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The Phoenix Hotel on the A414 at Bobbingworth which is being used by the Home Office to accommodate asylum seekers

3.29pm - Wednesday, November 9


DISTRICT: District council "taking advice" over use of two hotels to house asylum seekers

Epping Forest District Council has told Everything Epping Forest it is taking "planning and other statutory advice on possible options" over the use of the Bell Hotel in Epping and the former Phoenix Hotel at Bobbingworth to accommodate asylum seekers.

The council has "a number of significant concerns" about both locations and said it has "lost no time in making our concerns clear to the Home Office”.

Two weeks ago Everything Epping Forest revealed the Home Office was using the Phoenix Hotel on the A414 to house asylum seekers, without having informed or consulted with the district council or local parish councils.

The district council has said the Home Office ditched plans to resume the use of the Bell Common hotel - which was first used to accommodate asylum seekers in July 2020 - earlier this year after the local authority voiced concerns.

However the hotel is again being used for the same purpose, without any consultation.

One local resident who contacted Everything Epping Forest about the Bell Hotel said: "There are definitely people occupying the building. I have just seen three Somali men leaving there.

"There are more and more people leaving the hotel daily and walking past my house."

A district council statement issued to Everything Epping Forest today states: "Epping Forest District Council is taking planning and other statutory advice on possible options after two local hotels were taken over by the Home Office for asylum seekers."

Councillor Holly Whitbread, Epping Forest District Council’s cabinet portfolio holder responsible for community safety, said: “The Home Office has acted alone on this. There was no consultation with the district council or other partners. 

"We have a number of significant concerns about these locations. 

"The Phoenix is on a busy road, in an isolated location where it is difficult to access shops and public transport. 

"Local services such as health and schools already have high levels of demand and pressure on them."

Councillor Whitbread added: "While the Bell has been used by the Home Office before, it also comes with a number of inherent difficulties. 

"Decisions to use the Phoenix and Bell were both taken without consultation. We have since lost no time in making our concerns clear to the Home Office.

"The Home Office withdrew proposals to use the Bell in a separate instance following concerns voiced by the council earlier this year."

Councillor Whitbread added: “Apart from the stress on local services, we have real concerns for the health and safety of the people placed in these hotels. 

"There are clearly international issues to be addressed but neither of these hotels is suitable.”

Commenting on the use of the Phoenix Hotel, North Weald Bassett Parish Council said it was an "entirely inappropriate location".

A Home Office spokesperson told Everything Epping Forest: "The Home Office does not comment on operational arrangements for individual hotels.

“The use of hotels to house asylum seekers is unacceptable and we are working with local authorities to find appropriate accommodation across the United Kingdom.”

The Home Office said it continues to provide safe accommodation for destitute asylum seekers who need it as it works to end the use of hotels which are costing UK taxpayers over £5m a day, adding that local authorities are key partners in enabling it to procure sufficient accommodation to end the use of hotel contingency.

The Home Office added that due to the unprecedented number of small boats arrivals, facilitated by callous criminals, and the pressure from Covid-19 on the broken asylum system, it has been necessary to use hotels to accommodate some asylum seekers however it said that this is only ever a short-term solution and it is working with its accommodation providers to find appropriate dispersed accommodation across the UK.
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Wednesday, November 9

NAZEING: Parish council to consider housing development plans
EPPING: Primary school children address council over climate change

Tuesday, November 8

'EVERYTHING TODAY': News round-up (November 8)
DISTRICT: "Real improvements" in housing repairs service since Qualis transfer
DISTRICT: Cabinet approves Grounds Maintenance Service transfer to Qualis
EPPING: Woman injured in Centre Drive collision

Sunday, November 6

FOOTBALL: Epping Town second in league after 4-2 victory
ONGAR: Police investigating fail-to-stop crash
LOUGHTON: Hair salon gutted in blaze

Saturday, November 5

BOBBINGWORTH: Woman dies in two-vehicle collision on A414
EPPING: New playground officially opened
PICTURES: EPPING: New playground officially opened

Friday, November 4

'EVERYTHING TODAY': News round-up (November 4)
DISTRICT: Council committee opposes service transfer to Qualis
EPPING: More than 50 stalls at Christmas Market

Thursday, November 3

LOUGHTON: Armed robbery victim renews appeal a week after ordeal
THURSDAYS (term time only) - Epping Forest Singers, a friendly, non-auditioned choir - Buckhurst Hill Community Primary School, Lower Queen's Road (7.30pm-9.30pm). For more information CLICK HERE or ring musical director Fru Chilvers for an informal chat on 07761 817907, or email


THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10 - Stanford Rivers Parish Council - Toot Hill Village Hall, Toot Hill (5pm).

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10 - Nazeing Parish Council planning committee - Scout Hut, Perry Hill, Middle Street, Nazeing (8pm).

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11 - Remembrance: 10.30am:  Service at the memorial plaques to the civilian casualties and HMS Sickle in the Memorial Garden outside St John’s Church, St John's Road, Epping.

11am: Dedication of the Garden of Remembrance at the War Memorial, Town Green, Epping.

11.30am: Service of Remembrance at Epping Cemetery, Bury Lane, Epping (by the Commonwealth War Graves).

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12 - St Win's Christmas Fair - St Winifred's Church Hall, Manor Road, Chigwell (11am). Crafts, stalls, tombola, raffle, refreshments. Free admission.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12 - The Woodford Singers and Brook Brass hosting ‘A Night of Song and Brass' concert - St Gabriel’s Church, Wanstead (7.30pm). Pieces will include music by Purcell and Ola Gjeilo, a musical theatre medley from 'Fiddler On The Roof' and a jazz section from the Woodford Singers. Brook Brass will perform a piece created around the words of Pepys, plus a Beatles set. Tickets, £12 for adults and £10 for children, are available via ticketsource. Tickets also available on the door. For more information visit

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13 - Remembrance Sunday. Coverage of services and wreath-laying ceremonies across the district on Everything Epping Forest.

NORTH WEALD - 10.50am: The Royal British Legion’s Act of Remembrance at the Parish War Memorial, St Andrew’s Churchyard, North Weald, followed by a special service in the church.

LOUGHTON - 11.45am: Parade from Royal British Legion club, Church Hill (11.45am) for 12.15pm service and laying of wreaths at the war memorial on Kings Green.

NORTH WEALD - 12.15pm: North Weald Bassett Parish Council’s wreath-laying service at the Airfield Memorial, outside Ad Astra House (North Weald Airfield Museum), Hurricane Way, North Weald.

EPPING -1.55pm: The Remembrance Day Parade assembles at the Civic Offices car park, High Street, Epping.

EPPING - 2.10pm: Parade proceeds to the War Memorial led by the Epping Forest Pipe Band.

EPPING - 2.20pm: Wreath-laying ceremony at the War Memorial.

EPPING - 2.45pm: The Parade marches off along the High Street to St John’s Church, paying compliments to the Town Mayor, the Chairman of the District Council and the OC 56 Squadron RAF on the way.

EPPING - 3pm: Service of Remembrance at St John’s Church., St John's Road, Epping.

ONGAR - 2.30pm: Service of Remembrance at Ongar War Memorial Medical Centre, Fyfield Road, Ongar (2.30pm).

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16 - Epping Forest District Council district development management committee - council chamber, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping (7pm).

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17 - Epping Forest District Council overview and scrutiny committee - council chamber, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping (7pm).

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17 - Buckhurst Hill Parish Council planning and environment committee - Buckhurst Hill Library, Queens Road, Buckhurst Hill (7pm).

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17 - Buckhurst Hill Parish Council finance and establishment committee - Buckhurst Hill Library, Queens Road, Buckhurst Hill (8pm).

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19 - Rotary Club of Epping charity concert - St John's Church, St John's Road, Epping (7.30pm) with The 'Musica' Charity Choir. For ticket information ring 01992 577173.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2 - Epping Christmas Tree Festival - St John's Church, St Johns Road, Epping (official opening at 1pm by Town Mayor Barbara Scruton). Open until 8pm. More than 70 decorated trees prepared by schools, clubs, businesses, societies and local individuals. Craft stalls, tombola, lucky dip and refreshments with entertainment from children’s groups and other community groups throughout the weekend. Refreshments. Adults £3 (admission free for up to 16-year-olds when accompanied by an adult); students, aged 16+, £1 with student ID card.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3 - Epping Town Council Christmas Market - Epping High Street (10am-4pm).

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3 - Epping Christmas Tree Festival - St John's Church, St Johns Road, Epping (10am-5pm).

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3 - Felicitas choir concert - 'Carols of the World', The Abbey Church, Highbridge Street, Waltham Abbey (7.30pm). Inspired by the men's football World Cup, Felicitas explores a wide variety of Christmas music from around the world. Tickets, £15 (£12 in advance; free for children and full-time students aged under 25). Tickets available via More details at

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4 - Epping Christmas Tree Festival - St John's Church, St Johns Road, Epping (11.30am-4pm).

MONDAY, DECEMBER 5 - Epping Christmas Tree Festival - St John's Church, St Johns Road, Epping (10am-2pm).

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7 - 'Christmas Memory Train' on the Epping Ongar Railway. Free to residents in the district living with dementia or mild cognitive impairment to enjoy with a friend, family member or carer. Arrive at North Weald Station (10.30am) for 11am departure to Ongar Station to meet Father Christmas. Light lunch served on return journey. Mulled wine, tea, coffee and mince pies at North Weald Station. Tickets must be pre-booked. Ring 01992 564226 (10am to 4pm Monday to Friday). Bookings close at noon on Monday December 5.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10 - Christmas Food and Gift Fayre hosted by Stort Valley Spirits in aid of St Clare Hospice - Redchurch Brewery, Harlow, CM20 2SE (noon-5pm). For more details, ring 01279 773750.

​The Roding Players Orchestra's Christmas concert, St Mary's Church, 201 High Road, Loughton (7pm). Tickets available on the door priced £8, including refreshments (£7 concessions, free for under-11s; card payment available).

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11 - Santa & Elf Fun Run for St Clare Hospice - starts and finishes at the St Clare Hospice Shop, The Broadway, Debden. Registration from 11am (run starts at noon). Entry is £15 for adults (£5 for children). The cost includes a Santa suit for adults and Elf ears for children. Book tickets at For more information, ring Clare Morris on 01279 773750 or email

SUNDAY, JANUARY 15 - Waltham Abbey Wool Show - Waltham Abbey Marriott Hotel, Old Shire Lane, Waltham Abbey (10am-4pm). For more details, ring 01992 651066 or 07950 027959.
To email an item for the News and Events Diary CLICK HERE
(Ovtober 8) - THORNWOOD: Greggs plan for service station
(September 27) - LOUGHTON: The Last Post pub up for sale
(September 26) - EPPING: FatFace store to close
(September 22) - NORTH WEALD: Driver training for children
(September 21) - NORTH WEALD: Restaurant up for award
(September 17) - LOUGHTON: Asian restaurant for High Road
(September 6) - LOUGHTON: New Indian restaurant opens
(September 6) - PICTURES: New Indian restaurant opens
(September 1) - EPPING: Architect's office plan for former bank
(August 2) - EPPING: New travel agents opens
Are you a local business with a news story - a pub or restaurant with a new menu or a venue holding a special themed night, maybe a shop with special offers or a sale, or a business supporting a local charity?

(October 9) - The Moletrap, Tawney Common, launches winter menu
To email an Everything Local Business news item CLICK HERE

(added October 2, 2022) - David Jackman reports on the unveiling of memorials to commemorate the part played by Matching and Chipping Ongar (Willingale) airfields during the Second World War.

Three years of planning and fundraising has resulted in the official opening of the new play area on the Lower Swaines recreation ground in Epping.
The equipment - located on three sites on the Epping Town Council-managed recreation ground - has been funded thanks to the efforts of Epping Playground Association which raised £176,000 for the project.

Celebrations marked the 40th anniversary of the twinning arrangement between Epping and the German town of Eppingen.
Epping Hall hosted a reception - with speeches, cake cutting and exchange of gifts - and a dinner for the 50 German guests who made the journey to commemorate the friendships and connections established between the towns over the past four decades.

Buckhurst Hill FC reached the Second Round of the FA Vase with a 5-3 victory on penalties - after a 2-2 draw in 90 minutes - over Basildon Town at Myrak Park, Roding Lane, Buckhurst Hill.


The 'Everything Today' news round-up is emailed to news subscribers and available via the social media feeds. 
Register your email address HERE 


The 'News Talk' audio bulletins feature a round-up of news for the Epping Forest district.

To listen to the latest bulletin (October 25)

The latest bulletin includes an update on the review of Epping Forest District Council ward boundaries, and the latest on the new £25m leisure centre to be built on the Bakers Lane car park.


Everything Epping Forest provides weekly news bulletins for Epping-based local radio station Forest Gold - Radio Forest.
VIDEO NEWS: For news videos and video news reports CLICK HERE
EMAIL: To email Everything Epping Forest CLICK HERE
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Everything Epping Forest has 47,162 social media and email connections.
Everything Epping Forest was launched by local journalist David Jackman in November 2008.
David was nominated for Epping Forest District Council's Citizen of the Year civic award in 2020, and Highly Commended in 2022 "in recognition of his commitment to the local community of Epping Forest".
The success of Everything Epping Forest as a hyperlocal news source has been featured on Sky News, the BBC Radio 4 'You and Yours' programme and BBC Essex as well as in several media publications.
The Everything Local News media service prepares and circulates news releases to the local and regional media and each client's email subscribers. Updates are also featured on the Everything Local News Facebook and Twitter feeds.
For more details ring 07710 447868.
Cucina Italiana. The Street, High Ongar

Fresh authentic Italian food served in a modern, clean environment. A modern, fine dining restaurant open for lunches and dinner. Parties catered for. Open seven days a week. Bar and courtyard areas. Serving the best of Italian fine wine, beers and other alcoholic beverages in a warm, elegant setting.
"We are passionate about Italian food and strive to create exciting specials along with all your favourites."
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday - noon-2.30pm and 5.30pm-10pm.
Sunday - noon-9pm.

Tel: 01277 369999 

Website Instagram
Lionico Barbers, 38 High Road, North Weald, under new management 

The shop has been taken over by two reputable barbers who have been friends from an early age. Barry and Chad have embarked on their dream of offering haircuts and shaves and made it a reality. Lionico Barbers is open seven days a week with refreshments and stamped tokens for your next free haircut.
Free parking outside and nearby.
"We pride ourselves on ensuring the customer is first. We look forward to welcoming you to Lionico Barbers soon."
Tel: 01992 926928 Facebook Instagram
Trix Magosara

A ceramic designer-maker based in Thornwood. A 2021 First Class graduate from Central Saint Martins. In her studio, she makes bespoke handmade ceramics which are sold online HERE 
She has been working with clients, making bespoke ceramics to be sold in a shop. She now offers a new activity to do around the area - Pottery classes. 
Make your own hand-made ceramics, a great experience and a perfect gift for yourself or friends and family! Book a two-hour beginners' friendly session online
Trix also attends the monthly Thornwood Market selling her ceramics and demonstrating her throwing skills in public at The Parish Hall, Weald Hall Lane, on the first Saturday of the month.

Instagram: @trixmagosara
Facebook page: Trix Magosara
Contact: / 07478 212959.
House 2 Home, High Street, Epping

House 2 Home is a family-run business offering a wide range of products for everyday needs.
​Kitchen Kolors

Kitchen Kolors specialises in rejuvenating existing kitchens. If your kitchen is looking tired or you simply would like a change of colour, Kitchen Kolors specialist spray teams using the latest spray technology and with the most durable paints can mask and spray your kitchen units within one week leaving you with the feeling of a new kitchen but without the cost or upheaval of replacing with a completely new kitchen.
The Roding Players Orchestra

The orchestra is always looking for new players, especially brass and cellists.

For more details
AbFabFit Club

AbFabFit Club offers separate ladies and mens six-week fitness programmes.
Not seeing results with your current gym programme?
Stay accountable and on track! Fitter....Healthier....Happier....Guaranteed!

WEBSITE Text today for details 07401 158111.

Auto Protect is advertising for a Technical Claims Advisor.
For the full job description CLICK HERE
GDS Appliance Care

Loughton-based GDS Appliance Care can repair washing machines, washer /dryers, fridges, freezers, tumble dryers, dishwasher, range cookers and standard size.
Areas covered include Loughton, Epping, Harlow, Waltham Abbey, Woodford and Snaresbrook.
For more details, ring Gavin Colgate on 07488 265527.

Website  Facebook
Wanstead and Woodford Blind Club

A warm and friendly social club for people with sight problems. Meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month (2pm-4pm) at The United Free Church, Woodford Green.


Ring 07840 850838
Website  Email
Plans for Plants

Plans for Plants, a local garden design business, is ready to help you make your garden look amazing.
Trained by The RHS, Beth Chatto Gardens and Marks Hall Estate.
Clients include Michael Perry, Gardener on ITV's 'This Morning'.

Website  Facebook  Instagram  Email
Sanuk Thai Ongar, The Street, High Ongar
Sanuk Thai Ongar offers authentic Thai cuisine.
Sanuk has been in High Ongar since 2003 and is the place to experience authentic Thai food prepared with the finest ingredients. Sanuk's Thai talented chefs artistically combine the ingredients to achieve the ultimate aromatic flavour in their dishes. The experienced and award-winning chef and staff are committed to giving you the best food and service. Open seven days a week. 
For more information and to book a table, ring 01277 568411 or 01277 56
8412. Website
Epping Pizza

Unit 17B, Woodside Industrial Estate, Woodside, Thornwood, CM16 6LJ

Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 4pm to 10pm.

Special offer - a 2 for £20 deal on any 12” and 15” pizzas on
GoGetters and for collection via telephone and in person orders. 

For collection orders and more details, ring 07496 201191.

For the full menu and to order online 
Everything Local News media service
The Everything Local News media service prepares and circulates news releases to the local and regional media and each client's email subscribers. Updates are also featured on the Everything Local News Facebook and Twitter feeds.
For more details ring 07710 447868.
To receive Everything Local News media releases, register your email address by clicking on the boxes below
Buckhurst Hill Parish Council
Epping Town Council
North Weald Bassett Parish Council
Ongar Town Council
Waltham Abbey Town Council
Debden Park High School
Roding Valley High School
Thomas Willingale School and Nursery
West Hatch High School
Epping Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing
Councillor Jaymey McIvor
Ongar Town Forum
Buckhurst Hill Football Club
Epping Town Football Club
'The Summer Queen'

Susan Burton, who lives near Hainault Forest, has a passionate interest in ancient history, archaeology, mythology and above all story-telling. After spending more than 20 years writing copy for other people she has decided to write for herself, drawing on her knowledge, imagination and love of a tall tale.
The sequel, 'The Moon Queen', will be available next year.

Susan Burton speaks about 'The Summer Queen'.
To watch the video

For more details CLICK HERE

Also available from Amazon, Waterstones and Barnes and Noble.
Forest Skin Clinic

Tel: 01992 276376
219 High Road, North Weald, CM16 6ED 

Website  Instagram  Facebook  Twitter
Skin Cancer and Mole Screening * Removal of unwanted skin tags, moles, cysts, lipomas, warts, verrucas * Fotofinder Mole Mapping * SkinPen Microneedling * Thread vein treatment * Obagi Medical Grade Skin Care Products * Treatment of excessive sweating * Allergy testing * Medical rejuvenation with light * Scar treatment * Acne * Rosacea * Eczema * Psoriasis * Fungal Treatment
The Roding Players Orchestra - Christmas concert

​The Roding Players Orchestra's Christmas concert is at St Mary's Church, 201 High Road, Loughton, on Saturday, December 10, at 7pm. Tickets available on the door priced £8, including refreshments (£7 concessions, free for under-11s; card payment available). 

The orchestra is always looking for new players, especially brass and cellists.  
For more details
Paul Saggers Associates
Architects and Project Managers

A long established Epping-based architectural practice offering a cost-effective service to achieve planning permission and building regulations approval for a wide range of projects.
The company prides itself on offering an attentive and professional service.
Ring Paul on 07736 922863 to discuss requirements.
The Everything Local News media service prepares and circulates news releases with pictures for schools, councils, businesses, charities and other organisations. Releases are sent to the media and email subscribers.
Everything Local News can also set-up and manage your Twitter account.
For more details ring 07710 447868.
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Everything Harlow news updates are available via the Everything Harlow Facebook group and Twitter feed
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For more details about Epping Town Council's weekly Monday market
For more details CLICK HERE
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