Council Chooses Free Fireworks Over Library Funding!

At the Council’s budget meeting Liberal Democrat councillors highlighted the Council’s spending of £130,000 on fireworks in January. This money could have kept the Library at Harrow Green open for a year.

At the meeting it was said funding of Harrow Green library is a waste of money. Labour councillors also said that they liked the fireworks. This is astonishing given that Harrow Green library is situated in one of the most deprived areas of Waltham Forest.

Children and families in this area now see that their Council prefers half hour of fireworks rather than keeping open their library.

What do you think – should the Council spend money on fireworks or open Harrow Green Library?

Focus says: This is not all. The Council is planning to spend another million of tax payers money on fireworks and other events this year. Given the current financial situation is this the right priority?

Minutes of Leyton Ward Forum – 28 February 2013

Minutes of 28 February 2013 LEYTON WARD RESIDENTS FORUM Meeting

Leyton Cricket Ground Leyton E10


Officers/Councillors in Attendance: Cllr Bob Sullivan, Cllr Naheed Qureshi, Leyton Safer Neighbourhood Team,  Sally Hobson & Library Team, Ron Presswell and Jacinta Fisher Conservation area consultation  Alex of Groundwork London. And Bettina Aruoture (WF Council)


The Chair, Cllr Bob Sullivan welcomed everybody to the meeting. Cllr Sullivan introduced the Councillors and Officers in attendance.  Fire and Safety measures were explained.


Page 1 – agreed

Page 2:

  • Auckland Road – Travellers are still there and the council officers are monitoring the area
  • County Ground – Squatters are still present  and the Council is seeking a Court Order

Page 3:

  • Leyton Arts Trail – still pending
  • Coopers Lane – problem of 20mph signs – still pending
  • Temple Mills – the Chair understood the painted sign had not been removed and is investigating
  • Temporary barriers opposite Leyton Midland Road Station – removed
  • High Road improvements – still pending
  • Buckingham Road – The Chair has been advised  that the Authority receives no income and is pressing for the road to be reopened
  • Leyton Mills – The Chair advised that tenants are still being sought for the empty properties, but understands that the problem is that there is no access for service lorries
  • Street Trees – residents are requested to provide locations of missing trees so that they can be checked.


AGENDA ITEM 3: Conservation Area Consultation

Ron Presswell led the presentation and introduced Jacinta Fisher, the new Conservation Officer.

Attention was drawn to the display at the rear of the room. It was explained that a conservation area gives the Planning Officers tighter control over developments within the Conservation Area, and have engendered increased civic pride in the community.

In response to a question it was confirmed that home owners within the area may be able to apply for grants from the Council. There will be a small grants scheme, in the region of £1-£2k maximum.

The consultation closes on 18th March.

A resident commented that the ugly modern building, immediately behind the Library, in Ruckholt Road must surely be outside the conservation area, and wondered how planning approval could have been awarded.

A resident queried whether the railway cottages behind Coronation Gardens, were included in the Conservation Area

 ACTION:  Chair to clarify

Ron Presswell advised that an improvement scheme being finalised for the Bakers Arms shopping centre, which should be introduced next year. He advised a resident that the changes to the Bakers Arms Public House did not require planning permission

The Chair thanked the officers for their presentation.


The Leyton SNT is now based at Waltham House, Kirkdale Road, following the closure of Leyton Police Station.

The SNT informed residents that there had been a cross-London operation yesterday (27 February), which resulted in 240 arrests, and included a drugs raid on the Beaumont Estate.

There have been plain clothes operations in the ward to combat robbery and burglary.

Motor vehicle crime is being tackled using AMPR technology which highlights offenders.

A bike stamping session saw 30 more bikes stamped.

The SNT is also working various hours to cover incidents.

A resident said that he finds the new lighting is not as bright as the old lamps, which he feels is responsible for some increase in crime. He advised that the garages in Dunedin Road were broken into twice in one week.

101 Service – a resident cited lack of response. The SNT advised that this service is run by civilian’s staff, who are currently receiving further training. Residents were advised to dial the emergency 999 service if they have problems with 101.

A Brewster Road resident complained about the problem of dumped cars. The SNT confirmed that they can only get cars moved immediately if they are causing an obstruction. Otherwise dumped vehicles are a matter for the Council. If a vehicle has a current tax disc, it cannot be moved unless it has been confirmed as ‘stolen’. Abandoned vehicles can only be removed once the tax disc has expired. The council direct line is: 020 8721 2737.

The Chair thanked the members of the SNT for their attendance.

AGENDA ITEM 5: Leyton Library improvements

Sally Hodgson led the presentation and explained that usage of the Library had increased following the introduction of extended hours. She explained that the Library Service now comes under the Customer Service division and they are consulting on changing the way that libraries are used. This includes expansion of  ‘ E-services’ – downloading books etc., provision of adult education books and audio books.

Other facilities could encompass accepting payments for Council Tax etc., benefits advice. She is happy to receive suggestions by email to

An order of books is due to be received by mid-March, and there is a system in place for stock management.

The Chair thanked the officers for their presentation.

AGENDA ITEM 6: 2012/2013 Ward Funding/Spend

The Chair explained the details of the ward fund, which were compiled from suggestions made by residents. The total committed is £9,896.00, which leaves £193.96 unallocated. Any suggestions for use of this sum were welcomed by the Chair.  There may be some carry over from last year.

A comment was made about the lack of publicity for events. It was agreed that a press release should be supplied to both WFN and the Guardian about the Leyton Arts Trail. The Chair also agreed that details would be uploaded on to the ward councillors’ websites.


AGENDA ITEM 7: Coronation Gardens Annexe Consultation

A representative of Groundwork London explained some preliminary ideas including, skateboard park, wildlife area, seating, and access to beach volleyball area. One proviso was stressed, namely that they will be unable to offer any facility for growing food plants.

There will be an event on Saturday 16th March from 10.30 until 2pm., when residents will be able to discuss ideas with Groundwork London.

He stressed that, at the present, there is no funding in place.

The Chair thanked Groundwork London for the presentation.

AGENDA ITEM 8: Update on Leyton Sports Ground

Peter Towler reported that the initial meeting in mid-January was attended by 16 local people. Points raised include:

  • Establishment of a permanent residents group
  • Survey improvements needed to the bowling green and tennis courts
  • Better promotion
  • Bring facilities up to standard

He has a meeting arranged with the Leader of the Council on 16th March. One question he will be asking is – When the council is spending £24 million on leisure improvements, why is there no mention of the Sports Ground?  He asked what other questions residents would like raised.

A resident commented about the lack of pruning of the trees bordering Brewster Road, but has noted that there appears to be some activity.

The Chair thanked Peter Towler for his report.

AGENDA ITEM 9: Community Forum

In view of time constraints this item was shorter than usual

  • Hainault Road/High Road site – A resident asked about this site – the Chair suggested he talk to him after the close of the meeting
  • Coopers Lane – The Chair confirmed that the YMCA leased property would need planning permission for a change of use.

The Chair closed the meeting and thanked everyone for coming.

Leyton FOCUS Newsletter 339

The latest issue of the Leyton FOCUS number 339 has just gone to press, and will be distributed free across the ward by volunteers.

Please contact Bob Sullivan if you would like to help the Lib Dems by delivering the FOCUS near your home. It is published approximately every six weeks and around takes about 45 minutes.

You can call Bob on 020 8556 8335, or email him via this website.

You can access an advance copy here:  Leyton 339

Residents Forum – 28 May

Councillor Bob Sullivan

The next meeting of the Leyton Ward Residents Forum has been arranged for Tuesday 28 May at the Seddon Centre, off Clyde Place, from 7pm until 9pm.

Come and meet your local councillors Bob Sullivan, Winnie Smith and Naheed Qureshi to find out what is going on in our area and to discuss local issues.

Police Surgery at Leyton Library

From  1st. May until 26th June a Police Officer will hold an informal drop-in surgery twice a week:

Wednesday from 5pm until 7pm

Saturday from 2pm until 4pm

Local people will be able to:

  • Report a crime
  • Report lost property or hand in found property
  • Make an appointment to speak to a local officer
  • Hand in self-reporting forms for a road traffic accident
  • Obtain crime prevention advice
  • Discuss community problems
  • Make an appointment to give a statement if you don’t want the police to come to your house or place of work
  • Make an appointment to speak to an officer  about a complaint against the police

For further information see the Leyton Safer Neighbourhood’s Team webpage at:

or the Leyton Library webpage:


Lib Dems Sweep to Victory in Eastleigh!

Mike Thornton (centre) the new MP for Eastleigh being congratulated by David Chidgey (the first Lib Dem MP for Eastleigh) and MEP Caroline Bearder

After being written off by the media, the Liberal Democrats won a stunning by-election victory in Eastleigh, knocking Tory and Labour into 3rd and 4th place.

Given the circumstances of the by-election and the pounding by the media in order to discredit the party, Lib Dems came through, winning an outstanding victory.

The Result

Mike Thornton LIB DEM = 13,342

Diane James UKIP = 11,571

Maria Hutchings CON = 10,559

John O’Farrell LAB = 4,066

Danny Stupple = 768

Media Link

Leyton Conservation Area

The Council is proposing to designate part of Leyton Town Centre as a Conservation Area. The area stretches from Buckingham Road (Coronation Gardens) along the High Road as far as Leyton Underground Station

What is a Conservation Area?

It is an area of special architectural or historic interest. The special character can include buildings, parks and open spaces, trees and landscaping, paving and street furniture etc.

This part of Leyton is of particular historical interest and includes two grade 2 statutorily listed buildings (Leyton Library and the old Leyton Torn Hall), the locally listed building at 267 High Road (formerly Barclays Bank) and the Victorian Coronation Gardens.

Extra Planning Protection

Conservation area designation gives broad protection to an area, and all features within the area are recognised as part of its character. The Council, as the local planning authority, would have extra powers to control works to protect, or improve, the character or appearance of the area.

Exhibition at Leyton Library

There will be a public exhibition in the foyer of Leyton Library from 18 February until 18 March. Council officers will be present on the following days to answer any questions:

Tuesday 19 February – between 4 and 7pm

Wednesday 28 February – between 11am and 2pm


Any comments should be received by Friday 15 March, and should be sent to:

MAIL: Jacinta Fisher, Conservation Officer, London Borough of Waltham Forest, Room GO8, Sycamore House, Town Hall, Walthamstow, E17 4JF


TELEPHONE: for any questions call Jacinta Fisher on 020 8496 6737