WHAT LOCAL BUSINESSES WANT FOR CHRISTMAS!

LIB DEMS CALL FOR COUNCIL RETHINK OVER PARKING IN THE BOROUGHWith problems over the CPZ consultation and plans by Waltham Forest Council to sell off the Stanley Road Car Park in Bakers Arms shopping area, parking is fast becoming a big issue in the Borough.

Lib Dems are opposing plans by the council to sell off the car park at Bakers Arms. And have gone further by asking the council to extend free parking times over the Christmas period to help local businesses.

Cllr Mahmood Hussain, Lib Dem Environment spokesperson said:

“With Christmas coming up, now would be the perfect time to help local businesses by extending the 15 minutes free parking time up to 30 minutes for the remaining few weeks. This would help our local shops compete with supermarkets and the big shopping centres nearby.

“And selling off the Bakers’ Arms car park is clearly the wrong decision. The car park is badly signposted at the moment but if we could bring it back into proper use it could be a great asset for local businesses.

“Cabinet members need to rethink parking in the Borough and focus on how it can help local businesses.”

Chair of the Bakers’ Arms Business Forum, Suleman Ahmed said:

“We should be taking advantage of the resource that we have in this car park at Bakers’ Arms. If the car park was better managed and better signposted by the council then it would not need to be sold off.

“Extending free parking would also be a great boost to local businesses in the run up to the Christmas period.”

Leyton Police Station shutting down

Councillors Bob Sullivan, Naheed Qureshi and Farooq Qureshi outside the Francis Road Police Station

The Police have announced that Leyton Police Station in Francis Road will be shut down from next Monday 10th December.

The front counter services are being transferred to the Custody Centre, in Boreham Close, off Hainault Road.

The front counter will be manned from 7am until 3am daily. The same hours as currently offered at Francis Road.

Boreham Close is a cul-de-sac situated opposite Norlington Road.

George Mitchell School – ‘NO’ to an Academy

Councillor Bob Sullivan pictured at George Mitchell School

 

Teachers, staff and Pupils came together at a recent meeting at George Mitchell School to campaign against any measures that would turn the school into an Academy. 

I, and my colleague Councillor Naheed Qureshi, a former student, both spoke in support of the campaign. 

Although the school is not currently under threat, nearby Willowbrook School has already agreed to Academy status and Riverley School is in the process of becoming one. 

Focus will keep you informed of any developments.

EDL march update

Lib Dem Councillors Bob Sullivan, Farooq Qureshi and Mahmood Hussain outside the Town Hall
 
 
Liberal Democrat councillors joined an all-party group of councillors and residents lobbying Parliament to ban the planned march through Walthamstow. 

 

GOOD NEWS– the Minister for Policing Damian Green has this afternoon approved a ban on any protests in Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets, Newham and Islington for the next 30 days. 

In a statement issued this afternoon the Council and Parliament said the Police would only allow the EDL to hold a static protest outside the Houses of Parliament. 

A joint statement issued by the Council and the three Members of Parliament urged residents to stay away from all planned protests. 

Borough Commander Chief Superintendent Mark Collins also urged the public to stay away from any counter demonstrations and said they could make the situation worse. 

Lib Dem Group Leader Bob Sullivan said: 

“I hope reason prevails and the community enjoys a peaceful weekend.” 

PRESS RELEASE: TACKLING ROGUE LANDLORDS

At the recent full council meeting, councillors voted in favour of a Liberal Democrat motion to introduce Selective Licensing in the Borough.

Selective licensing has recently been introduced across the whole of the neighbouring borough of Newham. Once in place the law requires that all landlords in the area are licensed and that license can then be revoked if certain conditions aren’t met.

Lib Dems want to use it to tackle rogue landlords and in particular the growth of anti-social behaviour in private rented properties, which now make up 32% of the Borough’s housing stock.

The motion called for a full consultation on proposals to introduce selective licensing in the Borough to tackle rogue landlords, although this was diluted by a Labour amendment, which instead simply referred to ‘an evaluation’.

Lib Dem Housing spokesperson Councillor Winnie Smith, who moved the motion said:

“We’re pleased that the council are now seriously looking into selective licensing. And we hope that the Labour group will now stick to the spirit of the motion and push forward with selective licensing.

“There is a clear need to tackle the growing problem of rogue landlords in the Borough. As we heard from Leyton resident Sharon Crossland in the council meeting, there are landlords in our borough that just aren’t playing by the rules and there is only so much that can be done at the moment without this new licensing power.”

“Many residents are suffering in properties that just aren’t up to standard and paying too much for poor housing that’s blighted by anti-social behaviour.”

Oliver Close – residents’ survey report back

The recent Focus residents’ survey in Oliver Close identified that there was a problem with dog mess in Walnut Road, Robinia Crescent and the alley-way between the mosque and the fire station.

Following a report by the Focus Team the Council has said that action will be taken to identify the owners of the dogs concerned.

If you know who the owners are, please report it to one of the Focus Team.

Consultation – Proposed Controlled Parking Zone

The Council has decided to issue a Consultation Document asking residents in the temporary Olympic Parking Zone (G01-G10) for their views on the proposal to introduce an indefinite Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) in their roads.

The consultation document is due to be issued on 24 September and has to be returned by 19 October.

PLEASE NOTE – Closing date now 22 October

The Council’s policy on the introduction of a CPZ is based on the views of the majority of residents, who return the questionnaire.

Whatever your views the Lib Dems stress that it is vital that the Council receives a response from every household regarding this important consultation. 

When you receive the consultation document, please complete and return it without delay.

PRESS RELEASE: THE FAILURE OF WORKNET

QUESTIONS STILL REMAIN OVER THE FAILURE OF WORKNET – COUNCILLOR BOB SULLIVAN

The recent failures of Worknet highlighted by Nick Tiratsoo still leave questions to be answered.

We know that £2 million was allocated for the contractor Widows and Orphans but we still don’t know what the targets and outputs were in each case or how much money the council actually paid the contractor in total.

Councillor Sullivan has now asked the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny committee for a review into the failure of the programme and will be pressing the council for further answers over the coming weeks.

Leader of the Waltham Forest Lib Dems, Councillor Bob Sullivan said:

“In normal times this failure would be damning for Labour councillors but in these difficult economic times it is unforgivable.”

“It is unforgivable that they have let down our Borough’s unemployed, it is unforgivable that they have allowed this failure to go on unreported for nearly three years and it is unforgivable that most of this money will now not be spent on employment programmes for our Borough at all.

“The failure of this contract could even have implications across the council. We know we’ve had problems with our schools contractor and our waste contractor and taken together it starts to paint a worrying picture for council contracts as a whole.

“We clearly need a full enquiry to get to the bottom of how this happened before the council goes down this road yet again.”

 

PRESS RELEASE: Council should do more to get compensation for Leyton Traders

WALTHAM FOREST COUNCIL SHOULD DO MORE TO GET COMPENSATION FOR LEYTON TRADERS – COUNCILLOR BOB SULLIVAN

On 27 July 2012, in a press release on the Council’s website, Portfolio Holder Cllr. Mark Rusling described Leyton Marketas ‘“a great opportunity for Waltham Forest to celebrate the Olympics”’, and claimed:

‘We have worked with the whole community – including local retailers – to get their support for this unique project.’

The final sentence of the press release was unequivocal:

‘Waltham Forest Council created the new food market through an innovative partnership with North London Business and Skateco UK’.

Three days later, Waltham Forest News made the same point:

‘Waltham Forest Council created the market to help local businesses capitalise on the extra visitors that will be flocking to the borough during the Games’ (WF News issue 71, 30 July 2012, p.7).

Leyton Councillor Bob Sullivan said:

“The Chief Executive of North London Business has already resigned over this, so traders are right to expect some compensation.”

“Cllr Rusling was eager to take credit for the market before the Olympics and he and this Labour council must now take their share of the blame.

“Clearly at some point in this saga one part of the council didn’t know what another part was doing.

“I asked the council weeks ago whether they will be giving out compensation to the traders and they have refused, putting the blame squarely with North London Business.”

“As a board member of North London Business, Cllr Akram is also in a unique position to influence this decision. I think most local residents would expect him and Cllr Rusling to be considering their respective positions.”

“At the very least councillors and Cabinet members should be putting pressure on North London Business and Skateco UK Ltd to reimburse some or all of the money to the traders who were sold promises of customers that never arrived.”

‘Plot’ to extend the temporary Olympic Parking Zone restrictions

Temporary Olympic CPZ sign

When the Council and the ODA decided to implement the temporary Olympic Controlled Parking Zone, it was clearly stated that it would be withdrawn on the 9thSeptember following the closure of the Paralympic Games.

The Council also stated that they would be undertaking a consultation with the residents to find out if, in the light of their experience during the Games, they wished to make the Controlled Parking Zone permanent.

The Lib Dems have now discovered that the Council has already published a Traffic Order allowing them to extend the temporary provision for 18 months. It also states that the Council will be considering ‘in due course’ whether the provisions of the experimental orders should be continued in force indefinitely by means of permanent Orders.

Liberal Democrats feel very strongly that there is no need for permanent parking restrictions in most of the roads in areas GO1 – GO10, as they do not have a history of parking problems.

All residents are urged to send in written objections to both the temporary 18 month extension and the permanent CPZ to the Council at:

Traffic Orders,

Environment and Regeneration,

London Borough of Waltham Forest,

Low Hall,

Argall Avenue, London, E10 7AS

quoting reference: Traffic Orders T20.

Closing date for objections: 8th February 2013