Forest Residents Association carried out another Forest Glade Woods Clean-up today. Three hub caps, numerous beer cans, cigarette packets and sweet wrappers were removed from this local beauty spot. Many thanks to our dozen volunteers. Let’s all work together to keep the area looking good, removing plastics from the ecosystem and encouraging youngsters to appreciate the natural environment.
Following a recent FORA committee decision, Martin Sepion & Tony Fernandes recently set up an inaugural informal meet up of representatives of local resident associations and groups such as:-
We would like to include other Leytonstone groups in future including:-
FARA , Leytonstone Transition , BARA, Friends of Langthorne Park, Francis Road Group to name only a few.
To get to know what sort of dis/similar issues others might be facing, to connect and share resources and connections to improve the overall quality of life in and around E11, whilst still doing what each does in their own patch best.
Work together using the power of critical mass leverage to collaboratively and more effectively harness citizen power via campaigns, media etc. to progresss solutions to issues affecting us all , especially since council election are due in May 2018
To develop a platform for capturing and acting upon input feedback via a proper online /offline forum
A steering group for E11 such as can be described under such potential names as#RebrandDestinationLeytonstoneE11 #Leytonstonia #MyLeytonstone #CatalystLeytonstone # .The simpler and punchier the better . Your thoughts are welcome as always
Raise profile of Leytonstone
Support local business /discount schemes /affiliation and cross utilization of same
Improve appearance and image of E11.Smarter .More welcoming. Using Hitchcock as an icon as also others Damon Albarn, David Bailey, Talvin Singh, Jonathan Ross, Derek Jacobi etc.
Leverage critical mass for campaigns such as https://www.facebook.com/CleanLeytonstoneE11/
Looking into the strategic town plan for E11 Big Picture if any?
Using the wisdom of the crowd to inform planning decisions rather than mostly parachuting them in via planners etc. who do not necessarily live here ?
To work with the people of Leytonstone to reboot E11 whilst working alongside local govt towards a better quality of life, joined up thinking and resources.
Some issues mentioned include
CPZ Controlled Parking Zone
Local transport/Traffic management
Parking for local businesses #ShopLocalCampaign
Local business mix and shopping planning
Parish council concept and appropriateness for E11? Political or community driven or a mix of both ?
NOTE : FORA as a residents association has no political or religious affiliation and that will not change
Mini Holland –implementation and value/delivery /costs –bang for buck
Need for free or pepper corn rent /low cost venues access for local groups non profit ie film club etc. , social prescription remit etc. which by reducing isolation etc. can save money by reducing the need for people to go back into the NHS, mental health services
Looking at a Leytonstone Business Directory plus resources such as done by Wanstead Village Business Directory produced by Lee Marquis as also for Snaresbrook and South Woodford
Pan E11 /East London Discount scheme expansion potentially digitial and the need for a common logo etc. in shops windows and such to recognize them visibly and act as reminders and enticement to join up your local resident associations etc.
Support local charity groups to achieve by co-working, publicizing and utilizing under or unused resources in the community , which may be owned by local Govt or similar
Examples :Church and Harrow Green Libraries, soon to close Leytonstone Job Centre + , Ols Police Station , Old Learning Link by Birbeck Tavern and such
Need for a Lidl/Aldi type store to compete with the likes of Tesco Superstore etc. especially for those who don’t use cars etc. to shop elsewhere such as Morrisons in Wanstead and such
Using the wisdom of the crowd to inform planning decisions rather than parachuting them in from planners etc. who do not live here
Joined up thinking
Political education /Safe seat apathy / being taken for granted except at election times
To make local agencies of govt etc. to sit up and take notice of the power of consolidating our powers, reach and critical mass leverage to be more effective in getting things done in the borough etc
What are the coverage by numbers of various local resident associations and online groups
Promoting and publicising local initiative such as Hitchcock’s Home Pop Up’s Hitchcock Museum /Here’s to Hitchcock of Leytonstone Foundation. Leytonstone Festival etc .
Eco-heritage trail to include Wanstead, Hitch House, St John’s, Vestry House, Walthamstow Wetlands, etc.
Some models to look at?
FORA members were treated to a lovely evening at The Star of India restaurant Leytonstone on Monday night. FORA members and friends enjoyed the wonderful food and warm atmosphere of this ever popular local restaurant. It was great to see local historians Mark Smith and David Boote in attendance alongside Ros Kane of News From Nowhere Club as well as two of our three ward councillors. Well done to FORA Chair Vaseem Gill for organising the evening and a big thank you to Shah from Star of India for welcoming us as host.
News From Nowhere Club has just published its planned talks for 2018, these will be online shortly. David Boote will be leading a free walk on the winter solstice – see below for details
Winter Solstice Walk
Thursday 21 December 1.30pm from the Eagle Pond, Snaresbrook Road (by W12 bus stop SM near junction with Rivenhall Gardens) 3pm from outside the Cottage Café, Leyton Green Linear walk to Lea Bridge (Princess of Wales pub); 1st part includes muddy and uneven ground; 2nd part on firm surfaces but includes a footbridge. For other walking events lead by David see Waltham Forest Walks David is also Chair of our local history society
Hugely encouraging to see this initiative happening in our neck of the woods too . A fab way for folks who would like to meet up with others and get a bit of air , exercise and camaraderie all in one . Many issues around health centre on fitness both physical and mental as they do go hand in hand . May many more such initiatives follow within communities and by communities for communities . January 2018 sees the launch of a free informal local support group for anyone who may have challenges with connecting with others , isolation , mental health nurturing and such caused by illness , loss of identity post job loss or just about any area where positive thinking alternate solutions and moral etc. support can help .
#UpBeatMeet2018 with the Extra Mile Personal Transformation people
In 2015 London Borough Waltham Forest along with two other London boroughs were awarded 30 million pounds to pilot improved cycling infrastructure across the borough. Some of the changes have been more successful than others. One particular junction which is where Gainsborough/Grove Green/Kingswood Roads meet has been of particular concern. This junction, following redesign during the Mini Holland cycle scheme, became dangerous as cars could not turn left from Kingswood Road onto Gainsborough Road without entering the oncoming lane. We are very pleased than Waltham Forest Council has responded to residents concerns and improved the junction layout so that vehicles can now turn left safely. This is another successful FORA led campaign so well done to all who participated. FORA very much welcomes this spirit of consultation and communication between residents and Waltham Forest Council.
As you can see from this video cars are now able to turn left without entering the oncoming lane.
Thank you to Laura O’Callaghan from East London Guardian
On a quintessentially rainy autumn English day , Roy Merrell’s funeral took place at The East London Crematorium. The funeral chapel service was conducted beautifully by Fr Paul Kennington, Vicar of St Andrew’s Church , Leytonstone
In abundant attendance were a diverse group of family , friends and folks whose lives he had touched , influenced or mentored in so many ways.
My interaction with him were both online and offline via social media and such . Much was discussed ,often differed amicably upon but always of calibre and thoughtfulness redolent
He was a long standing member of our FORA and wider community .Sadly the dates we had bandied about for me to go and visit him in his last weeks did not work out mutually and then it was too late .. The best laid plans of mice and men and all that …
He passed peacefully with his family around on the 14th of October 2017 .
He did not suffer fools gladly but kindness and thoughtfulness were the signature of this scholar and gentleman .
It is remarkable that one of the things he took pains to mention even in his last days , were ‘Don”t forget to ring Tony’ (myself )
Roy Merrell , you shall be missed , your legacy lives on
In deepest empathy with the Merrell family and clan
Deputy Chair FORA
On a beautiful autumn afternoon FORA members were treated to an informal guided walk to Lea Marshes. Our three experts chipped in with insights into different aspects of the marsh lands which adjoin the river. Claire Weiss, John Rogers and David Boote led us on a journey through time and space as we explored human activities in the Lea Valley from pre-history to the present. The Lea was an important route for people in prehistoric times as well as roman, medieval and the modern era. The talks ranged from Viking river boats to the struggles of A. V. Roe, a pioneer of aircraft design who used the marshes for experimental flights from 1909.
The growth of suburban London in the late Victorian era led to a renewed importance for the marsh lands. Being a floodplain the land retained much of it’s natural heritage in both animal and plant life. It also became increasingly important to the growing urban population as an open space offering an antidote to the urban sprawl. Local people have fought over generations to retain the marshlands for public enjoyment in the face of waves of developers seeking to encroach upon the land for profit. This struggle continues to this day and several areas of marsh are currently under threat of development.
If you would like to find out more see:-
Claire Weiss Save Lea Marsh
John Rogers The Lost Byway
Lea Valley Park – Nature Reserves and Open Spaces
As part of our mission to enhance and enjoy Leytonstone, FORA members have been out participating in the Borough wide Big Bulb Weekend. Fladgate, Dyson and Poppleton Roads in Leytonstone were targeted by local residents who planted a variety of spring flowers including White Narcissus, Crocuses and the early flowering Snowdrop. Bulbs were planted around the base of street trees and will, hopefully appear next spring. So look out for a little extra colour in our community. London Borough of Waltham Forest has given bulbs out to local groups to help brighten up our streets. See Blooming Marvelous to find out more.
Drivers who use a junction which was altered by the council to make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians say it’s an “accident waiting to happen”.
Waltham Forest Council introduced a blended ‘Copenhagen’ crossing at the junction of Kingswood Road and Grove Green Road, Leytonstone earlier this year.
Neighbours say due to the narrowness of the junction, they are forced to either mount the pavement when turning left onto Grove Green Road, or drive onto the path of oncoming traffic.
Although the aim of the Copenhagen crossing is to slow cars down, residents say its poor design has made the junction into a hazard for walkers and drivers alike.
Everald Campbell, 60, of Poppleton Road said: “When I’m turning I either have to come so close to the kerb that I’m on the pavement or go onto the opposite side of the road.
“These are two terrible options and you don’t have a safe way in turning left.
“The traffic on the opposite side of the road comes around the bend at speed and if you’re only a second out it can cause an accident. I’m extremely concerned about it.”
Read the full article here
Read a previous blog post on this topic here