David Bruck candidate statement

David Bruck

On Thursday 5 May 2022 local elections are being held in all 32 London boroughs including Redbridge.

To learn more about those standing for election, The Wanstead Post has asked candidates to contribute a short personal statement.  Below is the profile provided by David Bruck who is standing for the Liberal Democrats in Wanstead Park Ward:

“Before retirement most of David’s working life was spent with P&O Cruises both at sea and in their London offices, including as P&O Travel as Manager of Passport and Visa Services.

His interests include long-term support for the EU and public transport.  He was a member of the London Regional Passengers Committee (now London Travelwatch) for eight years as well as serving on their Sub-Committee for passengers with disabilities.”

Janet Cornish candidate statement

Janet Cornish

On Thursday 5 May 2022 local elections are being held in all 32 London boroughs including Redbridge.

To learn more about those standing for election, The Wanstead Post has asked candidates to contribute a short personal statement.  Below is the profile provided by Janet Cornish who is standing for the Liberal Democrats in Wanstead Park Ward:

“Janet Cornish has lived in Wanstead for 50 years where she a local teacher of maths and computer studies.

Janet and her husband, Alan, were heavily involved with the Friends of Wanstead Parklands. She has a passion for Green spaces, which are vital for all of us.

Janet says we should consider how we can help refugees who are escaping war in Ukraine.  We need a focal point where we can meet and help those families who have lost their homes, possessions and loved ones.”

Crispin Acton candidate statement

Crispin Acton

On Thursday 5 May 2022 local elections are being held in all 32 London boroughs including Redbridge.

To learn more about those standing for election, The Wanstead Post has asked candidates to contribute a short personal statement.  Below is the profile provided by Crispin Acton who is standing for the Liberal Democrats in Wanstead Village Ward:

“Crispin Acton worked in the Department of Health until 2017. He graduated MSc in public health in 2019 and has lived in Wanstead for the last 25 years. Crispin is an active member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Wanstead. In 2012 he joined neighbours in a successful campaign for traffic calming in Wellington Road. Liberal Democrats are campaigning for a visible police presence on our High Street. The Safer Neighbourhood Team in Wanstead Village was suspended last June. We will lobby to bring it back.”

Neil Hepworth candidate statement

Neil Hepworth

On Thursday 5 May 2022 local elections are being held in all 32 London boroughs including Redbridge.

To learn more about those standing for election, The Wanstead Post has asked candidates to contribute a short personal statement.  Below is the profile provided by Neil Hepworth who is standing for the Liberal Democrats in Wanstead Village Ward:

“Neil Hepworth moved into Wanstead Village over 20 years ago, having previously enjoyed its shops, bars and restaurants from just over the ward boundary in Wanstead Park. His children went to local Wanstead Schools and he volunteers to help run Christ Church, Wanstead. Working from home more recently has given him time to appreciate Wanstead’s wider facilities and he is keen to protect and enhance them. Your LibDem team are committed to ensuring the community’s voice is heard by the Council before decisions affecting our area are made.”

Scott Wilding candidate statement

Scott Wilding

On Thursday 5 May 2022 local elections are being held in all 32 London boroughs including Redbridge.

To learn more about those standing for election, The Wanstead Post has asked candidates to contribute a short personal statement.  Below is the profile provided by Scott Wilding who is standing for the Liberal Democrats in Wanstead Village Ward:

“Scott Wilding grew up in Wanstead, having lived here since 1984. He attended both Wanstead Church School and Wanstead High School. A local campaigner for two decades, Scott has been Chair of the Wanstead Society since 2010, helped raised funds to refurbish the Playground on Christ Church Green in 2016 and became a School Governor at Wanstead Church School in 2020. The Liberal Democrats have pledged to deliver better streets by removing graffiti faster, enforcing planning rules and improving recycling rates.”

Cllr Daniel Morgan-Thomas candidate statement

Cllr Daniel Morgan-Thomas

On Thursday 5 May 2022 local elections are being held in all 32 London boroughs including Redbridge.  

To learn more about those standing for election The Wanstead Post has asked candidates to contribute a short statement.  Below is the statement from Councillor Daniel Morgan-Thomas:

“It has been a privilege to represent Wanstead Village on Redbridge Council for the last four years. Though the work of all councillors and the Council could not have been more difficult since the pandemic, I have been striving to keep Wanstead as a place where everyone can flourish and feel safe and ensure that the best of the Council’s services, events and resources are provided here. I’m especially proud of the work undertaken by the Council to ensure that vulnerable people received food and support during the pandemic and that all children on free school meals were supported in the holidays. 

I was born and indeed started my life in an incubator at Whipps Cross Hospital so I know how important it has always been to local people: I’ve campaigned alongside many colleagues on the Council to secure the funding to redevelop Whipps while also maintain the services like the Margaret Centre that are a real asset to the current site. Having previously defended the W12 bus route from threats of closure, I’m also passionate about maintaining good transport links from Wanstead to the hospital. 

It’s been a pleasure to meet and work with so many different parts of our community. I’ve especially enjoyed being a Governor at my old school, Snaresbrook Primary, and sitting on the Management Committee at Wanstead House. If re-elected I look forward to meeting many more residents and community groups, as well as regularly meeting with local police and NHS providers to get the most for Wanstead.” 

Cllr Paul Donovan candidate statement

Cllr Paul Donovan

On Thursday 5 May 2022 local elections are being held in all 32 London boroughs including Redbridge.

To learn more about those standing for election The Wanstead Post has asked candidates to contribute a short statement.  Below is the statement from Councillor Paul Donovan.

“It has been a pleasure to serve the people of Wanstead as a councillor over the past four years.

I have lived all my life in Wanstead, attending Aldersbrook and Wanstead High Schools. I am looking forward to the hundredth anniversary of Wanstead High in 2024.

If re-elected, I shall continue to push the green agenda, looking to advance the foundations put in place in the first term to counter climate change and advance biodiversity.

This work should continue to extend to other neighbouring areas, such as Wanstead Park and Flats, where biodiversity is being enhanced.

Active travel is another important area to progress in order that we can all live cleaner, greener and more healthy lives.

There has already been some excellent progress in this area, with new cycle lanes plus the roll out of cycle hangars and rings.

Electric cars are being facilitated, with more electric charging points across the borough.

In the second term, I hope these initiatives can be expanded, as well as our ongoing efforts to tackle air pollution. 

All of these elements and more can only be achieved by us all working together in community, something that has been particularly evident during the recent years of pandemic. A time of much suffering and tragedy but also when the generosity of community spirit has been at its most evident. This period has shown how much stronger we are together.”

Cllr Jo Blackman candidate statement

Cllr Jo Blackman

On Thursday 5 May 2022 local elections are being held in all 32 London boroughs including Redbridge.  

To learn more about those standing for election The Wanstead Post has asked candidates to contribute a short statement.  Below is the statement from Councillor Jo Blackman:

“It has been a privilege to represent Wanstead Village since 2018 and serve as cabinet member for the environment and civic pride since 2021. I am passionate about children’s issues, tackling climate change and improving our environment.

I live locally with my family and we enjoy all the great things that Wanstead Village and the wider area has to offer – leisure facilities, green space, great schools, transport links, local shops, restaurants and cafes, and most importantly, a wonderful sense of community. 

In addition to being a councillor I work part time as an environmental campaigner. I am also a school governor at Nightingale Primary School.

Along with fellow Labour councillors Cllr Paul Donovan, Councillor Daniel Morgan-Thomas, I have worked hard to make our ward and borough cleaner, greener and safer. We run a monthly litter pick and have supported many community initiatives including planting bulbs, wildflowers and trees.

We have worked with the Labour-run council to secure investment in our area, including: street cleansing; refurbishment of Wanstead library events room; new playground equipment for Christchurch Green playground; new bike storage; electric vehicle charging points; high street planters; activities for children; closure of Wanstead high street for the Wanstead festival and Wanstead’s new swimming pool.

If re-elected I will push for further improvements to make our roads safer and advocate for measures to tackle climate change, improve the environment and improve provision for children.”

Wanstead favours a longer school day

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Wanstead residents have narrowly bucked the national trend by voting in favour of extending the school day to help children catch up after Covid.

Forty-one percent (41%) of respondents to a Wanstead Community Forum Facebook poll wanted to extend the school day with 35% against after schools were closed for most pupils for much of 2020.

This compares to a YouGov poll for The Times newspaper which found 60% opposed longer hours while 30% agreed with extending the school day.

The Times has set up a new Education Commission to examine the future of education. The panel includes former Labour MP Tristram Hunt; Robert Halfon, Conservative MP for Harlow; and children’s author Sir Michael Morpurgo. The Commission will run for one year and publish a final report in June 2022.

Wanstead Church School was rated outstanding after an inspection by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) in 2017 while Wanstead High School was rated good in 2019.

Majority of residents want face-to-face GP consultations

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New research has found that most Wanstead residents would prefer an online booking system but a face-to-face consultation when visiting their doctor.

Sixty-two percent of respondents to a Facebook poll wanted to book online but meet in person, while 25% preferred a triage system in which they completed an online form and their GP decided whether a face-to-face appointment was necessary.

The findings follow recent debate in the media after patients expressed frustration about not being able to book a face-to-face consulation with GPs during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Daily Telegraph has reported that following the outcry Dr Nikki Kanani, NHS Medical Director for Primary Care, and Ed Waller, Director of Primary Care, have written to GPs outlining new guidance. The Telegraph claims the letter states:

“GP practices must all ensure they are offering face-to-face appointments.

“While the expanded use of video, online and telephone consultations can be maintained where patients find benefit from them, this should be done alongside a clear offer of appointments in person.

“Practices should respect preferences for face-to-face care.”

A review on the NHS website dated 17 March 2021 for The Wanstead Place Surgery states:

“In response to a query I’d submitted to the practice I was phoned by a doctor, at the appointed time. The conversation was kind, thorough, informative and unrushed and I was asked if there was anything else that was worrying me.”

A comment dated 16 October 2020 states:

“Since you can not get to see any doctor but have to wait for a phone call the service is very poor.”

A review posted on the 16 April 2021 for The Evergreen Surgery on Wanstead High Street states:

“I have visited this practice a few times over the years as an emergency patient and more recently had my 2 Covid injections there. I cannot praise this surgery enough.”

A comment dated 17 March 2021 claims:

“Reception staff are rude and make assumptions without asking questions…Doctors are lovely, if you can get near them.”

Following news of the updated NHS guidance, Rachel Power, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, said:

“Patients have made clear how difficult they have been finding access to GP services, and that most commonly they clearly prefer to see their GP in person. We called for the restoration of in-person appointments as the default option when we published our second Pandemic Patient Experience report, which showed starkly how patients have been struggling to access primary care in a way that meets their needs.

“It will be a great relief to many patients to know that their GP should now unquestionably be offering face to face appointments. We saw how media reports of our findings clearly resonated with patients and arose strong feelings. We hope that many patients will now be able to rebuild their relationships with their GPs and benefit from the assurance that will bring them.”