(a) To receive from Council representatives the reports (attached - if any) on the business of joint arrangements and external organisations and to receive answers to any questions on those bodies which may be put without notice; and
(b) To request written reports from representatives on joint arrangements and external organisations for future meetings.
(a) External Organisations
Councillor C Whitbread, Leader reported at the meeting of Annual Council an error had been made of the Member Appointment to the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner Panel, Councillor H Whitbread was nominated and not as stated Councillor N Bedford. Therefore would the Council agree to this change in membership of the outside body for the remainder of the municipal year.
That the Council agreed to the change in membership to the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner Panel for the remainder of the municipal year.
(b) Royal Gunpowder Mills
The Chairman, Councillor H Kane reported that she had been trying to contact the CEO of the Royal Gunpowder Mills, Stella Morris for an update. She managed to contact her on her private phone and was informed that she had left her position at the company, of her own accord. Councillor H Kane promised to inform all councillors, as soon as she had contact with the Chairman, by publishing a report to the Members Bulletin.
Councillor C C Pond stated that the Council should pay tribute to Stella Morris and the work she did at the Royal Gunpowder Mills. The Gunpowder Mills should be opened as a unique facility in the world and something that is unique to the Epping Forest District.
Councillor H Kauffman thanked the Chairman for all her efforts in trying to get an update for the Gunpowder Mills and stated that he and Councillor C C Pond would be willing to attend any meetings with the Chairman.
The Chairman thanked Councillor Kauffman and advised that as soon as she had an update she would put it in the Members’ Bulletin.
(c) Roding Valley Nature Reserve
Councillor S Murray advised the Council that he was the Council representative on the Roding Valley Nature Reserve, which was very important for the district. The Essex Wildlife Trust who manage the reserve and have a long standing agreement with us have asked for the agreement to be changed to incorporate a farm business tenancy agreement, which was motivated to source funding from the Government. He had emailed Abigail Oldham, Team Manager for the Countryside and Landscape team to obtain her professional advice on this proposal.
(d) North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP)
Councillor S Heap requested a report from NEPP regarding the exact process they went through to get the temporary works that were put through High Beach and Theydon Bois, which included road closures and red lines that pertain to the tarmac and not the forest itself. They have spent around £80,000 and he would like to know how much money the Council contributed and how involved the Council was in the discussions.
Councillor N Bedford stated that this question had been asked many times by different people and advised that because of the Covid-19 restrictions, emergency powers were brought in. A conference call was held between the Corporation of London, Essex County Council and Epping Forest District Council Officers and Members and I confirm that I was present at that meeting. Discussions were held around what could we do to deter people from parking in the forest and the Corporation of London suggested that double red lines would be a good way to police the parking. This was then investigated by Essex County Council who agreed that red lines was the way forward as a moving traffic camera offence could be committed and officers would not be put in jeopardy issuing Penalty Charge Notices(PCN’s).
This was joint funded and the recovery of the money would come from NEPP by way of the issued PCN’s. There were no minutes from any meetings that took place as this action needed to take place quickly and was therefore brought in under the emergency powers and was a temporary measure for 18 months.
Councillor M Satin, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee added that NEPP have been asked to attend an Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting in the near future.
(e) Epping Forest District Health and Wellbeing Board
Councillor A Patel reported that Health & Wellbeing Boards were a county-wide initiative coordinated through the Essex Public Health team that were in place across all district, borough and City Councils in Essex.
The Council was reminded that the local Epping Forest Health and Wellbeing Board was chaired by Councillor A Patel and included a range of local partners such as the West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, Essex Social Care and various voluntary Sector organisations. The Board met quarterly, and was responsible for agreeing local health priorities and tackling any emerging issues affecting the health of local residents. Examples of specific projects being undertaken by the Board included: the MiLife mental health initiative in Primary Schools; the establishment of walking sports; and ‘Stay well this Winter’ events. A multi-agency project to tackle health inequalities in the Paternoster ward of Waltham Abbey would be undertaken later in the year.
The Board launched the Epping Forest Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2018-28 in 2018, which set out the vision and aspirations for the health and wellbeing of the District. Three multi-agency, age-specific Action Groups were also established to deliver the aims of the Board. Each Action Group met quarterly and reported to the Board on progress made with meeting its Action Plan. Common priorities across all three Action Groups included: mental health and wellbeing; tackling obesity; and supporting older residents to live independently.
Governance of the board was undertaken through Essex Public Health and twice yearly all the Chairmen from the Health & Wellbeing Boards across Essex and their officers met to share items of best practice and interest.