops to take action and allow us to promote to their customers the importance of having their say for their health services." 
SEPT is holding a public meeting as part of its membership campaign at The Town Hall, Market Place, Saffron Walden CB10 1HR at 1.30pm today (Wednesday).
Members’ meetings give the local community the chance to ask questions about the Trust and the services it provides. 
No special skills or experience are required, except an interest in the services of the Trust and the people it cares for. 
To qualify to become a member for west Essex, people need to be aged over 12 and live in the Harlow, Epping Forest or Uttlesford district council areas.
For more information, ring the SEPT membership office on 0800 023 2059.

     

Drugs and cash seized at property

   

8th February 2011

POLICE have charged a man over drug possession after a warrant was executed at an address in Waltham Abbey. 
The warrant, obtained under the Misuse of Drugs act, was executed last Thursday at Springfield after police believed illegal activity was taking place at the address. 
A substantial quantity of suspected cannabis, cocaine and cash with an estimated street value of £15,000 was seized. 
Detective Sergeant Rob Huddleston said: "The Epping Forest tactical team will continue to target anyone suspected of dealing drugs." 
Unemployed James Thorp, 43, has been charged on suspicion of possessing and producing a class B drug and possession with intent to supply a class A drug. 
He appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates court on Saturday (February 5).

     

Flats plan for pub site

   

8th February 2011

PLANS to demolish a Chigwell pub and build 14 flats on the site are being recommended for approval - despite a 219-name petition opposing the development.
Central Investment Properties (Chigwell) has submitted a planning application to Epping Forest District Council to bulldoze the Bald Hind pub in Hainault Road and build a part two, three and four-storey building in its place. 
The building would have an L-shaped footprint fronting Hainault Road and Linkside.
There would be a 29-space basement car park accessed off Linkside with two parking spaces at lower ground floor level. 
A 219-name petition and letters from 14 households and Chigwell Parish Council have been received by the district council objecting to the plans. 
A planning officer's report states: "The loss of the site for a community use or development for affordable housing is remedied by the applicant’s agreement to make a contribution of £100,000 to the provision of affordable housing elsewhere within the district. 
"The development would generate a need for additional secondary school place provision, which can be secured by a financial contribution of £20,671, which the applicant’s agent has also verbally advised the applicant is agreeable to. 
"On the basis that a contribution towards off-site affordable housing would be received, the principle of the development of the site for an open market residential development is acceptable."
The officer adds that the proposed development "would respect its setting while being a high quality landmark in the locality".

     

Pupils plant hedges in Epping Forest

   

8th February 2011

PUPILS at Theydon Bois Primary School have helped Epping Forest and Countrycare plant some 125 metres of hedging at Great Gregories Farm, Theydon Bois. 
The event was originally planned to celebrate National Tree Week however it was rescheduled from December due to the snow.
The planting helped pupils with their work on looking after and protecting the environment. 
Teacher Alison Saggers said: "The day is very muddy but fun. The children love the opportunity to get out of the classroom." 
Keith Thompson, estates management officer at the City of London’s Epping Forest, said: "The planting days take place each year and are always enjoyable. It is nice to see the local children getting involved and taking an interest in this area of Epping Forest." 
Abigail Oldham, assistant countryside manager for Countrycare, said: "Tree and hedge planting is a really good way of raising children’s awareness of the environment and wildlife. It is also good fun!"

     

Twins receive charity certificates

   

8th February 2011

TWO stalwart members of the Loughton Methodist Church ‘Action for Children’ Support Group have received prestigious charity awards. 
Twins Marilyn Graves and Tricia May received Stephenson Award Certificates from Loughton Methodist Church minister Rev Tony Morling in recognition of their continuous commitment to Action for Children. 
The charity helps the children who need it the most and is one of the UK’s leading children’s charities (previously known as NCH the children’s charity). Marilyn and Tricia have been involved with the charity since they were children. 
Their father, Joe Hay, worked in the NCH accounts office from 1945 until 1985 when he retired. 
Tricia said: "Without dad we would never have got involved. We used to visit NCH homes with him at the weekends when we would put on disco parties and outdoor activities. 
"Dad also used to visit local Methodist Churches to talk about the work of the charity and we would go there with him too." 
The church support group runs regular fund raising events including the annual ‘house to house’ collection and the Loughton High Road collection which regularly raise £2,500 for the charity. 
Rev Tony Morling said: "Marilyn and Tricia have made an outstanding contribution. Their loyalty and service have made a real practical difference to the lives of young people."
 In 2008 church member Malcolm Bell received a highly prestigious Stephenson award for his work for the charity as chairman of the support group. 
Through nearly 450 projects, the charity works with more than 170,000 vulnerable children, young people and their families to ensure they reach their full potential. 
Funds raised through events are a vital part of the voluntary income required to help fund many of these projects.

     

Have your say on your local NHS

   

8th February 2011

NHS West Essex is holding four discussion sessions across west Essex to give people the chance to have their say on the future of health care in their area.
The meetings aim to bring local residents, community representatives and voluntary and service professionals together to discuss how local heath services will be provided in the next three years, as the NHS goes through a period of radical change.
NHS West Essex chief executive Sheila Bremner said: "The aim of the meetings is to give local people the chance to air their views and give them the opportunity to influence the shape of future healthcare. 
"The meeting will discuss a range of issues, such as how can we make the most of new treatments and preventative care to avoid people having to go into hospital, how should we organise emergency and urgent care services to avoid people having to go into hospital, how are we progressing with improvements for people with long term conditions and how could we achieve savings to our local NHS every year by reducing wasted medicine." 
The local meetings are on Thursday, February 24 (2pm-4pm) in the lecture theatre, Birchwood House, St Margaret’s Hospital, The Plain, Epping, and on Thursday, March 10 (6pm-8pm) in the Griffin Suite, Latton Bush Centre, Southern Way, Harlow. 
Anyone who would like to attend one of the sessions should email david.jackman@westessexpct.nhs.uk or ring 01992 566120 by Monday, February 21.

     

Flats plan for petrol station site

   

7th February 2011

PLANS for 12 flats on the site of the former Wintry Park Service Station, Epping, have been submitted to Epping Forest District Council. 
An application has been unveiled for ten two-bedroom and two three-bedroom flats on the site in Thornwood Road. 
The plans will be discussed by Epping Town Council before a decision is taken by the district council's area plans committee.

     

Tributes paid to Friends group vice-chairman

   

7th February 2011

THE funeral of Ian Anderson, the vice-chairman of the Friends of Swaines Green, will be held at Parndon Wood crematorium, Harlow, next week. 
Mr Anderson died at St Clare Hospice, Hastingwood, on Tuesday, February 2, after a lengthy illness. Mr Anderson was instrumental in organising local events, mainly at Swaines Green, for the benefit of Epping’s people. 
He was quite a controversial figure but focussed his last energies on leaving the Friends of Swaines Green as a vibrant organisation. 
Mr Anderson formed part of the team (which included Epping Town Council and the Corporation of London) which developed a viable scheme for the purchase of the land at Swaines Green. 
This followed years of fruitless negotiation and work on the part of many townspeople. Mr Anderson had the capacity for working comfortably with other people, many of whom may not have shared some of his views. 
His work with the late artist Paul Flack in organising the Lantern Walk enabled that event to become a local highlight. 
Mr Anderson's considerable energy and his focus on Epping will be sorely missed by many in the local community. 
In particular he will be missed in the ongoing work of safeguarding and developing the Swaines Green nature reserve. 
A funeral service will be held at Parndon Wood Crematorium, Harlow, at 12.30pm on Tuesday, February 15. 
His family have requested no flowers but donations to St Clare Hospice.

     

Man found with serious head injuries

   

7th February 2011

POLICE are appealing information after a man was found collapsed with serious head injuries in a Chigwell street. 
The man was taken to Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonstone, after he was found in St Mary's Way at about 7.15am yesterday (Sunday). 
Because of his condition police have not yet been able to speak to the man, who is aged 64 and from Plaistow, east London. 
Anyone who has any information about the incident should ring the serious crime team at Harlow Police Station on 0300 333 4444.

     

Visitors celebrate hall's refurbishment

   

6th February 2011

SOME 80 people visited North Weald Village Hall to celebrate its £20,000 refurbishment. 
Music was provided by Humphrey Lyttleton's pianist Ted Beament and jazz stalwart bassist Murray Salmon with their renditions of 'Misty' and 'Nobody Knows the Troubles I've Seen' particularly well received. 
Village hall chairman Nick Dorras gave a short speech thanking Essex County Council, Epping Forest District Council and the Grange Farm Centre Trust for their grants. 
The county council's Community Initiatives Fund contributed £6,000, Epping Forest District Council £3,000 and the Grange Farm Centre Trust £2,250 with the rest of the cost being self-funded by the village hall. 
The refurbishment work has seen all the outside doors and windows replaced with modern aluminium double-glazed units. 
A new fire alarm has been installed and the building redecorated with a new colour scheme. 
Mr Dorras promised further improvements would be carried out to the hall. 
The event was attended by district council chairman Anne Grigg, North Weald district councillor Dave Stallan, North Weald Bassett Parish Council chairman Cyril Hawkins and Audrey Wheeler, a trustee of the Grange Farm Centre Trust.

PICTURE -  Humphrey Lyttleton's pianist Ted Beament and jazz stalwart bassist Murray Salmon provide the musical entertainment at North Weald Village Hall
Click here http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8853427/hallmusic.jpg

     

Woman's window escape from burglars

   

5th February 2011

A WOMAN jumped from a first-floor bedroom window when burglars broke into her Chigwell home. 
Two or three burglars got into the property in High Meadows at about noon on Monday (January 31). Police said the woman, aged in her 20s, called police and when the burglars realised she was in the house they demanded that she open the door. 
She decided to climb out of the bedroom window and jumped down to the ground floor from the first-floor room. 
She sustained injuries to her legs and was taken by ambulance to hospital where she was treated. 
A police spokesman said the woman is still in pain and has severe bruising. 
The burglars - the woman believes there were two or three of them - escaped with jewellery and electronic items, including laptops.
Police have conducted house-to-house enquiries in the neighbourhood but want to hear from anyone who remembers seeing anyone hanging around the area or saw people leaving the area in a hurry. 
Anyone with any information should contact PC Katherine Clarke at Loughton CID on 0300 333 4444 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

     

Police hunt driver after road collision

   

4th February 2011

A MAN fractured his leg when he was struck by a vehicle on the A414 near North Weald. 
The 26-year-old man was walking towards Ongar near the entrance to the Travelodge when he was struck from behind by a passing vehicle that did not stop. 
The injured man is not sure exactly when the collision occurred but a passing motorist found him lying on the roadside at about 2.50am last Saturday (January 29).
Investigating officer PC Sue Keel said: "The man had been out for the night with friends and was trying to get back to his home in the Brentwood area. "He was near the entrance to the Travelodge when he was struck from behind by what he thinks was a light-coloured vehicle. That vehicle did not stop but it is possible the driver was not aware that he had hit someone. 
"The injured man suffered extremely serious fractures of his left leg and is still being treated in hospital. 
"We want to hear from anyone who may have seen what happened or from anyone who may have seen the man walking along the A414." 
Anyone who can help should contact PC Keel at Chigwell Road Policing Unit on 0300 333 4444.

     

Farming Minister at village hall

   

4th February 2011

THE farming community was praised for its "ability to adapt to change" when the Minister of State for the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs, Jim Paice MP, visited Matching Tye. 
Mr Paice was invited to the constituency by Harlow MP Robert Halfon. He addressed about 50 farmers and local residents on Government policy and a range of farming-related issues before answering questions. 
Mr Halfon said: "I was delighted to be able to welcome Jim Paice to the constituency. I've been meeting with local farmers and they have raised concerns about a number of issues so I wanted the Minister to come along and hear those concerns first hand."
Questions covered a range of topics - from the Common Agricultural Policy, the Rural Payments Agency and the future ownership and management of some of England's forests and woodlands. 
Commenting on the latter, Mr Paice said the Government was looking to "let people have more involvement in the running of the forests". 
He added that despite concerns that had been voiced nationally it was the Government's intention to ensure all existing public access to the forests was maintained. 
Speaking before addressing the farmers at Matching Tye Village Hall, Mr Paice said he was delighted to be out and about meeting local farmers. 
He said: "You can sit in your ivory tower and read as many farming newspapers as you can but until you get out and meet people you don't know what the reality is." 
Addressing the meeting, which was chaired by Richard Broad, chairman of the west Essex branch of the National Farmers Union, Mr Paice - who grew up near Colchester and is the MP for South East Cambridgeshire - said: "Essex farming is in my blood. I've always believed that farming is at the heart of rural communities.
 "We've had a hell of a bad time - a period when the Government of the day treated farming with quite a lot of distain, and that distain extended into the community.
"People who live in the countryside have an incredible ability to adapt to change. They are entrepreneurs."

     

Winning hospice lottery numbers

   

4th February 2011

THE winner of this week's £1,000 prize in the St Clare Hospice lottery lives in Harlow. The winning number is 732416.
The £100 prize goes to ticket number 468995. The winner lives in Harlow.

     

Man freed from vehicle

   

4th February 2011

A MAN has been cut free from his vehicle following a collision on the A414 near Ongar.
Fire crews from Ongar and Ingatestone were called to the junction with Rookery Road at Norton Heath at 8.20am today. 
Two vehicles were involved in the collision. 
Firefighters took about 50 minutes to free the man who was left in the care of the ambulance service.

     

Gunshots fired at house

   

3rd February 2011

POLICE investigating a shooting incident at a house in Waltham Abbey are keeping an open mind as to whether it is linked to a stabbing in the same road two weeks ago.
Two people wearing hooded tops were seen leaving Hayden Road, on the Meridian Park development near the Sainsbury regional distribution centre, after shots were fired at the front of a house in Hayden Road. 
Police are appealing for any information from anyone who was in the Hayden Road area between 6pm and 7pm last night (Wednesday). 
A police spokesman said one person is believed to have fled along Hayden Road towards Greenwich Way and Little Street. 
The other may have left Hayden Road towards Sewardstone Road and the Sainsbury distribution centre. 
The spokesman added: "Officers who are investigating an earlier stabbing in the same road say they are remaining open minded at this stage of the investigation as to whether the two incidents are linked." 
The stabbing occurred in the early hours of Friday, January 21, when a 36-year-old man was in Hayden Road when he was approached by four men, aged in their 20s, who spoke to him before at least one of them produced a knife and stabbed him in the body and legs. 
Police said four suspects are believed to have driven off in a dark-coloured car. 
The victim was taken to hospital in a serious condition and underwent surgery. 
Anyone with any information should contact Essex Police at the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate - Harlow Major Crime Office on 0300 333 4444.
Information can also be given anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

     

Raffle raises Abbeyfield cash

   

3rd February 2011

A RAFFLE which supported the Waltham Abbey mayor's chosen charity has raised over £900.
The prize of a Christmas hamper was won by Doris Johnson, who received her prize from mayor Ricki Gadsby at Waltham Abbey Town Hall. 
A number of local companies donated gifts to include in the hamper. 
The raffle proceeds will go to the Waltham Abbey Abbeyfield Society. 
Mrs Gadsby said: "We are thrilled at raising over £900 for this local charity that does such good work within Waltham Abbey."

     

Library opening times under review

   

2nd February 2011

ESSEX County Council is to review opening times at its libraries however it says that no library will be closed. 
The review is part of a countywide consultation which is being carried out as the council looks to make "sensible cost savings". 
The council has also said that the mobile library service will continue to travel to all the destinations which it currently serves. 
It is proposed that 54 libraries will see a reduction in opening hours, six will stay the same but will see a change in their pattern of opening hours and 13 will see no change. 
Wherever changes are proposed local residents are being encouraged to be part of the consultation, expressing their preference between two patterns of opening hours. 
To create a fair and strategic countywide approach to the reorganisation, the total number of opening hours for each library has, for the first time, been determined using catchment population figures. 
The new hours of opening will see a more memorable pattern within each library, making it simpler for users to know when they can visit their local branch. In addition, wherever possible the reorganisation will see a more co-ordinated approach to making library services available in any one area, so that on a day when one branch library is closed, another in the vicinity is likely to be open. 
County councillor Jeremy Lucas, cabinet member for heritage, culture and the arts, who has responsibility for libraries, said: "Consultation is a crucial part of the libraries' reorganisation. We want to offer our customers the opportunity to express their preference for the pattern of opening that best suits their needs. 
"Essex Libraries have already taken a number of steps to reduce the net cost of the service, partly by actively seeking ways of increasing income. For example, since January 1 we have been delivering the library service for Slough Borough Council, to the mutual benefit of the two authorities. 
"We have also established a variety of income-producing shared uses of our library buildings with other partners within Essex, whether a district or parish council, or other parts of the public sector such as the NHS or the police. 
"These measures are not sufficient in themselves to make all the required savings but the approach we have adopted is flexible enough to offer the opportunity of extending opening hours again wherever we can introduce further revenue-producing arrangements with other organisations." 
The opening hours consultation will runs from Monday, February 14 until Sunday, March 27. 
Customers can register their preferred option by completing a form at their local library or following the instructions online at www.essex.gov.uk/libraries from February 14.

     

Event to mark village hall refurbishment

   

1st February 2011

A SPECIAL event is being held on Saturday to mark the £20,000 refurbishment of North Weald Village Hall. 
Visitors are welcome to call in between noon and 3pm where there will be free refreshments and music provided by Humphrey Lyttleton's pianist, Ted Beament, and jazz stalwart bassist Murray Salmon. 
The refurbishment work has seen all the outside doors and windows replaced with modern aluminium double-glazed units. 
A new fire alarm has been installed and the building redecorated with a new colour scheme. 
The work was made possible thanks to financial support from Essex County Council's Community Initiatives Fund (£6,000), Epping Forest District Council (£3,000) and the Grange Farm Trust (£2,250) with the rest of the cost being self-funded by the village hall.

     

Crews tackle coach blaze

   

1st February 2011

TWO fire crews were called to deal with a fire on a coach in Waltham Abbey.
Firefighters from Waltham Abbey and Loughton took about 25 minutes to deal with the incident on the single-decker vehicle in Galley Hill having been called out at 6.25pm last night (Monday).
A fire service spokesman said 30 per cent of the coach was well alight and crews wearing breathing apparatus used two hose reels to extinguish the blaze. 
There were no passengers on board when the fire broke out at the back of the coach.

     

MP's apprentice on The Politics Show

   

1st February 2011

NAZEING, Roydon and Sheering MP Robert Halfon's apprentice Andy Huckle has been featured on BBC television.
A film crew from BBC Look East filmed Mr Huckle and Mr Halfon at Westminster and at a recent business advice session Mr Halfon hosted in the constituency for an item broadcast on the regional politics programme.
Broadcast to coincide with Apprenticeship Week, Mr Huckle - who was one of 19 applicants for the role as Mr Halfon's apprentice - told the programme why he applied for the position. 
He said: "I've always been interested in politics and always followed it as close as possible. It is just an opportunity to earn and learn at the same time." 
Mr Halfon has been a long-time supporter of apprenticeships and is keen to see a Royal Society of Apprentices created. 
He is also keen to see apprenticeships and apprentices given a higher profile. 
One day a week Mr Huckle, 20, studies for an NVQ in Business and Administration at Harlow College. 
The rest of the week he works with Mr Halfon at the House of Commons. 
The Government recently announced that a further 85,000 apprenticeships will be available across the country - in some 200 job roles.

     

Pupil's cake sale raises £349

   

1st February 2011

CHIGWELL School sixth former Sophie Halls, who visited Fiji last summer, has raised money for a charity by organising a cake sale. 
Sophie's efforts raised the money for the charity Rustic Pathways. 
The organisation is helping the Narayans in the Momi area of the country rebuild and upgrade their homes following the tornado last year.

     


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