GOOD NEWS – Glyn Hopkin Nissan plans refused!

Good news – At last nights Planning Committee the plan to re-develop the Glyn Hopkin Nissan showrooms on the corner of Ruckholt Road and Oliver Road was refused by the committee.

Residents in the area will be delighted that the plans to build up to six stories of flats with little parking was thrown out.  This is the second time the plans have not been accepted.  I hope that the developers will go back to the drawing board and come back with plans for family houses with parking spaces and not loads of one and two bed flats.

HOW LOW CAN YOU GET!

Yes to Fairer Votes On the 5th May there will be a referendum on whether we keep the old voting system or whether we change it to a fairer voting system called AV (Alternate Vote).

Instead of just voting X for one candidate that we do now, with AV you will be asked to vote in order of your preference e.g.1, 2, 3, etc..  So MPS who now can be elected on only 1/3rd of the votes will have to get over half the votes to be elected.  So no ones vote is wasted. 

The YES campaign is going very well and winning the argument for a fairer voting system.  So well that the NO campaigners are losing the argument and having been consistently out organised by our grassroots volunteers, have been reduced to scare stories and smears to try to score cheap political points.

They have resorted to gutter politics.  As horrifying as this may sound, the No to AV campaign took out a two-page advertisement in the Birmingham Mail claiming that a sick baby “needs a new cardiac facility NOT an alternative voting system.

 This is shocking and shameful. This is not the debate that the country deserves.

 It’s clear that the No campaign don’t have the decency and integrity to regulate themselves, but this can’t go on. We need the Advertising Standards Authority to issue guidance on this campaign, and fast. Co-sign our letter to the ASA today:   http://www.yestofairervotes.org/ASA-demand-better

 This isn’t the first time that the No campaign have attempted to play on voters’ fears – but it certainly is the crudest.

 Just last week they claimed that AV would force the UK to spend £130 million on magical electronic counting machines. This neglected one simple fact – there are absolutely no plans to introduce electronic counting machines – there never were. Australia, which has used AV for 80 years, has never used counting machines.

 We must put a stop to these lies, and the only way we can do that is with an open, fair and honest debate – something that is proving surprisingly elusive.

UK voters are entitled to legal, decent, honest and truthful advertising campaigns – these adverts fail on every count. Join us in calling for the ASA to step in today, so that we can get on with the debate the country deserves. 

If you would like further information about the referendum please contact me or you can find out more on  www.yestofairervotes.org

 

Residents concern over new plans for Glyn Hopkin Nissan site

New plans for the Glyn Hopkin Nissan car showrooms on the corner of Ruckholt Road and Oliver Road will be considered by the Council’s Planning Committee on the 1st March at the Town Hall Forest Road.

The plans to redevelop the site include a 3 to 6 storey residential development of 116 dwellings – 28 x 1 bed flats, 56 x 2 bed flats, 22 x 3 bed flats and 10 houses fronting Dunedin Road. There will also be some artists studios fronting Oliver Road.  There is basement parking for only 53 cars including 9 disabled spaces.  Vehicle access is from Dunedin Road.

The original plans, which were widely objected to by local residents, were not accepted by the Council.  The new plans are very similar and I am surprised that the Planners have accepted them.  This is an over-development of the site and again has over a hundred flats and minimal parking space.  This area is crying out for family houses not more flats.  Leyton is being flooded with developments of flats with little or, in some cases, no provision for parking.

Parking is a major worry for local residents but their concerns carry no weight when it comes to decisions by the Council.

If any resident is interested in speaking at the Planning Committee, then please telephone Zainab Esmail on 020 8496 6725 before the 1st March. or contact me.

Say YES to a fairer system of voting

On Saturday I joined my colleagues Councillors Winnie Smith and Naheed Qureshi  outside Tescos in Leyton for a spot of campaigning for the Referendum on Fair Votes which is due to be held on May 5th this year.

We had a good response from the public; who seemed extremely interested in the subject. There are still many misconceptions and misinformation that are being printed to persuade people to vote no. Mainly from MPs that want to keep their jobs for life.  However, I would urge each and every one of you to find out more about the referendum and try to understand just how beneficial it will be for you!

The Alternative Vote system will change parliament forever, introducing a fair, more accountable voting system for Westminster. No more being elected by only 3 out of 10 people in your area.

 It builds on the current system and makes it better, eliminating many of its weaknesses and keeping its strengths.   It’s a long overdue upgrade to make a 19th century system fit for the politics of the 21st century. 

MPs will need to secure at least 50% of the vote to be certain of winning – under the current First Past the Post system, MPs can get elected with less than 30% of constituents supporting them. This means that MPs will need to work harder and go further to get, and keep, your support. They’ll have to appeal to more people in the communities they seek to represent. Doing just enough won’t be enough any more.

If you would like further information about the referendum please contact me or alternatively you can find out more on www.yestofairervotes.org

Refurbished Leyton Library officially opens

I attended the official opening of the new refurbished Leyton Library on High Rd Leyton on Saturday afternoon along with my colleagues Councillors Naheed Qureshi and Winnie Smith (pictured is Cllr. Naheed Qureshi and me at the entrance to the library).  The upper floors of the library are now open to the public due to the new lift which connects all floors.  On the first floor there is a very large computer room that was previously used as a reading room many years ago.  There are many smaller rooms on this floor and the upper floors that offer meeting rooms for hire.  Riverley Childrens Centre has made use of some rooms for their childrens activities already.

The library put on a good show for local children ( storytelling and facepainting) which went on through the day.  The refurbishment of the library has taken some time but it was worth it in the end.

Don’t forget that every Saturday from 10 till 12 noon we hold our councillors surgery/advice cenre at the Library.  Why not pop in to see one of us and the new library one Saturday?

GOOD NEWS – Leyton’s fire engine to be returned

Following local campaigns and a Lib Dem motion to Council urging the return  of our fire engines.  We have heard that London Fire Brigade has finally decided to return the two fire engines that were taken from Leyton and Chingford.

They were taken away last year, along with another 25 fire engines across London to cover for the possibility of industrial action by the Fire Unions.
Last Friday the Unions came to an agreement with the Fire Brigade so the engines should be returned.

This is good news for local residents whose safety could have been put at risk.

I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!

I have just received an invitation from a Charitable Trust inviting me to a function at the Town Hall.  This is to HONOUR, among others, the disgraced ex MP Harry Cohen. Can you believe it?

Needless to say I will not be going to honour a person who has falsely claimed thousands of pounds from taxpayers when an MP.  Does Harry Cohen deserve to be honoured?
What do you think?

LEYTON HIGH ROAD/HAINAULT ROAD DEVELOPMENT

Looking from Leyton High Road towards Bakers Arms

The  pictures are a computer generated impression of the plans submitted to the Council for the development of 590 – 594 Leyton High Road and 1 Hainault Road.  This is the area on the junction of Leyton High Road and Hainault Road.  The pictures show the view from the High Road and the view looking down Hainault Road to the High Road.

View from Hainault Road towards the High Road

The proposal is to build part 5, part 4 and part 2 storey buildings comprising ground floor commercial/retail space and 24 residential units.  The residential units will comprise 7 x 1 bed, 11 x 2 bed, 2 x 3 bed flats and 4 x 3 bed houses.  There will be no parking spaces except for 3 disability parking bays

It seems that the only developments in Leyton are for more and more flats, when the real need for the area is family houses.  The flats that have been built have little or no parking spaces.  Parking in our streets has become virtually impossible.

Below is an objection sent in by a local resident which highlights the reasons why this development should not go ahead.    

The building would be out of place and character with the surrounding area and much greater in scale than the surrounding buildings.The materials in the area are relating to mixed conventions, Georgian, Edwardian and Post War. The proposed use of materials in this development with one part completely mottled red brick finish and the other part a completely buff brick finish does not strike me as an intelligent employment of said materials. 

The proximity and height of the building will reduce the light filter through from the front windows of properties opposite the proposal. 

The Juliette balconies would greatly overlook existing properties opposite. 

Strict controls would have to be adopted in terms of the retail space as hours of business and type of business is not known and has been ticked as such that any type of business and hours could be adopted. 

A major concern would be that an alcohol related business would establish causing Hainault Road area to become a natural congregation area and thus increasing levels of anti social behaviour and crime. 

Hainault Road and indeed all of the surrounding streets are not in a controlled parking zone. There is no residents parking scheme in place.Hainault Road and the surrounding roads are already under severe pressure in terms of parking space as they already take the overflow parking from the social services building located on Leyton High Road and the new police custody suite.The Proposal has 24 residential units with the provision for three disabled parking spaces. I would think this will again increase parking pressure on Hainault Road and the surrounding streets.The proposal has also unspecified ground floor retail which without a doubt will place more pressure on parking in the area  

The proposal is located at a very busy junction and I feel it will have the impact of increasing traffic and congestion, leading to more pollution and making the area less safe for pedestrians. 

I do not believe there is adequate provision for parking. 

The proposal does not meet the appropriate provision for off street parking in accordance with the Waltham Forest Council car parking standards. The area is not within a controlled parking zone. 

There is not much provision for larger families in this development and of the 24 units 18 are to be one and two bed units.There is already an oversupply of this type of housing in the area, and I feel a lot would go directly onto the rental market thus encouraging a more transient population. 

I would direct your attention to the quite similar Tesco development in South Woodford where there was great difficulty in finding business to take up the retail space. 

Any objections to this development need to be sent to the Council by 21st February.  They need to be sent in writing to :

The Development Manager, Sycamore House, Waltham Forest Town Hall, Forest Road, Walthamstow, E17 4JF 

RESIDENTS TO LOSE OUT AGAIN

The Council has set up a new department, ‘Residents First’, which is now considering closing the Waltham Forest Direct (WFD) shops in Leyton, Leytonstone, Walthamstow and Chingford. 

The WFD shops, popular with residents, are where they can get information, advice and get their housing and council tax benefits sorted out without queuing for hours in Poll Tax house in Walthamstow. 

It is ironic that the new department of ‘Residents First’ has already closed down the local Community Councils and is now looking to close down another local community service. Maybe they should rename the department ‘Residents Last’.