Working for Walthamstow Saturday 2nd March 2019: Brexit Update, Tackling Antisemitism, Walthamstow Central Lift Update, Walthamstow Stories Project, Period Poverty Project, NLWP Consultation, Concrete Phone Boxes, Kashmir Human Rights, RSE Education Debate, E17 Youth Chill Zone
This is the Working For Walthamstow newsletter. I produce it every week to highlight issues of relevance to our area, and to let you know what I'm up to as the MP for Walthamstow.
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Whats on in Walthamstow in the coming days......
Noor Ul Islam Visit My Mosque - Sunday 3 March
Noor Ul Islam invites you to their "Tea & Tour" event at their new mosque and community centre site at 711 - 723 Leyton High Road on Sunday 3rd March between 12-3pm. They hope to give members of the local community an engaging insight into the life of the Mosque and to promote greater understanding of Islam. Please note the entrance is via Skeltons Lane.
Mosque Open Day - Sunday 3rd March
His Eminence Shaykh Ghulam Rabbani and the congregation of Faizan-e-Islam Centre of Excellence on Lea Bridge Road invites all Walthamstow residents to their open day on Sunday 3rd March Between 11am to 5pm. This event is in the spirit of friendship and conversation and is intended to give residents an engaging insight into the life of the mosque and to promote greater understanding of Islam.
Stow Roses visit to East End Womens Museum, Wednesday 6 March
On Wednesday 6th March the local Women's Institute the Stow Roses will be visiting the East End Women's Museum.They hope to open in Barking in 2020. This is not to be confused with the Jack the Ripper version of an East End Women's Museum that was set up in the east end a few years ago. You can join the Stow Roses and book by email
Red Imp gigs- March and April
Local comedy club Red Imp has a number of stand up comedy shows planned, all at the Rose and Crown Pub on Hoe Street. On Wednesday 6th March at 8.30pm will be Nina Conti in Nina and Roy- a new ventriloquist double act, Alife Moore and Alife Joey. Tickets are £12.50. On Thursday 11th April at 8.30pm will be Jo Caulfield- star of Have I Got News for you and Tom Ward- fresh from supporting Joe Lycett on tour. All tickets can be purchased here
Mozart's Requiem - Saturday 9th March
A performance of Mozart's Requiem and Schubert's Mass in B flat by London Forest Choir with the Brandenburg Sinfonia will take place at Chingford Parish Church on Saturday 9th March at 7.30pm. Tickets are £12 in advance from www.londonforestchoir.org or call 07845 156494 and £14 on the door. Students and benefit recipients half price.
Cabaret Shows at the Rose and Crown- Saturday 9 March
There will be three cabaret shows written by local residents on Saturday 9th March at the Rose and Crown Pub on Hoe Street. The first is a new musical cabaret from Emily Davis, who is Welsh in Walthamstow! Come along for the ride as she navigates the London Underground, flatsharing, dating and the five-pound pint! Share in her awe, her joy, and her occasional disdain (which is when she feels the most London). This will run between 6.30-7.30pm and you can get Tickets here.
The second show is Middle-Aged Mermaid and Friends variety show. It's been 25 years! Now divorced, broke and renting in Balham - meet the Middle-Aged Mermaid and her very special London friends. What has she been up to? Will she address her escalating disposophobia? Bring an item you want to upcycle, for her clutter quiz. This will run between 4-6pm and you can get Tickets here.
The final show is Gareth's Dating Disasters. Tired of Tinder? Had it with Hornet? Ghosted on Grinder? You are not alone - come to this fringe musical cabaret and bingo show and join Gareth Edward as he navigates the brave new world of digital dating. You can even dump Gareth by text message at any point during the show! This show will run between 8-10pm and you can get Tickets here.
Rockit Guitar Day - Saturday 9th March
Experience playing in a rock and pop band, prepare a performance, improvise and make some noise at this one day workshop organised by Waltham Forest Music Service. Taking place on Saturday 9th March at Walthamstow School for Girls between 11am to 2pm. Guitarists, bassists, drummers and singers of at least grade one standard are welcome and this event is free thanks to Arts Council funding. More info and booking here.
Fighter workshops - Saturday 23 March/30 March
Fighter is a series of unique, exciting free theatre workshops that celebrate achievements of the radical British female boxers that fought for their right to fight on Saturday 23rd March in Leytonstone and Saturday 30th March in Walthamstow between 12-4pm. The workshops will be led by local resident and writer-performer Libby Liburd, whose new show Fighter premieres at Stratford Circus Arts Centre in March. Each workshop will feature a presentation and boxing masterclass with a female boxer. Participants will write and create their own short scripts and will receive plenty of practical ideas to continue the development of their pieces. Workshop participants will receive a souvenir photograph of themselves in fight gear and ready to rumble! Workshops are open to all and no previous boxing experience is required. Email for more information and book here.
Little Choir of Joy - Saturday 23rd March
There will be a singing workshop for children and their parents followed by a performance given by the Junior Choir organised by Waltham Forest Music Service. All abilities welcome and no singing experience needed, just bring your voice and your enthusiasm! For children aged 6-12 years and their parents and carers. This will take place at the Community Hub on Orford Road between 3-5pm on Saturday 23rd March. This is event is free and the course is fully funded so there is no fee for parents/carers- information and booking here.
Hoe St Market-Sunday 24 March
Find art, gifts, cakes, plants, jewellery, soaps, ceramics, homeware and more from local artists, makers and bakers in the retro paradise of Walthamstow Trades Hall on Sunday 24th March between 12-4pm. Street Food is served in the front car park (next to the petrol station on Hoe St) – buy outside and eat inside with a drink from the very cheap bar! Kid friendly with plenty of seating and space for prams, the address is 17 Hoe St but the entrance is on Tower Hamlets Road (opposite Yard Sale Pizza).
Carefree Kids Charity Quiz Night, Thursday 28 March 7:30pm
Carefree Kids are holding a fun charity quiz night to raise funds on Thursday 28th March from 7.30pm. This is taking place at The Rose and Crown Pub on Hoe Street. To book a place at the quiz night and find out more click here.
Mini Musicians Opera Day - Saturday 30th March
Waltham Forest Music Service is offering a day for local young children to experience live music through sound exploration, singing and movement. The day will include three taster sessions of their popular Mini Musicians Classes for Babies, Toddlers and 4-6 year olds, followed by an interactive ‘Sing Along’ Family Concert. For children aged 0 months to 6 years and their parents and carers, this event will be on Saturday 30th March at the Orford Road Community Hub from 9.45am. This event is free and the course is fully funded so there is no fee for parents/carers. For more information and booking click here.
Where to find me this coming week....
- Monday 4th March - Hosting an exhibition of female artists curated by Barry Bliss in parliament for International Women's Day.
- Tuesday 5th March - attending a meeting regarding the treatment of staff at the National Gallery.
- Thurday 7th March - speaking in the International Women's Day debate in parliament.
- Saturday 9th March - taking part in International Women's Day campaign events for the Labour Party.
Working for Walthamstow - This week's News Updates and How You Can Be Involved....
The Chill Out Zone – New Youth Space at The Mill
A new place to hang out, play games, learn new skills, be creative and chill out after school has been developed for every Friday from 3-6pm at the Mill Community Centre on Coppermill Lane. Taking place during term time from Friday 1 March – Friday 12 July, its a drop in session so no booking is required. For more information please email the organisers.
Brexit: Nothing's Changed and Article 50 Extension Now Possible- Update
This last week saw yet more parliamentary time devoted to Brexit, to little change in the gridlock as to what should happen. The Prime Minister has now promised to hold a second 'meaningful vote' by Tuesday 12th March 2019 at the latest. Should Parliament again reject her deal, she will then table a vote on Wednesday 13th March as to whether to reject a 'no deal' brexit, and if parliament rejects no deal then she will table a vote on agreeing to extend the Article 50 process.
This week I asked Theresa May whether, if her deal is rejected again by parliament, she would then vote herself to reject 'no deal' brexit given the damage the threat of this is doing to our economy. She refused six times in total to answer this question, reflecting how the Prime Minister is using the threat of 'no deal' to try to force Parliament to support her proposals for Brexit. Read my question to the Prime Minister on taking no deal off the table or watch it here.
Also this week the Labour Party leadership committed to supporting a public vote on Brexit, reflecting the growing calls for a referendum on the outcome of the discussions between the UK and the EU given the gridlock in Parliament. I know this will be welcome news to many residents. I will continue to advocate for the public to be involved in Brexit and choosing whether to accept what the Prime Minister has negotiated or whether to remain in Europe.
It is possible that the Prime Minister will call the meaningful vote next week- on either Tuesday 5th March or Wednesday 6th March - depending on the outcomes of her continuing discussions with the European Union. I will continue to update residents via Facebook on the days of debates and votes on Brexit in parliament and provide weekly updates via this e-newsletter.
Tackling Anti-Semitism: Statement
For the third year running, there have been a record number of antisemitism incidents reported in the UK. This equates to more than 100 incidents a month, with growing reports of abusive language and attacks on property owned by Jewish people and organisations. There is also a problem with antisemitism within the Labour movement- as an anti racist party I hold the Labour Party to the highest standards on its action to eradicate this hatred from politics. You can read or watch my contribution to a debate in parliament on this matter, and last Sunday I spoke to the Sophy Ridge Show about this matter. If any local resident concerned about this issue wishes to discuss antisemitism and the Labour movement with me please do get in touch.
Walthamstow Central Lift Update
Transport for London have been in touch about repairs to the lifts at Walthamstow Central and their plans to improve the reliability of the service. This follows repeated complaints about the lift being out of service. TFL engineers have been investigating this and found that the lifting mechanism needed replacing. They are currently replacing this and at the same time carrying out additional extra maintenance to improve the reliability of the lift. This lift should now be back in service and these changes should make the lift more reliable.
Hewing Wittare Walthamstow Stories Art Project
Do you live in or are from E17? Come share your stories and tales of Walthamstow for a local arts project. Your stories will be part of an exhibition and a mapped self-guided tour during the E17 Art Trail June 2019 created by Walthamstow artists Emily Vanns and Georgie White, hosted by Hewing Wittare. They want you to tell them something that has happened in the area that puts it on the map. You can email your stories by Sunday 14 April 2019 and remember to include the location that your story took place.
Tackling Period Poverty: Join The Red Box Project in Walthamstow
Period poverty refers to having a lack of access to sanitary products due to financial constraints. The Red Box Project is a community-based, not-for-profit initiative, which aims to support young people throughout their periods by providing red boxes filled with free period products to local schools. The Waltham Forest Red Box Project has been running for a few months now with 15 volunteer coordinators on board, red boxes in 17 schools and 22 donation points set-up across the Borough. The project would love to hear from local businesses who would like to become a donation point, schools who are yet to receive a red box and anyone who would like to become a volunteer coordinator. Email to find out more.
North London Waste Plan- Consultation on Implementation
The North London Waste Plan covers waste management for the boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest. They are currently consulting on this plan and how it is working out and local residents can take part between Friday 1 March to Friday 12 April. All the background documents can be found on the NLWP website www.nlwp.net. If you have views you can either submit them using the online form on the website www.nlwp.net or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can post your representations to North London Waste Plan, Planning and Regeneration, Camden Town Hall, Judd Street WC1H 9JE.
Walthamstow Central's Concreted Phone Boxes
The concrete encased payphones at Walthamstow Central have been the subject of much discussion for some time, since they first appeared. Whilst not the biggest challenge Walthamstow faces, the failure of British Telecom to either remove or repair them is frustrating and these have been reported on multiple occasions to them. BT have now responded to my queries on this matter with the following update:
"For your background, we have been liaising closely with Waltham Forest Council to design the best possible mix of payphones and InLinks throughout the borough and we agreed, at the councils request, to remove the old payphones at the top of the hill and replace them with an InLink outside the Cycle, Park, Go facility further down Selbourne Road.
Clearly there has been some misalignment between the council and BT, which has seen the council progress with their street upgrade work before these payphones could be removed. Waltham Forest Council, BT and InLink are actively collaborating to ensure these payphones are removed as soon as possible and the site in question will be made good on completion."
Speaking Up for Human Rights in Kashmir: Parliamentary Question
Tension has been escalating in recent weeks between India and Pakistan following a terrorist attack in Kashmir and subsequent airstrikes. This week we secured an urgent question to the UK Foreign Minister responsible for the UK's actions on this matter. I raised with him a concern that the UK should speak up for the human rights of the Kashmiri people. You can read or watch my question.
Safeguarding Every Child: Relationship Education Debate
This week parliament held a debate on the new guidelines put forward by the Government to cover the provision of relationship and sex education in schools. I'm sorry to note from the letters I have received that misinformation has been circulated on this subject - Under the proposals, all pupils will study compulsory health education as well as new reformed relationships education in primary school and then relationships and sex education in secondary school only. The draft guidance – which was last updated in 2000 – will become compulsory in all schools across the country from September 2020.
Parents have the right to remove their children from the secondary school element of these proposals. All education will be age appropriate, with the emphasis for primary school tuition on teaching respect for each other and healthy relationships. I spoke in the debate in parliament on this issue to set out the importance of ensuring young children are given such information by trained professionals- rather than their peers in the playground or from the internet. Read my full speech here or watch a short video.