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
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.”
Leyton’s Liberal Democrat councillors have called for Conservative Mayor Boris Johnson and Conservative councillors on the London Fire Emergency and Planning authority (LFEPA) to reverse a proposal to permanently remove a fire engine from Leyton Fire Station.
The cuts threat was made by LFEPA’s Conservative chairman earlier this week when he called for the Fire Brigade to look at saving money by making permanent the temporary reductions in fire cover during the recent strikes. It could see 27 of London’s 169 fire engines scrapped and around 500 fire fighter jobs lost. The proposal was backed by Conservative members of the authority.
Local Leyton Lib Dem councillor Winnie Smith said: “It is shocking that the Conservatives are now looking at permanent cuts to the number of fire engines protecting Leyton residents. This inevitably raises questions about the time it takes for engines to get to fires and accidents and about cover if the remaining engine is unavailable. Like all public services London Fire Brigade needs to save money, but Mayor Boris Johnson has promised that there will be no cuts in frontline fire services and he must honour that promise.
“Waltham Forest Lib Dems have also expressed concern about the removal of a fire engine from Chingford Fire Station.
Councillor Bob Sullivan urges all users of this playing field to join the campaign to save it from becoming an Olympic Holding Area, which will mean it will be closed to the public from September 2011 until the end of December 2012.
Who knows what will happen then!
Please sign our on-line petition at:
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.”
The original planning application for the Glyn Hopkin Nissan car showroom on the corner of Oliver Road and Ruckholt Road was not accepted by the Council.
A new application, that is not entirely residential, has been lodged with the Council which includes artists’ studios in Oliver Road.
A resident consultation on the revised scheme will be carried out soon.
The Housing Association that now owns the derelict Outlook building in Leyton High Road on the corner with Grange Park Road has now received funding to develop the site. They hope to start in the next two months.
Focus says: At last we may see the end of this eyesote that dominates our High Road.
Liberal Democrat councillors are pressing the Government to provide money for new school buildings for our local children.
“Anyone who has visited schools such as George Mitchell and Buxton (formerly Tom Hood) knows how much new buildings are needed. We owe it to the children of our borough to do all we can to provide them with the high quality education they deserve. This includes making sure that they can learn in decent surroundings,” said Liberal Democrat Group Leader Bob Sullivan.
The Liberal Democrat group is hugely disappointed that the cancellation of Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme has hit local schools so badly. It is an enormous shame, but if Labour had made faster progress with the BSF schemes since 2003 we would not now be in the situation where more Waltham Forest schools have been stopped compared with other boroughs. However Lib Dem councillors believe the important thing is what happens next.
Councillor Winnie Smith says: “BSF was a cumbersome, bureaucratic and expensive way of funding school buildings which funnelled money into the pockets of consultants and private contractors. The government has pledged to continue to invest in school buildings and the Liberal Democrats will be at the forefront of the campaign to make sure that Waltham Forest schools get their fair share of this spending.”