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.”

PRESS RELEASE: Lib Dems support Christian Kitchen

The Christian Kitchen based in the Mission Grove Car Park

LOCAL LIB DEMS FIGHT TO SAVE CHRISTIAN KITCHEN FROM HEARTLESS LABOUR COUNCIL

Waltham Forest Council is demanding that the Christian Kitchen cease using the Mission Grove car park in E17 as the location for their daily soup kitchen.

The soup kitchen has rejected the allegations that their service contributes to local street drinking and anti-social behaviour and local Lib Dems and residents are supporting them.

Proximity to the Town Centre is important to a soup kitchen and Waltham Forest is taking this action without proper consultation.

The local Lib Dem Focus Team has been surveying residents about the issue and so far local residents are overwhelmingly in favour of keeping the soup kitchen where it is.

Waltham Forest Liberal Democrat Leader Cllr Bob Sullivan said:

“It is crazy that this Labour council appear to be scapegoating this long established soup kitchen and demonising their service users.

“The Christian Kitchen has been a part of the local area for many years and is there to help the most vulnerable in our society. The soup kitchen has even offered compromises to the council but they have been rejected.

“This is a heartless act by this Labour council that is clearly not supported by local people.

“It seems ‘One Nation Labour’ has not yet made the journey to Waltham Forest from Ed Miliband’s Westminster bubble.”

Liberal Democrat Alternative Budget

The following is the alternative budget proposed by the Liberal Democrats at this year’s budget setting meeting:

Table 1 New Additional Reductions

Corporate Communications

£250,000

Trade Union subsidies

£121,000

Loss of Junior members

Scrap WFN and cut advertising budget

£32,000

£100,000

Total of new additional reductions

£503,000

 

Table 2 Proposed Use of Reserves

Of £43 million earmarked reserves:

Of general balances:

Total of Proposed Use of Reserves:

£6,465,046

£1,000,000

£7,465,046

 

Table 3 – New growth

 

 
Business, Skills and Jobs

New apprenticeships & Graduate Schemes

£1,000,000

Jobs, Skills and Attainment Schemes

£750,000

Business Support/Mentoring

£750,000

Total Business and Jobs

£2,500,000

 

Children’s Services

Short Breaks and Respite Care

£170,000

Fostering & adoption

£130,000

Youth Services

£200,000

Free breakfast – Primary children

Total Children’s Services

£3,100,000

£3,600,000

 

Adult Services

Short Breaks and Respite Care

£170,000

Total Adult Services

 

Capital investment growth

Road resurfacing

£170,000

 

 

£1,000,000

 

Other Growth

Increase drain cleaning

Pest control, rats and mice

Debt Counselling Service

£200,000

£30,000

£300,000

Reduction in Youth and Sports Fees

£20,046

Reinstate Harrow Green Library

£128,000


Total Other Growth

 

£678,046

TOTAL GROWTH

£7,968,046

 

Lib Dem Councillor Bob Sullivan’s Budget Speech

Liberal Democrat Group Leader Councillor Bob Sullivan made the following speech setting out the Lib Dem alternative to the Labour Administration’s Budget.

2013 Budget – A missed opportunity

Mr Mayor, I’d like to start by thanking our officers and finance department for helping us to produce a budget that is legal and addresses the financial problems that the borough faces.

In the climate of austerity we welcome the freezing of council tax – an initial decision taken by the joint administration some years ago.

We also welcome the decision to accept the coalitions transitional grant which will keep the impact on benefit receivers to no more than 8.5% unlike other London labour councils who are passing on the full 15 to 20% cuts.

The financial future for local government and Waltham Forest looks bleak. We are not likely to get back to the free and irresponsible spending of the previous government.

Doubtless the Waltham Forest Labour Party will jump on their high horse and try to blame the coalition for every painful choice that they’ve made this year. But just a short glance at their budget reserves will show you that, despite the cuts Labour are storing up money for a pre-election spending spree.

This year this Labour council not only collected over a million pounds more than they expected from our council tax payers but they spent over two and a half million pounds less!

And what are they doing with this unexpected largess? Protecting social care? Investing more in jobs and apprenticeships? Or even cutting council tax? No! They’re investing £1 million pounds of money from local council tax payers into ‘events’.

In contrast we’ve identified savings and reserves that could help residents now, investing in jobs, education and our local infrastructure.

As Liberal Democrats we have not shied away from difficult decisions. Nationally we’ve entered coalition at a difficult time for the country and are delivering a tax cut for millions of people including halving income tax for people on the minimum wage.

Locally in 2009/10 we helped lay the groundwork for some of the difficult cuts to the council budget we knew were to come and agreed the freeze in council tax to help the hard pressed pockets of local residents.

But that makes it all the more difficult to see the Labour Party squandering the money they do have to spend.

For example, in January they spent £130,000 on fireworks.

  • Why did we need fireworks in January?  Last year it was said we had to close libraries because of the cuts – when we were spending £150,000 of taxpayers money on consultants to organise events.
  • £130,000 could fund Harrow green library for a year and yet thanks to this Labour council that money has literally gone up in smoke!
  • Maybe you should ask Residents around Harrow Green and South Chingford if they would like fireworks this year or their library back – maybe make it front page in Watham Forest News.

All is not lost – We have been fortunate that two years into this coalition government we can now see how it has helped Waltham Forest where we need it most:

  • The pupil premium is delivering 9 million pounds a year to help 9,900 pupils from low-income families in our borough.
  • Ministers have delivered tens of millions of pounds to help cope with our growing school population. The second highest capital allocation in the country.
  • Ministers have improved childcare for disadvantaged two year olds, helping an estimated 1000 struggling Waltham Forest families with funding for 15 hours free childcare a week.

This is in stark contrast to the failures at a local level of Labour’s Worknet programme and the Cathall Skills Academy, where millions of pounds that should have been spent on local jobs have been wasted or left unspent.

Savings

Moving on to our budget savings:

  • Firstly the Lib Dem Group have proposed savings by abolishing the tax payer subsidy to the trade unions. Surely it cannot be right in a time of austerity that our tax payers subsidise the Unions in this borough – given that the Unions can afford to give away millions, year after year to the Labour party
  • This would allow the Unions to hold the executive to account properly and avoid the perception that Labour councillors and union officials are in each others pockets.
  • Secondly we would cut further into our corporate communications budget because it is an extravagance to still be spending £1 million a year on this when other core services are being cut.
  • Thirdly we will look to reduce money spent on junior cabinet posts, which were introduced to help the work of the joint administration and are a luxury we no longer need, and should not afford.
  • Finally we would cut Waltham Forest News, which lost money in the last financial year despite being propped up by hundreds of thousands of pounds of council advertising. Most people know that it is really a propaganda sheet for the Labour Party and the Leader.

Reserves

The reserves, last year and this year, are too high, compared with the overall budget. On the advice of the Finance Director we haven’t specified individual reserves in the budget amendment itself, but we have looked at the full range of reserves available – up to £43 million – and have identified areas that could be used to invest in our borough.

For example on Equal Pay.  This process should have been completed years ago and maintaining a large balance here means either that the Labour Administration has failed, and needs to act on this now, or that it is storing up money for something else and trying to hide it.

As we know, most of the cuts have been front-loaded, a process the joint administration introduced.  So in order to realise the necessary savings the majority of restructuring and redundancies should have gone through the system already. We also know that most of the redundancies to date have been managed by using in year budgets and not reserves. So the restructuring reserve and the redundancy reserve are high and could be reduced by a small percentage, whilst still having a big impact on our investment in the Borough this year.

Given the cuts to the budget overall, we should also be able to cut our working balance accordingly. We said it last year and we are saying it again.  Reducing the working balance by one million pounds and investing it in borough infrastructure is a better use of funds, than to let it languish in a bank. So we have taken this 1 million pounds for investment in road improvements for the Borough.

We realise that an extra 2million is to be used for potholes and pavements and we welcome that, but we feel that resurfacing roads is also important.  Having seen the road resurfacing in parts of Leyton and Leytonstone we feel that we should put another million pounds into resurfacing 12 or more roads in the borough.

Overall our proposals would be prudent, using only 17% of our reserves this year for investment, leaving a significant financial buffer for the future. And at the same time investing in the things that matter most to our residents now, and for the longer term.  We should be building a legacy from the Olympics and investing in jobs, education and care for our most vulnerable residents. ….

Children’s Services

Last year we included an additional  £1 million for Children’s Services, to help support them at a difficult time.  This is close to the amount of the current overspend in the department this year, so in retrospect it now appears prudent.

As councillors we all know the problems that were identified by Ofsted in the council’s services for looked after children last year and that Waltham Forest was one of only 2 authorities in the country to receive the lowest rating possible for their Looked After Children’s Service.

We’re pleased that the council has given some leeway in the budget this year to help the service recover. The Service has had a difficult time, but the very good news is that the Improvement Notice issued to the Council has been lifted and our congratulations go to Alan and his team for the hard work that they did to get this notice lifted.  We look forward to getting an improved Ofsted report in the future.

However we are extremely concerned about poor performance in some of our primary schools.  We highlighted recently the Ofsted report, showing that we are the worst borough in London and one of the worst in the country, for parents wanting to send their children to a good or outstanding primary school.

Not only that but we also found that we are below the national average for our Key Stage 2 results, a decline since 2010, and again one of the worst Borough’s in London and in the country for this. It is another failure on the back of last years’ failures in Children’s Services.  Even this week we have heard that the government is to raise the test targets. So there is a lot of work to do.

Not all these issues can be fixed with more money – local leadership is important. Continually changing the cabinet member for education is not the answer.

Given the problem that has been identified, we need to do something to improve our childrens’ attainment so we’ve earmarked a large chunk of money – £3.1 million – to invest in free breakfasts for our Borough’s poorest children. This money would go direct to schools and would fund a breakfast for every single child on free school meals for the next year.

Some schools may be doing this from the pupil premium money so that the total cost may reduce.  Of course if we were in administration we’d already have been negotiating with local schools to use some of their pupil premium money to put up some match funding. With more and more children going to school without breakfast, this is an important area that will help childrens’ nutrition, concentration and therefore their attainment in school.

We would also provide funds for additional respite care services and extra fund for fostering and adoption.  Most of our fostering is out of  borough and last year Ofsted judged our adoption service as only Adequate.

Also investing money now, can save in the future on expensive outside agencies and out of borough placements.

As a Liberal Democrat I don’t believe we should accept these failures in our schools, and our childrens services.

We must send a clear signal that we are not going to put up with a poor service and will not be content with an adequate service. But we will strive to provide an outstanding service.  Something which, I am sure, we can all agree is what we should be aiming for.

Business, skills and jobs

The lack of economic development over many years has finally forced the borough to try to address this issue and thanks to pressure from us over the last year they are finally investing in apprenticeships.

But there is so much more that could be done. In fact I’d be interested to know if we have managed to meet the target of 40 apprenticeships this year?

New apprenticeships & graduate schemes – £1,000,000

It is one of the great scandals in our country that one in five young people between the ages of 16-24 is out of work, some 250,000 of those for over a year.

There have been some welcome but tentative signs that across the country this is starting to go down but it is happening all too slowly.

Here in Waltham Forest, we are still a ‘youth unemployment hotspot’, with around 1 out of every 8 young people on jobseekers allowance – twice the national average! – this isn’t good enough.

This isn’t just a problem now,  For over a decade the previous Labour Government and now this Labour council have failed to provide our residents with the skills and experience needed.  The Olympic organisers said as much. They wanted to hire more young people from Waltham Forest but they couldn’t because they didn’t have basic literacy, numeracy and trade skills.

And over the last year we’ve found out why: Because Labours jobs and skills programmes were failing to deliver.

The Coalition Government has already taken welcome steps to deal with this, through its £1 billion investment in the ‘Youth Contract’ and the apprenticeship programme, which at the last count  is nearing almost half a million apprenticeships across the country. As a result, the number of apprentices here in the borough has almost tripled since 2009 to over 1,500.

But we as a council could and should be doing more to help. With this in mind, we have set aside £1,000,000 for apprenticeships with local businesses to train our young people and to expand our graduate scheme in the council to train the social workers and council officers of tomorrow.

This money would not only give young men and women the chance to improve their skills base and start on a solid career path but it would also benefit the local economy and businesses.

Surveys by the National Audit Office suggest that while only 5% of companies in Britain employ apprentices, 86% of those that do, say it has improved their performance.

Jobs, skills and attainment schemes – £750,000

But what about the thousands of other resident who are still struggling to find work? What about those who have recently lost their job? What about the long-term unemployed or older people who have been let down for years by the council’s failed Worknet programme?

We propose increasing the council’s meagre £120,000 investment from its priorities fund in getting people back to work by putting an extra £750,000 of the Council’s reserves into helping these people find meaningful employment.

The Waltham Forest Labour Party has finally woken up to the need to invest in apprenticeships but they’re only just beginning the work needed to fix their failure on Worknet, O-regen and The Skills Academy. Why should we as a Council squirrel this money away when it could be put to good use  helping the people we represent, find work now?

With high unemployment levels in this Borough investing now has to be a priority.

Business support and mentoring – £750,000

We must also consider the businesses where people will find work. We all know how tough the current economic climate is for business, especially Small and Medium Enterprises, both here in Waltham Forest and across the country, with a lack of confidence, rising prices and squeezed profit margins.

These local enterprises are vital as they not only serve our local community but are more likely to hire people from the borough, spend their money locally and encourage social cohesion.

That is why in our budget we have again ear-marked money for business support and mentoring, a total of £750,000 to assist local business and ensure that they are shoring up their balance sheets, creating not cutting jobs, and generating wealth here in Waltham Forest.

And importantly we don’t need the government to step in, we can do it ourselves, working with social enterprises like Biz Fizz, Waltham Forest could be investing in programmes that deliver increased business start-up and survival, job creation and improved incomes for local entrepreneurs and their employees.

It’s good to see the council is taking the idea of creating jobs for local people through the Councils procurement more seriously, after they rejected our motion on it last year.

If we do it right, procuring from local businesses and promoting local jobs can help our local economy and save money. When we put our motion on procurement to full council back in April last year not even 15% of council contracts were going to local firms.

From recent pronouncements the council clearly now have a commitment to working towards giving more contracts to local people and expecting contractors to take on local people and I commend the Cabinet member for that. But as ever we will be watching to ensure that the Council deliver on its promise.

The other areas of our budget address some the other growing concerns of our residents, namely,

  • Debt counselling,
  • The chance to get our drains cleaned at least once a year,
  • A reduction in youth and sports fees to encourage participation in sports,
  • The setting up of clubs and activities for our youth,
  • The stopping of the £25 pound charge for reporting rats, a service that most residents feel should be free
  • The freezing of charges for mice.
  • And lastly the reinstatement of Harrow Green Library – Residents are baffled how this Labour administration can spend millions on freebees but can close down Harrow Green library to save £128,000 in one of the most deprived areas of the borough.

In conclusion Mr Mayor

Labour could’ve taken just a small fraction of their reserves and paid for extra apprenticeships for local young people, but instead their Worknet programme appears to have failed for it’s first two years.

They could be investing in business support and mentoring but instead blame the Government when the Labour Party here who are failing to act.

And they could be investing in our struggling Education Services but instead they’re hoarding £43 million of council tax payers money. Over taxing and under spending on our residents over the last year.

All this whilst the Coalition Government are delivering across the borough,

  • Funds for over 1700 new apprenticeships,
  • Delivering a tax cut for 95,600 people on the minimum wage and
  • delivering £9 million pounds through the Pupil Premium to help 9,900 pupils from low-income families.

When Liberal Democrats were in joint administration, this Borough went from being a failing authority to a four star authority. Two years with no Lib Dems to provide the ideas, drive and dedication and Labour have failed our primary school children, failed our unemployed and failed our residents.

It is clear that Waltham Forest Labour are out of touch.

Whilst our priorities for residents are clear in investing in jobs, infrastructure and education

Labour’s priorities are even clearer, storing up money in reserves and balances and using whats left for events and propaganda.

Mr Mayor, I ask the council to support our budget motion.

 

Labour Council continues to spend your money?

Following on from spending  £650,000 on a new entrance hall at the Town Hall, Liberal Democrat councillors have now heard that another £18,000 of ratepayers money has been forked out on new committee room tables!

The Liberal Democrats say, “When we have some of the poorest primary school results in the country, is council money being spent on the right things?”

Council Chooses Free Fireworks Over Library Funding!

At the Council’s budget meeting Liberal Democrat councillors highlighted the Council’s spending of £130,000 on fireworks in January. This money could have kept the Library at Harrow Green open for a year.

At the meeting it was said funding of Harrow Green library is a waste of money. Labour councillors also said that they liked the fireworks. This is astonishing given that Harrow Green library is situated in one of the most deprived areas of Waltham Forest.

Children and families in this area now see that their Council prefers half hour of fireworks rather than keeping open their library.

What do you think – should the Council spend money on fireworks or open Harrow Green Library?

Focus says: This is not all. The Council is planning to spend another million of tax payers money on fireworks and other events this year. Given the current financial situation is this the right priority?

Minutes of Leyton Ward Forum – 28 February 2013

Minutes of 28 February 2013 LEYTON WARD RESIDENTS FORUM Meeting

Leyton Cricket Ground Leyton E10

7pm

Officers/Councillors in Attendance: Cllr Bob Sullivan, Cllr Naheed Qureshi, Leyton Safer Neighbourhood Team,  Sally Hobson & Library Team, Ron Presswell and Jacinta Fisher Conservation area consultation  Alex of Groundwork London. And Bettina Aruoture (WF Council)

AGENDA ITEM 1: WELCOME & 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 – agreed

Page 2:

  • Auckland Road – Travellers are still there and the council officers are monitoring the area
  • County Ground – Squatters are still present  and the Council is seeking a Court Order

Page 3:

  • Leyton Arts Trail – still pending
  • Coopers Lane – problem of 20mph signs – still pending
  • Temple Mills – the Chair understood the painted sign had not been removed and is investigating
  • Temporary barriers opposite Leyton Midland Road Station – removed
  • High Road improvements – still pending
  • Buckingham Road – The Chair has been advised  that the Authority receives no income and is pressing for the road to be reopened
  • Leyton Mills – The Chair advised that tenants are still being sought for the empty properties, but understands that the problem is that there is no access for service lorries
  • Street Trees – residents are requested to provide locations of missing trees so that they can be checked.


 

AGENDA ITEM 3: Conservation Area Consultation

Ron Presswell led the presentation and introduced Jacinta Fisher, the new Conservation Officer.

Attention was drawn to the display at the rear of the room. It was explained that a conservation area gives the Planning Officers tighter control over developments within the Conservation Area, and have engendered increased civic pride in the community.

In response to a question it was confirmed that home owners within the area may be able to apply for grants from the Council. There will be a small grants scheme, in the region of £1-£2k maximum.

The consultation closes on 18th March.

A resident commented that the ugly modern building, immediately behind the Library, in Ruckholt Road must surely be outside the conservation area, and wondered how planning approval could have been awarded.

A resident queried whether the railway cottages behind Coronation Gardens, were included in the Conservation Area

 ACTION:  Chair to clarify

Ron Presswell advised that an improvement scheme being finalised for the Bakers Arms shopping centre, which should be introduced next year. He advised a resident that the changes to the Bakers Arms Public House did not require planning permission

The Chair thanked the officers for their presentation.

AGENDA ITEM 4: SAFER NEIGHBOURHOOD TEAM (SNT)

The Leyton SNT is now based at Waltham House, Kirkdale Road, following the closure of Leyton Police Station.

The SNT informed residents that there had been a cross-London operation yesterday (27 February), which resulted in 240 arrests, and included a drugs raid on the Beaumont Estate.

There have been plain clothes operations in the ward to combat robbery and burglary.

Motor vehicle crime is being tackled using AMPR technology which highlights offenders.

A bike stamping session saw 30 more bikes stamped.

The SNT is also working various hours to cover incidents.

A resident said that he finds the new lighting is not as bright as the old lamps, which he feels is responsible for some increase in crime. He advised that the garages in Dunedin Road were broken into twice in one week.

101 Service – a resident cited lack of response. The SNT advised that this service is run by civilian’s staff, who are currently receiving further training. Residents were advised to dial the emergency 999 service if they have problems with 101.

A Brewster Road resident complained about the problem of dumped cars. The SNT confirmed that they can only get cars moved immediately if they are causing an obstruction. Otherwise dumped vehicles are a matter for the Council. If a vehicle has a current tax disc, it cannot be moved unless it has been confirmed as ‘stolen’. Abandoned vehicles can only be removed once the tax disc has expired. The council direct line is: 020 8721 2737.

The Chair thanked the members of the SNT for their attendance.

AGENDA ITEM 5: Leyton Library improvements

Sally Hodgson led the presentation and explained that usage of the Library had increased following the introduction of extended hours. She explained that the Library Service now comes under the Customer Service division and they are consulting on changing the way that libraries are used. This includes expansion of  ‘ E-services’ – downloading books etc., provision of adult education books and audio books.

Other facilities could encompass accepting payments for Council Tax etc., benefits advice. She is happy to receive suggestions by email to csc@walthamforest.gov.uk.

An order of books is due to be received by mid-March, and there is a system in place for stock management.

The Chair thanked the officers for their presentation.

AGENDA ITEM 6: 2012/2013 Ward Funding/Spend

The Chair explained the details of the ward fund, which were compiled from suggestions made by residents. The total committed is £9,896.00, which leaves £193.96 unallocated. Any suggestions for use of this sum were welcomed by the Chair.  There may be some carry over from last year.

A comment was made about the lack of publicity for events. It was agreed that a press release should be supplied to both WFN and the Guardian about the Leyton Arts Trail. The Chair also agreed that details would be uploaded on to the ward councillors’ websites.


 

AGENDA ITEM 7: Coronation Gardens Annexe Consultation

A representative of Groundwork London explained some preliminary ideas including, skateboard park, wildlife area, seating, and access to beach volleyball area. One proviso was stressed, namely that they will be unable to offer any facility for growing food plants.

There will be an event on Saturday 16th March from 10.30 until 2pm., when residents will be able to discuss ideas with Groundwork London.

He stressed that, at the present, there is no funding in place.

The Chair thanked Groundwork London for the presentation.

AGENDA ITEM 8: Update on Leyton Sports Ground

Peter Towler reported that the initial meeting in mid-January was attended by 16 local people. Points raised include:

  • Establishment of a permanent residents group
  • Survey improvements needed to the bowling green and tennis courts
  • Better promotion
  • Bring facilities up to standard

He has a meeting arranged with the Leader of the Council on 16th March. One question he will be asking is – When the council is spending £24 million on leisure improvements, why is there no mention of the Sports Ground?  He asked what other questions residents would like raised.

A resident commented about the lack of pruning of the trees bordering Brewster Road, but has noted that there appears to be some activity.

The Chair thanked Peter Towler for his report.

AGENDA ITEM 9: Community Forum

In view of time constraints this item was shorter than usual

  • Hainault Road/High Road site – A resident asked about this site – the Chair suggested he talk to him after the close of the meeting
  • Coopers Lane – The Chair confirmed that the YMCA leased property would need planning permission for a change of use.

The Chair closed the meeting and thanked everyone for coming.

Leyton FOCUS Newsletter 339

The latest issue of the Leyton FOCUS number 339 has just gone to press, and will be distributed free across the ward by volunteers.

Please contact Bob Sullivan if you would like to help the Lib Dems by delivering the FOCUS near your home. It is published approximately every six weeks and around takes about 45 minutes.

You can call Bob on 020 8556 8335, or email him via this website.

You can access an advance copy here:  Leyton 339