Council decides to limit child abuse checks

Waltham Forest Councillors will no longer be the subject of checks to protect our vulnerable children and adults unless they meet them once a week or more than 3 days per month or between the hours of 2am and 6am.

All councillors are Corporate Parents to all of the children in Council care, so they should actively safeguard and protect those who are looked after. Abuse of children has now been shown to have taken place for many years in and out of Council homes across the country. It is important therefore that residents are confident that all of our all Councillors should have a criminal records check even if they never work with children or only do so rarely.

Councillors are people who can be trusted with our children.

Former Liberal Democrat Group Leader Bob Sullivan says, ‘All councillors therefore should be checked.’

PETITION: click here to sign the petition.

NEWS UPDATE – 620 High Road Leytonstone


620 High Road

In the face of strong opposition from local residents the Gambling Act Sub-Committee approved the gaming licence for the planning Paddy Power branch at 620 High Road Leytonstone.

As previously reported the Planning Officers, under new legislation, have already refused an planning application for change of use to a betting shop.

Residents have raised the strongest possible opposition to the continued, apparently, avaricious advance of betting offices across Waltham Forest.

The last ditch in this fight will be decided in Whitehall if Paddy Power, as suspected, appeals the decision of the Planning Officers.

PLANNING NEWS – 620 High Road Leytonstone

620 High Road Leytonstone – site of planned Paddy Power betting shop

Council rejects Paddy Power’s planning application for change of use.

This week the council’s Planning Officers, under new regulations, refused the Paddy Power application for change oof use to class A2 (betting Office) for the premises at 620 High Road Leytonstone.

The reasons for refusal included:

  • The proposal would result in the clustering of betting shop uses within a limited section of Leytonstone High Road, which would detract from the retail appeal of the area and fail to contribute to the Council’s regeneration objectives for the area thus adversely impacting upon the retail vitality and viability of this are contrary to Policy CS14 of the adopted Waltham Forest Local Plan Core Strategy (2012) and Policy DM25 of the adopted Waltham Forest Development Management Policies (2013).
  • The proposed change of use would result in a cluster of betting shops which may lead to anti-social behaviour issues and increased incidents of street crime within the locality which could effect the health and well-being of local residents, contrary to Policies CS13 and CS16 of the Local Care Plan Core Strategy and Policy DM25 of the Development Management Policies.

The FOCUS Team queried the approval of the subsidiary applications for a new shop front, air conditioing and aerials. It appears that planning law does not allow officers to link applications, each has to be treated as individual requests, and there were no reassons for refusal.

It now remains to be seen whether Paddy Power decide to appeal this ruling.

The Liberal Democrats will keep you informed of any developments.

STOP PRESS – The gaming license for these premises is due to be heard by the Licensing Panel on 6 October.


A recent damning report showed that Waltham Forest had five children, in the care of the Council, missing!  

This shocking report showed the Council’s failure to keep some of the most vulnerable children safe while they are in the legal care of the borough.  This is nothing short of a disgrace.
Liberal Democrat Group Leader Councillor Bob Sullivan was shocked with the news and immediately contacted the Director responsible for the Borough’s children to find out what was being done.  He was not impressed by the response.  He has asked that an urgent report go to the Council’s Children’s committee showing the steps taken to find these children and whether systems and checks are in place to prevent a recurrence.
Bob Sullivan says:

“I am disgusted that it takes a report to find out that we are failing our children.  Like all councillors we have a duty to the children in the Council’s care – as we would if they were our own children.”

“What is the Council doing?  If my child went missing I would be worried sick and doing my utmost to find her.”  

“Labour’s record for looking after children in care is bordering on negligence.”

Leyton Lib Dem Focus member Jerome Harvey-Agyei, who works for Barnardo’s dealing with young people in care, says:

“It is important to find the missing teenage children as they can quickly become the prey of unscrupulous people”.


Collections for all refuse services including bulky collections are listed below:

All collections will return to normal on Monday 6 January 2014

Changes to waste collection days

Normal Collection Day                                  New collection day

Monday 23 December                                                       No change

Tuesday 24 December                                                      No change

Wednesday 25 December                                         Friday 27 December

Thursday 26 December                                        Saturday 28 December

Friday 27 December                                                 Sunday 29 December

Monday 30 December                                                      No change

Tuesday 31 December                                                      No change

Wednesday 1 January                                            Thursday 2 January

Thursday 2 January                                                     Friday 3 January

Friday 3 January                                                      Saturday 4 January


Recycling centres

All recycling centres will be closed Christmas Day, 25 December, Boxing Day, 26 December and New Year’s Day, 1 January 2014.

  • Gateway Road Household Waste and Recycling Centre
  • Kings Road Household Waste and Recycling Centre
  • South Access Road Household Waste and Recycling Centre


Posted September 25, 2013

Lib Dems Condemn Labour Retreat on Fire Services – Councillor Mahmood Hussain

The Waltham Forest Liberal Democrats have a long standing campaign against the Mayor’s fire cuts and have been working with colleagues across London to try and stop the plans to axe our fire engines.

Last week the Labour council in Waltham Forest withdrew from the judicial review aimed at making the Mayor rethink his plans. Local Liberal Democrats believe that by backing down Labour have dealt a huge blow to the campaign to save our fire services.

Councillor Mahmood Hussain said:

“Labour clearly went ahead without thinking and then got cold feet.”

“Withdrawing now makes it seem as if we’re not confident the case can be won. We should be backing our fire fighters and standing with other Borough’s against the Mayor’s cuts.”

“It’s becoming clearer that when it comes to cuts to local services, Labour’s commitment to fairness is only words and not action. They are giving the tory Mayor a free pass to do what he wants with our fire services.”


75% of council workers earn less than the benefits cap – Councillor Farooq Qureshi

Following the debate on the coalition welfare reforms at last Thursday’s council meeting, it has emerged that 75% of council staff earn less than the £26,000 benefits cap.

The figures, which exclude those working for schools in the Borough, show that only 25% of council workers earn more than the £35,000 that someone would need to earn to take home £26,000.

At the meeting Labour claimed the cap was a ‘London living tax’ and was unfairly penalising London residents.

Lib Dem Deputy Group Leader Councillor Farooq Qureshi said:

“The welfare reforms are extremely difficult for some people in our Borough and as councillors we are on the front line of trying to help them.

“But Labour’s claim that this is a “London living tax” just aren’t credible when the majority of council workers take home less in their pay packets.”

“The Labour Party are quick to campaign against the welfare reforms but refuse to put forward any alternatives. Ed Miliband supports capping welfare spending, so where will Labour’s cuts come from?”



Over the last few years council phone bills have soared. According to figures released by the council mobile phone costs soared by over £110,000 last year costing taxpayers a total of £314,000 in one year alone, whilst landline costs also rose by £80,000.

Council tax payers are now forking out £860,000 every year for phone bills alone.

Cllr Bob Sullivan said:

“Labour need to get a grip on these soaring phone bills. Other council services are being cut whilst phone bills are going up and up.

“The council are putting more and more services online but clearly aren’t making any savings by doing it.

“This £190,000 could be helping us build a fairer society by investing in social services, it could help build a stronger local economy by investing in jobs or it could even protect local services like keeping open a library.

“Instead, Labour is proving time and time again that they can’t be trusted with our money.”

Save St. Joseph’s Hall, Leyton, from developers

St. Joseph’s Hall at the junction of Vicarage Road and Primrose Road

St Joseph’s Hall, on the corner of Vicarage Road and Primrose Road, has been boarded up for many years. The diocese is planning on selling the site to developers.

Mother Maria of the Marian Mission in Colchester Road, who deals with vulnerable children and families, is fighting to get the diocese to back her plans to refurbish the building and to continue to use it for children and families and to make it available to the local community.

Leyton Ward Councillor Bob Sullivan and Mother Maria pleaded her case to representatives of the diocesan board.

Currently Barclays Bank agree a mortgage in principle to cover the buying cost.

Fundraising has raised many thousand’s, but many more donations are needed.

If you would like to support the project to bring this building into community use and stop the developers, then please send your donations to:

Marian Mission for the Poor,

1 Colchester Road, Leyton, E10 6HA