Friday, 29 March 2013

Planning Committee Report

At last Tuesday's Planning Committee meeting the Public Address system was once again not working. Over many years the council seem incapable of getting a PA system that works properly for any length of time. This is at least the third system I can remember them installing and they all have ensured that people in the public gallery are unable to hear what is going on. This time the microphones for the main speakers were not working at all! Is this a deliberate ploy to ensure residents cannot get involved in the decision making process!

2013/0033 The site beside Pump House Museum is to be built on, but the item was deferred for another occasion.
2012/1701 Chingford Community Association was approved unanimously to change the use from offices to community centre. Residents objections were ignored.
2013/0070 Garages to be demolished and houses built at 73 Armstrong Avenue, Woodford Green. Lots of opposition but the committee split on party lines and voted 4:3 in favour.
2013/0085 Marsh Lane Bridge. No explanation provided as to why bridge has to be replaced. Councillors felt that in planning terms they could not object although it is going to cost the council at least £250,000 to replace a perfectly good bridge with another! Approved 6:1 with the Liberal voting against.

By now it was 9pm and with 10 items to go I left noting that Cllr Vincent's primary aged daughter was still sitting on her lap - what state she would be in by the time she got to school the next morning only her teacher's can say!

Big Energy Switch

The Big Energy Switch: Register Now For E17

Waltham Forest is part of the Big London Energy Switch to save residents money on fuel bills.  This is a similar to scheme to those run successfully elsewhere in the country, where people get cheaper gas and electricity by using their group buying power to get a better deal. Twenty one London councils including ours are taking part. Registration is free, and everyone who registers will be offered the opportunity to switch to a new deal, which you can then choose to take or not – there’s no obligation to take the deal offered. The closing date isMonday April 8th and you can register here:

Lea Bridge Station

From Stella Creasy MP's Newsletter

E17 Good News 2: 
Lea Bridge Station A Step Closer to Re-opening 

The Transport Secretary announced this week that Lea Bridge station was one of three stations in the UK ‘most likely’ to get funding to be opened by the Government’s New Station Fund. This means they would provide 75% of the cost of reopening this station to the train operating companies who would run it- a final decision on this will be made in May 2013. You can read more about this development here

Lea Bridge Station

Dog Walkers

I'm writing to you as someone who has been in touch with me previously about the provision of services for local dog owners and concerns about safety for dogs in our local parks to share with you the response I have had from the local authority about their current consultation into dog control orders. 

A number of you have raised this with me and your concerns about both the proposals and the process of consultation. I appreciate that these suggestions are very controversial, and as MP I do not have any authority over the decisions made by the local authority. However, given this is of concern to many dog owners in Walthamstow I wanted to ensure you had the details I have been given to date so that you could participate in this process to ensure your views are heard. In addition to the below I am currently seeking further information from the local authority on the research and background to these proposals and the details of any public meetings or consultation events which local residents can attend. I will of course share these with local residents as soon as I receive them. 

I hope that this information is of interest to you and that you will ensure you contribute to this process given the previous discussions we have had regarding dog ownership and control in Walthamstow. 
with kind regards

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Scott Cartwright <>
Date: Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 11:01 AM
Subject: RE: Dog walking consultation
To: "" <>
Cc: Ben Hardy <>
Dear Stella Creasy MP,
Thank you for your email.;

Please find consultation document at which provides residents the opportunity to feed directly into the process by completing the online survey. It is important for the council to listen to residents views and that is why a public meeting is being requested to discuss Lloyd Park in particular, which representatives of the council are attending. We will of course try to accommodate similar meeting requests but we must bear in mind that we may not be able to address every resident due to the sheer volume of interest into this consultation.

I think it important to note that whilst this review is important to ensure the continued safety of our parks/open spaces and addressing issues of irresponsible owners, the council is making only 8 changes to the current orders that cover 56 areas in total and which have been in place since 2006. Of those 8 changes the council are proposing to make safe area’s for dog walkers to exercise their dogs off lead whilst allowing other park/open spaces users to enjoy their visits without being concerned of dogs being off leads.

The consultation finishes on 25th March 2013, after which the results will be analysed and a final report incorporating the proposals and all residents comments drafted for Cabinet.
Scott Cartwright
Joint Team Leader - Dog Enforcement Team
London Borough of Waltham Forest & Haringey
Waltham Forest Council
Environmental Health
Room 101 Sycamore House
Forest Road
E17 4JF
From: [mailto:stellacreasy@gmail.comOn Behalf Of stella creasy
Sent: 07 March 2013 13:29
To: Scott Cartwright; Ben Hardy; jchambers
Subject: Dog walking consultation
Hi Scott
I have been contacted by a number of local residents concerned about a recently announced consultation on dog control in Walthamstow. I would be grateful if you could provide me with:
a) a copy of the consultation
b) what plans the local authority has to discuss these and any responses with local residents
c) details of how residents can feed directly into this process
d) the timescale for this process
I'm copying in ben from the council's PR team to add this into the list of requests for information I'm making in case there's any confusion as to what information I'm seeking from the local authority on their policies.
kind regards

Marsh User's Forum Meeting

This is a very brief report on last week's Marsh Users forum meeting, and an email to me from mMP giving notice of a borough-run public consultation in part of Waltham Forest, about controllingdogwalkers with large numbers of off-lead dogs and problems with other out-of-control anddangerous dogs in Walthamstow (including Leyton Marshes, which are within Stella Creasy MP'sconstituency). It may be of interest to others, so I am passing it on.
If you do not live in Stella's constituency please ignore the forwarded email, or pass it on tosomeone who does.
Thanks! K

There was a LVRPA Marsh Users' Forum last week, where concerns about out-of-control dogsattacking other dogs, people and ponies using the Marshes could again have been raised, but the meeting was taken up by the Regional Park Authority reps informing local residents that the Golf Course on Leyton Marshes south of the Waterworks Centre in Lammas Road, will not now be reopened as promised on 31st March. The Authority now intend to make it a permanent camp-site,including hard standing for caravans. (This implies yet more fencing off of our open land on LeytonMarshes by the LVRPA.)

The recent approach to LBWF from Travelodge (who have previously negotiated with the LVRPA about having a budget hotel near the ice rink, which the Park Authority want to expand to twice the size) with a proposal to construct a hotel near Lea Bridge Station was NOT mentioned.

The Forum meeting was also told about the planned further expansion of the LVRPA's Riding Centre on Porter's Field (Leyton Marshes), this time explicitly for livery horses (a use of the premises which the Authority carried on illegally for over two decades before successfully applyinfor retrospective planning permission in 2011 - after ignoring 16 years of pressure from NLLDC tend the use of the stables for the purpose and restore public access through this part of ouLammas Lands, which the Authority has often promised to do but never fulfilled).

Katy Andrews.

Government Cuts

Government Cuts

Golf Centre to become Camp Site


Dear Laurie

Thank you for your letter. Before I deal with the points you have raised let me restate our commitment to the way forward we discussed when we met a month or so ago. Officers are currently looking at potential investment projects in the LBR/Marshes Area re: access and environmental improvement and we look forward to discussing with you and colleagues in the next couple of months.

I am concerned that you are taking such a stance towards a temporary campsite at the Waterworks and an important investment in a popular riding centre.

The campsite proposal for a short period this summer follows the highly successful 2012 campsite last summer. With the OP opening this summer there is an opportunity to provide our regional constituency with affordable visitor accommodation close to the OP. The Par 3 golf course is essentially a local amenity and the Authority needs to take a view as to how it deploys its resources in relation to who benefits.

Any proposal for permanent visitor accommodation at the WW will need to go through an extensive process of feasibility, business planning, design and of course a formal consultation process.

The Riding Centre is a highly popular facility and provides a unique venue for East London and for disabled riding in particular. The investment in 13 stables simply completes the potential for stables at the RC, is within the existing stables curtilage and has a marginal impact on the MOL. More than 50% of the total stables are for the community with the rest for commercial livery. You make the point that the papers emphasise the financial imperative and I would agree that there is perhaps too much emphasis here even though this is a major consideration. The community benefits are significant in terms of expanding the learn to ride programme, creating more jobs for young people and ensuring a viable future for this important community asset.

Of course there is a pressure to generate more income and in doing so with a ‘low impact’ investment so we can continue to provide an affordable community programme and continue to deliver a viable and successful regional and local sports venue.   

 If the Authority is to continue its good work in investing in the environmental infrastructure throughout the Lee Valley it needs to maximise income where it is possible to do so. Furthermore the Authority has a range of constituents and customer groups that it needs to serve and it is working hard to do so.

Finally in the context of the LBR/Marshes area the Authority is clear in its commitment to the effective reinstatement of the Leyton Marsh, investing £65k in local environmental improvements, achieving High Level Stewardship for Walthamstow Marshes from Natural England with the commitments that brings. Following our recent meeting where we discussed identifying specific projects for the LBR/Marshes area (referred to in first para above) I met with Cllr Coghill whose Walthamstow ward includes W Marsh. She is very keen to harness the positive energy of her constituents/users of the Marshes in relation to projects and initiatives. I shall be discussing with LV officers and WF colleagues how we put in place an effective ‘User’ group which can take on board all local interests and become a vehicle for further good work in the LBR/Marshes area.

I look forward to our further discussions in the next few months.

Best regards   

Shaun Dawson - Chief Executive
Direct: 01992 709 856

Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Myddelton House, Bulls Cross, Enfield, Middlesex, EN2 9HG
Tel: 01992 717 711 Fax: 01992 719 937

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Marsh Lane Bridge Approved

At last night's Planning Committee the Tories sided with Labour and approved the new bridge into Marsh Lane recreation area with the Liberal voting against. The committee decided to look at the plans from a narrow planning perspective and they could see no reason to refuse it. The Tories were complimentary about  the protesters saying "a number of people have invested their time in the welfare of this land" but still voted to build this unnecessary bridge.

It is still unclear why a bridge, that according to the officer's report "relatively minor proposal intended to improve access and provide an open and clear gateway into Leyton Jubilee Park" is needed. It is still unclear what the benefits will accrue from this new bridge and at leaset £250k will be spent on it.

Our fear is it is intended to open up the site for future development but what will that be - is Travelodge going to build another skycraper with wonderful views of the Lea Valley?

Marsh Lane Bridge Shortcomings

Dear Councillors
Apparently it is possible that you will not have been informed officially as Ward councillors that there is a proposal to demolish the existing bridges over Dagenham Brook at the bottom of Marsh Lane and plans to build a replacement, all at the cost of £250,000. The officers' report has wrongly identified the location as being in E11, and has not mentioned Lea Bridge Ward as an affected area. The works will involve areas in both Leyton and Lea Bridge Wards.
This proposal, by the Council department, is totally unnecessary and a terrible waste of Council tax-payers money. The report claims that there are aesthetic grounds for removing two perfectly serviceable and in the case of one of them, recently built, bridges.
The procedures for announcing and considering this proposal appear to be flawed, particularly around the lack of consultation with individuals, households and institutions who use these bridges.
Even worse, the underlying purpose for these works, as mentioned in the supporting papers, is to enable 'heavier vehicles' to enter what the Council has now renamed 'Leyton Jubilee Park'. There should be no need for heavier vehicles to enter Marsh Lane Fields from Marsh Lane, as the access from Orient Way already provides that facility. If approved, the building works would effectively provide a through-route for heavy vehicles coming off Church Road via Marsh Lane down to Orient Way. This should be avoided at all costs and has previously been rejected as a strategy.
I am sure that you are keen to avoid wasting Council tax-payers' money. I am confident that you would not want to see our Fields being subjected to heavier vehicles having access. I call on you to ensure that Marsh Lane Fields bridges are not demolished and replaced.
I have objected formally to the proposals, but am unable to attend the re-scheduled Planning Committee meeting tomorrow (26th March). However I know that there will be others who will speak against this atrocious, unnecessary and wasteful messing around with the borough's perfectly adequate assets.
I request that you check your records and that if you have not received proper due notice of these proposals as Ward Councillors you take the appropriate steps to ensure your duties and responsibilities are in order.
Many, many people are opposed to these ludicrous proposals. In view of the Council's tight budgetary situation there can be no justification for demolishing two bridges that have nothing wrong with them at a cost of a quarter of a million pounds, and in the bargain removing the dedicated access for Lammas School pupils.
Claire Weiss
E10 7AR

Sunday, 24 March 2013

God's Own Junk Yard

The tatty sign maker company at the bottom of Valentin Road, E17 is now making news! You either get excited about a junk yard or a proposed 5 storey block of flats. Is this better than the current metal wall which is a real eyesore!

Hackney Marsh Petiton

Dear all,

A petition has just been created against the plans by Hackney Council to use Hackney Marshes for three major events over four months every summer.

Please sign and share the following petition here:

Help protect our marshes for people, for nature - forever!
Save Lea Marshes

Hackney Marsh Petition

Uproar at Plans

Wild Food Walk in Victoria Park

I thought your members might all be interested to know that I am running a couple of small wild food walks in Victoria and Springfield parks this summer .These are with the permission of the parks event management and focus on showing people some of the fascinating plants that exist all around us, not to encourage anyone to start picking and eating lots of things in thier local park. Would it be possible to let your members know? 

Please take a look at my website link below.

Many thanks john

John's walks are in Springfield and Victoria Park not Walthamstow Marsh and he says he has permission. However, the walks cost £25 per head. 

Members might be interested to know that Transition Finsbury Park are running free wildlfe and foraging walks every second Sunday of the month

The next is Sunday, April 14, 2pm – 3pm

Meet at the Castle Climbing Centre, Green Lanes, N4 2HA

Each walk will have a slightly different focus and possibly a different walk leader, but we will always meet outside the
Castle and head along the New River Walk. Sometimes we will be using the London Wildlife Trust Centre and sometimes we will move more briskly and head into Finsbury Park. If you need the contact details of the person leading the walk or for any other information, please call Jo Homan on 07733 330 379.

Please note that the path is not accessible to wheelchairs and that it's tricky to take a bike through the gates. Please wear suitable footwear, in case of mud.

Meet near the front doors to the Castle Climbing Centre. (There is a lovely cafe in the Castle, in case you need refreshments before you the walk - but allow time to sign in.)

The following link takes you to the full programme:

--- In, Jonathan Brind <j@...> wrote:
> If refer you to LVRPA byelaw 

> 4. Protection of structures and plants
> (1) No person shall without reasonable excuse remove from or displace within the ground:
> (a) any barrier, post, seat or implement, or any part of a structure or ornament provided for use in the laying out or maintenance of the ground; or
> (b) any stone, soil or turf or the whole or any part of any plant, shrub or tree.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Sylvia Pankhurst Film

Hello everyone, our first meeting for 2013 will be a showing of a wonderful documentary film on the inspiring life of Sylvia Pankhurst.

The film showing will be introduced by one of the film makers.

This feature length documentary chronicles Sylvia Pankhurst’s life as suffragette and revolutionary socialist. She was imprisoned more than any other suffragette for her tireless campaigning and unlike her mother Emmeline and sister Christabel, who dropped the fight for votes for women to support the 1914 war effort, Sylvia refused to sacrifice the fight for universal suffrage until it was won. Her opposition to the war and her internationalism were and remain exemplary and her bravery in fighting for equality and opposing all misanthropic trends puts her, as one interviewee put it, ‘up there with the angels.’

Entrance fee will be a donation to help pay for room hire, the DVD and publicity.

Please let me know if possible if are attending so I'll get some idea of numbers, and if I need to move to different room. I've attached a flyer, please circulate.


Mobile: 07973 443030