MS Awareness Week 23-29 April

23-29 April 2018 is MS week, which is a chance for us all to do our bit to raise awareness and money to make sure no one has to fight MS alone.

MS is a neurological life long condition which affects your brain, spinal chord and central nervous system. As a result MS can create many different symptoms, and is different for every patient.

Of the over 100,000 UK sufferers of MS almost three times as many are women than men. Typically people are diagnosed with the condition in their 20s and 30s.

If you want to learn more about MS click here. 

If you want to get involved and be Bold In Blue to raise money and awareness click here. 

OLYMPIC PARK – PLANNING APPLICATIONS UPDATE

This is an update on the Olympic Legacy item

In one month exactly the committee in charge of reviewing the Concrete Batching applications is scheduled to convene and make its decision, which is likely to affect tens of thousands of East London residents.

The plans have generated a massive and highly justified public uproar: nearly 10,000 citizens have signed this petition, and Objection Letters are pouring in to the LLDC website from developers, borough representatives and members of the public alike.

OPCRD has also submitted this week their own *OFFICIAL* Objection Document – in the name of everyone affected and everyone that have signed this petition. It is a 40-page long review of all of the projects’ momentous documentation. The objection document summarizes and pinpoints all the many procedural improprieties, data omissions, implausible assumptions and shabby ‘survey’ work that was handed in to the LLDC by the applicants.

Read OPCRD’s objection, and see for yourself just what a mockery the applicants have made of the application process: https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/opcrd/objection.pdf

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (who’s office has informed us that he “doesn’t have the authority to get involved”), was elected on a wave of big promises about ‘Clean air for Londoners’, and the need to clean and strengthen the weaker boroughs, more affected by pollution than other. So we thought he might want to see this video, shot 27 August afternoon – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlSdvBm7MKk (also at www.opcrd.org)

This is not a massive fire or the aftermath of an explosion – it’s simply a gigantic dust cloud spreading across Newham, carrying huge amounts of harmful particulate matter (PM. This concrete batching plant in this video is located less than 50 meters from where the additional 3 (!!!) are planned to be located…

Now is NOT a time to become complacent about this – share, engage and support, or these plans WILL become reality in exactly 1 month!

 

WILL WALTHAM FOREST TENANTS GET A REFUND OF THE WATER CHARGE?

In March of this year Southwark Council lost a High Court case on water charges which could affect councils all over London including Waltham Forest.  Councils collect payment for water and sewerage services from tenants on behalf of Thames Water and in return the councils receive a commission fee.

The High Court found Southwark Council should have passed on any savings to tenants, as they were technically reselling water services. Southwark has already announced that they have “decided not to appeal the decision,” and are refunding current and past tenants up to £700.

Waltham Forest should do the same.

Waltham Forest Council say they accept that establishing the legality of a practice is a matter for the Courts. Yet instead of refunding people straight away, they are still ganging up with other councils to hire “an external firm and a barrister” to give them legal advice on what to do.

The local Liberal Democrats believe that Waltham Forest Council should follow Southwark’s example and refund their tenants without further delay.

 

HOW HIGH CAN WE ALLOW DEVELOPERS TO BUILD?

Focus has previously reported on the massive high rise flat developments in Waltham Forest.

Forest Ward Focus Team members were with residents at the Planning Committee when the Council agreed the over development of buildings, of up to 18 storeys, in Lea Bridge Road.

Only recently Leyton Focus Team member Bob Sullivan and residents spoke against the 16 storey block at the end of Dunedin Road.

It appears that developers are having a field day as the Council continually agree the building of unaffordable multi high rise flats in the borough.

The latest plan submitted by the owners of the Mall shopping centre in Walthamstow is to build four blocks including one of 27 storeys!  Currently local residents have presented a 2,000 plus petition to the Council in protest against the plans. If you would like to support the local residents then contact ‘Save Walthamstow Town Centre’ on line: SAVE OUR TOWN CENTRE

Focus says:  In our experience the Labour Council never listens to residents and carries on agreeing the over development of every bit of land for multi high rise unaffordable flats.

LIB DEMS CALL FOR IMPROVED SAFETY MEASURES

Redbridge Cllr Gwyneth Deakins with London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon outside the Assembly Building

CAMPAIGNERS have submitted a petition they hope will address “critical” safety issues at one of London’s most notorious traffic hotspots.

Roding ward Cllr Gwyneth Deakins met with her Liberal Democrat colleague Caroline Pidgeon at City Hall on July 26 to hand over her petition to improve safety measures at Charlie Brown’s Roundabout in South Woodford.

As chairman of the London Assembly’s transport committee, Cllr Deakins is hopeful Ms Pidgeon’s input will finally mean better safety at the notorious A406/M11 junction, which has seen resident complaints for over 20 years.

She said:

The 1970s infrastructure of the junction just isn’t good enough – it can’t cope with the volume and speed of 21st century traffic.

There are accidents there all the time and every time I see a cyclist cross it fills me with complete dread.

Transport for London say they are going to do something, but when we were in the same position eight years ago, the then-Mayor Boris Johnson dropped the plans.

The petition, which has collected over 500 signatures online and by post, calls for more pedestrian and cycling crossings and possible changes in traffic signalling.

Cllr Deakins added that the planned expansion of Nightingale Primary School in Ashbourne Avenue and numerous housing estates due to be built in South Woodford as part of the Redbridge Local Plan make swift action “critically important”.

More and more kids have to use Charlie Brown’s to get to schools like Oakdale, Beal, Woodbridge and Nightingale, so no action is putting their safety at risk.

The W14 also regularly drops families and elderly people off at the junction, who if they chose not to get a connecting bus, are left to fend for themselves crossing the road.

And with all the housing developments proposed for South Woodford in the Local Plan, it’s critically important improved safety measures are implemented as soon as possible.

Redbridge Council supported Cllr Deakins’ motion to commit to improving connectivity between proposed housing developments near the roundabout as part of the its 2015-2030.

London Assembly member for Havering and Redbridge Keith Prince said he was happy to back the petition.

As Assembly Member and deputy Chairman of the Transport Committee at City Hall I am happy to take up this issue.

I use the junction on a regular basis so I know it can be a bit of a nightmare for pedestrians, and it’s not much fun for drivers and cyclists either, as it’s so hazardous.

I agree that something needs to be done.

The petition, which can be viewed online, will be formally handed to London Mayor Sadiq Khan next month.

His office has been contacted for comment.

BBC iPLAYER USERS NEED A TV LICENCE

BBC iPlayer users in the UK will need a valid licence to use the service from September 1, even if they don’t have a TV and only watch online via a laptop or mobile.

Specifically, you still don’t need a licence to watch other on-demand services like Netflix or other terrestrial broadcasters’ digital platforms, like ITV Player.

The £145-per-year BBC TV licence is only currently needed for those who watch live television, but the changes mean that anyone who chooses not to buy a licence can no longer legally watch BBC programmes live or programmes on demand, including watching BBC iPlayer through another provider such as Sky or Virgin.

Local Lib Dem campaigner Bob Sullivan said, “I don’t want people to get caught out by this change. If you don’t pay this license fee and continue to use iplayer, you could face a £1,000 fine.”

“Please don’t forget that when you reach the age of 75, you can apply for a free over 75 TV Licence. They last 3 years and will be sent out provided you give them your national insurance number.

“There are also other times you might be able to get money back on the £145.50 – for example if you’re a student you can get a £37 refund if you are home for the summer.”

PROTECT SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH POST BREXIT

PROTECT SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH PETITION

Finding a cure to cancer. Saving the planet from climate change. Sending Tim Peake to space. All of these depend on European funding and co-operation.

But Brexit will seriously endanger cross-European science co-operation – a disaster for British science, and a disaster for so many of the projects that will bring us a better future.

Sign the petition ▶

The Liberal Democrats are fighting back with a petition to save our science research from the blow of Brexit, by campaigning for guarantees to continued European funding and co-operation.

But, we don’t have long to get as many signatures as possible before our scientists take our petition to David Davis.

Sign the petition ▶

If we succeed, British scientists will stay at the front of international spaceflight, combating climate change and curing cancer.

OLYMPIC PARK – SO MUCH FOR LEGACY!!

Last year a planning application was submitted for the creation of London’s largest concrete and asphalt factory – right at the centre of the Olympic Park, and in the middle of a dense residential area.

This development would have a dramatic impact on the local area and residents, creating 3 concrete batching plants and an Asphalt production plant adjacent to a heavily used green space.

The proposed plants, which will be next door to London Athletics and the new UCL East campus, are to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with an estimated 900 heavy vehicles coming and going daily.

This will create an industrial blight on the area by introducing significant air, dust and noise pollution to what is otherwise a fast regenerating part of the city.

The planning applications have been submitted as four (4) wholly independent operations, without consideration given to their cumulative effects on an area now defined by new residential communities, pedestrian and cycling routes, recreational zones and athletics venues. There is a serious risk that hazardous chemical dust from concrete and asphalt manufacturing activities and associated vehicle fumes will raise air pollution to dangerous levels, resulting in asthma and other respiratory issues for the populations of Newham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets.

The full applications can be found on LLDC’s planning website at http://planningregister.londonlegacy.co.uk/swift/apas/run/wphappcriteria.display : PA Refs: 15/00368/FUL / 15/00400/FUL / 15/00414/FUL / 16/00194/SCRES].

The proposal is scheduled for review before the London Legacy Development Corporation’s (LLDC) planning committee as early as September 27th 2016. The LLDC was given special powers and a remit directly from the Mayor’s office to manage the Olympic Park area regeneration beyond 2012.

The LLDC is not directly accountable to local residents in the same way that the councils of Newham, Tower Hamlets or Hackney are. Consequently, the decision making of the LLDC will not always be in the interests of local residents. And it is the LLDC alone that has the final decision on whether this concrete batching development goes ahead.

The proposal of the concrete works is completely incompatible with the Mayor’s office ‘Clean Air for London Policy‘ or the current direction of residential and other developments planned for the area.

In order to protect the integrity and future development of the community, it is of paramount importance that a concerted effort be made by local residents and businesses to oppose this planning proposal NOW.

Please sign the petition today.

MAYORAL CANDIDATE CAMPAIGNS IN LEYTON

Caroline Pidgeon with local Lib Dem campaigners outside Leyton Station.

Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat candidate for London Mayor pictured campaigning outside Leyton Underground Station with local activists.

LONDON LIB DEMS CAMPAIGN FOR HALF PRICE FARES BEFORE 7.30AM

Lib Dem candidate for London Mayor calling for half price fares

Half Price Fares before 7.30am – join the campaign

Liberal Democrat candidate for London Mayor, Caroline Pidgeon, and London North East Lib Dem candidate Terry Stacy have set out plans for half price fares for journeys that start by 7:30am.

Lib Dem plans would offer half price fares on Underground, Overground and TFL Rail Services for people travelling by 7.30am. This plan builds on the Liberal Democrats pioneering work developing a one hour bus ticket.

Terry Stacy said:

This would help some of Waltham Forest’s lowest paid workers who often have to work unsocial hours. A half price fare scheme would also help to tackle overcrowding by encouraging home people to start their journeys earlier in the morning.