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Issue 2 June–July 2010

MEET YOUR MP An interview with Stella Creasy Walthamstow’s new MP SAVE OUR POOL Latest on Waltham Forest’s hidden pool LOVE YOUR BOROUGH Waltham Forest Council honours local heroes

Your free community magazine for East 17

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WELCOME to the second edition of Walthamstow Now. I hope you all enjoyed the first ever issue of your new community magazine. Walthamstow Now has been well received by local businesses and the general public and we are very grateful for your letters of support as well as the issues you want to raise via the magazine. Please keep on sending us your thoughts and we look forward to hearing from you. In this issue we will be revealing the ‘Love your borough’ awards which give recognition to people who are truly making a difference in the community. We meet local businessman, Sheridan Mangal, who is supporting young entrepreneurs with an up-and-coming university event, ACS Kings and Queens, a fashion show and beauty pageant where 16 university students battle it out to win the title of King and Editor: Audrey Indome Business Manager: Emmanuel Asare Designer: Martin Parker Staff Team: Mark Brown, David Floyd and Stephen Gardiner

Queen. This unique event brings awareness to the Sickle Cell Society. We speak to Walthamstow’s new MP, Stella Creasy, and also you can find out the latest news, enter our competition and discover where to go and what to do in Walthamstow. Have your say by sending in your letters and emails which we greatly appreciate. Walthamstow Now aims to be a platform for you to express your views so don’t hold back. Let us know what you’re thinking. Please keep your thoughts and ideas coming to Audrey Indome, Editor The front cover is detail from a photo by Peter Hall who won second prize in the Waltham Forest ‘Love your borough’ photographic competition in 2009. Reproduced by kind permission of Waltham Forest Council.

Advertising: To advertise, please call 020 8521 7956, email or download a media pack from © Social Spider CIC 2010.

Contents 05

Find out what’s happening and where to go around town

Meet your new MP


Stella Creasy talks to us about her plans for Walthamstow

08 10

What’s happening and what’s on

11 12

A Beautiful Vision

ACS Kings and Queens, an event bringing fashion and charity together

Great Campaigns / Letters

Friends of the Pool

Love Your Borough

Waltham Forest Council honours those in the community who are doing their part in Walthamstow Issue 2 June–July 10 | 3

Do you want help run your favourite community magazine? Walthamstow Now is looking for people who live or work in Walthamstow to join its new advisory group. The role of this group will be to support the development of the magazine as a voice for the local community by: • Suggesting ideas for articles and listing in the magazine • Helping to increase advertising and develop distribution • Assisting with fundraising and partnerships with other organisations in the community

The first meeting of the advisory group will take place in mid-June. If you’re interested in joining the group email or call 020 8521 7817.

What readers say:* • 75% learned more about the challenges faced by people with mental health difficulties • 90% rate One in Four eight out of 10 or higher • Over 90% say there is a need for One in Four

One in Four is written for people with mental health difficulties, by people with mental health difficulties. It is intended to be available to them free. One in Four is sold in bulk subscriptions to organisations like PCTs, mental health trusts, counselling services, local mental health charities and community advice centres so it can be picked up in clinics, surgeries, drop-in centres or staff canteens. For example, your organisation can take out a subscription for 30–50 copies, four times a year, and make them available to people who visit your premises or use your services. Alternatively you can order, say, 100 copies and distribute them, each quarter, directly to your service users, members or stakeholders.

ONEinFOUR – a lifestyle magazine that inspires and informs people with mental health difficulties. It shows readers how to manage their condition and points them to sources of help and advice. It gives hope by showing positive, real-life examples. It combats stigma and discrimination by increasing understanding.

For example: • To receive 10 copies, four times a year, costs £55.00 (£1.38 a copy) • To receive 100 copies, four times a year, costs £240.00 (60p a copy) • To receive 1,000 copies, four times a year, costs £2,000.00 (50p a copy)

To order go to: * From 60 responses to the survey of readers of Issue 1 of OneinFour


What’s happening Kentucky Fined Chicken

Going to the dogs?

A Walthamstow man who treated his wife and children to a KFC lunch in Leyton was fined £150 for overstaying his time in the car park by nine minutes. Allan Gunpot, of Turner Road, has seen the fine double because he failed to make the initial payment of £75. After complaining to the KFC head office he was told that it was not possible to know whether he was a valid customer because CCTV footage was not available and he did not have a receipt. Mr Gunpot is in the process of appealing against the fine.

Fast food ban started here

The borough of Waltham Forest was the first UK local authority to ban fast food outlets from opening within 400 metres of schools. A year on, the scheme appears to be working as childhood obesity in Waltham Forest has dropped from 22.8 per cent who were classified as obese in 2007/08 to 20.6 from 2008/09. The drive was implemented to reduce childhood obesity in the community and to ensure that children were receiving at least one healthy meal a day.

Local campaigners win parking row

Residents in Walthamstow who have been campaigning against a new permit parking zone are happy that the proposal will not be happening. The initial idea was to make a number of quiet streets controlled parking zones, meaning residents would have to pay £90 a year to park on their own streets and £170 for a second car. After 1,100 people opposed the idea the scheme was scrapped.

The latest news in Walthamstow

After all the controversy surrounding the famous Walthamstow Dog Stadium, a greyhound racing operator is set to put forward an application to convert the stadium into a combination of a dog track and housing development. The mystery operator plans to include a track and 120 houses, which is fewer than the 300 homes London & Quadrant initially proposed.

What’s on Circle dancing

Monthly – 3rd Tuesday, Vestry House Museum, Walthamstow 1.30 – 3.00pm. £4 including refreshments. Beginners welcome. Friendly group, no partner needed. Information: Pat 020 8556 3508 or

Oh I do like to be beside the Lee – arts exhibition

Paintings, photography, drawings, sculpture, sonic art and music. Sunday 6 June – Saturday 26 June, 8.30am-6pm. WaterWorks Nature Reserve and Golf Centre. Lammas Road, just off Lea Bridge Road, Leyton E10 7NU (Bus routes 48, 55 & 56, easy parking). For further information contact

Upcoming events and activities near you

Fostering information session

Come along and meet some of Waltham Forest’s foster carers and social workers who will be able to answer any questions you may have in relation to becoming a foster carer. Date: Thursday 17 June 2010 6.30pm – 8.30pm Walthamstow Town Hall, (Room 3), Forest Road, Walthamstow, E17 4JF Alternatively if you wish to speak to the Fostering Assessment Team directly please call 020 8496 2479 (Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm).

To have your event listed here email or call Audrey on 020 8521 5495 Issue 2 June–July 10 | 5

Stella Start After months of campaigning all her hard work has paid off and Stella Creasy is Walthamstow’s new MP. She has achieved her dream of winning a seat in parliament representing her local area. We caught up with Stella to find out what her plans are, what she hopes to change and what the future holds for Walthamstow. How does it feel to be the new MP for Walthamstow? It’s amazing. To be given the opportunity to represent the community where I live, where my family is and for the causes that I care about is fantastic and I’m very honoured to be elected. How are things at the House of Commons? At the moment it’s a bit fraught because we don’t have offices, we don’t have desks so getting an office set up in order to be able to deal with all the case work and help people is my first priority. It’s quite hectic trying to understand all the House of Commons procedures and where you have to be and also then to be able to deal with what matters to me the most, which are the things that the people of Walthamstow have asked me to take on. 6 | Issue 2 June–July 10

What was the best thing and the worst thing about the election campaign?

that people voted and in such numbers supporting what we want to do in Walthamstow.

Being elected to represent my home community is the best thing. The worst thing is the fact that it’s quite tiring, I’m still feeling a little bit jetlagged. I think the excitement and the possibilities of what you could achieve working with people in Walthamstow give you a whole new lease on life and more energy about what you want to do. There’s been more good than bad as generally that’s what campaigns are like. What has been really fantastic is the response from people in Walthamstow who took time to listen to the cases that we wanted to make. The fact is that it isn’t a job for one person alone. I’ve always been very clear that you don’t stand on your own. You stand to represent a community and the response has been overwhelming and the result at the end was amazing, and I’m very honoured

What are you going to do for local people now that you’re MP and what will your priorities be? What I’ve said publicly is that the first two priorities I’m working on are around projects for our young people, which I made very clear in the election and people were very interested in what we can do to help and support our young people. The aim is to tackle some of the problems we have around here with gang culture and anti-social behaviour but also positive activities for our young people and making sure that they are being given the education and support they need to reach their full potential. I’ve already started working with voluntary and community groups as well as the police about how we can do that. The second priority for me is the


regeneration of Walthamstow and dealing with long running issues such as the dog stadium and getting the cinema back but also how we bring jobs and investment here. I’ve been talking to a number of people about what we can do and how I can help with that because those are key priorities for people in Walthamstow. Will it be harder to influence government policy now that Labour are out of government? Obviously it’s a different role that you play. The priorities that the new government have are not the priorities that I think are the best for the people of Walthamstow which is why I stood as a Labour candidate and there is a role for us now as an effective opposition. For me an effective opposition is about saying these are the things that will make a difference to the lives of people in Britain and the lives of people in Walthamstow in particular. Certainly

from a Labour perspective I am resolute that there are things that the new goverment want to do, the cuts in public services they want to achieve, that we will fight because I know how they will impact on people in Walthamstow.

unquestioning and I’m sure they’ve got questions to put to me too. I think that’s a healthy thing to do.

How will Labour change things in Waltham Forest now that you have taken control of the council?

My two priorities at the moment are very much around making sure we address some of the challenges I see with our young people, so that we have a good summer and a good education system here so that we have our young people achieving the potential that they offer but also around regenerating Walthamstow. Those are certainly the two things that are defining the work programme that I am putting together now. Also I’ve already got hundreds of pieces of case work – people in Walthamstow who are asking for my help – that to me is my top priority. So many people vote for you to represent them and that is very important to me and my main priority.

I know that the council have got some really interesting ideas on things that they want to do with regeneration. I also recognise that sometimes we might disagree and my role will be to put forward different ideas and different responses and to work with the community to do that, but ultimately the local authority is a very important agency. Having been a councillor myself I know how difficult that job is so I’m looking forward to working with the council. Working together isn’t about being

What are your ambitions for the future?

Issue 2 June–July 10 | 7

A Beautiful Vision

8 | Issue 2 June–July 10

feature CS (African Caribbean Society) Kings and Queens is an occasion that’s set to become a regular part of the university calendar. The fashion and beauty pageant began in 2009 when a young group of local friends and entrepreneurs had a vision to create an event that was entertaining and inspiring but also made a positive difference. The aim of ACS Kings and Queens is to bring positivity to the forefront. The event stands out in its own right because it is a combination of a fashion show and beauty pageant rolled into one. It sees 16 students from different universities competing to win the title of King and Queen in a fantastic occasion at Ocean in Hackney on June 20th. Up-andcoming fashion designers have the opportunity to showcase their creations by teaming up with contestants to come up with a number of looks in order to stand out from their competitors. This year’s contestants were chosen as representatives by a selection process individual to each university. Nayton Walcott, from Walthamstow is studying Engineering and will be representing South Bank University in the competition. He was selected as a contender by his fellow students and was very happy with his triumph: “I was very shocked when I was chosen to represent my university. I am looking forward to the challenges ahead and it’s been a very


being approached by the ACS Kings and Queens team he knew this was a venture he couldn’t miss out on: “When I was shown the proposal, straight away I was impressed with the idea, the planning, the way it was laid out and how it was all put together and I knew I wanted to be involved with the project,” he said. “They were looking for sponsorship and I said I would sponsor the event not only by putting money behind it but also giving the business advice that they might need.” ACS Kings and Queens not only provides an excellent night of entertainment, it also promotes awareness of the work of the charity, Sickle Cell Society. Through this collaboration, ACS Kings and Queens hopes to encourage more people to donate to this worthwhile cause. Furthermore the organisation will be working closely with youth projects aiming to spread optimism and raise aspiration amongst the youth by volunteering free time to support community groups like

“I will cherish the experience and the people I’ve met the most.” good experience; I hope that I can go far in the competition, but I will cherish the experience and the people I’ve met along the way the most.” ACS Kings and Queens is sponsored by Walthamstow businessman, Sheridan Mangal, who is CEO and founder of SFM Capital Markets and has had a career in finance that spans 16 years. After

the From Boyhood to Manhood Foundation and Free the Child. The ACS Kings and Queens event will take place on June 20th at Oceans in Hackney. You can find out more about the competition, tickets and the contestants at Issue 2 June–July 10 | 9

great campaigns of Walthamstow

Friends of the Pool Following its closure last September, Waltham Forest swimming pool opened again in March this year, much to the delight of members of the Friends of the Pool club, who have campaigned to keep it open.


atham Forest pool is a hidden treasure. It is over 70 years old and located in Waltham Forest College on Forest Road. Because it is one of Walthamstow’s best kept secrets, the closure of the pool generated concern from regular users who travel from as far Wanstead and Woodford. Friends of the Pool (FOTP) are a not-for-profit club, a local group of swimmers who regularly enjoyed the pool and aim to bring awareness to swimming as a form of fitness. With no financial support from the London borough of Waltham Forest, the club formed a union with Waltham Forest College. FOTP was formed in 2007 after the college announced that they would be closing the pool. After this revelation the group managed to convince the council to include the 10 | Issue 2 June–July 10

“It shows what can be achieved when a community really wants something.” pool in its overall Leisure Services plan. FOTP were a prominent force in saving the pool from closing in 2007 and have been on a long journey ever since. The group started off with a small number of people who enjoyed swimming but now has 150 members, an amazing achievement. After its closure in September 2009, FOTP began the fight to reopen the pool with the support of Waltham Forest College and managed to find an operator, Active Leisure Management. The pool was reopened and FOTP are now working

hard with Triton Swim School CIC, together with others to get more use of this asset which unfortunately is still relatively unknown. The club is putting bids into various charitable and sports organisations as it would be a shame to see a plus point such as the pool disappear especially in an Olympic Borough. Founding chairman of FOTP Miles Parker says “It’s been amazing and we’ve learnt a lot over these last few years. A real testament to people power and shows what can be achieved when a community really wants something. If any Walthamstow Now readers would like an inexpensive swim, without being overcrowded or dive bombed, then join us. The more members we have, the more time we can have in the pool.” For more information on joining the Friends of the Pool visit

your letters

Star Letter Is Walthamstow really going to make it this time?

Apart from being on the Victoria Lin e and having the longest street market in Europe, what has Walthamstow got going for it? In recent years local butchers, bakers , haberdashers, greengrocers and video stores have one -by-one disappeared. Not to mention the sad demise of the ‘Dogs’. Will our status as an Olympic Borough stop this fro m happening? Will the proposed Blackhorse Road Station development bring the promis ed live,work and retail space or will it just be ano ther excuse to reduce the parking ava ilable to those who travel from far and wide to join the tube network? Why can’t we enc ourage them to spend their money with local busine sses and not just the car park? Blackh orse Lane is already one big live/work unit. We nee d more quality entertainment and reta ilers to keep people here, a cinema would be a sta rt, and one of the chain restaurants like Ca fe Rouge, Pizza Express, TFI Friday or Franki e & Benny’s, together with a few ind epe nde nts and even a nice pub with good outside spa ce. Without the buy-in of these businesse s the Olympic legacy will be more of the same; an area that never quite makes it. – Lyn n Felton


Thank you for creating Walthamstow Now – our community magazine! I really enjoyed the first edition, and found it really interesting and informative. The feature on the EMD Cinema and all the local politics behind it was particularly interesting because I remember when it was a cinema. And I look forward to the day when it’s restored back into the hands of the local community. I was a regular visitor to Walthamstow Market for many years, and I moved into the area to live nearly two years ago. What I love about Walthamstow is the community spirit and feeling of togetherness. And I also appreciate the way the local council works hard to create that by providing a great variety of local events and activities. – Ruth Jeremy

Recognising film society’s good work After reading Walthamstow Now it made me realise that the McGuffin film society has actually done so much to reinstate the cinema, and I wanted to say well done and keep it up. Waltham Forest really needs a cinema as there is hardly any entertainment in the area, so keep supporting The McGuffin film society as they are really working hard to provide us with this. – June Carr

Have your say by sending in your letters, email: Issue 2 June–July 10 | 11

Images: Martin Paker


ur Yo


n 2009 Waltham Forest Council had been dealing with high levels of enviro-crime in the community. Residents complained about fly-tipping, littering, dog fouling, graffiti and fly-posting. The council respond with big clean ups, enforcement blitzes and projects focusing on educating and abolishing this problem in the borough were introduced. However, with only a small minority committing these crimes and thousands of people living in Waltham Forest, the council wanted to combine this action with a campaign to promote a positive image of the borough and the people living there. For that reason in support of the Council’s ‘Wiping out enviro-crime’ campaign, came the launch of ‘Love your borough’ a project focused on local civic pride. What better way to celebrate the accomplishments of the community than with a ceremony that brings people together but also 12 | Issue 2 June–July 10

h g u o


Lov e

focuses on all the positive aspects of the borough? The Love your borough awards ceremony takes place on July 1st and will honour all those who are truly making a difference in the community. Any individual, business or group in the borough of Waltham Forest had the chance to nominate themselves or someone else for an award and the winners in each group will win £250 worth of Capital Bonds vouchers and a trophy. Most importantly, the winners will be recognised in the community for their achievements. If you know anybody who is involved be sure to show them your support and let’s work together to make Walthamstow and even better place to live and start Loving your borough. To find out more information visit

feature Image: Martin Parker

The Constant Gardener William Wood thought that the garden of Southgate House looked a bit neglected, so he did something about it. Mark Brown reports


hen William Wood moved into Southgate House, near Hoe Street, two years ago, he noticed that the garden was overgrown and neglected and decided to do something about it. “When I first got the flat,” he remembers, “I thought ‘A million pound house wouldn’t have a garden this size. Most people would kill for a garden this size’. It seemed such a waste. When I first got here, there were people that had never even been out in the garden, they’d never even thought about it.” William decided that he was going to transform the garden into something that could be enjoyed and that could also give him and his neighbours food to eat. It took him a long time to get Waltham Forest Council and the housing association

“Once you start planting stuff people start to respect it and take ownership.” that own the buildings on his side, but he managed it. Now the garden is planted with flowers and vegetables and attracts admiring comments from neighbours and visitors and, as importantly, has got people talking to each other. Says William: “I now talk to many of my neighbours. After six months one of my neighbours finally talked to me. He said ‘It’s so nice, it’s the first time I’ve seen butterflies in the garden.”

William got support from local community project, Well London, to install some vegetable beds and has been helping out Well London in return. He wants to see more people in the area taking responsibility for green spaces. “If nothing’s done with the green spaces,” he says, “they become a wasteground and tipping place. Once you start doing stuff and planting stuff you lay claim to it and people start to respect it and take ownership of it.” William wants to get everyone involved in making the area greener, healthier and brighter. “I’ve yet to get all of my neighbours out in the garden. In the summer I’m going to organise a picnic and get everyone out. There’s loads of people who have never grown a green thing in their lives. It’s trial and error and you just need to get out and do it.” Issue 2 June–July 10 | 13

your say

WE NEED YOU! Are you interested in getting your opinion heard, got a lot to say and passionate about what’s happening in Walthamstow? Then we need you. Walthamstow Now is not only a magazine but a platform for members of the community to express opinions and have your say.


Are you a writer or photographer? Do you want to showcase your work and get it published? Well if you’re interested in contributing to Walthamstow Now please send in any letters or ideas you may have to or call 020 8521 5495

Are you a film buff? Do you love film? Then why not enter this competition to win a copy of Alfred Hitchcock in East London – a fantastic DVD provided by the McGuffin film society. We have two DVD’s to give away and to win all you have to do is answer this question: What was the final film Alfred Hitchcock shot in London?

Send your answers to The winner will be sent a copy of the DVD Closing date: Friday 16th July, 2010

14 | Issue 2 June–July 10

is supported by the following businesses and you can pick up a copy of the magazine at their premises

L’Hirondelle 160 Hoe Street E17 4QH tel: 020 8521 2850

Grove Café Teas, coffees, sandwiches, hot meals 12–15 Hatherley Mews E17 4QP tel 020 8520 1072

Comedy Nights • Blues • Folk • Jazz • Variety Open Mic • Real Ales ... and resident cat see our wesite for details

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Healthy fast food that doesn’t cost the earth – and a space to meet •

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Walthamstow Now  

Your Community magazine for E17

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