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Oct 19 18

Hills 2018 Best Front Garden

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Hills 2018 Best Front Garden

This year’s winner of the Hills Amenity Society shield for the best front garden Mr Bill Jamison of 11 Forest Way, the narrow road leading up from York Hill to the forest (top). In the opinion of the judging panel this was an outstanding example of care and attention.  “Chelsea Flower Show standard,” said one.The shield will be presented Bill Jamison at the Hills Lunch on Sunday 4 November 12.30-2.30. Other shortlisted entries, pictured clockwise from top left: Gardeners Arms, York Hill; 6 Wallers Hoppet; Ingleside Cottage, 87 York Hill; 1 Kings Green;31 Staples Road; 11 Wallers Hoppet;
Congratulations to all in the Hills who take pride in keeping their front gardens looking neat, tidy and often very attractive:  front gardens in the Hills are a key feature of the three conservation areas and this annual competition has existed for nearly 50 years to encourage us all to keep front gardens looking good….and well done the winner.

 

Oct 19 18

Crime vanishes as police take notice

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Police crime figures for June, July and August tell a remarkable story: early in the year Baldwins Hill was plagued with a series of car break-ins. In mid-summer the unmistakeable signs of drug dealing and petty (and not so petty) crime that went with it. Complaints to police went unheeded until a meeting was called at the Foresters Arms in mid-August to form a Neighbourhood Watch group for that area. Police moved in and Bingo! – no crime reported in Baldwins Hill (see illustrations right) which show six, five and zero crimes reported. Councillor Stephen Pewsey commented: “I’ve noticed static police vehicles on Baldwins Hill, just deterring drug dealing, drug abuse and drug driving. It is good news that, stretched as they are, police are taking the problem seriously”. Can this last? Probably not: as reported on HillsWatch on 27 September by Jane “Our neighbour had their Range Rover stolen off their driveway last night in Baldwins Hill !!! He told me…(he) has CCTV to look at. He is not in the (HillsWatch) group so thought I’d post warning…Vermin. Be aware.”

Loughton Community Police Team commented: “We encourage reporting of incidents to inform decision and officer/staff deployment but also to give Essex police a more accurate picture of demand. The tale of Baldwins Hill shows persistence CAN pay off.

So please log all local crime at www.essex.police.uk/do-it-online/report-a-crime/ and help us get a little more attention from

 

Oct 19 18

Plans for 20mph zones move step closer

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Council would like to hear your views

Loughton Town Council’s Local Highways Panel and its Heritage and Environment Committee have agreed to support the request made by the Hills Amenity Society for a 20 mph speed limit zone throughout the conservation areas and nearby roads. The request was made through Councillor Chris Pond when he addressed an open meeting of the Hills at the Gardeners Arms in May.

Cllr. Pond subsequently arranged for a council officer to visit the area and examine the proposal. He reports: “The officer asked me to make sure the HAS realise that, in order to comply with the law, roundels will have to be painted on the road surface. Having been round the area, she thought it might detract from the Conservation Area. The newsletter might be a way of gauging local reaction.”

Would roundels at the start of each section of, for example, York Hill, Staples Road, Queens Road and Baldwins Hill, be acceptable as a calming measure along our narrow roads?

A sign of exasperation with speeding motorists is exampled by the two“skid-risk 20mph” signs which have appeared between the top and narrowest part of York Hill.

Please make your views known on HillsWatch Facebook page, email hillsamenitysociety@gmail.com or contact Cllr Pond direct by emailing cllrccp@outlook.com.

 

Aug 18 18

Baldwins Hill Watch group formed

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Residents push back after series of car break-ins and thefts believed linked to increase in drug dealing and taking

A new neighbourhood watch group was formed for the Baldwins Hill area last night (Wednesday) by some 20 residents who met at the Foresters Arms at the invitation of licensee Lucy and organised by Sue Taylor of the Epping Forest Neighbourhood Watch.

The new group will be run by Lucy and will focus on the current prime concern of drug dealing and taking which the meeting concluded is leading to many related offence of theft from vehicles and homes and anti-social behaviour generally. Hills Watch will establish a link to the new group and work closely with it.  Hills Amenity Society welcomes this initiative and hopes it will lead to other associated groups being established along the forest edge in the York Hill, Staples Road, Queens Road and linked roads.

Co-ordinator Lucy can be contacted at  Info@forestersarmsloughton.co.uk (or by visiting the pub for a drink and/or meal!

Addressing the group former police officer Paul Harris offered a great deal of good advice on keeping homes, cars and possession safe. He also proposed a plan for pulsing back on drugs and drug dealing which the meeting concluded is at the root of the current spate of offences.

He urged all residents to start a log of what they see by:

  • Recording time, date and location
  • Numbers of people with and descriptions where possible
  • Registration numbers of vehicles
  • What is left behind (capsules, cigarette papers etc)

He said that by recording such information and filing it with Essex Police we would raise the level of priority given to this area. As always, in cases of emergency ring 999, less urgent to 101 and for the record by email to crime.bureau@essex.pnn.police.uk or using the online service https://report.police.uk/?asb.

 

Jul 19 18

Epstein’s famous studio TRASHED!

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Epping Forest District Council decided no prior notification or permission was required to demolish Sir Jacob Epstein’s former studios in the grounds of 46 Baldwins Hill on the corner with Whitakers Way and the developers wasted no time at the end of July in demolishing the wooden building – apparently in the way of their plans for developing this site. The ignominious end for the great man’s studio was to be dumped in a skip – pictured here for posterity. A sad loss.

 

May 15 18

Hills issues raised at meetings with the police

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Police Commissioner hears message loud and clear

Both impressive and a bit depressing was the verdict of the meeting with the Police and Fire Crime Commissioner for Essex with Police and Fire colleagues at EFDC council chamber. Impressive because the commitment to get things right came through strongly. A bit depressing that with their resources the police can only ever hope to target prio

rities. Impressive because they caught a pest who had been breaking into cars along Baldwins

Hill. Depressing because he got nine weeks in jail…suspended. Impressive – and hopeful – because the Commissioner is dedicated to raising the number of volunteer ‘specials’ to bring back local policing, so he has heard the message that we feel neglected when victims of crime and no one takes any notice. Depressing because so few of us went to Epping to deliver the message that we care. So let’s try and do better next time!

Street lights ‘no crime impact’

Apparently turning off street lights in the small hours has not affected crime levels according to a report prepared for Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex Roger Hirst (pictured). Full report on http://www.essex.pfcc.police.uk

Drugs, car theft and parking

Drug dealing, car theft and parking emerged as the three top concerns of residents who attended the meeting with Loughton Neighbourhood Police at St. Mary’s Church. The meeting, impressively led by PC Mark Arnold, was an opportunity for Loughton residents to share their concerns and for the police team of PC Arnold and two PCSO colleagues to explain the daily challenge of their small team dealing with an average seven calls a day, seven days a week. The need to prioritise was obvious and calls involving threat or harm to life had to come first – unless the duty team was directed to a major incident elsewhere in Essex. To scale the problem,

the 197 calls one recent month in Loughton and Debden compared with 141 in Waltham Abbey, 115 in Epping and 51 in Ongar.
The consensus of the meeting was this was a highly committed team determined not to be overwhelmed by the size of the challenge facing them and to focus on the things which were causing greatest distress. PC Arnold and his colleagues received well-deserved applause. We heard that publi

c nuisance offences  – youths cycling dangerously along pavements, jostling, disturbance and the like – had subsided with the colder weather and following the closure of two trouble spots in the High Road.The idea of more match-funded or group funded specials for areas where there is a special need for more policing is there on the table. ..oh and we learned that the car thief apprehended and convicted after a long-running spate in Baldwins Hill had apparently moved to Debden with his suspended sentence. Hopefully a sufficiently long walk from the Hills!

 

May 15 18

Speeding: Your bin can be in the front line

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Speeding: Your bin can be at the front line

While we continue to press for a 20 mph speed limit, here is a simple idea for traffic calming which may appeal to Hills residents concerned about the seemingly increasing speed of so much local traffic, especially along those lengths with no footpaths – and pavements blocked by parked vehicles. Hills Amenity Society is purchasing stickers which can be placed on wheelie bins and act as a reminder one day a week that many of our local roads are shared by vehicles and pedestrians.  To apply for your FREE sticker please email The Hon. Secretary on hillsamenitysociety@gmail.com with your name and address and one will be delivered to you.

 

May 15 18

Hills open meeting and AGM – all welcome

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Hills open meeting and AGM – all welcome

Hills open meeting and AGM will be held on Tuesday 22 May 2018 at the Gardeners Arms at 7.30pm followed by a talk by County Councillor Chris Pond whose talk will be entitled Old as the Hills – Local issues over the last 30 years as I saw them. All residents of the Hills Conservation Areas and adjoining roads are most welcome to attend.

 

Nov 1 17

Blue Plaque Heritage Trail

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There are 11 Blue Plaques dotted around the three conservation areas of Staples Road, York Hill and Baldwins Hill marking former residences of famous people. Make that 12 – which we do – if you include the one for Ruth Rendell – she of the mysteries – in Millsmead Way, just off Baldwins Hill on the way down towards Homebase.

We have put together a heritage trail in the form of a walk around the three conservation areas which can be downloaded here. Enjoy!

 

 

Nov 1 17

HillsWatch now active

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A Facebook Page has been created for HillsWatch, the neighbourhood watch scheme for the Hills Conservation areas of York Hill, Staples Road and Baldwins Hill.