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Halt Tory plans to cut local fire service

Leyton’s Liberal Democrat councillors have called for Conservative Mayor Boris Johnson and Conservative councillors on the London Fire Emergency and Planning authority (LFEPA) to reverse a proposal to permanently remove a fire engine from Leyton Fire Station. 

The cuts threat was made by LFEPA’s Conservative chairman earlier this week when he called for the Fire Brigade to look at saving money by making permanent the temporary reductions in fire cover during the recent strikes. It could see 27 of London’s 169 fire engines scrapped and around 500 fire fighter jobs lost. The proposal was backed by Conservative members of the authority.

Councillor Winnie SmithLocal Leyton Lib Dem councillor Winnie Smith said: “It is shocking that the Conservatives are now looking at permanent cuts to the number of fire engines protecting Leyton residents. This inevitably raises questions about the time it takes for engines to get to fires and accidents and about cover if the remaining engine is unavailable. Like all public services London Fire Brigade needs to save money, but Mayor Boris Johnson has promised that there will be no cuts in frontline fire services and he must honour that promise.

Waltham Forest Lib Dems have also expressed concern about the removal of a fire engine from Chingford Fire Station.


Drapers Field with all-weather pitch in the distance - ALL UNDER THREAT

Prince William who is an avid defender of playing fields has backed a new scheme that has been set up to save our playing fields.  The new scheme, the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge, aims to give legal protection to 2,012 fields by 2012.  Here the scheme’s patron, Prince William, explains why it is so important:

SOMEWHERE for children to play, somewhere for everyone to gather should be a right, not a luxury.

Yet thousands of neighbourhoods up and down the country have lost recreational space over the past decades, with many more fields under threat today. Being able to spend time outdoors in the fresh air, taking exercise or just going for a walk, is essential for a person’s wellbeing.

For children and teenagers, fields provide an outlet for their energy and passion, a springboard for developing potential skills.

If the UK is to boast tomorrow’s Olympic champions or World Cup winning footballers, these places must be protected. This is where the stars of the future will first discover their talents. But such places are not just life-changing and life-enhancing for children. For all of us, whatever age, somewhere away from stressful and overcrowded lives, closely accessible, is a sanctuary.

I am therefore incredibly proud to be Patron of The Queen Elizabeth II Fields, a project that will safeguard hundreds of fields by the year 2012, when we will celebrate two momentous occasions: The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games.

Why “The Queen Elizabeth II Fields“?  Simple – It’s a tribute to The Queen for her six decades of duty, dedication and commitment to this country. I can’t think of a more fitting tribute: Millions of people up and down the country enjoying the benefits of the outdoors for generations to come, and remembering The Queen for it.

And this is something for you. From next year, you will be able to vote for your favourite outdoor space to become a Queen Elizabeth II Field. When the time comes, please join me in supporting this incredibly important challenge.

The Queen Elizabeth II Fields will be eligible to apply to a £1million fund for improvement grants provided by the SITA Trust that will be opened in 2011. All kinds of outdoor spaces can participate and Fields In Trust would like as many local authorities as possible to sign up to the scheme.

To find out more visit

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Maybe Waltham Forest Council will have second thoughts in allowing Drapers Field to be concreted over for use by the Olympic Authority?

Liberal Democrat Petition – Our petition to Save Drapers Field is still running and I hope to make representations the Planning Committee in January.

You can sign up on line at:

Please encourage your friends and neighbours to support this historic site.

Paper copies of the petition can also be printed if you would like to collect signatures to support the campaign.

Mindless vandalism

Plants in Cornation Gardens damaged by vandalsOn the day before the Sunday Remembrance service in Coronation Gardens some mindless vandals uprooted the plants around the British Legion memorial.  It was only because of the speedy and efficient work of the Council’s employees, early on Sunday morning, that the place was tidied up and the plants replanted that enabled the service to go on. 

I cannot understand what motivates anyone to do this.  They would have known that the Remembrance service is so important to thousands of people both young and old who remember those who died or were injured in the service of our country.  To desecrate the memorial area was as low as one can get – They should hang their heads in shame.  

Ruckholt Road/Alexandra Road – kept in the dark?

You may have noticed the new silver lights that have been erected in Ruckholt Road in advance of the Olympics.  They look very nice but are they better than the old ones?  Residents of Ruckholt Road and Alexandra Road are complaining that the new lights are not as good as the old ones.  The old lamposts were staggered on both sides of the road giving light to both sides of the road.  The new lamposts have only been put on one side of the road which is making one side bright and the other side in darkness.

Has this been a costly mistake?  The Council say that the lighting specification of the new lights is of a higher standard than that of the old lights, but they will investigate residents concerns and report back.  We will keep you informed of their investigation.

LYTTLETON ROAD – Road works to close off road


Olympic Street improvements to Lyttleton Road will be started on Monday 15th November.  Resurfacing of the pavements and roadway together with tree pruning and tree planting if appropriate, will take place for about a week.

Lyttleton Road will be closed during the works between 8.00am and 5.30pm.  There will be no through traffic – alternative routes will be sign posted.

The pavements will be done first.  Signs and cones will be displayed informing residents when works on the road are due.  If vehicles are found to be parked on the days of the road works starting, then the Council’s parking enforcement contractor may be called in to issue a penalty notice and if required have the vehicle impounded.  YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

DRAPERS FIELD – Timetable (Is the end nigh?)

Drapers Field - facing destruction

A recent report to the Leyton & Whipps Cross Community Council gave a clearer picture of what is being planned by the Council and the Olympic Delivery Authority for the sell off of Drapers Field:

Proposed use of Drapers Field

It will become an Olympic Village Operations and Support Area – provision including catering support, laundry, deliveries and general maintenance.

Site operation

There will will one main temporary tented structure in the centre, surrounded by smaller temporary buildings. The area will be surrounded by a 4.6 metre weld mesh fence.

Vehicle access from Temple Mills Lane.

Public Consultation

Is scheduled to take place in November 2010. The Council has not said how far this will be circulated. The Liberal Democrat FOCUS Teams will make sure that local people are kept informed, and urge everyone to make their views known.

Planning Application

A formal planning application is expected in January 2011.

Outline Programme

September – December 2011:

The AstroTurf pitch, fencing and floodlighting will be removed. Existing topsoil will also be stripped and removed. Destroying facilities that have cost almost £1.5 million to provide, just over ten years ago.

Whole area will be covered in tarmac, temporary drainage and lighting installed.  Double fences will be erected around the site for security.  One resident joked that machine gun turrets will be built on the corners.

January – May 2012:

Construction of temporary buildings etc.

May – October 2012:

Village Support Area in operation on a 24-hour basis.

October – December 2012:

Temporary facilities removed and site prepared for legacy works.

December 2012:

Delivery of legacy scheme commences.

There is no indication when the site will be made available for public use, or indeed what facilities will be restored.

 Liberal Democrat Petition

Our petition to Save Drapers Field is still running and I hope to make representations the Planning Committee in January. You can sign up on line at:

Please encourage your friends and neighbours to support this historic site. Paper copies of the petition can also be printed if you would like to collect signatures to support the campaign.



One of the many animals on the farm

Brooks Farm in Skeltons Lane, beside Skeltons Lane Park, Leyton is Waltham Forest’s only city farm.  It will soon become a charity which will allow it to be run by local people for local people.

Do you have ideas about the sorts of educational, recreational and support services that you would like to see provided by Brooks Farm to ensure it is used and enjoyed by all ages.

Could you help to plan and organise the services delivered at the farm?

Could you be a member or trustee for the new charity?

IF SO COME AND GET INVOLVED IN THIS EXCITING NEW ADVENTURE – to find out more about how you can become part of the future of the farm.

A public meeting will be held on Saturday 27th November at the Seddon Centre, Clyde Place, Leyton – off of Capworth Street – between 3pm and 5pm.

Lion and Key dates back to 1300

Lion & Key - 2010

Many of you who have seen the Lion and Key pub will be taken aback by its architecture.  It is a locally listed building.  The good news is that having spoken to the Councils Planning department, the facade is to be retained.

Lion & Key on the right of the picture during reconstruction in the 1890sThe pub is regarded to be the oldest in Leyton and was possibly present in 1300, although the first documentary evidence is a possible record of 1579. It closed in 2009.

The picture at the top is the current Lion and Key building.  The one to the right is the current building being built around the end of the 18 hundreds.

LION & KEY – another local pub going!

The Council has received a planning application for the Lion & Key public house on the corner of Leyton High Road and Church Road – ref 2010/1344.   The Lion and Key has been closed for some time.  It has had various owners who have tried to make a go of it but obviously failed.   

The planning application is to turn the pub into a ‘Support and Living Centre’.  This will include 9 self-contained flats ( 7x 1 bed, 2×2 bed ) together with the erection of part first and part second floor extensions, and installation of a dormer window and 4 rooflights. 

More information on what a Support and Living Centre entails will be given when we get that information.

Local pubs are closing fast.  Apart from the Lion and Key many other local pubs in the area have closed.  The Oliver Twist, the Three Blackbirds, The Four Finches, The Hollybush and the one in Park Road that was opposite Riverley School, the name has failed me at present.

What with mobile phones, facebook and other social communications, people prefer to communicate and socialise by telephone and internet other than face to face in public houses.  The access of cheap beer at supermarkets has not helped.  Pubs are closing at a fast rate and our area is no exception.

Please note Planning applications received by the Council can be viewed at the councils reception at Development Management, Sycamore House at the back of the Town Hall Complex, Forest Road, Walthamstow E17 4JF between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.  A duty Planning Officer will be available between 10am and 4.00pm to explain the plans and answer any quries.  Any objections need to be made before 14th of November to the above address.

Latest FOCUS NEWSLETTER number 322

As always we have a Focus Newsletter full of important local information ready for you to read.   Apart from delivering this to all households in Leyton Ward, you can access it by clicking on Focus 322 below.  

Unlike other parties who only contact you at election time we do it all year round.

You can rest assured our Focus Newsletter keeps you updated on a regular basis and is the best way of finding out what we have been doing and what is going on locally.

This edition contains information about:-

Leyton Festival Fiasco

Oliver Close

Beaumont Estate new build delays

ASB in Coronation Gardens

DVD sellers causing havoc in Witham Court

Possible CPZ extensions

Squatters in Church Road

Leyton Library renovations

and much more including all our contact details