Saturday, 22 October 2016

Friday, 21 October 2016

TOWN CENTRE - updates

If you look in WFN 10 October on Page 3 there is an article about the Town Centre gyratory plans. My immediate concern was why are they tinkering with the entrance to the bus station and putting in a loading bay before consulting residents about the complete plan. Here is Cllr Cyde Loakes response:

I've been sent your email that you sent to a number of Walthamstow Cllrs raising concerns and observations about the initial plans for the Gyratory, timings of works and links to other developments in the Town Centre. I've been asked to respond. So please find below a response to each of your points.

1.       This has been discussed for years so surely you have a plan which should have been implemented years ago.

The Council has always had aspirations to improve the transport connections and layout in Walthamstow town centre, but a project of this scale requires significant funding. This funding has not been available until recently so we have not been in a position to develop a scheme until now. As part of the Waltham Forest Mini-Holland bid to TfL, it was proposed to make improvements to the gyratory to infill the gap between the two bridges and reconfigure the road layout, to make it simpler and safer for all road users. As a result of the success of our bid, funding for this is now available and initial designs have been developed which will be consulted on early next year. 

However in the meantime working with TfL we have secured the required track closures etc so that we can progress with the work on and around the bridges; in some respects these are enabling works. As well as improving the layout of the gyratory, we want to plant more trees and plants, improve the bus station with better positioned bus stops, and provide new pedestrian crossings and more cycle spaces – all of these will form part of the plans that will be taken to public consultation in early 2017.

2.       Tinkering with the bus station and providing a loading bay outside Tesco’s is fine but how do you know if this will fit in with the final scheme?  Surely you need to agree the final scheme before works start.

Independently of the above, Transport for London (TfL) have funded a different scheme to widen the bus station exit (widening to allow two buses to exit at the same time). This not only provides benefits to bus passengers and bus journey times but also includes providing a loading/taxi bay outside Tesco which helps free up the road by allowing vehicles to load on this section of Selborne Road and not blocking it. As these changes are funded separately we are going ahead with these improvements already but they will be incorporated into our designs for consultation on the final scheme.

3.       This is a very important junction and any tinkering with it will, as is admitted in the article, create disruption. This needs to be considered in conjunction with the Mini Holland plans for Lea Bridge Road as any congestion here will impact on Lea Bridge Road and equally delays on Lea Bridge Road impact on Markhouse Road which block Selbourne  Road and grid lock the whole area. Having just come back from Bath where one road is closed for works I have seen what grid lock really means – all traffic is virtually stationery.

All roadworks across Waltham Forest and our neighbouring boroughs are closely coordinated together with TfL to minimise the impact on vehicle movement and bus routes. Our highways team are fully involved in both the Lea Bridge Road Mini-Holland scheme as you mentioned, and the gyratory works so have a good overview of likely disruption across the two schemes, rather than them being delivered in isolation as separate projects. 

The works are also supported by our communications plan which includes; a range of signage at the heart of the works but also on key approach roads so drivers are forewarned, face to face meetings with businesses and letters, on-street banners, articles in Waltham Forest News, website information, Tweets, attendance at Community Ward forums, briefings with Councillors and information through TfL channels such as Oyster card holders, website (traffic status updates), taxi and freight communications. 

As with works of any nature, we know there is always an element of disruption and that this is not ideal for anyone, but it is unfortunately necessary in the short term to create a better junction. We are trying to make sure as many people as possible – whether they are a resident or a visitor – are aware in advance so they can make informed choices about the way they travel through this part of the borough while the work is taking place.

4.       Any scheme needs to take in to account the extra traffic and pedestrians created by the very large developments at South Grove, Buxton Road and the 27 storey tower block and expansion of the Mall. These developments will have a significant effect on traffic levels as they are so large.

Our proposals are being developed in conjunction with all existing, future and potential developments in mind and in particular the existing and future increases in pedestrian movements around the area. We are also conscious of the congestion on our roads so are working closely with developers to introduce sustainable transport strategies and deliver car free developments, which is a London wide move to better manage the road network in a developing and growing city.

5.       The current pedestrian crossing route to the station is very dangerous and pedestrians need to be separated from the traffic by a tunnel or bridge.

We recognise that pedestrian safety near the station is an issue, which is one of the reasons we want to improve the layout of the gyratory. Our initial studies have also highlighted the need for improved crossing points around the junction, not just to help existing pedestrian numbers, but also to cope with greater demand in the future. We are already looking at the ‘desire lines’ – the quickest routes pedestrians tend to take when they are navigating between the station, bus stops and other areas, so we can ensure these are factored into the plans to be consulted on in the new year.

6.       The bus station needs to be redesigned with fewer routes entering the bus station. Currently congestion is caused by all the bus routes going via the bus station even if they are just passing up or down Selbourne Road.

We also recognise your points about congestion in and around the bus station and the fact that a number of routes go into the station and then back out again. We are working closely with TfL buses, London Underground and London Overground to revise the bus termination points to address this issue which may in the future mean some can stop along Hoe Street instead of having to go into the station, turning round and coming out again. Again any changes will be part of our plans that we will consult on in the new year.

7.       Cycle routes should be directed away from the gyratory system as there is not enough room for buses and normal traffic. Reducing capacity by putting in cycle lanes will help no one.

We need to plan for the provision of cycling and walking facilities in our designs for the area as an increasing number of people are cycling and this is something we are keen to encourage. It is important that we support the potential car free developments happening as well as linking together our walking and cycling schemes such as Walthamstow Village, TfL Quietway 2 and Forest Road. Our initial studies show that the provision of cycle routes through the area can still be accommodated whilst providing considerable improvements to bus services and bus journey times and without impacting the road network capacity.

8.      The development of the shopping centre and the 27 storey tower block should not go ahead as this will just bring even more people into an area that is already at capacity.

At present a planning application for this development has not been submitted so the Council cannot fully review any impact. However as outlined above it is anticipated that any residential development in this area would be car free so this should not have an adverse impact on car levels in the area.

I hope this helps clarify at least?

Please let me know if you have any further issues.




Yesterday, Friday 20th, a group of 12 of us went to the Town Hall and handed in our petition to Debra Marlow of the Democratic Services Department. James Cracknell of the Waltham Forest Echo was present and took pictures, so we'll almost certainly have an item about our campaign in the November edition.

We had just over 2,000 signatures at that point (2,015 to be precise) and Ms Marlow greeted us warmly and suggested that we could speak for three minutes at a meeting of the Planning Scrutiny Committee on the same evening, which we did. 

However, John Williams, the Democratic Services Officer, pointed out to us at the meeting that that was not really the most relevant Committee for the points that I had raised and I should book a slot to speak at the meeting of the Planning Committee itself on Tuesday 8th November at 7.00 pm. He said that he would arrange for me to do this, and If any of you would like to come along to that meeting as far as I know you just need to let them know in advance as the room they meet in is relatively small. If you just want to know what I said I can let you hear a recording that we made of my little speech just for the record, but I need to upload it to the Internet and provide a link, which I won't have time to do tonight. Overall I'm encouraged at the way things are going, and would like to thank everybody who came to see the petition handed in, everyone who helped us to collect signatures, and (most of all really) everyone who signed the petition!

More to come.

All best wishes,


Voluntary Action Waltham Forest closes

19th October 2016
Dear Member
Closure Voluntary Action Waltham Forest
I am writing in my capacity as Chair of Voluntary Action Waltham Forest to advise that the organisation will be closing on the 31st October 2016.  As you may be aware London Borough Waltham Forest retendered the Infrastructure Support contract and sadly despite a very strong bid with key sub regional partners the award of the contract went to Community Southwark.
It is indeed a very sad outcome for our service as well as our sector as another of our local organisations is side-lined in favour of an external organisation. The local Council of Voluntary Services has been a mainstay in boroughs for more than 25 years and VAWF in its various forms has always strived to support and represent the sector in Waltham Forest.  Due to the constraints placed on services across all sectors many of our neighbouring CVS’S have already closed. Unfortunately without the infrastructure contract the organisation is no longer a viable entity and therefore the board with a heavy heart have made the decision to close on the 31st October 2016.
I am sure that you would like us to extend your thanks and support to all our staff who have worked so hard to maintain the service in what has been a very difficult three year period and to the trustees who have given their time voluntarily over many years to support the work of VAWF.
In order to ensure that there is a seamless transfer of service please be advised that Community Southwark has advised that if you are in need of advice or support the appropriate contact details are:
You can either visit this temporary website, email or call Gordon McCullough  on 020 73580 7020 (this is the main Community Southwark number and is only temporary). 
Yours sincerely

Helen Tredoux


Update on Whipps Cross Hospital

Whipps Cross hospital - another set of plans!

WFN headlines


October 2016
Waltham Forest News- April 2016
We have big plans for libraries - tell us what you want to see in yours
We have unveiled proposals to bring our libraries up to the standard of the best in London and we want to know what you want to see in your new libraries.
Even if you don’t use the library service, we’d really like to hear what you think - your views can help us make the service more relevant to you.
The online consultation runs until 30 November or you can request a paper copy at your library.  All Waltham Forest libraries offer free internet access.
Apprenticeship Opportunities
Young people and families are invited to an Apprenticeship Opportunities event tomorrowThursday 20 October2016 from 2pm-6.30pm at Leyton Orient’s Matchroom Stadium, Brisbane Road, Leyton E10 5NF.
Meet with employers, colleges, and other training providers and find out how an apprenticeship could benefit you. Book your place online.
The Feel Good Centre is now open
The truly stunning Feel Good Centre in Walthamstow is now open! The amazing facility which is one of a kind in London hosts premium five star facilities with something for everyone so you can get signed up and active right away.
Check out the membership options online.
October is Black History Month
October is Black History Month and we will be celebrating all throughout the month with exhibitions, workshops, walks and much more.
This Black History Month’s jammed packed schedule of events includes; Black History Comedy Night, The Black History of Prince plus many more. Get your tickets online
Walthamstow town centre improvement works to start 1 November
The Council and TfL are working closely on plans for the ‘Walthamstow gyratory’ at the junction of Hoe Street and Selborne Road. Works start 1 November. Both Hoe Street and Selborne Road will remain open but some delays to journey times are expected so plan ahead.
Visit the Council website for more information.
Fireworks night
It’s nearly time for our annual fireworks display and this year our free spectacular display will light the sky above Chestnuts Field, from 8pm through to 9pm on Friday 4 November.
Gates open at 6.30pm to allow plenty of time to enjoy the funfair or buy from range of delicious food and drinks.
Christmas meal
It’s time to start making plans for the Christmas season and if you are 65+ make sure you put your name down for a place at one our annual Christmas meals.
Due to the popularity of the events, places will be selected by random ballot by 18 November.
Pest Control
If you’re having problems with pests, rodents or insects you can get them treated by our Pest Control team, which offers an affordable and local specialist service.
Tap, scroll or click for more information or to make an appointment.
Become a digital champion
Waltham Forest Council’s Digital Champion Network’s training portal launches in November to help our residents to access the internet and experience the benefits of life online.
Getting online can have a huge impact on people’s lives, so why not share your internet skills with someone and transform their life. 
You don’t have to be an IT whizz to be a Digital Champion – you just need a bit of spare time and enthusiasm to support others to experience the many benefits of the internet and digital technology.
Email us for more information at
You received this email as you gave us permission to use your email address ( to send you news from Waltham Forest Council.

Halloween Skatejam


Refugee Children

From Stella Creasy MP's Newsletter

Walthamstow says Welcome: Help Find the Missing Refugee Children & Calais Donation Requests 

The fight to save the child refugees stuck in Calais continued this week as the Government finally accepted the case to act. On Wednesday during Prime Ministers Questions, I told Theresa May that 18 of the 178 children in the Calais refugee camp who have the right to be in the UK because they have family here have gone missing. The Government have known about these children since July 2016, and about a further 209 children who have the right to be in the UK under the Dubs amendment since September 2016.

I have written to the Prime Minister to offer her the details of these missing children to help identify them. Please write to her as well to join the call to find these children and urge her to safeguard the remaining unaccompanied child refugees in Calais as the evictions begin.
This process will require funding and so in the emergency debate on the fate of child refugees we held on Monday, I urged the Home Secretary to stop spending money on building walls in Calais and instead in the administration needed to process the papers so the children can come to the UK as soon as possible. A copy of our exchange can be viewed here.
Evictions in Calais are scheduled to start on the 24th October. There are over 10 000 people now facing a very long and unknown fate. To help them the Refugee Community Kitchen are urgently in need of:
  • Flapjack Bakes
  • Tins of tuna, red kidney beans, chick peas, coconut milk, tomatoes
  • Olive Oil and Honey (plastic containers only)
  • Dried fruit, cashews and almonds
  • Tea, Coffee, UHT Milk and Powdered Milk
  • Spices
Donations can be dropped off at The hornbeam CafĂ©, The Stow brothers Office, The Italian Deli, Debbie Bliss, Second Nature or KukooLaLa Cafe between Friday 14th October- Tuesday 25th October. For a large donation please contact Maud

Woodhouse Players

Woodhouse Players production

Self Build house builders

Self Building

Urban Community winner

Walthamstow Village news & events
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National success for Walthamstow Village

Following on from our Gold award in the regional London in Bloom finals in September, Walthamstow Village was awarded a silver-gilt in the Urban Communitycategory (joint second place with Gogarth, Wales) at the RHS Britain in Bloom UK finals in Birmingham! Kippax in Yorkshire got Gold, with the other three entries achieving Silver.

In the marking sheet, judges Martyn Hird and Glenn Dale said, “Walthamstow Village has certainly reached a high standard and once again the volunteers involved should be congratulated. The addition of many newly planted trees, seasonal planting and the planters throughout the tour give the whole Village a really welcome, feel-good factor. Those involved throughout the tour made the judging process a pleasure to undertake.”

Areas of achievement include the brick planters, especially those tended by Nick Springett, Andrew Blount and Jill Watkins, the Village Veg Plot, the Village Square, the Cherry Close Community Garden and the bee-friendly planting throughout the Village.  Some areas for development include the need for greater residential involvement in improving front gardens, installation of hanging baskets in Orford Road to encourage greater participation and making more of the churchyard as the Village's biggest green space.

So still lots to do and the Bloom team is raring to go! 

More gardening success 

On Thursday, Lisa Gilbey, warden of Monoux Almshouses and residents of the Walthamstow and Chingford Almshouse Charity (WCAC) attended the London Garden Society awards at the Guildhall. Monoux Almshouses were awarded a bronze certificate in the Patio and Courtyard Displays category. Next year they're going for gold!
Almshouse resident Val Dowdell received a bronze for her garden too.

Congratulations and well done, WCAC!

Front Garden & Beautiful Premises Challenge Awards, Monday 17 October

The results of our Walthamstow Village Front Garden & Beautiful Premises Challenges will be announced and the certificates of participation presented after the main business of the WVRA AGM at 8 pm on Monday 17 October at the WF Community Hub (ex- Asian Centre) in Orford Road.

Do come along to see how you did, admire our London, and Britain in Bloom awards and celebrate our community’s success with wine and cheese.
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Christmas Shop

WMG Christmas shop

Monday, 10 October 2016

The Mysteries in a box


The Secret Lives of Plants

told through puppetry

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On 26th November at 2pm
& 7pm (Stafford Hall, Walthamstow)

On 27th November at 2pm (OrganicLea, Chingford)
On 28th November at 7pm
(Ex-Servicemens Club, Leytonstone)

On 3rd December at 2pm (Pimp Hall Nature Reserve, Chingford)
On 4th December at 11am (Vestry House Museum, 

Continuing last year’s The Walthamstow Mysteries, the team has devised a new family show (7+) celebrating urban plant life through the medium of shadow puppetry, glove puppets and a marionette.

The Mysteries in a Box is directed by Steve Tiplady of Indefinite Articles, and designed by Amelia Pimlott of The Ding Foundation.

Free tickets on eventbrite: the-mysteries-in-a-box
Facebook: WalthamstowMysteries
Twitter: @walthammyst