Councillors ignore Waltham Forest’s Oasis

For over 4o years Waltham Forest children, from inner city Leytonstone to leafy Chingford, have been picking up bugs, traipsing through woods and getting dirty in the middle of Epping Forest.

Suntrap Education Centre offers a variety of outdoor activities to support school’s classroom based teaching and each year, in October, opens its doors.

Earlier this month a number of the Truth Will Out team, many of whom attended Suntrap when they were younger, joined hundreds of children and their parents in activities such as pond dipping, handling snakes and cockroaches, pottery and an environmental trail competition at the Suntrap Open day.

Suntrap has been resilient under threat of closure for a number of years with little direct support from the Children’s Services directorate

Disgracefully, not one of the sixty Waltham Forest Councillors, including the Mayor, Cllr Masood Ahmad (who apparently pulled out at the last minute) and cabinet member for Children and Young People, Cllr Saima Mahmud, attended the Open Day of this innovative educational establishment.

It seems ‘Out of sight…Out of mind’.

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It’s Miliband…

The wait is over for the Labour Party who announced their new national leader today, Ed Miliband.

Of the five candidates, pundits predicted a Miliband will attempt to lead Labour out of the electoral wilderness; and they were right.

However, it was not the Miliband the Waltham Forest Labour Party threw all their support behind when he was the key guest at a Pakistan Independence Day and Ramadhan dinner at Walthamstow Assembly Hall recently.

Notable supporters of David Miliband were Walthamstow MP, Stella Creasy (clearly looking for a higher position in the parliamentary Labour Party), Waltham Forest Mayor Cllr Masood Ahmed, Cllr Akram Afzal and Cllr Robbins, leader of the council who said they hoped that under him the party would win the next election.

If this is the level of their judgement God help Waltham Forest over the next few years.

The real winners in this contest are the unions who helped young Ed secure his narrow victory over his older brother by just one percentage point of the votes. It’s inevitable they will want payback at some point.

All Out Brothers

It’s not all doom and gloom in Waltham Forest

Stoneydown Speakers' Corner

Members of the Truth will Out team attended the launch of the Stoneydown Speakers’ Corner in Stoneydown Park, Walthamstow yesterday which, apparently, is the first permanent Speakers’ Corner in London for almost 150 years.

The launch concluded months of planning by the Stoneydown Speakers’ Corner Committee headed by James O’Rourke the former ward councillor for High Street within which the park is situated.

Children from Stoneydown Primary school were the first to speak from the Speakers’ Corner and each presented well thought out and delivered speeches on a range of subjects from bullying to smoking. Parents, teachers and the children should be proud of themselves.

Dignitaries included Waltham Forest Mayor, Cllr Masood Ahmad, Walthamstow MP, Stella Creasy, Cllr Geraldine Reardon, who is responsible for the Councils parks, and Peter Bradley from the Speakers’ Corner Trust. Others who attended were Cllr Afzal Akram, Conservative Leader, Cllr Matt Davis, recently crowned councillor for High Street, Mahmood Hussain, (although he did not stay long) former Deputy Leader of the Council, John Macklin and Bob Belam, formerly responsible for the Councils Environment Directorate.

Notable absentees were the two High Street Labour councillors, Liaquat Ali and Clare Coghill and the Leader of the Council, Chris Robbins. It seems they couldn’t be bothered to attend as there are no impending elections.