Working for Walthamstow Monday 3rd December 2018

Working for Walthamstow Monday 3rd December 2018: Brexit Deadlock Update and E17 Public Meeting, Moped Crime Moves Blocked, Warmth From & For Walthamstow Donation Drive Advance Notice, Viola Lessons, MP Womens Advice Surgery, Standing Up to Hatred- Walthamstow Speaks Out

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......Working for Walthamstow - This week's News Updates and How You Can Be Involved.... 

Legal Advice Clinic Open Evening- Tuesday 4thDecember Waltham Forest Community Hub on Orford Road are hosting an open event supported by local volunteer laywers to begin a local law centre. This event will feature people who can advise on family law; immigration and criminal law and is open to local residents. It will be held on Tuesday 4th December between 6.30pm-8.30pm. For more information email them on admin@younglawyersassociation.com or call 07427 663286.  

Wave Choir at St Mary’s- Thursday 6th December Wave Choir will be performing at St Mary’s Church in Walthamstow village on Thursday 6th December, between 7.30pm-9.30pm. They will be singing jazzy numbers, including the carols, with audience participation and refreshments will be served. For more information please email Helen

Fundraising Quiz- Saturday 8th December Legendary quizmaster, Neil Gerrard, will be hosting a fundraising quiz in aid of Eat or Heat and Crisis at Christmas on Saturday 8th December at the All Saints Church Hall, Highams Park. Tickets are £10per person. Booking is essential but you can pay on the door. To book your place, please call 08504739520/ 020 85319836 or email. 

St James Street Big Local Carol Concert- Sunday 9th December The St. James Street Big Local will be holding their annual carol concert on Sunday 9th December from 5pm. They'll be singing, providing food and mulled drinks, and an christmas tree decoration activity for the children.  This will all be accompanied by Forest Brass Band. This event will take place next to the christmas tree at the St James Street end of Walthamstow Market.  

St Barnabas Christmas Fayre- Sunday 9thDecember The Stow Roses will at the Christmas Fayre at St Barnabas Church Hall in the Markhouse area on Sunday 9th December. This event runs from 11am until 5pm. They still need volunteers to run this stall if you can help please let them know. Setting up from 11:00 and the stall runs until 5pm. 

Christmas Craft Fair- Sunday 9th December There will be a Christmas Craft Fair with lots of stalls with crafts, vintage bits, mulled wine and cakes on Sunday 9th December. The event will run from 2pm - 5pm at Orford House Social Club on Orford Rd. and entrance is £1 and this is a fundraiser for Samaritans Waltham Forest.  

Hoe St Christmas market- Sunday 9th December Do all your Christmas shopping in comfort, with hot food and a drink from a cheap bar at the next Hoe Street Christmas market on Sunday 9th December from 12pm to 5pm. There will be gifts, art, jewellery, plants, ceramics, clothes, weird dolls, soaps, Christmas cards and decorations cakes and more from local artists, reflexology, makers and bakers at Walthamstow Trades Hall. They will also have a stall supporting the local night shelter. They will have cheese toasties with an Indian twist and vegan doner kebabs and chips This event is kid friendly with plenty of seating and space for prams, and the address is 17 Hoe St but the entrance is on Tower Hamlets Road(opposite Yard Sale Pizza). For more information please email the Hoe St market team. 

Waltham Forest Music School Christmas Concert - Monday 10th December There will be two festive family concerts showcasing the musical talent of young people from Waltham Forest on Monday 10th December.  Bands will perform seasonal music including rock, pop, funk, soul and classical. Starting at 5pm for beginner groups and 7pm for advanced groups, this concert takes place at Walthamstow School for Girls on Church Hill. Tickets are £5/3 on the door and under 16s are free.  

Table Top Sale- Saturday 15th December There will be a table top sale in support of local homelessness charities and the Sheltered Housing Christmas Party at the Rose and Crown Pub on Hoe Street on Saturday 15th December between 1pm-4pm. Tables cost £15 and you can book one by contacting Tommy on  07506733392.  

Friends of Lloyd Park Christmas Sing-A-Long- Sunday 16th December On Sunday 16th December from 2-4pm the Friends of Lloyd Park will be holding an afternoon of festive cheer in the park. They will have music from a Choir and christmassy food and drink including  mulled wine, hot spiced apple juice (with optional rum), mince pies, biscuits and homemade bakes. The William Morris Gallery will be running crafty family activities too. 

Waltham Forest Civic Carol Concert - Tuesday 18th December Get into the festive spirit at the annual carol concert in the beautiful surrounds of Walthamstow Assembly Hall. Join children and young people from Waltham Forest Music Service who will perform all your favourite carols interspersed with traditional readings from the Christmas story. This event is on Tuesday 18th December between 7pm to 9.30pm and is free to attend.  

Over 60s Christmas Lunch- Friday 21st December The Orford Road Community Hub's Christmas lunch is on Friday 21st December and is for anyone aged 60 and over, living in Waltham Forest.  It is free for Hub Senior Club members, there is a charge of £4 for non-members.  Please contact the Hub on 020 8223 0707 to book. 

Brexit Update - PM refuses to rule out Second Vote on her Deal and Details of How to Register for Walthamstow Brexit Meeting Sunday 9th December

Brexit continues to dominate Parliament, generating more chaos and not clarity as to what will happen next. A vote has now been confirmed to take place on the Prime Ministers proposed deal on Tuesday 11th December. Yet already amendments have been proposed that - if supported- would render her deal void, and 101 Conservative MPs have now declared they will not vote for this proposal. In a hung parliament where Labour will be voting against this proposal, such a margin of opposition on her own side makes it almost impossible to see how the Prime Minister can believe she can win this vote and so much attention has now turned to what will happen next. 

This week when the Prime Minister came to take questions from MPs on brexit, I asked her to confirm that if her deal is voted down then she would not seek to ask Parliament to vote on the same deal again. The Prime Minister avoided answering this question - you can watch a video of our exchange here and read the transcript here

More data was also published last Wednesday on the impact of Brexit- this shows that the government’s own analysis suggests a 5% reduction in UK GDP under an Free Trade Agreement with the EU compared to full membership of the EU and that leaving a permanent Customs Union would be disastrous for services, manufacturing, agriculture and fisheries, including the 26,000 London businesses who trade goods worth nearly £5bn. 

Given what it at stake, undoubtedly there will be further developments in the coming days on brexit -  including more changes to the Prime Minister's proposals and possibly more amendments. To help update residents on these events and get feedback on your views about what should happen if the Prime Minister's deal is voted down I will be holding a public meeting for Walthamstow residents on Brexit on Sunday 9th December at 3pm. This meeting is open to any Walthamstow residents, but only Walthamstow residents and inevitably spaces are limited by the venue. To help my team plan for this meeting- which will be near Walthamstow Central station- please RSVP to office@workingforwalthamstow.org.uk. 

Tackling Moped Related Crime: Government Votes Down Amendment to tackle Acid Attacks 

Last week in the middle of the Brexit debates, the Offensive Weapons Bill returned to the Commons on Wednesday 28th November. Given the chaos within the Conservative party, the Government had already dropped its plans to bring in a ban on military grade assault rifles - a growing concern of the police. I also co-signed an amendment that would have created a new offence for the possession of corrosive substances and dangerous knives. Lead by another London MP, Tulip Siddiq, this amendment would have ensured that driving a moped whilst possessing these offensive weapons is treated as an aggravated offence. Many residents in Walthamstow will remember the spate of moped led crimes in Walthamstow last year and the use of corrosive substances and such weapons to cause harm and fear in committing crimes such as assault and robbery. Sadly, the Government also voted this proposal down but I will continue to work with other London MPs on addressing these issues. 

Warmth from and for Walthamstow: Advance Notice of Project to Help our local Foodbank, Homeless and the Calais Refugees 

Universal credit continues to wreak havoc in our local community - pushing many families into debt and penalising disabled residents who are already struggling to manage their financial opportunities. So too, as the weather becomes colder, homeless residents require additional direct support in our community and refugees caught in the misery created by our Government's refusal to honour the pledge to help those fleeing persecution are sleeping in the freezing mud around the forests of Calais. 

Walthamstow has a proud tradition of offering support to those in need- whether they be in our local area or overseas. From Friday 7th December to Monday 17th December we will be running another 'Warmth for and from Walthamstow' donation drive to collect donations of food and clothes for these groups, ahead of a convoy from Walthamstow going to Calais on the 19th December. If you can help us with this- with tasks such as collection and sorting donations as well as packing them up and transporting them to the organisations behind this action - please do reply to this email. Please keep an eye out on my facebook and twitter accounts for the items we will be seeking and addresses you can deliver items to for inclusion in the coming week. Thank you in advance to all those who are able to help with this donation drive. 

Start 2019 by Learning the Viola - Lessons for Children from Waltham Forest Music Service

Learn to play viola in a small group with expert tuition at Waltham Forest  Music Service. For children with little or no experience of playing an instrument. There is a special office of only £30 per term for this including instrument hire. The lessons will start on Wednesday 9th January 2019 between 4.30-5pm at Walthamstow School for Girls on Church Hill but places are limited so please contact music.service@walthamforest.gov.uk for more information and to book your place. 

Women Only MP Advice Surgery: Thursday 6th December 

As MP I regularly hold advice surgeries for local residents to discuss their concerns. To help ensure that we are reaching as many residents as possible and that all sections of our community can access the assistance of my office in a manner which is comfortable to them, we will be holding a drop in advice session for women on Thursday 6th December at 1-3pm. You don't need to have an appointment to attend this event and it will be an informal session, but to help my office in planning for this event please do let us know if you intend to drop into this session which is for Walthamstow residents only. When you contact my office on office@workingforwalthamstow.org.uk to confirm this they will provide full details of this session. Please note I continue to offer appointments and drop in surgeries at other times of the week which are open to all residents and are advertised in this weekly e-newsletter. 

Walthamstow means Welcome: Standing up to those who Seek to Divide E17 with their Hate and Public Mural Proposal

This week Walthamstow made the national and indeed international news after a spate of graffiti appeared around the Queens Road area. By repeatedly writing this message around our area I believe this was an act of hate crime- hate crime being about activities and behaviours motivated by a hostility towards individuals on the basis of their characteristics e.g. their racial or religious background rather than any knowledge of them personally. As soon as the Council and the Police were notified of these offensive statements regarding English speaking, they acted to remove these statements and review evidence to try to identify the perpetrator. They ask if anyone has private security cameras on the roads where these incidents took place- Shrubland Road, Queens Road, Edinburgh Road and Lorne Road- that they check if they have any footage from the early hours of Wednesday 28th November of any suspicious activity. 

In response to this hate, many residents - who speak many different languages themselves - came together to show their support for our diverse community. From the residents of Queens Boundary Community who organised a 'United Against Racism' event to local artist Chris Walker who created a picture adding positive messages to the graffiti that was shared around the world. Whilst this was a photoshopped picture, local mural makers Wood Street Walls are now proposing to create this on a local space. They have put together a form for people to submit their designs of artwork that says "Welcome" in their native language. They would then like residents to pick a winning design from each language. They will then merge them together in order to create a "Welcome in Walthamstow" mural. The initial form is here if you would like to contribute: https://woodstreetwalls.typeform.com/to/MZyUd8

Thank you to everyone who showed their rejection of this hatred and love for Walthamstow- its a powerful statement about our community that an act which was intended to intimidate residents received such a response. 

Where to find me this coming week....

  • Tuesday 4th December - speaking at the Edelman 'Crystal Ball' event and then attending the first day of debates on the procedures parliament will use to discuss the EU Withdrawal Agreement. 

  • Wednesday 5th December- holding an adjournment debate on the gender pay gap and the paymetoo campaign at 4.30pm in Westminster Hall. 

  • Thursday 6th December- holding a women's only drop in advice surgery. Full details in this e-newsletter of how to attend.  

  • Sunday 9th December- holding a public meeting on Brexit. Details in this e-newsletter.