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NORTH WEALD: Village to feature in new BBC drama series

5.52pm - 22nd November 2017

SCENES for a new BBC ONE drama series have been filmed in North Weald - the latest occasion the village will feature on the small screen.

'Press', featuring David Suchet, of Poirot fame, and a host of other stars is based around two fictional, competing newspapers. 

Helene Fox, BBC Drama publicist for 'Press', confirmed the filming activity in North Weald - in York Road and at the Kings Head Garage - but told Everything Epping Forest: "It is too early to comment on storyline details." 

North Weald is no stranger to film crews having featured in various advert and television shows over the years. 

Two years ago Tempest Mead and the Epping Ongar Railway featured in the opening sequence of the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing as the show's professional dancers danced along the cul-de-sac and boarded a heritage train.

In 2012 the News Shop in the High Road featured in a KitKat television commercial while the previous year the High Road betting shop and Kings Head Garage were used in Kia Car ad break adverts during ITV's FA Cup coverage. 

In 2009, Tower Close was featured in the Armstrong and Miller sketch show. 

North Weald Airfield has also featured in numerous films and television shows, including the film Band of Brothers - and a hangar on the airfield was, for some years, the location for The Crystal Maze game show.

'Press' features Charlotte Riley (King Charles III, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell) who plays the Deputy News Editor of fictional broadsheet The Herald, and Ben Chaplin (Apple Tree Yard, The Thin Red Line) plays the Editor of fictional tabloid newspaper The Post while Priyanga Burford (London Spy, King Charles III) is The Herald’s Editor. Paapa Essiedu (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, RSC’s Hamlet) plays The Post’s newest reporter and Shane Zaza (Happy Valley, The Da Vinci Code) its News Editor with Ellie Kendrick (Game Of Thrones, The Diary Of Anne Frank) taking the role of a junior reporter. 

Al Weaver (Grantchester, The Hollow Crown) is an investigative journalist and Brendan Cowell (Young Vic’s Yerma, Game Of Thrones) the Deputy Editor at The Herald. 

David Suchet plays the Chairman and CEO of Worldwide News, owner of The Post. 

'Press' is directed by Tom Vaughan - who directed Victoria and Doctor Foster - and is produced by Paul Gilbert (Humans). 

Writer and executive producer Mike Bartlett said: "Press is a series packed full of stories and now we have the very best people to tell them." 

Set in the fast-paced and challenging environment of the British newspaper industry, 'Press' will immerse viewers in the personal lives and the constant professional dilemmas facing its characters.

The series follows their lives as they attempt to balance work and play, ambition and integrity, amid the never-ending pressure of the 24-hour global news cycle and an industry in turmoil. 

Charlotte Riley said: "I am delighted to be working with Mike Bartlett again, and with Tom Vaughan on a truly brilliant piece of writing. Mike is a phenomenal storyteller and I am excited to be part of this project."

BBC Drama controller Piers Wenger said: "The newspaper business is part of Britain’s identity and Mike’s gripping stories of crusading journalists in this ever-changing industry, brought to life by this brilliantly talented cast make for a fresh, thrilling and utterly British contemporary drama." 

Press is a Lookout Point, BBC Studios, Deep Indigo production, co-produced with Masterpiece, for BBC One.


#EEF999LIVE: Police hunt gang over attempted kidnap

5.05pm - 22nd November 2017

POLICE are hunting for up to five men following the attempted kidnap of a woman and the theft of her Land Rover in Chigwell. 

The woman, aged in her 20s, was driving along Gravel Lane when a silver BMW X6 was in collision with a black Range Rover at about 10am on Monday. 

As the victim got out of her vehicle to exchange details, two men in the other car approached her wearing masks. 

Police say they grabbed her by the wrists and tried to pull her into their vehicle without success after she ran off and alerted police. 

The suspects drove off in both the BMW and Land Rover along Gravel Lane into Lambourne Road before abandoning the vehicles at the end of Long Green. 

Police believe up to five men were travelling in the BMW. 

Officers are treating the incident as a targeted attack with no wider risk to the wider public. 

Four of the suspects have been described as black with the other described as being of mixed heritage. All are believed to be aged in their late teens and early 20s. 

Anyone with any information, CCTV or dashcam footage before, during or after the incident is asked to ring Loughton CID quoting incident 262 of 20/11 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


#EEF999LIVE: Man jailed for sexually assaulting girl, 16

10.13am - 22nd November 2017

A 59 YEAR-OLD Waltham Abbey man has been jailed for sexually assaulting a teenaged girl. 

A16-year-old girl reported to police that she had been assaulted by Colin Beattie on September 23 last year. 

He was arrested two days later and on January 25 was charged with sexual assault. He admitted the offence at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday, October 26. 

At the same court on Thursday, November 16, Beattie, of Rochford Avenue, was jailed for 16 months and put on the sex offenders register for ten years. 

Investigating officer Detective Constable Ed Massey, said: “Colin Beattie is a sexual predator who preyed on a girl more than 40 years his junior. This was a horrible assault and I am glad Beattie will pay for his crime. 

“I want to praise the victim for her bravery during the investigation and I hope this sentence gives her some solace."


DISTRICT: Police already preparing for Halloween next year

9.23am - 22nd November 2017

POLICE are already drawing up plans to cope with Halloween next year after hundreds of youths used social media to arrange a gathering in Epping this year, a public meeting has heard. 

District Commander Chief Inspector Lewis Basford told Monday's meeting in Epping that youths used Snapchat to arrange a gathering in the town, because it has a London Underground station. 

Mr Basford said some 15 officers were on patrol in Epping that night. 

He said the police presence had possibly pushed the youths out to Theydon Bois where, the meeting heard, where there were incidents involving fireworks being thrown at cars and in the Tesco Express store. 

Former Theydon Bois parish councillor Sue Sowerby called for a greater police presence in the village, perhaps the 'pop-up' police station initiative which is used elsewhere in the district. She said some 200 to 300 youths, some hooded, were in the village on Halloween night. 

Mr Basford said he had already spoken with British Transport Police regarding police officers patrolling the local London Underground stations on Halloween next year "to push them back" and prevent potential troublemakers reaching the district's towns and villages. 

* Between October 1 last year and September 30, 2017, all crime in Epping Forest increased by 18.3 per cent (1,410 offences) when compared to the previous same 12-month period. 

* Officers are now spending an hour's more time out-and-about per shift since the introduction of mobile devices for officers, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst said. 

* Mr Hirst said he has his fingers "very securely crossed" hoping for a funding boost for policing in the Government's Local Government Funding review, with an announcement expected on December 13. 

* Police have seized 26 motorbikes across Epping Forest district since February after residents sent in dashcam and mobile phone footage of 'anti-social' incidents 

* Limes Farm Residents Association chairman called for the 'pop-up' police station on the Limes Farm estate to "stay popped up for longer so there is more of a police presence" 

* The "invaluable" contribution made by Special Constables was highlighted by District Commander Chief Inspector Lewis Basford following concern voiced by Limes Farm Residents Association's chairman who said she was "alarmed" at reliance on police 'volunteers'. Mr Basford said 11 Special Constables were among the police on patrol in the district for Halloween. 

* Police are to look into comments made by residents of Chigwell and Stapleford Abbotts who said 999 calls, because of the closeness to force boundaries, can be answered by the Metropolitan Police and not Essex Police 

*Ex-parish councillor Sue Sowerby called for "a bit more of a police presence" in Theydon Bois following Halloween incidents involving 200 to 300 youths, some hooded, and various car crime incidents.


EPPING: Executive headteacher meets Archbishop of Canterbury

12.28pm - 20th November 2017

EXECUTIVE headteacher Allan Osborne met the Archbishop of Canterbury after Epping St John's School was highlighted as one of the most improved faith schools in the country. 

The school has been on "a journey of transformation" for the last two years resulting in its best ever GCSE results this summer.

Mr Osborne met the Most Rev'd Justin Welby at Lambeth Palace in celebration of the rapid improvements made with his team. 

Mr Osborne, who is also executive principal of schools within the west Essex hub of the Burnt Mill Academy Trust, said: "As well as congratulating us on a great year, the Archbishop spoke about the values of education and the influence of Christian distinctiveness in education. 

"He was a very special man and it was a huge privilege to represent the students and staff as their hard work was acknowledged. 

"We have a moto that we are the sum of all parts and that is with regards to both our BMAT and Church of England families. It is so important for our students to know they are a part of something bigger; they are a part of Epping, the country and the world. 

"It’s not all about data at Epping St John’s, it’s about developing children spiritually too."

While the school has seen huge improvements, Mr Osborne said the journey does not stop there. 

He said: "We are aiming for world class. That is about giving students exceptional experiences, showing them education around the world and helping them to form and develop their views. That’s the difference between achieving fantastic grades and leaving school with wonderful talents."


CHIGWELL: School plans recommended for refusal

12.12pm - 20th November 2017

PLANS for the "complete refurbishment" of Chigwell Primary Academy with 59 homes built as an "enabling development" are being recommended for refusal by planning officers. 

The proposals also feature off-street parking, garden space and new vehicle accesses from the High Road (A113) and Vicarage Lane. 

Chigwell Parish Council is "strongly" supporting the scheme saying the school has been "in acute need of extensive refurbishment for some time". 

However Epping Forest District Council planning officers say the proposals should be rejected because inadequate provision is made for affordable housing, either on-site or via an off-site contribution. 

Officers add that the development also fails to adequately address the location of the site on the edge of the Conservation Area and within the broader setting of designated listed buildings. 

Objections have been lodged by 19 householders complaining about traffic issues, concerns at the design of the site access, the volume of vehicles the site will generate, and the impact on the road network and vehicle-related pollution. 

Concern has also been expressed over the loss of Green Belt land, the impact on local services, the intensity of the proposed development. 

Chigwell Residents Association support the application noting the urgent need for the school works. 

The parish council adds that the design and size of the residential properties are "of an appropriately varied assortment". 

A planning officer's report to the district development management committee on Wednesday, November 29 states: "Officers do not dispute the merits of the project overall, but at this stage do not consider that the development is acceptable without appropriately meeting the other important objectives of providing affordable housing and safeguarding the landscape character.

"Accordingly, the application in this form is recommended for refusal but Members may also wish to consider deferring determination to allow matters to be further reviewed."


#EEF999LIVE: HASTINGWOOD: Ramraiders' vehicle found abandoned

11.34am - 20th November 2017

A VEHICLE used by a gang of ramraiders to steal a cash machine from a Harlow store has been found near Hastingwood.

Police say a green Land Rover Defender was driven into the front window of the Premier store in The Stow shortly before 4am today. 

Four men went into the store and removed the free-standing ATM, putting it into the boot of a dark coloured Ford Focus. 

The car then drove off in convoy with a dark blue BMW leaving the Land Rover, which had been stolen, behind. 

The BMW, which had also been stolen, was later recovered in Riddings Lane, near Hastingwood.

Anyone with any information should ring contact Harlow CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


BUCKHURST HILL: Man jailed over cyclist's death

11.52am - 19th November 2017

A MAN has been sentenced following a collision between a lorry and a cyclist in Buckhurst Hill. 

Justyn Ransley, 37, of Cunningham Close, Shoebury, was driving on the wrong side of the road when he hit cyclist Stephen Wightwick, 48, in the early hours of Thursday, December 1 last year. 

He died as a result of the collision. 

Ransley failed to stop at the scene but officers later found the lorry in a compound in Basildon. 

He was arrested at his home address shortly afterwards. 

Ransley pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, failing to stop and failing to report a road traffic collision at Chelmsford Crown Court on Wednesday, October 25. 

He has been sentenced to four years in prison and disqualified from driving for four years. He will also have to take an extended retest. 

Ransley was given credit for pleading guilty at the first opportunity. 

Detective Sergeant Peter Swan, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Justyn Ransley’s actions were reckless, driving on the wrong side of the road and doing 43mph in a 30mph limit. 

“He hit Stephen Wightwick and didn’t stop, leaving him lying seriously injured on the pavement alongside his bike and the wing mirror from the lorry. 

“Although he returned a few minutes later he didn’t try to help Mr Wightwick or call the emergency services. “Instead, he continued with his deliveries and used his phone to try and find replacement parts for the lorry, later telling his employers he had hit a tree. 

“On arrest Ransley tried to claim black ice caused him to be on the wrong side of the road and he was unaware he’d hit a cyclist. 

“It was only after we showed him CCTV footage from the previous two weeks where he performed the same manoeuvre every time he drove that route and of him returning to the scene that Ransley was left with no option but to admit his guilt. 

“I would like to thank the investigation team and also pay tribute to Mr Wightwick’s family who have shown great courage and dignity throughout this process.

"I hope this sentence brings them some closure. “They can now begin to face life ahead without a much loved son, husband, father and brother. My thoughts are with them.”


#EEF999LIVE: LOUGHTON: Armed gang rob man

11.42am - 19th November 2017

FIVE men wearing balaclavas and armed with a knife robbed a man in South View Road, Loughton. 

The five men, all dressed in black, got out of silver Audi at the junction at Oakwood Hill before demanding the victim's bag and coat. 

They drove off towards Buckhurst Hill with a Canada Goose coat and a bag containing an i-Pad, Kindle, bank cards and a two figure sum of cash. 

Anyone with information about the incident which happened at about 10.55pm on Monday, November 13, is asked to ring Loughton CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


DISTRICT: District faces higher new homes figure if Local Plan deadline not met

11.22am - 19th November 2017

THE Epping Forest district will have to accommodate 8,000-plus more new homes than currently anticipated if the Local Plan is not submitted by the end of March. 

The public gallery at the Civic Offices is expected to be full to hear district councillors discuss the final report on Thursday, December 14.

If the report is not submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for Examination before the end of March 2018 the amount of new housing for the district could increase from the 11,400 homes identified in the Draft Local Plan to 20,306. 

Once the council has published the Plan there will be a period of six weeks during which it will be possible to make representations regarding the soundness and legal compliance of the Plan before it is submitted for Examination. 

Any representations received will then be made available to the Planning Inspector appointed to undertake the Examination, the council says. 

The council says the Plan will require high quality development to be accompanied by required infrastructure in the most sustainable locations, enabling the council to resist development proposals which are deemed to be inappropriate. 

Cabinet planning portfolio holder John Philip said: "We received more than 3,000 representations to last year’s consultation as well as suggestions for new sites. 

"The sites we identify need to be practical and sustainable. 

"Protecting the character of the district remains one of our top priorities while recognising we must have new housing if we are to meet local need. 

"With housing we also need infrastructure, everything from, roads, public transport and electricity supply to schools, health facilities and leisure centres. 

"There is a severe housing shortage in the south east and a great deal of external pressure on our district.

"If we don’t finalise and submit our Local Plan before the end of March new government proposals could require us to go back to the drawing board and that would leave us without an up-to-date Plan to guide and manage future growth. 

"Therefore it is now more important than ever that we get the Plan to the Inspectorate without delay."


ONGAR: Evacuee talk to ladies group

11.20am - 19th November 2017

A TALK on her time as a Second World War evacuee was given by Pat Gunn to the November meeting of Ongar and Shelley Ladies Thursday Group. 

Children aged under five went with their mothers but as Pat was just five years old and living in West Ham she was sent to live with a family in Cornwall.


EPPING: Police station for sale

3.58pm - 18th November 2017

THE Epping Police Station building is up for sale, 17 months after the front counter closed to the public. 

A statement from Essex Police says the building is being sold on the open market as Essex Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner "continue to realise resources to invest in frontline". 

The station is one of several being sold as the police estate is reduced from 80 to approximately 30 buildings to help modernise the force.

 The current police estate in Essex costs £10m a year in running costs but the buildings would require £30m of maintenance work to bring them up to standard. 

Essex Police says this money can be better invested in preventing and fighting crime by recruiting officers and investing in technology to help them do their job. 

District Commander Chief Inspector Lewis Basford said: "We know that police stations are symbolically important but the reality is that policing is not reliant on buildings. 

"The community want local, visible and accessible policing, and Epping will continue to be policed by dedicated officers. 

"These dedicated officers will respond to emergencies, investigate crimes, work to resolve local problems and work alongside partners to protect people from harm and prevent crime occurring. 

"To further enable us to keep officers on the frontline and more visible to the communities they serve, Essex Police has given all 2,000 of its uniformed officers smartphones which enable officers to perform key policing tasks without having to return to police stations, meaning they have more time to fight crime and more time to spend on patrol. 

Roger Hirst, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: "We need to invest our resources in the areas that are going to make the most difference to our communities. 

"We shouldn’t be investing the resources we have in maintaining buildings we don’t use when we can instead support our front line officers by providing them with better technology, helping them stay more visible and providing a better service for the people of Essex." 

Epping Forest District Council has provided an online reporting point where people can report non-emergency crimes and minor traffic collisions to Essex Police. 

The terminal, at the Civic Offices, also provides access to the district council’s reporting services for issues such as flytipping, noise nuisance, missed bin collections, benefit fraud and links to Essex County Council where highways issues can be reported.


WALTHAM ABBEY: Students meet rainforest creatures

2.36pm - 18th November 2017

YEAR 7 students at King Harold Academy met creepy crawlies and reptiles found in rainforests around the world when ZooLab visited.

The students got the chance to touch and learn about creatures such as the Madagascan hissing cockroach, tarantula, millipedes, African land snails, a stick insect and snake! 

Head of Geography Sam Barker-Smith said: "Whilst learning the correct way to handle the creatures, they learnt about their adaptions to the rainforest environment, diets and how easy or difficult it would be for them to survive in these tropical areas."

Student Ella Brancher said: "It was really interesting to see how they live and what they do in the rainforest. It was really fun!” 

Student Tyrese Fenton said: "It was really fun meeting different animals and insects from the rainforest. My favourite bit was holding the snake!"



DISTRICT: Roding Valley High School wins debating competition

9.14am - 18th November 2017

THE Roding Valley High School team has won this year's Epping Forest Schools Parliamentary Debating Competition organised by Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing.

It is the fourth time in the last six years that the Loughton school has won the competition. 

Year 10 student Florence New and and Year 11 student Eva Randall were presented with the trophy which the school will hold for a year, and individual trophies to keep. 

Six schools - Epping St John's, Davenant Foundation School, Chigwell School, Roding Valley High School, King Harold Academy and Debden Park High School - took part in the competition which was held at Epping St John's School. 

The Motion debated was that "This House believes that the Government's 0.7 per cent ring-fenced budget for overseas aid should be reduced and the money saved should be spent in the UK". The audience voted overwhelmingly against the Motion. 

Runners-up were the Davenant Foundation School team of Year 13 student Jayden Fitzgibbon and Year 12 student Christos Alexandrou. 

A prize for the best individual performance was presented to Year 11 Chigwell School student Christopher Collins. 

Speaking for the Motion were Epping St John's School, Davenant Foundation School and Chigwell School.

Speaking against the Motion were Roding Valley High School, Debden Park High School and King Harold Academy. 

Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing said: "All the speakers were absolutely brilliant. Every year we have held the competition the standard of the debate gets better and better." 

The judges were county councillor Valerie Metcalfe (chairman of the panel), councillor Aniket Patel, former Theydon Bois Primary School headteacher Elspeth Bonds and Everything Epping Forest owner David Jackman.



DISTRICT: MP appointed to The Privy Council

9.11am - 18th November 2017

EPPING Forest MP Eleanor Laing has said it is a "great honour" to have been appointed a member of the Privy Council. 

The Privy Council is a formal body of advisers to the Queen. 

As well as MPs and Peers, and former MPs and Peers, the Privy Council also comprises other people with senior roles in public life. 

Mrs Laing's appointment means that she will now be addressed as 'The Right Honourable Eleanor Laing MP'. 

Her appointment is made official at a ceremony before the Queen.


EPPING: Warning after house fire starts in logs stored next to fireplace

8.05am - 13th November 2017

FIREFIGHTERS were called to a house at Bell Common, Epping, after logs stored beside a fireplace caught alight. 

Crews from Epping and Loughton arrived at about 7.40pm last night to find about half of the two-storey property's ground floor filled with smoke. 

While the fire had spread to the living room wall around the fireplace, firefighters were able to prevent it from becoming any more serious.

The fire was extinguished by 8.15pm. 

Epping Fire Station Watch Manager Derek Whitbread said: "At this time of year many of us enjoy using log fires in our homes - but this incident goes to show the importance of taking care when using them. 

"The residents were storing logs near the fireplace ready to be used to keep the fire going later in the evening. 

"Our advice is to make sure you keep anything flammable - particularly fuel for fire - well away from the fireplace when it's in use and never leave it unattended while its burning. 

"Despite that, the owners responded perfectly once they noticed the spare logs had ignited - they got out, stayed out and called the fire service out."

The home suffered minor smoke damage.


DISTRICT: The district remembers

8.46pm - 12th November 2017

SERVICES of Remembrance and wreath-laying ceremonies have been held across the district. 

For pictures from Waltham Abbey CLICK HERE 

For pictures from Chigwell CLICK HERE 

For pictures from Loughton CLICK HERE 

For pictures from Epping CLICK HERE 

For details about how to order 8x6ins prints in presentation folders/mounts of any of the pictures featured email everythingeppingforest@gmail.com or ring 07710 447868.


#EEF999LIVE: EPPING / LOUGHTON: Police appeal over 'deaf charity' doorstep callers

5.27pm - 10th November 2017

POLICE are appealing for information following two incidents where property has been stolen from homes after a doorstep caller claimed to be from a deaf charity. 

The first incident happened in Lower Swaines, Epping at about 11am on Saturday, October 21. 

The other was in Lushes Road, Loughton, on Tuesday, November 7. 

Details have only just been released by police. 

In both cases a young woman knocked on the victim’s door claiming to be collecting for a charity for deaf people. 

She then either asked to use the toilet or asked for a drink. In one case jewellery was taken and in the other money was stolen. 

On each occasion the woman has been described as aged about 18 or 19 and slim with short dark hair.

Police are investigating whether the incidents are linked due to the similar nature of what happened and the description of the woman involved. 

Anyone who recognises the description of the woman, has had someone knock at their door claiming something similar, or has any other information about either incident is asked to ring DC Ben Elliot at Loughton CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. 

Police are reminding people to always ask doorstep callers for identification. 

All genuine callers will have ID and will not mind being asked to show it. Anyone who is still concerned should not let them in or ask them to return another time.


EPPING: The district remembers

5.27pm - 10th November 2017

A DEDICATION service has been held at the Garden of Remembrance at Epping war memorial. 

The service, led by Epping St John's Church Team Rector Rev'd Lee Batson, was followed by an Act of Remembrance at Epping Cemetery. 

Among those laying wreaths were Epping Forest District Council chairman Dave Stallan and Epping Town Mayor Tony Church. 



DISTRICT: Bus driver faces disciplinary action after ten students injured in crash

8.51am - 10th November 2017

A BUS driver faces internal disciplinary action from bus company EOS after ten Debden Park High School students suffered minor injuries in a bus crash in Chigwell. 

Some 20 students were on the bus when the collision happened at the Manor Road-Hainault Road junction this morning. 

Debden Park's Head of School Helen Gascoyne told Everything Epping Forest: "There was a crash this morning involving one of the school buses. No one was seriously injured.

"I went (to the scene) together with two senior members of staff to ensure that the students were okay.

"The paramedics were at the scene together with the police and no-one was taken in the ambulance to hospital. 

"We are working closely with the police who are investigating the crash and liaising with Essex County Council concerning the incident." 

EOS Bus Company said the incident happened when one of its vehicles collided with the rear of TfL 167 vehicle. 

A statement from the company said: "Thankfully we are pleased that there were no major injuries and none of our passengers were taken to hospital. However we appreciate that there are some that suffered cuts, bruises and of course mental scaring. 

"We are saddened that the incident has happened, and we would like to assure you that we are working with the police, the school and the council regarding the incident. 

"We can confirm that our driver has been cautioned by the police on suspicion of driving with undue care and attention. The driver will also be undertaking our internal discipline procedures." 

The statement adds: "Service 133 has been hindered with difficulties from the start of the new school term, including the reduction of operating the service with one vehicle instead of two, the re-routing, operational difficulties and difficulties with student behaviour. 

"We have a commitment and an obligation to carry on with the service, however we will be reviewing the service from January and will be considering alternative routing arrangements with the school and the county council. 

"You can be assured that we do take safety and our responsibility as a bus operator seriously and we do appreciate and expect parents of children travelling on this particular service to be concerned. 

"We do operate a number of services in and around Loughton, Waltham Abbey and Harlow successfully and we are determined to get the formula correct to ensure the 133 is operated with a view to ensuring the safety and comfort of all our passengers to their satisfaction."

Responding to comments posted on Twitter, the company added: "The driver has admitted responsibility and is deeply remorseful. He has put it down to driver error. There is no excuse. He will be dealt with by the police and internally accordingly. 

"I would like to add our driver has confirmed he was not on his mobile phone. The driver is also a long-serving member of our team, with 30 years experience."


#EEF999LIVE: Man charged after investigation into thefts from vehicles

8.51am - 10th November 2017

A 40-YEAR-OLD man is due before magistrates charged with various offences following an investigation into incidents of thefts from vehicles in Loughton. 

Wallets, sound equipment, items of clothing as well as cash have been recovered. 

The man, from Loughton, has been charged with theft from a motor vehicle, vehicle interference and handling stolen goods. 

District Commander Chief Inspector Lewis Basford told Everything Epping Forest #EEF999LIVE: "I'm really proud of the team. 

"They have worked well to secure the charges and recover property for those residents affected."


#EEF999LIVE: Man jailed for starting petrol station fire

8.43am - 10th November 2017

A MAN has been sentenced to three years and ten months after starting a fire on the forecourt of a petrol station in Waltham Abbey. 

Paul Crick, 43, of Hookfield, Harlow, was seen to walk across the forecourt of the Tesco petrol station in Sewardstone Road at about 5.40pm on Saturday, April 22. 

He placed a bottle of what was believed to be alcohol on the floor and set alight to a piece of paper that was placed inside the top of the open bottle. 

He put the bottle between fire extinguishers and a sand store box, which would be required to put out any fires quickly. It was also placed directly under the emergency cut off button for the petrol pumps. 

Crick then walked off the forecourt. 

A member of staff was alerted and quickly put the flames out by drenching it with water. 

Officers were called and arrested Crick on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life. 

Firefighters also attended to ensure the area was safe and to examine the contents of the bottle. This was later confirmed to be paraffin and another flammable liquid, which if ignited properly would have extended to the petrol pumps.

Crick was charged with attempting to cause arson with intent to endanger life, damaging property and being reckless as to whether life is endangered. 

He was found guilty and sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday.


CHIGWELL: School holds Sixth Form open evening

9.02pm - 9th November 2017

HUNDREDS of prospective Sixth Form students visited West Hatch High School to find out more about the post-GCSE courses available. 

The Sixth Form Open Evening gave current Year 11 students and their parents the chance to tour the school and learn about West Hatch's successes. 

Talks were given by headteacher Daniel Leonard, assistant headteacher Victoria Schaefer, head of Sixth Form Anjala Sharma and students Hannah Purton and Ricco Jayakody. 

Current Sixth Form students acted as guides and showed visitors around the various departments and Sixth Form Centre. 

They were also on hand to answer questions. 

Mr Leonard said: "It was a pleasure to welcome so many prospective Sixth Form students and their parents to this year's Sixth Form open evening and to have the opportunity to highlight our record-breaking A-level results this year. 

"These are exciting times for West Hatch, not just academically with our exam successes but with the expansion of the school and its facilities, some of which will be ready early next year. 

"While we are preparing to welcome additional Year 7 students from next September, all West Hatch students will benefit from the superb new teaching facilities which are to be built in the coming months."

Following their A-level results last summer, all West Hatch High School Sixth Form students achieved employment or places at universities or on prestigious Higher Apprenticeships. 

Last summer's results saw 67 per cent of students achieve A*-B grades and 93 per cent A*-C grades. 

The progress that students made placed the school in the top 10 per cent of schools nationally. 

The deadline for applications for Sixth Form places for next September is January 31, 2018.



EPPING: Cafe included in Jack Silley Pavilion refurbishment plans

2.43pm - 9th November 2017

EPPING Town Council is planning to refurbish the Jack Silley Pavilion at Stonards Hill Recreation Ground and add a café. 

The recreation ground was gifted to the people of Epping through the town council from the Silley family, hence the pavilion’s name. 

Stonards Hill Recreation Ground is widely used by football teams, dog walkers, exercisers, visitors to the playground, the scouts and many have requested a café, the council said.

Epping Town Council has been earmarked a sum of money through the planning system relating to the building of Epping St John’s and this money will be used in addition to funds from Epping Town Council and hopefully additional grants. 

There will also be improvements to the pavilion itself which needs a better roof. 

Plans are now available to view through Epping Forest District Council and the work will be advertised when it starts, hopefully in spring 2018.


#EEF999LIVE: Awards recognise police officers who have gone "beyond the call of duty"

2.04pm - 8th November 2017

AWARDS recognising local police officers who have gone "beyond the call of duty" have been presented at a special ceremony. 

Some 20 awards were presented at the Command Team Awards which were held in public for the first time. 

The certificates, presented by Chief Superintendent Sean O'Callaghan at The Warren, Loughton, today, recognise officers for their work on a wide range of cases and investigations - from supporting a family following the sudden death of a baby to detaining a suspect in Loughton who was in possession of dozens of wraps of drugs and a knife. 

Other incidents saw officers praised for their work in dealing with vulnerable people, including one who was on the Dartford Bridge. 

Officers' commitment to long-running investigations was also highlighted. 

Chief Superintendent Sean O'Callaghan told Everything Epping Forest: "I am really proud to be able to say to my officers a big thank you for what they are doing on a daily basis. 

"These are officers who have gone beyond the call of duty on a number of occasions but for a number of them equally it is about doing what they joined up to do, protecting vulnerable people, arresting people that need arresting and bringing others to justice." 

He added: "I always say in times of crisis it's a police officer who runs towards the trauma, other people will be running away but it's the officers that will go when called to give assistance to people. 

"Often that is dangerous situations, yes of course they are trained to do so but in truth most officers will only attend such incidents once or twice in their career and I am really proud to say thank you to those officers today who have done just that." 

Loughton Mayor councillor Philip Abraham was among those attending the presentations. He thanked police officers for their work and commitment in keeping Loughton, and the Epping Forest district, safe.


AUDIO: To listen to an interview with Chief Superintendent Sean O'Callaghan CLICK HERE


LOUGHTON: School holding open day for would-be teachers

9.16am - 8th November 2017

DEBDEN Park High School is holding an open day on Friday, December 1, for anyone interested in a career in teaching.

Building on its recent Ofsted 'Outstanding' judgement, Debden Park High School - which has long been a teaching school - is to deliver a teacher training programme on-site, with trainees learning on the job. 

Dr Andrew Hogan, an assistant headteacher who himself trained at the school, said: "It's an exciting time for the school. I don't believe there is any better way to learn to teach than on the job, and there's certainly no better place to do it than here." 

The open day will be divided into two slots with the first session from 11.30am until 3pm and the second from 4.30pm until 7pm.

The school has stressed that no-one should be put off by the start times and anyone who can only arrive later can still attend. 

The open day will give would-be trainees the chance to see the school in action, to receive information on how to apply and the funding available, and to talk to former trainees now employed in the school about the experience of learning to teach at Debden Park. 

Dr Hogan certainly thinks candidates will be impressed by the school and the programme on offer. 

He said: "I believe the school-centred teacher training programme offers the perfect balance between practical experience on the one hand and support, inspiration and guidance from exceptional practitioners on the other." 

Anyone wishing to attend, or who would like more information, should email Jo.Fogg@tkat.org or ring 0203 740 1808.


NORTH WEALD: Parish council elects new chairman

9.12am - 8th November 2017

COUNCILLOR Alan Buckley has been elected the new chairman of North Weald Bassett Parish Council.

Mr Buckley, who was previously vice-chairman, succeeds councillor Cyril Hawkins who died in September. 

Mr Buckley, who has been a North Weald parish councillor since January 2013, said: "I am proud to have been elected as the new chairman and look forward to working with my fellow councillors, the council staff and the local community. 

"Councillor Hawkins had been the mainstay of the council for many years - having also been its chairman continuously since 2006 - and he will certainly be a hard act to follow. He was dedicated to his council work, and in particular to the Thornwood ward." 

Councillor Brian Eldridge has been elected as the new vice-chairman.



DISTRICT: Overseas Aid topic for debating competition

5.10pm - 7th November 2017

SIX schools - Epping St John's, Davenant Foundation School, Chigwell School, Roding Valley High School, King Harold Academy and Debden Park High School - will be taking part in this year's competition organised by Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing. 

The Motion to be debated is that "This House believes that the Government's 0.07 per cent ring-fenced budget for overseas aid should be reduced and the money saved should be spent in the UK". 

Speaking for the Motion will be the teams from Epping St John's School, Davenant Foundation School and Chigwell School.

Speaking against the Motion will be Roding Valley High School, Debden Park High School and King Harold Academy. 

Mrs Laing said: "The competition has traditionally generated great debate among the participating schools, and also from the audience. "I hope that will again be the case this year and I look forward to listening to the arguments on both sides of the debate from our young public speakers."

The competition is being held at Epping St John's School on Friday, November 17.


THORNWOOD: Traffic concerns over Screwfix plans

5.10pm - 7th November 2017

PLANS to turn part of the Popplewells Coachworks site in High Road, Thornwood, into a Screwfix branch with a trade counter are being opposed by North Weald Bassett Parish Council

Councillors voiced reservations over the proposals amid concerns about the amount of traffic the proposed use would generate. 

The planning committee voted 3-3, with one abstention, on the application with committee chairman Baden Clegg using his casting vote to support objection to the plans. 

He told Monday's meeting: "My only concern is if there is a fair amount of traffic in and out, it's a dodgy position." 

Councillor Elaine Godwin-Brown was concerned at the estimated 40 vehicle movements in and out each day. 

"The white van man, big vans and the amount of traffic in Thornwood High Road would be very much increased, and it's a dangerous road."

What do you think? You can post your comments on the Everything Epping Forest Facebook page or Facebook group, on Twitter (@eefnews) or by emailing everythingeppingforest@gmail.com

Lisa Harman (writing on the Everything Epping Forest Facebook group) - I think this is one topic that the majority of the village is united upon, we NEED our surgery to be open. No one wants to be going to the doctor and in some instances it really is a matter of life or death. 

Roo Banners (writing on the Everything Epping Forest Facebook group) - There's already one in Harlow so certainly not needed. 

Alison McGoay (writing on the Everything Epping Forest Facebook group) - Definitely not necessary. How about a mini Tesco/Sainsbury or a useful shop? 

Liam Collins (writing on the Everything Epping Forest Facebook group) - God forbid someone setting up a business in the village. 

Paul Morris (writing on the Everything Epping Forest Facebook group) - I think it would be a great idea having a screwfix there. 

James Chappell (writing on the Everything Epping Forest Facebook group) - Would save having to drive six miles either way to Harlow or Debden especially with all the roadworks continually going on. 

Kim Sharpington (writing on the Everything Epping Forest Facebook group) - Possibly good site for some housing that's needed, save a bit of green belt!?! 

Helen Law (writing on the Everything Epping Forest Facebook group) - What's wrong with a screw fix much better than any empty building.


NORTH WEALD: Council seeks further explanation over GP surgery after receiving "quite pathetic" reply to concerns

8.47am - 7th November 2017

NORTH Weald Bassett Parish Council is seeking a further explanation over the closure of the village's GP surgery after an initial reply was branded "quite pathetic". 

Debbie Bodhanya, managing partner at The Limes Medical Centre, has told the council she does not know when the surgery, in Wheelers Farm Gardens, will reopen after refurbishment work was held up by NHS England approval. 

A message on the practice's website states: "Due to preparation for refurbishment, North Weald Surgery will be closed from 10 July until further notice." 

Councillors are concerned at the length of time the work is taking and are to invite Mrs Bodhanya to a parish council meeting to explain the situation. 

Councillor Sheila Jackman told Monday's parish council meeting: "I object to the response. I think it's quite inadequate. 

"Our residents should have a surgery there and I don't believe the surgery is unaware of the timescale of the works. 

"Our residents require that service back and as soon as possible." 

Parish council chairman Alan Buckley described the response as "quite pathetic". 

Councillor Andy Tyler said: "There is a need. We have a very high level of sheltered accommodation."


NORTH WEALD: No objection to police air unit plans

8.45am - 7th November 2017

NO objection has been voiced by North Weald Bassett Parish Council to plans to enable the National Police Air Service unit to relocate from High Beach to North Weald airfield. 

A planning application has been submitted for a hangar, office, store and workshop together with a 50,000-litre bunded aircraft fuel tank and a 2,000-litre LPG tank for heating the accommodation unit. 

The air unit - two helicopters and a fixed wing aircraft - has to move from its current base at Lippitts Hill by the end of March. 

It is one of the NPAS bases serving London and the south east of England.


THEYDON BOIS: Estate agents complete Three Peaks Challenge

4.20pm - 6th November 2017

THREE staff at Theydon Bois estate agent Butler & Stag have completed the Three Peaks Challenge, climbing the three highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales in 24 hours - with just 27 minutes to spare! 

Neil Leahy, Michael Woolley and Tyler Dunkin tested themselves against rugged terrain and challenging weather so children using Theydon Bois playground can have a safer and more secure future with new, updated equipment. 

They completed the Three Peaks Challenge in 13 hours 13 minutes, plus ten hours allotted for travelling.

The Playground at Theydon Appeal has already benefitted by £3,637 pledged before the challenge. The trio have set themselves a target of £10,000. 

Neil said: "It was hard going but we loved it. Of course there are highs and lows emotionally, largely from fatigue and lack of sleep. 

"The minibus was horrible, no room to spread out and smelt of sweat and feet, and we were cooped up with four people we had never met before. But it was all part of the experience and after the first walk we had bonded." 

Ben Nevis 1,345 metres (4,411 ft) was climbed while battling wind and rain with 40-50 mph winds around the summit. 

The fundraisers arrived late at Scafell Pike 978 metres (3,209 ft) due to traffic delays with the climb starting at 10.30pm in heavy rain, strong winds and darkness. 

The team arrived at Snowden 1,085 metres (3,560 ft) feeling positive. 

Racing against the clock they pushed on unescorted to complete the challenge as the three peaks were completed in 23 hours and 33 minutes. 

The Playground at Theydon must raise £115,000, including insurance and maintenance.

Chairman chairman Shelly Dix said: "We are really grateful to Butler & Stag and to everyone who has donated so far. Thank you." 

Plans also include apparatus that provides play for disabled children plus an outreach for the wider local community. To support the Three Peaks Challenge team visit https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/PaT3Peaks 

Cheques made payable to ‘Playground at Theydon Association’, or cash, can be handed in at Butler & Stag, 4 Forest Drive, Theydon Bois.


DISTRICT: Council set to increase fees and charges

3.19pm - 6th November 2017

A NUMBER of fees and charges levied by Epping Forest District Council are set to rise from the next financial year. 

The charge for the collection of bulk waste is set to increase by three per cent with a similar rise being earmarked for various legal services provided by the council. 

The cost for the removal of one to three items is set to rise by 50p to £25, for four to seven items from £36.50 to £37.50, for eight to ten items from £48 to £49.50 and for 11 to 15 items from £61 to £63 with a 50 per cent concession for those on Housing Benefit. 

The cost of New Horizons sessions are set to rise - for yoga (£5.80 instead of £5.60), indoor bowls (£3.80 instead of £3.70), badminton £3.80 instead of £3.70), boccia (£3.80 instead of £3.70) and table tennis (£3.80 instead of £3.70). 

Cycling for Health, term-time badminton and Futsai sessions as well as holiday sports sessions, Get Active sessions and multi-sport/activity camps face increases of between 10p and 50p per session. 

No increase is proposed for the Lifewalks or Play in the Forest. 

Increases are also proposed for the hire of the communal halls at Pelly Court, Epping; Oakwood Hill, Loughton; and Barrington Hall, Loughton with council garage rents set to rise from £8.50 to £8.75 a week.


#EEF999LIVE: ONGAR: Armed raiders target woman in home

2.23pm - 6th November 2017

TWO men wearing balaclavas and armed with a metal bar stole jewellery and watches from a property in Ongar after a woman was punched in the face. 

Police say the pair - described as white, aged in their 20s and wearing black clothing - grabbed the woman and punched her causing swelling around her eye. 

Detective Sergeant Ben Elliott said: "This was a particularly terrifying incident where men have gained entry to the property through an unlocked back door and walked upstairs to search bedrooms. 

"They have then grabbed the occupant, threatened and assaulted her before taking personal and valuable possessions." 

Anyone with any information about the incident, which happened at a property near Epping Road at about 6.45pm last night (Sunday), is asked to ring Loughton CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


EPPING: More than 50 stalls at Christmas Market

4.11pm - 4th November 2017

THE festive season in Epping will be officially launched with the Epping Christmas Market, organised by Epping Town Council, and the Christmas Tree Festival at St John's Church

This year's event is being held on Friday, December 1. 

There will be more than 50 Christmas craft, gift and food stalls in the High Street with the market running from noon until 8pm. 

A varied programme of entertainment starts at 3.30pm after the official opening by Town Mayor Tony Church.

Music will be provided by local school and adult choirs, Epping Folk Club singers Noel Cowley and Matthew Shepherd, Epping Forest Band, the Harlow Salvation Army Band and Will Baki. 

The Mayor will be switching on the Christmas tree lights, on the giant tree on the town piazza, during the event. 

As part of the festivities, Santa will be visiting Epping Fire Station from 4.00pm. Other attractions include magic tricks, balloon modelling, Peppa Pig, face painting, a Town Crier and an Epping Ongar Railway vintage bus. 

The Christmas Market is run alongside the Christmas Tree Festival at St John’s Church which starts at 1pm and continues on Saturday, Sunday and Monday (December 2-4). 

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

For further information, contact Epping Town Council by emailing gvallis@eppingtowncouncil.gov.uk or ringing 01992 579444.


EPPING: 'Listening bench' launched

4.11pm - 4th November 2017


A 'LISTENING bench' has been unveiled at St John's Church, Epping, giving people a chance to sit and listen to stories from the town's past. 

The bench contains historic archive recordings featuring memories of Epping which have been chosen by local volunteers. 

The project is funded by The National Lottery. 

The 'listening bench', part of the Essex Record Office project 'You Are Hear', has been put together by volunteers, including members of Epping Forest Youth Council, with support from Epping Town Council.

The clips on the bench include memories about being evacuated to Epping in the Second World War, Epping market and High Street in the early 20th century, Edward VII’s visit to Epping and being a Verderer of Epping Forest. 

Some of the memories were recorded by Sidney Hills, a local historian who has recently commemorated by Epping Town Council which unveiled a blue plaque on his former home in the High Street. 

Among the guests attending today's launch were Essex County Council chairman John Aldridge, Epping Forest District Council chairman David Stallan, Epping Mayor Tony Church, Deputy Lieutenant Michael Chapman, Essex County Council culture, communities and customer cabinet member Susan Barker, St John's Team Rector Rev'd Lee Batson, Epping Forest District Council leader Chris Whitbread, Epping town councillors and members of Epping Youth Council.

They were joined by Michael Ball, the great nephew of Sidney Hills, and his mother Delia Ball. 

Helping to cut the ribbon was Epping Forest youth councillor Finlay Jordan. 

For a slideshow of pictures from the launch CLICK HERE


CHIGWELL: School holding Sixth Form open evening

12.36pm - 4th November 2017

WEST Hatch High School will open its doors to prospective Sixth Form students at an open evening on Wednesday (November 8).

The evening starts at 6.30pm with talks in the school hall, by headteacher Daniel Leonard and members of the Sixth Form Team, at 6.45pm and 7.30pm. 

Mr Leonard said: “We are looking forward to welcoming all prospective Sixth Formers to West Hatch High School. 

"The evening is an opportunity for us to highlight the range of courses available and to also show visitors our purpose-built Sixth Form facilities which incorporate a common room, cafeteria and extensive study area. 

"Our very experienced staff have an excellent track record of teaching at post GCSE going back over many years.” 

Visitors will be able to tour the various departments, the Sixth Form Centre and also meet with staff and current West Hatch High School Sixth Form students.


ONGAR: Family of crash victim "heartbroken" as flytippers target roadside memorial

12.04pm - 4th November 2017

THE family of a road crash victim are "heartbroken" after flytippers repeatedly dumped rubbish at the site of his roadside memorial. 

Adam Hiskey, 26, died in a road crash on the A414 Epping Road in Ongar in Aprl 2002. His family have since maintained a memorial stone in the lay-by at the spot where he died. 

Flytippers have dumped rubbish - including metal, sheeting, a plastic chair and black bags of waste - at the spot three times in less than a month. 

On each occasion the mess has been promptly removed by the council. 

Adam's sister Diana told Everything Epping Forest the flytippers first dumped waste either side of the memorial on October 7. 

Further dumping happened on Thursday last week and again on Tuesday, Halloween night, this week.

Adam's sister, Diana, told Everything Epping Forest: "They actually flytipped on top of his memorial. This is heartbreaking for us as a family as we take pride in keeping this a nice area for Adam. It has been there a long time.

"It's heartless and upsetting for us to see this as my dad cuts the grass regularly and me and my mum and sister keep it nice with flowers and cards." 

Diana added: "It angers me that people think it is ok to fly-tip on a roadside memorial, or anywhere, but here it's so disrespectful to us. 

"Adam was local and loved by many. I will not let them (the flytippers) win. 

"The council have been amazing clearing it each time for us but no evidence has been found as to who is doing this." 

For pictures of the flytipping at the roadside memorial CLICK HERE

Adam Hiskey PICTURE


LOUGHTON: School holds 'Magic Moments Morning'

9.18am - 4th November 2017

CHILDREN at Hereward Primary School, Loughton, took part in a 'Magic Moments Morning' which focused on the challenge of teaching children how to be effective learners. 

Different concepts such as resilience, perseverance and critical thinking were explored and the children expressed themselves through the form of art and in other creative ways. 

Year 6 pupil Obed Watson said: "I loved the morning, especially how we got to paint scenes using a brush in our mouth." 

Mrs Tersia de Jongh, who co-ordinated the day, said: "It was a fun and entertaining morning. It was great to give the opportunity for the children to share ideas and work together in such co-operative ways."



NORTH WEALD: No date set for reopening of doctors' surgery

4.03pm - 3rd November 2017

THE boss of North Weald's doctors' surgery says she does not know when it will reopen following delayed refurbishment work. 

Concerns have been raised by villagers following the closure of the surgery - part of The Limes Medical Centre in Epping - in Wheelers Farm Gardens several months ago. 

North Weald Bassett Parish Council took up the matter and has now received a response from the practice's managing partner Debbie Bodhanya. 

In an email, she told the council the surgery is currently closed for "some much needed refurbishment works" which had been "held up by NHSE (NHS England) approval processed outside of our control". 

She added: "I will be happy to give you (the parish council) an update when I know when it will be open again."


EPPING: School becomes part of Burnt Mill Academy Trust

4.03pm - 3rd November 2017

EPPING St John's School has become part of The Burnt Mill Academy Trust which will have 11 schools under its guidance. 

The Trust, including primaries, secondaries, a free school, sixth forms and a teaching school, is expanding and will cover Epping, Harlow, Stansted and London. 

With the growth comes a new hub structure, including the West Essex Hub as the biggest.

Epping St John's School is the latest to join the Trust with Allan Osborne appointed as executive principal and leader of the West Essex Hub.

Under his wing sits Burnt Mill Academy, Cooks Spinney Primary Academy, Roydon Primary School, Freshwaters Primary Academy and Little Parndon Primary School in Harlow and Epping St John’s. 

The newly-built Sir Frederick Gibberd will open within the hub in 2019. 

Mr Osborne, who joined Epping St John’s two years ago and works with the Trust’s CEO Helena Mills, said: "The Trust has become a regional hub as a result of its phenomenal success.

"The Regional Schools Commissioner deems the Trust successful enough to become a regional multi academy trust. 

"The West Essex Hub is the biggest with 8,000 children ranging from age two to 19. The beauty of that is children can spend their entire educational career with us until they leave to go to university. 

"We want to make sure children in all of our schools are getting the same quality education. Each school has its own individual identity, but the same drive and vision for outstanding outcomes for all.” 

Under Mr Osborne as executive headteacher, the day-to-day operation of Epping St John’s is now the responsibility of co-heads of school Emma Ruffles and Jo Daniels.


#EEF999LIVE: Drug dealer jailed

3.46pm - 3rd November 2017

A MAN has been jailed for more than four years for dealing Class A drugs after he was arrested in Debden. 

Officers from the West Operation Raptor team were on patrol in the Sandford Avenue area on Thursday, February 9, when they saw a known drug user walking with another man. 

The drug user was then spotted getting into a vehicle and getting out a short time later. 

Suspecting a drug deal had taken place, officers stopped the car and carried out a search. They found more than £200 in cash and a mobile phone and arrested the 27-year-old driver, Ajay Yadav. 

Yadav, who had been released from prison on a two-year licence at the time of committing the offence, was charged with two counts of possessing a Class A drug and a further count of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs. 

Yadav, of Woodford Avenue, Ilford, admitted the charges when he appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court and was jailed for four years three months. 

Due to the fact that he was subject to a two-year prison licence at the time of committing the offence, Yadav will have to serve a total of six years and three months. 

The court also ordered the forfeiture of the cash and destruction of the drugs. 

Sgt James Paget, of the West Operation Raptor team, said: “For anyone that thinks the life of a drug dealer is glamourous, this case clearly demonstrates it absolutely isn’t. 

"As soon as we spotted Yadav he was arrested, charged, put before the courts and locked up for a significant period of time. "Hopefully he uses that time behind bar to reflect on a possible career change. 

"We will continue to target those people who are intent on attempting to sell illegal drugs in our county, ensuring that there is no place for them to hide." 

Essex Police set up Operation Raptor teams in the north, south and west of the county to tackle drug and gang-related crime. 

Anyone with information about gang or drug-related crime in their community can contact Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


#EEF999LIVE: Seven people sent scam 'blackmail' letters

7.50am - 3rd November 2017

SEVEN people - in Chigwell, Loughton and Buckhurst Hill - have been sent scam 'blackmail' letters suggesting that the individual or a relative will be kidnapped if a ransom is not paid. 

Police say the scam was reported by five residents in Chigwell, one in Loughton and another in Buckhurst Hill, between October 15 and 30. 

Handwritten letters are being posted via Royal Mail and state that the person receiving the letter or their wider family will be targeted and kidnapped if they do not pay a ransom. 

A five-figure sum is demanded in order to prevent a ‘kidnap’ from taking place, and the letters then state that this will rise to a six-figure sum should there be a delay in payment. 

The letters also give instructions to create a Gumtree post or send a response to a mobile phone number.

Detective Constable Clive Singer, at Loughton CID, said: "These letters are generic and do not target individuals however to receive something like this through the post is very unpleasant and ultimately the objective is to steal money from innocent people. 

"We want to reassure people that this is a scam and that there is no cause for concern in relation to the personal safety of residents. 

"The letters are not targeted and there is nothing to suggest that the sender has any personal information.

"Rest assured that we are investigating this scam thoroughly and would ask that if people receive a similar letter that they avoid handling it to preserve forensic opportunities." 

Anyone with any information is asked to ring Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


EPPING: Bowls club appeals for Tesco tokens

8.46am - 2nd November 2017

EPPING Bowls Club is bidding to bag a cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative which sees customers put blue tokens in boxes at local stores. 

The Lower Bury Lane club, established in 1911, needs to replace at least one of its mowers which cost thousands of pounds. 

Following an application to Tesco last year, the club has been chosen as one of the three causes to benefit from the blue token scheme in November and December. 

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork for the community funding scheme which sees the cause with the highest number of votes receiving £4,000, the second placed £2,000 and the third £1,000. 

Epping Bowls Club secretary Anne Munro said: "This means so much for us as club funds are so poor we have had to soldier on for years making do with sub-standard equipment. 

"If we can get much-needed new machinery it will breathe new life into the club as bowls is a great game and we want to encourage everyone of all ages." 

For more details about the club visit www.eppingbowlsclub.co.uk

Votes can be cast at the Tesco stores in Epping, Ongar and Theydon Bois.


#EEF999LIVE: ONGAR: Burglar used victim's wheelchair to carry off haul of property

8.03am - 2nd November 2017

A BURGLAR who used a victim's wheelchair to wheel away a haul of property from a house in Ongar has been sentenced to three years and nine months. 

Christopher Nagar, of Roslings Close, Chelmsford, stole items worth thousands of pounds from a house in Chelmsford Road on July 15. 

Nagar broke in through a first-floor bedroom window and stole jewellery, an antique decommissioned shotgun, two televisions and an iPhone5. 

He had previously pleaded guilty to the offence, and admitted he was also under the influence of drugs at the time. 

Detective Constable Clive Singer, from Loughton CID, said: "At the heart of this nasty incident is an elderly couple who have been deeply affected by the loss of jewellery which was of high sentimental value, and an irreplaceable antique shotgun which had been in their family for generations. 

"Nagar used the victim’s wheelchair to take items from their home, in what was an offence carried out in the most brazen of terms. 

"This was not his first burglary and he showed utter contempt for the victims. He also showed no remorse for his actions when interviewed. 

"I hope today (the sentence) will give the victims some sense of justice served and reiterate to anyone intent on committing this type of crime that it is only a matter of time before we knock on their door too."


#EEF999LIVE: Police promise to "follow through with action" against Halloween youngsters

8.10am - 1st November 2017

POLICE are promising to "follow through with action" against any youngsters involved in anti-social behaviour if they can be identified from CCTV following numerous Halloween incidents last night. 

A 15-year-old boy arrested after throwing a firework at District Commander Chief Inspector Lewis Basford in Epping High Street is to be referred to the youth offender service after admitting the offence. 

Mr Basford was struck by the firework which "bounced off" him before exploding. 

Mr Basford was among a number of uniformed and plain-clothed officers, including Special Constables, who were on patrol across the district dealing with "numerous" Halloween-related incidents. 

Following the High Street incident Mr Basford tweeted: "Just arrested a male for setting a firework off at me. All of a sudden he has seen the consequences." 

He later posted a further tweet which stated: "Luckily bounced off me before exploding!" 

Mr Basford told Everything Epping Forest this morning: "It was disappointing to see the behaviour of a few who think their behaviour was acceptable. 

"The individual involved in last night's incident (throwing the firework) will be referred to the youth offender service following his acceptance of the offence. "I ask the question of parents, 'Did you know where your children were last night?'. 

"My team will be reviewing CCTV from the local station and town and where we identify individuals for any offence we will be coming to knock on your door and follow through with action." 

Social media posts have reported incidents involving the throwing of fireworks and eggs in Loughton, Debden, North Weald and Theydon Bois. 

One report on Facebook stated that a firework was thrown towards a woman in the Tesco Express store in Theydon Bois. 

In a separate incident a firework was thrown at a woman's car as she drove through the village with her children in the back seats.


WALTHAM ABBEY: Still time to enter float for Cavalcade of Light

8.05am - 1st November 2017

THERE is still time for organisations to sign up to take part in Waltham Abbey's Cavalcade of Light - and be in with a chance of winning the £1,000 prize for the best float. 

Waltham Abbey Town Council, which organises the event, is offering cash prizes for the to the best entrants for the first time. 

The council will present a £1,000 prize to the best float entry and £500 to the best pedestrian entry at this year's event, on Friday, November 24. 

Town Mayor Mick Fitch said: "The Cavalcade of Light is always a wonderful spectacle and a great start to the Christmas period with the procession and the switching on of the lights outside the town hall. 

"This year the town council has decided to offer prizes to the best entries - floats and on foot - and we hope that many more organisations and individuals will enter in the festive spirit and dress up. 

"We launched the Cavalcade of Light much earlier this year to give people extra time to decide on their theme and outfits - and we look forward to seeing people turn out in even greater numbers than usual to help make the event even better this year." 

Organisations already registered for the event, which starts from the Cornmill car park, include Abbey Flower Designs, Enfield Carnival, Duncan Phillips estate agents, Abbey Youth Football Club, Waltham Abbey Army Cadet Force, the Through the Fight Foundation and Upshire Primary School. 

Entry forms are available from Waltham Abbey Town Council, Town Hall, Highbridge Street, Waltham Abbey, or by emailing sarah.colley@walthamabbey-tc.gov.uk