Sunday, 23 October 2016

Where, this week, to find Stella Creasy MP for Walthamstow

  • Sunday 23rd October- appearing on the Sky Murnaghan programme to discuss the situation in Calais 
  • Tuesday 25th October - speaking at an event on tackling misogyny and hate crime organised by Nottingham University and then hosting the discussion on how to support the Yazidi community in their quest for justice following the actions of Daesh. See below for more details. 
  • Friday 28th October- attending parliament to support the Homelessness Reduction bill and then speaking in Colchester at the Civic Oyster Festival 
  • Sunday 30th October- participating in the We17 Community Cohesion Women's Dinner in support of the Forest Nightshelter - for more details and tickets please see below.

Many residents are concerned about what is happening in Iraq and Syria. As part of supporting those brutalised by Daesh, I will be hosting a parliamentary meeting in the House of Commons on Tuesday 25th October alongside local Walthamstow campaign 'UK Supports Yazidi Women and Girls'. The meeting will be to discuss what the UK government can do to help women and children who have escaped sexual slavery and torture at the hands of Daesh and are now living in unsafe refugee camps with little to no medical care or psychological support. For more information or to get involved please email

In the light of concerns about community cohesion and to promote and encourage women's leadership within Walthamstow, there will be a special We17 community dinner from 7pm on Sunday 30th October. This event is to bring women of all ages and all backgrounds together and to raise funds for our local homelessness night shelter, the Forest Nightshelter. I hope women in Walthamstow will be join me at this special evening to help break down barriers within our community - tickets are £10 each and this will take place at 455 Chingford Road. To book a ticket or find out more please contact the organisers Fatima 07552 611843 Roshan ben 07460 542172 and Ruquyya 07872 479069.

Friday, 21 October 2016

'Not a refugee problem but a political problem' - Stella Creasy MP in tonight's Standard

Susannah Butter writes in tonight's Evening Standard 'MP Stella Creasy has led the fight to bring the children of Calais to London. As the first wave to arrive sparks a row over age, she tells Susannah Butter why she will take the grief to get it right'

"What’s happening in Calais is a legal process" says Creasy. "The children are being extensively checked. The idea that we’ve gone ‘let’s just let them all over and figure out what to do later’ is not the case. It’s important that when a process like this has been put in place, we acknowledge it and support it.”

So why are the refugees overwhelmingly male? “The children that have come here so far are ‘Dublin’ kids, But a lot of the girls are Dubs so there are around 40 of them still in Calais, in limbo, waiting to be processed.” She’s referring to the EU Dublin III regulation, which allows a child to come to Britain if they have family here, and the Dubs amendment to the Children and Social Work Bill that allows unaccompanied children to be offered safe refuge in the UK if it is in their best interests. The Dubs amendment was passed in May but the infrastructure to enforce it is still being implemented."

Full article here

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Chuka Ummuna at Waltham Forest Co-op Party curry night November 3rd

Chuka Umunna Labour MP for Streatham joins Labour and Cooperative MP for Walthamstow Stella Creasy for a Curry evening hosted by Waltham Forest branch Cooperative Party to raise funds to support the party's local campaigning.

This is on Thursday 3rd November at Waltham Forest Community Hub 18A Orford Road E17 9LN (map). 

Doors open at 8pm. There will be a three course curry meal (with vegetarian options), a donations bar and raffle.

Tickets are £25, with concessions for unwaged, £80 for groups of 4, and £150 for groups of 8.

Book: online at Billetto, by email, or by call / text to: 07957 228019

Where, this week, to find Stella Creasy MP for Walthamstow

  • Monday 17th October- returning to parliament to continue the fight for child refugees 
  • Tuesday 18th October - attending a memorial service. Please note my office will remain open for queries. 
  • Thursday 20th October- taking part in a statutory instrument debate on the Misuse of Drugs Act and then speaking at the Northwood and Pinner Labour Party fundraiser
  • Friday 21st October- holding an appointment only residents advice surgery - to request an appointment please call 020 8521 1223. 
  • Saturday 22nd October- running a session at the Why? Festival to encourage young people to take part in political campaigning. More details can be found here.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

"Butterfields deal agreement" - the movie

Stella Creasy MP, councillors Angie Bean, Richard Sweden, Peter Barnett, and Khevyn Limbajee met residents of Butterfields this afternoon to share the promising news about developments in negotiations over the future of the Butterfields estate. . .

"Breaking Walthamstow News: I’m pleased to now be able to announce that after several weeks of negotiations a deal has been agreed between Dolphin and the Butterfields E17 to enable Dolphin to purchase this estate, subject to contract. If completed, this deal will enable all the tenants to remain on the estate and end the threat of evictions as they will all become tenants of Dolphin. . . . "
Stella Creasy MP on Facebook.

Help the Butterfields residents by 
  • welcoming Dolphin Living to Walthamstow @dolphinliving
  • and thanking RBS for their help with this matter @RBS

Butterfields Estate Update: "Deal to Save the Estate Agreed" Stella Creasy MP

Writing in her working for Walthamstow newsletter this week Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy says:

"Butterfields Estate Update: Deal to Save the Estate Agreed - Help Me Thank Dolphin and RBS

I’m pleased to now be able to announce that after several weeks of negotiations a deal has been agreed between Dolphin and the Butterfields E17 to enable Dolphin to purchase this estate, subject to contract. If completed, this deal will enable all the tenants to remain on the estate and end the threat of evictions as they will all become tenants of Dolphin. I’m grateful to RBS, Dolphin and the current owners of Butterfields E17 for their efforts to make this deal happen and offer these families and residents of Walthamstow the opportunity to stay in our community. We may have had our differences, but their willingness to get round a table and work together for the best interests of Walthamstow residents has paid off.

Having spoken to the residents I know how pleased they are that we have managed to make this progress. I want to thank the Wood Street local councillors Richard Sweden, Pete Barnett and Angie Bean and Cabinet member for Housing Khevyn Limbajee for their help with supporting the residents through this time as well supporting all our work on this matter, and specialist housing lawyer Giles Peaker who has given kindly of his time in advising the residents on their legal rights. Finally and most importantly, I want to congratulate the residents on their resilience and determination to make their case for their tenancies.

I will continue to liaise with Dolphin, Butterfields and RBS to ensure that this deal is completed and will update Walthamstow when this occurs. To ensure that this deal is not disrupted or delayed, I would now urge all those interested in this issue to be patient and await this news. In the meantime, if you wish to support this deal, I would be grateful if residents in Walthamstow could show their support for this deal by helping me welcome Dolphin Living to Walthamstow (@dolphinliving) and thanking RBS for their help with this matter (@RBS)."

Earlier posts about the Butterfields Estate - April 2016

". . . I have secured a parliamentary debate on the future of the Butterfields estate in Walthamstow in the main parliamentary chamber."

". . . their homes in highly desirable Walthamstow Village had been sold by their previous owners, the charity Glasspool, to a private developer."

Where, this week, to find Stella Creasy MP for Walthamstow

  • Monday 10th October- returning to parliament to continue the fight for child refugees 
  • Tuesday 11th October - taking part in the Day of the Girl young mentoring project at the London Southbank
  • Wednesday 12th October- attending a discussion in parliament about human rights in Kashmir to support the call for independent investigations. 
  • Friday 14th October- holding an appointment only residents advice surgery - to request an appointment please call 020 8521 1223. 
  • Saturday 15th October- supporting action to help the child refugees. 
Stella says: "Please note my diary is subject to change this week depending on events in the Calais Refugee Camps."

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

How You Can Help Safeguard Children in Calais - from Stella Creasy MP

Click here to watch this short video 
The French Government have confirmed their intention to evict the whole of the Calais refugee camp- including over 1,000 children - by the end of October 2016. Please join our fight to safeguard them. 

Right now our Government has the paperwork for 387 of these children who we believe have the right to be in the UK legally. Yet still they fail to act. Working across political parties we are proposing the Dub II law - an amendment to the Children and Social Work Bill which will force the Government to protect these children. Read more about this law here

Here are four actions you can take to help these children right now:
  1. Please consider making a donation to pay for mobile phone credit so we can keep in touch with them if they are evicted, and buy suitcases with wheels so they can try to keep any belongings they have. You can do so online here. 
  2. Please ask your MP to support the Dubs II amendment to the Children and Social Work Bill. You can find a suggested text below to use and if you get a positive or negative response please let us know!
  3. Please contact members of the House of Lords online to ask them to support Dubs II amendment - you can find a list of twitter handles here
  4. Please share this email with family and friends around the country to ask them to join us acting to help child refugees. I'm sending you this email as you have been in touch about how to help our campaign and shown support for my work to help child refugees - if you know others who would like to receive these updates on this campaign please ask them to email me to be added to this mailing list. 
With your help we can ensure no child is left in the Calais Camps by Christmas. 

Stella Creasy MP
Labour and Cooperative MP for Walthamstow

Suggested text for contacting MPs


As my MP I’m writing to you to ask you to pledge to safeguard child refugees in Europe.

The Dubs Amendment was passed by parliament in March 2016- it committed us to taking our fair share of the refugee children in Europe who have fled persecution. Yet six months on not a single child has come here under its protection – now there are over 1000 children alone in the Calais camp, which the French Government has said it will evict by the end of October 2016. These children live in tents with strangers, begging for food and hiding from traffickers for want of someone to process their paperwork. The French asylum system has ground to a halt- without action by the UK these children face a very uncertain future.

The Home Office currently has the paperwork for 387 children currently in the Calais refugee camps who have the right to be in the UK legally under either international law or the Dubs amendment. That’s why a cross party group of MPs has tabled the Dubs II amendment to the Children and Social Work Bill to require the Government to put in place a safeguarding process for these children and so protect their welfare. This will be debated in the Lords in October 2016 and will then come to House of Commons for approval.

There is not a moment to lose in the fight to protect these children. When the French evicted part of the camp earlier this year, 100 children went missing. With your help we can ensure these children have a better future. Please let me know if you will pledge your support for this campaign- or let the office of Stella Creasy MP know if you wish to cosign this amendment.

Thank you for your support for this important campaign.

Statement on Refugees by Waltham Forest Council leader Chris Robbins

Dear Friends

I’m sure that you, like me, have been appalled by the continuing tragedy in Syria and Calais, the children and families who have been left devastated by the worst humanitarian crisis in recent history and face another hard winter.

Having watched these terrible events unfold, I made a commitment last year that Waltham Forest would be prepared to house 10 Syrian refugee families by 2020.

Our support for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Waltham Forest is already doing a lot to help those in need. At the start of this year the Council provided support to 40 ‘Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children’; finding new homes and loving families in the borough for young people from countries like Syria and Afghanistan who have been left with nothing.

The ongoing conflicts around the world have meant that demand for our help has soared, and we now support almost three times as many Asylum seeking children as we did just in 2013, when 15 children were in our care. As a borough Waltham Forest have stepped up to manage this increase in demand, which has exceeded the average across the country over the last year – a 38% increase on last year in Waltham Forest, compared to 35% across the country.

The care that we provide does come at a cost, however. Each vulnerable child that we place with a foster carer costs the council in the region of £25,220 per child or young person fostered. This equates to a cost of over a £1,000,000 to place asylum seeking children with foster carers in Waltham Forest - £630,500more than in 2013.

Following our campaign last year 12 additional foster carer families in Waltham Forest came forward to provide homes for children, including those who have had to flee from their country. The Council has been instrumental in its support to ensure that these vulnerable children are cared for within the Waltham Forest community, as opposed to through external companies.

Including adults, the Council now continues to provide support for a total of 218 asylum seekers, which is 37 more vulnerable people than in 2011. On top of this we also provide homes and support for 159 children in 67 families with ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ – vulnerable families who have come to this country but are not yet eligible for support from the government.

We know that there is always more that we can be doing, and that’s why Waltham Forest has also committed to taking in an additional 20 Asylum Seeking children by 2020: five additional children per year. I am very proud that we are continuing to do our best to help these children despite the huge rise in demand and cost to the council. 

Our asks of the Government

At the same time, we need to make sure that we receive the right level of support from the Government to allow us to properly support these vulnerable refugees, and ensure that the funding will cover essential costs such as suitable accommodation, social care support, assistance to register for schools and GPs and English language classes.

One of the hardest challenges is housing refugees in London, and sourcing private rented accommodation that is both available and affordable. The Government’s funding is set at a flat rate across the country, which means that councils in areas of the country with low house prices and low demand for housing are allocated the same amount of money to support refugees as London councils where two bedroom flats can cost half a million pounds.

Unfortunately, due to the extremely high cost and low supply of temporary accommodation in the area, our financial projections are that accepting more families under the current scheme would leave the Council filling a funding gap of around £10,000 per refugee per year.

We know this isn’t realistic if London is to do its bit. That is why we’ve worked with other boroughs and the Mayor of London’s office to ask for a fairer deal, and why it is so important that we are given clarity as soon as possible from the Home Office and Mayor of London’s office over whether councils in London are going to get the support they need to take in Syrian refugees.

Twenty eight of London’s thirty three borough councils have still not been able to take in the refugees they want to rehouse, because they are awaiting final guidance around Government funding. I know that this is not acceptable and that’s why I am pushing for a clear steer from the Government in the coming weeks. I will update you once we have this.

Cllr Chris Robbins

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Where, this week, to find Stella Creasy MP for Walthamstow

  • Monday 3rd October- please note my office will be closed for queries due to building works taking place. 
  • Tuesday 4th October - participating in a briefing for Citizens UK volunteers on how to participate in the campaign to help child refugees. 
  • Thursday 6th October- holding a residents advice surgery. This is by appointment only so please call 020 8521 1223 to request an appointment. 
  • Saturday 8th October- taking part in the Old Vic " If I Had A Voice" debate to talk about attempts to silence women in the public domain.