December 2019


Would you like a cycle hangar installed near your home?


Redbridge Council is rolling out cycle hangars across the borough.

“The response from residents so far has been very positive, with the vast majority looking forward to having somewhere safe to put their bikes. In neighbouring boroughs, hangars have proved popular and helped foster a cycling culture – hopefully, the same will happen in Redbridge,” said Councillor Paul Donovan.

“If you are interested in having a hangar close to where you live, please get in touch.”



Wildlife group counts record number of moths and butterflies in 2019

29_1742_Yellow-ShellYellow shell, a common moth in this area. ©Tim Harris

At the start of 2019, members of the Wren Wildlife Group set themselves a challenge to find 300 species of moths and butterflies in the local area, including Wanstead Flats and Wanstead Park.

“It has proved to be the best year on record, locally, with 308 species of moths and 27 butterflies at the time of writing. About 20 of the moths have not been recorded previously in the local area, although some expected species have clearly suffered as a result of the fire damage on the Flats last year,” said Tim Harris.



Sights and sounds of Christmas: brass band and screening of The Snowman

Image---The-Snowman-flying©Snowman Enterprises Limited

A performance of The Snowman soundtrack by Redbridge Brass Band will accompany a local screening of the festive film this month.

“That magical sound of a brass band is something many associate with Christmas. It conjures up the aroma of hot chestnuts, tinsel, fairy-lights, carols and, of course, Christmas shopping trips,” said band member Dave Wallace. Three performances will take place at St Gabriel’s Church in Aldersbrook on 14 December (3pm, 5pm and 7pm; adults: £12; under-15s: £6; under-2s: free).



Making Christmas


Visiting a Christmas market is the perfect way to get into the spirit of things, says Rosie Nolan, organiser of Local Makers Market. Christmas card illustration by Katie Clement

The first event I organised in Wanstead was a Christmas market in 2013. I called it Wanstead Makers Market at the time. I’d just moved to the area and had organised craft markets previously, so thought maybe I could do the same here.

It became a popular and well-attended event, so I then started to find other venues around east London to hold the market. This is when I decided to change the name to Local Makers Market so it was not tied to one location. It has since taken place in Dalston, Hackney Wick and Stoke Newington. Wanstead is the place we hold the most events though and it’s our favourite location!

Wanstead is such a great place for artisan markets as the local community really appreciate handmade products. Many of the visitors to the market comment on the exceptional quality of the stalls and the variety of items on offer. I think the other great thing about Wanstead is that it has a village-like feel and the people here love to attend local events. This is something the traders have also noticed – they always comment on how lovely everyone is in Wanstead! Another reason people enjoy the market is the pop-up cafe, run by local business Herons Nest Bakery. There’s always a queue to get to the fantastic cakes.

The market is curated, meaning a mixture of makers are hand-picked for each event, ensuring different kinds of products and disciplines are on show, such as textiles, jewellery, ceramics and illustrations. Each event also has a range of new stallholders who have never traded with us before. This keeps the markets fresh and interesting.

The Christmas Local Makers Market will take place at Christ Church hall on 7 December from 10am to 4.30pm (free entry). Visit

Council forum postponed to avoid General Election clash


Redbridge Council’s next West Neighbourhood Local Forum – which was scheduled for 12 December – has been postponed because of the General Election.

The next round of local forums will resume in January. “We are identifying venues for these meetings. Please check back in the coming weeks for updated information,” said a council spokesperson.

The forums provide opportunities for residents to work with officers and councillors to find solutions to local issues.



Wanstead councillor surgery dates for December

Screenshot 2019-11-25 13.56.51Left to right: Councillors Sheila Bain, Paul Merry, Paul Donovan, Jo Blackman and Daniel Morgan-Thomas

Wanstead’s local councillors will hold two advice surgeries this month (instead of the usual four).

Wanstead Park ward representatives – Councillors Sheila Bain and Paul Merry – will be available to meet residents at the Allan Burgess Centre on 7 December from 10am to 11am. Wanstead Village ward representatives – Councillors Paul Donovan, Jo Blackman and Daniel Morgan-Thomas – will hold their session in the vestry of Christ Church on 14 December from 10am to 11am.



Leyton & Wanstead 2019: Labour Party candidate


John Cryer is the Labour Party candidate standing for the Leyton and Wanstead constituency at this month’s General Election. Here’s why he thinks he deserves your vote on 12 December

So, the country is going to the polls again. With Brexitmania dominating everything, you could be forgiven for forgetting that General Elections are about more than just one issue. However, the winning party will govern for the next five years and will be responsible for our health, our children’s education, our rights at work, transport and so much more.

Brexit, of course, touches on all of these issues, and it will quite rightly be high up on every voter’s agenda when they decide in which box to put their cross.

The Labour Party is the only one of the major national parties pledging a second referendum, with an option to remain. Even as an outspoken Eurosceptic, the experience of the last three and a half years has convinced me that the only way for us to come back together as a country is to ask the public to vote again.

Beyond the end of this interminable debate, the next government will be stewarding the institutions we all rely on. The Johnson government’s Brexit proposals pose a unique threat to our NHS, which the Trump administration is currently eyeing like a pig on a spit. A Labour government would reverse privatisations in the health service and restore confidence in our most precious institution.

Labour will make funding available and back the police to do their job. While I have been representing this area, this has become an issue especially close to my heart. Too many times this year I have had to ask the Home Secretary to set out the government’s strategy to address knife crime and it has been painfully clear they have no answer. The simple truth is that cuts to police numbers have made it impossible for them to do their job, either on violence or burglaries.

As well as supporting this agenda, I will continue working on the issues that matter to you. Recently, I have been fighting with local campaigners on issues like the expansion of City Airport, excessive noise from the Central Line, step-free access at stations and more. I listened to residents’ deep concerns about the environmental impact of a planned music festival on Wanstead Flats and lobbied the City of London Corporation on their behalf. That festival will not now go ahead.

We have had over three years of a zombie Tory government too stymied by its own inability to resolve Brexit to deliver any legislative programme at all. I hope you will place your faith in me and Labour to move forward with an agenda for real change.

Leyton and Wanstead constituency prospective parliamentary candidates are: Ashley Gunstock (Green Party), John Cryer (Labour Party), Noshaba Khiljee (Conservative Party), Ben Sims (Liberal Democrats), Zulf Jannaty (Brexit Party) and Henry Scott (Independent).

Leyton & Wanstead 2019: independent candidate


Henry Scott is an independent candidate standing for the Leyton and Wanstead constituency at this month’s General Election. Here’s why he thinks he deserves your vote on 12 December

I am the UK’s youngest candidate taking part in this General Election and I have decided to stand as an independent candidate for Leyton and Wanstead.

I turned 18 in November, having grown up in Leytonstone with my older brother and younger sister. My parents, Peter and Victoria, are both musicians. Victoria currently teaches music at Riverley School in Leyton, while Peter is the organist at St John’s Church and runs a business in London. My education began at the Kids-R-Us nursery at the Welsh Church and I now attend David Game College in London.

“How on earth did you come to the decision to stand as a candidate?” I hear you ask. Well, I remember being in my politics lesson and my teacher saying: “Henry, now that you’re 18, are you looking forward to voting in your first election?” I replied that I wasn’t sure I wanted to vote for any of the current main parties. As I went home, I realised I wanted a candidate who would represent the views and wishes of myself and other people like me, not the wishes of the main party and their leadership. I thought, if I’m old enough to vote, am I also old enough to stand as a candidate? And it turned out that I was.

Although I now live in Loughton, I was raised in Leytonstone and I really love the area and am still involved there. As a kid, I went on many adventures and bike rides on Wanstead Flats and in Wanstead Park – it’s a favourite dog-walking spot of mine and I really enjoy the tea hut. I love the High Street in Leytonstone because it’s always busy and bustling with very friendly shopkeepers; and I have many friends through St John’s Church. I would now like to give something back to the people who made my upbringing possible and who brought me to where I am today.

Politically, I have four main concerns I would like to address:

  • I think Barts Trust have been treating our Whipps Cross Hospital very badly and I want to campaign tirelessly for better funding and to take Whipps into its own trust.
  • I want to stop Brexit.
  • I want to prevent a climate catastrophe.
  • I want to get more funding for music, drama and the arts in our Leyton and Wanstead schools.

In doing all this, I hope to be a voice for youth in Parliament and I will, of course, do my very best for any other concerns my Leyton and Wanstead constituents might have.

Leyton and Wanstead constituency prospective parliamentary candidates are: Ashley Gunstock (Green Party), John Cryer (Labour Party), Noshaba Khiljee (Conservative Party), Ben Sims (Liberal Democrats), Zulf Jannaty (Brexit Party) and Henry Scott (Independent).

Leyton & Wanstead 2019: Green Party candidate


Ashley Gunstock is the Green Party candidate standing for the Leyton and Wanstead constituency at this month’s General Election. Here’s why he thinks he deserves your vote on 12 December

The Green Party will be standing to promote solutions to the important matters of the day and through the eye of the climate emergency storm.

There may be doubters, deniers and downright liars who challenge the science that says we are, at the very least, causing the quickening of our own extinction. Yet, we will address all issues from an integrated environmental perspective, as follows.

Education: would be comprehensive in the truest sense of the word (no division of intakes on the grounds of religion, race, gender, disability or social status). University fees would be greatly reduced and Ofsted scrapped. Pupils, alongside the core subjects, will be taught an eco-curriculum, to encourage them to respect and protect all forms of life in the world about them.

Healthcare: provided by fully funded centres, would be holistic, being based on prevention, a good diet and regular exercise as well as cure. With guidance on how to take personal responsibility for ourselves, we would also ensure the need for medication is kept to a minimum and that the weight could be taken off the overburdened NHS.

Transport: public mobility and haulage need to be upgraded, better integrated and affordable to encourage usage. This needs to be quickened to hasten the uptake of a new generation of travel to drastically reduce our dependence on fossil-fuelled vehicles.

Waste: must be reduced. Goods to supply our needs, rather than our wants, will be packaged using minimal recycled materials, would be made to last longer for reuse and repair and be recyclable, in ‘the circular economy’.

Economy: the Green New Deal would see a rise in employment in the building of a renewable-friendly infrastructure to drastically reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. Businesses would be encouraged to unbiasedly invest in education.

Taxation: would be founded on land ownership, its size, location and usage as well as a ‘polluter pays’ principle and based on a person’s ability to pay.

Unfortunately, much of what needs to be urgently done continues to be delayed by the divisive distraction that is Brexit. Greens believe unity is the key: co-operation, not confrontation. In view of this, Greens feel that if we are to leave, we should come out of the EU with some dignity, on good terms with our present partners and a decent deal that does not leave us at the mercy of the unscrupulous leaders of this world.

Leyton and Wanstead constituency prospective parliamentary candidates are: Ashley Gunstock (Green Party), John Cryer (Labour Party), Noshaba Khiljee (Conservative Party), Ben Sims (Liberal Democrats), Zulf Jannaty (Brexit Party) and Henry Scott (Independent).

Leyton & Wanstead 2019: Conservative Party candidate


Dr Noshaba Khiljee is the Conservative Party candidate standing for the Leyton and Wanstead constituency at this month’s General Election. Here’s why she thinks she deserves your vote on 12 December

My name is Dr Noshaba Khiljee and I am the Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for the Leyton and Wanstead constituency.

I was raised in Walthamstow and have many friends and family in the Leyton and Wanstead area. I understand there are a number of issues that voters in Leyton and Wanstead are concerned about.

Ending the uncertainty over Brexit
More than three years after the referendum result, the country needs to be able to move on. A Conservative majority government will implement the new deal negotiated with the EU, and we can then fully focus on our agenda for improving people’s lives.

Improving the NHS
I am a practising NHS hospital consultant and am fully committed to the principles and values of the NHS. I understand the challenges the NHS faces but am sure it can continue to deliver world-class healthcare in the 21st century. I will be a strong advocate in a Conservative government to protect NHS patients and staff and was pleased to hear that Whipps Cross Hospital has been awarded £400 million for its redevelopment.

Making our local streets safer
Our area has sadly been in the news for the wrong reasons. Our residents have a right to feel safe when they go out on our streets. I will promise to fight for our fair share of the 20,000 extra police officers being recruited under the next Conservative government.

Proper funding for our schools
I attended school locally and understand how much our residents value their children’s education. Every child in our community deserves a good education and that starts with investing more in schools as promised by the next Conservative government.

Adequate social care for the chronically ill and the elderly
I have a long-term disabled mother and brother. I know how crucial it is to provide the social care required to look after our most vulnerable residents and how frustrating it can be to access these services. I will strongly advocate for a fairer system of social care in a Conservative government.

To summarise, my plan for Leyton and Wanstead is a forward-thinking agenda for our local community. I truly want to improve our NHS, make our streets safer, improve funding for our schools and improve social care, all of which starts here in Leyton and Wanstead.

Leyton and Wanstead constituency prospective parliamentary candidates are: Ashley Gunstock (Green Party), John Cryer (Labour Party), Noshaba Khiljee (Conservative Party), Ben Sims (Liberal Democrats), Zulf Jannaty (Brexit Party) and Henry Scott (Independent).