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Loughton Town Council Epping Forest District Council Essex County Council

Council Tax - 2015-2016

LRA-led Town Council holds council tax precept (February 2015) More information

Other bodies
The County and District Councils are holding their Council Tax precepts unchanged. However, The Essex Police & Crime Commissioner is increasing the amount that goes to the Police.

Loughton Town Council (LTC)

Noise nuisance (December 2015)
A Loughton council house resident has been prosecuted by the Council for breaching a Noise Abatement Notice The Magistrates imposed a fine of 120, plus 200 towards the Council’s prosecution costs of 200, the new Criminal Court charge of 520 and a Victim surcharge of 20. He is being evicted.
Pump Hill green (York Hill) improvements (December 2015)
Loughton Town Mayor, Judy Jennings, and Essex County Council Chairman, Cllr Norman Hume, recently unveiled a new orientation board, a Loughton Town Council (LTC) project which had been suggested by the Hills Amenity Society. The Council also made other improvements, including a new Victorian-style grit bin, new & refurbished wooden bollards with reflector strips, renovated street name signs, and the painting of lampposts and the antique water pump.

This is a very popular destination for local residents and tourists, particularly in the summer. who come to enjoy the panorama and walk in Epping Forest. Funded by LTC & Essex County Council.
York Hill sign


Traps Hill Leisure Centre Christmas/ New Year opening hours (& others in the District) (December 2015)
More

Loughton Town Council Heritage Plaques (December 2015)
  • Ruth Rendell: the owners of 45 Millsmead Way have given permission for the installation of a blue plaque, likely to be installed in February, when Ruth Rendell’s son will be visiting the UK.
  • London General Omnibus Company Garage. The Council is discussing with the
  • manager of Homebase the possible installation of a blue plaque at the store in Church Hill.
Heritage plaque

Financial Assistance for Loughton organisations (October 2015)
Loughton’s local groups, organisations and charities are invited to apply to the town council for financial assistance for the period from April 2016 – March 2017.

In this current financial year, LTC helped 27 groups totalling over 27,000 to improve or maintain their services to the local community by Loughton Festival, Loughton Film Society, Loughton Neighbourhood Watch, Love Loughton, Loughton Methodist Church, St Mary’s Church, Loughton Voluntary Care Association, Loughton Youth Project, the Red Balloon Family Foundation, Spark, Restore Youth Activities, Noah’s Ark Toddler Group, Reindeer Explorer Scout Group, Chigwell & District Physically Disabled Support Group, Epping Forest Sportability Club, Revitalise and the Loughton Branch of the Epping Forest District Citizens Advice Bureau
More

Royal Oak Path (October 2015)
This is the name chosen by Loughton Town Council for the alleyway alongside the pub. It was suggested by Mr Russell Woodland, who was responsible for collating the evidence from local residents as part of the PROW application. A small ceremony to mark the naming of the path will be arranged in due course. (You can’t see through from Forest Road to Smarts Lane, but the path is open!)

New Community Orchard Planting Day (October 2015)

This will be held on Thursday October 29th, from 10am at the Willingale Road nature reserve next to Debden Park High School – come along and help! The official opening ceremony is at 2.30pm.

Litter etc behind the shops at 228 - 244 High Road (October 2015)
Loughton Town Council is asking the District Council to carry out a deep clean of the fence line of The Drive public car park and to write to the other property owners.

Loughton Town Council wins awards (October 2015)
The LRA-led Town Council has won:

Essex Association of Local Councils – the Acumen Wages Service Award for Community Work in recognition of the wide range of community events organised or supported by the Town Council.

Essex Playing Fields AssociationBest Kept Playing Fields Competition 2015

In addition, on the basis of the project to create a new community orchard in the Willingale Road nature reserve, the Council is a finalist in the Green Essex Awards – Greenest Community Project, which recognises organisations/groups who are working to improve their own local environment or wider area.

Loughton Town Council

Loughton High Road Town Centre Partnership (TCP) “Loughton1st”) (October 2015)
Despite heroic efforts by those closely involved, the past year has been a difficult one for the TCP - a number of events organised in the High Road were popular but had too few stewards, were time-consuming and complex to organise, and did not seem to reduce the general decline in trading.

The TCP needs to re-engage with fellow traders, residents and town and district councils and re-define its aims. It is therefore commissioning an independent consultation on its goals so that it can serve the wider community better. Until the consultation exercise is complete, the TCP will not stage any public events and will meet quarterly rather than monthly.

Loughton High Road

Heritage Plaques (September 2015)
As it has not proved possible to progress plans for a blue plaque for Lady Mary Wroth at the Woodland Grove Care Home, off Rectory Lane, Loughton Town Council is considering possible plaques for Ruth Rendell (1930–2015, author), who attended Loughton High School for Girls and lived at 16 Broadstrood, and for the London General Omnibus Company garage in Church Hill.

Best Allotment Awards 2015 (September 2015)
Winner was Rosie Partridge from the Loughton Potato Ground. The runner up was Teresa Witham, from the Willingale Road site and Carol Wilkins was the winner of the Best Newcomer Award for allotment tenants with less than two years’ experience. Twenty eight other allotment plots were judged as Highly Commended / Commended. Loughton Town Council.
 
Christmas Card competition (September 2015)
Can you design the Town Council’s official Christmas card this year?
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New memorial planter (August 2015)
This is by the entrance to the public car park in The Drive, commemorating the falling of the first bomb on the London Civic Defence Area in WWII on 26 July 1940 and the resulting fatalities. (picture of ceremony). Organised by Loughton Town Council.

The memorial was fitted in the location where the first bomb fell.


WWII Commemoration (July 2015)
There will be a commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the falling of the first bomb (and casualty) in the London Civil Defence area. The attack occurred on 26 July 1940 at the public air raid shelter, which is now part of the District Council’s car park next to the Morrisons approach road off The Drive. The Town Council will install a large octagonal self-watering flower planter with a memorial inscription by the entrance to the public car park. There will be a short ceremony on Sunday 26 July, to which representatives from the Essex Fire Service and relatives of the casualties have been invited. Poster & pictures

Loughton War Memorial (July 2015)
The Town Council is to add the names of Warrant Officer Harold James Bassingthwaite (d 1945), Pilot Officer Gerald Frank Russell Cooke (d 1942) & 2nd Lieutenant Harold Johnson Martin (d 1942), who lost their lives in service during World War II.

Play Area Leaflets (July 2015)
The Town Council has produced a leaflet showing a location map and details of the eight play areas and two outdoor gyms. More

Grass cutting (June 2015)
Loughton Town Council received a complaint about patchy grass cutting on Kings Green, High Road (opposite the cricket ground). They confirm that grass cutting across the town on all those areas with naturalised spring bulbs is delayed for at least six weeks to allow the bulbs to regenerate and help ensure successful flowering the following year.

Loughton War Memorial (May 2015)
The Roll of Honour is a list of all the names of local servicemen and civilians who gave their lives for the service of this country and who are currently commemorated on the various memorials in the town. More

Loughton Town Council is investigating the names of up to 70 other servicemen to see whether they meet the criteria for adding to those on the Kings Green War Memorial.

First steps for Loughton Neighbourhood Plan (March 2015)
The LRA-led Loughton Town Council has taken the first steps towards preparing a Neighbourhood Plan - give your views on the area to be covered by the plan (formal consultation on the Neighbourhood Plan itself will come later).  More

As anyone, including developers, can designate areas as "neighbourhoods" and then make proposals about their future, the Town Council has taken the lead to ensure a properly organised process which will involve the people of Loughton. LRA Cllr Stephen Pewsey has commented that once a plan has been agreed - by a process of consultation and local discussion - about what sort of place we want Loughton to be, that must then be taken into account during the District planning process.

Loughton Town Council to support 28 local organisations in 2015-16 (March 2015)
News article

Flood Problems in Loughton (March 2015)
Essex County has also identified Loughton as a high priority area and the Town Council is suggesting the three local top priority areas, which could prevent the flooding of residential homes: It’s 75 years since the falling of the first bomb (and casualty) in the then London Civil Defence area (March 2015)
This occurred at a public air raid shelter which is now part of the District Council’s car park in The Drive - the Town Council will consider marking this with a memorial plaque or interpretation panel.
“Loughton Special Trees” project (March 2015)
Nominate your favourite local trees – those which have a personal connection for you. Tell the Town Council why they matter so much. Help protect and enhance what is most valuable about our natural environment in the Town. More

Play Area Leaflets (March 2015)
You can see the details of the Town Council’s  eight play areas and two outdoor gyms. More

Missing? (March 2015)
Loughton Town Council wants residents to nominate names of soldiers who have not yet been honoured on the Kings Green war memorial. 020 8508 4200 or by email

Loughton Special Trees” project (March 2015)
Nominate your favourite local trees – those which have a personal connection for you. Tell the Town Council why they matter so much. Help protect and enhance what is most valuable about our natural environment in the Town. More

Protect Loughton’s trees (March 2015)
Our trees are a special feature of the Town. If you have any reason (now or in the future) to be concerned that a tree on private land which forms a significant part of the streetscape may be at risk, please contact the District Council asap about a Tree Protection Order (TPO). A TPO prevents pruning or felling without permission from the Council. More


Think Loughton (March 2015)
Have you had your copy of LRA-led Loughton Town’s Council’s Spring newsletter? If not then it’s available (as are the back numbers) online

Traps Hill playground equipment (March 2015)
This is safe but a little “tired” in appearance. It’s on the Town Council's list for improvement, and in due course they will be asking for residents’ views. If you’d like to be consulted, let them know

Christmas Lights (February 2015)
The Town Council took over organising the lighting from the Town Centre Partnerships. They ran a pilot project to provide one-metre (3-foot) tall real trees lit with battery LED bulbs, installed in or above the flower baskets in The Broadway and the High Road. The general consensus is that this was a good solution achieved at short notice although the bulbs needed to shine more brightly – the Council hope to make significant improvement next Christmas.

Loughton Town Council will be considering the feedback. Hopefully next Christmas there will be more – and brighter – lights on the lamp-posts. We would like to take the opportunity to thank Nando’s for providing the lights on what we used to call “Browns’ tree”, and for supporting the High Road Town Centre Partnership.

Public Right of Way, Borders Lane/Rectory Lane (February 2015)
A Community Service Team has cleared the fly tipping along this route.
More

Neighbourhood Planning (February 2015)
LTC have applied to the District Council to designate the civil parish of Loughton as a Neighbourhood Area
More

The District Council will publicise this application on its website and invite representations on the proposal for at least six weeks.

Loughton War Memorial (February 2015)
LTC is treating as a high priority the requests it has received to add the names of some of servicemen who lost their lives on active service to the war memorial. It expects to have the Roll of Honour (a list of all the names currently commemorated on the various memorials in the town) available on the Council’s website by early March.

Heritage Plaques (February 2015)
LTC has now installed a plaque to commemorate Joan Littlewood & Margaret Walker at the entrance to the East 15 Acting School, Rectory Lane. Plans for a plaque to remember Lady Mary Wroth (1587-1653), the first recognised female author in England, are in hand.
Loughton Town Council success (February 2015)

The LRA-led Town Council has achieved the highest accolade (Quality Gold) in the new Local Council Award Scheme by demonstrating it is at the forefront of best practice by achieving excellent standards in community governance, community leadership and performance management. More
Newmans Lane Play Area (February 2015)

T
he Council will be replacing the damaged toddlers swing pod seat.

Traps Hill Play Area (February 2015)

This is the next play area scheduled for refurbishment and the Council is seeking advice from a member of the Register of Play Inspectors (RPII) to identify options for maximising the site’s play value.

Proposed upgrade to existing Vodafone base station (February 2015)
Epping Forest College, Borders Lane. Vodafone want to replace 6 antennae. The proposal will be discussed at the Loughton Town Council planning meeting on Monday February 4th . More

Loughton Town Council Christmas Competitions (January 2015) Heritage Plaque (January 2015)
The Council plans to commemorate Joan Littlewood & Margaret Bury-Walker at the entrance to the East 15 Acting School, and will soon announce the arrangements for a short ceremony to mark the unveiling.

Historic Milestones (January 2015)
These milestones at the junction with Spring Grove, outside 12-mile Cottage, Church Hill and near Goldings Pond will be cleared of plants, cleared and repainted by a party of Town Cllrs.

Village greens
Epping Forest District Council has recently submitted objections to Essex County Council regarding the Town Council’s applications to register four greens (Jessel Green; Newmans Lane; Rochford Green (off Westall Road); and Rookwood Gardens, because they assert that they do not now meet the legal conditions for approval. The Town Council is taking legal advice.

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Epping Forest District Council

Anti-social Behaviour (ASB) (September 2015)
The two Council ASB investigators report they:0 Fraud prosecution (September 2015)
Earlier this year EFDC prosecuted two people involved in a fraud against the council on the Right to Buy scheme. Using the Proceeds of Crime Act, it clawed back the total discount plus any further monies deemed to be proceeds of crime, and has received over 88,000. (This was a significant case, not only for the council but for social housing fraud in general - it attracted national interest, and was used as an example for a national housing fraud strategy.)

Corporate Fraud Team (September 2015)
Between April and August 2015 the team:
•   recovered seven properties where there were tenancy issues (not living there etc.).
•   stopped eight Right to Buy (RTB) applications where problems or potential fraud were found.
•   stopped one housing application at an early stage due to the discovery of fraud.
•   currently has five criminal prosecutions in the various stages of being prepared (four relate to RTB applications and one to a sublet).

Litter (September 2015) Apprentices (September 2015)
EFDC have recruited 7 Business Administration Apprentices and 1 Construction apprentice. (Of the 2013/14 Apprenticeship programme, six out of the nine original young apprentices successfully gain permanent employment within the council)

Council housing waiting list (September 2015)
EFDC revised its Housing Allocations Scheme earlier this year – following a re-registration process, it now has 1,399 homeseekers on the Housing Register and 140 applicants on the Supplementary Waiting List (applicants>60 who do not meet the Residency Criteria, have no housing need but want to apply for sheltered accommodation for older people) [Previously around 1,800 & around 210 respectively.]

Council-houses (August 2015)
The District Council is accelerating its building programme.. More
Read the Council meeting agenda

Revised Housing Allocations Scheme and Tenancy Policy. (August 2015)

Annual canvass of electors (July 2015)
You should have had, or will soon receive, the initial Household Enquiry Form. As in the past, any households with no changes let the Council know this on the internet or by Freephone or text. This year you can also tell them of any changes to your details using the internet. More

Dead street tree (June 2015)
Last year the District Council planted new trees 59 new or replacement trees in Loughton (over 25% of the total of 200 planted). If you know of a dead or dying street tree, please let the Council know at 01992 564562 or by email

District Councillors allowances & expenses 2014/2015 (June 2015)
More

Air Quality (May 2015)
The District Council reports that the Annual Updating and Screening Assessment for DEFRA is currently being prepared. Monitoring results show that air quality in Epping and Loughton high streets is at borderline levels, and any deterioration would require the authority to consider the declaration of Air Quality Management Areas.


Parking enforcement (May 2015)
Presentation by NEPP at a District Council meeting, followed by Cllrs’ questions, including questions by LRA Cllrs David Wixley, Leon Girling & Ken Angold-Stephens. More

Eligibility for Council Housing (May 2015)
The District Council has decided to make some changes, including increasing the current 3-year Residency Criteria, so any new applicant who has lived in the District for less than 5 continuous years immediately prior to their date of registration won’t qualify for inclusion on the Council’s Housing Register. More

Council properties (May 2015)
2014 Annual report to Tenants

District Council Citizen of the Year video  (March 2015)
More
Help hold the District Council to account  (March 2015)
The Council want to co-opt some-one to provide an independent perspective, working to help the Audit and Governance Committee to monitor and review how the Council is run. This is an opportunity to become involved in many interesting challenges, and a real chance to become more engaged with your local community. More

Fly-tipping prosecution (March 2015)
Two Loughton residents were recently prosecuted – both were given 12 month community orders and other penalties; both have to pay the Council’s prosecution costs of 298 each. More

Rats - High Road (March 2015)
After a complaint from a local trader about rats in an area behind a High Road fast-food outlet, LRA Cllr Ken Angold-Stephens contacted District Council; Environmental Officers came down to inspect the area & will contact those residents who aren’t using their bins correctly, will see whether waste storage in the area can be improved & will contact the fast-food outlet.

Pest Control


Rats – England’s Lane (March 2015)
LRA Cllr Caroline Pond was approached by problems to neighbours caused by a tenanted property – the Council were already aware of the problem and had written to the tenants asking them to deal with the problem and/ or contact their landlord. Residents & traders are not encouraged to use poison because of environmental concerns; however, if the waste management is sorted out the rats should disappear – they’re only there for the free food. 


Rats – advice (March 2015)
The District Council no longer run a pest service, but they have useful advice

Parking Charges (February 2015)
Because of financial pressures, from July EFDC plans to scrap free parking on weekends / Bank Holidays in Council off-street car-parks. There will be a 2-hour free period before charges (1 a day) start. More

District Council council housing rents
These will be increased by an average 2.2%.

Epping Forest Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) (February 2015)
The CAB is currently based at the Ignite Centre next to St. Mary’s Church. The Church now have planning permission to redevelop this site for a new community-use building, which CAB will move into when completed. They will need temporary accommodation whilst the site is re-developed.
District Council tenants downsizing (January 2015)
Tenants are offered up to 2,000 to downsize by moving from one council property to another with fewer bedrooms. In 2013/14, 41 tenants downsized, resulting in 54 bedrooms being released. Downsizing payments and other expenses came to 47,500

Housing list (January 2015)

As at August 31st 2014 there were 1,563 home-seekers on the Housing Register (compared to 6,219 in June 2011; the criteria have been changed), plus 210 applicants over 60 who wanted sheltered accommodation.

Langley Meadows Amenity Area (January 2015)
The relevant District Council committee have agreed that the site at the Kingdom Hall end is not suitable for council housing – it will be used for open car-parking spaces. (The site at the Willingale Road end of Langley Meadows is suitable for council housing and will go forward for detailed planning). Report (See map on page 123)
 
No ball games (January 2015)
A group of residents have been plagued for the last few years by youngsters playing ball games on the open area outside their houses, and have had long discussions with the District Council. They are very pleased that the Council has now put in a planting scheme which we hope will solve the problem (we’re not against youngsters having somewhere to play, but in this case the damage and disturbance being caused meant LRA Cllrs were happy to support the residents’ complaints).

Epping Forest Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) (March 2014)
 We understand that they will be able to stay on at St. Mary’s Church for at least another 18 months; when the site is re-developed the Church will look at permanent provision for the CAB. They may need temporary accommodation whilst the site is re-developed though.
More
News article

Grants for local organisations
I
f you run a local community group or club, and need funding, consider applying for an EFDC grant. More

Shops Local
The new website listing local businesses, set up by the District Council to help local shoppers and traders, is at http://www.oneshopslocal.com/. Please try it. And if you run a local business, please make sure you’re listed (free) under Loughton, or Debden, or both.


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Essex County Council

Comments on the Comprehensive Spending Review/Autumn Statement (December 2015)

Calling the council (October 2015)
Essex County Council phone numbers starting 0845 will change to start with 0345 from Monday November 2nd.
More 

Money for community projects (July 2015)
Last year, Essex County Council awarded sums of up to £20,000 to 90 projects from last year's Community Initiatives Fund. Apply this year

London
takeover (February 2015)
Cons Cllr K Bentley, County Council deputy leader, was interviewed about London taking over parts of Essex - he firmly rejected the idea.) More

Government funding (January 2015)

Essex County Council’s (ECC) initial assessment of the Government funding announcement suggests that the 2015/16 grant to ECC will be cut by 49m. [We are increasingly concerned that local services will be reduced or removed.]

Library futures (October 2014)
Cllr Chris Pond has been added to an Essex County Council member group considering the future of the customer-facing services it offers. There are 74 libraries in Essex, which are in effect the Council's shop windows for local people. Chris asked new cabinet member, Roger Hirst, for an explicit assurance there would be no library closures - this was readily given. The group may be considering proposals for relocation of some libraries (for example, the moving of Debden Library into Epping Forest College, which has never met with general approval of local people), and the addition of other county council services to library buildings.

Local youth facilities
When the County Council and the Town Council jointly built the the building which houses the Town Council’s Murray Hall and the County’s “Loughton Centre for Young People” on Borders Lane, we were promised that the County-run youth centre there would provide a range of services for local youth. What little the County Council actually provided has been steadily cut back, and the centre is only open one evening a week. Youth services across the District are currently under full review by the County Council as part of a county-wide savings exercise, due to a 50% cut in County’s youth services funding from the Government – there will be a significant reduction in the number of youth workers and the possible closure of some youth facilities. The District Council are currently working with a range of partners to try to some of the gaps in provision, particularly for the Loughton Broadway and Oakwood Hill areas. LRA Cllrs are taking a keen interest.

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