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Epping Forest District Council


Epping Forest District Council Information Service - SLA with Essex County Council
21.06.2016 - 19.08.2016 
District Wide
Performance Consultations




Epping Forest District Council provides a corporate information service to the public from the main Civic Offices reception desk. Prior to January 2013, Epping Forest District Council also provided staffed local information services directly to residents from Information Centres at Loughton Library and Waltham Abbey Town Hall, with an unstaffed information point at Ongar Library. Following a rationalisation of the service, the council closed its Loughton and Waltham Abbey Centres and replaced them with a Service Level Agreement with Essex County Council.

In exchange for an annual payment of £20,000 (in the first year then subsequently rising in proportion to increased salary costs) Essex County Council Library Service undertook to provide information services on behalf of Epping Forest District Council from four local libraries - Loughton and Waltham Abbey (main service) and Ongar and Buckhurst Hill (reduced service). 

The service has worked well since introduction in 2013, with Library staff providing assistance to members of the public on a range of District Council related matters. However, by far the largest public demand has been for refuse and recycling sacks which are also issued from many other outlets. As residents increasingly make use of other online options (channel shift) such as website, email and social media as well as continuing reliance on the phone, demand for face to face assistance at local centres has diminished. 

 The SLA term expires on 31 March 2017 with options to renew annually for a further three years.


Why we are consulting

Epping Forest District Council looks critically at its service periodically to ensure that they continue to be delivered in the most efficient and appropriate manner. The manner in which local residents interact with the Council is increasing driven by the channel shift to online service provision. Apart from picking up extra recycling sacks, relatively few members of the public seek face to face support for District Council services via the SLA. As part of the Autumn Budget setting process, councillors will be asked to consider whether the current arrangements remain necessary or savings could be made by ending the SLA. Consultation is therefore required to inform the decision making process.


Have your say

Consultation and analysis, statistical analysis of users (residents) via monthly returns.
User Feedback (non-recycling sack).
Councillors, (County, District and Parish/Town Council) consulted via email and the Members Bulletin.
District Council Officers consulted via the internal staff newsletter - District Lines.
Essex County Council Library Service to be consulted via the Group Manager.

Date Opens: 20 June 2016
Date Closes: 19 August 2016
Date Results: 30 September 2016

Areas/Location: Districtwide with emphasis on Loughton, Waltham Abbey, Chipping Ongar and Buckhurst Hill
Related information and links: Essex Tracker Surveys

Contact: Tom Carne
Service/Department: Governance - Public Relations and Information
Telephone: 01992 564039


District Wide


This is a consultation exercise covering the whole district.