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.”
The Labour Cabinet has agreed in principle to close Drapers Field for 16 months from September 2011.
The Waltham Forest Guardian archives show that over £1.5 million has been spent installing the all-weather pitch, and upgrading the other sports facilities.
The Council Leader is reported to have said: “We would be able, through the compensation package, to completely refurbish Draper’s Field … we could turn it into a very special park.”
The FOCUS Team notes that there is no mention of it being reinstated as a sports field, which it has been since the late 1800s.
If you believe that, as an Olympic borough, we should be cherishing our sporting facilities. Please sign our on-line petition at:
You may have read the news a few months ago, that Leyton High Road and the Ruckholt Road area are due to be given a facelift thanks to the Olympics.
Cllrs Qureshi, Smith and I were invited to a meeting recently; to take a look at the changes that are being proposed to parts of Leyton High Rd over the coming years as we build up to the Olympics.
Almost £5 million is set to be spent in the area. Changes that are being proposed include new seating areas, shop frontages and lighting along the High Rd, in particular.
Although they are in their initial stages and subject to a consultation (which I am told is going to take place very soon) , I am very excited, as some of the planned changes will, i believe, transform the area and give it a much needed facelift. I have my reservations, about a few proposed changes around the Leyton station area; which I spoke about in the meeting. I do hope my suggestions are taken on board.
The officers concerned, visited the Leyton & Whipps Cross Community Council which took place last month and outlined initial plans to the members of the public who were in attendance.
If you would like to know more about the proposed changes, please email me.
Leyton Cricket Ground was heaving in July as families gathered to enjoy a fun day out. I took my grandaughter along too and she was not dissapponted. The Noor Ul Islam Summer Fair now takes its place as a must-go event in the annual calendar for Leyton. Pictured above with me is Cllr. Naheed Qureshi and her son Zakariah.
I was extremely thrilled to attend this event as it is not every day that a mosque puts on a summer fair, which is attended by a cross section of the local community. Well, it was held over a weekend actually, such was the demand for tickets.
The Noor Ul Islam mosque which is based on High Rd, Leyton ought to be congratulated for their hard work in the borough. They have worked wonders for the local muslim community. They have also strived to bridge te gap between the muslim and non muslim community and I do hope they continue to grow as an organisation. And that other mosques take valuable lessons from them in terms of how vital the role of a mosque is in this ethnically diverse part of London.
Lib Dem councillors have expressed alarm at news that Labour councillors are negotiating to turn popular sports facility Draper’s Field into a car park – just a few months after pledging to protect Waltham Forest’s green spaces and leisure facilities.The news has sparked anger among local Liberal Democrat campaigners, who say the all-weather pitch and playing fields are used by over 9,000 people every month.According to information received, Labour Council Leader Chris Robbins is actively negotiating to lease the playing fields to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) for possible use as a VIP car park or other Olympic use. As a result local children and football clubs will have nowhere to play in Olympic year while international elite athletes race for medals just a few hundred yards away.
Leyton councillor and Liberal Democrat Group Leader Bob Sullivan said:“To allow Drapers Field to be given over to the ODA and turned into a car park or other Olympic facility, would be a travesty for local clubs and schools. The Olympics should be used to encourage sport, not destroy it. Under Labour the council is in danger of missing a huge opportunity to gain Olympic benefits “Drapers Field is situated at the southern end of Leyton High Road. It has the only Council owned all weather astroturf pitch in Leyton and Leytonstone. Local Norlington School uses it four days a week and if it was to be closed down then this would be a disaster for the school.
Leyton councillor and Liberal Democrat Leader Councillor Bob Sullivan has responded to press reports claiming that Waltham Forest Council Chief Executive Andrew Kilburn has left his post.
Chief Executives are appointed to serve the whole council, not just the whims of the Leader. The council has clear procedures to deal with the appointment and departure of chief executives and so far it is not clear that these have been followed.
Nationally the coalition government is introducing a new era of openness and transparency about public sector spending..
Leyton residents will rightly be concerned about anything that smacks of a behind the scenes stitch-up to suit the convenience of senior Labour councillors, especially if it ends up costing the local taxpayer tens of thousands of pounds.
Recent research by the Audit Commission shows that the average cost to councils of severance agreements with Chief Executives is over a quarter of a million pounds (£256,104).
Bob Sullivan is demanding that councillors and the public are told what the true situation is and has put a series of questions to the council about how the matter is being handled. He believes it is unacceptable that the council’s Labour leadership is keeping councillors and residents in the dark.
Liberal Democrat Group Leader Bob Sullivan has confirmed that the Liberal Democrats are challenging the result of the local election in High Street Ward. The council has admitted that it may have made an error when the votes were counted, because the number of votes recorded in the result was bigger than the number of votes actually cast.
Liberal Democrat Group Leader Councillor Bob Sullivan said:
”If a mistake at the count led to the wrong councillor being elected it is a very alarming error. The Liberal Democrats have consulted solicitors with experience in this area with a view to challenging the result. It is vital that residents can have confidence in the integrity of the local democratic process.”
Labour councillors at the Councils AGM voted to duck close examination of their policies by excluding Liberal Democrat councillors from six key council committees.
In a cynical move the Labour Party voted to reduce the size of each scrutiny sub-committee to just five members, each consisting of three Labour councillors and two Conservative councillors but no Liberal Democrats.
“Labour is running scared of proper scrutiny,” said Liberal Democrat Group Leader Bob Sullivan, who also used the meeting to raise questions about primary school places, the EMD cinema and the Arcade site.
“It is a bad sign that the first act of the Labour administration is to close down debate and discussion. They don’t seem to realise that residents expect councillors to work together on the many difficult challenges facing our area. Despite the problems caused by Labour’s actions the Lib Dem group will continue to speak up for local residents and fight for their interests.”
Until last night’s Annual Council Meeting seven councillors served on each scrutiny sub-committee. This would have given the Liberal Democrats one seat on each committee. A Liberal Democrat attempt to halt the change was defeated by the Labour majority.
The six scrutiny sub-committees deal with:
- Children and Young People
- Health, Adults and Older People
- Performance Improvement
- Community Safety and Housing
Thank you to all of you who supported me and my colleagues Naheed Qureshi and Winnie Smith in the local elections on the 6th May. We managed to overcome the surge in Labour support in the borough to win our seats in Leyton Ward. Unfortunately we now have a Labour Council. Those of you who remember the times that Labour controlled the Council, will remember that they put the rates up 62% and turned the Council into one of the worst run in the Country.
Full results can be obtained from here – http://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/index/council/elections/election-results/local-election2010results.htm