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Liberal Democrat record of action in Epping

May 4, 2022 6:20 PM
Originally published by Epping Forest Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats have had at least one councillor representing Epping Hemnall since 1996. These are just some of their achievements.

New postbox
Following a petition by local residents Janet Whitehouse got Royal Mail to provide a postbox outside Pelly Court Hemnall St. Residents now (2022) want a larger postbox. Janet contacted Royal Mail who have removed the plate restricting the size of letters that can be posted and Royal Mail are monitoring the usage of the box to see if a larger one is needed.

Road safety

  • Replacement of the previous wire fence at the exit from Epping station as the previous new one restricted visibility for exiting vehicles
  • Saved Ivy Chimneys school crossing patrol
  • In January 2020 Janet Whitehouse volunteered to become the Epping Community Speedwatch co-ordinator as no-one else was willing. She re-activated Speedwatch and recruited new volunteers. Teams including Cherry, Jon and Janet regularly go out to monitor speeding drivers and report them to the police. Bower Hill, Coopersale Common and Lindsey Street are among the Speedwatch sites.
  • Janet worked to get unlit street lights at Bell Common, Bower Hill and Coopersale repaired when the previous lights were replaced but no electric supply was provided for the new ones.
  • Jon and Janet Whitehouse represented residents' views regarding parking restrictions and worked to get Western Avenue, Centre Avenue, Bower Vale, Allnutts and Charles St a second opportunity to be consulted about permit parking. They also worked to find a solution for Carrisbrook Close.
  • After years of problems in Ivy Chimneys Janet brought together ECC and EFDC officers, relevant councillors and residents' representatives to find a solution. A permit parking scheme was agreed as the best way forward and this was later agreed by residents and implemented.
  • Janet worked to get a section of footpath provided by Ivy Chimneys school to enable people to walk safely along the footpath by the houses away from the cars crossing the pavement to park.
  • Following complaints from users about the state of the route in winter Jon Whitehouse got the county council to provide a surfaced Coopersale to Stonards Hill pathway

Buses

  • Lib Dems got the hard-standing at Stewards Green Road and Centre Drive bus stops and bus shelters at Centre Drive and Coopersale Common. Also, permanent bus stops at Allnutts Road and by Bower Hill Industrial Estate
  • Janet got a bus route extended to St Margaret's Hospital so people didn't have to walk from Palmers Hill or change buses in the High Street. She also got a bus route extended to Princess Alexandra Hospital so people didn't have to change at Harlow bus station - now no longer available.

Environment

  • Lib Dems got silver foil and tetrapaks included in dry recycling kerbside collections.
  • When works were being done along the tube line near Sunnyside/Brook Rd Janet worked to sort out problems experienced by residents - noise, traffic disruption and damage, and planting.
  • Janet got two maps at Parklands, Coopersale provided so visitors could find their way around the estate.
  • Lib Dems have enabled residents in several roads to have new street signs. Parklands 1-8 was Janet's first one after her election as a councillor. Cherry has got a new dog waste bin at Brook Rd.

Planning

  • The provision of an electric charging point when new properties are built is now a condition for approval of a planning application. This was first raised by Janet.
  • Lib Dems succeeded in amending the Local Plan to keep a library in Epping. The also campaigned with residents to keep a Sports Centre in Epping when the Conservatives planned to relocate it to North Weald.
  • Liberal Democrat councillors worked with residents to object to proposals in the Local Plan to build nearly 1000 properties on two fields by Brook Rd and Ivy Chimneys. The Planning Inspector recommended this was reduced to 450.

Other

  • Instituted the Handyman scheme to help older homeowners with repairs
  • Janet got EFDC agreement for a new EFDC post of Housing Relocation officer to help older people who want to move to more suitable accommodation. This worked well until it was taken over by ECC. Now EFDC has an Under- Occupation officer but she works only with tenants
  • The Liberal Democrats proposed public speaking at Planning committees which is now an accpeted part of hearing a planning application.