EPPING TOWN COUNCIL'S TOWNSPERSON OF THE YEAR AWARDS
22nd February 2012
I couldn't be more pleased that Epping Town
Council have chosen to recognise Phil Nation
through the Townsperson of the Year awards. I
actually introduced them in Epping four years
ago whilst I was Mayor because there were so
many people in our community who had gone
unrecognised for so long and who would usually
shy away from the limelight. Phil is an
outstanding example of why the awards are so
important, and I say that as one of his former
cubs! He is a much-respected Epping resident
with a heart of gold and we thank him most
sincerely for everything he has done during his
scouting career for generations of young people.
CIVIC AMENITY SITES
20th December 2011
This (the closure of the High Ongar civic
amenity site) is an appalling decision which has
been forced through against the wishes of most
councillors, in the mistaken belief it will make
budget savings. You have quoted the cabinet
member's statement "we want to continue
improving recycling and offering the very best
service for our residents". I did everything I
could to convince him that is just what High
Ongar expects too - but regrettably the final
decision is left with the cabinet member.
Ongar county councillor Gerard McEwen
1st August 2011
The council states that not many people are
using the High Ongar tip. What a load of
rubbish. There always seems to be other vehicles
there when I visit. In fact last Sunday (July
31) I had to queue in the road to get in. I was
recycling bottles and cans from a barbecue. The
bottle bank was full and there was nowhere to
put the four clear large plastic recycling bags
full of beer cans. I was told to put them by the
side. I am sure we will see a lot of fly-tipping
if this site closes.
22nd July 2011
I think it is a very bad move on behalf of
Epping Forest District Council to close the High
Ongar site. Every time I visit this site it is
always very busy, the staff are most helpful. I
usually visit this site at least once a week as
I have a large garden and the collection bin for
green waste supplied to me is inadequate for my
needs. Closure of this site will mean local
Ongar residents will have to travel much further
and if the other sites are to have their opening
times cut that will only add to the problem.
Tony Liddicoat, Ongar
EPPING STATION CAR PARK CHARGE INCREASE
I am just down-right disgusted at this
exorbitant price hike to £5.50 from £3.70 per
The only result will be to push more cars around
into surrounding residential streets and wind up
residents and drivers even more, which in turn
no doubt will lead to more yellow lines.
NCP car parks have an appalling reputation for
high charges and for a basic car park such as
Epping it's just not on.
Open the Ongar line and for once do as the
residents of the area want.
Cameron and Clegg want people to get more
involved in running things so for once will
someone listen to us? Probably not.
And what with Christmas coming up and people
wanting to get into town from the Epping area
it's just another tax on commuters.
Although I am in a fortunate position that I
do not have to park in the station car park at
Epping, as an Epping resident I consider the NCP
rise in prices is just plain greed.
There is no way they can claim they offer good
facilities to their customers, they do not offer
security or any other service other than to
offer a piece of concrete on which to park.
How do they justify this exorbitant rise?
Are they going to keep all their employees in
work so they need the money for salaries?
I think not. NCP has never had a good reputation
for customer service and the example here of
their action show how little they care for their
If by some miraculous chance they were thinking
of building a new car park it could be
This is another reason to push for the
re-opening of the Ongar to Epping line.
But don't hold your breathe that Essex County
Council will even consider that.
Tony and Chris Carr
ACTION IN MENTAL HEALTH
This evening (Wednesday, May 19) about 40
people attended AIM's AGM.
Aim runs the Spanners
drop-in club for people with mental health
problems. It is a club that is well loved, often
referred to as a lifeline.
Club members cannot
understand why public funding has been
withdrawn, they are dismayed. They fear for
their health, such is the importance of having a
safe welcoming place to go when you are unwell,
especially in the winter.
Those who made the
decision to withdraw public funding had not come
to explain their decision.
Many of those present
had been patients of the old Claybury Hospital,
when it closed community projects were
encouraged in order to help patients cope in the
Who if anyone will care now for those
who will become increasingly isolated and
I would just like to say thank you to all
those who voted for me in Buckhurst Hill East. I
received many positive responses as I went
around the ward. The Green Party is concerned
about local people, local shops and in short
local communities. We care about the things that
have concerned people for instance the decline
in community and indeed we want to rebuild the
community spirit of Buckhurst Hill. It will take
time but we shall continue to campaign on these
I just wanted to take this opportunity to
thank everyone who voted for the Green Party in
the Chipping Ongar, Marden Ash and Greensted
district council election.
It was the first time I stood as a candidate in
Ongar and I was really pleased with the result I
gained, which shows that the environment and
social justice are things people care about
As a young candidate, I was particularly excited
to receive so much public support and would
encourage other young people to consider
standing in future elections.
It really is a very exciting way of getting
involved in politics and the local issues, two
very important things which impact on our lives
now and will continue to do so in the future.
Amy Barnecutt, Epping Forest Green Party
BNP VIEWS AT WAR MEMORIAL
I am deeply saddened that the last 65 years
seem to account for nothing to some people.
How can a man who has devoted his life to caring
for others and providing spiritual guidance and
teaching actually be condemned for standing up
to racism and fascism?
The Anglican church stands for peace and
equality for all regardless of colour creed or
religion. It is therefore the people who are so
ignorantly attacking Rev Smith that should be
ashamed. It is they who insult the memory of
those who bravely fought to protect our freedom
and the rights of those considered to be
worthless by taking so called offence at his
To imply that Rev Smith was in the wrong for
talking about politics is ludicrous - wars are
the direct result of politics and misguided
politicians - it was the politics of Nazism that
caused World War Two and to conveniently forget
this is once again showing a complete ignorance
and naivety as to the point of Remembrance
We have a moral duty to ensure those lives were
not lost in vain and therefore examine the roots
to conflict - in this case; fascism.
I am so glad that as a citizen of a country that
is supposed to be founded on inclusiveness for
all there are still people who stand up to
intolerance and injustice.
It is these men and women to whom we should all
look up to. It was fascism that was attacked
during the address by Rev Smith and if the BNP
took offence to this then all they have done is
openly admit to be proud followers of this
Christianity fought against Hitler in World War
Two and I pray that people will see these
followers of the BNP and fascism as nothing more
than single-minded racist individuals.
Rev Smith is to be heralded for taking a stand
and refusing to be bullied into making a
If there were more men like this in the world we
would be living in a much fairer and more just
As I recollect Rev Smith did not mention the
BNP in his address at the memorial service.
The BNP chose to take personal offence at his
comments about fascism, something which they
seem to proclaim they are not.
Rev Smith, as a
citizen of this country, is entitled to share
his views on politics, and what is the Church if
not a body of people who share a common belief
The Clergy are employed to preach to
their local community and that is what he did.
The address was about remembering what the
soldiers died for, and to ensure we do not allow
such parties to infiltrate society again which
is exactly what Remembrance Sunday is all about.
I think Rev Smith should be congratulated on
making a stand against such political parties,
of which arguably the BNP is one.
continuously tries to use Christianity as
justification for their absurd views and to
proclaim the notion that England needs to return
to it's Christian roots.
Christianity is about
community and inclusiveness, not hate and
I was disturbed to read that the Rev Geoffrey
Smith felt the need to vilify the British
National Party on the most heart wrenching day
of the year.
Firstly he is supposed to be
non-political, and vilifying a party he doesn’t
agree with as part of a Remembrance Day address,
says everything about the Church of today.
Firstly, the British National Party would do
anything for our soldiers.
And the fascism aimed
at this party shows ignorance beyond belief.
The BNP would never send our troops into any war
that has nothing to with us, unlike our
so-called 'honourable' members of Parliament who
just stand by and watch our men continue die,
just because they haven’t got the guts to admit
they have made a devastating mistake.
soldiers fought in two world wars to stop our
country being invaded and taken over by Germany.
They didn’t fight and die for it to be handed
over a few years later by stealth.
And to the
Right Dishonourable Eleanor Laing I would say.
who is without sin cast the first stone. Good on
Pat Richardson, she is one brave lady. .
Club 195 should be closed down to protect the
safety of us Epping residents. Incidents of the
magnitude of that on September 26 must not be
allowed to happen again. Police need to get
tougher (and I mean police, not PCSOs) and the
scum involved should be locked away, never again
to enter society. It is a shame for respectable
young people who simply want to enjoy a night
out, but their safety is at risk too, and the
only solution is to close Club 195 down.
BUS ROUTE 46 - ONGAR TO
Untrue rumours are circulating that bus route
46 from Ongar to Chelmsford is to be axed at the
end of February.
Press reports demonstrate the distress being
caused to many in the villages who depend on
this service and I would be grateful if you will
allow me to state the true position.
Route 46 is one of a list of contracts due to
end in August and the county council will soon
be inviting tenders from operators to run the
Part of this process is to review the usefulness
and cost of running each service and this
consultation is currently taking place with the
parish councils and users.
Many routes are unable to run profitably and are
subsidised by the council up to a limit of £5
per passenger journey.
In fact route 46 costs a little over the limit
but this simply means it will be subject to
special consideration by the cabinet member.
I have already met with the officers to stress
what a vital lifeline this represents to our
residents and I have also had discussions with
the parish and town councils who are all adding
their valued support.
Many letters and petitions have already been
received and provide valuable personal evidence
of the need for this essential service.
All of this will be helpful when I meet with the
cabinet member before he makes his decision
later this year.
Councillor Gerard McEwen, county councillor
for Ongar Division
WE were very upset and quite angry to learn that
Epping Forest District Council is considering
cutting the No 46 bus route between Ongar and
Chelmsford that serves the villages of Fyfield,
Willingale and Roxwell.
It is virtually the only bus that operates in
these villages and people living in Fyfield,
Willingale and Roxwell that do not have their
own transport, or are no longer able to drive
for a variety of reasons, rely on it to get to
shops, banks, medical centres, hospitals, as
well as basic shopping.
Pupils who attend school in Chelmsford and at
present use the 46 bus service to get to and
from school will also suffer.
We use the 46 bus to take us to Chelmsford much
more frequently now that we are retired.
We have to live now on a much lower income, so
being able to use our Senior Citizens Travel
Passes is an enormous help and also benefits the
environment - less car journeys giving off
There are many `regulars' on the 46 whom the
drivers and other passengers recognise so that
travelling becomes a social event as well as a
With village stores and post offices currently
threatened with closure by our so-called
socialist government's policies, opportunities
for social interactions are dwindling in an
Please use any influence you have as a public
voice to express the importance of public
transport services for rural communities.
Ongar and Chelmsford have many bus services;
Fyfield, Willingale and Roxwell have virtually
only one - the 46 - that operates most weekdays
and provides residents with a link to other bus
services from Ongar and Chelmsford, as well as
If this Government and in particular Epping
Forest District Council have any understanding
of the problems of rural villages, they will not
withdraw this vital transport link.
Howard and Patti Nicholson, Queen Street,
I frequently use the number 46 bus route Ongar-Fyfield-Willingale-Roxwell-Chelmsford
and now I hear it may be axed by Essex County
Whenever I've used this route it seems to be
well used and surely it would be a disaster for
many people living in the outlying villages.
I wonder if you can give this threat some
publicity on this website to stir local
residents into lobbying Essex County Council by
email or post.
John Winslow, Ongar
LIKE all Loughtonians, I was very saddened to
learn of the death in Afghanistan of 19-year old
Marine George Sparks, who lived in Theydon
Mount, but who as a boy attended Debden Park
High School in Loughton.
My father served in the Marines, who are often
the forgotten service, whose work is much less
well known than that of the Navy, Army, and Air
Force, but who for 300 years have served their
country faithfully, often in the most difficult
My mind goes back to another Marine, with the
same surname, Bill Sparks, one of the
cockleshell heroes, whose house in Loughton is
marked by one of the town council's blue
George Sparks died in the service of us all in a
We are proud that he grew up among us, and
immensely sad that he died bravely doing his
country's work in the most dangerous of
Chris Pond, Loughton mayor
WHILST I did not know Georgie Sparks or Tony
Evans I was privileged to line the street
outside Epping Church on Saturday, December 13,
and contribute to Georgie's send off that he
I also offer my sincere condolences to his
family and friends.
On December 12, 1962, I was serving in 42
Commando RM when five Marines of similar age
were killed at Limbang, Sarawark, therefore the
tragic death of Georgie and Tony together with
those four marines from 45 Commando killed in
Afghanistan on Friday, December 12, 2008,
exactly 46 years after Limbang shows how the
demands on our servicemen never cease.
Malaysia was the outcome of the Borneo
Lets hope something as good flows from the
Middle East which makes their sacrifice
The Royal Marines saying "Once a marine always a
marine" is very true. It is a privilege to serve
in the Royal Marines because of its history and
esprit de corps, and as you get older you never
forget those friends and the following verse
sums up how I feel now and I am sure current
marines will feel the same as time passes.
That in the years of youth and friends
When ones life is fashioned for it end
You miss those friends so full of life
Who paid the ultimate sacrifice
John (Bill) Bailey Ex Sgt RM 41, 42, 45,
Commando RM, Honorary Alderman City of Bath
NATURE RESERVE FLYTIPPING
LOUGHTON residents are extremely lucky to
have free access to almost 160 acres of open
meadows, woodland and one and half miles of
riverbank. Roding Valley Nature Reserve welcomes
walkers, horse riders, dog walkers and everyone
who enjoys the open countryside in all its
phases. Less welcome are the ‘flytippers’ who
see the open area as an invitation to avoid the
expense of rubbish disposal. This is an
infringement of the Neighbourhoods Environmental
Act 2005 and carries a penalty of up to £5,000
for private perpetrators, plus the expenses of
clearing the site. Fortunately the last would-be
tippers left ample evidence so the cost of their
house refurbishment is likely to rise
Keith Miller, High Road, Epping
We are now in the worst recession since 1929
and yet I have not seen one word printed from
Epping Forest District Council that acknowledges
Some people in the local area are suffering
quite badly especially the retired living on
investments and now having to dip into their
My concern is in the last two weeks we have
Epping Forest District Council stating they
intend to spend £400,000 on advertising their
services, they are recommending a 2.5% increase
in rates, but what I don't hear is how they can
cut back and cut out a lot of the waste which is
what normal businesses have to do, and consider
how they can reduce the rates.
My first suggestion would be to study what
Brighton Council are doing experimenting with
the Spanish-style waste collection which, for
those who are not aware, sees each 40 houses
have large communal colour-coded wheelie bins.
I appreciate there would be disputes as to where
they are located but the savings once it is set
up are incredible and they could be emptied much
Hugh Farish, Beech Place, Epping
I hope your readers will agree with me that
we owe our sincere thanks to the team who did
such a magnificent job in gritting our highways
during the unusually long spell of cold weather.
To deal with a task of such magnitude Essex
employed over 80 personnel with 65 gritting
lorries on 24-hour standby throughout the whole
We concentrated on A and B roads plus those
leading to larger towns, hospitals, fire and
ambulance stations - an amazing total of over
Each time it takes two hours to cover the whole
route, using 150 tons of salt for every outing!
Sometimes they had to go round the whole lot
three times in one night and by careful
management they did this without running out of
supplies as happened in some counties.
Theirs must have been the most unpleasant, cold
job imaginable and they have earned our
Sadly the downside of all this is the creation
of a huge number of new potholes - just as the
highways department had got the last lot beaten!
Funds have been allocated for this work to start
Councillor Gerard McEwen, county councillor
for Ongar Division
YESTERDAY (Tuesday, February 10) was unusual
in terms of weather but having waded through
numerous floods in Moreton, Abbess Roding,
Fyfield etc the icing (no pun intended) on the
cake was to find black ice on most roads late
last night and no evidence of gritting having
taken place. I saw evidence of accidents on Rye
Hill Road and elsewhere that indicated how badly
gritting was needed and again side roads were
often virtually impassable.
Brian Surtees, Ongar
Loughton Residents Association Plans Group
has objected to the district council about their
plans to put advertisements on roundabouts in or
on the edge of Epping Forest (because these
would be a significant visual intrusion), and at
the junction on Chigwell Lane (because of the
David Linnell, chairman, LRA Plans Group,
Eleven Acre Rise, Loughton.
I have just read (March 7, 2009) your piece on
the cost to us of the gypsy and travellers
consultation, including £6000-plus on
translation. Translation into what? Am I the
only one that is heartily sick of the whole
thing. We've been asked if we want them, the
majority said 'no' - end of consultation.
I HAVE been reading with interest the various
articles regarding the travellers.
Surely two obvious points, at least to me, have
Firstly, these people chose to be travellers so
why do they need permanent plots at all?
Secondly, if they are too have permanent plots
why are they being provided at the cost of the
council tax payer, a body to which they
presumably do not belong, and too the great
inconvenience to said council tax payers?
TRAVELLERS IN NORTH WEALD
Why does the government and local authorities
regard gypsies/travellers as a special breed
entitled to special treatment?
In the latest invasion (news report, April 1),
these people have moved on to a site on the edge
of North Weald airfield - and court action is
being taken to remove them.
Why should it always take court action - for
which no doubt we council tax payers will have
to foot the bill - to move these travellers on?
The police/council/landowners should be allowed
to remove them, forcibly if necessary, and make
them pay the bill for any damage or costs -
impounding their vehicles until they pay up.
These people choose this way of life and should
provide their own, legal, sites on which to live
- not expect law-abiding taxpayers to pander to
The same goes for squatters.
Dennis Wood, North Weald