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2.09pm - November 30

EPPING / NORTH WEALD / THEYDON BOIS: Santa and his sleigh to tour local streets

Epping Rotarians will be assisting Santa with his sleigh when he tours local streets collecting for charity.

The Rotarians will also be making bucket collections outside Greggs in Epping High Street on Saturday, December 18, and Tuesday, December 21, and at Epping Tesco on Saturday, December 18; Sunday, December 19, and Monday, December 20.

Santa's sleigh street collections will be taking place around these areas:

Monday,December 13 (evening) - EPPING - Hartland Road, Nicholl Road, Amesbury Road, Centre Drive, Centre Avenue, Western Avenue, Sunnyside Road, Springfield, Crossing Road, Charles Street.

Tuesday, December 14 (4.30pm-5pm) - NORTH WEALD - Norway House North Weald (evening) Higham View, School Green Lane, Beamish Close, Oak Piece, Queens Road, High Road, Wellington Road, Hampden Close. 

Wednesday, December 15 (evening) - THEYDON  BOIS - Morgan Crescent, Woodland Way, Baldocks Road, Purlieu Way, Harewood Hill, Dukes Avenue, Elizabeth Drive, Buxton Road, Poplar Row, Green Glade, Theydon Park Road, The Green, Woburn Avenue, Hornbeam Road. 

Thursday, December 16 (evening) - EPPING - Frampton Road, Campions, Woodberry Down, Shaftsbury Road, Beaconfield Avenue, Beaconfield Road, Coronation Hill, St John’s Road, Crows Road, Tower Road.

The Rotary Club of Epping is again holding Carols on the Green, on the Town Green, Epping, at 3.30pm on Christmas Eve.

The money raised at Carols on the Green goes to Epping St.John’s School and local primary schools to support the teaching of music in the schools. 

Money raised at other events goes to local charitable causes such as St Clare Hospice, Pony Riding for the Disabled, Epping Playground Association, Epping Forest District Museum and many others.
2.09pm - November 30

LOUGHTON: Debden Park High School former students help Oxbridge applicants

As 12 Debden Park High School sixth formers prepare for their university interviews for applications to Oxford, Cambridge, veterinary and medicine, the school welcomed back two former Executive Head Boys to share their insights on the interview and application process. 

Kai Melhuish, now in his 3rd Year reading History at Trinity College, Cambridge, and Max Bolton, who has begun reading PPE this year at University College, Oxford, led two discussions on how they had prepared for and found their experiences of undergoing interviews for the very competitive places on their respective courses. 

Max said: "It was fantastic to have the chance to give back to Debden Park students after all the help I received while applying last year.

"In what can be a stressful process, it’s rewarding to think they can now feel more confident in progressing to the next stage."

The Year 13 students, many of whom have already sat admissions assessments for courses that range from Computer Science to Classics, are in the process of preparing for their admissions interviews that begin next week. 

Alongside the Q&As, applicants will be undergoing a series of practice interviews with subject experts to give them a chance to experience a taste of the gruelling nature of the Oxbridge interview process. 

Joe Simm, Director of Sixth Form at Debden Park, said: "I am constantly in awe of the hard work and dedication our students put into their studies and their UCAS applications. 

"This is particularly true when showcasing their knowledge and passion for their subjects at our annual mock interview practice. 

"The admissions process for these most prestigious courses is so tough and we are incredibly proud of how well they have done so far, and wish them all the very best of luck at interview and beyond.”
5.01pm - November 29

DEBDEN: Consultation period launched over Langston Road development plans, including a 100-bedroom Travelodge

A period of public consultation over plans from Higgins Group to develop land in Langston Road, Debden, with new headquarters, the conversion of its existing offices into 57 homes, and a 100-bedroom Travelodge started today and runs until December 14.

The company is inviting the local community to view and comment on its proposals.

A public exhibition will be held at Higgins headquarters, One Langston Road, Debden, between 4pm and 8pm on Wednesday (December 1).

A spokesman said: "The public consultation will be a chance for Higgins Group to showcase the proposals and to encourage feedback from local residents, either in person at the public exhibition or via the dedicated website www.higginshqconsultation.co.uk."

Higgins Group has been based at Langston Road for more than 15 years following a planning permission in 2004 to develop the site into office space. 

The existing Higgins headquarters was built in 2005 as part of the first phase. However the second phase was not implemented and the area which would have been Phase Two, which currently comprises the car park and landscaped space, is now earmarked for alternative development.

Earlier this year planning permission was granted to convert the existing headquarters into 57 new homes. 

The spokesman said: "This has been driven by the need for Higgins Group to have office space that better suits their current working practices.

"Higgins Group are excited to now be bringing forward proposals to redevelop the existing car park to deliver new high-quality office space, which in part will become the new HQ, alongside a new 100-bed hotel operated by Travelodge.

"This public consultation period, including the public exhibition event, is focused on gathering feedback on the proposals for new office space and a 100-bed hotel. 

"The scheme would bring with it a number of benefits, including the provision of approximately 390 jobs during the construction and operational phases, high-quality employment space on a designated employment site, new hotel accommodation on a site with excellent connectivity, measures aimed to increase biodiversity, and other sustainability measures including electric vehicle charging spaces."

The project team can also be contacted via a free phone at 0800 298 7040, or by emailing kate.ross@becg.com. 

More information alongside a feedback form to submit can be found at www.higginshqconsultation.co.uk.
2.11pm - November 29

ONGAR: Christmas market preview

A Christmas Market and Craft Market will be held in the Pleasance car park, next to Ongar Library, on Sunday (December 5).

Organisers are expecting about 40 stalls - the biggest market yet - with Santa’s sleigh and mulled wine. 

The market is a chance to buy that unusual gift and support an initiative run by the Ongar Town Forum for the local community.

Food and drink stalls will be selling French wine, home-made cakes and other bakery products, vintage sweets, artisan flavoured gin, fruit and vegetables, cheeses, honey, Turkish marinades and chilli sauces, smoked beef jerky, seafood, sausages, cooked meats, savoury pasties and free range eggs.

Plants and festive wreaths will also be on sale.

Craft stalls will be selling personalised products, glass, handmade cards, wooden signs, plaques and furniture, hand crocheted toys, jewellery, handmade cushions and bags, environmentally-friendly skincare and make-up, handmade dog bandanas, magnetic therapy jewellery, accessories, upcycled crafts made from wood and glass, crystal jewellery, health and wellbeing products and much more.

Market co-ordinator Derek Birch said: "If anyone knows the owners of cars which are parked in the Pleasance car park overnight into Sunday morning, and are left there all day, please could you ask them to use one of the other car parks as it causes problems laying out the market and is an obstruction to pedestrians and stall holders. Without them we could have more stalls."

He added: "Thank you to everyone who has supported the markets which have been held on the first Sunday of the month since August and who have helped make the markets, which have grown month on month, such a great success.

"After a winter break, the market will return on Sunday, March 6, and will continue on the first Sunday in the month throughout 2022."
1.27pm - November 29

BUCKHURST HILL: Parish council to investigate library return

Buckhurst Hill Parish Council is to look into the possibility of moving its offices - currently based in an architect's practice in Queens Road - back into Buckhurst Hill Library.

Councillor Jo Share-Bernia said: "The library was a very good location for holding surgeries for residents and for residents to come in and discuss issues.

"The offices at the architects up the road are good but it wasn't supposed to be a long-term answer. This (the offices not being at the library) has gone on too long."

She added: "It is the residents of Buckhurst Hill who are requesting (a return to the library), who are bemused.

"The residents cannot access the parish council staff so this is coming from our residents. That should be respected.

"The architects' offices are inappropriate for our council staff and residents can't go in there."

Council vice-chairman Simon Heap said the staff had moved away from the library for "very valid reasons" including a rat infestation and a toilet that does not work.

He told Thursday's council meeting it would be a "waste of money" to spend parish council money on the library building which is under Essex County Council ownership.

A parish council working party will now consider the matter.


BUCKHURST HILL: Speed campaign petition reaches 2,600 signatures

A petition calling for initiatives to reduce speeding on Buckhurst Way, Loughton Way and Valley Hill has attracted some 2,600 signatures.

Valley Hill resident Simon Forsdyke told Thursday's parish council meeting: "The road is a race track. It's very noisy at night."

He said a survey undertaken to ask people what measures they wanted to see had shown 70 per cent (of 56 respondents to date) favouring cameras and speed humps.


BUCKHURST HILL: Council to investigate anti-speeding measures

Buckhurst Hill Parish Council is to investigate purchasing vehicle activated speed sign cameras or speed indication signs which can be moved to different locations around the Parish.

The matter will be discussed by the planning and environment committee and could be funded with monies not now being spent on a Christmas event in the Parish.


BUCKHURST HILL: Council awards £1,000 grant

Buckhurst Hill Parish Council has agreed to make a £1,000 grant to Spark mentoring and counselling service.

The Loughton-based charity offers counselling, mentoring and family support to young people aged 11 to 23 across the Epping Forest area.


BUCKHURST HILL: PCSO success

Crime has fallen in Buckhurst Hill since the parish council has employed a Police Community Support Officer, Parish Clerk Liz Petyt-Start told Thursday's council meeting.

BUCKHURST HILL: Council drops Prince Philip memorial idea

Buckhurst Hill Parish Council has dropped the idea of a memorial to commemorate the public life of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

A figure of £6,000 had been mentioned in a council meeting for the initiative.

Thursday's parish council meeting supported a motion, proposed by councillor Gavin Chambers and seconded by councillor Jo Share-Bernia, that "after serious review and to avoid conflict within the council, this council agrees at this time not to pursue the installation of a memorial to commemorate the public life of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh".
9.23am - November 29

NORTH WEALD: Passengers suffers serious facial injury in collision

A passenger sustained a serious facial injury in a two-vehicle collision which closed Epping Road, North Weald.

Police have told Everything Epping Forest that officers were called to the collision at 5.10pm yesterday.

The road was closed for a time with five police cars, a fire engine and an ambulance on the scene.

Anyone with any information about the incident can submit a report online at https://www.essex.police.uk or use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm (quote incident 828 of November 28).

Information can also be given to police by ringing 101. 

Information can be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
3.40pm - November 28

WALTHAM ABBEY: Two school year groups to study at home after "significant number" of teachers test positive for COVID-19

Two year groups at King Harold Academy in Waltham Abbey will be studying from home this coming week after "a significant number" of teachers have tested positive for COVID-19 "in the last few days".

Members of the Senior Leadership Team are among the staff members having to isolate for ten days.

A letter to parents states: "Fewer staff and a lack of supply teachers locally (since other schools are in a similar position) means we are unable to welcome all year groups into the Academy between Monday (November 29) and Friday (December 3).

"Without the required number of teaching staff available, we cannot guarantee a safe and effective environment for all students, so we are going to remain open for specific year groups only."

Students in Year 8 and Year 9 will be set remote learning to be completed at home.

The school adds that any students unable to study safely at home will be able to complete work in school in a supervised setting.

Students in Years 7, 10 and 11 are required to attend school as normal.
8.02pm - November 27

EPPING: Time to vote for your favourite festive window display

Voting is now open for Epping Town Council's best Christmas window display competition.

The winner of the competition - which is again being run with local news and information service Everything Epping Forest - will receive The Audrey Rose Cup from Epping Town Council at the Christmas Market on Saturday (December 4).

To vote:

Check out the pictures of the 13 entries at https://bit.ly/PICTURES-Eppingwindows and note the number of your favourite (for example WINDOW 14).

Cast your vote by email or text.

BY EMAIL: Email everythingeppingforest@gmail.com with your window choice in the subject line (for example WINDOW 14).

BY TEXT: Text the number of your favourite window display to 07710 447868.

Please note that only one vote per email address and mobile phone number will be registered. 

Voting closes at 5pm on Thursday, December 2. 

The businesses which have entered the competition this year are:

Home Hub Group
Mr Smiths Of London
Alexander Morgan Gallery
Link Workspace
Beauty Skin and Eyelash Lounge
SO Studios
Yakimono Japanese Grill
Reef and Reptiles
G&I Jewellers
Cole's
Jojo Maman Bebe
Hammond and Smith
Piccola
1.41pm - November 27

BOBBINGWORTH: Investigation launched into blaze

​Four fire crews - from Epping, Harlow and Brentwood - took over an hour to deal with a blaze which engulfed an industrial building in Stony Lane, Bobbingworth, on Thursday morning.

The 20m x 20m building was used to repair lawnmowers.

Station Manager Richie Green said: "Crews worked really hard to stop the fire from spreading.

"The fire was extinguished at about 12.30pm but crews remained to damp down and check for hotspots. A crew will revisit tonight to make sure it is safe."

An investigation will be carried out to establish the cause.
1.37pm - November 27

LOUGHTON: Man injured in road collision

A man aged in his 20s was taken to hospital with injuries described by police "neither life-threatening or life-changing" after he was in collision with a Mercedes car on Valley Hill, Loughton, at about 5.40pm on Tuesday.

A police spokesman told Everything Epping Forest that enquiries into the incident are continuing.

Anyone who witnessed the collision is asked to ring police on 101 (quote  incident 887 of November 23).
2.59pm - November 26

LOUGHTON: School opens its doors for Sixth Form Open Evening and celebrates students' successes

Year 11 students at Debden Park High School, Loughton, spent a day looking ahead to their next steps in education and beyond toward their future careers. 

The day began with students arriving in formal business dress ready for a mock interview with a local employer from companies such as The Bank of England, CBRE, Engie, Hill Group, DWP, Fredereck Sage & Co Ltd and the Metropolitan Police Service. 

Feedback from the interviews was overwhelmingly positive and a great experience for the students preparing them for life after school. 
 
In the afternoon, Year 11 students attended the Proud Awards assembly hosted by Year 12 students and Executive Head Boy Sebastian Davies and Deputy Executive Head Girl Tilly Coughlin. 

Each subject nominated three students who have made outstanding progress and exceptional commitment to learning so far in Year 11.

Alongside these awards were superb performances from Preslava Vladimirova (piano), Cara Bohle (singing) and Zara Davies, Alice Penegar and Daisy Keane performing one of their GCSE Dance routines. 

The event also saw the announcement of the school's Student Voice Leadership Team with Zak Kern appointed Head Boy and Destiny Osagie Head Girl. 

The school ended the day with its Sixth Form Open Evening in the purpose-built building The Hive. 

More than 240 students from 16 secondary schools visited the range of subjects on offer at Key Stage 5 and could consider which subjects they want to study after their GCSEs. 
1.42pm - November 26

DISTRICT: Pay-and-display car park charges set to increase

Pay-and-display parking charges are set to be increased in all Epping Forest District Council car parks from April, Everything Epping Forest can reveal.

The increases would be the first since 2015 and generate an estimated £158,000 additional income for the council (£118,000 in the first year once the £40,000 implementation cost is deducted).

The proposals include:

* Increasing the current 20p for 30 minutes charge to 30p

* Increasing the up to one hour charge from 80p or 90p to £1

* Increasing the up to two hours charge from £1.60 or £1.80 to £2.

The council says the increases will "create uniform tariffs across the district and simplify parking tariff".

Charges for over two-hour stays will not be increased while the council is set to extend the one-hour free parking on Sundays to two hours, with the 'over one hour' charge increased from £1 to £2.

Other proposals, to be considered by the cabinet, include extending the full tariff on Saturdays to all car parks across the district, removing the daily one-hour free charging in the Civic Offices car park (Sunday free allowance will remain) in consistency with other district car parks.

Full tariffs would also be introduced in the Beaumont Park Drive car park in Roydon "with a view to exploring satisfactory resolutions for demand".

Free weekend and Bank Holiday parking during December would continue while parking will remain free for Blue Badge holders and motorbikes.

The list of proposals also includes increasing the first resident's permit charge £50 to £55 a year.

The charges would apply in all car parks between 8am and 6pm.

A cabinet report states: "Changes to car park signs, replacing notice boards and system upgrades will also be required to implement the tariff changes.

"A budget of £40,000 is required to implement the tariff changes, which will be deducted from the car park income.

"The proposed tariff structure is estimated to generate an additional net income of £158,000. This is based on modelling, with assumptions including the same car park usage and that the car parks will achieve pre-Covid occupancy levels."

The Cottis Lane car park, which is to be redeveloped, has been excluded from the modelling.

The report adds: "The £40,000 required to implement these changes would be deducted from this in year 1 which would leave estimated income of £118,000."
8.35am - November 26

BUCKHURST HILL: Conservative councillors resign from parish council committees and working groups

All five Conservative councillors on Buckhurst Hill Parish Council have resigned from all parish council committees and working groups, but have said they will continue to represent the residents of Buckhurst Hill.

The announcement was made at last night's council meeting ahead of an agenda item on the Code of Conduct which referred to 'confidential information' and the council's standing orders, and a motion (proposed by Green Party councillor Matthew West and seconded by Green Party parish council vice-chairman councillor Simon Heap), which resolved to "remove each individual member from a committee(s) represented in the breach as published on the Buckhurst Hill Conservative Twitter and October newsletter.

The meeting heard the matter related to an article published by Buckhurst Hill Conservatives regarding staff salaries.

The full letter from the five Tory councillors, which was read to the meeting by parish clerk Liz Petyt-Start, said the Conservative councillors had "believed the information to be in the public interest and already in the public domain".

The issue has been considered by the Monitoring Officer and Deputy Monitoring Officer at Epping Forest District Council who had concluded no breach had taken place, the meeting was told.

During a debate on the Code of Conduct agenda item, council chairman Steven Neville (Green Party) said: "It (the information published in the Buckhurst Hill Conservatives October newsletter) was not in the public domain.

"The minutes were not available until the beginning of this month, Anything said before then should not have been said."

Council vice-chairman councillor Simon Heap (Green Party) said: "This is a matter of timing. You (the Conservative councillors) broke the protocol."

The motion was rescinded following the resignation letter from the Conservative councillors.

The Green Party took control of Buckhurst Hill Parish Council at May's election taking six of the 11 seats. The Conservatives hold the other five seats.

The Conservatives will continue to participate in full council meetings.
8.33am - November 26

BUCKHURST HILL: District councillor barred from speaking at parish council meeting

A Conservative Buckhurst Hill district councillor has been barred from speaking at a meeting of Buckhurst Hill Parish Council.

During a verbal exchange at last night's council meeting, mainly involving district councillor Aniket Patel and Green Party parish council chairman Steven Neville, Mr Patel said he wished to ask questions about the parish council's "progress" since the Green Party-controlled council took over the administration of Buckhurst Hill Parish Council at May's election.

Mr Patel also said he wanted to ask what the parish council intended to do with its £1m of reserves, whether it was supporting an increase in the parish council's precept for the next financial year, and he also wished to speak on reported staff salary increases.

Mr Neville refused to let Mr Patel address the meeting during the Public Participation agenda item saying he had not pre-registered to speak at the meeting, and also stopped him from speaking under the District and County Councillor Participation agenda item saying the allocated 15 minutes was for district councillors to "talk about what they are doing " for their residents "not necessarily trying to create a political situation".

Mr Patel said: "I'm representing my residents. As a district councillor I'm entitled to make comments."

He added that he "wanted to hold the council to account" and added he was "really disappointed" at Mr Neville's decision to prevent him from speaking.

Conservative councillor Gavin Chambers suggested calling a special meeting of the parish council "so we can get councillor Patel registered to speak".

The Green Party took control of Buckhurst Hill Parish Council at May's election taking six of the 11 seats. The Conservatives hold the other five seats.

The Conservatives will continue to participate in full council meetings.
8.09pm - November 24

​EXCLUSIVE

THEYDON BOIS: Police investigating after gunshots heard during "disturbance"; woman assaulted and man threatened

Police have told Everything Epping Forest that officers are continuing to investigate a "disturbance" in Theydon Bois after gunfire was heard, a woman was assaulted and a man threatened.

Officers were called to the village late last night following a report that a woman had been assaulted.

Police are also investigating after their enquiries revealed that a man had been threatened.

A police spokesman tonight told Everything Epping Forest: "We were called to reports of a disturbance and reports of gunshots heard in the Slade End area of Theydon Bois at 11.40pm on Tuesday (November 23).

"Officers attended."

The spokesman added: "It was reported a woman had been assaulted and our enquiries also identified threats had been made to a man.

"No firearm was seen by our officers.

"Our enquiries are ongoing."
8.25pm - November 23

ONGAR: All set for Christmas lights switch-on event

Festive singing, a funfair and arts and crafts stalls will form part of Ongar Town Forum's Christmas lights switch-on event in the High Street on Friday (November 26).

The funfair in the Pleasance car park and craft stalls in the Budworth Hall start at 4pm.

Musical entertainment will be provided by the Ongar Singers, local singer Leanne Hollington, and students from Academy Arts and Moreton Primary School who will be performing in Manor Square from 5.45pm.

Santa, in his sleigh, will leave Ongar Station accompanied by the fire engine at 6.30pm.

The lights will be switched on by James 'Lockie' Lock, from The Only Way Is Essex, and WBA female bantamweight boxing champion Shannon Courtenay at 7pm.
7.58am - November 23

EPPING: More than 50 stalls expected at Christmas Market

More than 50 Christmas gifts and food stalls are expected at Epping Town Council's Christmas Market in Epping High Street on Saturday, December 4.

The event will run from 10am until 4pm with social distancing and Covid-19 precautions in place.

A programme of entertainment will start at noon, following the Town Mayor’s opening speech, with music from school choirs, adult choirs and local singers.

The Christmas lighting in the town, annually installed by the town council, will add to the festive atmosphere with the displays including the lights on a 25ft Christmas tree, kindly sponsored by the Rotary Club of Epping, with the lights to be switched on by Town Mayor councillor Michael Wright during the event.

The Christmas Market will run alongside the Christmas Tree Festival at St John’s Church which starts at 1pm on the Friday (December 3) and runs until 8pm, and continues on Saturday, December 4 (10am to 5pm), Sunday, December 5 (11.30am to 4pm) and Monday, December 6 (10am to 2pm).

Santa will be visiting Epping Fire Station during the Christmas Market (between 10am and 4pm) while other attractions will include real reindeer (in the Market Garden) and a visit from Olaf, from Frozen.

The visit of the reindeer is being part-sponsored by Luxe Watches at 219 High Street.

Nicholas Hickey, Managing Director, Luxe Watches, said: "We are thrilled to be able to support this fantastic community event and hope everyone is able to enjoy the reindeers!"

Epping Town Council asks High Street businesses to support the event and join in the festive season by, for example, extending their opening hours, giving out free samples, offering a present-wrapping service or giving a promotional discount on the day.

Further programme information will be available on the town council’s website www.eppingtowncouncil.gov.uk and on Everything Epping Forest's social media feeds nearer the time.

Limited free car parking, courtesy of Epping Forest District Council, will be available in the Cottis Lane car park from noon.

For further information, email Epping Town Council at gvallis@eppingtowncouncil.gov.uk or ring 01992 579444.  
3.06pm - November 21

COOPERSALE: 19m high phone mast opposed

A 19m high mobile phone mast proposed for Coopersale Common would be "completely unacceptable" and a have a "significant" visual impact on the area, it is claimed.

Hutchison 3G Limited (‘H3G’ also known as Three) wants to put up the mast at the location which it says "has been identified as being integral to the needs of H3G’s network in this area". 

However the mast is being opposed by The Epping Society which says the "sheer scale" of the mast is "completely unacceptable".

In a letter to Epping Forest District Council, society vice-chairman Roger Lowry added: "Coopersale Common is essentially a village within the Parish of Epping with a population of around 1,000 people. 

"The proposed site abuts the low wall surrounding the only community green space in the village centre, which contains the only retail outlets. 

"This modest area of low hedges, benches and walkways - lit by heritage style lampposts - is at the heart of the community and will be completely overshadowed by this mast."

Meanwhile, Epping Forest District Council trees and landscape officer Melinda Barham has said the mast and equipment cabinets would have a "significant" visual impact on the area with the top of the mast some seven metres higher that the tallest tree within the grassed area.

"This will be an imposing feature with the street scene and will be highly visible from both close and longer view points much of which is open countryside."

The Epping Society says it "strongly supports" Ms Barham's comments adding that choosing a location closer to the forest edge "might disguise it a little".

Mr Lowry added: "The Coopersale 'hilltop' is very flat-topped so moving the mast away from the village centre could be achieved with minimal coverage loss."

The society is also concerned that in its intended location, the mast "will be an all too obvious climbing challenge for local youth - so within months a barbed wire enclosure will be needed.

"How obtrusive / safe will that be?"

Mr Lowry concludes: "The excessive scale of the mast and position of the mast will have negative impact on the street scene. It will have a dramatic impact on the village green as a community amenity."
3.43pm - November 18

WALTHAM ABBEY: Man stabbed

Police are continuing to investigate after a man, aged in his 30s, sustained stab wounds in an incident on Paternoster Hill, Waltham Abbey, at about 10am yesterday (Wednesday).

The man was taken to hospital for treatment.

A police spokesman said no arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing.
3.41pm - November 18

WALTHAM ABBEY: Students act as museum guides for Takeover Day at Epping Forest District Museum

Students from King Harold Academy in Waltham Abbey acted as guides when the Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey took part in the national Takeover Day event.

The students demonstrated the knowledge they had learned about various displays and items to give guided tours around the Sun Street venue.

Various exhibits were also explained to Upshire Primary School children who also took part in activities at the museum.

Year 7 King Harold Academy students Grace Cooper and Tilly Giddy showed Epping Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing and Epping Forest District Council chairman councillor Helen Kane around the museum.

Dame Eleanor said: "It was a pleasure to visit the Epping Forest District Museum and be shown round by Grace and Tilly. Their knowledge of the displays was amazing and they would certainly make good museum guides or curators in the future!

"The museum is a fantastic place with so much of our local history recorded there, including many artefacts that have been recovered from around the Epping Forest area."
3.47pm - November 16

WALTHAM ABBEY: MP cuts ribbon to officially open estate agent's new office

A Waltham Abbey estate agent has officially opened its new offices to the public.

Epping Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing was invited to cut the ribbon at the new premises of Duncan Phillips at 40 Sun Street on Friday.

Dame Eleanor said: "I was delighted to officially open the new offices.

"Duncan Phillips is a long-established Waltham Abbey business, having been based in the town for more than 30 years, and I wish Howard Green and his staff all the very best as the business starts a new chapter in its history."

Duncan Phillips caters for residential and commercial sales, lettings and management.

The company was founded by Howard Green in 1990.
4.28pm - November 15

LOUGHTON: School pays tribute to former student fatally stabbed

A former Roding Valley High School student who was fatally stabbed has been remembered as a talented footballer and someone who "approached school life with great humour and positivity".

Kamran Khalid, 18 - who also attended Staples Road School in Loughton - was stabbed in Ilford during the recent half-term holiday.

He left Roding Valley High School two years ago.

Headteacher Sharon Jenner said: "Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time. As a mark of respect, the school has opened a book of condolence for his teachers and students who knew him."

She added: "Kamran was also a former Staples Road School student and will be remembered fondly as someone who approached school life with great humour and positivity, often entertaining his classmates and teachers with funny stories.

"He was also a talented footballer who represented the school team with pride and whose turn of speed and tricky feet were often the difference between winning and losing." 

Police were called to reports of a fight in the early hours of Thursday, October 28.

Officers attended with medics from the London Ambulance Service and London Air Ambulance.

Kamran was treated at the scene but despite the best efforts of the emergency services he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Two men, aged 18 and 24, have been charged with murder.
12.28pm - November 13

WALTHAM ABBEY: More events confirmed for 'Festival of Light'

New events have been added to the 'Festival of Light' programme of festive events which begins with the 'Cavalcade of Light' on Friday, November 26.

Members of the Epping Forest Band will be playing while printable sing-a-long carol sheets are now available to download at https://festivaloflight.uk/sing-a-long/

The 'Cavalcade of Light' procession will set off from the Cornmill car park at 7pm and head to Waltham Abbey Town Hall for the switching on of the Christmas lights.

The procession will then head up Quaker Lane before turning left into Sun Street.

Local groups and organisations - including schools - as well as individuals are invited to take part in the procession with the town council awarding a prize for the best float and best individual entry.

For more details and to register an entry for the procession, email sarah.colley@walthamabbey-tc.gov.uk.

* Friday, November 26 - A Christmas Carol-oke will take place outside the Abbey Church directly after the procession.

* Friday, November 26 - Epping Forest District Museum in Sun Street open 5pm to 7pm - festive refreshments, live entertainment and games, Free entry.

* Friday, November 26 - Wilsons of Waltham Abbey, 29 Sun Street - Elf workshop with a special gift for every child and Prosecco for adults (6pm to 8pm).

* Sunday, November 28 - A carols and Christmas tales service will be held at St Thomas' Church, Upshire, at 4.30pm.

* Monday, November 29 - A Christmas event will be held at Hillhouse Square, Ninefields, with a lantern workshop in the Community Room at Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre (3pm-5pm) and an event featuring the U3A Line Dancers and Chingford Morris Dancers and carol singing at 7pm.

* Thursday, December 2 - Christmas wreath making and festive floral arrangements - Waltham Abbey Community Centre, 46 Crooked Mile, Waltham Abbey. Booking required via https://eppingforestdc.bookinglive.com/book/add/p/277

* Saturday, December 4 - A Christmas Market is being held in Sun Street.

* Saturday, December 4 - Father Christmas at Epping Forest District Museum (11am to 3.30pm) with a Game Plan exhibition and Santa's grotto.

* Tuesday, December 7 - Toddler Father Christmas event at Epping Forest District Museum (10am to noon) and an Evening Father Christmas event (4pm to 7pm). £6 per child. Booking not required. Time slots will be allocated on the day. More details at https://www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/museum/

* Thursday, December 16 - Christmas wreath making and festive floral arrangements - Waltham Abbey Community Centre, 46 Crooked Mile, Waltham Abbey. Booking required via https://eppingforestdc.bookinglive.com/book/add/p/277
9.14pm - November 13

Man bailed after arrest on suspicion of murder "released under investigation"

A 61-year-old man who was arrested on suspicion of murder following the death of a woman who died following a collision with a car in Loughton has been released from his bail under investigation.

The man answered his bail yesterday (Friday).

Karen Bailey, 53, was injured in Grosvenor Drive, near the entrance to Davenant Foundation School, shortly before 12.15am on Friday, August 20. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 61 year-old man, from Loughton, was arrested on suspicion of murder in the early hours of the same day.

A statement issued to Everything Epping Forest by Essex Police this morning (Saturday) stated: "A 61-year-old man from Loughton has been released under investigation."
6.40pm - November 11

ABRIDGE: Tributes paid to 'Mr Abridge'

Tributes have been paid to Lambourne Parish Council chairman John Filby - who has been described as 'Mr Abridge' - who died on Wednesday in Whipps Cross Hospital after contracting COVID-19.

Brentwood and Ongar MP Alex Burghart has described Mr Filby as "an absolutely irreplaceable part of the community".

Mr Filby, who was admitted to hospital at the end of last month, will be remembered for his devoted commitment to Abridge and the parish of Lambourne through his council work and fundraising efforts.

He had served as a parish councillor for 32 years.

Mr Filby was a founder member of the Lambridge Group, which raised money at local events - including the church flower festivals - and will be remembered by many for dressing up in wacky fancy dress costumes to head the procession in the days of the village carnival.

He was highly commended by Epping Forest District Council in its Citizen of the Year award in 2001, and received the British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours List in 2013.

Parish clerk Tony Carter told Everything Epping Forest: "Councillor Filby’s most recent time as chairman started three years ago when he stepped up from vice-chairman when another long-serving councillor, Arnold Raven, sadly passed away.

"He has held the role of chairman on a number of occasions over the years and was an extremely well liked and respected councillor and chairman.

"He was also a major part of the community and will be greatly missed by so many people."

Brentwood and Ongar MP Alex Burghart told Everything Epping Forest: "John was an absolutely irreplaceable part of the community. 

"He had an extraordinary energy which he tirelessly deployed for the communal good - supper clubs, fetes, fireworks, you name it, John was on it. 

"He was the sort of person who makes this country great. 

Mr Burghart added: "I am terribly sad that we have lost him - but ever so grateful and proud that he was one of ours.”

Ongar & Rural county councillor Jaymey McIvor told Everything Epping Forest: "John Filby was a wonderful and kind man. Simply the best. 

"I’ve not known John for as long as others, but in the short time I’ve got to know him he has been a huge support for me personally. I will be forever grateful for his wise words and advice. 

"John cared so much about Abridge, he was himself the epicentre of all things community. The 'Mr Idea', 'Mr Advertise', 'Mr Promote', 'Mr Organise' and 'Mr Execute'!

"But I will remember him, like many others, as "Mr Abridge'."

He added: "My thoughts are with his family, especially his lovely wife, Freda, and of course my thoughts are with Lambourne Parish Council and the entire community of Abridge at this very sad time. 

"Rest In Peace John, you will be forever remembered."

Lambourne district councillor Brian Rolfe paid tribute to Mr Filby's "immense" contribution to the parish and said he would remember him for his fundraising efforts at the time of plans for a new village hall, his work in organising the village fireworks displays and his support for the village football club and cricket club.

Mr Rolfe said: "He was unique in this area. He has done so much good all over the place. He was known as 'Mr Abridge'. I've used the expression myself and will continue to do so."

Mr Filby was remembered with a minute's silence at Thursday's Remembrance service at the war memorial at Abridge Village Hall.
6.11pm - November 11

WALTHAM ABBEY: Still time to book stalls for Christmas market

There is still time to book stalls for the Waltham Abbey Christmas Market which is being held in Sun Street on Saturday, December 4 (9am until 3pm).

Stalls already confirmed will be selling crystal candles, sterling silver men’s jewellery, glass art, shawls, blankets and Christmas stockings, handmade face masks, wheel thrown pottery, scented wax melts, handmade children’s clothing and craft gins.

St Clare Hospice will also be having a stall.

Anyone interested in booking a stall should ring Sarah Colley on 01992 714949.
7.12pm - November 9

MORETON: Inaugural parish farmers' market

A first Parish Farmers' Market will be held in Moreton on Sunday (November 14).

The market, organised by the local 'Community Spirit' group, will be in the White Hart pub car park (9.30am until 12.30pm, with set-up from 8.15am).

A minute's silence and reading by pupils at Moreton Primary School will take place at 11am to mark Remembrance Sunday.

More than a dozen stalls have confirmed that they will be attending, selling gifts, cheese, gins, wines and spirits, fish, candles, cakes, dog treats, pottery and eco-friendly items.

Space is still available for stallholders who pay £15 for a stall.

Across 12 months, 80 per cent of the stall fees will go to Moreton Primary School and 20 per cent to 'Community Spirit'.

For more details, email Rhys Martin by emailing rhysm688@hotmail.com.

Volunteers are wanted to help on the day.
5.09pm - November 9

WALTHAM ABBEY: Fundraiser receives recognition from Prime Minister

The fundraising efforts of a Waltham Abbey man who has raised over £160,000 over the past ten years to support victims of crime or abuse and those affected by ill-health or disability has been recognised by the Prime Minister with a Points of Light award.

Shane Yerrell, who is a Waltham Abbey town councillor, receives the award in recognition of his dedicated fundraising in support of anyone facing hardship.

Shane, who runs the 'Through the Fight Foundation', started fundraising after being the victim of a knife attack in 2007, and realising he could turn his experience into a positive by supporting others who were going through their own traumatic or difficult situation. 

Following the success of a sponsored climb in aid of ‘The Rob Knox Foundation’, set up in memory of the actor killed in a knife attack to support young people gain opportunities in the arts, Shane was inspired to continue his fundraising efforts, leading to the creation of his own foundation,‘Through The Fight’ in 2016.

'Through the Fight' is dedicated to supporting anyone facing hardship. 

Shane's most recent fundraiser is in support of a terminally ill 48-year-old man, raising over £3,000 to help him fulfill his bucket list wish of attending a Tottenham Hotspur match in a VIP box with all his family.

Shane said: "This is so overwhelming. I’ve had an incredible journey over the last ten years and met some amazing people.

"I set up ‘Through The Fight Foundation’ to ensure victims of violent crime and people affected by illnesses could have somewhere to turn. Someone who would reach out to them. I wanted to be the person who reached out.

"To receive recognition from our Prime Minister is incredible. The fact that he has taken time out of his busy schedule to acknowledge my fundraising is amazing.

"I would like to dedicate this award to my family, close friends and all the people who have have fought back from their struggles.

"Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today."
4.37pm - November 9

WALTHAM ABBEY: Two teenagers convicted over death

A teenager has been convicted of murdering a man in Waltham Abbey earlier this year.

A second teenager has also been convicted of manslaughter in connection with the death of local man Neil Darnell, 50, who was found seriously injured at about 10am on Friday, April 16, after being hit by a car on Farm Hill Road.

The driver of the vehicle failed to stop at the scene and the car was found abandoned a short while later.

CCTV footage recovered showed that two teenagers had attended Le Golden Touch barbers on Market Square, Waltham Abbey, that morning.

An unknown man had approached the barbers to threaten the two teenagers, before slashing the tyres of their car. 

He then fled the area on a bicycle.

Despite the car having been damaged and in a dangerous condition to drive, the two teenagers then got behind the wheel of their grey BMW to pursue the man at speed.

Mr Darnell, an innocent pedestrian crossing the junction at Farm Hill Road, was struck by their car.

He died in hospital two days later.

A forensic post-mortem examination found he had suffered a traumatic head injury.

On Saturday, May 8, a 17-year old boy, from Cheshunt, was arrested in Harlow and charged with murder.

Within a week, a second 17-year-old boy, from Hertford, was also arrested and charged with murder.

Both teenagers stood trial at Chelmsford Crown Court and yesterday (Monday) a jury found both guilty in connection with Mr Darnell’s death.

The Cheshunt boy, the driver of the car, was found guilty of murder.

The Hertford boy, the passenger, was found guilty of manslaughter.

Both will be sentenced in December on a date yet to be fixed.

Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Greg Wood said: “What initially appeared to be a case of dangerous driving turned out to be much more disturbing.

“Evidence clearly showed that both the driver and passenger got behind the wheel of their car intending to cause harm to someone.

“During their pursuit the driver drove directly at oncoming vehicles and mounted the pavement several times to deliberately try and collide with the cyclist.

“Even after they hit a completely innocent bystander, who subsequently lost his life, they continued to follow the cyclist with no regard for anyone else around them.

“At no point did they attempt to get help for the man they had fatally injured. Their only focus was to cover their involvement.

“As with any investigation where someone’s life has been cut short by the actions of others, I know this result cannot bring back the loving husband and father Neil’s family have lost.

“I hope they can take some solace knowing that our teams have worked tirelessly throughout the investigation and that those involved have been convicted of their crimes.”
4.14pm - November 9

EPPING: Town council holding best residential Christmas lights display competition

Epping Town Council is running a best residential Christmas lights display competition this year.

The competition is open to all homes in the Parish of Epping, including Coopersale and Fiddlers Hamlet.

The competition is being sponsored by Luxe Watches, of 219 High Street, Epping, which is providing a £200 first prize and £100 second prize.

Sales manager Oscar Strong said: "We are thrilled to be involved in such a fun community initiative. We can’t wait to see the entries.” 

Entry forms - which can be downloaded at www.eppingtowncouncil.gov.uk and are also available by emailing info@eppingtowncouncil.gov.uk or calling into the town council offices at Epping Hall - must be returned, with up to two photographs of the display, by 4pm on Friday, December 10.

The initiative aims to help to spread festive community spirit across the Parish and is an opportunity for residents to show off their festive lights and decorative displays, some of which are used for charity fundraising purposes.  

The judges will make a shortlist of potential winners and visit the homes from Monday, December 13, subject to the weather, with the winner and second place entries announced on Friday, December 17.  

For further information, contact Epping Town Council by emailing info@eppingtowncouncil.gov.uk or ringing 01992 579444.
1.18pm - November 9

NAZEING: Defibrillator now kept in redundant telephone box

A redundant telephone box in Nazeing has been brought back to life as the home for a defibrillator, thanks to local fundraising efforts.

Lorraine Page, one of Epping Forest District Council's community champions for Nazeing, has been working on the project, with the support of other villages, for three years.

The project involved the purchase of the red telephone box, in Betts Lane, by Nazeing Action Group, for £1, with Lorraine offering "huge thanks" to councillor Richard Bassett.

She added: "By July 2019 we had raised over £1,000 in donations, received from our very kind and generous neighbours during our regular neighbourhood summer party.

"Raffle prizes for our party had been supplied by local businesses as they were all keen to help with the new defibrillator too.

"We had our neighbour's Christmas party in December 2019 at The King Harold's Head, raising even more funds. 

"Finally in January last year we had reached our goal, which was now £2,100 due to the time lapse in placing our order with The Community Heartbeat Trust charity."

But that was not the end of the project as the fundraisers still had to raise money for an electrical supply in the telephone box.

Lorraine said: "The King Harold's Head, where the owners Jack and Costas had always catered for our Christmas parties with great care and support, didn't hesitate!

"Their very generous donation made it possible for us to proceed without any further delay."

The final chapter in the long-running effort to get a defibrillator installed came when Harlow-based electrical contractor Sigma Networks Ltd fitted the defibrillator free of charge.
12.45pm - November 9

LOUGHTON: Man assaulted and robbed in The Broadway

Police are investigating after a man was assaulted and robbed of his rucksack in Debden by three people who drove off in a vehicle which later failed to stop for officers.

Officers were told that three people had approached a man in The Broadway, at about 12.25pm yesterday (Monday) and assaulted him.

A spokesman added: "The victim had his rucksack stolen by the group who then left in a vehicle.

"Officers located the vehicle at about 3.40pm and it failed to stop for our officers.

"The occupants later decamped in Powell Drive (on the Sewardstone / Chingford border) and while officers searched the area, they could not find the people who were inside."

Anyone with any information can submit a report online at https://www.essex.police.uk or use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm (quote incident 451 of November 8).

Information can also be given to police on 101 or to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
6.53pm - November 8

LOUGHTON: Re-think call over plan for 2,300 trees on Jessel Green

Five district councillors are challenging the decision of a district council portfolio holder to approve the planting of 2,300 trees on Jessel Green in Debden - on land which had been earmarked for more than 150 homes as part of the yet-to-be-approved Local Plan.

Loughton Residents Association councillor Chris Pond is the lead councillor of the quintet of members who have 'called in' the decision of housing services portfolio holder Holly Whitbread to plant the trees after Epping Forest District Council was awarded about £65,000 in grant funding through the Forestry Commission’s Local Authorities Treescapes Fund.

A district council report published last month stated: "The proposed planting at Jessel Green aims to bring the many benefits of increased tree cover; these include an enhanced local environment, increased biodiversity, carbon storage, reduced flood risk and improved air quality."

However councillor Pond told Everything Epping Forest today that  Jessel Green has been an open space since about 1850, and was historically the area's 'horkey down' where the harvest home was celebrated.

He said: "Much as we like trees and want to see more planted, we think Ms Whitbread is wrong to want to plant 2,000 on Jessel Green."

The five councillors held what Mr Pond described as a "very amicable" informal meeting over the issue last week with Mr Pond adding "they now acknowledge the 2,000 should be spread around a bit".

A further meeting is planned for early December.

Mr Pond added: "2,300 trees on ten acres is just too dense and would change the character of the place, which of course only three years ago Epping Forest District Council were trying to plant with houses and flats rather than trees!"

Jessel Green was earmarked for more than 150 homes in the original Epping Forest District Council Local Plan proposals but Local Plan inspector Louise Philiips ordered that the area should be removed from the document.

Councillor Whitbread has been approached for her reaction to the call-in.
2.13pm - November 8

LOUGHTON: Bomb disposal team called to "unexploded ordnance"

A bomb disposal team has been called to a property in Loughton following the discovery of "a piece of unexploded ordnance".

A police spokesman told Everything Epping Forest: "We were called to reports of a piece of unexploded ordnance found at an address in Woodland Road, Loughton at about 10.30am today (Monday).

"Military explosive experts have been called and will make the item safe."

An eyewitness has told Everything Epping Forest a bomb disposal unit vehicle was seen in The Drive, and returned about 20 minutes later.
9.04am - November 8

UPSHIRE: Teenager seriously injured in road crash

A 19-year-old man has suffered serious injuries and two other people have been taken to hospital as a precaution following an incident on Horseshoe Hill, Upshire.

Police say the collision involved a silver Clio sometime before 8.30pm last night (Sunday).

A spokesman said: "A 19-year-old man sustained serious injuries and has been taken to hospital. Two other occupants of the vehicle have been taken to hospital as a precaution."

Officers want to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time and saw the collision or the car shortly before it happened.

Anyone with any information or dashcam footage should submit a report online at https://www.essex.police.uk, use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm, ring 101 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111  quoting incident 1414 of November 7.
8.19pm - November 7

ABRIDGE: Councillor praises pub's Remembrance display

Ongar & Rural county councillor Jaymey McIvor has praised the efforts of the Blue Boar pub in Abridge in marking the period of Remembrance saying its display of poppies "set the standard".

Councillor McIvor is encouraging people to share pictures of Remembrance events using the hashtag #ongarruralremembers.

He said: “It’s fair to say that the Blue Boar in Abridge has set the standard. 

"I know so many businesses and community groups make a great effort for this important period of remembrance and reflection. 

"It is only right that we share all of these so that we can inspire others to do the same."
3.30pm - November 7

CHIGWELL: MP switches on the Chigwell Diwali lights

PICTURES

Epping Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing officially switched on the Chigwell Diwali Lights on Saturday to mark the festival of lights celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs.

Dame Eleanor, who was the chief guest, addressed a 100-plus crowd when she was joined at the ceremony on Chigwell Green by local councillors and residents.

The event - which featured speeches, prayers and dances - focused on the story of Diwali which carries with it lessons of sacrifice, bravery and optimism. 

Similarly, the key messages from the speeches recognised the sacrifice of the NHS and key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the bravery of families celebrating their first Diwali following the loss of loved ones through COVID-19, and the optimism of better days to come. 

The evening celebrated the diversity within Chigwell and the coming together of a close-knit community.

Dame Eleanor and Chigwell's county, district and parish councillors were garlanded in a mark of appreciation for their hard work throughout the year and their commitment to public service for the betterment of the local area.

Ravi Bhanot, co-chairman of the Light Up London Committee, said: "We are now in our fourth year of switching the Diwali Lights on in Chigwell. It's such a beautiful evening with the coming together of the Chigwell community. 

"We are grateful for our MP and the Chigwell councillors for joining us to celebrate the festival of lights."

Pranav Bhanot, founding member of Light Up London, said: "Chigwell has a special place in our hearts and we were delighted to host the official switch on of the Diwali lights. 

"It has been a difficult 18 months and we wanted to use the festival of Diwali to reflect on the sacrifices millions have made, pay tribute to the lives lost during the pandemic and look forward to a brighter future. 

"Thank you to Chigwell Parish Council for their co-operation."
9.17am - November 7

WALTHAM ABBEY: Host of events to form Festival of Light

A host of events are being held this year as part of the inaugural Festival of Light in Waltham Abbey.

The festival begins with the traditional Cavalcade of Light through the town on Friday, November 26.

The parade, involving floats and individuals, will set off as usual from the Cornmill car park at 7pm, for the Christmas lights switch-on outside Waltham Abbey Town Hall.

Then, in a change to previous years, the parade will follow a route along Quaker Lane before turning into Sun Street.

Waltham Abbey Town Council will award a prize for the best float (£1,000) and the best walking entry (£500).

A Christmas Sing-A-Long will take place directly following the parade outside the Abbey Church (7.45pm).

Also on that day, the Epping Forest District Museum in Sun Street will be open until late (5pm to 7pm).

On Sunday, November 28, a Festival of Light Carols and Christmas Tales service will be held at St Thomas' Church, Upshire (4pm) and a Service of Music and Readings for Advent will be held at the Abbey Church (6.30pm).

On Monday, November 29, a Ninefields Christmas Extravaganza event will take place at Hillhouse Square, Ninefields (7pm).

A Christmas Market will be held on Saturday, December 4.

A Carol Service will be held at the Baptist Church, Paradise Road, Waltham Abbey, at 4.30pm on Sunday, December 19.

Local groups and organisations - including schools - as well as individuals are invited to take part in the Cavalcade of Light procession while Festival of Light organisers are encouraging people to create-a-lantern which can be taken to any of the events.

For more details about the Christmas Market and to register an entry for the Cavalcade of Light procession, email sarah.colley@walthamabbey-tc.gov.uk.

More details about all the Festival of Light events can be found at www.festivaloflight.uk
3.08pm - November 5

EPPING: Playground fundraisers launch Crowdfunding appeal

Epping Playground Association has launched a Crowdfunding page to boost its fundraising efforts to provide new equipment for the Lower Swaines recreation ground in Epping.

The group wants to redevelop the area to cater for three age groups - toddlers (0 to 5 years), juniors (five to eight years) and an specialist sports and recreation area for eight to 16-year-olds.

Plans for each area have been drawn up with the help of children and young people to benefit physical stimulation, social engagement and cognitive growth.

You can find out more about the Crowdfunding initiative at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/epping-playground-project
1.11pm - November 5

LOUGHTON: Town council receives playground awards

The Traps Hill playground in Loughton has been named outright winner of Essex Playing Fields Association's award for children's playgrounds.

Loughton Town Council has also received a gold certificate in Class 1 (playing fields serving communities of more than 2,500 residents) for the Roding Valley recreation ground, and a merit certificate in Class 3 (children’s playgrounds) for the Westall Road playground.

The Traps Hill playground was judged outright winner from some 120 entrants.

The town council has thanked its various play industry contractors and inspectors, its park warden team, Epping Forest District Council's grounds maintenance team and all the volunteers who undertake daily litter picking at the Roding Valley recreation ground.
8.22am - November 5

LOUGHTON: Tree planted in memory of Harley

A tree in memory of Debden Park High School student Harley Watson who died after he was among a group of students hit by a car outside the school almost two years ago has been planted on the Roding Valley recreation ground in Loughton.

The Autumn Blaze Maple has been planted by the lake with Harley's mother, Jo Wood, saying it "represents love, a lasting symbol of life and positivity, fond memories Harley shared with loved ones, walks with his parents and little sister and bike rides with friends".

Jo added: "As we approach December, some people within the community may wish to lay flowers outside Debden School as done previously. 

"If you wish to do so, may I encourage you to visit Harley’s tree. 

"The tree is set within the most beautiful grounds of our community with wildlife and a picturesque backdrop of a lake. 

"Also it’s a great location to take your children, feed the ducks, ride a bike or just enjoy being with your loved ones, as Harley did." 

You can find the exact location of the tree
HERE
3.21pm - November 4

LOUGHTON / ABRIDGE: Six men sentenced over cash machine raids

Six men have been sentenced for stealing £46,590 from two cash machines which were later found abandoned in Loughton and Abridge.

Three of the men gained entry to Alexandra Palace in London through the main doors using bolt-cutters in the early hours of August 19, 2019..

Once inside the building, they used power tools to sever the connections on the ATMs and detach the machines. 

A fourth man drove to the venue and the men put one of the ATMs into the back of a van while a fifth man in another vehicle acted as lookout before the group drove away.

At 4.25am, the same five men returned to the venue and detached the second ATM. 

Once again, the van pulled up outside and they all drove off with the second machine.

A sixth member of the group, Robert Neville, assisted with finding a yard to break into the machines out of public view.

Both ATMs were found separately by members of the public, in Fairmead Road, Loughton, and Hoe Lane, Abridge.

The vehicles involved in the burglaries were also found abandoned near The Croft, Chingford, by officers on routine patrol. 

Subsequent checks were conducted and the vehicles were linked to the five men.

Following a police investigation, warrants were carried out on November 20, 2019, at the addresses of the defendants. All six were arrested and charged.

They were sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court on Friday, October 29.

Aaron Noah, 32, of Harpley Square, Tower Hamlets, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary. He also pleaded guilty to a burglary at the NatWest bank in Whitechapel on June 28, 2019. He was jailed for four years and two months.

Kyle Shillingford-Small, 33, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary. He was jailed for four years and two months.

Robert Neville, 42, of Cliveden Close, Brentwood, pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods. He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and 80 hours' unpaid work.

The following were convicted after a trial in September:

Jason Hardcastle, 35, of Withy Mead, Waltham Forest, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit burglary and jailed for three years and nine months.

Abdirazak Yassin, 23, of Approach Road, Tower Hamlets, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit burglary. He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and 150 hours' unpaid work.

Hassan Ibrahim, 24, of Vernon Road, Tower Hamlets was found guilty of conspiracy to commit burglary. He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and 150 hours' unpaid work.

DC Will Man, of the Metropolitan Police Service's Specialist Crime, said: "Diligent policing, thorough detective work and a strong collaboration with prosecution counsel, David Harounoff and Brinder Soora, have led to these convictions and the sentences handed down today.

"Police officers are working day in and day out right across London to ensure that criminals are caught and held to account for their actions."
3.05pm - November 4

ONGAR: Councillor launches #ongarruralremembers to mark period of Remembrance

Ongar & Rural county councillor Jaymey McIvor is encouraging people to highlight local Remembrance displays and services by using his newly-launched social media hashtag #ongarruralremembers.

Councillor McIvor wants people to feature pictures of local Remembrance events as well as poppy-themed displays to share the Remembrance messages far and wide.

Councillor McIvor said: "The purpose is to have a place online where we can see all of the amazing efforts that have been made by local businesses, small community groups and our local schools and share all of the images as we commemorate Poppy Day and remember the men and women of our country and our overseas territories who have given so much so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we do today.

"It's so important that we remember these people and make an effort to remember them, but it's also important that we recognise the people and community groups that go above and beyond at this time of year and make a real effort whether it be with their shop window displays or their office entrance halls amongst many other examples."

He added: "If you see a photo opportunity of an area of our community in Ongar & Rural where people have really made an effort with their poppy displays, please take a photo and put it online so we can all have a look at some of the great efforts and hopefully inspire other people to do the same this year or next year.

"If you attend a community event and see a photo opportunity, make sure you take that photo and share it with us all."
2.33pm - November 4

ABRIDGE: Cyclist suffers serious injuries in collision

A cyclist suffered serious injuries in a collision with a vehicle near Passingford Bridge, Stapleford Tawney.

Police have told Everything Epping Forest that officers were called to Ongar Road shortly before 3.45pm yesterday (Wednesday). 

A spokesman said: "The cyclist was taken to hospital with serious injuries but they are not considered life changing or life threatening."

Any witnesses to the collision are asked to ring police on 101 quoting incident 748 of November 3.
1.54pm - November 4

DISTRICT: Long-serving councillor receives MBE

Long-serving local councillor Richard Morgan has received his MBE from HRH The Princess Royal at an investiture at Windsor Castle.

The parish and district councillor, who has served as a councillor for 38 years and represented the area on several other organisations, received the honour in recognition of his services to the community.

Elected to Epping Forest District Council in 1983, he was council chairman in 2004.

Throughout that time has served and represented local people in Moreton, Hastingwood, Matching and Sheering and served on Stansted Airport Community Trust Fund, Fawberts and Barnards Educational Foundation, Stansted Airport Consultative Committee (Deputy Chairman), National Housing and Town Planning Council, Sports Centre Management Committee, Ongar and District Community Association as well as numerous council committees.

Nominations for the honour were not limited to the council, with his work as a Justice of the Peace, Rotarian, Assessor for the NFU (National Farmer Union) and other local bodies, also included in the citation.
3.14pm - November 3

CHIGWELL: Silent protest calls for silent fireworks

A 'silent protest' has been held in Chigwell to call for a ban on noise fireworks and for those who want to set off fireworks to use silent ones instead.

A number of Chigwell parish councillors joined residents for the protest on Chigwell Green this morning.

Chigwell parish councillor Rochelle Hodds said: "Every year, dogs, cats and horses are terrified by the noise of fireworks. It causes them great discomfort and distress.

"We don't want to stop people enjoying themselves but simply ask them to think of others.

"We have a wonderful community, let's continue to be neighbourly."

Chigwell resident Debra Lawrence, who took part in the protest, said: "So-called 'exploding bombs' have a catastrophic effect on wildlife, pets, the environment and people suffering post-traumatic stress disorder.

"There have been fatalities and year on year there are injuries.

"Sainsbury is leading the way ahead of Government in no longer selling fireworks. This is amazing.

"The Government are debating a petition on fireworks. I pray the petition gets the backing it needs and deserves."
5.17pm - November 2

EPPING: Rotary club plants tree to remember those lost and affected by COVID-19

For pictures CLICK HERE
 
The Rotary Club of Epping has planted a tree at St John's Church to remember those lost to and affected by COVID-19.

The flowering cherry tree was blessed by Rev Lee Batson at a ceremony today (Tuesday) after the tree was ceremonially planted by club president Mike Morgan.

He said: "I hope in future when we pass this spot we look at the tree and think 'yes, we knew those people'."

The planting was also attended by Epping Rotarians, including Rotarian and Deputy Town Mayor Barbara Scruton.

She said: "The tree is marked with an eco-friendly slate plaque showing that it was donated by the Rotary club of Epping.

"The tree also has an environmental benefit as it will absorb pollution from passing traffic in St John's Road."
5.09pm - November 1

EPPING: Town council opposes Lindsey Street homes

Epping Town Council has objected to plans for ten three-storey properties as part of a development plan for the car repairs site off Lindsey Street, Epping.

The planning and general purposes committee has welcomed the development of the brownfield site however states that it believes the layout needs to be looked at again with councillors concerned about how the three-storey blocks may affect loss of amenity such as overlooking for neighbours.

A council spokesman said: "The proposed buildings are located close to the site boundary near neighbouring houses.

"The addition of trees and landscaping to screen the site will not be adequate to conserve privacy and stop overlooking."

The town council also has concerns over parking on the site stating there is insufficient parking for the number of dwellings.

The spokesman said: "There are ten car parking spaces being proposed for ten three-bedroom dwellings and only two visitor parking spaces.

"There are severe parking issues in Epping and the insufficient parking from this scheme will put additional pressures on the surrounding roads."
5.08pm - November 1

EPPING: Town council joins with Everything Epping Forest for Christmas window competition

Epping Town Council has again joined with Everything Epping Forest for its Christmas business window competition.

All businesses in Epping are invited to enter the competition, with the display which receives the most votes receiving the Audrey Rose Cup.

The town council is contributing to the festive season by decorating the High Street with Christmas lights, having a Christmas tree on the piazza and holding a Christmas Market on Saturday, December 4 (10am-4pm).

The cup will be presented during the market.

Businesses wishing to enter the best decorated window competition must register by emailing Everything Epping Forest direct at everythingeppingforest@gmail.com by 4pm on Friday, November 26. 

All participating businesses will have their window displays photographed over the weekend of November 27 and 28). 

All the pictures will be featured on Everything Epping Forest’s social media channels and news pages with readers/visitors able to vote for their favourite by email or text message (only one vote for each mobile number and email address will be counted).

Pictures of the winner and their window display will be featured on Everything Epping Forest and in the next edition of the town council's 'Talk About Epping' magazine.

The businesses which take part will be entered into a random draw to win a bottle of bubbly.
4.33pm - November 1

BUCKHURST HILL: Girls team up with Leyton Orient

Leyton Orient FC Women has teamed up with Buckhurst Hill Girls FC to give a boost to female football in the area.

Buckhurst Hill Girls were special guests at The Breyer Group Stadium when some of the Roding Lane club's female players provided a guard of honour for the Leyton Orient FC Women at their first game in E10. 

The girls stayed to cheer on the Os to another three points in a closely contested 1-0 win against AFC Stoke Newington.

Olivia Worsfold, Leyton Orient’s Female Development Officer, said: “We all know what an exciting time it is for female football in and around the club. This sister club partnership allows us to reach even more girls from the surrounding areas."

She added: "Buckhurst Hill are a fantastic club and I was lucky to see the girls section in action on a training night. I am so pleased to have them as our very first 'sister club'.”

James Bradley, from Buckhurst Hill Football Club, said: “We’re excited about the tie-up with Orient Women. We’ve grown to around 100 girls training with us now and Orient’s players and staff will provide such a positive influence towards their own potential and what they could go onto achieve.”

Over the course of the season LOFC Women will hold Q&A sessions with the girls who will have the opportunity to ask the women players what it takes to break into women’s football.

LOFC Women are also set to hold coaching sessions with Buckhurst Hill's young female players.

For more details visit www.bhfc.co.uk/girls-teams
4.04pm - November 1

ONGAR: Santa's sleigh at market

Santa’s sleigh will be at the Ongar Town Forum Farmers' and Craft Market on Sunday (November 7).

Ongar Town Forum, Ongar Round Table and Anything Ongar are raising money for the town's Christmas lights and running a raffle with more than 40 prizes. Raffle tickets will be on sale on the day.

Prizes include dinner for two, lunch for four, breakfast for a party of six, a three-course festive meal, a bottle of Champagne, drinks' hampers, lunch for two with cocktails, a ticket for the Epping and Ongar Railway Santa Special and various vouchers.

Twenty-eight stalls are expected at the market which will be in the Pleasance car park, next to the library in the High Street, from 10am until 2pm. 
3.36pm - November 1

WALTHAM ABBEY: Cavalcade of Light is back

Waltham Abbey Town Council - after a year's absence - will again be launching the festive season with the Cavalcade of Light.

This year the event - on Friday, November 26 - is being held as part of the town's Festival of Light which is seeing other events held across the town.

The Cavalcade of Light will set off as usual from the Cornmill car park at 7pm, for the Christmas lights switch-on at Waltham Abbey Town Hall.

Then, in a change to previous years, the parade will follow a route along Quaker Lane before turning into Sun Street.

A Christmas Carol-oke will take place directly following the parade outside the Abbey Church.

Also on that day, the Epping Forest District Museum in Sun Street will be open until late.

On Sunday, November 28, a Festival of Light carols and Christmas tales service will be held at St Thomas' Church, Upshire (4.30pm) while on Monday, November 29 (7pm) a Christmas Festival event will take place at Hillhouse Square, Ninefields.

A Christmas Market will be held at Waltham Abbey Town Hall on Saturday, December 4.

Local groups and organisations - including schools - as well as individuals are invited to take part in the procession.

The town council will award a prize for the best float and best individual entry.

For more details and to register an entry for the procession, email sarah.colley@walthamabbey-tc.gov.uk.

More details about all the events can be found at www.festivaloflight.uk
9.19am - November 1

EPPING: Halloween shop window competition

The Juice Warehouse in Station Road, Epping, has won the 'Love Epping' Halloween shop window competition which was judged by Epping Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing.

Epping Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing judged the entries in the competition organised by councillor Holly Whitbread in aid of St Clare Hospice.

As the overall winner ‘The Juice Warehouse’, with its interactive display, has won a VIP table at Archie’s Lounge Bar.

The other winners were:

* Rosewood Pharmacy - which receives a bottomless brunch for four at the Theydon Oak pub, Epping

* Cole's outfitters - wins ‘afternoon tea for two’ at Down Hall Hotel and Spa, Hatfield Heath

* Stevenette and Company LLP Residential Sales and Lettings - receives a painting of Epping by local artist Bill Parkinson

* The Epping Connection - receives a bottle of champagne donated by Millers Estate Agents 

Epping councillor Les Burrows awarded the 'Councillor's Choice' prize of a bottle of champagne to new business ‘So Studios’ for its hand-painted pumpkins.

Other participants included Eden Epping, Smiths Fish & Chips, Montagues Estate Agents, Richard Prior Opticians, Roza Epping, Millers Estate Agents, Cafe Mio and Alexander-Morgan Gallery.

Dame Eleanor said: "I was delighted to be invited to judge the numerous entries and thank councillor Holly Whitbread for coming up with the idea for the competition.

"The designs were tremendous and involved plenty of hard work by the creative shop and business staff.

"The entries have added something special to Epping High Street in the run-up to Halloween and have helped raise a considerable amount of money for St Clare Hospice."
8.57am - November 1

HALLOWEEN: Fireworks fired at passing cars


Two drivers have recounted how a firework was thrown at their cars as they drove in Ongar and Theydon Bois last night.

One described the moment she saw a boy holding a firework "aiming it like a gun at the cars".

A number of incidents of fireworks being thrown at vehicles were reported during the evening with Everything Epping Forest alerted to youngsters throwing fireworks in Ongar High Street, North Weald High Road, Debden and Loughton Lane, Theydon Bois.

A woman, who asked to remain anonymous, was driving along Loughton Lane towards Theydon Bois with her son in the car when a firework was thrown from an oncoming car.

She told Everything Epping Forest: "I was just coming up to Red Oaks Mead and a firework come straight towards my car from a car heading towards Loughton.

"I slowed down as a car was coming out of Graylands. I looked in the wing mirror and the firework exploded right in front of the car coming out of Graylands.

"It was frightening as I had my son in the car and was shocked for it to happen."

Another woman spoke about the moment her car was targeted in Ongar High Street as she drove with three passengers.

She was by the library when a boy threw the firework from the bus stop opposite.

She said: "I was driving with my kids in the car and a boy was holding the firework in his hand, aiming it like a gun at the cars.

"Dangerous is an understatement."

A dispersal order was put in place in Theydon Bois after concerns about anti-social behaviour last night.

The order, which remained in force until 8am today (Monday), covered an area which covered the village green and shopping areas and allowed police to direct anyone suspected of causing anti-social behaviour to leave the area.

 
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