Fred Wigg and John Walsh Towers meeting angers residents!


At a packed public meeting held to discuss the future of the two tower blocks in Montague Road, the residents were angry that Waltham Forest Council are still pushing their ideas forward for Transformation. This involves moving all the residents out for about 3 years, demolishing all the rooms in the flats and leaving just the outside walls and rebuilding.

The Council will decide in February which of the developers will be chosen to do this work. The cost to the Council is around £38m but the option the residents prefer would cost around £8m to refurbish the insides.

Three years ago the Council employed an agency asking the residents to vote for either option. The result was 3 to 1 in favour of modest improvements but the Council ignored the results.

The Tower Blocks residents and Focus are now demanding that the Council:

  1. Scrap the Transformation plans and respect the result of the ballot which was to do 'modest improvements'
  2. Wait to hear the results of the Grenfell Inquiry which will inevitably bring in new changes to building regulations for high rise in the future.
  3. Make the process more open and transparent for all residents and their neighbours in the surrounding streets.

Focus Team member Liz Phillips, who attended the meeting, said, " If the Council decide on the Transformation option it will mean many years of total disruption for all the residents in the Towers and for the neighbours in nearby streets.”

Liberal Democrats are demanding that the Council listen to their residents and respect their wishes. Most of them have lived in their flat for decades.

George Mitchell School petitioned!

Local residents who live opposite the George Mitchell School have petitioned the Headteacher requesting that the school clear the overflowing rubbish bins, the builder’s container and skip and some steel bars resting against the railings.

Liberal Democrat campaigner Bob Sullivan said, "The problem with the builders and the rubbish has been going on over a year. Local residents should not be taken for granted while the new school is being built."

Severely disabled people let down by Council

Very vulnerable people who use the respite and residential home in Trumpington Road are being let down by the Council who plan to close it. The centre dealing with the most vulnerable people has proved a lifeline to carers who look after their loved ones.

Carers have said that the Council has stopped referring people to the centre even though some carers want more respite. As one carer reported “The most severely disabled people are being overlooked, they have not got a voice and other services are not suitable for them. I don’t think what is happening is correct but it feels like we’re fighting a losing battle”.

Focus Team member Liz Phillips said, “By cutting back referrals and ignoring carers, the Council can say the Centre is not used in order to justify the closure a classic Council trick. This is an appalling way to treat our most vulnerable people. The Council should cut back its propaganda paper and events and not cut back on vital services to the most severely disabled in the borough.

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week: 22nd-28th January


A proven way to prevent cervical cancer is to have cervical screening to find pre-cancers before they can turn into invasive cancer. This is called a smear test and every woman over the age of 25 who is registered at a GP is invited to have one every 3 years; if you’re younger you can still make a request through your GP.

Cervical screening prevents 75% of cervical cancers from developing which is why three quarters of women attend screenings when invited. Getting that final quarter of women that don’t currently turn up for testing is the goal for Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.

Everyday in the UK 9 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 3 women lose their lives to it. There are brilliant charities like Jo’s Trust and Eve Appeal doing fantastic work to help change those statistics; here are some of their tips on what you can do to make sure fewer women die from cervical cancer –

  • Be aware of the signs and symptoms of the disease.
  • Promptly attend your cervical screening when invited. For most women, the best protection is regular screening
  • For girls and young women to know where their cervix is – a survey conducted by The Eve Appeal showed that 45% of women were unable to accurately label the cervix on a diagram!
  • Everyone – (yes, men too!) to know how to prevent it and ways to support our life-saving research and awareness raising campaigns.

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week runs every January; the 2018 dates are 22-28 January.

Budget special - £50billion lost means residents will be £687 a year worse off


New studies show that the UK economy has stalled under the Conservatives.

This Conservative crash will wipe £49bn off the UK economy by 2021. That’s £687 for every person in the UK. Or enough to recruit 69,000 new police officers or 66,000 teachers.

The Conservatives are also putting £3bn aside for ‘problems’ with Brexit.

Despite a combined £52billion black hole the Conservative Government have still found money for extra new tax cuts for the richest.

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Walthamstow, Ukonu Obasi, said, “These are the wrong priorities. Tax cuts for the very richest are not the most important thing when our NHS and schools are in such valuable need of investment and the economy is a mess.”

“The government needs to get a grip on the economy and change its priorities to help normal people in our country”.

We need a guarantee on the right of EU nationals

Waltham Forest Liberal Democrats welcome the grown up response from the CBI and the TUC.

Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General of the CBI, and Frances O'Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, said:

"After 15 months of human poker, the uncertainty facing 4 million European and UK citizens has become intolerable."

"It is a blight on the values of our nations. Millions of workers and thousands of firms are today united in their call to leaders on both sides to find an urgent solution. A clear guarantee of the right to remain for citizens in both the UK and EU27 is needed within weeks."

"EU citizens account for 10 per cent of registered doctors and 4 per cent of registered nurses across the UK. Millions more work in the public and private sectors delivering public services and making a vital contribution to our economy."

"They need to hear that they will be allowed to remain in the UK, whatever the eventual outcome of negotiations. Not only is this important for our economy, it is the right thing to do."

"Once agreed, this guarantee must be implemented independently of the rest of the negotiations to avoid the risk that 'no deal' in March 2019 leads to uncertainty and heartache for millions of people."

Read more

2017-18 School Term Dates

This morning, students return back to school for the start of the school year. Below are the term dates for the year ahead.

Read more

Council sells off council homes and replaces none!

A Liberal Democrat Freedom of Information request reveals that in the last few years Waltham Forest Council has sold off 312 council homes for £41million but has built NO homes to replace them.

Local Liberal Democrat campaigner Ben Sims said, "This is disgraceful. It highlights the ‘Social Cleansing’ that is going on across the borough."

Dunedin Road tower block

Having seen the ominous tower block picture displayed on the fencing surrounding the Dunedin Road site in Ruckholt Road, local residents are angry that their objections were completely ignored by the Council. The block will hover over them like a massive giant.

One resident said it was a waste of time objecting to the Council as time after time they continue to agree that tower blocks be built in the borough.

Pevensey Road bridge plagued by fly-tipping

Residents are reaching the end of their tether regarding the increasing frequency of rubbish dumping under Pevensey Road bridge. The dumping is physically hazardous, especially to the visually impaired, wheelchair and buggy users.

The Neighbourhood Ward Officer for Cann Hall has stated he will be patrolling the area more regularly due to the volume of complaints and glaring photo evidence.

The council are planning to reinstate CCTV, as requested by concerned residents and FOCUS Team member Rupert Alexander. Leaflets have been dropped through letterboxes advising people to dispose of their rubbish responsibly.

Rupert said, "Working together with the council has proved positive. We shall keep an eye on things."

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