Working for Walthamstow Monday 7th January 2019
Brexit Resumes - Keep Up With E17 Updates, Register for Walthamstow Hate Crime Workshop with Law Commission, StowSteppers Update, Helping the Homeless- SWEP and Nightshelter Updates, Waltham Forest Borough of Culture Launch Event
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....
Brexit Update - Parliament Returns, Call for No Deal to be ruled out, and Facebook Videos for Walthamstow Residents Resume
Following the parliamentary break for Christmas, the House of Commons reconvenes today - with little sign that the impasse over Brexit will be broken anytime soon.
Ahead of the resumption of these debates today I have joined a cross party group of over 200 MPs calling on the Prime Minister to rule out a no deal Brexit as an option for the country. Whilst there is no agreement amongst MPs about what the final outcome should be, there is a majority who would oppose leaving the European Union without any kind of deal. No response from the Prime Minister has been received as yet.
Parliament is due to begin again debating the Prime Minister's proposals for Brexit on Wednesday 9th January - the legislation requires the vote to be held on whether or not to give the go ahead to her proposals by Monday 21st January. Provisionally this vote is scheduled for the week beginning the 14th January but there is no guarantee it will occur. If the vote doesn't happen or is rejected, then the legislation requires the Government to make a statement to Parliament as to what will happen next that can then be amended.
Given the permutations as to what can happen, I will begin again doing daily Facebook live videos about Brexit and what is happening in Parliament - you can receive notification of these by liking my facebook page here. You can also ask questions to me directly when they are happening online.
Walthamstow Hate Crime Law Workshop Thursday 31st January - Register Now To Help Law Commission Review
Walthamstow is a diverse community and we’re proud of it. However Walthamstow, like the rest of the country, has had to respond to the challenges we are facing as a result of divisions and hatred in our society.
Incidents of hate crime are rising in the UK, spiking following the EU Referendum and the terrorist attacks in 2017. Home Office data shows that last year there was a 17% increase in the hate crimes recorded by the police compared with the previous year, 76% of which were motivated by race. In their 2018 annual report, TellMama noted that islamophobic incidents rose by 26% in 2017, with 6 in 10 victims being women. Antisemitic incidents, as recorded by the Community Security Trust, hit an all time high in 2017. So too, 1 in 5 LGBT people have experienced a hate crime in the past 12 months, according to Stonewall, and 4 in 5 did not report the incident to the police.
Our current hate crime legislation also treats different protected characteristics such as religion, disability or gender in different ways. For example, women in Walthamstow have been reporting their daily experiences of sexual harassment; whether walking along Hoe Street or trying to enjoy time with their family, women from many different backgrounds experience criminal behaviour and abuse in our community. Their experiences are not unique - surveys show one in five women regularly experience sexual harassment on our streets in the UK. However currently hostility towards women is not recorded in the same way as hostility towards people due to their faith or ethnic background. This means that patterns of such behaviour are not recorded in the same way, making policing and preventing these crimes harder to do. As a consequence many women in Walthamstow and around the UK report being fearful about travelling around their local communities. In other parts of the UK where misogyny has been treated as a hate crime and recorded as such by the police, this has changed the way in sexual harassment and violence towards women has been addressed. In particular, it has also benefited women from minority communities and their experience of reporting crimes to the police.
Given these challenges in 2018, I campaigned for the Government to review hate crime legislation which they have now agreed to do. An independent organisation called the Law Commission will be leading this project. As part of it, they have agreed to come to Walthamstow to hear from local residents about the challenges we face and how hate crime law should respond. This is a critical opportunity for residents of Walthamstow to directly affect their work on this important issue to ensure that the UK has modern laws on hate crime which are fit for purpose. In particular, it is our chance to ensure the law protects the principle that everyone should be free to live in peace without being targeted because of who they are.
This is likely to be an extremely popular event which will take place in Walthamstow on Thursday 31st January between 5-7pm and is open to any Walthamstow resident aged 14 or over- you can book your place at this event here.
StowSteppers: Join Over 300 Local Residents Walking in Walthamstow!
Getting regular exercise is key to maintaining health but each of us know how hard it can be to find motivation to be active. StowSteppers is a simple project to help increase the amount of walking and exercise taken by local residents as part of helping to improve the health of our community through joint action. It’s a competition to see how many steps Walthamstow residents can take each day -either individually or as a team- and for you to compete with me as your local MP too!
StowSteppers is free to join for any current Walthamstow resident and is a joint project between my office and the Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group. Already over three hundred local residents have joined this project- it is free to do so and all you need to do is download the free app to your phone and sync it with your step counter (either on your phone or a fitness device such as a fitbit or apple watch) Your total steps will then appear on the leaderboard so you can compare your score against other local residents. Please use the code 'STOWSTEPPERS' to join this local project.
There are prizes for those who do the most steps individually or as part of a team over the course of the first month - if you would like to join a team or start one please reply to this email with the details of who you would like to be in your team. Congratulations to our daily winners of both the individual and team competitions so far!
Helping Walthamstow's Homeless- SWEP updates and Volunteers Needed at the Nightshelter
Over the weekend the Severe Weather Protocol was activated as the temperature in London below zero - this is the scheme which means emergency housing is provided for anyone sleeping rough regardless of their entitlement to support. This means anyone sleeping rough can be linked via Streetlink to a warm place to stay. The number to call to help someone is 0300 500 0914. If that number isn't working to make referrals for this to help someone please call Forest Emergency Night Shelter on 07739870411. With more cold weather predicted in the coming weeks please do keep these numbers to hand in case you see someone in Walthamstow who may need this support.
This protocol which covers all rough sleepers is only in place when the weather is deemed to have reached below zero- please watch out on my social media feed for updates as when this is in operation. So too, our local nightshelter continues to need volunteers to help work with people every night in our area including people prepared to do overnight shifts- if you would like to know more about working with our local nightshelter please do reply to this email.
Red Imp Comedy Club – Thursday 10 JanuaryThe Red Imp Comedy Club’s first show of 2019, featuring Josie Long, at the Rose and Crown on Hoe Street will be on Thursday 10 January. Show starts 8.30pm and all tickets can be found at www.redimpcomedy.com.
Waltham Forest Animal Protection Warriors! Saturday 12 January K-Star, Margaret, Mark & Rachel, members of Waltham Forest Animal Protection, will speak about their work in helping animals in Waltham Forest and beyond at the News from Nowhere club on Saturday 12th January at 7.30pm. This event takes place at the Epicentre on West Street in Leytonstone.
Free Coaching for Women- Sunday 13th January Local resident Alison Manning is a Tranformational Coach. She is offering one more free coaching workshop for the Women of Waltham Forest. These workshops offer women the chance to make changes in their lives, get and give support to each other. Gain in confidence and get connected with a sense of meaning and purpose. If you are interested please email Alison at firstname.lastname@example.org. The next workshop is on Sunday 13th January between 12:00pm - 5:30pm at the Mill Community Centre on Coppermill Lane.
Free Performing Arts School @ The Big Creative Saturday 19th January There will be a free performing arts school at the Big Creative Academy on Clifton Avenue on Saturdays starting on Saturday 19th Januarybetween 11-2pm. Participants can choose to do either dance and singing or drama and singing. To enrol email for an application form or for more information please call Maria 07831224510 www.leaderscommunity.org
Life, the Universe and Everything Else Speaker: Brian Madican - Saturday 9 February Have you ever wondered about where the universe comes from or how did it come into being? Ever pondered on the meaning of life, what is the purpose of it all? Brian Madican will be speaking at the News from Nowhere club on Saturday 9th February at 7.30pm at the Epicentre on West Street in Leytonstone.
The Launch of the Borough of Culture- What's Happening on Forest Road this Week?
Residents will be aware that this year Waltham Forest is the first ever Mayor’s London Borough of Culture. So too you may have seen the signs regarding road closures ahead of the free opening event this coming week on Friday 11th January, Saturday 12th January and Sunday 13th January which will run between 6-9.30pm.
Waltham Forest Town Hall, Forest Road and Lloyd Park will be transformed into a three day festival of music, light, dance, street theatre and awe-inspiring art. The Town Hall will be host a high octane audio/visual show created in a unique collaboration between Talvin Singh, video artists Greenaway & Greenaway and local students and music producers. World-renowned artists Addictive TV will present the soundtrack of the borough through the video remixing of Waltham Forest’s rich and diverse musical talent. Forest Road will be transformed by Continental Drifts into a winter carnival leading to Lloyd Park, where epic lighting installation Nest from artists Marshmallow Laser Feast transforms the familiar into the fantastic, accompanied by a transcendental soundscape from composer Erland Cooper created with local choirs and schools.
Don't miss out on the biggest party our borough has ever seen - you can find out more information about this event and how to join in at wfculture19.co.uk/welcometotheforest
Where to find me this coming week....
Monday 7th January - returning to parliament to take part in the debates and discussions on Brexit. Please note parliament will be in session every day this coming week, which means I will not be able to hold a local residents advice surgery this week. Residents are advised to call my office on 020 8 521 1223 for support or to email details of their concerns.
Tuesday 8th January - speaking at the Remain Labour rally in parliament on the case for a second referendum and the lessons from the Irish abortion Citizens Assembly.
Thursday 10th January - attending the Walthamstow Labour Party General Committee Meeting.
Friday 11th January - attending the launch of the Waltham Forest Borough of Culture.