LEYTON WARD FOCUS NEWSLETTER 376

Artist impression of the planned tower blocks

The latest edition of the Leyton FOCUS Newsletter is with the printers and will be delivered across the ward by our volunteer helpers.

It leads on the news that the Labour-led Council has approved the plan for the development of the Walthamstow Town Square including the construction of a 29 storey tower block, with only 20% ‘affordable’ housing (far short of the Council’s 50% target), and no provision for social housing.

Please contact Bob Sullivan on 8556 8335 if you would like to help deliver the FOCUS near your home. It is usually published about every six weeks and a round should take about 45 minutes. Thank you.

In the past year Lib Dem membership has soared to a record high. Please get in touch with our veteran local campaigner Bob Sullivan if you would like to join this growing movement.

You can access a copy of the FOCUS here: Leyton 376

LEYTON FOCUS NEWSLETTER 375

The latest edition of the Leyton FOCUS Newsletter is with the printers and will be delivered across the ward by our volunteer helpers.

It leads on the news that CPZ restrictions continue to spread across the ward. Veteran campaigner Bob Sullivan has raised his concerns about the possible effects of these .

Please contact Bob Sullivan on 8556 8335 if you would like to help deliver the FOCUS near your home. It is usually published about every six weeks and a round should take about 45 minutes. Thank you.

In the past year Lib Dem membership has soared to a record high. Please get in touch with our veteran local campaigner Bob Sullivan if you would like to join this growing movement.

You can access a copy of the FOCUS here:Leyton 375

LEYTON WARD FOCUS NEWSLETTER 374

Willow Brook Primary School

The latest edition of the Leyton FOCUS Newsletter is being delivered across the ward by our volunteer helpers.

It leads on congratulations to Willowbrook Primary and George Mitchell Secondary, rated as OUTSTANDING in most recent Ofsted inspections. Also there is an update on The Davis Centre at 192 Vicarage Road, where the FOCUS Team has questioned the Council’s plan to cease using it for educational purposes. A further response for the Council is anticipated.

Please contact Bob Sullivan on 8556 8335 if you would like to help deliver the FOCUS near your home. It is usually published about every six weeks and a round should take about 45 minutes. Thank you.

In the past year Lib Dem membership has soared to a record high. Please get in touch with our veteran local campaigner Bob Sullivan if you would like to join this growing movement.

You can access a copy of the FOCUS here: Leyton 374

TOWER BLOCK SAFETY FEARS

Lib Dem campaigner Bob Sullivan

Following the disaster in West London, former long-serving Liberal Democrat Councillor Bob Sullivan contacted the Council to confirm that they are preparing to look the tower and high rise blocks in Waltham Forest and review the planning permissions already given to developers.

This review should include checking the cladding, fascias and building materials used and planned to be used.

It would seem from discussions in the media that many tower blocks built, and being built, may have cladding and other materials that are not completely fire proof.

Waltham Forest Guardian reporter Tom Barnes followed up Bob Sullivan’s request with the following report on the online version of the Guardian:

TOWER BLOCK FEARS: Waltham Forest council won’t tell us if its flats have sprinklers after Grenfell Tower fire

Concerns have been raised over the safety of Waltham Forest’s high-rise buildings in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Campaigner Bob Sullivan is calling for a full review into fire safety at tower blocks in the borough after the blaze in west London last week, which is thought to have killed at least 79 people.

The Liberal Democrat activist and former councillor wants a probe to ensure residents in council-owned and private blocks are not as risk, as well as reviews at towers currently under construction.

Mr Sullivan said:

It is imperative that the planning permission for new blocks being built is gone over again, we need to make sure.

I have not seen anyone mention sprinklers, you would have thought it would be 100 per cent certain we should have them now.

I would have thought nobody would move into any tower block now without asking questions, I certainly wouldn’t.

I am hoping the council decides to review tower block safety, I am very concerned about Waltham Forest and we should be on the forefront of this.

We need action to do something about every block above six or eight storeys, I would even class those types of buildings as a small tower blocks.

Although several council-owned towers, such as Redwood and Hornbeam Towers in Leytonstone, have been demolished in recent years, some, like John Walsh and Fred Wigg Towers, remain standing.

A host of plans for new high-rise blocks have also been approved, including a 16-storey block in Dunedin Road, Leyton, and four blocks between 10 and 16 flights in Wickford Way, Walthamstow.

Campaigner Bob Sullivan wants action to ensure tower block safety

The catastrophic fire at 24-storey Grenfell Tower, in North Kensington, broke out at around 1am last Wednesday (June 14) and is likely to become Britain’s deadliest blaze in more than a century.

The speed at which the fire spread is believed to have aided by new cladding fitted to the building, while sprinklers had not been fitted inside the flats, despite calls from residents.

Waltham Forest council says no blocks in the borough use the same cladding as was installed at Grenfell and all high rise homes either have fire risk assessments in place or currently underway.

The local authority also confirmed sprinklers will be installed at the 10-storey Lea Bridge House hostel redevelopment in Leyton.

However, the council has not responded to requests by the Guardian to reveal how many of its blocks are fitted with sprinkler systems.

Council leader, Clare Coghill, said:

All of us were horrified to see the tragic events unfold at Grenfell Tower. Our thoughts and sympathies are with those affected by this terrible disaster. 

We understand that residents of Waltham Forest will be shocked following this incident, and concerned about the safety of their own homes and properties.

We want to let residents know that their safety is always our main concern.

We are looking at what further checks may be needed in the light of recent events.

We will work with the fire brigade and our colleagues across London to implement any changes recommended after this terrible fire.

 

Tom Barnes posted an update on 22nd June:

Waltham Forest council confirms no sprinkler systems have been fitted in any of its tower blocks

Fred Wigg and John Walsh Towers

John Walsh and Fred Wigg Towers in Leytonstone are owned by Waltham Forest council

No council-owned tower blocks in Waltham Forest are currently fitted with sprinkler systems, it has been confirmed.

Concerns have been raised over safety at high-rise blocks in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in Kensington last week, which is now thought to have killed at least 79 people.

The speed at which the fire spread is believed to have aided by new cladding fitted to the building, while sprinklers had not been fitted inside the flats, despite calls from residents.

Do you live in one of the council blocks? Get in touch by e-mailing thomas.barnes@london.newsquest.co.uk or call 07795507440

Waltham Forest council has now confirmed to the Guardian none of its blocks are currently fitted with sprinkler systems.

However, the local authority said it planned to fit sprinklers in three towers used for sheltered accommodation.

A spokesman said:

Although none of our council blocks have sprinklers fitted, we have secured funding from the London Fire Brigade to install sprinklers in three sheltered blocks this year.

Although several council-owned towers, such as Redwood and Hornbeam Towers in Leytonstone, have been demolished in recent years, some, like John Walsh and Fred Wigg Towers, remain standing.

A host of plans for new high-rise blocks have also been approved, including a 16-storey block in Dunedin Road, Leyton, and four blocks between 10 and 16 flights in Wickford Way, Walthamstow.

The catastrophic fire at 24-storey Grenfell Tower is likely to become Britain’s deadliest blaze in more than a century

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.

PLANNING NEWS: COOPERS LANE

20 Coopers Lane: more flats

Local Lib Dem campaigner Bob Sullivan has discovered that there are plans to convert the industrial site at 20 Coopers Lane into 6 flats.  Given the acute parking problems in parts of Coopers Lane the development is to be car free.

Bob understands that local residents have complained that they have not been consulted on these plans.

RUCKHOLT ROAD – NISSAN SITE LATEST

Former car dealership at the junction of Oliver Road and Ruckholt Road

The old Nissan car showrooms on the corner of Ruckholt Road and Oliver Road have at last been cleared.

Residents are now waiting for the six storey flat development to go up.

The majority of residents voted against this development but like so many their objections were overruled by the Council.

FAMILIES CHEATED OUT OF THEIR HOMES

Fred Wigg and Joihn Walsh Towers, Montague Road

In November a packed meeting of tenants voted for the option of refurbishment of kitchens and bathrooms for John Walsh and Fred Wigg tower blocks in Leytonstone. 
Tenants Ignored
However, the Labour Council over-ruled the tenants, agreeing a plan to strip back the towers to the core, completely refurbish the flats and build a smaller block between them.
Labour Selling Off Flats
Brand new flats for the tenants?  No! The Council wants to sell off one of the blocks to the private sector, thus reducing the number of Council flats from 232 to 160!  Waltham Forest has thousands of families on the waiting list, so a further reduction of affordable homes will dash the hopes of many people.  In effect Labour is getting rid of tenants who are, in the main, less well-off and inviting wealthy people to buy up the flats.
Labour MP and councillors ignore cries for help
The residents have asked their Labour MP and Labour councillors for help but they stay quiet.  They have even been ignored by one of their Labour councillors who was once a tenant in one of the blocks!

Focus says:

The Council has said tenants can go back once the refurbishment is complete.  This is rubbish as there will not be enough flats to house all of them!  One of the tenants has said “The Council is treating us worse than something stuck on their shoe”.

Focus will keep you informed of the tenants’ campaign to save their homes.

Link to article in the national Guardian:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/13/families-cheated-homes-poor-labour-council-gentrification

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LONDON ASSEMBLY LIB DEM PROPOSALS

Improving London’s environment for everyone, building more homes, and making fares much fairer

Improstephen_vince_small.jpgving London’s environment for everyone, building more homes and making fares much fairer are at the centre of a radical set of proposals put forward by the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group in their amendment to the Mayor’s budget.

Speaking ahead of today’s meeting at City Hall where the London Assembly will consider the Mayor’s draft budget Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group said:

There are real social and environmental pressures facing London as our population rapidly grows. Our proposals are firmly rooted in meeting these challenges.

Our Lib Dem plan will deliver cleaner air and less congested roads. It will deliver a better environment for every Londoner.

Our changes to the Mayor’s budget will also provide more affordable homes, helping to address London’s chronic shortage of homes for people on low and middle incomes, helping to keep families living in the capital.

We will also make London a fairer city. We would reverse the Mayor’s harsh fare hike facing off peak travellers who live in outer London. And in every part of the capital we will drive up the adoption of the London Living Wage and ensure real action is taken against rogue landlords.

Key aspects of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly budget amendment include:

  • Tackling London’s appalling air pollution and also reducing congestion on our roads, which is currently a huge burden for London’s businesses. Specific proposals include smart congestion charging; the introduction of a workplace parking levy in central London and real action to reduce diesel vehicles entering central London.
  • Reversing the immense fare hike on off peak travel for people in outer London. Other key fare changes include the introduction of a one hour bus ticket and lower fares for people travelling on all Tube, DLR and TfL Overground services before 7.30 am.
  • Making London a more attractive city to travel around by foot and on bike, including expanding the cycle hire scheme into south east London and better provision for cyclists across the whole capital
  • Creating a new £2 billion housing investment fund – funded by prudential borrowing – more than doubling the number of affordable homes delivered across London
  • Cutting waste in the Metropolitan Police Service such as the provision of chauffeur driven cars and flats for senior police officers, but strengthening Safer Neighbourhood Teams and putting extra resources into the teams that investigate rape and sexual assault against children.
  • Making London a fairer place through real action against rogue landlords and the wider adoption of the London Living Wage.

CITY AIRPORT WANTS MORE FLIGHTS – MORE NOISE?

London City Airport

Waltham Forest E Guardian – 28 January 2015

An airport has refused to attend a public meeting as it plans to go ahead with flight path changes which campaigners claim will cause a “noise ghetto” for those living under it.

London City Airport is planning to implement new technology to enable a much narrower and concentrated corridor over Wanstead, Leytonstone and Leyton.

Campaign group HACAN East believes this will increase the noise level for people living in these areas and wants the plan scrapped.

The airport will submit its proposal to the Civil Aviation Authority by the end of February, and if the plan is passed, it could be implemented in early 2016.

In a letter to the airport from deputy leader of Waltham Forest council, Cllr Clyde Loakes, he requested a further public meeting on March 2.

He said:

“I remain concerned that a significant proportion of residents are still unaware of the introduction of the RNAV technology and the impact that this will have on the quality of life of those living under the flight paths.

“I think it would therefore be useful if residents were able to hear from you directly about the next steps that will be taken and how the technology will be rolled out.”

But in reply, Jeremy Probart of London City Airport, ruled out attending a public meeting in the near future.

He said:

“There is very little that we can add to this currently, and feel that a public meeting, such as the one you suggest, would actually be counter-productive.

“We know that some people are opposed to the proposals (and the objections received have been incorporated in the report to the CAA) and a meeting in March would not be able to offer anything in the way of further information, which may simply serve to inflame, rather than to assuage.

“Therefore we will respectfully decline the opportunity you have outlined. If such a meeting were to take place, it would make sense to hold it after the CAA’s decision on the proposals and slightly before the replicated flight paths take effect.”

To sign the petiton:

https://www.change.org/p/city-airport-stop-the-current-proposal-to-concentrate-departures-from-city-airport-over-a-narrow-corridor-of-south-london-catford-dulwich-brixton-stockwell-and-vauxhall-east-london-bow-hackney-wick-leyton-leytonstone-wanstead-barkingside-colliers-row?recruiter=9107754&utm_campaign=twitter_link_action_box&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=share_petition