Should have gone to SpecSavers

In the days well before ancient Greeks ever toyed with pseudo-democracy, a biblical sage wrote, ”Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18).

Waltham Forest now, more than ever, needs exciting and visionary government yet is getting political drift, administrative incompetence, and a culture of secrecy under the ‘strong leadership’ of Cllr Chris Robbins.

Visionary leadership seeks to take people into a new, morally engaging and uplifting future. Under Robbins and his Labour cronies we are getting procrastination and blinkered vision.

A case in point is Walthamstow Dog Track – The Stow.

Since 1933 this iconic site has been the home to greyhound racing, speedway and banger racing attracting punters, and their money, from far and wide.

The Council recently carried out a a borough wide ‘needs assessment’ for retail and commercial leisure uses in Waltham Forest. The study showed that projected growth in the population and expenditure over the period 2009-2026 is expected to lead to an increase in retail and leisure provision in the borough.

What better place to put a facility charged with providing a mix of leisure and much needed housing, than a site with a long history of leisure facilities with the space for housing.

The opportunity to provide much needed housing and leisure facilities is a chance to fulfil a significant part of Waltham Forests needs, and the Council’s role in that is critical.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Chris Robbins, needs to show some backbone and take the lead of the process and not just call for a meeting between L&Q and the Save Our Stow campaign, headed by multi millionaire, Bob Morton, as Cllr Marie Pye did but ensure Waltham Forest gets the leisure and housing it desperately needs .

Yes, there’s a risk. But to not accept that in the face of the benefits both socially and economically for Waltham Forest would be short-sighted.

If it is vision we want from our councillors then maybe we, the electorate, need to go to SpecSavers before we next enter the polling station otherwise we get the politicians we deserve.


Coalition Government leaves Waltham Forest in a mess

Plans to replace the Edmonton waste incinerator, due to be decommissioned in 2020, have been scuppered despite the Coalition Agreement giving the ‘all clear’ to the project over the summer and saying it wanted to be the “greenest Government ever”.

It is understood the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) spent hundreds of thousands of pounds developing the project following the Government’s summer approval.

The Government’s decision to withdraw £258.4 million promised to support investment in the future waste disposal infrastructure for North London, and which would have seen 400,000 tonnes of waste diverted away from landfill, leaves local council taxpayers to pay the whole cost of the Government increases in landfill tax that it has confirmed will rise by £8 per annum to £80/tonne in 2014. Additionally, this decision sees the loss of 700 new, desperately needed, local jobs.

We all wait with bated breath to hear the thoughts of the Leaders of the Conservatives, Cllr Matt Davis and the Liberal Democrats, Cllr Bob Sullivan.

NLWA is the second largest waste authority in the country, after
Manchester, and currently deals with 3% of the country’s total
municipal waste. Members of the NLWA are Waltham Forest, Islington,
Barnet, Haringey, Hackney, Camden and Enfield.