Waltham Forest London Borough Council

All of the seats in Waltham Forest were up for election this year. Find out more about these elections.

Election 2018 Results

LAB HOLD
Party Elected in 2018 Total councillors Change

PartyLabour

Elected in 2018 46 Total councillors 46 Change+2

PartyConservative

Elected in 2018 14 Total councillors 14 Change-2
Councillors change compared with 2014

Most Recent

More roads to be shut temporarily around schools

Local Democracy Reporting Service

The number of Waltham Forest roads temporarily closed to traffic during the school run will more than triple after schools reopen.

Waltham Forest Council is re-introducing its “School Streets” scheme, restoring the two schemes already set up, two that were postponed and adding five more as soon as possible.

The council recognises parents may be nervous about taking public transport in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic but hopes to encourage a “new normal” of walking and cycling.

Affected roads will be closed to non-residential traffic between 08:30-09:15 and 15:00-16:00 in term time, which residents have previously warned could inconvenience the elderly and disabled.

Deputy leader Clyde Loakes said the council were "working hard to make sure this can happen from when schools begin to reopen.

“We have seen more and more people walking and cycling as they responded to the challenges of life during lockdown. We want to see that positive behaviour change carry through as the lockdown eases."

Prior to lockdown measures, George Mitchell Primary School in Leyton and a number of schools on Marsh Lane in Walthamstow had schemes in place.

Two schemes postponed by the lockdown – around Henry Maynard Primary School in Walthamstow and The Jenny Hammond Primary School in Leytonstone – will also be put in place.

Residents near Henry Maynard Primary School expressed concerns about the planned scheme in early March, arguing the elderly and disabled sometimes relied on cabs to get to hospital.

Tony Rath, of Brunswick Street, said he felt the council was assuming all residents were “youngish with cars”.

Residents are still free to drive on the affected roads and carers, emergency services, staff at the school or local businesses and blue badge holders will also be exempt.

The council stated its existing schemes produced an improvement in road safety and air quality, while reducing anti-social behaviour like inconsiderate parking.

Illegal 'squat rave' dispersed over bank holiday

Local Democracy Reporting Service

An illegal rave in an east London squat was broken up by police over the bank holiday weekend.

More than 80 people were turned away by security guards before police turned up to clear the property in Leytonstone on Saturday night, a spokesperson for Waltham Forest Council said.

A council spokesperson said: “Over the bank holiday weekend, the council was made aware of a squatted commercial premises being used to hold an illegal gathering.

“Waltham Forest Council’s enforcement officers have since followed this up with an abatement notice and will continue to monitor the situation.”

A total of 270 groups were dispersed by enforcement officers over the long weekend, according to a previous statement from the council.

Footpath widening in Waltham Forest announced

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Waltham Forest Council is widening the borough’s footpaths to make social distancing easier for pedestrians and cyclists.

Parking bays in four busy areas were temporarily suspended at the start of May and the Council is “investigating a number of other locations” that could follow suit.

Measures are currently in place in Leyton High Road and Church Lane, Wood Street, Cann Hall Road and Higham Hill Road.

Where possible, parking for the disabled, businesses or deliveries will continue to operate.

Waltham Forrest calls for more government support

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Refuse collector in Waltham Forest
Getty Images

Waltham Forest Council expects to be “fully reimbursed” by the government as its coronavirus losses reach £20m.

Council leader Clare Coghill said it had been “given assurances” by the government and that it was vital they “follow through on the commitment”.

The council has spent on support for vulnerable residents, taking rough sleepers off the street and other measures, while receiving less income from council tax, business rates and its gyms and pools.

A report presented to cabinet’s first virtual meeting estimated the council could lose around £40m, although this figure could change depending on the length of the lockdown.

Ms Coghill said: “Local councils will have a key role in rebuilding our local economy and providing services to help residents adapt to the changes Covid-19 is bringing to our society."

'Full reimbursement'

Since the beginning of the pandemic last month, the council’s expenditure has increased by £5.9m as it supports vulnerable residents.

So far, it has lost £13.7m in income, including gyms, business rates and a significant fall in council tax as more residents need financial support.

On 19 March, it received more than £7.5m from the government as part of a £1.6bn scheme.

A further £1.6bn will be sent to local authorities across the country in May but allocations for each council have yet to be confirmed.

If Waltham Forest Council receives the same proportion of this funding again, it will receive less than half the amount it expects to lose.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government did not confirm whether councils had been promised full reimbursement.

“The Secretary of State has announced £3.2 billion of funding for councils to support their response to the pandemic.

“This new funding will support them through immediate pressures faced by councils to respond to coronavirus and protect vital services.”

'Non-essential businesses still trying to trade' in lockdown

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Council enforcement officers are still finding non-essential businesses that have failed to close – three weeks after the lockdown was introduced.

This weekend, Waltham Forest Council enforcement officers shut down two barbers that were still operating in the Leyton area.

Another business in Forest Road, Walthamstow was also shut down, as the council reminds owners that only those deemed essential are allowed to stay open.

Government guidance states that “hairdressers, barbers, beauty and nail salons, including piercing and tattoo parlours” should all close, with no exceptions offered.

Small businesses can apply to Waltham Forest Council for a grant to help financially support them during the lockdown.

Borough's parks to close early blaming 'selfish' minority

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Waltham Forest’s deputy leader Clyde Loakes blamed a “selfish” minority for the council’s decision to close all parks in the evening from today.

After previously restricting only Sidmouth and Langthorne Park, the council will now close all parks every evening until further notice.

The borough’s parks will only be open from 09:00 until 18:00 after reports of people sunbathing, playing sports, picnicking or drinking.

The council encourages residents to only use parks for exercise such as walking or running and council officers, contractors and police will patrol parks while they are open to enforce the rules.

Cllr Clyde Loakes, deputy leader and member for environment, said: “We have been urging residents to adhere to social distancing and not leave their home unless absolutely necessary – there is clear guidance available on this.

“We are pleased that most of our residents have been following this guidance; however, there is a small minority that don’t seem to want to listen.

Schools donate 1,000 pieces of PPE to NHS

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Thousands of pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) have been donated to local hospitals in Redbridge and Waltham Forest.

Whipps Cross hospital staff with donations
Sam Jones

Every secondary school in Waltham Forest has donated to Whipps Cross Hospital, according to one head teacher.

Woodbridge High School in Woodford alone donated 360 pairs of goggles to Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust.

NHS staff are facing shortages of vital personal protective equipment, such as masks, gloves and aprons, to prevent them catching and spreading Covid-19.

On 31 March, the headteacher of Kelmscott School in Walthamstow, Sam Jones, said: “Over 1k more goggles gratefully received by @WhippsCrossHosp today. “Donations from every secondary school in the borough. An astounding team effort.”

Medical physicist Adam Gibson added: “Stunning to see how Waltham Forest schools are pulling together to help the local hospital out."

Waltham Forest Council had previously called on local businesses, such as butchers and nail salons, to donate any spare equipment they could.

Two London councils trying to house all rough sleepers

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Waltham Forest and Redbridge councils say they are working hard to house all their rough sleepers after new coronavirus instructions from the government.

Last week, local councils were asked by the government to find housing for rough sleepers by the weekend to allow them to self-isolate and prevent the spread of the pandemic.

Redbridge Council, which previously allowed an Ilford day centre to remain open to support rough sleepers, has now set up a “special facility” at the Ryedale Care Centre.

Waltham Forest Council, meanwhile, is “working hard” to find accommodation for all rough sleepers and encourages residents to notify Streetlink if they see anyone still sleeping rough.

Figures from the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (Chain) show there were more than 100 rough sleepers in Redbridge at the end of last year.

Cabinet member for housing and homelessness Cllr Farah Hussain said on Friday that staff were “working around the clock” to house everyone.

Council to stop roadworks during pandemic

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Waltham Forest aims to shut down all roadworks tomorrow due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Residents had previously criticised the council for continuing to allow construction workers to work on road improvement schemes, including the “Mini-Holland”.

Work will continue in order to secure the sites and make them safe for residents before stopping until further notice.

Workers will still be allowed to do “essential reactive maintenance” such as telecoms, electric, gas or water works, according to a council statement.