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DISTRICT: Seven schools to take part in debating competition 

1.34pm - 23rd October 2018

SEVEN schools will be taking part in the annual Epping Forest Schools Parliamentary Debating Competition organised by Epping Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing. 

Roding Valley High School, as the current holders of the cup, will host the competition on Friday, November 16. 

Also taking part will be teams from Epping St John's, Davenant Foundation School, Chigwell School, King Harold Academy, West Hatch High School and Debden Park High School. 

The Motion to be debated is that "This House believes that global warming is a myth". 

Mrs Laing said: "The debating competition is always a great evening and gives the students an opportunity to demonstrate their debating skills before an audience. 

"I look forward to listening to the arguments on both sides of the debate from our young public speakers.

"As always I am sure there will be several potential future politicians among them!" 

Speaking For the Motion will be Roding Valley, Davenant, King Harold and Chigwell while Debden Park, West Hatch and Epping St John 's will be Against the Motion.


LOUGHTON: Deadline approaches for Christmas card designs 

9.29am - 20th October 2018

ARTISTS interested in entering Loughton Town Council's Christmas card competition have until Wednesday, October 31, to submit their designs. 

Materials will be available free of charge at Loughton Library between 10am and 4pm today (Saturday) courtesy of Hobbycraft, Loughton. 

Original designs can drawings, paintings or a photograph. They must be Christmas-themed, A5 size (portrait or landscape) and can be in colour or black and white. 

Participants must have a connection to Loughton - live, work or go to school/college in the town. 

Each of the four category winners will receive a £25 gift card. 

The categories cover infant, junior and secondary school years, as well as adults. 

A customised entry form for an A5 portrait or landscape design can be downloaded HERE or collected from the council office at Loughton Library, Traps Hill, Loughton. 

Entries will be judged by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor on a range of criteria - overall artistic appeal, quality of execution, creativity and originality and the suitability for printing as a greetings card. 

Winners will receive their prizes at the town council meeting on Wednesday, December 12.


#EEF999LIVE: COOPERSALE: Four men sentenced over newsagents raid 

4.32pm - 19th October 2018

FOUR Harlow men who were in a stolen vehicle when it was stopped by police in Coopersale 90 minutes after they broke into a Hertfordshire newsagents have been sentenced.

At 12am on August 23 the men broke into McColl’s newsagents in High Street, Tring. They left empty-handed when they activated an alarm, triggering a smoke protection device. 

The men were travelling in a stolen vehicle when they were stopped and arrested in Garnon Mead, Coopersale, shortly after 1.30am. 

All four men pleaded guilty to burglary at Luton Crown Court on September 24 and were sentenced today (Friday).

Levi Mitchell, 34, and Walter Mitchell, 40, both of Fern Hill Lane, Harlow, were each jailed for nine months.

William Mitchell, 29, of Fern Hill Lane, and Sid Clark, 31, of Broadfield, Harlow, were given seven-month jail terms, suspended for two years. 

They must complete 150 hours of community service and were given a curfew of 10pm to 7am to last for three months.


LOUGHTON: MP opens school's new building 

3.58pm - 19th October 2018


THE new Brook Building at Roding Valley High School, Loughton, has been officially opened by Epping Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing. 

The state-of-the-art building, with energy efficient heating and lighting, houses the school library, Sixth Form study centre and five classrooms, four of which have movable walls to provide larger space for special project work and visiting speakers. 

Head of School Sharon Jenner said: "The building brings a completely new, modern feel to the school but really complements the traditional style of the buildings that we already had. 

"Our sixth form students are loving their new study centre and all students are making full use of the new library resources and enjoying their modern foreign language lessons in the ultra-modern classrooms. 

"It is a wonderful addition to a great school." 

Architect Richard Paynter, of Barker Associates, said: "The building has been carefully sited to use an underutilised part of the site. 

"It was a tight site and (the building) needed to be very carefully designed so it respected the local context - with minimal impact from the street, so the building is designed to be as low as it can be. 

"The flat roofs have a vegetation roof covering which copes with reducing storm water run-off, and in turn reduces the potential for flash flooding." 

Dame Eleanor, who cut a ribbon on Friday morning to mark the official opening, said: "I am really impressed by the new Brook Building. 

"It has taken a lot of work over very many years and I would to thank and congratulate everyone who has worked so hard and shown such determination to bring this brilliant project to fruition, in particular Paul Banks, all the governors and county councillors without whose vision and energy it could never have happened."

She added: "It was a great pleasure to meet the students, particularly the Sixth Form students. 

"I can see that they are benefiting from the terrific resources in the new building and the whole school has a sense of renewed energy."



EPPING: Operator sought for pavilion cafe 

9.29am - 18th October 2018

AN operator is being sought by Epping Town Council to take on the lease of the new cafe at the Jack Silley Pavilion. 

The town council is inviting 'Expressions of Interest' from caterers interested in running the cafe which is being created at the pavilion as part of refurbishment work. 

Details are available on the town council's website www.eppingtowncouncil.gov.uk under 'Council Information - Live Tenders', or by ringing 01992 579444 or emailing info@eppingtowncouncil/gov.uk marked 'Jack Silley Pavilion cafe expressions of interest 2018'. 

The closing date for tenders is November 30.


DISTRICT: Work begins to find site for Holocaust memorial 

8.46am - 17th October 2018

POTENTIAL sites for a Holocaust memorial are being investigated around the district by a newly-formed working group. 

The group's formation follows the backing of Epping Forest District Council to establish a memorial to remember Holocaust victims. 

The idea was proposed by Buckhurst Hill councillor Gavin Chambers, received unanimous support from district councillors. 

Ivor Pearl, a Holocaust survivor who lives in Buckhurst Hill, is one of the members of the working group with district councillor Howard Kaufman deputy chairman. 

Mr Chambers, who is chairing the working group, said: "We must never forget what happened between 1941 and 1945. 

"Six million Jewish men, women and children were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators. Their attempt to murder all the Jews in Europe shook the foundations of our civilisation. 

"We must look to educate our younger people and in the future Epping Forest will have its very own Holocaust memorial." 

He added: "The working group is looking at various suitable locations across the district with a focus on Loughton and Chigwell."


EPPING: Man charged over armed police incident 

12.51pm - 15th October 2018

A MAN has been charged with two counts of assault by beating following an incident in Epping on Saturday afternoon.

Armed officers were called in after police received reports that a woman had suffered a head injury. 

Police have told Everything Epping Forest that Matthew Crouch, 42, of St John’s Road, Epping, had been remanded to appear before at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court today (Monday).


ROYDON: Primary school donates harvest goods to Foodbank 

9.36am - 13th October 2018

PUPILS at Roydon Primary Academy collected 113kg of food - 20kg more than last year - to give to people in the community who are struggling to afford food. 

The whole school took part in the harvest at St Peter’s Church, Roydon, with pupils sharing artwork, reading poetry and explaining what the festival is about. 

The Year 5 and 6 school council then helped headteacher Michael Clark to deliver the collected food to Harlow Foodbank where they learnt more about the service and its volunteers.

They also delivered their own food parcels to residents in Roydon.

Mr Clark said: “The harvest festival is a lovely time for Roydon. It is great to see the school and village community come together and to see our children learn about where the food goes first-hand. 

"Our school council were amazing and made sure everyone at Roydon knew where the food had gone to."


EPPING: MP cuts cake to mark ReUse Centre's fifth birthday 

4.35pm - 12th October 2018


EPPING Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing cut a special anniversary cake to help mark the fifth anniversary of Epping Forest ReUse Centre. 

The centre, off Bower Hill in Epping - which held an open day on Friday with local dignitaries among the guests - provides furniture and household appliances as well as crockery and glassware to members of the public, including people in need, at discount prices. 

The facility also benefits the environment by re-using appliances and furniture which would otherwise go to landfill, and provides training and work experience opportunities for the long-term unemployed, those suffering mental ill-health or physical illness and learning difficulties. 

Dame Eleanor said: "The ReUse centre is one of my favourite places. The concept is absolutely brilliant.

"Some people are fortunate enough to have furniture and household goods which they no longer need, other people are in great need of those very items, and the wonderful thing about the ReUse Centre is that it brings everyone together for the good of the whole community." 

She added: "It's good for the environment because furniture and electrical items are not thrown away and it's good for those who are having times because they can come here to get the necessities to furnish their homes and look after their families. 

"It also raises money as a very efficient and important charity but more than that, young people go to be trained, older people to be re-trained in electrical engineering and other such things, and by going to the ReUse centre they meet a friendly person, a friendly face and someone to chat to.

"It's not just about the goods; it's about bringing the community together."

 In 2017-18 alone, the charity provided £116,009 of goods at discount prices to people on income related benefits - 9.3 per cent up on the previous year. Goods worth £11,319 were provided free of charge. 

The centre, in 2017-18, also diverted 210 tonnes of goods which would otherwise have gone to landfill - the equivalent of 4,306 two-seater settees.



EPPING: Rotary Club's 'Countryfile Ramble' raises over £350 for Children in Need 

4.28pm - 11th October 2018

A 'COUNTRYFILE Ramble' organised by the Rotary Club of Epping raised over £350 for the BBC Children in Need. 

Pudsey Bear put in an appearance having toured local primary schools encouraging children and their parents to get involved in raising money for the annual appeal.

Pudsey started Sunday's five-mile walk around the Copped Hall estate with more than 70 adults, children and dogs taking part. 

Organiser Maurice Jones said: "We were delighted with the turnout for this new event which we hope to run every year. 

"Children in Need is a fantastic charity, and the Rotary Club of Epping is delighted to make a valuable contribution."


EPPING: Flats plan rejected amid concerns approval could spark "cascade" of similar applications 

9.17am - 11th October 2018

PROPOSALS for nine flats on the site of a house in Station Road in Epping have been thrown out after it was claimed approval could spark a "cascade" of similar applications. 

District councillors had been recommended to approve the plans for 12 Station Road - with the demolition of the house and the building of six one-bedroom and three two-bedroom flats - but the area planning sub-committee voted 14-0 to refuse permission. 

Councillor Nigel Avey voiced concern over the impact on Nichol Road adding: "If we accept this there will be a cascade of these (developments of apartments) down Station Road." 

He said he was concerned about "decent housing" being knocked down to make way for flats. 

He added: "Epping has an enormous parking problem and we can't afford any more spilling out onto the streets, Frankly I think it's wrong and I think it's overdevelopment." 

Councillor Jon Whitehouse said the applicant was trying to "cram so many units" onto the plot and as a result the proposed building was higher than otherwise would be the case. 

Councillor Janet Whitehouse said approval would set a precedent which could result in developments of flats down to Epping Station. She said: "We want to preserve the character of our town." 

Councillor John Philip said he was not convinced there would be a loss of amenity but believed it would have an impact on the street scene. 

Councillors objected to the application by 14 votes to nil, with one abstention, on the grounds of it being out of character, its bulk and the visual impact on the street scene. 

Sixteen letter of objection, including from Epping Town Council and Epping Society, had been sent to Epping Forest District Council. 

James Dazison, a resident of Nichol Road, said the proposals were an overdevelopment and would have a negative impact on the street scene. 

The new building would overlook Nichol Road and was of an "unsympathetic" design, he said. 

He added insufficient parking - nine spaces - had been proposed. "You will be setting a precedent accepting this development in its present form." 

Councillor Barbara Scruton, speaking for Epping Town Council, said the proposed scheme was an overdevelopment, would overlook nearby properties and have a detrimental impact on the street scene.

She also expressed concern over the "insufficient" nine parking spaces proposed and the loss of a large family house. 

She added the development would create an "unwelcome precedent" and added: "This development is not in character with the surrounding area." 

Alistair Allen, the applicant's agent, told the meeting the development had been designed to fit in with the area and that it fitted in well in the corner plot. 

He added the footprint was similar to the current property, there was no issue with overlooking, county highways were happy with the access with the development meeting all amenity space and parking requirements. 

A planning officer's report says the development would make "more efficient use of a previously developed site". 

It adds: "Whilst the development would result in the loss of a large family house it would provide a suitable mix of one and two-bed units and would assist in the council meeting its five-year supply of deliverable housing sites." 

Councillors considered that a smaller building with fewer flats could be "a way forward".


EPPING: Decision deferred over Buttercross Lane flats plan 

9.14am - 11th October 2018

A DECISION over plans to demolish the house at 1 Buttercross Lane, Epping, and build nine apartments on the site has been deferred after a 7-7 vote, with one abstention. 

Town councillor Barbara Scruton told the district council's area planning sub-committee last night the proposals would "decimate" the character of the lane and that the development did not fit in with that part of the Conservation Area. 

She added there was no allowance for visitor parking. 

"Buttercross Lane is a narrow road and this would increase the danger for pedestrians." 

A planning officer's report said the proposed development was concerned "acceptable" and would "sit well within the street scene and subject to conditions will maintain the character and amenity of the conservation area." 

The application will now be decided by the district development management committee.


ONGAR: Go-ahead given for Bansons Lane flats 

9.12am - 11th October 2018

PLANNING permission has been granted for seven two-bedroom flats with underground parking between the telephone exchange and former doctors' surgery opposite the Sainsbury store off Bansons Lane, Ongar.


EPPING: Pavilion refurbishment work update 

9.04am - 11th October 2018

REFURBISHMENT work on the Jack Silley Pavilion remains on schedule with the football changing rooms on target for completion on Friday, November 2.

Work on the cafe extension is running about two weeks late, town councillors have been told. 

A longer delay has been reported on work on the Essex Room where problems have been encountered with the floor. 

Surveys and reports are being prepared with details of any potential budget implications.


EPPING: Council to investigate funding Special Constable 

9.01am - 11th October 2018

EPPING Town Council is to investigate funding a Special Constable to increase the police presence in the town. 

Various options were put to the town council by Loughton Town Council - ranging from £1,000 per Special Constable to meet expenses for a year to £51,000 for a Police Constable. 

Councillors have expressed an interest in the Specials option but will seek further information before deciding whether to go ahead. 

Town clerk Beverley Rumsey said: "A number of councils are going to be looking at this." 

Councillor Barbara Scruton, speaking at Tuesday's council meeting, read a letter from a local trader complaining about anti-social behaviour and raising concern over shoplifting and residents' safety.

Councillor Jon Whitehouse said the Specials can only work when they are available and it may not be at times when the council sees the need for an additional police presence.

Another option to fund ParkGuard security officers at a cost of £20 per offer to patrol hotspots around the town will also be considered.


EPPING: Council supports Friends' anniversary idea 

8.58am - 11th October 2018

EPPING Town Council is supporting an idea from the Friends of St Margaret's Hospital to hold a photographic competition and exhibition to mark its 70th anniversary next year. 

The Friends charity hopes to involve the History of Epping in Photographs Facebook group.


EPPING: Decision deferred over Stonards Hill car park charging 

7.53am - 10th October 2018

THE town council has put off any decision over whether to introduce parking charges at the Stonards Hill car park in Epping until after new charging schemes have been introduced elsewhere in the town. 

Various schemes, including at Albany Court, are already proposed by North Essex Parking Partnership.

The town council see charging as a way of potentially deterring all-day commuter parking at Stonards Hill but does not want to do anything that puts people off from using the recreation ground. 

Town mayor Nigel Avey told Tuesday's council meeting: "We could make more of the car park. 

"It does need to be resurfaced at some point and maybe the entrances could be improved. 

"It just seems to me we could squeeze some more parking in there and charge." 

Councillor Barbara Scruton raised concerns over the charging option saying: "People go there to use the play area, we may lose what the park is about. 

"If you charge, it has to be policed and there is a cost to that as well." 

Councillor Jon Whitehouse echoed Mrs Scruton's concerns with councillors also wishing to ensure the new cafe, which is part of the Jack Silley Pavilion refurbishment, is not affected by any changes at the car park. 

Councillor Michael Wright said he had always seen spaces at the car park. 

"The entrance is extremely narrow. How are we going to charge people? Are we going to do a Tesco and photograph cars? 

"The equipment (cost) needed will outweigh the benefits. I think it should be free." 

He added: "I don't think it will deter commuters but it will deter a lady with two children who wants to go up and play on the swings." 

Town clerk Beverley Rumsey said the car park is currently closed until 9.05am to deter commuters however it is being used by local workers and as a parking area for local taxis, she said.


DISTRICT: Group raising awareness of deer during rutting season 

2.01pm - 9th October 2018

CAMPAIGN group Waltham Abbey Community Campaigns has launched an awareness campaign, #RuttingAwesome, to run throughout the rutting season, the breeding season for fallow deer found in Epping Forest. 

During the rut the deer move around more and as the nights draw in with more deer visible on the roads and running out in front of traffic. 

The group will be out with a banner to raise awareness at busy junctions over the next few weeks. 

For details and to volunteer visit https://walthamabbeycc.org.uk/ruttingawesome 

Drivers are urged to use high beams where safe to do so and where there is no oncoming traffic, drive slowly and allow time should deer cross in front of their vehicles. 

Anyone who sees a deer that has been hit by a vehicle should ring the forest keepers on 020 8532 1010 (a 24-hour service). 

Group spokesman Carina Hill said: "We feel the deer warning signs are completely inadequate and are pushing to have clear obvious signs throughout the forest roads so people are aware they are driving through a wildlife habitat. 

"An example of this is Woodridden Hill, from the Miller and Carter roundabout down to the M25 junction at Waltham Abbey, which according to City of London deer accident map has the highest number of deer collisions in the area and yet not one sign to warn drivers on this road. 

"We understand there is a temporary illuminated light at Bell Common and welcome this but more are needed." 

She added: "We would like Epping Forest to be aligned to other notable wildlife areas such as that in the New Forest where local groups work closely with the council with the aim of preventing wildlife collisions on the roads and there are many very clear warning signs for drivers. 

"We also know that the speed limits are frequently broken, tailgating and speeding is common, and that it can only be a matter of time before a serious accident causing human injury or worse occurs."


WALTHAM ABBEY: Town to commemorate King Harold 

8.23am - 9th October 2018

KING Harold and his connections with Waltham Abbey will be marked with the traditional laying of flowers at the King Harold Memorial Stone in the Abbey Churchyard. 

Saturday's commemorations also feature a specially-written play with scenes taking place in various locations in and around the churchyard. 

The day, running from 10.45am until 3.30pm, will see stalls around the churchyard and exhibition tents. 

The 'Falcon’s Flight' play will be performed by professional actors. It is ambulatory, with the cast and audience moving around to various locations representing, for example, Waltham, Hastings, Dublin, Denmark and Russia. 

Starting with the death of King Harold at the Battle of Senlac Hill, commonly called Hastings, it goes on to tell the story of Princess Gytha, Harold’s daughter, who fled the country after his death. 

Going first to Denmark, where she was given refuge by the King, a relative of her grandmother, she was married to a Prince of Rus, (Russia), and the two eventually became King and Queen of Ukraine. From her children, Europe’s monarchies and our own can claim descent. 

There will be two performances. Chingford Morris Men, who have supported King Harold Day from its beginning, will dance outside the Abbey Church. 

There will also be an exhibition by Waltham Abbey Historical Society and a Music for Lunch recital in the church at 12.30pm with refreshments from noon. Entry is free, with a retiring collection. 

Two guided tours of the Abbey Church will take place, one in the morning and one in the afternoon and the church tower will be open to visitors in the afternoon with a small charge payable for church funds. 

The Friends of Waltham Abbey Church’s shop in the Lady Chapel will be open in the Lady Chapel and the Sunflower Group will be working with The Falcon’s Flight team, and acting as stewards. 

The Commemoration Ceremony at noon will include the placing of flowers on the King Harold Memorial by Epping Forest District Council chairman Richard Bassett and Waltham Abbey Mayor Jeanne Lea as well as representatives of groups playing a part in the commemoration. 

The Abbey Church rector, Rev’d Peter Smith, will speak and give a blessing. 

The full programme is: 

11am - The 'Falcon’s Flight' play starting at the King Harold Memorial in the Churchyard 

11am - Guided tour of Abbey Church (gather in the porch) 

noon - Commemoration ceremony at the King Harold Memorial with placing of flowers 

12.30pm - Recital in Abbey Church 

1pm - Chingford Morris Men outside the church 

1.30pm-3.30pm - Abbey Church Tower open to visitors

2pm - Second performance of 'The Falcon’s Flight' starting at the King Harold Memorial 

2.30pm - Guided tour of Abbey Church (gather in the porch).


WALTHAM ABBEY: Housing plans revealed for pool site 

3.22pm - 8th October 2018

VARIOUS initial housing development options featuring up to 40 properties have been drawn up for the current Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool site in Roundhills. 

Essex Housing, which is part of Essex County Council, has considered possible development proposals for the site which will close to the public next month when the new Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre opens.

The district council's cabinet is being asked to appoint Essex Housing as the development consultant for the new use for the site - to prepare an outline planning application and to appoint a demolition contractor for the current pool. 

A cabinet report reveals that Essex Housing's initial ideas for the future of the site cover three options - housing schemes of 31 homes (comprising ten houses and 21 apartments), 21 houses or 40 apartments.


DISTRICT: Search on for Community Champions 

3.19pm - 8th October 2018

A NEW project - Epping Forest Community Champions - has been launched by Epping Forest District Council's community health and wellbeing team. 

The programme aims to build on the skills and knowledge of local people to create, happy, friendly and healthy communities. 

The team is promoting to recruit volunteer champions in each town/parish in the district to promote and improve the health and wellbeing of residents in the community. 

Do you know a local resident who would be interested in making a real difference in the community?

Potential Community Champions must live in the Epping Forest district, be aged 18 or over, be passionate about where they live, able to build strong community connections, happy to support and promote fun days and community events, willing to share information about local services, and be able to promote useful health improvement information within the community. 

Leisure and community services portfolio holder Helen Kane said: “The Community Champions programme is a great way for local residents to engage with their community, meet new people and develop their skills and knowledge."

For more details, and information about how to apply, contact senior community engagement officer Patrick Arnold by emailing parnold@eppingforestdc.gov.uk or ringing 01992 564556.


EPPING / LOUGHTON: Town councils to consider paying for policing 

8.04am - 8th October 2018

TWO town councils in the district are to consider funding additional police resources. 

Buckhurst Hill Parish Council is already funding a Police Community Support Officer.

Epping Forest District Council is paying for two constables and a sergeant, who are based with the Community Safety Team at the Civic Offices, and additional ParkGuard patrols. 

Now Loughton Town Council and Epping Town Council are also looking into the possibility of paying for police resources. 

A report on the options, compiled by Loughton Town Council, will be discussed by Epping town councillors tomorrow. 

The options are providing £1,000 per each Special Constable, which meets their expenses. That option has also been discussed by Stanford Rivers Parish Council. 

Other options include funding a PCSO at a cost of £38,500 a year or a Police Constable at £51,000 per annum.


CHIGWELL: Council launches "innovative" community minibus service 

4.02pm - 5th October 2018

A COMMUNITY minibus service launched by Chigwell Parish Council has been hailed as an "innovative" solution to local public transport issues by MP Dame Eleanor Laing. 

Residents with a parish council-issued bus pass can use the free service which sees two 16-seater minibuses covering routes throughout the parish. 

The routes take in schools and three London Underground stations. 

The service, funded by the parish council and operated by Epping Forest Community Transport, is believed to be the first parish council-funded community transport scheme in the country. 

The buses are also available for private hire. Epping Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing officially launched the service at a ribbon-cutting ceremony today. 

Dame Eleanor said: "It's wonderful that we have this new bus service. "Chigwell really needs some help with its transport problems and the parish council has been innovative and positive in raising the funding.

"With the help of Epping Forest Community Transport, which has been absolutely brilliant, the council has been able to put on this bus service." 

Dame Eleanor added: "The great thing about the service is that it is tailored to the needs of the community going to stations, schools, doctors' surgeries and, of course, the local shops. 

"The drivers don't just drive the buses, they are an essential part of our local community. They know their customers and that's so important. "I would like to congratulate the parish council for taking this project from just being an idea to becoming reality."



BUCKHURST HILL: Grandson jailed for life for murdering his grandmother in care home 

3.52pm - 5th October 2018

A GRANDSON who killed his elderly grandmother in her Buckhurst Hill care home has been convicted of murder and jailed for life to serve a minimum of 22 years. 

Antony Jennings and Ruby Wilson had been talking and drinking tea together at Forest Place Nursing Home in Roebuck Lane on November 29, 2017. 

But just over an hour later, he had cut her throat with a knife then calmly told staff what he had done. Officers arrived and found the 94-year-old in her room. 

She was pronounced dead at the scene. Jennings admitted killing her and told them where the knife was, in his rucksack. He was arrested and later charged with murder. 

The 33-year-old denied murder but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Jennings, of Clinton Crescent, Ilford, stood trial at Chelmsford Crown Court on September 24, and was found guilty of murder today (Friday). 

He was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 22 years. 

A court heard Jennings had wanted to kill Mrs Wilson, who had dementia, because he thought she was suffering. He had a history of drug abuse and his mental health had deteriorated in recent years. 

Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Julie Gowen, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “This is a particularly sad and tragic case and my thoughts are very much with Mrs Wilson’s family. 

“The events of November 29, 2017, have been devastating for the family of Ruby Wilson and Anthony Jennings and this has been a tragedy from every angle. 

“A jury has deemed that Jennings was not suffering from diminished responsibility at the time he took his grandmother’s life. 

“It is accepted that Jennings had been diagnosed with a mental health condition and was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time. 

“But while there is empathy towards his mental health, he remains wholly responsible for Ruby’s death and went to the care home that day with the intent to end her life. This is something he will have to live with. 

“I believe the 22 years imprisonment which he will serve is an appropriate sentence in this case.

“The family have requested their privacy is respected at this difficult time.”


EPPING: Primary school holding tenth anniversary celebrations 

3.57pm - 4th October 2018

A SPECIAL parade is among the events being held to mark the tenth anniversary of Epping Primary School. 

To help celebrate the landmark anniversary, the school has introduced a new purple PE kit. A purple t-shirt was presented to each pupil at a special launch assembly. 

Tenth birthday celebrations also include a special birthday picnic, a treasure hunt, family activities and celebratory stay and play after school,

 Thanks to funding from the Friends of Epping Primary, the school is welcoming circus experts, The Workshop Company, to teach every child circus skills. 

Every class will have a chance to try their hand at new activities - from juggling to plate spinning. 

The school is also inviting the wider local community as well as parents, carers, families and friends to a grand finale parade where each class will show something special about Epping Primary school and their learning and achievements. 

Headteacher Tracy O’Donnell, who has been in the post for the entire ten years, said: "I can't believe how quickly the ten years have gone, it has been a honour to be part of the school watching and being part of it seeing it grow and develop into a great oversubscribed school within the community. 

"The pupils and staff are proud of all we have achieved and look forward to many more successful years ahead."

The school was the result of the amalgamation of the old Epping Infants School and Epping Junior School which had been on separate sites. 

The school is appealing for pictures of its very first starters back in September 2008. 

Any parents/carers of a Year 10 student who started at Epping Primary School as one of its first Foundation pupils who has pictures of their child on their first day is asked to email them to admin@eppingprimary.essex.sch.uk


#EEF999LIVE: THEYDON BOIS: Four charged over Tesco Express burglary 

12.11pm - 3rd October 2018

FOUR men have been charged following an alleged burglary at the Tesco Express store in Coppice Row, Theydon Bois. 

Officers were called shortly before 5.15am on Sunday (September 30). 

Following arrests made later the same day, Aaron House, 29, of no fixed abode; Connor Emeny, 27, of Lynton Avenue, Romford; and Ryan Keeling, 19, of Prospect Place, Romford, were charged with burglary. 

Ben Hawkins, 28, of Plumpton Avenue, Hornchurch, was charged with burglary and using a motor vehicle in a public place without third party insurance. 

They will appear at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on November 5.


NORTH WEALD: Wooden planter for community garden 

8.22am - 2nd October 2018

A WOODEN planter is to be added to the community garden outside the parade of shops in High Road, North Weald, following the removal of a telephone box. 

North Weald Bassett Parish Council is to provide the planter for the area which receives annual sponsorship contributions towards its maintenance. 

Volunteers continue to be needed to help with the upkeep of the garden.


DISTRICT: Views sought on school uniform exchange 

3.08pm - 1st October 2018

EPPING Forest Green Party has launched a survey to seek views over whether parents in the district would use a school uniform exchange scheme. 

Dave Plummer, a Green Party activist from Waltham Abbey, said: "School uniforms can cost over £300, with a tie alone costing £7.50. 

"That's a lot of money for low-income families to find, with some families choosing a school based on whether or not they can afford the uniform. 

"That reduces access to education which should be equal for all children based on their abilities and talents, no matter what their family's financial circumstances are." 

He added: "School uniform exchanges provide a chance for families to buy donated uniforms at a fraction of the cost of buying new. 

"They also reduce waste by reusing the uniforms, cutting the amount that are thrown away and the amount of new uniforms which need to be provided. 

"Epping Forest Greens plan to ask the district council to set up a School Uniform Exchange scheme but first we need to see if there's enough demand for one. 

"We're asking parents and guardians to complete our quick survey to help us find out." 

Parents and guardians can complete the survey online at http://efgp.org.uk/sue


LOUGHTON: Refurbished leisure centre unveiled 

2.59pm - 1st October 2018

THE £3m refurbishment of Loughton Leisure Centre has been formally unveiled by Epping Forest District Council chairman Richard Bassett.

The centre is one of three in the district undergoing refurbishment, alongside a complete new build at Waltham Abbey. 

Investment in the district’s leisure centres tops £14m and has been completed in partnership with Places Leisure, the council’s leisure activity and wellness partner. 

The refurb brings new split-level gym facilities and multi-function movement studio spaces, a virtual spinning room, upgraded changing villages with new lockers, flooring and vanity units as well as better air conditioning.

The bulk of the project has been completed in 20 weeks with further work planned to the reception areas and heating and power units.

Leisure and Community Services portfolio holder councillor Helen Kane, acting chief executive Derek Macnab and Loughton mayor Stephen Murray were among those at the opening. 

Mrs Kane said: "All of our leisure centres needed a makeover to keep them up to date and offering a welcoming environment for users. But in Waltham Abbey we had a wonderful opportunity to create a health and wellbeing hub in a new setting and I'm really looking forward to seeing the finished project."

Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre is being completely rebuilt on the old community centre site in Ninefields as part of a major health and wellbeing initiative between the council and Places Leisure,

It is scheduled for completion in November.


DISTRICT: Nominations open for Creativity Award 

8.43am - 1st October 2018

APPLICATIONS are open for Epping Forest District Council's Creativity Award which is open to young people aged between 13 and 25 in the district. 

Applicants are welcome from individuals or groups (with a minimum of three people) with a real talent or interest in the arts, culture and heritage. 

A single award of up to £1,000 is available to applicants looking for support for their creative activity. 

A group can already be established - art clubs, theatre groups, choirs or orchestras - or newly-formed.

The award is also open to heritage projects and all young people’s programmes through the council's museum service. 

Applicants are required to show their commitment to their area of interest and explain how the award will help them develop their talent. 

They must be able to demonstrate that they are actively pursuing their interest through volunteering, education, exhibition or performance. 

The deadline for applications is midnight on Sunday, December 16.


CHIGWELL: Hog Roast raises £4,000 for Jubilee Lodge 

8.41am - 1st October 2018

THE Friends of Jubilee Lodge, supported by the Rotary Club of Epping Forest, raised £4,000 at its annual Hog Roast. 

The event, in its thirteenth year, was hosted at Garnish Hall, Theydon Garnon. 

In addition to the signature Hog Roast lunch, guests enjoyed live entertainment courtesy of local musicians Second Nature and a selection of stalls selling fresh produce and crafts. 

This year there were also additional refreshments including a barbecue and licensed bar. 

The collective total raised by the annual Hog Roasts now exceeds £40,000. 

All proceeds will go towards supporting Revitalise Jubilee Lodge in Chigwell and its guests to enjoy respite holidays.