We’re pleased to say that the latest edition of Talk About Epping has come back from the printers and will be landing on the doormats of residents over the next few weeks as our small army of volunteers brave the monsoon weather to get them out.
We’ve put some effort into updating the look and feel of the magazine to hopefully make it a more attractive publication and we will be working hard to improve the production values further with magazine quality articles of interest to people in the Town. In this edition, we have a round up of the Christmas events in the Town, usual local organisations and events and a really interesting piece about a former Epping resident!
We hope you enjoy it. Please do let us have your feedback and if there are any local clubs, societies, organisations or any budding writers, local historians or anyone who has anything to contribute that might be of interest to local people, please do get in touch and drop us a line
Many residents will not be aware that the District Council is currently preparing a new Local Plan. As part of the process, there are areas that are currently designated as Green Belt (and therefore protected from development) which have been put forward for consideration to be released for future development. The consultation document can be found here. The portion of the document that covers Epping Greenbelt starts on page 82.
The focus of this post is the land marked on the plan as “Epp B”, also known as “Old Pastures”. A view across the land is pictured at the top of the post. This land is next to the Stonards Hill Recreation ground and stretches along Stonards Hill up to the Epping – Ongar Railway line and backs onto the St Margarets Hospital site. (See Map below)
Epping residents have enjoyed access across this land as though it was a public open space for as long as anybody can remember. The Town Council’s staff see residents accessing the land from the Recreation Ground on a daily basis to walk dogs, walks to Coopersale, picnics in the summer or sledging in the winter when there is snow.
The Town Council is seeking to protect the land for future generations by applying to have it registered as a Common.
This is where we need your help. To qualify for registration, we must be able to evidence that “a significant number of the inhabitants of any locality, or of any neighbourhood within a locality, have indulged as of right in lawful sports and pastimes on the land for a period of at least 20 years”
We are looking for Local Residents (or former Local Residents) who use or who have used this land for recreation to come forward and provide evidence to support our application. Please tell friends and family who use the land for recreation to do the same.
Registration as a Common would protect the land from development and ensure the right of residents to use the land for recreation.
If you use “EPP B” or have done in the past , please complete the attached questionnaire and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org . Even better would be if you could print it and sign it, then send it in as we will need you to sign a form at some point for evidential reasons when we make the application!
One of the items of business Council had to consider this week was what to do about the Mayoral Chain of Office.
The Chain is the Civic Regalia of the Town Mayor but was previously the chain of the former Epping Urban District Council, which was abolished (with all other Urban District Councils) in 1974 when the District Councils were created. It was the Chairman’s Chain of Office from 1894 until 1973 and when the Town Council was created in 1974 (along with the office of Town Mayor) it became the Mayor’s chain of Office.
The chain and the office are synonymous: The only thing that marks a Town Mayor is the chain and the present Town Mayor has remarked that when the Mayor is invited to Civic functions “it’s the Chain that’s been invited, not me”.
The Chain has been engraved with the name (and term of office) of every Chairman of Epping Urban District Council and every Town Mayor from 1974 to date. The problem facing Council is that they have run out of tablets to engrave names on to! The Town Council had to decide whether to add extra links to the chain to enable this tradition to continue and how many to add.
Their decision was to add 20 links, which will have enough space for the next 40 years
Council discussed proposals for improvements to the Ivy Chimneys Play Area at Tuesday’s meeting. The proposals were to spend the £40,000 of section 106 money from the redevelopment of the Spotted Dog to provide improved facilities in the Playground.
The items that had been quoted for included:
- an inclusive (flat to ground) roundabout;
- A see-saw
- Hanging Spinners
- New cradle swing set to replace the existing 50 year old one
- A basket, cradle or team swing (like the one at Stonards Hill)
- A ball game
- Some teen/ adult outdoor gym equipment outside the fenced play area
- New safety gates on the play area entrances
- Provision of a tarmac path from the Ivy Chimneys Rd gate into the play area (to join up with the tarmac pad where the roundabout was proposed near the bench)
Council decided a number of things:
- They didn’t want to provide the adult outdoor gym equipment but wanted to focus on the child play area
- They wanted to invest some additional funding above and beyond the £40k to make further improvements
- They wanted to seek additional grant funding from Essex County Council to further increase the available budget
- They wanted to consult more with the Ivy Chimneys School and the local residents
- They felt more should be invested in the wet pour (i.e. the surfacing) to provide hop scotch etc and an all weather play area.
The Clerk will be writing to local residents and contacting the School for more views about the playground but the consultation starts now! So if you are an Epping resident who uses the Ivy Chimneys playground (or your children/ grandchildren do) please get in touch and tell us what you would like us to provide for you