Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Climate Change

Lee Scott MP, Harry Cohen MP and Cllr Hugh Cleaver receiving a Climate Change Calendar from Flipside VisionIf you didn’t make it to the event on Saturday you may wish to read the BBC write up on the Stern Report issued yesterday. Click here.

I can’t help wondering though. There is the scientific “Goldilocks theory”. There are all sorts of parameters that are “just right” for life on this planet. Fossil fuels are the product of natural processes that have taken billions of years to create. We Jean Lambert MEP receiving a Climate Change Calendar from Flipside Visionhave used most of it up in a couple of hundred. It’s running out, Peak Oil is now predicted in less than two years. So, there is a limit to the amount of carbon we can pump into the atmosphere. The big question is this. Is there enough fossil fuel left to tip the balance into catastrophic Climate Change?
There have been five major extinction events in the history of this planet. Yes, Five. Life goes on, it just may not include us.

Firework Display

fire work set against the night skyWanstead Rugby Football Club
Sunday 5th November 2006
7pm
Entry £3 per head
[stout weatherproof footwear is recommended]
Map.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Fairlop Wind

wind turbinesNo! I’m not talking about Ron Jeffries video interview with the Wanstead and Woodford Guardian. [It’s 10MB, so if you have a slow connection don’t bother clicking the link]. Nor am I talking about the Council Chamber or any of the Fairlop Councillors.
I refer to the suggestion that Fairlop Waters is an ideal site for a Wind Farm. Sure, it will have a visual impact but whether it would be unsightly is another matter. Look at those massive brick built viaducts across the Yorkshire dales. They are listed and are valued as a marvellous feat of Victorian engineering. And think of those wonderful nostalgic pictures of banks of windmills across the Dutch plains.
This could be a nice little earner for the Council and pay for the improvements to the sports and leisure facilities we all want to see there. Not only that, this site has seen propellers before; a fitting tribute to the airmen who served at RAF Fairlop? [Make sure you have the sound turned on if you click this link.]
What do you think? Post a comment or drop us a line.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Repeat Offender

rain forestAs I said in an earlier blog, Greenpeace can be a bit naughty at times but as a watchdog they take some beating. Yet again they have found illegal timber [as defined by our government] in the corridors of power. Even green Ken has had to admit to using illegal plywood on the works at Nelson's Column.
Also as I said before, I'm sure our politicians don't do this on purpose, but there is something wrong. You can't just set policy and expect it to happen. You have to follow it through.
Maybe our politicains [sic!] should be required to take a stint in the Civil Service responsible for implementing their own policies??

Energy Efficiency Week 2006

a plug and socket You’ve got the energy saving light bulbs, you don’t leave anything on standby, you’ve bought “A rated” appliances. Well at home anyway. But what about at work??
Those of you old enough to remember the 3-day week may also remember that offices still functioned 5 days a week. You didn’t really need the lights on and there were no thingies on the desk like computers, mobile phone chargers etc. Just the mechanical plus-adder. And tills were mechanical too, so the shops, and more importantly the pubs, were still open.
Nowadays, it’s all electrical, and its costing not just the environment but business dearly on the bottom line. Research shows that much of it is wasted. Some workplaces use almost as much energy when the building is empty.
In Homebase, Walthamstow, there is a sensor in the customer toilets. It switches the light on when someone is present, and off when not.
The Carbon Trust is there precisely to help small and medium size firms cut their emissions and in the process help their bottom line. Not only good sense but good business. Are you the boss? Click the link! Are you an employee? Tell your boss to click the link!
See also the beebs “How green is your office.

Monday, October 23, 2006

London Borough of Redbridge

Press Release and Briefing – Fairlop Waters

The London Borough of Redbridge has great pleasure in announcing that they have exchanged contracts with the Administrators of Norham Multi Leisure Ltd late last week and the lease of Fairlop Waters has been surrendered to the Council.
Leader of the Council, Cllr. Alan Weinberg said “the whole Council are delighted that that this valuable site, covering over 300 acres of the Borough, will be back in the Council's direct control for the first time in over 20 years."
At an extraordinary meeting of the Council on Wednesday 18th October Council Officers were given authority to conclude negotiations with Grant Thornton, the Administrators who have operated the site for the last year. The Council reached this decision unanimously.
The content and detail of the agreement with Grant Thornton are confidential but one of the principal implications is that the planning appeal and enquiry over the proposal to build a London City Race course at Fairlop Waters will now not take place. Cllr. Weinberg commented “this proposal was never popular with local people, was opposed by the Council, and never seemed to be in the interests of Redbridge, We have stopped the plan in its tracks.”
The surrender of the Lease will give the Council full control of Fairlop Country Park and its associated facilities, It brings to a conclusion an unsatisfactory relationship with a lessee who has not shared the Council's vision for Fairlop. The Council will now seek to maximise the leisure and recreational potential for the facilities, and also its overall potential in terms of the wider regeneration agenda for the borough.
Clir Weinberg added “the acquisition of the Lease meets the Council's ambitions, and vision of making Redbridge a better place to live ...we will improve the site and its facilities for the local community.”
The Council will complete the agreement and take possession of the site on Monday 6th November. Existing staff will transfer to the Council, who will operate the existing facilities on site. The Council are currently looking at the infrastructure and operation of the site before making any decisions on its future.
The Council intends to consult the local community fully in all aspects of the site's future potential use and development. The Council will study in detail the surveys it has commissioned and carefully develop any feasibility and development plans in an open and transparent way. The Council will operate the facility in broadly the same manner as current for a period of a minimum of 4 months while it reviews all possible options. The Council's aim is to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and overall standards of the Country Park and its facilities.

Editors' notes:

Fairlop Waters form part of Fairlop Plain, which was purchased by the Council in 1955.
The facilities at Fairlop Waters include a Country Park, an 18-hole golf course, a 9 hole Par 3 course and driving range, a 40-acre lake, children's' amusements and activities in Al’s Adventure House, and a Club House including a bar/restaurant.
A 125 year lease of the site was granted in February 1985 to Norstead Leisure (subsequently Norham Multi-Leisure now in administration). The Council financed the construction of the 18-hole golf course, Lake and Country Park, Par 3 course and Driving Range. Norham built the Activity Centre and converted an existing building to form AI's Adventure House at their expense.
The relationship has, over the years, become unsatisfactory, largely due to differing perceptions about the development potential of the site. This culminated in Norham's decision to seek to build a racecourse on the site, permission for which was refused. The Secretary of State subsequently turned down Norham's appeal against this decision. A further application was also refused, and the appeal was due to be heard in January 2007.
The nature of the site is well known; much of the western area was filled with household refuse between the late 1950's and the early 1980's, and the Council has been monitoring methane gas on the site for a number of years. The main purpose of monitoring is to check that there is no significant lateral migration of landfill gases in the ground through permeable strata to target buildings outside the landfill.
The proposal to bring back the lease of this site into Council ownership will end the existing arrangements that have been increasingly unsatisfactory in recent years. A surrender of the lease will give the Council vacant possession of an asset that would otherwise remain in the lessees' occupation for about another 100 years.
This will provide the Council with an opportunity to review the facilities in the short, medium and long term for the benefit of the local Community.
There are many advantages in the council directly managing the facilities in the short term. This will put the whole site, including the Sailing Centre, under one management structure. This will also give the Council further options for developing sporting activities in preparation for the Olympic Games in 2012.
The Council already has a managed golf facility at Hainault Forest. Participation in golf is growing and increasingly more young people are participating as the sport becomes more affordable. Fairlop Waters could provide greater opportunities at a competitive price that would be accessible to all and in the medium term make a financial contribution to the authority.

News Release - Fairlop Waters

Aldborough Hatch Defence Association
Release immediate: 23rd October 2006

Residents congratulate Council on taking back the lease of Fairlop Waters and giving undertaking to improve the facilities for the local community.

In a joint statement today, Ron Jeffries, Chairman, Aldborough Hatch Defence Association, and John Sharrock, Chairman, Barkingside 21, said: “We congratulate Redbridge Council on taking back the lease for Fairlop Waters from the administrators of Norham Multi Leisure Ltd.
“We are particularly pleased to note that the Leader of the Council has stated publicly that the Council will now take full control of all the facilities at Fairlop Waters. It is very good news that the Council will not seek to sell the lease to another developer, but that they will improve the site and its facilities for the local community. That is precisely what we have been fighting for over the past eight years.
“We would wish to pay tribute to the Councillors who have supported our determination to retain this much valued stretch of Green Belt.
“We note that the Council intend to consult with the local community. Our two organisations will be pleased to work with the Council to ensure that developments at Fairlop Waters benefit local people.
“We would invite the Council to consider improving the facilities at the sailing lake – where a new boathouse and modern changing facilities are desperately needed for families, schools and youth groups. An extension of the country park to take in land released from gravel extraction would be welcomed – with an information and visitors’ centre that could be used by schools and families alike. An enlarged golf clubhouse and family restaurant would enhance the facilities for community use. Improvements such as these would not only be valued by Redbridge residents, but would also attract visitors, schools and youth groups from neighbouring Boroughs and bring additional income to the Council.
“We would welcome the development of sporting activities in preparation for the Olympic Games in 2012 – provided the openness of the Green Belt is not compromised in any way.
“In congratulating the Council, we trust that they will have the vision to take this once in a lifetime opportunity to ensure that Fairlop Waters is developed for the benefit of the whole community and that the Green Belt is retained for generations to come.”
Ron Jeffries
[Ron can be contacted via the Barkingside 21 email]

Eight-year saga of the London City Racecourse

Aldborough Hatch Defence Association
1985: Redbridge Council signed lease for Fairlop Waters for 125 years with Norstead Leisure.
1998: Plans for an all-weather racecourse at Fairlop Waters first revealed in the national press.
1999: Wiggins Group PLC – who then held the lease - revealed plans showing a link road from Painters Road to the A12 across Aldborough Hall Farm and the closure of the top end of Aldborough Road North on race days. A helicopter pad and hotels were also envisaged. At a standing room only public meeting in October in Aldborough Hatch residents firmly against racecourse.
2000: Redbridge Council’s Planning Sub-committee rejected the application for the London City Racecourse – from which the link road, helicopter pad and hotels had been removed. Wiggins appeal.
2001: Public Inquiry held in May at Ilford Town Hall.
2002: Wiggins won appeal, but the inspector’s decision was reversed by the Deputy Prime Minister in July on the grounds that this was an inappropriate development in the Green Belt. Wiggins threatened to go to judicial review.
2003: Wiggins withdrew application for judicial review in June – and would submit a revised planning application.
2004: Planestation – Wiggins’ successors – submitted a revised planning application in June – with the grandstand capacity reduced from 20,000 to 8,500.Redbridge Council’s Regulatory Committee rejected the planning application in November - Planestation to appeal.
2005: Planestation went into liquidation in July 2005 following the collapse of its budget airline EUjet. Grant Thornton, the administrators, indicated that they will go ahead with the appeal but date for the Pubic Inquiry is delayed at their request by the Planning Inspectorate.
2006: The Planning Inspectorate announced that the Public Inquiry will be held from 9th January 2007, with the Pre-Inquiry Meeting on 23rd October.Redbridge Council met on 18th October in closed session and agreed to buy back the Lease for Fairlop Waters from the administrators.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Whipps Cross Hospital Crisis

Whipps X Hospital

Woodford Public Meeting
Thursday 26 October 8.00pm
Sir James Hawkey Hall,
Broomhill Rd,
Woodford Green.



Forum with Panel including :
Dr Indira Mootoosamy BMA chair of LNG Whipps Cross consultant radiologist,
Norma Dudley, AMICUS Waltham Forest health visitor,
Charlotte Monro UNISON, Whipps Cross Staff Side,
Dr Sanjoy Kumar Waltham Forest Local GP.

For more details and meetings in Waltham Forest contact the campaign here.

Meeting called by Ian Duncan Smith MP and Keep our NHS Public Waltham Forest Campaign

Friday, October 20, 2006

Fairlop Waters

campaigners sit by the lake discussing tacticsThose of you on our email list will have received a Press Release from Ron Jeffries, chair of the Aldborough Hatch Defence Association.
In short, there was an EGM of full council on Wednesday 18th October 2006 to discuss the handing back of the lease of Fairlop Waters by Messrs Grant Thornton, [the administrators for Planestation] to the London Borough of Redbridge [the freeholder].
We have learned today from the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol and the Redbridge Planning Department that the pre-inquiry meeting on 23rd October 2006 and the Public Inquiry scheduled to commence on 9th January 2007 have been cancelled.
This looks like very good news, but we are waiting for the ink to dry.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Climate Change Event - Update & Reminder

The British Isles at the High Water markSaturday 28th October 2006
Fullwell Cross Library
1:00pm –3:00pm
doors open 12:30pm
tea served until 3:30pm

Speakers:
Chris Church, Community Environment Associates
Jo Abbess, Poole, Agenda 21
Lee Scott MP, Ilford North
Harry Cohen MP, Leyton & Wanstead
Jean Lambert MEP, Greater London
Cllr Hugh Cleaver, Redbridge Council

Plus a Climate Change exhibition and displays.


This event is aimed at those who:

a) don't do protest and marches but nevertheless wish to register their concern on this issue,
b) wish to find out more, what it means to them and their children, their business, livelihood and lifestyle, and
c) most importantly wish to know what they can do to help mitigate the impact.
We hope to see you there.

Local "Give or Take" day

Organised as part of “Make a difference week”.
A partnership between Forest Recycling Project, London Borough of Redbridge and Barkingside 21.
Saturday 21st October 2006
12 noon to 3pm
at Fullwell Cross Library, High Street, Barkingside.

A chance to clear out all your unwanted items which someone else could use and bring them along on the day. A chance to find a much needed thing that someone else does not want.
Free collection and delivery of large items.
For collection on 20th October call 020 8539 3856.

What you can give.Toys, baby items, books, bikes, kitchenware, paint[re-usable], small electrical items, furniture, plants, garden tools and equipment, bric-a-brac etc..
Please do not give clothes, hazardous & toxic chemicals.

What you can take.What you want and can use, BUT please leave something for others.

Also the Police Safer neighbourhood team and Redbridge Fire service will be giving safety advice plus other information stalls.

Burglary

This time last year saw a big increase in the incidence of residential burglaries in Redbridge directly after the clocks changed at the end of October and it got darker earlier. Most of these burglaries were executed by forcing entry at the rear of houses. Police advice is to make sure that your side or rear entrances, gates etc. are secure and if you have lights on timer switches please make sure that you have some at the rear of the house as well. Even if your perimeter is reasonably secure your neighbours may not. Burglars are quite agile and think nothing of jumping over several fences after watching which lights come on and which don’t as people arrive home from work.The Barkingside crime prevention team on 020 8345 3406 [answerphone] are quite happy to pay you a visit and advise on home security measures.

Car Crime

Number Plates
The theft of car number plates is a growing crime. The police now have automatic cameras that record number plates and check if that car is taxed and insured. That’s why they are valuable to someone with no tax and insurance as well as the obvious of avoiding parking, speeding and congestion charge fines. Most number plates are merely screwed onto the car, all a thief needs is a screwdriver and a few seconds. The Police recommend that number plates are glued onto the car with an appropriate mastic or fixed using screws designed so that they cannot be unscrewed with a screwdriver. All available from your local DIY store.
Alternatively, there is a new company in Goodmayes, recommended by the Crime Prevention Office, who will rivet new plates onto your car for around £50, at your home. These are aluminium plates that merely bend if an attempt is made to pull them off, instead of break like the usual plastic ones. Replacement plastic plates would cost around £37, as well as all the hassle of trying to convince the authorities that those fines are not yours.
Tele 0208 599 6391, Website http://www.secure-plates.co.uk/

Theft from Vehicles
Another growing crime. SatNavs are the most popular target but thieves have been known to break a window just for a packet of cigarettes. When you leave your car please make sure there is nothing left inside and on show. Leaving a SatNav holder on the dashboard or even a sucker ring on the windscreen where the SatNav holder has been fixed means that a thief may break in to look in the glove compartment. Please also therefore do not leave anything valuable in your glove compartment.

Blue Badges
There is currently a roaring trade on the UK black market for Blue Badges. As well as all the hassle of repairing a broken window it can take up to six weeks to replace a blue badge leaving owners seriously compromised whenever they need to park their cars. The Police recommend a Blue Badge Protector, a steel case secured to the steering wheel by a steel cable with a lock, costing from £15.99 + p&p.
Tele 01704 512225, website http://www.bluebadgeprotector.co.uk/