Council of the Week: Waltham Abbey Town Council
Waltham Abbey Town Council is a large council, representing 20,000 residents in Epping Forest District, bordered by Hertfordshire to the west and two London Boroughs to the south.
We would like to recognise the council as Council of the Week as it is one of the very first to be awarded the Quality Gold Standard of our new Local Council Award Scheme.
Waltham Abbey has been awarded this accolade in recognition of its impressive management of a large portfolio of functions and premises with limited resources, as well as for its excellent contribution to global events and partnership working with organisations and the district council.
The council is made up of 11 councillors and supported by a number of full time, part-time, casual and volunteer staff.
Within the past few years, the town has been host to a night stopover of the historique Monte Carlo rally; the Olympic Torch Relay, the Olympic Games (with a venue less than a mile away from the Town Hall); and the Tour De France. The next big event is the World Championships for the canoe slalom to be held in September 2015.
In addition to the above national if not global events, Waltham Abbey have also instigated a variety of festivals throughout the year, from a festival of flags in the spring to our Cavalcade of Light and Christmas Light Switch on and Christmas Fayre just before Christmas.
Another of their more recent innovations after considerable consultation was the installation of cinema screening equipment at the Town Hall which has proved very successful.
The photo you see here is of the exhibition the council organised to commemorate the Great War in Waltham Abbey. The Town Hall was used as a hospital during that time, with the function suite being the medical ward. The council worked with a number of different organisations to pull it together, with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Town Mead, one of their open spaces, is now home to the National and League Baseball Champions, the Essex Arrows, a new Golf Driving Range is under construction, and we are about to extend the skate park on site too. The new 3G Astroturf pitch is a great example of partnership working with the District Council, to the benefit of our residents. The pitch is full size and FA accredited, and recently used by giant killers Bradford City for pre-match training.
We are told that plans for the future include a new tree strategy, and a neighbourhood plan.
Congratulations Waltham Abbey, we are delighted to honour the council this week and hope to see many more of our members achieving Quality Gold Status this year.