Minutes – Leyton Ward Forum – 28th May 2013

Minutes of 28 May 2013 LEYTON WARD RESIDENTS FORUM MEETING

Seddon Centre, Leyton E10 at 7pm

Officers/Councillors in Attendance: Cllr Bob Sullivan, Cllr Naheed Qureshi, Cllr Winnie Smith, Inspector Sue Rankin, Sam Beaumont and Jose Sanchez from Urbaser, and Phillip Pughe and Debbie Stokes from Environmental Services.

AGENDA ITEM 1: WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS

The Chair, Cllr Bob Sullivan welcomed everybody to the meeting. Cllr Sullivan introduced the Councillors and Officers in attendance. Fire and Safety measures were explained.

AGENDA ITEM 2: MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING

Page 1:

  • Leyton Arts Trail – Still pending
  • Coopers Lane – Cllr Sullivan explained that the Council is hoping to introduce a 20mph limit across the borough but will start with roads south of Lea Bridge Road
  • Temple Mills – The painted sign is remaining as there are still pending events in the Olympic Park
  • High Road improvements – Further work still pending
  • Buckingham Road – Cllr Sullivan that the blocked off section of the road has been leased by the Council. Investigations to find out what the lease contained, continues
  • Leyton Mills – A major retailer has shown interest in the empty properties. Talks on-going
  • Street Trees – No further news. Cllr Sullivan urged residents to give details of any missing trees to the councillors

Page 2:

Conservation Area Consultation – Broadly agreed, detailed proposals being drafted.

  • Railway Cottages in Dunedin Road are not included in the Conservation area.
  • New Street Lighting – residents are concerned that although it is eco-friendly, it is not as bright – ACTION: Chair will pursue

AGENDA ITEM 3: NEW STREET CLEANING CONTRACT

Keith Hanshaw, Assistant Director of Public Realm sent his apologies. The Chair introduced the representatives from the new contractor, Urbaser, Sam Beaumont and Jose Sanches and Phillip Pughe deputising for Keith Hanshaw.

It was explained that they are taking over street cleansing and grounds maintenance. They will be keeping on local staff, and have advertised additional posts. An apprenticeship scheme is being started.

The Street Watchers will feed in information on illicit dumping, and Urbaser say they welcome community spirit with local people drawing attention to problems. They should be reported through Waltham Forest Direct on 8496 3000 as usual.

New machinery is being used including suction machines to clear debris from heavily parked roads. The teams are already tackling fly posting removal. Specialised equipment will be used between 5am – 10pm.

Questions from residents:

  • Language problems have been evident – It was confirmed that all supervisors speak the operative’s language.
  • Wages – The level set of the London Living Wage will be the minimum for all staff.
  • Mobile Phones – Crews have mobile phones and they can be alerted to fresh problems
  • Etloe House – Now has two business parks nearby – juggernauts are going through local streets – ACTION: Phil Pughe to investigate
  • Hot Spots – Urbaser have been alerted to known hot spots. Mobile Hot Spot Teams will patrol
  • Refuse/Recycling Collections – Phil Pughe confirmed that this contract remains with Kier until 2019

Cllr Sullivan thanked the representatives from Urbaser and Phillip Pughe for their attendance.

AGENDA ITEM 4: SAFER NEIGHBOURHOOD TEAM

Southern Cluster Inspector Sue Rankin offered apologies on behalf of the SNT who provided a written report:

Current Ward Priorities

  • Antisocial Behaviour by groups of youths – SNT officers have been conducting patrols of ASB hotspots to deter youths from loitering and causing a nuisance, any youths stopped at locations have their details taken and an intelligence report is completed as a record. SNT has also been working with housing associations so that any suspects regularly causing ASB are also dealt with by their housing provider.
  •  Burglary – SNT are conducting stops on door to door ales/workers as there have been recent distraction burglaries in the area. When a burglary is committed the SNT follow up with door to door enquiries to make neighbours aware that a burglary has occurred. Leaflets will then be distributed to other surrounding houses to make them aware and also give some crime prevention advice. In April a burglar was caught and detained by the SNT approximately ten minutes after he had committed a burglary.
  • Motor Vehicle Crime – Leaflet booklets are given to residents re motor vehicle crime. Door to door also conducted if vehicles are seen with valuables left on display or windows left open.

Leyton SNT has been conducting regular weapon sweeps on the BEAUMONT ESTATE and LEYTON GRANGE ESTATE due to recent gang tensions.

Leyton SNT has been assisting other officers with ANPR operations to seize vehicle being driven by people with no insurance or no driving licence.

Inspector Rankin also highlighted the following points:

  • Targets have been set to reduce crime by 20%; cut costs by 20%; increase service delivery by 20%
  • Waltham Forest complement to be increased by 119 constables by 2015
  • Southern Cluster of 7/8 wards will be covered by 5 teams operating from 7am-midnight (Monday – Thursday) and 7am until 2am, next day (Friday – Sunday)
  • Current 15 PCs will be increased to 40. 9 of whom will be on the patch by September this year
  • Hot spots are identified – and local SNT can get additional backup if needed
  • Ring 101 to arrange an appointment – an officer will visit
  • Also ring 101 for any non-urgent calls
  • In an emergency call 999
  • Changes are being made to opening hours of public counters – revised details will be on the Met Police website
  • The public counter at the Custody Suite is to be closed

Cllr Sullivan thanked Inspector Rankin for her attendance.

AGENDA ITEM 5: CORONATION GARDENS ANNEXE

Alex Forrester of Groundwork London sent his apologies and his written report on the Consultation was circulated. Debbie Stokes, from the council, responded to questions:

  • Develop a wildlife area
  • Some raised beds with tenancy agreements
  • Allotments – first year free, then chargeable
  • Play area
  • Seating for the beach volleyball area
  • Consultation did not include produce – it is understood that there is some contamination

Debbie Stokes advised that ideas are still being developed, and funding options are being researched. She confirmed that there is currently a waiting list for allotments in the borough.

Cllr Sullivan thanked Debbie Stokes for her attendance.

AGENDA ITEM 6: LEYTON CRICKET GROUND

Pete Towler, Chair of the Management Committee, updated the meeting on the following points:

  • At a mid-March meeting with the Council Leader he presented Cllr Robbins with a list of suggestions and a briefing  paper
  • Southern buildings – survey started in April, not yet in – preliminary indication suggests that they are in a poor condition
  • North end – feasibility study of the tennis courts, bowls club etc. pending. First indications – they have been neglected for a long time. The Committee feels a wider consultation with residents may be desirable. Costs estimated at £1 million.
  • North end squatters – they were evicted in early May, and then re-occupied – legal query pending
  • Various sporting events on the calendar – full details will be in WFN.

Residents’ questions:

  •  New gates on the corner of Crawley Road – why are they not being used?
  • Pete Towler confirmed that all the options being considered by the Management Committee are sports related. It is understood that the covenants say the area must continue to be dedicated to sports
  • Essex County Cricket Club is still involved with the ground, which was the Club’s home for many years. A representative from the Club sits on the Management Committee
  • The next Management Meeting will be in  July

AGENDA ITEM 7: STREET PARTY INITIATIVE 2013

Cllr Sullivan gave out the grant application forms and confirmed that he is going to be talking to the two primary schools that held a street party last year.

AGENDA ITEM 8: COMMUNITY DISCUSSION

Temple Mills Lane – a resident queried when it is scheduled to be open to traffic – Cllr Sullivan responded that he did not have an update on this question. It may be affected by the council’s plans for the Marsh Lane Bridge which was recently constructed at a cost of £250,000.00. It seems that the intention is to rebuild it with an even bigger bridge. Cllr Sullivan agreed it seems to be wasting a lot of money, without a good reason. He is pursuing this question.

Cllr Sullivan closed the meeting and thanked everyone for their attendance.

PRESS RELEASE: NEW COMMITTEES SHOULD NOT MEAN ANOTHER £12,000 IN COUNCILLOR ALLOWANCES

New committees should not mean another £12,000 in allowances for councillors – Cllr Bob Sullivan

 

On Thursday the Liberal Democrat group voted against proposals that would mean more special responsibility allowances for councillors.

Lib Dems criticised the Labour group for using scrutiny politically to avoid any real scrutiny of council policies, whilst at the same time awarding  themselves more money.

The Labour council are splitting the health and adults committee into two new committees that will focus separately on public health and adults services.

They are creating two additional paid positions for their members who will take the Chair and Vice Chair of the Committee, who will get an extra £8,000 and £4,000 respectively on top of the £10,000 a year they earn as councillors.

Lib Dem Group Leader Cllr Bob Sullivan said:

 

“Labour are just creating more paid positions to reward their members. The current proposal could mean £12,000 in extra costs to Waltham Forest council tax payers.”

“There are a lot of ways Labour could ensure this doesn’t cost more money: Either by cutting these allowances across the council or by sharing the existing allowances for the old committee across the two new ones.

“Labour councillors should stop trying to hide their failures by stuffing committees full of their own members.

“They should be taking responsibility over their failures over jobs in this Borough and cutting their ‘special responsibility allowances’ rather than giving themselves more allowances.”

A MILLION JOBS …. AND COUNTING!

LDjobsgraph

Since 2010, more than one million jobs have been created in the private sector. We are proud of the role that the Liberal Democrats have played in directing government investment into job creation and training.

We are now focusing our efforts on improving this record and delivering a million more new jobs as we continue to build a stronger economy for the future.

Jobs for Young People

The coalition government has already delivered 1.2 million apprenticeships for young people since 2010. The Liberal Democrats are now campaigning to double the number of apprenticeships being offered.

Jobs in Manufacturing

Manufacturing is the key to a sustainable economic recovery in Britain. Under Vince Cable at the Dept for Business, Innovation and Skills, we have directed an extra investment of over £5.5 billion into high-tech manufacturing, science and renewable energy.

Jobs across the UK

Liberal Democrats have long argued that we need to rebalance the economy away from our reliance on London and South East England. That is why we have also set up the £2.6 billion Regional Growth Fund initiative, to help create businesses, jobs and economic recovery in every part of the country.

Jobs Building Britain

The coalition is using £15.3 billion of investment into our infrastructure to build a stronger economy for the future and to create thousands of jobs in construction right now.
For more information on the Liberal Democrats’ record in creating one million new jobs, and to find out how many new jobs are being created near you, visit the Million Jobs website: http://www.amillionjobs.org

PRESS RELEASE: COUNCIL PHONE BILLS SOAR UNDER LABOUR

COUNCIL PHONE BILLS SOAR UNDER LABOUR

Over the last few years council phone bills have soared. According to figures released by the council mobile phone costs soared by over £110,000 last year costing taxpayers a total of £314,000 in one year alone, whilst landline costs also rose by £80,000.

Council tax payers are now forking out £860,000 every year for phone bills alone.

Cllr Bob Sullivan said:

“Labour need to get a grip on these soaring phone bills. Other council services are being cut whilst phone bills are going up and up.

“The council are putting more and more services online but clearly aren’t making any savings by doing it.

“This £190,000 could be helping us build a fairer society by investing in social services, it could help build a stronger local economy by investing in jobs or it could even protect local services like keeping open a library.

“Instead, Labour is proving time and time again that they can’t be trusted with our money.”

Save St. Joseph’s Hall from developers

St. Joseph’s Hall at the junction of Vicarage Road and Primrose Road

St Joseph’s Hall, on the corner of Vicarage Road and Primrose Road, has been boarded up for many years. The diocese is planning on selling the site to developers.

Mother Maria of the Marian Mission in Colchester Road, who deals with vulnerable children and families, is fighting to get the diocese to back her plans to refurbish the building and to continue to use it for children and families and to make it available to the local community.

Leyton Ward Councillor Bob Sullivan and Mother Maria pleaded her case to representatives of the diocesan board.

Currently Barclays Bank agree a mortgage in principle to cover the buying cost.

Fundraising has raised many thousand’s, but many more donations are needed.

If you would like to support the project to bring this building into community use and stop the developers, then please send your donations to:

Marian Mission for the Poor,

1 Colchester Road, Leyton, E10 6HA

Leyton FOCUS Newsletter 340

The latest issue of the popular Lib Dem FOCUS Newsletter has just gone to press.

It will be distributed free across the ward by our team of volunteers

Bob Sullivan would be pleased to hear from anyone who would like to deliver a FOCUS round near their home, or would like to join the FOCUS Team. You can contact him through this website or by calling 8556 8335, thank you.

You can access the latest issue here: Leyton 340

Street Parties

Juniors Street Party 2012

The party held in Marsh Lane last year between Willowbrook and Riverley Schools was so successful that the Focus Team is to try to get another party arranged for this year.

Would you like to hold a street party?

If you would like to organise a street party for your street/road or block then contact one of the Focus Team as the Council has funds available.

PRESS RELEASE: LOCAL LIB DEMS RENEW CALLS FOR OLYMPIC TRADERS’ COMPENSATION

LOCAL LIB DEMS RENEW CALLS FOR OLYMPIC TRADERS’ COMPENSATION

Local Lib Dems have renewed calls for council action over the Leyton Olympic traders mess last year. The council has so far failed to take any responsibility for the mess despite heavily promoting the market before the Olympics, whilst it was clear the planned routes for Olympic visitors were outside the area.

Local Lib Dems believe this is an issue of trust and the council should be clear about its responsibility. If compensation is due from North London Business and not the council then Waltham Forest councillors should refuse to sit on their board if no action is forthcoming.

Leyton Councillor Bob Sullivan said:

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

 “I’ve repeatedly asked the council whether they will be giving out compensation to the traders and they have so far refused, putting the blame squarely with North London Business and Skateco UK Ltd.”

 “Yet councillors and Cabinet members have consistently failed to put pressure on North London Business and Skateco UK Ltd to reimburse the traders, who were sold promises of customers that never arrived.

“No action has been forthcoming from North London Business since last year so it is long since time for Waltham Forest councillors at the very least to refuse to sit on their board or, better yet, take some responsibility themselves.”

 

PRESS RELEASE: Local Lib Dems to criticise budgeting, waste and misleading statements by Labour

Last Thursday’s council meeting was rightly used to bring the Borough together after the awful attacks in Woolwich on Wednesday.

However, cancelling the speeches of the three party leaders also meant that the time usually devoted to scrutinising the council’s priorities for the next year and to review the last year was lost.

The speech prepared by Lib Dem Leader Councillor Bob Sullivan, before the attack took place, contained criticism of the council’s budgeting process, attacks on money wasted on unnecessary events and exposed the misleading statements being made by Labour over the £160 million they claim to be investing in the Borough in 2013-14.

Councillor Sullivan was to say:

On budgeting

“The councils’ recent finance report show that almost all council departments were reporting under spends.

“In accountancy terms an under spend is just as bad as an over spend because it means that there is something wrong with the budgeting process.  It also means that our services are not being carried out as planned and our residents are losing out.

“So what is going wrong with our processes? And how are we building this into our planning? The council can’t continue to plead poverty simply because it is over-estimating what’s needed in the budget.”

On the £160 million

“As for investment, Labour cabinet members seem to be sending confused messages about the £160 million that they’re touting around to residents through Waltham Forest News and the various announcements and videos that they’re making.

“Many residents have read the big figures plastered over their copy of WFN and have been asking me if the council could spend some of this money on local projects.

“Unfortunately the explanation is, that most of this investment is not council money and all of it is already earmarked and being spent on other things.

“The confusion isn’t helped when Cabinet members give confusing written answers at full council meetings. Such as when Cllr Rusling declared ‘We are investing £160 million in the borough…’ in a written answer in March.”

On events

“…under Arsene Wenger, Arsenal has only spent £9 million net on players over the last ten years.

“That’s less per year than this council are spending on events!

Although these events are said to be free, they are not really, as the council tax payers are funding them.

“It seems like every day this council feels more and more like a booking agent or a live music promoter, with over a million pounds planned for events this year.”