Covid-19 lockdown restrictions

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

According to media reports this morning there appears to be some confusion around the current rules. A summary of Government guidance is:

You must stay at home. The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

You should follow this guidance immediately. This is the law.

Leaving home

You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:

*shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
*go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
*exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
*meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
*seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
attend education or childcare – for those eligible

If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local – unless it is necessary to go further, for example to go to work. Stay local means stay in the village, town, or part of the city where you live.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work.

The full guidance can be found here.

Excessive noise levels prompt industrial action

Central Line drivers who are members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) will take industrial action next month following a dispute about noise levels.

The Jubilee, Central, Northern and Victoria lines are set to be affected after 95% of union members supported the action.

“It is appalling that RMT driver members have had to resort to a programme of industrial action in order to force London Underground to take the issue of excessive track noise seriously,” said Mick Cash, General Secretary of the RMT.

“This is an issue that impacts not only on our members but on the travelling public as well and the union is absolutely determined to ensure that the company don’t drag their feet for a moment longer.”

Drivers will “drive trains in manual mode at an appropriate reduced speed to mitigate the creation of excessive noise and to alleviate the distraction, discomfort and anxiety caused in the affected areas” claim the RMT.

Transport for London (TfL) have said that the health and safety of staff and customers are its “first priority” and that they have “already agreed to provide a broader range of ear protection to drivers who wish to use it alongside plans for longer-term solutions to this complex issue.”

Noise levels have been a problem on the Central Line for several years as reported by the Ilford Recorder in 2017 and The Wanstead Post in 2018.

The industrial action is due to start on Thursday 10 October 2019.

Community group calls for cleaner greener Wanstead

A new initiative has been launched to encourage residents, businesses, organisations and Redbridge Council to create a “cleaner greener Wanstead”.

The community-led movement focuses on five priorities including cleaner journeys; more plants and trees; less plastic, waste and litter; sustainable homes and premises and living lower impact lives.

“Here in Wanstead our children are growing up breathing filthy air. We’re producing vast amounts of waste which has to be shipped abroad to be processed. We’re gradually losing the leafy green streets that make Wanstead special,” the group claim.

The Cleaner Greener Wanstead website suggests ways to be more environmentally friendly including never leaving car engines idling, filling outdoor spaces with flowers, planting more trees, carrying reusable water bottles and buying renewable energy.

Neighbouring borough Waltham Forest recently declared a “climate emergency” and resolved to launch a Climate Change Commission to “help shape our local response to this global challenge and to produce a set of policy ‘asks’ for our regional and national politicians”. The resolution followed protests by activists including international movement Extinction Rebellion.

Further information about Cleaner Greener Wanstead can be found here: https://www.cleanergreenerwanstead.org/

Wanstead makes the national news

The mysterious appearance and disappearance of a metal plaque on a bench in Wanstead has generated national news coverage.

The BBC and Sky have featured stories about a memorial to former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein which was attached to a wooden bench outside the Oxfam charity shop in the High Street.

Local resident and journalist Victoria Richards spotted the plaque which read: “In Loving Memory Of Saddam Hussein 1937-2006”.

She subsequently tweeted a picture of the tribute and her post was retweeted over 5,000 times and received more than 32,000 likes.

Following the furore the plaque was quickly taken down by Redbridge Council.

“We didn’t give permission for this to be put up and it has been removed,” a spokesperson for the Council said.

Anger and despair as CAA backs flight path changes

HACAN

Local residents have reacted with anger to a report published by the Civil Aviation Authority which backs controversial changes to London City Airport flight paths.

The report assessed the impact of more concentrated flight paths which were introduced in 2016 and recommended that they remain in place.

While acknowledging there had been “both negative and positive impacts”, the CAA felt there had been a negligible change in noise levels for residents living underneath the flight paths which direct planes over Wanstead.

The CAA did ask London City Airport to examine why the proposed fuel and CO2 savings from planes following the new flight paths were less than predicted and queried why aircraft were flying slightly off the predicted routes.

“There is anger and despair that the CAA has backed concentrated flight paths,” said John Stewart, Chair of HACAN East, the campaign body representing residents affected by flights from London City Airport.

“Many people hoped that this report would end two years of misery and they would be able to get their lives back. This decision is a cruel blow to them.”

“This will not be the end of the matter. We had support from a wide range of politicians in calling for an end to concentration. These included the Mayor of London, leading members of the Greater London Authority and lots of local councillors. We will be liaising with them about next steps.”

M&S Wanstead opens

M&S Wanstead, London store launch
23 August 2018

The new Marks & Spencer Simply Food store has opened in Wanstead High Street.

Claire Benson, Store Manager, officially cut the ribbon to launch the outlet on Thursday 23 August 2018.

“The team has been working so hard to get ready for the opening and it has been brilliant to see the community turn out to support us today,” she said.

“The shelves are bursting with everything from lunches to go to every day essentials, as well as dinners perfect for sharing with family and friends. We are excited to be part of the Wanstead community and we can’t wait to get to know our local customers.”

Local resident, Sharon Hutton, said:

“M&S is a great addition to Wanstead. I’m such a big fan and to have one right here on my doorstep is very convenient. The Click & Collect service is also an added bonus as I can order clothes and pick them up in my new local store.”

M&S Simply Food is located at number 157 on the High Street and will open 07.00-22.00 Monday to Saturday and 09.00-19.00 on Sunday.

Comments sought on proposed new swimming pool

wanstead_leisure_centre

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

M&S logo

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.