Club 195 in Epping applies for new licence

Club 195 licence application notice. Click for full text.Eagle eyed pedestrians using Cottis Lane will have spotted a small notice outside Club 195. It advertises the fact that the club is applying for a new licence and that ‘Interested Parties’ can comment on the application by writing to the district council. (Click on the photo to read the full text.)

The district council revoked Club 195’s licence in October because of concerns about crime and disorder. The closure seems to have led to a reduction in late night noise, litter and disorder in the middle of Epping and has been generally welcomed by most (but not all) residents I have spoken to.

The new application is for:

the provision of regulated entertainment and late night refreshment at the premises on Monday to Saturday from 8 am until 2 am and an additional one hour on notable days.

I assume ‘notable days’ to mean special occasions such as New Years Eve. The previous licence allowed the club to open seven days a week from 11 am until 4 am. The main differences are therefore:

Read the rest of this entry.

More Epping Forest snow news

I was able to make time on Friday afternoon to go for a good tramp around Epping and Coopersale’s frozen streets (and to drop off a final few Focus leaflets).

Trees along Bury Lane, taken from Bolt Cellar Lane

The effects of the snow are showing up in the form of at least one broken street sign and rapidly deteriorating road surfaces (it would have helped if those particular potholes had been repaired when they first appeared many weeks ago), which I have now reported.

I also did a circuit around Swaines Green and then later walked across the fields along the Essex Way to Coopersale. Wrapped up warmly and with the sun out it was a great feeling – which I appreciate is absolutely no consolation to anyone unable to venture out and therefore shivering at home.

Brickfield Road snowmanThe most impressive snowman I found lurked in Brickfield Road, complete with clementine nose and eyes of coal. More worrying were the two doors elsewhere that I knocked on to tell the inhabitants they had left their keys in their outside locks. Perhaps they had been rushing inside to get out of the cold.

Thankfully, despite predictions, there has been very little snowfall over Friday and Saturday, so the busy roads have been clear of snow. It’s a different story on the side streets.

Recycling and waste collection

The slight change in weather meant the refuse and recycling crews were able to make some collections on Friday but there are still roads that the 20 tonne trucks can’t safely manouvre down and some big piles of sacks awaiting collection as a result. Here’s hoping any snow we get today (Sunday) won’t settle.

The district council’s advice remains to put your rubbish out as normal and it will be collected eventually. Snow update information from the district council is here and should be updated on Monday.


It isn’t clear yet whether the county council will be able to do a full gritting run before the start of the new working week. Updates should appear on the county council’s website here.

Snow news in Epping Forest

A quick pointer to the district council’s snow update page, which is now being updated pretty regularly.

Recycling blue box covered in snowWaste and recycling collections

The bad news is that waste and recycling collections were suspended completely today because of accidents. (I dread to think how long it will now take to get back to normal. There are roads in Buckhurst Hill that haven’t received a wheelie bin collection since early December.)


However as a result our pavements are finally receiving some attention as waste collection staff have been made available to grit shopping centres and car parks. There’s been no specific mention of pavements leading to transport hubs or pavements near schools so I’ve followed this up.


At a Local Highways Panel meeting six weeks ago Essex County Council told us that it had record quantities of salt in store for this winter – far more than it actually expected to use. I was therefore concerned to learn that it is already cutting back on its gritting programme for the reasons set out here. That link also gives details of the roads that will still be treated.

In Epping the only road included is the High Road. This is really bad news for heavily used roads which are usually gritted like Lindsey Street, Station Road and Bower Hill, which could be treacherous by morning. The county council expects to be able to return to its usual gritting programme on Sunday evening.


The local media is covering the snow episode (I don’t think we can yet call it a crisis) assiduously. BBC Essex’s essential information page contains some useful links and should be authoritative about school closures. Plenty of news also at Everything Epping Forest and the Epping Forest Guardian.

Epping in the snow

It seems almost compulsory for anyone with a website to put on show their pictures of the snow, so here is my contribution.

Trees at the top of St John's Road / Hartland Road / Kendal Avenue

If you look carefully at the top right hand photograph (Hartland Road) it shows the post and the buses operating successfully, so well done to them.

It’s a pity the police only got round to closing Kendal Avenue (bottom photos) after several utterly predictable bumps and near misses. We live in hope that one day the county council will add the road to its gritting rota, given that there are always problems on this steep hill, but at the moment it isn’t treated as a priority route despite being used as an access to Epping Station. It’s something Janet Whitehouse has raised with both the police and Highways and will continue to do so.

Rubbish collection update

Now the Christmas break is over the district council is much better at posting information on its website. The latest update is here and explains:

Residents are requested to place all waste at the normal collection point…

For as long as access is difficult and until the weather improves we will use all available resources to collect as much waste as we can. Once the weather improves and normal operations commence we will prioritise collections and collect from those properties that have been waiting the longest for a collection.

So put your rubbish out as usual but don’t assume it will be collected on the day you expect.

Council apologises for waste collection problems

Epping Forest District Council yesterday published this apology for delays to the waste collection service as a result of bad weather.

“The Council is very sorry for the difficulties which have arisen during the period 22 December 2009 through Christmas and the New Year period.”

Because of the combined effect of the revised Christmas collection calendar and the bad weather some people will go a month between recycling collections – which will not surprise anyone who has walked around local streets and seen the sacks piled high.

Recycling sacks awaiting collection in Beaconfield Road, Epping

At Monday evening’s Cabinet meeting we were told that the other collections (food waste and residual waste) should now be more or less up to date. Unfortunately it looks likely that today’s snowfall could well cause further problems.

Of course the council’s priority at the moment must be to keep the refuse collection service running and collect as much of the missed rubbish as possible. Once this has happened we have been promised that a review will take place and any necessary lessons will be learnt.

Questions to answer include:

  • What contingency plans existed?
  • What is the division of responsibility between Epping Forest district council and its contractors, SITA?
  • Was it possible to bring in any additional resources (equipment and/or people) especially when existing equipment failed?
  • Why wasn’t it possible to provide up to date information on the website or telephone enquiry line between Christmas and the New Year?

No doubt there are plenty of others so feel free to suggest them to me. I’ve asked council officers to put this issue on the agenda of the next Scrutiny Committee so that councillors can take up residents’ concerns and contribute to the review.

Epping Forest School Closures

Epping Forest seems to have been hit particularly hard by school closures if the list just read out by BBC Essex is any guide.

Pupils at Davenant, Debden Park, King Harold in Waltham Abbey and St John’s School in Epping all look set to have the day off.

So do pupils at Oakview Special School and primary school pupils at High Beach, Lambourne, Moreton, Nazeing, Shelley, St Andrew’s in North Weald and Thomas Willingale in Loughton.

Bus News: Route 19 (Epping Station to Harlow) extended to Ongar

From Monday 18 January the SM19 service from Epping Station to Harlow via Thornwood will also run on Saturdays along a route which has been extended to Ongar. [Information from Essex County Council’s Bus Passenger News.]

You can find out more about local bus services here and at Traveline (tel: 0871 200 2233). I’ve also found this independent website useful for Epping to Harlow journeys.

Epping Focus now being delivered

Epping New Year Focus 2009The latest edition of our Epping Focus newsletter is now dropping through the town’s letter boxes. I enjoyed walking off some of my Christmas turkey delivering a couple of rounds yesterday.

This New Year edition includes news about the Epping Parking Review; Essex Savers Credit Union comes to Epping; free care equipment for over 85 year-olds (until 31 March); end to white lines; Ann Haigh‘s NHS charges petition; road safety; county council cutbacks on weed treatment and street lights; bus information (including new bus shelter for Coopersale) and Allnutts Post Office now open.

Hopefully all the newsletters will be delivered by mid-January, but if you live in Epping and haven’t received a copy by then please drop me a line with your address and I’ll get one to you.

Focus is paid for by Liberal Democrat members and supporters and delivered by volunteers (unlike the recent literature produced by our Conservative MP which we all paid for through the taxpayer-funded parliamentary expenses system – as Neil Woollcott recently pointed out).

If you appreciate receiving Focus and can help with the occasional delivery in your area please contact me on 01992 561875 or at