WALTHAM FOREST: Debate rages over "threats" to green space

LABOUR and Lib Dem councillors have clashed over the extent to which green spaces in the borough are under threat from new developments.

At a town hall meeting last night John Macklin put forward a motion calling for the council's policy towards the protection of green spaces and playing fields to be strengthened.

Cllr Macklin, who is also deputy council leader, said: “I am not keen on Waltham Forest becoming a dormitory town.

“It is not just a matter of protecting green spaces, we have to make sure they are utilised effectively.”

Fellow Lib Dem councillor Bob Sullivan said there is “no doubt” residents are concerned about encroachment on to green space.

He said the Northern Olympic Fringe masterplan shows roads going across marshland and said there is confusion as to whether Draper's Field, off Leyton High Road, is under threat.

He also cited loss of space following the construction of Leyton Grange estate and on Lammas Land in Leyton as examples of the borough's history of not protecting its green space.

But the Labour group attempted to change the wording of the motion to remove a reference to “threats” to green spaces.

Cllr Marie Pye, a Labour cabinet member, said: “This seems to me like scare-mongering.

“The election is still five months away and we don't need scare-mongering at this point.

“If there are threats let us know what these threats are because I don't know of any.”

Cllr Terry Wheeler, cabinet member for enterprise, described the borough's record of protecting green space as “exemplary” and said nearly £3m has been invested in parks since 2006.

He said Draper's Field will be protected and will become one of the best parks in the borough.

The Labour attempt to get the motion altered was voted down by the Lib Dem and Conservative groups.

The original motion was then passed unanimously.

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Comments (6)

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10:46am Fri 18 Dec 09

G. Tingey says...

There are still far too many of the incompetent and possibly corrupt (see recent reports and enquires as reported by the Guardian) councillors who are only interested in "development" - which means bulding hideous structures on vacant land.
And obtaining suitable brown envelopes, one suspects.
Manwhile, the Arcade site remains empty and the Ganada/EMD rots.
It doesn't help that at least one councillor is funtionally illiterate, either!
There are still far too many of the incompetent and possibly corrupt (see recent reports and enquires as reported by the Guardian) councillors who are only interested in "development" - which means bulding hideous structures on vacant land. And obtaining suitable brown envelopes, one suspects. Manwhile, the Arcade site remains empty and the Ganada/EMD rots. It doesn't help that at least one councillor is funtionally illiterate, either! G. Tingey

11:24am Fri 18 Dec 09

Touchwood says...

G. Tingey wrote:
There are still far too many of the incompetent and possibly corrupt (see recent reports and enquires as reported by the Guardian) councillors who are only interested in "development" - which means bulding hideous structures on vacant land. And obtaining suitable brown envelopes, one suspects. Manwhile, the Arcade site remains empty and the Ganada/EMD rots. It doesn't help that at least one councillor is funtionally illiterate, either!
What do you mean 'possibly corrupt'? There is NOTHING more corrupt than this administration!!
[quote][p][bold]G. Tingey[/bold] wrote: There are still far too many of the incompetent and possibly corrupt (see recent reports and enquires as reported by the Guardian) councillors who are only interested in "development" - which means bulding hideous structures on vacant land. And obtaining suitable brown envelopes, one suspects. Manwhile, the Arcade site remains empty and the Ganada/EMD rots. It doesn't help that at least one councillor is funtionally illiterate, either![/p][/quote]What do you mean 'possibly corrupt'? There is NOTHING more corrupt than this administration!! Touchwood

12:00pm Fri 18 Dec 09

Janet1 says...

Macklin is right. We don't want Walthamstow turned into a dormitory town, and our open spaces (along with our other rapidly vanishing amenities) are very much under threat. Why does it take the Lib Dems and Tories to stand up for people in a Labour-voting town!

If Marie Pye doesn't "know of any" threats, maybe she could try reading her own council's agendas or the local newspaper. Or possibly even listening to residents.
Macklin is right. We don't want Walthamstow turned into a dormitory town, and our open spaces (along with our other rapidly vanishing amenities) are very much under threat. Why does it take the Lib Dems and Tories to stand up for people in a Labour-voting town! If Marie Pye doesn't "know of any" threats, maybe she could try reading her own council's agendas or the local newspaper. Or possibly even listening to residents. Janet1

12:37pm Fri 18 Dec 09

LEYTONOLDBOY says...

Who do Cllrs Pye and Wheeler think they’re fooling with their silly protestations? Not the local people, who are all too aware of threats to local green space and of the green space that has already gone. This will not help them be re-elected, it only serves to make them look foolish as well as everything else. Labour Group, the Lib Dems have their own reasons for using what you call ‘scaremongering ‘ tactics. They don’t need to as far as the voters are concerned; You, yourselves, created the fear.
Face it, you’re on your way out so make your exit with dignity. I have always voted Labour but you people have blown it - for me and an awful lot of others in my position.
Who do Cllrs Pye and Wheeler think they’re fooling with their silly protestations? Not the local people, who are all too aware of threats to local green space and of the green space that has already gone. This will not help them be re-elected, it only serves to make them look foolish as well as everything else. Labour Group, the Lib Dems have their own reasons for using what you call ‘scaremongering ‘ tactics. They don’t need to as far as the voters are concerned; You, yourselves, created the fear. Face it, you’re on your way out so make your exit with dignity. I have always voted Labour but you people have blown it - for me and an awful lot of others in my position. LEYTONOLDBOY

9:18am Sat 19 Dec 09

UKIP-local says...

Let's get this straight - Walthamstow will not decide how many homes are built here. That will be decided by regional and national planning authorities.

There is a big problem to be addressed - the population of Britain is to rise to 70 million at least within out life times and these people need somewhere to live. Some of the new comers chose to live in either the big conurbations of the midlands and north but the bulk chose the south east - predominantly London.

So guess what - the discussion between Labour and LibDem councillors was a diversionary tactic. They are both trying to get their excuses in before the coming announcements of yet more development in the borough.

The only good news I have heard on this score recently was that David Sullivan hopes to revive the stadium for dog racing. The alternative is a sea of high density housing.
Let's get this straight - Walthamstow will not decide how many homes are built here. That will be decided by regional and national planning authorities. There is a big problem to be addressed - the population of Britain is to rise to 70 million at least within out life times and these people need somewhere to live. Some of the new comers chose to live in either the big conurbations of the midlands and north but the bulk chose the south east - predominantly London. So guess what - the discussion between Labour and LibDem councillors was a diversionary tactic. They are both trying to get their excuses in before the coming announcements of yet more development in the borough. The only good news I have heard on this score recently was that David Sullivan hopes to revive the stadium for dog racing. The alternative is a sea of high density housing. UKIP-local

2:34pm Sun 20 Dec 09

mdj says...

'Cllr Terry Wheeler, cabinet member for enterprise, described the borough's record of protecting green space as “exemplary”...'

Let's refresh his memory:
several acres of football pitches given free of charge to the WF Muslim Burial Trust (1,000 graves per acre, cost in London per grave plot of £1,200-£2,500, do the maths yourself to find out how much of your money was given away), coincidentally chaired by the then Mayor;
Attempts to deceive the Charity Commission by saying the land in Leyton for the proposed school was derelict, when it is tennis courts and a bowling green;
Impending loss of 120 mature trees, plus concreting over of green space for a new skateboard area, if the Lloyd Park Lottery bid goes through;
Land made over to Leyton Orient for practice pitches;
Go further back to the Leyton Relief road blasted across the Lammas Lands;
Private stabling now operational at the Lea Bridge Riding School because nobody on the Council exercised the rights of way, another effective give-away of public open space;
Go further back and remember Sainsburys and Leo's (Coop, now Morrisons) built on playing fields next to the North Circular - I think Mr Wheeler was probably on the Council back then, too.
Indeed, an exemplary record: but what an example!
'Cllr Terry Wheeler, cabinet member for enterprise, described the borough's record of protecting green space as “exemplary”...' Let's refresh his memory: several acres of football pitches given free of charge to the WF Muslim Burial Trust (1,000 graves per acre, cost in London per grave plot of £1,200-£2,500, do the maths yourself to find out how much of your money was given away), coincidentally chaired by the then Mayor; Attempts to deceive the Charity Commission by saying the land in Leyton for the proposed school was derelict, when it is tennis courts and a bowling green; Impending loss of 120 mature trees, plus concreting over of green space for a new skateboard area, if the Lloyd Park Lottery bid goes through; Land made over to Leyton Orient for practice pitches; Go further back to the Leyton Relief road blasted across the Lammas Lands; Private stabling now operational at the Lea Bridge Riding School because nobody on the Council exercised the rights of way, another effective give-away of public open space; Go further back and remember Sainsburys and Leo's (Coop, now Morrisons) built on playing fields next to the North Circular - I think Mr Wheeler was probably on the Council back then, too. Indeed, an exemplary record: but what an example! mdj

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