2019 checklist

WansteadWanstead

The Wanstead Society works to protect and improve Wanstead, Snaresbrook and Aldersbrook. Here, Scott Wilding outlines the group's aims for the year ahead.

Fresh into the new year and the Wanstead Society has been asking its members what we can do to make where we live a better place in 2019. The message we got from our AGM was clear; to campaign for three basic things: cleaner and greener streets, better health care services and more policing in Wanstead.

The Wanstead Society is, first and foremost, a charity, which seeks to work with those in power to protect and improve Wanstead, Snaresbrook and Aldersbrook. Although we have some funds – which we use to plant trees, maintain flower beds or fund litter picks – we are clearly limited in our scope. We aim to do what we can to meet our members asks.

Cleaner and greener streets
We continue to support and fund the Wanstead Community Gardeners who do a fantastic job in maintaining lots of individual areas with native wildflowers. Without these volunteers, our biodiversity would decline even further, and we would lose precious green space. Our aim is also to ensure the council replaces any dead, damaged or diseased street trees. These spaces may only be small but they offer vital life to bugs and bees, which in turn help support native wildlife. We have invited our local councillors to our February meeting to ask for an update on this and discuss how we can work with them to enhance green space in Wanstead.

Better health care services
Over the last 25 years, the population of Wanstead has increased, but our health care provision has got smaller. Wanstead Hospital has closed and we know that King George and Whipps Cross, while not in Wanstead, are vital to our health care and we aim to work with other groups to ensure their viability. Fortunately, we have a practising nurse on our committee who is advising us on how we can lobby the NHS to improve our health care provision, and in November we met with Councillor Neil Zammett, who sits on the council's Health Scrutiny Committee, to seek ways in which we can work together to bring more NHS funding to Wanstead.

More policing in Wanstead
Since 2013, Wanstead has had no police station, and it is no secret that police numbers have fallen across Britain. There is very little we, as an organisation, can do to improve this, but we do attend police meetings and try to distribute the advice they give – because prevention is always better than cure. However, next year, GLA and mayoral elections will take place and we will raise this issue with those seeking office. The clear message must be, we need more police and the police need more funds. This we can do through our lobbying campaigns and by organising political hustings at election time.

The Wanstead Society is an independent, non-political organisation that works to protect, preserve and improve the local area. Membership is £10 per household per year. Visit wansteadsociety.org.uk


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