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DISTRICT: Local Plan delayed over Judicial Review

UPDATED 4.59pm - 21st March 2018
9.52am - 21st March 2018

THE submission of Epping Forest District Council’s Local Plan has been delayed after a property developer was granted permission to apply for a Judicial Review. 

A council statement said a Planning Court ruling yesterday granted CK Properties Theydon Bois Limited (CK Properties) permission to apply for judicial review of the council’s December 14 decision to approve the Local Plan Submission Version 2017 (LPSV) for publication and submission to the Secretary of State for independent examination. 

The council statement added: "CK Properties complains that its land to the east of Theydon Bois was not allocated for residential development in the LPSV and contends that it has been prejudiced by the unavailability of Appendix B to the Site Selection Report (Arup December 2017), during the Regulation 19 publication period." 

The Court ordered that the Council be restrained from submitting the LPSV for independent examination until the final determination of the judicial review claim, or further order.

The Court also ordered that the Judicial Review hearing can be expedited and it is listed for hearing on May 23 and 24 with a time estimate of one-and-a-half days. 

The council said it will be contesting all the claims made and to be heard at the full hearing but the ruling means the council cannot meet the agreed submission date of March 31. 

Councillor John Philip, Planning Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council, was disappointed by the Court decision but confident of the final outcome. 

He said: "It is frustrating but it is not the end of the road. We are ready to submit the Plan but circumstances outside our control have created this delay." 

He added: "Fortunately, the Government’s deadline extension means the case can be heard without compromising our position. 

"When all the evidence is placed before the judge, we fully expect to win the review. 

"We are still on target to agree 11,400 homes during the Local Plan period up to 2033."

Loughton Residents Association has said it is contesting "a number" of points on which it feels the Plan is "unsound". 

In a statement, the association said: "In particular, we object strongly to the council's proposal to build housing on Jessel Green." 

Loughton Roding Independent councillor Stephen Murray said: "This in my opinion should come has no surprise to anyone.

"I felt at the time of the meeting that councillors were bounced into making a decision on December 14 without being able to fully consider the full site selection report, with the threat of a government deadline imposing even higher housing numbers on us being used as a way of bullying councillors into making a decision. 

"It is my opinion that now this imminent Government deadline has disappeared as quickly as it came.

"Epping Forest District Council should take this opportunity to allow councillors to make a decision with the full site evaluations now publicly available and should start listening to local residents particularly as regards Jessel Green."


#EEEF999LIVE: Police search for missing woman

8.55am - 21st March 2018

POLICE and a search and rescue team are searching for a woman who has been reported missing in Ongar.

Angela Upson, 51, who lives in the town, was last seen at about 3pm yesterday (Tuesday). 

She is described as white, 5ft 8ins tall, of average build with shoulder length ginger hair. When she was last seen she was wearing a black top. 

A police spokesman said: "We are concerned for her welfare and want to find to her to make sure she is okay." 

Officers and a team from Essex Search and Rescue are currently based at Ongar Leisure Centre and working to locate her. 

Anyone with any information is asked to ring police on 101.


ONGAR: Volunteers wanted for two-day litter pick

8.35am - 21st March 2018

VOLUNTEERS are wanted to join Ongar Town Council's 'Let's Clean Ongar' two-day litter pick on Saturday and Sunday, April 28 and 29. 

Helpers are asked to meet at the Ongar Leisure Centre car park, Fyfield Road, at 9.30am with the litter pick taking place between 10am and noon. 

Volunteers are asked to wear suitable clothing and footwear. Gloves, hi-viz jackets and litter pickers will be provided.

Planning and environment, public relations and open spaces committee chairman Lawrence Mendoza said: "Because we have the town festival the week afterwards the idea is we should get some more volunteers helping." 

For further information ring Town Clerk Aimi Middlehurst on 01277 365348 or email clerk@ongartowncouncil.gov.uk


HARLOW: Hospital out of 'special measures'

8.33am - 21st March 2018

THE Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust has been removed from 'special measures' following a Care Quality Commission inspection. 

The trust was rated 'Inadequate' overall and placed into 'special measures' following an inspection in June 2016. 

Between December 5 and 7 last year the CQC returned and inspected six of the trust's core services - urgent and emergency care, medicine, surgery, critical care, children and young people’s services and end of life care. Inspectors found that, while further work was needed, a number of improvements had been made. 

As a result it is now rated as 'Requires Improvement' overall and Professor Ted Baker, CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, is recommending the trust now exits special measures. 

He said: "Our return to The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust showed significant improvement had taken place. This is reflected in the trust’s new rating - which has improved from 'Inadequate' to 'Requires Improvement' overall - and our recommendation to NHS Improvement that the trust now comes out of special measures.

"Our inspectors found a dedicated staff who had worked hard to ensure improvements were made. They also witnessed a number of areas of outstanding care, particularly in the children and young people’s service, all of which was fantastic to see. 

"As a result a number of ratings for the trust’s services and in the key questions CQC asks when it carries out its inspections have changed. 

"While the trust’s overall rating has improved, how effective and well-led the trust’s services also improved to be rated as 'Good' overall. Previously we rated whether the trust was well-led as 'Inadequate' overall, while the rating for whether services were effective was 'Requires Improvement'. 

"We also saw improvements in the ratings for end-of-life care, critical care and urgent and emergency services. 

"However, this trust has to ensure it continues and consolidates this work and makes further changes so that people receive the care they should be able to expect.

"We have given feedback to the trust on where it needs to make improvements and we will return to check on its progress. 

"The trust’s staff and leadership should be proud of their achievement so far and they know what they must do to ensure any remaining improvements are made." 

Inspectors found examples of outstanding practice, notably in children and young people’s service. This included the neonatal unit (NNU) which had recently implemented a project to improve nurse-led discharges in straightforward and low risk cases, which meant nursing staff didn’t have to wait for a doctor to approve patient discharge. 

The critical care unit had implemented a secure medication return bin, which meant staff could return any unused medicines to the pharmacy for recycling or disposal. In the first month of use the bin saved the hospital £1,200 by recycling unused medicines. 

However, the trust has been told it must make a number of improvements. This includes that it must ensure mandatory training improves to meet the trust’s target of 95 per cent and that staff annual appraisal completion rates improve. 

Fridge temperatures in urgent and emergency services must be consistently monitored, and any concerns surrounding this are acted upon. 

Medical records must contain a complete contemporaneous record for each patient and appropriate risk assessments must be completed and documented. 

Patients arriving by ambulance to the emergency department must be appropriately assessed and triaged in a timely manner and the trust must take action to address mixed gender accommodation breaches in the critical care unit. 

In the children and young people’s service, the trust needed to ensure it met the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) requirements to ensure enough staff, with the correct competencies, were available to provide care on Dolphin ward. 

Paediatric life support training needed to improve to ensure staff had the required knowledge and competencies to recognise and respond to patients at risk. In end-of-life care the trust needed to review ‘do not attempt cardio-pulmonary resuscitation’ (DNACPR) forms to ensure they were completed fully and in line with trust policy and national guidance. 

The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust is rated as 'Requires Improvement' overall as well as for whether its services are safe and responsive. It is rated as 'Good' for whether services are caring, effective and well-led overall. 

Trust chief executive Lance McCarthy said: "People have worked tremendously hard over the past 12 months to deliver major improvements in quality across our hospital services. These efforts are reflected in our triple achievement of ‘Good’ in the areas of ‘Effective’, ‘Caring’ and ‘Well-Led’, which is fantastic news for patients and the people who work here. 

"The removal of the Trust from ‘special measures’ is something that I’m sure people will be celebrating. I am enormously proud of everyone and have personally thanked our staff and volunteers across the Trust. Together we have shown that we’ve got what it takes to make this Trust outstanding. 

"The momentum we have created continues and, whilst this is a moment to be celebrated, we all remain committed to delivering our ambitious, but achievable quality improvement programme. 

"At the moment we’re not getting it right for all of our patients all of the time, and we are not going to be satisfied until we do - our ambition is to transform Princess Alexandra Hospital into an ‘outstanding’ Trust. 

"With the scale of change we have delivered in such a short space of time, and with three out of five areas now rated as good by the CQC, the next jump to becoming a ‘Good’ Trust overall is clearly within our grasp. 

"I am pleased to say there were no surprises within the CQC report. We know and understand the areas where we need to make more progress. Our quality improvement plan reflects the findings of the most recent inspection and work continues to build on the good practice we have achieved so far. 

"Our services have benefited greatly from the £7.5m we have invested into our estates this year, and we are actively pursuing our plans for a new, modern hospital at Harlow." 

Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing welcomed the improvement saying: "I welcome this good report and commend everyone who has worked so hard to bring about this significant improvement." 

Full details of CQC’s inspection, its ratings for the trust, including a ratings grid, are given in the report published online at http://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/RQW


NORTH WEALD: Council's "serious reservations" over homeless 'pods' plan

1.01pm - 20th March 2018

PLANS to put three steel storage containers in the grounds of Norway House, North Weald, to accommodate 'vulnerable' homeless people - possibly with mental health issues - are being opposed by the parish council. 

The parish council's planning committee originally voiced no objection to the planning application but councillors have now resubmitted their views expressing an objection with "severe reservations" after considering the original district council cabinet report, from March last year, which detailed the proposals.

That document stated that the proposed site for the 'pods' - the disused drying area - had been discounted by district council planning officers as it was part of the Roughtalleys Wood Nature Reserve.

The cabinet report added that "in reality, the vast majority of single vulnerable people are people with serious mental health problems, which can include schizophrenia, psychosis and, bipolar disorder" and stated that the 'pods' would accommodate "people with mental health problems and other disabilities, which could include pregnant women". 

The report stated that a budget of £5,000 would be available to cover the cost of 'ad hoc' visits by a private security firm, should the need arise. 

Councillor Terry Blanks, speaking at Monday's planning committee meeting, described the proposals as "absolutely ill-thought out". 

Councillor Sheila Jackman said: "There's no social place for them (the residents of the 'pods') to go. They are in a bed-sit sharing a kitchen which is awfully risky. 

"Where are they going to go? Are they going to wander round North Weald?" 

Councillor Brian Eldridge said: "We are talking about schizophrenia, psychosis - those two in a closed box (the 'pods') is not very acceptable at all. It's dangerous in fact."


#EEF999LIVE: WALTHAM ABBEY: Two women die in M25 crash

8.31am - 20th March 2018

TWO women have died and a ten-year-old girl has suffered life-threatening injuries in a crash on the M25 at Waltham Abbey. 

A man, aged 32, remains in police custody this morning after being arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving following the collision involving an articulated lorry and an Audi car which happened shortly after 11.20pm last night (Monday). 

The crash happened between junctions 26 and 27 on the anti-clockwise carriageway. 

Two women were pronounced dead at the scene while a man and a child were taken to hospital. The girl has life-threatening injuries. The man was not injured. 

The clockwise carriageway is open and a part closure of the anti-clockwise side is being managed by Highways England.

Any witnesses to the crash or who saw the vehicles before the collision are asked to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 101 or email collisionappeal@essex.pnn.police.uk


#EEF999LIVE: DISTRICT: Motorists targeted by bogus police officers

2.01pm - 19th March 2018

POLICE are investigating incidents in Chigwell and Buckhurst Hill where motorists have reported being flashed at by bogus police vehicles.

The incidents happened between 7.50pm and 8.30pm in Chester Road and Roding Lane, Chigwell, and in Roding Lane, Buckhurst Hill, last Wednesday.

 Drivers have told police it was a black vehicle and a silver Vauxhall. 

The suspects are described as white men, aged in their late teens and early 20s and wearing dark clothing, possibly hooded tops, baseball caps and jogging bottoms. 

Police are also investigating a similar incident in South Weald, near Brentwood, where a motorist stopped for a vehicle he believed was a police car. 

Superintendent Craig Saunders said: “The victim believed that he had been signalled to pull over by an unmarked police car and stopped. 

“He was then approached by two men who demanded his car and drove off, leaving him by the roadside. We believe the suspects are driving with false plates and that the incidents are possibly linked. 

“We would like to hear from anyone with information or anyone who has dashcam footage on 101 quoting crime reference 42/35026/18 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”


EPPING: Ballet dancer lands leading role

1.49pm - 19th March 2018

A BALLET dancer from Epping will be taking the lead role in Cinderella at The Playhouse, Harlow.

Natasha White, 17, who has been dancing with Harlow Ballet Association for seven years, is looking forward to being one of the main characters having previously appeared in Les Sylphides, Snow White, The Nutcracker, Coppelia and Giselle. 

The Harlow Ballet Association production of Cinderella runs from April 12 to April 15.

Tickets are available via www.harlowplayhouse.co.uk or by ringing 01279 431945.


HASTINGWOOD: Spring Ball raises over £24,000 for hospice

1.29pm - 19th March 2018

A SPRING Ball has raised over £24,000 for St Clare Hospice. 

The event, attended by 13 local businesses, was held at Weston Homes’ Conference Centre in Takeley.

The 130-plus guests enjoyed a champagne reception and three-course meal with musical entertainment from local bands Frisco Monk and Vintage Vibes. 

An online silent auction and live auction saw 'lots' including two golf holidays, a luxury hotel visit, afternoon tea, football tickets and dining experiences.


BUCKHURST HILL: Men jailed over multi-million-pound drug dealing business

9.11am - 19th March 2018

A PROPERTY in Queens Road in Buckhurst Hill was used as a base for a multi-million-pound drug-dealing business, it has emerged. 

Three members of a London-based Albanian drugs gang - which included the Buckhurst Hill-based 'ringleader' - have now been jailed for a total of 16 years following an investigation by the National Crime Agency and Metropolitan Police Organised Crime Partnership (OCP). 

OCP officers apprehended the group’s ringleader, Mark Gurini, 26, at a petrol station near his home in Buckhurst Hill on September 26 last year. 

He was in possession of false Italian identification documents and had two kilos of cocaine hidden in his car. 

Officers searching his flat in Queens Road found another 49 kilos of cocaine and further evidence that the gang had been using the property as a base for their drug dealing business. 

This included £100,000 in cash, scales, a heat sealing machine and multiple ledgers containing customer details their orders. 

Earlier that month two of the gang’s customers, Arbian Celaj, 25, and Abubaker Mohamed, 22, were arrested by OCP officers. 

Each was in possession of one kilo of cocaine. 

The cocaine seized was worth a combined estimated street value of £4.2m. 

All three men pleaded guilty and at Blackfriars Crown Court, Gurini was sentenced to eight years in prison whilst Celaj and Mohamed received five and three years respectively. 

Matthew McMillan, from the Organised Crime Partnership, said: "Drug trafficking is a business which relies on cash flow. 

"If any business loses an expensive commodity in the middle of a transaction, that cash flow stalls on both sides. This creates a lack of trust between crime groups, making it harder for them to do business together in future.

"We believe this large seizure of cash and cocaine has deprived a criminal organisation of substantial operating funds and disrupted their criminal activities in and around London. 

"Using all the means at our disposal, our efforts to disrupt organised crime in London and across the UK will not stop."


THORNWOOD: Plaque marks 'Charlie's Garden'

8.44am - 19th March 2018

A GARDEN area at the Thornwood Common allotments site has been named after a long-time gardener and allotment holder who has tended the area for many years. 

Charlie Boshier, who is in his nineties, continues to look after the area behind the allotment plots by the Parish Hall. 

A plaque highlighting 'Charlie's Garden' was officially unveiled at the annual meeting of the parish council's allotment holders on Sunday. 

Parish clerk Sue De Luca said: "Charlie has had a plot on the allotments for about 40 years and has made the Garden Plot into something special for all allotment holders to view and enjoy 

"The parish council and all allotments holders are encouraged by the amount of work he does and are always pleased to see him on and around his plot."



DISTRICT: Epping Forest District Council civic awards

8.56am - 17th March 2018

AUDIO: Everything Epping Forest 'News Talk' - an audio report on the civic awards 2018 and interviews with Citizen of the Year Army Cadet Force Staff Sargeant Instructor Dan Bees, Young Citizen of the Year Mitchell Tassie and Essex Police Community Service Medal winner Detective Inspector Rob Staples. 
To listen to the News Talk report
click here 

PICTURE - Epping Forest District Council Civic Award winners 2018 click here

PICTURE - Citizen of the Year Dan Bees and Young Citizen of the Year Mitchell Tassie click here


The Epping Forest District Council civic awards have recognised the "unwavering dedication", achievements and successes of people from across the district. 

CITIZEN OF THE YEAR - Staff Sergeant Instructor Dan Bees - the Essex Army Cadet Force Adult Volunteer for the Epping cadets was recognised for his "selfless dedication to teaching his group new skills and making sessions fun". 

His commitment and efforts since he became Epping detachment commander in July 2016 have led to a 500 per cent improvement in attendance. 

His nomination added that his positive influence has also increased pass rates in the Army Proficiency certificates. 

"He is supportive, kind and inspires his cadets to achieve a great number of things they wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for his encouragement." 

High commendation: Lee Tant - Lee has worked for Epping Forest Reuse since it opened in 2013. 

Her nomination highlighted her "empathetic and nurturing personality" which makes vulnerable residents feel valued and cared for. 

It added: "It is not unheard of for people to arrive looking for furniture, to end up talking through their worries with her over a cup of tea and a biscuit. 

"She is greatly appreciated by those that work alongside her and the inspiring impression she leaves on those that visit is priceless." 

Lee has raised money for various charities including the Alzheimers Society and Macmillan Cancer Support. 

Last year she organised two Christmas lunches for people who are alone and isolated at Christmas.

High commendation: Ray Harris - Ray was nominated for his outstanding charitable work with Voluntary Action and his work on the Supported Volunteering Project. 

He has been heavily involved in community action for people with disabilities for at least 26 years. 

As well as helping set up Epping Forest PHAB Social Club, he has been a disabilities representative at Epping Forest Chamber of Commerce and is director of Vision Britain. 

Ray helps plan the Loughton Festival and last year organised an art exhibition of work from disabled artists and collected over £1,000 for Haven House Hospice. 

YOUNG CITIZEN OF THE YEAR - Mitchell Tassie - Mitchell, from North Weald, is head cadet for the Epping Forest Volunteer Police Cadets. 

He organised the design and issue of Christmas cards from the police cadets to the elderly in care homes across the district last Christmas. 

He is also involved with the Epping in Bloom project. 

High Commendation - Jack Rivers, from Waltham Abbey, was described as an enthusiastic volunteer who uses his excellent interpersonal skills and caring nature to help young people with autism engage in group activities. 

He is a keen runner and has raised money to support a friend who is living with leukaemia. 

High Commendation - Sarah Horgan - was described as an inspirational young woman and an asset by Sir Charles Kao University Technical College in Harlow. 

She helps tutor female students that share her interest in mathematics and computer science. 

She volunteers at a charity shop and is leading a team of ten students to make positive changes around the college.

TEAM OF THE YEAR - Chigwell Riding Trust volunteers - The charity was the first riding centre for people with special needs in the world and has been established in Chigwell for over 50 years. 

The centre not only benefits people with special needs but also the entire community, giving opportunities for volunteering, school participation and practical participation. 

The organisation is wholly dependent on the volunteers' goodwill to keep the centre running. 

The volunteers not only provide physical support for more than 160 riders each week, they also add a social and reassuring atmosphere for visitors. They host fundraising events and get involved in all aspects of keeping the centre clean and tidy.

COMMUNITY SERVICE MEDAL - ESSEX POLICE - Detective Inspector Rob Staples
- his nomination said he "always goes beyond the call of duty". 

When he first joined the police in 1990, he was a uniformed officer before going on to become a specialist detective working closely with the council’s Community Safety Team and taking the lead on a number of serious investigations. 

He has taken action against the rise of gang-related crime in the district.

His nomination added: "His talent for leadership and motivation have seen him be promoted to Detective Inspector. He is professional and dedicated and has spent his career keeping Epping Forest residents safe. 

"His tenacious determination to bring criminals to justice and to protect the vulnerable is inspiring. He is a first class example of the character of modern day policing." 

ESSEX FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE - Community Commander Mark Samuels - Mr Samuels was recognised for his dedicated work "supporting and leading his team of firefighters". 

His nomination stated: "His dedication knows no bounds as he is responsible for training crews in Epping, Ongar, Waltham Abbey and Loughton. 

He is heavily involved in Emergency Planning and is responsible for supporting the district in emergencies that require a co-ordinated multi-agency response. 

"His professionalism, expertise and unrivalled knowledge have provided the district with an invaluable resource and his commitment makes him a worthy recipient of this award."

CREATIVITY AWARD - the £1,000 award was presented to two-man theatre company Chalk Line Theatre Company - Sam Edmunds and William Patrick Harrison. 

Having recently graduated from East 15 Acting School in Loughton, the theatre company has been going from strength to strength and winning awards since 2013 at significant events such as the Brighton Fringe festival.

Its members have also worked alongside the Royal Opera House to engage young people in theatre. 

They use their stage to discuss current affairs such as young male suicide and provoke their audiences into discussion. They will use the money to help take their production to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. 

SPORTS AWARD - Winner - Christianna Vitanova (awarded a £1,000 bursary) - a rhythmic gymnast from Chigwell, she is a three times British Junior Champion. 

She helped Team GB reach a record-breaking score in the European Championships and is currently undergoing the selection process for the Commonwealth Games in Australia. 

Runner-up - Remy Mitchell (awarded a £250 bursary) - he plays for the under-14s Arsenal Academy and has had a successful career with Arsenal since he was eight years old. He has won awards and represents the National Independent Schools Football Association. 

Runner-up - Samuel Shackle (awarded a £500 bursary) - a sailor who trains at Broxbourne Sailing Club, Waltham Abbey. His consistent success has led to his qualifying for numerous national races and being selected to represent England in the World Championships in China this year.


Jacob McNulty, from Debden Park High School - was recognised for his presentation and communication skills in meetings. He has received a gold certificate for his attendance. 

Suzannah Halcrow - has been praised for her fun-loving and outgoing personality, her unreserved compassion and supportive nature which have made her an invaluable member of the Youth Council. Her nomination said that her self-confidence and her willingness to succeed mean that she tackles challenges head on. 

Annabelle Yaman, an independent member - attends Communities Select Committee, Neighbourhood Action Panels and Anti-Social Behaviour meetings. 
She was the driving force behind the design of the Drugs project awareness poster which will be featured on six bus routes across the district in August. 

Adam Freeman, an independent member - has been a youth councillor for three years during which time he has been instrumental in the MiLife project that aims to create awareness around mental health issues for young people. 

Abigail Whelan, from Chigwell School - was recognised for having played a vital part in the progress of the drugs awareness project. She also conducted a large data research exercise for the drug awareness project and collated more than 3,000 young people’s surveys. The results will be published later this year..


FYFIELD: Parish council organises film club

12.10pm - 16th March 2018

FYFIELD Parish Council is organising a new film club which will open its doors for the first time on Tuesday, April 24. 

Based at Zinc Arts Centre, High Street, Ongar, the club aims to provide an opportunity for people to meet new friends and enjoy a two-course lunch and a classic film. 

Tickets cost £6 which includes lunch and the film with the event starting at 12.30pm. 

It is hoped the club will be able to host regular film afternoons with the features chosen carefully to appeal to club members. 

For tickets and more information, ring Liselle on 01277 899262.


ONGAR: 'Emergency grant' for Christmas lights

7.38am - 16th March 2018

ONGAR Town Council has awarded an 'emergency grant' of £362 to the Ongar Town Forum which has reported a loss of just over £1,600 for last year's Christmas lights. 

The grant sum is the full balance of what remained in the council's grants budget for this financial year.


ONGAR: Council sets price for donkey rides

7.35am - 16th March 2018

ONGAR Town Council is to charge £3 a ride - £5 for two rides - when it holds donkey rides for children at the nature reserve at the bottom of Ongar High Street as part of the Ongar Town Festival on Sunday, May 6.

Councillors have decided to produce posters to be displayed at local shops and schools and also in surrounding villages. 

Councillors dismissed the option of selling tickets before the day. 

Planning and environment, public relations and open spaces committee chairman Lawrence Mendoza told last night's meeting: "It's not going to be like Bruce Springsteen coming to Ongar." 

The town council is spending £600 to bring four donkeys to the town as part of the Ongar Town Festival, and on another Sunday in June. 

When the idea was first discussed a £1 a ride charge was mentioned. 

Councillor James Browning said it is important that the supplier of the donkeys is invited to visit the site before the council commits to the event.


EPPING: Bank's cake sale and raffle supports brain tumour charity

4.11pm - 15th March 2018

A CAKE sale and raffle organised by staff at Epping's NatWest branch raised £506 for The Brain Tumour Charity. 

Branch manager Sarah Elliott said: "Without the support of the local community we would not have been able to raise such a wonderful sum. 

"Thank you to all the staff and customers who either baked or donated cakes to ensure our coffee morning was a success and purchased raffle tickets." 

The charity's regional fundraiser, Claire Howell, spent time talking to customers to raise awareness of the charity. 



#EEF999LIVE: DEBDEN: College student stabbed

3.35pm - 15th March 2018

AN Epping Forest College student has been taken to hospital after he was stabbed in the buttocks outside the college premises. 

The student managed to return to the college where he was given first aid.

An air ambulance was called to the scene. Police are currently still on the scene.

In a statement, the college said: "A student of our college was involved in an incident outside the college’s premises that resulted in him being stabbed in the buttocks. 

"The incident allegedly involved three males who are not students of the college. 

"The victim returned to the college by himself and was given immediate first aid treatment. 

"Police and ambulance were called to the scene. "The victim’s family were informed and he was taken to hospital for further treatment. 

"The college grounds have been checked and for a short while an alternative entrance and exit from the side of the college was arranged to assist with the police investigation. 

"The college remains safe and is open as normal with the main exit and entrance open."

Essex Police say the incident happened in Borders Lane shortly before 1pm. 

A police statement said: "A teenager suffered a stab wound to the bottom and was taken to hospital in London.

"Officers are searching for four potential suspects. Our investigations are ongoing."


LOUGHTON: Mayor reflects on his 'Year of the Selfie'

9.30am - 15th March 2018

LOUGHTON Town Mayor Philip Abraham has reflected on his year in office, during which he has attended some 75 events and been given a "warm welcome" wherever he went. 

He told last night's annual town meeting: "I was amazed by the number of people who came up to me or stopped me to have a selfie with me. In Chinese terms I would call this 'The Year of the Selfie'." 

Reflecting on some of the highlights, he singled out the Community Fun Day - his first mayoral event - Remembrance Sunday and the recent Civic Celebration. 

Mr Abraham also attended performances by Loughton Amateur Dramatic Society, Loughton Operatic Society and the National Jazz Archive. 

He said: "I feel privileged to have been given this opportunity to serve the community and I have been delighted to help raise valuable funds to support a number of charities." 

* Loughton Town Council annual town meeting: During the past year the town council has considered 362 planning applications - and 17 licensing applications - at its 20 plans committee meetings.


DISTRICT: MP welcomes additional police officers

9.30am - 15th March 2018

EPPING Forest MP Eleanor Laing has welcomed the announcement that 38 additional police officers are set to be coming to the Epping Forest district in the coming months. 

The announcement was made at Friday's public meeting chaired by Mrs Laing, and organised by Chigwell Parish Council, following concerns over an increase in burglaries in the area. 

Figures given at the meeting revealed an increase of 20 burglaries in Chigwell Village and Chigwell Row wards from February 2016-February 2017 when compared with February 2017 to February this year. 

Mrs Laing said: "I share the concerns of the residents of Chigwell who are very worried about the rise in crime levels and particularly burglaries.” 

The meeting, attended by some 250 people, heard of District Commander Chief Inspector Lewis Basford's plan to increase door-to-door visits giving home security advice. 

Mrs Laing said: "The meeting was lively and lasted for more than two hours. I was delighted there was such a great turnout on such a cold and wet Friday evening - because our greatest enemy is apathy." 

She added: "I am in constant touch with the local police and with local councillors and I welcome the measures being taken to deal with the rise in burglaries. 

"I especially welcome the news that our district is to soon see more officers available to police our streets. These 38 officers are in addition to the three officers which are to be funded by Epping Forest District Council." 

Mrs Laing added: "I have every confidence in our District Commander (Chief Inspector Lewis Basford) who is truly committed to our district. 

"I welcome the initiatives that he has put in place and his planning for the future, to ensure that our district is a safe place to live and work."


DISTRICT: 1,000 responses to Local Plan 'soundness' consultation

8.37am - 13th March 2018

SOME 1,000 responses were received by Epping Forest District Council following the adoption of its Local Plan last December. 

The comments - from residents, landowners, site promoters, residents' groups and others - were submitted during the six-week consultation period into the soundness of the Plan. 

Acting chief executive Derek Macnab told last night's local councils' liaison committee the council was "still on track" to submit the Plan to a planning inspector by the end of the month.

Your comments:

Loughton Roding Independent councillor Stephen Murray
- "This level of response should come as no surprise to anyone. 
"I do hope that the majority Conservative group on the district council will listen to the response from Loughton. 
"It is not too late to do the right thing as regards Jessel Green and save it for future generations. This part of Loughton has already seen over 20 major developments in the last 30 years."


WALTHAM ABBEY: Council bans plastic straws

8.31am - 13th March 2018

WALTHAM Abbey Town Council is to ban plastic straws at Town Mead and Waltham Abbey Town Hall as part of its support for the Single Use Plastic campaign. 

The town council has offered its full support to the campaign which was highlighted on the BBC programme Blue Planet II which focused on the severe detrimental impact the irresponsible disposal of one use plastics has on the world’s oceans, its flora and fauna. 

The Government’s 25-year Environmental Plan advises that it will work towards eliminating all avoidable waste by 2050 and all avoidable plastic waste by end of 2042. 

The town council, at its various venues, has decided to sell reusable bottles at the Tourist Information Centre, no longer sell one use plastic bottles, act as a refill point (Tourist Information Centre and Town Mead), and no longer provide plastic straws at the function suites/bars.

The council will also sell reusable coffee cups at the Tourist Information Centre, and sell refills at Town Mead, and will not use disposable cutlery on council premises. 

The council is also looking at ways of raising awareness of the campaign throughout the town, with posters and notices promoting the council's reduction in use of one-use plastics, and including an article in the council's Town Crier newsletter and on its website.


EPPING: Thirteen homes planned for Ivy Chimneys Road

9.13am - 11th March 2018

A DEVELOPMENT of 13 homes is proposed for a site off Ivy Chimneys Road, Epping. 

A planning application has been submitted to Epping Forest District to demolish all the stables and hardstanding - and the existing dwelling at number 23 Ivy Chimneys Road - and build 13 homes on the site. 

The site would be excavated to reduce levels. 

A new access road and a turning head is included in the proposals. 

The homes would be a mix of detached, semi-detached and terraced properties.


LAMBOURNE: Plans submitted for new church and community centre

9.29am - 10th March 2018

PLANS have been submitted for a new church and community centre in the grounds of St Mary and All Saints Church, Lambourne. 

A site next to the church grounds has been earmarked for the building which would provide space for activity rooms, event spaces, church ancillary facilities and rooms for prayer and reflection. 

A path through the graveyard would link the new Centre to the church. 

Documents submitted to Epping Forest District Council as part of the planning application state that the new Trinity Heritage Centre would be a "simple, pitched ‘barn’ shaped profile" clad in natural materials timber and plain roof tiles. 

The document added: "This sympathetic design will compliment the existing church and village context whilst also being detailed in a modern manner, so as to clearly delineate the new from the old." 

Parking is provided within the proposed site with an option for overflow parking to the south for larger events. 

The new building will have rooms to meet, worship, study and pray and have kitchen space, toilets and storage. 

"It will be as environmentally friendly as possible and blend into the character of the site."

 The centre will also provide an opportunity for children’s work, Sunday School, ‘Messy Church’, clubs and as a venue for schools to use as they study the church. 

It will provide spaces for study and prayer, both individually and in groups. 

These opportunities will also be offered to the local Deanery and Diocese as a venue for training courses and study days. 

It will be available for courses and groups on art, therapy, photography, poetry, conservation and history for the wider community, and will be a place of interpretation and understanding of the history of church and local community. 

It will also offer the required extra facilities to ensure that concerts, conferences and larger worship events will be possible within the church itself. 

The planning application will be considered by Lambourne Parish Council before a decision is taken by Epping Forest District Council.


DISTRICT: District to get 38 more police officers

8.37am - 10th March 2018

SOME 38 additional police officers are set for the Epping Forest district following the decision to recruit additional officers across the county. 

A public meeting in Chigwell was told the district will get four new officers in April, an additional three officers in May and a further five or six officers each month throughout the year. 

Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing, who chaired last night's meeting which was attended by more than 200 people, said: "We need more police officers and we are getting more police officers but you can't just pluck them out of the air." 

The meeting, organised by Chigwell Parish Council, followed residents' concerns over an increase in burglaries across Chigwell. 

District Commander Chief Inspector Lewis Basford said the number of burglaries in the Chigwell Village Ward increased from 63 in February 2016-February 2017 to 68 for February 2017-February 2018. 

Chigwell Row ward saw an increase of five burglaries, from ten to 15 over the same period. 

Mr Basford said: "One burglary is too many for me. The numbers are high." 

District councillor Sam Kane, chairman of the council's Community Safety Panel, highlighted the move by the district council to fund three police officers- one Sergeant and two Constables - for the district from the next financial year. 

He said: "Epping Forest District Council recognised the problems we have across the district which is strictly down to lack of numbers across the police." 

The meeting heard concerns over the county council's decision to introduce night-time switching off of street lights - a situation which, the meeting was told, could be reversed. 

Mrs Laing said she was not in favour of the switch-off while Chigwell county councillor Gagan Mohindra said: "We will continue to work on it (getting the lights kept on at night). 

"It won't happen tomorrow but it will happen, That is my pledge." 

Mr Basford told the meeting that officers will be undertaking patrols as part of a "really big drive" with house-to-house calls with officers offering security advice.

* A burglary victim praised police for their efforts after her home was broken into.

The woman told the meeting that a man, who had previously been arrested for armed robbery at a building society, was currently serving a five-year jail term.

The woman added that since the break-in - when £2,000 cash was stolen - she had spent thousands of pounds on additional home security which included a monitored alarm and security grilles.

She had also started a Neighbourhood Watch group. 

She said: "The police were amazing. The support I had from the police was commendable. I couldn't have asked for better. 

"We have the same common goal, We need to protect our homes and our family." 

She added: "They (the burglar) get five years behind bars, I get life. I am a very strong person however having been burgled...

"I take steps to try and ensure that I am safe and my vulnerable neighbours are safe." 

* Chief Superintendent Andy Mariner urged people to alert police to incidents and suspicious activity. "Please talk to us. The biggest problem we have is under reporting." 

* Deputy Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Jane Gardner said: "You (the audience) are absolutely right to demand increased policing. I've told you I support that.

"Funding is coming because of the lobbying of your MP and Roger Hirst (Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner), 

"We are not going to stop until we get this right."


DISTRICT: Son of former MP receives award for his debating skills with youth council

7.43am - 9th March 2018

THE son of a former MP has received a Jack Petchey award for his public debating skills with Epping Forest Youth Council. 

Christopher Collins, 15 - a student at Chigwell School - was described by judges as an "outstanding" member of Epping Forest Youth Council. 

He was praised for his growing confidence and his willingness to take on new tasks and support fellow youth councillors at events such as the Youth Conference 2017 where he took a lead role as the proposer for the youth debate that was streamed live to schools. 

Christopher, whose father, Tim, was MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale from 1997 until his defeat at the 2005 general election by Tim Farron, who later became leader of the Liberal Democrats, was described as “incredibly articulate and able to put his point across at meetings and events". 

"He is a good listener and excellent public speaker,” said the youth council. 

Christopher, whose late grandmother, Di, was a former leader of Epping Forest District Council, decided to spend his £250 Jack Petchey Achievement Award grant on equipment for the Youth Conference 2017. 

He was among 103 young people who received Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Awards at the Kenneth More Theatre, Ilford. 

The event honoured Achievement Award winners aged 11-25 who received medallions to go with their framed certificate and a cheque for £250 each. 

They were nominated by their peers and leaders, winning awards for a variety of achievements big and small but always for doing their best. 

In addition, ten adults were celebrated with Leader Awards for demonstrating, in an outstanding way, an ability to motivate young people. 

They received a medallion and a framed certificate.


#EEF999LIVE: CHIGWELL: Man arrested over burglaries

7.25am - 9th March 2018

A MAN has been arrested over three burglaries after an eagle-eyed resident alerted police to "suspicious" activity in Chigwell. 

Officers with the local Community Policing Team responded to the call and arrested a man in Rowland Crescent, Chigwell, after a short chase on foot yesterday afternoon. 

The man - aged 20 and from London - is being detained on suspicion of three burglaries - two in the Essex Police area and one in the Metropolitan Police area.

 District Commander Chief Inspector Lewis Basford told Everything Epping Forest #EEF999LIVE: "I am really pleased that officers on pro-active patrols in Chigwell were in a position to respond to the 999 call from a local resident. 

"My team will now work with the Metropolitan Police in linked investigations."


EPPING: School sees attendance improvement

2.54pm - 8th March 2018

A MONTH-long campaign has been held at Epping St John’s School to promote good attendance.

Attendance officer Zoe Harrison believes the shift in culture in recent months - since the arrival of executive headteacher Allan Osborne and co-head Emma Ruffles, and the school's move to join the Burnt Mill Academy Trust, has contributed to the improvement. 

She said: "Attendance is already better this year than previously. We have seen a definite improvement over the last two years. 

"Of course the more students are in school the more they are learning which helps with their grades. 

When they are out of school for a period of time it can also be difficult to get back into friendship groups, so it’s good for their wellbeing to be in school." 

During the month tutors had attendance charts on display and a whole school approach was taken. 

Mrs Harrison said: "We have been pushing attendance in this way since the arrival of Mr Osborne. 

"We have been getting everyone on board to take responsibility for attendance and not just the senior leadership team. 

"It’s about asking students whether they are okay. It’s not about telling them off for poor attendance but establishing the potential reason behind it. We are looking out for them. 

"Students want to be in school more. It’s a calm and nice environment for them. We have a culture for learning and students want to be here and to do well." 

The school works closely with parents to help those struggling with attendance to get back to school.

Students with 100 per cent attendance receive reward points which can be swapped for trips in the summer. 

Badges are given to students with 100 per cent attendance, those with good attendance of 98 per cent and those working hard to improve their school attendance.


NORTH WEALD: Council throws out "nonsensical" cafe plans

2.10pm - 8th March 2018

A ROUND of applause rang out from residents as district councillors threw out "nonsensical" plans to turn part of the former post office in High Road, North Weald, into a cafe. 

Two previous applications to convert the premises into a take-away had already been refused permission before the cafe plans went before the district council's plans east sub-committee last night. 

Essex County Council highways officers had voiced no objection on the grounds of parking which was one of the main issues highlighted by residents and North Weald Bassett Parish Council. 

Local resident Sarah Bottrell described the plans as "nonsensical" and told the meeting the cafe use would be "detrimental to all neighbours' homes. 

She voiced concerns over the proposed ventilation flue which would be next to a child's bedroom window and also "unacceptable" noise levels. 

She added there would be a "complete loss of amenity" and impact on the quality of life. 

She also feared "ugly industrial bins" outside the premises and highlighted a lack of parking with only one space for staff, customers and deliveries. 

Parish council clerk Sue de Luca also highlighted the insufficient parking and raised concerns over odours and vibration from the flue. 

District council chairman and parish councillor Dave Stallan, highlighting the parking situation, said: "There is no other parking. Simple as." 

District and parish councillor Anne Grigg said: "The proposal is detrimental to the neighbours from noise and odours. The stack would be in very close proximity to a bedroom window." 

She added: "The parish council and preservation society have tried to make the shopping area very attractive - all this effort could be spoilt by litter and possible anti-social behaviour." 

Councillor Janet Whitehouse also raised concerns over the flue which she said would be "very close" to residents' windows. 

The application was rejected by 11 votes to 1, with two abstentions on the grounds of the proposals being detrimental to the amenity of residents due to odours which would spoil the enjoyment of nearby homes and could prevent residents from using their gardens. 

The reasons for objection also include concerns over noise and disturbance.


LOUGHTON: Children celebrate 100 days at school

8.25am - 8th March 2018

RECEPTION pupils at Hereward Primary School had the chance to celebrate the milestone of having completed 100 days in school. 

The day had a distinct mathematical focus with children making collections of one hundred objects and going into school with t-shirts adorned with 100 shapes. 

Early Years co-ordinator Tersia de Jongh said: "This was a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge how much the children have grown and learnt in their first 100 days of school. 

"We are so proud of them."



CHIGWELL: Parish council submits Neighbourhood Plan

11.49am - 7th March 2018

CHIGWELL Parish Council has formally submitted its Neighbourhood Plan just over four years since the council began the process on behalf of residents. 

The plan, formally submitted to Epping Forest District Council, will now be scheduled for public consultation and then go before the formal planning inspectorate for consideration. 

Speaking about the Plan, councillor Richard Alvin - who along with councillor John Knapman have been responsible for the production of the Plan by the parish council - said: "The formation of this Plan has been a hard slog at times with the parish council being at odds with the district council on various points, and they not being as helpful with regards to process as we feel that they should have been. 

"Our Plan reflects the wishes of Chigwell residents to retain as much green space as possible, commit to building a new community hub in the heart of Chigwell and not have any new housing on Limes Farm without a thorough masterplan and regeneration plan being adopted."


DISTRICT: Appeal launched to purchase Willingale Treasure

9.11am - 7th March 2018

THE Epping Forest District Museum has launched an appeal to raise the final £3,000 needed to save the Willingale Treasure and help keep it in the district. 

The medieval gold ring was found in the parish of Willingale. 

The appeal has been launched to raise sufficient money to purchase the ring before it goes on sale on the open market. It is the first medieval gem set ring to be found in the district, and the first known finger-ring to be discovered in Willingale. 

The decoration is of an extremely high standard and, to the best of the museum's knowledge, unique. A total £11,500 is needed to save the ring. 

The campaign has already received support from the ACE/V&A Purchase Grant Fund and SHARE Museums East and Epping Forest District Museum has committed funding from its reserves leaving £3,000 to be raised. 

If the target is reached, the ring will go on public display at the museum in Sun Street, Waltham Abbey.

Donations can be made online at www.spacehive.com/willingaletreasure, or by post to Epping Forest District Museum, 39–41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL.


NORTH WEALD: Council to consider grit bin request

3.26pm - 6th March 2018

NORTH Weald Bassett Parish Council is to consider purchasing a grit bin for use by volunteers to try and keep St Andrew's Primary School open in wintry weather. 

Last week the school, in Beamish Close, had to close for three days because of snow and ice. 

North Weald Bassett Parish Council's meeting on Monday was told that 17 volunteers were willing to spread salt on School Green Lane and Beamish Close when necessary. 

However councillors raised concerns over whether gritting the approach roads would ensure that the school could open. 

Councillor Nigel Bedford told the meeting one of the issues which resulted in the school having to close was that teachers could not get to North Weald. 

Staff also had to assess the entire school grounds, and not just the approaches, and ensure they were safe before keeping the school open. 

Mr Bedford said: "We can provide the route in but the school could close because of the state of the grounds and teachers won't be able to get in." 

Councillor George Mulliner asked whether the volunteers would be liable. 

Parish clerk Sue De Luca said they would need to attend a short training course before undertaking salt spreading duties.


NORTH WEALD: Council concerned at homeless accommodation 'pods'

3.24pm - 6th March 2018

NORTH Weald Bassett Parish Council has voiced no objection over plans to locate three steel-framed 'pods' in the grounds of Norway House to house 'vulnerable' homeless people. 

However the council is to raise concerns with Epping Forest District Council over who will live in the 'pods' after originally being told the 'vulnerable' occupants would have mental health issues. 

Parish clerk Sue De Luca told Monday's parish council planning committee meeting that district council planning officers had said 'vulnerable' simply related to the fact that the occupants would be homeless people. 

Parish councillors are also concerned over the shared kitchens which form part of each of the 'pods'. 

Councillor Terry Blanks said: "To have 'vulnerable' people in such close proximity sharing a kitchen is the height of stupidity." 

Councillor Sheila Jackman said she felt that if the residents did have mental health issues then such accommodation was in the wrong place to house such people. 

Mr Blanks added: "I'm also a bit worried about Redbridge importing somebody else's vulnerable adults into the village. It sounds like we have enough." 

He also raised concern that the 'pods' were not part of the main Norway House. 

He said: "What worries me is that these are not part of the main building so the ability of the staff to run it may not run to three 'shed' arrangements which puts a strain on the staff. " 

He also highlighted the former Phoenix Hotel on Epping Road which was currently being used by Redbridge Council to house homeless people from the London borough. 

The committee also raised concern over the appearance of the 'pods' next to an historic listed building.


NORTH WEALD: Parish council takes GP surgery issue to MP

3.23pm - 6th March 2018

THE continued absence of a doctors' surgery in North Weald is being highlighted again by North Weald Bassett Parish Council. 

The branch surgery at Wheelers Farm Gardens has been closed since last July. 

Councillors have been told that refurbishment plans for the building, which is owned by Hanover Housing Association, had been delayed by NHS England. 

The parish council pressed The Limes for the return of a surgery, and has also contacted MP Alex Burghart over the issue. 

He has told the council that he has contacted The Limes for an explanation. 

Meanwhile the parish council has suggested taking the matter up with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, and Hanover. 

Parish clerk Sue De Luca told Monday's parish council meeting that an unnamed developer was due to have talks with The Limes about providing a surgery building as part of a possible development.

Commenting on the ongoing situation which has left North Weald without GP access in the village, council vice-chairman Brian Eldridge said: "I think this is ridiculous." 

Councillor Elaine Godwin-Brown supported the suggestion of councillor Sheila Jackman that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt should be contacted saying: 

"If there is anybody in a position to do something it's him. " 

Councillor Andy Tyler said: "The whole thing hinges on the refurbishment of this building." 

Supporting the suggestion that Hanover Housing Association should be contacted, he added: "The more ripples we create in this pond the more chances there are we will get a response."


LOUGHTON: Former Eastenders star opens school's Literacy Shed

2.40pm - 6th March 2018

FORMER Eastenders star Lindsey Coulson officially opened the new 'literacy shed' at Thomas Willingale Primary School and Nursery. 

Lindsey, who played Carol Jackson in the BBC soap for some ten years, cut the ribbon to open the shed which will be used for quiet reading by pupils. 

The structure has been provided free of charge by McLaughlin and Harvey which built the Epping Forest Shopping Park in nearby Langston Road. 

The company wanted to get involved with the local community and invited Year 5 classes at the school to visit the site while building work was going on at the retail park site. 

Lindsey donated two books to the library which already has a selection of books given to the school by parents. 

The opening of the literacy shed coincided with the school's World Book Day event which saw every child in the school dressing up as their favourite book characters. 

Prizes were awarded for the best boy and girl entry in each class with the entries judged by Disneyland character Princess Belle. 

In the afternoon children's author Jack Trelawny visited the school for a book signing session.

Headteacher Teresa Phillips said: ""We managed to hold one of our best World Book Days yet! The children dressed in amazing costumes and we were very lucky to have such special guests visiting our school. 

"We foster a love of books in school as we firmly believe in the importance of reading for pleasure.

"Children learnt that reading helps to develop their brains, build concentration, help imagination, reduce stress, improve memory alongside many other significant benefits." 

The school has also hosted a theatre company which staged an alternative fairy tale story. As part of the week, children released 108 balloons each with a return address label.

Miss Phillips said: "If you find one of these balloons please write to us and let us know your favourite children's book and why."



WALTHAM ABBEY: Dozens of firefighters tackle blaze

8.03am - 6th March 2018

DOZENS of firefighters are tackling a blaze in an industrial building in Waltham Abbey. 

Nine fire crews were called to Cartersfield Road, off Sewardstone Road, at about 5am. 

Firefighters arrived to find about half of the single-storey building on fire. 

Firefighters are using an aerial ladder platform so they can spray water onto the premises from height and have divided the incident into two sectors, to co-ordinate firefighting operations. 

An Essex Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said two units in the building, used by separate companies, are involved in the blaze. 

Water, electricity and gas company engineers have been called out to isolate supplies to the premises. 

About half-an-hour ago crews reported that the blaze was surrounded and progress was being made to extinguish the fire. 

Crews from Waltham Abbey, Loughton, Epping, Harlow, Brentwood, Grays, Frinton and Basildon are currently on the scene.



HASTINGWOOD: Man dies in M11 collision

9.02am - 4th March 2018

A PEDESTRIAN has died after he was struck by a vehicle on the M11 at Hastingwood. 

Police were alerted at 8.15pm on Friday with reports of a grey BMW hitting the central barrier on the southbound carriageway at junction seven. 

Officers were then told that someone was believed to have been hit by a black Ford Mondeo and was in a critical condition. 

Despite the efforts of the emergency services, including doctors from the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance, a man in his 20s was pronounced dead at the scene shortly before 9.15pm. 

The road was closed until about 3am on Saturday with traffic being diverted. 

A 22-year-old man, from Bexleyheath, has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving. He remains in custody yesterday. 

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to ring the Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 101 or email collisionappeal@essex.pnn.police.uk.


HASTINGWOOD: Hospice's Winter Walkies set to raise £5,000

10.24am - 3rd March 2018

MORE than 100 dogs joined St Clare Hospice’s annual Winter Walkies event which is set to have raised over £5,000. 

The winner of the hospice’s Cutest Canine competition, Milo the Cockapoo puppy, led more than 250 walkers at the start of the sponsored 5km countryside stroll from the hospice at Hastingwood. 

Among the participants was hospice patron, Dame Claire Bertschinger, Deputy Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, who took part with her two Bichon Frise. 

She said: "Winter Walkies is a great community event. I can’t think of a nicer way to raise funds for St Clare than by taking part in a walk with dozens of other dog lovers and their pets across the beautiful countryside around the hospice. 

"My dogs loved being with so many other dogs of all shapes and sizes, and it was actually very moving to see hundreds of people gathered in support of St Clare." 

Event organiser Emma Broadbent, the hospice's challenges and events fundraiser, said: "This was the twelfth year we have organised Winter Walkies and it continues to be our best-loved event with hundreds of four-legged friends and their humans taking part. 

"It really was a sight to see so many happy wagging tails as the dogs set off out the hospice gate."


LOUGHTON: Foodbank talk at annual town meeting

10.02am - 3rd March 2018

LOUGHTON Town Council is holding its annual town meeting at The Murray Hall, Borders Lane, Loughton, on Wednesday, March 14 (8pm).

Doors open at 7.30pm so residents can view displays mounted by local voluntary organisations. 

Guest speaker will be Heather Scholer, from Epping Forest Foodbank. 

The meeting will hear reports from Town Mayor Philip Abraham and committee chairmen about the council’s activities and achievements over the past year and its future plans. 

This will be followed by a question and answer session when residents can ask questions about local issues. 

Representatives from groups, organisations and charities that were successful in their grant applications will receive certificates to mark their achievement. 

After the meeting light refreshments will be served and there will be time for residents to have an informal chat with their councillors.


ONGAR: Town council increases Jubilee Pavilion bar prices

10.01am - 2nd March 2018

BAR prices at the Jubilee Pavilion will increase from Monday, Ongar Town Council has said. 

The Jubilee Park Steering Committee agreed to the price rises at yesterday's meeting, saying they followed price increases imposed by suppliers. 

For example, Carlsberg, Guinness, Stella and Aspall Cider will all cost 10p a pint more - to £3.60 while Budweiser and Peroni will also cost 10p more (£3.50). 

Most soft drink prices remain unchanged however Iron Bru and J2O will go up from £2 to £2.10, canned drinks will cost £1.50 (instead of £1.40) and a 500ml bottle of water will go up 10p to £1.50. 

* The committee also voted to increase the charge for use of the floodlights for training sessions from £10 to £12 an hour.


ONGAR: Council could transfer Jubilee Park to trust "within next few months"

9.44am - 2nd March 2018

THE transfer of the Jubilee Park facilities from Ongar Town Council to the Ongar Community Sports Trust could be completed "within the next few months". 

The town council originally proposed to pass over the pitches and Jubilee Park Pavilion before the start of the last financial year. 

Council chairman Derek Birch told Thursday's town council Jubilee Park Steering Committee the trustees of the new Ongar Community Sports Trust were awaiting account details for a new bank account and could then submit its charity application. 

He said that legal documents were "virtually ready". 

Mr Birch added: "Everything is pretty close to the transfer going live hopefully within the next few months."


BUCKHURST HILL: Dog rescued from river

8.51am - 2nd March 2018

FIREFIGHTERS have rescued a dog from a freezing cold river in Buckhurst Hill. 

Crews from Loughton and Waltham Abbey were called to Hornbeam Close at about 3pm yesterday after Jack Russell dog Jessie went into the river and became stuck while out for a walk with its owner. 

Despite encouragement from her owner, she could not get out. 

Firefighters managed to get down the embankment and grab the dog from the freezing water. 

Jessie was shivering but otherwise unhurt. 

Loughton Fire Station Watch Manager Alan Beddall said: "Jessie has been very lucky - and we are just so relived that we were able to rescue the dog and the owner didn't put themself in danger and to try and rescue the dog. 

"When we managed to get the dog out, it was shivering but seemed to be okay. 

"Incidents like this show how easy it is for dogs to get into trouble when out walking in these freezing conditions. 

"We want to reiterate that owners should never attempt to save their dogs themselves - call 999 and leave it to us to rescue them safely.

"It only takes minutes for cold water to kill, we don't want anyone to out themselves at risk."


#EEF999LIVE: ONGAR: Police officer helps man found lying in snow

8.51am - 2nd March 2018

A 79-YEAR-OLD man has been helped by a passing police officer after he was found lying in snow on a footpath in Ongar. 

PC Paul Harrison came across the man who had been taking his dog for a walk on the footpath leading from the Pleasance car park towards Ongar Castle yesterday afternoon. 

He had been there for about ten minutes. 

PC Harrison helped the man, who was uninjured, back to the High Street so he could walk the short distance home. 

District Commander Chief Inspector Lewis Basford said: "Paul is a new addition to the community team and will be visible in the Ongar and surrounding areas. 

"I m really pleased that his visible patrolling of the Ongar community has resulted in this gentleman not coming to any harm.

"I have a great team doing their best for the community and Paul is certainly one of them."


#DISTRICT: Weather updates

Everything Epping Forest is providing regular updates on the weather conditions across the district.
You can find the latest updates here, and also on the Everything Epping Forest social media feeds - the Everything Epping Forest Facebook page and group, and on Twitter @eefnews.

UPDATED 8.48am - 2nd March 2018

Earlier reports of snow drifting across Canes Lane, North Weald


* Alderton Infant and Junior Schools, Loughton 
* Buckhurst Hill Primary School 
* Chigwell Primary Academy 
* Chipping Ongar Primary School 
* Coopersale and Theydon Garnon Primary School 
* Davenant Foundation School, Loughton 
* Debden Park High School, Loughton
* Dr Walker's Primary School, Fyfield 
* Hereward Primary School, Loughton 
* High Beech Primary School 
* High Ongar Primary School 
* Hillhouse Primary School, Waltham Abbey
* Lambourne Primary School, Abridge 
* Leverton Primary School, Waltham Abbey 
* Limes Farm Infant and Junior Schools, Chigwell 
* Matching Green Primary School 
* Moreton Primary School 
* Nazeing Primary School Oak View School, Loughton 
* Roding Valley High School, Loughton 
* St Andrew's Primary School, North Weald 
* Staples Road Primary School, Loughton 
* The Ongar Academy 
* Theydon Bois Primary School 
* Thomas Willingale Primary School and Nursery, Loughton 
* Upshire Primary School 
* West Hatch High School, Chigwell 
* White Bridge Primary School, Loughton.


#EEF999LIVE: THEYDON BOIS: Man arrested over burglary

9.59am - 1st March 2018

A 21-YEAR-OLD man has been arrested on suspicion of burglary after police took less than four minutes to respond to a report of a burglary in Theydon Bois. 

Officers were alerted to a report that men were breaking into a house in Poplar Row in the early hours of yesterday morning. 

District Commander Chief Inspector Lewis Basford said officers arrived on the scene within four minutes.

A vehicle thought to be linked to the break-in has been located. 

The arrested man remained in police custody yesterday.


DISTRICT: Weather updates

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You can find the latest updates here, and also on the Everything Epping Forest social media feeds - the Everything Epping Forest Facebook page and group, and on Twitter @eefnews.

UPDATED 8.47am - 1st March 2018


* Alderton Infant and Junior School, Loughton 
* Buckhurst Hill Community Primary School 
* Chigwell Primary Academy 
* Chipping Ongar Primary School 
* Coopersale and Theydon Garnon Primary School 
* Davenant Foundation School, Loughton 
* Debden Park High School, Loughton 
* Dr Walker's Primary School, Fyfield 
* Hereward Primary School, Loughton 
* High Beech Primary School 
* High Ongar Primary School 
* King Harold Academy, Waltham Abbey
* Lambourne Primary School, Abridge
* Limes Farm Infant School and Nursery, Chigwell 
* Limes Farm Junior School, Chigwell 
* Matching Green Primary School 
* Moreton Primary School 
* Oak View School, Loughton 
* Ongar Primary School 
* Roding Valley High School, Loughton 
* Stapleford Abbotts Primary School 
* Staples Road Primary School, Loughton 
* Thomas Willingale School and Nursery, Loughton 
* West Hatch High School, Chigwell 
* White Bridge Primary School, Loughton.


DISTRICT: District council increases council tax

8.45am - 1st March 2018

THE district council's share of council tax bills is to increase by 2.48 per cent to cover the cost of funding three police officers for the district. 

The sergeant and two constables will work closely with the council's Community Safety Team. 

The council said the decision was taken as residents call for more visible policing to deter and deal with anti-social behaviour. 

Finance portfolio holder councillor Gagan Mohindra said: "This budget is a significant departure from our policy in recent years as it proposes the first increase in Council Tax since 2010-11. 

"This change is necessary to provide additional funds to combat the scourge of anti-social behaviour.

"Earlier we discussed the problems being faced by our residents on a daily basis and it is vital that we act to address these. 

"We hope that over the three-year trial period we are providing funding for, the police will be in a better place than they are now and that it will be possible to withdraw our support. 

"This is the first time for eight years we are increasing the Council Tax but it is for a specific reason and for a limited time period, to provide the public with additional services they have said they want." 

The district council's share of council tax for a Band D property will rise by £3.69 a year.

What do you think?

Loughton Roding Independent councillor Stephen Murray
- "I argued very strongly against and voted against this district council tax increase for the following reasons. 
"It was very largely to pay for three extra police officers which is a service that Essex Police has a clear legal responsibility to provide rather than the district council. 
"Essex Police had already decided to increase their element of the average council tax bill for the new financial year by £12 to provide extra officers across Essex. 
"The decision could have the perverse outcome of the district not getting their fair share of policing from the Essex Police budget. 
"I felt very strongly that the leadership of our district council should be arguing more strongly for adequate policing from Essex Police rather than expecting local residents to pay an additional amount for an inadequate service. 
"If the council was keen to help in the fight against crime then this money could have helped in turning back on our street lights, this is something Harlow District Council has done or at the very least a full assessment of this option should have been completed first before rushing to spend this additional sum."