Latest news and updates

Here's how you can make sure all UK women are treated equally when it comes to access to abortion..

 

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With your help, next week the UK Parliament can right a 50 year old wrong and make sure equality isn't ignored in the Queen's Speech

Email your MP now to ask them to support #mypledgeherchoice 

Its 50 years since the 1967 Abortion Act, which granted reproductive rights to women. 

However, abortion is illegal in Northern Ireland (except in the most extreme circumstances), and as a result hundreds of NI women travel to England for an abortion every year. 

Despite being UK citizens and UK taxpayers, NI women are not entitled to NHS funding for their treatment, and therefore must meet the cost of both travel and treatment personally.

This month Jeremy Hunt fought and won a court case on his right to charge Northern Irish women for abortions if they have them in England and Wales, claiming he was doing so out of “respect” for the Northern Irish assembly.

Unless he changes his mind a decision made in Belfast has consequences for UK citizens choosing to access services in Birmingham, Blackpool or Brighton. 

Email your MP now to ask them to support #mypledgeherchoice 

So whilst the UK funds access to abortion through its overseas aid budget, we deny our own citizens the same support. 

I have tabled an amendment to the Queens Speech to address this which has received cross party support. 

Now we need your help to ask other MPs to join the call for equal treatment. 

Please use this link to ask your MP to support this change and to commit to backing legislation in principle if the Secretary of State won't change his mind. 

Email your MP now to ask them to support #mypledgeherchoice 

Together we can ensure equality is on the agenda and all UK women are treated fairly.


Animal Welfare and the General Election: Where I Stand

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The humane treatment of all animals should be a benchmark for any civilised society. 

Many Walthamstow residents have written to me about the Prime Minister's recent proposal to hold a vote on overturning the ban on foxhunting- if I am re-elected as the MP for Walthamstow, I will always vote against any attempts to overturn the ban on foxhunting. 

In the last parliament I also supported attempts to increase the penalties for animal cruelty brought forward by my colleague Anna Turley- The current penalties for animal welfare cases in England are amongst the lowest in Europe. It is time this changed.  

I have also repeatedly voted to ban the use of wild animals in circuses, and would support a total ban on the trading of ivory in contrast to the decision of the Conservatives to abandon their pledge on this issue. I would also support a ban on the third-party sale of puppies and live animal exports. 

During my time as an MP I have also opposed the culling of badgers to control bovine TB. If Labour wins the election we would immediately end the ineffective and cruel badger cull, instead focusing on an evidence-based approach driven by science, not ideology.

So too many residents have raised with me concerns about antibiotic resistance. It is a major public health concern, and awareness is still too low.  I am concerned that antibiotics are employed too liberally, including whilst rearing animals and so if I am re-elected I would raise this with the Secretary of State for Health and investigate what measures we might take to protect the public. 

Finally, given the decision of President Trump to reject the Paris Accord and the impact this could have on our food production, if re-elected I will work with other MPs to challenge this and ensure that our farming practices promote high animal welfare and environmental standards. 

I ask for your support on Thursday to be re-elected as our local MP. If you are voting for me, you can let me know by clicking here.  


SEe17: Walthamstow's Union for the Self Employed - How to Join!

Thank you to everyone who came to our meeting to discuss the new union for the self employed

Join the Union for the Self Employed here. 

At the meeting Community Union and Indycube explained this will offer services to its members including a factoring system to chase invoices so they can be guaranteed payment, and legal advice. 

With £56 million owed to 6,000 businesses in Walthamstow each year in late payments, and £12 million spent chasing these funds, it is clear helping to tackle late payments could make a big difference to many local businesses as well as bring more money to our local area. 

Join the Union for the Self Employed here. 

We are also developing more Walthamstow specific services too including seeking premises and business start up support. 

If I am re-elected, supporting and developing this project in partnership with Indycube and Community to help the self employed in Walthamstow will be a priority for me


Please feel free to share the details of this initiative with other local self employed people and small businesses, and to ask them to email if they would like to receive updates on this project as it develops


Use Your Vote To Send a Message Equality is a Priority for the Future of Britain

With less than two weeks to the General Election, I am asking for your vote on June 8th to send a message that equality matters to our community and our country.

Let me know if you will be voting for me by clicking here

Many key employment rights for women are directly underpinned by being members of the European Union. You can read my speech about this here- if I am re-elected I will fight to protect these rights against those seeking to diminish them

My track record shows my determination to prioritise addressing violence against women- along with addressing unequal pay, paternity and maternity leave and the lack of women in leadership positions.

This is a commitment that will never waiver.  

Let me know if you will be voting for me by clicking here

So too, as abortion rights are threatened, I will always speak up to protect a woman’s right to choose.

I spoke up for the importance of including same sex relationships in sex and relationships education in our schools. If I am re-elected I will continue to work with Stonewall and local teachers to make this a reality.

As reported hate crime rises in our city, I have championed community cohesion initiatives in Walthamstow and challenged the Government on its public sector duties towards minorities.

So too, Labour is committed to scrapping the Personal Independence Payments assessments and Work Capability Assessments, and incorporating into law the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 

By voting for me on Thursday 8th June, you can send a powerful message that equality is not an optional extra, but critical to our nation's future.


Tackling Anti Social Behaviour: Outcome of High Street Residents Meeting and Next Steps

On Monday 15th May Cllr Clare Coghill hosted a meeting at the Blackhorse Road Baptist Church regarding anti social behaviour in the High Street area.  If you weren't able to attend, please note I also tried to capture the details of the discussion and the questions raised through a series of facebook posts which you can find here. 

Further to this meeting, residents requested the following information. Firstly, this is the latest press release from the police which gives details of developments in the ongoing investigation into the murder of Elijah Dornelly and details of two arrests that have been made that were mentioned this evening: 

 
Secondly, both the police and the council made a plea for residents to attend the Safer Neighbourhood Team panels and join with other local residents in getting updates on the work going on in the local area and feeding into their intelligence about crime in the area. There are two SNT panels that cover the area discussed this evening - Markhouse and High Street. Their next meetings are as follows: 
  • High Street Ward Panel- Tuesday, 23rd May, 7pm,  The Mall offices (above ASDA). The organisers have asked that if you intend to go you email them so they can make sure they are able to accommodate all attendees and suggest checking their website in case of a change of venue. 
  • Markhouse Ward Panel- Wednesday 7th June 7pm, Queens Road Adult Education Centre
 
You can contact your Markhouse police team and keep up with their work online using this link
You can contact your High Street police team and keep up with their work online using this link
 
Thirdly, residents asked what they should do if they were concerned a young person has become involved with a gang or is vulnerable to becoming involved in a gang. The meeting discussed the work of the council overseeing this, and in particular a 'bronze' referral for any such reports to be investigated. If you are concerned about a young person, you can email Wfbronze@walthamforest.gov.uk with details to request a referral be made and to ask for the matter to be followed up. 
 
Finally, the police have agreed to do a follow up meeting in two months time to report back on progress given the ongoing work. As well as pledging to ensure this happens myself if I am re-elected, I will make sure that all the candidates for MP for Walthamstow are aware of their offer to meet again and will request that they follow this up to arrange this meeting with you all. 
 
Thank you to Cllr Clare Coghill, Cllr Grace Williams and to Borough Commander Richard Tucker and Superintendent Paul Clements for their time and candour at this meeting. 

 


Standing Up For Walthamstow and For Britain: My Pledge To You To Fight for Our Future in The Single Market

Today I joined eighteen other London Labour candidates to launch our pledge to fight for Britain to have full access to the European single market if re-elected. 

Being able to trade in the single market is crucial to the future of Walthamstow and Britain- in London alone, the EU buys 39% of our exports and 650,000 jobs depend on trade with Europe. 

I voted against triggering Article 50 because the deal Theresa May says she wants would involve leaving the single market, risking the livelihoods of many here in Walthamstow and around Britain through her desire for a hard Brexit.

Any deal which creates barriers to trade will inevitably lead to lower growth and fewer jobs, damaging the prospects of our community and our country. 

Now that negotiations have started, if I am re-elected as MP for Walthamstow I will continue to fight for cooperation with Europe, for the rights of EU citizens here in the UK and for staying in the single market and the Customs Union. 

I will also work with other politicians who share these concerns- because as my track record shows, I will always work to get the best deal for Walthamstow and for Britain. 

If you would like to support my campaign to be re-elected, click here to request a poster or volunteer


Walthamstow Schools Deserve Our Support, not Slashed Budgets

Tory cuts to school budgets will see some schools in Walthamstow face a 20% reduction in their funding, meaning many will have to either make teachers redundant or cut back on classes and vital services for our young people. To give some sense of the scale of cuts involved, Frederik Bremer School alone will lose £800,000 over the next four years. Calculations done by our local Council show that schools here in Waltham Forest face real-terms budget cuts of £21m between 2016 and 2020 – based on increased costs of £17m from unfunded new cost pressures, such as the government’s apprenticeship levy in addition to about £4.3m from changes to the national funding formula for schools.

As the local MP I have been working with the Council to raise concerns with the Government about these plans, as well as my fellow Labour MPs - so was shocked that the Minister responded to us to suggest that if schools could not manage with such cuts they should simply renegotiate their photocopier contracts or energy bills. Such an attitude suggests the Ministers don't understand either how schools manage their funds or the impact of the cuts they are imposing on them- leading to likely devastating consequences for our local children. You can read more about this here from the Guardian newspaper- if I am re-elected as Walthamstow's MP in the election I will continue to fight for our schools to get the funding they need to be able to give every child in Walthamstow the best start in life. 

 

 


Anger into Action: Tampon Tax Challenge and Four Ways You Can Make A Difference Today By Being a FAN

We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced

Malala Yousafzai


Our UK Government has today announced taxes paid by women for tampons will be used to fund anti-abortion organisations

Turn your anger into action by joining with us to fight back through the Feminist Action Network. 

FAN brings campaigners together in common cause to show the power of equality to change the lives of everyone for the better 

Here are five ways you can do that today:

  1. The UK Government has given £250,000 of public money to Life, the anti-abortion organization, from the so called tampon tax fund. If you believe this decision is wrong demand Ministers review this decision here.
  2. On Tuesday 18th April from 6 - 7.30pm we will be running a "Circular Firing Up Squad" in parliament. This is a free, non partisan women's leadership workshop open to any woman aged 16 or over to help inspire herself and others onto positions of power and influence in their own lives- to book your place at this event please email to RSVP
  3. 70% of those claiming bereaved parents allowance are women- on the 6th April the Government is cutting this help and says this is because women now work. Help us challenge this decision by writing to your MP here to support grieving parents.
  4. Holler4 are organsing flashmob choirs across the country to support the #icantkeepquiet campaign following the women’s march. They’re holding a workshop on Saturday 8th April Sign up here to join one of these choirs.
  5. Horrified by recent court cases involving violence against women? A new consultation has started on the sentencing of intimidatory offences and domestic abuse. Have your say here now.


Please share this information and spread the word about how we can take action together to make a positive difference

 

 

Any activists that would like to be part of our #FAN2017 network and receive updates on campaigns should email stella@workingforwalthamstow.org.uk with FAN2017 in the title. 


The 2017 E17 Housing Awards - Results!

Over 800* local residents have voted in the 2017 E17 Housing Awards to identify the good and bad in our local housing provision. At a ceremony on Saturday 25th March 2017 the results were announced - you can watch the event here.

As well as the results of the following votes, attendees heard about three local campaigns that are seeking help in the coming year- to support selfbuild in Walthamstow, to help the local homelessness nightshelter and to set up a landlord cooperative- and the success of the Butterfields campaign which was featured in the 2016 Housing Awards as well as from the local authority Councillors leading on housing in Walthamstow. 

The results were as follows: 

  • The Best Social Housing Provider in Walthamstow 2017: Clarion Housing- nominated for their work supporting selfbuild in the community
  • The Social Housing Provider with Most Room for Improvement in Walthamstow 2017: London & Quadrant - nominated for their repairs service. 
  • The Best Lettings Agency 2017: Central 
  • The Worst Lettings Agency 2017: Central 
  • The Most Shocking Behaviour by a Letting Agency 2017: Wonderlease - nominated for gazumping renters 
  • The Kindest Gesture by a Letting Agency 2017: East & Co for not charging fees to tenants
  • The Best Estate Agency 2017: Central
  • The Worst Estate Agency 2017: Central
  • The Most Shocking Behaviour by an Estate Agency 2017: Douglas Allen- nominated for charging homebuyers a 'finders fee' or double charging 
  • The Kindest Gesture by an Estate Agency 2017: Stow Brothers- nominated for their sponsorship and support of community projects
  • MPs Special Award 2017 : The Waltham Forest Private Letting Agency Facebook Group - nominated for their work supporting tenants in Walthamstow secure affordable housing 

To support this campaign please help by sharing the results of this ballot to alert tenants, homebuyers and landlords as to the outcome of this poll to help them make informed choices about our local housing market. 

 

*following verification processes to ensure only Walthamstow residents voted a total of 605 nominations were included in the final results. 

Thank you to Nicola Tree for taking the following photos- all photos are credited to her. 

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The Walthamstow Housing Awards 2017 Ballot Is Now Open!

The cost of housing in Walthamstow is one of the biggest challenges facing local residents. Many find themselves unable to afford to live in our community, whether due to a shortage of properties, rising rents or increasing house prices. Without action, owning or renting an affordable home in our community will become a distant dream for too many – that’s why the Walthamstow Housing Campaign is helping local residents challenge the pressures increasing the costs of housing in our local community. 

Click here to vote now! 

In Waltham Forest house prices have doubled over the last eight years, as people have been priced out of other parts of London and so turned their attention to outer London boroughs. The rental market has also seen a dramatic growth- 28% of the population of Walthamstow are privately renting and this is expected to increase in 2021 to be almost 40% of the local population. The shortages of social and affordable housing have fuelled speculation in both rents and house prices. So too, concerns about the quality of housing also continue to grow with many local residents being charged extortionate rents and fees for properties which require repairs to be habitable.

Residents individually can feel powerless to complain about these issues, for fear of being evicted or cut out of the market all together. By bringing residents, local campaigners and myself together, the Walthamstow housing Awards are shining a spotlight on the good and bad practice in the local housing market.

The survey will be open until Friday 17th March at 12pm and is open to all residents of Walthamstow. 

Click here to vote now! 

The 2017 awards will be held on Saturday 25th March 2017 in Walthamstow at 1:30pm, if you would like to attend please email Pippa@workingforwalthamstow.org.uk