Monday, 24 December 2012

Happy Christmas

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 
to all my readers.

Tree Musketeers

Wick Woodland Workshops 2013
Coppicing, habitat creation, dead-hedging, winter pruning and some planting.
Training and tools provided. Hot food cooked in the woods.
Wear boots and warm clothes.
There are limited places so please e-mail in advance to indicate if you wish to attend.
Saturday 5th January 2013
Meet 10am Hackney Community Tree Nursery
Sunday 13th January 2013
Meet 10am Hackney Community Tree Nursery
Saturday 2nd February 2013
Meet 10am Hackney Community Tree Nursery
Sunday 17th February 2013
Meet 10am Hackney Community Tree Nursery
Sunday 3rd March 2013
Meet 10am Hackney Community Tree Nursery
There are limited places so please e-mail in advance to indicate if you wish to attend.
Russell Miller
Hackney Marshes User Group
07758 326530
Tree Musketeers New Year's Day Guided Tree Walk
Abney Park Cemetery Nature Reserve
Clissold Park Tree Walk - winter tree identification
Sunday 6th January 2pm
Tree Musketeers Tree Planting on Hackney Downs
Saturday January 12th 2013, 10am - 2:00pm
Second day of tree planting on Hackney Downs
Meet at the old bowling green, south of the centre circle or find us on the Downs.
Russell Miller
07758 326530

Sandy Lane

Dear Martin

Please see attached photo.
In case you are unaware, the Ice Centre end of Sandy Lane around Kings Head bridge is again in an unusable state, and is about as unwelcoming as could be imagined. It's been churned up by vehicles and offers a choice of wading through water or getting shoes filthy in the ridges of soft mud and sand.  

With more heavy rain due, what a great Christmas present this will be for people hoping to go out for a nice walk on the marshes.

The situation has evidently arisen as a result of the ODA's abuse of the unprotected track at the entrance to the construction site which caused compaction and damage and has been worsened by incompetent attempts to regrade it.
It can only be described as an absolute mess, and is physically preventing access for local people using the most popular access point, over Kings Head bridge, or via the Ice Centre.
 Iwatched a family with a buggy cross the bridge, have a look at it, then have to turn round and go back. I found it almost impossible to clean the sticky sand out of my running trainers.

I saw contractors working on the track on Friday a week ago, adding what appears to be soft sand, and the present shamblesseems to be a result of their activities. Were these working for the LVRPA or is this a continuing legacy of the ODA 'reinstatement'?

Could you let me know who is responsible for this and what is being to correct the situation?

Have a good festive season


Book Shops Under Threat

We run the Warwick and Kenilworth bookshops, independent retailers which have been a proud part of our local high streets for many years.
As we run into the busy Christmas period, we face unrelenting pressure from huge online retailers, like Amazon, undercutting prices -- and it's pushing businesses like ours to the brink.
But what’s even worse is that Amazon, despite making sales of £2.9 billion in the UK last year, does not pay any UK corporation tax on the profits from those sales.
In our book, that is not a level playing field and leaves independent retailers like us struggling to compete just because we do the right thing.
All Amazon UK book and toy sales are routed through its Luxembourg subsidiary. So when the British public buy goods from Amazon, they are in fact paying a Luxembourg company.
This means Amazon can avoid paying British corporation tax on the profits it makes. Tax experts say if Amazon's total UK sales profits were not funnelled to Luxembourg, it could be paying as much as £100m a year in British corporation tax.
As Independent booksellers, we are happy with competition in the market but believe it should be on level terms and by dodging corporation tax in this way, Amazon start with an unfair advantage.
As they grow bigger it’s inevitable that shops like ours will be under even more pressure. That’s bad for customers, bad for the high street and bad for the UK.
Amazon may be obeying the letter of the law - but they’re certainly not being fair. Recently Starbucks announced that they had caved to public pressure and would look at their tax affairs in the UK. It’s time that Amazon did the same.
Thank you for your support,
Frances and Keith
Warwick & Kenilworth bookshops
PS - The Independent has already picked up on our campaign. Please share this campaign with your friends by forwarding this email or sharing this link:

Flood Alerts in Waltham Forest

From Stella Creasy MP's newsletter

Flood Alert for the Lower Lee Tributaries
The Environment Agency has released a flood alert for the Lower Lee Tributaries in which they say flooding is possible and people should be prepared. Possible flooding has been alerted for Nazeing Brook, Ching Brook, Cobbins Brook, Pymmes Brook, Rags Brooks, Salmons Brook, Turkey Brook, Trinity Marsh Ditch and Small River Lee.

The Lower River Lee Tributaries have risen in response to heavy, prolonged rainfall received last night, particularly in the Lower Nazeing, Waltham Abbey and Bulls Cross areas. Rivers are expected to continue rising through this afternoon, resulting in flooding to lower lying land, road and gardens next to the river. Surface water flooding can also be expected in some locations. They will continue to monitor the situation.

If you need advice or need to report any flooding you should call Floodline on 0845 988 1188 – for quick up-to-date flooding information select option 1 and enter Quickdial number 172912.

Granada (EMD) Inquiry Closes

From Stella Creasy MP's Newsletter

EMD Decision Due by 20th May 2013
 The public inquiry into the fate of the EMD cinema has now closed. I have been informed by the Planning Inspectorate that the inspector is now preparing his report and recommendations for the Secretary of State Eric Pickles to consider. We have been informed that the decision is due on or before Monday 20th May 2013. Thank you to everyone who took part to make the case that the best use for this building for Walthamstow would be as a cinema and to Waltham Forest Council and the Waltham Forest Cinema Trust for their work on this matter.

From Waltham Forest Cinema Trust

Thank you message from

Waltham Forest Cinema Trust

Now that the Planning Inquiry has finished hearing evidence, WFCT would like to thank the very many people who contributed to our part of the process –
outlining the exciting vision for a 21st century entertainment venue in this historic building.
The Inquiry itself was a real test of the viability of those plans and they came through some tough scrutiny looking more robust than ever. Indeed, during the Inquiry we obtained a firm offer of £2m loan financing which would enable us to secure the building and move to a ‘first phase’ refurbishment to re-open the doors with a limited programme. This is a major step forward as our vision now have the cash to back it up.
Amongst those we would like to acknowledge are:
  • Soho Theatre, our lead partner, who underwrote WFCT’s legal costs and whose ongoing support makes the business plan viable
  • Curzon Cinemas who have brought great professionalism and a passion for cinema
  • Sadie Frost and Andrew Green who will be an important part of the future and have helped us to secure the offer of loan funding
  • Ian Ritchie Architects, our award-winning architects, who have put together a fantastic scheme; Richard Oyarzabal, Graham Devlin and Bryan Savery for their work on the business planning and all our witnesses.
  • Arts Council England and the London Borough of Waltham Forest for showing the belief to fund the feasibility studies.
  • The Royal Shakespeare Company, Birmingham Rep Theatre and colleagues within the arts world who will bring educational and artistic projects to the new Granada.
  • Our legal team who worked very hard to present our case so well.
  • Above all, the local people, businesses, politicians and campaigners who have given wholehearted support to our plans.
The next steps for the Inquiry will be more work from the Planning Inspector and a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles MP, who is expected to make a decision in late Spring 2013.
At WFCT, we will take a short break before regrouping early in the New Year to further develop our plans towards securing and financing the purchase of this historic building.
We will also have more to say about our vision for the Granada, what the programme will look like and how it will work. We’re keen to share this with all supporters of the campaign – and, if they exist, any doubters – and we want to make sure we hear your thoughts about what you’d like to see there.
Meantime, thank you again. Seasonal greetings and a very Happy New Year from all of us at Waltham Forest Cinema Trust; let’s hope that 2013 is a memorable year for the Walthamstow Granada.


...and from SWC, many thanks for

all your support, comments and ideas in 2012.

We hope we have answered your

questions as clearly as possible.

Here's to 2013!

Waltham Forest Cinema Trust

Wood Street Consultation

Have your say over plans for Wood Street Plaza and playground

playground consultation posterLondon Borough of Waltham Forest is now consulting on proposals to provide further improvements to the Wood Street Plaza and playground.  The Council and East Architecture are now inviting your views from 17 December 2012 until 25 January 2013.
These improvements are part of the Outer London Fund. This fund, alongside funding from Transport for London, has already enabled public realm improvements to be made to the length of Wood Street and the Plaza.
An outline of the proposals can be found in Wood Street Library. They are also available from the link below:
And a questionnaire can be found here
Drop in sessions
Two drop in sessions will also be held at the Plaza. There, you can meet with officers from East and London Borough of Waltham Forest to view the proposals and provide your feedback. The dates are:
21 December 1-4pm
15th January 1-4pm 10 am – 1 pm (corrected time: originally incorrectly stated on LBWF website)


  1. Free parking before 10am and after 4pm Mon-Friday and on Saturday and Sunday, on-street and in the two Council car parks, would do more for Wood Street than any landscaping of the Plaza. Business Rate holidays for new tenants would also help.
    Cllr John Moss

Monday, 17 December 2012

Permitted Development

Here is a good site to help understand the Government's new Permitted Development controls.

Permitted Development

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Walthamstow Wetlands Consultation

I attended the Walthamstow Wetlands Consultation facilitated by the London Wildlife Trust. Although there was no presentation there was ample opportunity to discuss the proposals with their representatives. There were no detailed plans and I made the point that if we are to believe this is a real consultation then the information, that must have been assembled for the lottery bid, should be made available to the public.

I emphasised that an entry point needs to be provided in Coppermill Lane and the Coppermill opened for public access. It is likely to be a bird watching point and a dance studio/art gallery or some such community use. The Visitor Centre will be the old engine room at the main entrance opposite the Ferry Boat Inn pub. I also suggested the site could be opened up now by a simple advert saying visitors were welcome. A pelican crossing needs to be installed across Forest Road.

I made it clear the community does not want the site "disneyfied" and the wildlife needed to be given priority over public access, having said that it is a very large site so it should not be too difficult to arrange areas to be left undisturbed for the wildlife. A major negotiation that will have to be carried out is how the site will be funded in the long term. To open up the site money will be provided by various bodies including the lottery, but how and who will run it is subject to debate!

Walthamstow Wetlands

Friday, 14 December 2012

Harrow Green Library Replacement


Dear everyone
As you know, we can move into the room at the Epicentre from 2 January and start organising a library there.
We need books, shelving, newspapers and volunteers - the volunteers bit is the reason for this email!
Angela and I are spending this evening phoning people to ask if, a year since the campaign, they still have time to help run the library or help in other ways.
We managed to speak to some of you and leave messages for others. Belt and braces approach - now a short questionnaire online! (if we didn't speak to you already.)
Would be great if you could send us your answers to these questions (lack of funds means we can't offer a £500 prize or weekend in Paris to the lucky winner....sorry)
Do you still have the time and desire to help at the library?
If YES, please continue.
If NO, please let us know so we won't bother you.
Are you available on Saturdays - or some Saturdays?
If so, is that mornings, afternoons or all day?
Are there any other days you would be available?
How many hours a week / fortnight / month might you want to contribute?
Do you know other people who might be interested? Family, friends, neighbours etc........
Are you willing to help with publicity? We are producing some posters.
Do you have books to contribute?
Do you want to help with cataloguing the books or preparing them to be taken out?
Any other comments?
It would be good to hear from you by NEXT WEDNESDAY 19th December when we have our next committee meeting which will be at:
4pm at Cann Hall Baptist Church, Cann Hall Road E11.
See you there?
Ros and Angela

Activities in Lloyd Park

Hello everyone,

Celebrate the festive season with the Friends of Lloyd Park annual Sing-Along
Sunday 16 December, 2-4pm
Behind the William Morris Gallery
Enjoy live music (including E17’s Natural Voices Choir) plus mince pies, mulled wine and roasted chestnuts.

Plus upcoming in January and new to Lloyd Park: Senior Tai Chi
Free Tai Chi sessions for ages 50+
Every Sunday at 10-11am, from 20 January until 24 February 2013
At the Community Bowls Pavilion, by the synthetic bowling green.
Develop balance, reduce your risk of falling, improve your well-being and meet new people. Low intensity exercise - suitable for all abilities.
We hope to extend these sessions into a permanent Senior Tai Chi Corner, so be one of the first to join this exciting group!
More info:  07713 152 999

Wishing you a very happy Christmas and New Year.

Ellie Mortimer
Community Project Co-ordinator
Green Space Services
Environment and Regeneration
Low Hall Depot
Argall Avenue
London E10 7AS

Tel: 0208 496 2822
Mob: 07530 072 216

Granada (EMD) Inquiry Update

Here are some comments from Twitter

Twitter Updates

  • No examples of church-cinema hybrid to be found. Untried and untested concept. -McGuffins3 hours ago

  • Evening economy not all upside - too many drunks. Seriously!4 hours ago

  • Cinema option now being characterised as grandiose project with aspirations of pan-London appeal to rival O2.#missingthepoint 4 hours ago

  • Appeal site peripheral geographically and economically to town centre BUT help centre would contribute to evening economy -UCKG consultant 4 hours ago

  • UCKG planning consultant calls for evidence based decision making, then says cinema use not viable - without shred of evidence

St James Street Improvements

Out of the blue a £1m of lottery money is heading towards the St.James Street area. With no Area Action Plan in place how will our officers and councillors decide how to "invest" this money. Let's hope it is not another Wood Street Disneyfication exercise!! Tesco have just moved in with a small shop and Morrissons is preparing a planning application to take over the South Grove Car Park site. The NHS has put on hold plans to build two tower blocks on the site of the St.James Street Health Centre. Why squander £1m on this area until the strategic direction it is going in has been decided?

St James Street Improvements

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Gala Bingo Hall to become a church


I have looked at the plans the Potter House Christian Fellowship has for the Gala Bingo Hall in Lea Bridge Road. They want a change of use from Cinema to Church. Amazingly the Design and Access statement is barely 1 page of A4 which states they will not be changing the building in any way other than the signage. The largest document is the Travel Plan, which will discourage car travel and encourage, very strongly, public transport or cycling. 

It is not clear if they are closing their existing premises in Folkestone Road, E17 9SD. It seems strange they should take on such a large building and have no plans (or money?) to refurbish it! I have heard they cause problems with noise (hymn singing) with their existing neighbours so this new venue will be more suitable.

Katy Andrews by the former Savoy cinema, which has been sold to a Christian group.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Granada (EMD) Inquiry Update

Here are some comments from Twitter

Twitter Updates

  • No examples of church-cinema hybrid to be found. Untried and untested concept. -McGuffins3 hours ago

  • Evening economy not all upside - too many drunks. Seriously!4 hours ago

  • Cinema option now being characterised as grandiose project with aspirations of pan-London appeal to rival O2.#missingthepoint 4 hours ago

  • Appeal site peripheral geographically and economically to town centre BUT help centre would contribute to evening economy -UCKG consultant 4 hours ago

  • UCKG planning consultant calls for evidence based decision making, then says cinema use not viable - without shred of evidence

London Green Grid

The Mayor has produced a Supplementary Planning Guidance for the green corridors of London. You will find Epping Forest and the Lea Valley core parts of this document.

The London Green Grid

Barking to Gospel Oak Line

You will find lots of interesting information about this railway line that goes through our Borough. Years ago it was hard to use as its service was very erratic and it was quicker to take other transport routes to get across to north London. With new trains and a 15 minute service it has improved significantly so if you want a stroll across Hamstead Heath consider taking the train!

Barking to Gospel Oak Users Group

Leyton Marsh Video

Here is a video about the latest marsh saga.

Leyton Marsh

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Blackhorse Lane Developments

For the latest on the Blackhorse Lane developments

Blackhorse Lane

Community First Funding

Community First funding is a Central Government initiative. This initiative offers funds to some of the most deprived wards in the borough.
The funding offered within Waltham Forest is as follows:
Grove Green ward - £33,910;
Hoe Street ward - £33,910;
Lea Bridge ward - £50,865;
Leyton ward - £33,910; and
Wood Street £33,910.
The funding is to be spent over a three /four year period in each of these wards. The fund remains available to the wards as long as the requirements of the programme's funding process are complied with.
One of the programme's requirements is that the funds are spent on projects which are needed in the ward and that benefit the ward.
Grove Green ward's Community Panel will develop a dedicated website in due course. A link to this website will be provided once this website is up and running. 
For more details about Hoe Street ward's Community Panel, visit or
For more details about Lea Bridge ward's Community Panel, visit
For more details about Leyton ward's Community Panel, visit
For more details about Wood Street ward's Community Panel, visit
For more information about the Central Government initiative, please visitCommunity First.

Wood Street Market

Wetlands Consultation - reminder

Granada (EMD) Inquiry Update

CPO & Inquiry update

Waltham Forest Council have agreed in principal to issue a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) to
force UCKG to sell the EMD which could then be bought by Waltham Forest Cinema Trust and
revived as a top class cinema and live entertainment venue.

This is a very positive step, however it is crucially dependant on UCKG losing both planning appeals
currently being discussed at the Public Inquiry.

So far at the Inquiry, UCKG's barrister stated they would let go of the EMD 'over my dead body'
and no films with 'blasphemy' could be screened.
Read UCKG's response to the possibility of a CPO here

We hope as many supporters as possible can attend the remaining days of this vitally important Inquiry,
Wednesday 12th December 
when speakers for and against UCKG's plans will make their case.

Paul Griffiths - the government's Planning Inspector handling this case will write a report
following the Inquiry, recommending UCKG's plans are either approved or rejected. The final decision will be
made by the Communities' Secretary (Eric Pickles), probably in Spring 2013.

If you are interested in attending we recommend that you try to come on one of the following days, when the Inquiry will be taking place in the Assembly Hall:
Wednesday 12th December
Thursday 13th December
Wednesday 19th December
You can also attend on any or all of the following days, but on these days the Inquiry will be in the Council Chamber and space will be limited, and available on a ‘first come first served' basis
Tuesday 11th December
Friday 14th December
Tuesday 18th December
If you are interested in attending and speaking at the Inquiry, a day has been reserved for this – Wednesday 12th December. If possible you should organise your time so that you can attend and speak on this day.
We also recommend that you:
    • Email the same details (your name, the topic you want to speak on and, if possible, a written note of what you plan to say) to Martha Clark ( or write to Martha c/o London Borough of Waltham Forest, Sycamore House. Rear of Walthamstow Town Hall. Forest Road.Walthamstow E17 4JF
The Inspector will not refuse permission for any third party to speak on other days; this is simply to try to be as fair as possible to all of the third parties who want to make their views known.

We've put together some questions & answers on what happens at the public inquiry here

If you would like to speak at the inquiry and want advice or guidance, please
email and we'll do our best to help.

Please check our website or facebook & twitter for updates.

Thank you for your support

Please email