The Wanstead Society is 15 this year, and we plan to celebrate wit h a party in The George on Wednesday 20th June from 7:30pm – 9:30pm, so put the date in your diary!
It’s free for all our members and we are throwing in some free wine and nibbles as well. Please bring a friend who is not a member as we hope to get some new faces on board and show you what we have been up to over the last 15 years, and how we can protect, promote and improve Wanstead over the next 15.
A lot has changes in 15 years……………….
In Wanstead, in 1997, a pint was £1.97, the average house price for a terrace was £123,000, the M11 link road was still being built, a zone 1-4 travelcard would set you back £5.50, a litre of petrol was 61.7p and the current Chairman was still doing his A levels at Wanstead High!
Over the last 15 years the Wanstead Society has had a great deal of success in protecting and improving our community. We win some battles, lose some and some we continue. Below are a few of our more notable successes, failures and future campaigns.
1. Past Successes
Save the Evergreen Field –(the fenced off area fronting the High Street, between the park and the doctors surgery)
The Society originally formed out of the campaign to save the Evergreen field from development. Flats, a supermarket, a car park and much more have been mooted for the site. The Society maintains that it should be given over to the community for a park. It is currently owned by Furlong Homes, who – as yet – have no plans to develop the site.
Preserve the Day Care Centre in the Corner House and Maintain its Garden
A long campaign by the Society and local Councillors ensured that the day care centre for the elderly at the corner of Grove Park and the High Street was kept open, renovated and the Society maintains the garden free of charge.
Campaign to Renovate the Fountains at both ends of Wanstead High Street
The drinking fountains at either end of the High Street were renovated in 2007 after lobbying by the Society. Sadly, they are no longer “drinking” fountains as it is not cost effective to reconnect the supply.
Tree Planting and Extra Litter Bins in Christchurch Green
Over the last 15 years we have ensured that all available spots for tree planting on Christchurch Green are full. In addition, in 2011 we secured and part funded new litter bins with lids for this park.
Supported the First Art Trail Wanstead in 2010
In 2010 the Society was instrumental in starting up the first Art Trail in Wanstead and we wish it well for the future.
2. Continuing and Future Work
Fully Support the Wanstead Festival
Since 2003 the Wanstead Society has been supporting and attending the Wanstead Festival and we hope to see it continue well into the future.
Our primary focus is to ensure that the character and historic nature of the area is maintained. We continue to support and object to planning applications on a weekly basis, work with developers and have a permanent seat on the Council’s Conservation Advisory Panel (CAP) which examines all applications in conservation areas. In the past we have worked with major developers, such as Chepstow, to ensure good quality design for new buildings. To date, we are seeking to work with the developers of the Kinema next to the George Pub to ensure any new development is undertaken in a sensitive way.
King George Hospital
King George maternity units are planned to move to Queens Hospital in Romford along with the A&E departments. This will mean that Redbridge, which has a population of 260,000, would be left without a fully functioning hospital. The Society has attended every major meeting on this matter, as well as having made representations to Downing Street and MPs. The fight to save our only fully functioning hospital goes on.
Wanstead Police Station
Our local police station is not safe, and we continue to fight for it! We asked the Mayor of London if he would commit to keeping the station open for at least 18 hours a day with a staffed counter service – and he said “No decisions have been taken in relation to the future of Wanstead police station. The MPS is reviewing the whole of the property estate” (Question No: 2019 / 2011)
We also asked Ken Livingstone, Labour candidate, and Brian Paddock, Liberal Democrat candidate – both failed to give an answer. Until we have written proof that this station will continue to operate as it does, we will continue our campaign.