Over 60 Leyton residents packed the meeting room at the Score Complex on Oliver Road to attend our first Leyton Ward Residents’ Forum meeting on 19th May 2011. This was the first of such meetings following the Labour Councils scrapping of the Community Council meetings.
Items on the agenda included presentations from Council Officers regarding works in the area in preparation for the Olympics and from the local Safer Neighbourhood Team; further information on how to elect a representative from the area onto the Leyton Cricket Ground Management Committee; Suggestions on how to spend £10,000 in the area and an open Q & A session where you could ask your local councillors about anything you like!
Local Councillors Winnie Smith, Bob Sullivan and Naheed Qureshi were delighted by the huge turnout (much higher than in other wards in the borough) and the positive response from Leyton residents.
Residents should note that we are in the process of collecting YOUR ideas on how to spend £10,000 in the area! If you think you have an idea on how the money can be spent to improve the area or the lives of those living in it and would like to let us know – please contact us immediately!! or collect some forms at Leyton Library and Seddon Centre Clyde Place/Beaumont Road.
We will be discussing this matter further and giving you the opportunity to comment on suggestions received at our next meeting in September!
Finally, if there is anything you would like to see on the agenda of our next meeting please let us know. These meetings are for your benefit and any input from you will be welcome!!
Click below if you want to see the minutes of the meeting –
Leyton Ward Forum Minutes 19-5-11
I was invited by two local university students, Nathaniel and Ismael, to talk to them about being a Councillor. Both of them are involved in a youth organisation called Evolution Now. The organisation website states their aim as Making Politics Fun and Exciting for Young People. I hope that they can succeed. They interviewed me on camera. I must say I need a bit of practice, as you can see for yourself, by clicking onto: 2011_04_01_archive.html This will also introduce you to their website.
Last week I went along to the Planning Committee as they were due to discuss the UCKG Church’s planning application to turn the old Granada Cinema in Hoe Street, into a church. My colleague Councillor Mahmood Khan was due to speak to the committee as his ward includes the cinema.
The Committee normally sits in the Town Hall but was transferred to the nearby Assembly Hall. A good job too, as hundreds of people from the Church and the local residents turned up and packed the assembly hall. Hundreds were locked out as there was not any more room inside.
Liberal Democrat councillor Mahmood Hussain told Waltham Forest’s Planning Committee that the council should refuse the planning application submitted by UCKG to turn the EMD Cinema into a religious assembly hall. He said:
“The key questions can be summarised very simply. Does the proposed development respect the building’s heritage and listed building status? Is the impact on the area and particularly on nearby residents acceptable? Does the proposed development contribute satisfactorily to the regeneration of Walthamstow Town Centre? On all three counts I believe the answer is no.
“This view is shared by an enormous number of local residents. Our borough has hundreds of places of worship of all types and sizes. But it does not have a single cinema. We have clear evidence that the building is potentially viable as a cinema, arts and entertainment venue.
“This would bring new life to the area and stimulate the local economy – unlike the proposal before you. The proposed changes to the building would destroy much of what is special about this unique building, which is one of the oldest, largest and best preserved cinema buildings in the country.
“Residents would suffer from the absence of a proper noise management scheme and from parking problems generated by cars descending on the area from miles away.
“For the sake of Walthamstow please listen to local people, weigh up the planning merits of the case and refuse the application.”
Speaking after the decision to refuse the planning application both I and Councillor Hussain said we were delighted that the Planning Committee had listened to the arguments put forward by objectors.
“This is good and important news for Walthamstow Town Centre but it is only one step forward. Following two planning refusals and endless discussion we hope UKCG will now abandon their plan. We must allow those who are able to bring the cinema back into use the chance to realise the cinema’s true potential.”
Residents recently contacted me about the crumbling wall at the side of the Oliver Twist pub on the corner of Oliver Road and Church Road. The pub has been derelict for some years awaiting planning permission to develop it into flats. The wall and fence at the side by the beer garden has started to crumble (see picture) and looked in danger of collapsing. I contacted the Council, who investigated. In their opinion they agree that it is crumbling, but was not unsafe. They will continue to monitor the situation and in the meantime have written to the owners.
Our latest Lib Dem FOCUS newsletter is being delivered across Leyton Ward by the Focus Team and local residents over the next few weeks. But if you have yet to receive it, or do not live in the ward, then you can see it by downloading it here –
Leyton Focus 325
The Focus Team is trying to get a ‘No Through Road’ sign put up at the entrance to Crescent Road, off Church Road, as large lorries attempt to use it as a cut through, only to find it difficult to turn round when they realise it is a cul-de-sac.
The Team is also trying to get a new sign for Goldsmith Road, at the junction with Park Road, as the sign appears to have been taken.
Liberal Democratshave demanded that the Council apologises to local residents for wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds on the departure of Andrew Kilburn the Chief Executive.
Councillor Naheed Qureshi says: “At a time when money is tight and every penny counts, it is a scandal that Labour councillors are prepared to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds to get rid of someone.
There are many important local services that badly need that sort of cash.
It is a bit rich of Labour councillors to complain about cuts and then go on to waste money on this scale. Local taxpayers deserve a Council that spends their money responsibly.”