Thursday, 30 March 2017

Party on the Playgound


School Budgets Cut

School Budget Cuts



Boundary Changes

From Stella Creasy MP's Newsletter

Are William Morris, Higham Hill and Chapel End in Chingford? 

Boundary Review Update & Response  

In the latest round of the Government's Boundary Review to reduce the number of MPs, the Liberal Democrats have put forward proposals to make the William Morris, Chapel End and Higham Hill wards part of a Chingford constituency. Their plans to create a ‘Wanstead and Woodford’ seat would see the current Walthamstow constituency split in two as a result and the remainder linked to Leyton. 

You have until Monday 27th March to respond to let the Boundary Commission know your views on this idea and any other counter proposals put forward under this process. The Commission will then publish its final plans in the autumn. You can find the link to the Lib Dem proposal here- it is labelled BCE-28274 and you can comment directly on the page where this proposal is listed. 

One of the factors determining the outcome of this process for the Boundary Commission is the sense of connection that residents feel to an area, so in responding as a resident from these areas it is important to explain why you feel connected to the Walthamstow area. Thank you for your help ensuring our community retains its voice in Parliament. 

Walthamstow Wetlands Exhibition

Wonderful Wetlands 2017 Exhibition 
Wednesday 26th April to Saturday 27th May 

Between Wednesday 26th April to Saturday 27th May, The Mill Community Centre on Coppermill Lane will be hosting an exhibition on the Walthamstow Wetlands site. You can see works by local artists, learn from historical artefacts and look out for swifts overhead. A celebration of the wildlife, history and development of the amazing Walthamstow Wetlands.  

Walthamstow Wetlands

News from Nowhere Club

News from Nowhere Club

Hackney Marsh User Group

Hackney Marsh User Group


NCVO Annual Conference


BGORUG Newsletter

Hackney Singers at the Southbank

Hackney Singers


Join David on one of his walks

Significant Seams

Significant Seams in Wood Street has had to close as it was unable to get sufficient grants to pay its bills. Some of its activities will move to the Mill.

Significant Seams

Monday, 20 March 2017

13 Storey block for Strettons

Waltham Forest Civic Society 

By email only to 16 March 2017 Our ref: bt/02 

Dear Ms Munday, 

Proposals for the redevelopment of Strettons Central House 

I am writing to you on behalf Strettons, a UK Top 30 property advisory firm, to inform you of our emerging plans to redevelop our head offices at Central House in Walthamstow. Strettons has long been committed to Waltham Forest, having first established a presence here in 1937 before expanding into Central House in 1992. This building is no longer fit for purpose, with insufficient space and an inefficient layout and needing substantial work to bring it to a modern standard, to allow us to continue to grow. Working with award-winning architects Allies and Morrison, our proposals will see a high quality mixed development with an office for Strettons and a new hotel by award-winning provider Premier Inn. These plans will enable us to continue to thrive within the borough and contribute to the wider economy while playing an important role in shaping the area’s ongoing regeneration. The design includes buildings at five storeys for the new office and 13 storeys for the 112 bedroom hotel with a ground floor restaurant. Premier Inn has a strong track record of employing locally and the plans will deliver up to 35 new full and part time jobs. The development will create a vibrant and attractive entrance to enliven the space across the two buildings and strengthen the appeal of Walthamstow as a destination and thriving town centre. We believe our plans reinforce the Council’s commitment to invest in local businesses and vision to strengthen Walthamstow as the borough’s major town centre. We will be holding a public exhibition in the coming weeks which will be an opportunity to view our proposals and speak to the project team. We have appointed London Communications Agency (LCA) to assist us with the public consultation and a member of the team would be happy to arrange a briefing or provide you with more information. Further details of the exhibition will also be made available in due course. In the meantime if you have any questions, please do contact LCA on 

Kind regards, 
Yours sincerely, 
Benjamin Tobin BSc FRICS

Friday, 17 March 2017

Marlowe Road Update

Mini Holland 17-3-17


Transport Borough of the Year

Mini Holland a success

Leytonstone progress

Wood Street junction with Lea Bridge Road

Whipps Cross Roundabout months behind schedule

Oak Hill Speed Bumps

Dear Resident / Business owner, RE: Construction of speed humps on Oak Hill 
I am writing to let you know that we will install two additional full road width speed humps on Oak Hill between Hale End Road and Hollywood Way. This work will start on Monday 27 March 2017 and should take two days to complete, weather permitting. During the work, there will be temporary road changes:  Oak Hill closed to through traffic between Hale End Road and Holly Crescent  Parking suspended on Oak Hill between Hale End Road and Oak Hill Crescent.  Access to Oak Hill will be available via Galeborough Avenue, Oak Hill Crescent, and via Hollywood Way  Pedestrians will still be able to walk along the street as normal. 

These works are part of ongoing improvements to Highams Park Town Centre to improve road safety and access for walking and cycling. We sent you a leaflet last year explaining the results from the public consultation held in June and July 2016, and when the work would start. You can find this leaflet online at Work will usually take place between 8am and 5pm over the two days. The road will go back to normal outside of these times. To allow us to carry out the road works safely and on time, please avoid parking in the area. Look out for signs and cones to avoid parking in the wrong place as illegally parked vehicles will get penalty notices and they may be removed - see reverse for details. Please bear with us during construction so we can make these improvements to the area as soon as possible. Our contractors will be working to keep disruption to an absolute minimum and we will post regular construction updates online at Thank you for your patience and in the meantime, if you wish to discuss this construction work, please contact me on 020 8496 1023, or Yours faithfully, Kuhan Thurairajah Project Engineer, Design & Construction

Library Consultation Update

Library Local Consultation

13 March 2017

Thank you for your response to our Library Local consultation and for your interest in being ‘actively involved’.

The consultation closed on 31 January 2017 and the Council is now preparing a detailed briefing that will be part of the report that is presented to Cabinet. It had been hoped that this report could be presented at Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet in March 2017. We received over 2000 responses and we have asked Scrutiny that the Scrutiny meeting be rescheduled to allow the results of the consultation to be considered in more detail. This will not be before June 2017.

We have had an overwhelming response from library users and local residents who would like to get more involved with their local library. Over the next few months we will be exploring options and scoping out what that involvement would look like.

Thank you for your patience will be in touch as soon as possible after the Cabinet decision.

St James Street Exhibition

St James Street Exhibition

Leyton Orient in trouble

The Future of Leyton Orient Football Club: Public Meeting
Leyton Orient Football club has been served with a winding up petition by HMRC due to the financial management of the club. The Leyton Orient Fans Trust (LOFT) will hosting an open meeting on Monday 13th March, 7.30pm at Walthamstow Assembly Hall to discuss how to fight this and keep the club open. The meeting is open to everyone to attend. 

Mayor to protect Metropolitan Open Land

MOL to be protected

William Morris Tiles

William Morris Tiles

Hackney Singers

Hackney Singers at the South Bank

Council Tax Rise

Council Tax Rise

Traffic Speeds around Lloyd Park

Dear Residents,

I’m including you as someone who has expressed an interest in this set of issues, is on our resident mailing list or has emailed me on this issue. Please do let me know if you don’t receive these updates and I will make I remove you from the mailing list.

Last Saturday we had a very useful meeting – thank you to residents, Chapel End Councillors, Paul and Louise and local police for coming to discuss this set of issues.


We talked about the traffic situation in the Lloyd Park area and note a number of problems:
·        Speed bumps not working and needing replacing
·        Rat running increasing in the area
·        Speeding, made worse by the number of parked cars and one way systems
·        Insufficient signage for the 20 MPH zone and for cycle routes
·        Bad driving  and parking around schools at peak times (idling, parking on markings, double parking)
·        Poor visibility at certain junctions
·        Poor crossing points for pedestrians
·        Aggression towards cyclists

What we can do

We agreed that this set of issues needed more exploration with residents to really identify how widespread they are. Councillors asked residents to use the attached form to ask residents about their roads and return these to Councillors so we can use this to build a case for improvement measures.  If you would a chat about approaching your neighbours and need more help please call me. We can also coordinate ask parents around the school gates. I will confirm details on this.

We agreed Local Police will ask for resources to take action at speeding hot spots – this might include Brettenham, South Countess, Winns, Forest Road.

Councillors will update residents and will ask for formal and technical monitoring to be done by the Council as a first step to building the case for further measures. In the first instance, I will ask for monitoring to be put in the place at the mini roundabout at South Countess and Winns Ave so that we can improve the crossing.

Please do share this with other residents. I will post up on facebook.


Councillor Grace Williams
Tel: 07957 680 337

Cabinet Member for Children and Young People

Working for the William Morris ward

My monthly surgery is from 10 am – 11 am on 1st Friday of the month at the Salvation Army Thrift Shop at 434 Forest Road
Our next ward forum is in March – please check Waltham Forest Council’s website for details.
To join our William Morris ward resident email list please email, letting me know you want to be added.

Leyton Sports Ground Update


This is short update on the following areas.
Changes to Leyton Sports Ground Management Committee
After five years as chair of LSGMC, I have decided to stand down. At its meeting last week, the committee agreed that Sajid Patel will be the new chair, with Margaret Augustin continuing as vice chair.
Sajid has been an enthusiastic member of the committee for the last two years and is a co-founder of the National Cricket League (NCL), which plays many of their matches at LSG. I am sure he will make an excellent chair.
I would like to pass your email details to Sajid so that he can send you future LSG updates. Please let me know within the next seven days if you do not want me to do this
A new resident representative for the committee will now need to be appointed. If you live in the Leyton Ward and would like to register an interest in this position, please initially contact Sajid (
Heritage Lottery Fund Bid
The Council made a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) bid in September 2016, which was unfortunately unsuccessful. The Council has obtained feedback from the HLF and will be submitting another bid in June 2017. The new bid will focus on the cricket pavilion and the tin hut (the single storey building near the main entrance to the site).
Tyler McGill (Interim Heritage Programme Manager) is working on this bid and further consultations will shortly take place with residents, local businesses and community groups.
If you want any further information or would like to make any comments, please get in touch with Sajid.
In closing, thank you for your interest in LSG.

Pete Towler                                                                                                                                                                                                                (0208 558 4748)

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Holy Family - New Sports Hall

Holy Family School have decided to destroy the green playing fields by Vinegar Alley and replace it with a Sports Hall. Currently the archaeologists are in digging away so it will be interesting to see what they find. More green space gone for ever from the Borough.

Mini Holland 16-3-17


Billet Road

Markhouse Road

So how will the cyclists and pedestrians cope with this?

And even more mature trees destroyed for what? A cycle lane already exists here!!

The council screwed up the planning permission for these mobile phone masts some years ago so the phone companies ran amock. Will mini Holland sort out this mess - don't hold your breath!

Planning - the Changing face of Waltham Forest

There is more building work and change going on in Waltham Forest than we have ever experienced in the 45 years of living in this Borough. Whether it is good or bad it is relentlessly rolling along with little or no interest from our Councillors. Below are some examples:

For better or worse

Architects view

Temporary Housing

Do Area Action Plans as developed by LBWF really reflect residents views?

Area Action Plans

29 Storey eyesore for the Town Centre

Walthamstow Town Centre

Replacement of commercial premises and jobs with another residential block

220 Wood Street

Have more mature trees been removed than will be replaced?

Marlowe Road

Traders in a Spin

Blackhorse Lane - more consultation

Dear Stakeholder

Development Proposals by the Watkin Jones Group for Forest Road, Walthamstow.

I am writing on behalf of the Watkin Jones Group regarding plans for redevelopment of the site adjacent to Blackhorse Road Underground Station on 4-10 Forest Road in Walthamstow – postcode E17 6JJ.

The site is bordered to the north by Forest Road, with Blackhorse Lane and Blackhorse Road to the east.

The proposed redevelopment will comprise approximately 440 bed spaces of purpose-built, managed student accommodation with associated communal and ancillary facilities and landscaping. Proposals will also contain commercial space at ground floor level. Sustainability in terms of student housing is enhanced by good local transport links, being on a major bus route and conveniently situated close to Blackhorse Road underground station.

Following initial pre-application discussions with the London Borough of Waltham Forest, the Watkin Jones Group would like to share the emerging proposals and obtain comments from key stakeholders and the local community, before preparing a planning application for submission later this year.

We invite you to attend a key stakeholder preview session at the exhibition on:
Wednesday 22 March 2017, 2-3pm at
Gnome House, 7 Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow, London E17 6DS

At the preview session representatives from the Watkin Jones Group and their project team will be available to discuss the proposals, invite comment and talk through any questions or queries which you may have.

Following this session the exhibition will be open to the general public from 3.30 to 7pm which you are also most welcome to attend.

Background on the Watkin Jones Group
The Watkin Jones Group is a multi-disciplinary developer and constructor across a variety of development types. Its focus over recent years has been mixed-use developments including an element of purpose-built managed student accommodation. Nationally, the Watkin Jones Group has constructed approaching 35,000 student accommodation bedrooms to date, amongst other development types. Fresh Student Living is part of the Watkin Jones Group and manages approaching 15,000 bedrooms. Whilst the Group has a national coverage with schemes covering the UK from Aberdeen in the north, Belfast and Cardiff in the west Bournemouth in the south, the Group has also constructed or is constructing ten managed student accommodation schemes in London. This includes Mannequin House on Blackhorse Lane. 

If you would like any further information about the event or clarification on any aspect of the proposals please do not hesitate to contact us. In the meantime, to assist with arrangements on the day if you could indicate your preferences on the attached form or respond via email, this would be most helpful.

Yours faithfully,

Carolyn Jones
Consultation co-ordinator on behalf of the Watkin Jones Group

Avril Baker Consultancy
126 Somerset Road, Bristol, BS4 2JB
Tel: 0117 977 2002

Planning is frequently accused of delaying development. South Grove is a good example of developers delaying development. For years various ideas never came to fruition but last year the council gave permission for 473 new homes, but despite the developer putting up the hoardings work has not commenced. Instead a windfall has come their way by renting out the site for storage of the Gospel to Barking rail upgrade equipment! To avoid losing planning permission, which expires after 3 years, they have now come up with a new scheme allowing the clock to be reset - once again in favour of the developer!!

Having chased away 2 academies from the Metropolitan Open Land in Lea Bridge Road the LVRPA has decided to sell off the Waterworks Golf centre, also MOL, to fund the new Ice Centre. We now hear they have given notice to the Conservation Trust to clear the houses in Connaught Close - is this so they can develop this land as well?

Save the Community Pool

Waltham Forest College OPEN!

Waltham Forest College is considering closing the Community Pool by 2021 unless it can A) Be convinced that there is sufficient community need to keep it open. B) Be convinced that there is an educational need. Because of this possibility The Community Pool CIC cannot make investments in the site and, without investments, the cost of running The Pool is escalating.
The Community Pool is used for vital swimming lessons for local schools and it hosts Tritons swimming lessons everyday.  They also train many swimming teachers, coaches, lifeguards and pool plant operators. Swimming is a life skill. Our families are learning to swim here and other local pools are not sufficient to meet the needs of the community, in the borough.  Regular recommendations, via local social media, demonstrate the success and fast progress of swimming lessons at Tritons.  The Community Pool is invaluable to the Waltham Forest Community.  
It has been suggested that there is no educational benefit to justify keeping the Community pool open.  Two good reasons why there is most certainly an important educational need are:   A) Swimming is part of the National Curriculum.  B) As described above, the training provided by the Community Pool leads to several different careers.  Training is a form of education.
What can you do to help?
Sign and circulate this petition - By generating enough support, we can prove that there IS a community need to keep this pool open.  We, the Waltham Forest community, will present this petition to Penny Wycherley, Principal­ and­ Chief­ Executive of Waltham Forest College, to indicate how many residents not only want the pool to stay open but to have it improved and refurbished.  A revamped pool will attract more of the local community and will therefore increase revenue.
If you believe that The Pool needs not only to remain but to grow, and that the Forest Road site has the potential to be used more widely by the local community, let your Councillors and anyone else you think has influence, know your views. Stella Creasy and Clare Coghill are already in discussion with The Community Pool regarding its potential closure.
Let The Community Pool and Tritons, know if you would be willing to get involved in working together to ensure that The Community Pool continues to flourish.  Twitter:@wfcommunitypool   Facebook: The Community Pool CIC    Email:      
Please write to both Penny Wycherley (current Principal, until Aug) at Waltham Forest College and David Byrne (Principal Designate for the proposed merger of the Barnet/Southgate and Waltham Forest College - from Aug) to express your need to keep the pool open.
It is understood that with one Principal due to leave and another who has not yet technically taken on the post, they are both uneasy about giving clear answers until the transition has taken place.  This is simply not good enough.  This uncertainty is unacceptable.  Waltham Forest needs this pool for educational reasons and a real community need.
FTAO: Penny Wycherley (current Principal - until August).                             Email:
FTAO: David Byrne (Principal Designate for the proposed merger of the Barnet/Southgate and Waltham Forest College - with effect from Aug)   Email:                             Twitter: @David__Byrne1
Stella Creasy:                           Twitter: @stellacreasy
Clare Coghill:                           Twitter: @wfclare_coghill

From The Community Pool:
Long term future of the pool
Waltham Forest College have stated that the "space currently occupied by the pool" is being considered for redevelopment and that there is "a likelihood" that The College will enact the break clause on the Pool’s lease at the earliest opportunity i.e. February 2019. The Community Pool will then have two years to vacate the premises.
If this happens the value of the redevelopment, which is completely unfunded as yet, will have to be set against the £300,000 that has already been spent on the pool, the 22 salaried jobs that will go, the similar number of casual workers, the 15 schools that have their swimming lessons here, the seven clubs and the 3500+ weekly pool users. Also the lifeguard training, the courses for swimming teachers, coaches and pool plant operators that we run.
The planning blight that is now affecting us is preventing investment in the pool. We cannot invest in energy saving technology or implement the major redevelopment plans that we have had prepared by Space and Plan architects. This is incredibly frustrating as we have access to funds and a major backer in place.
Can you help us to convey the message that there is a need for The Community Pool and that this has not been negated by the re-opening of the Feelgood Centre. The Community Pool and Pool & Track (now The Feelgood Centre) have run in tandem for a long time and address different needs - even in the area we overlap, our lesson programme, we have grown 3% spring term 2017 compared to spring term 2016 and the programme at The Feelgood Centre is also expanding - the borough is growing.
As well as the long term concerns we have an immediate issue. In July The Community Pool CIC was informed that the College were cutting their core hours of operation and that they expected The Community Pool to pick up the bill for opening outside their new core hours. They quoted a figure of £50,000 pa. A group of pool users including Tritons Swim School asked if we could have access to unused facilities at The College outside the core hours in order to generate income to cover this additional expense eg sport hall, classrooms, lecture theatre etc (apart from anything else the fact that a site which has had over £8 million spent on it since 2012 is sitting empty evenings and weekends is just wrong), the College trustees gave provisional approval to this idea. We secured finance to set this up and started working on a contract to run out of hours provision on a profit share basis with the College. The Community Pool CIC were asked to start paying the £50,000pa immediately, which it did, without passing the charge on to hirers.
During the Autumn term we were told that the contract would not be signed as merger negotiations were progressing and no contracts would now be entered into by Waltham Forest College that would compromise their strategic property portfolio. The lack of a contract meant that we could not access the funding that we had secured (£30,000 secured with the possibility of £200,000). We have been trying to open up negotiations with the incoming management team and put in place an interim agreement. In the meantime the Community Pool reserves have been running down.
At the beginning of February the College came back to The Community Pool saying that they had miscalculated the cost of opening the site outside core hours and it was actually £75,000 pa. This comes on top of an utility bill increase of £40,000 pa that the College is saying is due to previous miscalculations.
The Community Pool can no longer operate without passing these cost on to pool hirers.
This petition will be delivered to:

  • Waltham Forest College
  • Principal­ and­ Chief­ Executive
    Penny Wycherley
  • Principal Designate for the proposed merger of the Barnet/Southgate and Waltham Forest College
    David Byrne

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Even More developments

Here are some horror stories:


Waltham Forest Council Cabinet, in advance of considering the so-far-undisclosed outcomes of the recent Lea Valley Eastside "Vision" public consultation, met yesterday to decide on the shape of a new Lea Bridge Town Centre. The attached image shows a proliferation of tower blocks straddling the Lea Bridge Road/ Argall Way/ Orient Way junction and the Lea Bridge station. A main decision of the Cabinet meeting was to delegate to officers the disposal of three triangles of Waltham-Forest-owned land upon which the proposed structures are reportedly going to be built. The idea apparently is to spend some of the income gained on knocking down the new Lea Bridge station and shifting it along a bit to make room for these developments. But the new town residents won't be allowed to own cars and will be limited to 125 litres of water per day in the interests of environmental sustainability.

Note that the attached illustration also shows, in the centre foreground, the LVRPA-owned Waterworks Centre grounds on Leyton Marsh (protected as Metropolitan Open Land) as already built on. Such a proposal is already the subject of fierce opposition from across the Lea Valley.
I have asked the WF Lea Bridge Ward councillors to invite a member of the Cabinet to the next WF Lea Bridge Ward Forum (Wednesday 22nd March) to explain why the Lea Bridge Town Centre was not described in this way in the Lea Valley Eastside "Vision", and why the Cabinet is aparently sidestepping the outcomes of that public consultation. People may remember that the Vision consultation timescale was extended by a month, but it would seem that the Cabinet has not recognised this.

Claire Weiss