For more information about election coverage on Everything Epping Forest and Everything Harlow, email everythingeppingforest@gmail.com or ring David Jackman 07710 447868.
 

 

Ejected Green Party candidate suspended from party pending investigation

A GREEN Party candidate who was escorted from the district council election count by police last night has been suspended from the party while an investigation takes place into a complaint that he has brought the party into disrepute. 
Dave Plummer has apologised for his behaviour and told Everything Epping Forest he had "had a bit too much to drink". 
A council spokesman told Everything Epping Forest at the election count last night that Mr Plummer, who was standing in the Waltham Abbey Paternoster ward, was "asked to leave" the election count. 
He was escorted from the count centre at Debden Park High School in Loughton by two police officers before his ward result was declared.
Everything Epping Forest understands that count officials and the police, who were already on duty at the count, were alerted after Mr Plummer was abusive towards candidates and their supporters. 
Mr Plummer, who came fourth out of five candidates standing in the ward, told Everything Epping Forest this morning: "I'd had a bit too much to drink after a few very busy days and was excessively belligerent in conversation. 
"I apologise for the upset and disturbance my demeanour caused." 
A statement sent to Everything Epping Forest this afternoon stated: "Dave has apologised for his actions at the count last night and is seeking help for personal problems which have affected his conduct. 
"Epping Forest Green Party is investigating a complaint that Daveís behaviour has brought the party into disrepute, and he has been suspended while this investigation takes place. 
"We cannot comment further while this investigation is ongoing." 
The Epping Forest Green Party has refused to say who has made the complaint.

     

Ejected candidate apologises for having "had a bit too much to drink"

A GREEN Party candidate who had to be escorted from the district council election count by police has apologised for his behaviour and admitted he had "had a bit too much to drink". 
A council spokesman last night told Everything Epping Forest that Dave Plummer, who was standing in the Waltham Abbey Paternoster ward, was "asked to leave" the election count. 
He was escorted from the count centre at Debden Park High School in Loughton by two police officers before his ward result was declared.
Everything Epping Forest understands that count officials and the police, who were already on duty at the count, were alerted after Mr Plummer was abusive towards candidates and their supporters. 
Mr Plummer, who came fourth out of five candidates standing in the ward, told Everything Epping Forest this morning: "I'd had a bit too much to drink after a few very busy days and was excessively belligerent in conversation. 
"I apologise for the upset and disturbance my demeanour caused."

     

Conservatives gain three seats on district council

THE Conservatives were the overall winners gaining three seats on Epping Forest District Council. 
The Conservatives took a Buckhurst Hill West seat from the Independent group, a seat in Waltham Abbey Honey Lane from UKIP, and the Chipping Ongar, Greensted and Marden Ash seat from the Liberal Democrats.
Loughton Residents Association retained their five Loughton seats while 'father of the council' Stephen Murray recorded the most comprehensive victory of the night polling 82 per cent of the vote in Loughton Roding to secure an 881-vote majority. 
The closest result of the night was in Epping Lindsey and Thornwood Common where Les Burrows (Conservative) beat Liberal Democrat candidate Cherry McCredie by just 30 votes. 
The Conservative gains came in Buckhurst Hill West where Jo Share-Bernia took the seat previously held by Sylvia Watson (Independent), in Waltham Abbey Honey Lane where the Conservative candidates David Stocker and Steven Heather took the two seats up for election; one of the seats had been previously held by UKIP councillor Rod Butler who came fifth out of the six candidates, and in Chipping Ongar, Greensted and Marden Ash where town councillor Basil Vaz (Conservative) took the seat previously held by the late Liberal Democrat councillor Brian Surtees. 
The largest turnout was 43.37 per cent in Buckhurst Hill East while the lowest was just 19.69 per cent in Waltham Abbey Paternoster.

     

District council results

Epping Forest District Council election results, with elected councillors in capitals: 

BUCKHURST HILL EAST - 43.37 per cent turnout - GREEN HOLD 
Dev Dodeja (Conservative) - 50 
STEVEN NEVILLE (Green Party) - 1,084 
Neville Wright (Conservative) - 440 

BUCKHURST HILL WEST - 35.42 per cent turnout - CON GAIN FROM IND 
Joseph Barkham (Liberal Democrats) - 750 
Roger Neville (Green Party) - 246 
JO SHARE-BERNIA (Conservative) - 921 

CHIGWELL VILLAGE - 26.83 per cent turnout - CON HOLD 
Joanne Alexander-Sefre (Liberal Democrats) - 45 
Christopher Lord (Green Party) - 65 
Wendy Maher (Labour) - 114 
DARSHAN SUNGER (Conservative) - 751 

CHIPPING ONGAR, GREENSTED AND MARDEN ASH -29.5 per cent turnout - CON GAIN FROM LIB DEM 
Pesh Kapasiawala (Liberal Democrats) - 308 
BASIL VAZ (Conservative) - 704 

EPPING HEMNALL - 38.16 per cent turnout - LIB DEM HOLD 
Simon Baker (Conservative) - 554 
Inez Collier (Labour) - 176 
JANET WHITEHOUSE (Liberal Democrats) - 1,156 

EPPING LINDSEY AND THORNWOOD COMMON - 35.9 per cent turnout - CON HOLD
Simon Bullough (Labour) -183 
LES BURROWS (Conservative) - 844 
Cherry McCredie (Liberal Democrats) - 811 
Paul Scales (Green Party) - 92 

GRANGE HILL - 26.20 per cent turnout - CON HOLD 
GAGAN MOHINDRA (Conservative) - 803 
Kay Morrison (Labour) - 447 
Rupert Nelson (Green Party) - 136 

LOUGHTON ALDERTON - 26.69 per cent turnout - LRA HOLD 
Angela Ayre (Labour) - 172 
Robert Church (Conservative) - 158 
CHRIS ROBERTS (Loughton Residents Association) - 597 

LOUGHTON BROADWAY - 27.37 per cent turnout - two LRA HOLDS 
Katherine Harris (Conservative) - 126 
Rosie Kelly (Labour) - 176 
MICHAEL OWEN (Loughton Residents Association) - 655 
CHRIS POND (Loughton Residents Association) - 678 
Marshall Vance (Conservative) - 83 

LOUGHTON FAIRMEAD - 28.84 per cent turnout - LRA HOLD 
George Bose (Conservative) - 131 
LOUISE MEAD (Loughton Residents Association) - 606 
Paul Thomas (Labour) - 135 

LOUGHTON FOREST - 36.74 per cent turnout - LRA HOLD
Roger Baldwin (Loughton Residents Association) - 678 
Jonathan Hunter (Conservative) - 486 
Martin Lawford (Labour) -85

LOUGHTON RODING - 33.46 per cent turnout - IND HOLD 
Peter Murray (Conservative) - 129 
STEPHEN MURRAY (Independent) - 1,010 
Kenneth Turner (Labour) - 88 

LOUGHTON ST JOHNS - 35.26 per cent turnout - LRA HOLD 
Neal Bagshaw (Conservative) - 247 
Jill Bostock (Labour) -103 
BOB JENNINGS (Loughton Residents Association) - 884 

LOUGHTON ST MARYS -32.72 per cent turnout - LRA HOLD 
Jon Gilbert (Liberal Democrats) - 53 
HOWARD KAUFFMAN (Loughton Residents Association) - 826 
Joyce Obaseki (Conservative) - 270 
Benjamin Ross (Labour) - 109 

LOWER NAZEING - 23.55 per cent turnout - CON HOLD 
Martin Harvey (UKIP) - 85 
Brett Hawksbee (Labour) - 89 
YOLANDA KNIGHT (Conservative) - 541 
Elaine Thatcher (Liberal Democrats) - 74 

MORETON AND FYFIELD - CON HOLD 
uncontested - Ian Hadley (Conservative) elected. He replaces Tony Boyce who is retiring 

NORTH WEALD BASSETT - 29.27 per cent turnout - CON HOLD 
Ingrid Black (Liberal Democrats) - 219 
PETER BOLTON (Conservative) - 852 

THEYDON BOIS - 38.0 per cent turnout - CON HOLD 
Clive Amos (Liberal Democrats) - 321 
SUE JONES (Conservatives) - 810 
Peter Richardson (Labour) - 130 

WALTHAM ABBEY HONEY LANE - one CON GAIN FROM UKIP and one CON HOLD 
Rod Butler (UKIP) - 229 
Mitch Diamond-Conway (Labour) - 350 
STEVEN HEATHER (Conservative) -564 
Carina Hill (Green Party) - 254 
DAVID STOCKER (Conservative) - 617 
Timothy Vaughan (Liberal Democrats) - 110 

WALTHAM ABBEY PATERNOSTER - 19.69 per cent turnout - CON HOLD 
DAVID DORRELL (Conservative) - 342
Robert Greyson (Labour) - 201 
Ron McEvoy (UKIP) - 56 
Dave Plummer (Green Party) - 77

     

Epping Forest Labour Party launches campaign with record number of candidates

EPPING Forest Labour Party has launched its campaign for the May 3 Epping Forest District Council elections saying it is fielding more candidates than ever before. 
A spokesman said: "We want to make a real difference in the area and can only do so by gaining council seats and representing the hard-working residents of Epping Forest crying out for real change after decades of cuts to local services by the complacent Tory-led administration." 
The spokesman added: "Previous Labour councillors explained (at the launch) how it is possible to make a positive impact even as a member of an opposition party, and how important this is for the people in Epping Forest who are especially suffering as a result of cruel Tory austerity.   
"It is also impossible now to ignore the adverse effect the weak divided minority Conservative government cutbacks on the lives of Epping Forest residents. 
"Whilst these elections focus on local issues itís an opportunity for residents to send a clear message to (Theresa) May, (Boris) Johnson and (Michael) Gove that enough is enough. 
"The very high cost of housing in this area, which is now 15 times the average local pay packet makes it virtually impossible for local people, who are first-time buyers, to remain in the area. 
"It is clear that only Labour councilors in the district will fight for the council homes for residents that are desperately needed.
"Our green spaces are under threat and the recent well-documented Tory Local Plan 'stitch up' threatens to build unaffordable homes on them once again depriving local hard working people of a chance to live and thrive in Epping Forest.
"It is time for a change and Epping Forest Labour Party is determined to campaign to gain district council seats in order to bring about this change 'For The Many Not The Few'." 

PICTURE

     

Sixty-five candidates standing for 21 district council seats

SIXTY-five candidates are standing for the 21 seats up for grabs at the Epping Forest District Council elections on Thursday, May 3.
Current district council chairman Dave Stallan (Conservative) is retiring from his North Weald Bassett seat while there is a straight fight between the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives in Chipping Ongar, Greensted and Marden Ash where the winning candidate will take the seat previously held by the late Brian Surtees (Liberal Democrats). 
And the two parties also come head-to-head in North Weald Bassett. 
Environment portfolio holder Will Breare-Hall is standing down in Epping Lindsey and Thornwood Common where there is a four-candidate fight with two Epping town councillors - Les Burrows (Conservatives) and Cherry McCredie (Liberal Democrats) - among those contesting the seat.
The Green Party have decided not to field candidates in any of the Loughton wards while UKIP are contesting three seats.

     

Candidates confirmed for district council elections

BUCKHURST HILL EAST - one councillor to be elected - seat currently held by Steven Neville (Green Party) 

Dev Dodeja (Liberal Democrats)

Steven Neville (Green Party) - is seeking re-election in Buckhurst Hill East, the ward in which he has lived for almost 43 years. He campaigned successfully for the reopening of the Buckhurst Hill Station entrance at Lower Queens Road and for a pedestrian crossing at the Albert Road/Loughton Way/Roding Lane junction among others. 
He said: "Over the last four years it has been my honour and privilege to represent the residents of Buckhurst Hill East and with their support I hope to continue in this role for another four years. 
"Buckhurst Hill East has a proud tradition of electing non-Conservatives. If re-elected I will continue to be an independent voice for the residents of Buckhurst Hill East and will challenge things that the district council does that affects my residents negatively such as the inclusion of the Lower Queens Road site in the Local Plan.Ē PICTURE

Neville Wright (Conservative) - first served the ward as a district councillor in 2012. A magistrate for five years, he continues to sit on the Bench which serves the Epping Forest and Harlow areas. 
He said: "Crime in Epping Forest and countywide still persists although in many areas the police are using many new techniques to deal with persistent crime. Buckhurst Hill has a great tradition of hard-working, prudent spending Conservative Values." PICTURE

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BUCKHURST HILL WEST - one councillor to be elected - seat currently held by Sylvia Watson (Independent)

Joseph Barkham (Liberal Democrats)

Roger Neville (Green Party)

Jo Share-Bernia (Conservative) - has lived in Buckhurst Hill for 21 years and has been a member of Buckhurst Hill Parish Council for the last six years. 
She said: "Over the last six years on the parish council, I have gained a lot of experience of the issues and concerns which face our residents in Buckhurst Hill. 
"I am delighted that I will now have the opportunity to use that knowledge and insight at the district council. I have already met and know so many people locally and my hope is that I will be able to help with their problems even more than previously." PICTURE

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CHIGWELL VILLAGE - one councillor to be elected - seat currently held by Darshan Sunger (Conservative) 

Joanne Alexander-Sefre (Liberal Democrats) -
 
Christopher Lord (Green Party) - has stood as a candidate in Chigwell Village for the last few years and is very keen to become a councillor and help offer an alternative to the "monochrome" Conservatives. He is very concerned about improving safety for cyclists and in developing safe off-road routes between Chigwell, Loughton and Buckhurst Hill. As a teacher he believes this will encourage children to get healthier and more independent by cycling to school (as well as reducing the congestion of the school run). PICTURE

Wendy Maher (Labour)

Darshan Sunger (Conservative)

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CHIPPING ONGAR, GREENSTED AND MARDEN ASH - one councillor to be elected - seat currently held by the late Brian Surtees (Liberal Democrats) 

Pesh Kapasiawala (Liberal Democrats) - has lived in the Epping Forest district for 13 years and has experience of business and the voluntary sector. He volunteers for local charities and is trustee of two well-known district-wide voluntary organisations. He is an active member of the Epping Forest Dementia Action Alliance group and, with his Rotary Club, founded a Memory Cafe in 2015. He also volunteers at, and supports, the Epping Forest Food Bank. As a committee member of the Epping Forest Chamber of Commerce and YES (Youth Employment Strategy) he promotes local businesses and youth employment. He is a keen athlete and has run 17 marathons raising tens of thousands of pounds for various charities. 
He said: "Keeping fit is important for everyone and a variety of activities is needed. I support keeping the sports centre in Ongar and protecting open spaces for recreation. The Conservatives' Local Plan is likely to expand Ongar by around 600 more homes Ė mainly on Green Belt sites. 
"I am very concerned by the impact of this on local facilities and local roads. I will fight new developments which do not deliver the new infrastructure and community facilities that local residents require." PICTURE
 
Basil Vaz (Conservative)

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EPPING HEMNALL - one councillor to be elected - seat currently held by Janet Whitehouse (Liberal Democrats) 

Simon Baker (Conservative) - has lived in the Epping Hemnall Ward for some years and works in information governance. His key interests include supporting small businesses, ensuring infrastructure is in place to support the Local Plan and tackling anti-social behaviour. 
He said: "I welcome the three extra police officers and security patrols Epping Forest District Council is funding." PICTURE

Inez Collier (Labour)

Janet Whitehouse (Liberal Democrats) - was first elected in 1996 and has served as a district councillor for 22 years and as county councillor for Epping and Theydon Bois for eight years. She served as a governor at two local schools and in 2010 was awarded the High Sheriff's award for community safety. 
She said: " I have worked hard to represent residents' interests in the face of the Conservatives' controversial Local Plan which allocates a disproportionate amount of new development to Epping without the infrastructure to support it.
"I successfully persuaded the council to amend the plan to ensure the library is re-provided if the existing site is redeveloped. I campaigned to keep a sports centre in the town following the Conservatives' decision to allocate the current sports centre site for 43 flats. 
"I care for the environment and founded a local reuse charity. 
"I have a long record of working with older and retired people ranging from helping set up the councilís handyperson service for older householders to serving on national older peopleís organisations. 
"I am an active member of the Epping Forest dementia group, working to make Epping Forest a dementia-friendly community. I am also a member of Epping Community Speedwatch." PICTURE
 
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EPPING LINDSEY AND THORNWOOD COMMON - one councillor to be elected - seat currently held by Will Breare-Hall (Conservative) 

Simon Bullough (Labour)

Les Burrows (Conservative) - has lived in the ward for 40 years. Before becoming involved with local politics he was a trustee of a charity for the temporary homeless based in North Weald from 2003 to 2009. He was elected to Epping Town Council in 2012 and was Mayor in 2016-17. He has also been involved with several community groups during the past seven years, including Epping in Bloom. His priorities include ensuring necessary infrastructure is in place to support the Local Plan. 
He said: "I will campaign for improved leisure and sports facilities within close reach of local people. I will work with our local county councillor to ease traffic congestion at Palmers Hill, Bell Common and speeding motorists on the High Road at Thornwood Common, to make our roads safer, and I will support actions to see the reduction of anti-social behaviour in our area." PICTURE

Cherry McCredie (Liberal Democrats)

Paul Scales (Green Party)

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GRANGE HILL - one councillor to be elected - seat currently held by Gagan Mohindra (Conservative) 

Gagan Mohindra (Conservative)

Kay Morrison (Labour)

Rupert Nelson (Green Party)

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LOUGHTON ALDERTON - one councillor to be elected - seat currently held by Chris Roberts (Loughton Residents Association)

Angela Ayre (Labour)

Robert Church (Conservative) - runs a local garden centre with his family. He says he "cares passionately" about the environment and is a "champion of open spaces". 
He said: "Experienced in planning matters and supportive of the green belt, I would like to use that experience to benefit local residents and will strive for the greater good of our district and stand up for residents' concerns." PICTURE

Chris Roberts (Loughton Residents Association)

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LOUGHTON BROADWAY - two councillors to be elected - seat currently held by Chris Pond (Loughton Residents Association) and Leon Girling (Loughton Residents Association) 

Katherine Harris (Conservative) - lives in the Loughton Broadway ward and her son attends Thomas Willingale School. She has worked locally for several years and has been involved in children centres helping facilitate charity support groups. She currently works for a GP practice. 
She said: "Although national politics is important to me, my main passion and focus is helping my local community." PICTURE

Rosie Kelly (Labour)

Michael Owen (Loughton Residents Association)

Chris Pond (Loughton Residents Association)

Marshall Vance (Conservative)

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LOUGHTON FAIRMEAD - one councillor to be elected - seat currently held by Louise Mead (Loughton Residents Association)

George Bose (Conservative) - has lived in Loughton all his life. 
He said: "I care about our community and am dedicated to being open, transparent and accessible. 
"I have lived in Loughton all my life, was educated locally and after graduating from university, moved to Fairmead. I strongly believe that local residents should make decisions about local issues and should be represented by a local person." PICTURE

Louise Mead (Loughton Residents Association) -
 
Paul Thomas (Labour)

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LOUGHTON FOREST - one councillor to be elected - seat currently held by Roger Baldwin (Loughton Residents Association)

Roger Baldwin (Loughton Residents Association) -

Jonathan Hunter (Conservative) - he was brought up in Cambridge and has lived with his family in Loughton for the last 14 years. He served as deputy chairman of Epping Forest Conservative Association for the last three years. 
He said: "Never has it been more important to vote Conservative and keep the message nationally that a Labour Government would be a disaster for Loughton, Essex and the UK." PICTURE

Martin Lawford (Labour) -

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LOUGHTON RODING - one councillor to be elected - seat currently held by Stephen Murray (Independent) 

Peter Murray (Conservative)

Stephen Murray (Independent) - is the longest-serving district councillor having served continuously for 36 years. First elected for Loughton Broadway in May 1982, he represented the ward for 16 years before switching to Loughton Roding in 1998 which he has represented for the last 20 years. He has served as a Loughton town councillor for 18 years and is currently deputy mayor. 
He said: "I enjoy getting involved in local issues, particularly ward issues and being able to offer advice to local residents. 
"One of the main issues at the moment is undoubtedly the threat posed to our green lungs / village greens within Loughton. I will continue to be very supportive of the 'Save Jessel Green Campaign'." PICTURE

Kenneth Turner (Labour)

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LOUGHTON ST JOHNS - one councillor to be elected - seat currently held by Bob Jennings (Loughton Residents Association)

Neal Bagshaw (Conservative) - has lived in Epping Forest for 15 years and currently works as a director for a medical sales company having previously worked in banking for ten years. 
He said: "I believe in the importance of keeping Loughton safe from over-development. The district council is Conservative-led and a vote for me would ensure that Loughton St Johnís gets a strong voice on the district council." PICTURE

Jill Bostock (Labour)

Bob Jennings (Loughton Residents Association)

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LOUGHTON ST MARYS - one councillor to be elected - seat currently held by Howard Kauffman (Loughton Residents Association) 

Jon Gilbert (Liberal Democrats)

Howard Kauffman (Loughton Residents Association)

Joyce Obaseki (Conservative) - has lived in Loughton for many years with her husband and three children. She was a secondary school teacher and coach for 16 years before she started a social enterprise, Grant a Smile. 
She said: "I am very passionate about serving my local community in Loughton St Maryís ward and making a real difference for our residents.
"I will always be tenacious and honest." PICTURE

Benjamin Ross (Labour)

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LOWER NAZEING - one councillor to be elected - seat currently held by Yolanda Knight (Conservative)

Martin Harvey (UKIP) -

Brett Hawksbee (Labour)

Yolanda Knight (Conservative) - has been a district councillor for eight years and has lived in Nazeing for 11 years. Both her children attended Nazeing Primary School. She has been a Nazeing parish councillor and chairman of the district council's plans west sub-committee which covers the local area. She is also chairman of the district council's Communities Select Committee.

Elaine Thatcher (Liberal Democrats) - was involved in the campaign against Conservative-run Hertfordshire County council's incinerator, working across the county boundary with Broxbourne Liberal Democrats. She is concerned about the existing traffic in and around Nazeing and will campaign for transport and road safety improvements to be implemented, especially in light of the 122 homes planned for Nazeing as part of the Epping Forest Local Plan. She wants any new developments to include genuinely affordable homes suitable for local people seeking their first home. PICTURE

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MORETON AND FYFIELD - uncontested - Ian Hadley (Conservative) elected. He replaces Tony Boyce (Conservative) who is retiring

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NORTH WEALD BASSETT - one councillor to be elected - seat currently held by David Stallan (Conservative)

Ingrid Black (Liberal Democrats) - has lived in the district for over 30 years and brought up her family here. She is a part-time primary school teacher and has taught in several schools in the area. She was a school governor of Epping St Johnís C of E School and was part of the team that oversaw the move into its new building and the creation of the Sixth Form. She is a volunteer at Epping Forest Foodbank and a member of a local church.
She said: "As a local resident, I am very aware of the appalling condition of local roads and pavements and regularly spend time reporting potholes and other damage.
"I am concerned about vehicles speeding through North Weald and along other local roads and support Speedwatch as a deterrent. 
"As a teacher and former school governor, Iím concerned at the loss of the youth services that used to be provided by Conservative-controlled Essex County Council." PICTURE

Peter Bolton (Conservative)

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THEYDON BOIS - one councillor to be elected - seat currently held by Sue Jones (Conservative) 

Clive Amos (Liberal Democrats) - moved to Theydon Bois nearly 30 years ago because of its rural setting close to London. He has a background in the health service, working in the NHS in London for many years before retiring. He served as a magistrate for 25 years during which he was elected chairman of the Bench for the maximum permissible three years. He also chaired the Finance Committee of the Greater London Magistrates Courts Authority responsible for the management of magistratesí courts across London. 
He said: "In Theydon Bois it is important to ensure we maintain close scrutiny of all planning applications, resist those that are inappropriate and would spoil the village and ensure planning decisions are strictly enforced. 
"Speeding vehicles and burglaries are also a problem and I am pressing for a more visible police presence as a deterrent. 
"Like most residents I am deeply concerned by the state of our roads and pavements which the county council has failed to maintain. 
"In the light of government cuts I will do all I can to ensure that residents money is spent wisely to deliver the local services we need." PICTURE

Sue Jones (Conservative) - has been a Theydon Bois councillor for eight years and has lived in the village almost all her life. A former teacher at Theydon Bois Primary School, she now teaches part-time at another local school. She has been a parish councillor for 12 years, four of them as chairman, and chaired the planning committee. She has chaired the district council's plans east sub-committee for four years.

Peter Richardson (Labour)

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WALTHAM ABBEY HONEY LANE - two councillors to be elected - seats currently held by Rod Butler (UKIP) and Glynis Shiell (Conservative)

Rod Butler (UKIP) - has lived in the area for 11 years. He has two grown-up children and two grandchildren. He was first elected as a councillor for Honey Lane in May 2013 with 45 per cent of the total votes. For 35 year he has worked as a karate instructor running clubs in various areas. He runs the karate club at Waltham Abbey Pool. He describes himself as an "advocate" for protecting the forest and local green belt, and does not support the "never-ending" building of houses on Green Belt land or in "community designated" areas. 
He said: "The problems caused by the overflow of heavy duty lorries from the M25 junction 26 lorry park have been immense in the areas of Honey Lane, Old Shire Lane, Farthingdale Lane and other roads in the area. 
"The roads, verges, bollards and pavements have all been damaged by illegal parking in the local roads. I do intend to get this problem sorted out and will present a question about this to full council at the next council meeting." PICTURE

Mitch Diamond-Conway (Labour)

Steven Heather (Conservative) - a retired firefighter, he has lived in Waltham Abbey for 24 years. He is a committee member of Waltham Abbey Residents Association and chairman of Waltham Holy Cross Conservative Club and was a governor at Upshire Primary School. 
He said: "If elected I shall do whatever I can to preserve the village feel of the town."

Carina Hill (Green Party) - a former registered nurse and childrenís nursery owner with a law degree, Carina works for a charity and has a particular interest in environmental and animal welfare issues. Locally she was involved in the successful campaign to prevent commercial deer hunting in Epping Forest and has led calls for reducing traffic-related deer deaths. She plays an active role in both the Plasticís Not Fantastic in Epping Forest campaign to reduce single-use plastics and the Waltham Abbey Litter Picking Posse. She is also involved with several local animal and wildlife groups, including Waltham Abbey Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation. PICTURE

David Stocker (Conservative) - has lived in the area all his life, the last 20 years in Waltham Abbey. He ran a jewellers in Highbridge Street until he retired in 2016. Since then he has been actively involved in many local community groups. 
He said: "If elected I will actively campaign to get our street lights back on. I believe it is vitally important that residents do not feel vulnerable when they need to step out of their homes after dark."

Timothy Vaughan (Liberal Democrats) - has lived in Waltham Abbey for eight years and currently chairs the local branch of the Liberal Democrats, of which he has been a member for more than 15 years. 
He said: "I strongly support Liberal Democrats' policies on protecting and promoting our health and education services, as well as social care in the community. 
"Cutbacks to vital services under the Conservatives have made life more difficult for many in our community and caused further deterioration in the local environment, for example the quality of roads. 
"At the same time insensitive housing development is encouraged. If elected I would actively promote a reappraisal of budgets for local services and a more careful and considered approach to housing development." PICTURE

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WALTHAM ABBEY PATERNOSTER - one councillor to be elected - seat currently held by David Dorrell (Conservative) 

David Dorrell (Conservative) - a former UKIP district councillor, he joined the Conservative group earlier this year. He resigned from UKIP at the time of last year's elections and until his switch to the Conservatives had sat as an Independent councillor. He was originally elected in Waltham Abbey Paternoster as a UKIP district councillor in May 2014. 
He said: "At a local level I wholeheartedly support the Conservative ethos of delivering essential services as efficiently as possible, while keeping council tax frozen, and I have been particularly impressed with how well the Transformation programme is being managed to this end."

Robert Greyson (Labour)

Ron McEvoy (UKIP)

Dave Plummer (Green Party) - has worked in both the public and private sectors. He currently runs his own small business providing backroom support for small charities and volunteers at The Scratching Post Cat Rescue centre off Honey Lane. A former trade union representative, he has a particular interest in improving the public services and infrastructure that the less well-off rely on. He has been involved local, varied campaigns, from the campaign to save the Royal Gunpowder Mills to helping address car parking charges in Lee Valley Regional Park sites. He is currently helping parents campaign to save Waltham Holy Cross School from being forced to become an academy. He set up the Waltham Abbey Litter Picking Posse group and Plastic's Not Fantastic in Epping Forest campaign and is a founding member of the Epping Forest Transport Action Group, campaigning for better public transport and safer streets in Epping Forest. He was pivotal in arranging a new school bus for Epping St Johns pupils and is currently working to reinstate late evening buses for Waltham Abbey. He is secretary of the Waltham Abbey Neighbourhood Plan committee and a member of the Waltham Abbey Residents Association committee. PICTURE

     

Conservatives confirm Loughton Alderton candidate

THE Conservatives have announced Bob Church as the party's candidate for the Loughton Alderton ward at the Epping Forest District Council elections. 
Mr Church says he "cares passionately" about the environment and is "champion of open spaces". 
Mr Church, who runs a local garden centre with his wife and grown-up children, said: "Experienced in planning matters and supportive of the green belt, I would like to use that experience to benefit local residents and will strive for the greater good of our district and stand up for residents' concerns."

PICTURE

     

Conservatives name Loughton Fairmead candidate

THE Conservatives have named George Bose as the party's candidate in the Loughton Fairmead ward in the Epping Forest District Council elections on Thursday, May 3. 
He said: "I care about our community and am dedicated to being open, transparent and accessible. 
"I have lived in Loughton all my life, was educated locally and after graduating from university, moved to Fairmead. 
"I strongly believe that local residents should make decisions about local issues and should be represented by a local person."

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Conservatives confirm Buckhurst Hill East candidate

THE Conservatives have chosen Neville Wright as the candidate for the Buckhurst Hill East ward at the Epping Forest District Council elections on Thursday, May 3. 
He said: "With your support I intend to represent your needs and aspirations whether that is just fixing the ubiquitous potholes or planning for the local community that our children and grandchildren will inherit. 
"When I first represented you at district level in 2012 I had been a magistrate for five years and I continue to sit on the Bench although the courts have amalgamated in Chelmsford with Harlow and Epping closing down. 
"Crime in Epping Forest and countywide still persists although in many areas the police are using many new techniques to deal with persistent crime." 
He added: "Buckhurst Hill has a great tradition of hard-working, prudent spending Conservative Values. 
"We constantly review our services and just in the case of our halls, if we believe we can achieve more we will plan to do so, whether that be spending on the upkeep or looking to remodel them. 
"We have a winning team of Conservatives already running all levels of local government in Epping Forest, and with your help I intend to continue that tradition."

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Twenty-two seats up for grabs on Thursday, May 3

TWENTY-two seats on Epping Forest District Council will be up for grabs when voters go to the polls on Thursday, May 3. 
The deadline for candidate nominations is Friday, April 6.
Elections will take place in Buckhurst Hill East (one councillor), Buckhurst Hill West (one councillor), Chigwell Village (one councillor), Chipping Ongar, Greensted and Marden Ash (one councillor), Epping Hemnall (one councillor), Epping Lindsey and Thornwood Common (one councillor), Grange Hill (one councillor), Loughton Alderton (one councillor), Loughton Broadway (two councillors), Loughton Fairmead (one councillor), Loughton Forest (one councillor), Loughton Roding (one councillor), Loughton St Johns (one councillor), Loughton St Marys (one councillor), Lower Nazeing (one councillor), Moreton and Fyfield (one councillor), North Weald Bassett (one councillor), Theydon Bois (one councillor), Waltham Abbey Honey Lane (two councillors) and Waltham Abbey Paternoster (one councillor).

     

Outgoing Conservative association deputy chairman to contest Loughton Forest ward

THE deputy chairman of Epping Forest Conservative Association has been chosen to contest the Loughton Forest ward at the district council elections in May. 
Jonathan Hunter was brought up in Cambridge and has lived with his family in Loughton for the last 14 years. 
He has been deputy chairman of Epping Forest Conservative Association for the last three years. 
He said: "Forest Ward is one of the few district council seats in Loughton which has voted Conservative recently. 
"Never has it been more important to vote Conservative and keep the message nationally that a Labour Government would be a disaster for Loughton, Essex and the UK."

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Longest-serving district councillor seeks re-election

EPPING Forest District Council's longest-serving councillor, Loughton Roding Independent, Stephen Murray is seeking re-election in May. 
Mr Murray has served continuously on the district council for 36 years having been first elected for the Loughton Broadway ward in May 1982. 
He switched to the Loughton Roding ward in 1998. 
He said: "I have also served on Loughton Town Council for 18 years and am currently deputy mayor. 
"I enjoy getting involved in local issues, particularly ward issues, and being able to offer advice to local residents. Presently I have a record of more than 7,500 individual cases I have had some involvement with over the years. 
"One of the main issues at the moment is undoubtedly the threat posed to our green lungs / village greens within Loughton. I will continue to be very supportive of the 'Save Jessel Green Campaign'." 
Mr Murray has retired from full-time teaching at Roding Valley High School and hopes to be able to devote even more time to his council duties if re-elected. 
He said: "My main passion is being able to support local groups within our community and dealing with individual residents enquiries.
"I feel it is also important to have experienced councillors who can keep a watchful eye of scrutiny on the proposals and decisions made by the majority group." 
Away from council work, Mr Murray is chairman of the Oakwood Hill Estate old peoples club, chairman of the local Royal Forest Scout Association, a volunteer at Epping Forest Foodbank, a trustee of the Reuse Centre social enterprise and a committed Christian worshipping at Loughton Methodist Church.

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Buckhurst Hill parish councillor is Conservative candidate in Buckhurst Hill West for district council elections

BUCKHURST Hill parish councillor Joanne Share-Bernia has been chosen as the Conservative candidate for Buckhurst Hill West at the Epping Forest District Council in May. 
She has lived in Buckhurst West for 21 years. Her family also lives locally. 
A chartered psychologist working in the public and private sectors, she has been a parish councillor for six years. 
"I have enjoyed working with the community and other councillors to improve facilities locally and passing on concerns like potholes, parking complaints and safety issues of residents to our district and county councillors." 
She has been council vice-chairman and is currently chairman of the recreation and amenities committee. 
"I have supported the successful Community Cinema and recently supervised the landscaping of a derelict area, Stacey Gardens, on High Road, Buckhurst Hill, as a beautiful green place for residents to enjoy. 
"We have the extremely hard-working councillor Chambers to thank for helping me to resurrect this green space.
"My local activities include actively supporting all Buckhurst Hill events, with district councillor Gavin Chambers and county councillor Valerie Metcalfe.
"For example, Christmas in Queens Road and more sombre events like Remembrance Day."

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Conservatives confirm Epping Hemnall candidate for district council elections

THE Conservative candidate for the Epping Hemnall ward at the Epping Forest District Council elections is focussed on the infrastructure needed to support the Local Plan, and local policing.
Simon Baker has lived in the Epping Hemnall Ward for some years and commutes into London where he works in information governance. 
He said: "It is vital we support small business. I use Epping Sports Centre and appreciate its importance to local residents, if elected I would push to ensure there was a high quality centre in close proximity to Epping and Coopersale. "I am a member of Epping Neighbourhood Action Plan group. 
"If elected I want to ensure the infrastructure proposed for Epping as part of the Local Plan such as the neighbourhood centre, the health hub and the new primary school in Ivy Chimneys are delivered and the new library put in an accessible location. 
"I am also interested in the issue of anti-social behaviour and attended the Essex Police and Crime Commissionerís last public forum, asking local police about measures they were taking to tackle anti-social behaviour in Theydon Grove and Broadoaks. 
"I welcome the three extra police officers and security patrols Epping Forest District Council is funding."

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Conservatives announce Loughton St Mary's candidate for district council elections

THE Conservatives have confirmed the party's candidate for the Loughton St Mary's ward at the Epping Forest District Council elections. 
Joyce Obaseki has lived in Loughton for many years with her husband and three children. 
She was a secondary school teacher and coach for 16 years before she started a social enterprise, Grant a Smile. 
She said: "I am very passionate about serving my local community in Loughton St Maryís ward and making a real difference for our residents. I will always be tenacious and honest."

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Former Mayor is Conservative candidate for Epping Lindsey and Thornwood Common

FORMER Epping mayor Les Burrows is the Conservative candidate for the Epping Lindsey and Thornwood Common ward at the Epping Forest District Council elections in May. 
Mr Burrows and his wife, Carol, have lived in the ward for 40 years. Both their children were born at St Margaret's Hospital. 
He said: "Before becoming involved with local politics I was a trustee of a charity for the temporary homeless based in North Weald from 2003 to 2009." 
Mr Burrows was first elected to Epping Town Council in 2012 and was Mayor in 2016-17. 
He has served on various committees, including the Anti-Social Behaviour Working Group. 
He was deputy chairman of the planning and general purposes committee and is also on the development committee for the future of the St John's Road site. 
He has also been involved with several community groups during the past seven years, including Epping in Bloom. 
Mr Burrows said: "My four priorities will be to ensure that Epping Lindsey and Thornwood Common gets the appropriate infrastructure following the implementation of the Local Plan. 
"I will campaign for improved leisure and sports facilities within close reach of local people. 
"I will work with our local county councillor to ease traffic congestion at Palmers Hill, Bell Common and speeding motorists on the High Road at Thornwood Common, to make our roads safer, and I will support actions to see the reduction of anti-social behaviour in our area."

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Loughton Broadway Conservative candidate: "My main passion is helping my local community"

THE Conservative candidate for the Loughton Broadway ward at May's district council elections says her main passion is "helping the community". 
Katharine Harris said: "I have chosen to live in this vibrant Loughton Broadway ward and my son attends Thomas Willingale School. 
"I have worked locally for several years and have been involved in children centres helping facilitate charity support groups, currently working for a GP practice alongside an NHS Clinical Commissioning Group. 
"Although national politics is important to me, my main passion and focus is helping my local community."

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Conservatives confirm Loughton St John's candidate

THE Conservatives have confirmed their candidate for the Loughton St John's ward for May's district council elections. 
Neal Bagshaw, 40, has lived in Epping Forest for 15 years and currently works as a director for a medical sales company having previously worked in banking for ten years. 
He said: "I believe in the importance of keeping Loughton safe from over-development. 
"The district council is Conservative-led and a vote for me would ensure that Loughton St Johnís gets a strong voice on the district council."

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Conservatives select Buckhurst Hill West candidate

BUCKHURST Hill West parish councillor Joanne Share-Bernia has been unanimously selected by Epping Forest Conservatives to stand in the Buckhurst Hill West ward at the Epping Forest District Council elections on Thursday, May 3. 
District councillor and Epping Forest Conservative Association officer Gavin Chambers said: "I am delighted that Joanne, who is both a friend and colleague, has been selected. I know how hard she already works for our community. 
"Jo always responds to whatever she is asked to do, and I welcome the fact that she will join our Conservative team in Buckhurst Hill. 
"I look forward to the opportunity to work alongside her at the district council." 
Joanne said: "Over the last six years on the parish council, I have gained a lot of experience of the issues and concerns which face our residents in Buckhurst Hill. 
"I am delighted that I will now have the opportunity to use that knowledge and insight at the district council. 
"I have already met and know so many people locally and my hope is that I will be able to help with their problems even more than previously."

     

Former UKIP councillor joins Conservatives

FORMER UKIP district councillor David Dorrell has joined the Conservative group on Epping Forest District Council and has been selected as Conservative candidate Waltham Abbey Paternoster at the May elections. 
Mr Dorrell said: "As one who campaigned passionately for Vote Leave it has become clear in the 18 months since that the Conservatives are the only party that can or even want to deliver a pragmatic Brexit, opening up global future opportunities while safeguarding business in the short term. 
"At a local level I wholeheartedly support the Conservative ethos of delivering essential services as efficiently as possible, while keeping council tax frozen, and I have been particularly impressed with how well the Transformation programme is being managed to this end. 
"I look forward to being able to continue representing my residents' interests as I always have, but with more support and better contacts at both district and county level, I hope to get even more done for them in the future." 
Mr Dorrell was originally elected in Waltham Abbey Paternoster as a UKIP district councillor in May 2014. 
He resigned from UKIP at the time of last year's elections since when he has been sitting as an Independent councillor.

     

Green Party co-leader to visit Buckhurst Hill

GREEN Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley will visit Buckhurst Hill on Saturday (February 10) to speak to residents and small business owners about how the Green Party is working to improve their community. 
Mr Bartley, a dedicated disability rights campaigner and father to a disabled son, will visit Buckhurst Hill Station where Green Party councillor Steven Neville has successfully campaigned for step-free access. 
During Saturday's visit, he will also go to Lower Queens Road where small businesses and flats are under threat as a potential site for development in the district council's Local Plan. 
The visit is part of a local Green Party action day of campaigning ahead of the May district council elections when Mr Neville will be standing for re-election. 
Mr Bartley said: "With just two district councillors, the Greens in Epping Forest are making a real difference from securing step-free access at Buckhurst Hill Station to reducing plastic use in the council offices and across Epping Forest. 
"They are the voice of local people whether it be supporting the local campaign to save a well-loved green space or fighting to save shops and other small businesses from demolition. 
"One of those businesses, the IG9 cafe, has a great reputation for their vegan options so I'm particularly looking forward to visiting and finding out more." 
Mr Neville, one of two Green Party district councillors for Buckhurst Hill East, said: "I am delighted Jonathan is coming to see some of the work we have been doing. 
"Step-free access for Buckhurst Hill Station has been long overdue and is a must for disabled people, the elderly and parents with small children especially. 
"Our fight to save the shops and homes of those in Lower Queens Road is very important." 
He added: "We believe in a strong local small business sector and that people should not be turfed out of their homes for redevelopment. This is part of the work of I have been doing over four years representing my residents."

     

Longest-serving district councillor to seek re-election

THE longest-serving district councillor, Stephen Murray, has announced his intention to seek re-election to Epping Forest District Council in May for a further four-year term. 
Mr Murray, the Independent councillor for Loughton Roding and longest serving district councillor, has served continuously on the district council for 36 years having been first elected for the Loughton Broadway ward in May 1982. 
He represented Loughton Broadway for 16 years before switching to Loughton Roding in 1998 which he has represented for the last 20 years. 
He said: "I have also served on Loughton Town council for 18 years and am currently deputy mayor.
"I enjoy getting involved in local issues, particularly ward issues and being able to offer advice to local residents.
"One of the main issues at the moment is undoubtedly the threat posed to our green lungs / village greens within Loughton. 
"I will continue to be very supportive of the 'Save Jessel Green Campaign'." 
Mr Murray has just retired from full-time teaching at Roding Valley High School and hopes to be able to devote even more time to his council duties if re-elected in May. 
He said: "My main passion is being able to support local groups within our community and dealing with individual residents enquiries.
"As an Independent I will simply be standing on my track record and getting the best deal for the area I represent and the wider district."

     

Greens stand aside to help save Jessel Green

EPPING Forest Green Party members have voted not to contest wards held by Loughton Residents Association (LRA) in May's Epping Forest District Council elections.
Buckhurst Hill East Green Party councillor Steven Neville said: "Saving our precious green spaces is a must and I know Jessel Green is well used by the residents who live there.
"It is with this in mind that we are not standing against the LRA who serve the residents of Loughton well at the next local elections. It is decision of a poll of our members and is the right one at this moment in time."
Epping Forest Green Party co-ordinator Dave Plummer said: "Epping Forest Green Party officers thought very hard before suggesting this to our members. We believe that everybody who wants to vote Green should be able to.
"However every vote for a non-LRA candidate is a vote that could lose an LRA seat on the district council, making the fight to save Jessel Green even harder.
"We're proud of our members for voting to stand aside on this one occasion and in this very specific circumstance.
"Saving Jessel Green is too important to risk undermining the campaign for the sake of party politics."
Mr Neville and Green Party councillor Simon Heap, who also represents Buckhurst Hill East, both voted against building on Jessel Green at December's Local Plan meeting and say they are working to protect shops and housing near Buckhurst Hill station from redevelopment.
The LRA-held wards in question are Loughton Alderton, Loughton Broadway, Loughton Fairmead, Loughton Forest, Loughton St John's and Loughton St Mary's.