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

  1. Millions for Redbirdge Council to tackle homelessness

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Redbridge Council has been awarded almost £4m by the government to help the homeless, more than eight times the amount given to neighbouring Waltham Forest Council.

    The bulk of the funding, almost £2.5m, will be used to build 26 studio flats for the homeless, 18 at the Ryedale hostel in Ilford and a further eight at a site yet to be decided.

    The council will use the remaining money supporting people in the short-term between now and March next year.

    Waltham Forest Council was awarded £455,387 of short-term funding and no long-term funding.

    The council was asked to comment on this decision and declined to do so.

    Redbridge council leader Cllr Jas Athwal said the extra funding was “certainly welcome news” and will “provide stability for some of our most vulnerable residents”.

  2. London areas to receive Covid-19 mass testing kits

    Twenty one areas in London are to get mass testing for coronavirus.

    The kits, which can deliver results within 15 minutes, are being rolled out to select areas across the country.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the tests would help to detect asymptomatic cases.

    The areas in London getting the kits are:

    Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Brent, Camden, City of London, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston upon Thames, Lambeth, Lewisham, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Wandsworth.

  3. Fly-tipper fined for dumping rubbish in Chingford street

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    A fly tipper was fined hundreds of pounds for dumping rubbish in the street – and then people sent to remove it were fined hundreds more because they did not have a licence to do so.

    Waltham Forest Council officers investigated the enormous mound of rubbish containing mattresses, armchairs and other bulky pieces of furniture in Russell Road, Chingford, yesterday morning.

    The officers gave the “guilty party” responsible for the fly tip a fixed penalty notice of £400, according to a tweet posted by Waltham Forest Council.

    A van hired to remove the items arrived while officers were there and those inside were also fined £300 because they did not have a waste carrier licence.

    Businesses that transport and dispose of waste need to have a waste carrier licence and can be fined up to £5,000 if they do not.

    The licence costs £154 and may need to be renewed every three years, at a cost of £105 each time.

    All the items have since been cleared from the street.

    The council encourages residents to report fly-tipping on its website and aims to remove the rubbish within 24 hours of each report.

  4. Mural divides Leyton residents

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Leyton high street mural

    Waltham Forest residents are divided on whether the new mural on Leyton High Road is cheerful and unique or a distracting waste of money.

    The colourful design above shop fronts in Leyton High Road, between Sedgewick Road and Murchison Road, was designed by artist Camille Walala.

    The project cost £40,000 in total, of which £25,000 was provided by the Mayor of London while the remainder came from crowdfunding.

    Responding to a call for opinions from local residents, Shah Ahmed said: “They are very gimmicky, all these shops need is a clean up and regular cleaning.

    “The council should be spending time and money on the public realm.”

    Jo Eliana added: “I like modernism but this is too loud and busy for me. It’s too high contrast and uncomfortable to look at; visual sensory overload.”

    Donna East said: “It’s a no for me, I liked what they did when it was the Olympics but this is a bit too much.”

    However, others appreciated the pop of colour on the High Street, created using recycled paint from the Forest Recycling Project.

    Helen O’Brien said: “I love it. It brightens up what was a drab series of shop fronts. More of this please.”

    The project was completed with the help of local businesses such as Deeney’s and Wood Street Walls.

  5. Flammable cladding to be removed from tower block

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Work has finally begun to replace dangerous flammable cladding on a housing block in Waltham Forest.

    Residents at Gallery Court in Fulbourne Road, Walthamstow, were horrified to discover that their building was covered in flammable cladding in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy.

    The building’s owner, Sanctuary Housing, agreed to replace the cladding at no cost to the residents, but the plans to do so were only finalised early this year, three years after it was first discovered.

    Work to replace the cladding, originally planned for March, began on 15 June and is not expected to end until next year.

    A spokesperson for Sanctuary Housing said: “Our plans to remove and replace the cladding at Gallery Court were finalised early in 2020 and work was due to begin at the end of March.

    “Although this original date had to be delayed due to the introduction of additional safety measures as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we can confirm that our contractors started work on site on Monday, 15 June.”

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Waltham Forrest calls for more government support

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Refuse collector in Waltham Forest

    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.”

  10. '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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Abandoned cinema to be restored

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Pile of broken seats inside the small cinema screen

    These pictures show what is left of a cinema that was once the haunt of legendary director Alfred Hitchcock and a stage for world-famous acts like the Beatles.

    The former EMD cinema in Hoe Street, Walthamstow, is now pockmarked by water damage and pigeon droppings, with peeling paint and ripped up seats a shadow of its once glamorous interior.

    It is set to be restored to a 1,000 capacity theatre by Waltham Forest Council – but recent work revealed the extent of the damage to the Art Deco building.

    In January, Waltham Forest Council approved a budget of £25 million, £5 million more than they had originally planned to spend. Construction costs rose after a survey carried out in spring last year uncovered asbestos, leaks and corrosion to concealed steelwork.

    A report presented to the council’s cabinet noted that some risks “are yet to materialise” and the level of repairs needed for a “90-year-old semi-disused historic building” are unknown.

    A contingency allowance of £2,893,000 has been set aside in case of other possible problems, such as party wall and boundary issues, discovery of further asbestos and the impact of Brexit.

    The Granada opened in 1930 and was the second purpose-built picture house of its kind to open, after the Granada Dover.

    It was frequented by Alfred Hitchcock, who was born in Leytonstone.

    The main auditorium showing pigeon droppings on seats
  16. Residents with learning difficulties die 'decades earlier'

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Waltham Forest residents with learning disabilities are dying decades earlier than average, often from preventable and treatable conditions.

    Data from the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review Programme shows residents with learning disabilities in the borough have an average life expectancy of 57 for men and 55 for women.

    This means, on average, men with learning disabilities are dying 22 years earlier and women are dying 29 years earlier than their non-disabled counterparts.

    A report presented to the adult social care scrutiny committee read: “These deaths are not always due to complex co-morbidities but frequently to do with preventable and treatable conditions.”

    Almost a third of deaths in people with a learning disability were due to respiratory conditions, while almost a fifth were caused by circulatory system diseases.

    The NHS Long Term Plan aims to reduce these preventable deaths by improving the uptake of annual health checks.

    Waltham Forest Council chose not to comment on life expectancy among people with learning disabilities, stating the meeting was intended to examine their life chances.