We are utterly devastated at the passing of former Waltham Forest Councillor Farooq Qureshi.
Farooq served as a Councillor for Forest ward from 2004 to 2014. Many will remember him as their friendly and approachable local Councillor who was always happy to stop and chat, and to whom no problem was ever too small. Farooq also served as Mayor of Waltham Forest from 2006 to 2007 and used the opportunity to raise funds to support the cardiology unit at Whipps Cross Hospital amongst many other worthy causes.
To Farooq, being a Councillor was not a title. It was a commitment and one which he took very seriously, and with a genuine compassion for the people he represented. He carried out his role with humility and truly invested himself in those who had trusted him to be their Councillor.
Farooq's achievements as a Councillor are far too numerous to list and many of them are small and personal because to Farooq being a Councillor was not about grand investments, or bids and schemes, it was about people and the little things we can all do every day to improve the lives of the people we share our community with.
Farooq has been a calming presence and a role model to many within the Liberal Democrats, and his absence will be sorely missed by those who were fortunate enough to experience his wisdom and good humour, and by those with problems big or small who found in Farooq a sympathetic ear and a man who would not stop until every avenue to solve their problem had been exhausted.
The Labour party has been in control in Waltham Forest in one form or another for the past 47 years. They have become stale, out of touch, and arrogant. Change is needed.
The Liberal Democrats have a plan for Waltham Forest. We have identified six key areas where a Liberal Democrat-run Waltham Forest could make a strong positive difference to the lives of the people who live here.
This is not just a list of pledges, but a statement of our values as a party who wants to see Waltham Forest Council be more innovative, forward-thinking, transparent, and above all a Council that actually listens to residents.
We hope you share those values, and that you will lend us your vote on 3rd May to help build a better borough.
On the Forest Focus Team’s regular walkabouts they have taken up many issues.
Among them are tree roots in Matlock Road. Lack of street cleaning in Forest Drive West. Youths hanging out in Nursery Terrace at the back of Epsom Road. Fly-tipping in Liverpool Road and Atkins Road.
Residents of Leyton Green Road have brought to the attention of the Lib Dems that the lights surrounding Knotts Green and Greg Close are faulty.
Forest ward Liberal Democrat Jordan Sullivan, who reported this to the Council said, “Residents have said it is too dark and unsafe to walk down the path and are forced to cross the road.”
The owners of Station Parade, a block of flats on the corner of Coopers Lane and the High Road, recently built an extra storey on top of the flats. Unfortunately for residents on the top floor the new balconies have not been built properly so when it rains the balconies turn into lakes.
The Forest Liberal Democrat Team has reported the problem to the building’s manager and added that residents have also been commenting on the many leaking pipes in their flats. The Team has asked for some action on these problems.
There is a new local initiative to provide help to street sleepers in Waltham Forest.
A group of residents have got together to provide warm clothing and essentials to street sleepers in the local area.
If you have any spare, clean, warm clothes like gloves, hats or socks or you would like to donate toiletries then please drop them off in either the Northcote Arms or the Star of India.
If you are interested in helping out on Tuesday or Thursday evenings then please e-mail [email protected]
Residents of Colworth Road have contacted the local Lib Dem team about the amount of litter in their road, they say, due to the nearby Leytonstone School.
Lib Dem Focus Team member Jordan Sullivan, a previous student of the school, has asked the Council if the street cleaning can be done more frequently.
The Grove Green candidates were out clearing up some of the rubbish that has been left on our streets.
They cleared three bags of litter from around Newport School including a rusty razor blade and cleaned out a drain which had been completely blocked.
Liberal Democrat candidate Naomi McCarthy said, “I cannot believe the number of cigarette butts that have been dumped outside a school.”
Local residents have reported to Focus that the light on the corner of Forest Glade and Poppleton Road is faulty and with the overhanging trees makes the area very dark.
This they say has increased drug activity in the area.
Liberal Democrat Focus Team member Rupert Pickering has contacted the Council to fix the light.
Every year the Councillors are supposed to hold at least three ward meetings and have £10,000 to distribute to different local events and causes.
The Labour Councillors for Grove Green Ward are letting you down because this year they have only bothered to have two ward meetings.
Over the last four years, since they were last elected, they have had £40,000 to distribute locally but figures obtained by Lib Dem campaigner Arran Angus shows they have only given out £28,833.