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May 15 22

Hills Amenity Society AGM: Agenda

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Notce is hereby given that the Annual General Meetng of the Hills Amenity Society will be held on Thursday 19 May 2022 at 7.30pm at Loughton Bowling Club,  Eleven Acre Rise, Loughton

1 Apologies for absence

2. Chairman’s report:

3. Treasurer’s Report and Adopton of Accounts for 2021-2022

4. Election of Officers

The current officers and Committee Members are:

Chairman: Toby Scrutton
Hon. Treasurer: Peter Wynn
Hon. Secretary:  Vacant
Committee: Stephen Cohen, Wendy Fisher, Brenda Harris, Ian Locks, Parag Shah, Kevin Little, Sarah Little, Marcus Warren,

NominaIons have been invited but none received.

6. Any other business notified on advance of the meetng: None received.


Hills Amenity Society

Treasurers Report 2021/22

Income from subs and donations for 2021/22 showed a considerable increase having received funds from 65 households, the majority of which were paid online, compared to 25 the previous year. A donation from two sources for use of our web meeting software also helped.

Expenditure was limited to fees for web domain and web hosting, part of which was for the previous year’s hosting due to late receipt of an invoice.

We look forward to a continued interest in the work of the H A S. Subs/Donation Payment details remain as before:-

Sort code Account no. Name

Hills Amenity Society

Please use your surname and 1st line of address as reference and advise of payment to

A copy of the accounts is available on the website.

Peter Wynn Hon. Treasurer

May 15 22

Council imposes tough new restrictions on Gardeners Arms

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Licensing Act 2003 – Premises Licence Review in respect of The Gardeners Arms, 103 York Hill, Loughton, IG10 1RX

Dear Sir/Madam,

Further to a meeting of this Authority’s Licensing Sub-Committee on 19th April 2022, the above mentioned application was treated on its own merits and the Sub- Committee based its decision on the following:

The application for a licence review The policy of the licensing authority The relevant representations received Guidance issued

The licensing objectives

The decision of the Licensing Sub-committee after considering the representations made in support and against the application was:

That the conditions of the Premises Licence are added to and modified as follows:

  1. Customers are not permitted to take drinks outside the pub or to consume alcohol in any external area save for a maximum of 30 people seated at tables within the horseshoe area only and tables and chairs shall be removed from other outdoor areas.
  2. The outside areas of the premises to be cleared of customers by 21:00 hours.
  3. After 21:00 hours customers shall only be permitted to be in the outside of the premises for smoking.
  4. No music shall be played in the outside area of the premises and under s.177A of the Licensing Act 2003 this condition shall apply during the deregulated hours for regulated entertainment.
  5. A noise limiter must be fitted to the musical amplification system and maintained in accordance with the following criteria:
    1. the limiter must be set at a level as advised by an authorisedCommunity Resilience Team Officer,
    2. The operational panel of the noise limiter shall then be secured by keyor password to the satisfaction of the authorised Officer and access shall only be by persons authorised by the Premises Licence holder,

Civic Offices High Street Epping Essex CM16 4BZ

Our Ref WK/202203860 Your Ref:

Date: 20 April 2022

  1. The limiter shall not be altered without prior written agreement from the Community Resilience Team,
  2. No alteration or modification to any existing sound system(s) should be affected without prior knowledge of the Community Resilience Team, and
  3. No additional sound generating equipment shall be used on the premises without being routed through the sound limiter device.
  1. Loudspeakers shall not be located in the entrance and exit of the premises or outside the building.
  2. The premises shall install and maintain a comprehensive CCTV system where:
    1. All entry and exit points will be covered enabling frontal identification of every person entering in any light condition.
    2. The CCTV system shall continually record whilst the premises is open for licensable activities and during all times when customers remain on the premises and will include the external area immediately outside the premises entrance. The external cameras shall record audio as well as video.
    3. All recordings shall be stored for a minimum period of 28 days with date and time stamping.
    4. Viewing of recordings shall be made available immediately upon the request of Police or authorised officer throughout the entire 28 day period.
  3. A staff member from the premises who is conversant with the operation of the CCTV system shall be on the premises at all times when the premises is open. This staff member must be able to provide a Police or authorised council officer copies of recent CCTV images or data with the absolute minimum of delay when requested.
  4. A written dispersal policy shall be in place and implemented at the premises to move customers from the premises and the immediate vicinity in such a way as to cause minimum disturbance or nuisance to the neighbours.
  5. The dispersal policy must be agreed in writing with the Community Resilience Team and subject to regular review (at a minimum of 6 monthly intervals).
  6. Members of staff shall ask customers sat on the horseshoe area of the premises who are excessively loud (shouting, yelling or screaming) to be mindful of the neighbouring residential properties and be required to leave the premises if they fail to do so.
  7. Signage shall be displayed at all exits from the premises and external areas requesting customers to be considerate of residents and to keep nuisance to a minimum.
  8. No glasses or open bottles are to be removed from the premises by customers.

You are advised that under the Licensing Act 2003, you have the right to appeal against this decision and it should be made to a Magistrates Court. Any appeal should be made within 21 days of the date of this letter.

Date: 20 April 2022

I trust this clarifies the decisions made, but if you would like to discuss them further I can be contacted on the details below.

Yours sincerely

Mrs Handan Ibrahim
Licensing Compliance Officer
Tel No: (01992) 564153

Mar 25 22

Meeting to discuss making Staples Road a School Street

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Report by Councillor Judith Jennings, who attended the meeting:
I attended the meeting at the school last night.
Also present were Chris and Caroline Pond, the School Head and Deputy,  the Caretaker and some School Governors.
Approx. 34 people attended, mostly Staples Road Residents and a few parents.
The general consensus was that the present situation was extremely dangerous for children and that something should be done as soon as possible.
The Head favours a school street which would involve closing the road twice a day for an hour.
This works well in Hackney and in Waltham Forest but is not available in Essex at the moment, ( or possibly a bollard at the entrance to Staples Road but this is another option)
Residents get a free pass by registering cars online and the system is enforced by a mobile camera on a car or van.
The general consensus was that a static camera on a post would be a better means of enforcement.
The 3PR scheme would also go ahead, enabling parents to park elsewhere in a car park and walk to the school.
I shall be writing again to the scheme coordinator to try to hurry this along and I shall also write again to Councillor Lee Scott who is the portfolio holder for Highways on the ECC.
One of the suggested ways forward is for the residents and parents to write to Cllr. Lee Scott to “encourage” him to set up a pilot school street on Staples Road and I shall be doing this as he is the person who would take the decision.
Best wishes
Judy Jennings

March 2022

Mar 24 22

Papers and Link for Forum and AGM 2022

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We hope you will join us the Hills Amenity Society GM which this year will be held at the Loughton Bowling Club, Elevenacre Rise, Loughton IG101AN on Thursday 19 May at 7.30pm. All Loughton Hills residents will be very welcome.

Mar 18 21

Hills to get 20mph speed limit ‘by default’?

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Clockwise from top left: Cllrs. Chris and Caroline Pond, Bob and Judy Jennings, Michael Owen and Stephen Pewsey who between them sit on the three local authorities of Town, District and County. They were joined by chief Epping Forest constable Martin Whitfield.

A 20mph speed limit on York Hill, Baldwins Hill and Staples Road and surrounding roads campaigned for by Hills Amenity Society for many years is in sight. Meeting with six local councillors in a virtual Forum, residents from the more than 60 households signed up for the meeting heard County Councillor Chris Pond say that he thought it was now attainable.

The 20mph limit was most recently the subject of a meeting organised for the Society by Cllr. Chris Pond with County Highways boss Cllr Kevin Bentley in July 2019. Speed tests which followed by agency NEPP had sadly not met the average speeds required for special speed restrictions. A further letter signed by society chairman Toby Scrutton to Councillor Bentley last September argued for speed restrictions around the two schools in Whittakers Way, Baldwins Hill and in Staples Road based on a recent County Council rethink. 

The news was welcomed by Toby Scrutton who chaired last evening’s 2021 Councillor Forum organised by Hills Amenity Society. A Baldwins Hill resident had describing in a written question how that day they had “nearly been mown down by a GTI going backwards and forwards at speed along the hill multiple times”. Cllr Pond told the meeting progress could be hoped for with 20mph speed limits becoming the default on roads such as the Hills.

In addition to the blight of speeding, issues raised at the forum ranged from drug abuse, blocked drains and the removal of the much loved seats on York Hill Green and litter problems to the perceived imbalance of spending from the minimal on North Loughton compared to lavishly on Epping 

The panel of local representatives comprised (pictured from top left) Cllrs. Chris and Caroline Pond, Bob and Judy Jennings, Stephen Pewsey and Michael Owen who between them sit on the three local authorities of Town, District and County. They were joined by Epping Forest constable Martin Whitfield.

Parking was an issue raised by residents across the Hills.  Residents’ parking permits as a means of addressing “manic parking” along the length of Baldwins Hill was, according to Cllr. Michael Owen’s own research, well short of the 70 per cent majority support required for a scheme to be considered. The issue, while not confined to Baldwins Hill, had been considerably exacerbated by displacement parking during lockdown followed by five miles of double red lining on forest roads and probably shortly to be made even worse with paid parking schemes on main forest car parks.  

School run parking remained an issue for Staples Road and York Hill.  Cllr. Judy Jennings responded to Diane Rhodes’ question that the almost agreed plan for free school-run parking on Traps Hill car park was not yet in place.  Negotiations would hopefully be successfully concluded before the announced retirement of headteacher Jane Harvey who had been extremely supportive. Martin Whitfield said an Epping Forest scheme was being prepared for logs to deter parking on School Green on the Queens Road/ Staples Road/York Hill junction.

Blocked drains were a concern for all Hills roads, particularly following last summer’s flooding in Loughton High Road. The issue was raised by a number of questioners including Hills Amenity Society committee member Kevin Little who described his contact with the County Council chief executive, former councillor Diane Rhodes said she had written to the County several times and Ali Trauttmansdorff (York Hill) similarly. Was County Hall aware of the problems of a forest “sponge” and steep hills?

The meeting was assured by Epping Forest’s Martin Whitfield the removal of the York Hill benches was a temporary arrangement.  Cllr Chris Pond endorsed the hope the benches could be returned when lockdown and a reduction in anti-social behaviour allowed in more normal times.  Security might be helped by CCTV cameras at the Gardeners Arms leading to questions on the legality of road scanning by residents.  Following a recent conviction, new era video entry systems might also aid security beyond the household. But gatherings to take and deal in drugs in addition to Stony Path, “a big problem” according to Cllr. Stephen Pewsey, were raised by a number of questioners, particularly in relation to the top of York and Woodbury Hills. Cllr. Pewsey will be standing down at May’s election having moved from the area.

Problems highlighted by Stony Path residents engendered robust debate including the dangerous state of handrails (pictured) on the steep slope down to the almshouses, on which Cllr. Chris Pond promised further pressure for action by Essex County Council and the Highway Rangers under their highways responsibilities plus flooding at the lowest levels.

Photos submitted by a resident with a number of issues for concern in Stony Path

The perceived imbalance of funding for Loughton and North Loughton in particular compared to Epping and Buckhurst Hill was raised by resident Kevin Storey, suggesting Loughton Residents Association should become Epping Forest Residents Association to gain decision-making control.

Thanks were in order to the small but effective army of litter pickers in all areas of the Hills who, despite the vastly increased number of visitors and accompanying litter over the last 12 months, had worked so hard to keep the problem under control.  Chairman Toby Scrutton thanked the council members for agreeing to take part in the Forum and for their contribution to it.  As Stephen had moved away, this would be his last forum after 17 years on the Town Council. Thank you, Stephen…

Mar 2 21

Loughton Police launch local newsletter plus ne date for online meeting

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Remember “Coffee with Cops” in St. Mary’s meeting room opposite Loughton Police Station? Apparently these may return in time. Meanwhile we welcome a local newsletter from Loughton police HQ – and the next Facebook Live meeting on 10 March at 3pm. Contact: eppingcommunitypolici

Feb 19 21

Hills Crime figures for December 2020

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Not the worst…but not the best would be a fair summary of the crime log of 14 incidents for the Hills in December. The tally according to the latest Essex Police statistics at…was Baldwins Hill (inset in illustration) 3 (2 anti-social behaviour – ASB – and 1 vehicle crime); top of York Hill 7 (6 ASB, 1 violence/sex offence); bottom of York Hill 3 (1 criminal damage/arson, 2 ASB); Queens Road 1 (ASB).

Feb 19 21

Benches removed from York Hill Green after complaints about noise and behaviour

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There they are………gone!

The popular (for many) benches on York Hill Green opposite the Gardeners Arms have been removed. According to Cllr Chris Pond: “The City of London, who are the landowners, have insisted on the removal of the two benches overlooking the big panorama over London and Kent at the top of York Hill. This is because of incidents of anti-social behaviour (ASB) and to stop people assembling during lockdown and annoying residents, who have justifiably complained. The seats will be put back, we are told, when the ASB stops and things quieten down. All enquiries to the Forest direct 020 8532 1010.”
Cllr Judy Jennings adds that Loughton Town Council was instructed to remove its bench which “was removed today and is going to the cemetery to be stored.”
A glance at December’s figures (below) for crime in the area show the number of incidents recorded at the top of York Hill but the removal of the benches will be probably be welcomed and regretted in equal measure.
Feb 16 21

Hills Councillor Forum 2021

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Wednesday 17 March at 7.30pm on Zoom

All Hills residents are invited to join the Hills Councillor Forum hosted by the Hills Amenity Society on Wednesday 1 March starting a 7.30pm.
To ut a question to the Councillors and to register the receive the link CONTACT:

via HillsWatch on Facebook
Text 07710099343


Speed limits? We still want to secure a 20mph speed limit for the Hills.

Forest ULEZ Zone? This could mean paying for every journey for some. Why is it justified?

Forest parking charges? The fear is these will drive even more cars to park in our roads.

Problem parking? Has parking pavements become a driver’s right?

Crime? Anti-social behaviour, drug use and theft of and from vehicles monthly top the list. What can we do?

Planning: Erratic and dramatic decisions by EFDC. Thousands of new homes planned for Epping Forest District

Litter? Blocked drains? Lighting? 

What is your issue?  Contact

Sep 18 20

Whose front garden is the fairest of all in 2020?

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