Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Town Centre Decision

The Mayor wants the scheme to proceed

Capital and Regional's awful scheme for the Town Centre shopping Mall has been given the go ahead by Mayor Sadiq Khan. Despite a vast number of objections, many policies ignored and an already congested Town Centre, Bus Station and Victoria line the Mayor has agreed the scheme as presented can proceed with one change. He has forced C&R to increase the affordable housing by 10% which won't even be in the Town Centre. £7.3m has to be given to the council to build social housing elsewhere. No additional money has been found for TfL so the link to the station is in doubt.

The |Leader of LBWF Cllr Clare Coghill says of the decision: The Mayor’s decision to approve the redevelopment of the Mall in Walthamstow will radically improve the town centre, replacing the existing town square and shopping centre which is tired, underused and not good enough for our residents.

“A new and expanded Mall will give a significant boost to the area, including creating 350 new permanent jobs as well as giving our residents the opportunity to shop in the borough rather than going further afield, which has a detrimental effect on our local economy.”
The cost to residents of this decision will be years of protest, the full planning application for the 4 tower blocks has yet to come, the loss of 81 mature trees and the reduction of the town square by 32%. 
To fund this C&R will have to increase the height of the tower blocks to at least 40 storeys which will increase the number of flats created thereby making the congestion even worse.
Shoppers will have a miserable few years trying to access the Mall while the construction companies try and build 4 enormous tower blocks over the existing shops. The noise, pollution and general inconvenience will force shoppers to go elsewhere.
There is no new transport infrastructure to support all the new developments that are currently being constructed around St James Street Station, Walthamstow Central and Blackhorse Road Station.
The protests will continue so come along to the Town Square on Saturday 24th March at 2pm and help protect our precious trees.

From David Gardiner
Yesterday (20th March) Sadiq Khan betrayed the people of Walthamstow by granting Second Stage (i.e. final) approval to Capital and Regional's plans to 'redevelop' our town square.

The Mayor claims that he has listened to local people. Like the almost 3,000 of them who signed a petition or wrote individual letters objecting to the proposals before the Planning Meeting in December? Like the 10 (out of a total of 12) who presented such well-reasoned objections in their ten-minute speeches at that meeting? How about the votes of ALL the local Constituency Labour Party branches? I think Mr Khan may be suffering from a little selective deafness.

When I emailed him requesting a 30-minute meeting with representatives of the Save Our Square E17 group, which has several hundred local members, the reply I received, not from the Mayor but from Graham Clements, his Principal Strategic Planner, was that: 'given the constraints of his statutory decision-making timescale ... and the pressures of his pre-existing diary commitments, the Mayor is unable to accept'. A busy man indeed. 

But he did find time to listen to developers Capital and Regional, who would like to take over a third of the last bit of open space in central Walthamstow for their private commercial activities, move the children's playground next to the diesel fumes of the bus station and chop down 81 beautiful mature trees to make way for all that additional concrete. Not forgetting four outlandish blocks of luxury flats that nobody on even twice the average annual income will be able to afford. 

Does Walthamstow need more shops? I don't think so. Does it need luxury flats for people that have nothing whatever to do with our community? I think not.

The actual effect of this kind of development as everyone knows is to raise rents generally in the area and force a lot more of the traditional residents who have lived here for generations out to wherever they can afford to put a roof over their heads. We can now apply for the title 'Borough of Evictions' as well as 'Borough of Culture (if you don't count the closure of the libraries and a few other things)'. 

This is a deliberate policy. It goes by names like 'gentrification' and 'ethnic cleansing'. London is intended for the wealthy and trendy, not for the likes of us. This is Tory Party policy enthusiastically embraced by our manipulative and dishonest Blairite Council. If we vote them in again in May we are simply fools.

What we are witnessing is an exact parallel to the highland clearances of the 18th and 19th centuries in Scotland. The presence of poorer people does not suit those with the power and the money in London today. The entire city is being systematically made unavailable to the working class communities that have lived here for generations. All of London, inner and outer, is to be given over to the rich. What we are witnessing is the beginning of the London Clearances. That's how history will quite rightly regard it. And to the eternal shame of our Labour controlled GLA and Council's they are totally complicit in the process. 

from David Gardiner
Secretary, Save Our Square E17


Saturday, 17 March 2018

Town Centre - urgent action needed

Urgent action needed

We’ve had the letter from City Hall saying Stage 2 Approval is scheduled for Tuesday March 20th and we’ve written requesting an urgent meeting. 

Everybody now must now send a message to Sadiq Khan without delay, even short one-liners, because the objections arriving in the mayor’s office are mounting up and definitely make a difference.

Your message can say things like:

Call it in Khan. Don’t do it. Save our Square. Save our Trees. Affordable housing   - or similar!

Write to Mayor Sadiq Khan

The Mall, 45 Selbourne Road, Walthamstow E17 7JR
GLA Ref: 4306    Waltham Forest: 171355

Subject: RE: MGLA070318-5611 Meeting with the 'Save Our Square' group.

Dear Mr Gardiner
Thank you for writing to the Mayor following your exchange at the Chingford War Memorial in February, as well as for providing representations on the application for redevelopment at Walthamstow Mall and town square (including the letter from Nancy Taaffe on behalf of Save Our Square E17). Thank you also for kindly suggesting a follow up meeting to explain your concerns to the Mayor in more detail.
I am the Greater London Authority (GLA) planning officer responsible for handling this case and have been asked to write to you in response to your correspondence, and to provide a general update on the Mayor's stage 2 process.

I note that Waltham Forest Council resolved to approve the application on 13 December 2017. Prior to this, the Mayor provided his initial comments on the application to the Council on 6 November 2017 (these are available to download here: Since then, and following the Council's committee resolution, the GLA has been working closely with the applicant and the Council in order to address outstanding strategic planning issues, and specifically, to explore the potential to enhance the proposed affordable housing offer for Walthamstow.

On 7 March 2018 Waltham Forest Council formally referred the case back to the Mayor for his stage 2 decision. The Mayor now has until 20 March 2018 to consider the case and decide whether to allow the scheme to be approved by Waltham Forest Council; whether to direct that the application be refused; or, whether to take over the application in order to determine the case himself.
Accordingly, whilst the Mayor is extremely grateful for your invitation to a meeting, given the constraints of his statutory decision-making timescale (discussed above), and the pressures of his pre-existing diary commitments, the Mayor is unable to accept.
Notwithstanding this, the Mayor wishes me to assure you that he will take into account all representations received, including the points that you have raised, as part of his consideration of the application. In due course the Mayor's decision on this case will be published on the City Hall website at:
Yours sincerely

Graham Clements
Principal Strategic Planner | Development Management | Development, Enterprise & Environment

Fred Wigg and John Walsh Towers

Estate redevelopment put on hold

John Walsh and Fred Wigg Towers

Zoe Lady Hart Dyke

Dear friend,

Please find attached the publicity poster for a talk I will be giving at the Leyton & Leytonstone Historical Society meeting on Wednesday 21 March, at St John's Church Hall, Leytonstone High Road, London E11 1HH at 7-45pm. This email has a wide circulation, and for some of my more distant friends it will be more of a cordial notification of what I'm up to, rather than an expectation of attendance!

I'm delighted to say that I have now completed the biography of Zoe Lady Hart Dyke (born Millicent Zoe Bond in Leyton in 1896). Entitled Unravelling the Yarn: Zoe Hart Dyke and the Leyton Silk Road (ISBN 978-1-9998278-3-0) the book will be launched at this meeting of the Leyton & Leytonstone Historical Society.

During this month of International Women's Day celebrations, I will particularly explore background pertaining to the women in arts, craft, architecture, theatre, broadcasting, writing, horticulture and elsewhere, with whom Zoe associated in the 1930s - 1970s as part of her quest to establish, from scratch, Britain's only commercial silk farm in the twentieth century.

The biography, which also includes a Foreword by the Mayor of Waltham Forest, Cllr Yemi Osho, traces the adventures of Zoe's Bond family relations and Zoe's own family subsequent to her intringuingly precipitous marriage into the Hart Dyke baronetcy of Lullingstone, Kent. A personal interview last summer with Zoe's son, Guy Hart Dyke, who has sadly recently passed away, gave me further insights into how she was perceived by those close to her. Zoe's forays into the business world of the silk industry, her tangles with bureaucracy, and her success in gaining royal patronage are wryly examined. At the same time, I have argued for her historical achievements to potentially cast her as an inspirational woman.

The book will be on sale, priced £10, at the event, and will be available for distribution afterwards.

This has been such an exciting chapter of my life, and I am looking forward to enabling you to share in its outcome, perhaps on 21st March, or through reading the story of Zoe!

Please do get in touch.

With many thanks for your interest,


Claire Weiss
Leyton, London E10.
077 5393 2043
020 8539 2833

Friday, 9 March 2018

Marlowe Road - the Coop and the Navy Lark

Here is an interesting tale. Residents of Wood Street have had the benefits of the Plaza for a short while before the redevelopment of Marlowe Road destroyed it! Recently the first building to be completed opened as the Coop. Little known to most people, hidden away in the Town Hall, there is a department which manages the street names in the Borough. A list is kept of names that are suitable for new streets - these can not duplicate existing streets, must be acceptable to the Royal Mail's national postcode system and mean something to residents. Locally people were happy with the Plaza as a name but it was never officially an address.

When planning for the redevelopment of the Marlowe Road was underway it was clear some new street names would be required. Out of the blue the new address for the Coop became 7-8 Troubridge Square. So where did that come from! Well there is a very good answer below from the Council. 

The naming of Troubridge Square was undertaken in April 2016 in line with long standing practices whereby the developer and SNN Officer propose relevant names.  Their suitability is ultimately agreed by the SNN officer to ensure the name is unique within the surrounding area as not to cause confusion for emergency services, delivery services and other relevant service providers. The assessment also endeavours to ensure that the address has some historical relevance to the borough. Troubridge met these criteria.

This name has previously been used for a street in the Borough, “Troubridge Avenue“ in Walthamstow, as documented from the Walthamstow Historical Society website. This street was demolished and the name previously lost.

The name comes from the Ship HMS TROUBRIDGE a WW2 Destroyer and was “Walthamstow’s Ship” having been funded by residents in an early incarnation of Crowd Funding, whereby a community was asked to raise funds to buy a ship in the 1942 “WARSHIP WEEK”. The scheme was successful and Walthamstow adopted HMS Troubridge.

With regards to the name “wood street plaza” to my knowledge this had never formed part of any official address including that of the Co Op which was 164-166 Wood Street. My understanding is that the name wood street plaza was coined as part of the 2013 regeneration works when the granite blocks were installed. It would not have been possible to recognise this officially on the grounds of duplication with Wood Street which may have caused confusion.

If you need any further information please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Best wishes,

Andy Skilton
Senior Network Performance and Information Officer
London Borough of Waltham Forest
Tel: 020 8496 2531 | Ext: 2531
Mob: 07875 604 586

Council buying houses

LBWF to buy houses

Action on Air Pollution

Action on Air Pollution

Volunteers and the Law

Volunteers and the Law


Data Protection

Town Centre Survey

Please complete this survey about your views of the Town Centre

William Morris Ward Association

Subject: William Morris Ward Association

Dear Councilor Williams,
Thank you for showing an interest in the William Morris Ward Association.
We are having a preliminary meeting on the 27th February 2- 5pm at Priory Court Community Centre to set out an Agenda for the first official meeting, a date to be arranged.
The purpose of the meeting is to get to know each other, to raise issues/concerns/ideas for future discussion as well as discuss how you would like the Association to work/represent.
We will elect a Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and Assistant Secretary and to arrange for the development of a constitution and a Website.
Refreshments will be laid on.
We are going to hold our first Social event of 2018 to coincide with William Morris’ Birthday on Saturday March 24th.
We will be at William Morris Gallery on Saturday 24th from 2.30pm to 4.30pm and would like to invite all to come and have a cup of tea and cake with us to celebrate William Morris’ Birthday.
We want to use this event to get to know so many more people in our area and develop a network of volunteers who want to organise/help with our future events. 
So come along, have a cup of tea and cake and talk to us about how we can work together to put on some exciting events in the next year including a big William Morris’ Birthday Celebration in 2019.  Do pass this on to all your contacts as we would like to meet as many residents as possible.
We look forward to seeing you on February 27th and/or on March 24th, however can you please email me if you are not able to attend. Thank you.
Best regards
Peter Stanton (Temporary Chair)
William Morris Ward Association

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Town Centre Gyratory Junction

Road Works Delayed

The article above reports that the gyratory junction at the top of Selbourne Road is to be delayed by a year although the replacement bridge work is finished. According to Cllr Loakes it is due to "forthcoming developments to the wider road network" that were unforeseen. What was unforeseen? The planning for this junction has been on the to do list for years and the detailed planning must have started in 2016. In early 2017 Strettons announced they were going to build a 13 storey Premier Inn on their site and the council has been planning to replace their building for many years and the Station Car Park site was started well before the planning for the junction and the Mall development was known about in  2016, probably earlier, so what are the unforeseen developments? Even if it was any of these proposed developments the only one that I am aware of that has full planning permission is the Station Car Park site.

So what is the real reason TfL is delaying the completion of the junction by 12 months when most of the work is completed and it is clear the new layout works well?

What are we not being told?

November 2016

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Boroughs of Culture

Waltham Forest and Brent named first London boroughs of culture
Sadiq Khan
Sadiq Khan said the scheme would ‘give all Londoners, regardless of background, the opportunity to enjoy the capital’s fantastic cultural riches’. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA
Waltham Forest and Brent have been named as the first London boroughs of culture, each receiving £1.35m of funding.
The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, announced the two winners on Tuesday morning, which were chosen from the 22 London boroughs that submitted a bid. Ten boroughs did not enter the competition.
The project is inspired by the success of European capital of culture programmes, which have benefited cities including Glasgow and Liverpool, and more recently the UK city of culture, won by Derry and Hull and, in 2021, Coventry.
First up in Khan’s scheme will be Waltham Forest in 2019, followed by Brent in 2020.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Residents Peacefully Protesting about the Town Centre Plans

Organised by the Save Our Square Campaign 1,000 or so residents and groups came out to protest at the plans by the council to destroy the Town Centre with 4 monstrous tower blocks over 30 storeys high and the loss of 32% of the openspace. The 502 flats to be built will not be affordable to residents of the Borough and many of the groups protesting were arguing for housing that is affordable to those on average or below earnings. The 81 trees due to be felled were highlighted with art works created by members of the group.

Full details of what is wrong with the plans

Friday, 23 February 2018

Council Tax Rise

The council tax rise is 5% - that's nothing compared to the 62% rise the Rates went up by in the 1970s under Neil Gerrard, Leader of the Council,  who went on to be MP for Walthamstow from 1992 to 2010.

5% Rise

Reuse of Coop Bank premises

From Stella Creasy MP's Newsletter

The Bank Job: Walthamstow Debt Project  

HSCB (Hoe Street Central Bank) launches in March 2018 in the former CoOp Bank in Walthamstow. This project involves a team of local people, employed as trainee money printmakers, who will work with artist Hilary Powell to create £50,000 worth of limited edition currency to exchange for the pounds needed to buy up £1 million worth of debt and abolish it. The bank will be a hub of everyday economic education, inviting diverse participants and audiences to take part in debate on the urgent need for, and ways towards, a fairer economy and society.
As part of this the team have a series of local talks and events planned. This includes a launch event on Monday 12th March between 7.30pm to 10pm, where you can meet the four local leaders celebrated by HSCB banknotes, battling budget cuts to provide basic services to the people of Waltham Forest. There will also be a trailer screening of ‘Bank Job: People Powered Money’, the documentary feature film by Dan Edelstyn and Hilary Powell behind ‘Money Talks’.
On Tuesday 13th March between 7.30pm -10pm there will be a talk on "What is money and how can it work for us?" This debate brings together ideas about new and alternative currencies and cashless systems based on moral accounting and exchange. It looks at how and if these work and how to push for a system of money creation working for and not against the people.
To keep upto date with this project and for more details on events please follow them on Facebook

MP and the Town Square

Stella Creasy MP has explained her criteria for scrutinising the Town Centre Plans.

MP's View

Paint Giveaway

Great Paint Place Giveaway - 24 Feb 2018

Forest Recycling Project is hosting a free paint giveaway on February 24th 2018 at their Paint Place warehouse in Leytonstone, East London. With spring just around the corner this is a great chance to get a head start on some early year decorating. Visitors will have the opportunity to take away up to 20 litres of free paint, with various types and colours of paint on offer.  With brands that include Dulux, Leyland, Crown and Johnstones in stock, the chance to source some high quality paint is an occasion not to be missed. With a typical pot of paint on the high street costing £10-£30, each attendee could save up £100 more from Forest Recycling Project

Four Fathers

Four Fathers and Save our Square

Are your policies in place?

If you run a Charity or Voluntary group are your policies in place and up to date?


Thursday, 22 February 2018

Council's Consultation process

Council's Consultation

Hackney Singers Concert


Save Our Square

The protest went very well.....

Three days to go!
And it’s looking good for the Occupation on Saturday

See below the plan for the day and the material for distribution

Here is the Facebook event for the Occupation – let’s do a last blast of everyone and every community page calling for Waltham Forest to unite against this undemocratic land grab.

Last night's organising meeting
Another successful organising meeting of the campaign last night - including some media interest from student reporters.

And the meeting was pleased to celebrate the victory secured by tenants and local campaigners at Fred Wigg and John Walsh towers.

Again we started with the reports and a lot is being done with the response getting warmer, people especially responding to the idea opposing the developers’ land grab and more people indicating they're coming to the occupation. Those who went to see Sadiq Khan reported he has said he will follow up on the letters he’s received. The campaign is pursuing a meeting. He will have the opportunity to refuse this scheme permission so we must keep the pressure up. The campaign also agreed to prepare a submission to the mayor’s consultation. A Labour member reported that council leader Clare Coghill had been asked about the sale of public land to the developers Capital and Regional at a recent meeting and had said she didn’t know but would find out.

Since the meeting we have had this report via Linda Taaffe:
Great news. It was reported from the Growth Scrutiny Committee held on Tuesday evening, that Labour Cllr Gerry Lyons asked a question, referring to the escalated costs of the Fred Wigg John Walsh Towers regeneration, about the possible repetition of this regarding the Mall development. It was expected that there would almost certainly be new building regulations brought in for high rise towers arising out of the Hackett Review about Grenfell. The Mall plans include high rise flats.
The portfolio holder was not present, but a senior council officer responded by committing to give the information as soon as possible.
Labour Councillor Saima Mahmood was also there. She made an impassioned contribution at the Planning Committee Hearing opposing the Mall application back in December.
We hope all Labour members and councillors who oppose the Mall regeneration plan will join the Occupation on Saturday 24th in the Square.

Plan for the day

We agreed a plan for the day (weather forecast is for a dry day btw –but fingers crossed) which will start with some piped music, go on to the speeches, then we occupy the area they plan to build on.

This will be followed by a march around the square and then we have all the festival activities that are planned, including music (but no amp) and children’s activities. A very impressive list of speakers has been drawn up including campaigners from Luton who are fighting the same developer, from Haringey where they are fighting a massive development that will destroy £2bn of council homes, and representatives from the street markets and many more.

The artists will meet at 12 to mark out the trees for the chop and the part of the square under threat.
We are still in need of volunteers to steward so please get in touch if you’re up for that. There will be a meeting for stewards at 12.30am

Leafleting sessions were agreed as follows:
  • Leyton College: 8.15am Thursday
  • Leytonstone tube: 8am Friday
  • James Street station: 8am Friday
  • This morning Walthamstow Central, Blackhorse Road and the bus station were done and some schools will be done in the afternoon.

Campaign material for the day (click to view image):

  • We have a new banner!
  • We will also have some campaign placards and signs
  • We have the leaflet produced as per last week’s discussion
  • And a petition
  • We also have a letter for distribution calling on Labour councils to oppose this development in words and deeds

Save Our Square campaign activities and updates

Press coverage
You can read some of the news reports – including in the national Guardian - about and pertaining to the campaign here

Please donate to help cover costs - leaflets, etc
To donate to our Fighting Fund please go to

Social media links
Please visit us @SaveSquareE17 and on Facebook at

Material depots
You can pick up leaflets (now updated with JustGiving and Facebook links) from:
  • David and Jean's place55 Elmsdale Rd, E17 6PN in the porch
  • Rose and Crown Pub53 Hoe St, E17 4SA on leaflet table
  • Today Bread, 6-10 Central Parade, Hoe St E17 4RT in leaflets corner
  • Star of India, 875. Leytonstone High Road, E11 1HR

Campaign resources:

You can also sign the petition to Clare Coghill

You could also display this prettier poster

Please bring this model motion to your trade union, trades council, Labour meeting or other labour movement bodies

Model letters:
  • Letter to Sadiq Khan: this is to request he uses his power to call in the planning application on the basis that it does not meet the affordable housing threshold but people should keep sending it
  • Letter to John McDonnell: to request his support for the campaign was handed to him at the Trades Council meeting. Rachel from Momentum will follow up on this
  • Letter to Stella Creasy: this was hand-delivered on Friday. This is here response.
  • Letter to Labour councillors to request they oppose the development with a pledge to reverse the decision and push for an emergency meeting to reverse the decision.
Read More

Tuesdays - open planning meetings

Every week there is an open planning meeting where the campaigns decisions are taken. Join us at the William Morris Community Centre

Join us on social media

There is a constant flow of reports, updates and more on the campaign's Facebook page and here's the Twitter

Reaching out to young people

Campaigners balloted students at Leyton Sixth Form - and guess what? 95% want to see the council use its powers to build council homes not handing land to private developers!