Janet Wright disagreed when council leader Clyde Loakes said Walthamstow needed "a kick up the backside". The kicks came thick and fast as the council slashed gallery and museum opening hours, closed a library, threw out qualified staff, sent books to the incinerator, condemned the one remaining theatre -- and threatened to stud the town with tower blocks. Janet Wright is a local author who wants Waltham Forest council to stop kicking Walthamstow. More to the point, Walthamstow is a wonderful town with an enviable character and community life, well worth defending, and is the star of this blog.
Posted at 2:53pm Tuesday 4th May 2010
Uninspired by the Tweedledum-and-Tweedledee party politics of Waltham Forest? Don’t boycott the election: one of the best ways to freshen up this borough’s stagnant political pond is to vote for an independent or small-party candidate. Read their manifestos and see if they speak for you.
Posted at 10:37am Tuesday 4th May 2010
This week’s council elections offer a once-every-four-years chance to vote for the services you want to keep or get back. And in my part of Walthamstow, the one we miss most is St James Street Library.
Posted at 8:53am Monday 11th January 2010
I’ve just discovered a form of exercise that makes you look good as well as feeling good: shovelling snow from in front of your house. It’s surprising how long the pavement stays clear once you’ve done it. And it promotes that elusive benefit, community spirit.
Posted at 9:55am Friday 27th November 2009
Race off to Vestry House Museum this weekend, for your last chance to see Katherine Green’s photo exhibition about Walthamstow greyhound stadium. Our much-loved dog track is, like so many local treasures, standing sad and empty now. “Going to the Dogs” is a wonderfully evocative look at the closing days of a venue that defined Walthamstow for more than 70 years.
Posted at 12:06pm Friday 13th November 2009
If you’re sick of this council’s shenanigans and ready to vote for a change, come to a meeting this Sunday afternoon. Local residents have? been thinking about standing as independent candidates in next year’s council elections, and your views will count.
Posted at 9:56am Monday 19th October 2009
Could the financial disasters of Waltham Forest council be about to make the big time? They’re really too fascinating to keep to ourselves.
Posted at 4:39pm Thursday 1st October 2009
Waltham Forest councillors, be warned: selling off St James Street Library could cost you your seat. More than 2,000 people signed a petition to get the library reopened, while no councillor in Waltham Forest got more than 1500 votes in the last election. And with a group of independents now looking at standing in next year’s elections, voters at last will have a real choice.
Posted at 12:11pm Friday 11th September 2009
Posted at 5:35pm Friday 4th September 2009
Waltham Forest council has discovered the environment, heaven be praised. Are they composting market waste, expanding the recycling service or even using the fleet of electric vehicles they bought years ago? No – they’re threatening to fine people who ‘damage’ trees by pinning up lost-pet adverts.
Posted at 4:57pm Thursday 27th August 2009
Alleluia! Walthamstow has got our award-winning brass band back, just in time to celebrate its centenary – and a string of prestigious wins. East London Brass has had a terrific year, including a hat-trick of first prizes and a place in the national brass band finals. Now its chances of winning the big award rest on raising enough funds to take the band to Harrogate in September.
Posted at 12:39pm Friday 7th August 2009
Worried about black magic and evil spirits? Or just worried about people pushing cards through your door claiming to deal with these? Either way, Waltham Forest council may have an answer for you -- a predictably useless answer, needless to say.
Posted at 9:43am Saturday 25th July 2009
One hundred years ago this month, an Edwardian gentleman wheeled a bizarre-looking contraption out of his workshop under a Walthamstow railway arch. It had a motorbike engine -- made down the road in Tottenham – plus bicycle wheels and three sets of fragile wings. A few curious bystanders watched as he clambered in and started the engine.