Waltham Forest Council's planning committee heard from frustrated residents and councillors last night who say they have been ignored by GLL designers who want to remove diving facilities from the borough

Dozens of divers protested at the town hall in Walthamstow last night

Dozens of divers protested at the town hall in Walthamstow last night

First published in News
Last updated
This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter - Waltham Forest

Applause erupted from the public gallery at the town hall last night as controversial plans for a £23m leisure facility in the borough were rejected by Waltham Forest Council’s planning committee.

Tensions ran high at the discussion about the all new Pool and Track being designed for the site in Chingford Road, Walthamstow.

Dozens of divers and their families came out to show their anger about high board facilities being removed from plans for the new build.

Justin Jardin, social director at GLL spoke about the state of the art facility that will be built in the borough with spa facilities, an extreme sports area and eight lane 25m pool.

“We want to get more people more active more often,” he said.

“This will be a spectacular, first class leisure facility – it will be one of a kind.”

His speech was met with jeers from the crowd who called for him to answer why they were removing one sporting activity completely – but adding treatment room and a spa.

Impassioned speeches were given by parents and councillors who said they ‘could not understand’ why there had been no consultation and spoke of their frustration at being told to ‘go to Newham’.

Rachel Wedderburn’s daughter Sophia has been diving for over a year.

She said: “My daughter was inspired by Tom Daley and Pete Waterfield at the Olympics – she was excited to go to the Aquatic Centre. The reality was disappointing.

“It is not practical and it is a very long journey after school. We want sports in our borough–not spas.”

Councillor Roy Berg from Endlebury Ward said: “You are not giving the people what they want.

“We are one of the few boroughs in London that has a 5m diving board and now you want to take it away.

“Two years ago this borough was proud of the Olympics and what we did and we encouraged our children – and now you want to deprive them of facilities.”

Leader of the Conservative Party in the borough, Matt Davies accused developers of having a ‘blind spot’- adding that he had not been contacted so many times since the dog track was debated.

He urged developers to re-design the facility.

Ian Capes, a former chairman of Waltham Forest Diving Club showed pictures children lining up to use the 5m board during a public session, questioning the veracity of the information submitted to committee which implied it was under-utilised.

Councillor Jenny Gray antagonised the crowd when she said that it was only one sport being left out and would vote it through so as not to delay the build process.

Committee chairman Pete Barnett was also in favour.

However, Alan Siggers questioned the quality of the design, adding that since diving and swimming facilities were not separated he had concerns over safety.

“You know that phrase accident waiting to happen,” he said.

“Well this is it.”

Cllr Siggers also asked multiple times for GLL to explain how much a 5m diving board costs - which they could not say.

Councillor Karen Bellamy from Higham Hill ward told the council that she drove to Newham to see how far away the Aquatic Centre was and it took her ‘over an hour’.

Cllr Bellamy refused to vote it through because of loss of amenity but added that there was ‘no way’ that many constituents would be able to go to Newham because it is costly and time consuming.

The plans were rejected by three in favour over two.

Social enterprise and charity GLL can now appeal the decision.

Comments (32)

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10:59am Wed 3 Sep 14

RichieA70 says...

An extraordinary result! I predicted in my comments on the previous item about this subject (prior to the planning decision meeting) that Labour cllrs would vote it through - and completely unsurprisingly Labour's Peter Barnett (chair) & Jenny Gray (vice chair) followed officers recommendation to approve it as they ALWAYS do. So the hero of the hour appears to be Labour's Cllr Karen Bellamy who showed huge strength by REFUSING to follow the party line and voted against her fellow party members. Not sure if that's good for her political career but good on her. I assume Labour's Yemi Osho (down as attending the meeting) also voted against or abstained.

As to Cllrs Barnett & Gray they continually appall me with their complete lack of understanding of what's needed in the borough and total absence of planning knowledge. They are clearly in the powerful role of committee members to serve as puppets voting in accordance with the leadership of the council.
An extraordinary result! I predicted in my comments on the previous item about this subject (prior to the planning decision meeting) that Labour cllrs would vote it through - and completely unsurprisingly Labour's Peter Barnett (chair) & Jenny Gray (vice chair) followed officers recommendation to approve it as they ALWAYS do. So the hero of the hour appears to be Labour's Cllr Karen Bellamy who showed huge strength by REFUSING to follow the party line and voted against her fellow party members. Not sure if that's good for her political career but good on her. I assume Labour's Yemi Osho (down as attending the meeting) also voted against or abstained. As to Cllrs Barnett & Gray they continually appall me with their complete lack of understanding of what's needed in the borough and total absence of planning knowledge. They are clearly in the powerful role of committee members to serve as puppets voting in accordance with the leadership of the council. RichieA70
  • Score: 13

11:07am Wed 3 Sep 14

John J C Moss says...

It was great that Karen Bellamy and Yemi Osho defied their Labour colleagues and joined Alan Siggers in refusing to support this scheme.

Once again, the Labour-run Council (which is the ultimate client on this project as they pay GLL to run our leisure facilities) was shown to have failed to talk to residents before unveiling plans and asking, "what colour would you like the paint?", as their usual cynical nod to the very idea of "consultation".

They'll keep doing it though, until you stop voting for them.
It was great that Karen Bellamy and Yemi Osho defied their Labour colleagues and joined Alan Siggers in refusing to support this scheme. Once again, the Labour-run Council (which is the ultimate client on this project as they pay GLL to run our leisure facilities) was shown to have failed to talk to residents before unveiling plans and asking, "what colour would you like the paint?", as their usual cynical nod to the very idea of "consultation". They'll keep doing it though, until you stop voting for them. John J C Moss
  • Score: 12

12:53pm Wed 3 Sep 14

Villagecranberry says...

You can jump in whilst pinching your nose, do not see what is wrong with that. Not all divers are Daley Thomsons.
You can jump in whilst pinching your nose, do not see what is wrong with that. Not all divers are Daley Thomsons. Villagecranberry
  • Score: -12

1:59pm Wed 3 Sep 14

Touchwood says...

Villagecranberry wrote:
You can jump in whilst pinching your nose, do not see what is wrong with that. Not all divers are Daley Thomsons.
And not all contributors to this site are intelligent. Take yourself for instance!
[quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: You can jump in whilst pinching your nose, do not see what is wrong with that. Not all divers are Daley Thomsons.[/p][/quote]And not all contributors to this site are intelligent. Take yourself for instance! Touchwood
  • Score: 10

3:56pm Wed 3 Sep 14

JimF84 says...

Feels like a mild case of integrity. Oops!
Feels like a mild case of integrity. Oops! JimF84
  • Score: 3

5:23pm Wed 3 Sep 14

Cllr Tim Bennett-Goodman says...

I'm delighted RichieA70 has revised his opinion, as I suggested previously he ought to in light of this decision. Karen and Yemi are both strong, principled - and brave - women whom I'm proud to serve alongside as a Labour councillor.
I'm delighted RichieA70 has revised his opinion, as I suggested previously he ought to in light of this decision. Karen and Yemi are both strong, principled - and brave - women whom I'm proud to serve alongside as a Labour councillor. Cllr Tim Bennett-Goodman
  • Score: 6

5:29pm Wed 3 Sep 14

jonny mash says...

There are many Saunas / Spas on Hoe Street so there is no need for another one. There should be a 5m board, 50m pool with inflatables at the weekend, I remember fondly the TV show "We are the Champions" with the late great Ron Pickering - "Away Y' Go", this sort of activity should be encouraged rather than Spas / Spray tanning
There are many Saunas / Spas on Hoe Street so there is no need for another one. There should be a 5m board, 50m pool with inflatables at the weekend, I remember fondly the TV show "We are the Champions" with the late great Ron Pickering - "Away Y' Go", this sort of activity should be encouraged rather than Spas / Spray tanning jonny mash
  • Score: 2

5:53pm Wed 3 Sep 14

NorthcoterE17 says...

Peter Barnet and Jenny Gray - Shame on you!

Common sense prevailed last night... the campaign against the current plans gained momentum and became so toxic for LBWF. This is another example of big decisions being made by small groups in closed rooms... Local Democracy can't work this way anymore. With the power of Facebook residents groups and Twitter.. this Council needs to realise it must stop doing things TO residents and start doing things WITH residents!

Cllr Ahsan Khan really needs to start engaging with residents, seemingly stonewalling constituents on this front from day one of this year. He has thus far proved elusive to get hold of and won't engage at all. Even refusing an invitation to go on BBC Live Drive Time radio to explain his position... Hello? Anyone there Portfolio Holder for Health & Leisure Services?
Peter Barnet and Jenny Gray - Shame on you! Common sense prevailed last night... the campaign against the current plans gained momentum and became so toxic for LBWF. This is another example of big decisions being made by small groups in closed rooms... Local Democracy can't work this way anymore. With the power of Facebook residents groups and Twitter.. this Council needs to realise it must stop doing things TO residents and start doing things WITH residents! Cllr Ahsan Khan really needs to start engaging with residents, seemingly stonewalling constituents on this front from day one of this year. He has thus far proved elusive to get hold of and won't engage at all. Even refusing an invitation to go on BBC Live Drive Time radio to explain his position... Hello? Anyone there Portfolio Holder for Health & Leisure Services? NorthcoterE17
  • Score: 13

7:52pm Wed 3 Sep 14

Mr Omneo says...

I attended last night's meeting to see how it would play out and to be honest I was also of the assumption that it would be rubber stamped through.

I'm not a diver and I only started to learn to swim 5 or 6 months ago (not at the pool and track I hasten to add) so I don't have any vested interest from that side. I am however a tax paying resident of the Borough and I'm sick and tired of the planning committee rubber stamping projects that don't serve the residents they are elected to represent.

A few things I noted from last night.

I find it ridiculous that the GLL representatives couldn't give a 'ball park figure' on the cost of a 5m diving board and pit. In order to say something is too expensive to include you need to work out how much it would cost first of all. So, that leaves me with the impression that they either a) didn't cost the project in the first place or b) knew the figure but weren't prepared to reveal it. Whichever of these reasons it was is telling in itself.

They boasted about the range of facilities they were including, a skateboard park, BMX rink, climbing wall, 120 unit gym, hydrotherapy pool (jacuzzi to you and me), sauna, spa, steam room and a myriad of other things. - Given that they did not consult residents of Waltham Forest on what they were removing (the 5m diving board and pit) it stands to reason they didn't consult on what they were adding. So how do they know that the BMX and skateboard facilities were wanted and would be used? Is it fanciful thinking that 'build it and they will come'? That's what the council said about the Low Hall Sports Ground Olympic campsite that was expected to raise £500m and instead resulted in a loss.

Who forecast that these facilities would also be used in 40 years time, the length of time the existing P&T has been in situ? We can see that the diving has been enjoyed for the last 40 years, will future generations of kids been desperate to go BMXing and skateboarding? I have my doubts and if they are, they will be mainly teenagers, I doubt you'll find middle aged BMXers whereas you'll find older divers.

The council's in house lawyer happily yapped on about how the minimum notice of consultation was a note on the website, an ad in the council rag and noticed put up 'somewhere' on the site for a 21 day period. I've seen these notices, they tend to be in out of the way spots that you have to go looking for to find them. You'd almost thing think the council didn't want you to find them and engage in a consultation!

I was particularly annoyed at the condescending attitude of Cllr Barnett, especially after the vote went against him as he looked at Cllr Siggers and sarcastically said, "Good luck at the appeal".

Whether GLL go away and take on board last nights vote is neither here nor there but it was noticeable that once the P&T item on the agenda, the public gallery emptied and they carried on with business highlighting the fact that too often these things are voted through with minimal resident input.

Cllrs on the planning committee appear, by and large, out of their depth in the technical aspects. Cllr Osho appeared lost and couldn't explain why she voted no. I believe she knew it was a badly formulated plan but didn't know the grounds she was refusing it. Which is worrying, these people are making important decisions that affect not just us but our children and our children's children.

I'm not saying every councillor is just out to get onto a couple of committees in order to vote through council approved projects but a helluva lot of them don't seem to be voting in the interests of the residents they claim to represent.

Part of the problem with that is the 'Vote Labour whatever' attitude, in days gone by that may have meant voting for someone with their heart in the community, that's no longer the case I'm afraid, unless of course you want to represent Labour; in which case you're more or less guaranteed office. I looked at the recent results and a first time councillor in my ward, who I'd never seen, never had a manifesto from or heard from anyone else locally who'd seen them managed to garner 43% of the vote. Nice work if you can get it indeed!
I attended last night's meeting to see how it would play out and to be honest I was also of the assumption that it would be rubber stamped through. I'm not a diver and I only started to learn to swim 5 or 6 months ago (not at the pool and track I hasten to add) so I don't have any vested interest from that side. I am however a tax paying resident of the Borough and I'm sick and tired of the planning committee rubber stamping projects that don't serve the residents they are elected to represent. A few things I noted from last night. I find it ridiculous that the GLL representatives couldn't give a 'ball park figure' on the cost of a 5m diving board and pit. In order to say something is too expensive to include you need to work out how much it would cost first of all. So, that leaves me with the impression that they either a) didn't cost the project in the first place or b) knew the figure but weren't prepared to reveal it. Whichever of these reasons it was is telling in itself. They boasted about the range of facilities they were including, a skateboard park, BMX rink, climbing wall, 120 unit gym, hydrotherapy pool (jacuzzi to you and me), sauna, spa, steam room and a myriad of other things. - Given that they did not consult residents of Waltham Forest on what they were removing (the 5m diving board and pit) it stands to reason they didn't consult on what they were adding. So how do they know that the BMX and skateboard facilities were wanted and would be used? Is it fanciful thinking that 'build it and they will come'? That's what the council said about the Low Hall Sports Ground Olympic campsite that was expected to raise £500m and instead resulted in a loss. Who forecast that these facilities would also be used in 40 years time, the length of time the existing P&T has been in situ? We can see that the diving has been enjoyed for the last 40 years, will future generations of kids been desperate to go BMXing and skateboarding? I have my doubts and if they are, they will be mainly teenagers, I doubt you'll find middle aged BMXers whereas you'll find older divers. The council's in house lawyer happily yapped on about how the minimum notice of consultation was a note on the website, an ad in the council rag and noticed put up 'somewhere' on the site for a 21 day period. I've seen these notices, they tend to be in out of the way spots that you have to go looking for to find them. You'd almost thing think the council didn't want you to find them and engage in a consultation! I was particularly annoyed at the condescending attitude of Cllr Barnett, especially after the vote went against him as he looked at Cllr Siggers and sarcastically said, "Good luck at the appeal". Whether GLL go away and take on board last nights vote is neither here nor there but it was noticeable that once the P&T item on the agenda, the public gallery emptied and they carried on with business highlighting the fact that too often these things are voted through with minimal resident input. Cllrs on the planning committee appear, by and large, out of their depth in the technical aspects. Cllr Osho appeared lost and couldn't explain why she voted no. I believe she knew it was a badly formulated plan but didn't know the grounds she was refusing it. Which is worrying, these people are making important decisions that affect not just us but our children and our children's children. I'm not saying every councillor is just out to get onto a couple of committees in order to vote through council approved projects but a helluva lot of them don't seem to be voting in the interests of the residents they claim to represent. Part of the problem with that is the 'Vote Labour whatever' attitude, in days gone by that may have meant voting for someone with their heart in the community, that's no longer the case I'm afraid, unless of course you want to represent Labour; in which case you're more or less guaranteed office. I looked at the recent results and a first time councillor in my ward, who I'd never seen, never had a manifesto from or heard from anyone else locally who'd seen them managed to garner 43% of the vote. Nice work if you can get it indeed! Mr Omneo
  • Score: 15

10:17pm Wed 3 Sep 14

jackblack007 says...

Touchwood wrote:
Villagecranberry wrote:
You can jump in whilst pinching your nose, do not see what is wrong with that. Not all divers are Daley Thomsons.
And not all contributors to this site are intelligent. Take yourself for instance!
he cant pinch his nose as his thumb is too busy being stuck up his own a**e
[quote][p][bold]Touchwood[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: You can jump in whilst pinching your nose, do not see what is wrong with that. Not all divers are Daley Thomsons.[/p][/quote]And not all contributors to this site are intelligent. Take yourself for instance![/p][/quote]he cant pinch his nose as his thumb is too busy being stuck up his own a**e jackblack007
  • Score: 3

10:22pm Wed 3 Sep 14

Cllr Tim Bennett-Goodman says...

Mr Omneo makes a good start but goes badly off towards the end. He fails to credit Karen for her role in securing this result and, as for Yemi, who was only elected in May, it must have been a daunting experience to say the least. Still, the outcome speaks for itself - common sense prevailed. Long may it continue to do so.
Mr Omneo makes a good start but goes badly off towards the end. He fails to credit Karen for her role in securing this result and, as for Yemi, who was only elected in May, it must have been a daunting experience to say the least. Still, the outcome speaks for itself - common sense prevailed. Long may it continue to do so. Cllr Tim Bennett-Goodman
  • Score: 5

10:33pm Wed 3 Sep 14

Mr Omneo says...

Cllr Tim Bennett-Goodman wrote:
Mr Omneo makes a good start but goes badly off towards the end. He fails to credit Karen for her role in securing this result and, as for Yemi, who was only elected in May, it must have been a daunting experience to say the least. Still, the outcome speaks for itself - common sense prevailed. Long may it continue to do so.
Yes, Cllr Bellamy spoke up and voted against the proposal. Apologies Tim if I don't give every Cllr a pat on the back for doing what their constituents expect of them ;)

It's a pity Cllrs Barnett and Gray didn't have that much sought after 'common' sense and I say that as someone who until recently was a card carrying Labour member.

Slightly off topic but it's a shame that Cllrs have to stand as Labour and Co-op and not Co-op alone; I can't help but think we'd have a wider mix locally if the Labour stranglehold was loosened. Controversial? Moi? ;)
[quote][p][bold]Cllr Tim Bennett-Goodman[/bold] wrote: Mr Omneo makes a good start but goes badly off towards the end. He fails to credit Karen for her role in securing this result and, as for Yemi, who was only elected in May, it must have been a daunting experience to say the least. Still, the outcome speaks for itself - common sense prevailed. Long may it continue to do so.[/p][/quote]Yes, Cllr Bellamy spoke up and voted against the proposal. Apologies Tim if I don't give every Cllr a pat on the back for doing what their constituents expect of them ;) It's a pity Cllrs Barnett and Gray didn't have that much sought after 'common' sense and I say that as someone who until recently was a card carrying Labour member. Slightly off topic but it's a shame that Cllrs have to stand as Labour and Co-op and not Co-op alone; I can't help but think we'd have a wider mix locally if the Labour stranglehold was loosened. Controversial? Moi? ;) Mr Omneo
  • Score: 7

10:05am Thu 4 Sep 14

Cllr Tim Bennett-Goodman says...

It's nice to get a bit of encouragement for doing the right thing though, Mr Omneo, especially when voting a certain way is likely to get one into hot water. As a member of both the Labour and Co-operative parties I couldn't possibly comment on your last point - goodness knows I get into enough trouble for commenting at all!
It's nice to get a bit of encouragement for doing the right thing though, Mr Omneo, especially when voting a certain way is likely to get one into hot water. As a member of both the Labour and Co-operative parties I couldn't possibly comment on your last point - goodness knows I get into enough trouble for commenting at all! Cllr Tim Bennett-Goodman
  • Score: 9

10:17am Thu 4 Sep 14

Mr Omneo says...

Cllr Tim Bennett-Goodman wrote:
It's nice to get a bit of encouragement for doing the right thing though, Mr Omneo, especially when voting a certain way is likely to get one into hot water. As a member of both the Labour and Co-operative parties I couldn't possibly comment on your last point - goodness knows I get into enough trouble for commenting at all!
I think it's admirable that you do post Tim and do so under your own name; too few Cllrs do. Engagement is key. I maintain my Co-op membership in the hope that one day they'll go it alone, perhaps like Scotland...oops! there I go again ;)
[quote][p][bold]Cllr Tim Bennett-Goodman[/bold] wrote: It's nice to get a bit of encouragement for doing the right thing though, Mr Omneo, especially when voting a certain way is likely to get one into hot water. As a member of both the Labour and Co-operative parties I couldn't possibly comment on your last point - goodness knows I get into enough trouble for commenting at all![/p][/quote]I think it's admirable that you do post Tim and do so under your own name; too few Cllrs do. Engagement is key. I maintain my Co-op membership in the hope that one day they'll go it alone, perhaps like Scotland...oops! there I go again ;) Mr Omneo
  • Score: 7

11:09am Thu 4 Sep 14

jonny mash says...

NorthcoterE17 wrote:
Peter Barnet and Jenny Gray - Shame on you!

Common sense prevailed last night... the campaign against the current plans gained momentum and became so toxic for LBWF. This is another example of big decisions being made by small groups in closed rooms... Local Democracy can't work this way anymore. With the power of Facebook residents groups and Twitter.. this Council needs to realise it must stop doing things TO residents and start doing things WITH residents!

Cllr Ahsan Khan really needs to start engaging with residents, seemingly stonewalling constituents on this front from day one of this year. He has thus far proved elusive to get hold of and won't engage at all. Even refusing an invitation to go on BBC Live Drive Time radio to explain his position... Hello? Anyone there Portfolio Holder for Health & Leisure Services?
Didier Drogba, Robert Pires and Ashley Young have all Tweeted their support for the campaign
[quote][p][bold]NorthcoterE17[/bold] wrote: Peter Barnet and Jenny Gray - Shame on you! Common sense prevailed last night... the campaign against the current plans gained momentum and became so toxic for LBWF. This is another example of big decisions being made by small groups in closed rooms... Local Democracy can't work this way anymore. With the power of Facebook residents groups and Twitter.. this Council needs to realise it must stop doing things TO residents and start doing things WITH residents! Cllr Ahsan Khan really needs to start engaging with residents, seemingly stonewalling constituents on this front from day one of this year. He has thus far proved elusive to get hold of and won't engage at all. Even refusing an invitation to go on BBC Live Drive Time radio to explain his position... Hello? Anyone there Portfolio Holder for Health & Leisure Services?[/p][/quote]Didier Drogba, Robert Pires and Ashley Young have all Tweeted their support for the campaign jonny mash
  • Score: -5

12:17pm Thu 4 Sep 14

JimF84 says...

Perhaps naively I rather felt that the Planning Committee wasn't driven along party lines; it was driven by the need to provide for the community the amenities that it needed.

I know that Mr. Pickles and his friends have watered aspects of Planning down to what seems like a free-for-all on the domestic front.

I'm all in favour of improving the P&T because it's been around for a long time. Improving the facility, however, doesn't comprise of eliminating existing facilities for existing groups. I believe that there are several local diving groups that regularly use P&T and have done so for years.

I'm not too familiar with Daley Tomson's prowess as a diver; he was a fine decathlete but only seemed to get we when it rained. I do believe, however, that Tom Daley's former diving partner started off at and trained at the P&T and lived in Cllr. Bellamy's ward at that time. He may never have become an Olympic (World Class) diver had his parents had to schlep the lad to Newham day after day. Alternatively, he could have trained as a decathlete :-)

Oscar Wilde had it right when he said that a cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. Did we ever discover the cost of including the diving facility in the now rejected plans or was that always a state secret? If money was that tight then maybe the existing 5m board could have been refurbished and a team of volunteers could have dug the pit.

As a community I guess we have to decide whether, like Newham, we have good local facilities or whether we are no longer interested in anything other than saving a few bob wherever we can. Having been an Olympic Borough we don't seem to have much to show for it; everything seems to be in Newham.

Maybe Cllr. Bellamy's integrity signals the start of a movement for change. Watch and wait, I guess.
Perhaps naively I rather felt that the Planning Committee wasn't driven along party lines; it was driven by the need to provide for the community the amenities that it needed. I know that Mr. Pickles and his friends have watered aspects of Planning down to what seems like a free-for-all on the domestic front. I'm all in favour of improving the P&T because it's been around for a long time. Improving the facility, however, doesn't comprise of eliminating existing facilities for existing groups. I believe that there are several local diving groups that regularly use P&T and have done so for years. I'm not too familiar with Daley Tomson's prowess as a diver; he was a fine decathlete but only seemed to get we when it rained. I do believe, however, that Tom Daley's former diving partner started off at and trained at the P&T and lived in Cllr. Bellamy's ward at that time. He may never have become an Olympic (World Class) diver had his parents had to schlep the lad to Newham day after day. Alternatively, he could have trained as a decathlete :-) Oscar Wilde had it right when he said that a cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. Did we ever discover the cost of including the diving facility in the now rejected plans or was that always a state secret? If money was that tight then maybe the existing 5m board could have been refurbished and a team of volunteers could have dug the pit. As a community I guess we have to decide whether, like Newham, we have good local facilities or whether we are no longer interested in anything other than saving a few bob wherever we can. Having been an Olympic Borough we don't seem to have much to show for it; everything seems to be in Newham. Maybe Cllr. Bellamy's integrity signals the start of a movement for change. Watch and wait, I guess. JimF84
  • Score: 7

2:05pm Thu 4 Sep 14

rachelbettelley@hotmail.com says...

I spoke up for the many parents of Waltham Forest at the planning committee meeting at Town Hall, the meeting was a nail biting, eye opener to how certain members of this council do not listen to residents. Jenny Gray had little to say except' no' after goading the audience to shout at her before not during her speech. The gallery heckled with emotion and Cllr Mat Davies, Roy Berg, Alan Siggars, cllr Louise Mitchel, Karen Belamy and Yemi Osho all gave a good argument as to why we should keep the diving facilities.
What will happen to the scuba divers? Peter Barnett said divers should all go to Newham if they want to continue diving. Aquacentre does not have scuba diving. Does he not know that anyone wishing to dive at their leisure as they do at Pool and track at the Aquacentre, you have to be member of a club or sign up for a course. so now diving in Waltham Forest becomes an elite sport, a picture was held up by Ian Cape's children showing the queues at an open session 7.30pm on a January night. Also parents have waited as long as five years to get into the Diving Club.
The residents of Chingford are at a real disadvantage as they have to travel a very long distance, I know because I have had to travel from Chingford to the Aquacentre in a car, because if you catch the 97 bus it is an hour and a half.
Now we have to keep up the momentum and garner more support to stop the decision going through on appeal.
I spoke up for the many parents of Waltham Forest at the planning committee meeting at Town Hall, the meeting was a nail biting, eye opener to how certain members of this council do not listen to residents. Jenny Gray had little to say except' no' after goading the audience to shout at her before not during her speech. The gallery heckled with emotion and Cllr Mat Davies, Roy Berg, Alan Siggars, cllr Louise Mitchel, Karen Belamy and Yemi Osho all gave a good argument as to why we should keep the diving facilities. What will happen to the scuba divers? Peter Barnett said divers should all go to Newham if they want to continue diving. Aquacentre does not have scuba diving. Does he not know that anyone wishing to dive at their leisure as they do at Pool and track at the Aquacentre, you have to be member of a club or sign up for a course. so now diving in Waltham Forest becomes an elite sport, a picture was held up by Ian Cape's children showing the queues at an open session 7.30pm on a January night. Also parents have waited as long as five years to get into the Diving Club. The residents of Chingford are at a real disadvantage as they have to travel a very long distance, I know because I have had to travel from Chingford to the Aquacentre in a car, because if you catch the 97 bus it is an hour and a half. Now we have to keep up the momentum and garner more support to stop the decision going through on appeal. rachelbettelley@hotmail.com
  • Score: 8

2:33pm Thu 4 Sep 14

rachelbettelley@hotmail.com says...

Below is a copy of the speech I made to the council.
I have been a resident of Walthamstow for 25 years, as parent who uses Pool and track, I am delighted that our flagship leisure facility is to be redeveloped. Residents are still clinging onto the afterglow of the Olympic legacy and welcome bigger better facilities for the future residents. ‘Sport not Spa’s.’

To accommodate the spa, facilities will be downgraded, by removing the Diving pool and 5m board. The three boards on the plan are unlikely to be used, 3 reasons, firstly because it is not legal, secondly, half the pool has to shut to allow diving. Thirdly it is unfair to swimmers, when Swim School operates, swimmers are reduced to using two lanes.

Lose these facilities and the Olympic legacy Ends Here.
Sophia my daughter was on the waiting list for a year to join Waltham Forest Diving Club. She was inspired by Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield who trained at Pool and track. We were excited to move to the Aquacentre. The reality of the move was disappointing. It has added travel time, extra parking expenses and on a school night not practical. My daughter will not be able to travel independently & safely, it is too far. Also the residents of Chingford will be really disadvantaged travelling to Newham. On the 97 bus, it is a very long journey.

The Aquacentre soon will be used at full capacity by its new residents. Already our classes have had safety issues during sessions because so many other adult classes are getting in the way and compromising the safety of our children.

Pool and Track is the main easy-access pool for the Borough.
The pool and track is central to the residents of Waltham Forest. So, this isn't the time to replace the Pool and Track - with diminished facilities.
Taking into account the rising population.
In 1970 when the Pool and Track was new, the population of the borough was 235k (council health report). It is now 262k and rising. Also according to London Borough of Waltham Forest, we have more youngsters and young families than the average Borough.

Larkswood pool and lido with its extensive grounds and 5m board has been downgraded by having a smaller pool; Leyton leisure Lagoon, after a costly revamp, is still cramped and there have been queues around the building most of the summer.

The ‘affordability envelope’ is not the main issue. Residents need pool & track to remain as the Central flagship for sports. ‘Sports not Spa’s.’
Lose these facilities and the Olympic Legacy is Over.

I would like the panel to look again at the plans and consider my points. I speak for many residents.
Thank you for the time.

Below is a copy of the speech I made to the council. I have been a resident of Walthamstow for 25 years, as parent who uses Pool and track, I am delighted that our flagship leisure facility is to be redeveloped. Residents are still clinging onto the afterglow of the Olympic legacy and welcome bigger better facilities for the future residents. ‘Sport not Spa’s.’ To accommodate the spa, facilities will be downgraded, by removing the Diving pool and 5m board. The three boards on the plan are unlikely to be used, 3 reasons, firstly because it is not legal, secondly, half the pool has to shut to allow diving. Thirdly it is unfair to swimmers, when Swim School operates, swimmers are reduced to using two lanes. Lose these facilities and the Olympic legacy Ends Here. Sophia my daughter was on the waiting list for a year to join Waltham Forest Diving Club. She was inspired by Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield who trained at Pool and track. We were excited to move to the Aquacentre. The reality of the move was disappointing. It has added travel time, extra parking expenses and on a school night not practical. My daughter will not be able to travel independently & safely, it is too far. Also the residents of Chingford will be really disadvantaged travelling to Newham. On the 97 bus, it is a very long journey. The Aquacentre soon will be used at full capacity by its new residents. Already our classes have had safety issues during sessions because so many other adult classes are getting in the way and compromising the safety of our children. Pool and Track is the main easy-access pool for the Borough. The pool and track is central to the residents of Waltham Forest. So, this isn't the time to replace the Pool and Track - with diminished facilities. Taking into account the rising population. In 1970 when the Pool and Track was new, the population of the borough was 235k (council health report). It is now 262k and rising. Also according to London Borough of Waltham Forest, we have more youngsters and young families than the average Borough. Larkswood pool and lido with its extensive grounds and 5m board has been downgraded by having a smaller pool; Leyton leisure Lagoon, after a costly revamp, is still cramped and there have been queues around the building most of the summer. The ‘affordability envelope’ is not the main issue. Residents need pool & track to remain as the Central flagship for sports. ‘Sports not Spa’s.’ Lose these facilities and the Olympic Legacy is Over. I would like the panel to look again at the plans and consider my points. I speak for many residents. Thank you for the time.   rachelbettelley@hotmail.com
  • Score: 9

3:07pm Thu 4 Sep 14

JimF84 says...

...but if the portfolio holder won't engage with local groups (as has been suggested) then how on earth can an evidence-based decision be made? Common sense prevailed here because Planning Committee had some diligent people on this occasion but common sense alone, cannot be relied upon in all circumstances. Planning Committee should base its decision once all the facts have been collated and considered and without omitting crucial information.
...but if the portfolio holder won't engage with local groups (as has been suggested) then how on earth can an evidence-based decision be made? Common sense prevailed here because Planning Committee had some diligent people on this occasion but common sense alone, cannot be relied upon in all circumstances. Planning Committee should base its decision once all the facts have been collated and considered and without omitting crucial information. JimF84
  • Score: 7

10:50pm Thu 4 Sep 14

suksri says...

Cllrs Barnett and Gray just do what is expected of them and it was such a pity that we didn't have someone like Cllr Karen Bellamy who wasn't on the Commitee when The Stow was stitched up. We might still have what was one of the two dog tracks in London and NOT a NON- Affordable for local residents Housing Scheme that will become a Blot on the Borough
Cllrs Barnett and Gray just do what is expected of them and it was such a pity that we didn't have someone like Cllr Karen Bellamy who wasn't on the Commitee when The Stow was stitched up. We might still have what was one of the two dog tracks in London and NOT a NON- Affordable for local residents Housing Scheme that will become a Blot on the Borough suksri
  • Score: 11

2:12pm Fri 5 Sep 14

RichieA70 says...

Is it possible to get Cllrs Peter Barnett & Jenny Gray removed from the planning committee and replaced by people with actual planning knowledge and an ear for what residents and experts say? It appears they were selected for the committee purely to ensure votes go a particular way.
Is it possible to get Cllrs Peter Barnett & Jenny Gray removed from the planning committee and replaced by people with actual planning knowledge and an ear for what residents and experts say? It appears they were selected for the committee purely to ensure votes go a particular way. RichieA70
  • Score: 8

2:16pm Fri 5 Sep 14

RichieA70 says...

Cllr Tim Bennett-Goodman wrote:
I'm delighted RichieA70 has revised his opinion, as I suggested previously he ought to in light of this decision. Karen and Yemi are both strong, principled - and brave - women whom I'm proud to serve alongside as a Labour councillor.
It appears to be the first time (since the 2010 elections at least) Labour cllrs on the planning committee have not all voted the same way. What do you have to say about the behaviour and position of Barnett & Gray over the years?
[quote][p][bold]Cllr Tim Bennett-Goodman[/bold] wrote: I'm delighted RichieA70 has revised his opinion, as I suggested previously he ought to in light of this decision. Karen and Yemi are both strong, principled - and brave - women whom I'm proud to serve alongside as a Labour councillor.[/p][/quote]It appears to be the first time (since the 2010 elections at least) Labour cllrs on the planning committee have not all voted the same way. What do you have to say about the behaviour and position of Barnett & Gray over the years? RichieA70
  • Score: 4

9:41am Sat 6 Sep 14

ICapesy says...

I gave evidence to the Planning Committee and referred them to their own agenda document written by an LBWF planning case officer on Tuesday evening.

Para 8.8 stated “ the issue of replacement facilities as part of a new development, whereby in this case diving facilities are being provided in a different form, and arguably as part of a reduced quality diving provision, is potentially a material planning consideration”.

The 5 metre high diving tower and separate deep water diving pool is used by i) club and public session high board divers, ii) club scuba divers and iii) Gators gala competition swimmers for warming up and cooling down after races. It is not a little used facility as the Head of Leisure Services has briefed all WF ward councillors. Photos were held up in the chamber as evidence.

The loss of the dive pool and 5m tower contravenes the London Plan and the Waltham Forest Strategic Plan which says that when improving or enhancing leisure centres existing facility may not be removed to add new additional facility.

The Planning Committee discussed this and other planning rules. The majority - Cllr Alan Siggers, (Con) Cllr Yemi Oso (Lab) and Cllr Karen Bellamy (Lab) - were convinced that, as per the planning officer's para 8.8 case note the (dangerously) reduced diving facility is indeed a material planning consideration. This alone allows rejection of the current plans.

Other elected councillors attending the debate but unable to vote - Cllr Roy Berg (Con), Cllr Matt Davis (Con) and Cllr Louise Mitchell (Lab representing all 3 Chapel End councillors) - were similarly convinced and spoke about this and other fundamental planning issues. There is therefore cross party consensus against GLL's flawed plan.

I and the public gallery were at a total loss to understand how Cllr Peter Barnett Chair of the Planning Committee could state in his summing up – right in the middle of the vote - that he saw no planning law reason to refuse permission for the GLL design. We would all be interested to know the reasoning behind Cllr Barnett’s conclusion. Cllr Jenny Gray voted immediately after Cllr Barnett and announced she was approving it because she didn't want to delay the project any further. This is not a valid reason to approve if there are fundamental planning law breaches. With the vote at 2-2 Cllr Karen Bellamy bravely came to the rescue of Waltham Forest from an expensively flawed project by making the vote 3-2 in favour of rejecting GLL’s plan.

This is a truly cross constituency and cross party issue. Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy and Chingford MP Iain Duncan Smith submitted objections on behalf of their respective constituencies who have used the current Pool and Track for 48 years since 1966.

As the article says GLL may very well appeal this decision. However, we hope that common sense will prevail and that GLL heed the very clear message sent by the planning committee vote. They have been told to go away and properly cost a replacement diving facility – which clearly they hadn’t! They were also told to properly consult with all local user groups. They are to return at a later date with a new plan that more efficiently utilises the huge site footprint for replacing existing core sport facilities AND new additional leisure features. The £23m budget must be used far more cost effectively than the currently rejected plan.

As a final note I would say that the Waltham Forest Leisure Services and Councillor Khan (Cabinet Health & Wellbeing) have been seriously remiss in arrogantly dismissing this and several other valid objections to the GLL plan out of hand for a whole year. Their refusal to even discuss it with Waltham Forest residents and bona fide pool user groups speaks volumes. This £23m project must serve current and future generations of Waltham Forest people for the next 50 years. Democratic engagement has been totally absent until the recent interventions of Planning Committee and supporting ward councillors from both Labour and Conservative groups. Written objections by MPs Stella Creasy and Iain Duncan Smith on behalf of their constituents make this a truly cross party and cross constituency issue.
I gave evidence to the Planning Committee and referred them to their own agenda document written by an LBWF planning case officer on Tuesday evening. Para 8.8 stated “ the issue of replacement facilities as part of a new development, whereby in this case diving facilities are being provided in a different form, and arguably as part of a reduced quality diving provision, is potentially a material planning consideration”. The 5 metre high diving tower and separate deep water diving pool is used by i) club and public session high board divers, ii) club scuba divers and iii) Gators gala competition swimmers for warming up and cooling down after races. It is not a little used facility as the Head of Leisure Services has briefed all WF ward councillors. Photos were held up in the chamber as evidence. The loss of the dive pool and 5m tower contravenes the London Plan and the Waltham Forest Strategic Plan which says that when improving or enhancing leisure centres existing facility may not be removed to add new additional facility. The Planning Committee discussed this and other planning rules. The majority - Cllr Alan Siggers, (Con) Cllr Yemi Oso (Lab) and Cllr Karen Bellamy (Lab) - were convinced that, as per the planning officer's para 8.8 case note the (dangerously) reduced diving facility is indeed a material planning consideration. This alone allows rejection of the current plans. Other elected councillors attending the debate but unable to vote - Cllr Roy Berg (Con), Cllr Matt Davis (Con) and Cllr Louise Mitchell (Lab representing all 3 Chapel End councillors) - were similarly convinced and spoke about this and other fundamental planning issues. There is therefore cross party consensus against GLL's flawed plan. I and the public gallery were at a total loss to understand how Cllr Peter Barnett Chair of the Planning Committee could state in his summing up – right in the middle of the vote - that he saw no planning law reason to refuse permission for the GLL design. We would all be interested to know the reasoning behind Cllr Barnett’s conclusion. Cllr Jenny Gray voted immediately after Cllr Barnett and announced she was approving it because she didn't want to delay the project any further. This is not a valid reason to approve if there are fundamental planning law breaches. With the vote at 2-2 Cllr Karen Bellamy bravely came to the rescue of Waltham Forest from an expensively flawed project by making the vote 3-2 in favour of rejecting GLL’s plan. This is a truly cross constituency and cross party issue. Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy and Chingford MP Iain Duncan Smith submitted objections on behalf of their respective constituencies who have used the current Pool and Track for 48 years since 1966. As the article says GLL may very well appeal this decision. However, we hope that common sense will prevail and that GLL heed the very clear message sent by the planning committee vote. They have been told to go away and properly cost a replacement diving facility – which clearly they hadn’t! They were also told to properly consult with all local user groups. They are to return at a later date with a new plan that more efficiently utilises the huge site footprint for replacing existing core sport facilities AND new additional leisure features. The £23m budget must be used far more cost effectively than the currently rejected plan. As a final note I would say that the Waltham Forest Leisure Services and Councillor Khan (Cabinet Health & Wellbeing) have been seriously remiss in arrogantly dismissing this and several other valid objections to the GLL plan out of hand for a whole year. Their refusal to even discuss it with Waltham Forest residents and bona fide pool user groups speaks volumes. This £23m project must serve current and future generations of Waltham Forest people for the next 50 years. Democratic engagement has been totally absent until the recent interventions of Planning Committee and supporting ward councillors from both Labour and Conservative groups. Written objections by MPs Stella Creasy and Iain Duncan Smith on behalf of their constituents make this a truly cross party and cross constituency issue. ICapesy
  • Score: 9

6:08pm Sat 6 Sep 14

roundthetwist says...

This borough needs to keep all its assets and use them to the full potential. Look at the success of the William Morris gallery.

Lets try and encourage people into the borough.
This borough needs to keep all its assets and use them to the full potential. Look at the success of the William Morris gallery. Lets try and encourage people into the borough. roundthetwist
  • Score: 7

11:55am Sun 7 Sep 14

ICapesy says...

Yes we got a stunning result with the locally unconsulted £23m Pool and Track rebuild plan being rejected by 3 to 2 at Planning Committee last Tuesday evening. We had incredible help from such a wide range of people inside and outside of local politics. However a note of caution to counter the euphoria is needed! It is but a single battle won. They can and no doubt will appeal. The work doesn't stop until we win the longer campaign.

The council leadership and GLL will more than likely not take this decision lying down. Unless of course they have a genuine wish to heed the spirit of the comments made by the majority of planning committee members and reiterated by supporting local councillors of both parties who contributed to the debate.

There is now awareness and interest at MP level from Iain Duncan Smith (Conservative, Chingford) and Stella Creasy (Labour, Walthamstow). The local and London press and BBC TV and radio are now very much aware of the story. This is a toxic cross party and cross constituency issue for Waltham Forest council now!

It will be interesting to see how the council as an entity now reacts to the publicly expressed concerns of the people they are supposed to work for.
Yes we got a stunning result with the locally unconsulted £23m Pool and Track rebuild plan being rejected by 3 to 2 at Planning Committee last Tuesday evening. We had incredible help from such a wide range of people inside and outside of local politics. However a note of caution to counter the euphoria is needed! It is but a single battle won. They can and no doubt will appeal. The work doesn't stop until we win the longer campaign. The council leadership and GLL will more than likely not take this decision lying down. Unless of course they have a genuine wish to heed the spirit of the comments made by the majority of planning committee members and reiterated by supporting local councillors of both parties who contributed to the debate. There is now awareness and interest at MP level from Iain Duncan Smith (Conservative, Chingford) and Stella Creasy (Labour, Walthamstow). The local and London press and BBC TV and radio are now very much aware of the story. This is a toxic cross party and cross constituency issue for Waltham Forest council now! It will be interesting to see how the council as an entity now reacts to the publicly expressed concerns of the people they are supposed to work for. ICapesy
  • Score: 5

5:37pm Sun 7 Sep 14

Cpl Jack Jones says...

Bet the Leader's office sounded like Dad's Army Wednesday morning. DON'T PANIC , DON'T PANIC!
Bet the Leader's office sounded like Dad's Army Wednesday morning. DON'T PANIC , DON'T PANIC! Cpl Jack Jones
  • Score: 3

8:38pm Sun 7 Sep 14

suksri says...

Isn't about time that Cllrs Gray and Barnett resigned from the Planning Commitee !!!
Isn't about time that Cllrs Gray and Barnett resigned from the Planning Commitee !!! suksri
  • Score: 4

10:35am Mon 8 Sep 14

JimF84 says...

Here's the thing...

The diving facility is already there and has been for many years, as is the 5m diving board. It is a hole in the ground. Put the new diving pool in the same place (and why not) and it won't take much to dig it out because that job has already been done (more-or-less).

Wasn't the deal "like-for-like"? There exists a diving facility so unless the deal is going to be broken (unthinkable) then there will be a diving facility.

As for all this guff about the party line, I was under the distinct impression that the Planning Committee served a quasi-judicial function. If this is true then party politics has no place in the process, as it has no place in the judicial process. Surely the judgement must be on the merits or otherwise of the process put before the committee and there can be no attempt to pervert that process based upon party affiliations. Those elected Councillors can't be sanctioned for carrying out their duty in a diligent and proper manner and I trust they will long continue properly to discharge their duties.

Or maybe I am naive.
Here's the thing... The diving facility is already there and has been for many years, as is the 5m diving board. It is a hole in the ground. Put the new diving pool in the same place (and why not) and it won't take much to dig it out because that job has already been done (more-or-less). Wasn't the deal "like-for-like"? There exists a diving facility so unless the deal is going to be broken (unthinkable) then there will be a diving facility. As for all this guff about the party line, I was under the distinct impression that the Planning Committee served a quasi-judicial function. If this is true then party politics has no place in the process, as it has no place in the judicial process. Surely the judgement must be on the merits or otherwise of the process put before the committee and there can be no attempt to pervert that process based upon party affiliations. Those elected Councillors can't be sanctioned for carrying out their duty in a diligent and proper manner and I trust they will long continue properly to discharge their duties. Or maybe I am naive. JimF84
  • Score: 3

9:05pm Mon 8 Sep 14

ICapesy says...

Talk about putting the cart before the horse and jumping the starting pistol. Check this out!

GLL and the council sent out expensively produced A4 sheets in a mailshot to all registered pool users across the borough stating that the Pool & Track would close in mid October and reopen in 2016 after the rebuild. The only problem is they arrogantly sent this communication out during the week BEFORE the actual planning committee vote!!!!

The council leadership felt supremely confident in doing this because they are so used to approving contentious, flawed and unwanted schemes with minimal scrutiny.

This time around the council leadership had not reckoned with Cllr Alan Siggers' practical understanding of construction matters. The Councillor's forensic demolition of the GLL architect's flawed rebuild plan during committee cross examination was extremely powerful.

Even less did the old guard anticipate the extraordinary bravery of Cllr Yemi Osho and Cllr Karen Bellamy in executing their quasi judicial role with absolute integrity.

Three councillors decided that the rule breaches cited to the committee allowed rejection of the plan. The other two voted in favour of the proposed scheme but in doing so appeared to make a conscious decision to downgrade the significance of all the core planning transgressions that had been highlighted during during evidence.
Talk about putting the cart before the horse and jumping the starting pistol. Check this out! GLL and the council sent out expensively produced A4 sheets in a mailshot to all registered pool users across the borough stating that the Pool & Track would close in mid October and reopen in 2016 after the rebuild. The only problem is they arrogantly sent this communication out during the week BEFORE the actual planning committee vote!!!! The council leadership felt supremely confident in doing this because they are so used to approving contentious, flawed and unwanted schemes with minimal scrutiny. This time around the council leadership had not reckoned with Cllr Alan Siggers' practical understanding of construction matters. The Councillor's forensic demolition of the GLL architect's flawed rebuild plan during committee cross examination was extremely powerful. Even less did the old guard anticipate the extraordinary bravery of Cllr Yemi Osho and Cllr Karen Bellamy in executing their quasi judicial role with absolute integrity. Three councillors decided that the rule breaches cited to the committee allowed rejection of the plan. The other two voted in favour of the proposed scheme but in doing so appeared to make a conscious decision to downgrade the significance of all the core planning transgressions that had been highlighted during during evidence. ICapesy
  • Score: 7

9:55am Tue 9 Sep 14

Robert19 says...

Well I guess what is also missing in the plans is space for the sport of shooting yourself in the foot. Why is this being proposed by GLL and not Waltham Forest Council? I appreciate the service has been effectively outsourced, but it appears that it has also been privatised as GLL seem to have the strategic overview of the sport side of leisure in the borough. I don't think GLL is very good at consultation or working in partnership with local organisations and people. It has no roots here nor is it accountable.
You therefore get an organisation that thinks it knows best, does little or no consultation and ends up trying to rely on the council's lawyers to wing the plans through. Why are councillors only apparently involved at the planning committee end of things?
So can we see new plans obviously including space for the sport of shoot yourself in the foot. Or better still can Waltham Forest take control of its own leisure strategy and work with local people?
Well I guess what is also missing in the plans is space for the sport of shooting yourself in the foot. Why is this being proposed by GLL and not Waltham Forest Council? I appreciate the service has been effectively outsourced, but it appears that it has also been privatised as GLL seem to have the strategic overview of the sport side of leisure in the borough. I don't think GLL is very good at consultation or working in partnership with local organisations and people. It has no roots here nor is it accountable. You therefore get an organisation that thinks it knows best, does little or no consultation and ends up trying to rely on the council's lawyers to wing the plans through. Why are councillors only apparently involved at the planning committee end of things? So can we see new plans obviously including space for the sport of shoot yourself in the foot. Or better still can Waltham Forest take control of its own leisure strategy and work with local people? Robert19
  • Score: 5

10:46am Tue 9 Sep 14

JimF84 says...

This arrogant approach isn't helped by the fact that there is now a significant faction of Labour which has decided that it always knows best irrespective of whether it is patting residents on the head or, indeed, patting its own members on the head.

Why now should we need to think when we can be spoon fed, as if we were babies?
This arrogant approach isn't helped by the fact that there is now a significant faction of Labour which has decided that it always knows best irrespective of whether it is patting residents on the head or, indeed, patting its own members on the head. Why now should we need to think when we can be spoon fed, as if we were babies? JimF84
  • Score: 3

2:25pm Tue 9 Sep 14

ICapesy says...

Well said Robert19. The GLL tail is wagging the LBWF council dog.

GLL are NOT working for Waltham Forest. GLL are "Working for GLL".

They forget they manage it ultimately on behalf of Waltham Forest residents at the end of the day.

At the planning meeting they said they have had a relationship with Waltham Forest since 1996. Also that they look forward to another 23 years of the current relationship.

Yet they were totally unaware of the importance of diving here and the fact that Peter Waterfield - Olympic / Commonwealth gold / silver medalist from 2000 to 2012 (Tom Daley's 10m partner) started out here on the 5m tower at our Pool and Track.

This is the quality of understanding we get from GLL after nearly 18 years of them being the borough's preferred management partner. It is about time they started talking and consulting rather than imposing their half baked vanity projects onto our borough.

The sad thing is that all of this could have been avoided. The new centre could be a truly great resource for Waltham Forest over the next 50 years. To achieve and deliver this both GLL and Leisure Services must stop their tunnel visioned group thinking that excludes all opinion but their own!













partner.
Well said Robert19. The GLL tail is wagging the LBWF council dog. GLL are NOT working for Waltham Forest. GLL are "Working for GLL". They forget they manage it ultimately on behalf of Waltham Forest residents at the end of the day. At the planning meeting they said they have had a relationship with Waltham Forest since 1996. Also that they look forward to another 23 years of the current relationship. Yet they were totally unaware of the importance of diving here and the fact that Peter Waterfield - Olympic / Commonwealth gold / silver medalist from 2000 to 2012 (Tom Daley's 10m partner) started out here on the 5m tower at our Pool and Track. This is the quality of understanding we get from GLL after nearly 18 years of them being the borough's preferred management partner. It is about time they started talking and consulting rather than imposing their half baked vanity projects onto our borough. The sad thing is that all of this could have been avoided. The new centre could be a truly great resource for Waltham Forest over the next 50 years. To achieve and deliver this both GLL and Leisure Services must stop their tunnel visioned group thinking that excludes all opinion but their own! partner. ICapesy
  • Score: 4
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