Leytonstone Community Groups Come Together

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:-

LARA
SLADA
CHARA 
FORA

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.

The Purpose

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

AIMS

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/
https://www.facebook.com/LeytonStoneTubeAccessForAll/

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.

Using

Some issues mentioned include
CPZ Controlled Parking Zone
https://walthamforest.gov.uk/content/controlled-parking-zones-cpzs
Local transport/Traffic management
Parking for local businesses #ShopLocalCampaign
Local business mix and shopping planning
Contract management
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
https://www.theguardian.com/public-leaders-network/2016/may/11/urban-parish-councils-city-dwellers-control-local-issues
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parish_councils_in_England

Mini Holland –implementation and value/delivery /costs –bang for buck
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/consultation-and-pre-decision-matters

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

Crime/Homelessness/

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
RebootE11
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?

http://localtrust.org.uk/about-us/
http://www.stjamesbiglocal.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/stjamesbiglocal/

FORA social evening at the Star of India

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

Free ‘Feel Good Walks ‘ in Waltham Forest

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

Gainsborough - Grove Green - Kingswood Roads

Successful FORA Campaign

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 

Adieu Roy Merrell

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 

1948-2017

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

A.Anthony(Tony) FERNANDES

Deputy Chair FORA

Lea Marshes

FORA visit to Lea Marshes

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:-

David Boote Leyton and Leytonstone Historical Society and Waltham Forest Walks

Claire Weiss Save Lea Marsh

John Rogers The Lost Byway

Lea Marshes

Viking Riverboat Waterworks Nature Reserve

Lea Valley Park – Nature Reserves and Open Spaces

Croci

FORA members out planting bulbs

Blooming Leytonstone

Planting bulbs in Dyson Road

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. 

 

 

Looking down Kingswood Road

Dangerous Leytonstone Junction reported on by Waltham Forest Guardian

By Laura O’Callaghan Reporter for East London Guardian Phone: 07824530130

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 

Residents meet LBWF Housing Officers over future use of Wardley Lodge

Wardley Lodge, Preston Road

Wardley Lodge

On the evening of 18th September 2017 FORA (Forest Residents Association) members met with London Borough of Waltham Forest Housing Officers to discuss future use of Wardley Lodge 63 Preston Road, Leytonstone, E11 1RB.

In the past Wardley Lodge was run by East Thames Housing Association who provided accommodation for people with alcohol dependency issues. While local residents sympathise with people suffering from alcohol and related issues a number of concerns were expressed over the management of some of the tenants. Local residents observed drug dealing, anti-social behaviour, threatening behaviour, begging, and jaywalking. The police were often called and there were times when the management of the tenants appeared to be lacking.

FORA met with Christine Ogbonda (Head of Temporary Accommodation) and her staff at Wardley Lodge to find out future plans for the facility. Christine shared the following information:

• The facility has been leased to LBWF for 15 years from East Thames Housing Association
• It will be managed directly by LBWF
• Wardley Lodge has been refurbished to provide 23 single room units with communal areas such as kitchens and playrooms for children
• The aim is to provide medium to long term accommodation for homeless people
• Likely residents will be single parent families, older people or people escaping domestic violence
• The Council is only able to house those with the very highest need from the waiting list
• Residents have contractual obligations to abide by the law and housing rules
• Those who do not comply will be given three warnings and then their tenancy will be terminated

Christine is available to discuss any issues local residents experience and has passed her contact details on to FORA. She is committed to ensuring Wardley Lodge is well managed and does not adversely impact upon the lives of people living in the area. 

To help the new tenants of Wardley Lodge become integrated into the local community it was suggested to Christine that a list be compiled of local groups such as Doctors, Churches, Nurseries etc. A good place to start might be the FORA website where there is a page listing local groups and services https://forestresidents.org/useful-links/local-services-and-groups