Comments sought on proposed new swimming pool

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Local residents have been offered the opportunity to view and comment on proposals for a new swimming pool to be built at Wanstead Leisure Centre.

Following a drop-in event on 30th July at Wanstead Library, the plans have been made available on the London Borough of Redbridge website.

As well as a new community pool, the proposals include better leisure facilities, a dance studio, an improved teaching environment at Wanstead High School and improved disabled access for the Leisure Centre and School.

The proposed plans can be viewed here and feedback should be emailed to info.property@redbridge.gov.uk.

Opening date for new M&S revealed

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The new Marks & Spencer Foodhall will be opening on Wanstead High Street at 10.00 on Thursday 23 August 2018.

The store will offer a range of products from the retailer including M&S Detroit Pizzas, veggie Not Dogs and M&S Best Ever Burgers as well as basics such as milk, eggs and cheese.

Customers will be able to access M&S Clothing & Home products via a Collect in Store service. If they order before 22.00 the night before on M&S.com they will be able to opt for next day pick up in the Wanstead store.

“My team and I are really excited about opening in Wanstead and we’ll be working hard to offer outstanding service for customers,” said Claire Benson, Store Manager.

“It’s exciting that the store will bring a bespoke Food offer to Wanstead for the first time and I can guarantee we’ll have all the everyday essentials customers need, as well as seasonal inspiration and innovation.”

“With Collect in Store, from dresses to duvets, busy customers will be able to easily collect and return – with next day pick up available seven days a week.”

“Cutting the ribbon and welcoming customers in for the first time will be a great moment for the team and I hope lots of local customers will pop down and join us.”

The store will be located at 157 High Street, Wanstead, E11 2RL and will be open from 07.00 to 22.00 Monday to Saturday and 09.00 to 19.00 on Sunday.

Children in Redbridge ‘gang affected’

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Thirty-nine percent of children in Redbridge have been identified as “gang affected” in a new report presented to the Council.

The Youth Justice Plan 2018/2019 by Councillor Elaine Norman, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, was discussed at a meeting on 17 July 2018.

The Plan found the number and proportion of young people who are known to be “gang affected” has been increasing since 2014.

In 2014/2015 the percentage was 10.6 while in 2017/2018 it was 39.2.  Reasons for the increasing trend were described as “due mainly to better police intelligence and identification of cases”.

The Borough has a statutory duty to formulate, implement and publish an Annual Youth Justice Plan which sets out how Youth Justice Services will be provided and funded.  The report must also set out how the Youth Offending Service will be composed and resourced.

The Plan identified priorities for 2018/2019 which included maintaining the low level of young people entering the youth justice system, supporting vulnerable young people from re-offending and strengthening collaborative work on serious youth violence, child sexual exploitation, knife crimes and gangs work.

Statutory partners involved in the delivery of the Youth Justice Plan include the Metropolitan Police, the Probation/National Offender Management Service, The Connexions Team, the Mental Health and Well-being Service and North East London Foundation Trust.

The Redbridge Youth Justice Plan 2018/2019 will now be submitted to the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales.

Flat fire on Hermon Hill

Updated: 18.53

Latest update

The London Fire Brigade have reported that the fire is now under control but crews will be “damping down hotspots for some time”.

Previous updates

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Picture courtesy of London Fire Brigade

There are now ten fire engines and 72 firefighters and officers at the scene of the flat fire in Wanstead. Part of a third floor flat and the roof are alight.

Ten people left the building before the Fire Brigade arrived.  There are currently no reports of any injuries.

Four fire engines and 21 firefighters and officers have been called to a fire in a flat on Hermon Hill in Wanstead according to the London Fire Brigade.

Part of a third floor flat is currently alight. Fire crews from Woodford, Leyton, Leytonstone and Stratford Fire stations are at the scene. The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Central Line noise between Wanstead and Leytonstone

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In response to a query from The Wanstead Post about the continuing screaming noise when trains travel between Wanstead and Leytonstone, London Underground’s Director of Asset Operations, Peter McNaught, said:

“We understand the importance of minimising noise levels on the tube and we are determined to do more to achieve this.

“We have carried out a huge programme of work and spent over £200 million replacing and grinding over 500km of track and installing over 11,000 new shock absorbent fixings across all of our Night Tube lines, which help reduce the sound when trains run over them. We are also actively exploring other options to reduce noise levels even further such as installing noise barriers and noise dampening pads as well as ensuring new rail infrastructure incorporates noise reduction technology.

“As we continue carrying out all this work I encourage anyone affected by noise to contact our dedicated customer services line, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We will then send our engineers to investigate and work out how we can reduce the noise most effectively.”

Popular music festival returns

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Music in Wanstead Park will take place on Saturday 14 July 2018 after the festival was taken over by new organisers.

The event features musical cabaret artist Tricity Vogue (and her all girl swing band), jazz/soul/blues singer Toby Corton and instrumental three piece Forty Elephant Gang as well as live bands from Wanstead High School and the Sing Up Choir.

Food and drink will be provided by CHAOS children’s charity, Time For Tea, The Wanstead Tap, Burgess & Hall and Maud’s Ice Cream.

Family tickets are available priced at £34 for two adults and two children.  Adult tickets cost £12 while children are £6, under 3s are free.

Further information can be found at: https://www.musicinwansteadpark.co.uk/

Local Authorities to be notified of rates of stability for children in care

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The Children’s Commissioner for England has published a report tracking the experience of children in care.

The Stability Index gathered data from local authorities in England to assess how frequently children in care were changing home, school or social worker over the course of a year.

The report found that most children in care experienced some kind of instability in one form or another throughout the course of a year with almost 2,400 children (6% of children in care attending school) changing home, school or social worker in 2016/17.

The Index revealed that some children experienced several types of instability within the same year while some also experienced repeated instability over two years.

Over 3,000 children (6% of those in care in both 2015/16 and 2016/17) experienced four or more placement moves over two years including 1,300 (3% of those in care in both 2015/16 and 2016/17) who experienced multiple placement moves in both years.

Among children in care who were enrolled at school, around 1,600 (4%) experienced a school move two years in a row.

“Every day I hear from ‘pinball kids’ who are being pinged around the care system when all they really want is to be settled and to get on with normal life,” commented Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England.

“These children need stability, yet far too many are living unstable lives, in particular children entering care in their early teens. This puts them at greater risk of falling through the gaps in the education system and opens them up to exploitation by gangs or to abuse.”

“I want all local authorities to make reducing instability a priority and to measure it. I would also like to see Ofsted assessing the stability of children in care as part of their inspections and for the Department for Education to start asking for data on this in their annual returns from Local Authorities.”

Following publication of the report, the Children’s Commissioner will be writing to every Director of Children’s Services and every Lead Member for Children’s Services to notify them of their local area’s rates of stability. She will also ask them to adopt the Stability Index as a tool for identifying areas of concern and for measuring progress and improvement.