Report of the Superintendent of Epping Forest.
The Committee received a report of the Superintendent of Epping Forest which provided Members with a summary of the Epping Forest Division’s activities across December to January 2019. The Superintendent of Epping Forest made the following points.
Operational Property Review
The Superintendent informed Members that an Operational Property Review would be considered by the relevant Committees including the Epping Forest & Commons Committee in May. It was noted that the report would detail the proposed exchange of a number of properties on the Woodredon Estate. Following a question from the Chairman the Superintendent confirmed that the properties which were considered surplus had not yet been determined.
The Superintendent noted that incidents of Fly Tipping were sixty two percent down within Epping Forest and informed Members that a vehicle had been seized in connection to fly tipping in the area. In addition, it was explained that the City could choose to either sell the seized vehicle or for it to be crushed. Members agreed to have the vehicle crushed as the example set would be helpful in deterring future offenders. A Member of the Committee thanked the volunteers active within the Forest for their work to combat fly tipping and commented that a small hardcore were still persistent with fly tipping. The Superintendent confirmed that those persistently fly tipping often had a connection to organised crime and therefore were difficult to prosecute. Replying to a Member’s question it was confirmed that the City of London Corporation was keen to work with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on a scheme related to fly tipping.
Members were informed by the Superintendent of two incidents involving the police which took place within Epping Forest. The Superintendent detailed an incident of armed police response to two men dressed in army uniforms and explained the incident was not serious as the two men were metal detectorists. Following this a Member questioned if the City of London issued licenses for metal detectorists within Epping Forest. The Superintendent explained that licenses were not issued for the use of metal detectors. Members noted a second incident involving an unexplained death within the forest.
The Committee was informed that four rough sleepers’ sites had been cleared within Epping Forest with all the occupants given assistance by Redbridge Homeless Team or St Mungo’s Homeless Charity.
The Superintendent informed Members of a number of visitor events in Epping Forest and noted specially the Your View of the Forest event and the talk on the 2018 fire at Wanstead flats. It was also noted that five organisations connected to the Forest had received awards from City Bridge Trust.
RESOLVED- That the report be noted.