Welcome to the September e Focus from the Wanstead Lib Dem team.
If you have stories or issues you think we should cover in future editions, we would love to hear from you. You can find our contact details at the end.
Decision to Approve Cafe Kiosk on Christ Church Green
On Thursday 26th August the Chief Planning Officer and Chair of the Planning Committee at Redbridge Council met to discuss the planning application for a new cafe kiosk on Christ Church Green.
Despite 192 people registering an objection to this project, their views were ignored. The decision was taken behind closed doors on Friday 27th August - ahead of a bank holiday weekend. The application was approved.
Our three Labour Wanstead Village Councillors failed to speak up for residents and local groups who had asked the Council to take time, pause and listen to the views of residents through a transparent consultation.
We recognise there are both positives and negatives for the kiosk itself. However, we believe the decision to install this scheme, without a proper consultation is undemocratic. We are disappointed in this decision, the way it's been made and the failure of our Labour Councillors to listen to, and stand up for Wanstead.
Flood prevention - why is Redbridge Council so quiet about its role?
After the severe flash flooding on 25th July when Wanstead had 50mm (2 inches) of rain in an afternoon, many residents want to know what is being done to limit the effects of flash flooding in the future. Climate change means that public authorities need to take steps to ensure our society can withstand the impacts.
Redbridge, like all London Boroughs, has responsibilities for preventing surface water or ‘flash’ flooding. It is a Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) and is meant to work with other bodies, like Thames Water and the Environment Agency, in developing a flood management strategy, to identify ways of reducing flood risks and seek funding to do so. A strategy should also cover actions that individuals can take to limit damage to their properties and communicate with residents, so that everyone understands their risks, what they can do, and how public authorities are working to reduce the risks in an area.
What does Redbridge’s flood management strategy say to residents? There is no trace of this on Redbridge Council’s website. Council Leader Jas Athwal said nothing about this when the recent flooding was discussed at the Redbridge West Area Forum on 28th July. We are trying to find out more – and you may wish to contact Redbridge Council and councillors yourselves.
The map above shows large areas of Wanstead are at high risk (dark blue) of flash flooding. This is taken from the Government's own website. You can enter your postcode and address to see the flood risk to your own property here.
CO-OP's new recycling scheme - a step in a promising direction
The local Co-op on Wanstead high street has launched a new recycling scheme to help with items household waste such as soft plastics and foil wraps not readily recycled locally. We will monitor this initiative which could pave the way for similar initiatives across the high street as part of a larger approach to local climate change challenges. Redbridge Council's recycling rate sits at 28th place out of the 33 London boroughs. Much more needs to improve.
Sign our petition to bring back Local Area Committees
One of the first things Labour did after coming to power in Redbridge was to make it less democratic by scrapping Local Area Committees. These committees gave local people real decision-making power over how money was spent in their area. We believe people should be given more (not less) say. We seek a return to Local Area Committees which empower people to make the decisions that affect them most. If you have not already done so, please add your name here and support our campaign.
High Street Consultation
Redbridge Council's 'Improve your High Street' consultation with residents is still open. The high street is an important space for us all which we take pride in. Concerns from residents must be listened to by the Council and need to be held accountable.
2021 Healthy Streets Scorecard shows Redbridge one of the worst boroughs in London for active travel
Say hello at our street stall this Sunday!
We will pitching up outside the Wanstead high street Tesco Express from 12-2pm. Please feel free to pop along and say hello - it would be lovely to see you!
Thinking about joining the Lib Dems?
Did you know you can join the Lib Dems as a member or a supporter? Members pay a minimum of £1 a month and supporters can register for free. Wanstead member Jack Fleming says, "I am proud to be a member of a political party that really believes in local democracy, electoral reform and taking the climate crisis seriously. I also like being part of a community of people in Wanstead that share my values. You can find out more about joining the Lib Dems here.
Stay well and we look forward to hearing from you soon,
Crispin, Scott, Neil and the Wanstead Lib Dem team.
How can we help?
Need to speak to us about an issue? Want to get involved?
Please contact us at: [email protected]