Leyton Station Ticket Office first for the chop!

Waltham Forest E-Guardian 8:01am Friday 27th March 2015

Ticket offices at Tube stations across Waltham Forest will begin to close in the coming weeks.

The office at Leyton Station, scheduled to close in April, will be the first to go, followed by Blackhorse Road, Leytonstone and Walthamstow Central.

Closure works take around a month, except Walthamstow Central which could take up to three.

Labour London Assembly Member Jennette Arnold has condemned the move, claiming the move will leave passengers with less staff support.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s plan to close all the capital’s tube ticket offices will cost taxpayers almost £134million, Ms Arnold said.

She described the cost as “staggering”.

The £134million will fund additional ticket machines in 27 London stations, four new customer receptions and the conversion of 181 ticket offices for other uses.

Jennette Arnold said:

This argument isn’t about whether staff are based in ticket offices or not.

It is about whether there are enough staff in stations to provide the good service people in Waltham Forest have come to expect, particularly the elderly and disabled who often rely more on station staff for assistance.

The closures in Waltham Forest are expected to be completed by the end of the year.



Improving London’s environment for everyone, building more homes, and making fares much fairer

Improstephen_vince_small.jpgving London’s environment for everyone, building more homes and making fares much fairer are at the centre of a radical set of proposals put forward by the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group in their amendment to the Mayor’s budget.

Speaking ahead of today’s meeting at City Hall where the London Assembly will consider the Mayor’s draft budget Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group said:

There are real social and environmental pressures facing London as our population rapidly grows. Our proposals are firmly rooted in meeting these challenges.

Our Lib Dem plan will deliver cleaner air and less congested roads. It will deliver a better environment for every Londoner.

Our changes to the Mayor’s budget will also provide more affordable homes, helping to address London’s chronic shortage of homes for people on low and middle incomes, helping to keep families living in the capital.

We will also make London a fairer city. We would reverse the Mayor’s harsh fare hike facing off peak travellers who live in outer London. And in every part of the capital we will drive up the adoption of the London Living Wage and ensure real action is taken against rogue landlords.

Key aspects of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly budget amendment include:

  • Tackling London’s appalling air pollution and also reducing congestion on our roads, which is currently a huge burden for London’s businesses. Specific proposals include smart congestion charging; the introduction of a workplace parking levy in central London and real action to reduce diesel vehicles entering central London.
  • Reversing the immense fare hike on off peak travel for people in outer London. Other key fare changes include the introduction of a one hour bus ticket and lower fares for people travelling on all Tube, DLR and TfL Overground services before 7.30 am.
  • Making London a more attractive city to travel around by foot and on bike, including expanding the cycle hire scheme into south east London and better provision for cyclists across the whole capital
  • Creating a new £2 billion housing investment fund – funded by prudential borrowing – more than doubling the number of affordable homes delivered across London
  • Cutting waste in the Metropolitan Police Service such as the provision of chauffeur driven cars and flats for senior police officers, but strengthening Safer Neighbourhood Teams and putting extra resources into the teams that investigate rape and sexual assault against children.
  • Making London a fairer place through real action against rogue landlords and the wider adoption of the London Living Wage.


Waltham Forest Guardian – 26 January 2015

Plans to remove provision for an Olympic sport from faciltiies in Waltham Forest three years after the 2012 games must be reviewed, according to London’s commmissioner for sport.

The only high diving board in the borough has been removed as Pool and Track in Chingford Road, Walthamstow, is demolished to make way for a new sports centre.

Members and supporters of the diving club based at the centre campaigned for the board to form part of the new centre, insisting it is vital to develop young talent,

Tom Daley’s diving partner Pete Waterfield, who grew up in Walthamstow, spoke out about the plans last year.

In September, the designs for the new centre were rejected by the planning committee for loss of provision, and the council’s lesiure provder GLL was urged to consider adding a 5m diving board to plans.

The company submitted new plans months later, but did not include the board.

Kate Hoey, the Boris Johnson’s commissioner for sport said the mayor was always opposed to the removal of sports.

Writing to the leader of the council, Chris Robbins, she said families cannot be expected to travel to Newham for the sport.

“The Mayor of London and I remain steadfastly opposed to the loss of any local sporting facility unless there is a compelling case otherwise, such as agreed local provision that will replace the facilities lost,” Ms Hoey added.

“I understand that the Council’s position is that those residents who wish to continue to participate in diving should in future use the facilities at the London Aquatics Centre.

“Whilst the London Aquatics Centre is an excellent community facility, with a journey between the two venues taking around an hour via public transport, this would present a significant barrier to participation in diving for local residents.

“Diving facilities in Greater London are in scarce supply, and although I recognise that the Pool and Track facilities are set for a considerable upgrade as a whole, I would encourage you to revisit plans to remove the five metre diving platform to ensure that Waltham Forest residents can continue to participate in diving activities at their local facility.”

The council will decide on new plans on February 3.

Please sign the petiton urging Waltham Forest Council to require all facilities at:



Council Officers and Councillors investigated in dog track involvement!

Along with many people Councillor Bob Sullivan received the email below outlining a potted history of what has been going on with the defunct Walthamstow Greyhound track. As you can see there is a lot of alleged communication with London and Quadrant and Council officers and Councillors. Councillor Sullivan has asked the Council’s Chief Executive to investigate the implications of the Councils officers and Cabinet members in this affair. He has replied that he has put this into the hands of the Council’s Monitoring Officer to investigate.

Email received – ‘Walthamstow Stadium’s ‘Shocking Story’ to date!

1. The previous owners (Chandler Family) were nearing retirement age and deliberately run down the stadium in order to obtain change of use from leisure to housing as they know that’s how they can obtain optimum selling price. They filter their profits in to their own personal pension funds and do not offer the stadium for sale to the greyhound racing industry. This is part of a calculated plan to make it look as though the business is not viable when the truth is the complete opposite. Commercial builders decline to buy as they know they could not make money on the site.

2. L&Q offered encouragement by Waltham Forest Council to buy Walthamstow Stadium (confirmed by Mike Johnson, L&Q Director) presumably on the understanding that the planning application will be dealt with sympathetically (L&Q huge contractors at Waltham Forest). This in itself is completely inappropriate.

3. L&Q buy the site, not undertaking correct due diligence and paying multi millions too much of part public money for the site (£18.1M for a viable greyhound stadium).

4. L&Q in pre planning discussions with LBWF planning department as far back as May 2007 and acquire an option to buy the site in July 2007. Five months later, Chandler family publicly state that no intention to sell resulting in trainers taking out mortgages for training premises etc. Spring 2008 announcement of sale, track closes August 2008, making 500 people unemployed.

5. L&Q embark on a series of lies and deception, suggesting that a planning application will be submitted to LBWF as early as Autumn 2008 and later calling local MPs Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith and Stella Creasy bullies (later withdrawn with apology). These are mere examples and show the unfit behaviour of the RSL.

6. L&Q realise they’ve paid too much for the site but still quite happy because they know they have LBWF on side. Examples below from our FOI request which clearly demonstrates an inappropriate relationship :

>>> Simon Baxter <SBaxter@lqgroup.org.uk> 14/07/2011 09:31 >>>
Have you gleaned any more intelligence in respect of this situation?
Simon Baxter

(e mail from Simon Baxter L&Q to David Scourfield- Head of Development Management and Building Control LBWF regarding another local site).

From: Simon Baxter
Sent: 08 July 2011 17:32
To: ‘David Scourfield’
Subject: RE: Walton House – Meeting with Cllr Jemma Hemsted – 01/07/2011
Thanks for getting back to me.
I do think that a protracted delay could actually create more unwarranted attention than the scheme being heard at committee sooner, ie in August, for the reasons set out in my earlier note.

(e mail from Simon Baxter L&Q to David Scourfield- Head of Development Management and Building Control LBWF regarding another local site).

E mail chain-Bob Morton to Mike Johnson (L&Q) to Fred Keegan (L&Q) to Steve Yianni (L&Q) to Councillor Marie Pye (Housing LBWF)-Bob Morton’s financial costs sent to L&Q then forwarded to Councillor Pye without Mr Morton’s knowledge or agreement.

Email from Councillor M Pye to Steve Yianni L&Q 12/6/11: ˜Checking if we got anything or any approach from Bob. If not we will issue a statement. Have you asked to meet Boris yet? M. (shows non-neutrality)

E mail from Councillor M Pye to David Scourfield, Shifa Mustafa (LBWF) 12/6/11:

˜Has Bob entered into pre app discussions? Has he even approached us? If not we need a short statement making this clear to go to cllrs, lq and wfguardian and the yellow. David can you please work with Alex to draft something for me to agree by the end of Tues M (shows non-neutrality)

E mail from Councillor Terry Wheeler to Council Leader Chris Robbins, Cllr Pye, Stuart Emmerson 7/1/2010:

…˜Whilst it is not a planning matter they (L&Q) should for reputational reasons respond explain why they cannot respond to proposals to preserve the Greyhound Stadium (shows non-neutrality).

E mail from Steve Yianni to Councillor Pye 19/11/2010:

˜ Also we were approached by 2 of the ward councillors about our plans…However I think we just about managed to convince them that it was not viable… (shows non-neutrality).

7. SOS announce that L&Q’s scheme will make huge losses (£27m plus). LBWF agree with L&Q that this fact can remain hidden in the planning application (first time in history) that is eventually submitted (Autumn 2011). Boris Johnson makes clear that this must be disclosed but, as of now, this has not happened.

8. An agreement has seemingly been reached for L&Q to compensate the LPA for the loss of leisure facilities at Walthamstow Stadium by a £1.75m contribution to be used at a nearby Pool and Track facility. Firstly this is an admission that there is insufficient leisure being offered at the Walthamstow Stadium site which should be considered on its own merits. In any event £1.75m is completely inadequate and inappropriate in terms of quantum and function. The pool and track facility is a completely different form of leisure and in no way replaces the Stadium which brought hundreds of thousands of visitors each year from both the Borough and indeed from all round the world.

9. GLA and English Heritage criticise L&Q’s plans and their hastily withdrawn for revision. The land-banking of the site which is now over 3 years continues with no end in sight.

10. Council want the Stow site removed from the local heritage site list to make it easier for L&Q to obtain planning permission. When found out this idea is abandoned.

11. What is known for sure is that the local people simply do not want what L&Q are offering and it is morally corrupt to waste £27m plus of part public money to bail out L&Q when Bob Morton is ready and willing to invest his own private money in this Borough to create the jobs and entertainment venue that this Borough deserves. It is currently a farce with L&Q and LBWF working together to hide the economic reality and to push through L&Q’s deeply unpopular plans.

13. Throughout this tale of public disgrace the two local MPs Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith and Stella Creasy have shone as individuals of courage and integrity. SOS and our resident association partners applaud both individuals and only wish others would match their high standards.

14.We await the next chapter……

Bus and Tube Fares Hike in January!

Caroline Pidgeon and Simon Hughes MP, with local campaigners Mahmood Faiz and Suleman Ahmed

From January, prices are set to go up sharply, well above inflation. In fact, on current inflation forecasts our fares will be going up by over a third more than inflation. This is a very unwelcome New Year present waiting for us!

Yet, at the same time, Mayor Johnson has failed to tackle fraud and waste – the sort of waste that led Transport for London to spend £39 million on two lift shafts at Shepherds Bush Station, which have now been abandoned. Two expensive holes in the ground which will now be left unused permanently.

One-Hour Bus Ticket Campaign Relaunched

Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on the London Assembly said:

“What the Mayor should be doing is to take real action to stop Londoners being ripped off in Oyster overcharging and give bus users a fair deal by introducing a one-hour bus ticket. That way people could swap between buses for short journeys without being hit for an extra charge. It’s the sensible way to encourage people to use buses without having to pay the earth.”

Your can back our campaign for a fair one-hour bus ticket by signing the petition at:


Halt Conservative plans to cut Waltham Forest’s fire service, say Lib Dems

Local Liberal Democrat councillors have called for Conservative Mayor Boris Johnson and Conservative councillors on the London Fire Emergency and Planning authority (LFEPA) to reverse a proposal to permanently remove a fire engine from Leyton Fire Station.

The cuts threat was made by LFEPA’s Conservative chairman earlier this week when he called for the Fire Brigade to look at saving money by making permanent the temporary reductions in fire cover during the recent strikes.  It could see 27 of London’s 169 fire engines scrapped and around 500 fire fighter jobs lost. The proposal was backed by Conservative members of the authority.

Leyton Lib Dem councillor Winnie Smith said:

It is shocking that the Conservatives are now looking at permanent cuts to the number of fire engines protecting Leyton resident. This inevitably raises questions about the time it takes for engines can get to fires and accidents and about cover if the remaining engine is unavailable. Like all public services London Fire Brigade needs to save money.  But Mayor Boris Johnson has promised that there will be no cuts in frontline fire services and he must honour that promise.

Waltham Forest Lib Dems have also expressed concern about the removal of a fire engine from Chingford Fire Station.

At the 8th November finance committee of LFEPA Conservative Chairman Brian Coleman proposed an amendment to ask officers to report on whether there was a supposed oversupply of fire engines, which could be cut back.  The amendment was passed with the support of all Conservative members voting for the amendment. Cllr Terry Stacy, the Liberal Democrat member on the committee, voted against the amendment.