Sunday, 3 September 2017

Walthamstow Labour Party Local Education Survey

Walthamstow Labour Party Local Education Survey: 
Please Complete

Hospitals are not the only public services struggling with PFI debt - schools across Britain are as well including some in Walthamstow. Our schools are also facing real terms cuts in their budgets and challenges with staff retention and morale. So too, it is vital to celebrate the achievements of our young residents and recognise some of the social and cultural issues our students are experiencing. 

To this end Walthamstow Labour Party members are seeking to develop campaigns around education and are asking for the help of local residents to inform this work. In particular, they would like local parents, pupils, school staff and governors to complete this short survey - this survey will remain open until the end of September, it is anonymous and the results will be shared with the local community. 

if you would like to be part of this campaign work please email.

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

  • Sunday 3rd September- speaking at the Jewish Labour Movement conference on tackling hate crime. 
  • Tuesday 5th September - returning to parliament to participate in a debate on the situation in Venezuela and speak at the launch of the campaign for single market membership to be part of the Brexit deal
  • Wednesday 6th September- meeting with Ministers to discuss Walthamstow's Union for the self employed and celebrating Eid with colleagues in the national Labour Party. 
  • Thursday 7th September- taking part in a GMB union event on our work to tackle companies using tips to top up employee incomes and attending the Walthamstow Labour Party General Committee Meeting.
  • Friday 8th September- holding an appointment only advice surgery for local residents. To book an appointment please call 020 8521 1223
  • Saturday 9th September- holding an open advice surgery between 2-4pm. Please keep an eye on social media for confirmation of the venue.
  • Sunday 10th September- joining the Walthamstow Farmers Market in the town square to celebrate their 10th Anniversary of operation.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

PFI is bankrupting Britain. But there are ways to set ourselves free - Stella Creasy MP

Concerned at the problems facing the Barts Health trust in laying off PFI debt, and at the effect they're like to have on Whipps Cross hospital Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy writes in the Guardian

"Next time you have an appointment cancelled at hospital, or a headteacher tells you their school will be losing staff because of budget cuts, ask how much PFI debt they have – the answer may surprise you. My hospital trust, in north-east London, spends nearly £150m a year repaying its PFI debt – nearly half of which is on interest payments. If Theresa May is serious about taking on the unacceptable face of capitalism, she could save Britain a fortune if she goes after the legal loan sharks of the public sector.

New research from the Centre for Health and the Public Interest (CHPI) shows just how much these debts are hurting our NHS. Over the next five years, almost £1bn of taxpayer funds will go to PFI companies in the form of pre-tax profits. That’s 22% of the extra £4.5bn given to the Department of Health in the 2015 spending review, and money that would otherwise have been available for patient care."

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Labour Party - Conference Arrangements Committee Elections 2017

The ballot is now on to elect members of the Labour Party - Conference Arrangements Committee. Eligible members will have been sent an email, but it's easy to miss in a crowded inbox! 

The subject header is likely to be:
"Labour Party - Conference Arrangements Committee Elections 2017"
and it's likely to have been received around 17 July, or a reminder on 24 July. This may help narrow down the inbox search.

Members can choose to vote online and that will save the party money. Paper ballot papers will be posted over the next week or so to those who have not voted online, though you can still at that stage vote online (which saves slightly less money . . )

The deadline for casting votes, whether online, or by post is noon on September 8th

Monday, 10 July 2017

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

  • Monday 10th July - attending parliament to question the Prime Minister on her discussions with other leaders at the G20 summit 
  • Thursday 13th July - visiting Holy Family College to run a citizenship lesson for students
  • Friday 14th July - helping to host the Stow Stories Social event with the E17 People's Library. Details below. 
  • Saturday 15th July - visiting a local care home to meet with residents and then supporting the Walthamstow Garden Party.

Free Sodo Pizza at the E17 People's Library and Stow Stories Social 
As part of helping to support positive community relationships in Walthamstow, Stow Story Socials are opportunities for residents to come together over refreshments and share their stories about our community. This project was developed following the EU referendum as part of We17 to help address concerns about social tension and division. 

This project is now joining forces with a new project starting in Walthamstow called the E17 People's Library. The E17 People's Library is a social history project to celebrate the diversity and richness of the life stories and talents of all the beautiful people living in E17. They want to listen, share and learn from each other, bringing neighbours old and new together to show how and why Walthamstow means welcome.

The next event will be on Friday 14th July at the new Community venue CentrE17 from 6.30pm to 8pm. We'll be eating pizza from Sodo Pizza and sharing stories about our community- All Walthamstow residents are welcome to attend - we only ask that you bring something non alcoholic for people to drink that can be shared and RSVP to let us know how many cups we need!

Monday, 26 June 2017

Tower Block Safety in Walthamstow: Update from Stella Creasy MP

In her Working for Walthamstow newsletter this week Stella Creasy MP reports

"Further to last week's e-newsletter I have had more updates from
Waltham Forest Council and local housing associations regarding the fire safety measures they have reviewed in our local tower blocks. To date, all the cladding tested by the Government in the light of the Grenfell Tower tragedy has failed safety testing, and there has been extensive discussion of this issue in parliament. 

Locally, Waltham Forest Council are updating residents via their website regarding the 21 blocks over the height of six storeys in Waltham Forest. They state the following: 

"We know that many people in the borough and across London have valid concerns about fire safety in high-rise buildings following the tragic incident at Grenfell Tower. The safety of residents and tenants should always be paramount for local authorities. A small number of tall buildings are under construction in the borough, including the Hill Residential scheme at 97 Lea Bridge Road. We are liaising closely with the developer and contractor through our Building Control team to ensure that design and construction maximises the safety of occupants. As a new-build development the installation of sprinkler systems will be required to comply with modern fire safety regulations. This development will not use the cladding system that was used at Grenfell Tower.

The major refurbishment of Lea Bridge House is being undertaken by Paradigm Housing through the contractor Rydon who completed the works at Grenfell House. The council is working closely with Paradigm to ensure the 10-storey building meets and exceeds mandatory safety regulations.

The project involves the refurbishment of the original 1960s residential block, with the addition of two four-storey wings. It does not involve the installation of external cladding. As part of the scheme fire prevention and safety measures will be implemented including a fire-suppression sprinkler system, a measure that exceeds current fire safety regulations for renovation of older properties, and the existing windows will be replaced with powder-coated aluminium frames that are far less combustible than the more traditional UPVC type.

It is important and right that we continue to provide high-quality, affordable housing for the residents and workers of the borough. To maintain the balance between housing and essential infrastructure such as parks, schools, shops and health centres we sometimes have no option but to build upwards. At the same time, we will keep a keen watch on the investigation into the Grenfell Tower disaster so that we can immediately implement any recommendations to maximise the safety of our residents."

In addition to the local authority, other Housing Associations are also reviewing the safety of their buildings. As part of this London and Quadrant have written to me regarding the Walthamstow Dog track site - now called Stadium Place- and state the following: 

"Our surveys have found that there is aluminium cladding on a block at Stadium Place. This cladding is being tested as a matter of urgency. We have employed security personnel who will patrol the block 24 hours a day, until we receive the results of the test. We have written to residents to let them know. We have also notified the fire authority. Our staff are on site to offer guidance and reassurance.

If the test results tell us that the materials pose a fire risk, they will be removed and replaced as soon as possible. If there is an immediate risk to our residents, we will move them to suitable alternative accommodation until we can resolve the problem."

Furthermore, I can also confirm that Waltham Forest Council are following up on residents concerns about the Travelodge next to Walthamstow Central Station and the Scene development on Walthamstow High Street. I will continue to update residents on the information I receive on these issues via this e-newsletter. 

Residents may also be interested in supporting this action along with other Walthamstow neighbours to help a nursery which was based in the Grenfell Tower - you can find more details here."
To subscribe to the Working for Walthamstow newsletter email Stella Creasy MP

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

  • Monday 26th June to Wednesday 28th June - returning to parliament to work on fighting for equality to be a priority in the Queen's Speech - see here for details. 
  • Thursday 29th June - voting on the Queen's Speech and then helping campaign in the William Morris By-election.
  • Friday 30th June - visiting local community projects including Locus Walthamstow. 
  • Saturday 1st July - Holding a drop in advice surgery in Walthamstow town square 2-4pm. Please note this is tbc so please follow Facebook and Twitter for confirmation of venue.

The Government must show it is not willing to use women’s bodies as bargaining chips

Walthamstow CLP women's officer Jade Azim has written in support of the Queen's Speech amendment to secure equal treatment under the NHS in England for women who live in Northern Ireland (more here on this blog). In inews - the online tabloid newspaper from the Independent group - she writes:

"Last week’s Queen’s Speech was delivered by a government that has dragged the DUP – who have wreaked havoc for women and LGBTQ people in Northern Ireland – into the mainstream of British politics. It could be an era in which women’s reproductive rights come under attack – if we let it. 

"But there is nothing more powerful than a group of determined sisters. Stella Creasy MP, supported by progressive MPs and activists from British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas) and UK Friends of Planned Parenthood (UKFPP) are working to do the opposite: use this moment in time –in the 50th anniversary year of the passing of the 1967 Abortion Act – to extend the enshrined rights of women in mainland Britain to Northern Irish women, by tabling an amendment to the Queen’s Speech that would extend NHS cover for abortion procedures to Northern Irish women. 

"The law cuts out the poorest women. Currently, Northern Irish women often have to travel to England to terminate unwanted pregnancies, facing distress and considerable costs that can lock out the poorest women. More than 700 women and girls from Northern Ireland travelled to England in 2016 to access abortion clinics. For many of these women, this journey is desperately expensive. A recent court case was brought to the Supreme Court – narrowly being overturned – by a woman who travelled to England with her mother when she was 15 for an abortion in Manchester. It cost her £900. That’s a £900 price tag on services other British women can rightfully access freely."

Jade is also organiser for UK Friends of Planned Parenthood. She worked with Stella Creasy on the amendment to the Queen’s Speech tabled to call for women from Northern Ireland to have access to free abortions in England.

Read the full article by Jade Azim here
Read Stella Creasy MP in the Guardian here
Contact your MP to support the amendment: My Pledge Her Choice

"Let’s make this moment in British politics a positive one for women’s rights."

Friday, 23 June 2017

Stella Creasy MP coordinates cross-party amendment to NI abortion rights

The Guardian today carries news of a cross-party campaign to bring abortion rights under the NHS for women in Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK. The amendment is coordinated by Stella Creasy Labour MP for Walthamstow, with the support of the Conservative MP Sir Peter Bottomley. It asks the government to consider legislating so women from Northern Ireland have NHS abortion provision when they travel to England to terminate a pregnancy.

The DUP, with whom Theresa May is seeking an agreement to support her minority Conservative government, have historically taken a hard line on abortion, and Northern Ireland has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe. No deal has yet been reached by the Conservatives with the DUP, but Stella Creasy said parties needed assurances not only that any pact with the DUP would not affect current equalities law, but that it would not tie the government’s hands when future legislation was needed.

“In this parliament it is not just a matter of whether hard-won progress on issues like inclusive sex and relationship education or access to services for same-sex couples will be under attack by this coalition, but also what issues don’t get addressed and are ignored. It is vital we do not let the fight for equality be sidelined, as it is clear without action Northern Irish women will pay the price for the government doing a deal to stay in power.”

In the general election earlier this month Stella Creasy was re-elected MP for Walthamstow with a majority of over 32,000 - an increase of more than 8,800 over her majority in the 2015 election.

Read the Guardian article in full here.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

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

  • Saturday 17th June- helping to run the Great Get Together in Walthamstow Town Square. All residents welcome.
  • Sunday 18th June- attending further get togethers and street parties in Walthamstow.
  • Tuesday 20th June- supporting the fight to re-open the Dubs amendment and help refugee children. 
  • Wednesday 21st June- attending the Queens Speech to parliament 
  • Thursday 22nd June- hosting a thank you event for all those who helped with my general election campaign and attending the Walthamstow Labour Party General meeting.