A protest group lobbied outside the town hall last night demanding the council fight for education services, libraries, schools and against particular developments.

The Save Our Square  E17 (SOS) campaign were joined by many others from different campaigns outside Waltham Forest town hall from 6pm last night.

SOS has been campaigning against government cuts and the Local Plan approved by Waltham Forest Council in December 2017. The plan includes a number of high rise blocks as part of plans to regenerate Walthamstow Mall and changes to the nearby square.

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Campaigners stood on the town hall steps and refused to be ignored.

Children, dogs, parents, trade unionists and socialists joined together on the steps of the town hall to put pressure on the newly elected council before their full meeting later that evening.

Danny Herbert, a parent of an autistic child, was there campaigning. He said: “Children with special needs and disability are being failed in Waltham Forest. We are calling for services to reopen for all kids in need.”

Donna Bibby, a public service union organiser for schools, said: “We have lost many teaching assistants due to school budget cuts. We really need to link up and fight for jobs for education workers and to protect vulnerable children who need us”.

A spokesperson for SOS said: “This was very definitely a protest against cuts – but the first council meeting after the May 3 election was also understood as an opportunity to appeal to new councillors to listen and defend the services under attack.”

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"No if's, no but's, do the right thing and stop the cuts."

Campaigners handed councillors a letter as they arrived for the full council meeting. The letter said: “We call on councillors to demand a full council debate on the Mall and Square as a matter of urgency. In the last council the doings of councillors were shielded from public scrutiny by their decision to exempt themselves from declaring interests.”

During the previous administration, all but three Waltham Forest councillors had been granted a general dispensation from declaring pecuniary interests.

The council said this was common practice and prevents councillors from being obstructed when completing routine council business, such as setting council tax rates.

SOS campaigners continue to be fiercely critical of this dispensation and the council’s given reasons for it.

The letter added: “We call on councillors to call a vote to re-institute an open register of interests. Save our Square campaign is pledged to maintain active opposition to this grotesque Town Square project. We are not going away.”