Working for Walthamstow Sunday 23rd December 2018

Working for Walthamstow Sunday 23rd December 2018: Brexit E17 Update and Challenge to Theresa May, Free Fresh Food for Those in Need, MP Xmas Card Competition Winner, Youth Violence - Putting Walthamstow's Experience on the Record, Walthamstow Haiku- Premier League Competition, Immigration White Paper: Update, Changes to Bus Routes at Walthamstow Central, Dealing with Family Loss at Christmas

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. 

You can also follow me on twitter via @stellacreasy or on facebook for regular updates too. 

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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.... 

 Red Imp Comedy Club – Thursday 10 January The 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

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 beyon 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 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 January between 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 

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. 

Changes to Bus Stopping Places at Walthamstow Central Station: The 97 and 357 

Transport for London have been in touch to say the 97 and 357 bus routes have now been permanently re-routed directly via Hoe Street in both directions. This means they will no longer serve Walthamstow Bus Station or stop AP in Selborne Road outside Walthamstow Central station. The nearest alternative bus stops will be new stops in Hoe Street, on the rail bridge, approximately 100-170 metres from the rail station and bus station. The AP stop in Selborne Road will also be removed, which is served by several other bus routes. However, this will now take place in early 2019, and it may temporarily close at times while works take place.

Dealing with Loss of a Loved One At Christmas

This time of year many residents will also be missing those they love- whether through separation or bereavement. A brave young resident Rudy lost his mum around the festive period three years ago- he's now written a blog about how this affected him and to help others who may be going through grief due to such loss themselves. You can read his article here.

Festive Greeting Card Competition: Theo's Winning Entry of William Morris Gallery 

Congratulations to Theo Williams, aged 7, of Stoneydown Primary School who drew the winning design for my festive greeting card this year. This card has now been sent to over 3,500 people both within our community and within national politics and has a beautiful drawing of the William Morris Gallery. You can view the design online here - thank you to all the local children who participated in this competition who made it very hard to judge and the amazing local businesses who sponsor this competition and so make it possible. They are Gokyuzu, Yard Sale Pizza, Rhythm Kitchen, Rineys, Bates Laundary Services, Blackhorse Lane Ateliers, Lee Valley Partnerships, Vinn Dry Cleaners and Sodo Pizza. I want to wish everyone in Walthamstow a Happy Christmas and New Year. 

Brexit Update - Challenging the Prime Minister on No Deal and Facebook Updates for Walthamstow Residents 

Thank you to everyone in Walthamstow who has been in touch with me in the last few weeks about Brexit.  I share your deep frustration and concern about the situation Parliament- and so the country now finds itself in-  as the Prime Minister not only pulled the vote on her proposed Brexit deal but also is using her control of parliamentary time to delay bringing this vote back to parliament. This means she's running the clock down towards the deadline in the legislation for a vote on this proposal- that would then make the choice for parliamentarians be between her deal and no deal with Europe at all. With little support for her deal in Parliament this is reckless in the extreme. 

The consequences of this are clear- people are already losing their jobs, public money is being wasted and time is being lost which could be put towards resolving what happens. This includes whether or not to involve the public in having a say - including through a second referendum and a citizens assembly- or any alternative deal that could be negotiated. I challenged the Prime Minister directly on this at Prime Ministers Question Time this week and what this means for people in Walthamstow- you can watch the video here

The mix of parliamentary process, political dysfunction and an expedited process have made this situation a mess - to help explain what has been going on in Parliament and what can be done, I've been doing regular Facebook live videos. You can see these at my facebook profile- if you like the page you will get up dates when I do them and you can ask questions to me directly when they are happening online. I will continue to make these videos in the coming weeks so please do let other residents know of this opportunity to keep up with events in Parliament. 

I consider the way in which the Government has handled this matter to show gross incompetence and as such that no one can have any confidence in them. I believe Parliament should have the opportunity to consider this competency through a vote of no confidence in the Government itself. I also believe that given the deadlock in Parliament and clear disagreement amongst MPs as to what should happen next, the public must be brought into the decision making process on this matter through a vote to break this impasse - I will therefore continue to make that argument and support measures to achieve that in the Labour Party, in Parliament and within the country. 

Free Fresh Food Distribution for Families in Need: Christmas Eve 

This time of year many in our community are struggling with debt due to the high cost of living in London and the growing problems universal credit has generated. To support those who may be short of food for this festive period there will be distribution of fresh food from one of our local supermarkets on Monday 24th December from 6-8pm at 48 Greenaway Avenue. Please note it is not possible for us to know how much food will be available so this is on a first come, first served basis and please do bring suitable bags to take away food. Thank you to Aldi for helping with this initiative, to our local Christian Kitchen and PL84U projects for helping with distributing this food to our community and all those volunteers who have offered to help with transporting food. 

Fighting Youth Violence: Putting Walthamstow's Experience on the Record in Parliament

Whilst Brexit has dominated parliament for the last few weeks, many of us have sought to ensure that this doesn't make the Government think they can forget about the other challenges our communities are facing. In particular, many MPs have been working to urge the Government to learn from how youth violence is tackled in other areas and countries who use a 'public health' model. I took part in the debate on this to share our direct experience of these issues in Walthamstow - the loss of loved ones, the fear of violence which affects the lives of all who live here and the need for the policing, council and voluntary sector resources to address the violence. I made a direct plea for more help to the Ministers and put on record the names of those we have lost in the last year alone- you can see a clip of this speech here and read the full contribution online here

Premier League Primary Stars Poetry Competition: Watch The Walthamstow Haiku Here  

The Premier League are running a competition to improve literacy and support children to engage with poetry based on the theme of diversity. Called Primary Stars, there's lots of great prizes to be won - they also asked MPs to take part too. Inspired by recent events in Walthamstow I wrote a short haiku: 

Together each day
We may speak many languages 
Always with one heart

Thank you to everyone, especially local singing group Natural Voices and the children and parents of Hillyfield School who helped write this out in so many of the different languages we speak here in Walthamstow to make this amazing short video. You can watch this video here and submit your own here.

The Immigration White Paper: Parliamentary Update 

This week the Government finally published their white paper on immigration policy - this sets out their proposals for how to manage immigration if Brexit happens and covers matters including visas, the fate of the Government's targets on immigration and whether or not they will have an income threshold. I took part in the question time on this paper to challenge the logic in the Home Secretary's proposals, and instead consider the impact of immigration policy on our public services. I raised the way in which the Government has cut nursing bursaries and we now have a shortage of 100,000 nurses in the NHS, highlighting the negative consequences of the Government's targets and failure to consider immigration as a benefit to our country- you can read the full exchange here. 

Where to find me this coming week....

  • Monday 24th December - Wednesday 2nd January 2019 - during this period my office will be closed. However, any resident can get hold of me either via this email above or if it is an emergency by calling the Waltham Forest Council switchboard on 020 8496 3000 who are able to contact me directly.