MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR to ALL

Leyton Ward CouncillorsWe have had a lot of snow and a lot more is forecast over the Christmas period. 

I hope that you have got all your presents and looking forward to the 25th.  The New Year brings hope as well as hardship to most people as we battle with paying off the massive debts that have been left to us by the last Government and the bankers. 

We will continue to deliver our regular Focus newsletter to keep in touch and update you on what is going on in our area. 

We will also keep running our councillor surgeries at Leyton Library, corner of Leyton High Road and Ruckholt Road, every Saturday 10 till 12.  The new refurbished library is due to open in January.  The first floor can now be accessed by a lift. 

The new Olympic stadium is also due to open next year.  I believe that Olympic tickets can now be purchased online.  I will check this out as I am determined to get to see the Olympics live as I am in walking distance of the Games.

Anyway I hope that you have a great Christmas – my colleagues, Councillors Winnie Smith and Naheed Qureshi and I, wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you feel we can help in any way.

OLIVER TWIST PUB – another one going for good

3931.jpgThe Oliver Twist pub on the corner of Church Road and Oliver Road and opposite the Leyton Fire Station is to be turned into flats.  The pub made famous by being used in the television programme ‘Londons Burning’ has been closed and derelict for some years.  Many of our local pubs have closed and this will be another one.

The plans (ref 2010/1529) are to turn the pub into 9 self contained flats.  4 x1 bed flats and 5×2 bed flats with provision for 5 car parking spaces.  

Unfortunately like all planning applications there are not parking spaces for all the flats.  This is a concern as local residents will know that parking in the area is a major problem.

I will be checking the design of this new development as we do not want a large square box of flats built on the site.  It needs to have a bit of character. 

CONSTRUCTION SKILLS CENTRE NOW OPEN!

Some may say its too little too late – however the Construction Skills Training Centre by the Cathall Road bridge Leytonstone has recently been completed. The centre is open to local residents (applicants will live in Waltham Forest and be workless) who wish to take part in courses, which will include the following:- 

Steel fixing
Introduction to General Construction
Kerblaying
Drain laying
Paving
Flooring
Work at heights
Introduction to roofing
Roofing
Railtrack safety or Tunnellskills passport

DONT MISS OUT – YOUR CHANCE TO LEARN NEW SKILLS – GET ALONG TO THE OPEN DAY OR GIVE THEM A RING

There will be an OPEN DAY on THURSDAY 2nd DECEMBER 2010 from 10am to 4pm at Worknet Cathall Road Training Centre 2-4 Cathall Road Leytonstone E11 4LF

For further information call Waltham Forest Worknet on: 020 8558 1558

Labour Council spending like there is no tomorrow!

Since Labour was elected to run the Council only 6 months ago, it has spent over £7 million hiring consultants and £15 million on agency staff.

At this rate the Council will spend nearly £50 million in four years.

Waltham Forest Council’s Cabinet is looking to save £65 million over 4 years – maybe they need to get on with running the Council themselves and stop using consultants to do it for them!

The latest Lib Dem FOCUS number 323 – out now

The latest edition of the FOCUS is now available to download Here

The Liberal Democrat FOCUS newsletter is delivered free to all residents of Leyton Ward.  The FOCUS was started in the late seventies to inform residents what is going on in their area and how they could contact their local Liberal Democrats for information or where they had a problem and needed help.  Since the seventies over one and a half million Focuses have been delivered free.

IN FOCUS 323 – Read about:-

Community Councils being abolished

Prince William supports Drapers Field

Problem Lighting on Ruckholt / Alexandra Rd

Leyton Fire Services – threat

Vandals in Coronation Gardens

Beaumont wheelie bins

If you need any information or help , then check out our Councillors SURGERY and CONTACT DETAILS

REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY 2010

Cllrs Winnie Smith, Naheed Qureshi, Farooq Qureshi and I attended the Remembrance Day parade on Sunday at Coronation Gardens in Leyton.  Below is a few photos.

Rem_day_Fteam

Cllrs Bob Sullivan, Winnie Smith and Naheed Qureshi (Leyton Focus Team)

Cllrs Qureshi & Sullivan

With Councillors Farooq and Naheed Qureshi before the start of the service

The service in Coronation Gardens was attended by over a hundred people

Fortunately the vandalism mentioned below did not mar the service.  The weather was great and everything went off well.  Well done to the British Legion, the pipe band and St Marys Church for a memorable occasion.

LABOUR COUNCIL TO ABOLISH COMMUNITY COUNCILS

Residents are angry to find that the popular Community Councils are to be abolished by the new Labour Council.  A report proposing the end of Community Councils was slipped onto the agenda of last week’s Cabinet meeting at the last minute.  It proposes that Community Councils are replaced by ‘Ward Forums’ that will not have the decision making powers and will not give residents the same access to officers and information.Lib Dem Leader Cllr. Bob Sullivan

 “It is clear that Labour is trying to muzzle the voice of the local community and avoid the challenge of justifying their policies and proposals to residents in public,” said Liberal Democrat Leader Bob Sullivan. 

“A ward forum appears to be little more than a fancily titled ward surgery, which all good councillors should do regularly anyway. Ward Forums will not be subject to the same legal requirements as Community Councils so they will have no decision-making powers and can be more secretive in how they work. Labour also proposes that they should meet less often and have very little support from council officers.” 

Cllr Sullivan also pointed out that most wards do not represent natural communities, with some ward boundaries running arbitrarily through areas which share common interests. “One ward boundary runs straight through the middle of Lloyd Park. Issues relating to the Leyton cricket ground and Walthamstow High Street are relevant to all residents, not just those who live in the particular ward areas,” he said. “If the Labour Party is still interested in what the community want to talk about then why not reduce the current six community councils to three, representing Chingford, Walthamstow and Leyton/Leytonstone. The majority of people do not relate to ward boundaries but they do relate to these areas.  This would not only make a financial saving but continue to give a voice to the boroughs residents.”

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.

PRINCE WILLIAM SUPPORTS SAVING DRAPERS FIELD

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   qe2fields.com.

Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/3225646/Prince-William-makes-a-plea-for-the-preservation-of-the-UKs-playing-fiels.html#ixzz15XjAkr7K 

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:http://ourcampaign.org.uk/DrapersField

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.